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March 6th, 2019

Books etc. for a Wednesday, a reading Wednesday post. It's been a few weeks so there's quite a lot:

Finished:

The Alien Next Door volumes 1-2, A.I. Newton -- Read aloud. Packager-created early chapter book that seems to be TBD's kind of catnip, as they want the rest of the next volume to come out already (even while not liking how the human co-protagonist is a little mean, especially in the first book, in the ways he suspects his new neighbor and classmate). Not as well-written nor observed as Ivy + Bean, who are exactly age-comparable.

The Cricket Warrior, story by Margaret and Raymond Chang, art by Warwick Hutton -- I don't usually note picture books, but this turns out to be an adaptation of one of the less-frequently translated stories from Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio. A little more wonder/eeriness would have been nice, as would a Chinese or Chinese-descent illustrator.

In progress:

Bewitching Courtier (Mei Gongqing, 媚公卿), Lin Jiacheng (林家成) -- Historical romance with reincarnation-into-younger-self, set concretely in our world in the 310s, during the chaotic transition between the Western and Eastern Jin dynasty. I appreciate that, despite her bad death, the heroine is for once not out for R*E*V*E*N*G*E! but instead just trying to Survive Better by making fewer mistakes this time around. I also appreciate that, as capable as she is, she still makes mistakes -- and in believable ways, being something of a misfit plus past experiences sometimes lead her down wrong paths. Am up to chapter 119 out of 208, 170 of which have been translated -- and, um, at current rate the translator will take about a year to finish. Ah, well. 😔 Oh, and content warning: love triangle.

Immortal and Martial Dual Cultivation (仙武同修), Fiery Moon (月如火) -- Low-grade xianxia adventure that requires turning off your brain, including memories of continuity, but so far has been rarely outright awful* as far as female characters are concerned (see DNF list below). The "immortal" part is that, as a transmigrator, the protagonist also uses Taoist cultivation practices from our world in addition to the native almost-pure xianxia practices of his new world. Am up to chapter 171 with many hundreds more translated.

* The worst has been the shames! the horrors! of being rescued by a strong female character -- namely the protagonist's actual cultivation master, who he otherwise admires for being strong.

Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters, ed. Annie Finch -- another Everyman's Library Pocket Poetry anthology. This would be a better reading anthology if the excerpts were larger and more self-contained. As is, this is more a sampler of how different hands have handled the various meters, making it something that belongs on a poet's reference shelf. Am, dunno, maybe ⅓ through? Have to check.

On hold:

The King's Avatar, Butterfly Blue -- Caught up with the translation with chapter 1429, at the end of the first playoff match -- heading for a climax in the finals. Which means I'm not touching this till the translation is completed, a couple hundred chapters from now.

DNF:

Miracle Doctor, Abandoned Daughter, Ms. Lotus Bud -- The plot went off the rails, leaving its charm behind, and the love interest got increasingly problematic without even hints the author intends to Do Something about that. Done.

Also, I got a little ways into and then dropped several xianxia webnovels, including Nine Star Hegemon Body Art, Atypical Reincarnation, and a couple others I forgot to record -- most of them ditched because ugh female characters and how they were treated. Avoid.

---L.

Subject quote from Isabella; or, The Pot of Basil, John Keats.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/716769.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.