cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (why is there spring in this winter?)
Non fiction:

Skloot, Rebecca, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

(Everybody should read this book. Especially if they work in medicine, or any life science, or for that matter, any social science, but even if they don't; everybody should read this book. Everyone, bar none, has a stake or a potential stake in what the material of this book covers.

Rebecca Skloot pretty much now a personal heroine of mine for this work--for doing it, for doing it right, for taking the time to do it right, and to do right by Henrietta and her family. I feel that this is almost a case study in how to write about an important medical subject and to decently represent the human interests involved--in this case, the woman, her life and her death, her circumstances, and her family, past and present. Henrietta Lacks is one of the most important people ever born in the world. I'm not exaggerating. She deserves nothing less than this book, and probably much more.

I come from a social sciences background to begin with, plus we just covered ethics in that silly mandatory information evaluation class I'm taking right now, so ethics was kind of on the brain anyway; I am practically humming with the importance of treating human beings like human beings in your work, whatever your work may be. I hope this book ends up as mandatory reading in a million college classes, maybe high school classes, too, and teaches people about the intersection of science and humanity and ethics, and the right way to deal with the human beings you'll be working with if you do science. Or, you know, anything at all in your entire life).

Novels/prose books:


Stout, Rex: Trio for Blunt Instruments.

Comics/graphic novels:

Foglio, Phil and Kaja: Girl Genius, book five: Agatha Heterodyne and the Clockwork Princess.


Urasawa Naoki: Pluto vol 7.
(sob sob sob. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I just, I knew this was coming but oh man I hoped and pretended and looked askance because this is an adaptation, and Urasawa can do whatever he wants! He didn't have to! Oh gosh. I have to go lie down now.

By the way, I read this volume in ten minutes flat, standing next to my bookcase with its stacks of unread manga, fist jammed into my mouth, barely breathing. Hoping I was wrong.

cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (Default)
Novels/prose books:
Bierce, Ambrose: Fantastic Fables
(hmm. Lots to be said. Aesop's Fables, as written by a sophisticated late 19th century cynic; cynicism palls really, really fast. It's interesting, but at least from my perspective, not entertaining).

Heyer, Georgette: The Talisman Ring
(I liked it! As I generally do with Heyer. She's very good, you know).

Sutherland, Peg: Queen of the Dixie Drive-In
(When [livejournal.com profile] telophase shipped this to me lo those many months ago, I meant to do an in-depth snarky review of it in lieu of payment. But I never got around to it, and then school happened. I think it was mostly okay? The prose didn't send me screaming and it wasn't hugely misogynistic or anything).

Jones, Diana Wynne:
The Game (way too short, but a good read. Loved the bit with the pork chop, and also how well the reveal worked with the prior characterizations; Jones always does that kind of thing well. There's a little part of me that keeps waiting for her to do some kind of truly pan-mythic story, but maybe that's not fair, especially at this point; she's a basically Western Civ gal, and I know that. And she does pretty good stuff with Greco-Roman/Western European/British Isles mythology; it's not as if she's stagnated with it).
The Spellcoats (reread),
Conrad's Fate (reread),
House of Many Ways (reread),
--totally meant to go on in more detail about all these rereads, but, as I said, school happened.

Light novels:
Ono Fuyumi:
The Twelve Kingdoms: Sea of Shadow
(I wanted to love this, and Yoko, as much as [livejournal.com profile] bookelfe did, but I didn't. I felt better about that after I went back and reread her post on it, and her comments about why she identified so strongly with Yoko--identifying with a character is always YMMV, and I'm not that person. But I totally get the bit about it subverting fantasy tropes. It's fascinating for that, and the more I go back and look at it, the more I like the structure and plot. The prose of the translation is unimpressive, but the story is good).

The Twelve Kingdoms: Sea of Wind
(awww baby kirin. And, while reading this book, I found myself suddenly hugely in love with the entire universe--reading the second book made me love the first more, and made me desperately want more of the entire world, and all the characters. I begin to get used to Ono's mind, and I like it).

Graphic novels:
Foglio, Phil and Kaja: Girl Genius book four: Agatha Heterodyne and the Circus of Dreams (holds up well on a reread).

Warren, Adam: Empowered vol. 5 (awwwwww fuckity.
But I'm relieved. I expected to cry a hell of a lot more than I did. I am simply grateful that I didn't cry more than I did. I think this series will eventually rip my beating heart from my chest and set it on fire, because that's what Adam Warren does to your heart. And you then say, "thank you sir, may I have another? Because I adore your clever writing, even though you obviously want to hurt me.")


Akino Matsuri:
Genju no Seiza vols. 6-7 (was that another PSOH ref with the kirin? Say it's so, Akino!).
Petshop of Horrors: Tokyo vol. 5

Mori Kaoru: Emma vols. 8-9 (oh shit the Meredith bedroom scene was so hot! There is no sex, although there is sexiness, but the intimacy--emotional and physical--is so pure and tangible I kept having to put the book down and go oof).

