rachelmanija: (Book Fix)
( May. 20th, 2012 12:52 pm)
What would I like to do today? Curl up with any one of the delicious-looking books which have just arrived in my home!

Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein. WWII girl pilots and spies, female friendship, and did I mention that they're WWII girl pilots and spies? This is by one of my favorite authors, and people are saying it's amazing. Please do not spoil. I am sure it has many twists.

Everybody Sees the Ants, by A. S. King. I have no idea what this is other than Sherwood highly recommends it, it was nominated for the Andre Norton Award, and she said that it is very psychological and the less you know before reading, the better. Please do not spoil!

Shadow Ops: Control Point, by Myke Cole. Contemporary military fantasy by an author who did three tours in Iraq. I expect the military details are all very accurate. This looks very enjoyable. Bonus: black protagonist is actually on the cover.

Hiding the Elephant: How Magicians Invented the Impossible and Learned to Disappear. Fun-looking nonfiction.

Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism. Written by a man with an autistic daughter, it promises to pull in personal accounts, science, history, and culture to explore the increase in or increased awareness of autism.


What do I actually need to do?

Complete an online course in Trauma-Focused CBT. By the way, the course seems very comprehensive, as far as comparatively brief online courses go, and it is free if you register. If you complete it, you get a certificate. It's intended for children who have gone through a traumatic event, but could be adjusted to work with adults. I have to complete the course, produce the certificate, and demo a section in front of the class.

ETA: Also, the therapist and the child can play a game where different names of emotions are written on individual pieces of paper. The therapist and the client take turns picking out one of the pieces of paper out of a box (without showing the other) acting out the emotion and having the other person try to guess the feeling.

My emotions upon imagining myself doing this exercise: horror, embarrassment, anxiety, panic, hysteria, inappropriate laughter, denial, disbelief, doom. Well... I know which section I WON'T be demonstrating to the class!

Please taunt me by discussing the books I have mentioned. No spoilers, please. I will select one to reward myself with when I'm done.
Asakiyume had a post about romanticism and mental illness with some good discussion in comments.

I wrote, "I have mixed feelings about that one. Yes, it's obnoxious to write stories in which mental illness is actually nothing but magical specialness, whether the magic part is literal or metaphorical.

On the other hand, the flip side of the "mentally ill people are better and more special than the rest of us tools of the system" myth is the "mentally ill people are doomed to a miserable, squalid existence filled with nothing ever but loneliness and pain" myth.

I think there's room for realistic depictions of mental illness in which the intent is to de-glamorize, focus on the pain, and have the hope be in the slow, difficult work of healing. But maybe there's also room for non-realistic in which people live with mental illnesses and have those be part of the fabric of their lives as they have romanticised adventures and pursue villains and do magic and get the girl. Why should the non-mentally ill get all the escapist literature?

The key, I think, is not to take some painful and unpleasant mental illness and pretend that the illness itself is not painful and not unpleasant, and just looks that way because the mundane world doesn't understand how magical and awesome it really is. That's not cool. But I'd love to see, say, a paranormal romance with a heroine in therapy for social anxiety torn between a bipolar vampire and a werewolf with Asperger's.

Why not? Very few of us are out on the streets murdering people because the voices in our head told us to. Most of us are living our lives - with struggle and pain, but who doesn't have that?"

I am interested, too, in stories in which mental illnesses and non-neurotypical states are dealt with not unrealistically by accident, but with extrapolation and deliberate fantasy applied: Walter Jon Williams' breathtaking space opera Aristoi ($4.99 on Kindle; also has excellent martial arts), in which people deliberately induce multiple personalities in order access the full richness of their psyches; the later books of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies, in which the characters take on various cognitive/neurological templates, raising the question of whether identity is something separate from brain chemistry. Very similar questions come up in Westerfeld's novel Peeps, in which vampirism-causing parasites create OCD-like irresistible compulsions and aversions. And, of course, the many, many, many magical or science fictional versions of brainwashing and de-programming, from Cyteen to The Avengers to Mockingjay.

