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30 December 2010 @ 04:15 pm
I've disappeared for much of the year, I know. I started out with a lot of promise, reading and reviewing books, and then, whoosh, gone.

So, where've I been? I got a car, a house, and a son!Collapse )

So yeah, been busy.

But I did do a 52 book challenge, too!

Cut for list of books read and (mostly) not reviewedCollapse )

So I was very much into series or filling in gaps with authors I should have read ages ago. There were also a bunch of pregnancy books, but I don't think anyone's interested in those. ;) I'd promise to tell you what I thought of all of them, but what free time I've had before has kind of evaporated, even on maternity leave. So we'll see how I do once I have a new schedule.

Have a happy and healthy new year, everyone!
Current Mood: hungryhungry
Current Music: baby cooing
I read Deerskin, by Robin McKinley, on my way back to the States after my vacation this November. A more different book - stylistically, thematically, worldly - than Changeless, I do not think I could have picked, even had I tried.

DeerskinCollapse )

As I have mentioned, I've also been reading The Lymond Chronicles, by Dorothy Dunnett. Or "have read" is really more precise, because I finished them, finally, last week. It was a glorious day for my husband, who felt as though he had gotten his wife back from Francis Crawford.

My short review is: if you haven't yet, OMG you must go read them now!!

My slightly longer, non-spoilery review is here: The Lymond ChroniclesCollapse ) My chief complaint with the series is that it ends. I simply can't recommend it highly enough.

My in-depth, spoiler-filled, really nitpicky review will be another entry.
Current Location: Lab. Where else?
Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: general lab hum
In early November, Doyle and I went on a Mediterranean cruise, from Barcelona to the West coast of Italy, and the Southern coast of France. It was lovely, aside from the monstrous jetlag. I took pictures of Chateu d'If, and am trying to figure out how to put words on a 100x100 icon such that they're legible.

The flights, and indeed, cruising at night, presented me with an excellent opportunity to read, which I had not indulged in for some months prior. The PW best books list just came out (and the ensuing brou-ha-ha brought it to my attention), and I went to look at rosefox's recs on that list. And high up on the Mass Market list was a book called Soulless, by Gail Carriger (who, I have just learned, can be found at gailcarriger).

Our heroine, Alexia Tarabotti, is a 25-year-old bluestocking, firmly on the shelf, in Victorian society. Her father having died some years before has left her with a troublesome legacy - she's half Italian, and has no soul. Different people can have varying amounts of soul in this universe, and the ones with too much are eligible to become vampires, werewolves, or ghosts - the supernatural. Alexia, like her father before her, has the opposite problem - she is a preternatural, and her very touch negates the powers of the supernatural creatures. Having no husband and very little tolerance for her family, Alexia desires to be some use to the Empire by joining the department that oversees supernatural and preternatural affairs. Unfortunately, as an unmarried lady of quality, this request is denied.

Instead, she accidentally kills a vampire with her parasol at a dinner party and is thrust, with no reluctance on her part, into supernatural affairs. Aiding her for their own reasons are Lord Conall Maccon, the Scottish werewolf who arrived nearly out of nowhere to become the Alpha of the London (and therefore England's) werewolves, and Lord Akeldama, a gay-as-a-pride-parade best friend of a vampire with spies in every corner. (As an aside, I absolutely love Akeldama's minions, when we finally meet them.) Lord Maccon is this series' derivation of the Mr. Darcy/Benedict archetype, a role he handles quite well, though with much less restraint than either of the others. Alexia does a passable turn as Eliza Bennett/Beatrice with a touch of the Anne Elliot and Miss Marple to her, which makes for great reading and great fun.

In addition to the supernatural elements, Carriger adds steampunk - flying dirigibles and mad scientists. It is, in some ways, a book in the tradition of Girl Genius, but closer to our world. As an aside, I also like Carriger's presentation of what the US is like in a world with both Pilgrims and supernaturals.

