December 4th, 2019

origami penguin

“Air stilled and thrilled by the tempest that thundered between its reign and the sea’s”

For a Reading Wednesday of the day after being laid off:

Read aloud:

Cleopatra in Space #3: Secret of the Time Tablets, story and art Mike Maihack -- The plot thickens, as do the personal stakes. We have the next volume in hand but stalled out in the talky-talk story setup scene.

Charlie and Kiwi: An Evolutionary Adventure, story Eileen Campbell, various illustrators -- Technically a picture book, but it's a very long one so I’m counting it. Illustrates the basic ideas of how evolution works using an adorable kiwi stuffie with a time machine. Adult bonus content: the identity of Charlie’s great^n-grampa.

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot books #1 and 2 and 8, story Dav Pilkey, art Dan Sanat -- Eaglet is almost up for reading these by themselves, but they want the one-on-one time. That this much engaging story is told in this small a space is a tribute to Pilkey’s writing ability.

The Adventures of Captain Underpants, story and art by Dav Pilkey -- The original hit book, which had no story surprises given the Netflix adaptation, but it's interesting to see just how faithful the adaptation is to Pilkey's written voice. Remember that now. Of note: this copy is the 135rd printing of paperback.

Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny, story and art John Himmelman -- Awesome stories about an anthropomorphic martial arts student, which are more often about resolving conflict rather than overpowering it. Wise and humane and all of us love this thing. There are three sequels, none of them available at our library :-(((

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl volumes 1 & 8, story Ryan North, art Erica Henderson -- Speaking characters who are about resolving conflict instead of always fighting it out. The first volume is technically a reread aloud, but it's been a long time so I'm taking credit for this. I have the next couple volumes somewhere around here, but I can't find them, otherwise I wouldn't have skipped forward like this. Despite the talky-talk, Eaglet really enjoys the jokes pitched to their level.

Zoe and Sassafrass volume 7, Asia Citro -- Not the most engaging installment in the series, despite the gardening concerns. That there is no hypothesis & experimentation doesn't help.

In progress:

Night Ranger, Dark Blue Coconut Milk -- Reincarnated into a MMORPG fantasy adventure, western fantasy type. I don't usually want to read Asian takes on D&D tropes refactored through video games, since there's enough similarly diluted Western fantasy already available in English, but I was sick and fevered and needed brainless adventure. Despite many powerful female characters with their own agency, not great on that front, but the adventure has otherwise been entertaining. Up to chapter 231.

Gourmet of Another World (异世界的美食家), Li Hongtian -- Silly xuanhuan transmigration-with-system fantasy, with a protagonist given a tiny back-alley restaurant and the goal to become the God of Cooking. Does not interrogate the setup in any satisfying way, especially after exposure to The Empress's Livestream, but I was sick and fevered and needed brainless silliness. We'll see how well it keeps up the silly as the protagonist levels up and world opens out, but staying with it for now. Up to chapter 237.

Discoveries: Search for Ancient China, Corinne Debaine-Francfort -- Slender and heavily illustrated summary of our archeological knowledge of China through the Han Dynasty, as of 20 years ago. Getting visuals for certain broad currents was good, as was seeing the state of the terracotta warriors on discovery (as opposed to how they are displayed today), but as a way of boning up on history it wasn't the best.


Emperor's Domination, Yanbi Xiaosheng -- With the protagonist's leveling up, he's had less need to be clever and just curb-stomps everyone. The bloodthirstiness is tiresome, his outpowered companions are losing their slivers of agency, and I dropped this at chapter 658.


Subject quote from A Channel Crossing, Algernon Swinburne.

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