There is sometimes a tendency to see any non-realistic treatment of serious issues as inherently trivializing or even insulting. But I think it depends on the individual work, as well as the judgment of the individual reader. I would like to see more extrapolative works dealing with the subject, as well as more stories in which mental illness or non-neurotypicality is part of a character's character, not the subject of the story.

I would like to see fewer soft-focus, romanticized depictions of beautiful fragile mad girls.

What do you think? Good examples? Bad examples? Things you'd like to see more of? Things you'd like to see less of?
This is for a possible Sirens presentation. The theme this year is "retold tales."

Can you recommend to me fantasy media or myth in which female characters, in some sense, alter reality by telling stories about it?

This "altering reality" doesn't have to be magic in itself; the ultimate example is Scheherazade, who changes the world by telling stories. There's also Martha's world-changing storytelling in Doctor Who.

The other examples I thought of were magical: Paperhouse (girl creates spooky new reality by drawing it), Fudoki (a dying princess of the Heian court writes a story about a cat who becomes a woman; she may or may not create a reality in which the story is true), The Secret Country (kids create a fantasy world, then travel to it and find that it is and isn't as they imagined), The Tricksters (characters from a girl's lush fantasy narrative show up, again not exactly as she pictured them), Voices (Annals of the Western Shore) (spoilery but sort of fits), Witch Week (the entire climax depends on a girl telling a story which alters reality.)

Can you think of others? Especially, examples from myth and folklore, and examples which aren't about white girls?

ETA: If you rec something, please explain how it fits.
rachelmanija: (Book Fix)
( Apr. 14th, 2012 04:23 pm)
Please share opinions on any of these, should you be familiar with them:

Elegy for Iris, by John Bayley. Memoir by Iris Murdoch's husband, of their life together and her slow decline due to Alzheimer's. I'm sure it will be incredibly depressing, but a peek inside convinced me to buy it: it's really, really well-written.

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You: A Novel, by Peter Cameron. Mainstream YA novel, though it looks like it's borderline adult. I love the title, and the first page is in a similar style.

Night Gate: The Gateway Trilogy Book One and Winter Door: The Gateway Trilogy Book Two, by Isobelle Carmody. YA fantasy; the third book does not seem to exist, or at least not yet. Love the premise: a teenage girl whose best friends are her four dogs goes through a magical gateway into fantasyland, where her dogs are transformed into humans with similar personalities to their doggy selves. Links to inexpensive Kindle editions.

The Rescue Artist: A True Story of Art, Thieves, and the Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece (P.S.), by Edward Dolnick. Nonfiction about the brazen theft of "The Scream;" looks really fun. Discounted on Amazon.

Deathworld (Wildside Edition), by Harry Harrison. I am a sucker for "everything on this planet can kill you!" Only 99 cents on Kindle.

The Icarus Girl, by Helen Oyeyemi. Mainstream magic realism about a Nigerian/English girl with a creepy best friend. I'm guessing the best friend is ambiguously a spirit/folklore being/imaginary. I've heard good things about this.

Dreaming in Hindi: Coming Awake in Another Language, by Katherine Russell Rich. (Currently discounted to $6.00.) Memoir by American woman who moves to Udaipur (a city in Rajasthan) to study Hindi. It looks like it pays a lot of attention to the process of learning a second language as an adult.

A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America, by Ronald Takaki. A history of America in terms of its non-dominant groups: Asian-Americans, Irish-Americans, Jews, Indians, etc. I've read portions of this before, but not the whole thing. What I've read was well-written and detailed, and did a good job of pulling together many different perspectives to give a broad yet personal view of America.

