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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

Foreigner: Foreigner Sequence 1, Book 1
Daniel Thomas May, Audible Studios, C.J. Cherryh
Cristina Vee, Eric Kimerer, Keith Silverstein, Vertical Music, NisiOisiN
Progress: 65/572 minutes
A Matter of Oaths
Helen S. Wright
Progress: 101/277 pages
C.J. Cherryh
Progress: 364/460 pages
Report on the Selected Problems of the Technical Departments of the University of Illinois Library
Raynard C. Swank
Progress: 20/42 pages
Medical School for Everyone: Grand Rounds Cases
Professor Roy Benaroch, The Great Courses, The Great Courses
Progress: 34/725 minutes

Saved Audible credits come in handy sometimes

Foreigner: Foreigner Sequence 1, Book 1 - Daniel Thomas May, Audible Studios, C.J. Cherryh

I haven't finished listening to Kizumonogatari yet, but today was pretty much a solid wall of complications, some expected and some definitely not. I decided I needed something "new but not new" to listen to. Also, Araragi annoys me, and I'm not in the mood for that right now.


So, now I have this. I'm still debating how I feel about the narrator.

Reading progress update: I've read 364 out of 460 pages.

Inheritor - C.J. Cherryh

I unfortunately am scheduled to work this weekend, but hopefully I can finish this soon anyway.


Some notes:


- Bren trusting Ilisidi to pick his and Jase's vacation spot: Oh dear. I swear, Bren has a selective memory where Ilisidi is concerned.


- Bren and Jago: It went surprisingly well? But I'm worried it's all going to go horribly wrong and that, at the very least, Bren will end up with hurt feelings.

So many people

Yesterday we had about 1100 students come through the library in the course of maybe three hours. I saw and spoke to about 700 of those. Today we're getting another 1100. I look forward to things settling down soon, although the students are amusing. My favorite so far has been the guy wearing a giant octopus hat.

This is from the end of chapter 1 of the webcomic Ava's Demon. I just started reading it and am not really sure what it's about yet, but dang is the art pretty.

Buddy Read: Finished

Ancillary Mercy - Ann Leckie

I finished sometime last night but didn't get a chance to post until now. This is my third time reading this book, maybe my sixth time overall if you include the number of times I've listened to the audiobook, and it hits me in the heart every time.

Some things:

- Station: Oh, Station. I've said this before, but I am so glad it got to be a badass in this book. An adorable badass. I checked Ancillary Sword, and Station is actually pretty young for an AI, maybe 500 years old. It's spent nearly all of that time damaged, with no one even attempting to fix that damage or see to the welfare of the residents in that section. And then Breq arrives. I can't find it right now, but I still love the bit where Station said it was trying to do what it thought Breq might do in its situation.

- Seivarden: The glorious mess. I cried when she broke down in front of Anaander Mianaai.

- Breq's happy ending: 

It would have been easy for Leckie to go the other direction. I mean, the trilogy started off with a tragic death - why not end it with one? I can even picture it, although just thinking about it is upsetting: the last fragement of Justice of Toren sacrificing herself to end Anaander Mianaai's tyranny, and Seivarden redeeming herself by making sure everyone continued to move forward afterward. Leckie's ending was so much better than that.


There were multiple opportunities for Breq to die, and I'm very glad she didn't. She couldn't ever get her full body back, but she did get humans and AIs who cared about her and who she cared about in return. ::happy sigh::

(show spoiler)

So yeah, comfort read accomplished. :)

Important thing to know about the group on LibraryThing

In case folks have missed the comments where this has been mentioned:


LibraryThing does NOT notify you (either on the site or via email) if someone comments in the group. If you want to see if someone has responded to you, you have to remember to visit the group periodically (https://www.librarything.com/groups/booklikersonlibraryt) or star the topic and visit the "Starred" section of the Talk page (https://www.librarything.com/talk).


Well, I did say that the social aspects of LT are clunky... Even if the social aspects don't appeal to you,* you can keep the group in mind in case Booklikes goes away without warning.



* - I really do like the site's cataloging aspects, but, as far as the social stuff goes, the lack of notifications will probably be a deal breaker for me, unless I can train myself to check the Groups and Starred pages on a regular basis. ::sigh::

Group - Booklikers on LibraryThing

Okay, I just made my very first LibraryThing Group. I have no clue what I'm doing, but hey, it'll be okay! Right now, it's pretty public. If you're on LibraryThing and want to keep track of people, feel free to join.

