daemonluna: default icon, me with totoros (vintage reading red)
I'm almost a week behind on lj, much further on email, and had various household-ish type things I needed to get done tonight.

Um, yeah. Four hours later, I've got a wicked crick in my neck from slouching down length-wise on the couch and reading, and have finished the three hundred page fantasy novel I hunted down today at the library. (Which, incidentally, I spent half my coffee break looking for, finally spotted it on the brand-new-books shelf, and snatched it up (blatantly flouting rules about staff not doing such with the brand new books, but it had been sitting out all weekend and had its fair chance). So I am not at my most convincing and coherent, I fear.

I picked up the first book, Melusine, after reading a review last week. When imperious court wizard Felix's past as a whore is revealed, he is drawn back to the sadistic master of his youth for the inevitable nefarious purposes. Meanwhile, Mildmay, a street thief and sometimes-assassin in the slums is drawn to a potential employer by a spell meant to find Felix. Together, they fight crime! Well, no, not really. One of them goes insane and together, they end up on the run to a sanctuary that may or may not actually exist.

It reads like the bastard lovechild of Ellen Kushner's Swordspoint, Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel books, and certain elements of [livejournal.com profile] troutkitty's character dynamics. (Swordspoint for the terribly proud, deeply flawed characters and did I mention teh gay? Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel books for the ritualized kinky sex, though much darker here, and both of the aforementioned for Byzantine court intrigue and plotting, with nary a hint of ye old medieval fantasy in sight.) And [livejournal.com profile] troutkitty's sense of power dynamics. And there's none of the Mary Sue overtones of the Kushiel books to be found, and the prose is less elaborate. (Which is not to say I don't like Jacqueline Carey, because I do.)

When you put the whole thing together, though, you end up with something unique in its own right. And if in retrospect, the pacing is a bit uneven and there are more than a few multisyllabic names, they are minor flaws compared to the whole.

The sequel is Virtu, and my head is still too full of the book to blurb it. (I usually need a couple days' distance before I can properly review anything as a whole.)

To conclude, books = teh yay!


Sep. 19th, 2006 09:09 am
daemonluna: default icon, me with totoros (provenance-three)
Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day, arrrr!

Here be an instructional video.

A few pirate books, mostly YA:

Pirates! by Celia Rees Nancy Kingston travels from Bristol to her father's Jamaican plantation, after his death, only to discover that her brothers are marrying her off to a reprehensible Brazilian plantation owner. What are she and plantation slave Minerva Sharpe to do, but run off to sea and become... PIRATES? Fast-paced and fun.

Piratica: Being a Daring Tale of a Singular Girl's Adventure Upon the High Seas by Tanith Lee After a fall down the stairs at her chilly and aloof girls' boarding school, Artemesia Fitz-Willoughby regains long-lost memories of her childhood... and her mother, the famed pirate queen Piratica. Artemsia changes her name to the suitably piratical Art Blastside, and sets off to find her mother's crew, take up her tradition of cleverness over cruelty, and find a hidden treasure! Twisty plot, full of the fantastical, and once again, much fun. There's a sequel coming out in November, Piratica ii: Return to Parrot Island.

Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy Orphaned by the plague at eight, young Mary Faber has been a street rat ever since. But a change of boy's clothes and a chance encounter with the British Navy's recruiting officers change everything for Mary. She changes her name to Jacky, distinguishes herself from the rest of the rabble by belting out "I can read," and is taken aboard as a ship's boy. Sequels are Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady, Under the Jolly Roger: Being an Account of the Further Nautical Adventures of Jacky Faber, and not yet out, In the Belly of the Bloodhound: Being an Account of a Particularly Peculiar Adventure in the Life of Jacky Faber (Admittedly, there are more pirates in the third book than the first one, but still!)

And of course, The Princess Bride by William Goldman Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles.
daemonluna: default icon, me with totoros (Peas)
Phew. Mad rush of kids checking out books and me signing stuff back in. And now I have forty-five minutes of quiet, because everyone else is at an assembly, and I don't have to go. (Nyah, nyah, nyah.)

(sound like a stampede of hyperactive elephants) Okay, AFTER they trip on down to the gym, then it's quiet.

I need to catch up obn blurbing what I've read lately. In the meantime, here's a list of what I've got otu from the library and haven't read yet )

(Does not include the twenty-nine books I've got on hold, or the twenty-three others I've got queued in a not-yet-on-hold list. Does not include the perpetual stack of paperbacks , etc, at home. Does not include the cache of school library books on my desk at work. Also, does not include Affinity by Sarah Waters, which I need to finish re-reading so [livejournal.com profile] queenzulu can borrow it.)

