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Capsule Reviews No. 7

Hoping to finish these posts before the year ends! I’ve reached the halfway mark, so I’m a little happy about that!


For the first half of May Reads, please refer to this post.

19— After Eden by Arnold Arre *

I lent someone in high school my original copy of After Eden and never saw it again, but that this graphic novel presented to me the idea of love—the purest, realest love—remained with me for years. So, I was excited to learn about its reissue, jumping on the chance to acquire it again and read it. Arre admits to some rewrites, to better fit his worldview, etc. since the book had existed for so long. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite hold up to the version I’ve long kept in my head. I don’t know if it’s the changes, or if it’s just a simple case of me outgrowing it, but After Eden felt infinitely more special the first time I read it. Without my original copy, I can’t compare or track the changes, but I suppose part of me will always think of how much this book meant to me the first time I met it.

20— Saga: Volume 6 by Brian K. Vaughan

As it turns out, I’m shit at keeping up with ongoing comic book series, but Saga is just one of those stories that you can’t quite leave behind, even after forgetting about it for a while, in between waiting for issues. Though it happens in a highly fantastical world—it is a space opera after all—Saga, through the eyes of Marko, Alana, and the rest of the cast of characters, takes on deeply compelling issues that touch on some aspects of today’s socio-political climate, especially with regards to racial differences, as well as the looming threats of war on micro and macro levels. Compiling issues 31 to 36, Saga’s sixth volume inches towards the broken family’s reunion, and even more challenges up ahead for them.

Poems & perfume / 🍃 clean, sopy scent by @radioactivemushroomsitf — #CarinaReads2016

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21– Come Close by Sappho

Mainly a short volume of beautiful poetry. The homoerotic nature of Sappho’s poetry has been consistently contested, but the way devotion and desire were shaped in this collection, no matter how short, is gorgeous and luscious.

22— Episodes with Wayne Thiebaud

I loved this book, though I took quite a leisurely stroll through it. If you have vague knowledge of Wayne Thiebaud, you probably know him for his cakes—the same way one might know Pollock for his action paintings, Koons for his balloon dogs, da Vinci for the Mona Lisa, and Warhol for Marilyn or the Campbell’s soup cans—but Thiebaud is quietly prolific, and unabashed in the way he works and approaches art, which mostly is concerned with experiments and learning, rather than proving oneself in terms of whether or not one’s art is real. Over a series of interviews and/or conversations with Wayne Thiebaud, Thiebaud reveals that he spends no time on questions about the validity of his art. Instead, he spends time answering his own questions about art that are concerned with things like light and shadow.


23— Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

I spent (most) of this book listening to Aziz Ansari read it out to me. I’m a fan of Parks and Recreation, so the lilt of his voice is familiar to me. I feel like, even without the aid of the visual graphics on print versions that are unavailable to the audiobook, his narration lent a lot of character to the book. I appreciated how well-researched it was, abut it left me super exhausted at the thought of dating in the modern love. I have decided that I do want love (in a very specific way, I think), but having all of this data read out to me by Tom Haverford made me question if it was worth the trouble. The data doesn’t really give me a definitive answer (just a sneak preview of tiredness)—but Mitski says it is—and to be honest, I’d listen to her over any sort of research, any day.


24— Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan

Another offering by BKV, and one I keep tabs on, too. Jonty gave me a signed copy of the first issue, and I’m so happy with how well the story is and has been progressing. If you’re not familiar, it’s an adventure/fantasy/friendship story set between the ’80s and the future, and features honest-to-God paper girls and some type of alien–time-travel mystery and drama.

25— The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

I’d been waiting for this book for a long time before I finally got it. My Book Depository shipment got lost and they couldn’t send a new one to me because they had no more stock left, so I had to wait for it to go on paperback, then it shipped out in a Balikbayan box that took forever to get here. Even with all that time, I mostly went into it blindly. I loved the honesty of it, but I was a little unprepared for the discussion of parenthood, even moreso than when I realized that a bulk of the thoughts concerned gender. Overall lovely book with exquisite writing all the same.

Saturday ☁️📚🖊 catching up! — #CarinaReads2016

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26— A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

This took me a long time to read, and while I appreciate it—especially because of when Woolf thought these thoughts and penned these words—but I really got stuck with it at some point.

27— The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist Volume 1

Such a great volume of spin-off work for fans of Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (my favorite book!). Not quite an extension of the lives of Joe and Sam, but a great glimpse of “their work” on the novel’s fictional superhero, the Escapist.

🍋 From "The Happy Film" by Stefan Sagmeister — #carinareads2016 #Books

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28— The Happy Film by Stefan Sagmeister

I don’t think I’ve ever gotten over my dream of being Stefan Sagmeister. Endlessly inspiring person and work.

* re-read

The Sunday Currently Vol. 34

I haven’t done this in a while, since I haven’t had a lot of time or motivation to finish uploading all the backed up posts I’ve wanted to do (which I know I shouldn’t be pressured to put up, and I’m not—hello, Taiwan visit 1 and visit 2, you are still nowhere to be found—but some part of me feels like I have to go through the year’s “planned posts” in chronological order and this is likely going to be the death of this blog; kidding), and so I haven’t been posting at all. But anyway, just so it’s not all backlog, and because there are just times when the mood strikes you to just write out current goings on, instead of waiting for other things to get sorted out before you catch up to the present day. Or something.

