52 weeks of Reading- 2018 edition!!

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Re: 52 weeks of Reading- 2018 edition!!

#81

Post by Booyakasha » Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:57 am

Finished 'Ready Player One' earlier today.

...you know, I guess it's alright. I'm not real big on 80s sh*t. Like, yeah, that's when I grew up, but it isn't all that informed me.

Some of it feels pretty inauthentic. Like, these huge anime/sci-fi/video game nerds, these dweebs who've spent all their lives practicing every old-school game, memorising every nerdy 80s movie known to man, they've also memorised 'Family Ties' and 'Schoolhouse Rock' to a T? Yeah, I'll just bet my figs they have. I mean, it isn't as inauthentic as 'Big Bang Theory', but it's still pretty 'yeah, right, pffft'.

Still. Book is alright. Parzival has a little bit of a lame crybaby Eragon/Anakin chapter there, where he's pining after Art3mis, but he gets over it, and winds up being a cool guy.

Movie looks like a visually-exhausting clustercuss, going solely by the trailers. I can imagine River and Maxy simultaneously being able to keep pace with it and not knowing any of the references ('hey, uncle justin, what's a delorean? what's a sinistar? what's a rush 2112? what's an ecto-1? what's a millennium falcon? what's a you can call me al? what's an oregon trail? what's a square pegs? what's a last unicorn? what's a romancing the stone? what's a voltron? what's a johnny-five? what's a THACO? what's a tetsuo? what's a goonies? what's a bill and ted? what's an enterprise? what's an axel f? what's a captain harlock? what's a monty python? what's a big country? what's a commodore 64? wait, don't fall asleep, we need to know what a skeletor is!'). I find I'd rather sleep than watch complete garbage, these days. Who is this for?

(EDIT: My copy of the book was signed by the author. It didn't cost any extra, and I'm glad, because it looks like somebody held a pen against the paper and then had an epileptic fit. Why don't people sign things legibly ever anymore? When did one's signature become an opportunity for one to draw a sequence of pentagrams daisy-chaining? Is penmanship so difficult?)
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Re: 52 weeks of Reading- 2018 edition!!

#82

Post by Apollo the Just » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:56 am

Finished Prisoner of Azkaban. Definitely my favorite book so far because I **** love Remus Lupin. Again, perspective is informed by the fact I have only seen the movies for the LONGEST time, so I’m really enjoying all the added depth and detail and nuance in the books.

Everything we know about the Marauders characterizes them very believably as dumbass ******* teenagers. It’s fantastic. Remus is a werewolf, his friends find out and instead of ditching him they break every wizard law in the universe and become furries, they break him out of the Shrieking Shack and go on adventures, Sirius is a dick and tries to sic Remus on Severus, James is like “oh my god Sirius you can’t just kill that kid even if he’s an ugly nerd,” etc. A major gripe with the movies is how they portray James and Sirius and Remus as almost perfect people until out of nowhere in movie 5/6 where suddenly it’s revealed they were BAD GUYS; in the books it’s very clear that they were young and stupid and did **** things and it’s way more complicated from the get go. Remus is even like “oh my god that was so dangerous I coulda killed someone WHY DID WE DO THAT we were idiots;” the reflection we get from their perspective now is really good.

Also, Sirius is prepared to choke Harry into unconsciousness to get to Peter. He is portrayed as dangerously desperate. He is innocent of the crime he was imprisoned for but dude’s still got baggage; I think the movies leaned a little too hard on making him just totally a nice guy TM when the books do a better job of highlighting how much 12 years in Azkaban can and will screw you up.

Anyway. I love Remus Lupin/10

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Re: 52 weeks of Reading- 2018 edition!!

#83

Post by Valigarmander » Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:36 pm

61, 65, 66, & 68. Showa: A History of Japan by Shigeru Mizuki. A four-volume history of the Showa Era, from 1926 to 1989. While most of the series serves as an overview major events in Japan's history during the 20th century, it also features an autobiography of Mizuki, from his early childhood in Tottori, to his years as a conscript during WWII, to his later struggles in postwar Japan. This means you get both a ground-level and a bird's-eye view of the country's history. This is the first manga I've enjoyed in a long time.

