lodessa: lol (firefly/serenity)
So I was looking at Goodreads and thinking about anticipation, and how a new book that comes out gets read immediately in front of the long long queue of existing books I want to get to. Here are books I am looking forward to:

This Year
Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins - August 24th
An Artificial Night, Seanan McGuire - September 7th
Side Jobs: Stories From the Dresden Files, Jim Butcher - October 24th

In Future Years
A Late Eclipse, Seanan McGuire - March 1st, 2011
Ghost Story, Jim Butcher - March 29th, 2011
Deadline, Mira Grant - May, 2011
Blackout, Mira Grant - 2012
A Dance with Dragons, George R.R. Martin - Probably Never

What are you looking forward to?

(BTW Cow: Thanks!)
lodessa: lol (dr. who-martha-possiblity and prosperity)
Last night we watched Castle, and we laughed out loud and enjoyed it greatly. Seriously Nathan Fillion I adore you forever (see: sitting through Slither and not hating him at all in Waitress) and it was so nice to just enjoy something for being enjoyable. Of course that just made me wish Dollhouse was better than it is (not hating on, just underwhelmed). Seriously, David Boreanaz, Summer Glau, Alyson Hannigan, and Nathan Fillion are all rocking the shiny awesome new shoes and Eliza Dushku can't? When she is the one with Joss Whedon? I call foul.


Here, have a Doctor Who gen vid to Regina Spektor (spoilers for Season 4): The Call


Also, I just finished up reading Allison Croggon's Pellinor Series and while there is definitely room for it to have been more awesome, I found myself super pleased it existed. It is, at last, a book one can give to a teen/tween girl that is an epic fantasy with a female hero, which is both totally safe in both the sense of it does not espouse messed up gender/relationship ideas (I'm looking at you Twilight) and that it has no possibly protective parent angering content (much as I like the sex and multiple partners in The Lioness Quartet). Also I really loved the characters and sort of wanted to write fic about them while reading last night. So next time you are looking for something give a young lady in your life, I strongly suggest these books.
lodessa: lol (btvs-faith-bad example)
So I caught up to date on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and got through book 4 of the Temeraire series.

I continue to be pleased with the prior but have hit a roadblock with the latter. Basically the increasingly negative and stereotypical exoticism as the books go on in really getting the way of my escapist fantasy enjoyment. The first book it's a non issue, the second has some classic orientalism but at least there are some things that are better about the Chinese than the British and at worst they are presented as foreign not inferior or evil, by the third I started getting tingles of an issue with the depiction of the Ottoman empire, but only in vague ways, but then we get to Africa in book 4 and I keep expecting things to get better but they get terribly worse. Given how aware the author seems to be of issues like slavery, racism, sexism, classism, etc. in other ways, I am pretty disappointed and surprised to see her fail so wholly here. I may write more about it at a later date, but for now I just wanted to jot it down and see if anyone else had thoughts on the matter.

The only TV I am behind on is one episode of BSG (we had company over and then I was out of town and there was only time for T:SCC and Dollhouse before Jeremy passed out last night).

And of course I have to say a little something about Dollhouse. Basically, it's too soon to tell, I think we will all be happier just thinking about this as the Eliza Dushku show than considering it as a Joss show... because so far I see a lot of highlighting of the prior but not much trace of the latter. But hey, so far I have no complaint of a show about Eliza Dushku being hot and awesome in every possible way, with extremely creepy undertones and a cross gender primary relationship that is more child/parent than romantic. So we will see. Maybe it will turn awesome, maybe it will continue to be alright, or maybe it will soon horrify us.

ps. Helo is still heart.
lodessa: lol (beauty and the beast-library)
We interrupt this post for the following announcement:

Law and Order: UK. Starring Freema Agyeman and Jaime Bamber. I could not be more excited.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.


