Weekend Reads: Sword and Sorcery & Nonfiction Feminist Anthology

Happy Saturday, Chums! This week has been such a dreadful pain in the gut, literally! I had to meet with an advisor on Tuesday to plan out my Uni programme, but the advisor I have to meet is one I had many years ago, and he was not a nice person to me back then. The idea of having to chat with him again, triggered the worst panic attack I have ever had in my life! I spent all day Tuesday and most of Wednesday in bed. Then Thursday morning I was supposed to meet with him (I had re-scheduled our appointment) and I was struck with another agonising panic attack.

Undergoing such an excruciating thing made me realise that I needed to re-evaluate my programme and maybe what I want to do with my Uni career. My partner believed that there is a much bigger psychological ploy at play here and I knew that she may have been on the money about it. So, I’m currently in the process of finagling all of that out. In the meantime, I shall be spending another couple of days in bed just to make sure that I’ll recover properly without damage to my heart. Of course, I’ve been dying for a weekend of potato-ing, so I welcome the chance to unwind and not give any flying fruits for a bit.

I’ve read through all the books I chatted about last week. Reviews are being outlined and pieced together and they shall start going live starting Monday. I must confess that I feel a bit uncertain about the book reviews I have planned as it’s been quite a long time since I’ve written them. So, if they seem a little rusty, bear with me. I’m sure my writing voice shall return to me once my phalanges and brain muscles are all oiled out.

This weekend my focus will be on a graphic novel, a sword and sorcery book with illustrations from Frank Miller, and a nonfiction anthology of essays examining the country’s current culture surrounding rape and victim shaming. Since it is Nonfiction November, I have been trying to read through one or two nonfiction titles per week. This is my first year participating and I’m sorry that I didn’t do it sooner because I have been adoring nonfiction reads. They always intimidated me like a motherfucker (aside from history books on Japanese culture and history, of course), so I steered clear of them. However, now that I have experienced them, I can’t get enough! 😉

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman & Chris Riddell

The Sleeper and the Spindle is a fantasy, fairy tale retelling graphic novel that shares Snow White’s and Cinderella’s stories. I tend to adore Gaiman’s graphic novels, particularly his fairy tale retellings. They tend to be quite dark and occasionally even humorous. I haven’t read this one yet, so when it was recommended to me via Hoopla (site/app I use to check out eBooks from my local library), I figured I should give it a shot!

Cursed by Thomas Wheeler & Frank Miller

Cursed is a young adult sword and sorcery fantasy story that’s about the Lady of the Lake from the tales of King Arthur. There is a Netflix adaptation of this novel that shall be releasing sometime soon as well.

One of the main reasons that I wanted to read this is because I haven’t really read much material on the King Arthur stories. I’ll confess that I’ve seen a lot of cinematic media, but not literary ones. While I do want to read some of the older stories out there (Mists of Avalon, The Once and Future King, and Merlin Trilogy), when I saw that Frank Miller contributed illustrations to this story, starting here became irresistible to me!

Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture edited by Roxane Gay

Not That Bad is an anthology of previously published write-ups that address what it’s like to live in a world where women constantly have to measure harassment, violence, and aggression that they face. It’s about a climate that would rather mock, shame, gaslight, bully, and abuse women for speaking out about being raped than help them. The collection is edited by brilliant cultural critic Roxane Gay, and while I know the subject matter will be difficult to read, as both a victim of rape and a victim of the system that wronged me when I tried to talk about my trauma, and also as someone who’s passionately against the oppressive system of rape culture and the blight that it is on an intelligent society that has potential to be more than it allows itself to be, I’m looking forward to the pieces shared herein.

If any of you are fans of the King Arthur legend and have book or film recommendations to pass along, I’d be super grateful to you! With that, I hope you have a cosy and lovely weekend ahead.

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3 thoughts on “Weekend Reads: Sword and Sorcery & Nonfiction Feminist Anthology

  1. All of those sound terrific. I’ll look forward to your reviews. I’m a serious King Author tales fan. The Mists of Avalon, and the Once and Future King are both extremely good. As a pagan, I especially loved The Mists of Avalon. I have always loved non-fiction, and my own little thing right now is one In Death, one C. J. Cherryh, and one non-fiction, then start over again. Already I’ve discovered an author I really enjoy, and some interesting science that is being neglected.

