muccamukk: Joan Watson highlighted in purple and black. (Elementary: Joan)
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What I Just Finished Reading
The Food of a Younger Land: The WPA's Portrait of Food in Pre-World War II America edited by Mark Kurlansky
The editor found a stash of unpublished WPA files about food culture, and put them together as a shorter book. I read the North East Eats section, and then sort of skimmed the rest. The South part was pretty damn racist, which we were warned for, but there was also a wall-to-wall sketchy treatment of Native Americans, as so many traditions were casually looped back to early America, and well... Anyway, interesting as it went, and some good recipes and history, with the occasional humour bits, but probably better read a bit at a time rather than straight through.

"The Year of the Crocodile" (Cyclone #2.5) by Courtney Milan
(I'm puzzled by the numbering as #2 isn't out yet). Short story about Blake and Tina's parents meeting for Lunar New Years. This was hilarious, and exactly what I needed to read on a down night.

Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War by Helen Thorpe, narrated by Donna Postel
Detailed and insightful look into the lives of three non-combat soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq during the recent wars. I liked how the book covered how they integrated into the military, their service and what happened to them after the got home. Lots of things to think about.

Status Update (#gaymers #1) by Annabeth Albert
Made of 100% fluff, and very enjoyable for it. Manic Pixel Dream Boy rescues archaeology professor from the closet. It was cute and often funny. The ending dragged on far too long, and could have used fewer dogs.

Midnighter Vol. 1: Out by Steve Orlando
Midnighter is almost as good a go to for wanton violence and gore as Ares, though also more gay, which is nice. This had a pleasing amount of carnage in it and at one point the Midnighter kidnapped Dick Grayson to go on a coffee date and then they ended up handcuffed together, which was not the least slashy thing I've ever read.

The plot was pretty nonsensical, but I'm not super invested in that. As a long term Authority fan, I've got to say "The Midnighter Dumps Apollo in Order to Find Himself" is a little played out, especially since we never seem to get an Apollo book out of all that.


Do Shut Up, Mister Simms by Rachael Acks
Absolutely charming novella about the dashing steampunk captain's stalwart right hand man, and the adventures he really doesn't want to be having, especially not with his captain's love interest (entirely incidentally, the captain and the love interest are both women). Very funny and enjoyable. Unfortunately it's the last in a series and while it reads fine on its own, I can't seem to find the rest of the series anywhere. I gather the publisher went under. (I e-mailed the author, and she said that she was waiting on a new publisher. So I've subscribed to her mailing list and will hopefully pick them up when they're out.)


Lost Recipes of Prohibition: Notes from a Bootlegger's Manuall by Matthew Rowley
I could have used more text and fewer pictures of illegible pages from history, as the actual content was probably about fifty pages, but this was still a fun, light and often interesting read. It probably wasn't news to people who know a lot about the Prohibition in the US, but I learned a lot about the technical side of bootlegging.

I appreciated that the author didn't just lean on his found manual, but pulled recipes and techniques from other period books, and tried to translate how they worked (or didn't!) into modern terms and explained what the originals actually meant. I'm not invested enough in cocktails to start making ingredients, but still enjoyed it.


Lady of Devices (Magnificent Devices #1) by Shelley Adina
Steampunk novel about the daughter of a Marquises who doesn't want to be a proper lady, but wants to go build steam engines. I lasted twenty pages, and failed to care. I think I got it for like a dollar though, so oh well.


What I'm Reading Now

Just started Icon (Persona #2) by Genevieve Valentine, which I'm enjoying so far, though it's been so long since I read the first one that I've forgotten a lot of the politics.

Still listening to an audiobook of A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar, which almost everyone I know didn't like (except [personal profile] likeadeuce?), but I'm really enjoying. I think it does better on audiobook, where you can just let it flow by all lyrical and stuff, and not worry that plot is occurring at and exceptionally slow rate, if at all. I'm also enjoying all the religious conflicts and plotting.


What I'm Reading Next
I'll be in town, so something off my e-reader? Probably finally getting to the new Martha Wells book (which I've been saving), and maybe continue my alphabetical by author treck through the contents. Saladin Ahmed next, at least.
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