resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
Another day of making up my own question: A few excellent books I read this year.

  • Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters In the End. A moving and fascinating study of old age, part journalism and part essay. The spouse lost his mother this year, and his father is in an assisted-living apartment now instead of in his own house in California, so this felt very relevant -- but of course it's always relevant. I'd recommend it to everyone.

  • Daryl Gregory, Raising Stony Mayhall. Don't expect me to recommend a zombie book ever again, because generally it's a field in which I have zero interest. But one way to get my attention is to write the book from the POV of the zombie.

  • Elisabeth Tova Bailey, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating. Get this one on paper rather than in an e-book so you can enjoy the drawings. The author was bedridden with a mysterious illness, and someone brought her a snail. She didn't have the energy to do anything else, so she watched the snail. It's a great book.

  • Gail Carson Levine, Ella Enchanted. Everyone already knows what this one is about, but it was a good sharp look at a fairy tale trope.

    Go here to add your own question.

    The questions thus far are under here. )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Blair glasses)
There should be a word for that nice warm feeling you get when you finish a good book. Postliterary?

Anyhow, I finished Terry Pratchett's Thud in about a day and a half. It made me laugh until the spouse glared at me and put headphones on, and then it made me cry a little bit in a restaurant, damn it, because I'm just susceptible to that sort of thing.

And now I'm wishing that everybody in the world would slash Grag Bashfulsson. With anybody. I'm not picky.

(Oh, and Pratchett wrote a little history of the game on the official website of the game of Thud, which is why I love the internet.)
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
Any Robin Hobb readers out there? Anybody want to tell me one good reason why I shouldn't assume she's doing the slashy thing on purpose?

I loved her novella in the Legends II compilation, so I went looking for the series. However, because our library is staffed by the Undead, Book 1 from the first trilogy is missing from the shelves, and no one knows what to do about this because the computer shows that it's there; and the library doesn't own Book 1 of the second trilogy, though they were nice enough to buy Books 2 and 3. So the best I could do was to grab Book 1 of the third trilogy, i.e. Fool's Errand.

I'm not completely sold on this book yet; there's an awful lot of musing, reminiscing, denying facts which are right before our eyes, and longing for the past. But the minute the Fool walked in (looking like Draco in a slash story as described through the eyes of a thoroughly besotted Harry) and began doing things like asking Fitz to call him "beloved," my interest level began to grow -- mainly because I don't, really, believe that we're headed into a canonically slashy place, but I cannot imagine how on earth she's going to explain the Fool's behavior in any other way, unless he's going to turn out to be a girl in Book 2.

So somebody who's read Book 2, come and tell me how I'm supposed to be interpreting this stuff! (And if there's any decent Fitz/Fool on the web, I'd love recs.)
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
I re-read Swordspoint this week, just to see if it could clarify anything from The Fall of the Kings. (And also to see if I could make myself notice anything but the romance, the second time around. From my first reading I remembered precisely one line: "First he was rough, and then he was gentle.")

In some ways, reading the two of them so close together was a pleasure -- it was great getting to see Lindley's and Godwin's and Genevieve's literal ancestors, as well as the figurative ancestors of Basil's research. On the other hand, I must say that I have now had my decade's quota of quivering half-mad aristocrats, however lovely. But then, I'm a farmer's granddaughter, and have never claimed to have refined tastes.

Those of you who commented me and said you hated The Fall of the Kings -- I'm curious now. Was it because it cut off so soon after the end of the Theron/Basil story (which I grant you)? or because of a certain sense of Jessica Ex Machina? (which I also grant you, though I felt the ground was so well prepared that I would have been disappointed if she hadn't come back to pick up all the loose ends.)

Or was it because you expected or wanted Theron and Basil to succeed?

Book rec

Feb. 19th, 2003 02:34 pm
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
I've just finished reading Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman's The Fall of the Kings. It took a while to hook me, but the more I read, the more impressed I got. (Until the last chapter, when I realized that "impressed by this book" had been superseded by "wildly in love with Jessica Campion." It took a while for the women in the book to show up, but when they did, they showed up with a vengeance.)

I also think it would make a hell of a movie.

Do any of y'all find that when you finish reading a book you like, your first instinct is to e-mail the author an LoC? Of course if I could do that I'd be polite and not do what I want to do, which is threaten to hold my breath and turn blue if they don't immediately give me a sequel with lots of Jessica in it.
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
Hey! I can breathe through both nostrils tonight! Thank the deity of your choice for antibiotics. If I'd been born before the age of antibiotics, my life would certainly have been phlegmy, brutish, and short, and then I would have carved up my own face with a grapefruit spoon.

Here's the other book survey: Read more... )
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
Note to those who have never had a sinus infection: If you lose your sense of smell, parmesan cheese tastes like nothing at all.

Can't resist the "first lines of ten books," though in this case it's just "first lines of the best ten books I can find on my bookshelves."

Read more... )

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