Books Read so far in 2008

1) The Darkangel (The Darkangel Trilogy, Book 1), Meredith Ann Pierce (YA, Sci-Fi/Fantasy)
2) Lady Friday (The Keys to the Kingdom Series, Book 5), Garth Nix (Children's Lit, Fantasy)
3) A Gathering of Gargoyles (The Darkangel Trilogy, Book 2), Meredith Ann Pierce (YA, Sci-Fi/Fantasy)
4) Unmanned (Y: The Last Man, Volume 1), Brian K. Vaughn (Graphic Novel, Dystopia)
5) The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz (Contemporary Literature)
6) Cycles (Y: The Last Man, Volume 2), Brian K. Vaughn (Graphic Novel, Dystopia)
7) Closing Time (sequel to Catch-22), Joseph Heller (Contemporary Fiction)
8) One Small Step (Y: The Last Man, Volume 3), Brian K. Vaughn (Graphic Novel, Dystopia)
9) Safeword (Y: The Last Man, Volume 4), Brian K. Vaughn (Graphic Novel, Dystopia)
10) Ring of Truth (Y: The Last Man, Volume 5), Brian K. Vaughn (Graphic Novel, Dystopia)
11) Girl on Girl (Y: The Last Man, Volume 6), Brian K. Vaughn (Graphic Novel, Dystopia)
12) The Pearl of the Soul of the World (The Darkangel Trilogy, Book 3), Meredith Ann Pierce (YA, Sci-Fi/Fantasy)
13) Paper Dolls (Y: The Last Man, Volume 7), Brian K. Vaughn (Graphic Novel, Dystopia)
14) Affinity, Sarah Waters (Gothic Fiction, Queer Fiction)
15) Kimono Dragons (Y: The Last Man, Volume 8), Brian K. Vaughn (Graphic Novel, Dystopia)
16) Motherland (Y: The Last Man, Volume 9), Brian K. Vaughn (Graphic Novel, Dystopia)
17) Good Omens, Neil Gaiman/Terry Pratchett (Apocalyptic, Religious, Humor)
18) Legends in Exile (Fables, Volume 1), Bill Willingham (Graphic Novel, Urban-Fantasy)
19) Mort (Discworld Series), Terry Pratchett (Fantasy, Humor)
20) Animal Farm (Fables, Volume 2), Bill Willingham (Graphic Novel, Urban-Fantasy)
21) Storybook Love (Fables, Volume 3), Bill Willingham (Graphic Novel, Urban-Fantasy)
22) March of the Wooden Soldiers (Fables, Volume 4), Bill Willingham (Graphic Novel, Urban-Fantasy)
23) The Mean Seasons (Fables, Volume 5), Bill Willingham (Graphic Novel, Urban-Fantasy)
24) Homelands (Fables, Volume 6), Bill Willingham (Graphic Novel, Urban-Fantasy)
25) Arabian Nights (and Days) (Fables, Volume 7), Bill Willingham (Graphic Novel, Urban-Fantasy)
26) Wolves (Fables, Volume 8), Bill Willingham (Graphic Novel, Urban-Fantasy)
27) Sons of Empire (Fables, Volume 9), Bill Willingham (Graphic Novel, Urban-Fantasy)
28) 1001 Nights of Snowfall (Fables, non-linear), Bill Willingham (Graphic Novel, Urban-Fantasy)
29) One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Magical Realism)
30) Deadeye Dick, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Contemporary Fiction, Apocalyptic)
31) The Wall: And Other Stories, Jean-Paul Sartre (Short Stories/Novella, Existentialism)
32) The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Volume 1, Alan Moore (Graphic Novel, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Gothic Fiction) )
33) The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Volume 2, Alan Moore (Graphic Novel, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Gothic Fiction) )
34) Dance with Me, Luanne Rice (Popular Fiction, Romance) )
35) No Future For You (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8: Volume 2), Brian K. Vaughn (Graphic Novel, Urban Fantasy) )
36) The (Nearly) Great Escape (Jack of Fables: Volume 1), Bill Willingham (Graphic Novel, Urban Fantasy) )
37) A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce (Stream of Consciousness) )
38) Whys and Wherefores (Y: The Last Man, Volume 10-final), Brian K. Vaughn (Graphic Novel, Dystopia) )
39) The Good Prince (Fables, Volume 10), Bill Willingham (Graphic Novel, Urban-Fantasy) )
40) Superior Saturday (The Keys to the Kingdom Series, Book 6), Garth Nix (Children's Lit, Fantasy) )
41) Idoru, William Gibson (Cyberpunk) )

Breakdown By Type
Graphic Novels: 25
Literary Fiction: 6
YA/Children's Fantasy: 5
Genre Fiction: 3
General Fiction: 2

Currently Reading:
House of Mirth, Edith Wharton



Movies Seen in the Theater This Summer (from favorite to least favorite):

1) The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - Usually adaptations of books are disappointing or just so widely different that it's basically a different story, but occasionally there comes an adaptation that actually improves on the book. This was one of those. The movie teases out the character motivation and development that lay fallow in the book, rounding the characters and turns route summaries into evocative description. Additionally, I was inclined to like the film because it was beautiful, in setting and in its cast.

2) Ironman - When I heard this movie was good, I was surprised. When I actually saw it and enjoyed it as much as I did, I was shocked. I mean... he's fighting the terrorists. This is usually an instant turnoff for me and yet it wasn't here. Gwyneth Paltrow has never been a favorite of mine and I've never considered her as really attractive, but here she was simply stunning (also I wanted all of her clothes). Ultimately I am forced to conclude that it's just a really well made movie. The pacing and dialogue were good, the acting was just right as was the tone, and it was incredibly shiny.

