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Joined 6 months, 4 weeks 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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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.

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 …

Paladin's Grace (Hardcover, 2020, T Kingfisher) 4 stars

Stephen's god died on the longest day of the year…

Three years later, Stephen is …


4 stars

It was fun! And so satisfying to realize how a lot of subtle setups paid off near the end.

I love a romance where you get to see both characters' point of view, and even more if they're in their thirties, because they have a different approach to relationships than teenagers (also, I'm the same age as Stephen). The book was maybe a little heavy on the self-deprecating inner monologues, but this is me quibbling.

Onto Paladin's Strength now!

A Prayer for the Crown-Shy (EBook, 2022, Tordotcom) 5 stars

After touring the rural areas of Panga, Sibling Dex (a Tea Monk of some renown) …


5 stars

At first I was low-key disappointed: Mosscap's candid questions slightly annoyed me, and I was dreading the answer. The moment where the story would answer its central question: when all your basic needs are met, what else do you need?

In other stories about the meaning of life (or adjacent themes), I could always relate to the part with the questions, and end up disappointed by the answer that the characters find, because the answer specifically works for them, and not for me. It's probably impossible to answer this kind of question in a way that will satisfy every reader, so why even try in the first place?

And... well, I like the direction that the book took, especially in its last chapter. It made me think of How to do nothing, except that Jenny Odell explains you what Becky Chambers makes you experience.

Also, I just …

Finding Home Vol. 4: The Prince (EBook) 4 stars

Finding Home is a multi-award-winning slow burn LGBTQ comic that explores mental health, nature, magic, …

Marigold: Joy

4 stars

It wasn't perfect, but it did its own thing and it did it well.

I think the "slow burn" label was a bit generous for the first 2 volumes (the pattern: Chepi remembers a traumatizing part of his past, Janek does something wholesome, Chepi is charmed, go back to step 1). It didn't stop me from reading the rest, but I call it "treading waters".

I went from liking it to loving it with volume 3 and 4, though. Chepi and Janek's relationship evolved, and I think the supporting cast brought an additional dimension to the story, allowing more varied interactions between the two protagonists and revealing other aspects of their history or personality.

The Organic No-Till Farming Revolution (Paperback, 2019, New Society Publishers) 3 stars

Learn how to use natural no-till systems to increase profitability, efficiency, carbon sequestration, and soil …

Aimed at professionals

3 stars

What I like about this book is its practical approach: it is clearly aimed at professional farmers, and the author is not saying "do this because it's ✨ good for the planet ✨" but "with these techniques, you will save energy while continuing to earn a living; by the way, let's meet professionals who have been doing this for years/decades now".

I learned several things:

  • Using cover crops requires careful timing: if you cut them before they bloom, they may regrow, and if you cut them after they bloom, you basically reseed them. The book also recommends using them before transplanting crops with large leaves (such as squash) because cutting cover crops prevents weed regrowth for about 6 weeks only (but much longer if a layer of mulch is put on top).
  • For transplanting plants, cardboard is very good (this fall, I'm going to advocate for cardboard SO MUCH in …
Wintering (2020, Penguin Publishing Group) 3 stars

Sometimes you slip through the cracks: unforeseen circumstances like an abrupt illness, the death of …

We have seasons when we flourish, and seasons when the leaves fall from us, revealing our bare bones. Given time, they grow again.

3 stars

Calling low points in life "wintering" definitely attracted me to this book. I like the cyclical aspect of the metaphor, its opposition with the notion of an eternal summer that we should aspire to even though it's impossible, but after reading this book, I have mixed feelings about it.

On one hand, I highlighted several passages, on the other hand most of the time the author's sensitivity or comparisons did nothing for me. I felt like the book remained a collection of loosely connected autobiographical passages, comparisons with animals like dormice, robins or wolves, and a few interviews of people who went through their own winters. But it never became more than the sum of its parts.

Forêt comestible & haie fruitière (Paperback, French language, 2021, Ulmer) 4 stars

Créer un jardin-forêt ou une haie fruitière en climat tempéré, méditerranéen et montagnard.

Le jardin-forêt …

This gave me so many ideas

4 stars

I've been wanting to read about forest gardens for a while, but I was intimidated by the size of the books I saw. This one is slimmer, mentions some permaculture principles without feeling the need to recapitulate them all (there are so many places where you can find them) and goes straight to the point. I love how the chapter about limits (surface, time and money) gives the reader concrete examples of what they can expect depending on their budget and availability.

I've been volunteering in a community garden for the second time, and it feels like both gardens started the same way: a lot of space is devoted to annual cultures plus a few trees (apple, pear, peach and cherry trees). But annual cultures take so much time: plant the seeds at specific times, babysit them, plant them, water them, prepare the soil, do some weeding (A LOT OF …

Real Hero Shit (Paperback, 2022, Iron Circus Comics) 3 stars

Adventure awaits! But our heroes are missing some manpower.

People are going missing in a …

I wanted to know more!

3 stars

I liked the characters and the setting, but I wish I could have spent more time with them. Many elements were just briefly introduced and never expanded on.

Also, the last paragraph from the blurb suggest that Prince Eugene gets a sort of character arc, maybe a greater understanding of what happens outside of his carefree life and... it doesn't really happen, does it? Eugene is still the same at the end of the book. It's not a problem, because he's a fun character, but not hinting at any depth and just saying it's a D&D inspired queer lighthearted fantasy would have been more accurate, I think.