Reading Wednesday

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 08:40 pm
laceblade: Cardcaptor Sakura, smiling at viewer, surrounded by pink. Text: RESOLUTION (CCS: Resolution)
[personal profile] laceblade
I'm not great at this once-weekly posting about books, am I?!

Mercedes Lackey update: After reading/really disliking Winds of Fate a while back, I was concerned I'd only like the first trilogy; however, I read Exile's Honor and By the Sword and really liked both. tbh I LOVED By the Sword so much. Super excited to read Oathbound also. Reading in publication order seems really important, and I think is why I floundered so much in Winds of fate. I kinda want to reread the Valdemar parts of Winds of Fate with more context now.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken - I remember reading this several times in elementary school, but all I remembered about the plot/characters was that I liked it. It holds up well - LOVE! - and apparently is part of a series, so I'm looking forward to finding out what happens to everybody.

The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu - Basically like Animorphs where a Yeerk takes over your brain & can control your movements, except no morphing lol. This was a real page-turner and hit a lot of my trope buttons, but I really hated how the female characters serviced the plot [as in I can't remember the last time I felt so angry over this] and it REALLY needed an editor. Did it get edited at all? It felt like no. STILL, I liked it enough to be interested in reading the next book to see what happens.

Nina Kiriki Hoffman stuff - I read Fall of Light even tho [personal profile] jinian warned me not to. This was pretty creepy but I liked the protagonist?? Still, uncomfortable/sense of unease. Read Heart of Memories really annoyed me, and Stir of Bones actually kind of really set me off. I need to not read things where the protagonists talk about wanting to be dead :)
It's kind of put me off trying more by her, even though I'd like to try more. :/

Story of Saiunkoku manga - UGH SO GOOD. I LOVE THIS STORY SO MUCH. [personal profile] intothespin said on twitter that Shurei is like Leslie Knope and YES, SO MUCH YES. ALL SHE WANTS IS TO BE A CIVIL SERVANT AND DO A GOOD JOB AND HELP HER COUNTRY. It really speaks to the state employee in me, :*) In addition to bureaucracy + shoujo manga + amazingness.
I really wish the novels would be translated into English, either professionally or by fans, so I can find out what happens next, :( I think the manga and the anime left off in the same place.

Time Stranger Kyoko, vols. 1 and 2 by Arina Tanemura - pretty good, fluffy fun? But what I loved most of all was the implicit f/f declaration of love. Like Tomoyo and Sakura, it just makes me go *____*

The Movement by Gail Simone - Suggested by someone at comics club, honestly can't remember who. Sadly, this tried to grab a niche from the Occupy movement, and fill this space of "fuck the system" vs. police, but the dialogue was terrible, I gave zero fucks about the characters, and it was just really bad.

Phoebe and her Unicorn - Meant for children, compared to Calvin and Hobbes. Lots of one-off pages that also tell a story about a precocious girl with a prissy unicorn friend. Boring, hated it.

The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory, aka her book about Mary, Queen of Scots. This details when she was held prisoner by George Talbot and Bess of Hardwick. I REALLY LOVE MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS? I THINK I LIKE HER MORE THAN ELIZABETH I? It's funny - I have a couple coworkers who are really into Tudors books [one of whom is the one lending me all these, who's sadly leaving for another job!], and one of them really despises Mary QoS, thinking she was stupid for not just taking her Scottish crown and being happy with it. Gregory makes her sympathetic, and from her POV all of her actions make sense, to me. Her observations of Elizabeth as mean, entirely under the control of William Cecil, and how she reacts to fear/etc. rang 100% true to me. Bess of Hardwick was pretty fun to read about, too. I can see why some people would dislike the impressionistic POV-switching that's going on between the three characters, but for me it help the pace going in what was overall a reflective book, excepting all the Rise of the North stuff.

Questions I am pondering

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 09:57 pm
next_to_normal: Spike and Dawn looking thoughtful; text: are you pondering what i'm pondering? (Spike/Dawn pondering)
[personal profile] next_to_normal
1. Is it problematic that my diet now consists almost exclusively of grilled cheese? I do occasionally eat other things (eggs, for example, which seems to be the only food left I have not at some point vomited back up), but I had TWO - count 'em - TWO grilled cheeses today. Not for lack of trying - I made an attempt at broth at lunchtime and chicken for dinner, but couldn't manage more than a few bites of either.