62. Nat Turner by Kyle Baker. A brief history of Nat Turner, a Virginian slave who led a rebellion in 1931. The art is okay, and I learned a few things I didn't know.

63. The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs by Steve Brusatte. A general history of the dinosaurs, from their origins in the Triassic to their demise at the end of the Cretaceous. Overall pretty good, though the book does spend a disproportionate amount of time on already popular and well-known topics. (Two chapters about tyrannosaurs?)

64. Palestine by Joe Sacco. Shares the author's experiences as a journalist in Gaza and the West Bank in 1991-2. Really fascinating. This is the first book of Sacco's that I've read, and I'll definitely be checking out his other ones.

67. The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X & Alex Haley. The autobi... well, you know. I didn't know much about Malcolm X before reading this, apart from the handful of things everybody knows. Really illuminating.

Books read in 2018 (68/52):
Spoiler.
1. DK Books 5th Edition First Aid Manual - 4/5 (Jan 16)
2. Octopus Pie Vol. 4 by Meredith Gran - 5/5 (Jan 18)
3. Chicken with Plums by Marjane Satrapi - 4/5 (Jan 21)
4. All Who Go Do Not Return by Shulem Deen - 4/5 (Jan 24)
5. Vampire Loves by Joann Sfar - 4/5 (Jan 24)
6. Fables: Animal Farm by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, & Steve Leialoha - 4/5 (Jan 25)
7. Cursed Pirate Girl by Jeremy A. Bastian - 5/5 (Jan 29)
8. Fables: Storybook Love by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, & Steve Leialoha - 4/5 (Feb 3)
9. Henchgirl by Kristen Gudsnuk - 3/5 (Feb 9)
10. I Hate Fairyland Vol. 2: Fluff My Life by Skottie Young - 3/5 (Feb 10)
11. I Hate Fairyland Vol. 3: Good Girl by Skottie Young - 4/5 (Feb 13)
12. The Road by Cormac McCarthy - 5/5 (Feb 18)
13. Comics for Choice by various authors - 4/5 (Feb 23)
14. Doc Bizarre M.D. by Joe Casey & Andy Suriano - 3/5 (Feb 24)
15. Watchmen by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons - 4/5 (Mar 7)
16. Just So Happens by Fumio Obata - 4/5 (Mar 8)
17. Batman: Birth of the Demon by Mike W. Barr, Dennis O'Neil, Jerry Bingham, Tom Grindberg, & Norm Breyfogle - 2/5 (Mar 11)
18. March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, & Nate Powell - 5/5 (Mar 17)
19. Batman: A Death in the Family by Jim Starlin, Jim Aparo, & Mike DeCarlo - 2/5 (Mar 18)
20. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang - 4/5 (Mar 20)
21. Weapons of Mass Diplomacy by Abel Lanzac & Christophe Blain - 5/5 (Mar 24)
22. My Pretty Vampire by Katie Skelly - 2/5 (Mar 25)
23. Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore & Brian Bolland - 3/5 (Mar 25)
24. Why Geography Matters: More Than Ever by Harm de Blij - 4/5 (Mar 26)
25. Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me by Harvey Pekar & JT Waldman - 3/5 (Mar 28)
26. Best of Enemies: Part One by Jean-Pierre Filiu & David B. - 4/5 (Mar 30)
27. Best of Enemies: Part Two by Jean-Pierre Filiu & David B. - 4/5 (Apr 3)
28. Octopus Pie Vol. 5 by Meredith Gran - 4/5 (Apr 8)
29. The Death of Stalin by Fabien Nury & Thierry Robin - 4/5 (Apr 9)
30. Hellsing Vol. 2 by Kohta Hirano - 3/5 (Apr 10)
31. Best of Enemies: Part Three by Jean-Pierre Filiu & David B. - 4/5 (Apr 11)
32. Marxism: A Graphic Guide by Rupert Woodfin & Oscar Zarate - 3/5 (Apr 17)
33. Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu - 5/5 (Apr 20)
34. Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story by Peter Bagge - 3/5 (Apr 24)
35. National Geographic Bird Coloration by Geoffrey E. Hill - 5/5 (May 8)
36. Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol - 4/5 (May 10)
37. The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation by Jonathan Hennessey & Aaron McConnell - 4/5 (May 13)
38. Late Victorian Holocausts by Mike Davis - 3/5 (May 19)
39. Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei Vol. 1 by Koji Kumeta - 2/5 (May 27)
40. Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei Vol. 2 by Koji Kumeta - 2/5 (May 28)
41. Madame Frankenstein by Megan Levens & Jamie S. Rich - 4/5 (May 28)
42. Poppies of Iraq by Brigitte Findakly & Lewis Trondheim - 5/5 (Jun 2)
43. The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui - 5/5 (Jun 9)
44. Russia and the Russians: A History by Geoffrey Hosking - 4/5 (Jun 24)
45. The Motherless Oven by Rob Davis - 3/5 - (Jul 3)
46. The Tyrannosaur Chronicles by David Hone - 4/5 (Jul 4)
47. You Can't Touch My Hair (And Other Things I Still Have to Explain) by Phoebe Robinson - 4/5 (Jul 12)
48. The Rabbi's Cat by Joann Sfar - 4/5 (Aug 5)
49. God and the Fascists by Karlheinz Deschner - 3/5 (Aug 5)
50. The Defense of Slavery by Richard Buchko - 3/5 (Aug 10)
51. The Arab of the Future 3 by Riad Sattouf - 4/5 (Aug 15)
52. The Ends of the World by Peter Brannen - 4/5 (Aug 17)
53. Death to the Tsar by Fabien Nury & Thierry Robin - 3/5 (Aug 17)
54. Plutona by Jeff Lemire, Emi Lenox, & Jordie Bellaire - 3/5 (Aug 19)
55. Reading the Rocks by Brenda Maddox - 4/5 (Aug 26)
56. The Gettysburg Address by Jonathan Hennessey & Aaron McConnell - 5/5 (Aug 26)
57. Fables: March of the Wooden Soldiers by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, & Steve Leialoha - 4/5 (Sep 1)
58. I Hate Fairyland Vol. 4: Sadly Never After by Skottie Young - 3/5 (Sep 2)
59. Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud - 4/5 (Sep 9)
60. God's Chinese Son by Jonathan D. Spence - 4/5 (Sep 13)
61. Showa: A History of Japan, 1926-1939 by Shigeru Mizuki - 5/5 (Sep 16)
62. Nat Turner by Kyle Baker - 3/5 (Sep 18)
63. The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs by Steve Brusatte - 4/5 (Sep 25)
64. Palestine by Joe Sacco - 4/5 (Sep 28)
65. Showa: A History of Japan, 1939-1944 by Shigeru Mizuki - 5/5 (Oct 3)
66. Showa: A History of Japan, 1944-1953 by Shigeru Mizuki - 5/5 (Oct 8)
67. The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X & Alex Haley - 3/5 (Oct 13)
68.Showa: A History of Japan, 1953-1989 by Shigeru Mizuki - 4/5 (Oct 17)

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Re: 52 weeks of Reading- 2018 edition!!

#84

Post by Booyakasha » Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:10 am

I just finished 'Spider Kiss', by Harlan Ellison. It was a very interesting book. Ellison takes a day off of sci-fi/fantasy and weaves a tale of existential horror about a rockabilly singer in the Elvis Presley/Jerry Lee Lewis mould. A pure sociopath, whose management is trying to rein him in whilst profiting off him. It was really good. Startin to think Ellison could write about near anything and make it gold. He's great.
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Re: 52 weeks of Reading- 2018 edition!!

#85

Post by I am nobody » Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:09 pm

13. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. Pretty much just picked this up because it was cheap and I was curious. Never had to read it in school, so I didn't know much beyond that it was about depression. I liked it, especially for showing what life was like when psychiatry was still so undeveloped, but it also wasn't really my kind of book.

