vr_trakowski: (pages)
As ever, a listing is not necessarily a recommendation.

Cut for length )

That's 180, better than last year but not as many as I'd like.  *sigh*  I don't even really have fanfic as an excuse this time. 
vr_trakowski: (pages)
Let me admit, first off, that I very much enjoy H. Beam Piper's Fuzzy series.  They're somewhat outdated, but they're light and fun, and I like them enough that I was horrified when Scalzi "rebooted" the first book.  (Seriously, who does that?)

So, since I enjoy Piper's style, I thought I'd try another of his books.

Space Viking...doesn't work.

For one thing, it's more of a synopsis in places than a story.  Great swathes of time and activity are glossed over.  For another, it's much more sexist than the Fuzzy trilogy, though to be fair everything on the cover warns that the protagonist's lady is fridged right at the beginning.  I nearly gave up partway through, because I couldn't bring myself to care about the protagonist at all.  He throws his entire life away to avenge the death of his wife, and then halfway through the book he finds he doesn't care about vengeance any longer.  I suspect that this sort of thing is much more true to life than otherwise, but as a plotline it just makes him look like a twit.  More of a twit than he is already, anyway.

It's also fairly racist without coming out and saying so, and pretty vehemently anti-democracy, though again to be fair the protagonist admits that there doesn't seem to be a better system to use instead.  But really, the main failure of the book is that it zips past half the story without stopping to look at it.  Most of the other flaws can be blamed on the time it was written; the lack of actual storyline, as it were, is solely Piper's fault.

However, I might try another if one comes my way.  Perhaps there's a medium somewhere.  
vr_trakowski: (artichoke)
Mostly.  I might have missed a few.  (Also I refuse to italicize all these titles by hand.)

