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Joined 1 year, 1 month ago

Currently interested in indigenous perspectives, queer perspectives, sci-fi (who would have known?), economics and gardening (forest gardens particularly), sprinkled with comics [he/him]

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Llaverac's books

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Knights of Sidonia, Vol. 3 (Paperback, 2013, Vertical) No rating

Heretofore unwilling to communicate in all but the most zero-sum fashion, humanity’s implacable nemesis attempts …

Quite ambivalent about it after 3+ volumes.

On one hand, the story is clearly not coasting: in each volume Something Happens (somebody dies or is significantly changed, or we learn more about the lore).

On the other hand: there were several times where I wondered whether some pages were missing, the transitions from one scene to another could have been better. I often don't understand exactly what's happening in action sequences. Also the story doesn't escape some tired tropes: the hero has amazing skills thanks to his lineage, and a lot of female/third-gender characters are attracted to him for no apparent reason. They're also naked or almost naked at some point. The characters look a lot like each other. Even a grandmother looks like a teenager.

After having read several other mangas by Tsutomu Nihei, it's fun to find new iterations of previous elements though: the gaunas, Toha Heavy Industries, …

Dagger Dagger vol. 2 (EBook, Second At Best Press) No rating

Volume 2 of the sci-fi/dark fantasy comic magazine anthology

Step 1: support a new comics anthology on Kickstarter

Step 2: a few months later, read it. Feel confused and unsatisfied: are some of the stories not very good, or could they use more clarity, or maybe reading them back to back isn't the best way to actually enjoy them?

Step 3: maybe calm down on comics anthologies if you don't actually enjoy them that much

Step 4: a new comics anthology appears! go to Step 1

Taoism: An Essential Guide (Paperback, 2011, Shambhala) No rating

The great depth and diversity of Taoist spirituality is introduced in a single, accessible manual …

Wu-wei had different meanings for different Taoist philosophers. The wu-wei of the Tao-te ching is different from the wu-wei of Chuang-tzu, which is different again from the wu-wei of Lieh-tzu. Wu-wei in the Tao-te ching is “going with the principles of the Tao,” and the path of the Tao is a benevolent one. Thus, wu-wei in the Tao-te ching is not “doing nothing”; it is not even the noninterference advocated in the Chuang-tzu. In the Tao-te ching, wu-wei means not using force. The sagely ruler who cares for his subjects in a nonintrusive way also practices wu-wei. Far from doing nothing, the Taoist sage of the Tao-te ching is an active member of society and is fit to be a king.


In the Warring States, the Taoists of the Chuang-tzu and Lieh-tzu believed that political involvement and longevity were inherently incompatible. With this change in the image of sagehood, the meaning of wu-wei also changed. Wu-wei now meant noninvolvement, or letting things be. The sage was no longer involved with or concerned about the matters of the world. While other people trapped themselves in fame, fortune, and socially accepted behavior, the sage ignored them, and was completely free.

Taoism: An Essential Guide by 

(I thought it just meant noninvolvement and learned something)

The Tao of Pooh (The Wisdom of Pooh) (2003, Egmont Books Ltd) 2 stars

The Tao of Pooh is a book written by Benjamin Hoff. The book is intended …


2 stars

It made me understand some concepts better, like p'u, the uncarved block, but some passages really grated on me, like the one on science and cleverness. I get what the author is saying: it's a criticism of seeking knowledge for the sake of knowledge, of using complicated words as a form of gatekeeping, of focusing on the study of the tree while missing the forest around it etc. But in the era of COVID and climate change, I have very little patience for "what do scientists even know anyway?"

And there are way more nuanced and better written critiques of productivity culture than the chapter about Bisy Backson. T. Kingfisher talks about which characters the following books will be about in this Twitter thread, and it looks like it's still going to be: one book = one of the remaining paladins gets a romance.

I'm with you on gnoles though! (and after book 3's cliffhanger, I admit I'd really like to know where this specific plot is going :P).

Thanks a lot for your list by the way! I read the paladins books because you put them here, and despite my few reservations, I devoured them in less than 2 weeks! And Katherine Addison's books are also on my radar now :)

reviewed Paladin's Hope by T Kingfisher

Paladin's Hope (Hardcover, 2021, Argyll Productions) 4 stars

Piper is a lich-doctor, a physician who works among the dead, determining causes of death …


4 stars

It was as enjoyable as the first two volumes of the Saint of Steel series, but at the same time I had mixed feelings about it.

On one hand, I really like the author's sense of humor, I enjoy following the relationships between characters in their late thirties (i.e. my age), and mixing romance with investigations on gruesome murders works really well apparently? I technically finished Paladin's Hope 10 days ago and haven't started a new fiction book since. I just... don't feel like immersing myself in another one for the moment.

On the other hand, I'm afraid that the series could get a little repetitive at some point. Until now, each of them followed a similar pattern. There are berserker paladins whose god died a few years ago, they feel broken, not worthy of love and/or dangerous for the people around them that are not fellow paladins. Until they …