Hmm. I need a book-related icon. In the meaintime.... cool Mr and Mrs Smith icon by [livejournal.com profile] liviapenn!
daemonluna: default icon, me with totoros (Andromeda avacado)
Since [livejournal.com profile] troutkitty is in Edmonton with the car, I'm taking the bus in to work this week. It's not too bad, one bus all the way up, and a five-minute walk to the bus stop on either end. It does mean an extra half-hour of travel time either way, which is why I usually drive. However, I think I'll be averaging two to three books a day this week, especially since I've been reading through some of the nominations for YALSA's 2006 Best Books for Young Adults.

Day One:

Order of the Poison Oak by Brent Hartinger (GLBT YA) )

Flip by David Lubar (SF/F YA) )

The Boyfriend List (15 guys, 11 shrink appointments, 4 ceramic frogs, and me, ruby oliver) by E. Lockhart. (YA girl book) )

Annnd this headache is catching up to me, so I think I'm off to bed early tonight. Bleh.
daemonluna: default icon, me with totoros (Default)
Haven't done this in ages... what I've read in the past few weeks:

1602 by Neil Gaiman )

Being Dead by Vivian Van Velde )

Orphea Proud by Sharon Dennis Wyeth )

Rodzina by Karen Cushman )

More than You Can Chew by Marnelle Tokio )

Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan )

Ashes of Roses by Mary Jane Auch )

Project Princess by Meg Cabot )

Not included are a couple of books I've read and have to review (one is okay, the other is wretched, and the third, it remains to be seen), and the stack I made it through while on vacation this weekend:
New Found Land by Allan Wolf, How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, Stained by Jennifer Richard Jacobson, The Bone Collector's Son by Paul Yee, Grind by Eric Walters, The Princess Present by Meg Cabot, A Girl Like Sugar by Emily Pohl-Weary, Gotta Find Me an Angel by Brenda Brooks. Will have to blurb these later.

I've got a list of older stuff, too, that I keep meaning to go back and comment on. I suspect I'm doing this mostly for myself, but if somebody wandering by happens to find something that looks interesting, all the better. Still to go, a half-dozen more hardcovers, and an armload of paperbacks I picked up at the library today.
daemonluna: default icon, me with totoros (Default)
I have a new pillow!

Some of many, many book blurbs (because I'm about four months behind):

The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E.L. Konigsburg is about Margaret, who hates summer camp, her uncles, who've built elaborate metal and glass towers in their backyard over the past few years, and the neighbours who want the towers to come down. It's hard to summarize, but an awesome book. E.L. Kongisburg! C'mon!

The Oracle Betrayed by Catherine Fisher is a cool fantasy that feels like a cross between ancient Greece and Egypt, and starts out with the main character carrying a bowl full of scorpions.

Curse Of The Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady by L.A. Meyer is a lot of fun--sequel to Bloody Jack by the same author, about a street kid in Victorian England who disguises herself as a boy and joins the Navy.

Prince Across the Water by Jane Yolen and Robert J. Harris is Scottish historical fiction about Bonnie Prince Charlie. Think the main character's about thirteen. And all with the lyricalness and the realism and stuff.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi is a graphic novel that's been getting rave reviews all over the place, including the New York Times. It's an autobiography about growing up in Iran in the 1980's, and is far less depressing than I expected.

And now I'm going to take my pillow and go to bed and hope I'm in a less crappy mood in the morning. I need a bad-mood icon. All (three of) my icons are too happy. Mrph.
daemonluna: default icon, me with totoros (Default)
.... it's Trout's fault. As it so often is.

I desperately need new glasses. The anti-reflective coating is snowflaking off the lenses on my current four-year-old pair. Thhhbt.

And I need to go to the library tomorrow and pick up holds. Namely:

* Still There, Clare by Yvonne Prinz--YA book, but I forget which one and why I put it on hold, other than reading a review in Quill and Quire
* Girl With the Golden Bouffant by Mable Maney, sequel to the lesbian James Bond parody Kiss the Girls and Make Them Spy
* Going Postal by Terry Pratchett--whee!
* Mom and Mum Are Getting Married by Ken Setterington, self-explanatory picture book, and dear god, I hope it's better than Daddy's Wedding, which looks like a colouring book filled in with the paint-bucket tool in Paint Shop Pro

And I'm 6/273 for All That Matters by Weyson Choy, set in Vancouver's Chinatown in the 30's, sequel to The Jade Peony, which was very good, even if I thought the end was a bit abrupt.