 The Abbot's Ghost, or Maurice Traherne's Temptation - Louisa May Alcott
 All Through the Night - Grace Livingston Hill
 Anatole and the Poodle - Eve Titus
 And So My Garden Grows - Peter Spier
 Antiques - Sharon Gillenwater
 The Anything Box - Zenna Henderson
 Arrow's Fall - Mercedes Lackey
 Arrow's Flight - Mercedes Lackey
 Arrows of the Queen - Mercedes Lackey
 The Art of Detection - Laurie R. King
 Beaten by a Balloon - Margaret Mahy
 Behind a Mask: or, a Woman's Power - Louisa May Alcott
 Bently & egg - William Joyce
 The Best Man - Grace Livingston Hill
 The Big Blue Soldier - Grace Livingston Hill
 Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life - Anne Lamott
 Black Fire - Sonni Cooper
 Blackout - Mira Grant
 Blood and Chocolate - Annette Curtis Klause
 A Book by Georgina - Barbara C. Freeman
 The Boy on a Black Horse - Nancy Springer
 Bright Arrows - Grace Livingston Hill
 Castle Waiting Vol. II: The Definitive Edition - Linda Medley
 Cat in the Manger - Michael Foreman
 The Catalogue Of The Universe - Margaret Mahy
 The Cataract of Lodore - Robert Southey
 Cats Know Best - Colin Eisler
 Chalice - Robin McKinley
 Changes - Mercedes Lackey
 The Chickens Are Restless - Gary Larson
 Children of the Seed Gatherers - Mary M. Worthylake
 The Christmas Bride - Grace Livingston Hill
 The Christmas We Moved to the Barn - Cooper Edens- Alexandra Day
 The City of Dragons - Laurence Yep- Jean Tseng
 Coll and His White Pig - Lloyd Alexander
 Coming Through the Rye - Grace Livingston Hill
 Cover Up - Lavinia Harris
 Crystal Cove - Lisa Kleypas
 Deadline - Mira Grant
 Dear Enemy - Jean Webster
 Demons - J.M. Dillard
 Dogsbody - Diana Wynne Jones
 Dreadnought! - Diane Carey
 Duskin - Grace Livingston Hill
 The Elfstones of Shannara - Terry Brooks
 The Enchanted Barn - Grace Livingston Hill
 Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France - Peter Mayle
 A Fair Barbarian - Frances Hodgson Burnett
 Feed - Mira Grant
 A Fine and Private Place - Peter S. Beagle
 First Tomato: A Voyage to the Bunny Planet - Rosemary Wells
 The Four-Pools Mystery - Jean Webster
 Froggy's First Kiss - Jonathan London
 Fuzzies and Other People - H. Beam Piper
 Fuzzy Sapiens - H. Beam Piper
 Garment of Shadows - Laurie R. King
 A Good Year - Peter Mayle
 The Great Rip-Off - Lavinia Harris
 The Green Futures of Tycho - William Sleator
 The Green Lion Of Zion Street - Julia Fields
 The Grey Horse - R.A. MacAvoy
 A Haunting Air - Barbara C. Freeman
 The High King - Lloyd Alexander
 The Horse and His Boy - C. S. Lewis
 The House Called Hadlows - Victoria Walker
 The House on the Volcano - Virginia Nielsen
 How Much for Just the Planet? - John M. Ford
 I Am Puppy Hear Me Yap: The Ages of Dog - Valerie Shaff- Roy Blount Jr.
 The Incredible Journey - Shelia Burnford
 Irresistible - Mary Balogh
 The Island Light: A Voyage to the Bunny Planet - Rosemary Wells
 Juniper- Gentian- & Rosemary - Pamela Dean
 Just Only John - Jack Kent
 Kushiel's Dart - Jacqueline Carey
 The Last Battle - C. S. Lewis
 The Last Boyfriend - Nora Roberts
 Leo the Magnificat - Ann Matthews Martin
 The Lion- The Witch- and the Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis
 Living Alone - Stella Benson
 Love Bugs - David A. Carter
 Love of My Life - Meredith Bond
 Lucy Dove - Janice Del Negro
 Maggie and Silky and Joe - Amy Ehrlich
 The Magician's Nephew - C. S. Lewis
 Many Waters - Madeleine L'Engle
 The Mark of Merlin - Anne McCaffrey
 Memory Prime - Gar Reeves-Stevens- Judith Reeves-Stevens
 Merry Ever After - Joe Lasker
 Millions Of Cats - Wanda Ga'g
 Miss Bianca in the Salt Mines - Margery Sharp
 Moonwise - Greer Ilene Gilman
 Moss Pillows: A Voyage to the Bunny Planet - Rosemary Wells
 Mr. Death and the Redheaded Woman - Helen Eustis
 Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH - Robert C. O'Brien
 The Mystery Kiss - Judith Lansdowne
 Necklace of Kisses - Francesca Lia Block
 The Next Always - Nora Roberts
 No One Noticed the Cat - Anne McCaffrey
 Out of the Silent Planet - C. S. Lewis
 Owl Babies - Martin Waddell
 Paris in Love: A Memoir - Eloisa James
 Perelandra - C.S. Lewis
 The Perfect Hope - Nora Roberts
 A Pocket of Silence - Barbara C. Freeman
 The Porcelain Man - Richard Kennedy
 Preschool to the Rescue - Judy Sierra
 Prince Caspian - C. S. Lewis
 The Prodigal Girl - Grave Livingston Hill
 Provence A-Z - Peter Mayle
 Pussy Meow - S. Louise Patteson
 Romeo and Juliet - Andrea Hopkins- William Shakespeare
 Rowan - Robin McKinley
 The Runaway Bunny - Margaret Wise Brown
 The Search - Grace Livingston Hill
 Season of Ponies - Zilpha Keatley Snyder
 The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever - Julia Quinn
 Sector 7 - David Wiesner
 The Ship Who Sang - Anne McCaffrey
 The Silver Chair - C. S. Lewis
 The Sleeping Beauty - Trina Schart Hyman
 Snow White - Brothers Grimm
 Soaps in the Afternoon - Lavinia Harris
 Something Queer at the Ball Park - Elizabeth Levy
 Special Deliveries - Alexandra Day- Cooper Edens
 Starseed - Spider Robinson- Jeanne Robinson
 Stealing the Elf-King's Roses: the Author's Cut - Diane Duane
 Sten - Allan Cole- Chris Bunch
 Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life - C. S. Lewis
 Tales from Moominvalley - Tove Jansson
 Tam Lin - Pamela Dean
 Tambourine Moon - Joy Jones
 Teddy Bears Go Shopping - Susanna Gretz
 That Hideous Strength - C.S. Lewis
 Those Who Hunt the Night - Barbara Hambly
 Tight Times - Barbara Shook Hazen
 Time for Yesterday - A. C. Crispin
 Together - George Ella Lyon
 A Touch of Madness - Lavinia Harris
 Traveling With the Dead - Barbara Hambly
 Turtle Time - Sandol Stoddard
 Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom - Jennifer Holland
 The Velveteen Rabbit - Margery Williams
 A Very Young Circus Flyer - Jill Krementz
 The Voyage of the   Dawn Treader   - C. S. Lewis
 When the Sky Is Like Lace - Elinor Lander Horwitz
 Where Two Ways Met - Grace Livingston Hill
 The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption - Elaine M. Aoki- Jean Davies Okimoto
 The Willow Pattern Story - Alan Drummond
 The Wind Between the Stars - Margaret Mahy
 Windflower - Nick Bantock- Edoardo Ponti
 The Winter of Enchantment - Victoria Walker
 Wizard's Hall - Jane Yolen
 A Woman's Christmas: Returning to the Gentle Joys of the Season - Arlene Hamilton Stewart
 The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet - Eleanor Cameron
 Yesterday's Son - A.C. Crispin