Pounded In The Butt By My Hugo Award Loss - Chuck Tingle

There is nothing Chuck Tingle cannot and will not write a "pounded in the butt" story about.

Preparations, since BL isn't even pretending to care anymore

As of maybe a week ago, I've started recording everything I'd like to read in LibraryThing rather than here on Booklikes. It's annoying, because it takes more clicks and typing to add something on LT than it does here, but LT is more likely to still be around next year. Or next month. Or even tomorrow.


I suppose I should start digging through my shelves for anything I want to salvage and transfer elsewhere. Thank goodness all my reviews are already on both my blog and LT. The one thing I'll probably leave behind is my "SFF Written By Women" list. I'm not sure that LT has a similar list, though, so maybe I should at least give transferring it a shot.


As far as BL's social aspects go, I still don't have good alternative. I suppose I could go back to Goodreads, but I don't really want to. Meh.

TLDR: Geisha are neither strippers nor prostitutes

I haven't read Memoirs of a Geisha, nor do I plan to, because of everything I've heard about its general sketchiness. Based on this post, though, I'd like to read Mineko Iwasaki's Geisha, A Life sometime.

On page 252

Ancillary Mercy - Ann Leckie

I'm so frustrated with the Booklikes staff. If they're planning on killing the site off, I wish they'd officially let us all know. Well, deep breaths, deep breaths.


This book, at least, is wonderful. I'm enjoying it just as much on a reread as I did the first few times around. I love the characters, I love the way everyone interacts, I just love everything.


I'm still jotting stuff down on a little notecard. Here's my latest notes dump:


- I really like the way Leckie writes Breq's emotional reactions. It's rare that Breq tells readers how wrecked she is. Instead, we learn that she's too overwhelmed for her body to handle it via other characters. For example, Breq's crying after her rescue.


- I love the entire Breq/Ship/Seivarden thing, even though part of me is a bit torn on Seivarden. Breq is basically her crutch, to the point that she falls apart when Breq is gone too long, and that's not healthy. It helps that there's at least some evidence that Seivarden is trying to work past that, and maybe she'll make more progress after the biggest crises are over. Too bad readers don't get to see that. I wish there were a fourth book.


- "Medic, I do understand you miss the previous fleet captain, I do myself, but it's hardly this one's fault. And she's very much like the previous one, really. She's even making every effort to grow another leg for you." (188)


Lol. I love the brief humorous moments in this book. Oh, Translator.


- I still wonder about the Dlique vs. Zeiat thing. If Dlique is a liar, Zeiat could very well be Dlique. Or Zeiat could just be confused. Well, there's really no way to get a good answer, not unless Leckie writes more about the Translators in the future.


- Mercy of Kalr, lulling Breq to sleep with data from its crew. ♥


- "'Besides, it is a cake now.' She frowned. 'Or are the cakes counters now?'


'I don't think so, Translator,' I said. 'Not either way.' Carefully I stood up from my chair.


'Ah, Fleet Captain, that's because you can't see my imaginary line. But it's real.' She tapped her forehead. 'It exists.'" (208)


You could apply this to Breq's dislike of people saying she doesn't seem like she's an ancillary. According to many of her crew members, Breq has crossed the imaginary line between "not human" and "human." In their minds, she's human now, or close enough to it that she might as well be. In her mind, she's still an ancillary. I can only imagine how confusing the Presger would find categorization that differs depending on who you're talking to, and in what circumstances.


- (216) Another ♥: Mercy of Kalr telling Breq to sit down, via Etrepa Four. I love this crew so much.


- (227) And another ♥: Kalr Five giving tea to an ancillary. No words necessary - everyone in the room knows the significance of that.

On page 132

Ancillary Mercy - Ann Leckie

See, Grim, I'm not really that far ahead of you...


I haven't even tried to get on Booklikes and post status updates, because it's so achingly slow today. Well, also because I've already posted dozens of status updates for this book in the past.


