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somewhat weekly reading meme

What are you currently reading?

When Gravity Fails (Marid Audran #1) by George Alec Effinger
I'm really glad I'm listening to the audiobook this time. I'm able to focus on some of Effinger's awesome writing that I missed before because I was gobbling the book to find out what happens next. I am really impressed by how much and what kind of attention is paid to the female/trans characters. Marid has a male gaze "gaze of people who find women attractive," but it's so much less othering than most male protagonists'. I just got through with a beautifully written section where Marid is describing his girlfriend put on her makeup. It doesn't seem like it should be hard to write this way, even for men, but I almost never see it. (Note, some of the language and concepts used to describe trans characters is outmoded and might be offensive.)

On the Edge (The Edge #1) by Ilona Andrews
Urban fantasy/romance. Ilona Andrews is the pen name of a husband and wife writing team. This started out OK but now the protagonist is being hounded and manipulated by two men with romantic designs on her, and she seems completely unable to handle it. I'm really sick of that trope, so I might give up. (If you have read it and can tell me one way or the other whether it gets past this, let me know.)

Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin

Breaking Waves: An Anthology for Gulf Coast Relief edited by Tiffany Trent and Phyllis Irene Radford
Ocean-themed, mostly SFF short stories and poetry

What did you recently finish reading?

A Letter of Mary by Laurie R. King (#3 in the Mary Russell series)
The mystery they had to solve in this novel wasn't all that great, but I love King's writing style, and I really like the character of Mary Russell, and I like how the marriage is progressing. So I will read the next one. And now I'm very curious why [personal profile] wild_irises said "I hate A Letter of Mary with the kind of blazing passion we reserve for books that break the "rules" we've decided to care most about." (I can think of several such rules that were broken, but I don't know which one(s) she meant.)

What books did you acquire this week?

The Drowning Girl by Caitlin R. Kiernan, which won the Tiptree this year

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