Ninomiya Tomoko: Nodame Cantabile vols. 15-16.

Otsuka Eiji, writer, Yamazaki Housui, artist: Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service vol. 9

Takaya Natsuki: Fruits Basket vol. 22

Umino Chica: Honey & Clover vol. 4.

Urasawa Naoki: Pluto vol. 5 (and here I'd just boasted to my LCS guy that I knew everything that was gonna happen because I didn't see Urasawa deviating from the basic structure of the plot as outlined in Tezuka's The Greatest Robot on Earth. So far, he hasn't, but this is fucking Urasawa, man. He's a master of suspense. He will surprise you, and he will make you hang. And he'll do it well. It's why he's awesome and we love him.

Urasawa Naoki: 20th Century Boys vol. 4

Watanabe Taeko;
Kaze Hikaru vol. 11
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (Default)
I am amused and perfectly unsorry that this discussion doesn't really encompass superhero comics. Shaenon Garrity assembles a crack panel to identify which American cartoonists draw really hot men.

Of the ones mentioned, I can firmly endorse Carla Speed McNeil (who draws sexy, sexy people of both genders, but who is also talented and imaginative enough to draw a variety of physical types, including unsexy people--do not take this sort of thing for granted!) and Mike Mignola (I never got anywhere in Hellboy, but both the male protagonists and the poor women who got eaten by rats were extremely sexy in Migola's adaptation of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser), Wendy Pini (I agree about wanting to bone the elves. Hello, Rayek! Pini also gets props for that coveted ability to draw different physical types), Los Bros Hernandez (the mustaches of Palomar are not my thing, but the male characters have the same vibrant sexuality as the female characters; that extraordinary ability to convey the power and presence of sex and sexuality is one of the magnetic qualities of Love and Rockets), and Kyle Baker (you know the protagonist in You Are Here? The one who looks like a young Cary Grant? That's my type, and how).

I would also like to add Phil Foglio to this list. You can go look at the canon of Foglio's cheerful, sexy, funny, sci-fi porn comic XXXenophile if you don't believe me, but you really need look no further than his current work, Girl Genius, which contains two of the most smoulderingly hot men around in comics: Baron Klaus Wulfenbach, and his son, Gilgamesh. You know, Gil, the one I said I wanted to clone a thousand times so I could marry all the clones. In the context of Girl Genius, that's slightly less bizarre than it sounds. Really.)

Oh, and Adam Warren. It's easy to get distracted by Emp in Empowered, but Thugboy--wow.

Looking over this list, it occurs to me that with all of these artists--I think all or all but one of whom are both artists and writers--the sexy characters they've created aren't just physically good-looking, but are also dynamic, memorable, interesting personalities. It's that synthesis of a well-shaped physical form and a lively personality that makes them stand out as sexy. Superhero comics are filled with cookie-cutter character designs of ideal male and female bodies (sometimes idealized to the absurd or even to the point of being grotesque); it's all quite dull. I find some superhero characters very sexy, but only when they have such interesting personalities that they begin to stand out as people. For a variety of reasons, that doesn't happen much.

Anyway. Anybody else know of any American cartoonists who draw really hot men? Inquiring minds want to know, preferably before my next visit to Hub.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (so badass)
Oh Gil. It's not enough to marry you, I want to clone you a thousand times and marry all the clones as well, you hot sexy clever mad scientist, you.
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (piracy is our only option)
I can't tell you the original author is on this; the poster implies that it was first posted on the Yahoo Girl Genius group, but doesn't explicitly say whether he wrote it. But it's too awesome not to share:

(transcribed from the records of House Wulfenbach by Psychological
Warfare Historian Scott Malcomson [Offices of the French Inquisition,
Rue de Main 196, Paris])

You batter not chout, you batter not cry,
Eschcaping ist out, you batter not try,

Santa Klaus ist comink to your town!

He's makink up lists,
Undt checkink dem tvice,
All der Schpark house-holds batter play nize!

Santa Klaus ist comink to town!

He seize you vhen you schleepink,
His hostage for to take,
Dat way der Schparks dey all play goot,
Zo be GOOT!...for you own zake...!

You batter not chout, you batter not cry,
You batter vatch out, I'm tellink you vhy,

Santa Klaus ist comink to YOUR town!
cerusee: a white redheaded girl in a classroom sitting by the window chewing on a pencil and looking bored (Default)
Item the first:

Fruits Basket vol. 13.

Kyo. Is sex.

b) Girl Genius really isn't just about Foglio's fondness for drawing women with huge round firm boobies. It's also about the incredible sexual magnetism of the hunky mad scientists. Or to put it another way, it's perfectly natural to be Wulfenbachsexual.

iii) My manager is hot and I think I have a crush on him.

But that's neither here nor there.

4) Salty Dog IV:


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