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Joined 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I try to read a mix of books in English, and I try and also read some books in my target languages (Esperanto, Japanese, Spanish). Despite my intentions, it still gets a bit dominated by these categories: Nonfiction, Science Fiction, and Comic Books.

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Juni Ba: Djeliya (2020, TKO Studios) 3 stars

Inspired by West African folklore and stories handed over centuries, this unique graphic novel follows …

An ok first book.

3 stars

My general impression of this work is that it's mainly impressive as someone's first published book. It has a lot of parts of it which are extremely rough around the edges and detract from the reading experience, but what's here is good enough that I hope to read later works by this author once they have developed a bit more.

What's bad about this book is that the narrative is fairly confusing, the art on some pages adds to that, it seems really to be trying too hard to subvert expectations, and it's a little too short so the ending doesn't feel entirely earned.

What's good about this book is that the art makes a big impact on "set piece" pages, there is a complex world set up here which appears to have many allegorical implications for our own world, and choosing to have the main character be the griot …

Ursula K. Le Guin: The Left Hand of Darkness (EBook, 2000, Penguin Publishing Group) 4 stars


Even better on the re-read

5 stars

I last read this book something like twenty years ago. I thought it was a good book, not a great book, but it did stick with me. My book club selected this as our read for August... I was a little disappointed because I wanted to read something new for me. Well, turns out I got quite a lot more out of reading this the second time... and I'm now convinced that it's Le Guin's best book.

This book kind of gets flattened to being about gender in popular discourse and it is about gender... but it's also about politics and trust and survival. It's also about how gender impacts all of those things... Gender as a material condition.

I also feel that it's the case that all of the parts of this book come together very well. The asides into folk tales strengthen the illusion of the world Le …

Joe Wenderoth: Letters to Wendy's (2000, Verse Press) 3 stars

I'm so sorry for everything I've said. I'd take it back if I could. I am willing to admit that, in some sense, these descriptions of my visits have obscured the sufficiency of the meals I've had. I will not admit, however, that sufficiency is something I could be reasonably expected to live with. That is, I am truly sorry, but an insufficient meal is available, and nothing else tastes as sweet.

Letters to Wendy's by 

reviewed Letters to Wendy's by Joe Wenderoth

Joe Wenderoth: Letters to Wendy's (2000, Verse Press) 3 stars

The view of Neoliberalism from Wendy's

3 stars

The TLDR: I read this book for my book club, and it's not a book I normally would have read and it is a book I would find difficult to recommend, but I am glad to have read it.

The hook of this book is essentially a kind of year 2000 edge-lord humor. I'm not interested in that aspect, which regrettably suffuses the entire book. As such, the narrator is of course some kind of deranged pedophile.

However, underneath the pitch of the book is an interesting commentary on our modern society--what is it to so heavily identify with a brand? What does it mean to exist in this space where all public spaces are now privately owned, but all of our private thoughts are now transmitted publicly (regardless of if others want them)? What does it mean for us if everything is sufficient, and nothing aspires to be more …

ND Stevenson: Nimona (Hardcover, 2015, Turtleback Books) 4 stars

"Surgida originalmente como un comic web (una historieta publicada en la red), llega ahora la …


4 stars

Re-read due to the film. Still love it, but not as much when I first read it... however still think it is incomprehensibly greater than its adaptation. What I really love about this book is how it is ok with ending somewhat ambiguously, and a willingness to explore topics like broken trust, what can or can't be forgiven.

Karl Marx, Ben Fowkes, Friedrich Engels, Ernest Mandel: Capital: Volume 1 (Paperback, 1990, Penguin Classics) 4 stars

'A groundbreaking work of economic analysis. It is also a literary masterpice' Francis Wheen, Guardian …

Review of 'Capital: Volume 1' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

It's impossible for me to give a rating so I just gave a number in the middle... I was crunched for time to read this, and had to read it by a certain date. I know I will reread it in the future, at which time I can hopefully say something useful rather than being overwhelmed by it.