3) Hancock - Boy did this movie exceed my expectations. I went in with a base assumption of being entertained by Will Smith that Jason Bateman would be in it. I expected it would be kind of silly. But it really wasn't; sure there were some funny lines, but I actually think it's the most serious superhero/adventure movie I have seen in I don't know how long. Will Smith didn't seen gratuitous, and in fact may I say that I feel that he is aging ridiculously well and I am far more likely to feel smitten with him now than ever before. And I loved Bateman's character... which was just similar enough to Michael Bluth not to throw me, but was more of what Michael might have been if raised by a less insane family... or at least differently insane. And there was a twist, which wasn't full of plotholes, and which the trailer didn't give away like they so often do.

4)Dark Knight - So I really liked most of the things about the movie, but it was far too long. The creators seemed not to understand that just because a scene or idea is good does not mean it belongs in a movie, book, tv show, play or whatever. It would have been a two hour and ten minute movie, and there was a perfect point to do so there. spoilers ) That said, the extraneous scenes were still good in their own right and I enjoyed the movie quite a lot. But I really do think that this movie exemplifies part of why Ironman was such a hit. It's simple and doesn't drag on for 40 minutes after what should be the end (like almost every movie to happen recently, including Casino Royale for instance). I had a secondary pet peeve, which was spoilers )

5) Hellboy II: The Golden Army - Okay, so I was seriously really excited about this movie and I suspect that had I not been it might have rated higher on my initial impression. When it comes out on DVD I will probably be more forgiving. But this was a movie that the previews really showed too much of. I still enjoyed the banter and characters, but I already knew the awesome cinematic moments that were coming and the climax didn't feel that exciting. Also, the whimsical look of the creatures, which is magnificent in Pan's Labyrinth, just contrasted awkwardly with the rough and tumble feel of Hellboy. The new addition to their team was a mistake and terribly executed and actually made my brother miss Myers. Also there was a spoiler ) and while it was the least offensive execution of one I have seen in a long time it still is always a terrible idea.

6) Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull - It was enjoyable and hit all the right trigger buttons for the franchise nostalgia. I feel that if I thought too deeply about it then it would fall apart, but it was a good ride. In fact, it made me want to go to Disneyland and ride the Indiana Jones Adventure ride. So good job on that, marketing.

7) The Incredible Hulk - This was a ridiculously lazy movie. Basically they just rested on the laurels of having Edward Norton and didn't bother taking advantage of that fact. Liv Tyler is still pretty and still boring. Basically, it lacked the amazing direction of the first one (which I liked for that reason despite the other issues) and didn't give us much in return except for the promise of an Avengers movie with Edward Norton, Robert Downey Jr., and Matt Damon. They would have been better off not making a film at all because the idea of Norton as the Hulk is more interesting than what's on the screen in this case. Better direction and cinematography might have made the same plot really worthwhile, but the execution was lackluster and disappointing.


Ps. Yes I am possibly already coming up with RPF for a show that hasn't even been made yet.
lodessa: lol (soiaf-jaime/brienne-in bed)
1) I am really behind on my flist, but I had a great weekend:

a) Geeky Friday night of BSG and World of Warcraft with Jeremy and my brother.
b) Delicious homemade Macaroni and Cheese I had been craving but not making for a while.
c) A state of the union conversation with Jeremy that actually went somewhere.
d) Actually doing the laundry Saturday morning, and folding it.
e) Udon, Tempura, and Pot Stickers with Jeremy and [livejournal.com profile] sophia_helix for Saturday's late lunch.
f) Some walking around on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, mocking the drunk undergrads.
g) Delicious boysenberry frozen yogurt topped with cookie dough, marshmallows, bits of waffle cone, and fresh raspberries.
h) Going to the used bookstore and buying (or rather letting Jeremy buy me): William Gibson's Idoru, Neil Stephenson's Snowcrash (because my lovely early 90s copy disappeared a while back), Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game (which our copy of has also wandered off), Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s Deadeye Dick, and a copy of Sartre's The Wall which was translated by Lloyd Alexander.
i) [livejournal.com profile] sainfoin_fields arriving so that we could go to a show in the city that evening.
j) Quality time with Jeremy while [livejournal.com profile] sophia_helix and [livejournal.com profile] sainfoin_fields went to the movies.
k) Getting to the show at just the right time, Desa being great as ever, and Facing New York going predatory and completely draining my soul with their amazingness and seeming more awake than I have seen them in a long time. Also their being symbolic of everything about Contemporary Art(no matter the discipline) as a whole.
l) Art is not a science.
m) Cheese fries and mozzarella sticks at Denny's to recharge after the soul exfoliation.
n) Getting up at 9:15 Sunday morning, despite not getting home until 3:30 and reading Fables: Volume 9 and 1001 Nights of Snowfall while waiting for [livejournal.com profile] sainfoin_fields to wake up.
o) Successful shopping trip for the beginning of [livejournal.com profile] sainfoin_fields new wardrobe, in which she actually ended up with more stuff than [livejournal.com profile] sophia_helix and I, rather than the reverse.
p) Surprise date night with Jeremy, which included tasty fake Mexican and a margarita which ended up excitingly since I had failed to eat anything during the day.
q) Actually getting a full night's sleep for the first Sunday in ages.


