Summary: Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:
She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 8 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in two
Welcome to the world of informercial diet plans, terrifying wedding dance lessons, endless run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother.
And there’s one more thing. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin -- no matter how you add it up!
Being a fat lady myself, I tend to stay away from YA books (or any books really) that deal with weight issues. All too often it ends with the main character losing weight and suddenly becoming beautiful and desirable and wonderful where she wasn’t before. While I do obviously support healthy eating habits and exercise for those who can manage it without damaging their bodies, I get tired of seeing the same message in weight books: Lose weight because you’re worthless until you do, you big fatty.
I did not go forth and choose to read this book, as I did with other history overviews and biographies. Instead, I found it on the desk in the tutoring room, where someone else must have used it and abandoned it. I had no intention of reading it cover to cover. However, it’s a history book! I love history books! How could I ignore it? As a compromise, I decided to look at the pictures. Then I noticed something odd, but maybe I was imagining it. I decided to type a list of the pictures.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and 75 pictures times a thousand words is practically its own book. I can’t be the only one who flipped through this college text book and assumed the pictures would give me an overview. Therefore, I wondered if the pictorial overview gives a clear or distorted image of what America looks like.
Shroud your women...
This book opens like a farce, with a vibrant young queen married to the King of France. Wait a minute, I say, I happen to know that Eleanor of Aquitaine was married to Henry Plantagenet of England. And the queen is beautiful and …. Thirty? I guess that’s still young, for royalty. And married for twelve years without children?
Something's going to crack....
The anthology Undead of Winter has a story that I wrote, "Candles Against the Dark"
The anthology is about ghosts and zombies showing up during winter holidays, and mine is about Grandma Irene who died 400 years ago and never left - the younger generation just can't take care of hte babies properly...
And that thief sure picked the wrong house to burgle during the holiday dinner!
It is available at Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Undead-Winter-Sar
( 1000 Years of Misery: The Age of Faith, by Will Durant Collapse )
( Old Testament: Job, Ezekiel Collapse )
( The Medieval Murders: The Magician's Death, The Waxman Murders, Nightshade, Haunt of Murder, by PC Dougherty. The Moneylender of Toulouse, by Alan Gordon Collapse )
( Arabian Days: Throne of the Crescent Moon, by Saladin Ahmed Collapse )
( Strange Messenger: The File on H, by Ismail Kadare Collapse )
( The Profane Comedy: The Roman de la Rose Collapse )
( Revenge of the Misfit Toys: More than Human, by Theodore Sturgeon Collapse )
( Murder at the Con: Bimbos of the Death Sun, by Sharyn McCrumb Collapse )
( Murder at the Puzzle Tournament: Puzzled to Death, by Parnell Hall Collapse )
( Elliptical Trainer: Epitome of Copernican Astronomy, by Johannes Kepler Collapse )
( Racial Identities: My Place, by Sally Morgan Collapse )
( Iranian Nuclear Fallout: The Blind Owl, by Sadegh Hedayat Collapse )
( Christ the Buddha: The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas a Kempis Collapse )
Find all of my previous Bookposts here: http://admnaismith.livejournal.com/t
Book 202: The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson, 2012. 198 pages. Written to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Pendle Witch Trials. Review here.
Book 203: The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares by Joyce Carol Oates, 2011. 365 pages. Collection of non-supernatural horror tales. Review here.
Book 204: Atticus Claw Settles a Score (Atticus Claw #2) by Jennifer Gray, 2013. Illustrations by Mark Ecob. 220 pages. More fun with retired cat burglar Atticus. Review here.
Book 205: Natural Causes (Inspector McLean #1) by James Oswald, 2012. 458 pages. Scottish police procedural with supernatural theme.
Book 206: The Stolen Ones (Jessica Balzano and Kevin Byrne #7) by Richard Montanari, 2013. 458 pages. Gripping US police procedural. Reviews of Books 205 and 206.
Book 207: Away with the Fairies (Phryne Fisher, #11) by Kerry Greenwood, 2001. Unabridged Audiobook (8 hrs, 5 mins). Read by Stephanie Daniel. The one with fairies. Review here.
Book 208: The Mysteries of Glass by Sue Gee, 2004. 342 pages. Young curate has the hots for the vicar's wife in slow-paced Victorian drama. Review here.
