jade_sabre: (sweeney todd:  blood-spattered Johanna)

Also the Demon's Lexicon series and Team Human (which was surprisingly emotional at the climax and had some interesting characterization bits amid an otherwise shallow-but-entertaining read) and The Last Unicorn (which was beautiful and which I need to read in one sitting). I had to return all the others but I'll get them back, and I have Unspoken and The Marriage Plot and Code Verity


Saving Francesca

not only reminded me of how wonderfully lucky I have been in love

but also


so perfect.



tightly plotted and everything is doled out at just the right moment and also it's hilarious and I care so much about all the characters and I'm so happy and

go forth and read it RIGHT NOW.
jade_sabre: (sweeney todd:  blood-spattered Johanna)
will single-handled obliterate YA section of library

jk jk I had to stop in the Ms because I forgot to bring bags to carry books in HOLLA

I came home with
Jellicoe Road (new to me but Beth talks about it)
Dragonhaven (not but I remember loving it want to see if it survives the reread)
The Merlin Conspiracy (new to me but DWJ)
The Demon's Lexicon/Covenant (not new to me, but the final book in the trilogy is, and I reserved that one so they should be sending it my way)
Finnikin of the Rock (new also I couldn't remember what [livejournal.com profile] brandy_painter had said about it but I knew it came first)
The Singer of All Songs (new and unknown)
Saving Francesca (new but Brandy talks about it also same author as Finnikin)
Beauty Queens (new to me but Libba Bray)
Princess of Glass (new to me by the same author was that Snow and Ice book with the bear)
The Secret Country (new to me, Cassie Claire plagiarized it I hear)
The Last Unicorn (new to me but apparently I should have read this years ago)
Alphabet of Thorn (new to me but Patricia McKillip/[livejournal.com profile] loquaciousquark I need to borrow the Riddlemaster books from you)

so overall there's only one book on here that I picked up on a total whim (oh and I bought a book at Wal-Mart the other day because it was on sale and the narrative voice reminded me vaguely of Doctrine of the Labyrinths although I do not expect it to be nearly that good) but still, progress! Also I bravefully (it's totally a word shut up) faced the librarian with my stack of Books For Teens and then talked about how I was a newlywed WOOOOOOOOOOOOO NO SHAME

So now everybody ([livejournal.com profile] beth_shulman) now that I'm not a full-time teacher and have time on my hands to do things like read for pleasure if I've ever mentioned thinking a book looked interesting ([livejournal.com profile] brandy_painter) or if you think there's something I should read, TELL ME. I can bus books in from all over Jefferson Country.

Also I have choir practice tonight! Now...if only I hadn't forgotten to grab a frozen meal to eat...sigh.
jade_sabre: (wall-e:  content)
So, just to remind everybody, this got started because Beth and Quark were both like I JUST DON’T LIKE SCI-FI AND I DON’T KNOW WHY, and so I decided to start theorizing as to why, because part of me loves sci-fi, but I’m also with them—I haven’t encountered much (outside of the Star Wars books, and many of those are not as readable when you’re 24 as they were when you were 10) that I actually enjoy.

So, uh, what conclusions have I reached again?
cutting the conclusion because otherwise you’ll just read this and not the rest of the post also it occurs to me now maybe I should have done a series of posts they’d be shorter )

So, hopefully maybe, this kind of explains what I see as reasons for why Beth and Quark struggle with science fiction.

Things I Have Not Covered )

All right, this is now officially open for discussion. Where have I gone right? Where have I gone wrong? What am I missing? Suggestions for continued reading on my part? Authors who might fit into a category of MWT-esque writing within sci-fi and thus appeal to Beth and Quark? If I were to begin a self-guided reading tour of classic science fiction, where should I start? Who’re the big authors of the 1970s? 1980s? GUIDE ME.

Feel free to link to this too--I simply ask that, having admitted my ignorance up front, people not attack me for it. I WOULD LOVE TO LEARN.

In other news, life is going well, getting married in twelve days, need to find a way home between now and then, family drama has lessened if not gone away completely, did an Engaged Encounter weekend last weekend that was SO AWESOME and am now like 99% ready to be married (remaining 1% is BAAAAAAAAAAAW FAMILY, like Goose pulling a “noooooo older sister don’t get married and leaaaaaaave meeeeeeeeeee”). And I have officially probably spent way too long on this, so, time to hit post!

back to gender!

back to the other problems!

back to the definitions!

jade_sabre: (sw:  scruffy-looking)
And because this wouldn’t be something written by me if I didn’t mention gender
Let’s be honest, people: sci-fi/space opera is a genre traditionally dominated by men.

in which conversations with WP have greatly contributed to this topic )

onto the conclusion!

back to the other problems!

back to the definitions!

jade_sabre: (harthdarth:  eating)
On why people like Beth and Quark might not like science fiction
spelling it out for completion’s sake )

And I am definitely not trying to say science fiction is superior to space opera—they’re simply two different ways of addressing the concept of HUMANS IN SPACE OR ON OTHER PLANETS OR WITH MASSIVE TECHNOLOGICAL ABILITIES AAAAAAAAH THE FUTURE IS SO COOL. Science fiction has serious drawbacks, as previously mentioned, but its focus also allows for a cleanliness in its approach—and perhaps it simply is best suited for short fiction.

