Thursday, October 13, 2011

Okay so maybe one of them was out of order. all of you non-existent readers of this blog can deeeaaaal. 

Currently Reading... Just Finished.
So I know I just did one of these, but I’m celebrating my new (temporary) library card! I actually got two of the books I wanted!

Currently Reading:Dragon Tears, Dean Koontz.
This is some random book my boyfriend had, and it’s really not a fantasy at all despite the name. But it is strange enough so far; I’m only 50 pages in so I can’t say what this book will be like. Koontz certainly has an interesting way of describing things. 
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Stieg Larsson.
Finally I have the third in the series to read!! I wasn’t expecting there to be even more characters to be introduced to, but hey, there you go. The one thing you have to remember about these books: the intrigue always goes deeper.
Kushiel’s Chosen, Jacqueline Carey. 
I swear I’ve read this once before but for the life of me I can’t remember the plot or anything. It’s been so long that I just plain forget. I know Phedre goes off on more crazy adventures and that’s good enough to get me interested.
Now and always, I love recommendations, does anyone have any?

Just finished... Currently Reading...

Can anyone tell that I have too much free time on my hands lately? 
Just Finished:Dragon Tears, Dean Koontz.
Now, Koontz is a NY Times best-seller kind of writer, which I honestly don’t pay an ounce of attention to. It was published in 1993, so it’s obviously been a while since it was on any sort of list. But honestly, it was probably just the right book for the time. If I could sum up this book I would say “fantasy elements used by the author to make a statement about the bizarre nature of the 90s.” Order vs. chaos, making sense of nonsensical violence; the themes of this book. A good quotation from the book (no spoilers, if you care) is thus: “That’s what’s wrong with the world these days. Jesus, the exactly what’s wrong! nobody want to be responsible for anything. Everybody wants a license to be and do any damn thing, nobody wants to pay the bill.” Remember when that woman sued McDonald’s because the coffee was too hot? It’s that sort of nonsense that Koontz is commenting on. Well. Perhaps the more violent kind of nonsense, like the mother dropping her baby down a garbage chute so she could go to her birthday party. This book is nothing if not brutal. 
Currently Reading:Heroic Fantasy, various; eds. Page & Reinhardt.
Oh man this book has the cheesiest of cheesy covers.

Am I right? And look how cheap it was when it was released in 1979! Wait, no, my version was even cheaper - $1.95! I got it over the summer in a 3for$1 deal, even cheaper! And so, short stories, probably terrible, fun silly read - or so I expected. Thus far one story has stood out to me: Sand sister, by Andre Norton (Alice Mary Norton.) It’s the first in the book, and rightly so. It pulled me right in. In fact, I’m going to look up Norton’s other work and read that! 
Moral of this review? You should really truly never ever judge a book by it’s cover.
Kushiel’s Chosen, Jaqueline Carey.
It took me a little while to get back into this book, and I put the blame on two things: that I’ve read it before and the recap factor. I’ve read Kushiel’s Dart. I hate recaps. But once I skimmed my way to the actual meat of this story I was all over it like butter on toast. I do enjoy her books. Yes, they look like romance novels, and yes, they have sexy parts, but the intrigue and politics are good. I’m one of those people who has trouble keeping track of an extensive cast of characters (i.e. Martin’s style) so having a little list at the back or front helps me out a great deal. And maps. I’m a sucker for maps. It’s a Big Fat Book too, which means I actually get to read the same book for more than three days. But anyhow: I recommend it. Politics, sexytimes, well developed world setting, fabulous description without being overbearing (i.e. Tolkien.) 
As always, I ask: any recommendations for me?

Currently Reading... Just finished...

Just Finished:Lord Foul’s Bane, Stephen R. Donalson.
Okay I finally finished this damn book! Result? Still unsure! Probably one of the only books I am unable to solidly say if I liked or disliked it. It has all the elements of a decent fantasy, a decent plotline, but it just… I’ve never hated a main character quite so much. He’s just an asshole. I would recommend it to someone else, if only to see what someone else thinks; but I would be honest about it, I wouldn’t just say “Hey read this awesome book!” I’m undecided again as to whether I want the sequel(s) or not. Maybe once I get my library card? We’ll see. 
Alcoholica Esoterica, Ian Lendler.
“A collection of useful and useless information as it relates to the history and consumption of all manner of booze.” Pretty accurate statement. It gives you another view of events of history as they relate to alcohol, which I had a lot of fun with. It’s probably not the most available book, since my boyfriend bought it in an airport about 6 or 7 years ago. A fun book if you can get your hands on it though!
Hart’s Hope, Orson Scott Card.
I might have a problem called “unable to resist Mr. Card’s writing.” It’s a stand-alone, which seems to be somewhat unusual for him. An older one, it was copyrighted 1983, which is before I was even born, so there’s that. How can I describe this book? Hard without giving something away. Hm, well, it doesn’t have a solid point of view, it shifts from chapter to chapter, and it’s unclear at the beginning who is intended to be the main character. It has a very specific style, makes me think of an old high literature, with very little of anyone’s inner monologue until you get to the main character. If you’ve read Orson Scott Card before you’ll be able to get into the book pretty easily. I read it in two or three days, it’s only 261 pages - but worth a read, very interesting. 
Currently Reading:
The Memory of Earth, Orson Scott Card.
…remember how I mentioned that problem I have? Yeah, it’s here again. So, Homecoming Volume I. I’m trying to finish it now, started reading it over the summer and put it down I don’t remember why. Card always has the most interesting concepts for worlds as a backdrop for his stories. Here on Harmony, there is no war; it is prevented by the Oversoul, which is actually a satellite put up by humans to regulate themselves so they wouldn’t destroy the planet. Interesting concept, no? Questions of religion and faith, free will, mental blocks and intelligence… I’ll definitely be getting the sequel when I get my library card up here. 
Wishlist:Something new I’m adding to the end here! Sequels I want to read and new books I’ve been recommended. (aka things I’ll get when I’ve got my library card.) 
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Stieg Larsson. 
Let the Right One In, John Ajvide Lindquist. 
Shadowrise, Tad Williams.
Kushiel’s Chosen, Jacqueline Carey.  
Recommendations, anyone?

