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: (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!


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: (ingrid bergman)
or, alternate title, Still Not the Graduation Post

anyway I have read some books since coming home! None of them are the books I meant to read. Some of them I read years and years ago (heading into that scary "ten years ago" category that is starting to take over my life), some of them were new to me! One was even a translation of a French YA fantasy novel. They were all weirdly similar, as you will see by the cut tags.

I have discovered that I have trouble picking books off the shelves in the library unless I know the author or have heard good things about the author. This multiplies times a thousand bazillion when I leave the YA section and head for the adult fiction section. (Also, the adult fiction section seems to have more disguised-cover romance novels than previously expected.) I hit the jackpot yesterday--the little itty bitty library near my house had both How to Ditch Your Fairy and Liar, which I have been looking for FOREVER. Now, if only one of the branches would get in some of Maureen Johnson's books...

Anyway, Books I Have Read This Summer, Possible Spoilers Ahead, I Will Try to Warn You

Zel: Girl gets locked in tower )

The Book of a Thousand Days: Princess and maidservant get locked in tower, people die )

Quest for a Maid: Girl has manservant, princess and girl-turned-attendant spend lots of time in boats, people die )

The Princetta: Princess and maidservant runs away, spends lots of time in a boat, people die )

The Shining Company: Boy has manservant, boy becomes shieldbearer, more people die than in both previous books combined )

I did take a detour, as part of my I Will Get My History From Biographies quest, and read
Notorious: Sometimes it is hard to be impartial when talking about Ingrid Bergman who makes everybody gaga )

I also got about forty pages into
The Ruins of Gorlan: Somewhere in my high school notebooks there is a generic apprentice YA fantasy that I really ought to bring back to life )

phew that took a long time.

on my to-read list are the aforementioned Justine Larbalestier books, Lavinia by Ursula K. LeGuin (overall I am wary of the books my mom checks out, novelizations famous women in history/literature, because they usually turn out to be giant sexfests, but I trust LeGuin--see, cannot pick a book up off a shelf anymore), and Lauren Bacall and Steve Martin's autobiographies (see: Biographies Quest). Oh and I picked up Allegiance because it was made of love and I felt like reading a SW book I knew ended well. Oh and I should read The Great Gatsby. And Jane Eyre. And maybe work on my own novel.

You know, life as usual.
jade_sabre: (room with a view:  smoochies (no violets)
1) So, in the song "Bad Romance," which I love a lot and which you should listen to, she repeats the line "I don't wanna be friends" multiple times.

Having listened to the song, do you think this line refers to
a) the fact that she wanted a solely sexual relationship
b) the fact that they are friends but she wants to be more?

I am doing an informal poll, and your input is welcome.

2) I wrote my Nietzsche paper in an hour (literally) and then lo and behold my knee started going all crazy on me and my good knee started tickling and so I ended up emailing the paper in and sitting on my futon with an ice pack, WOE.

3) I have grown very attached to this cover of Coldplay's "The Scientist," in a "I listen to this over and over again and want to write."

4) Speaking of writing, this is me NOT starting my post-season-3 Katara fic that I spent three hours plotting the other night with [livejournal.com profile] nessismore. (Y'all, I hit all the plot points. I even, like, made decisions, where normally I just keep changing it over and over in my head--I had to pick and go.) I really ought to go ahead and get the prologue down before I forget it.

5) I haven't talked about my life in forever, but I haven't really had any crazy adventures or done anything particularly fun lately. I mean, I've had fun, but I've also had a lot of long conversations that amount to "I am screwed once I leave this institution," and that's just not much fun to talk about.

6) A Room with a View is up on YouTube in its entirety, JUST SAYING, if you want to celebrate mah birfday the way I will be celebrating it. (Singing along to "O Mio Babbino Caro" is optional but encouraged. Bonus points if you can do a crazy operatic soprano not-glissando between those two syllables of "bello.")

7) Sophos's face is up, and it is appropriately pretty.

8) Idk, is there anything y'all want to hear about from me?

9) I took Pictash into the creative writing club and they liked him! (He is the singer in this post.)

10) As for that icon meme everyone's been doing, here's my answers from September. (Not!surprise: my answers are mostly the same.)

jade_sabre: (room with a view:  smoochies (no violets)
so! to clear up any confusion, biopsy turned into synovectomy but they only took out the part of my synovium that was causing problems, so HOPEFULLY once I'm all better from having stitches in my leg I will be really all better. Shirley the scooter is mine until May, though, so, uh, THINGS I WILL BE USING TO GET TO THE LIBRARY.