Something about that combination of buttered bread and cheese - which they tell you not to eat when you have an upset stomach! No dairy is one of the main things they tell you! But this is not your normal nausea, apparently - manages to satisfy my stomach's desire for solid food, because the nausea kicks into overdrive on an empty stomach, while also not being substantive enough to cause too much abdominal pain as I digest, while ALSO apparently being bland enough not to upset the delicate balance in there but not SO bland that the mere thought of choking it down makes me want to hurl (like the chicken, pasta, rice, crackers, toast, and every other goddamned starch on the planet). 

2. Why don't they just sell ginger ale already flat? I'm sure there are a few people out there who actually like drinking it (my mother is one of them), but it's also sort of universally accepted as "the thing you drink when you have an upset stomach" but for that it's supposed to be FLAT, so why not just sell a non-carbonated version? It'd probably be a big seller! Because it is a pain in the ass to have to sit there and stir out the damn bubbles. When I want my ginger ale, I want it NOW. I've actually taken to pouring out glasses and just letting it sit, so that by the time I'm ready to drink one, it's already flat. 

3. Is sympathy puking a thing in cats? Chelsea chokes up the occasional hairball just like anyone else, but she's vomited twice during the last couple weeks I've been sick. I know that seeing (or worse, SMELLING) someone throwing up can cause an upchuck reflex in people, but CATS?

(Actually, I think I know the answer to this one. I think it's just that she eats too fast. Because occasionally I'd forget to feed her so she'd be really hungry? And by "forget" I mean "lay down to take a nap, totally meaning to get up again before I go to bed, but I was on that crazy knock-out medicine so six hours later the nap turns into just going to bed" and I'd feed her the next morning.)

Reading Wednesday, 09/02/15

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 10:42 pm
umadoshi: (Toby - One Salt Sea 01)
[personal profile] umadoshi
What did you recently finish reading?

Yesterday I reread The Winter Long (the eighth October Daye book) and started in on A Red-Rose Chain (the ninth), the bulk of which I read today. ^_^ I haven't sat back and reflected on it much, but I feel pretty happy with it. And for people keeping tabs on QUILTBAG representation in the series, we now have no names/details, but cut for those who want absolutely NO info going in )

This evening I also read the second American Vampire graphic novel and the second and third Lazarus GNs. I don't think I'll get any more of the former from the library, but I'll try to remember to keep an eye out for Lazarus 4 being released.

What are you currently reading?


What do you think you'll read next?

Probably Sally Green's Half Wild, which I believe will be the first novel I've checked out of the library this year (in my effort to work through the bookcase of purchased but unread books). I bought Half Bad in Toronto in June, and would probably have just gone ahead and bought Half Wild, but a usual problem reared its head: I own Half Bad in paperback, and Half Wild is only out in hardback so far. :/ No point trying to wrestle with the question of a matched/mismatched set when I don't yet know for sure that I like the series well enough overall to want to own the whole thing.

I'm rarely tempted to just switch to ebooks entirely; I don't mind reading them, but I do still prefer paper. But the combined factors of "never have a mismatched paperback/hardback set again" and "(barring tech problems) hopefully never need to wait for a desperately-anticipated new release again" do make it appealing sometimes.


Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 02:46 pm
kalloway: (Xmas Lights 1 Rainbow)
[personal profile] kalloway
I'm doing fairly well with the sleep-pattern adjustments - I didn't even grab an evening nap last night, though I expect I'll want to tonight... Work was ridiculously hot last night, so I'm also feeling a little broiled. ^^;;

Drafting has done a sharp curve upward in difficulty, but I have Thursday to work on this week's assignments. And some manual lettering pages I can arguably work on at home (if I can wrangle a flat surface - all my plans for desks/tables have fallen apart because piles of things).

Still not sure if I've got the weekend off. It'd be nice, but it really depends on production and whatnot. *sighs* I basically need to do a lot of catch-up/housework stuff. I wouldn't mind knocking out a pile of ficlets, too. *laughs* Right now I'm working on something for The Hollow Kingdom, which is a lovely book but writing for its cast is tricky...

And getting close to the end of Captain Earth, which continues to be really enjoyable. I want to finish it and maybe get through Tactical Roar this weekend, if days off happen. I have a lovely to-do list already made and think it looks like a thing I can manage. ^_^

Yeah, that's about it.

tonight's adventures in ravelry

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 02:05 am


Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 08:53 pm
twistedchick: text/design -no matter where you go, there you are (where you go)
[personal profile] twistedchick
The media have noted that Kim Davis, the not-quite-working-as-a-county-clerk in Ohio, is represented by a group called Liberty Counsel.

