What I’m reading today – Goodreads update

26.29% “Finished ‘Darwin’s Suitcase’ by Elisabeth Malartre. Good, but suffered a little by following immediately on Sheila Crosby, by comparison. It’s clever, certainly, but that’s about the minimum you expect from a pro time-travel story. Compared to the best stories in this collection – Sheila Crosby and Sean McMullen, so far – clever isn’t quite enough.

Still a good story, an important theme, and worth reccing.”

What I was reading yesterday – Goodreads update

“Finished ‘Scream Quietly’ by Sheila Crosby, and it was truly amazing. Beautiful period feel, authentic with a touch of grim humor. Characterful, idiosyncratic prose, and a gently amusing basic premise despite the hateful abusive environment. I did muse ‘wow, men really are pigs’, at points. Not gonna bother #notallmen-ing. Not all ‘rahrahtehladies!’ either.

Fab story, total rec, a highpoint thus far.”

 

 

What I’m reading today I – Goodreads update

Alex Ankarr is on page 117 of 544 of The Mammoth Book of Time Travel SF: Finished ‘The Wind Over The World’. What’s the fuss about? Well written, I grant, but nothing exciting goes on, there are no profound insights. Maybe the female protagonist makes it a feminist parable? She ain’t no Ripley, if so.

Qua exciting tale of scientific derring-do through time, it isn’t. The emperor is starkers, nuddy, not a stitch on him. ‘Walk To The Full Moon’ beats it into a cocked hat.

 

What I’m reading today II – Goodreads update

Alex Ankarr is 7% done with A Shadow on the Sun: Although it’s well-written I’m having trouble suspending disbelief due to the characters’ very ‘fantasy world-building’ names. It’s always a problem with made-up names, and I’m still at the point of finding them slightly risible. The story’s good so I’ll be able to shake that reaction off soon.

Honestly I’d be as happy if fantasy authors just called everyone Bill and Ted. Well, not the girls, maybe.

 

What I’m reading today – Goodreads update

Alex Ankarr is on page 112 of 544 of The Mammoth Book of Time Travel SF: I’m more than halfway through ‘The Wind Over The World’, highly praised and lauded by seemingly every reviewer. Thus far I’m finding it depressing, turgid and ominous. But I suppose everything may be transformed by the ending, who knows?

Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich – Goodreads book review

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Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in AmericaNickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really love this book, although I’m not sure why considering just how depressing it is. I think perhaps just because of that. Ehrenreich truly tells it like it is, and there’s none of the sugarcoating of economic abuse and exploitation that you get with even supposedly impartial media like the BBC and UK liberal press these days. Also I’m into it just because I love memoir beyond any reasonable point and every detail of Ehrehreich’s wilfully grim and dispiriting experiences is fascinating to me.

There is a temptation, as a reader, to keep second-guessing her choices, and the choices of her more truly blue/pink collar colleagues. To think and hope, wishfully, deludedly, that given the same circumstances one would do better, would rise above somehow and bootstrap one’s way up. It’s perhaps the same ‘blame the victim’ mentality associated with rape, bullying or whistleblowers – it feels so much safer to convince yourself that the system works, the target slipped up and was at fault somehow, and it could never happen to you. But it ain’t so, bud.

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Image – DustinGinetz.Photography on Flickr, public domain.