This is a quick roundup of the paper books I've read since my last post; there will be another one for the ebooks at the weekend. Probably.
43. Polly Lloyd, About Glastonbury
44. Nicholas R. Mann, Glastonbury Tor
Two guidebook-ish things that were in my B&B when I went to Glastonbury for the Starhawk workshop, the former an okay-ish account mostly focused on the Christian remains and the second mostly describing a rather romantic vision of the prehistory.
45. Kim Stanley Robinson, The Wild Shore
had this with him in Millport, so I read it after he'd finished it. Robinson uses the tropes of a coming-of-age novel set in a postapocalypse North America to explore how stories shape our identity, and how we deal with conflicting desires. Passages in it reminded me of Kerouac. Recommended.
46. John and Carole E. Barrowman, The Bone Quill
. Second in a children's fantasy trilogy set on an altered-geography version of Cumbrae (the island of which Millport is the only town). I read the first last year and enjoyed it, but expressed some concern that the ethical implications of the worldbuilding were not fully recognised; the sequel did nothing to lead me to expect that these will be addressed at any point, and I was more conscious of being the wrong age group for this one, so I think I may not bother with the third.
47. Kate Bornstein, My New Gender Workbook
. I never read the old edition, but from what I gather, the main difference is that the new one has a lot of discussion of intersectionality. I get the impression that the concept was still quite new to Bornstein when she wrote the revisions, and it shows a bit; it approaches intersectionality very much as something that may shed additional light on gender and never really looks at how some gender discourse might inadvertently contribute to other forms of oppression. That said, the theory section does explain the basics of gender theory pretty well and would be worth giving to a newcomer to the issue for that alone. I probably got most out of the second part of the book, which consists of exercises to help you understand your own gender better; the third part, which offers suggestions for how to "do" your gender, assumes that the reader is trans and therefore didn't have much for me as a cis person. Normally I wouldn't mind this, because more stuff that isn't about the privileged people is generally a good
thing; but there was more than a whiff of "everyone's trans really" about the way the assumption was presented, and that grated.Bechdel scores:The Wild Shore
: I didn't make notes, but I think it fails by not having its named female characters talk directly to each other (always a risk with a male POV character).The Bone Quill
: Again, I didn't make notes, but I think it also fails, this time because the conversations between the female characters are all about their male relatives (one of whom is effectively the Big Bad.)