I don't know that I have a lot of new things to say, but I've been jotting things down on a notecard as I've been reading. Here's what I've got so far:


- I still wonder how the treaty with the Presger came about, if humans couldn't even talk to them without ending up dead. Did the Presger decide on their own, after taking a bunch of humans apart, to try building a few (the Translators)? I suppose Anaander Mianaai could have repeatedly tried to talk to them, and then repeatedly died, but somehow I doubt that. If there was no visible sign of progress, I just can't see Anaander doing that.


- I would very much like a Queter and


(show spoiler)



- The little fish cakes make me think of taiyaki, although I don't think that's what they are. For one thing, the filling means that taiyaki aren't really the same all the way through.


- The Translator eats a lot. There's evidence that Presger ships are bigger on the inside than they appear to be on the outside. I wonder if Translators are too?


- It just occurred to me that Breq complimented Mercy of Kalr's handling of Seivarden by telling Kalr Five (91), even though she could just as easily have silently told Mercy of Kalr. Making sure that the praise for Mercy of Kalr is more public? Acknowledging Mercy of Kalr's preference for treating its soldiers like ancillaries? Or did it just seem like the appropriate thing to do at that moment? Breq isn't normally comfortable with Mercy of Kalr speaking through its human crew like they're ancillaries.


- Tisarwat's fears about what the AIs will do if humans can no longer use their accesses against them are exactly the kinds of fears I see in so much AI fiction. I vastly prefer fiction that doesn't treat all AIs with suspicion and fear.


- (109) Station: "I never thought I'd like a ship." ♥


- (117) "Oh, Fleet Captain. It's very difficult talking to you sometimes. It seems like you understand things and then you say something that makes it obvious that, no, you don't understand at all."


I think this is the first time I've reread any of the Imperial Radch books since starting to read C.J. Cherryh's Foreigner series. The way Leckie and Cherryh approach language, translation, cross-cultural understanding, etc. is very similar. The Translator's statement, here, reminds me a lot of something Bren said, I think in Inheritor, about it being hard to tell how atevi will interpret human actions. There are deceptive similarities in the way both species react to, say, the death of a relative. It can be easy for atevi to ascribe atevi motivations to human behavior, or vice versa, until something happens that shows them they've gotten it all wrong. Unfortunately, it can then be hard for everybody to realize the precise moment when misunderstandings started to occur.




I may read a bit more tonight, or just stop and continue tomorrow. I'll keep doing things the way I've been, limiting my status updates. I do wonder how much longer Booklikes will continue to exist.

Buddy Read

Ancillary Mercy - Ann Leckie

Grim and SusannaG, I hope you don't mind if I start reading a little of this tonight. Today was exhausting, and I could use a bit of comfort reading.

— feeling doubt

I have agreed to go to a social event today. There will be facials and strangers and stuff. Maybe I'll enjoy myself?

Reading progress update: I've listened 65 out of 572 minutes.

KIZUMONOGATARI: Wound Tale - Cristina Vee, Eric Kimerer, Keith Silverstein, Vertical Music, NisiOisiN

On the plus side, Cristina Vee's narration is excellent. She has an amazing range - she can do both a decent "high school girl" voice and a decent "adult woman" voice (in anime land, that means "less cutesy," lower pitched). And her acting at this particular point (desperate and scared vampire) is fabulous.


On the minus side, I have to put up with a POV character who's currently obsessed with panties. ::sigh::

Reading progress update: I've listened 57 out of 572 minutes.

KIZUMONOGATARI: Wound Tale - Cristina Vee, Eric Kimerer, Keith Silverstein, Vertical Music, NisiOisiN

Araragi meets a woman on his way home from buying porn (the most important thing that has happened so far is Araragi accidentally getting to see the class president's panties, and the porn is supposed to help purge their glorious whiteness from his mind). Here is what he has noted about her:


- First, that she has an archaic way of speaking.


- Second, that her hair is blonde (an unusual thing in his small Japanese town).


- Third, that her dress is now tattered, but was clearly once lovely.


- Fourth, that she is lacking in energy.


- And fifth, that she's missing all of her limbs. One leg was neatly cut off, while her arms and other leg appear to have been torn off (more ragged wounds).


Araragi has a bad case of verbal diarrhea - he can go on and on about nothing, and he took two pages to describe his classmate's panties (this is an audiobook, but he specifically mentioned that his description took about two pages). Still, you'd think missing limbs and bleeding wounds would be worth mentioning a little sooner.