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Wednesday Book Meme

Jul. 19th, 2017 01:44 pm
wendelah1: Sally from Peanuts looking at a shelf of books (book geek)
[personal profile] wendelah1
Because of all of the kids' books and quickie romances I've been reading lately, I am nine books ahead on my Goodreads challenge. I'm going to have to up the ante by ten books, at least, to compensate.

What I've finished

All the President's Men (1974), Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. I began reading it because of (1.) this article in Newsweek: "The Eerie Similarities Between Alleged Trump Scandals and All The President's Men, and (2.) because we'd just watched the movie based on it. (Note that the Newsweek story was published back in March. Imagine if they'd written it this week.) The book is award-winning journalism but honestly, the movie makes for a better story. Go rent the movie. Download it. Whatever. (We checked it out of the library). You will not be sorry. The movie gets five stars. The book gets four stars. These reporters, their editors, and their publisher are all American heroes.

Beany and the Beckoning Road (1959), Lenore Mattingly Weber. Beany believes that she has lost boyfriend Norbett to another girl: Cynthia. She and Johnny plan to drive from Denver to California to return their nephew to his parents and advertise for passengers to share the travel expenses. What a surprise for Beany when she discovers that one of the passengers is Cynthia. What will happen to a mismatched set of passengers with very little money and a tomato plant in the back seat?

This was better than the previous book in the series. Beany flies off the handle one time too many for my taste but whatever. Three stars for retro-charm and that tomato plant. I haven't decided if I'm going to continue on with the Malone family, but this book was funny and engaging.

Girl in the Water (2016), Dana Marton. I took a chance and purchased (I know!) this book because of how much I liked Secret Soldier. The online reviews were enthusiastic, but I was not impressed. Marton tried to weave together three stories, and multiple points of view, and couldn't quite pull it off. spoilers ) I applaud her attempt to write something more ambitious than your run of the mill romance but this didn't work for me at all. I give it one star.

I returned Sugar and Other Stories (1987) by A.S. Byatt to the library after reading just one story. Actually, I didn't make it through the first story. I can't recall the title. It was about an unpleasant little girl, attending an atrocious boarding school, with nasty classmates and an appalling, sadistic headmistress, who I've decided in retrospect might be a stand-in for the writer. Byatt enjoys torturing her characters in much the same way that her headmistress character enjoyed torturing her students. Halfway through, I found I wasn't liking anything about this story. Enough was enough. I skimmed through the next two stories and they were more of the same. No, thank you.

What's next?

I borrowed another book in the time travel porn series from the LAPL. I think this one is called "The Slayer" but it has nothing to do with vampires.

I'm still rereading the series for my kidlit fic exchange, titles withheld.

I unearthed an old novel of Margaret Drabble's which I'd never read, The Peppered Moth.

I'm carrying around Mirror Dance from the Vorkosigan saga in my purse.

There's a stack of time travel novels from the library at my bedside.

Entering Space: Creating a Space-faring Civilization by Robert Zubrin is sitting around somewhere, too. I got it out of mothballs because there is a chapter on mining asteroids, which is relevant to my interests. Speaking of space-faring civilizations, season two of The Expanse arrived yesterday!

black kitty


Jul. 19th, 2017 04:52 pm
ruuger: My hand with the nails painted red and black resting on the keyboard of my laptop (Default)
[personal profile] ruuger
Don't mind me, just slowly making my way through my episodic notes...

Extremis )

The Pyramid at the End of the World )

The Lie of the Land )


Jul. 17th, 2017 04:42 pm
alexcat: (Default)
[personal profile] alexcat
Adopt one today!*Adopt one today!*Adopt one today!
Adopt one today!*Adopt one today!*Adopt one today!*Adopt one today!*Adopt one today!*Adopt one today!*Adopt one today!*Adopt one today!*Adopt one today!*Adopt one today!
My Scroll.

Adopt one today!*Adopt one today!*Adopt one today!*Adopt one today!*Adopt one today!*Adopt one today!
Adopt one today!*Adopt one today!*Adopt one today!*Adopt one today!
Adopt one today!*Adopt one today!*Adopt one today!*Adopt one today!*Adopt one today!
ruuger: My hand with the nails painted red and black resting on the keyboard of my laptop (Default)
[personal profile] ruuger
It's kinda weird because this the first time that they're announcing a new Doctor and I'm actually interested about who's cast instead of being paralysed with not caring. Tennant was announced before I'd even seen the show, Smith was announced when I had been stuck somewhere around mid season 2 for almost three years, and Capaldi was announced when I had quit watching the show again because of the boringness of Eleven/Clara era.