Am still laid up, but on ibuprofen today and so feeling less grumpy and more human. Which, alas, means I ought to actually do some homework today, woe.

Also I started posting a new fanfic about a month ago. Um, you don't have to know the storyline to follow it, at least I don't think so? Anyway it is called Falling Slowly and I wrote it like over a year ago but, uh, if anyone feels like reading something I've written that's actually complete, well, there you have it.

Time to go read the last fifty pages of A Room with a View, then reread bits of The Voyage Out, then start looking at actual criticism, le sigh...
jade_sabre: (tristan+isolde:  isolde lost)
1. Re: things that disappointed me about Graceling: I think my problem with Katsa's big NO I WON'T GET MARRIED THING is that I could sort of see why she was doing that, in a murky area that was half-in the writing and half-subtext-y. Like, all the examples of marriage that Katsa saw involved the women settling down in a domestic setting and running a household and having babies, all things she's not interested in. So I can understand her not wanting to end up in that situation.

but this does not mean I am satisfied with the way it was handled )

2. I finished the Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper. One of the things that kept coming to my mind, over and over again, was, "man, [livejournal.com profile] philia_fan would love this series, because all the books stand alone on their own!" I know people cite them as examples of series books that get Newberries, but honestly Silver on the Tree is the one that I would say most relies on the others. The Dark is Rising, the Newberry Honor, stands quite firmly and solidly on its own two feet, and The Grey King (Newberry winner) only slightly less so, in that there's a little background information that is helpful to have when reading it. But even the characters appear and are fleshed out on their own terms in each novel. It really is fascinating to read.

Susan Cooper's prose is also wonderfully, indescribably British. I'm not entirely sure why. It just is.


So in short, read this series, if not in the least to observe how curiously different it is while somehow managing to be very much the same.

And this is a long post, and I wrote it instead of doing my Zutara Week contribution for the day, so I think I will save movie-related musings for another post.

Another friend of mine is taking the GRE tomorrow, so please send good vibes her way, too!

Love and sweet dreams,
jade_sabre: (mulan:  face in sword)
First of all like why is it every summer there’s some big song about unrequited love? Last year it was “Realize” and this year it’s “You Belong with Me” GAH TAYLOR SWIFT WHY. WHY. (answer: because it is fun to belt in a country accent.)

(yes I know songs about unrequited love happen all the time...maybe it's more a question about why there's always one that hits me.)

(OH MY GOD I actually watched the Taylor Swift music video BAD PLAN.)

Anyway, just a couple thoughts on Graceling, which I am currently plodding through.

musings that include spoilers up to halfway through the book, i.e. all the most important ones unless there's a huge twist that I haven't yet arrived at, you have been warned )

I guess at this point I’m enjoying it well enough (or I was, before say the last two chapters), and I definitely admire the author’s imagination and vision (and map-drawing skills), but the whole thing has been a bit mis-firing, and occasionally strays too close to clichés that push my buttons. It just seems like this book could have been so much better than it actually is. (And I guess it actually is pretty good? So maybe I should just lower my standards…

…or go reread The King of Attolia.)

footnote )

edited to add )
jade_sabre: (narnia:  lucy)
[Poll #1427970]

please keep in mind that I myself have only read, in publishing order, through The Silver Chair, and don't plan on finishing them any time soon, but do plan on reading them to children (somebody's, mine or my students or what have you) one day, so please no spoilers.  I have general vague ideas of what happens in the books I haven't read, but that's all.

anyway my cousin gave these to my other cousin and we got in an argument over how to read them, so I thought I'd see what everyone else said.

jade_sabre: (attolia:  Gen stole my icon)


brief mutterings about 'strong' female characters )

Also, this time around? The parallels of Gen's and Attolia's insomnia. Will be trying to form some sort of thoughts about this.

jade_sabre: (sweeney todd:  blood-spattered Johanna)
so basically for my Brit Lit II class I have to do this "semi-weekly writings" where I reflect on the readings we've done since the last one we turned in, but uh, as I turned in my last one back in February, I had a lot to catch up on. But this way I was able to examine trends and also just have fun talking about literature.

