yuuago: (A Redtail's Dream - Together)
Finished reading: Medicine River by Thomas King. Now that I'm finished it, I think it might end up on my list of comfort novels. It's just such a cozy read throughout - even though there are parts that handle some very serious topics, there's something about the narrative voice that gives the entire book a feeling of warmth. And I like that the structure allows for picking it up and reading at any point you wish; while there's a bit of a continuous narrative in the background, it's a very slice-of-life novel, and every chapter is pretty much self-contained.

Currently reading: Leaf Storm and Other Stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Picked this one up at random; loving it so far. The title-story, "Leaf Storm", is more of a novella - and that isn't a bad thing, because I'm really enjoying it (at this point). It has a nice twisty structure.

Reading next: Whereas by Layli Long Soldier. This poetry collection was on my to-read list for a while; I suppose somebody must have rec'd it. Flipping through now, it looks really interesting - this poet plays a lot with structure and form. A lot of it is the kind of work that doesn't translate to digital very well, unless you make an image of it, perhaps. Anyway, I'm glad that it turns out the library had this one; I'm looking forward to it.

Also reading next: Songs to Kill a Wîhtikow by Neal McLeod. I picked this one up because I found the title so striking. This collection takes inspiration from the monsters known as Wîhtikow*, but the poet also writes about the Wîhtikow in the form of a metaphor for the greed and selfishness inside all people ("the attempt to swallow the light from the sky of the world", as he puts it). Anyway, I haven't looked too deeply into the actual poetry yet, but from what I've seen on a quick flip-through, I think I will love this.

On to-read list: Tecumseh and Brock: The War of 1812 by James Laxer. This was my birthday present. :D I'm really looking forward to this - the War of 1812 is one of those things that I have an interest in, but never really learned as much as I would like on the subject. Haven't flipped through it or anything yet, but hopefully it'll be a good read.
yuuago: (Germany - Reading)
Last finished: Land of Love and Ruins by Oddný Eir. ...I didn't like it. I'm having a difficult time figuring out WHY I didn't like it. What drew me to it was the format - I flipped through it in the library and found that it was just atypical enough to pique my interest; it's written somewhat as a diary, or internal musings, perhaps. But I found myself struggling to stay interested in it. A lack of interest in the narrator and her story, I suppose, maybe.

Currrently reading: Embers: One Ojibway's Meditations by Richard Wagamese. This is one that I saw in the bookstore, considered buying because I love the author's other works, and then decided to try the library's copy instead. It's very what-it-says-on-the-tin, a series of brief personal meditations on the subject of - well, everything. Existence in general. Wagamese has quite a way with words, and it shows here just as well as it does in his poetry. It's taking me a while to get through this one because I prefer to avoid reading big chunks of it all at once. It's better when taken one page at a time. (Ideally, perhaps, one page per day, though there aren't 365 of them.)

Also reading: Loon: Memory, Meaning, and Reality in a Northern Dene Community by Henry S. Sharp. This one is... I'm finding it interesting, but rather difficult to follow at times. The writer draws on a lot of metaphors from quantum mechanics in order to describe things like the Dene perception of time, reality, events, and existence, and it's... a little outside my field. But I do find it interesting, even if I don't expect the quantum bits will contribute much to my understanding of knowledge/power/inkoze as a concept, heh.

Reading next: I have no clue. According to the reading goals I've set, I need to read... uh... more books that I own, rather than library stuff. Fair enough. All things considered, I should read all of the books that I bought last time I went on vacation, because I have zero doubts that the next time I go to Victoria, I'll come back with more. So... it'll probably be one of these:
-Arctis, William Heinesen. Faeroese poet; this one looks like a very landscape-focused volume.
-Circling North, Charles Lillard. Canadian poet. I don't know anything about his work.
-Forge, Jan Zwicky. Canadian poet. Several of the works in this volume are music-influenced. ...I confess, part of the reason I bought this is because I love the way the book was designed; Gaspereau Press puts out such pretty volumes, especially for poetry. (And now I suddenly miss Nova Scotia again, oh dear.)
-What the Bear Said: Skald Tales of New Iceland, W. D. Valgardson. Canadian writer of Icelandic descent. Short stories influenced by Icelandic tradition (or reconstruction of handed-down stories? Not sure).
-Scars, W. P. Kinsella. Short stories set in Hobbema (near Edmonton).
yuuago: (DenNor - Be with you)
31C?

Well, looks like summer is here.

Seriously, wasn't it just a couple of months ago that it was -20C or something... I swear it was.

