September 06, 2012

Debt, Mist, Darkness, Speculums and Flimflam

What the staff is reading this week:

Alan:"I'm burning through FORGE OF DARKNESS by Steven Erikson.  It's the first novel in his new trilogy set in the ancient past of the world of the Malazan Empire.  And it is just fabulous.  The setting and cast of characters are smaller than his previous work (the ten volume Malazan Book of the Fallen) but still as complex and rich and I've come to expect from him.  And, for a reader of his other work, the backstory elements that fill in the history of major characters are just so very cool.  Fer example, I now know how Anomander Rake and Caladan Brood met and I even know what Brood _is_.  On top of all that coolness, I can't wait for Steve's event later this month."

Cary: "Just finished THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS by Claire Legrand, a creepy young adult novel.  Currently reading an advance copy of DREAMS AND SHADOWS by C. Robert Cargill."

Claud: "GEMINI, by Dorothy Dunnett; and DEBT: THE FIRST 5,000 YEARS, by David Graeber -- an anthropology of money, and one of the best damn books I've read in years."

Heather: "Just started on the third part of MISTS OF AVALON.  I think Gwenhwyfar needs a swift kick to the ovaries.  Pious twit that she is.  Grr."

Jude: "I just finished CHARLATAN: AMERICA'S MOST DANGEROUS HUCKSTER, THE MAN WHO PURSUED HIM, AND THE AGE OF FLIMFLAM by Pope Brock, a nonfiction which was terrifying in addition to being darkly funny (did people _really_ jump on the goat-gland-to-human transplant wagon?!), and now I'm reading an advance copy of MR. PENUMBRA'S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE by Robin Sloane, which is great so far."

Naamen: "Just finished Alison Bechdel's amazing graphic memoir ARE YOU MY MOTHER? about her relationship guessed it, her mother. It also involves the life and study of the psychoanalyst Winnicott and the life and work of author Virginia Woolf with minor cameos from Adrienne Rich and Sylvia Plath. A complex read, a lot of psychology of mother/child subject/object variety, but well worth it. Already started on my re-read of it.  And started Luce Irigaray's SPECULUM OF THE OTHER WOMAN, a really crunchy book about the creation of woman as a psychological, as a subject, as a sexual being by men - especially in the West - but elsewhere too as "disadvantaged men", the idea that women are men with some sort of lack. She's ripping some Freud papers and other theories to well-deserved shreds. Pretty awesome if dense with psychoanalyst language at times, plus I have to wonder if something gets lost in its translation from French to English."

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