Feb. 2nd, 2011

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Believe it or not, the library had a category for "fictional grad students" or somesuch and this book came up when I clicked on the link. I can't seem to duplicate the search or I'd offer you a link.

Some Girls Bite

Twitter-sized review: If you liked Betsy the Vampire Queen, you'll probably get a kick out of this novel too

Longer notes: So yeah, this isn't really much about a grad student at all, as when we meet her she's already been bitten by a vampire and is starting her new life, much to her dismay ("it may not have been much of a life, but it was my life, and I was happy"). Turns out in a plot twist that's pretty much the same as the one in MaryJanice Davidson's humourous "Betsy the Vampire Queen" series, Chloe is a pretty good vampire when it comes to strength an ability, and a pretty terrible vampire when it comes to integration into vampire societal norms. Not quite as laugh out loud funny as Betsy's shoe obsession, but a fun enough twist on the vampire smut genre that I had fun reading it and will likely try another book or two to see if it keeps up the fun or whether it devolves into nothing but fanged make-out sessions.
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This is the last book review for those books actually finished in January! Turns out I forgot this one, so there's actually one more than I mentioned in "one book a week, one a month, one a year...?"

Toads and Diamonds

Twitter-sized review: This re-told fairy tale adds a lot more than usual to the original, giving us *two* strong heroines and a beautiful world

Longer notes: A quick websearch implies that the original story comes from a French fairy tale, but Heather Tomlinson goes above and beyond in her retelling. Now set in a fictional version of pre-colonial India, this tells the story of two sisters who are both blessed with gifts, and how this completely changes their lives as a result. I have no idea of the accuracy of her historical and cultural sources, but as a fairy tale in a fictional world it's enchanting. It's a great story with not one but two strong heroines. It's a creatively woven tale that's perfect for children -- and probably a good one for boys and well as girls!
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Trigger warning for... well, mostly for just being gross, but this is an analogy for an argument regarding rape "humour."

A number of commenters on my last GF post seem to believe that "It's funny" is a defense for doing anything you like in a public space, so I'm working on an analogy for why it isn't:

You may be familiar with the over-the-top gross-out humour of Team America: World Police. For many people, this is an incredibly funny movie. For the friend I was sitting next to, one of the best scenes seemed to be one where one of the characters starts throwing up copiously. After heaving many times his own body weight worth of fluid, the scene ends with him lying in a pool of vomit in an alley.

Let's suppose you've gone to a job interview, and it turns out one of the guys interviewing you is a big Team America fan, and he decides to re-enact said scene while showing you around the office. You turn to ask him a question, and he starts vomiting in your face. Maybe after a few minutes of vomiting, you realise that he's re-enacting a scene. Does that make it funny? Or are you busy wondering how much it's going to cost to clean vomit out of your suit and hoping that you haven't just contracted a very serious disease? Sure, he and his like minded co-workers might get a huge laugh over the look on your face, but you're probably not going to think it's funny. And neither is the CEO who hand you're supposed to shake next on the tour. Maybe you'll find it a funny story to tell later, but not right now.

Funny is very context-dependent. "It's funny" does not imply "it's appropriate." In fact, sometimes quite the opposite.

Edit for feed readers who are missing the first comment/punchline:

However, if you really want to keep making this argument, we can find someone incredibly ill to vomit on you. Because that would be funny.


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