Book 209: Raven Girl by Audrey Niffenegger, 2013. 80 pages. Graphic novel about a raven girl.
Book 210: After Dead: What Came Next in the World of Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris, 2013. Illustrations by Lisa Desimini. 208 pages. Reviews of Books 209 and 210.
Book 211: The Devil's Ribbon (Hatton and Roumande #2) by D. E. Meredith, 2011. 335 pages. Victorian forensic crime thriller with Irish political theme. Review here.
Books 212-213: In Search of Lost Time Vol 5: The Captive and the Fugitive by Marcel Proust, 1923/25. 814 pages. Continuing with the Year of Reading Proust project. Review here.
Book 214: Mayhem (Dr. Thomas Bond #1) by Sarah Pinborough, 2013. 339 pages. Victorian police procedural with supernatural aspects. Review here.
Book 215: The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel, 2002. 315 pages. Rather heavy going drama set in small town USA. Review here.
Book 216: Bones of the Lost (Tempe Brennan #16) by Kathy Reichs, 2013. 336 pages. Latest in series of forensic thrillers. Review here.
Summary: Win and become the King. Lose your armor, lose your life.
A kingdom in chaos, and countless men dead. When Cypress emerges from her village in the forest to seek her fate in the outside lands, she doesn’t bargain on becoming part of the realm’s politics with the Knight’s Game. Twelve men were chosen for the Game, each with his own symbol, and the last one standing becomes the next King. One man wears the sigil of the white stag, an unearthly being from Cypress’ own forest, that draws her into a world she never dreamed of. But when Cypress comes face to face with her spitting image, the father she never knew, she joins the Game to ensure his tyranny will not become law, all while hiding a secret that could get her killed – that she’s a woman.
The White Stag is a good old fashioned fantasy that should appeal to fans of Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness series. Although it sounds similar, it takes a much more original route. It’s like a meeting of Tamora Pierce and The Hunger Games, and it works.
Sarum: The Novel of England, by Edward Rutherfurd
Crown Books, 1987, 897 pages
In Sarum, Edward Rutherfurd weaves a compelling saga of five English families whose fates become intertwined over the course of centuries. While each family has its own distinct characteristics, the successive generations reflect the changing character of Britain. We become drawn not only into the fortunes of the individual family members, but also the larger destinies of each family line.
Meticulously researched and epic in scope, Sarum covers the entire sweep of English civilization: from the early hunters and farmers, the creation of Stonehenge, the dawn of Christianity, and the Black Death; through the Reformation, the wars in America, the Industrial Age, and the Victorian social reforms; up through the World War II invasion of Normandy and the modern-day concerns of a once-preeminent empire.
Five families, 15,000 years. Give or take a few millenia.
My complete list of book reviews.
Mosher was one of the first social scientists allowed into Communist China. He spent most of his time in the Pearl River Delta, a place where he was shocked by the poverty, and where officials would shake their heads over how rich they were, and peasants from other regions would illegally sneak in for the chance at the worst jobs. He managed to wangle a permit to travel by land farther into China. This is his account of the road trip.
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As part of my B.ed. I am currently taking a course on Socio-cultural issues. For one of my assignments I am looking for some books that illustrate the experience of gay or lesbian people in Western Society. I am hoping you lovely people might be able to recommend some books along those lines. They can be non-fiction, fiction, and of any genre.
X-posted to Bookshare.
In which Sayers takes yet another turn. Refraining from even trying to marry Lord Peter off -- Harriet Vane is alluded to, once -- she writes a mystery in which Lord Peter himself only slowly comes into view. And provides a gimlet-eyed view of the advertising agency. (The agency where she worked actually put up a plaque commemorating that a fictional employee had been thrown down it.)
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by Susan Hill
From the author of The Woman in Black comes two gothic ghost stories to send chills creeping up your spine. In “The Small Hand”, a bookseller named Adam Snow finds himself lost in the English countryside. Pulling up to a house to ask for directions, he feels a small hand clasp his own, but the derelict, overgrown house is clearly abandoned. He eventually finds his way home, but the sensation of the invisible child’s hand continues to haunt him. Snow attempts to replicate the experience, but with each supernatural visitation more sinister demands are placed on the antiquarian. The second story, “Dolly”, brings a young orphan to his aunt’s house for a summer visit. Worried that her nephew Edward will be lonely by himself, his Aunt Kestrel invites his cousin Leonora to join them. Spoiled, selfish and cruel, Leonora terrorizes and fascinates Edward. When she tells him that she desperately wants a doll for her birthday, Edward passes the information on to their aunt – but the doll she purchases is not the type that Leonora wanted, so in a fury the ungrateful girl smashes it. Her wrath unleashes a curse that follows her and Edward through the years, slowly poisoning their lives.
