What are you reading Wednesday

What have you recently finished reading?
FF: Fantastic Faux, by Matt Fraction. Which is heavily linked to the Fantastic Four title in the Marvel Now lineup, which I haven’t read, so made very little sense. On the other hand, Fraction deals very deftly with a transgendered character, making it so normal and the transition so well done that it barely registers as a big issue at all.

And you’ve gotta love the line “All of you pale before our hetero-normative cisgendered classification of family!”

What are you currently reading?
The Fellowship of the Ring. Oh, Tolkien. Oh, Frodo.

The Enchantment Emporium (Tanya Huff). Can’t remember if I mentioned this last week, but so far it’s very fun. I do have to switch my brain onto the Mary Stewart/Georgette Heyer cousin-marrying-is-okay frequency, but I do have that frequency, so that works. Casually queer, all kinds of family stuff, interesting magic.

What will you read next?
Well, Tolkien aside, I’m gonna dig back into We Are Here (Michael Marshall Smith) and Tomorrow and Tomorrow (Thomas Sweterlitsch), since I’m halfway through both and certainly owe a review for the latter.


Reading Habits

I’m not sure where I picked this up from, but it seemed like fun, and touched on some stuff I’ve never thought to mention before. So, another meme!

(1) Do you have a certain place for reading at home?
Mostly, I flop down on my bed for it when I’m with my grandmother. I used to have all sorts of hidey-holes where I’d go to read, but I’m bigger now and can’t fit into them so well, or Grandma’s filled them with boxes or junk or something. When I’m at home, I generally read at my desk with my feet on something, or up in my bunk bed. If I’m feeling particularly bleh, I make myself a blanket fort by hanging blankets down the sides of my bunk bed and curling up on the sofa underneath.

(2) Do you use a bookmark or a random piece of paper?
Mostly bookmarks. A random piece of paper may happen if I can’t find one, but I don’t really have a good excuse for that since I have a pile of about fifty bookmarks. Wherever I go, I try and pick up some bookmarks if they’ve got any free or cheap ones. I have some very nice ones from the Bodleian library shop.

(3) Can you just stop reading or does it need to be at the end of a chapter or a certain number of pages?
I have rules about this shit. It always has to be at the end of a page or, if the paragraph goes onto the next page, the end of that paragraph. I much prefer to stop at paragraph breaks or, even better, the end of even-numbered chapters. I remember when I was a kid, I didn’t like finishing at even the end of a chapter if the last sentence was dialogue.

(4) Do you eat or drink while reading?
Yep. Snacks, water, pop — it sometimes depends, though. If I’m reading something by a writer who is really good with the sound of words, I don’t eat/drink while reading so that I can whisper the words along. I’m a synaesthete, so the words have a ‘taste’, and for writers like Tolkien, Le Guin or Richard Fortey, that’s a part of the experience I wouldn’t want to miss. I don’t eat at mealtimes; Dad trained me firmly out of that.

(5) Do you read one book at a time or several at once?
Many, many at once. I shouldn’t, in that I inevitably end up neglecting something, but I like to have different things on the go for different moods and situations. I don’t read stuff by the fine prose writers in public, because I’m embarrassed about the fact that I want to whisper them. But seriously, ‘swept’ and ‘stepped’ and ‘crept’, or pretty much anything Tolkien ever wrote, they have such a satisfying mouth-feel and taste: I don’t really get why other people find that concept so strange.

(6) Do you read out loud or silently in your head?
Oh, I didn’t notice this question in advance! Silently, mostly, but with fine prose, in a whisper. I don’t like reading aloud to someone else, though. That’s when I start stammering and tripping over the words, which is not fun for anyone involved.

(7) Do you ever read ahead or skip pages?
I don’t mind spoilers, so yes, sometimes I do. Especially in comics, I find. I flick through the book, stop at a pretty page, and end up reading quite a bit to try and figure out what’s going on. Whoops. Obviously, I don’t end up doing this with ebooks, because it’s much harder to skip ahead. And I would never, ever skip the section with Tom Bombadil, and I don’t care what everyone has to say about that.