2) I'm also behind on my TV, 2 weeks behind on Doctor Who and still haven't watched any of the NBC stuff since it returned. I am up to date on BSG and Bones though.

3) Why has no one ever mentioned to me the fact that 100 Years of Solitude is the most incest filled book ever?

4) I need a beta for a ASOIAF fic. It's Jaime/Brienne.

Yay Books!

Apr. 8th, 2008 09:39 am
lodessa: lol (beauty and the beast-library)
Good Omens

I've been meaning to read Pratchett and Gaiman so I figured reading Good Omens would give me a head start on both, also people seemed to really like it. I was not disappointed at all. It was a really good book, well constructed and executed. It was funny, sweet, and ultimately humanist.

Additionally, I was struck by two things:

1. This is the slashiest book I have ever read. I mean obviously I knew already by osmosis that Crowley/Aziraphale was a big OTP, but usually people are in some sense subverting the text for these pairings. Not so with this one. A six thousand year forbidden love is nothing to be scoffed at. And in a book that is about humanity taking control of its own destiny, their central place is interesting; because, of course their story is really about how they have become sort of human really, and their relationship is the keystone to that. So apparently, nothing is more human than slash.

2. Footnotes. This appears to be Pratchett habit, but I was struck by having run into them twice in fiction in the last month or so (when previously I can't remember actually running into author created ones). It's entirely possible that Junot Diaz was somewhat inspired by Pratchett's use, since he is a sci-fi/fantasy buff apparently. In the end, I must conclude that I love footnotes and should start using them instead of parentheses.



Fables: Volume 1

I started reading Fables with hope and apprehension. I love fairy tales and re-tellings, but most of the time urban fantasy is clunky and executed without finesse. People use both things as a shortcut, instead of enhancing already fine work. So far this doesn't seem to be the case with this one.

Bigby is an excellent character to get one hooked into. He's Wolverine in a way, an archetype that has always appealed to me. He's a brute, but that makes him more trustworthy and rawly sexual in a way. Juxtaposing him with Snow White works well because it defines both characters more clearly by what they are not. It also works for their interactions and the push-pull aspect. I feel like I am fangirling their relationship already. Snow is so very locked down emotionally, well mostly sexually, and I really want to see her melt. Okay, I confess I have sort of been turned on by the idea since.

All the cameos and characters less involved in the plot were for the most part also well executed. Jack and Rose Red were lightly dealt with, as was Snow's ex-prince, but it was enough to give you a picture. Beauty and the Beast were priceless. Bluebeard was chilling.

I completely look forward to reading more of this series
lodessa: lol (dr. who-ten-deranged)



List a book I have read and I will come up with a paper I could write about it.


incomplete but fairly extensive list of books I have read located here


ETA - Handwriting meme (tagged by [profile] endilwen_09 )

Handwrite the following:
1. Your username/name.
2. Left-handed or right-handed?
3. Favourite letters to write?
4. Least favourite letters to write?
5. Write "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog".
6. Tag 5 people.

lodessa: lol (dr. who-mickey/rose)
First I have sort of an awkward question/request to make. I'm writing a story right now that is contains a number non-white characters (African American, some of whom are of mixed parentage) and I'm finding myself terrified of putting my foot in my mouth and saying something stupid, stereotypical, or just generally offensive, in relation to their ethnicity and at the same time not wanting to just ignore it. So I was sort of hoping that maybe someone on my flist who would define themselves as being of said racial category might be willing to talk me through it a little.



Now: Two memes!


[livejournal.com profile] assymbia posted a Shakespeare meme earlier and that got me thinking about Shakespeare in general and so a Shakesperian meme of my own:

Comment with a character from one of Shakespeare's plays and I will reply with 3 facts from my personal canon about them. (If I haven't read/seen the play I reserve the right to ask you for a different one... additionally the link has me replying with my stats so you can check that if you want something from an obscure one.)





The apocalypse meme as stolen from [livejournal.com profile] sophia_helix and [livejournal.com profile] sainfoin_fields (both of whose responses are well worth reading).

Fill in the blanks, and I will attempt to fic it:

Three things _____ did after the world ended by _____.

e.g. Three things Toby Flenderson did after the world ended by nuclear attack.
e.g. Three things Luna Lovegood did after the world ended by clowns.