Why is it that nowhere in the media has it been mentioned that Liberty Counsel is not a law firm, but a 501-c-3 charitable organization?

From their website:

Liberty Counsel® is an international nonprofit litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics. With offices in California, Florida, Virginia and Washington, D.C., and an outreach in Israel, Liberty Counsel has hundreds of advocates around the world.Mat Staver at the U.S. Supreme Court

Recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization, this Christian ministry is funded by tax-deductible donations from concerned individuals, churches, businesses, foundations and other organizations.

The purpose of this ministry is to preserve religious liberty and help create and maintain a society in which everyone will have the opportunity to discover the truth that will give true freedom....

All you can find out about them is here. Click on the tabs for more info.

(And I think... she's making 80 grand a year, and she has these guys? Why doesn't she hire someone who studied at an actual law school?)

Both Sides of the Pond

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 07:35 pm
yourlibrarian: Bradley James in a shirt and tie (MERL-BradleyTie-andiwould)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
1) I mentioned a few posts back that I'm digitizing my CD collection. The occasional weirdness has been eyebrow raising. Read more... )

2) This reminds me of the pharmaceutical model -- the money is in chronic illnesses, not in curing you. The Ashley Madison hack revealed that fewer than 2500 of the accounts listed as female (which was under 15% of all accounts) ever were active on the site, as most were likely fake accounts.Read more... )

3) In a conversation with shapinglight, I mentioned my reaction to the Netflix series Frankie & Gracie. I thus found it rather interesting to compare to my recent viewing of Last Tango in Halifax (also available on Netflix). Read more... )

4) This article is aptly titled America is for rich people, and discusses what inequality actually looks like in terms of compensation, though it could do more in pointing out how already having money gets you breaks in all sorts of ways (rather like the way a celebrity is more likely to be offered a free meal or item than someone who actually needs it).

5) I have my doubts about this result but it's an interesting study to have been done about TV viewers: "Teen boys were more likely than older Millennial women (25-34) to self identify as a feminist."

Where is my dark wet freedom, that dark wet freedom?

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 07:59 pm
sovay: (PJ Harvey: crow)
[personal profile] sovay
Most of today was exhausting, overheated, and unproductive. There was a lot of walking in the heavy sun for nothing. The pharmacy gave me the wrong medication, which I cannot exchange for the correct one until tomorrow. That said—

1. Some unknown benefactor has sent me a DVD of Pier Paolo Pasolini's Medea (1969), starring Maria Callas. Thank you! This is one of the best movies I know about the ancient world.

2. Because it was titled Kore (2006), and because its original songs had titles like "Kore," "Ericina," and "For the Oracle," I impulse-bought a CD by Marlene Tholl from the coffeehouse in Ball Square. So far this does not appear to have been a mistake. Vocally, she reminds me somewhat of Heather Dale, although folk-rockier in style. The CD booklet opens with a short lyric, not replicated so far in the songs I've heard:

Have you heard tell of White-armed Persephone?
She dreamt underground like a seed in winter
She made love with a dark god
She gave birth to her own mother

The photography throughout shows a woman in white entering a cave choked with autumn leaves, a woman in red emerging into the greenery of spring. At the center of the booklet, a marble frieze of Hades catching Persephone up in his arms. Paging [ profile] nineweaving.

3. I have discovered an entire Tumblr dedicated to ancient Mesopotamia. Hey, look, it's the earliest known author: Enḫeduanna of Ur, priestess, princess, and poet. Across forty-three centuries, she's still speaking.

4. The latest issue of Poetry is very strong: I was especially struck by Roisin Kelly's "Oranges," Doireann Ní Ghríofa's "While Bleeding," Martin Dyar's "The Donnellys," Stephen Connolly's "Fianaise Bhréagach," and Miriam Gamble's "Marine Snow."

5. So this photo does nothing to disprove my native association of Jareth and the gentleman with thistle-down hair.

The cats are curled up sleeping at different points around the house. I would join them if I didn't have work to do. Autolycus purrs a little when he snores.

2015 - #87, "Principles of Angles", Jaine Fenn

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 12:00 am
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine

Last time I read this book, I was making crazy tech-talk whistlestop tour around Swedish universities (the plan was six tech-talks in five cities, in five days, we missed doing a tech-talk, but still visited, the fifth city). This time, it was much more restful, and more enjoyable.

