snugglekitty: (bookbabe)
Title: Face the Fire
Author: Nora Roberts
Series: Three Sisters Trilogy book three
Genre: Fantastic romance
Setting: Once again, Three Sisters Island.
Reason for Reading: I enjoyed the first two and Mia was my favorite character so I wanted to see how things worked out for her.
Finished In: Days.
Pages: 358
Copyright Date: 2002
Cover: A woman stands on a seaside cliff. She stretches her hands out to the lightning in the distance.
First line: "It had been more than ten years since he’d stood on the island."
Epigraph: "O love! O fire! once he drew / With one long kiss my whole soul through /
My lips; as sunlight drinketh dew."
—ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON
Themes: Sisterhood, pregnancy, witches, war between the sexes, first love.
Best part: I like how much Mia enjoys her life without a man.
Worst part: This had a thing I hate about some romance novels, where there's not much consent. At several points Mia tells Sam that he can't touch her, and he doesn't respect that limit. I also don't find the model of "We fight all the time, so we must be perfect for each other!" very convincing most of the time.
Imaginary Theme Song: "Just a Girl" by No Doubt
Grade: C. It was really a let-down after the first two books.
Recommended for: Bah. If you must have the conclusion then you'll read it.
Related Reads: Same as before - Dance Upon the Air and Northern Light by the same author and Running Hot by Jayne Krentz.
snugglekitty: (Default)
Title: Agatha Heterodyne and the Beetleburg Clank
Author: Phil and Kaja Foglio
Series: Girl Genius, volume 1
Genre: Comic book, webcomic.
Setting: A steampunk Europe that never was.
Reason for Reading: I read and enjoy the webcomic.
Finished In: Hours
Pages: 96
Copyright Date: 2010
Cover: A blond woman in a green vest and skirt holds a tiny dancing automaton.
First line: "This is a story about Science. Or Magic. Or possibly both."
Themes: Steampunk, machines, academia.
Best part: I enjoyed reading this in paper format.
Worst part: I didn't see much that seemed brand-new to me.
Imaginary Theme Song: The Wagnerian Ring Cycle seems appropriate somehow.
Grade: B+. It's good but not much new for dedicated readers of the web version.
Recommended for: ... those dedicated readers of the web version.
Related Reads: The comic itself.
snugglekitty: (Default)
Title: Hangman's Holiday
Author: Dorothy L. Sayers
Series: Lord Peter Wimsey, in theory. In practice, four of the stories are about Wimsey, six are about traveling salesman Montague Egg, and the final two are stand-alones. I found that a let-down.
Genre: Classic mystery, anthology.
Setting: Varies, but all in or before the 1930's.
Reason for Reading: I am on a mystery kick.
Finished In: Days
Pages: 288
Copyright Date: 1933
Cover: Plain bright yellow, with the title and the author's name.
First line: "The little man with the cow-lick seemed so absorbed in the book that Wimsey had not the heart to claim his property, but, drawing up the other arm-chair and placing his drink within easy reach, did his best to entertain himself with the Dunlop Book, which graced, as usual, one of the tables in the lounge."
Themes: "There's a perfectly reasonable explanation for this!" Marriage, family, books.
Best part: I enjoyed the LPW stories.
Worst part: I hated Montague Egg, traveling wine salesman, with a fiery passion.
Imaginary Theme Song: "Danse Macabre"
Grade: C-
Recommended for: Honestly, if I had it to do again I would just read the four Wimsey stories. So, if you don't mind reading just part of a book...?
Related Reads: Strong Poison is still my favorite in this series.
snugglekitty: (bookbabe)
Title: Heaven and Earth
Author: Nora Roberts
Series: Three sisters trilogy
Genre: Fantastic romance (NOT sexy pentacle tattoo!)
Setting: Three Sisters Island, off the coast of Massachusetts.
Reason for Reading: I liked the first book, Dance Upon the Air, a lot.
