Lunacat WILL be here for 2012
This topic was continued by Lunacat WILL be here for 2012 - Part 2.
Join LibraryThing to post.
74. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
75. Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clark
76. Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
77. Feed by Mira Grant
78. Deadline by Mira Grant
79. Blackout by Mira Grant
64. Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett
65. A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
66. The Wilderness Family by Kobie Kruger
67. The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
68. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
69. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
70. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
71. The Enchanted Forest by Violet Bradby
72. Among Others by Jo Walton
73. Divergent by Veronica Roth
58. Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
59. The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
60. The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
61. Pyramids by Terry Pratchett
62. Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett
63. Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett
34. Death in La Fenice
35. Death in a Strange Country
36. The Anonymous Venetian
37. A Venetian Reckoning
38. Acqua Alta
39. The Death of Faith
40. A Noble Radiance
41. Fatal Remedies
42. Friends in High Places
43. A Sea of Troubles
44. Wilful Behaviour
^ All by Donna Leon
45. Jill's Gymkhana
46. A Stable for Jill
47. Jill has Two Ponies
48. Jill Enjoys her Ponies
49. Jill's Riding Club
50. Rosettes for Jill
51. Jill and the Perfect Pony
^ All by Ruby Ferguson
52. First Term at Malory Towers
53. Second Form at Malory Towers
54. Third Year at Malory Towers
55. Upper Fourth at Malory Towers
56. In the Fifth at Malory Towers
57. Last Form at Malory Towers
25. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin
26. The Broken Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin
27. The Kingdom of Gods by N. K. Jemisin
28. The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer
29. The Incredible Human Journey by Dr. Alice Roberts
30. Magician by Raymond E. Feist
31. Daughter of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist & Janny Wurts
32. Servant of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist & Janny Wurts
33. Mistress of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist & Janny Wurts
21. Sovereign by C.J. Sansom
22. Heartstone by C.J. Sansom
23. The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon
24. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
13. Life in a Medieval Village by Frances and Joseph Gies
14. Solstice Wood by Patricia A. McKillip
15. Sunshine by Robin McKinley
16. The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay
17. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
18. Life in a Medieval Castle by Frances and Joseph Gies
19. Dark Fire by C. J. Sansom
20. Revelation by C. J. Sansom
1. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
2. Restoration by Rose Tremain
3. When Christ and his Saints Slept by Sharon Kay Penman
4. The Bards of Bone Plain by Patricia A. McKillip
5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
6. Queen's Own Fool by Jane Yolen
7. Bellwether by Connie Willis
8. Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold
9. Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold
10. Beauty by Sheri S. Tepper
11. Packing For Mars by Mary Roach
12. Night by Elie Wiesel
<a href="http://media.photobucket.com/image/star/mckait/gifs and things/confettistars.gif?o=10" target="_blank">
Happy New Year, Jenny! I'm glad I was able to meet you last year; hopefully we can get together later this year, as well.
First book read:
1. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
Silly detective novel set in an alternate world with people disappearing into books and changing events. Overly clever and pleased with itself. Truly didn't 'get' it. Probably won't be reading any more.
Happy new year, Jenny! Hope this year is definitely better than the last one for you. (And I hope your next book is better than the last one . . .)
Sorry to see that you did not enjoy The Eyre Affair more, Jenny. Ah, well. Not every book is for everybody. I hope your next read is a better one for you!
Happy New Year Jenny - sorry you didn't enjoy the Fforde more. He's one of my favourite authors but then I think I have a weird sense of humour :-)
Welcome back Jenny - and here's to a better year! ...speaking of which, we should really organise that Blickling Hall trip some time soon, yes?
Sorry you didn't enjoy The Eyre Affair more - I loved it - but then I can see why you say overly clever and pleased with itself (all the in jokes?)
I'm afraid I lost track of everyone's threads last year - have you given the Patrick Ness' a go yet? Do, do, do ;o)
Yes to Blickling Hall. Absolutely :)
And don't worry about losing track of people's threads - I fell off the Planet in August and have only just climbed back on. Still feeling a bit like hibernating but am trying hard not to! I tried to read the Patrick Ness but thought I should read the first again and was so traumatised at even the prospect of a certain demise that was coming that I couldn't enjoy it. So that has stalled. I can arrange to get the others back to you if you want though?
Overly clever and pleased with itself. I felt the same way.
Glad you're sticking around.
#19 I'll have a look at dates - any suggestions (weekends will be best for me)?
Re Patrick Ness - do you think you'll want to try them again? I'm happy for you to hang on to them longer if you think you might. If you can bring yourself to handle the demise of which you speak, I think you probably would enjoy them... On the other hand, if you know you won't, maybe I can pick them up when we go to Blickling Hall?
Hi, Jenny! So glad to see you back. I kind of fell off the face of the planet, too, last year. I hope this year is better for both of us, you especially, as you deserve all kinds of happiness in 2012! Anywho, hopefully your next read is one you like a lot better than The Eyre Affair.
2. Restoration by Rose Tremain
A man in training as a physician, with a character that veers to extremes, finds himself firstly the main carer of King Charles II's dogs, and crass fool of Court, and then a 'paper groom' to Charles' mistress. He soaks up the decadence and materialism the position brings, indulging in his propensity for gluttony, idleness and lust. But a fall comes.
Sadly, it doesn't make him any more likeable. As a character he is shallow, pitiful and vaguely revolting, and nothing else about the book could dull that sense. Had it been a third person narrative, perhaps the flaws would have been interesting to watch, but in the first person they were weak and unpleasant.
This novel was shortlisted for a Booker, but who knows why. Not so much introspective as egotistical in the extreme. Don't bother.
Boy, am I having extreme difficulty in not letting myself succumb to fantasy rereads so early in the year?! It's pretty much all I read in the last couple of months of 2011 after Grammie passed away - I needed familiar escapism. But I need to get out of that rut. Sadly, poor books aren't helping!
#23: Too bad about that one. I have it hanging around my house somewhere waiting for me to get to it.
#24: I would say if you want to re-read fantasy, go for it, Jenny! You will know when you are ready to branch out again.
#25 I'd possibly give it a go at some point Stasia. Other people obviously think it has merits, and it did have a few good points - supporting characters for instance. I am grumpy at the moment and not feeling tolerant of things so am basing my review on pure immediate reaction!
#26 Thanks. I'm getting a bit further with my current read but if my attention wavers, I'll give it up for something else :)
All fantasy readers: am looking for recommendations for my Amazon basket - it's still looking a bit empty. So far I have all the Guy Gavriel Kay books not already owned.
Any books I absolutely must have that I might not have come across?
I will suggest an older title that I just finished, Jenny: The Face in the Frost by John Bellairs. I thought it was terrific. I am not sure that it is still in print though.
Don't force yourself to read anything you don't want to! Go with the fantasy stuff if that's what you need. :)
Have you read Gail Z. Martin's The Summoner? It's a fairly standard start to a series, it's not particularly unique, but I really liked it. A quick, fun quest story. I'd also recommend Assassin's Apprentice if you haven't read that one already.
Thanks for the recommendations everyone. Thought I'd list what I've got in my basket currently and see what others thought.
Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch because I've got the first but haven't read it yet and am hoping getting the second will prod me into it.
The Lions of Al-Rassan, Sailing to Sarantium, Lord of Emperors, Under Heaven, all by Guy Gavriel Kay.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Pavane by Keith Roberts
The Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin
I'm weighing up whether to add the two stand-alone's by Brandon Sanderson as well. It's been so long since I've bought NEW books, I think I might be going a bit overboard.
I've got nearly all of Robin Hobb's - oh, and I've just added Pegasus by Robin McKinley to the list. *sigh* anything else I can't miss out on?? This will be the last book buying for a while. Somehow it seems less disgraceful if only one parcel comes through the door.
Hi Jenny - that looks like a good list. I hesitate to add any more recommendations, I was going to say Rivers of London but I see you are already onto his books - they're great so do try them.
For future reference, you might like Laini Taylor'sDaughter of Smoke and Bone, Alison Croggon's The Gift, Alison Goodman's Eon, Lene Kaaberbøl's Silverhorse or Elizabeth Knox's Dreamhunter.
That looks like a good list to me - the Ben Aaranovitch series was one of my favourite series last year.
Starred your thread *and* caught up reading it (I starred a bunch of threads the past couple of days without reading)
#12> I wanted to like The Eyre Affair more than I did. I suspect that if I was better read in literature I might have. I thought the idea was clever and I read the next one but have not read further. I have contemplated trying to read some of the prominent referenced literature.
Sorry that the next read was also unsatisfactory and hope that your next one is better!
Oops. I ended up adding another four to the order, bringing my total to 13. I think that's probably more than I bought all year last year. And I completely forgot to use my £20 gift card as well, so I think I'll have to sit down and buy some more 'serious' literary fiction with that. I have GOT to expand my reading. The last few years, since discovering that I love fantasy, my reading has focused so much on that, that my previous wide breadth of reading has disappeared.
Jenny, pressuring yourself to expand your reading could be the reason for the slump right now in any direction except fantasy. Give yourself a break, honey.
Thank you so much for the reassurance Stasia. Sometimes I need telling! (Alright, often). Sadly, I have proven over a fair few years now that I am still incapable of looking after myself in ways that might actually be healthy for me.
Putting pressure on myself to be a perfectionist in things, holding tension and stress instead of letting go, not eating properly or healthily, not getting out of my bubble and socialising, not asking for help when I need it, not trying with things because I'm sure I'll fail - all occur nearly every day! As well as retreating to sleep/hibernating under the covers when everything else feels too hard.
*Sigh* recognising your faults is supposedly the first step towards doing something about them, right??
I understand where you are coming from, Jenny. You sound a lot like me. Killing yourself to make yourself 'better' does not help at all. Yes, you need to recognize faults and correct them, but doing it in such a pyrrhic manner is foolishness. I am an expert on that particular subject.
Have you read P. C. Hodgell? Godstalk is the book to start with. It's also in print available as the first of an omnibus edition. How about Elizabeth Moon's Paksenarrion series? The first three are bundled as The Deed of Paksennarrion. The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls--I see these on your wishlist, Jenny, along with Hodgell, but it doesn't look like you've bought them yet. Guaranteed to feed your fantasy addition and create new favorites for re-reads!