Gentlemen's Alliance +, Vol. 1, by Arina Tanemura. Fluffy-looking shoujo manga. In return for a business loan of 50 million yen, the prestigious Kamiya family gave their daughter Haine away to the Otomiya family. Haine, now an Otomiya, is appointed to the student council of the exclusive Imperial Academy, a private school for the aristocracy. Even though Haine is of proper lineage to be on the council, she finds herself struggling to find her place among the many secrets of its elite members, especially those of the president who holds her heart--Shizumasa Togu, aka "the Emperor.
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I need recommendations for books which are likely to appeal to an 11-year-old who likes sf, fantasy, and the Alex Rider series, AND to a 10-year-old who likes mysteries and Lemony Snicket. To clarify: a single book must appeal to BOTH kids.

On a completely different topic, I double-checked with my Queer Narrative professor, and got an okay to do a fictional therapy session with a queer character from a historical work. He said to just insert myself-as-therapist into their historical context. I am leaning toward one of the heroines in Sarah Waters' Fingersmith. Lots of issues regarding social narratives, personal "stories," "problem-saturated narratives," queerness, and "madness" there! (I could also counsel them as a couple, but we haven't yet gotten into couple's counseling so I don't feel on firm ground with that.)
rachelmanija: (Fishes: I do not see why the sex)
( Nov. 30th, 2011 12:32 pm)
[Poll #1799574]

Final paper is looming terrifyingly on the horizon. I have limited time this week, and it is due Monday. I have widely varying knowledge on the topics I listed on the poll, but I would have to do substantial research for any of them. So if anyone has tips like, "This one slim volume is the single best resource on the soul-figure/asexuality/fisting which can be read in a short period of time," please go for it! (These are not all the possible topics. They're drawn from a much longer list, whittled down considerably by factors like lack of interest and the phrase "object relations," which in my very short experience so far tends to point to excessively eye-glazing articles.)

I got so frazzled last week that I misread the due date for the final paper for another class, and madly wrote and turned it in yesterday... a week early. I guess that turned out to be a good thing, all things considered.

Also, I have to register for classes tomorrow and am worried that I won't be able to get into the classes I am most dying to take, now that I know who the best professors are.

Given my current state of stress-driven absent-mindedness, I should probably mention now, since it randomly popped into my mind, that there is a new Sarah Tolerance book out! I have my own copy of The Sleeping Partner: A Sarah Tolerance Mystery, and am saving it for the winter break, when I will have more relaxed time to read. Also, Sherwood Smith's Blood Spirits (Coronets and Steel), sequel to Coronets and Steel, is out! I read it in manuscript, and it is excellent. Both series will satisfy all your "women who fight with swords amidst a background of history and intrigue" needs.

ETA: Okay, I'm doing fisting. I found the Pat Califia essay I had recalled. It's called "Gay Men, Lesbians, and Sex," and it's worth reading. On Google Books. If anyone has further good fisting resources, online or offline, keep them coming!
rachelmanija: (Fishes: I do not see why the sex)
( Nov. 30th, 2011 12:32 pm)
[Poll #1799574]

Final paper is looming terrifyingly on the horizon. I have limited time this week, and it is due Monday. I have widely varying knowledge on the topics I listed on the poll, but I would have to do substantial research for any of them. So if anyone has tips like, "This one slim volume is the single best resource on the soul-figure/asexuality/fisting which can be read in a short period of time," please go for it! (These are not all the possible topics. They're drawn from a much longer list, whittled down considerably by factors like lack of interest and the phrase "object relations," which in my very short experience so far tends to point to excessively eye-glazing articles.)

I got so frazzled last week that I misread the due date for the final paper for another class, and madly wrote and turned it in yesterday... a week early. I guess that turned out to be a good thing, all things considered.

Also, I have to register for classes tomorrow and am worried that I won't be able to get into the classes I am most dying to take, now that I know who the best professors are.

Given my current state of stress-driven absent-mindedness, I should probably mention now, since it randomly popped into my mind, that there is a new Sarah Tolerance book out! I have my own copy of The Sleeping Partner: A Sarah Tolerance Mystery, and am saving it for the winter break, when I will have more relaxed time to read. Also, Sherwood Smith's Blood Spirits (Coronets and Steel), sequel to Coronets and Steel, is out! I read it in manuscript, and it is excellent. Both series will satisfy all your "women who fight with swords amidst a background of history and intrigue" needs.