On why people like Quark and Beth might not like space opera
(Note: I’m going to start using the phrase “sci-fi” to refer to “stuff that is marketed as science fiction but really is space opera.” Feel free to create a link between this and "SyFy" as a further indication of the denigration of science fiction in its true form as a genre.)

obviously the answer is ‘$7.99 for a three-hundred-page paperback’ )

one other problem that I forgot to fit in earlier but which needs to be said

back to the definitions!

jade_sabre: (harthdarth:  good on the inside)
On Science Fiction
double feature )

On the Space Opera
no, I am not talking about the opening music for the original Star Trek series )

For me, at least, space operas captured the imagination of my childhood (every time I watch Star Wars I’m secretly convinced that I too could go explore the galaxy), while science fiction appealed to me more as I got older and understood the ideas it wrestled with.

On the limitations of the phrase “space opera”
This is more a sub-topic, but operas (i.e. grand epic-fantasy-scale stories) aren’t the only kind of not-strict-science-fiction-space stories that get told, so I would just like to say that there are also space mysteries (like The Icarus Hunt by Timothy Zahn, whom I love) and (and this is WP’s favorite kind) space military fiction, among other examples. The latter is a huge sub-genre that I’ll address in a minute.

onto the problems!

jade_sabre: (harthdarth:  livejournal)
So three things.

1) I went to Barnes and Noble today because I have a $35 gift card to spend and left feeling extremely discouraged, in part because they didn’t have the one book I was looking for (WP has requested Catholicism for Dummies because he is a darling dear) and mostly because there’s such a narrow selection of books available there. I KNOW there are many more (good) books in the world than what’s represented at B&N (why oh why is the Paranormal Romance section so large), but if it’s not a classic, recent release, or bestseller (the latter two of course are absolutely no recommendation of goodness), it’s not there. I’d rather go to a used bookstore because I know there will be a bigger selection and I can pay a more reasonable $1-5 for a paperback instead of $8. But I also know that I have developed an almost crippling case of new-book wariness. I can never find the YA books y’all talk about, and the ones I do see don’t appeal to me, and as far as “adult” fantasy book/series go I’m never sure where to start and whether or not I’m going to get what I actually want from it.

And there’s a lot a lot a lot of hack writers out there, or mediocre writers with pretty good plots who have churned out book upon book because they keep selling (R.A. Salvatore), but it’s been so long that I’ve had lots of time for pleasure reading that I’m not as open to just taking a bazillion books home from the library and blasting through them, maybe loving one or two and not caring about the rest. I’m going to join the library in Savannah as soon as I get some mail to my name and hopefully that will help—I’ve fallen out of the habit of library-going. Anyway the point was that since I’ve had so little time for reading, I’ve wanted to find books that I know I will enjoy, which are beautifully written, and I have no idea where to start looking. I AM AFRAID TO TRUST.

And the longer I go without reading, the longer I go without writing, because the two feed each other.

Help. (Right now I’m in the mood for a bit of the mythic, I think? Unnamed queens and dragon-fighting heroes. Quarkie, I looked for the Riddlemaster books but haven’t found them yet. I also looked for Curse of the Chalion and they didn’t have it either.)

2) I am reading a book now! )

3) This leads me into what was going to be a comment on [livejournal.com profile] beth_shulman’s journal and is getting too long and is probably going to keep being long so, here you go. She was talking about not liking science fiction, and then Quark commented about having no idea where to start in science fiction (like me and all books it seems these days), and so I was like okay look guys I think we need to do some redefining.

REPLYING TO THIS BECAUSE why make my own comment when I can just piggyback off Quark.

So first I think what we have to do is make a difference between "science fiction" and "space opera" because the two are different things. The original Star Trek generally falls into the former while Star Wars is squarely in the latter. I mean yes in recent years books have come out with schematics of SW ships and the like, but my parents have old from-the-seventies books of Trekkies trying to work out the actual science of warp drive. People are Star Wars fans for the Force, the story, the epic battles; people are Star Trek fans for the technology and the struggle with big questions and ideas and the limits of humanity.