As they say, the perfect is the enemy of the good :)
I had a period of thinking that I should read more contemporary literary fiction. My yearly number of books read plummeted, to the 20s. There's not necessarily a causal relationship there, but I can't help suspecting....
And even if you're determined to expand your reading beyond fantasy, have you considered other options besides serious literary fiction? What about some lighter non-fiction? I find that good narrative non-fiction can read as easily as fiction, so it tends to be more enjoyable for me than literary fiction, and I still always come away from it feeling satisfied that I learned something.
I agree with Zoe about narrative nonfiction. I can't bother to get through nonfiction (OR so-called high brow literary fiction!) if it's too dense and difficult to understand, but the ones that are written like a great story are much more fun to read.
Another request for a recommendation:
Does anyone know of a good book covering the history of man from it's beginning to civilisation - say to 1 A.D or such like. I don't even know exactly what I'm looking for - a evolution of humans? Anthropology?
What I want is to follow all the finds of prehistoric man, things like the footprints in Tanzania, 'Lucy', the Iceman, what we learned from them etc. The finds of tools etc. But not a boring book on it.
Like I said..........don't know what I'm asking for, but if someone could muddle their way through my befuddlement and suggest something, I'd be very grateful.
3. When Christ and His Saints Slept by Sharon Kay Penman
When King Henry I's son and heir, William, drowns in the sinking of the White Ship in 1120, the issue of succession to the crown sets up one of the most devastating and turbulent times of English history. Matilda (or Maude as she is referred to within this novel) is named heir, but her cousin Stephen races to take the crown, with the support of the men of power within the country, fearing the rule of a woman.
And so civil war comes to the lands of England.
In this epic, the entire period is covered, and from every angle. Most of the action centres around the decision making of the main players, but there are also moments where the plight of the common person is highlighted.
The main point of view however, is a fictional character, which gives the author the opportunity of putting him exactly where required to tell the story, without the restraints of facts.
It's a book where, because of the truth behind the people involved, there is no simple right or wrong, no good or evil, and no people to love or hate with intensity. The politics of the time, the complexity of trying to rule a fragmented kingdom, where barons and lords held power enough to overthrow a King, are all astonishing, as is how a simple decision from up high can have the most devastating consequences for the commoner.
The main achievement within the story is the balance set, with no bias being shown to either side. Each point of view is shown fairly, with it's strengths and weaknesses, and whilst that can lead to frustrating reading at times, (because who doesn't want a good guy to cheer for) it reflects the facts of the day. Both parties believed they were right, and neither was proved wrong.
In the end, it is enjoyable, fascinating, exciting, and for a book of this length and scope, surprisingly readable. The fictional characters allow humour and escapism to venture in, the 'real' characters are well drawn and their actions and thoughts fit extremely well with events. And some of the events are quite astonishing.
At times, it dragged a little, and perhaps could have been edited slightly, but for the most part, it was an in-depth, intriguing, and enthralling dip into the 12th century.
4. The Bards of Bone Plain by Patricia A. McKillip
Within the celebrated Bards School at Caerau, Phelan has two problems. One is his wandering, drifting father Jonah, who hunts for the past and can rarely be found in the present. The other is his desire to leave the school, despite others exclaiming his talent. To do so, he must write a final paper, and try to find a new way of saying old ideas. But a mystery has awoken, and along with a strange man who arrives in the city, things are soon more complicated than they first appear.
In times long past, Nairn has run away to find his voice, and all the songs of the country. But war, and the attentions of a foreign Bard called Declan, block his way.
As the two stories intertwine, McKillip's lyrical, dancing writing brings magic to the story which, while not unique, has plenty to offer. Characters with depth, a dark threat overhead, and a flow that makes it easy to drink the words, this author cannot put a foot wrong. If you have liked any of her previous works, this is a must read.
Edited to add a favourite quotes from this book, regarding a love of history:
"I like - I like recognising - I mean finding - what's lost. Or rather what's forgotten. Piecing people's lives together with the little mysteries they leave for us. I like seeing out of earlier eyes, looking at the world when it was younger, different. Even then, that long ago, it was building the earliest foundations of my world. It's like searching for the beginning of a story. You keep going back and back, and the beginning keeps shifting, running ahead of you, always older than the puzzle piece you hold in your hand, always pointing beyond what you know."
5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
A girl, left with foster parents, begins to steal books. Each one means something to her. But as she lives her life through World War II, Death tells her story.
Sometimes a book creeps up on you without you noticing. It's slow, you put it down and walk away, only to come back days or weeks later, still near the beginning. At some point, as you flick through the pages, you are forced to admit it. It has you. You cannot stop even when you know what is coming, when the tears are already falling, and it's not just the story being told, but your own tales, your own sadness, and it hurts. But it's good that it hurts. Because as long as you can still feel like this from words, and the truths of human life, it means something.
My only complaint, is that I wanted to hear more from Death. But then, maybe there are things better left unsaid.
P.s - I've had this book since it came out. I bought it in hardback. It never grabbed me, even while others here were absolutely raving about it.
Perhaps, sometimes, a book does only come when it knows you are ready.
Perhaps, sometimes, a book does only come when it knows you are ready
Well, Jenny, this book did it, wait until the right time ;-)
I loved The Book Thief too!
dk_phoenix - I think you'd definitely enjoy The Bards of Bone Plain :)
FAMeulstee I reckon everyone who has read it has loved it
I'm amazed the review made any sense at all, Connie-pony gave me a mild concussion yesterday, nothing serious but I've been struggling for the right words yesterday and today! Finally seems to be settling a bit, I'll be glad to not feel quite so foggy.
Great review of When Christ and His Saints Slept, Jenny!
Your question in message #43 made perfect sense to me. Unfortunately I don't know of any books that cover this topic.
Oops. I appear to have not been around much again!
But I wanted to stop by and let people know some great news. After threatening my former employers with court proceedings (and receiving a rather snotty letter from their insurance company), today I got confirmation that they will settle out of court, and for a sum that gives me a great weight off my mind.
Don't want to be crass and discuss money: it's not life changing, but it's life helping! Most will go into savings but I will set enough aside to pay for me and a couple of friends to go on holiday, and to get The Pony a few things I really want for her.
Also, it means I will be able to afford to take my test so I will be qualified to tow her places, which gives me SO much more freedom, and means I'll be able to compete her and hopefully make good progress.
Phew. Such a weight off my mind!
That's great news, Jenny! I'm glad for you, and proud of you for sticking to your guns and not giving in to your former employer or his insurance company.
That's wonderful! Ditto what Darryl said; I'm happy for you as well.
I've never been to the UK; do they make you take a special driver's course or test to be able to haul a trailer/drive a box?
Darryl, Emilie, Kerry and Anita
Thank you so much. It is such a relief. And to know I won on both counts (they settled earlier this year to avoid an employment tribunal for my unfair dismissal) is a victory, even if the insurance company claim they are only settling on "economic grounds" and "against their clients' wishes". They are obviously concerned, or they wouldn't have caved in as soon as court proceedings started to go through ;)
#53 - Yes, to tow over 750kg you have to pass another test. But that only applies to people with licences issued after 1/1/1997. Those with 'grandfather rights', i.e licences before that date, can tow up to the tow limit of their particular vehicle.
In terms of boxes, I can drive up to 3.5t on my standard licence, but that isn't a big box and if I wanted to carry two horses, it puts it close to the limit. Those with 'grandfather rights' can drive up to 7.5t boxes.
Congratulations on winning your fight! I'm proud of you, Jenny, and relieved.
Oh, Jenny, I'm so happy to see that you won! After all you've been through, so great to see you got some justice. Hooray!
Thank you Roni, Zoe, Terri. Hooray indeed :)
I'm currently writing out lists of things I would like to treat myself to. The main one is to replace some of my bedroom furniture - my corner wardrobe is second-hand and has been falling apart for the last 3 years. And the single bookcase in my room is a half height set of shelves that are just 'storage shelves' rather than a bookcase. So I'm going to change the room to have a full height corner bookcase, and a sliding door wardrobe to make more space. I might replace the chest of drawers as well, but undecided yet. I'm also going to put some shelving up towards the ceiling above my bed to make use of that space. Something like this I think:
Bookcase shopping is such fun :)
Oh, HERE you are! So sorry I haven't been by until now -- but how delightful that I pop in at a moment of good news! That is fantastic that you were done right by -- a well deserved result.
And, naturally, a bookshelf is the perfect thing with which to congratulate yourself. :)
PS: Hooray for that McKillip review. I love her. I love pretty much every book she's ever written, including that one. So glad to see another reader enjoying her work. Happy thoughts.
I've only read one McKillip and loved it. I need to check out more of her work.
I love that bookshelf! In fact, it would look perfect in the bedroom here... *ponders*
Can you believe the detestableness of some human beings?!?!?!?!?
I was coming home from the yard today when the car a little way in front of me threw a plastic bag out of the passenger window into the hedgerow. The bag caught on the hedge and out tumbled a tiny ginger kitten, into the road. Car just sped off. I braked hard but kitten ended up under my car, I thought I'd run it over :( Awful moments while I went to look but he was sitting there near the front, just shaking.
Picked him up and brought him home, and made him a bed in a dog crate with a warm hot water bottle, some food and water. He is now exploring the room because he yells after being in there for more than a minute! Think he is about 7-8 weeks old.
Of course, he is staying. We're off to the vet this evening to get him checked out.
I don't understand why someone would do this?! Most kittens are worth something round here: people pay for them. Or just drop off at a vets or rescue centre. Why throw out of a moving car?!?
What a horrible story, Jenny! Thank goodness you didn't hit him; it wouldn't have been your fault, of course, but I'm sure that you would have felt horribly guilty about it. Thankfully you were there to rescue him; I hope that he checks out okay.
Were you able to get the license plate number of that vehicle? I would assume not; it probably would have been the last thing on my mind during that stressful incident.
Please keep us updated about the cute little guy!
Been to the vets and all is ok - he had fleas so they have been dealt with, and we've got his wormer. Vet said she thought he was about six weeks old but healthy and bold as brass!
Edited to say: Introducing Tashi. It means 'auspicious' or 'lucky' in Tibetan.
Oh, what a sweet kitty! How could anyone do that to him??