Suggested Fandoms (This is just a starting place, I'll try anything [regardless of format] that I know):

A Song of Ice and Fire
Bones
Doctor Who (New)
BtVS
AtS
Firefly/Serenity
Veronica Mars
30 Rock
Arrested Development
The Office
BSG (because I just re-watched the mini [which is totally more depressing out of context, btw].)
lodessa: lol (babylon 5-ivonava-is zoe)
I have long been hesitant to read this book. I'd known Catch-22 had a sequel even since I read it during the summer of 2000. Heller mentioned it in the preface to the edition I had, spoiling me (Yossarian lives!) and I even knew that my beloved Chaplain Tappman was in it. But I loved Catch-22 so and was afraid of being disappointed... after all if this book lives up to the prior's standards wouldn't I have heard it acclaimed by others? I decided never to read it. My brother had other ideas though and got it for my birthday in the spring of 2005. Get over your fears, he said. Still it stayed in my "to-read" pile. In 2006 I came across another Heller novel in the used book store and picked it up. It wasn't related to either of the others and so I figured it was a good test run to see if Heller stood up outside of Catch-22 or was just a one hit wonder. The book was Good as Gold; It was very good if not up the level of greatness of Catch-22. Heller's frenzied pace of expanding and contracting spirals seemed consistent (though this book was linear). Still it had been another year and a half, when in the fall of 2007 I was trying to decide what book to read next and asked my boyfriend what to read. He said Closing Time not knowing the story of how the book had come to sit and stay on the to-read shelf (oh yes I had a shelf [or two] by this point). I picked it up at last.

So why did it take me almost 6 months to finish this book? Was it terrible? It wasn't terrible... it was just dense and hard to read quickly. Almost everyone I've talked to on the subject agrees that Catch-22 takes longer to read than it's word count or entertaining nature would lead you to expect. I think much of that is the case here too. You cannot read Heller quickly without losing the value of it. Most of us who are fast readers skim. It's a fact, and if you skim Heller you become hopelessly lost and miss everything. So I had to slow down... read a chapter or two at a time (my grandest achievement in progress was reading 100 pages one night when my boyfriend passed out early and I didn't go to bed until close to midnight).

The other reason it took so long is that there is a weird meta quality about the book. It's very now in that. It pulls you out of the story and makes you think about what exactly Heller is doing, though. When I first started Closing Time I said that it read like very good fanfiction of the original book, with (obviously) perfect characterization. As I continued reading though, I discovered that is more of a crossover or hybrid. Heller had mixed Catch-22 and his own style in with Vonnegut's style. He crosses out even to referencing reality and real authors who are part of the appropriate generation including himself and Vonnegut and spins into the fantastic in a way that keeps his pacing but when you break it down seems much more something Vonnegut would have come up with. He references. It's interesting and appropriate, and that (combined with my desire to see Chaplain Tappman finally get home once more and Yossarian scam on nurses and Milo make all the profits) made me glad I read the book. It's not the masterpiece that Catch-22 is, but it was an interesting read for me, both as story and as text.

Besides, now I finally understand how Ex-PFC Wintergreen was the most important person in their section of the military during Catch-22.
lodessa: lol (btvs-faith-bad example)
1) Monday of this week, I finished Junot Diaz's The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which did not disappoint. Diaz goes from large scale description to the intimately personal with such grace and incorporates diverse elements and genres in a way that is incredibly calculated but at the same time impossibly fluid. If you are going to read only one contemporary lit book, read this one. A lot of what the text treats on is trite on one level but the narration and perspective on it transforms the matter from dross to sublime. Plus you will all have fun picking up the variety of nerd references stretching from alterna comics to Lovecraft to anime and back again. The way he talks of El Jefe as Sauron with his cronies as Nazgul, while also telling you about the gruesome details with all the gritty certainty of realism. It's about the Dominican Republic, about growing up a fat nerd, about growing up Dominican in the US, about families and their intricacies, about superstition and fate and free will.

2)So I've been watching Tru Calling and Tuesday night I finished the first season and found myself totally being sad that there are only 6 episodes left. And it wasn't just because Eliza Dushku is gorgeous either. The premise (Eliza Dushku's character Tru works at a morgue; dead people ask her help, and she then relives the day in order to save them.) is a little suspect, but the larger storytelling, the cast as a whole, and the way the show handles tricky issues, really won me over. At first I was just excited to see Eliza Dushku play a responsible, college graduated, who hopes to go to med school, and takes care of her dysfunctional siblings, instead of just being the generally sexy rebel. But Tru is a good character for her own merit, flawed enough to not be annoying, but someone you can really root for. She has serious enough tragedies to feel relevant but all in all things don't seem to have been totally horrible for her or anything. She has a nice apartment, a college degree, and is pretty and easy to like. She wasn't raped or abused. But her family is messed up, her mother was murdered in front of her eyes, and whether she will ever make it to med school is in question. They make the wise decision of having Tru's brother and her boss/assistant play a bigger role than her love interest. Both characters are interesting and very different from each other. I'm not as crazy about the female supporting roles. Tru's cokehead executive sister is satisfying to watch but hardly original, and her best friend Lindsey remains ultimately a stereotypical and shallow (though not mean spirited) girl whom Tru can never confide in. People react reasonably to Tru's interference, not just suddenly believing some random girl they don't know. Tru's fragmented and damaged family comes across realistically and sympathetically. Her relationship with the other characters on the show and the problems her special talent bring to her life are believable. The thing that makes me the most sad about the fact that the show was canceled is that I am really starting to care about the mythos of the show and the mystery surrounding Tru's mother's murder (which took place 10 years before the show begins).

