The North Water by Ian McGuire. Novel about a whaling crew operating from Hull towards the end of the whaling era. The book relishes the brutality of a desperate crew.
I found it absolutely gripping. Well worth reading if you can tolerate the violence.
What I'm Reading 2
Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. Mixes several linked stories. A woman is exiled from the court of Louis XIV to a grim nunnery. There she is told a version of the Rapunzel story, which in turn leads back to the origin story of the Rapunzel witch.
I found this one compelling too. Unlike some of the cosier historical fantasies, this book doesn't shy away from the oppression of women in early modern Europe, even for those in privileged positions. It's interesting to see what happens after the convenient erasure of get-thee-to-a-nunnery.
Was surprised to find after reading that the protagonist was a real historical figure: the story seemed good enough to be fictional.
Overall, a great book, very glad I read it.
However not quite sure who to recommend it to. It's marketed as chick-lit which might put off some people; it's grittier and more feminist-oriented than some books with similar covers, but also dabbles in some male-rescuer fantasies which might put off some feminists. Also has some sexual violence. But it is a great story with fascinating characters.
Had a good Easter though a bit tiring. Took toddler on a long walk through Hampstead Heath on Friday. Did usual weekend stuff on the Saturday. Battled allergies to get grass cut on Sunday while wife took him to church, apparently he did very well on the Easter Egg hunt: she had to give away eggs after he collected too many for them to carry. Monday rented a car and went to meet my sister's family at a stately home near them. Did a family egg-roll, then a massive Easter Egg hunt walking for miles round the grounds in search of clues.
He had a good time, but I was exhausted by the break.
Was involved in a crisis emergency release at work just before Easter. Annoying one offshore team tried to blame some code I'd written and I had to prove it was working (the purpose was to limit the number of concurrent requests triggered by an event). They kept putting debug with thread ids in and saying "aha look, more than 4 threads", but the code wasn't using explicit thread management just C# await statements so that doesn't tell you anything. Finally they found the actual problem: to purge one piece of data they'd decided to clear the entire application cache we were using for performance every time a user logged in or out.
Problems seem fixed in test, but the release hasn't gone live yet, plenty of time for other stuff to break.
Socioeconomics. US mass incarceration largely driven by prosecutors not drug sentencing. Why the 101 model doesn't work for labor markets. The labor market seems to be missing high-skilled jobs, not high-skilled workers.
Sci/Tech. Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing. What I learned as a hired consultant to autodidact physicists Cannon duels across channel in WW2. Being a woman in programming in the Soviet Union.
The evil stepmother is so integral to our familiar telling of "Snow White" that I was surprised to discover that an earlier version of the story doesn’t feature a stepmother at all. In this version, Snow White has no dead mother, only a living mother who wants her dead. This was a pattern of revision for the Brothers Grimm; they transformed several mothers into stepmothers between the first version of their stories, published in 1812, and the final version, published in 1857. The figure of the stepmother effectively became a vessel for the emotional aspects of motherhood that were too ugly to attribute to mothers directly...Random. When Pixels Collide: history of a giant collaborative drawing. Tradescant tomb, 1853. The Victorian Teenage Girl Who Entertained Crowds by Overpowering Men. "Your Country Needs You" poster barely existed. A Popular '40s Map of American Folklore Was Destroyed by Fears of Communism
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