Anyway, it’s not that deep. Here is a list of current things.


I’m trying to read through the books I started this year (or at least the ones I did, towards the end of the year) and currently, I’m in the middle of A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit, and The Gay Teen’s Guide to Defeating a Siren by Cody Wagner.

If I finish these in a “timely manner,” I’m hoping to get started on a couple of titles in time for Holiday Booktubeathon. I have also finished my 2016 reading goal, so I’m taking it easy right now, with the books, though, again, I would like to finish the three ones mentioned, at least, before the year ends.


Not writing anything currently, but I’ve been wanting to write a lot more investigative or research-based pieces. I don’t know. I feel like I want to tell better stories… or tell stories better. You know.


Currently in the middle of writing out my Top 10 albums of 2016, and I’ve filled in about 7 spots, so I’ve been going back to albums I listened to a bit in the year, too, like Bon Iver’s 22, A Million, to see if they fit my Top 10. I don’t know if that’s weird, but there you go. Listened to Touché Amoré’s Stage Four last night, too.


Just finished catching up with Teen Wolf (surprisingly invested this season) and Younger, which I have been enjoying immensely.

I also just finished watching Rogue One: A Star Wars Story twice in a span of 24 hours (IMAX Midnight Screening and office blocked screening!) and I am very, very emotional about it.


“This year is about to end!”/”This year can’t end fast enough!”


Nothing, my nose is being a bitch.


I had enough money for my love language to be me giving people gifts. I’m too poor for that, and yet.


Something comes up so that I can fly to Chicago/Milwaukee and watch Ben Gibbard play with Julien Baker. Because of course I want to cease existing.


Clean clothes, despite opting out of a shower for the last two days. Don’t worry, I will get around to it tonight.


Getting super into my planning system for next year. I’ve narrowed it down to something I’m comfortable (ish?) with, and just to divulge my EDC (or Everyday Carry), it’s going to be the Hobonichi Techo (A6) and a Field Notes insert. I’m going to have a bunch of other planners/notebooks for projects or specific notes. I mean, let’s see how long this lasts, but I’m pretty happy at the moment.


Clarity… and a new pair of the navy gumsole Vans I left behind in Copenhagen because they had been too tattered and hole-y to keep bothering with.

My shoes are breaking, 5 days into my trip 😓 — #📍carina

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To stick to my guns, etc. I’ve been very waffle-y lately.


Very, very defeated, but we soldier on.


Mitski by Jenny Zhang at Yours Truly

The Sunday Currently was originally created by SiddaThornton

Capsule Reviews No. 6: April and May (Pt. 1) 2016

What a long and boring title. I’m a little behind in… well, a lot of things. But I’d like to think it’s because I’ve been concerned with a bunch of other “more interesting” things. This, post, for example, I had planned to post about a month prior to today. And here we are. To be fair, I have gone to another continent (and it’s something I’m still not quite over!) and have been working, etc. And also, I should have posted this earlier than a month ago, anyway.


In April, I read four fairly short books, and my memory’s a little fuzzy, but I’ll try to talk a little bit about them. Like, oh, I don’t know, a capsule review. Ahem.

07— The Guardians by Sarah Manguso

I guess I had an inexplicable urge to buy all of Manguso’s books that I didn’t already have? I only had Siste Viator, Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape, and The Captain Lands in Paradise at that point. This is the first nonfiction book of hers I was able to read in its entirety. It’s poetic in its (seeming) pointlessness, where Manguso attempts to solve the death of her friend, trying to fill in the hours between he was last scene and what appears to be a suicide-like departure, despite not being a witness and not having any clues. Read More

Prague, 2016

Prague wasn’t really on my immediate radar as a place to visit, and I think it’s because I didn’t really know much about it to begin with. In almost three decades of existing, I just knew that the beer there is great, and the food is good and cheap.

Prague is a walking city, and because I couldn’t be bothered to figure out multiple transport systems in only a handful of weeks, we mostly saw the city on foot. It was sort of ridiculously hot — really quite unforgiving; a betrayal of my idea of a jaunt to Europe, personally — but even then (and this is me talking, enemy of the urban sun!), I’m happy we got to go around the city and see more of the outside routes, rather than take the trains from point to point. I guess it helped that we had no real agenda, except to visit and see, well, Prague.

Our Airbnb’s located in Prague’s Old Town, and Prague’s Old Town Square is just a few minutes away by foot. Actually, a lot of places are just within a few minutes away from each other, so every time we got to one destination, it felt a little unnecessary to hop on public transportation, so we ended up walking it most of the time.

Around the Old Town Square is the National Gallery in the Prague Astronomical Clock (Prague orloj), a medieval engineering marvel. We didn’t get to see the hourly shows, but this area is always full of tourists, so just a precaution! We also went to the National Gallery (Kinský Palace) which mostly had Asian art.

Read More

Me & the 3 B’s: Berlin, Billund & Beng

When my sister asked me to fly in a week earlier than my family so we could spend some sister-time with each other, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the idea. I had planned on staying behind about three weeks after my family left, and moving my plans one week earlier meant less time to explore on my own and more time exposed to the infernal summer heat. I went anyway—begrudgingly (sorry, Beng!)—and realized that, as usual, my younger sister had more foresight than me. Read More