Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Patrick Stump & Fall Out Boy
Content Notes/Warnings: none
Medium: digital drawing
Artist on DW/LJ: N/A
Artist Website/Gallery: weland | thedrawfill
Why this piece is awesome: This is an adorable sketch of everyone else gazing lovingly at Patrick. Apparently I have a thing for hearts and text in fanart.
Link: FOB - Everybody Loves Patrick | on tumblr
I seem to remember, back in high school, translating a poem by Horace where the first word (?) of the poem was a verb . . . but the subject of that verb was buried down in the second stanza. I don’t recall anything about its subject matter; it only stuck with me because it was the most egregious example I had personally encountered of how Latin can make an utter jigsaw of its word order.
But that poem doesn’t appear to be in our little booklet of Catullus and Horace, which means it was one of the ones the teacher gave us in a handout. And although I thought I still had those handouts, I can’t find them. So I turn to you, o Latinists of the internet: does this ring a bell? Can anybody point me at the poem in question?
- Whirlwind trip to both coasts of the US (It was really nice, actually! The weather was good, I saw my whole family, and I went to some really pretty art museums)
- 2/3 of Mother 3 (Also nice, especially now that I have more of a hang of that whole timing-attacks-to-the-beat thing)
- A 55-page technical document for work, over the span of three days
- 50-100 mechanical property tests, also over the span of three days
- Preparations for Europe business trip
The only minor wrinkle is that in the one work week which was squeezed between America Trip and Europe Trip, I have had a cascade of random ailments which are mostly non-serious but inconveniently timed + novel and thus stressful. (E.G. Stiff neck + acute pain when swallowing = sign that I am going to die? I googled with concern but it actually ended up going away on its own. Now my shoulder is giving me trouble and I think that will also go away on its own, but in the meanwhile, ow.)
* The Defenders (mific)
* Steven Universe (juniperphoenix)
So while we already have a few recs to look forward to in September, it would of course be awesome if we had some more recs. There is still plenty of opportunity for you to jump in and volunteer to rec next month (or to convince your friends to do some reccing). And many cheers for all of our members who volunteer to rec, especially if you rec regularly. Your valiant repeat efforts keep the comm alive.
Looking even further ahead so far only ONE reccer has volunteered for October, so that month definitely still needs some love (and recs! *g*) too. So please consider reccing in a fandom of your choice, whether small or huge, and comment on the sign-up post and volunteer for September, October or even further ahead if you are so well organized, that you know your fannish interests and time commitments in advance. It's only four recs as a minimum, and you can rec any genre or rating. Or promote us to your friends or in your favorite communities so others do the work.
Open Rec Posting
The monthly open reccing period for all members starts now and lasts until the end of August. Since the general prompts don't seem to work as inspiration, I've decided to stop adding them, but to keep the open reccing period in case anyone wants to slip a rec in, without having to come up with three others for a fandom. However the recs do still have to conform to the usual rec format and follow the rules for what is allowed to be recced here.
(Comments here are disabled, because I want to bundle volunteering in the sign-up post so that nothing gets lost, and you can see the list of claimed slots there too.)
In many ways, this is a very typical novel for its genre: lonely people bumbling through their lives, trying to understand who they are and how to interact with the culture around them. It's improved by its touches of levity and brightness, including an almost unrealistically happy ending, but it's hard not to be pleased to see these characters succeed. I absolutely adore Ranjana's vampire obsession, which feels so bizarre surrounded by the very serious-minded literary quality of the rest of the book. Though I do have to protest that Satyal does not seem to have done his research. He says, Anne Rice had as many orgasms in her books as commas, but come on, Anne Rice almost never writes explicit sex scenes. Clearly it should be Laurell K. Hamilton had as many orgasms in her books as commas, and I know he's heard of Hamilton since he name-dropped her in an earlier scene. We also get an excerpt of Ranjana's novel-in-progress at one point, and it's much more Dracula or even Nosferatu than anything from the modern paranormal romance genre. But I forgive these mistakes because awkward moms writing vampire romance is beautiful and should be in more novels about the Immigrant Experience.
Overall it's not a particularly outstanding or memorable example of what it's doing, but it's just odd enough to be worth reading, and your time will be pleasantly spent.
I read this as an ARC via NetGalley.