But just to give y'all an idea of what I've been reading, and again, what I want to do with my life, I'm posting it. Because it was awesome.

dear professor... )
jade_sabre: (does not approve)

That pretty sums up my feelings about the whole book, as penguinkye will testify.  I loved it, obviously.  It was a lot like the last one in terms of last-minute wait-what-the-hell-oh-God-no-you-can't-be-serious plot twists (and not too last minute, I mean I could physically see how much more of the book there was to go, but geeze).  It is an incredible, fun, fast-paced novel, just like all the others, and the characters...the characters...


the characters are, as usual, awesome.  I love the Artemis Fowl books because they're well-written (the occasional comma splice, but you get used to it), incredibly funny (including potty humor which, at this point, has become funny because of sheer character connection), and guaranteed to take you for a fun ride.  I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend going to the library and getting them and reading them.  Or, heck, buying them.

Also, I still want to know where Eoin Colfer gets all this time to travel and stuff.  [livejournal.com profile] rowana, if you ever meet him again, ask him for me, okay?  Or...wait...*scurries off to website*

See, I bought The Time Paradox right after it came out.  I paid $17.99 for this book.  I never buy books wholeprice unless I have a giftcard to (damnit, I did have a giftcard to burn, I just now realize) burn, but I love Artemis Fowl THAT MUCH.  A brief listing of my affections for them:

Artemis Fowl is love.  Just pure, twelve-year-old genius vs. fairy love.
Artemis Fowl:  The Arctic Incident is CRAZY TIMES IN SIBERIA love.  Also Holly is pretty in a black-widow kind of way.
Artemis Fowl:  The Eternity Code was, for the longest time, the last book, and it is such a satisfying last book too, which says a lot for it.  (Also I got it while waiting for Goblet of Fire to come out.)
Artemis Fowl:  Opal Deception was the surprise, the HOMG WHAT NEW BOOK?  It is not as good as the previous three, because Eoin Colfer (who is the author, btws) had a bit of trouble with the two different kinds of Artemises he had.  I have only read it once (versus multiple times on all the others).
Artemis Fowl:  Lost Colony is HOMG SUPERFANTASTIC OMG LOVE.  I was a bit wary of getting it after the disappointment of Opal Deception, but in this one, Artemis is back in all his glory.  I LOVE this novel.

Which leads me to Artemis Fowl:  The Time Paradox
cut for spooooooooooooooooooooilers )
jade_sabre: (losing voice)
Books I've read:

His Dark Materials--Philip Pullman
Pride and Prejudice--Jane Austen
*Wuthering Heights--Emily Brontë

*Vanity Fair--William Makepeace Thackeray

*Looking for Alaska--John Green
*Stardust--Neil Gaiman
*The White Darkness--Geraldine McCaughrean
*North and South--Elizabeth Gaskell

*David Copperfield--Charles Dickens
*Adam Bede--George Eliot

The Queen of Attolia--Megan Whalen Turner
*Ophelia--Lisa Klein
*The Lightning Thief--Rick Riordan
*The Sea of Monsters--Rick Riordan
*The Titan's Curse--Rick Riordan
*The Battle of the Labyrinth--Rick Riordan
The King of Attolia--Megan Whalen Turner
Westmark--Lloyd Alexander
The Kestrel--Lloyd Alexander
Growing Up Catholic--a bunch of random people

Sorcery Rising--Jude Fisher
*Wild Magic--Jude Fisher
*The Rose of the World--Jude Fisher
*Austenland--Shannon Hale
*Deerskin--Robin McKinley
*Playing for Pizza--John Grisham
*Bella at Midnight--Diane Stanley

*The Name of the Rose--Umberto Eco
*Inda--Sherwood Smith
*Thief of Time--Terry Pratchett
Darth Maul:  Shadow Hunter--Michael Reaves(?)
*Allegiance--Timothy Zahn
Artemis Fowl:  The Lost Colony--Eoin Colfer
*Artemis Fowl:  The Time Paradox--Eoin Colfer

*Star Wars:  Legacy of the Force--Aaron Allston, Karen Traviss, and Troy Denning


*Northanger Abbey--Jane Austen

*On ne badine pas avec l'amour--Alfred Musset
Ella l'ensorcelée--Gail Carson Levine

*Paper Towns--John Green
*Remains of the Day

Movies/TV Shows I've Seen (new movies are astrisked, so you can get an idea of how much I love rewatching movies):

*Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
*National Treasure 2
*Arrested Development, season 3, and a few episodes of The Office
Various episodes of Firefly
*Notre Dame Student Film Festival
Roman Holiday

*Gone Baby Gone
A Knight's Tale
10 Things I Hate About You
Mystery  Men
*The Producers
*The Seventh Seal
Holiday Inn
Bringing Up Baby