So glad you were there to rescue him, Jenny!
De-lurking to say congrats on the settlement! And on the adorable new kitty, who has dropped into your life - lucky for him he got dumped where he did.
Thanks for the love of Tashi. He's doing great, and so bold! He must have been around people before so he's definitely not feral. We're still having a few litter training issues, about 3/4 are in the right place but he's picked a place in the living-room that he also uses. The other cats are sulking upstairs and not particularly appreciating his presence but we'll get there :)
In bookcase related news - I've found the perfect one. Now just have to change everything in my room, purchase it, and put it up!!
I have a similar bookcase set-up (yay for Billy!), but I had a *lot* of trouble getting the corner arranged properly. At least when I got it, they didn't actually make a real corner bookcase; we were just supposed to stick one of the narrow ones in the corner and get it at just the right angle. Well, that didn't happen, and after a lot of hassle (trying to retrieve screws that fell down the gap, etc.), I just gave up and left it with the bookcases on one side sitting several inches out from the wall. They're still entirely functional, but I'm left with that nagging sense that something isn't quite right.
So, just a word of warning--make sure you have a lot of time and patience when it comes to assembly time! (Or you may just find that you're a lot more competent than me when it comes to the positioning of physical objects ;))
#66 That's horrible Jenny, I'm so glad you were there and that Tashi is settling in well. Kittens go really fast from rescue centres so I really don't understand why they wouldn't take him to one.
#75 Oooh, corner bookcases :-)
In fact, this is what I want:
but without the glass doors. Who wants doors on a bookcase?!
And don't worry about me putting it together, I would simply leave the packages and go out for the day, and hope that when I come back, it's put up!! I avoid getting involved in these things ;)
And don't worry about me putting it together, I would simply leave the packages and go out for the day, and hope that when I come back, it's put up!!
Ooh, that sounds ideal!
I wonder about doors on a bookcase. I've never had them, but in theory it should protect the books from dust, or something?
I have Billy bookcases all over the house and love them ;-)
Most of them were put together by me, my husband is too clumsy for these kind of things, it is not too complicated.
And I would like the glass doors: to keep the dust and doghairs out of the books!
But they are too expensive and not available for the older models.
Yeah, assembling the individual bookcases is fine; it's arranging them in a very specific position that's not so easy! For me, at least.
I shall investigate further. So far, the Billy bookcases are the only ones I've found that actually show a combination going round the corner, but if they are simply separate bookcases angled, then I might get single ones and make it up as I go along with their configuration! Space is tight so I'd like to make the most of it rather than going with a set design - it's the only place in the house I have to keep ALL my books. The others are in boxes at my mum's.
I can see the point of the glass doors in that sense but I think they'd annoy me. And the shelf on the left side (as you look at them) wouldn't be able to have a door anyway as it needs to have a lamp on it - my bedside table won't fit between the bookcase and the bed so I will need a shelf for my bedside 'stuff'.
> 81: it depends on how straight your floors and walls are. We have lived in 7 houses and in some it was easy to arrange the bookcases and in others it was more difficult, especially the older houses.
>82 I'm glad I'm not the only one who jams in so many bookcases that my bedside table is reduced to a shelf!
>83 Oh, that makes sense. I hadn't thought my floor was particularly uneven, but maybe the fact that it's carpeted was throwing things off.
Don't spread this around, but I once won a Billy Bookcase assembling contest.
Give Tashi some hugs for me. (That's such a good name!)
IKEA. They had a back to school event thingie. My prize was some magazine holders and a gift card.
I should pay more attention to what's going on at my IKEA. I wish I could say that I was an official Billy-assembling champion.
I shall recruit you to put up the bookcases if it looks like it's all going wrong then!! What a surreal title to have :)
I feel the need for a monthly summary to keep me on the straight and narrow.
Books read: 12
From my shelves: 8
Books purchased: 13
Historical fiction - 4
Fantasy - 3
SF - 3
Books discarded: 1
Fairly pleased, both with my reading rate, and the balance of book genres. This hasn't been a month for branching out, and yet with both The Book Thief and Night, I feel that I've at least given my brain some things to think about. It's just a shame about the books read/purchased ratio!!
6. Queen's Own Fool by Jane Yolen
A YA telling of the life of Mary, Queen of Scots through the eyes of her 'fool', a young woman who is rescued from a performing troupe in France. Nicola follows her around France, watches the difficulties Mary faces when her husband, the King of France, dies, and goes with her to Scotland, where events take an unexpected turn.
This is definitely a children's story – while the facts are there, and events such as murder are described, there is an unnatural simplicity to the story, and far too many coincidences to enable Nicola to be in every important scene. The idea that she goes for a walk and climbs over a wall, and suddenly finds herself an essential character in events is quite a storyline for an adult reader to take seriously, though I doubt a reader of around 10-12 years would complain.
It was an adequate book, written reasonably well for the age intended, but not particularly worth reading as an adult.
7. Bellwether by Connie Willis
A disappointing look at the idea of random events and chaos theory. So lacklustre, in fact, that I can simply remember reading it quickly, expecting something much more than I got, and feeling that it had been a waste of time once I had finished.
I initially rated it 3 stars, but I now recall so little other than 'blah', I've dropped it to 2 1/2. There must have been something I liked to give it 3, but who knows what it was?!
8. and 9. Shards of Honor and Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold
I won't bother to do a proper review because there are plenty better than anything I could do, so this is more an...............overview.
Both stranded on a planet, but for entirely different reasons, Cordelia and Vorkosigan find their paths crossing. Not only does this set off a chain reaction that has far reaching consequences personally, it also does so for the worlds that they both come from.
Wonderful (though at times stereotypical) characters, good world building and a plot that twists and turns but doesn't disappoint, this was highly entertaining, and not at all dated. The second book Barrayar is by far the better, but the first is necessary to set everything up. It's not high literature, but that simply means you can race through them all the quicker. I'm looking forward to continuing the saga.
10. Beauty by Sheri S. Tepper
Beauty has had a strange upbringing. Mostly ignored by her father, she is raised by her Aunts and various servants, all the time with a mystery hanging over her head. When her father's new betrothed arrives and evicts her from her room, Beauty is relegated to a room of her mother's, where she discovers a startling surprise.
With the help of an invisibility cloak, and books that take her to the future, Beauty escapes the curse that has been laid upon her at her christening, and with her family and her home sleeping, she travels far to the future, and throughout the realms of the fantastical. From the 21st century to an imagined land, and onwards to Faery, this is a story that not only attempts to incorporate the old fairy tales, but also to give a warning about the dystopian future Beauty has glimpsed.
However, the book does neither the fairy-tale, nor the moral threat and quest, perfectly. While the world building is extremely well done, and the plot mostly keeps the readers interest, I never felt any particular attachment to Beauty herself, and therefore found it difficult to connect to the events around her. Somehow, there felt too much crammed in.
It is a good book, and the plot is cleverly woven together, but I think it might require a re-read in order to appreciate it properly.
And after nearly catching up on my reviews - a picture of Tashi-kitten.
You are on a roll with your reviews, well done!
Tashi kitten is still adorable :-)
Jenny thanks for visiting my thread! As a stataholic struggling to keep up with a Posting League and a further league of books read by people on the list. Anyone with 100 posts goes from being under my radar onto the list. This is your 99th post......
.......And this is the 100th! I will follow your reading more carefully in future! Impressed by your reading so far this year and love your pithy reviews (even of the books where I don't necessarily agree with your view)! Hope to get to the Penman later this year as I enjoyed The Sunne in Splendour a few years ago. Am a Brit living in Malaysia since 1994 so it is always nice to meet my own kind once in a while!
By the way your cat from your profile page looks remarkably like Bambi our now notorious flying cat.
Tashi is beautiful and a very lucky cat!
Some great reading going on as well:)
Jenny - I hadn't come accross your thread before you posted on mine but just to say that Tashi looks lovely and I'm so glad that you were there to rescue her. It's amazing how cruel some people can be to animals. We'd adopted Lulu from an RSPCA shelter and although she'd been well looked after it was so sad to read the stories of some of the other dogs.
Our late Tawnie, a pound dog, was found at 10 weeks alongside a highway. You know she had to have been dumped. No way a puppy would wander there. She was a great companion for 15 years.
Thanks Anita. I swore I'd keep up on reviews this year and so far I am wavering between 'just about on top' and 'hopelessly behind'. It's good, but it's not great!
It was never really not an option to keep him Kath, but he's turned into a complete joy. We've never had such a confident and outgoing cat before.
Hi Paul, thanks for stopping by. Good to see another Brit too, and thank you for pushing me over 100 posts. The cat on my profile is Luna, my namesake. I'm glad Bambi is doing well.
#101 and #102 Thank you for the kitten love. There is a lot of it going around :)
#103 and #104 I can't believe some people. I was flabbergasted when it happened, and having got to know him, it's ended up more of a mystery. He had obviously been handled etc, was well-fed but flea ridden; nothing makes sense about the situation. I'm glad we have been able to give him a good home for the rest of his life though.
Thought I posted here yesterday but maybe LT ate my post.. anyway I love your new family addition, very super cute indeed. As kids we rescued 3 cats, 1 didn't make it, he was abandoned too young but the other two we kept and loved having around.
Thanks for stopping by Leonie. Somehow there is a special poignancy in having animals that have been rescued. While we, of course, love all our animals, I think Tashi will always amaze us because of how he arrived.
11. Packing For Mars by Mary Roach
There are certain generalisations that I have always thought of when considering astronauts. Men and women in white suits with bubble hats, floating around above space, looking at Earth through the window. I hadn't considered anything further than that.
Roach, however, decides to look at everything there is to do with sending a human being into space. And when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING. Not only is the history of mankind in space looked at, from the experiments with animals and the fears scientists had before they knew the effects of zero gravity on the human body, to the present day problems of living on the space station for six months.
Perhaps the most obvious areas of discussion are the natural biological processes of digestion involved, from the most unpleasant sounding food on offer, to the equally unpleasant act of...waste of said food.
However, the more interesting (and less gross) areas of research are the thousands of hours spent on experiments, tests and investigations on the ground, involving both general members of the public and astronauts, that precede going into space. The amount of work, and the complexity of said work, is simply mind-boggling.