Hoodoo Harry by Joe Lansdale. A novella in the long-running Hap & Leonard series, mystery/thriller books about a pair of mismatched best friends (one a white straight ex-hippie, one a black gay conservative) in rural East Texas. In this adventure, Hap and Leonard are driving home from a fishing trip when their truck is rammed by a bookmobile driven by a terrified 12-year-old boy. Unfortunately the kid does not survive the crash, and an investigation turns up signs of torture on his body as well as the fact that he'd been missing for a week. Even stranger, the bookmobile itself had disappeared more than 15 years ago, along with the woman who drove it. From that point the adventure takes off, with an investigation, more bodies, fistfights, secret hidden rooms, and an all-out gun battle.
This is a quick read (only 76 pages) and could easily be enjoyed without knowledge of the rest of the series, though it's dark enough (as you could probably guess, when a young child dies on page one) that I'm not sure many would want to. It's funny, it's exciting, it's tense, it's basically everything Joe Lansdale always does well, just in a smaller package than usual.
I read this as an ARC via NetGalley.
Battles for Freedom: The Use and Abuse of American History by Eric Foner. A collection of essays previously published in The Nation about the connection between American history and contemporary issues. Foner is a well-regarded historian; though I know him best for Gateway to Freedom, his book on the Underground Railroad, he's studied and written on multiple periods and topics.
The oldest in this collection is from 1977, written for the 50th anniversary of the case and execution of Sacco and Vanzetti. Foner describes the ways the men have been used as a symbol and example for multiple agendas, and how most such portrayals ignore the reality of them as individuals. It's still an interesting and useful article today. The most recent is from January of this year, 2017, and recounts Foner's experiences teaching a college course called “The Radical Tradition in America". He's taught it since the 70s, and students have understandably changed over time, from those who were trying to maintain hope during the Reagan 80s, to those energized by Obama's 2008 victory, to the last batch, influenced by Bernie Sanders's campaign. Some of the essays do feel a bit dated, such as the one from 2001 on the Patriot Act. It's still an awful law, don't get me wrong! It's just that nothing Foner says here is likely to be news to the reader.
My favorite essay was the one on Lincoln's changing views on slavery and racial equality ("Our Lincoln", 2009). Foner portrays him as ultimately a centrist, slow to change his opinion but equally capable of correcting past mistakes. It's a nice change from the black-and-white view of history (and modern people) that can sometimes take over our thinking.
I read this as an ARC via NetGalley.
The Golden House by Salman Rushdie. Ah, this book is fantastic! :D I mean, it's Rushdie, who's surprised, but I do think this is by far the book of his I've loved the most.
The Golden family – Nero, the patriarch, and his three adult sons, Petronius (aka Petya), Lucius Apuleius (aka Apu), and Dionysus (aka D) – are newcomers to The Gardens, a small self-contained neighborhood in New York City, like a child's dreamy ideal of pre-hipster Greenwich Village. Their names, by the way, are all fake; the family is fleeing undisclosed trauma in an unnamed country (it's obviously India, but you have to get fairly deep into the book for that to be made explicit). Each adjusts, or doesn't, to their new life in America with varying degrees of success. Petya attempts to move past his severe autism and alcoholism, Apu makes a name as a celebrity artist, and D struggles to figure out his (or her) gender identity. Nero joins the construction industry, blasts his name across buildings, and acquires a Slavic trophy wife, but it's not quite fair to call him a Trump analogue; for one thing, Nero's far too smart and self-aware, not to mention capable of regret. In fact Trump himself is occasionally mentioned in the background, though he's always referred to as 'The Joker':
To step outside that enchanted—and now tragic—cocoon was to discover that America had left reality behind and entered the comic-book universe; D.C., Suchitra said, was under attack by DC. It was the year of the Joker in Gotham and beyond. The Caped Crusader was nowhere to be seen—it was not an age of heroes—but his archrival in the purple frock coat and striped pantaloons was ubiquitous, clearly delighted to have the stage to himself and hogging the limelight with evident delight. He had seen off the Suicide Squad, his feeble competition, but he permitted a few of his inferiors to think of themselves as future members of a Joker administration. The Penguin, the Riddler, Two-Face and Poison Ivy lined up behind the Joker in packed arenas, swaying like doo-wop backing singers while their leader spoke of the unrivaled beauty of white skin and red lips to adoring audiences wearing green fright wigs and chanting in unison, Ha! Ha! Ha!
All of this is narrated by René, a young man also living in the safety of The Gardens, a filmmaker with dreams of making a documentary about the Goldens, or perhaps just a movie starring a fictionalized version of them. René openly admits that he will combine characters or change backstories to fit his idea of how the story should go, which means it's always open to interpretation how much of what he's telling us is the truth.
