Nerdy 30 Book 22

The toughest part about deciding on what book to read for fiction was that I read so many of them. I finally just picked an ebook I started on vacation.

I’ve been playing a D&D campaign as a deep gnome wizard*. I’ve been enjoying it for the most part, although scheduling can be a bitch. It’s something I’d like to get more into and one of the ways I decided to do that was by starting the Brimstone Angels series by Erin M. Evans, the first book of which is (you guessed it) Brimstone Angels.

The main character of the story is a young tiefling woman who makes a pact with a devil and becomes a warlock. This complicates life for her twin sister and their adoptive dragonborn father. These are not the only characters we met and it took a while for all the loose threads to tie together. When you’re entering a world where you’re still learning some of the rules, it’s not easy to figure out what’s going on when you’re bouncing around perspectives and worlds.

The quality of writing was middling. It was hard to say exactly what could have been done better but it was unremarkable. That said, the complexity of the events that unfold are impressive and not fully revealed until the final pages. All of the battle scenes were pretty well done and I could picture them pretty well. If you know this world and like the sound of this book, got for it. I would give it a 3.5 stars and hope to read more of the series.

 

* – Deep gnomes reside almost exclusively underground. Tieflings are essentially half-demons. Their origins are talked about more in the story. Dragonborn are from a parallel world and are bipedal like humans.

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The Guilty Reader Tag

This tag is making the rounds so I thought I’d get in on it. Here’s the OG post.

Have You Ever Regifted A Book That You’ve Been Given?
No but I have definitely sold books I’ve been given.

Have you ever said you’ve read a book when you haven’t?
Kinda-sorta. I’ve never outright lied about it but I’ve let people think I’ve read something I haven’t.

Have you ever borrowed a book and not returned it?
Yes but the owner forgot about it and it was donated to a library. I had a friend borrow a book for so long I’d had the replacement for about a year. When she gave it back to me, I told her I’d replaced it and didn’t want it. She just pretended that she gave it back and now it’s OK. I haven’t lent her anything since.

Have you ever read a series out of order?
Not that I can think of. The internet has made this much easier to avoid.

Have you ever spoiled a book for someone?
I feel like I have but I genuinely cannot think of

Have you ever doggy eared a book?
I’ll flip down the bottom corner a tiny bit if there’s a quote or something I want to be able to look back up. I haven’t truly dog-eared a book since I was a young teenager

Have you ever told someone you don’t own a book when you do?
No but I’m very vocal about using my library

Have you ever told someone you haven’t read a book when you have?
Nope. No reason to lie, especially when the reason is to find out where the hate/hype is coming from.

Have you ever skipped a chapter or a section of a book?
Yes. Some books aren’t meant to be read in depth.

Have you ever bad mouthed a book you actually liked?
No, I’ll admit to flaws in a book I like but I’ll never pretend I don’t like it.

Music Monday: Back to School 1

The end of summer means the beginning of a new school year in the U.S. so this week and next will will be dedicate to bookish songs.

Brave New World by Iron Maiden
The Call of Ktulu by Metallica
Ramble On by Led Zepplin
I Am Ahab by Mastodon
Catcher in the Rye by Guns N’ Roses
Scentless Apprentice by Nirvana
The Trooper by Iron Maiden
Boot Stamping on a Human Face Forever by Bad Religion
Feed My Frankenstein by Alice Cooper
Pet Sematary by The Ramones
Lord of the Flies by Iron Maiden
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Metallica

Nerdy 30 Book 21

I was on the library list for The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls when I realized how well it synced up with August’s theme. The Walls parents are not what anyone would call typical.

Had anyone else been her parents, I don’t know if anyone else would have succeeded the way she and her siblings have. The Walls children were instilled with a fierce loyalty and tenacity and whether it was because or despite their parents, I still can’t say. Constantly moving and rootless, often in serious poverty, Walls’s story is incredibly compelling. I remember frequently thinking “How are you not dead?” and “How is your father not in several prisons?”

Both parents are suspected to have some form of narcissism but her mother definitely had bipolar-like episodes in the book. Between the epilogue and interviews regarding the film, you know everyone makes it out alive but it’s still surprising. I didn’t want to put it down, no matter how hard somethings were to read. 4.5/5 stars.

When Heroes Fall

Several years ago, I dated someone who my friend adored. She told me what a great friend he was and a funny and interesting person. He was one of the most immature and self-centered men I’d ever dated. Who someone is in a relationship can be radically different from who they are in the rest of their life. Reading Joss Whedon’s ex-wife’s recent essay made me think of that moment.

What stood out to me is “It’s not just like I killed you, but that I’d done it subtly, over years. That I’d been poisoning you. Chipping away at you.” Maybe Whedon is realizing his mistakes and hates himself for it. Maybe he said this matter-of-factly with no remorse. He’s not talking so we’ll probably never know.

Whedon says his silence is because of concern for his kids and respect for his ex-wife. Maybe Whedon is letting Cole have her truth after years of terrible treatment or maybe he doesn’t want to admit all the wrong he’s done and is sitting quietly. When an ex of mine took to social media for validation, doing nothing made me look great and him look incredibly petty.

The difference here is that very few seem to doubt Cole’s claims. Whedon’s performative feminism makes sense even before reading Laura Browning’s critique of Whedon’s feminism. A man playing at gender equality becomes the hero the world tells him he is and we get so few powerful women in sci-fi we don’t look too hard at the flaws when we do.

I believe Whedon had these affairs and deceived his wife. I believe Cole let herself get lost in that relationship. What is true beyond that isn’t certain. I am incredibly disappointed in Joss Whedon and I will let my dollars talk when it comes to his future projects.  However, I refuse to ignore the things he’s created that meant something to me. I still love Firefly and Dr. Horrible and always will. We should never forget Whedon’s quote:

“Why do you write these strong female characters?”

“Because you’re still asking me that question.”

It still applies and it’s still an important point. Whedon is another fallen hero because he is a deeply flawed man but he still managed to create great content. He showed that women can and should be heroes in our media.

Women should continue to demand similar content and characters and hold artists accountable. Don’t let sci-fi fall back to being a boy’s club. Demand more female heroes, more diverse writers and content, demand representation. Whedon opened the door and we need to keep it from shutting.

Music Monday: RPGs

I’ve been playing in a D&D campaign for a few months now and I thought I’d dedicate a music Monday to RPGs

The Battle Hymn of Murder Hobos by Mikey Mason
Never Split the Party by Emerald Rose
I Gotta Feeling by Tiger and Rose
Dungeon Master Gurls by The Second City
Run This Game by Insane Ian
Roll a D6 by Assorted Intricacies
Dungeon Master by Jumpsteady
The RPG Song by Professor Shyguy
Dungeons and Dragons by Arthur Maddox
Just Give Me a d6 by Saving Throw
Playing D&D by SJ Tucker
Best Game Ever by Mikey Mason

Music Monday: A Little Country

 

I Hope It Rains by Jana Kramer
Merry Go ‘Round by Kacey Musgraves
Love Is War by American Young
Letting Go by Jessica Harp
Just a Show by Rachel Potter
Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It by Darius Rucker
Tin Man by Miranda Lambert
Quarterback by Kira Isabella
XO by Kelsea Ballerini
There’s More to Me than You by Jessica Andrews
Tie It Up by Kelly Clarkson