3) Wednesday, I decided to go to the new Costco in the town just north of us (so new that the street it's technically on hasn't even been finished yet). It's a good 10 feet wider than all other Costcos I have been in. Kyle went with me and we got there at about 7:30. Standing in line, I suddenly had a craving for one of their hot dogs. Maybe it was only having had a modest bowl of Raisin Bran, but I was really excited about the idea and Kyle was too. Seriously it's probably been almost a decade since I've had one. I overheard the cashier asking the people in front of us if they wanted anything from the food bar and though that was convenient. She didn't ask us though. I almost said something but then was like whatever I'll just get it at the actual stand. So we waited another 15 minutes to get to the front of the line only to find out that they were CASH ONLY. Our options where:
a) Stand in the original line again to pay with a card, then stand in the pick up line.
b)Get money from the ATM and stand in the food line again.
c) Give up.
We gave up mostly because I was annoyed. Why would they have a new thing be cash only, and if it was why did the bitch cashier not give us the opportunity? We were profiled! Plus I was starving so I felt like crying. So we went to KFC because we were trying to think of somewhere we don't go often. Plus they have delicious biscuits.

4) We all like to laugh at writers like Anne McCaffery and for good reason. Their books tend to be all the same, at least after the first few. But honestly she was my gateway into fantasy (well my parents read some to me, but hers were the first ones I read for myself). I've read so many of her books that I have a hard time remembering which ones they were vs. the ones I haven't. And I enjoyed them (mostly for the cheesy but implied porn romance plot lines). So tell me, what redundant writers have you read so many of that you no longer remember the individual titles? I'm thinking fantasy authors but any other genre is okay too. I also read a ton of those "The Cat Who blah blah blah" mysteries. And on the kid/ya front I read a ridiculous amount of: Nancy Drew, The Nancy Drew Files, Christopher Pike, Sweet Valley High, and The Babysitters Club. My favorite professor once referred to how we approach these things as consumption reading, differentiating it from when we take time to look at a text and judge it's merits. So tell me flist, what kind of literary junk food have you gone through in your time?

Reading

Feb. 4th, 2008 09:38 am
lodessa: lol (bones-cam)
This Weekend's Reading:

Lady Friday by Garth Nix (Book 5 of the Keys to the Kingdom Series)
Darkangel by Meredith Ann Pierce (Book 1 of the Darkangel Trilogy)


Apparently I can only read fantasy books these days and even then only if they are aimed at children or teenagers.
lodessa: lol (office-jan-calculated risk)
Joseph Heller's Catch-22 is definitely on my Top Ten as far as great books go. Having read it the summer before my Junior Year of High School (I took turns reading out loud with my dad which is a wonderful way to go), [livejournal.com profile] hobviously and I were pretty much obsessed with it for the rest of High School. I knew, from the preface of my edition, that there was a sequel to Catch-22 and that spoiler ). We fearfully suspected that, since the sequel was not well known or part of the literary canon, it would be disappointing and ruin our love of Heller. On my 21st Birthday, my brother Kyle and his girlfriend at the time, Kristyn, decided that I should face my fears and bought me the book. I didn't read it. I did however come across a copy of Heller's Good as Gold in my local used bookstore and read that. It seemed less sacred since it wasn't about Yossarian or the Chaplain or anyone having to do with the air force stationed on Pinosa. It was perhaps not the utter masterpiece that Catch-22 is but it had a lot of brilliant things in it, which showed Heller's phenomenal grasp of human nature and modern society, and it was a really enjoyable read, funny and engaging. Closing Timeremained in my stack of unread books along with Eliot's Middlemarch and an otherwise rotating slew of great literature and assorted fantasy novels. Last night I finished the random bargain book that [livejournal.com profile] hobviously and I bought at random ages ago about an aging widow school teacher in the former Soviet Bloc who suddenly develops a halo and accidentally starts performing miracles and had to figure out what to read next. All my unread books were lined up so I asked J what I should read. He originally suggested World War Z which I originally bought as a host present for [livejournal.com profile] adelynne but forgot to bring with me, but since I hadn't bought it for myself but someone else it wasn't at the top of my list. He followed that up with Closing Time I felt I couldn't say no a second time and decided to face my fears.