Not too bad, but it doesn't seem like enough, somehow.

Also, please note that a listing is not necessarily a recommendation... 
vr_trakowski: (Default)
...Well, actually, I've finished.  Zilpha Keatley Snyder's Season of Ponies, an old favorite; not quite as delightful as when I was younger, perhaps, but still a good story.  Anything with magical ponies is usually fun, plus there's a riff on Circe--wholly evil, but it's still interesting to see the echo.  Unfortunately the illustrations are poor. 

Young girl in isolated house with elderly aunts finds magic over the summer...fairly standard, but a good sweet story.  And it has enough mystery to leave one wondering.  Recommended. 

vr_trakowski: (Default)
I was just reading up on ways to scan books into various cataloging applications.  There was some discussion on the merits of OCR versus barcodes.  One person noted that they prefer ISBNs despite the time required to type them in, because some of their books are too old to have barcodes. 

Darlin', many of my books are too old to have LoC numbers, let alone ISBNs.  Quite a few are older than, oh, Prohibition. 

Still, scanning would make the process faster than scrabbling through the first few pages and squinting at the small print.  Doing so makes me wish for a keypad. 

To me, one of the true blessings of the smartphone era is the ability to carry a book catalogue in my pocket. 

Memeage

Apr. 3rd, 2012 08:15 pm
vr_trakowski: (Default)
Comment to this post, and I will list seven things I want you to talk about. They might make sense or they might be totally random. Then post that list, with your commentary, to your journal. Other people can get lists from you, and the meme merrily perpetuates itself.

[personal profile] phdelicious kindly provided the following:

Dreams--I enjoy them, as long as they're reasonably pleasant.  I have recurring landscapes in my head, including an entire mall that I revisit from time to time, and my sleeping brain also has an obsession with elevators (they rarely move in just one dimension) and, of all things, parking garages (no idea).  I have obsessive dreams about trying to get to a store to buy scones and clotted cream.  And nearly all my dreams have crowds of people I don't know.  

Writing--What I do for fun, as anyone who's reading this should know.  :P  One of my two-point-five talents.†  Actually, it's not writing in the strictest sense most of the time; it's typing.  My handwriting is awful; I deliberately cultivated sloppy writing as a child, in a reaction to my peers dotting all their "i"s with hearts, but even now writing clearly requires effort and my mother theorizes that I have a learning disability.☎  

Pets--The stuff of life.  I can't imagine growing up without them!  Five cats, two dogs, three rats, five guinea pigs, a gerbil, a turtle, and countless fish.  Never let your father name the gerbil--Alphonse, really?  And sometimes the nicknames are more fun than the formal ones--there was Squippy, Jack the Nipper☂, the Fluffbomb, the Calorie Pointer, Rupert, the dog we named after my great-aunt--and mustn't forget Mom's previous cat, whose given name was Saufie.  It stood for Smart Ass Under Foot.  Which she most definitely was. 