(also I am having SO MANY IDEAS brb jotting things down)
(oh boy settle in for the long run. This sucker is almost ten whole pages in Word, FYI.)

Disclaimer: Keep in mind that I have been meaning, for years, to do a more academic exploration of this, beginning with just reading everything in terms of the development of sci-fi. I own a few mid-60s copies of a couple of the Science Fiction & Fantasy-type magazines (I bought one that has the last installment of Dragonrider by Anne McCaffery--until then I had no idea that the book made its debut in serialized form) and I've read several short stories, but I'm woefully lacking on Asimov and Anthony and Clarke and pre-sex-with-myself Heinlein and the like. For years I considered myself a sci-fi fan just because I've read over 100 Star Wars books.

(Halfway through this is occurred to me that [livejournal.com profile] sartorias could show up at any time and blow this whole thing to bits with things like “actual knowledge” and “having read all these things”—LET ME KNOW IF I’M ON THE RIGHT TRACK.)

Suggested accompanying music.

Also I don't even remember what the OP was about. I'm just going to go with it now.

So, really, we have two different things going here--"science fiction" and what I'm going to call "space opera." I think most of what people end up reading falls more into the latter than the former.

onto the definitions!
jade_sabre: (superior:  overly enthusiastic glomping)
1) AH I'M A WEEK BEHIND IN KORRA I need to fix that tomorrow morning before the next episode airs. SO, A WEEK BEHIND.

But shipping-wise I'm pretty neutral (I don't mind the apparent endgame ship but I'm not rabid about it) and so I'm able to just sit back and enjoy EVERYTHING, and EVERYTHING is so freaking awesome. Uh I haven't watched it in three weeks so I don't have anything specific in mind to talk about, but, you know! Korra! WATCH IT.

2) I finally read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, which led to a conversation between [livejournal.com profile] beth_shulman and myself that led to my realizing this:

So is it sad? Yes. Did it make me cry? Oh yes, though I mostly managed to keep it to sniffles. Did it occasionally frustrate me or seem a bit impossible? Yes. Would I recommend it? Yes. In the end, I really like his books--they deeply connect with me on an intellectual level, so while I'm not always emotionally invested as deeply as I might be, I'm definitely challenged and entertained. And this one slipped through and hit some emotional spots too.

If, uh. Any of that made sense. IT DEPENDS ON HOW YOU INTERACT WITH JOHN GREEN? It was definitely better than Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I need to reread Paper Towns. I want him to write more kickass female characters. I think that bit above about me saying that I connect intellectually if not emotionally actually is an epiphany for me re: John Green's books. (Like, I didn't really like the main character of Paper Towns all that much, but I LOVE what [John] [Green] [what do I even call him] did with the deconstruction of the woman-on-a-pedestal trope.)

and Beth said I wouldn't say I have very specific taste, but I do tend to like books if they're strong in writing and in characterization, and to me, he isn't strong in characterization. So maybe that's why I keep reading him.

and I thought these were good points. Granted, it's been a very long time since I read a book for fun, and I'm just dipping my toes in the water here, but, yeah, those were my thoughts.

Also reading it I couldn't help thinking about [livejournal.com profile] philia_fan especially because Hazel has to drain her lungs and yeah.

3) So I just remembered that finishing TFIOS is why I started watching Big, which is in the process of airing, and despite the fact that it seems to be heading into student/teacher relationship land, she was really only his teacher for like two days, and ANYWAY the student is trapped in the body of Gong Yoo of Coffee Prince fame, and they are not only showcasing his marvelous acting skills but also his post-mandatory-military-service physique. So. You know.

Anyway it's adorable so far and I hope to keep watching it.

4) I STARTED VIRMIRE LAST NIGHT. Yes I am very slowly playing my way through Mass Effect 1. I am enjoying it immensely and I am afraid to see what they change between 1 an 2 but oh well.

Anyway I'm a femShep, although this is the first Bioware game where I have actually wanted to go through the trouble of trying to play a male character for the sake of romancing one of the het female characters. Most of them (Bastila, Dawn Star, Morrigan) I haven't wanted to romance (didn't like, didn't care about, found the female friendship to be so satisfying that a romance couldn't possibly complete), but omg I am in love with Ashley Williams I love her so much. I love her family and her belief system and her tactical analysis and she's a badass and I love her. She is my femShep's BESTFRIEND, although obviously they both understand rank and regulation and all that jazz.

And then there's Kaidan.