14, It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis. A fairly plausible depiction of how the US could've gone fascist in the '30s that I don't think otherwise has much relevance today. Some of that is because Lewis' vision of the rise of a dictator was very dependent on the exact circumstances of the Great Depression and partly because a lot of the techniques the Winthrop regime uses to take over are very obviously inspired by Hitler, Mussolini, or Lenin, and would be suicidal for a modern politician to use. It's interesting as a piece of history, but not remarkable as a work of fiction.

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Re: 52 weeks of Reading- 2018 edition!!

#86

Post by Apollo the Just » Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:21 pm

I just finished reading a 4-part series on AO3 about Teddy Remus Lupin's own adventures at Hogwarts, and considering it totals about 500,000 words and is now as far as I am concerned the necessary and direct sequel to JKR's work, I'm counting it here dammit.

The series does a lot of things that are absolutely wonderful at making it an entirely original and novel experience while still successfully following up on what made the original series captivating (you know, like a good sequel does, IM SIDE EYEING YOU DAWN OF A NEW WORLD):

- Teddy's year is historically small, because - as the work explores - wizards were either not having children because they were dead/dying/afraid, their children were being murdered for being muggle-born, or they were fleeing the country. This is brilliant because it puts thought into the long-term repercussions of what happened during the main series, and ALSO because as a result Teddy McProtag Lupin is the only Gryffindor in his year. This necessitates him making friends and connections with other Houses, which gives an entirely different school dynamic from the Only Gryffindors Are Important narrative of the original series.

- Teddy's experiences (both those that are straight from canon, like being a war orphan with Harry as his godfather, and all the entirely original plot developments in each installment) have really meaningful parallels to Harry's own, but the perspective and circumstance and focus are different enough that they're thoroughly novel and engaging. Lest we forget because JKR decided Remus Lupin wasn't an important character: TEDDY'S PARENTS ARE DEAD AND REMUS NAMED HARRY HIS GODFATHER BEFORE HE PASSED. Harry had a very specific and meaningful (and short-lived) relationship with Sirius because he was the closest thing to a father figure he was able to have; in this series, Harry takes a very active and prominent role in Teddy's life - and to me that is what he would have done, considering he would know better than anyone else what Teddy is feeling about missing parents he never got to know. Teddy's story is more or less "what Harry could have had if he had a healthier home life". But the frame of the narrative is also decidedly different, because Teddy is a really introspective protagonist (which I found really refreshing). He is a Seer, which I thought was a brilliant move and which is REALLY FASCINATING-LY EXPLORED IN PART 3, he has - as exacerbated by being the only Gryffindor in his year - a tendency to isolate himself and spend a lot of time in his own head, but he also finds it easy to make friends in a lot of different walks of life which makes for a completely fresh perspective on the wizarding world. Harry was a stranger to it and found a very strong niche friend group with whom he shared everything; Teddy grew up surrounded by this world and is trying to find his place in it, able to connect with many people but preferring to ponder things on his own. It's all brilliant, considering one of the central themes is - for both Teddy, who lost his parents, and the Wizarding world, recovering from a war - navigating how to move on to the future without forgetting the past. The series itself excels at being its own original work while retaining a really solid foundation in the plot and themes of the original.

- Like, seriously, you know how the epilogue of the HP books is **** stupid? This fic series singlehandedly redeems the epilogue for me. I am ok with the epilogue existing because this fic series provides what it might have potentially had to say if it were good. I am at peace with the epilogue because the epilogue has an entire other story before it, and that other story is right here, by FernWithy, about Teddy Remus Lupin.

- also the marauders were the best concept in HP and this has quite a focus on them FOR OBVIOUS REASONS, which makes it 10000/10 automatically on principle

ANYWAY, my review is thus:

Teddy Lupin and Honoria Higgs are now, thanks to this work, 2 of my favorite characters in Harry Potter canon. Yes, canon. The story is incomplete without this as a send-off.

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