ETA: Okay, I'm doing fisting. I found the Pat Califia essay I had recalled. It's called "Gay Men, Lesbians, and Sex," and it's worth reading. On Google Books. If anyone has further good fisting resources, online or offline, keep them coming!
Can you please recommend me books on sex/couples therapy and/or male sexuality which are a) not too densely academic - literate and thoughtful pop psychology is fine - and are neither sexist nor heterocentric? Trans-friendly/non-cis-centric would be great too, but I realize that may be even harder to find in pop psych.

I already have Hanne Blank's Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Hetrosexuality on my radar, but I think it's not quite what I'm looking for, for this purpose. (I have not yet read it, but look forward to it immensely.) Ditto The Guide to Getting It On.
rachelmanija: (Book Fix)
( Oct. 17th, 2011 08:50 am)
Like I have time to read MORE BOOKS. However, when I dropped by the library to return something, I saw that they were having a book sale…

Please comment if you’ve read or heard of any of these and want to prioritize my reading, snark, recommend, say, “Oh hell no,” etc.

Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America, by Margot Adler. Nonfiction on Wicca and neo-paganism in the US. I’ve read it before, I enjoyed it, I wanted to own it.

The Ghost Road (William Abrahams), by Pat Barker. Book 3 of the WWI trilogy; I will read Book 2 first.

The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales (Vintage), by Bruno Bettelheim. I read this ages ago and figured it was time to read it again.

Surviving Madness: A Therapist's Own Story (Living Out: Gay and Lesbian Autobiographies), by Betty Berzon. Memoir by a “psychiatric patient, groundbreaking therapist, and gay pioneer.”

Ghost in the Water, by Edward Chitham. Puffin mystery; I often like obscure Puffin British kids’ books.

The Princess and the Hound, by Mette Harrison. I have been meaning to read this for ages.

A Taste of China: The Definitive Guide to Regional Cooking (Pavilion Classic Cookery), by Ken Hom. Memoir/cookbook/history of regional Chinese cooking.

Kingdom of the Winds Volume 1 (v. 1), by Kimjin. Manhwa set in a fantasy ancient Korea.

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage, by Alfred Lansing. Classic survival nonfiction which I have not yet read.

Tales from The Red Rose Inn and Other Plays, by Don Nigro. This guy’s plays were always being advertised on Samuel French editions of other plays I was reading, and I always felt vaguely curious about him.

ETA: Oh, drat, I realized that I actually do know who he is. Due to vague curiosity, years ago I read his Seascape with Sharks and Dancer, which featured the original Manic Pixie Dream Girl, subtype Her Mental Illness Makes Her Beautiful. If I recall correctly, the hero fishes her out of the ocean after a suicide attempt and feeds her hot chocolate with marshmallows, which she obnoxiously adorably insists on calling "mushroons." (sic.) It turns out that her cathartically related Dark Trauma was that she used to live on an intersection where fluffy kittens constantly got squashed by cement trucks. And then, for bonus topical relevance and preachiness points, there was an abortion. Because she was Too Damaged to Bring New Life Into the World.

Empress of the World, by Sarah Ryan. Teen lesbians at summer camp for gifted kids. This premise could only be improved if they had psychic powers.

Elsewhere, by Gabrielle Zevin. Narrated by a dead girl. I usually dislike posthumous fantasy – it tends toward the soggily spiritual – but I liked the excerpt on the back cover.
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This book, one of the required texts for my 10:00 AM Monday Human Sexuality class, suggests that the class, while possibly lacking in academic rigor, will not lack in amusement value. I am picturing a cross between a 70s encounter group and a "Let's all draw our vulvas, watch a video of women ejaculating, and then make an offering to the Great Goddess!" workshop.