Finished In: Days
Pages: According to amazon.com, it's 368. Pagination doesn't seem to correspond terribly well on my ebook reader though.
Copyright Date: 2003
Cover: Just a picture of a capsized boat.
First line: "Sand, frosted with cold, crunched under her feet as she ran along the curving shore."
Epigraph: "Swift as a shadow, short as any dream; / Brief as the lightning in the collied night, / That in a spleen unfolds both heaven and earth, / And ere a man hath power to say "Behold!" / The jaws of darkness do devour it up: / So quick bright things come to confusion."
Themes: Witches, magic, law enforcement, romance, islands, family, self-acceptance.
Best part: I liked the character of Mac, the paranormal investigator who is Ripley's love interest. (Though I can't help but notice a common theme in Nora's male leads - Zack, Mac, Jack, and Sam in the four books of hers I've read. One of these things is not like the other ones... )
Worst part: The "villain" in this didn't convince me much.
Imaginary Theme Song: "She Blinded Me With Science"
Grade: C+
Recommended for: Fans of the series and the author, who will read it anyway.
Related Reads: Dance Upon the Air, first book in the series, and Northern Light by the same author. Running Hot by Jayne Ann Krentz. I know, same as I suggested for the last one in the series. Sorry about that.
snugglekitty: (bookbabe)
Title: Women of Marvel
Editor: Jennifer Grunwald. There should be an umlaut over the "u" but I don't know how to do that.
Genre: Superheros, anthology, origin stories, graphic novel.
Included Pieces Avengers #221, Uncanny X-Men #151-152, Amazing Spider-Man #86, Ms. Marvel #1, The Cat #1, Dazzler #1, and Shanna, the She Devil #1.
Reason for Reading: A loan from [personal profile] intuitionist.
Finished In: Days
Pages: 223
Copyright Date: 2006
Cover: Pink background, with smiling spandex-clad buxom ladies, leaping, lurking, swinging, flying...
First panel: "Beware... the Black Widow!" Shows SpiderMan swinging along, saying he's wiped out from a fight. The Black Widow is lurking and watching him.
Themes: Injustice, origins, feminism, sexism, spandex, animals.
Best piece: I found the Ms. Marvel intro really interesting, probably my favorite of the ones I hadn't read before.
Worst piece: Shanna the She Devil. So many issues I hardly know where to begin.
Imaginary Theme Song: The Wonder Woman theme song. A little cheesy, a little sexist, but with its heart in the right place.
Grade: B
Recommended for: Female comic book appreciators. That sounds dirtier than it is.
Related Reads: Hothead Paisan by Diane DiMassa. Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel.
snugglekitty: (bookbabe)
Title: Keeping it Real
Author: Justina Robson
Series: Quantum Gravity #1 (Dumb series name, in my opinion.)
Genre: It's got cyborgs, demons, and elves. You tell me.
Setting: Mostly Otopia - that's the new name for Earth, but don't ask me why.
Reason for Reading: The cover made me giggle.
Finished In: Weeks
Pages: 333
Copyright Date: 2007
Cover: A fierce-looking woman in black latex with red hair. An elf stands behind her. It looks computer-generated and is odd on the white background.
First line: "The story of how The No Shows got signed was one of those legends that seem completely manufactured by the celebrity press." (Actually, the first chapter describing that may have been my favorite part of the book.)
Themes: Rock music, drugs, magic, fate, mental enslavement.
Best part: The main character is pretty badass.
Worst part: The story didn't go much of anywhere. All of this stuff was set up and not resolved. I mean, I realize there's a sequel... but that's actually not the approach that makes me want to read a sequel.
Grade: C+
Recommended for: Anyone who is entertained by elves and rock and roll mixing.
Related Reads: Gossamer Axe by Gael Baudino, War for the Oaks by Emma Bull.
snugglekitty: (Default)
Title: Masques
Author: Patricia Briggs
Series: Aralorn book one
Genre: Fantasy
Setting: A few fantasy kingdoms.