The author discusses it all in her usual matter of fact way, with a dash of humour, never shying away from anything, including a particularly unpleasant discussion involving a pot of urine in a fridge.
If you want to know what it is really like to go into space, without ever venturing from the comforts of your home, this is the book to read. But be warned: it isn't for those with weak stomachs.
12. Night by Elie Wiesel
I'm never sure how to approach a review of this type of book. How does one look objectively, and perhaps critically, on a memoir dealing with such horrors as the survival of Auschwitz, or the loss of ones family in terrible circumstances.
However, I will say this is a book I am glad, for my own desire to bear witness through the simple act of listening to the story, to have read. Enjoyable it was not, neither was it an easy read, and the sparse, short sentences and statements doesn't make it any easier. While Wiesel shies away from discussions of emotions when considering those he has lost, he looks bluntly at his crisis of faith, and the wearing away of humanity that occurs both around, and within him. His one focus is his father, and keeping him alive.
The end comes suddenly, with no discussion of aftermath, or the lasting damage such events would surely cause, and so highlights the disjointed feeling of the memoir. But, having thought about it, perhaps it is right that everything should feel disconnected. After all, there was little here that had anything to do with a 'normal world'.
I can see why this has become required reading. I know why it is so important. I was left with the feeling that there was something missing, something lacking. But then I feel guilty for wanting more of such a story.
I still don't know if anyone can, or should, review such a book. But read it: yes. It should be read.
Just catching up here because I'm new to the group...wow, I can't believe someone would throw a kitten out of a moving car like that! And I thought it was cruel to simply abandon them on the side of the road in a box. I found a 4-week-old kitten in the sewer a couple months ago. Shouldn't even have been weened yet--she was so frightened that she was snarling and swatting with her tiny little sharp claws. I finally had to dangle my workout shirt down into the sewer so that she'd claw it, then dragged her up. Then I dropped the shirt on her and straightjacketed her with it. She was starving and hypothermic when I got her home, but she's so sweet now! (She didn't have any fleas, so she couldn't have been out there too very long.) I'm going to post a picture of her on my thread now that I've seen everyone else's cats on theirs!
Tashi update: Week 1
It's been seven days since Tashi arrived in our lives, and he continues to do well and be a delight. He has managed to put on 100g this week, so is nearly a whole kg! In fact, 970g.
Things we now know about him:
*He is wonderfully easy to get to purr - one stroke and he's away.
*He doesn't take any rubbish from anyone: the grown-up cats hiss and growl at him and he simply does not care. In fact, he acts as if he doesn't notice, or puffs himself up and carries on. He has walloped them a few times too. They continue to be very grumpy.
*He loves his kitten milk but won't eat his kitten crunchies - only likes the grown-up ones.
*He is perfectly litter trained but likes to declare when he is going.
*He tidies up after himself, and others. He scrapes when he has left food to save it for next time, and also does that with the grown-up cat food. He'll tidy up the litter box once they've 'gone' as well.
*He adores the guinea-pig. The guinea-pig ignores him.
And, last but not least:
I have been forced to give up my hot-water bottle, as it has become a surrogate mum. It has a fluffy cover, and he now suckles it for a while before going to sleep on it. His favourite time is when we have filled it for him, but he'll also have it cold and empty. It makes him so happy, and has stopped him crying as he goes to sleep at night, which is great.
He is an utter delight.
This is Little Man suckling.
What an absolute delight this is. It has been circulating for a little while, so please forgive me if you have already read it, but I couldn't resist.
The following is a letter written by a former slave, to his ex-master, as printed in the New York Daily Tribune in 1865. The link to the article is here
August 7, 1865
To My Old Master, Colonel P.H. Anderson, Big Spring, Tennessee
Sir: I got your letter, and was glad to find that you had not forgotten Jourdon, and that you wanted me to come back and live with you again, promising to do better for me than anybody else can. I have often felt uneasy about you. I thought the Yankees would have hung you long before this, for harboring Rebs they found at your house. I suppose they never heard about your going to Colonel Martin's to kill the Union soldier that was left by his company in their stable. Although you shot at me twice before I left you, I did not want to hear of your being hurt, and am glad you are still living. It would do me good to go back to the dear old home again, and see Miss Mary and Miss Martha and Allen, Esther, Green, and Lee. Give my love to them all, and tell them I hope we will meet in the better world, if not in this. I would have gone back to see you all when I was working in the Nashville Hospital, but one of the neighbors told me that Henry intended to shoot me if he ever got a chance.
I want to know particularly what the good chance is you propose to give me. I am doing tolerably well here. I get twenty-five dollars a month, with victuals and clothing; have a comfortable home for Mandy,—the folks call her Mrs. Anderson,—and the children—Milly, Jane, and Grundy—go to school and are learning well. The teacher says Grundy has a head for a preacher. They go to Sunday school, and Mandy and me attend church regularly. We are kindly treated. Sometimes we overhear others saying, "Them colored people were slaves" down in Tennessee. The children feel hurt when they hear such remarks; but I tell them it was no disgrace in Tennessee to belong to Colonel Anderson. Many darkeys would have been proud, as I used to be, to call you master. Now if you will write and say what wages you will give me, I will be better able to decide whether it would be to my advantage to move back again.
As to my freedom, which you say I can have, there is nothing to be gained on that score, as I got my free papers in 1864 from the Provost-Marshal-General of the Department of Nashville. Mandy says she would be afraid to go back without some proof that you were disposed to treat us justly and kindly; and we have concluded to test your sincerity by asking you to send us our wages for the time we served you. This will make us forget and forgive old scores, and rely on your justice and friendship in the future. I served you faithfully for thirty-two years, and Mandy twenty years. At twenty-five dollars a month for me, and two dollars a week for Mandy, our earnings would amount to eleven thousand six hundred and eighty dollars. Add to this the interest for the time our wages have been kept back, and deduct what you paid for our clothing, and three doctor's visits to me, and pulling a tooth for Mandy, and the balance will show what we are in justice entitled to. Please send the money by Adams's Express, in care of V. Winters, Esq., Dayton, Ohio. If you fail to pay us for faithful labors in the past, we can have little faith in your promises in the future. We trust the good Maker has opened your eyes to the wrongs which you and your fathers have done to me and my fathers, in making us toil for you for generations without recompense. Here I draw my wages every Saturday night; but in Tennessee there was never any pay-day for the negroes any more than for the horses and cows. Surely there will be a day of reckoning for those who defraud the laborer of his hire.
In answering this letter, please state if there would be any safety for my Milly and Jane, who are now grown up, and both good-looking girls. You know how it was with poor Matilda and Catherine. I would rather stay here and starve—and die, if it come to that—than have my girls brought to shame by the violence and wickedness of their young masters. You will also please state if there has been any schools opened for the colored children in your neighborhood. The great desire of my life now is to give my children an education, and have them form virtuous habits.
Say howdy to George Carter, and thank him for taking the pistol from you when you were shooting at me.
From your old servant,
I just love it when cats knead fluffy things like that, so cute. All of ours did this do which has made me feel slightly nostalgic.
Snow this weekend. I've been hibernating and feeling sorry for myself. Can't put a finger on why I'm down........I'm sure there is something but my subconscious won't tell me!!! *mutters about uncooperative brain*
So in lieu of anything constructive.......snow pictures.
*looking at pictures*
*looking out of the window*
Yes, it looks almost the same, except for ducks and cat ;-)
Oh my - those poor ducks ... hope their feet don't freeze!
Hope you feel better soon.
Hi Jenny! I'm catching up on threads. Congratulations on the settlement. Has your wound completely healed? I remember you were having some issues with infections last year.
Tashi is beautiful. And he's so lucky that he landed in your path. The water bottle pic makes me kind of sad for Tashi though. Poor baby.
Are the ducks the same ones that were rescued from the cat (or dog?) last spring?
Regarding book cases with glass doors: I love mine. They keep dust off the books, photos and bric-a-brac. Which is good because I'm lazy about dusting.
Love the snow pictures!!!
And isn't that letter absolutely fantastic? My father sent me an email with the link. I read it with my mouth half open at the brashness of the writer. Loved it.
And glad to hear kitty is settling in, too. :)
Jenny - love the letter from the slave to his former master - are you sure it wasn't written by Bob Newhart!
Hi Jenny, I thought I should come by and thank you for visiting my thread and leaving such thoughtful comments. I took a little while to try to catch up with you here, and want to congratulate you on the arrival of Tashi in your life, however upsetting the introduction to each other probably was.
I see from comments here and some you've made on other threads that we seem to experience very similar things in terms of depression, and I can empathize one hundred percent.
Thanks for sharing Jourdon Anderson's letter here. Great stuff! The article also confirmed my suspicions that it probably had been dictated, since from what little I know about slavery, they were rarely encouraged to get any sort of education such as learning to read and write.
Stopping by and waving hi. Thank you for the wonderful person you are!
I was supposed to be writing reviews but...........eh.
So instead, let me share this with you. It was emailed to me by another lover of books, and EVERYONE here should watch it. It is beautiful, funny, and shows the power of books perfectly.
It is also shortlisted for an Oscar in the Animated Shorts category. I really hope it wins.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Oh......and my guinea-pig is on a diet. This makes for a very cross guinea-pig. Wish me luck appeasing him!
And following on from Darryl's post about doctors - here is the same for us horsey people!
>125 That video is touching and delightful. I saw it a few weeks ago.
#125: We have that on the ipad for Charlie and he *loves* it. The same people have another one called The Numberlys that is amazing too.
#126 Love that post, Jenny!
Also love the photos and the letter from Jourdon Anderson.
Tashi is an adorable kitten! How lucky you both were to have found each other!
Love the horsey truths in #126. So very true!
#127 Thanks, thought you would ;)
#128 Scarily true!
#129 + #130 I'll definitely be looking out for more by the makers. It's incredible.
#131 Thanks for the love and stopping by.
#132 Adorable is one word for it! Sadly he has now entered terrible twos. Uncontrollable and you can't take your eyes off him for a second. So far he has been sent to his cage twice today for being a horror!!
Today: You know you're having a bad day with anxiety when you drive 35 miles out of your way to avoid a situation where you could possibly need to ask for help/look an idiot for not being able to figure something out.
