User Profile

Wild Woila

Joined 1 year, 5 months ago

I have #mecfs so I have a lot of time for reading, mostly #fantasy and #SciFi but I'm happy to dip into nearly anything.

Ratings: 1 star: I didn't like it 2 stars: it was okay 3 stars: I liked it 4 stars: I really liked it 5 stars: it was brilliant

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Wild Woila's books

J.R.R. Tolkien: The Silmarillion (Paperback, 1982, Ballantine Books) 4 stars

A number-one New York Times bestseller when it was originally published, The Silmarillion is the …

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Becky Chambers: Prayer for the Crown-Shy (Hardcover, 2022, Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom) 5 stars

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

Beautiful book. I am amazed at Becky Chamber's magic abilities.

5 stars

Content warning General spoilers

Bessel van der Kolk: The Body Keeps the Score (2014) 5 stars

Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath …

The massive burden of trauma

4 stars

Trauma is a major unrecognised public health issue. Talk therapy and drugs are not effective; emotional & social engagement has to be revived. Not as useful as I hoped for my own issues, but neurofeedback and EMDR are intriguing.

Reading time 24 days, 18 pages/day

reviewed Unbranded by Herb Wharton (UQP Black Australian writers)

Herb Wharton: Unbranded (1992, University of Queensland Press, Distributed by International Specialized Services) 3 stars

Simple but evocative

3 stars

Fictionalised autobiography of an Aboriginal stockman in the pastoral outback. Despite simple prose, it absorbingly evokes that long gone world with its tall stories, colourful characters (so much grog!) and damages of colonisation.

Reading time 13 days, 19 pages/day

Catherynne M. Valente: The Past Is Red (Hardcover, 2021, Tordotcom) 4 stars

The future is blue. Endless blue...except for a few small places that float across the …

Darkly humourous

4 stars

The last remnants of humanity are adrift on a flooded earth, clinging to a giant life raft built from the refuse of the 'fuckwits' who destroyed it. Morbid & irreverent, with everything taken to extremes.

Reading time 3 days, 49 pages/day

Xander Maze is a list-maker. But can his list of 100 Remarkable Feats really save …

Sweet & reaffirming

3 stars

A dying grandmother gets her autistic grandson to write & complete a list of difficult but everyday challenges. In the process, he engages with a cruel & scary world and finds it full of love & connection. Sweet & reaffirming.

Lemony Snicket: The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1) (Hardcover, 1999, HarperCollins Publishers) 4 stars

After the sudden death of their parents, the three Baudelaire children must depend on each …

A dark children's story

3 stars

A dark children's story about three orphans who get farmed out to their evil & conniving relative, who has eyes only for their fortune. The baddies are over-the-top, and the good adults frustratingly disregard the children's inadequate cries for help. Some questionable plot points.

"A practical guide to the vagus nerve and polyvagal theory, emphasizing exercises and self-help techniques …

Worthwhile but repetitive and long-winded.

3 stars

Using manual therapy to regulate the nervous system based on polyvagal theory. Worthwhile, but repetitive and long-winded. But most importantly, the self-help exercises actually seem to work, giving me that post-osteo chill.

Reading time 32 days, 7 pages/day

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Imprisonment. Mutilation. Persecution.

Edna Adan Ismail endured it all – for the women of Africa. …

An incredible woman

5 stars

I first heard of Edna Adan Ismail through reading Half The Sky although I admit I had forgotten why her name looked familiar until she gave that book a mention in A Woman Of Firsts. Edna is a truly amazing and inspirational woman who has used every opportunity open to her throughout her life, and forced opportunities to open up when none were forthcoming due to her gender or her Somaliland nationality. I was reminded of Dr Hawa Abdi's similar struggles in neighbouring Somalia. As a Somaliland woman, Edna spent much of her early life being exactly the opposite of what her very conservative society expected from its female population. I loved how she portrays this clash to readers especially as her encouragement to continue being her natural self came from a desire to emulate her father, a doctor, and his willingness to allow his daughter firstly to be educated …

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The Second World War is drawing to a close, but the world is far from …

Evocative, vivid and horrifying

5 stars

In The Shadow Of Wolves by Alvydas Slepikas is newly published in an English translation and I was very impressed with Romas Kinka's work in preserving the Slepikas' stark prose. In common with How We Disappeared it brings to light a forgotten aspect of World World War Two, in this case the plight of destitute German women and children forcibly evicted by resettling Russian soldiers and civilians. I was intrigued by eerily similar scenes to those I recently encountered in The Hare With Amber Eyes depicting people being forced from their homes purely on account of their ancestry. There Germans perceived starving Jews as little more than animals; here, just a few years later, Russians talk of starving Germans in identical terms.

I feel that In The Shadow Of Wolves is an important novel to read and talk about even though the actuality of reading it is not a pleasant …