For those of you who are skipping this section anyway, here's a comparison of Ashley and Kaidan:
[SCENE: Inside a very fancy tower with lots of decorative water features and plants and impressive staircases leading up to the Galactic Council's meeting chamber.]
Kaidan: I like the fountain. It's very soothing.

basically I am romancing him because he is SpaceCarth and his voice is so soothing and I love it. I tentatively know why femShep is interested in him (i.e. why it's not one-sided because it is obviously that he just thinks she hung the moon and would do anything she asked), but she's having serious issues with the whole rank regulation no-fraternizing thing. Which is also part of why he's opened up so much to her but she hasn't felt she can reciprocate; all she can do is be quietly attracted. Anyway, at the moment he doesn't seem as damaged as Alistair or even Carth was--I mean, yeah, sad backstory, but it was fifteen years ago--Alistair is young, and Carth's tragedy was fresh. (Other Bioware romances to compare to include Sky--who was just a wimpier version of Carth I thought--and Anders--who doesn't count because it felt less like romancing him and more like manipulating him just for the sake of controlling him did I mention what a horrible person Thistle Hawke really was.)

What else. I like the battle mechanics I think. I LOVE the space travel and I love the Mako the way everyone loves the Mako and I'm SO CLOSE to finishing all the survey quests (side note: Goose finished ALL THE SIDEQUESTS. She only looked at the internet for help ONCE. My sister, ladies and gentlemen, has beaten the game before me).


5) You know this is my LJ and so I'm going to babble about twinfic for a moment. See, back when I was playing Dragon Age, I had an impossible headcanon character, because I enjoy coming up with that sort of thing, and anyway it was an AU thing where Elissa Cousland was a mage, and so at age five she got sent to the Circle, but since her father is, I dunno, the Teyrn of Highever, her family did come to visit her occasionally and she was allowed to be in contact with them, the idea being that once she passed her Harrowing she would become Mage in Residence at Highever under the watchful eye of several templars, etc. etc. etc. AS IF THIS WAS NOT AU-Y ENOUGH Elissa also had a twin brother named Aidan who grows up normally at Highever. When the Blight started, Elissa got recruited into the Grey Wardens and Aidan escaped Highever by the skin of his teeth, went to Redcliffe, and proceeded to get roaringly drunk and occasionally help fight zombies. Shenanigans ensue in which each sibling thinks the other one is dead, eventually Aidan gets found and recruited to help join the team, Elissa falls for Alistair much to everyone's chagrin, etc. etc. etc.

The point of all that is that I have a history of this sort of thinking, so the fact that while I was figuring out my femShep's name I realized she has a twin sister should not be surprising. The difference here is that I never actually did an Elissa/Aidan playthrough, whereas Emma Jane Shepard totally has a twin sister named Catherine Elizabeth. (Their dad was deployed and their mom named them after Jane Austen heroines.) Both girls are biotics (Emma's a Vanguard), and they both enlisted (or whatever it is you have to do in order to become an officer in the Alliance) and went through training together and all that jazz, and then Emma went off to become a Marine and Catie went into Naval Intelligence, and while Emma went off and became a galactic star, Catie got buried so deep in Intelligence that they ended up wiping her from all official records. Basically, they've got a perfect Shepard analogue that they can send off if they want to and no one would know it's a twin and not the original because even those who know that two of them exist can't tell the difference.

And of course Emma is the ~*~serious~*~ one and Catie is an expert mimic/the outgoing popular one and yes they're almost thirty but WHO CARES, I JUST WANT TO WRITE MISTAKEN IDENTITY FIC ALL OVER EVERYTHING.

jade_sabre: (robot unicorn attack)
/shamelessly steals [livejournal.com profile] bluestalking's subject line

I'm doing Audrey's and Beth's, so I'll post my questions at the end of the Beth post, which won't be until next time. But man I haven't done something non-work-or-relationship related in FOREVER, so, here you go!

(I miss reading and fandom and writing and my boyfriend and ONE MORE WEEK oh God I have to finish writing the midterm.)


OKAY OKAY behind this cut (for those with slow internets) is the song "The Ballad of Love and Hate" by The Avett Brothers, whose voices are so so soothing and who do lovely things with guitars. Only one of them sings this song, but I just...love it.
Love writes a letter and sends it to Hate. )
jade_sabre: (attolia)
so when he was here last I gave WP my copy of The King of Attolia, as he had already finished TT and QoA. Last night he texted me saying, "I was going to wait until you started reading the [hopefully better than that abysmally awful other] book I gave you, but I couldn't resist."

so by this afternoon he had gotten to "ten gold cups" (and was like, I can see bits of myself in Eugenides and in Costis, and I was like well, I do have a type*), and then tonight I got a text telling me that the queen of Attolia was acting like me, which I correctly interpreted as the moment in my icon, which I proceeded to quote from memory.