Fairytales--Practically infinite resources for the imaginative.  Even the most familiar and worn-out of tales can be refreshed into something new--take the concept and run with it, invert it, flip it inside out and dance with it.  Check out those from other cultures, and see what's the same and what's different.  Confound expectations.  Play.☛ 

Monuments--I am rarely impressed by them.  I saw Mount Rushmore and wondered why anyone had spent time on that. 

Vacation--I keep thinking about taking a week off to get stuff done, and then realising✈ that I'd probably just sit around and amuse myself on the computer, and get nothing accomplished... 

Laughter--To be expected, when my family gets together.  We love to laugh.  Sit us down to eat, and the puns start flying; leave us there long enough, and we begin uniting efforts to make my mother crack up (by no means an easy task).  This can be somewhat daunting to guests.  As [personal profile] jeanniemac stated long ago, "Dinner at the [name redacted] cannot be described; it can only be experienced."§ 


†Reading, and I throw a decent pot with some practice. 

☎I really predate the focus on learning disabilities.  I'm not at all convinced she's right, and if I do it's quite minor, but it's true that I can't do much of anything that requires fine motor control in the fingers. 

☂Almost.  

☛The recent upsurge in fairytale TV amuses me, and I admit to being a fan of OUAT, but that ain't exactly quality stuff.  Try
Castle Waiting (thank you [personal profile] cincoflex!) and Robin McKinley if you want the good crack.  Or even Charles deLint, though his quality wobbles all over the place. 

✈Still stuck between American English and British English.  Sigh. 

§We hand out magnets if they don't run screaming.
 

*squint*

Oct. 5th, 2011 11:21 pm
vr_trakowski: (Default)
I am in the middle of Henry James' What Maisie Knew, but honestly, he's in the same category as Paul for sentences that one must stop and parse.  It makes for a difficult reading experience, and detracts from what enjoyment I can squeeze from a narrative that lacks much show rather than tell and is mostly about a bunch of very spiteful, selfish characters. 

Still, I'm curious to see what on earth he had in mind for an ending.  At least, I'm still curious... 

Yum.

Aug. 31st, 2011 12:32 am
vr_trakowski: (Default)
My power's back on, yayyy! 

But being without is really boring.  Not so much because all my electronics were down, as that it's really hard to read by flashlight and all my candles are designed for smell, not light.  Though I'm not sure anyone designs candles for light output anymore, at least around here.  

So I pulled some Laura Ingalls Wilder off my shelf half at random, and stuck with it in part because it has a larger font, though it's also enjoyment.  I find the racism objectionable, though it is a product of the times, but it's interesting to note that in Little House on the Prairie the African-American doctor is not portrayed the same way as the Native Americans.  Through Laura's eyes he is..."alien" has negative connotations, but it fits for a six-year-old who had seen very few people her entire life to date, and most of them relatives.  

It's been so long since I've read them that there were bits I'd forgotten, and bits I remembered quite vividly.  Leeches, yeck (that's Plum Creek, lest someone think I didn't).  I've moved on to Farmer Boy--it's not like they're long books--and the differences are sharp.  Almanzo's family was much wealthier, for one thing.  And the food!  There is so much food in Farmer Boy, and it all sounds so good.  *snicker*  I always wanted to try growing a milk-fed pumpkin myself.  

Pondering

Jul. 30th, 2011 01:38 pm
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I was thinking earlier about books converted to TV/movies, and how rarely it's done well.  Many books aren't suitable for such treatment as it is, especially if the plot relies strongly on interior thoughts and emotions. 

But it occurred to me that several of the works of H.M. Hoover could adapt very well, if handled properly.  I've mentioned her before; she wrote young-adult science fiction, and is probably best known for Children of Morrow--or possibly This Time of Darkness, given how often it comes up on the "does anyone remember the title of this book" threads. 

Those would do well as a film or miniseries.  Children of Morrow is post-apocalyptic, and it and its sequel Treasures of Morrow would look good on screen without too many special effects required; come to that, This Time of Darkness is also post-apocalyptic, and could be done without special effects at all.  They're all journey stories and could be constructed as episodes without too much trouble; the latter could also be done as a film without crowding.  I'm thinking WonderWorks, though I know that no longer exists.  