Continue the review at Fashionista Piranha Book Blog...
This is largely just revisiting the topic of my very first SBD post, Do Author!Fails Affect Your Reading Decisions?, but that was over two years ago, and my own thinking has shifted a bit in that time. So you may freely accuse me of disinterring dead equines to take a few more whacks at their carcasses.
The trend over the past few years, at least in some circles, has been to demand greater accountability of readers and authors alike for the ethical implications of their work, whether it is because the author expresses unpalatable views or because the book contains problematic tropes. "Unpalatable" and "problematic" are, of course, in the eye of the beholder, but for the most part, the pressure tends to come from the progressive/"Social Justice" side of the fence, though I'm seeing more backlash coming from the other direction.
In other words, DON'T READ THIS BOOK BECAUSE BADTHINK! or DON'T GIVE THIS AUTHOR MONEY BECAUSE BADMAN!
I've got to be honest, I was once more sympathetic to this POV (why would I want to encourage an author who's an asshole?), but I have become far less so as the criteria for which authors are deemed "unreadable" and anyone who admits to being a fan (or even mildly approbatory) as being complicit in evilbadthink become increasingly stringent.
One of the most public examples of a widely reviled famous author is, of course, Orson Scott Card. Notoriously strident in his anti-gay views and his belief that President Obama wants to unmarry him and put Mormons in gulags, he has been the Big Name problem child of science fiction for years, a huge best-seller who causes large numbers of the predominantly-liberal genre's fans to froth, especially those who were inexplicably (if you started reading him any time after 1990) unaware of his views before becoming fans of his books. The backlash against him caused DC Comics to back down from using him as a Superman writer, and there has been an effort (with dubious impact) to boycott the Ender's Game movie.
I have written about Orson Scott Card and his less-famous Mormon SF author peer Brandon Sanderson at length here, so the purpose of this post isn't to initiate a discussion about OSC in particular.
Other authors who've fallen afoul of right-thinking people include John C. Wright, who is basically the Catholic Orson Scott Card, and hilariously, Neil Gaiman (for the crime of being married to Amanda Palmer, who apparently has pissed off a lot of social justicey people for various inappropriate performances). The latter blacklisting the point at which I started rolling my eyes and saying, "Really?"
(I mean, if you blacklist Neil Gaiman because he writes the same damn whiny boring wimp everyman protagonist in every book, that's one thing. But because he hasn't divorced his wife? Now come on.)
This book contains badthink.
V.S. Naipaul, Jonathan Franzen, and David Gilmour have all been in the crosshairs for being disparaging of women writers. Elizabeth Moon got into trouble a while ago for making some injudicious remarks about Muslims. Elizabeth Bear got flack for using the term "death march" to refer to the process of writing a book. Another point at which I shook my head and backed away slowly.
Certainly, I understand the desire not to give money to an asshole who hates you. Or who is actively campaigning against the rights of others. But I draw the line at "You should not support this author because she once said a thing that made people angry and maybe was not the best way to express whatever thought was in her head."
(I also draw the line at authors who are dead. I strongly suspect Charles Dickens would not have thought much of women's rights, and he certainly was at least a little anti-Semitic. But he can't get any money from me anyway.)
If you were privy to every thought passing through the mind of every single human being in the world (which seems to be the disturbing goal of Twitter), and you made a habit of following the thoughts of all your favorite writers, sooner or later they're all going to say something that makes you say "Waitaminute."
However, I have even reached the point where I'm willing to read authors who I find very, fundamentally objectionable just because so many people are saying YOU SHOULD NOT READ THIS BADMAN.
Case in point: many of you are probably aware of the infamous "feud" that's been going for a couple of years now between John Scalzi and Theodore Beale, aka "Vox Day." John Scalzi is the bourgeois pudding of SF - nice, inoffensive, always triangulating for the "rational middle" of a political argument, writes decent if unexciting sci-fi.