    I must agree that a panic attack of that severity and duration is your body and mind attempting to protect you from doing something that is somehow deeply wrong for you. Give yourself a break, and do some deep soul searching to find the cause. Tarot, iChing, meditation are my go-tos for that sort of thing, but the first thing and perhaps the one that will work right off the top is to mentally put it “on the back burner” and go read and relax for a few days. Your brain/heart/soul may well present you with the solution wrapped in a bow early some morning or late one night. And maybe it is as easy as contacting Uni and saying you cannot work with that advisor. You are surely not the only person he has treated that way and maybe it is time for him to be reported.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, that panic attack was the worst one I’ve ever had. There was one point in the middle of night (when it happened) that I thought I was going to die, like literally just have the most agonising demise ever. It lasted a long time and I just felt like so fucked up. I didn’t even realise it was a panic attack until I messaged my doctor and told her my symptoms.

      The adviser that I have to meet for that programme is the only one for the specialisation I’m looking at and he’s very renowned. But I was chatting with my partner and the programme is one that I had wanted to pursue many years ago. My partner pointed out that I’m a completely different person now than I was six or seven years ago. My interested have changed. I’ve changed with my beliefs and values and priorities. Like you’ve also said, my brain/heart/soul is trying to prevent me doing something that is deeply wrong for me now. I think that in some way or another I’m trying to make up for the time I lost those years ago and it’s causing me to be stuck in the past rather than just picking up and moving forward into the future, if that makes sense. I guess my body bitch-slapped me with a reality that my brain didn’t want to accept.

      Thanks for your support, Foovay. I appreciate you. ♥

      Liked by 1 person

      • I totally agree with your partner. As an example, let my share a little experience with you. When I was 25 I finally, after several attempts, succeeded in getting out of my abusive relationship. Shortly thereafter I also cut ties with my abusive family. Finally free, I did something that in hindsight is sorta weird. I had been keeping journals since my childhood. Somehow I had managed to keep hold of all of them (okay, I’m a packrat). I literally sat down and read or at least skimmed through them. Much of it was (of course) things I wanted to do with my life (inevitably shot down by abusers). I know you know where I’m coming from there. When I got caught up to the present day, I had a good idea of the things I really wanted to do that I still felt I really wanted to do. Yeah, I made what we now call a “bucket list” in 1985. Ahem. Even then, a number of things were immediately dropped off the list. Over the decades since, some of those things I tried and decided really weren’t for me after all. A few died of attrition – things you can start when you are 20 that are not so practical when you are 60. Among the things I tried and decided really weren’t for me after all was becoming a veterinarian. Here’s what happened to that.

        In 1995 or so I had the opportunity (mostly thanks to my partner) to apply to an excellent Uni that specialized in that degree. It helped that recently they had a graduate who was in her 60s, since I was in my late 30s. I went through much of the process and was actually attending an orientation when I began hearing things I really did NOT want to hear about becoming RICH as a vet and how money was much more important than caring for animals, etc. I finished the class and went home to do some research. Turns out that’s how they train vets these days – they got the idea from medical doctor training. Make sure you are maximizing your income first, treat patients based on how much you can get, and be laughed out of the room if you bring up any form of healing, humane, etc. treatment. The more I looked into it all, the more disgusted and unhappy I became. I knew there was no way I was going to be able to sit through lectures and classes designed to make me a money grubbing greed machine that just happens to also treat animals. (I nearly got up and walked out of the orientation because the lecturer was laughing about a woman who paid a huge sum for treatment to save her beloved ferret). Yes, it kept me up at night fighting my dreams and the reality and alternatives and the emotional and financial and pure time investment and crazy emotional swings until I admitted that this was simply not the right route for me. Maybe it was or could have been back in 1977 – but not in 1995. Not only had I changed, the profession had changed. And we had irrevocably gone in opposite directions.

        I don’t know all the details involved in your field – but I am feeling that something like this may well be what has happened with you. So I do understand about grasping those things that were taken away from you by your abusers (and I’ve grasped, had, and done many of those things for myself in my life) but sometimes it’s a blessing when you don’t get what you think you want. When you release that plan or idea, the mind and soul you have now in this present day is finally free to present you with solutions that fit you now. And maybe, in the end, fit who you truly are better than who you used to be.

        Pardon my long-windedness.



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