Its arrival this week was perfect timing, given that the month to date was the sort which, to completely misquote Emma Bull's War for the Oaks, left me grasping for straws of comfort like, "No matter what else happens today, at least I still like my clitoris."

This is the sort of book which has an anatomical drawing of a clitoris, and a woman pointing to it and exclaiming "WOW!"

The book has some interesting information about clitoral anatomy (the little button part is just the tip of the iceberg; a large portion of the female genitalia is made up of clitoral tissue and structures.) But most of the book is basically, "Wow! A clitoris!"

There is a long chapter on female ejaculation, in which women enthusiastically describe their gushing orgasms, with slightly terrifying details like, "And then I had to mop the floor!" The author then notes that you too may be able to teach yourself to ejaculate, if you don't already. Personally, after I am done having solo or partnered sex, the last thing I want to do is mop the floor.

Despite some dubious history and a cringe-worthy discussion of the Tao and Tantra, this book is mostly harmless. I expect it would be delightfully eye-opening to any women who aren't already familiar with their anatomy or the possible range of their sexual response. But for a graduate course... seriously? This is the best you can do? If anyone knows of more academically rigorous or up-to-date or more culturally sensitive books on female sexuality, please rec them to me, and I will rec them to the school.

I also boggle that this apparent typo in chapter one didn't get corrected through many editions: From as far back as the Kinsey report in 1953, intercourse has not been found not to be the most effective means for women to experience the full range of their sexual response, and yet, penis-in-vagina sex remains the ne plus ultra of sexual activity.

And I boggle more at this: During full-blown sexual response, clitoral tissues expand enormously. The erectile tissues fill with blood, causing the clitoris to protrude enough, as one woman put it, "to fill my cupped hand."

The Clitoral Truth: The Secret World at Your Fingertips

Hilariously pornographic cheery illustrations below cut )
This book, one of the required texts for my 10:00 AM Monday Human Sexuality class, suggests that the class, while possibly lacking in academic rigor, will not lack in amusement value. I am picturing a cross between a 70s encounter group and a "Let's all draw our vulvas, watch a video of women ejaculating, and then make an offering to the Great Goddess!" workshop.

Its arrival this week was perfect timing, given that the month to date was the sort which, to completely misquote Emma Bull's War for the Oaks, left me grasping for straws of comfort like, "No matter what else happens today, at least I still like my clitoris."

This is the sort of book which has an anatomical drawing of a clitoris, and a woman pointing to it and exclaiming "WOW!"

The book has some interesting information about clitoral anatomy (the little button part is just the tip of the iceberg; a large portion of the female genitalia is made up of clitoral tissue and structures.) But most of the book is basically, "Wow! A clitoris!"

There is a long chapter on female ejaculation, in which women enthusiastically describe their gushing orgasms, with slightly terrifying details like, "And then I had to mop the floor!" The author then notes that you too may be able to teach yourself to ejaculate, if you don't already. Personally, after I am done having solo or partnered sex, the last thing I want to do is mop the floor.

Despite some dubious history and a cringe-worthy discussion of the Tao and Tantra, this book is mostly harmless. I expect it would be delightfully eye-opening to any women who aren't already familiar with their anatomy or the possible range of their sexual response. But for a graduate course... seriously? This is the best you can do? If anyone knows of more academically rigorous or up-to-date or more culturally sensitive books on female sexuality, please rec them to me, and I will rec them to the school.

I also boggle that this apparent typo in chapter one didn't get corrected through many editions: From as far back as the Kinsey report in 1953, intercourse has not been found not to be the most effective means for women to experience the full range of their sexual response, and yet, penis-in-vagina sex remains the ne plus ultra of sexual activity.

And I boggle more at this: During full-blown sexual response, clitoral tissues expand enormously. The erectile tissues fill with blood, causing the clitoris to protrude enough, as one woman put it, "to fill my cupped hand."