This time of year, all you can do is flop down and try not to expire from the heat. Bleh. I want to go for a run later, but I might need to make it more brief than usual. It's soooo dry... eugh.

Anyway! A brief Reading Wednesday, since I'm here.

Recently Finished: Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart. Like I've mentioned in previous entries, it's a very good novel; one of the best I've read in a while. If you haven't read this one, I do suggest giving it a try. It's set in a fantasy version of ancient China, with a delightful cast of characters, a wonderfully light narrative style, and the sort of twisty narrative that takes a million strings and pulls them all together in a really satisfying way. As an aside, there are so many scenes in this book that would make for absolutely beautiful illustrations, oh man....

Currently Reading: Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. Or rather, re-"reading" via audiobook. It's been a while since I read this one, and I'd forgotten most of it, even though I read the rest of the MaddAddam trilogy more recently. It's very... I find the world in this novel interesting, but there is a lot that I could do without. The Crakers are just a little too weird for me. And everything just seems like it's covered in grit, though I can't remember if the other novels were like that too, or if it's mainly due to Snowman's POV. Maybe I should re-read the others in order to see about it.

Reading Next: Nnnot entirely sure at this time. When it's so fucking hot out, I want to read something cold. Maybe I'll finally read Luminous Spaces, that recent translation of Olav H. Hauge's poetry and journals. I've been meaning to, and anyway, he writes the most beautiful winter landscapes.
yuuago: (Small Trolls - Jáhko - Doze)
Verrrrry tired today (work was exhausting) so here is a quick and dirty Reading Wednesday. Pardon if I'm incoherent.

Just Finished: Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez. This is a collection of short stories by an Argentine author - as far as I know this is the only collection that has been translated into English so far, but she's written many other stories, or so I've heard. Anyway, if you enjoy horror and the macabre, this is definitely a collection that I recommend reading. I was hooked from start to finish. Some of the stories are more supernatural-leaning, while others are more just... threaded with the whole feeling that something is just wrong. Overall, it's a collection that'll leave you feeling oogy in the best way.

Currently Reading: Off the Map by Alastair Bonnett. Basically a look at unusual, forgotten, and liminal spaces around the world, and what places like these mean. And it talks more broadly about the human sense of place and how this is important. And so on. The general concept for the book is very relevant to my interests (this was a gift from Gray, who knows exactly what I like). The actual discussion of individual locations tends to be very brief - basically just a glimpse, giving a taste of it so that one can look 'em up later (it does cover a lot of them). It's by no means a difficult read, which is good because I've been too tired to handle anything challenging.

Reading Next: This is what they say, by Francois Mandeville. This is a collection of stories that were told by Mandeville at Fort Chipewyan in 1928, recorded in Chipewyan/Denesuline, and much later translated into English. Some of them are stories from Mandeville's life, and others are traditional, ones that were handed down. The other collections of Dene stories that I've read were from more northern parts of Denendeh - up around Fort Wrigley, or Yellowknife, that kind of area. Fort Chipewyan is much closer to home, and I'm really glad that I stumbled across this book. And I'm glad that our local library has such things like it.
yuuago: (Small Trolls - Veeti - Skygazing)
Finished reading: Claude Monet, 1840-1926: A Feast for the Eyes by Karin Sagner-Duchting. This one's a biography of Monet, with lots of gorgeous plates of his paintings and so on, and though it took me a little while to get into it, it was certainly an interesting read... I can't say of how it compares to other studies of Monet and his career, but one thing it did make me realize is that I know hardly anything about most of the artists that I admire. Luckily, this is something that can be easily fixed, and I expect I'll have fun with that. As for Monet, funnily enough, reading about him made me feel better about my own work. I'm thinking of the Haystacks series in particular, how he wanted to do so many views of haystacks at different times of day, and different seasons, to catch the differences in lighting and atmosphere and so on. Sometimes I feel like I'm writing the exact same thing over and over - except that it isn't the exact same thing, because every scene is a little bit different. Not that I'm at all like Monet, of course, but it was nice to see a little of myself reflected in his work. (Even if it's a part of his work that I'm not actually a fan of - the Haystacks paintings fall flat for me. Though perhaps I'd feel differently if I saw one in person.)

