Belenen (belenen) wrote,

self-educating 2009: 14-23

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)

14. Dark Castle, White Horse** by Tanith Lee (fantasy/surrealism) 5 stars
302 pages (total 3969)
A third-time re-read for me, and I loved it just as much as the first two times. It's an omnibus of two very different stories that complement each other in an inexplicable way; the first seemingly dark, the second seemingly light, neither what they seem. Reading them is like bathing in poetry (all the best of Tanith's work is like that).

15. Reigning Cats and Dogs by Tanith Lee (surrealist steampunk) 3 stars
304 pages (total 4273)
Interesting but rather a disappointment; not enough character development. It would have worked as a short story but as a novel it was just too drawn-out.

16. Myths of Gender: Biological Theories About Women and Men by Anne Fausto-Sterling (non-fiction) 5 stars
272 pages (total 4545)
(review here)

17. Feminist Fairy Tales by Barbara G. Walker (fantasy) 4 stars
256 pages (total 4801)
I really enjoyed the twists on the old stories, but I have to take off a star for the occasional "men are unable-to-control-themselves/unspiritual/less-than-women/etc" attitude -- it wasn't pervasive enough to make me hate the whole book, but it was bad enough that I got out the sharpie and edited three or four bits (which is one of the reason I have to own my books -- if I want to enjoy it and it has overt sexist/pro-rape/racist/etc language, I will edit it. No, I don't give a shit about how the author would feel about that).

18. Powers That Be by Anne McCaffrey & Elizabeth Ann Scarborough (science fiction) 3 stars
384 pages (total 5185)
Interesting ecologically-focused sci-fi about a sentient planet. This first book is a bit slow but it lays the groundwork for the others.

19. Power Lines by Anne McCaffrey & Elizabeth Ann Scarborough (science fiction) 4 stars
336 pages (total 5521)
The plot thickens as more about the planet is revealed and more interesting characters are introduced. This one flew by.

20. Power Play by Anne McCaffrey & Elizabeth Ann Scarborough (science fiction) 4 stars
352 pages (total 5873)
Also very interesting and fast-paced. Of the series, I most enjoyed the relationship between certain characters and telepathic big cats, and the development of the planet's character. It wasn't a profound series but it was a fun read.

21. Fair Peril by Nancy Springer (urban fantasy) 5 stars
246 pages (total 6119)
Now THIS is a feminist fairy tale! About a 40-something recently-dumped woman who stumbles into The Frog Prince and through magical conflict comes to realize zir own power and understand zirself. Really well-written and atypical, I loved it!

22. How to Say No to a Rapist and Survive by Frederic Storaska (non-fiction) 4 stars
218 pages (total 6337)
The goal of the author is to make sure that women who are attacked by rapists can escape or defend themselves if possible, and if not, can survive. I don't agree with all of it (and I'm not sure how to research and see just how helpful those methods are) but at the very least it would be helpful in cases of date rape. And I do appreciate that someone SOMEWHERE is trying to prevent rape instead of just patch victims back together. It's a quick read and it did have the effect on me of lessening my fear of rape, so I'd recommend it.

23. Channeling Cleopatra by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough (science fiction) 4 stars
256 pages (total 6593)
as usual, Scarborough paints vivid mind-pictures and creates interesting characters. Zir portrayal of modern Egypt was quite interesting and I loved the concept of mind-sharing, especially the genderfucking aspect.

I'm also:
208 pages into Beauty by Sheri Tepper
88 pages into Gender Outlaw by Kate Bornstein
Tags: books, self-educating

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