We were going to make Christmas cookies tonight, but I, for one, just do not have the energy.
daemonluna: default icon, me with totoros (Default)
What I've read in the past few months and haven't blurbed here yet: )

Okay, that's about two-thirds of the books I hadn't gotten to. Heh. I'll probably come back to some of these later, to either rant or rave.
daemonluna: default icon, me with totoros (Default)
Hmm, been way too long since I got around to this. Just a few for now, as I play catch-up:

How the Light Gets In - M.J. Hyland )

A Thief in the House of Memory - Tim Wynne-Jones )

Flux by Beth Goobie )
daemonluna: default icon, me with totoros (Default)
Hmm. Nothing like coming in to work, only to be gathered for a meeting after an hour, and told that your boss has been let go. Though I don't think I'd mentioned earlier that they're keeping me on at least until the end of the year. Good news from a purely practical standpoint.

General job dissatisfaction runs rampant in our house right now. My darling [livejournal.com profile] troutkitty is also looking around for something better that won't end up in her getting laid off for two months in the middle of the winter. Mrph.

Anyhow, radical change of topic. The Very Quick list of what I've been reading lately:

Re-read of Mairelon the Magician by Patricia Wrede and its sequel whose title I can't remember (The Magician's Ward?), because I've got them both in a SFBC two-in-one. Mmmm, Victorian-period-ish fantasy.

A Coalition of Lions by Elizabeth E. Wein, a YA historical one set in sixth-century Ethiopia, wonderfully rich and evocative in detail. British crown princess travels there after most of her family die in a coupe to meet the Viceroy, her cousin and intended husband. Turns out it's a sequel to The Winter Prince, and the middle of a proposed trilogy.

So B. It by Sarah Weeks. Girl lives with her agoraphobic next-door neightbour and mentally challenged mother, and goes off in search of her mother's origins. Has an almost magic-realism type feel. Kinda neat.

Kira-kira by Cynthia Kadohata. The story of Japanese-American sisters growing up in the fifties. Parents work at awful factory jobs, older sister that the younger one idolizes falls terminally ill. It was very well-written, but one of those books where you're just waiting for something good to happen. And it never, ever does! (When picking this one up, I bypassed the novel about female genital mutilation, so it could have been worse...)

I've got a whole, long list of stuff I haven't blurbed yet, but that's the most recent few.
daemonluna: default icon, me with totoros (Default)
Specifically, anthology from Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow. The Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm. With Charles Vess artwork! And stories and poems from Charles De Lint, Delia Sherman, Tanith Lee, Holly Black, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Patricia McKillip, Hiromi Goto, Neil Gaiman, and Emma Bull, among others.

In other words, some of my very favourite authors! T'is a borrowed copy. I may very likely have to pick it up myself in paperback.

I'm halfway through. The Delia Sherman story, Catnyp, is about the faery side of New York, and features a very cool alternate version of the New York Public Library. Which I've never been to, but her incarnation of their catalogue, Catnyp, is fantastic. Hee. Not to mention a story where the heroine gets a wish granted and asks for... well, that would be telling. Heh.

Anyhow. Mmm. Happy fiction buzz.
daemonluna: default icon, me with totoros (Default)
Last year, my aunt and uncle gave me an amazon.ca gift certificate for my birthday. Seeing as it expires in a week and a half (which means my birthday is also in a week and a half, yay!) I finally used it! Making their way towards me are The Grand Tour: Or the Purloined Coronation Regalia by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer (sequel to Sorcery and Cecilia: the Enchanted Chocolate Pot: Being the Correspondence of Two Young Ladies of Quality Regarding Various Magical Scandals in London by the same), A Scholar of Magics also by Caroline Stevermer (sequel to A School of Magics), and Waifs and Strays by Charles De Lint, sequel to nothing in particular as it is a short story collection.

Mmm, happy me. And I was remarkably restrained and did not pick up Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell from Indigo yesterday, and [livejournal.com profile] chaleur23 was also restrained and didn't buy it either. And [livejournal.com profile] troutkitty was also good, and didn't buy the new Shopaholic book. (Translation: we're all kinda broke. *g*)

Currently looking at all the Buffy figures that I want, yet cannot justify buying right now. Oooh...
daemonluna: default icon, me with totoros (Default)
First day of work went well enough--it's vaguely ironic since I'm sure I would have been voted by my class LEAST likely to end up in a corporate library. I'm fairly certain that I'll find it interesting enough, but it will just reinforce my certainty that as a long-term career move, I'd much rather be in a public library. Anyhow, it is a rather large relief to be back in a library at all. (Somehow, it all inevitably will come down to shelf-reading, I'm sure of it...) And it sounds like there's a possibility that it might last longer than seven weeks. Here's hoping.