Currently reading: Welcome Home: Travels in Smalltown Canada by Stuart McLean. It's basically what it says on the tin - a travel narrative about small communities in various Canadian provinces. (Much to my disappointment, he skipped Alberta and the Territories.) In some ways, it's made me very glad that I don't live in places like this - but it has also reminded me of everything I miss about living in Wolfville. There's a certain sort of atmosphere that I really do miss, and something that's impossible to get in this industrial city. Ah, well. Oh, another thing - this book was written when the issue of Quebec separation/sovereignty was very current, and the section set in Quebec deals with that quite a bit. It's sort of like a time capsule of the issue, I guess, or at least a small sliver of it, and I found that pretty interesting.

Reading next: Race to the South Pole: The Expedition Diaries of Scott and Amundsen, compiled/edited/translated by Roland Huntford. This one is pretty much what it says on the tin. In addition to Amundsen himself, it also contains logs from another member of the Norwegian expedition party, Ove Bjaaland. I've read Amundsen's published account of his South Pole travels, but this is entirely new to me, and I think I'll really enjoy it when I get around to it. I'm... less excited about Scott's journal, because he came to such a depressing end, and to be honest everything I've read about the British side of the South Pole race makes it sound like it was a poorly-planned clusterfuck. But I won't skip over his entries, of course.

Waiting for: Building Fires in the Snow: A Collection of Alaska LGBTQ Short Fiction and Poetry. Can't start this one yet because I'm still waiting to receive it in the mail.... When I saw this anthology on the Lambda awards list, I just knew I had to read it. At first I was hoping to get it through the library, but then I changed my mind. It intersects so well with some of my interests, so I figure, it's one that I want to have in my personal library - and I'll probably like most of it, anyway. (Well, okay, you never know, I suppose....)
yuuago: (Germany - Reading)
The effect of my cold is that it's hard to concentrate on reading, soooo I haven't done much of that, oh well.

Currently reading: The Cyclist Who Went Out in the Cold: Adventures Along the Iron Curtain Trail by Tim Moore. The author's writing style is entertaining, but I keep getting gobsmacked by how utterly stupid some of his decisions are. Or rather, the sum of the beginning of his trip, in general, was one horrible decision and I am very surprised that he didn't die or (as far as I can tell - not through the first half yet) lose some digits to frostbite. You see, he began his journey at the northern end of the Iron Curtain Trail - that is, starting at the Norway/Russia border, then cutting through northeastern Finland before entering Russia. And he did this in March. ...Biking in the Arctic in March is a monumentally stupid idea because that's effectively STILL WINTER. And he did this extreme cycling not on a bike equipped for extreme weather, but on an East German shopping bicycle. And of course this is someone who had never done any kind of ice biking before. ...So, what I'm saying is, even though he has a very funny writing style, I keep getting tripped up by how utterly foolhardy his decision was (he didn't have to start in the north! He could have started from Bulgaria! But nooo). It makes the book a little bit tricky to get through. Thank god the locals showed him a lot of kindness, because otherwise he would have died.

Reading Next: I have no idea. It might be a while before I can get to the library. I might need to resort to (gasp) reading one of the books that I already have, horror of horrors. ...Actually, you know, I've been kind of in the mood to re-read Lord of the Rings, so maybe I'll tackle that. We'll see. In actual fact, it won't exactly be a re-read, because I never did read the entire trilogy - I got bored at the beginning of Return of the King and never finished it. But I was pretty young at the time, and my tastes (and attention span) have changed a lot, so... we'll see.
yuuago: (SSSS - Emil - Reading)
Eugh, I've come down with an awful cold, and probably won't go in to work tomorrow. Lovely. Oh well, anyway -

Finished reading: A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson. I picked this one up because of its pretty cover*; didn't even bother to read the back. It wasn't until I got home and started reading it that I realized it is gay romance against a fantasy backdrop. A pleasant surprise, let me tell you. :D As for the novel itself, it's delivered in non-chronological snips of moments over a long period of time, and at first I assumed it was just an atypical stylistic choice, but there's a reason for it beyond that. (I wonder if a more attentive reader would have caught on... I certainly didn't.) Good news - this is not a doomed lovers scenario, and it has a happy ending. But I won't go into detail about it. ;) I like the world that was built up here, and I'd like to read more with it, I think.

Currently reading: True Arab Love by Issa J Boullata. This one is a collection of short stories primarily (though not entirely) focused on Arab people making a new life as immigrants in Canada and the USA. Mixed feelings about this one so far - I keep getting the feeling that I should be analyzing these; a lot of the stories have the same "feel" to them as a lot of stuff that I've read for English class. Which isn't a bad thing, necessarily, but it's not exactly what I expected.

