Graeber, David – Debt: the first 5,000 years : rec’d by pharm on Metafilter : “he writes about the way societies who based their economies on slave labour had a kind of societal guilt about the institution that expressed itself in (amongst other ways) bloody violence against the slightest hint of slave revolts out of the fear of what such a revolt would do to the slave-owning classes – in other words they feared the worst because they knew deep down that they deserved the worst.”
Beard, Mary – SPQR : rec’d by sukeban on metafilter “”Last month I tried to read Tom Holland’s Dynasty. It literally begins with how Rome was founded on rapey rape rapeness and macho posturing and honor and such. So I endured a couple of pages and went on to Mary Beard’s SPQR, which begins about how the exact same legend of Rhea Silvia and Romulus and Remus is a fiction about which different versions Romans themselves disagreed a lot.
And this is why we need women writing history books.
(SPQR goes on contrasting the Roman legendary history with archaeological findings and it’s an awesome book)”
Kirstein, Rosemary – The Steerswoman : rec’d by Renay – Lady Business “This book isn’t only about strength of body, but also about being smart, well-read, a good listener, and skilled at observation. Maybe that’s where I feel like there’s a difference with the more modern fantasy I’ve read. It places a very high value on skills that might be considered passive or “soft” but are actually incredibly difficult to master.”
North, Claire – Touch : rec’d by Liz Bourke on Tor.com “It’s tightly-plotted, driven, tense, and brilliantly written. There are moments where the prose sits up and sings. Throughout, it’s saturated with a sense of not-quite-regret, a wistful ruefulness, that fits elegantly with the cathartic inevitability of its conclusion. Altogether a fantastic book.”