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Joined 2 months, 3 weeks ago

silly little guy


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2023 Reading Goal

43% complete! possm has read 13 of 30 books.

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The Red Flag : A History of Communism (2009) 5 stars

Bird's eye history of the 20th century

5 stars

Priestland is a great storyteller. I learned a lot from this book. It's a history of communist movements and communist rule, not a history of communist ideas as I originally expected. Since the scope of the book is extremely broad, some things are simplified, which is fine. The basic idea is that Marxism has three facets: Romantic, Radical, and Modernist (synthesized from Fourier, Babœuf and Saint Simon respectively) and the history of communism is depicted as a dance between these three. This model works very well I think.

Confessions of the Fox (2018, One World) 4 stars

Set in the eighteenth century London underworld, this bawdy, genre-bending novel reimagines the life of …

Fun read

4 stars

Content warning Tone of the ending mentioned

妖怪客棧2 (Paperback, Chinese language, 2019, 悅智文化) No rating

姑獲鳥剛剛平息紛爭,李知宵和妖怪客棧的房客們忙於幫忙重建羽佑鄉,同時還忙於新學期的課業。不知不覺,三年級第二學期就這樣結束了,迎來暑假的他準備和柳真真、沈碧波以及妖怪房客們策畫一次大聚會! 然而事與願違,有一個脾氣特別壞的大妖怪也迎來了假期,她非要住在妖怪客棧。這個妖怪竟然讓螭吻都害怕得瑟瑟發抖!如此人見人怕、妖見妖藏的妖怪到底是誰?李知宵生氣了,他要為自己討回一個無憂無慮的暑假……

Part 2 let's go!

妖怪客棧1 (Paperback, Chinese language, 2019, 悅智文化) 4 stars



Fun fantasy novel

4 stars

I read this novel mostly to improve my Chinese proficiency. It was great for this purpose. The target audience is tweens I think. Children aged about 9-13. So the language is simple, the narration has a good flow, it's all quite easy to follow. Occasionally I didn't understand a detail or two, but that's fine. The book (first of a series) is set in a harry potter-like setting where the normal, human world is secretly inhabited by supernatural creatures that also have their own spaces and realms. The supernatural elements are all borrowed from Chinese literary tradition, especially the Shan Hai Jing. The book really invites the Harry Potter comparison, the little boy protagonist's female friend even has Hermione's exact personality. I did wonder about one thing: the protagonist, Zhixiao, inherits the "monster inn" from his father who died, that's what sets the plot in motion. But there is no …

妖怪客棧1 (Paperback, Chinese language, 2019, 悅智文化) 4 stars



Finished just 2 days before the end of the reading challenge!

commented on 妖怪客棧1: 姑獲鳥的紛爭 by 楊翠

妖怪客棧1 (Paperback, Chinese language, 2019, 悅智文化) 4 stars



This challenge is going well, I've been reading a chapter every day, today even two chapters! I enjoy the harry potter-esque setting and I feel like my reading comprehension is improving quite a lot.

Imperialism: The highest Stage of Capitalism 4 stars

Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism (Russian: Империализм как высшая стадия капитализма, romanized: Imperializm kak …


4 stars

I felt like a bad Leftist not knowing Lenin's imperialism theory. Now I can cross this off. Main points are: - capitalism is in its latest stage, characterized by monopolies and the dominance of finance capital - capital gets exported to colonized countries - the working class in the imperialist countries benefits from the exploitation of the colonized countries - Kautsky is wrong and we don't like him - monopoly capitalism intensifies the contradictions of capitalism - capitalism is decaying

I find it interesting that we've been supposedly living in "late stage capitalism" for over a century now. Maybe it's time to stop being this optimistic.