Reading next: The Cyclist Who Went Out in the Cold: Adventures Along the Iron Curtain Trail by Tim moore. Basically, it's a travel narrative about a guy who bicycled from the Norway-Russia border down to Bulgaria. It sounds like it could be really interesting, though I'm unsure whether it'll live up to the coolness of the concept. I find that a lot of writing about EE/CE countries from people outside of the area tends to carry a lot of baggage, to say the least. But! Who knows. Maybe it'll surprise me.

☆☆☆

Feb. 22nd, 2017 10:17 pm
yuuago: (Pokemon - Decidueye - soft)
☆ Reading Wednesday: Somewhat in the middle of reading a poetry collection, Calling down the sky by Rosanna Deerchild. I say "sort of" because I've kind of put it on hold for now, since I'm having difficulty focusing. It's very strong poetry and I really love her style (it's, hmm, I guess you could say it's both sparse and conversational at the same time - very minimal in form, and with a very strong "vocal" note to it). The subject is (mainly) the experiences of survivors of the residential school system, and it has a really raw note to it.

...Aside from that, I've been listening to an audiobook of Neil Gaiman's Coraline, mainly. It's been ages since I've read the book or watched the film, and I've forgotten almost the whole thing, so it's really interesting to experience it again.

☆ Delicious things: polenta with sausage and mushrooms. And blackberries for dessert. The polenta we used was storebought, and all through supper mum kept going on about how it isn't the same as how it was when her Friulian relations made it when she was a kid, blah blah blah preservatives. Well, I do have a book of Friulian recipes, and the polenta looks like one of the few things that it's possible to make from scratch without altering the ingredients (so many of them require ridiculously specific stuff that you can't get in this frozen wasteland). So... maybe we'll try that some time soon. If we're feeling adventurous.

☆ Night-driving lesson #2 went well. Once again, I did not crash into anything. I did forget to turn the headlamps off after we were done, though. Going to have to remember to... not forget that. Um. That would be bad. Oh well, IT'S A START.
yuuago: (Germany - Reading)
Finished reading: Today I Learned It Was You by Ed Riche. Nowhere near as funny as Rare Birds, unfortunately, but it wasn't bad. The thing is, I love Riche's writing, and he has such a way of painting a wide variety of characters, from many different walks of life, and of different personalities, all sketched out very realistically. These people are real; I know people like this. The problem is, I didn't like any of the characters in the novel (and I don't like those personality types in real life, heh) and the crazy plan/wacky hijinks weren't enough to make up for that. I remember that I also didn't like his other novel (Nine Planets) as much as Rare Birds, but I think that might be because it was a different genre. Anyway - I don't feel like I wasted my time, but I probably won't be re-reading this one. ...Anyway, it makes me want to dig out my copy of Rare Birds to see if it holds up as well as my memory of it does (and as well as the movie did, because the movie was great).

Currently reading: Still reading Amsterdam; I would probably have a much easier time getting through this if it weren't a huge hardcover, heh. I'm always slow with those. Anyway, nothing new to say about it - still an entertaining read, provide I skim past the author's ~thesis statements~. It's given me a lot of neat fic ideas and stuff to look up later, at least. I've been meaning to read more about the VOC and Dutch trade in the East Indies etc, so this has been a reminder of that....

Reading next: I picked up Leonard Cohen's Book of Longing from the library this past weekend. To be honest, I know very little about Cohen aside from the fact that he was Canadian and his work is very popular. I'm actually reading him on my father's recommendation - dude said, "His singing sucks, but his lyrics and poetry are great", ahaha... Our tastes don't actually match up very well, so I'm unsure what I'll actually make of this, but we'll see.
yuuago: (Norway - Hush)
Finished reading: Frogs in the Rain Barrel by Sally Ito. After some of the previous volumes I've read through by other poets, this one was kind of a balm for my mind - while not all of her work clicked with me, Ito's work is close to my taste. It has a simple elegance, a sort of... just-right-ness, with lots of imagery that is vivid but not florid. I like best the works centred around relations, around immigration ("Roots"), also the ones with a strong sense of place - such as "Night in Prospector's Valley", with its lines like so:

it is like a bear,
this darkness -
as if we had bedded in its very fur,
nestling in what we fear most
of this wilderness


Simply lovely. There are others that are good, but not to my taste, not because of the quality but because of the subject - there are quite a few works in this collection that deal with Christian themes, and since I'm not of that religion, nor am I deeply familiar enough with the Bible to appreciate the references from an ancient literature standpoint, those ones aren't really my thing. They're just as well-crafted as the rest, though. So, while I won't be buying this one, I can see myself taking it out from the library again....