The Clitoral Truth: The Secret World at Your Fingertips

Hilariously pornographic cheery illustrations below cut )
In my recent review of Zohra Greenhalgh's quirky fantasy Contrarywise, I wondered what had happened to her. She wrote one flawed but unusual and promising novel, a sequel which got a more mixed reception, and then seemed to have vanished off the face of the Earth. One of my commenters wondered if "Zohra Greenhalgh" was a pseudonym and if, perhaps, we now know her by another name.

I also wonder about Felicity Savage. She wrote three very strange, energetic, decadent fantasy/sf novels, than vanished. I didn't really like them, but she clearly had talent, and I expected more... which never came.

Is Meredith Ann Pierce still writing? I haven't seen anything from her in more than ten years.

Whose books do you remember, and wonder what happened to the authors? Do you see names here whose stories you know and can tell? (Without revealing any secrets anyone's trying to keep, of course!)
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rachelmanija: (Book Fix)
( Sep. 3rd, 2011 05:20 pm)
I brought some books with me, and also poked through the parents' library, which turned up some oddities. Please vote for whatever you think will be either good, or produce an amusing review.

[Poll #1775599]
rachelmanija: (Book Fix)
( Sep. 3rd, 2011 05:20 pm)
I brought some books with me, and also poked through the parents' library, which turned up some oddities. Please vote for whatever you think will be either good, or produce an amusing review.

[Poll #1775599]
rachelmanija: (Book Fix)
( Jun. 18th, 2011 03:32 pm)
I am working on a boring task which requires me to be planted at my computer for a while. Let's play an amusing game so I don't go mad while working on it.

Recommend something to me that you think I'll like. It could be a book, a movie, a TV show, music, food, a place to visit, or an activity, and tell me why you think I'll like it. (If it's a book or show, please check my tags to see if I'm already familiar with it.)

In turn, I will recommend something to you. It can either be the same sort of thing (ie, also a food) or something you ask me to rec (ie, "Please recommend a YA fantasy novel with a female protagonist who isn't a warrior or a wizard. Ideally, she will have an animal companion who isn't magical and doesn't speak.") Obviously, the better I know you, the more likely I will be to rec something which you're not already familiar with, and which will appeal.
It is so fun being able to download books and carry them with me in a device which turns on instantly and is lighter than most paperbacks! I used to read sf where people had portable pocket libraries and be so envious. I am probably getting more enjoyment out of my Kindle than I would out of the much-mourned rocket cars.

Most of E. Nesbit's fantasy is available for free, including Five Children and It, The Phoenix and the Carpet, and The Story of the Amulet. Classic fantasy, still quite funny and readable, though attitudes about race, gender, class, and other political issues were in many ways typical for an English person writing in 1900. (In other ways she was quite radical, as she was a socialist and had an open marriage in 1880.) The Story of the Amulet, in particular, has some scenes of remarkable power and beauty. "We'll sail her straight for the Dragon Rocks."

There are a bunch of versions of the Mahabharata, though unfortunately I'm not familiar with most of the ones available on Kindle. I have to link Krishna Dharma's Mahabharata, though, because it has a highly indignant comment protesting the author's anti-Kaurava and pro-Pandava bias, noting, "I mean, I'm not saying the Pandavas weren't great, but come on! The Kauravas are villified to a point where it's annoying to read the tirades against them. For instance, we always hear "That sinful blind king and his foolish brain-dead evil horrible unintelligent demonic son Duryodhana will surely reap the consequences of their actions, surely destiny is all-powerful, it must all be arranged by providence." The comment was written by none other than Duryodhana! I had not realized that he had an Amazon account.

I also note Wren Journeymage (Wren Series), by Sherwood Smith, sequel to her Wren to the Rescue books, available only in e-book format. $4.99.

Sherwood has got quite a lot of books on Kindle, some only available as e-books, some simply good deals. For instance, her classic Crown Duel and A Posse of Princesses at $3.99, and a revised and polished re-launch of her space opera Exordium (with Dave Trowbridge), The Phoenix in Flight (Exordium), at $4.99.