Some days I almost feel like a normal person. Others.........well, I didn't realise my detour was going to be that far, but still. It's pretty pathetic :/
> 133: Sadly I completely understand your detour, have been doing and still do the same at times, besides that I never leave the house without one of the dogs, or Frank with me... I prefer having them all with me.
Jenny, sorry for not getting by here earlier to wish you a Happy Birthday. I do hope you had a good one!!
Thank you very much for the birthday messages, they have been greatly appreciated. I had a lovely day at the zoo on my actual birthday and had fun taking lots of photos, and the following day out with my mum when we went to a castle/museum (highly appropriate timing as she first saw me the day after my birth anyway).
However, since then I have been utterly exhausted. 2 weeks of getting up at 7am appears to have not agreed with me. I know that is not particularly early, but with a fatigue disorder, it feels it! Plus odd things going on with my heart which has meant a change in medication, and now I'm not sure whether I feel this bad because of physical or mental health!!
So lots of naps during the day (which would be lovely except for the disturbing dreams), and curling up watching mindless rubbish on my laptop with the kitten mean that I haven't even got much reading done, although I've done enough to put me even further behind with reviews.
If anyone can answer why it is so difficult to do things, even when you KNOW they have to be done, and the end product will be a highly positive one, please let me know.
I'm back off to my bedcave now.
Sorry you've not been well. I hope things improve soon.
If anyone can answer why it is so difficult to do things, even when you KNOW they have to be done, and the end product will be a highly positive one, please let me know.
Can't answer that, but if anyone else has the answer I'd like to hear it, too!
I've noticed that I am curious about a LOT of things, but only ever want a snapshot piece of information. Wikipedia is my best friend. I use it many times a day.
For my own....curiosity, I have decided to try and note down all the things I wiki. I want to see where it all takes me!
So there might be some odd posts just with a list of bizarre things. I figured here would be as good a place as any to note them down.
-Timeline of the Salem Witch Trials
-Old City (Jerusalem)
I got a (bit) more energy after it was found that my thyroid did not function well, after that a vitamin B12 shortage was found. Vitamin D shortage can cause it too.
Some think that SNRI medicines can cause trouble with thyroid and vitamin B12
Thanks for posting on my thread. Took me a minute but I have found you now and gotten caught up!
Your kitten is adorable!! I can't believe anyone would throw a kitten out of a car instead of taking it to the shelter, but I guess Tashi was lucky that you were driving by! Love the water bottle picture!
Books read: 8 (4 down on Jan)
From my shelves: 5
Books purchased: 2 (11 down on Jan)
Historical fiction - 3 (-3 on Jan)
Fantasy - 3 (= with Jan)
SF - 0 (-3 on Jan)
Biography - 0 (-1 on Jan)
Non-fiction - 2 (+1 on Jan)
Hi Jenny! Just trying to catch up on people's threads. 1.) Congrats on your settlement! 2.) So glad you were able to save poor Tashi and so glad he's doing well. 3.) Happy belated birthday! and 4.) OMG, I forgot how much I love Beauty. Definitely need to do a reread of that one at some point! I haven't read any Tepper in FOREVER.
13. Life in a Medieval Village by Frances and Joseph Gies
Having always been fascinated with the medieval period, I wish I had read this sooner, in my teens. It certainly would have been useful as required reading for History, especially in my A-Levels, to give a good basis and fill in gaps I had missed.
Summarising the general physical, social and financial attributes of a standard village dated from the 13th to the 16th century, this was a clear and well-rounded look, mostly considering the lives of the general person, but also looking at the hierarchy involved. While there was a lot that I did already know, the facts that I didn't really enhanced my view of the period.
The thing I came away with most is that the village wasn't at all simply the houses that the people lived in, and in fact the structures were the least important part of the environment. The yard outside, the personal garden land, and the land farmed in the wider fields, as well as the common pasture land and the woodland were far more critical in a person's life. Unlike us, whose lives revolve around our home, theirs was spread across the entire village.
Also fascinating was the justice system, generally based on fines for most crimes, the amount dependent on the severity of the crime. For instance, the fine for severing someone's hand would be less than for their entire forearm.
If you read either non-fiction or historical fiction from this period, or if you are simply interested in the time, this is a well-written and interesting read.
14. Solstice Wood by Patricia A. McKillip
When her grandfather dies, Sylvia must return from her distant and comfortable life away, and re-enter her family home, and the community she grew up in. As she finds herself drawn back into the fabric of the place, she begins to discover the answers to questions she had feared to ask.
An enchanting and mystical story, McKillip weaves her usual magic, blending the worlds of human and faery with ease. There is the eloquent language, the spellbinding atmosphere, and the intriguing characters, as well as the threat of darkness rising, and the grey areas between good and bad. Although I didn't become quite as invested in the characters as I have with other of her books, this is still highly readable and enjoyable.
15. Sunshine by Robin McKinley
A 'non' typical vampire novel – this is the one of the books that teenagers should be reading if they want to read about vampires, NOT the awful 'T' books.
In this world, with the aftermath of the Voodoo Wars still remaining, the guy down the street that behaves strangely might be a were-something. Even the most normal looking person might have a quirk, such as always pouring hot coffee. There are shades of grey between human and demon, good and bad. But there is one thing for certain. Vampires are bad. Very bad.
But Rae (nicknamed Sunshine) finds herself caught up in a situation more complex than she could imagine. When she and a vampire named Constantine become intrinsically linked, she is forced to challenge her views of the dark side, and where the lines might fall.
Incorporating fascinating and multi-dimensional characters, as well as a rounded and believable world, this is generally a good novel. However, the periods between action scenes and major events could have done with a bit of editing, as Rae's 'foggy periods' get a little repetitive at times. When the plot speed picks up, the books becomes much stronger, but interestingly, it isn't Rae who kept my attention the most and I found her slightly weaker than some of those around her, including Constantine.
I'd love for there to be more written about this world, but it seems from comments made by McKinley, this probably won't be happening soon. However, I would wish her to bring some of the magic of her best novels into the writing of any sequel – I felt slightly let down by Rae.
Saying that, this was still a (mostly) fast-paced and gripping fantasy.
16. The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay
Loosely based on Moorish Spain and spreading across the entire Iberian Peninsula, a war is drawing ever closer, as three religions fight for control of countries and the sanctity of their beliefs.
With three protagonists, each belonging to one of the religions, the complexities of politics, war, religion, prejudice and bigotry are all interwoven beautifully, and at each moment stained by love and loyalty. As events unfold and peoples lives, and faith, are threatened, a storm brews, and the sky will soon fall.
GGK's innate talent is in writing fascinating characters who are neither truly evil nor truly good. In fact, they are normal and human. They are always conflicted and torn, and there is never a right way and a wrong way for them to go. There must be sacrifice and loss. 'Catch-22' and 'rock and hard place' would sum up a lot of the situations they find themselves in, and that makes for absolutely compelling, beautiful writing.
And that's the other thing he does. He makes his characters poets, philosophers, musicians,and in doing so, his whole writing becomes long poetry.
In writing fantasy, he allows himself the freedom to create entire worlds and bend them exactly to his will, without having to do service to 'reality' or 'the way things work', but they aren't fantasy as people might think. They are epic studies of human characters, mostly men but with enough women that it doesn't become offensive. I love every minute of them.
The Lions of Al-Rassan pulled me in and wrung me out! I loved it and it was heart-wrenching.
You remind me that I have never picked up Solstice Wood. Luckily, PaperBackSwap has a copy that I just ordered. I looked at BookMooch and your name was at the top of the wishlist--there were none available there.
I like Sunshine--it's one of only a few books with vampires that I think is worth reading, Those Who Hunt the Night and its sequel Traveling With the Dead by Barbara Hambly, and then I adore Lord Akeldama in the Parasol Protectorate books.
#150 Hi Jenny. You summed up Al-Rassan beautifully. I'm not sure why I haven't read more Kay after enjoying that one so much.
BAM, three book bullets! However, I tried and abandoned Sunshine last year (or was it the year before?)... I couldn't stand it, but I know other people love it. :)
Solstice Wood isn't my favorite McKillip either -- I too found myself less connected to the characters. I wonder if that was because of the contemporary setting -- I always love the books in which she invents the world.
Even so, a not-as-great McKillip trumps a lot of other authors' best. :)
Late to the party...I'm way far behind on the threads. I'm stopping by waving hi in the hope I'll have more time to keep up with you on a regular basis!
Life in a Medieval Village sounds interesting. I'll have to check to see if it's already on my wish list or not. If it isn't, it's earned a spot there.
I resisted. Now I feel guilty for resisting. Catch-22!
#157 Thanks for the wave Linda, always appreciated. I know you've been having a rough time lately but it's good to see you around.
#158 It's very interesting. At least, I hope it is as much for you as it was for me :)
Wikipedia searches of the last couple of days:
-City of David
-Oldest Buildings in the UK
-Joan of Arc
Jenny, love your Wiki summations, very apt, very modern, very this group if truth be told. Try to write a short story out of your wiki list for March 8 and it could be quite a flight of fancy - in fact it may do justice to The Lions of Al-Rassan. Thanks for that excellent review and onto the endless hitlist it goes.
I thoroughly sympathise with your difficulties in avoiding a book spree. Unfortunately or fortunately I am nowhere near as good as you at walking away, strangely when I see the books piled high I'm never gulty!
Yet more wiki searches:
Book of Revelation
List of Underground Railroad sites
If only I could count wiki pages as 'pages read' - it would count as at least a book a year, if not a lot more.
I'm still resisting the urge to buy, but only because I can't narrow down the choices. I found my £20 amazon gift card from Christmas, and some cash I got - and the cheque for my compensation finally came through (whoop whoop) so I could go for a splurge. I should resist, but temptation is strong ;)
Ugh - anyone know how long the average stomach bug lasts for? I am sooooo sick (pun not intended) of my digestive system rebelling against me!!!!!
Oops. I cashed in a £40 reward from doing online surveys that I'd been saving, and used the £20 gift card. Plus £25 Christmas gift and my book purchases only actually cost me........£40 on top of that. Like I said - OOPS!!