I read a short way into the book and so far I have the following thought:

Overall this book is sort of like really good fanfiction. Fanfiction that is not just an engaging story but with captures the life and breath of the characters and doesn't just comply with canon but swaddles itself in it. The kind of story which is hilarious and touching because of the source text entirely. The urge to laugh and cry come mostly from what the current books is tying into. That is to say it cannot stand on its own but it seems like the perfect thing for someone who just wants more of what Catch-22 gives. It's like the fannish merchandise or deleted scenes or just ANYTHING related to the canon that is so beloved. And it is good at what it does. I don't think it will ever be great on its own two feet but I think it may just be a very successful sequel and spin off and supplement.
lodessa: lol (bones-bones/booth-talking in class)
These are the top 106 books most often marked as "unread" by LibraryThing's users. As usual, bold what you have read, italicise what you started but couldn't finish, and strike through what you couldn't stand. Add an asterisk [*] to those you've read more than once. Underline those on your to-read list.

The List )


In conclusion: Ariel cares very little about "contemporary literature" and likes a lot of stuff that people find hard/boring.
lodessa: lol (dr. who-ten/martha-need to take a walk)
So I am starting back up my studying for the Literature in English GRE Subject Test. Instead of starting in with Beowulf last night and working my way back up to the present... I thought I'd actually start with something I liked. Today I will be facing Beowulf... because sadly it's not going anywhere, but in the mean time notes on Mary Wollstonecraft, far more awesome than her more famous daughter. Feel encouraged to discuss with me. This will probably be the first of a series of posts about English/American Literature.

Mary Wollstonecraft )
lodessa: lol (narnia-heathen)
10 Things to Read Now That Harry Potter is Over

1) George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire Series
* Epic Fantasy
* Varied three dimensional complex characters
* Extraordinary world building
* Adult Series
* Major Balls


2) Garth Nix's Abhorsen Trilogy
* Unique Tone
* Interesting World Building
* Satisfying Resolution
* Dark YA Fantasy


3) Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials Trilogy
* Huge aspirations
* Being made into a major movie
* Interesting Theological Concepts
* Strong World Building
* Bit off more than it could chew... but still chewed enough to be worthwhile
* Classified as Children's/YA fiction but more appropriate for adults


4) Neil Stephenson's Snowcrash
* Awe inspiring prose (seriously I don't usually go off about prose but this guy is amazing)
* cyberpunk
* interesting characters
* believable and yet intriguing and foreign world
* written in the 90s but holds up well
* insane mythological/technological blending
* Adult Series

5) William Gibson's Neuromancer
* Essentially founded the cyberpunk genre
* gritty and realistic
* Stephenson's book and the Matrix owe this book a great debt
* Mysterious and large scale
* Adult


6) Tamora Pierce's Lioness Quartet
* Brain Candy
* Female Protagonist
* Multiple Consummated Love Interests
* YA Fantasy


7) Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain Series
* Medieval Fantasy World
* Hero of humble origins
* Hermione-like heroine
* Children's Fantasy


8) Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising Series
* Arthurian Mythos
* General British/Celtic Mythology
* Modern Day Fantasy
* Also being made into a film
* Children's/YA Fantasy


9) Monica Furlong's Wise Child
* understated tone/quiet elegance
* realistic witchcraft
* female centric
* Children's Fantasy


10)Orson Scott Card's Enchantment (actually anything by Orson Scott Card)
* Urban Fantasy
* Russian Folklore
* Distinctive Tone
* Adult but not because of any graphic violence or sexuality
lodessa: lol (firefly-zoe scrutinize)
Wonderful fics by my flist outside of our usual "fandoms" but things you're probably farmiliar with the canon for:


[livejournal.com profile] starrysummer wrote Hamlet-fic Now Cracks a Noble Heart: Horatio-centric, Horatio/Hamlet, Horatio/Ophelia.

[livejournal.com profile] alyxbradford wrote Trojan War fic Astyanax: Andromache and Cassandra AND Arthurian Legend fic No Sin: Arthur/Morgan.

[livejournal.com profile] assimbya wrote Alice in Wonderland fic Without the Lobsters: Gryphon/Mock Turtle(suprisingly un-squicky)AND Dracula fic Repentance: Mina-centric.
lodessa: lol (firefly-simon/river- daphne and apollo)
[livejournal.com profile] sionnain Posted "6 Ficathons or Challenges You Would Like To See". I'm inspired to post: "6 Friending Frenzies You Would Like to See":

1) Booklovers' Friending Frenzy: Because there needs to be a way to up the amount of Sartre squee on your flist or find more people to discuss the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay.