It is some sort of starfaring future, with levitating cities and whatnot. We follow three main viewpoint characters, Taro, Nual and Elerenn.

Taro is the adopted son of the Angel Malia. Not a literal angel as in messenger from God, just the name for the City's corps of augmented assassins. Malia died just befoe the book started, leaving Taro to fend for himself in the Undercity (basically, nets and walkways welded to and/or suspended from the underside of the floating City). To earn his daily bread, Taro is a prostitute.

Elerenn is a visitor from the planet Kathryn, where most people profess themselves to the Salvatine religion. She is a performer of unaugmented religious song, visiting the City on a tour.

Nual, on the third hand, is an Angel.

Somehow, their lives end up intersecting, in complicated ways, with extra twists and turns. Apart from the fact that the world described is pretty horrible, the book itself is a pretty good read. It's also book #1 of #5 in a series.
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

And now I’m caught up with the new books and ARCs that came in while I was on tour! See something you like here? Tell me about it in the comments.

And if you are in or around Columbus tomorrow, remember that I am coming to the OSU bookstore for my final tour event.  I’ll be there at 7pm. You could be there too! And as always, remember to bring every single person you’ve ever met in your life. Thank you.

(no subject)

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 02:52 pm
mrbumblepants: (Default)
[personal profile] mrbumblepants
I'm experimenting with ways to motivate myself & keep my anxiety down.

Motivation: I'm putting three things in my to do list per day. If I finish those three things, I can choose more to do. Days when I'm home run from about 8 am to 6 pm. After that, I want to work on relaxing things or fun projects. So far I either accomplish more or the same amount as before, but with much less anxiety.

Anxiety: I suspect part of my problem is I have gotten out of the habit of daydreaming. So I'm purposely reminding myself to do so. Also watching videos of people making things, because that really gets at the excitable part of my brain. I also want to explore world building without having to deal with a story - so just exploring a place & seeing what's there. All of the fun, none of the social stuff needed for interacting with characters. I might do this in my writing some time in the future. I wonder how many people would enjoy reading an extended description of a place.

I'm also trying to make Dreamwidth my default place for writing stuff again. I will interact with Twitter and Facebook, but I really need the solitary thought compiling time a journal offers.

On the note of writing, I am now starting to get back into it. Working on my red panda time travel story. I've simplified the plot, so slowly working on fleshing that out.

Other things:
- transcribing podcasts
- planning out Halloween & gathering materials
- making bog coats; attempting to make a 'bog shirt.' The bog coat I made is a success, and this is definitely something I will want to wear post-top surgery. I was going to try to get vests, but these work just as well for my purposes, and are very easy to make! So I am making a few with what material we have, then slowly getting more.
- slowly finishing up my nearly finished jewelry projects
- organizing my craft supplies! I have finally organized my beading collection, and I am ridiculously Thrilled! Hopefully getting to the craft room today, after working at the giant mound of laundry.

Today is going well!

Fan = glutton for punishment...

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 10:57 pm
cloudsinvenice: sepia photo of man at typewriter with cats on his shoulders and desk (Default)
[personal profile] cloudsinvenice
Naturally after the tumult of The End Of Hannibal, I had to get back into Ripper Street. I am assured that it's worth hanging in there for, but my god, it's accomplished more wailing and gnashing of teeth in this house in the first four episodes of season 3 than Hannibal did in an entire three seasons. Yes, even the episode with the... laboratory slides...

Reassuringly, vidders have made two versions of the Friends opening credits, remixed a la Hannibal:

This Week I Learned

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 10:38 pm
naye: quill and kipling quote (words)
[personal profile] naye
So Skuld did some actual medical research, and I have learned that alcohol is not a good thing to treat an open wound with if you want to encourage healing. Apparently the alcohol kills the growing cells alongside with any possible infection.

Whoops. (We had alcohol wipes at home and used them all up before realizing that was a bad idea.)