(this is also the first time I'm actually sad to see the current Doctor go, instead of thinking "Maybe I'll like the next one better")

Also, if in 2013 my reaction was "Was it a woman? No? Okay then. " now it's "Please be a woman, please be a woman, please be a woman"

I'm not saying that I'll automatically like the next Doctor if it's a woman, but the odds are much better considering that Doctor Who is the only current show with a male lead that I even watch anymore. But storywise as well, I think it would be quite an anticlimax if Twelve went through all the trouble of fighting the regeneration only to end up looking like Kris Marshall. What a tragic ending that would be.

(For the record, I really liked Kris Marshal in My Life in Film and My Family, but I just think he'd be such a boring choice for the Doctor)

eta: And it's Jodie Whitaker. I kinda suspected it might be her ever since I heard that she'd suddenly risen in the betting lists this week - the same happened with Capaldi as well. Not my first choice, but I approve. Now, hopefully the new Doctor's personalilty will be more like Nine or Twelve than Ten or Eleven to avoid making the Doctor into a Manic Pixie Dreamgirl. And please let her have clothes that you could actually fight daleks in.

Rewatching Doctor Who: series 1

Jul. 14th, 2017 01:34 pm
ruuger: My hand with the nails painted red and black resting on the keyboard of my laptop (Default)
[personal profile] ruuger
So I decided to rewatch the entirety of new!Who because I've been meaning to do it for a couple of years now, and also because it might be interesting to rewatch the show now that I like the Doctor (well, one incarnation of him at least), and perhaps will actually pay attention to what he is doing this time around.

(clearly I'm not the only one rewatching the show because the library has 3-4 copies of each season and they're all constantly on loan - it took me three weeks to get the 2009 specials after I finished S4)

I don't think I've actually seen most of series 1 since 2006 (except for "Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances", which I've seen at least a dozen times). Which is probably why my memories of it were, ahem, much better than the series turned out to be while rewatching. Because boy have some parts of it aged badly...

Read more... )

In all, I think the first series has more of a children's show feel to it than the later series, in both good and bad. It gives me really strong Eerie Indiana/Around the Twist vibes (especially "Rose"), which makes me suspect that I would have loved DW had I seen it as a kid.

I did not like Nine nearly as much as I remembered liking him, though (and I didn't remember liking him that much in the first place). I think Christopher Eccleston's performance really suffers from the writing and direction. He's okay in the dramatic scenes, but the comedy just doesn't work at all, because not only is it often the wrong kind of comedy for his acting style, the way that the comedic scenes were often set up and edited often completely undermined the jokes. I guess there was some miscommunication about the tone of the show (on top of all the other behind the scenes issues), since I read an interview a while ago where Eccleston said that if he'd do the show now, he'd play the comedy completely differently. Also, the elements that work best with Nine are mainly things that he shares with Twelve, which makes me wonder if Nine would have worked better if he'd had the stories and direction of Twelve era.

Books Wednesday

Jul. 12th, 2017 07:51 am
wendelah1: quote: take these broken wings and fly away (take these broken wings)
[personal profile] wendelah1
If I seemed overwhelmed and overwrought yesterday, I was. I am. I hope and pray that the democratic institutions in my country are strong enough to withstand the onslaught of avarice and deceit that has been set in motion by this corrupt, incompetent, evil administration and its supporters. Democrats are patriots, too. Believe me, this is the last thing I wanted to be told, the last thing I expected to have happened during the last presidential election.

Okay, so, books. I read more books than usual last week because of my quest to find a suitable romance blurb on which to base my Timeless story for [community profile] unconventionalcourtship.

Before I stumbled onto that treasure-trove of scifi porn, the Time Raiders series, I looked at a number of possible choices.

Secret Soldier by Dana Marten

Read more... )

Sundial by Carrie Lofty

Read more... )

I checked out three of the nine books from the Time Raiders Series.

Read more... )

Leave it to Beany by Lenora Mattingly Weber

Read more... )

This week needs more cats. Did you know that there is a Pinterest board devoted to books and cats?