We saw Supersize Me last night. It made me very glad that we don't habitually eat fast food, or drink a lot of pop. Yeck. More than anything, it was the bit about school cafeterias that got to me. Offer junior high school kids a menu of pizza, curly fries, and jello, and you expect them to make responsible food choices? Mmm-HMMM. Then we went grocery shopping, bought almost all fresh produce, and I made chunky winter vegetable soup. It's been that kind of weather, all cold and grey and wet. We did not make it to Shakespeare in the Park, alas.

So, I'm reading The Innkeeper's Song by Peter Beagle. I started it a year ago on the plane, on the way home from Torcon. Then, it ended up behind a bunch of other books and I forgot that I was reading it. So I've started it again, and it's all lyrical and mythic and I'm enjoying it immensely. And all of a sudden, whoa, group sex! But, y'know, poetic group sex. *g* It only seemed discongrouous in retrospect, from a certain point of view.

I've also got half a dozen or so ya books to blurb here that I've read in the last week and a half or so. The list: The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, Teen Idol by Meg Cabot, Heartbeat by Sharon Creech, Blue Jasmine by Kashmira Sheth, Sorcerers of the Nightwing by Geoffery Huntington, An Ocean Apart, a World Away by Lensey Namioka, Touch of the Clown by Glen Huser, Wren to the Rescue, Wren's Quest, and Wren's War by Sherwood Smith, Rose by Jeff Smith and Charles Vess, and The Collected Allison Dare Little Miss Adventures by J. Torres and J. Bone.
daemonluna: default icon, me with totoros (Default)
Incidentally, I've now gone through and added all previous book blurbs to my memories, under ya book recs.

The Fire Eaters by David Almond )

Hidden Roots by Joseph Bruchac )

The Presence by Eve Bunting )

Hmm. Only fifteen more books to catch up on. Plus, of course, whatever I read in the interim. I suspect that I'm doing this for me more than anyone else. That's okay, though. Having some sort of reference point for what I've read is occasionally helpful.
daemonluna: default icon, me with totoros (Default)
Doing data entry for the next two weeks. Thhhbt. HowEVER, the company's internet use policy does not object to personal internet use as long as it doesn't interfere with productivity. Seeing as I'm trying to balance getting this done with making sure it does last me to the end of next week, and also save my wrists from massive RSI doing nothing but numerical entry I feel justified in taking a few minutes to catch up on some of my book blurbs. (And dear god, let some of those job applications pan out so I can actually get back to doing something in my field...)

Son of the Mob 2 - the Hollywood Hustle by Gordon Korman )

Chu Ju's House by Gloria Whelan )

Throwaway Daughter by Ting-Xing Ye and William Bell )

Monsoon Summer by Mitali Perkins )

Montmorency, Thief, Liar, Gentleman by Eleanor Updale )

Mable Riley: A Reliable Record of Humdrum, Peril, and Romance by Marthe Jocelyn )

More later, as I try to remember what else I've read recently. Fanfic recs coming, too... but perhaps I should post those from home.
daemonluna: default icon, me with totoros (Default)
So I originally had some undoubtedly deep and insightful and oh-so-thought-provoking... er... thoughts on fannish online community and slash vs anime. But really, I'm too damn tired and stressed. (That admin assistant position? Fell through. So I have no potential source of income after Tues when school ends. Grrr.)

I wasted most of the afternoon wading through what promised to be a historical (slashy) fantasy and instead turned out to be a bland historical romance with no truly appealing characters. All four-hundred-some pages of it. I'm not quite sure why I kept going since my junk food reading of choice is nowhere near genre romance. Possibly because I kept hoping it would get better. I reread Sorcery and Cecilia last weekend, and was hoping for something genuinely clever. (Ooh! I should dig out Freedom and Necessity by Emma Bull and Stephen Brust.)

I also have a whole list of YA stuff that should get noted here. For now, it will suffice to say that I made it through Melvin Burgess's Doing It and it didn't take nearly as much effort as I was afraid.

obligatory occasional ya book blather on Doing It )

My girl is watching L&O:SVU. I think I'll go try and find something else to read.
daemonluna: default icon, me with totoros (Default)
Because [livejournal.com profile] simplelyric asked about YA recs.

random sampling of assorted good YA books in no particular order )

Been dealing with clogged kitchen sink and attempts being made to fix it since Friday. And yet I still ended up washing pots and pans in the tub tonight. Grrr. Varied and sundry RL hijinxs, nifty links, and fannish stuff to post about later, but right now I'm just too very tired.
daemonluna: default icon, me with totoros (Default)
... and then there's contemporary fiction from the 1960's and 70's. Of which, I pulled five photocopier boxes full out of the fiction section of the last school library I subbed in. Problem novels and moral messages were big. The writing style's also changed a bit. And don't try and tell me, oh, they're historical now! Nope, just old and outdated. Some stuff doesn't age well. Besides, if nobody's touched it in the past fifteen years and it hasn't circ'ed since 1987...