While browsing Suzanne Brockmann's titles, I discovered this: When Tony Met Adam (Short Story). A new gay romance! I really admire her willingness to push the boundaries of the normally exclusively-straight genre romance market.

There are some nice deals ($4.90) on Rosemary Sutcliff titles I haven't read, Frontier Wolf, The Mark of the Horse Lord, and Knight's Fee. Has anyone read any of these? How are they?

Finally, Sarah Rees Brennan's The Demon's Surrender (Demon's Lexicon) is out! Though I plan to buy it in print.
Via [personal profile] telophase, Georgette Heyer's Cotillion is free on Kindle, no doubt for a very limited time. It's one of my favorites of hers, very funny and unusual for its genre. (Please don't spoil in comments.)

Also on Kindle, some nice deals on Marjorie Liu's cracktastic romance series about a detective agency of psychics, shapeshifters, etc. You can read my reviews of individual novels by clicking on the tag for her. I haven't read the latest, In the Dark of Dreams: A Dirk & Steele Novel, yet, but it's on Kindle for $1.99. Shadow Touch: A Dirk & Steele Novel, the one with the angsty psychometrist who meets a sad psychic healer while imprisoned in a laboratory (and then they take a train across Russia with a were-dolphin), is selling for $2.99. Eye of Heaven, the one with the Iranian-American electricity-powered hero and the lioness shapeshifter heroine who investigate an organ-legging ring while she continues her day job as a lion-tamer at a circus, is $4.99.

But I also frequent used bookshops and thrift stores! The latter are especially good sources for completely obscure books. My latest haul:

Beginner's Luck, by Oriel Malet (1952). Looks Noel Streatfeild-ish, about siblings in a pantomime troupe.

Captured, by Beverly Jenkins. African-American historical romance between "the most notorious privateer ever to command the high seas" and the "stunning slave" he rescues from a British frigate.

Under The Southern Cross, by Claire McNab. Lesbian romance.

THE DEADLY AFFAIR aka Call for the Dead, by John Le Carre. Very short George Smiley spy novel.

Tightrope Men, by Desmond Bagley. Suspense novel. I think I vaguely heard of the author? I grabbed it because I like "I woke up with amnesia" novels.



Anyone read or heard of any of these?
rachelmanija: (Book Fix)
( Jun. 4th, 2011 09:25 am)
Amazon is having a 99 cent - $2.99 sale on selected Kindle books. Here's a few that may be of particular interest:

Predators I Have Known, by Alan Dean Foster. Yes, the Pip and Flinx guy. Based on the sample chapter, this is an awesomely and absurdly alliterative account of real-world predators he has known, as he happily traveled around the world to get a look at tigers, sharks, etc. I have a weakness for that sort of thing, and bought it. $1.99.

San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris's nonfiction book, Smart on Crime. She has an interesting background - her family is Indian and Jamaican, and important politicians on the Indian side - and the sample chapter is well-written and thoughtful. Will probably be depressing, as she is in favor of prevention and the American system as a whole seems to have zero interest in that, but I got it anyway as she seems to have some ideas I haven't heard before. $2.99.

Grand Sophy, by Georgette Heyer. For the love of God, skip the horrible anti-Semitic pawnbroker chapter. Otherwise, a really funny romantic comedy with great characterization. $1.99.

The Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy. I have an enormous, slightly guilty fondness for this lush, engrossing, often very funny, and utterly cracktastic Southern Gothic epic about a family whose eccentricity, dysfunctionality, and mental illness goes so far over the top that it reaches the stratosphere. The movie doesn't really do it justice. Contains some racist characters, rape, self-harm, and many other disturbing things. Also contains some really excellent food porn. $2.99. Cut for GIANT SPOILER )

ETA: Those Who Hunt the Night, by Barbara Hambly. Really excellent vampire novel for 99 cents... but comments say there are huge formatting problems. Caveat emptor. I'm mostly mentioning it to alert everyone that she wrote a third novel in the series, Blood Maidens, which I did not know of till just now. Very exciting!
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