Just Finished... Currently Reading...

Just Finished:
The Harp of Imach Thyssel by Patricia C. Wrede
I bought it because it was 3 for $1.00 deal with two others (as yet unread.) It looks like a cheap cliche sort of fantasy and I thought what the hell, shits n giggles right? Well… it’s actually not that bad. Once you get past the invented-names-with-too-many-vowels that I expected from this book, you see there is a decent plot. It is indeed cliche, but somehow I still liked it. It had the potential to be much deeper… and it might just be that I read too fast, or that the book is only 234 pages when I’m been reading 700+ pagers for a while now, but the story is rushed a bit. Certain things could have been better, but for a book that cost $2.95 in 1985, it’s good. I also doubt anyone has heard of it much for that reason too. 
Currently reading:Lord Foul’s Bane, by Stephen R. Donaldson
Yeah okay I’m giving this book another chance. I almost gave up on it again after a part that very much offended the feminist part of me, but I had to know what happened. The fact that I’m nearly halfway through this book and the main character still refuses to believe that The Land is real and he’s not dreaming is… amazing? Annoying? I’m not sure. The world fascinates me but I currently hate the main character Thomas. He’s just a complete and utter asshole. I’m keeping with this book a little longer but I doubt I’ll be trying to find the next book in the series. 
God Emperor of Dune, Frank Herbert
I actually started reading this before I moved two weeks ago, but it’s pretty heavy reading so I’ve been on a pause. That and it’s quite jarring to have such a time jump and find Leto II so different. I trust in Mr. Herbert though so I’ll pick it up again eventually. 
Next Up:The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson
Third in the series, I don’t have the time or money to devote to finding it right now. But I must know how it ends! Argh, cliffhangers kill me!
Let the Right One in by John Ajvide Lindquist
I’m sure many have heard of one or both of the movies (American or Swedish) but how many have read the book? I haven’t, but I’ve seen the Swedish movie, and I’m intrigued. I want to go deeper; the movie was short on dialogue and completely lacking internal monologue. I wants it. 
Brightest Day by DC
Okay I know DC just rebooted and everything but I was super interested in what they were doing with that… I have a good number of the single issues but you can really only find variants right now, or just get the graphic novel - but again I don’t have the cash to do that. When I do though, graphic novel is probably the way I’ll go. 


Right! So I have a new purpose with this. Books! All the Books!
I'm going to back-post all of the BookyBloggy things I've done on Tumblr, to here. Oldest to newest, go!

And then maybe I'll make a list of all the books that I own and recommend to others? Maybe.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Historic Sunday night

It all started as I was innocently watching an episode of Castle when Boyfriend called me on the phone to tell me that Osama Bin Laden is dead.
I brought up CNN right away, just able to hold back an "I don't believe you" as I read the headline. I refreshed Facebook and fifteen status updates told me the exact same thing. Bin Laden is dead. A Facebook friend had a link to live feed that would be showing Obama speech, so I brought it up, still in disbelief. The President confirmed what what already abuzz: Bin Laden dead; we found him in Abbattabad, Pakistan in his compound and killed him, we've got his body. I don't even want to comment on rhetoric. I want no negativity in this moment, this symbolic moment for America. It comes at a time when we very much need it. For legitimacy, for hope... Watching the live feed of the crowd at the White House is incredible. Chanting "U-S-A" and "Yes we did!" and singing "Na na na, hey, hey, hey, Goo-oodbye!" and cheering and clapping... it's such a display of unbridled joy and national pride I can't help but be caught up in it! Flags flicking back and forth madly, arms flailing about, camera flashes like fireworks... Not one minute after Obama concluded his speech I heard a firecracker and WOOO just nearby my apartment. I've heard a vuvuzela and a few cheers here too, even though it's after midnight on Sunday when everyone is passed out recovering from their weekend of partying.
Even though I know tomorrow will bring back the pessimism that Americans are so good at, I'm glad we have this time tonight to just be joyful that we finally did something right. I don't want analysis right now, repercussions, fears, cynicism... Just happiness. I was in 8th grade, just 14 when all of this started, I've spent almost half my life with this man's name associated with evil, death and fear. I wonder if the troops overseas are seeing this, what they're doing and feeling right now. And there is, of course, my Mom sleeping through it all in the other room, visiting for the night. I woke her up to tell her after Boyfriend called, and she was amazed for the two seconds she was awake. I wonder if she'll remember come morning and want to use my computer to find out all about it.
Oh and a new chant of "Fuck O-sa-ma!" started up for a minute, followed by more U-S-A. Heh. I'm all for peace and love, but sometimes a symbolic death is exactly what you need. Call me callous if you will, but it's nice to see people united AND happy for once.