"The plot? The plot so far is that Eugenides is king and is trying to be accepted by Attolia...or...well, I am guessing by her past writing that he does know what he's doing, she's just not telling us? So I don't think he's just trying to get accepted by Attolia. So it seems like he just wanted to marry her and now he's king and he's like oh crap. And Costis is having Severe Issues. [...] He's not going through an identity crisis so much as he's just going through a crisis. And he doesn't realize he can be loyal to both of them, or one, i.e. one them together. That's not an option."


*See: Ruven. Ruuuuuuuuuunvennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.
jade_sabre: (sleeping beauty:  descending the stairs)
Okay y'all for those of you who are interested I swear I am working on a post about last week. Really. It's coming. I just--have to work out how to word things. And try to determine how much kissing to talk about. (I love kissing. It is AWESOME. And now I miss it muchly.) (Here: tell me what y'all want to hear about, that will help.)

In the meantime, two things! One is a meme from [livejournal.com profile] redbrunja from a couple weeks back, in which I am supposed to post about five things and if you comment with a bang bang or something I'll ask you about five things and anyway, her five things for me were

right here! )

The second thing: I remember this song, how many years after I first saw it? And I found it on Youtube today and felt a desire to share it with everyone:

I always saw myself as Francine )
jade_sabre: (lotr:  faramir smiling)
and now they're making a movie out of The Eagle of the Ninth, by Rosemary Sutcliff?


I feel like this trailer gives a lot away; you could also watch the thirty-second spot and get just as much of an idea of what's going on.

I just want all of her books to be made into beautiful historical action movies.
jade_sabre: (s&s:  elinor writing)
if I get through tomorrow I will be HALFWAY THERE maybe I will make a better post then.

I want to talk about something fandom-y! I am like three chapters away from finishing The Farthest Shore and the chapter I ended on today ended with Series Main Character mentioning wanting to see Book Two Main Character and I squealed like a little girl in the (empty) teacher's lounge because I love them that much. SO MUCH. (People on the plane with me while I was reading Book Two: I am still really sorry about that.)

Glee doesn't come back until next week! To keep watching to see if Puckleberry makes a comeback y/n.

My DA big bang fic is stalled at 1600 words, about 600 of which are going to have to change because as Jak pointed out clearly this moment comes after Darin offers Gorim to Masha and he gets really pissed off, so I have to come up with another way for her to convince him to let her meet Masha in the first place without her ordering him to do it. Maybe if it is early enough in their relationship she just bullies him into it? As they get to know each other better he becomes more resolute (and, I think, she understands his convictions better).

My main problem really seems to be that I have two story lines and I need to plot them out separate and then figure out where they link up, because we have flashbacks and then we have the present, and I can't decide if the present will be in present tense or not. Also the flashback really has two storylines of its own, but I think the whole fic is from Gorim's POV (what, me writing about the stalwart bodyguard type? Never...), which will present challenges of its own. Basically we have the ascension of a queen against the backdrop of the developments of a badass friendship and a deeply suppressed romance; what pieces of the backdrop do we need, and when?

WELL that was helpful.

My choir is doing more Handel! I love Handel.

I watched Ever After last week. Danielle and the prince kiss very sweetly. Also, that movie reminds me of my 2008 NaNo, and not just because of the Cinderella stuff--France (specifically, I think, the Loire region) permeates both of them, and watching the movie/rereading the manuscript (oh God it needs so much help) (well not really plot-wise, but individual sentences need so much attention) (never mind that I still haven't written part two because--and okay, maybe here the plot does need help--the whole thing is about Nell's development from where she starts to where it ends? [This sounds like a duh statement.] But I'm not sure how to carry that thread from the first part [a fairy-tale retelling, less obviously about Nell] to the second part [which is about marriage and therefore not really your normal YA fare at all] [maybe I should just change the whole novel from being YA] [but she's so young in the beginning!] [well, so was David Copperfield] [you begin to see my problems, I think] [OH I should reread Spindle's End and see how Robin McKinley does it] [I will reread Earthsea when I want to write Ariadne] [MC, what's that fellowship with the whole year-in-Rome thing?] [I forget what I was originally talking about])...oh, I see. Watching the movie/reading the manuscript makes me miss France like WHOA.

but then I am missing lots of things.

moving on.

Oh look! I have made it to shower time, and even worked a few things out along the way. Success!

jade_sabre: (superior:  present)
Goose just finished Rebel Angels and now she is reading The Sweet Far Thing and she keeps asking me questions that just supports my suspicion that I need to reread that trilogy. Oops!

