July 28th, 2017
fairestcat: naked woman reading. vintage (Reading)
Posting another book post, because I'm about to leave for a week of camping at a pagan festival. Since I'm not actually pagan, just pagan-adjacent, and so have no interest in most of the panels and rituals, I mostly end up relaxing and reading a lot. It should be lovely.

The last week has been a mix of queer romances and SF/F short stories.

Seasons of Glass and Iron - Amal El-Mohtar - ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

A gorgeous contemporary fairytale about women saving each other. read more )

Things With Beards - Sam J. Miller - ★ ★ ★ ★

An intriguing and unsettling sequel to the movie The Thing, this is ultimately a story about identity, what we hide of ourselves, what we reveal, and what that choice costs us. read more )

The Orangery - Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam - ★ ★ ★ ★

A striking story about predatory men and the choices women make to escape them, told through the framework of Greek myth.

A Fist of Permutations in Lighting and Wildflowers - Alyssa Wong - ★ ★ ★ ★

Gorgeous, beautifully written story about sisterhood and loss and individual choice, told through a metaphor of superpowers. read more )

Touring With the Alien - Carolyn Ives Gilman - ★ ★

I wanted to like this story -- it's certainly well-written -- but found myself fundamentally disagreeing with it instead. read more )

Spice and Smoke (Bollywood Confidential #1) - Suleikha Snyder - ★

Wow did I hate this book. Enough that I rage-quit it about 2/3 of the way through.

From the summary I went into this book expecting poly relationship negotiations and a generally happy poly ending for everyone.

What I got was jealousy, bitterness and dishonesty, with a side of "you're only sleeping around because you're unhappy," and "when you're really in love with someone you'll want to be monogamous." read more )

Madeleine - Amal El-Mohtar - ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

A gorgeous story about mourning and loss and memory and coming out of the dark.

Madeleine's slow, unexpected journey back from grief is just perfect.

Waiting For The Flood - Alexis Hall - ★ ★ ★ ★

A lovely story about mourning for what might have been and finding the courage to once again dream of the future. read more )

And Their Lips Rang With The Sun - Amal El-Mohtar - ★ ★ ★ ★

A beautiful, unusual folk tale.

El-Mohtar creates a vivid mythology, filled with striking visual imagery.

The Art of Space Travel - Nina Allan - ★ ★ ★

A quiet story about memory and history and legacy set against an SF-nal background.

I liked the narrator and the stream of consciousness style, but it ultimately felt kind of unresolved.

Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies - Brooke Bolander - ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Short, intense, and unapologetically angry. read more )

Catalysts: The Scientific Method (Scientific Methods Universe #1) - Kris Ripper - ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Fuck. This is so fucking hot. And kinky. But also intense and emotionally revelatory and unconventionally romantic and one of the most honest depictions of poly I've ever read. read more )

Unexpected Gifts (Scientific Method Universe #2) - Kris Ripper - ★ ★ ★ ★

This series continues to be SO good. read more )

Take Three Breaths (Scientific Method Universe #3) - Kris Ripper - ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This one's a rough read, but entirely worth it. read more )
fairestcat: Dreadful the cat (Default)
This month you get a double-length playlist, because there were just too many tracks to choose from.

I might have a lot of feelings about the patriarchy and the ways I'd like to fuck it up. One or two at least.

Making it double length also meant I could justify having more than one track by a couple artist.

I've put content warnings on some of these songs. Unsurprisingly, considering the subject matter, there's some discussion of rape and some use of homophobic and misogynistic slurs.