Here is my shamefully long purchase list:
The Pillar of the Sky by Cecelia Holland
Alphabet of Thorn
The Bell at Sealey Head
The Sorceress and the Cygnet
The Cygnet and the Firebird all by Patricia McKillip
By Sword and Fire: Cruelty and Atrocity in Medieval Warfare by Sean McGlynn
Piers Plowman: A New Translation by William Langland
Domesday Book: A Complete Translation by G. Martin
A History of Ancient Britain by Neil Oliver
The Incredible Human Journey by Dr Alice Roberts
The Separation by Christopher Priest
An Anglo-Saxon Chronicle by Michael Swanton
The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England by Ian Mortimer
*hangs head in guilty shame*
Ooooooooooh. Nice treasures there, especially the McKillips, IMHO. No shame, m'dear, in buying good books! Chin up!
I'm all for a book splurge from time to time, especially treasures like these which will keep you going for the long haul.
Great news about getting your compo cheque.
Oooh, look at all the pretty books, especially the McKillips. Od Magic is my favorite--I love that story!
Hi Jenny - a long overdue visit to your thread. How's the adorable kitten doing?
I like the list of new acquisitions, especially all the Anglo Saxon and medieval ones. I have the medieval version of the Time Traveller's Guide - haven't read it yet, mind you!
Can't believe it's over a month since I've been here. Oops. Not sure I have any reasons, other than firstly I slacked off with my reading, and then haven't felt like 'socialising'!
It's been some miserable weather round here, with intense rain and winds that started as soon as a hosepipe ban was put into place for our area. Of course. Mostly I've been wet and tired.
The Pony has been putting me through the paces, but I'm hoping at some point we're going to start seeing some improvement. At least we are both well and happy.
Think that's about it for an update! I'm off on a weeks holiday at the end of next week and can't wait, it should be good fun, even if we do get drenched. My best friend and I have got a cottage for a week, and are going to a big horse event for three days, and then doing touristy things for the other days. Will be nice to see a change of scenery :)
Hope anyone still interested in updates is well. Doubt there are many, seeing as my presence is so lacking, but there we go!!
Thanks for the update; I was starting to wonder if things were going ok for you. Here's hoping Connie starts shaping up, and you have a great time at the show (and for the rest of your vacation)!
|#168 Glad to hear you and Connie are doing ok. Enjoy your holiday!
Mostly I've been wet and tired. Yes, this rain and cold is a bit much, isn't it - and they are saying that it would need to rain constantly between now and December to restore the balance thanks to our recent rain-free winters!
I hope you have a good holiday, and don't get too wet.
Don't know what happened to the message I posted here yesterday, but it said that the facts that you are healthy and you have a job are both great news!
Oops! My thread now shows I haven't been here since April. Not sure where the time has gone?!?
Doubt anyone is still following but I'll update anyway :)
Have been extremely busy with the horse, and after a few issues, things are going very well. Autumn competition season is about to get up and running so fingers crossed we get some clear runs.
There has been a lot of book reading but mostly (almost entirely) rereads. However, I'm very proud of my new look bedroom, with these shelves replacing a battered bookshelf.
And the obligatory horse pictures, just because :)
I hope you are all well and happy, I think about you a lot but at inopportune moments when I can't post!
Take care everyone
Oooh, nice shelves! I hope you have a ladder or chair handy though ;)
Love the shelves as well, and so good to see you posting an update here. All the best with the competitions, that's a great horse pic.
Hi! Good to see a post from you! Nice shelves! And nice horse picture, too.
We've missed you! Glad things are going well. You and Connie look fantastic!
Thanks for stopping by to give us an update - glad to hear things are going well at the moment and love the bookshelves and horse pictures. Have you been watching the eventing at the Olympics?
I'm going to try and ease my way back into the LT world, as I'm a bit fed up at the moment and could do with being around here and losing myself in other peoples lives and books!
Lovely bookshelves, and a lovely horse. I was sad that the equestrian Olympic events ended today. I hear there are other sports, but really, why bother if they don't have horses? ;)
Thanks again for the welcome back all
Sarah - have been lovely the equestrian stuff of course, and so pleased with their performance, although gutted that the eventers only got a silver, as it would have been great to get a clean sweep of the golds :)
Stole this from Nora's thread from April (am catching up lol) and thought I'd try and get myself back into the swing by doing it.
Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback?
Have no opinions re type of paperbacks, but definitely prefer them to hardbacks
Amazon or brick and mortar?
Depends. Second hand bookshops are by far the best, but if I'm buying new, I'll browse in a shop and then buy on Amazon. Unless it's a lovely independent, in which case I give them my support.
Barnes & Noble or Borders?
Bookmark or dogear?
Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random?
Random, although sorted by genre. Groupings are: Historical, General, SF, Fantasy, Non-fiction.
Keep, throw away, or sell?
Mostly keep - although about 1/4 get donated.
Keep dust jacket or toss it?
Depends on the book and the cover
Read with dust jacket or remove it?
Remove it. I'm not very good at taking care of my books and with dust jackets I'm even worse.
Short story or novel?
Novel. I've never grasped the appeal of short stories. Perhaps I just haven't read a good enough one?
Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)?
Neither, although I guess both, if I had to choose.
Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
Harry Potter all the way
Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
Depends on the book. If the character, setting etc changes with each chapter then I'd read to the end, but mostly I just stop when I'm tired. Or don't and read until the small hours.
"It was a dark and stormy night" or "Once upon a time"?
Dark and stormy night. Because I like dark and stormy books!
Buy or Borrow?
Buy. I am a hoarder.
New or used?
Used mostly, although I do love the occasional joy of a brand new book. You get so much more for your money with used though, and the hunt is great fun.
Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse?
Recommendation and browse in general. I don't often read professional reviews. In fact, I don't ever read them.
Tidy ending or cliffhanger?
Somewhere in between. Not an absolute cliffhanger, but life doesn't just stop so I like to get the feeling other things will as well.
Morning reading, afternoon reading or nighttime reading?
Any time reading is the best, but mostly get in a good hour before bed when I'm in the mood. The shower is also a fab place to read.
Stand-alone or series?
Depends on the series. Prefer to start a series when I know it has finished though. The hanging on waiting for the next book gets tedious.
Has to be Harry Potter
Favourite children's book?
Hmm.....I like quite a few. Possibly A Traveller in Time but I wouldn't want to put my money on not thinking of something else.
Favourite book of which "nobody" else has heard?
The Enchanted Forest by Violet Bradby
Favourite books read last year?
Can't remember what I read last year! The Lions of Al-Rassan probably.
Favourite books of all time?
Tigana, Harry Potter, After You'd Gone, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Ender's Game.......and lots more, that's just thinking off the top of my head.
Least favorite book you finished last year?
What are you reading right now?
A Town Like Alice
What are you reading next?
#186: Oo, I had not seen that meme before. I will have to steal it!
Ugh! If anyone could drop by with some positive thoughts today I would really appreciate it. After a fantastic day out with my horse, it took a turn for the worse when we arrived home to discover she had colic. For those who don't know, it can be an extremely serious emergency in horses.
Cue a vet coming out at 10pm last night, and then a subsequent emergency trip to the nearest equine hospital. Surgery was mentioned at one point. However she has responded very well, is doing great today and hopefully home tomorrow. It was extremely stressful and I'm feeling the effects today, so a kind word would really be appreciated.
Sorry to hear about Connie - hope she is feeling better soon.
Positive thoughts coming your way
Oh no, was all set for a cheerful post about lovely book and horse photos above, then got to your most recent update.
Sorry that Connie and you have had to go through that, I hope she recovers without ill effect and that you are feeling better soon too.
Is Connie still doing okay?? It's never good when they mention surgery - I hope you didn't have to go that route. Sending positive thoughts your way!!
Thank you so much Calm, Genny and Dawn.
Connie is still doing fine, I'm pleased to report. At the moment we're working on the assumption no news is good news. She was due to go out for a couple of hours today to see how her guts reacted to the grass etc, but she was comfortable all night and no problems that I've heard about. She's still on course to come home tomorrow.
The worry was that she hadn't responded at all to any of the medication that usually sorts colic out, which suggested something a lot more serious. However, it seems like the 20 min journey in the lorry to the hospital might have helped jolt her guts around and sort a few things out.
It was certainly stressful though, and no fun when two extremely experienced equine vets start looking very worried and hurrying you off to the hospital.
I've had a very quiet day today, and am slowly feeling more human.
It's also distinctly frustrating as I was all ready to come here and give a fantastic report of how well she'd done during the day, our best performance yet by far, and she came 2nd out of 28, which I am over the moon about. If this is what happens when we do well though, not sure I want it!!
I'm glad to hear that Connie is doing well at the moment, and hope it continues.
Very pleased to say Connie is home and doing extremely well. She's even been given permission to go to the beach so I'm looking forward to a lovely day on Thursday.
Sadly, I think she's enjoyed her 5* treatment as she was very rude and bargy to bring home! We will have to reinforce the importance of good manners again :)
That's very good news (apart from the bad manners bit). I hope you have a good day at the beach.
So sorry to hear about Connie, but very glad to hear that she is on the mend! :)
Glad to hear she's feeling much better (even if she is being ornery!) :)
So happy to hear that she's back home! (And also about your results at the trial!)
I'm afraid I was away during the scare you had with your horse, but I'm so so glad to hear that she's home and better! It's so scary when our friends become ill, no?
Thanks all - it was a pretty fabulous day, and the fulfilment of a childhood dream. I can't believe I got Connie so far into the sea, as when she is competing, we often have a LOT of problems at a water jump.
She was scared of the white waves as they broke, but once she got over that, she was amazing.
Sadly we came home and found a problem with the horsebox that will cost over £1k to fix, but at least I do have the money to do so. Just really didn't want to spend it on something so annoying!
Lovely photo! I'm sorry I was away when Connie had her illness, but glad to see that she's doing well now!
As the other photo went down so well, I thought I'd share a couple of others from the day as well.
I suppose I should really get back to talking about books, but I'm not doing anything interesting, reading wise. Old favourites are the order of the day.
Thanks for sharing these; I get a smile just imaging how much fun was had that day! Besides, if anything is going to replace talk about books, talk about horses would be my first choice!
I know it's cheeky to be asking for help/advice when I've hardly been here, but I've been working on a project for my family for Christmas and I need people's help! It's an 'epic limerick poem' about my grandparents, Grammie and Grandie.