But then it dawned on me that The Lost Star, The Delikon, and Return to Earth would be fabulous as anime.  Animation would solve the difficulties of showing many different aliens, and the style would suit The Delikon down to the ground.  Though I suspect that the ending of that one would prove almost an irresistible temptation for changing--it's not exactly conclusive.  

I can't decide whether The Rains of Eridan should be live-action or anime.  Honestly, I don't think most cartoon styles would suit it properly, though perhaps Studio Ghibli could do it right.  I also realize that while this one is a slightly creepy, very well-written story as it is, it could become extremely creepy--even borderline horror--on a screen.  Not gory, but suspenseful--there's a good bit of paranoia in some of the characters, for one thing.  But the vots would be adorable.  

Not all her books are really strong enough, in my mind, for this treatment, but for some of them it could be amazing.  Oh well, if ever I'm ridiculously rich... 

The funny thing is, she seems to live in my brother's-and-sister's-in-love neighborhood.  But I'd never know her if I met her. 

Memeage

Jun. 11th, 2011 11:43 pm
vr_trakowski: (Default)
• Comment with "Come at me, bro"
• I'll respond by asking you five questions so I can get to know you better.
• Update your journal with the answers to the questions.
• Include this explanation in the post and offer to ask other people questions.
 

Because [livejournal.com profile] mingsmommy was kind to me... 

1. You are, bar none, one of the most talented and creative writers I've ever read. Where do you find inspiration? 


*blush*  Thank you! 

Well, it's more like inspiration finds me, occasionally using bloodhounds and searchlights.  I'm very intuitive that way, which sounds good but can be a real hassle; I usually have to wait for the idea to smack me upside the head.  It's not that I don't sometimes come up with a plot through deliberate "what if"; but the best ideas usually come out nowhere and demand to be written down. 

These days, inspiration seems to be nurtured by a really intriguing movie or TV show, but sometimes I read something and think "hey, what if it went this way instead?"  

2. Obviously, you are incredibly well read. That somehow makes me feel justified in making this a two part question. What is your favorite novel? Under what circumstances did you first read it? 


Oh, whine, you're going to make me choose?  :P  There isn't just one!  I love the Chronicles of Narnia for its hope, and The Secret Garden because my mother read it to me after my brother was born, and the Secret Country trilogy because it's what I and my friends wanted to do as kids, and the Tale of the Five series because it's just fantastic.  One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish and Call of the Wild were two of my early favorites.  I wore out a copy of The Wounded Sky traveling across the U.S. and back when I was fifteen.  The Rains of Eridan.  Shards of Honor.  Crimson Roses.  Finn Family Moomintroll.  Robin.  The Spellkey, read at my grandparents' in California, along with Silver Woven in My Hair--had to get a long lease from the library for thoseDragonflight, which I've probably read over a hundred times, and was given to me by my mother's best friend, who also introduced me to the wonder of Pilgrimage and The People (see Ingathering for all their stories), among others.  

I suppose if my apartment were burning, the first thing I'd throw out the window would be They Stand Together because I had such trouble getting a copy, but it's not a novel and it's probably easier to replace now.  

3. I always say we shouldn't have regrets because even the things we see as mistakes or missteps have led us to where we are, and where we are is exactly where we're supposed to be. But, sometimes, I do wish I'd done a couple of thing differently. What is something like that for you?


I would have declined the opportunity to have a boyfriend, way back in my sophomore year of college.  Some people may be able to make themselves fall in love, but I am not one of them, and I knew it then and went ahead anyway.  I hurt him, and that is something for which I have not forgiven myself. 

There's all kinds of excuses for it--I was young, love's always a risk, it was a necessary experience for both of us--but I knew better than to behave like that, and did it anyway.  It still makes me a little sick.  

4. Would you rather cook or clean?

Cook, most definitely!  Or bake, if given the choice.  Not that I'm particularly skilled at any of it.  One of my small fantasies is to make enough money to afford a cleaner.  