Currently reading: Haven't made much headway in Amsterdam: A History, mainly because it's a big fat book and I don't like taking it with me on the transit, which means not much reading has been getting done, heh. Still enjoying it, even if the author's attempts to shoehorn it into a general point are kind of clunky.

Also reading: I haven't had much time to get deep into Chinese Poetry: From Ancient to Contemporary yet, but what I've read so far has been great. Usually it's about 50-50 whether I'll bother reading the preface + introduction in things like this, but considering my unfamiliarity with the subject, I felt it necessary. Rather glad that I took the time to do that - the explanation of the challenges of Ch-Eng translation, and how it applies to poetry in particular, was pretty interesting (and makes me wonder what difficulties there might be for other languages... because I'm pretty sure Hauge would have read the works of Li Po in Norwegian. I wonder what those poems might have looked/felt like...) But aside from that, I've been flipping through the rest of the book when I have a moment or two, and coming across works that I like very much. One in particular, Spring Gazing by Xue Tao, gives me ideas (or inspiration) of the kind that I might have been looking for. ("I pull a blade of grass and tie a heart-shaped knot / to send to the one who understands my music"... Hmm... HMM :D Gee, I wonder.)

Reading next: Probably Ed Riche's Today I Learned It Was You. The summary on the back gives me pause - it... sounds like the kind of book that I would not ordinarily pick up; apparently it's partially a satire about "overzealous rights activists". What I consider "overzealous" is not necessarily what other people would (I fit in fine online, but offline, my views would be considered scandalous in this conservative city) so... I don't know. Are we talking 'overzealous' as in, say, PETA? Or 'overzealous' as in something that I would consider entirely benign? I can't be sure. But since I've liked all the other works I've read by this author, I'll give it a try. You can't always trust that the actual contents will be reflected properly in summaries, anyway. And if I don't like it, then at least I didn't pay for it, and I can just dump it in the library dropbox without forcing myself to finish it.
yuuago: (SSSS - Emil - Reading)
Finished reading: The Quiet by Anne-Marie Turza. Her style of poetry is not overall 100% to my taste (I won't be buying this volume) but she does have a lovely way with regard to turns of phrase and imagery. This volume contains a good deal of prose-poetry, which is not everyone's cup of tea, and it also contains some very minimalistic stuff, which... Ditto. Overall, "Black Cap Winter" is my favourite of the works in this one - Oh! I was able to find it as a preview on Google Books, over here. I've seen her work described as "skeletally surreal"; while this isn't a suiting description for all of it, it does apply to a good deal of it, so if you like that kind of thing, this might be worth a look.

Currently reading: Amsterdam: A history of the world's most liberal city by Russell Shorto. I was recommended this on the basis of the witty language and vivid setting descriptions and so on. On that front, it's delivering (so far). Must admit, it's making me want to write Hetalia fanfic, heh. As far as the actual history, though... Well, with this kind of thing - books about how such-and-such-place is the most whatever in the world, and so on - you have to take it with salt (maybe more than a pinch). It sure is colourful, though.

Reading next: I recently rewatched the film Rare Birds, and it made me want to re-read the novel it was based on - Edward Riche's humour novel by the same title, Rare Birds. It's been a while since I've read it, but I remember that it was an absolute delight (just like the film). It's lighthearted, and ridiculous, and features restaurants, birdwatching, homemade submarines, and secret governmental whatsits, all against a Newfoundland backdrop. ...Now, if only I could find my copy of it. I own two (one of them is signed!) but for some reason I can't find either of them.

☆☆☆

Dec. 28th, 2016 09:22 pm
yuuago: (Yuri on Ice - LeoxGuangHong - Cozy)
☆ Sometimes, you know, I have these moments where I'm reading something, and I find myself thinking, "This is very well-written, but I don't like it". That's how I feel reading through undercurrent by Rita Wong. Her poetry is very well-written, but... not to my taste. And it's frustrating, because I don't like starting books and not finishing them. But I don't think I'll finish this one. OH WELL... I got halfway through, I'd say that's enough of an attempt. :V (And that concludes your halfassed Reading Wednesday for the week.)

☆ I WROTE SOMETHING. It isn't the thing I was supposed to be writing. Oops. But, hey, when the heart wants to write LeoJi nonsense, then LeoJi nonsense is the result. [/stares at Silent Night exchange date, makes a face] Ah well, I'll take care of this tomorrow. (And tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.) Considering the amount of uploads in the collection, it at least shows that I'm not the only one leaving things to the last week.