I showed the SyFy Alice to Quark and she liked it! I got to be ~*~mysterious~*~ and withhold information from her, which drives her crazy, because she likes to know she won't be disappointed and I don't believe in spoilers. THIS IS WHY WE ARE BEST FRIENDS: ULTIMATE COMPATIBILITY.

books other people got me )

other things I got, or, One Day I Will Master the 'List' Instead of the 'Block Paragraph' )

Anyway let's see OH I also saw Tangled with my sisters, anyone want to discuss? I know Jak did over at her LJ. I should do that.

OH OH OH I FINISHED ARIEL'S CHRISTMAS PRESENT but I can't share it with y'all yet because she hasn't read it I am THE MOST IMPATIENT FOR THIS TO HAPPEN stupid houses with no internet. BUT I THINK IT TURNED OUT OKAY I mention this also because like I have two more plot bunnies alongside the two I still have to write alongside the OTHER two I still have to write and they are all Dragon Age fic. Anyway we haven't unlocked Office on this computer because I hate Office 2010 with a fiery passion and just want my Word 2007 or whatever installed. Whichever one doesn't involve those stupid tabs at the top. This might seem neurotic, but you know, some people have to have unlined paper, others have to have fancy pens, some people like their netbooks, I want my old Word back. IT'S PART OF THE CREATIVE PROCESS, OKAY. I WANT TIMES NEW ROMAN, SINGLE-SPACED, NO STUPID GAPS BETWEEN PARAGRAPHS, THAT IS ONLY FOR THE INTERNET.

oh my goodness, first world problems.

There has been a lot of Bailey's in my life over the past say half of a week, so...lakhen? saba? thīke? IT WOULD HELP IF I KNEW HOW TO SPELL THESE WORDS. I will be back to you with the proper spelling. I'm 90% sure it ends with "saba thīka hai." (Anyone on my flist speak Hindi? Anyone?) (Apparently the alphabet is really easy to learn?) (This is one of my goals in life.)

I think it is time for a new layout. Suggestions? Themes it would make you happy to see every time you wandered over to my journal? I'M TAKING THEM.


Dec. 18th, 2010 08:10 pm
jade_sabre: (attolia:  gen's on a boat)




--this is not capslock for the leading up bit: a few days ago someone on Sounis linked to a contest for signed books and in the comments they wanted you to name your favorite literary thief and I was like, "man, how many literary thieves can I even think of at one time, especially when Gen is stuck in my head and won't go away," so I wrote down Eugenides and George from Song of the Lioness, BUT AS OF THIS LAST PLANE RIDE, WE CAN TOTALLY ADD GED TO THAT LIST, BECAUSE HE IS SMOKIN

I mean because he is a kickass awesome hilarious sexily confident and mature and willing to accept help and head over heels for *coughcough* and oh man the people on my plane must have hated me SO MUCH as I giggled my way through The Tombs of Atuan but it was SO GOOD but I had to take a break before reading The Farthest Shore I think I will do that on the plane ride back.

but shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii The Tombs of Atuan I think if I can one day achieve the kind of writing that is a blend of LeGuin, Whalen Turner, and McKinley, my life will be complete.


jade_sabre: (clueless:  squee)
re: finishing Dragonhaven:

EFF YOU YANN MARTEL, THIS IS HOW IT'S DONE, oops I almost bawled while the algebra kids were taking a quiz, also keeping it despite the fact that it's like four days overdue because I cannot yet bear to part with it, need to buy ASAP, THIS IS HOW IT IS DONE

re: last week's Glee:
Ryan Murphy please stop writing you are a frenetic idiot there were so many good individual scenes in this episode but they weren't at all coherent and I didn't have enough time to dwell on any of them long enough for them to have true emotional weight, why do you ruin everything

also what happened to Na'vi-speaking!Sam? I miss him.

also how you managed to make Carol Burnett feel utterly superfluous is a talent that I think you should hide for, like, forever. SERIOUSLY HOW DID YOU DO THAT, IT'S CAROL BURNETT. I hate you forever, just for that.

re: this week's Glee:



p.s. also it brought "Dog Days Are Over" into my life thank you

p.p.s. Puck I effing love you forever, brb loving you forever, did I mention I love you? 'cause I do.
jade_sabre: (tristan+isolde:  tristan what the hell)
The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman
A baby arrives at a graveyard. Mrs. Owens, one of the graveyard's inhabitants, sees the ghost of the baby's mother, and promises to take care of the dead woman's son. He is assigned to the guardianship of a graveyard denizen with the ability to step into the outside world, and spends his days learning from ghosts and generally growing into a sharp and probably very attractive young man, while also wondering, in the back of his mind, who killed his parents.