2) Rarepairs Friending Frenzy: So here's the problem with multi-fandom friending frenzies... No one gets a chance to tell you WHAT they like about the show/book/whatever. So chances are you are going to end up with a bunch of Logan/Veronica and Harry/Draco and there's nothing wrong with popular pairings but I you're like me you are looking for people who are into Logan/Weevil and Sirius/Bellatrix instead and tend to avoid the popular shippers because well... it's overrunning your flist.

3) Philsophical/Opinion Friending Frenzy: Because you might like the same pairings or characters as other people but not for the same reasons and you could find you disagree with every real life issue and find their approach to life annoying but then again you could find someone you have opposite shipping choices from but feel a lot of resonance with.

4) TV Doctors Friending Frenzy: There are so many doctor shows on TV. For me it's Grey's Anatomy and Scrubs but there's also ER and House and it's a nice way to be multi-fandom without being ALL over the place.

5) Music Lovers' Friending Frenzy: So I'm not the only one who is obsessive about music... and it's nice to have other people to obssess with and share the discovery of new audio crack with.

6) Life Path/Living Situation Friending Frenzy: Maybe you want to find other people in med school or you're aspiring to be a teacher and want to find someone who already is to be inspired/mentored my, or maybe you just want someone to commiserate with. Either way it's nice to read other people's posts and think "I'm not alone" or "It is possible".


So. If you could make friending frenzies happen what would they be?
lodessa: lol (30 Rock-Liz and Jack-Going into Battle)
Re-reading Great Expectations a few months ago I noticed myself making a lot of parallels to Harry Potter and also realized some connections I had been making all along.

There are some obvious things, like Harry and Pip both being orphans(like so many heroes). Pip spends his childhood living with his sister, whereas Harry lives with his mother's sister. Both women are quite abusive to the little boy, although Pip has it much better off because of Joe. Joe to me seems to have a strong similarity to Hagrid, the big strong man who is strangely childish and affectionate to the hero. Both also serve as the first people to give him reinforcement, as Joe protects Pip as best he can from his sister and Hagrid is the first member of the wizarding world Harry interacts with and he takes him away from the Dursleys. This life is abruptly halted by a miraculous opportunity, or rather necessity, of leaving it behind for something much better (for Pip: to be a gentleman, and for Harry: going off to Hogwarts). Both of these changes are unexpected but make sense of random events in the depressing childhood chapter of the boys' lives (Harry and the snake; Pip and the man with the file who gives him money).

The connection that appeared first and most strongly to me is that between Ron and Herbert, Harry and Pip's best friends. Upon rereading GE I realized that I had been reading Ron in terms of him during my whole study of HP without realizing it. Both boy-men are loyal, proud, not stupid but not particularly brilliant, and will never be as "special" as the hero. Both come from overly large families with not quite sufficient income, and both serve as a sort of model for the hero of what the appropriate etiquette and virtues for this new life are, in which Ron and Herbert have grown up but Harry and Pip are newcomers. This is also related to the parallel between the Weasleys (Ron's family) and the Pockets (Herbert's family). In addition to their similarities in number and finances, both families somewhat adopt the hero and also are seen as having the "right world outlook" as opposed to other families (or branches of families) in the society the hero has entered (eg. the rest of Miss Havisham's family or the Malfoys). There is a slight quirkiness and a definite chaos to Pockets and the Weasleys, but is presented as being an endearing quality.

Then we come to the boy's convict-benefactors. Pip begins by being terrified by the convict and then later disgusted by him but finally learns to love and appreciate the man who has done so much for him, only to have him killed. Similarly, Harry begins by hating and fearing Sirius but then becomes attached to him after hearing his story, just like Pip. Sirius is then also killed almost as soon as Harry has learned to appreciate his godfather, despite his best efforts to save him. Both men actually die as a result of the boys' efforts to save them in fact. Their guardian-love actually leads them to death and danger needlessly. Both men are also fugitives, who end up being somewhat innocent (the convict was indeed a criminal but one out of circumstances and mainly was convicted because he was framed by an associate while Sirius was also framed by someone he trusted and is not evil (although we have learned he was no saint and did nearly get Snape killed, above and beyond humiliating him).

A smaller detail is the boys' obsession with a girl who they enjoy thinking about but actually never have a good time with (Cho for Harry and Estella for Pip).


And we have come to the end of my lunch hour so that will be all for the moment although there is much more to be said... Although I can't help prognosticating connections to come:

*Something tragic ought to befall Petunia to make us like her better and feel sorry for her, just like "Mrs. Joe"

It becomes very hard to know who serves as a Biddy character, she seems somewhat similar to Hermione but has nothing to do with Herbert and there is so romantic tension between her and Harry and then there becomes implied HG/RH and that's just weird.

Okay really going now...

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Ariel

March 2016

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