☆ Thanks for the congratulations on hitting 100k, by the way. <3 I appreciate it. ...AND I'M GOING TO TRY AGAIN IN THE UPCOMING YEAR. YEAHHHH.
yuuago: (Germany - Reading)
I haven't done a Reading Wednesday in a while, so... here's what I've been reading lately:

Currently reading:

Packing For Mars by Mary Roach. Yes, still. It's going slowly, but I still do enjoy it. The only thing stopping me from breezing through it more quickly is the fact that I'm reading it electronically. Should have seen if the library had a paper copy... Anyway, if you're interested in the history of space travel (and the possibilities for the future), it's pretty interesting - not to mention funny. Roach has such a lively prose voice, it's great.

Lady Franklin's Revenge by Ken McGoogan. I love reading about the Franklin expedition, so it's really interesting to see the story from Jane Franklin's perspective. I had no idea that she travelled so much herself - Turkey, Egypt, Greece.... I'm still in the early parts of this book, not all that close to the part that actually deals with Franklin's expedition, but I'm looking forward to the rest.

Eventually One Dreams the Real Thing by Marianne Boruch. This one is a volume of poetry. It... is not quite to my taste; stylistically, some of the poems in here edge close to what I like, but it's not quite there. She uses a lot of imagery that I might enjoy if it phrased just slightly differently. I don't dislike it enough to anti-rec, though.

Not started yet:

Xweliqwiya: The life of a Sto:lo Matriarch by Rena Point Bolton & Richard Daly. Like the title/authors suggests, it's a memoir/biography/oral history of a Sto:lo elder. Should be interesting! Probably going to tackle this one as soon as I'm finished reading the book on Jane Franklin.

as if by E. D. Blodgett. Poetry again. This one looks very sparse and minimal; bare, with lots of nature images. I think I'll love it, considering that's the style I usually like best, but we'll see.

Fire and Sky: A Canadian Anthology of Poetry. This... I don't know if I'm actually ready to read this book. It's a limited-run anthology of work centred around the wildfire evacuation we went through back in May. I'm not very plugged in to the local writing scene, and if I had known about this, I might have contributed to it. But, I didn't. And I'm not sure I'm ready to write poetry about it anyway, though I've thought about it. (I have enough emotion about this to fill an entire volume.) Not to mention the thought of being published gives me hives. ...Anyway. I'm looking forward to it, but at the same time, I don't know if I'll be able to handle actually reading it. Still - this is the library copy, but I might purchase my own, just as some sort of bizarre memento, I guess. The sales go to the local library, so it's a good thing.
yuuago: (Germany - Reading)
Finished reading: Cree Narrative Memory: From Treaties to Contemporary Times by Neal McLeod. This one is basically what it says on the tin. It covers a lot of subject, but what was most interesting to me was its discussions of how narrative memory works in the Cree tradition, and how this memory should be used to re-examine the treaties - in general, and with regards to Treaty 6 in particular, and what was verbally promised vs what was actually written down. I'm going to have to see if there's a similar book out there regarding Treaty 8, since that's the area I'm in - well, I'm sure there's something, it's just a matter of checking if the library has it. (Can't be bothered to ILL, but... they'll probably have it.)

Currently reading: Packing For Mars by Mary Roach. Reading The Martian kind of made me want to poke around in the idea of travel to Mars, and this book has been on my radar for a while. I've already read one of her other books, Stiff, which was excellent. And so far, this one is just as fun and engaging, which is great because the history of space travel and its future potential isn't typically one of my personal interests. Roach has a very light, humourous way of writing, and in spite that I never feel that anything is being deliberately turned around in the interest of a good joke. Though of course, if you're looking for something in-depth, this probably isn't the book for you. Great place to start, though, if your interest in the subject is vague and fleeting. ;V

Reading next: Probably Trail of the Spirit by George Blondin. It's a book on Dene medicine power, and includess various stories that have been passed down - similar to the previous work I've read by this writer, Yamoria the Lawmaker, though with a different focus. Not quite sure of the finer details beyond that, but I'm sure it'll be interesting.

I've been trying to read a bit more nonfiction lately, since I do generally intend to do so at the beginning of the year, but rarely follow through with reading much of it. Mostly I've been picking up just... whatever is vaguely related to fiction I've been reading, plus random interesting-looking stuff from the FN section, pf. :V
yuuago: (Germany - Reading)
Finished reading: N/A I haven't finished reading anything recently.