*The Other Boleyn Girl
*Meet the Robinsons
Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones
*The Maltese Falcon
*I'm Not There
Doctor Zhivago
*Darby O'Gill and the Little People
Sleeping Beauty
Moulin Rouge

*The Fountain
*August Rush
Bride and Prejudice
Sweeney Todd:  The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Tristan + Isolde
Raiders of the Lost Ark
*Forgetting Sarah Marshall
*Thoroughly Modern Millie
Sense and Sensibility
The Little Mermaid

*L.A. Confidential
*Pillow Talk
Down With Love
Beauty and the Beast
Star Wars:  Episode III:  Revenge of the Sith
Gone with the Wind
*Reefer Madness
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Star Wars:  Episode IV:  A New Hope
Star Wars:  Episode V:  Empire Strikes Back
*The Great Escape
*Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
*Logan's Run

Rocky Horror Picture Show
*Night at the Museum
Stranger Than Fiction
*The Royal Tenenbaums
*The Life Aquatic
*Spanglish/Lovers Unite or something
*Love with the Proper Stranger
*Charlie Wilson's War
part of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

*27 Dresses
*Howl's Moving Castle
A Fish Called Wanda
*Prince Caspian
*P.S. I Love You
Love with the Proper Stranger
Avatar Series Finale
*Mamma Mia
The Wizard of Oz

When Harry Met Sally
Night at the Museum
The Little Mermaid


Star Wars:  Episode V:  Empire Strikes Back
The Bourne Identity
The Bourne Ultimatum
The Bourne Supremacy


*La traversée de Paris
*Tropic Thunder
*Soylent Green


The Taming of the Shrew
Fry Street Quartet
Titanic (sort of)

Kiss Me, Kate


Explosions in the Sky
La Boheme
The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus
Blue and Gold Game
Faust 1859
Christian from Project Runway

Art Institute of Chicago


Atlanta Zoo


Mont St. Michel



jade_sabre: (glee)
Actually, this is just a long list (mostly for [personal profile] loquaciousquark's benefit, since she's the only one who's shown any interest got half an idea of what I'm talking about) of Neverwinter Nights 2 fanfiction that I like.  Some of it's better than others, but there's a surprisingly large (proportionally speaking) amount of good fanfiction (at least that I read--and I didn't read half the stories simply because they weren't what I was looking for at the time) in the NWN 2 section (which is a subsection of the NWN section, under "Games" in the directory, that mostly takes up the most recent four pages).

Anyway, um, fanfic.  Here we go:

Cheers, all!
jade_sabre: (Default)
I need a new all-of-the-Gaang-icon.

But this...

This fic is my season three.

and now I am going to gush about it, because it makes me so happy.

I just left one of the gushiest reviews I think I've ever written for a fanfic.  EVER.  And it's not even romantic!  I mean, I made a frickin' numbered list.  This is bad.  I am so terribly, terribly afraid that the end is approaching, and then where shall I be?

But seriously, I am convinced that this author (ignore the fact that her pen name is xcgirl08) has an inside link to the Nick studios and is secretly novelizing the plot for season 3.

The real thing about this fic is that it has what movies and shows inherently cannot have: a real inside look into all of the characters' heads.  And she uses this ability masterfully, creating circles and flashbacks and foreshadowings and character development and...I mean, there's really...no.  This is it.  This is what Avatar is all about.

She switches effortlessly from incredibly visual (through sparing but precise use of language) fight scenes to giggly fluff scenes to emotional struggle scenes to flashbacks to witty banter to fights again.  The characters are all IC--they grow, of course, according to what happens throughout the fic, but it's completely in keeping with the basic characters themselves.  She also brings back minor characters and puts them to good use, giving resolution with them that's totally satisfying.  Her few side OCs are also fantastic.  I mean, she has a masterful knowledge of the show itself, and everyone and everything that's shown up in it, even if she doesn't know all the names.

It's not overtly shippy, but there are ships, but they're so subtly done it really doesn't detract from what's going on in the fic at all--very realistically done.  (And, just a fair warning, completely in keeping with my own shipping lines.  But even with that, people who don't support the ships are still reading anyway, because it's Just That Good) 

Yep.  This fic is why I didn't get any homework done on Thursday.

I think I'll just go lay down my pen now.

Did I mention it's going to be over 35 chapters long, and that the chapters get progressively longer, but no slower?

Why are you still sitting here, reading my livejournal?  Go READ IT NOW.


jade_sabre: (Default)

November 2012

45678 910


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags