(no subject)

Apr. 29th, 2017 05:39 pm
yhlee: Jedao's motto: I'm your gun (hxx I'm your gun)
[personal profile] yhlee
Chocolate Ammo

(I wonder if Jedao would eat chocolate ammo?!)

The satisfied customer endorsement really worries me:
The chocolate is surprisingly delicious and I now use the tin to store my real ammo. Great idea!--Damien Drake, Washington, USA

That either sounds like a trip to the ER or a firearms safety accident waiting to happen...O.o

Reading: The Unicorn Hunt

Apr. 29th, 2017 08:58 pm
white_hart: (Default)
[personal profile] white_hart
The fifth in Dorothy Dunnett's House of Niccolo series see Nicholas travelling to Scotland, the Tyrol and Egypt, dealing with the fallout from the events of the last few pages of Scales of Gold and pursuing feuds old and new. Like all of Dunnett's books, this is full of wonderful evocations of travel; it made me long to see the eastern Mediterrean and the Middle East for myself (and also reflect on the parallels between the rise of the Ottoman Empire in the late fifteenth century and the risk of Isis now). Plot-wise, it seemed to meander rather, with Nicholas and his companions pursuing an ill-defined quest, or possibly one only really understood by Nicholas and which, as readers, we haven't yet been given enough information to understand; I rather suspect that this book will make a lot more sense in the light of the last three books which I have yet to read. Character-wise, it's a delight; Nicholas himself is closed off and forbidding for at least the first half of the book (I think one difference between him and Lymond is that when Lymond appears to be behaving like a complete arse it's normally because he is following a complicated plan but still trying to do the right thing really. Nicholas is often doing it because he is actually not a nice person and doesn't want to do the right thing), but his colleagues and companions continue to grow and develop their personalities, and I particularly liked how many strong and powerful female characters there were.

I'm still not sure I really understand where Nicholas's story is going, but I'm definitely enjoying the ride.

She came to stay...

Apr. 29th, 2017 04:02 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

It's just over two years since I wrote these three sentences, intended to be an entire one-off, for 3 weeks for Dreamwidth; and that turned into a world and nearly a million words, still going.

***

And in other business:

As someone who is not a grandparent, but is a retiree, I somewhat resent this suggestion that we are a 'reserve army' that can be despatched about the matter of revivifying villages and rural communities:

He would mobilise the “reserve army of grandads and grannies and retirees” and put them to work on “the cutting of grass, the repair of roads, the feeding of elderly residents, the maintenance of schools, the lopping of branches off dangerous trees”.

One of the by-products of having a fair number of years under one's belt is a tendency to sigh 'what, not another one?', when a book inspired by some famous case or person comes along: I had this sensation myself re a new novel about Lizzie Borden, and Kathryn Hughes rather wearily makes a similar point about latest work on the Victorian mesmerist Elliotson.

I think there is some middle ground between that feeling I sometimes have that 'surely everybody knows that already' about some subject with which I am overfamiliar but which is less well-known to the generality, and that thing I have whinged about before in which 'forgotten' actually means 'I hadn't heard of this/them before'.

kiwiria: (Books: Warm Books)
[personal profile] kiwiria
T-3 (11am): It'll be rather interesting to see how this crossposting goes when I keep updating the same post over and over again! So if you're reading this on LJ and it doesn't seem to update on a fairly regular basis (at least for the next 12 hours) - head over to DW and catch up with me there :-)

In two hours Mum will come and pick me up and we'll head to Rebekka's place. It'll be really weird not to have readathon in my library, but anything to allow my sisters to attend :-) We're going to try to FaceTime with Isabella in Thailand as well, so she can join us at least for a little while. Hope it works!

But not having it at my place means that I haven't really done many of my usual preparations... I have a huge box of books to bring with me, and my fair share of snacks, but the library hasn't been made ready, and I don't have dinner cooking in the crock-pot... like I said - weird. But I'm sure I'll live ;-)


See you in a bit for the opening questionnaire. I expect it's going to be exactly the same as always, but it's part of the tradition :-)

Read more... )

Books Read: "Sue Barton, Student Nurse" - Helen Dore Boylston (169)
Currently Reading: "Rosemary and Rue" - Seanan McGuire
Pages Read: 169+246

FMK: The Snow Queen

Apr. 28th, 2017 08:28 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
So, it turns out The Snow Queen is not high fantasy and is a fairy tale AU. Oops.

About the only other things I knew going in was that I had really liked Vinge's Cat books (not actually books about cats, books about a dude named Cat, sorry), that she had at one point been married to Vernor Vinge, and that I was pretty sure that years ago I had heard a rumor that her husband was a total POS.

...turns out that I was unable to find anyone saying anything bad about Mr. Vinge, but her current husband is Mr. Banned-From-Wiscon himself, so apparently I have been thinking poorly of Mr. Vinge for years for no reason. Sorry, sir! See, this is why this stuff needs to be out in the open, not whispers.


Anyway, as for the book itself: it's well-written, I didn't hate any of the characters, the world-building and plot mostly hang together (at least until the very end, anyway), the concepts are interesting, there is no compelling reason I shouldn't have liked it, and yet I never quite managed to get into it. It isn't even that it's not my thing, because it *should* be my thing, and yet )

Anyway, short version: You could probably do a Snow Queen retelling that used the story in a way that worked for me (I should really get my hands on The Raven and the Reindeer) but this was not it; and I would totally read an entire novel about Ngenet and Jerusha (as long as Jerusha got to finally show a tiny bit of minimal competence which she never actually did in the book - a plot line about how she is unfairly treated as incompetent because she's a woman doesn't work if she never actually is competent); and I should have listened to my instincts and run when the summary on the back ended with "...the one man fated to love them both."

...interestingly I also read Makt Myrkranna today (having never read Dracula all the way through) which is also about a pretty, innocent young man who gets lured into the clutches of an ancient powerful beautiful cold devouring woman and her consort, and how his true love traveled across a continent to rescue him and save the world, but somehow I don't have any of the aforementioned complaints about it. A++ worldbuilding, dude does not let heterosexuality make his choices for him, lady makes reasonable choices based on the knowledge she has at the time and caring about him as a human being she is fond of who is in trouble.

I also read Pale Guardian, but I think that's actually the first Ashers book in which nobody ever has to rescue James, so it doesn't quite fit the set.

(eta: no, wait, Simon rescued him at least once in between Simon and Lydia repeatedly rescuing each other, nvm. On a motorbike.)

(I have been sick lying on the couch all day, which is why all the reading suddenly. Also I still have four more library books and two fmk waiting lalala.)
oursin: Books stacked on shelves, piled up on floor, rocking chair in foreground (books)
[personal profile] oursin

How eBooks lost their shine: 'Kindles now look clunky and unhip'.

Which sounds to me a statement about 'at first it looked cool and cutting edge to have an e-reader, now everybody has one, meh'.

I.e. it's all about the lifestyle statements, which certainly seems to me to emerge like a miasma from all the to-do about books as lovely artefacts and saying something about the person:

#bookstagram, a celebration of the aesthetics of books, where books are the supermodels and where readers and non-readers can see cats and dogs reading books, books photographed in landscapes, books posed with croissants, sprays of flowers, homeware, gravestones and cups of coffee, colour-matched and colour-clashed with outfits, shoes, biscuits and in what can only be described as book fashion shoots. You just can’t do a shelfie with an e-reader.

No, but you can sit down and bloody read the thing, rather than poncing about making design statements.

We are in the same territory, I fear, as those interior designers who consider books as quirky objects and do not see shelves as things which should contain as many books as possible, fie upon your sea-shells and plants and framed photos taking up space.

Why mainstream publishers may be feeling the pinch on ebooks might possibly be because they price them like hardbacks rather than paperbacks. Okay, there are some authors whose latest work I would buy at that price, because I would buy them in hardback when they came out, and I am trying to reduce the number of books that come into the house.

(Stop laughing.)

And somebody please pass a) a sickbag and then b) a large codfish:

Once upon a time, people bought books because they liked reading. Now they buy books because they like books. “All these people are really thinking about how the books are – not just what’s in them, but what they’re like as objects,” says Jennifer Cownie, who runs the beautiful Bookifer website and the Cownifer Instagram, which match books to decorative papers, and who bought a Kindle but hated it. Summerhayes thinks that “people have books in their house as pieces of art”. One of her authors’ forthcoming works features cover art by someone who designs album covers for Elbow.

One is reminded of those arrivistes who bought tastefully bound volumes by the yard to fill up the shelves in the library in the stately mansion they had bought (or had built). NQOSD.

(no subject)

Apr. 27th, 2017 10:54 pm
yhlee: Avatar: The Last Airbender: "fight like a girl" (A:tLA fight like a girl)
[personal profile] yhlee
Joe and I did not realize that the anime Fate/Zero was a prequel to Fate/stay night, thus leading to a brief WTF??? when we hit the ending of the former. Can anyone who's familiar with both tell us without being too spoilery, in general terms, whether Fate/stay night is as, um, traumatic and Nightmare Fuel-laden as Fate/Zero?

P.S. We also did not realize it was an Urobutcher show when we completely randomly picked it to watch. HA HA HA HA HA the more fool us.

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