It's been extremely difficult, because I have to stick to facts and true events, but I am looking for some help with rhythm etc. Obviously none of you will know the events referred to, but I wondered if someone could read through and let me know where the rhythm is TOO 'clunky'. It is never going to be perfect, but if it's jarring, I'd like to know!
There once was a red-headed boy
Who set out with a well thought out ploy
He would marry the girl
With the smile and the curl
Whose picture had filled him with joy
Bicycle rides through the lanes
Except on the days there were rains
Letters through war
That were never a chore
But instead gave delight to their brains
Despite a most fearful event
And the long years apart that were spent
In love, they were married
Over threshold, he carried
And happiness flowed where they went
On a warm sunny day in July
An arrival announced by a cry
So bonny and bright
With hair red in the light
Susan Mary, whom none could deny
Two years later the second did come
To prevent them from all being glum
She would grow up to be
A most lovely lady
Rachel Anne, who was often to hum
Nearly four years there were to the third
Who would always make sure to be heard
Never known to be dull
Or be quiet in a lull
Deborah Jane, frequently somewhat absurd
September, and as the leaves fall
The last daughter arrives to enthral
With freckles abound
She was sure to astound
Caroline Ruth, she was to be called
The draw of adventure afar
Spoke to them so they loaded the car
And off did they go
Though not straight as a crow
To follow the wandering star
Short lived was their time in that place
In their hearts there would always be space
For the people and land
Of the heat and the sand
That had welcomed them with their embrace
Iraq was to stay in the mind
With pink pudding and memories kind
The artefacts found
And scattered around
Across bookshelves and dressers enshrined
Home again and so childhoods progress
Though to where is forever a guess
The family Saggs
They did pack up their bags
And Momples would be their address
Harlow was another abode
Where the ponies of dreams through woods strode
Not too soon were they free
As a house with a tree
Beckoned onwards along down the road
Smarden with the name Appletrees
And never did that house displease
A bed there did break
And the parents did shake
With laughter that flowed with great ease
As a family then they did creep
To the land of the mountains and sheep
In Wales did they grow
Through years and deep snow
And such happiness was there to reap
Birthdays with chicken well roast
And supper with butter and toast
Christmas with so many
To join and be merry
Forever the generous hosts
As the children left childhood behind
And set out to see what they might find
There would still always be
A home filled with safety
Waiting, with parents so kind
Grandchildren now start to arrive
And with grandparents love they soon thrive
Games, laughter and sweets
Exciting, brave feats
As much fun as they all could contrive
Handstands on birthdays to make sure
Old age cannot arrive premature
Swims in the sea
Whether cold or murky
A sweet tooth in grandchildren assured
To the east they decide to retire
And Eastwood, with a warm glowing fire
The best of all things
Southwood, and rope swings
Songs always around to inspire
So the golden days pass in a flash
In streams, chasing fish at a dash
Ollie, then Millie
Join games oh so silly
And 'Pooh sticks' float down with a splash
Bicycles chase round the lawn
Day's end comes with a jaw-splitting yawn
And supper wheeled through
Bread, cheese, and milk too
Against darkness the curtains are drawn
Bagatelle, with balls tapping the nails
Charades, laughter brought forth in gales
Snapdragons, in flames
Burned fingers, such games
And murder, complete with the wails
For the rest of our lives we will hold
Our memories tight, made of gold
A kingfisher blue,
Cuneiform, that he knew
Many stories always to be told
With thanks, and all that we keep dear
Perfect days, still bright and clear
Grammie and Grandie
Heads of our family
Loved, treasured and kept always near
If you'd like the stories behind any of the verses, feel free to ask. And if you made it through, I really appreciate you reading!
Isn't it funny, how sometimes you just need your own copy of a book.
There is a book I grew up with, that my mum also grew up with, called The Enchanted Forest by Violet Bradby. It's a fairly unknown book, so unknown that when my mum's childhood copy lost some pages, my granddad had to go to the British Library and (illegally) photocopy the pages to replace it.
Well, having thought about it a lot, I finally decided that I had to have my own copy, so spent more money than I normally would on a single book, on the only copy I could find online. Fingers crossed it arrives soon!
In light of Neil Armstrong's passing, I wanted to share this in case people hadn't seen it. It is the speech that was to be spoken if they didn't make it back.
I can't believe you wrote that poem by yourself, Jenny! Impressive. I'm sure your family will be touched and will love it. :)
Oops I read your poem over the weekend but forgot to post and say that I was totally amazed!
I really like the speech, too. Especially the clergy referring to space as "the deepest of the deep".
Susan is a young girl living in an isolated cottage at the edge of a forest, with her father and Crusty, a grumpy and miserable woman. Nearby, there is a large and never-ending wall, with a door that never opens.
Every evening, her father comes home at sunset, but every morning, by the time she awakes, he is gone.
Susan is intrigued by the wall, and wants to know what is behind it, and one day she is able to find out, by climbing a tree that leans over it. Once there, she discovers a beautiful, but empty garden, and a statue of a young girl. On the strike of a clock at 3pm, the statue turns into a live girl called Diana, who helps her find her way back to the cottage.
When she tells her father about her adventure, he reveals that he, Diana, and Susan's mother are all under the spell of a Wizard, who keeps them trapped. From sunrise till 3pm, Diana and her father must stand as statues in the Wizard's garden, and then her father must work until sunset. He hasn't seen Susan's mother since the Wizard stole her away.
Following an accident, Susan and Diana must first save her father from being punished further by the Wizard, and then discover a way to free them.
It's a very old-fashioned book, but with the feel of books and writing such as Patricia McKillip's, very lyrical and mystical. Other characters include 'The Hart's-tongue Man', 'Willow the Spiderman', and Satyrs - who work for the Wizard.
There is an immense amount of darkness within the book, but as it's a children's book, there is also a lot of simplicity.
My copy arrived this morning, and despite its problems, it was fantastic to sit down for an hour and race through it. Its charm hasn't faded, and the few illustrations are gorgeous.
Perhaps not worth the time or effort of tracking down a copy as it's fairly rare, but for it's childhood memories and meaning to me, it's priceless.
Well done on the poem, that's quite a feat to encapsulate all that family history into the limerick format! I'm sure it will go down very well at Christmas. Is there a connection between knowledge of cuneiform and the time spent in Iraq?
The alternative moon landing speech is very interesting too.
It is indeed. After WWII my grandfather was a translator for the Israeli Police - translating between Israelis and Palestinians. From there, he went on to become a Professor of Semitic languages. He taught at Baghdad University for a time in the 1950's, before things got too politically unstable, and then returned to England.
He was an author of several books on the ancient history of that area, (Mesopotamia and Babylon) and translated a lot of cuneiform tablets for various pieces of research and archaeological studies. We always had cuneiform tablets around when we were children :)
Fascinating! He must have been very sad with all the cultural as well as human destruction that went on in the recent wars and political upheavals.
Yes, he was devastated, especially as he had kept many strong links with the people there. My grandmother often said that living in Baghdad was one of the happiest times of her life as well.
I wish I could have discussed things more with him as an adult. He passed away when I was nineteen, but had been declining for a couple of years previously. I would love to have been able to have proper adult conversations with him about his life. We were very very close.
Thank you, Jenny. I asked because I read a library book as a child that was also about an enchanted forest, and for almost all these older books, there is no information about the plot available even when there are titles and even copies on sale. Yours is not mine, although it sounds like one I would have loved.
#222 Shame it's not the book you've been looking for, but I definitely think you'd have loved this one. It's such a pity the older books aren't often widely available.
In other news: I've just discovered the 'bad sex awards' in which poorly written sex scenes are nominated. The winner for 2011 was David Guterson for scenes in Ed King. The others short-listed vary in how appalling and cringe worthy they are, but like staring at a car-crash, I couldn't stop reading.
For those who would like a good cringe, the link is here - http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/badsexaward - however, they are very graphic at times!!
72. Among Others by Jo Walton
Mor (Morwenna) has run away from home, and gone to live with her estranged father, who sends her away to boarding school.
As she struggles to fit in, still dealing with immense pain from an unknown accident, and fighting through the loss of her twin sister, she looks back on her family and their stories, and loses herself in as many books as possible.
But it's the fairies, and magic, that hold the most power over her. She is terrified of her mother, and fears her finding her, but slowly, she begins to find her own 'people'.
Mor is a character it is easy to get into the head of, and those that surround her are fascinating. The writing is also well above average for the standard 'magical YA' around at the moment.
The writing is easy to follow with touches of lyricism, but it took me a while to get into and understand the story. I loved the book touches, and loved the main story and the flashbacks to Mor's life, but I didn't like the fairy and magic elements* as much. They felt clunky compared to the story of a young girl struggling with the changes that have happened in her life, and the grief that she is feeling, and that the plot didn't need them, despite them having such a large part of the novel.
However, I found it much less intrusive when I saw the fairies as some form of mental illness/illusion/imaginative part of dealing with the problems of 'real life'. I don't know whether that was the intention, but I might well read the book again at some point with this thought in mind, as I think it would enable my enjoyment a lot more.
Not to say that I didn't like it, just that I didn't fall in love with it as I thought I would.
*My brain is not with me tonight, and I initially wrote magical elephants.
I think I"ll skip the "bad sex awards" link, but was surprised to see David Guterson named as the "winner." A fellow student at a writers' workshop I once attended told me that his Snow Falling on Cedars had the most beautifully written-love scene she'd ever read. (I haven't read the book, so I can't affirm her opinion, but the name of the book stuck with me.) I guess all writers have their bad days!
I've been thinking about reading Among Others since I believe it won last year's Nebula and this year's Hugo. I'll get around to it eventually. :)
73. Divergent by Veronica Roth
Beatrice is a child of two Abnegation members. Shortly before her 16th birthday, and the day she must choose which faction to choose to live her life in. Her older brother, Caleb, must also choose, and she believes the choice will be much easier for him. Abnegation members follow the path of selflessness, and he manages it well. Beatrice doesn't.
However, the tests done beforehand show a different path. And Beatrice must choose between breaking her parents heart and following her own path, or fulfilling the life she was born to lead.