All of this is presented in a very matter-of-fact way, as British authors are wont to present things, but as it is Neil Gaiman it is also beautiful. It's last year's Newberry winner, and I do believe it perfectly fits the bill for what a Newberry should be: a coming-of-age tale for children which yet has layers upon layers meant to be read and reread at all stages in life. Also it is creepy and involves lots of death without being ridiculously depressing about it--most of the main characters are dead. That's life.

It's been probably about a month since I finished it, so I'm a little rusty on how to talk about it--and having another book on the brain that I want to talk about isn't helping. So let's see, what are my criteria for judging a book that I made up last time? Plot: It's really a series of connected short stories with an overarching plot that I found a bit unsatisfying--more on that in the spoilers section--but the general Bod-grows-up was just so beautiful. And there's suspense and mystery and fun too. Characters: Very quietly drawn, and I really really liked Bod and how he turned out, and Liza is fantastic. Setting: GENIUS. GAH. GENIUS. SO GOOD. SO GOOD. Sentences: It's Neil Gaiman. He presents the reader with information and trusts the reader to do their job with it; he's subtle, and fun, and quietly wise, and also I love hearing him say the word "book," which has nothing to do with his sentences but sort of does because you have to have an appreciation for the way words sound in order to write well.


spoilers/fangirly reactions/criticisms )

BUT REALLY, I LOVED THIS BOOK. I need to purchase it. It would be good to have around.

All's Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque
Paul and some of his classmates are in the German army towards the end of World War I. They have PTSD and severe detachment issues, although this was before people knew how to diagnose such things, let alone help people heal from them. There are lots of bombs and viscera and bullets and bayonets and some French girls and lice and war sucks and I hate it.

So this book is fabulous but I don't understand why they're giving it to the sophomores to read because they're right smack dab in the middle of the infallibility phase of adolescence, without the catch of being close in age to the protagonist of the story, like seniors or second-semester juniors. Also I am mildly concerned about whether or not the students will get adequate background before jumping into this novel. Like, it is not enough to say Germany lost WWI (although I certainly hope that gets said). I think you need to at least provide a general sense of the devastation of WWI...which, yes, is the point of the novel, but idk.

Anyway this novel was very depressing. I threw it on the floor when I reached the last page. There are two types of novels that get this treatment: Twilight/Eragon, and Of Mice and Men. AQonWF belongs to the latter category of "Classic Novels of Literature Meant to Make You Feel Bad About Everything," although it gets many more points for being about WWI and being from the POV of the loser and for being about real war in real places (not that Of Mice and Men is about fake things, but seriously, that novel exists to make you feel bad).

So I didn't...like it? I mean I deeply respected it and appreciated it and think people ought to read it, but jeeze, you guys. Although a tiny book it is not to be taken lightly. (Also, it satisfied my Gross and Violent quota for the year. Rather like dystopian works, I can do one, maybe two a year, but I have to space them out a lot because I do not enjoy them much at all, and I try to read only the good ones so at least there's something salvageable when I'm done.)

"Okay," I said, when I finished it, "I could go without reading about intestines and stomachs outside of people's bodies and blood for like the next year now."

Life of Pi, by Yann Martel

So this book tells the story of Piscine Molitor Patel, who goes by Pi, who is living life grandly with his family in India while his father is a zookeeper until such time they make the decision to move to Canada, and the boat they're on sinks, and Pi get stuck on a lifeboat with a tiger. And then he has to survive.

Lots of animals die in the reading of this story, and their guts are discussed at great length. What did I do wrong in a past life.

Seriously, though, um, I don't really have a review of it that doesn't involve spoilers, and I'm kind of hoping to find someone to discuss me out of my rage, and to convince me that there was a point to reading this book and that it is not simply yet another example of "Classic Novels of Literature Meant to Make You Feel Bad About Everything." So onto the spoilers!




but most importantly
today I stopped by the library and picked up the two books that were on hold for me. Granted, they're going to the bottom of my TBR pile, but they are
The Blood Confession by Alisa Libby
The Bone Key by Sarah Monette



*does a dance*


Nov. 5th, 2010 09:49 pm
jade_sabre: (sweeney todd:  blood-spattered Johanna)
I have been savoring the latest book on my list, so my previous plan of waiting until I was done with it to start my other reads, well, is looking like an increasingly dumb plan. So! Books I Read Last Month!

