Books!

Jul. 24th, 2017 06:36 pm
alasse_irena: Photo of the back of my head, hair elaborately braided (Default)
[personal profile] alasse_irena
Today I unintentionally sat down and read the entirety of Size Zero , a memoir by a French woman who had a brief and somewhat horrifying career as a supermodel and wound up with an eating disorder.

Mostly I am just kind of bemused that I went from idly browsing the library new books display to sitting down for an hour and a half and finishing thing book in one go, given it is not at all my usual genre, and recently I've been having trouble finding the time and motivation to read the (also very readable) autobiographies I must read for my thesis.

I guess it just proves that Literally Anything is more appealing that the thign you have to do.

Anyway, it was quite engaging and quite compelling, so I guess that was an hour and a half unintentionally well-spent.

So You Want to Be a Wizard

Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:18 am
lunabee34: (reading by thelastgoodname)
[personal profile] lunabee34
So You Want to Be a Wizard (Young Wizards, #1)So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This was wonderful! It's YA, and on the younger side of YA, but such a fun read. It follows Nita and Kit who both find books about becoming wizards and choose to take the oath. They meet a white hole and senior level wizards and become responsible for the fate of the whole universe along the way.

The magic is really cool here--based on the Speech, on knowing something truly by saying it truly. It also features sentient trees and mechanical objects and some really cool magic involving time.

I don't want to spoil the ending, so I won't say what happens to make me cry, but I was surprised how moved I was by the ending. Full on sniffling. :)

Definitely recommend this one; I think it's the start of a series as well.



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Ethan Frome

Jul. 19th, 2017 02:20 pm
lunabee34: (Default)
[personal profile] lunabee34
Ethan FromeEthan Frome by Edith Wharton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I last read this book in 8th grade about 26 years ago. I remembered liking it and the general plot but not much else. Recently, a bunch of people on FFA were talking about how much they hated the book, so I thought I'd revisit it and see if my opinion had changed.

I still like it. :) I am a huge sucker for stories in which much of the narrative is ambiguous or imagined or a deliberate fantasy (see the Haunting of Hill House, which also shares a climax with this novel, or "The Last Man" episode of SGA). We don't actually know if the backstory the narrator of Ethan Frome has invented is true; he imagines the bulk of the story in the second before he crosses the threshold to Ethan's home. Conversations he has with Ethan and with other townspeople corroborate parts of his fantasy, but our unnamed narrator could be misreading the clues as badly as Lockwood does in the beginning of Wuthering Heights (although probably not; there's no textual evidence he's doing so).

The language here is so beautiful. It isn't spare though the scenes Wharton describes are often spare and stark. Here's an example: "A mournful peace hung on the fields, as though they felt the relaxing grasp of the cold and stretched themselves in their long winter sleep."

Overall, an enjoyable and quick read. If you're looking for a happy ending, this is not the novella for you. Everyone in this story is trapped and has very few choices if they have any at all. Poverty is a vise around Ethan and Mattie and Zeena that they can't dislodge. It's beautifully written, though, and a good look at the shape despair sometimes takes.



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lunabee34: (btvs: buffy gun by eyeconic)
[personal profile] lunabee34
Let's do a silly meme.

Tell me about the episode (or book chapter) that never appeared in one of your fandoms but should have.

Here's mine.

Buffy: I always wished that Buffy's dad had showed up again after Joyce's death. I found his complete disregard of his children horrific, and while I didn't want him to be redeemed at all, I wanted him to show up at least once again so Buffy could tell him off for abandoning her.

Firefly: I would have liked a trip home for one of the crew, maybe to meet Kaylee's parents or Jayne's siblings or Mal's extensive network of female cousins.

Star Trek TNG: I really wanted more episodes with Beverly and Deanna being besties. I would have especially loved an episode where they were trapped on a planet and in survival mode or spent the episode with only each other to rely on.

What about you?

Game of Thrones: Season 7 Premiere

Jul. 18th, 2017 07:49 am
lunabee34: (got: sansa by bluelantern)
[personal profile] lunabee34
Man, I love this show. Last season was so strong, especially the finale, and this opener promises another really strong season.

SPOILERS )

Reading

Jul. 18th, 2017 07:07 am
lunabee34: (reading by tabaqui)
[personal profile] lunabee34
The Liberation (The Alchemy Wars, #3)The Liberation by Ian Tregillis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This book is the best of the series. So many times, an otherwise excellent series ends on a faltering note; endings are really, really hard, and making the final installment worthy of what comes before is a difficult task. Tregillis hits it out of the park.

Many, many aspects of the situation are left unresolved. Years, decades, maybe even centuries of work are left to be done to figure out how the three empires will coexist, share or withhold resources and territory, and police themselves.

But the character arcs are resolved quite satisfactorily. I do not want to spoil even a mote of this wonderful conclusion, so I will just urge you all to read it. If you like artificial intelligence, steampunk, female characters (strong, flawed, stubborn, sometimes bordering on evil), tight plotting, and beautiful language, then this is the series for you!



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The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook: Revolutionary Techniques. Groundbreaking RecipesThe How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook: Revolutionary Techniques. Groundbreaking Recipes by America's Test Kitchen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is an excellent cookbook--meticulously researched with a great introductory chapter that explains what gluten is and how it functions in the foods we eat as well as going through all the different types of gf flours and grains. There are even some product reviews like in the magazine (best already-made sandwich bread, etc.).

I like that this isn't just about desserts. Baked goods get more than half the cookbook and rightly so, but there's all sorts of savory dishes and salads with grains that look amazing.

This would be an excellent addition to the kitchen shelf for anyone who's eating gf.



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Book 2: The Alchemy Wars

Jul. 17th, 2017 12:09 pm
lunabee34: (reading by sallymn)
[personal profile] lunabee34
The Rising (The Alchemy Wars, #2)The Rising by Ian Tregillis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This series is so good. Tregillis's writing is beautiful; his descriptions of the natural world are a delight to read.

Without giving too much away, this middle installment sees the hopes of both Jax and Berenice fundamentally altered. Jax in particular discovers that sometimes a myth is just that.

I especially enjoyed the sections from Longchamp's POV. His stoicism and crudity and perseverance make him such a interesting and colorful character.

I am very interested to see what happens in the concluding book. I hope all my favorite characters make it to the end, but I suspect that's a naive hope.



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