(8) Breaking the spine or keeping it new?
Keeping it new. And therefore not lending it to my mother.

(9) Do you write in your books?

(10) What are you currently reading?
Oh, cripes. The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff, primarily. And also We Are Here by Michael Marshall Smith. And… and… it’s a long list, let’s just leave it at that.

As usual, whoever wants to!

What are you reading Wednesday

What have you recently finished reading?
On My Way to Jorvik, by John Sunderland, which is an autobiography by one of the people involved in creating the Jorvik museum, talking about how he got there considering he actually had no experience with museums at all. It’s okay, but it gets more interesting once he actually gets onto Jorvik — I was less interested in his personal life. And there was also Radio Free Albemuth, which I’ve already posted my review of.

What are you currently reading?
We Are Here, by Michael Marshall Smith. Which I got spoilered for a bit, but spoilers don’t tend to bother me, and I was already figuring it out anyway. I love the way this guy writes, and have really enjoyed everything of his I’ve read, but this one is kinda slow — well written, but slow. It’s driving me a little batty because I really want to love it, and there’s so much to like, but… not enough happening. Or not enough happening that makes sense, anyway.

I’m also still reading Manon Lescaut, and next week in Fiction of Relationships is (I think) Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, which I love and adore. So I’m partway through a reread of that.

What will you read next?
For once, I’m pretty sure — my books from the library ’round here, since soon I’m going back to where I normally live. So Timescape (Gregory Benford), Book of Skulls (Robert Silverberg) and, if there’s time, Magic Strikes (Ilona Andrews). If not, I know I can get that one from the local library.

What are you reading Wednesday

What have you recently finished reading?
The Hidden Landscape (Richard Fortey), which is gorgeous even though it’s about geology, a subject I care very little about. I think he could actually make me interested in gardening, a subject which I often point out to Grandma I know less than nothing about except I guess I know plant biology.

What are you currently reading?
I’m in a bit of a slump, actually, which makes all my ARCs and review copies a little awkward. Still, I’ve got Dead Harvest (Chris F. Holm) on the go as an audiobook, and Manon Lescaut (Abbé Prévost) has been loaded onto my ereader ready for a class. I think I’m 10% of the way through that? So yeah, not too bad, though I know the plot basically because of the reference in Clouds of Witness (Dorothy L. Sayers).

Oh, there is also We Are Here (Michael Marshall), which I’m enjoying in a slowly-unravelling sort of way. I like Michael Marshall (Smith)’s writing in general, so. There’s also Black Unicorn and Book of Skulls, still, which I probably mentioned last week, and The Toll-Gate (Georgette Heyer). As you can see, I’m not taking the reading slump lying down…

What will you read next?
For one of my Coursera classes, I need to reread Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte), so that’s most likely what I’ll do. I also have a biography of the Brontes out of the library, so maybe I’ll read that too.

What are you reading Wednesday

What have you recently finished reading?
The Selfish Genius (Fern Elsdon-Baker). It critiques Richard Dawkins from the point of view of another scientist who is also an atheist, which makes it quite interesting — the title is meant to be just a glib reference rather than a particularly accusation. I need to write a review of this, but I’m going to mull it over a bit longer first.

What are you currently reading?
As usual, way too much. I most recently picked up We Are Here, a thriller by Michael Marshall; I’ve read some of his SF before, but not his thrillers. So far, I’m enjoying the writing style, but I don’t know how much I’m going to like the thing as a whole.

There’s also Black Unicorn (Tanith Lee), which is, shockingly, my first Tanith Lee read. I’m intrigued so far. It’s quite short, so no doubt I’ll finish it soon.

What will you read next?
Well, I got a book on photosynthesis and its importance for/impact on our world today — Eating the Sun (Oliver Morton) — which, along with my books on genetics, prompted my dad to suggest I must be planning to create Groot and Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy. So just for that, I think that might be up next.