Doris Lessing, a mediocre mystery, and then some YA fun )


That wraps up the book reviews! I am currently savoring The Graveyard Book--I've hit the Interlude, and I just, just, Neil Gaiman, I love you. This book is so brilliantly crafted and put together and so unlike anything I would ever expect to win the Newberry--and yes, I know, The Giver won and other really awesome and somewhat different books have won, but this one--I just. Wow.

I could here talk about how blessed I am to be a reader, to be someone who reads, because through reading I've been introduced to so many ideas and concepts and phrases and sayings and grammatical rules and punctuation rules and a love of language, and how I see my students who aren't readers and who don't have these things and how I pity them and want to help them gain the same things I have because they are such wonderful, wonderful things, and oh look, I just did talk about it, a little bit, so.

I leave you with a bonus song recommendation: the middle section is a bit weak, but overall the lyrics are fantastic and the music builds as it should and yes, I am a complete Killers fangirl, deal. You can watch it with the lyrics, or watch the music video itself:

dustland fairy tale beginning, just another white-trash county kiss, in '61, long brown hair, foolish eyes )

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
jade_sabre: (batb:  great wide somewhere)
Goose Girl is probably my favorite Shannon Hale so far. As I said in a comment somewhere else, though, I feel like part of my problem with her books might be that they are so very similar to what and how I write, I can't quite fall into them. It's not even that I'm busy dissecting them; it's like wearing a pair of jeans that just doesn't quite fit.

I read the Snow White and the Cinderella installments in the Once Upon a Time series (see: WHY DON'T I KNOW ABOUT THESE THINGS IN ADVANCE? WHY DON'T THEY EVER HIRE ME?), and they were both surprisingly good. Not as well-written as Shannon Hale, but both very creative; though short, and therefore not as in-depth as they could have been, they still struck chords of complexity in their characters.

I have received all sorts of awesome presents and cards and postcards in the mail! Just so people who sent them know.

Anyway, the whole reason I hit post was because TONIGHT'S GLEE, WAS AMAZING. AMAZING. Like, I literally have two complaints (which, considering that I couldn't even watch an entire subplot of last week's episode, is very small), and they are

1) why so overproduced, every song ever
2) WHY CAN'T PUCK SING IN HIS ACTUAL RANGE, WHY ARE WE PRETENDING HE IS A TENOR, oh God Puck please sing/talk all the time, I don't even care.

that is it. The right characters said the right things, and like it was smartly and respectfully done, and it was just--I don't even like "What if God was One of Us" but they redeemed it with Tina!solo and general awesome (also: Mike Chang grinning at Tina while she sang, I SHIP THEM TOGETHER SO HARD, THEY ARE THE CUTEST, also he is getting so much more screentime homgyay).

Anyway. Flist, discuss.
jade_sabre: (superior:  exa and sheila)
i live! and lovie lives with me! these are all excellent things. like my job! but i will say nothing further about that for now. for now i just have links[ys].

1) can anyone give me the name of a good Napoleon biography? I feel like if I am going to be an obsessive coup-de-foudre fangirl of his I can at least know aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall the stories behind the heartache described in these kate beaton comics.

2) is it sad to say this changed my life? perhaps not changed, but threw it into startlingly beautiful perspective, if only for a moment. And I was content.

excerpt, and mutterings )

3) Speaking of going back four-or-five years, someone on Facebook mentioned that Folk Choir is going to sing Biebl's Ave Maria, to which I scoffed a tiny bit because Folk Choir is good and all but this is not their kind of song, and also because freshman year of college I went to a ND-and-Michigan-Glee-Clubs concert, from which I discovered Guster due to the Michigan's-version-of-the-Undertones's cover of Mona Lisa (the only track I still have from the sadly lost CD). Anyway, they had the boys onstage and also in the balcony behind the stage, and the chant solo in the middle was sung from up there, and it was just--

better described by freshman!Jade )

4) Speaking of college, or things I learned in college, or rather a lot of conversations I have been having recently about women in college and the like, or perhaps just feminism: Maureen Johnson on the whole "boys aren't reading!/don't have anything to read!" outcry (or, how a penis makes what you write suddenly interesting to the populace at large).

5) New Glee! WHY IS MY FLIST NOT DISCUSSING THIS MORE. Please do not tell me I got into Glee just in time for everyone else to be bored and ditch it, because so much happened, and it was all pretty cool! *sob*

EXTRA BONUS LIMITED-TIME-ONLY LINK: [livejournal.com profile] romanitas graciously agreed to un-flock this hilarious, almost Growing-Up-Cullen-esque Merlin...joke...parody...hilarious thing that she and her friend did. READ IT BEFORE SHE FLOCKS IT AGAIN.


jade_sabre: (Default)

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