zing_och: Grace Choi from the Outsiders comic (Default)
What are you currently reading?

On the Kindle: Huntress, Malinda Lo. So far I like it, it's a fast read, though I suspect it won't be rereading material. Still, fun!

At home: The Hanging of Angélique, Afua Cooper. A book about Canadian slavery focused on the story of Marie-Joseph Angélique, a black slave who presumably started the fire that burnt down Montréal in 1734. I knew nothing about the topic, so it's slow going, but a compelling read.

In bed: Jahrestage, Uwe Johnson. Still one of my favorite books of all time. I rearead this a lot. It has daily entries from the life of Gesine Cresspahl from 1967-1968, who tells her own story, her family's story and thereby German history of the 20th century up to that time. Every time I reread, I find new things in it.

Audio: The Kingkiller Chronicles, Patrick Rothfuss. I'm not that far along, so I can't say a lot about it - seems pretty standard Fantasy. On the weekend I listened to it while playing Skyrim, that fits really well. :)

What did you recently finish reading?

World War Z, Max Brooks. I liked it, but I tend to read pretty fast (the style lends itself to it) and after a while couldn't hold the many POV characters in my mind. There were some interesting ideas in it, as well as some horrifying ones, but also what felt like lots of filler.

What do you think you'll read next?

Marcel Reich-Ranicki died today, so he's on my mind a lot. I'll reread his autobiography, Mein Leben.
zing_och: pages of a book shaping a heart (lesen)
This was linked in the comments of a blog post: It's 50 works of dramatic and epic literature everyone majoring in German Language and Literature should read (in the opinion of the Uni Bielefeld). I think I'll work on reading all of these, most of them seem interesting.

Don't you just love lists? )

Since it's a Uni list there's almost no contemporary literature and - as seems common to book canons - too few women. Two? Seriously? Makes me want to make a list of women authors...

Still, it's stuff I've wanted to read for a while, so why not?

ETA: Nothing to do with reading, but since this is a German-centric entry, it's sort of fitting: Youtube in Deutschland: the reason I won't click on your Youtube links.
zing_och: pages of a book shaping a heart (lesen)
Nina Blazon - Faunblut.

I'm reading a lot of library books atm, and this one I just grabbed from the shelf when I was leaving. I'm glad I did! (If I had looked closer, I probably would have put it back, since it's a love story, and it's promoted as "trendy fantasy" and "for readers of Stephanie Meyer". )

This is a YA fantasy novel, I guess. (I get confused with these labels; the book has sex (non-graphic) and violence (pretty graphic) in it.) For plot details see the amazon page - I just dove into the book myself and didn't even check the blurb, and I'm glad about that, though the spoilers at amazon aren't too bad.

The worldbuilding is really good, and Blazon sort of sneaks it in - no endless exposition. I liked the style a lot, and it's a fast-paced, gripping story.

And finally: there are a lot of women in this book, more than men, even, and they're actual people. Awesome!

It's only available in German, I think, and hardcover, but it's worth giving a shot if you have the money or can get it from a library.
zing_och: pages of a book shaping a heart (lesen)
I finished some Hugo categories! I figured since I got to read them, I should vote, too. This is hard, since the voting works on this complicated system I seem to remember from the LJ elections (and whatever happened to [livejournal.com profile] legomymalfoy?).

First things first: If you're interested in the things that are nominated, go here. Most of the stuff I've read (mainly shorter forms) are available for free and linked from there.

So without further ado: Hugo Nominees. (Spoilerish things will be cut, of course.)

Best Short Story

My favorite is 26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss by Kij Johnson: Aimee's big trick is that she makes 26 monkeys vanish onstage.

This is everything I want from a short story: An interesting idea (vanishing monkeys!), great writing, likeable characters. And an ending that actually made me tear up.

Second place: Evil Robot Monkey by Mary Robinette Kowal. Two monkey stories in one category! And this one is really the opposite of "26 Monkeys". It's harsh, it's monkey POV, it's more scifi than fantasy, it's really short, and it packs a punch.

Third: Exhalation by Ted Chiang. This one's what I assume is classic science fiction: It's pure world-building based on scientific principle. Really interesting, though a little hard to get into for me.

Fourth: Article of Faith by Mike Resnick. A robot story. It's a good read with a good character voice, but it's a little too on the nose for me. A basic spoiler! ) Rather predictable.

Fifth: From Babel's Fallen Glory We Fled by Michael Swanwick. A cool SF story with an interesting take on human/alien interaction. The reason it's number five? cut though it's in the first few paragraphs of the story )

So short version: You should totally head over there and read these. And if you want to vote, you have to buy a membership for Anticipation for 50$/35€. So far I have to say it's worth it - the Voter Package you get has a lot of great stuff.

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zing_och: Grace Choi from the Outsiders comic (Default)
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