July 2021, fave media

August wound up being a busy month for me, so this is coming out later than usual.

Books

E.J. Beaton’s The Councillor (The Councillor #1)

Sixthlight’s summary says it best: “This is basically “recovering from imposter syndrome: the epic fantasy novel”, as Lysande learns to make friends, wield power, and stab people, and I liked it a lot. Plus the central – romance is a bit strong – central developing relationship is a bi-for-bi-with-D/s-undertones power struggle between Lysande and city ruler Luca Fontaine, whose thesis is “I murdered a lot of people to get where I am and I apologise for none of it””

The Dom/sub UST vibes was *chefs kiss*. I had to inhale and stare into the distance at multiple points. I need the sequel and resolved sexual tension now!

Nalini Singh’s Last Guard (Psy Changeling Trinity #5)

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the hero uses a wheelchair, and the heroine is likely neurodivergent. The series has evolved with the times; consent is a lot more clear and present than the first books in the series, platonic touch therapy exists (HELLO yes give me this book), and a B plot gay romance.

I had to put the book down a few times because I was Too Single To Handle the care Canto and Payal have for each other. Where do I find me a person like Canto??

On an unrelated note, I am more convinced then ever Singh is gonna make Illium/Aodhan canon in Archangel’s Light. I thought Aden/Vasic was gonna be endgame in the Psy-Changeling series and boggled when they were straight, but times have changed and so has Singh, so I’m rooting for her! (Also, Singh went against the fated mates trope in Tangle of Need, so hope springs eternal.)

Re-Reads: Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changleing series

After reading Last Guard, I proceeded to binge a ton of the novellas and some of the novels.


Misc.

Short Fiction: Across the River, My Heart, My Memory by Ann LeBlanc

The concept of this is really fucking clever.

Film: Maiden dir. Alex Holmes

Podcast: Alok Vaid-Menon on Man Enough

I linked the video because it contains subtitles, but it’s available as a podcast too.


Articles

The Last Chinese American Woman Writer Who Hasn’t Read Maxine Hong Kingston by Angela Chen

“The descriptions become “stereotypes” when the reader generalizes them to represent all Chinese Americans, but this is something Kingston did not intend and could not control. Instead, Kingston is writing to represent herself and an experience that was filled with oppression, confusion, unhappiness. It is the wider literary gatekeepers who took her experience and flattened it into the universal. I feared that Kingston in her choice of subject matter had set the path for Asian writers like myself, but she never wanted to be the arbiter of Chinese American life.

[…] in reading, and reading about, Woman Warrior, I see more clearly the way that Asian American writers lose control of their own narrative, and the ways that a lack of diversity gives people disproportionate authority against their own will.”

How urban planners’ preference for male trees has made your hay fever worse by Ally Hirschlag

Waiting in vain: The behind-the-scenes challenges that impact your ability to access ebooks and other digital content from your library

“It is nearly impossible to build a collection as deep and rich as what we offer in print, even as demand surges for digital in libraries, especially in the wake of the COVID pandemic. Readers see less variety and have longer waits for the best-known content, especially as libraries are increasingly stretched by having to meet demand for digital while still providing print without notable increases in funding.”

Kill the 5-Day Workweek by Joel Pinsker

“Regardless of any benefits to businesses, stripping away all of work’s extra scaffolding and paying people the same amount for fewer hours—whether they’re salaried or paid hourly—would genuinely nurture human flourishing. It would make caregiving, personal development, and the management of modern life easier for people across the economic spectrum. And it would reignite an essential but long-forgotten moral project: making American life less about work.”

Fruits of Labor by Katy Severson (y en español, traducido por Carlos Diaz)

While the article note California now allows farmworkers overtime pay, organizations in Napa Valley did not support this change.

“Shouldn’t our definition of “responsible farming” include not just environmentally beneficial practices, but humane practices that consider the workers themselves?”

“So many people have asked if we inoculate with yeast or use SO2, but no one’s ever asked me if we provide health insurance for our workers. It’s way overdue that people are asking these questions.”

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