Vox Day is... well, indescribable. Though there is a gulf between what he's been accused of saying and what he has actually said, he's way, way out there, and if he doesn't make your head explode, his commenters will. Orson Scott Card and John C. Wright are mild gentlemen of moderate views compared to VD.
VD has written several novels,
Would I pay money for one of his books? Probably not. Do I think I have an obligation to not support him in any way, shape or form by reading, downloading, reviewing, or giving him publicity? That is where I get off the Right-Thinking People Train.
So, what do you think? Must your reading be ethically uncomplicated? Do you separate the writer from his work? Do you avoid learning too much about your favorite authors, for fear of discovering that they Twitter things that make Baby Jesus cry? Do you exhort or give a side-eye to others if they don't filter their own reading lists?
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 99
How do you feel about authors who offend you?
|Authors who offend me get blacklisted, period.|
|There are a few things I can't forgive, but an offensive author won't automatically make me stop reading them.|
|I will avoid giving money to authors who offend me, but I will still read them.|
|I don't care about the person, unless it's their writing that's offensive.|
|I separate the author from their work, period.|
|I do not "blacklist" authors and I find the idea offensive.|
Do you think authors with objectionable views should be blacklisted/campaigned against?
|Yes - free speech has consequences, and using social and economic pressure is a valid tactic.|
|I don't mind being made aware of authors with offensive views, but I don't really support blacklists.|
|Not unless they are advocating something really terrible.|
|No, but it doesn't bother me if other people are upset enough to do it.|
|No, and I think it's a terrible thing to do.|
Do you think other people should share your views about offensive books and authors?
|Yes - if you like a book or author who offends me, it gives me reason to mistrust you.|
|It bothers me, but I understand not everyone sees things the same way.|
|It might suggest a gap in our worldviews, but it doesn't really bother me.|
|No (though I might say: "Piers Anthony? Really?")|
|No, and I reject the idea that anyone else should influence my reading preferences.|
Previous Saturday Book Discussions.
by Naoko Takeuchi
To see reviews of previous books in the Sailor Moon series, click here.
This review contains spoilers for the previous volumes in the series.
Mamoru is moving to the United States for a year, and Chibi-Usa is returning to her parents in the future. Usagi can’t help but feel lonely, but at least life is normal again. But normal never lasts for long in Tokyo, does it? First, a girl calling herself Sailor Iron Mouse attacks a pop concert, demanding “sailor crystals”. She is quickly defeated by a trio of women clad in leather bikinis, but others follow and manage to kill several Sailor Guardians. Sailor Moon is determined to get her friends back, but until she figures out the identities of these strange “Star Warriors” and the leader of the enemy, she can’t move forward. And who is this new pink-haired child living claiming to be Usagi’s little sister?
Continue reading on Fashionista Piranha Book Blog...
In this 2013 history, author Thuston Clarke embarks on a wonderful look at President John F. Kennedy's last 100 days on earth, beginning with August 7, 1963 (the day that the Kennedys' second son Patrick was born) and ending on that fateful day in Dallas on November 22, 1963. Clarke does a very good job of shadowing the president in his final days, drawing from a large number of sources, including recordings and materials from the JFK Library, and from a number of people who were around Kennedy at the time. The result is fascinating. It is more than simply a regurgitation of what one might find in news reports of the time or from other Kennedy biographies. It includes personal and private conversations on the most hush-hush topics, such as dumping Lyndon Johnson from the ticket in 1964, back channel discussions with Cuba, regime change in South Vietnam, getting J. Edgar Hoover to lay off investigating congressmen cavorting with prostitutes (for fear that JFK's association with one of the women would be exposed) and JFK's other extra-marital dalliances.
Clarke's book is part-historical narrative, part-gossip piece, and is very conversational in its tone. Among the many, two of the interesting themes that come out from the book are (1) how JFK seemed to be repairing his relationship with his wife, following the early death of their son Patrick, and (2) all of the warning signs that there was trouble brewing in Texas. The former is a fascinating development to watch, and the latter is also very interesting, showing us an interesting picture of Kennedy's fatalistic attitude on the subject of his possible assassination. Another compelling subject is the developments in Vietnam, including the coup which led to the assassination of the governing leaders in South Vietnam, and the dynamic between Kennedy and the hawks in his administration. The final days detail JFK's frustration with Lyndon Johnson over the latter's inability to put the lid on a political fire brewing in Texas that necessitated Kennedy's visit to Dallas.