5. What is the oddest thing that ever happened to you? 

Difficult to say!  Probably it's a tie between knowing ahead of time that my brother would fall into my grandparents' pond when we were kids, and the whole haunted dorm thing during college.  Oh, and there's the bit with my mother's earrings, but I promised her I wouldn't tell that story.  Nah, the other two are weirder anyway. 

Thanks for indulging me!  ;) 

vr_trakowski: (pages)
I finally read the first of the Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood novels, Dead Until Dark.  They really ought to put numbers on the covers; it took me a while to figure out which one came first.

Eh.  They're so wildly popular that I expected it to be fairly good, but while the plot hangs together well enough, the characters' actions were a little too random or unexplained.

Also, I find Sookie stupid and annoying, and Bill a cipher.  Why is half the male population of her town lusting after this woman?  She can't make a decision and stick to it for two days together, let alone behave consistently towards the object of her putative affections.  Bill pops up and just falls in lust with her for no discernible reason--at least, he never offers a word of explanation, and Sookie seems to take it for granted.

In addition, Sam was obvious.

I may try the next one to see if things improve; first books are often rough.  
vr_trakowski: (pages)
I finally read the first of the Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood novels, Dead Until Dark.  They really ought to put numbers on the covers; it took me a while to figure out which one came first. 

Eh.  They're so wildly popular that I expected it to be fairly good, but while the plot hangs together well enough, the characters' actions were a little too random or unexplained. 

Also, I find Sookie stupid and annoying, and Bill a cipher.  Why is half the male population of her town lusting after this woman?  She can't make a decision and stick to it for two days together, let alone behave consistently towards the object of her putative affections.  Bill pops up and just falls in lust with her for no discernible reason--at least, he never offers a word of explanation, and Sookie seems to take it for granted. 

In addition, Sam was obvious. 

I may try the next one to see if things improve; first books are often rough.  
vr_trakowski: (pages)
I'm not sure why I enjoy a good post-apocalyptic story so much, but I do have a taste for them, with the excellence of Michaela Roessner's Vanishing Point being a high bar (though, strictly speaking, it's not exactly post-apocalyptic).*  

And I adore H.M. Hoover.  Her books were probably the first sci-fi I read, and they are still solid despite almost forty years' advances in technology.  They're not all gems, but the balance is heavy on the side of quality. 

Children of Morrow is definitely post-apocalyptic, and a terrific story of outcast kids escaping from hostiles to a better community.  Tia and Rabbit are vivid characters and the world is described well--it's desperately lonely, and bleak enough to make one want to go out and mend the ecology on the spot. 

Unfortunately, the sequel Treasures of Morrow doesn't deliver quite as well.  It synopsizes too much, skimming over the complexities of Morrow with just a few glimpses, and breaks down in characterization when the kids return to their original home.  It's not a bad book, but it suffers in comparison with the well-rounded Children.  

Still, I can recommend them both.  Read the first, and enjoy; if you like it enough, read the second. 


* I am aware of the deep flaws of her Walkabout Woman.  Vanishing Point is much better, and to my possibly ignorant eyes avoids such errors.  
vr_trakowski: (pages)
I'm not sure why I enjoy a good post-apocalyptic story so much, but I do have a taste for them, with the excellence of Michaela Roessner's Vanishing Point being a high bar (though, strictly speaking, it's not exactly post-apocalyptic).*  

And I adore H.M. Hoover.  Her books were probably the first sci-fi I read, and they are still solid despite almost forty years' advances in technology.  They're not all gems, but the balance is heavy on the side of quality. 

Children of Morrow is definitely post-apocalyptic, and a terrific story of outcast kids escaping from hostiles to a better community.  Tia and Rabbit are vivid characters and the world is described well--it's desperately lonely, and bleak enough to make one want to go out and mend the ecology on the spot. 

Unfortunately, the sequel Treasures of Morrow doesn't deliver quite as well.  It synopsizes too much, skimming over the complexities of Morrow with just a few glimpses, and breaks down in characterization when the kids return to their original home.  It's not a bad book, but it suffers in comparison with the well-rounded Children.  

Still, I can recommend them both.  Read the first, and enjoy; if you like it enough, read the second. 