FemslashEx Dear Author letter

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 05:01 pm
sarken: janeway from basics ([star trek] of steel)
[personal profile] sarken

Comment Bingo

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 01:13 pm
elf: AO3: So awesome, even the logo is celebrating (with logo with party hat) (Celebrating AO3)
[personal profile] elf
As part of early prep for Yuletide, [personal profile] morbane brought up leaving comments, and someone mentioned the list would make a good bingo card. I added a few options and made myself a card.
fanart 2 fics in a fandom where each is from a different Yuletide subcollection a fic in a fandom you’ve previously offered a fic you've bookmarked a fic in a fandom you don't normally read
a fic in a fandom you mean to request this Yuletide a fic in a Yuletide Madness collection (any) every fic in a series the first fic you read in a fandom a work that has two of your favourite tags
a fic with 5 or more "additional" tags 10+ comments in a week THINK ABOUT COMMENTING a fic in a fandom you mean to offer this Yuletide a fic tagged gen
2+ responses to the same prompt a fic with multiple chapters a work by someone who's given you a kudos or a comment a fic from Yuletide 2014 a fic tagged with Misses Clause challenge
comment in a fandom where there are fewer than 10 fics a fic you've already commented on a WIP a fic tagged f/f comment in an exchange that isn't Yuletide

News Post: Metal Gear Flaccid

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 06:50 pm
[syndicated profile] pennyarcade_feed
Tycho: When precisely a PAX ends is a philosophical thing.  As I learned after the inaugural PAX South, for many attendees the show actually goes late into the night after the closing ceremony - and for Enforcers and Attendees, the show must be reduced to atoms and then transmitted to the next location.  For me, PAX has two culminations: one, after we honor the Enforcers at the afterparty, and two (as previously described) when my phone is provisioned on my home network.  Both things have come to pass.  The portal is closed. For my part, though, I am still ringing with it. …

Official~ Femslash Exchange letter

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 09:30 pm
hibernate: ([random] pretties)
[personal profile] hibernate
Hello [community profile] femslashex writer!

Thanks in advance for whatever you plan on writing for me! I am pretty easy-going about these things -- your enjoyment in writing is more important to me than any particular likes of mine. I would ask that you avoid the dislikes I've listed below, but other than that, feel absolutely free to disregard this letter if that works best for you.

Likes & dislikes )

Fandoms )

Wrapping Up 2015: A Hugo Awards Open Thread

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 05:56 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

I’ve had a few people express a desire for an open thread here to discuss this year’s Hugo Awards, to touch on some topics I haven’t specifically addressed; separately, Charles Gannon, who was nominated for the Nebula year, and was just below the cutoff for the Hugo Best Novel award this year, noted something I said in a previous entry about his work and had some thoughts he wanted to post. In both cases I thought it would be useful to give space for folks to comment and discuss, before we (quite properly!) put the Hugos to bed for another season.

So: Here you are, an open thread for discussion whatever you like about the Hugo Awards this year, with Gannon’s long-but-worth-the-read piece in the lead-off comment position. Agree, disagree, add your own thoughts, careen off the thoughts of others, it’s all good.

That said: Remember the comment policy here and keep it wholly; while my plan is to keep my own commenting to a bare minimum in order to let folks have room to discuss, I won’t hesitate to wade in to Mallet people getting out of line. Be polite and respectful to each other and keep the frothing down to a bare minimum, please. I thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Now then. Last call for Hugo Award 2015 thoughts and feelings. Don’t be shy, step up and let’s hear what you have to say.

Reading Wednesday

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 07:09 pm
sally_maria: Cartoon image saying "Cool Story Bilbo" with the Ring as one of the Os. (Cool Story Bilbo)
[personal profile] sally_maria
I've actually managed two recs today, one fanfic and one book.

One is a very long (115k) Middle-earth story - The Shadow of War by rhymer23

I've loved all of rhymer23's Tolkien-based stories, but this one is an epic. It has one of my favourite fanfic literary devices, each chapter begins with an excerpt from one of the historical works written about the period, from the social historians to the Great Man obsessive.

e.g. From The Shadow of War, by Hanion son of Hannor, loremaster of Osgiliath, F.A. 942 )

It's a wide-ranging and nuanced tale, with sympathy for the different cultures and societies represented, and for the high and lows of human nature. It also brings a wide range of characters, both Tolkien's and original, to life, and gives us the chance to identify with their fears and their joys. I particularly liked her handling of Eowyn, one of my favourite characters, and the way she is coming to terms with her new life and the expectations placed on her.

It's the kind of story AO3's ebook download function is made for, and I will certainly be keeping it in my ebook library for the future.

The other is a cosy travel book, ideal for people who like Michael Portillo's Railway Journeys (and I definitely count myself in that category). On the Slow Train Again by Michael Williams is a sequel, a second set of journeys on the branch lines and byways of the modern day network. It covers 12 journeys, in places from Cornwall to the north of Scotland, and west Wales to East Anglia, talking to railway staff, campaigners for the various lines, and residents. It's interesting, readable, and even has the occasional Tolkien reference. :-)

About This Blog

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Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.

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