Sometimes sanguine, sometimes sanguinary.
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30th-Jan-2013 01:55 pm - Wednesday Reading Meme
Escher Snakes
What I've finished: ...

What I'm reading: I'm three-quarters through When the River Ran Wild, by George W. Aguilar Sr. Aguilar was raised on Warm Springs by his grandparents; he was 75 when he wrote this in 2005. Much of it is personal memoir or anecdotes from people he knows; some is research from Oregonian articles and white anthropologists. Basically just talking about life on Warm Springs and stuff what has happened, and sometimes what he thinks about it, too. Fascinating read, if you like that kind of thing.

Meanwhile, Code Name Verity sits with the bookmark exactly where it was last week.

Oh, and I've started reading Ozma of Oz to [personal profile] grrlpup at bedtime. I forget why I suggested it, but she was enthusiastic because about a half of my "Ozma and the Royal Jackknife of Oz" is based on Ozma. (The other two big inputs are The Land of Oz -- obvs, the prompt was based on that one -- and Glinda of Oz.) As of last night, we have met Billina, the Wheelers, and Tik-Tok. We haven't yet gotten to Princess Langwidere.

So far, we both agree that Dorothy has got an extremely bad case of settler-colonial arrogance. (Omg, the bullshit she pulls in The Lost Princess of Oz! In that book, she keeps meeting people who have their own sovereign rulers, and who have never heard of Oz but are happy to open diplomatic relations with Ozma's court. And then every single time, Dorothy makes fun of them for being "too ignorant" to know that they are Ozma's subjects. It's not just that book, either: Dorothy is Oz's answer to the Corps of Discovery. In general, Oz has got a bad case of Manifest Destiny: from the Deadly Desert to the Deadly Desert, everything belongs to Oz, actual facts of whether anyone has even heard of Oz notwithstanding.)

...erm, as we read, you may be getting a good part of the Oz commentary that I couldn't do when I was reviewing canon for Yuletide last winter.

Grrlpup also went into total survival mode when Dorothy was floating around in the chicken coop, and suggested that Dorothy imprison Billina for eating later. (She received a Stern Look from me for that suggestion.) I'm trying to remember: are the books consistent about all animals in Oz being Talking Animals? I think it's not like Narnia, where there are, say, beaver and Beaver.

What I'm Going to Read Next, Probably: Bridge of the Gods, Mountains of Fire. Because.

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23rd-Jan-2013 11:30 am - Wednesday Reading Meme
Escher Snakes
What I'm Reading: Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity. Because it has been rec'd and rec'd and rec'd, and when I got it from the library [personal profile] grrlpup said, "ooooo! I envy you reading that for the first time!" I'm only a few pages in, but I love the detail that she got made as a spy for looking the wrong direction when crossing the street.

What I've Just Read: Terry Pratchett's Dodger. It took me an age and a day to finish, despite enjoying it. Charles Dickens and Henry Mayhew RPF (guest-starring Sir Robert Peel, Angela Coutts, Joseph Bazalgette, Benjamin Disraeli, Sweeney Todd, and others), and is an extended riff on Oliver Twist and (I presume) Great Expectations.

[ profile] breathedout's How the Mouth Changes Its Shape (Sherlock, 132K words), which is a 1950s butch/femme genderswap, set in the heart of the post-war London lesbian scene. Obvs, I came out forty years later and on another continent altogether, but this captures so very well so much of my emotional memory of how woman-intensive the lesbian community is/was (there are essentially no male characters in here, because that's the way lesbian society often is/was), of the delicious thrill of having your own spaces, of the fuckery of a whole new set of social roles and expectations, of how tenuous intergenerational cultural continuity is, of the way lesbian history and straight-women's history intertwines (hint: typically not in a good-for-lesbians way)... The author has done her research, too, with lots and lots of footnotes, for those who like that. At the seventy-page mark (out of 324, according to my ereader) I was already mourning the fact that I would, someday soon, reach the end.

Which, I have. *sniff* But hey, I can rec it to you, and so I am.

What I'm Reading Next: I might try to push through George Aguilar Sr. (Kiksht Chinookan) When the River Ran Wild! Indian Traditions on the Mid-Columbia and the Warm Springs Reservation, in advance of attending Celilo Falls Revisted at the Kennedy School next Monday, during which two tribal elders will be talking about Celilo Falls.

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