Cat sitting on a bookshelf

This is Bartleby who resides at my favorite bookshop in San Diego, California.

It worked!

Jul. 9th, 2017 03:32 pm
wendelah1: Scully smailing at Mulder, text "I'm happy now" (I'm happy now)
[personal profile] wendelah1
Thank you to [personal profile] amindamazed and [personal profile] monanotlisa, for suggesting that I use Dreamwidth for image hosting. Thank you to [personal profile] thatwasjustadream for oh so tactfully explaining where "manage images" was located (under Organize--who knew) and how it works. I have had trouble for years using the scrapbook at LJ. For some reason, the upload button only works if I access it from the LJ Help Page. WTFLJ.

I have 1024 GB of storage in my scrapbook at LiveJournal. I have no idea what that number means, by the way. Is that a lot of storage, a little bit of storage? Medium amount? Apparently, I can also upload videos there, although I bet that uses up the space faster. Video sure uses up...whatever it is that smart phones use faster.

Long story shorter, I managed to upload my journal banner to the scrapbook and changed the link in the custom CSS. It worked, as far as I can tell. My LJ [livejournal.com profile] wendelah1 has a "Permanent Package of Service," as the Russian ownership now calls a permanent account. I figure if Livejournal goes down for good, I won't care if my banners go down, too, and I would rather save the limited storage space at DW (500 GB) for DW.

I will still need to find a free and simple-to-use graphics program, and, you know, figure out how to use it. But, as Master Sergeant Wyatt Logan (gratuitous mention of Timeless for the win!) likes to tell his time-travelling teammates, "One problem at a time." It sounds better when he says it, I swear. Next on the list, locating the banner for [livejournal.com profile] xf_book_club. I know I have it saved...somewhere.

Slipping through my fingers

Jul. 9th, 2017 03:42 pm
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (Default)
[personal profile] all_strange_wonders
Yesterday, waiting on and constrained by no one's pleasure but my own: bliss and serenity.

Today, trying to make other people happy and suit myself to their needs: miserable, anxious, guilty.

Somewhere along the way, my life took a sharpish turn.

A request

Jul. 9th, 2017 12:49 am
alexcat: (Default)
[personal profile] alexcat
If any of you still play Dragon Cave, I am looking for 3 dragons:



I can breed you red, black and blue ones and I'll try anything I have to breed for you as well. I have most all dragons and have had good luck making vampires too if you want one.


Solitary Splendour

Jul. 8th, 2017 02:04 pm
all_strange_wonders: (moving castle)
[personal profile] all_strange_wonders
Peter's mum is in the hospital with an intestinal obstruction, and his dad stayed the night with her there. Peter has gone up to their house to look after the dogs.

Paul is at work, so I'm alone in the house.

It's blissful. I feel bad about enjoying it so much, because I am only getting this time by myself for a really shitty reason (Margaret being in the hospital for a medical problem of as-yet-unknown seriousness), but... I'm still enjoying it. It's so still and comfortable in the house, and there's nobody else's moods or desire for conversation to contend with.

I went to the market this morning and got bread and marveled at the number of tomatoes that have suddenly shown up. Last week it was zucchini and yellow squash as far as the eye could see. Today it was tomatoes of every conceivable shade and size (actually, that's a lie--I didn't see very many green or purple tomatoes today). Bell peppers are starting to come in, too, and the pat-a-pan squash are getting bigger and more interesting to look at. I bought one that looks like a small and slightly craggy watermelon.

I went to a new flower shop near the Scrap Exchange and got flowers to take to the hospital, and then I wandered over to the Scrap Exchange to find a vase for them. I even managed to stay mostly on task, and came away with 2 candidates for less than $5. I'd love to find a house over in that area, but it's the Next Big Thing now, so it's already impossible.

All that, and the only thing I was constrained by was my own whim. It made me realize how little I actually do on my own anymore, without having to at least account for myself to someone waiting at home.

I don't really know what to do with that.

Aaaand Paul's home. Goodbye, sweet temporary illusion.
ruuger: My hand with the nails painted red and black resting on the keyboard of my laptop (Default)
[personal profile] ruuger
...such a this absolutely gorgeous vid of The Doctor in is nu!Who incarnations. It's so good that it almost makes me like the pre-Capaldi Doctors ;)

(it's also very interestingly showcases the differences between the acting styles of Eccleston, Tennant, Smith, and Capaldi)


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