I read this book day by day, on the 50th anniversary of its events, and it was as interesting as any current events. Clarke has the ability to tell the reader something that we never knew before, and he gives us a picture of not only what is occurring in Kennedy's orbit, but also with Jacqueline Kennedy, the Secret Service, Lyndon Johnson, and many others. Clarke is an admirer of Kennedy as his title suggests, and perhaps he sees the president's policies and future through rose coloured glasses at times. But Clarke does acknowledge Kennedy's failings, both personal and political. More important, he sets out the facts and gives the reader the opportunity to draw his or her own conclusions. Clarke provides a very good portrait of the last 100 days of the life of an iconic president, in a wonderful style that feeds both the reader's knowledge and imagination. He makes history come to life, and generates emotional reactions, making for an excellent reading experience.
- Current Location:Vancouver, BC
- Current Mood:contemplative
- Current Music:Keb Mo-"The Times They Are A Changing"
by Julie Kagawa
Book Six of the Iron Fey series. Click here to read reviews of earlier books in the series.This review may contain spoilers for previous books in the series.
Book Two of the Call of the Forgotten series.
After his second encounter with the fairies, Ethan tries once more to block them out, but when one of his companions from a previous trip appears in his home, seeking help, he realizes that he can no longer turn his back on events in the Nevernever – especially when he learns that his nephew Kierran has gone missing. When Ethan and his girlfriend Kenzie catch up with Kierran at the New Orleans goblin market, they find him playing a most dangerous game. Kierran is desperate to save the love of his life, the exiled Summer fairy Annwyl who is fading slowly into nothingness, and he will make any bargain that will guarantee her life. Ethan must once again journey into the Nevernever in order to protect his impetuous nephew from himself. A prophecy has long existed that Kierran will be the cause of Ethan's death. Can Ethan trust Kierran or is he walking straight into a betrayal?
(Review continues on Fashionista Piranha Book Blog)
During WWII, in a New England prep school, Gene and Phineas spend their time playing sports and starting clubs, but a life-changing accident forces them to face the reality outside their small community.
A Separate Peace is a little gem of a book. It's not every day I get to read a novel that's so masterfully constructed.
It an ideal summer that's doomed to become a lost Eden in the winter that ends the novel.
Along with his choice of seasons or his remarkable use of the historical background, John Knowles pays attention to every aspect of his story to create an unforgettable mood. Because Gene is ultimately an unreliable narrator, all the careful details are just as crucial in the telling of the story as the narrator's voice.
John Knowles perfectly captures (prep) school life and humor, but his story of two rival friends sheds light on something so unpleasant about human nature, that the novel becomes far more than another coming-of-age story.
Knowles' writing style is deceptively elegant as it simultaneously conceals and reveals a haunting violence of feelings.
This is certainly one of the best books I've read this year.
- Current Location:Antony, France
- Current Mood:confused
by Tom McNeal
It seems that when Jacob Grimm passed away in 1863, he wasn’t quite finished telling stories. In Far Far Away, the author’s ghost remains trapped on Earth, unable to pass to the other side. He befriends a boy named Jeremy Johnson Johnson, one of the rare few who can hear the ghost’s quiet whispers. Jeremy’s mother abandoned her family and ran away with another man, causing his father to become a recluse who never leaves his room. The boy is lonely, trapped as he is in the town of Never Better with no friends and a pending eviction from the only home he’s ever known. When a pretty girl named Ginger convinces Jeremy to play a prank on the local baker, he becomes the town pariah, alienated by all. Grimm tries to steer his young friend in the right direction, away from trouble and harm, but it seems no matter what they do the boy’s problems increase. Darkness hangs over Never Better, and it threatens to swallow up everyone Jeremy cares about unless he can solve the mystery of the Finder of Occasions, who watches and waits with evil intentions…
Review continued at Fashionista Piranha Book Blog...
The entire book was worth reading for the information in it, as well as for the jokes. Apparently, a certain teenager was also worth hiding from this reviewer, who finally looked under his pillow and snatched the book back. One can only hope he read something besides the jokes.
Warning: Each chapter opens with a lim*rck, but they are clearly labeled “Bad Limerick”, and you can skip them if you feel the need. Also, given that joke point fun at the Powers that Be ( lawyers, doctors, engineers, etc.) there are quite a few jokes poking fun at religious authorities. They tend to start, “A priest, a minister, and a rabbi…” for the widest sects-appeal.
