What I Just Finished Reading

The Aisles Have Eyes – Joseph Turow
I'm glad I read this interesting book, but it also frustrated me. Turow does a stellar job examining the ways that developers and retailers are trying to monitor consumers online, on mobile platforms, and in brick and mortar stores, and how they're working to build complete data profiles of individuals' families, location, income, tastes, health, and habits. Much of this information comes from theoretical discussions in trade publications and websites; after all, companies aren't about to make their data mining tactics public for obvious reasons. But I hungered for more information on how companies use this information in practice. For instance, how does Amazon use factors such as Prime membership, abode, age, and buying history to alter the search results it shows to an individual or the price it offers them? Or, do customers who don't participate in Safeway's loyalty program subsidise those who do, or does the grocer try to take everyone for a ride, just to different degrees? It's frightening stuff, but without concrete examples such as these it's hard to remember Turow's discussing things that are actually happening to consumers. Having said that, this a a very well-written, informative book, and kudos to Turow for including concrete suggestions for improvement in the final chapter instead of just ringing alarm bells.

アーシアン 3 – 高河 ゆん (Earthian vol. 3 – Kouga Yun )
Earthian is supposedly the story of pairs of angels sent to Earth to evaluate humanity to determine whether it deserves to be annihilated; one angel tallies the good things and one the bad. I was hoping for a darkly philosophical examination of human goodness and mankind's capacity for evil, but what I got instead was this hot mess. Kouga's focus (it's an arguable point that she has one) is on bad YA romance between the leads: angels go into heat and are hopelessly attracted to members of the same sex, but this has caused birthrates to nosedive, so same-sex love is a death sentence! And there's cancer that turns your hair black and everyone pines dreadfully for their soulmates, though woe, it can never be. Apparently Kouga employed a small country of assistants on this series, which beggars belief because the art is mostly minimal line drawings on white space with paltry use of screentones. Only two more volumes to go.

What I Am Currently Reading

[Placeholder] – [Placeholder]

The Strangler Vine – M.J. Carter
The Devil's Feast will finally be published here at the end of March; I hope the third volume returns the series to its original form.

Inda – Sherwood Smith
I'm 30 percent finished and finally have hit the point where I'm engaged enough not to put the book down for weeks at a time. That said, I don't yet feel affection for any of the characters and the constant POV jumps are as jarring as ever.

The Light and Shadow Tarot – Brian Williams & Michael Goepferd
Currently chilling with the 7's of each suit. It's slow going because while the book provides zodiac and astrological correspondences, it does no more than that, which necessitates a fair amount of googling to get at what Williams and Goepferd are trying to convey with each card.

プラネテス 2 – 幸村 誠 (Planetes vol. 2 – Yukimura Makoto )
Earthian palate cleanser. Here we have sci-fi drama with solid characterization and plotting. In this volume a captain of industry is developing a spacecraft to take people to Jupiter so they can mine it for natural resources. He cuts corners and people die, but he's blase about the whole thing because he's famous and claims to be powerful and who's gonna stop him. And that's only the first chapter. It resonates frighteningly well in this age of いわゆる president trump. Yukimura is so damn good. Everyone should read his titles.

What I'm Reading Next
Did I make any inroads on last week's Reading Next list? No, no I did not. I hope to do better this time around.

...I wrote a drabble.

Title: Reading Assignment
Fandom: Injection
Summary Red's mission, should he choose to accept it...
&c. Falls at an indeterminate point after issue 6, 100 words, rated G. In response to the prompt, "What does your favorite character—or your favorite pairing—get fannish over?"



lebateleur: Sweet Woodruff (Default)

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