Currently reading: The Martian by Andy Weir. I wasn't planning to read this one, but the library had it in ebook, so ehhhh why not. Turns out, it's very much to my taste, and I've been ploughing through it really quickly (probably will finish it tomorrow, who knows). If I'd known about the mixed format - log entries, electronic communication, etc - then I might have checked it out sooner. When I think about it, I tend to like survival stories a lot, so it isn't all that surprising that I'd enjoy this one. I kind of skim over the technobabble, but there isn't so much of it that I find it offputting. Kind of curious about the film now - again, I wasn't planning to watch it, but I think now I might.

Also currently reading: Still not quite finished Richard Wagamese's Runaway Dreams. This guy's work = poetry goals, seriously. If I can ever be half as good, I'll be happy. So glad that the library has more of his work - I'll definitely be looking toward those....

Reading next: I have a book out on Cree oral history - the title's escaping me at th moment, and I'm too lazy to go across the room to look for it - so it'll probably be that. Unless it's something else. I don't know. There are too many books in my room. It's overwhelming.

Though, a recent discussion kind of made me want to re-read some of the Animorphs novels. ...It's been years. This is probably a terrible idea.

☆☆☆

Sep. 14th, 2016 09:05 pm
yuuago: (Pokemon - Blanche - Sweets)
☆ Too tired to do a full Reading Wednesday entry, but anyway - Runaway Dreams by Richard Wagamese is an amazing poetry collection. I'm about halfway through it, and it's really blown me away. He has an incredible way with words. His prose fiction was enough to make me interested in his other work, but this - wow. I'm in love. Hell, I might buy this book later. (Or just keep checking it out of the library again and again....)

☆ Pokewalk around the neighbourhood tonight confirmed a few things that I was unsure about. Namely: That the previously-unexplored areas close to my house are also dead zones, and that there is another pokestop close-ish to the neighbourhood, but it's... in the wilderness trails. Which are, of course, not safe to explore alone after dark, and - after the Bear Warning sign I came across a while back, I don't think I'll be exploring any woods until it's firmly winter. :P

☆ It's... getting to be THAT TIME again, and by "that time", I mean dark for way too many months. I keep telling myself that I should buy a SAD lamp or something. Really, I should just... do it. I guess the only thing keeping me from it is that they're a little expensive, and making room on my desk will be a pain, but - I should just do it. After all, there is a huge chunk of winter where I do not get any sunlight at all during the week; not because I'm that far north (not quite!) but because the sun doesn't rise until after I get to work, and it sets before I leave. So, I'll do my research this weekend, I guess. (Note to self: actually do it, rather than saying I will and then forgetting... again.) #northernproblems
yuuago: (SSSS - Emil - Reading)
Finished reading: N/A I haven't finished reading anything recently. This is what happens when I go on vacation; I don't read anything.

Currently reading: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. I'm about halfway through it, and man, you guys - I really like this book. Can't quite rec it yet, because again, halfway through, but... it's a really enjoyable read. I never cared much about Achilles before, and by extension Achilles/Patroclus - to be honest, in the Iliad, I found Achilles really annoying. Never could stand the guy. But here, he's more... Hmm. He's more everything. He's more of a person, more of a human, but also more immortal - it's really easy to see how Thetis shines through in him, what qualities there are that might cause someone to follow him. ...And also what qualities he has that might cause someone to fall in love with him, too.

Reading next: I bought so many books while I was in Victoria, good lord. To be fair, most of it's poetry, but yeah. I have no idea what I'm reading next. TOO MANY OPTIONS. Orrrr it might be time to read The Iliad again. It's been so long.
yuuago: (SSSS - Emil - Reading)
Finished reading: A Gentleman of Leisure by P G Wodehouse. This one took a while to grow on me, and at the end, I still wasn't really into it. I think it might be because after reading one of the Jeeves novels, this set of characters just wasn't as fun in comparison. It didn't put me off Wodehouse, though - I'll read more eventually.

Also finished reading: Yamoria the Lawmaker by George Blondin. I had to put this one down for a while, because I wanted to think about it more deeply. And... I'm not finished thinking about it. But, I had to return it, so - of course I finished it. Basically, my impression is - the stories told are interesting in their own right; if you have any interest in Native oral stories/histories, this might be a book to investigate. It's also interesting for what is communicated through the stories - traditionally the purpose of this stuff is to communicate how to live. I'd recommend reading this one along with (or before/after) a more detailed history book, such as Drum Songs.