It's a book that is bursting at the seams with stuff of all sorts: Greek myth, Roman history, Russian folklore, American politics, philosophy and melodrama, an enormous number of characters each of whom gets their own backstory, motivation, and secret thoughts, subplots and sub-subplots, dramatic revelations from the past that reappear unexpectedly, murders and fires, equal allusions Kipling and to mafia movies and the I ching, and even a secret baby. The writing is gorgeous, of course, and there's plenty to make you think, but what I was most surprised about was simply how compelling it was. I never wanted to put this book down, because I was so thrillingly engaged to find out what happened next. Just a really, really amazing book. I already want to reread it.
I read this as an ARC via NetGalley.
Okay, I'm all caught up with my Netgalley reviewing at least. Now I just need to write about the nine other books I've finished...
ETA: While I'm at it, what's the difference besides animation style between Star Wars: Clone Wars (older, 2D animation) and Star Wars: The Clone Wars (newer, 3D animation)? I am strongly biased aesthetically toward 2D animation but will watch the latter if the story/characters are good...
Currently Reading: Forge by Jan Zwicky. Poetry collection, Canadian author. Lots of inspiration taken from classical music here. Also little sprinklings of winter imagery here and there, which is nice. Definitely one that I'll keep and read again.
Also currently reading: Still picking my way through With Fire and Sword by Henryk Sienkiewicz. I wish this came divided into two books; I'd probably be finished it by now if it were more portable.
Reading Next: I took Trans/Portraits by Jackson Wright Shultz out from the library, but... it seems a bit heavy for bus-reading. Might pick up something else first, depending on when I'm done with the poetry.
 The campus has reopened, but I'm not sure I shouldn't still do it anyway.
What I'm Reading Now
( Doctor Strange #24, Generations The Unworthy Thor And The Mighty Thor #1, Iceman #4, Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man #3, Secret Empire #9, X-Men Gold #10 )
What I'm Reading Next
I miss reading books. I should read a book.
Beguilement (The Sharing Knife #1) by Lois McMaster Bujold, narrated by Bernadette Dunne
Bit of a change of pace from say Chalion, but I enjoyed it anyway. It's a slow, sleepy romance novel, in which the odd demon is killed but the main problems are things like meeting each other's parents and realising that changing names on marriage is a problem when one of you comes from a matrilineal culture and the other from a patrilineal culture (to say nothing of who should make the first move). It's all set in summer in a secondary world version of rural New England (or something of that kind) following the downfall of civilisation. I'll read at least the next one for sure.
(Frankly, if the idea of a romance where the hero is much older and martial, and the heroine is young and domestic is not your thing, don't read this series. I'm fine with it, but I know it drives some people nuts.)
The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth #3) by N.K. Jemisin
I think the best compliment that can go to this book is that it didn't let my expectations down. All the complications and ambiguities and history in the first two books are extended and to some extent explained, and I was left feeling content in the ending. I thought it would break my heart, but in the end it was just really, really satisfying.
I loved how the three (four by the end) character plots worked together, and how the many ends of the world tie together and we learn who everyone is. I especially liked Essun's developing relationship with her new comm, and all the characters there. Plus there are a couple set piece scenes that are flat out stunningly written. Should start over from the beginning once I have time.
(I was to some extent reminded of The Book of Phoenix, especially in the backstory segments. Hoa and Phoenix have a lot in common, it turns out.)
(I liked this review for NPR by Amal El-Mohtar.)
What I'm Reading Now
Paper: Cyberpunk: Malaysia edited by Zen Cho, which I've been meaning to get to for ages. First story is good so far.
Audio: Flying Close to the Sun: My Life and Times as a Weatherman by Cathy Wilkerson. Which I'm also just starting, but the intro was promising.
What I'm Reading Next
Probably Moonglow by Chabon. Or something from the library, depending on the mail.
I keep checking FedEx to see if the package with the contracts/check was delivered. By 10:30 they said! But at 11 am, it's still in transit. Sigh. eta: And delivered as of 11:20 am. Whew./eta
Anyway. It's time for what I'm reading Wednesday:
What I've just finished
What I'm currently reading
The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin, the third book of the Broken Earth trilogy. I'm not finding it quite as compelling as the first two books. ( spoilers ) I'm about 60% through, so I imagine more terrible things are coming.
What I'm reading next
As always, it's a mystery. I have many things on my iPad, so we'll see what catches my fancy.