I mock, yes, but I'm sure that some of the hottest stuff today is going to be just as dull and didactic or irrelevant in twenty years. I mock with love. Or at least, good intentions. Or something.

But enough from me. Behold!

a distinct lack of deathless prose )

p.s. Sekrit message to the local bunch: Firefly, take two, our place tomorrow! (Saturday) Around four, 'til late. Potluck again?
daemonluna: default icon, me with totoros (Default)
Tagged along with [livejournal.com profile] troutkitty and [livejournal.com profile] jestyna and [livejournal.com profile] chaleur23 for their IFWA subgroup meeting, mostly because it was a waste of time to meet on-campus for supper and pay for parking, leave, drive home, then an hour and a half later turn around and drive back to get them. I took a book.

(book) )

Anyhow, things were rather silly tonight. [livejournal.com profile] chaleur23 flashed [livejournal.com profile] troutkitty four times in the bathroom! (She was flicking the light switch.) And I will spare [livejournal.com profile] jestyna and not tell you what she said in front of the parking-lot attendant.

And I should post my results of the writing exercise I did. Too tired to type it out now. Later.

Found a new HCL LJ community. [livejournal.com profile] groupsession! Yay! Just as I was being vaguely angsty and proclaiming myself a fandom orphan.

Want to take this course, but don't have $238 to spare. Thhhhhbt.
daemonluna: default icon, me with totoros (Default)
Angel this week--overall plot was pretty weak but it was worth it for many individual scenes, mostly of the Angel-and-Spike-show variety. And for next week's trailer! Evil Muppets! Aaaah! It could be sublimely absurd, or it could fall flat on its face. I will not know until next week.

Due to 1) waiting around for the CD player and alarm to be reinstalled in the car (amazing how the three hour wait turned into six as soon as we actually got the car in...) and 2) unscheduled trip up to Edmonton and back today, I've caught up on most of my library books. So. Let's see.

Sweetblood by Pete Hautman: Lucy is a bright, depressed-with-goth-leanings diabetic teenager with a theory that historical accounts of vampires are based on the physical effects of untreated, undiagnosed diabetes, who starts hanging out with vampire-wannabes. Pretty good, it was nice to see a diabetic character who wasn't part of a problem novel about "oh no, I just found out I'm diabetic! Angst, angst, however shall I cope? Oh, guess what, I coped!" but be prepared for the vampire stuff to play much less of a pivotal part of the book.

Claws by Will Weaver. Jed's life is pretty well perfect until he gets a note telling him to meet at a nearby cafe. He shows, and this pink-haired punk girl sits down and tells him that his father is having an affair with her mother. Angst, angst, stuff falls apart, and in the end it all comes down to a kayak, a sudden storm, and a rescue by helicopter. I was okay with this one (good, solid read even if I liked Zipped by Laura Mcneal MUCH more as a variant on the whole parent-having-an-affair thing) up until the last chapter. Did NOT like how it all turned out. Meh.

Breakout by Paul Fleischman. Del is seventeen, and is running away from her latest foster home in L.A. She's got a car, got a plan, and then, a traffic accident turns the Santa Monica freeway into a thousand-car parking lot. The entire book takes place during the traffic jam, and during her performance of a one-woman play/monologue about an epiphany she had while in another, similiar traffic jam eight years later. What's hard to capture in a summary is the remarkable interweaving of little bits of the lives of all sorts of fascinating, very plausible characters. I really liked this one. And hey, it's short. (You would not believe how often that factors into the I-need-a-book reference questions...)

Sonny's War by Valerie Hobbs. It's 1966, and fourteen-year-old Cory's dad has just died, and the older brother that she hero-worships has been drafted. Coming-of-age, cool hippy rabble-rousing history teacher, etc, etc. Once again, a good, solid read. Didn't fantastically grab my interest, but I think that's partly because it's about the Vietnam War and kind of inherently American in that nothing about that time period particularily resonates with me.

That pretty much covers the waiting-for-the-car-to-be-fixed reading from yesterday. It's been a very long, wretched day. Tired now, will ramble about the stuff I read in the car (The River Between Us, A Stir of Bones, Big Fish, and Jake Reinvented) tomorrow.


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