40 songs. 2 hours, 23 minutes of music

fuck the patriarchy (I will not be afraid of women)
Zip file on dropbox (211MB) or Individual tracks on dropbox

As Cool As I Am - Dar Williams
Every Mother's Son - The Pretenders
Quiet - MILCK
Who's That Girl - Robyn
Pretty Hurts - Beyonce
Me And A Gun - Tori Amos (cw: rape)
The Oxford Girl - Oysterband (cw: implied violence against women)
Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed) - The Raveonettes (cw: rape)
A Girl Needs A Knife - Flash Girls
The Maid On The Shore - Stan Rogers
Real Men - Joe Jackson (cw: homophobic language)
Lucystoners - Amy Ray (cw: homophobic language)
Big Boy On A Saturday Night - Kirsty Maccoll
Daddy Lessons - Beyonce & The Dixie Chicks
Red Dirt Girl - Emmylou Harris
Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
Black Water - Alina Simone
The Old Maid In The Garrett - Steeleye Span
Chill Factor - The Pretenders
Burn - Phillipa Soo
Dixon's Girl - Dessa
Getting Ready To Get Down - Josh Ritter
Manic Pixie Dream Girl - Scary Bear Soundtrack and Avid Napper
Revolver - The Donnas
Break The Sky - The Hush Sound
Cry Like A Man - Christy Moore
When I Was A Boy - Dar Williams
No Mermaid - Sinead Lohan
Drinking With The Jocks - Against Me! (cw: homophobic and misogynistic language)
Androgynous - Joan Jett
Patriarch On A Vespa - Metric
The Ballad of Mary Magdalene - Richard Shindell
Sex Is Not The Enemy - Garbage
Goodbye Earl - Dixie Chicks
Milford Haven - Oysterband
Seneca Falls - The Distillers
I'm In The Band - Bratmobile
Bros - Wolf Alice
Feminism Is For Everybody (With A Beating Heart And A Functioning Brain) - Anti-Flag

As usual, I'd love a comment if you download.

Also, if you like anything I post I encourage you to buy more from the artists.
July 26th, 2017
norah: Monkey King in challenging pose (Default)
posted by [personal profile] norah at 06:19pm on 26/07/2017 under
Looking for a book that would have been published by 1957.

Involves a boy who goes through a small door in a wall in the back of a garden. He time-travelled back to the 19th century, and became somehow caught up in a conflict between two wizard or magicians or sorcerers, one good & one evil. That's what we got - help me Obi Wan.
July 21st, 2017
fairestcat: Dreadful the cat (Default)
posted by [personal profile] fairestcat at 12:36am on 21/07/2017
For those who don't know, we live in an up/down duplex. Marna, Ian and I live upstairs and Lorayne has the downstairs, with two spare rooms for any guests of upstairs or downstairs.

Lorayne also has two window AC units. One of which is in her big spare bedroom. We do not have any AC upstairs, just a lot of fans.

It's been hot and humid as fuck in Ottawa for the last week. It's finally starting to cool down, but the heat is really lingering upstairs. Last night I couldn't fall asleep because of it.

So, I said fuck it and am sleeping downstairs tonight.

Dreadful followed me downstairs and was staring forlornly out the screen door, so we invited him in. So, Dreadful's sleeping downstairs too tonight.

Rayne's cats, Kina and Chakra, are less than impressed.

They've met Dreadful before, and even lived with him for a week when we stripped the wainscotting in the kitchen several years ago, so we're not worried it'll come to blows overnight or anything. They'll cope. And I think Dreadful is enjoying the change of scenery.

Also, the lack of dog.

Oh yeah, we got a dog. We've had him for about a month. Our intent was to foster him, but Marna fell in love, so now he's ours.

His name is Bogart, we think he's some sort of pointer cross, but he was rescued from the Everglades, so we can't be sure. He's about 18 months old and weighs about 40 pounds. He's a sweetheart, but he has some behavioral issues we're working on.

And Dreadful has NOT reconciled himself to this new family member yet. He's never lived with a dog before, and he's not sure he wants to now. They're cohabiting relatively peacefully, but Dreadful is still keeping his distance.

ETA: and then Kina and Dreadful got in a fight in the hallway. So much for not coming to blows. So, now they're locked on opposite sides of the dog gate for the night.