Currently reading: Drum Songs: Glimpses of Dene History by Kerry Abel. I wish I hadn't taken so long to read this, because it's great. My assumption was that it would be dry, but it isn't; I can hardly put it down. This book tries to trace Dene history as a whole, as well as the histories of individual groups (Chipewyan, Dogrib, Yellowknife, and others) when possible. In doing that, it's both a history of the people and of the changes in the region itself through the fur trade in this part of northern Canada, with a Native-centred look. Part of the reason that I'm finding it so enjoyable is that I'm reading about my region, and that hardly ever happens. I know about the locations discussed in the book, Fort Chipewyan comes up frequently... And so on. (Unrelated: I was very amused when it started discussing Peter Pond, who has a ton of stuff named after him here in Fort Mac, but who was a "scoundrel" according to the records of one of my ancestors, who met him at least once.)

...Anyway, back to the subject - the reason I'm enjoying it so much is not the familiarity of the region; that's just the icing on the cake for me. It's just written in a very easy-flowing style, discusses all aspects of Dene life as far as we know them, goes as deep possible into inter-group relations/conflicts (alliances, wars, changes in territory as a result of the fur trade, etc). When possible, it brings in oral history, and matches them up as closely as possible with written sources. Some of the stories it has mentioned are ones that I read in Yamoria the Lawmaker, and that's really cool. And it talks as much about individual people as possible. Thanadelthur was awesome, True Facts. (Turns out there's some fiction/literature out there where she features prominently... I should see if I can get my hands on some of it.) So, yeah - it's interesting and readable. Excellent.

Of course, one thing that I need to keep in mind is that the author is not Dene. But since I'm reading this back-to-back with Yamoria the Lawmaker, I figure, I'm at least getting the two perspectives together. So far, they align pretty well. And of course, it's possible that when I next head to the library, I'll find a book written by a Dene author that is similar to this one, and just as awesome. Hopefully.

I'm still nowhere near the point that I need to be in order to start writing the story that I want to write, but at least I have some more ideas of directions that I can take with it.

Reading next: I have no idea. Since I'll be on vacation next week, I'm not going to be taking more books out from the library. Might possibly start The Seventh Bride by T Kingfisher, just because I've had it for ages and haven't read it yet, and I might want to nominate it for Yuletide exchange. We'll see.
yuuago: (Germany - Reading)
Finished reading: Jeeves and the Tie That Binds by P G Wodehouse. First time reading a Wodehouse novel; just happened to pick one at random. Quick and breezy read, rather a delight - if you hate first person fiction, it's one to avoid, but he POV character's narration is just so funny, I love it. I like Jeeves, and I like Bertie Wooster, and I expect I'll be reading more of these, at least the ones that the library has. :D

Currently reading: A Gentleman of Leisure by P G Wodehouse. I'm finding this one harder to get into than Jeeves and the Tie That Binds; it's a different set of characters from Jeeves & Wooster, so that might be the reason. Buuuut I'm not deeply enough into it to know where it's going, so who knows, maybe it'll grow on me.

Reading next: To Be Determined. Mostly I'm just trying to breeze through all of my library books before I go on vacation. /flop
yuuago: (SSSS - Emil - Reading)
Going to try to make this one quick.

Finished Reading: The Life of Elves by Muriel Barbery. Apparently, there's to be a sequel to this one. Anyway, like I've mentioned previously, the language used is lovely; major props to the translator - I bet it's even better in French. As for the novel itself... uh. Well. I feel as if I was eating an entire bowl of handmade marshmallows. Delicious, but not a lot actually... there. I did find it interesting enough that I'll probably read the second book - if I remember. But you know what would be awesome? Illustrations based on this. Or like, a comic version of it, or a picture book, or... you get the idea. I bet it'd be gorgeous in art form.

Currently Reading: Yamoria The Lawmaker: Stories of the Dene by George Blondin. This one is partially a collection of stories (oral stories told by Dene elders, and written down by the author, who is a Dene elder himself), partially a history book, partially a discussion of Dene culture and spiritualism. It's a pretty cool book, actually, and a nice quick read, though there are some parts that I think I'll want to go back and re-read so that I can think about them some more. Originally, I picked this one up because I want to write a SSSS fic set in northern Alberta, centring around Dene characters, and I didn't really know where to start. It hasn't answered all my questions - far from it - but at least I have some ideas of where to go next.

Reading Next: Drum Songs: Glimpses of Dene History by Kerry Abel is definitely next. Since it'll probably be a bit difficult to get through, I might also pick up something trashy to read so that my brain can decompress, though I'm not quite sure what.
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