Three guys walk into a bar...
Read this review on A Wicked Convergence of Circumstance on Blogger.
Read this review on Rena's Hub of Random on WordPress.
Do you guys have any suggestions on books that make you feel Christmasy?
Title: The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two
Series: Fairyland #3
Author: Catherynne M. Valente
Illustrator: Ana Juan
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Format: Advanced Reader's Copy
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Subgenre: Portal Fantasy
Full Disclosure: I received a free copy of the ARC through the Amazon Vine program. I'm a Valente fangirl, as always.
September misses Fairyland and her friends Ell, the Wyverary, and the boy Saturday. She longs to leave the routines of home and embark on a new adventure. Little does she know that this time, she will be spirited away to the moon, reunited with her friends, and find herself faced with saving Fairyland from a moon-Yeti with great and mysterious powers.
I really, really liked The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. But much though I liked it, I could tell it was never going to be my favorite of Catherynne Valente's works, and after rereading it and then reading The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There I remained firm in that belief. Much though I adored Valente's world-building, much though I relished Valente's ever-muscular prose, much though I delighted in Valente's unexpected bits of poignancy, there was still a simplicity of outlook at the core of both books that kept me slightly at a distance. In both books, no matter how sympathetic Valente made the villains, September was still able to draw a very clear line: this is right and this wrong, and this is a thing I could never do, no matter how hurt I might be.
It is an outlook I understand in books aimed at children and teenagers but which, as an adult, I find. . . somehow inaccessible. It is not relaxing to me, as I assume it is for other people; instead I find it very slightly invalidating.
So while I expected to enjoy The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two, I did not expect to be greatly moved by it. . .
(Read the rest of my review on my book review blog.)
Overall Satisfaction: ★★★★★
Intellectual Satisfaction: ★★★★★
Emotional Satisfaction: ★★★★★
Read this for: The themes.
Don't read this for: The plot.
Bechdel Test: Pass
Johnson Test: Fail
Books I was reminded of: Just the rest of Valente's work.
Will I read more by this author? Of course!
Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie
Orbit, 2013, 416 pages
On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.
Breq is both more than she seems and less than she was. Years ago, she was the Justice of Toren--a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of corpse soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy.
An act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with only one fragile human body. And only one purpose--to revenge herself on Anaander Mianaai, many-bodied, near-immortal Lord of the Radch.
From debut author Ann Leckie, Ancillary Justice is a stunning space opera that asks what it means to be human in a universe guided by artificial intelligence.
Artificial intelligences working for evil Space not-Romans, gender ambiguity, and the Dumbest. Revenge. Plan. Ever.
My complete list of book reviews.
A pillow talk between Queen Medb and her husband King Ailill reveals to her that she does not own a bull that matches her husband's in value. She is determined to capture one of equal status by starting a war.
The Tain is mainly the story of Cu Chulainn, one of the most famous Irish heroes, his invincibility (this particular tale does not go as far as his death) and bad temper. Anyone interested in Celtic mythology would consider this piece a must-read, and those interested in Irish literature and history will easily see why Cu Chulainn became a symbol of resistance during the Irish Revolution.
The Tain is primarily a tale of military deeds, yet the magic that surrounds them is its most fascinating aspect, along with gender depiction through the ambitions and sexual power of the fascinating Queen Medb who regularly offers "the friendship of her thighs" to those who have something she covets.
- Current Location:Antony, France
- Current Mood:thirsty
a fact Lt. Shaila Jain of the Joint Space Command is beginning to doubt in a bad way.
Freak quakes are rumbling over the long-dormant tectonic plates of the planet, disrupting its trillion-dollar mining operations and driving scientists past the edges of theory and reason. However, when rocks shake off their ancient dust and begin to roll—seemingly of their own volition—carving canals as they converge to form a towering structure amid the ruddy terrain, Lt. Jain and her JSC team realize that their realize that their routine geological survey of a Martian cave system is anything but. The only clues they have stem from the emissions of a mysterious blue radiation, and a 300-year-old journal that is writing itself.
Lt. Thomas Weatherby of His Majesty’s Royal Navy is an honest 18th-century man of modest beginnings, doing his part for King and Country aboard the HMS Daedalus, a frigate sailing the high seas between continents…and the immense Void between the Known Worlds. Across the Solar System and among its colonies—rife with plunder and alien slave trade—through dire battles fraught with strange alchemy, nothing much can shake his resolve. But events are transpiring to change all that.