* I am aware of the deep flaws of her Walkabout Woman.  Vanishing Point is much better, and to my possibly ignorant eyes avoids such errors.  
vr_trakowski: (pages)
I just finished re-reading Owls in the Family.  It's a delightful story in many ways--the owls are, if you'll pardon the term, a hoot.  I don't know how realistic it is as to their behavior, but it's close enough to believe in.  Wol and Weeps are wonderful characters and clearly have minds of their own. 

It's also a bit appalling.  The protagonists think nothing of robbing nests, shooting animals, shooting birds en masse, and painting a dog, among other casual cruelties.  They are, however, consistent with the time in which the book is set.  

It's still a worthwhile read, and a quick one. 
vr_trakowski: (pages)
I just finished re-reading Owls in the Family.  It's a delightful story in many ways--the owls are, if you'll pardon the term, a hoot.  I don't know how realistic it is as to their behavior, but it's close enough to believe in.  Wol and Weeps are wonderful characters and clearly have minds of their own. 

It's also a bit appalling.  The protagonists think nothing of robbing nests, shooting animals, shooting birds en masse, and painting a dog, among other casual cruelties.  They are, however, consistent with the time in which the book is set.  

It's still a worthwhile read, and a quick one. 
vr_trakowski: (pages)
I just finished reading John M. Ford's The Last Hot Time.  It's an Elfland-returns novel, that I believe is seriously riffing off of the Borderland series in its own way--a sort of mirror-image, and much darker.  It's fascinating...and it doesn't quite work. 

I hate to say that about a Ford book, because I adore his Growing Up Weightless and How Much for Just the Planet?.  But this one hints and sketches and whispers and never quite explains what's going on, and the characters are almost flat, far too calm--almost as though they've been tranquilized.  It's like reading through gauze; one doesn't ever quite see or feel clearly.  And it's a great pity, because there's so much potential in this book.  

Alas, I can't recommend it as a must-read, though it's certainly worth the look if you're in the mood for a magic post-apocalyptic novel with a good dose of noir.  Which sounds like a dippy description, but sf/f fans will know just what I mean... 
vr_trakowski: (pages)
I just finished reading John M. Ford's The Last Hot Time.  It's an Elfland-returns novel, that I believe is seriously riffing off of the Borderland series in its own way--a sort of mirror-image, and much darker.  It's fascinating...and it doesn't quite work. 

I hate to say that about a Ford book, because I adore his Growing Up Weightless and How Much for Just the Planet?.  But this one hints and sketches and whispers and never quite explains what's going on, and the characters are almost flat, far too calm--almost as though they've been tranquilized.  It's like reading through gauze; one doesn't ever quite see or feel clearly.  And it's a great pity, because there's so much potential in this book.  

Alas, I can't recommend it as a must-read, though it's certainly worth the look if you're in the mood for a magic post-apocalyptic novel with a good dose of noir.  Which sounds like a dippy description, but sf/f fans will know just what I mean... 

Elephants

Jan. 6th, 2011 11:04 pm
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I lust after many things, most of them either beepy or made of paper, but at the moment what I'm dreaming of is...bookshelves. 

I don't need anything fancy, though there's a lot to be said for the built-in kind that won't tumble over during earthquakes.  Not that we get earthquakes here, at least strong enough to knock such things over, but if I had built-in bookshelves I would probably be living somewhere that did have them.  

No, I want more Ikea shelves.  Plain, heavy, put-'em-together-myself shelves.  And while they're cheap in the context of furniture, they're outside my usual budget, plus the challenge of getting them home from the store.  

I don't understand why people mock Ikea's stuff.  Sure, it's not generally elaborate or rich, but it's solid and serviceable.  it has clean lines and a sturdy practicality that works.  And while I can't stand most of their actual decorated patterns, I love the plain things, which do exactly what they're supposed to. 

Half my living room is done up in Ikea shelves plus a similar set from Target.  The other half is black plastic shelves on poles, easy to assemble but not exactly pretty.  The contrast is...notable. 

Must be a sign of being a grownup, caring what my living room looks like... 

Anyway.  Eventually I'll have more shelves.  In the meantime I can enjoy the ones I have so far. 

June 2017

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