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Marissa Lingen

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Books read, late February. [Mar. 1st, 2012|11:47 am]
Marissa Lingen

Ed Brubaker, Sleeper: All False Moves and Sleeper: Out in the Cold. I like the evolution of Miss Misery in these. They were entertaining enough. Not my favorite comics series at this point, but worth my time.

Mike Carey, Lucifer: A Dalliance with the Damned. I think I liked the art in that less than in any comic I've ever read. Which, granted, does not make me the grand voice of all experience in comic art; I am still a total dilettante here. But I know what I like! And it's not this!

Angelica Gorodischer, Kalpa Imperial. This is Borgesian and lovely, and sometimes plottier than Borges. What it is not is one of the things it says on the tin, which is a novel. I don't want people disappointed in this perfectly lovely story-and-vignette tradition in the South American fabulist tradition because it's labeled a novel and is not one.

Barbara Hambly, Die Upon a Kiss. Another Benjamin January mystery, this one with the opera of the time. Less mysterious than it might have been, more than made up for in period opera detail if you like that sort of thing, which I do.

Ari Marmell, Thief's Covenant. This is another "if you like that sort of thing, which I do." It's a YA thiefy fantasy adventure, and the threads of past and present come together most satisfactorily and with fun for all. At least for me. If you don't like high fantasy adventure with thieves, this will not be your thing.

Sharon Bertsch McGrayne, The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes' Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines, and Emerged Triumphant from Two Centuries of Controversy. I feel that having typed the title ought to be nearly enough, but this is the sort of book that people might well overlook as too technical for them when really it's hardly technical at all. There's barely any math. Mostly it's about mathematicians fighting. It's almost fluffy. It goes through all sorts of good bits of applying statistics to things people are interested in. It's short and interesting. She has a few very weird tics, at one point referring to "engineer Thomas H. Flowers," which threw me as it is the Bletchley Park equivalent of referring to "musician David Grohl." But seriously, you might like this. Mathematicians fighting! Statistics nerdery without having to do the statistics yourself!

David Pietrusza, 1948: Harry Truman's Improbable Victory and the Year that Transformed America. David Pietrusza can keep writing about election years until he keels over as far as I'm concerned. This was light and breezy, and the 1948 election sort of deserved it. I thought I might be So Done With Elections, but actually someone else's election woes were quite refreshing, and I will go to the library for his 1960 one before November, I feel sure.

Greg Rucka, Queen and Country Vol. 4. Okay, that was random. End Volume 3 on a cliffhanger! Then spend Volume 4 on backstory! There is no known or forthcoming Volume 5! Yay! Sigh. Not-yay.

James C. Scott, Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance. I so want a book that matches this title. Alas, this is not that book. This is a fairly close case-study of a small Malaysian village in the late 20th century and its social and economic relationships. It really ought to have been called Rice, And Quite a Lot Of It. I mean, there were interesting parts once I got over the disappointment. But I have another interestingly titled book by this gentleman on my pile, and now I am giving it the stinkeye.

Janni Lee Simner (janni), Faerie Winter. In addition to being fun and wintry (wintry yay!), it was fascinating how clearly I could see how differently Janni does things than I do, because while I don't have a similar premise, it was a lot closer to a premise I might want to use than many out there--I felt a lot more kinship with what she does than with what many authors do, and so our differences in approach were particularly delightful, if that makes any sense. The similarities made the differences pop. Will be interested in seeing how the series ends, too. Go series yay.

Barbara Tuchmann, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century. Speaking of misleadingly titled books, this is really One French Knight: And a Bunch of Stuff About Him. Luckily I liked that better. I wish I'd gotten to it sooner, so I'd read it before the stuff that refuted bits of it. But still it was worth my time, and it's one of those things every fabulist reads sooner or later, and now it was my turn.

Mark Waid, Irredeemable Vol. 1 and 2. Oh how I like Volt. I mean, there were other things and this was fun. But Volt: he is my favorite.

[User Picture]From: misquoted
2012-03-01 06:08 pm (UTC)
(Ari Marmell's sister is one of my LJ friends, so I love when I see people reading his stuff.)
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2012-03-01 09:16 pm (UTC)
She's doing that thing where she thinks people in the past didn't really care about their kids. Go read my favorite and dearly loved Steven Ozment for refutations of this.

(Seriously, one of her pieces of evidence of this was how the Madonna and Child were drawn, as stiff figures. And...um...they were just not that good at drawing babies. If you use the Madonna and Child as evidence, 14th century babies all had weird diseases that caused them to have adult proportions, unlike modern babies. They were just...not that good at it yet. Actually.)
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[User Picture]From: rysmiel
2012-03-01 09:28 pm (UTC)
I am amused by the juxtaposition of the Hambly and the Carey because the title story of Dalliance with the Damned is easily my favourite example of somebody taking story elements from Othello and putting them together into something different to good effect.

Also, yay Irredeemable. I can quite see your liking Volt, I do too, though I have a huge soft spot for Qubit myself - I read him as a much-needed boot in the vitals to the stereotype of the abstracted cerebral mad-scientist hero whose story arc is about Recognising The Importance of Having a Heart, he is, mostly fairly quietly, probably the best equipped in the whole thing heart-wise.
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From: swan_tower
2012-03-02 10:09 am (UTC)
Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance

Yeah, I want the book that goes with that title, too.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2012-03-02 01:15 pm (UTC)
And the worst of it is that occasionally there would be an entire paragraph out of a chapter where he'd talk about something of the sort. French pre-Revolution peasants, or Italians under whichever ruler, and I would lean forward and go, "Yes? Yes?" But no. Then he would be back to the details of which derogatory nicknames in Malaysian were used behind one's back and which to one's face. Which, once I resigned myself to that being the book I was reading, was mildly interesting, but not at all what I wanted it to be.
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From: diatryma
2012-03-02 02:00 pm (UTC)
I would read the heck out of that.
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