Jun. 1st, 2010

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A fictional book: Fingersmith, by Sarah Waters. Here's the Amazon review:
Fingersmith is the third slice of engrossing lesbian Victoriana from Sarah Waters. Although lighter and more melodramatic in tone than its predecessor, Affinity, this hypnotic suspense novel is awash with all manner of gloomy Dickensian leitmotifs: pickpockets, orphans, grim prisons, lunatic asylums, "laughing villains," and, of course, "stolen fortunes and girls made out to be mad." Divided into three parts, the tale is narrated by two orphaned girls whose lives are inextricably linked. Waters's penchant for byzantine plotting can get a bit exhausting, but even at its densest moments--and remember, this is smoggy London circa 1862--it remains mesmerizing. A damning critique of Victorian moral and sexual hypocrisy, a gripping melodrama, and a love story to boot, this book ingeniously reworks some truly classic themes.

I loved it and could not put it down. It is my favorite of Sarah Waters books. Her first three (Affinity and Tipping the Velvet) are far superior to her more recent two, although she is such a good writer and really captures the quintessential English-ness of English literature.

A non-fiction book. I read FAR more non-fiction than fiction these days. Right now I'm reading Georg Feuerstein's Yoga: Technology of Ecstasy, as one of my home books. It is easily one of the best books about yoga I've ever read. It's not a how-to manual at all. From the Amazon blurb:

"The impulse toward transcendence is intrinsic to human life. Nowhere has this drive found a more consistent and versatile expression than in India. The civilization of India has spawned an overwhelming variety of spiritual beliefs, practices, and approaches. The goal of Yoga, the most famous and globally widespread of India's spiritual traditions, is to take us beyond ourselves to the Absolute Reality, to the utterly blissful union of the individual self with the transcendental Divine... This book features a lucid explanation of Yoga's roots in Indian culture, outlines its relationship to other important Indian traditions, and discusses the diverse forms it has taken in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism."

A fanfic: N/A
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This coming weekend I'm going back to Roehampton. I'm leaving on Friday, arriving in mid-late afternoon. I'll settle in, have a cup of tea, unpack and then probably bus into Putney, walk around the Thames, eat at the Thai restaurant that I noticed overlooks the river and go to bed early. All day Saturday I'll be listening to panelists discuss creation, incarnation and nature. Sunday I am thinking of getting myself into London proper and going to the British Museum. I also desperately need some new clothes that don't have holes and fit properly. I'm really excited about the trip: getting motivated again for school work, exploring London and the Thames, taking myself out to dinner, sleeping by myself, and - since I have the same room booked as last time - having a fabulous shower.

I'm excited.

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