Of course, she makes the difficult choice. Otherwise the book wouldn't be very interesting! Becoming a Dauntless (a faction that shows no fear), Beatrice - or Tris as she now chooses to be known as - finds that, despite her limitations, she is more suited to her new group than she thought. And that knowledge will become dangerous.
Very similar in style and pacing to other dystopian YA books, it held most in common with The Hunger Games. The ceremony, the blind choice, the seemingly innate abilities, the fact there is more going on behind the scenes, the tortured love side-plot, and the fact the end isn't really an end, all mean that I was struggling not to draw comparisons all the way through.
However, the book does hold it's own. It is an interesting, if not particularly original, view of a dystopian future, with some nice touches and a decent amount of humour. I didn't really feel the main character was completely fleshed out, but those around her definitely were.
Not the most unique YA book I've ever read, and fairly predictable, but highly enjoyable none the less, and I'll definitely be reading the next one.
75. Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke
The world is being supervised. An alien power, known as the Overlords, have descended on Earth, hovering their spaceships above major cities and taking control.
They bring peace, prosperity, and an end to war, famine and disease. No one now wants for anything. But they will not let themselves be seen.
Dotting through various human viewpoints, this tells the tale of the Overlords control over Earth, from the time they arrive, to the end.
A classic in SF literature, I was sceptical until the last 1/4 of the book. For the first 3/4s I kept reading because it was an easy read and I was vaguely interested, but the ending definitely made up for any boredom in the story as it progressed. It also made me appreciate the much quieter, more considered form of story telling that seems common in this type of work from this era.
Worth reading, not only because it feels like a book one 'should' read, but because despite the lack of emotion within the story, you will find yourself caught up by the end. I'm not sure I loved it as much as a lot of people, but I certainly appreciated it, and I'm glad I persisted with it.
Re: Divergent (which I loved)...I don't think it's really possible to write a unique YA dystopia right now. I liked that it didn't have an annoying love triangle, which seems to be an important part in many dystopias with female protagonists these days.
I'm reading Clarke's 2061 right now, and I gotta say the man doesn't write with much emotion for any of his books? It feels very science driven but not so much story driven, BUT, for some reason I don't mind it as much. I actually like the science and it's all very fascinating to me, but I can totally see how it might not be everyone's cup of tea.
Childhood's End isn't the greatest book but it holds sentimental value for me as it was the first science fiction book I read.
Hi Jenny. I enjoyed your take on Among Others. I liked the ambiguity surrounding magic and fairies in the book and I definitely think that ambiguity was intended. In the end I decided the magic and fairies were real, but that was mainly because I wanted them to be :-)
Hibernator - there felt like a small amount of the love triangle stuff, not so much fulfilled but between Four and Al and her. You're right though, there is no such thing as a unique YA fiction at the moment. Especially a unique dystopian fiction. Although I am currently enjoying Feed which is becoming a slightly different take on the zombie apocalypse scenario.
Valerie - definitely a lack of emotion. But I found myself liking it a lot more than I expected to, particularly at the beginning.
Morphy - I can't remember the first SF book I read. Perhaps I wouldn't have realised it as such, because I started fairly early and didn't think in genres.
Heather - I think I would have liked the ambiguity more if it had been slightly more obvious. I just couldn't work out if that was what she was aiming for, and then when I decided to read it one way, the possible boyfriend came along and shook it up again. I dunno, I just didn't enjoy it as much as others have, or as much as I thought I 'should'.
I found this and thought it was amusing. 17 euphemisms for sex from the 19th century.
1. Amorous congress
To say two people were engaged in the amorous congress was by far the most polite option on the list, oftentimes serving as the definition for other, less discreet synonyms.
“Those two recently opened a basket-making shop.” From a method of making children’s stockings, in which knitting the heel is called basket-making.
3. Bread and butter.
One on top of the other. “Rumor has it he found her bread and butter fashion with the neighbor.”
“Yeah, we had a brush once.” The emphasis here is on brevity; just a fling, no big deal.
“They left together, so they’re probably at clicket.” This was originally used only for foxes, but became less specific as more and more phrases for doing it were needed.
Aside from the obvious, this also comes from “making children,” because babies have faces.
7. Blanket hornpipe
There is probably no way to use this in seriousness or discreetly, but there you have it.
8. Blow the grounsils
“Grounsils” are foundation timbers, so “on the floor.”
9. Convivial society
Similar to “amorous congress” in that this was a gentler term suitable for even the noble classes to use, even if they only whispered it.
10. Take a flyer
“Flyers” being shoes, this is “dressed, or without going to bed.”
11. Green gown
Giving a girl a green gown can only happen in the grass.
12. Lobster kettle
A woman who sleeps with soldiers coming in at port is said to “make a lobster kettle” of herself.
13. Melting moments
Those shared by “a fat man and woman in amorous congress.”
14. Pully hawly
A game at pully hawly is a series of affairs.
15. St. George
In the story of St. George and the Dragon, the dragon reared up from the lake to tower over the saint. “Playing at St. George” casts a woman as the dragon and puts her on top.
16. A stitch
Similar to having a brush, “making a stitch” is a casual affair.
A tiff could be a minor argument or falling-out, as we know it. In the 19th century, it was also a term for eating or drinking between meals, or in this case, a quickie.
>200 Oh, I am so very jealous!! Looks like you both were having a great time!
77. Feed by Mira Grant
It's 2040. Georgia and her brother Shaun are part of the first generation to grow up with zombies, or more precisely humans who are infected with the Kellis-Amberlee virus, in their day to day lives.
But they, unlike a lot of people in this day and age, don't simply hide from the threat from outside. They go after it. They report it. They blog it. In a world where the internet, and blogger feeds, are coming to the forefront of the media, Georgia, Shaun, and Buffy, their fiction writer and tech support, try to be right there.
But when they are chosen to accompany Senator Ryman on his campaign trail, things get intense. More intense than Shaun going out and poking zombies, or Georgia digging for stories. They find themselves in the spotlight. But more than that, they find themselves caught up in a game of politics that is both brutal, bewildering and terrifying in equal measure.
I inherently dislike the 'zombie' sub-genre. Apart from World War Z, I do my best to avoid them. However, this comes with a difference. Not only is the idea of zombies, and the process in which they come about extremely well described, with no holes to be found in the 'science' the author has created, there is a great amount of humanity still to be found, even with the main narrator portrayed as a cut-throat and hard-nosed reporter.
That main character, Georgia, and her brother are rounded and complete individuals. The world they live in is also complete. And the action and tension are extremely well paced, with a lot of information being given at all times, but with no feeling of overload coming at all. I was utterly caught up.
It's not great literature. It won't break new ground. But what it is is a fast-paced, interesting and compelling thriller that gets better and better as it reaches its climax. I'll definitely be reading the next two.
78. Deadline by Mira Grant
Can't give a synopsis or review as it would contain far too many spoilers for the first book. However, this is nearly as good, if a little confused and overly frenetic at times. I preferred the first one, but have raced through this, and am now on to the third.
You've been reading some great books recently. I've got Among Others on order and Divergent is near the top of the wishlist as well. I'm currently listening to another Arthur C. Clarke The City and the Stars which I'm enjoying so far - I think I've read it before but a long time ago and I can't really remember what happens. I can't decide whether I like the look of Feed or not - it might be just too far outside my comfort zone!
I have World War Z sitting in the stacks, waiting it's turn. I never though I'd be interested in reading a zombie book because just the thought creeps me out. I saw snippets of Resident Evil this weekend on TV and thought, hey, not too bad! I'll hesitantly put your two books on my library list and see if they have it or not. Thanks for the review! :)
79. Blackout by Mira Grant
Someone else (I can't remember) said that the author described the first book, Feed as a political thriller, and the second Deadline as a medical thriller. I don't know what she'd describe the third as, but perhaps it could be 'end of the world thriller?!'
Basic premise - People keep trying to kill the bloggers in the story. Can't give much away without more spoilers. However, this was about on the level with the second book, as in fractionally below the first, but only slightly.
Still hectic, pace wise. Still lots of running around trying to avoid the authorities. The thing about these 'zombie' books is that zombies are, in fact, the least of people's worries. They are a secondary story. The main stories are about what people are willing to do to get, and keep, power. Especially power over a country.
This is a quote from the third book:
"The past thirty years bear a startling resemblance to the Greek myth of Pandora when looked at clearly, in the light. A box that should not have been opened; a plague of pains and pestilences loosed upon the world; and, at the end, hope. Hope that we refused, for many years, to allow ourselves to look upon with unshadowed eyes."
In some ways, the ending was too abrupt and too neat at the same time. But it fitted the pacing of the book. I wanted more, and at the same time I wanted less loose ends to be tied up. Still, they are highly enjoyable, if you don't mind books where the action comes at breakneck speed.
Congratulations on reading 79 books.
I love your opening photo. It captures life, joy, spontaneity and happiness!
Thanks Linda for stopping by, especially while you've got so much going on. That day with Connie was fantastic, even though she was slightly naughty!
80. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Two teenagers meet at a cancer support group and become friends. Of course you know it's not going to be happily ever after. Especially when one of them has 'incurable' cancer. But their story goes on anyway.
Perhaps the story is supposed to signify how little time we have. How little impact we can have on the world. How each persons life is their own, and it doesn't matter if you get a tiny infinity or a huge one, it will never be enough.
I guess the thing that stood out for me most, is that it doesn't matter if you're a teenager with cancer or a teenager without, you're still going to act the same. Teenagers are, by a general rule, selfish and self absorbed. These are no different. They don't pay much attention to the adults around them. They want their own way. Even when it comes to dying. There is a certain 'world revolves around us' feeling to the book and the characters.
It's very well written. Some of the things I can see teenagers with cancer doing, and some I can't. Areas of it seemed a little far fetched, although the most brutal parts didn't. Life never turns out the way we want or expect it too. No fairy tale endings. The language was beautiful, and it was extremely well written, but somehow, I didn't quite connect.
There is another book, about a teenage girl dying, called Before I Die and, whilst it also has its failings, isn't written as 'well', and suffers from a certain amount of implausibility in some of the coming together of the story, I think it tells what it must feel like much more honestly.
I'd recommend The Fault In Our Stars, but not as much as lot of people have. I admit, I came away a bit empty.
This topic was continued by Lunacat WILL be here for 2012 - Part 2.
This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.