Belenen (belenen) wrote,

self-educating 2009: 7-13

How I star them:
1 star -- DREADFUL. Don't read even if your only other option is is staring at the wall.
2 stars -- not really worth the time it takes to read it, but if you're superbored...
3 stars -- pretty good, nothing outstanding, but decent entertainment. Worth 1 read.
4 stars -- very good, has some outstanding features. If it has flaws, the benefits overwhelm them. Worth reading twice or maybe once every few years.
5 stars -- AMAZING!!! memorable, captivating, with no glaring flaws. Worth reading over and over (maybe once a year), because you'll get more from each reading.

(** means it's a re-read)

07. Flinx in Flux by Alan Dean Foster (science fiction) 3 stars
324 pages (total 1821)
a terrible start, so much sexism I almost quit reading -- "my little gengineer," REALLY? I can't count the number of times the clever female character was called little and small -- not in reference to zir size, either! and the narrator went to ridiculous lengths to excuse zir confidence and assure the reader that ze wasn't arrogant. But after a chapter of that, the sexism was dropped and the amazing creatures, cultures, and plot took over. The last half of the book was very enjoyable.

08. Mid-Flinx by Alan Dean Foster (science fiction) 5 stars
352 pages (total 2173)
Set in my favorite of Foster's worlds -- Midworld! a rainforest-covered planet with 700-meter-tall trees and an INCREDIBLE ecosystem (humans live in the middle 'level', about 350 meters from the ground and 350 from the sky). The plot was okay but it's the setting that I can't get enough of... dangerous and thrillingly complex.

09. Reunion by Alan Dean Foster (science fiction) 4 stars
342 pages (total 2515)
Most of it takes place on a desert planet and Foster is so good at evoking 'place' that it made me want to go pack a canteen, just in case. More of the overall story unfolds in this one -- interesting but a little too much building suspense and not enough relief.

10. When Elephants Weep by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson (non-fiction) 5 stars
320 pages (total 2835)
Phenomenal book! chock-full of studies and stories that give a glimpse into the emotions of animals. It debunks the idea of 'anthropomorphism' as it is currently used; though we cannot say for sure exactly what emotion animals are feeling, we can understand that they do feel, and we can understand their emotions in a broad sense. It make me laugh, cry, cringe, and think, and left me feeling much more connected to animals. And it evoked more questions than it answered.

11. Altars by Denise Linn (non-fiction) 3 stars
160 pages (total 2995)
lovely pictures, but I found it redundant... maybe I'm just more intuitive about this sort of thing but it seemed to explain things that didn't need explaining (after you've said "you can create a permanent altar for everything, or a temporary one for a specific purpose" what else is there to say?). I did find the last few pages inspiring -- they described a process of using an altar that I liked and hadn't already thought of.

12. Mismeasure of Woman: Why Women Are Not the Better Sex, the Inferior Sex, or the Opposite Sex by Carol Tavris (non-fiction) 5 stars
400 pages (total 3395)
(review to get its own post)

13. Never After by Rebecca Lickiss (fantasy) 4 stars
272 pages (total 3667)
A HILARIOUS remix of just about every popular fairy tale. So much fun! A quick read ;-)

I'm also:
172 pages into Myths of Gender
142 pages into The Meaning of Trees
27 pages into Meetings With Remarkable Trees (thank you so much phoenixdreaming! I've barely begun and am already in AWE ♥)
Tags: books, self-educating

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