With the aid of his fierce captain, a drug-addled alchemist, and a servant girl with a remarkable past, Weatherby must track a great and powerful mystic, who has embarked upon a sinister quest to upset the balance of the planets—the consequences of which may reach far beyond the Solar System, threatening the very fabric of space itself.
Set sail among the stars with this uncanny tale, where adventure awaits, and dimensions collide!"
I decided to take a chance on one of Amazon's $1.99 daily kindle deals, The Daedalus Incident by Michael J Martinez. It turned out to be an excellent investment.
The books starts out with alternating chapters taking place in two different shards of the multiverse. In an AU version of 1779 the HMS Daedalus sails the solar currents between the known worlds using lodestones created by alchemists to retain air and gravity aboard the ship. Aside from the alchemy, life aboard ship and across the solar system mirrors the social and political life of England and the rest of Europe in our own year 1779. The very ordinariness of the details of shipboard life help serve as an anchor for the more fantastic elements. And in the year 2132 in a small joint military and mining outpost on Mars the inhabitants must figure out why a planet with no geologic activity is suddenly experiencing earthquakes. And why are rocks assembling themselves into walls? The two stories eventually merge and the characters meet each other on Mars.
According the author's website there is a sequel coming out in the Spring and I look forward to reading it.
In Crewel our protagonist is 16 year old Adelice who has just gone through the testing to see if she can become a Spinister - someone who can spin the very stuff of the world. She's passed - accidentally, her parents had been coaching her how to fail. Tonight they are coming to take her away if she can't escape.
Read the rest of my review of this rather disappointing book on my blog.
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Read this review on Rena's Hub of Random on WordPress.
Diana Wells gives you a short history of a 100 flowers.
The short history of a flower typically includes some Greek mythology, a description of its potential medicinal properties or what they were perceived to be in the past, where the botanist who made it famous found the flower and how he made it more popular in England or America.
I'm not a botanist and I never do any yard work, but the Parisian parks I spent my summer in made me a little curious about flowers and their stories. To tell you the truth, they were not as interesting as I wanted them to be, but there was always here and there a little something that made the book worth reading.
- Current Location:Antony, France
- Current Mood:worried
I'm also slowly, a handful at a time, eliminating the older xxx author last name tags and replacing them with the new tags. If you wanted to be reeeeeeeaaaally nice you could go back over any posts of your own and retag them. :)
Statistics and URL geekery
So, to stats. People seem to love stats and polls and things. I thought I would try to collect statistics on the most frequent posters/reviewers on bookish. Surprisingly, this is not easy!
If you don't care about hacking LiveJournal (I mean "hacking" in the old-school "figuring out how it works and using undocumented features" way, not in the "Trying to steal passwords or DDOS the site" way), you can just skip below to the numbers. I am describing my methods so maybe if someone knows more than I do, they can suggest something I didn't try.
Collecting stats on LiveJournal is kind of a pain. You can collect stats on commenters on your own journal with the LJ Comment Stats Wizard, or with Kate Willaert's ljstats page. However, there does not seem to be any way to use these on communities, even as a maintainer, since LJ no longer allows you to log in with a comm account.
So, I had to do it the hard way. You can see all posts by a given user on a community with the following URL:
Unfortunately, it only displays them 50 per page. So I still have to click through multiple pages to count up how many total posts each person has.
"But wait," you say, if you are clever/lazy like me and are always looking for shortcuts, "you can do this:"
And by increasing the "skip" value in the URL, more quickly find the last page and then add up the actual total
But this method is inexact and buggy. I got to:
And then LJ refused to show me any earlier posts. That would indicate that I have exactly 400 posts and my first post on bookish was my review of Far North. But it's not.
So, since I cannot remember exactly which post was my first on bookish, all I know for certain is that I have somewhere between 400 and 450 posts.
For other users, I was able to get exact numbers, because they fell somewhere in a 50-post interval and didn't "max out" at the point where LJ seems to stop counting.
Now you may be thinking "Change the increments." Because as maintainer, I can alter the number of posts bookish displays per page. (In fact, I did that a little while ago, changing it from 10 to 50.) However, you can't enter more than two digits, so the most I can set it to display per page is 99. Which might have made counting the high-volume posters a little bit faster, but not much, and probably wouldn't have solved the "missing" last page.
The next problem is that I still had to manually enter posters' names into the URL to get their post counts, which meant I could only count the posters I thought of counting.
Therefore, I've used my best guess and collected stats on the top nine posters I could remember. I was looking for people who have more than 50 posts total, and these are all the posters I could remember. If I am forgetting someone, I'm sorry — please comment below and I will add them to the list! Also, I don't know who might have been a frequent poster before I joined in 2010 but is no longer around, so feel free to suggest those names as well.
I tried a bit of Google-foo to see if I could get more accurate counts that way. But there doesn't seem to be a way to do a search on the underlying source code, and I couldn't find a more accurate means of searching for specific users than this:
This just gives the number of hits for a username on the site, which is an even rougher approximation of activity on bookish. (It's going to include comments as well as posts, links, and anyone who mentions a certain Scottish village or Pierce Inverarity from The Crying of Lot 49.)
Just for amusement, I included the Google hits below, though. These are also remarkably variable: my own count was 1120 last night, but for some reason today it was only 986.
So, herewith find my list of the nine most prolific posters on bookish, keeping in mind with all the caveats above that these numbers are only approximations. Also keep in mind that it is a count of posts, not reviews. (So my SBD posts are included.)
|Poster||Count||First Post||Google Hits|
|calico_reaction||450+||Vaughn, Carrie: Kitty Takes a Holiday (2007-04-30)||392|
|temporaryworlds||413||#1 Dead to the World by Chariane Harris (2010-01-01)||1210|
|inverarity||400+||Norwegian Wood (2010-06-13)||1120|
|marycatelli||383||When Huai Flowers Bloom (2008-09-12)||1770|
|othercat||177||Two Reviews: "Naamah's Curse" and "Threshold" (2010-07-17)||283|
|oddmonster||104||Garden Spells (2009-08-12)||220|
|admnaismith||81||January 2008 Bookpost (2008-09-15)||362|
|audrey_e||66||Books 23-24 (2012-08-25)||101|
|mambo_chocobo||57||the last little blue envelope by maureen johnson (2011-03-10)||67|
Previous Saturday Book Discussions.
Recently I read about Alexander the Great, and he stopped his conquest at the borders with Persia. (yes, dreadfully simplified. Moving right along...)
I wanted to read some Persian history, and I remember Cyrus the Great, but I haven't found any books about him or his times.
Anyone know a good book?
Read the rest of the review on my blog.
Upon learning that her brother Declan is dying of AIDS, Helen must come back to the family home to face some of the relatives she had tried to get out of her life.
The Blackwater Lightship , my first Tóibín, is above all a very subtle book, so it is better not to expect a number of shocking family secrets to be revealed by the end of it. But because the emotions described are never overly dramatic, they ring particularly true to anyone familiar with family tensions that have been repressed over the years.
The center of Tóibín's book is Declan's physical suffering and the quiet fear of a wasted life it awakens among his relatives. The author masterfully uses his claustrophobic setting, as well as the theme of light and shadow introduced by the very title, to create a haunting atmosphere. There's not much to say about this novel, beyond the fact that it is very well written and touching, and a non-preachy warning against the unspoken resentments that eat away so many of us.
I'm looking forward to reading another of the author's books.
- Current Location:Antony, France
- Current Mood:stressed
Two singers grow up together eternally playing the same parts in the opera Farewell My Concubine, one as the king, the other as the loving concubine who eventually commits suicide. When in real life "the king" falls in love with a prostitute, the other uses the rise of communism in China to express his jealousy and take his revenge.
Farewell My Concubine is filled with vivid descriptions of poverty and communism. Even after reading Jung Chang's thorough Wild Swans, I was still shocked by the crimes the author denounces in her novel. The horror was such that there'll always be more to learn.
Beyond the historical frame, this story of two singers who grow up together like brothers, with all its undertones of homosexuality, was very appealing. Unfortunately, I'm convinced quite a bit was lost in translation; some of the subtleties perhaps, that would have made the novel more memorable and vivid. The first half was even at times a little tedious, probably for the reasons stated above. The second, with the entrance of communism, was far more gripping and moving.
I wish I could read mandarin to get the full experience...
- Current Location:Antony, France
- Current Mood:annoyed