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Joined 3 years, 8 months ago

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2024 Reading Goal

50% complete! allison has read 6 of 12 books.

reviewed Avatar: Book Two by S. D. Perry (Star trek, deep space nine)

S. D. Perry: Avatar: Book Two (Paperback, 2001, Pocket Books) 3 stars

Return to the edge of the final frontier. As the Federation prepares to launch a …

i dunno, it's fun

4 stars

(Review of both this book and the one that precedes it in the series)

This is a plausible, fun and engaging continuation of the DS9 story and I had a lot of fun with it! In particular, the author's interpretation of Kira's subjectivity and point of view feels "right," and although the appearance of Ro seems like a gimmick at first, her presence in the story ends up catalyzing rich character development on Kira's part. (Plus, Quark's crush on Ro is really funny.) I'm not big on Star Trek novels but this one was worthwhile.

David Graeber, David Wengrow: The Dawn of Everything (2022, Allen Lane) 4 stars

A breathtakingly ambitious retelling of the earliest human societies offers a new understanding of world …

getting used to the idea that it's gonna be tough

5 stars

The authors warn that their conclusions might be discouraging, because they (convincingly) show that our present predicament was not inevitable—that we could have chosen to make a different world, but didn't. What I found discouraging (or at least bracing) is how the authors show that the task ahead of us—to make a more just world—isn't just about subtracting "civilization" and returning to humanity's supposed egalitarian past. It will involve constructing something new that is contextual and tactical, and that needs constant maintenance.

Claire Donato: Kind Mirrors, Ugly Ghosts (2023, powerHouse Books) 5 stars

ascii art and becoming the same person as your psychotherapist

5 stars

One of the many things I admire about this book is how Claire uses what seem like formal "tricks" (both with the material text and the underlying narrative structure) without producing even a hint of ironic distance—if anything the "tricks" make the writing more raw and revealing.

Joanne McNeil: Wrong Way (Hardcover, 2023, Farrar, Straus & Giroux) 5 stars

For years, Teresa has passed from one job to the next, settling into long stretches …

make YOUR way... to the bookstore (to buy Wrong Way)

5 stars

Wrong Way is a contemplative, deliberate novel that builds by accumulation and unfolds quietly—quietly, at least, until the truly claustrophobic denouement. The marketing bills the book's subject as "AI" or the "gig economy" but it's really more basic and timeless than that: it's a book about how identity, labor, and place can't be disentangled from one another. The syntax and style of the prose are subtly radical—Joanne's direct, active voice, subject-verb-object sentences occasionally give way to jumpcut parataxis and zeugma, giving the feeling of weightlessness at the top of a rollercoaster. It's not a comedic book by any means, but there are moments of deadpan absurdity and satire that are surprisingly funny (I especially enjoyed the delicious venom directed at the "art world" and at two-faced tech bros using social justice language).

(Full disclosure: I am a friend of Joanne's and I took her writing course at SFPC, in which …