That's not to say the book is perfect. There are a few things I found inconsistent from start to finish, and it definitely felt like a first novel (which it was, as far as I'm aware). I am looking forward to reading the next two - Changeless, which will be out in March, and Blameless, which will be out in September.
Current Location: Lab, Where Else?
Current Mood: hungryhungry
Current Music: general lab hum
20 January 2010 @ 11:55 pm
If you're wondering why these things are taking so long, blame Dorothy Dunnett and Francis Crawford of Lymond. Blaming Lymond in particular seems to be a time-honored tradition, so you'd only be joining in. Otherwise, the book binge continues! Once again, spoilers in the discussion of series books, but nothing major.

3. Chronicles of Elantra (the Cast in books) by Michelle SagaraCollapse )

4. Magic or Madness Trilogy by Justine LarbalestierCollapse )

Next up, Soulless and Deerskin. By which point I should be done with the Lymond Chronicles, and more paying attention to life will happen.
Current Location: Home, Sweet Home
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
05 January 2010 @ 06:02 pm
My brain wanted to go on vacation for most of December. It is unfortunate that it only really got its wish on the 24th, but even before that I wasn't accomplishing much because I was binging on books. Series, really, because I don't think there's one that I've read that's entirely stand-alone. This post is going to be Part I of an ongoing series, because it took most of the day to write up the first six books. Spoilers abound, though not about any of the major revelations - if we're talking series, it's really difficult not to spoil anything about the first book when discussing the second or third.

1. The Bitterbynde Trilogy by Cecilia Dart-ThorntonCollapse )

2. The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth NixCollapse )

Next up: Chronicles of Elantra & the Magic or Madness Trilogy
Current Location: Still Lab, But Not For Long
Current Mood: hungryhungry
Current Music: general lab hum
17 December 2009 @ 11:21 am
I share because I care. Also, because I want to torture you.

The following was found in a Half-Price Books over Thanksgiving. I did not buy it, but research indicates that it is by the same person who wrote Unmasked, which I'm told, is a mediocre erotic novel of Phantom of the Opera.

Nothing like D/S to lighten up some Dumas.Collapse )
Current Location: work
Current Mood: amusedamused
16 December 2009 @ 03:21 pm
I need a couple chapter book recommendations for a boy, age 7.5. His dad says he's reading at about 5th grade level, but nothing really "substantial" (Wimpy Kid, Captain Underpants) - he'd like to see him get into a bit more substance.

I'm guessing there's tons of books out there for this age range, but as I missed it in written English, I'm hoping for ideas.
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
28 November 2009 @ 01:16 pm
I have acquired a box of pretty, non-denominational winter cards. And now, the urge to correspond the old-fashioned way is strong once more.

Therefore, if you'd like a card from me to commemorate the holiday of your choice, please leave a message on this entry containing the name you'd like it to be addressed to, the address, and the holiday/non-observation of your choice. Comments are, naturally, screened to preserve privacy.

(x-posted to naufiel, sorry if you see double.)
Current Mood: refreshedrefreshed
22 November 2009 @ 09:51 am
I am actually writing that story. About 3000 words into it, and yet, no smut. It's so rare that the urge to write fanfic strikes, I just couldn't let it pass by.

In the meanwhile, a meme, courtesy of lareinenoire: Leave me a comment saying "Resistance is Futile" and I will respond by asking you five questions that satisfy my curiosity. Update your journal with the answers to the questions, including this in the post.

Questions & AnswersCollapse )
Current Location: Grandmother-in-Law's House
Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: Breakfast being made at my grandmother-in-law's house
27 October 2009 @ 12:44 pm
I shall not commit fanfic right now.
I shall not commit fanfic right now.
I shall not commit fanfic right now.


Having read two stories out of Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers (specifically those by eegatland and ellen_kushner), I have the greatest urge to write some incest-tastic fanfic for The Winter Prince. Like, right now. At work.

The thing that's stopping me - aside from the abundant desire to avoid my PI stopping by my bench and seeing me writing porn - is that I have no beta readers, as it would be so spoilerific it hurts.
Current Mood: amusedamused