Chimera Speaks

An argonaut of dreams. I'm Glaiza at Goodreads.

The Instagram Book Challenge (For the love of books)

I waded through Gothic clouds of anxiety to other side of my final semester and now I'm set to graduate in September. I have no idea what I am going to do next but I'm considering what I value in life and what challenges I am drawn to. I'm also procrastinating by reading books in the mean time.


My book blogger friend Nafiza started an Instagram Book Challenge. The rules are reblogged from The Bibliophilic Monologues


"So the challenge is to post for 100 days a picture/day of a book that you really love.  And the rules, if one must have them would be:


1. A picture/day of a book you love. (for a 100 days)
2. Use the hashtags #100happybookdays, #reading
3. In a sentence or two, tell us why you love this book.


And that’s it. Oh, also, if you are going to be doing this challenge, let me know in the comments. Or follow me: my instagram is @nafizaaz. Yay!

Think about how many awesome book recs we can get this way!"


You can also follow what I've been reading @Glaiza_echo

p. 34

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World - Haruki Murakami, Alfred Birnbaum

It's been so long since I've picked up a Murakami book. I haven't been this disoriented since Kafka on the Shore - so Hardboiled wonderland is an apt title 

'But from now on you must go to the library every day and read dreams. That will be your job. Go there at six in the evening. Stay until ten or eleven at night.'

Where do I sign up?

Robot Dreams - Isaac Asimov


I held my friend's copy captive for almost a year so it's time to let go. My favourite short stories were Robot Dreams, Hostess, Eyes Do More Than See and The Last Question.

"'The ones who left, and the ones who were left behind, everyone in motion like startled birds, trying to find a place to land.'"
Wonder Show - Hannah Barnaby

p. 130

p. 7

The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, #1) - Robert Jordan

Library books never cease to entertain me. Hat's off to the reader who left an eye sticker in the corner of The Eye of the World. I thought it was a spider but those were eyelashes...


Diversity Is Not Enough: Race, Power, Publishing

 "We can love a thing and still critique it. In fact, that’s the only way to really love a thing."


“The publishing industry looks a lot like these best-selling teenage dystopias: white and full of people destroying each other to survive.”



"We’re right to push for diversity, we have to, but it is only step one of a long journey. Lack of racial diversity is a symptom. The underlying illness is institutional racism. It walks hand in hand with sexism, cissexism, homophobia, and classism."


"To go beyond this same conversation we keep having, again and again, beyond tokens and quick fixes, requires us to look the illness in the face and destroy it. This is work for white people and people of color to do, sometimes together, sometimes apart. It’s work for writers, agents, editors, artists, fans, executives, interns, directors, and publicists. It’s work for reviewers, educators, administrators. It means taking courageous, real-world steps, not just changing mission statements or submissions guidelines."


Quotes from the Article by 

Art by Julie Dillon


"The notebook was her way to build a life, to bridge the gaps between the images she had absorbed during lessons at the compound and the full experience of living."
Murder of Crows  - Anne Bishop

p. 255 (of the ebook version)

p. 40

Murder of Crows  - Anne Bishop

This government/institution chapter is creepy. You could probably do a whole study on heroines and institutions/asylums from the gothic era to contemporary urban fantasy. I think I need to let my analytical brain rest though

I enjoy reading analytically at uni but I find that if I don't have something to read for pleasure, life becomes overwhelming. Reading outside of uni anchors me.


I've always found it difficult to find a balance uni with other parts of life. I'm enjoying my anthropology and Japanese literature classes but I've also reached a point where I need to do something aside from studying. I wish I could work and attend uni at the same time but it can be difficult dynamic to manage which is why I'm just attending uni. 


I haven't abandoned this reading space but will return when I can.

p. 80

Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension - Michio Kaku

Finished the intro chapter on the fourth dimension. I loved the historical bits and I can see the parallels in many sci-fi stories. I feel like watching Doctor Who again.

Is Gender-Flipping the Most Important Meme Ever?

I love this article. See the flip of the book and graphic novel covers. 

On the art of persuasion

Lexicon - Max Barry

I liked how Lexicon touched on the power of words and our responses them to them. In this novel, a character is tested and trained as a 'poet' to coerce people through distinctive verbal and/or behavioural cues. The competitive, grim and isolated nature of the Academy reminded me of the school in Lev Grossman's The Magicians.


Lexicon looks at the different levels of persuasion. It's a sci-fi thriller that starts off with two separate storylines which eventually converge as the story unravels. The opening of the novel has an good grip on the reader but some of the longer character conversations occasionally slowed down the pacing. Many of the characters are flawed so they can be unlikeable at times but it suited the tone of the genre. 


I found that I was intrigued by the secondary repressed characters towards the end. Perhaps that's why I preferred the grim climax over the epilogue.


This was the first time I'd come across the term neurolinguistics. I'd like to read more about the topic. Kudos to the agents/poets with code-names like Bronte, Eliot, Woolf, Dickinson etc.


I don't read many thrillers but Lexicon's themes of control and power reminded me of the TV shows Alias, Dollhouse, the anime Code Geass and the film Read or Die.


*As for any trigger warnings - there are 3 trigger scenes that I recall E.g.  the test in chapter 2.

The Uni Library Haul

The Power of Myth - Joseph Campbell, Bill Moyers The Hero with a Thousand Faces - Joseph Campbell, David Kudler The Future is Japanese: Science Fiction Futures and Brand New Fantasies from and about Japan. - Masumi Washington, Nick Mamatas, Ken Liu, Felicity Savage, David Moles, Project Itoh, Rachel Swirsky, Toh EnJoe, Pat Cadigan, Issui Ogawa, Catherynne M. Valente, Ekaterina Sedia, Hideyuki Kikuchi, Bruce Sterling, TOBI Hirotaka Hyperspace - Michio Kaku Reload: Rethinking Women + Cyberculture - The Juniper Game (Point) - Sherryl Jordan Palm-of-the-Hand Stories - J. Martin Holman, Lane Dunlop, Yasunari Kawabata

Let's see if I can finish these books before my last undergrad semester begins...


...I've just started The Power of Myth and I'm restraining myself from quoting. I can't wait to read Hero of a Thousand Faces.


I grabbed The Future is Japanese because of the anthology's theme. I'm also a fan of Catherynne Valente's and Ken Liu's writing.


I picked up Hyperspace because it mentioned parallel universes. Michio Kaku is on my must-read list for non-fiction.


Reload: Rethinking Women + Cyberculture. This one contains critical commentary on gender and sci fi. The collection also includes Feminist cyberpunk short stories by writers I want to check out. E.g. Octavia E. Butler, Anne McCaffrey & Alice B. Sheldon - alias - James Tiptree Jr. 


I loved Winter of Fire by Sherryl Jordan so I'm curious to see what her YA sci-fi is like in The Juniper Game.


I wonder if Palm of the Hand Stories will be on my Japanese Lit. list next semester.




The Great Book of Amber - Roger Zelazny

I really need to stop buying books instead of grabbing something to eat after magazine meetings on Thursday nights.


Anyway, I was at one of my favourite book haunts and found a copy of The Great Book of Amber! It was marked down to a bargain because of a small tear at the back. I've been wanting to read these chronicles ever since I dug through Garth Nix's recommendations.


In the past, I have read Zelazny's novella - To Die In Italbar. I found that I liked his writing style but I remember being frustrated with how the female characters were represented. It often happens when I read some classic sf but I'm hoping these chronicles are different.


The secondhand book salvage of today: featuring gods, robots and the usual. Don't know when I'll get to reading them (except for The Keeper of Isis Light which I've already gushed about. This cover is a little retro but I like how the actual illustration of the pink leggings appears more like armoured scales which is closer to her description in the book.) I've been wanting to read Elantris for ages and came across the hardcover at Basement Books. I've read a few of Asimov's robot short stories so I'm curious how a novel will turn out. Tam Lin is a good folktale so I wonder what this early modern retelling will be like.

I have three local library books and six university books so I should not run off and borrow any thing else...


From the local library:


- The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness

- Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam

- The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton


From uni:


- Dream Catcher by Monica Hughes (currently reading)

- Invitation to the Game by Monica Hughes (currently reading)

- The Isis Pedlar by Monica Hughes

- The Poems of Kazue Shinkawa (currently reading)

- Exodus by Julie Bertagna

- Kissing the Witch by Emma Donogue



(I really need to finish reading the uni ones because the library fines are awful and stop people from graduating. I hope I can read the first 4 before Feb 14 to avoid it.)

Currently reading

Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places
Ursula K. Le Guin