*sigh*
July 20th, 2017
fairestcat: naked woman reading. vintage (Reading)
As promised, some books I've read:

Point of Hopes (Astreiant, #1) - Melissa Scott & Lisa A. Barnett -
★★★★

Complicated mystery plot in a fascinating, intricately-crafted fantasy universe.

I really appreciated the casually mainstreamed queerness in the worldbuilding. read more )

The Ruin of a Rake - Cat Sebastian - ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This book has everything I loved about Sebastian's previous books. Complicated, flawed and messily human characters, a clear-eyed and intelligent class analysis and a refreshingly unapologetic queerness. read more )

Point of Knives (Astreiant #1.5) - Melissa Scott - ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

A satisfying mystery with an even-more-satisfying beginning of a romance between the main characters as they transition from people who sleep with each other occasionally to people who'd like to have a romantic relationship with each other. read more )

Peter Darling - Austin Chant ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

An amazing queer, trans reimagining of the Peter Pan story. read more )

The Horse Mistress: Book 1 - R.A Steffan - ★ ★ ★

Enjoyable poly fantasy with a genderqueer protagonist. read more )

A Boy Called Cin - Cecil Wilde - ★ ★ ★ ★

I'd describe this book as an aspirational romance. It's a delightful, cozy fairytale of an idealized relationship. And that's not a bad thing. I think there's value particularly in queer aspirational romances. read more )

There Will Be Phlogiston (Prosperity, #5) - Alexis Hall ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I picked this up because it was free and I'd heard good things about the author, but honestly I was mostly expecting a smutty, poly diversion.

What I got was so much more. read more )

Chasing Cameron: the complete series - Hanna Dare - ★ ★ ★ ★

A series of m/m novellas with a lot of sex, not all of it between, or only between, the two protagonists.

I was really pleasingly surprised by how non-mononormative this series is. read more )
fairestcat: Dreadful the cat (Default)
posted by [personal profile] fairestcat at 01:49am on 20/07/2017
One of the benefits of the new mood-stabilizer is that I'm reading again. After reading my way through a shit-ton of fanfic, I'm now switching between fanfic and pro novels.

I'm mostly only interested in reading queer stories at the moment, which has meant a lot of queer romances and also SF/F with queer characters and relationships.

I started with everything ever written by KJ Charles and OMG was that a good choice. Her stuff is AMAZING. Highly, highly recommended. She writes m/m historical romances, some straight historicals, some fantasy. One of the things I love historical queer romances because I love reading about queer people in history being happy, and Charles' books totally fill that desire.

A lot of queer historicals, or at least a lot of the ones I've read, are really interested in class and the intersection of class and sexuality and how that impacts relationships. Class differences are at the heart of almost all of Charles' books and it makes for a great lens through which to look at the various historical periods she writes in. The other thing that makes me happy about her books is that very few of her protagonists are uncomfortable with or tortured about their sexuality, which is again really refreshing to read about.

Then I moved on to Cat Sebastian's regency romances which I also highly recommend. Again with the queers being happy and not angsting about their sexualities and again with the class and anxiety about class differences being a significant factor in all the relationships.

I also highly recommend Joanna Chambers' Enlightenment series, in which one of the characters is quite guilty about his sexuality, which is possibly more realistic, but doesn't appeal to my id in quite the same way.

It was at about this point in my dive into books again that I got myself a Goodreads account, which is here, and started actually reviewing stuff as I read it.

Several people I read here regularly post reviews of the books they've read on their journals, and I think I'm going to start being one of them, I'm not going to commit to any specific schedule, but expect semi-regular book posts (the first going up directly after I finish writing this post).

The other thing I'm loving about Goodreads is having a place a list of books I've been recced that look interesting. I'm almost entirely reading digitally these days, mostly on Kobo. So, when I want to read something new I can go to my Goodreads to-read shelf and see what strikes my fancy. There are a lot of books with poly relationships in there right now, because I specifically solicited recs for queer, poly stories on twitter.

If you're curious my to-read shelf is here, and I'm always taking recs. Nothing too serious or dense right now, I'm still easing my way back into this reading gig.

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