Reason for Reading: I heard good things about the sequel Wolfsbane. Of course, at that point I didn't realize that Masques was Briggs' first book ever and only lightly edited...
Finished In: Weeks
Pages: 306, including a sneak preview of Wolfsbane
Copyright Date: 1993
Cover: A girl in an underbust corset and a white shirt holds a sword in her right hand. Her left hand rests on a large black wolf with yellow eyes. Or is it just a big dog?
First line: "The wolf stumbled from the cave, knowing that someone was searching for him and he couldn't protect himself this time."
Themes: Abuse, slaves, shapeshifting.
Best part: It was interesting to see some of the origins of Briggs' themes.
Worst part: This book needed a LOT more editing than it got.
Imaginary Theme Song: Definitely something in the filk genre.
Grade: C+
Recommended for: Hardcore Briggs fan.
Related Reads: Zodiac by Neal Stephenson.
snugglekitty: (bookbabe)
Title: Ash
Author: Malinda Lo
Series: There is a prequel out now (Huntress) but I don't know what the series is called collectively, if anything.
Genre: YA, fantasy, fairy tale retellings.
Setting: A kingdom where magic may be dying out.
Reason for Reading: This book was so critically acclaimed in YA circles that I couldn't NOT read it.
Finished In: Days.
Pages: 264
Copyright Date: 2009
Cover: Another beautiful cover. A girl in a petticoat and bodice lies curled up on the grassy earth, in lovely sepia tones. The word Ash covers her skirt in fuschia. Up top is the line "The fairy tale you remember."
First line: "Aisling's mother died at midsummer."
Themes: Cinderella, hunting, fey folk, abuse, royalty, dysfunctional stepfamilies.
Best part: I loved the small fairy tales inset into the larger text.
Worst part: In some ways the ending seemed too easy.
Imaginary Theme Song: "White Horse" by Taylor Swift is the obvious choice.
Grade: B+. A really wonderful book but I'm not sure it's a genre-changer.
Recommended for: Anyone interested in fairy tale retellings or LGBT young adult fiction.
Related Reads: Briar Rose by Jane Yolen, Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner, Hero by Perry Moore, Patience and Sarah by Isabel Miller.
snugglekitty: (Default)
Title: WWW: Wake
Author: Robert J Sawyer, who is apparently a famous sf author I've never read.
Series: WWW trilogy, book one
Genre: YA, science fiction.
Setting: Canada in the present day, world of blogs and net access.
Reason for Reading: I saw a positive review for the third book in the trilogy.
Finished In: Days
Pages: 368
Copyright Date: 2009
Cover: Both pretty and apropos. The face of a girl with her eyes closed seems to float in a sea of light.
First line: The very first line is a binary code which I was unable to transcribe correctly. Here's a link to the googlebook.
The first line in English is: "Not darkness, for that implies an understanding of light."
Epigraph: "What a blind person needs is not a teacher but another self." - Helen Keller
Themes: Blindness, the World Wide Web, Livejournal, primates, science, intelligence.
Best part: I loved the thread of science running through this book, talking about everything from types of blindness to interspecies communication to bicameralism.
Worst part: It doesn't have any that I noticed.
Imaginary Theme Song: "Naturally" by Selena Gomez and the Scene
Grade: A
Recommended for: I think everyone should read this fascinating, engrossing book but especially ceelove and serystarlight.
Related Reads: I am having difficulty thinking of anything comparable.

High school student Caitlin Decter has been blind from birth, and uses the Internet to connect to the world around her. Then a new chance comes - an operation that could give her vision. She knows it may fail but has to try. But something unanticipated happens - instead of seeing the world around her after the operation, Caitlin sees the World Wide Web. And she's not the only one who can see it...

This book is amazing. Read it.

my tummeh

Apr. 28th, 2011 02:52 pm
snugglekitty: (tummy)
So, apparently what I have been doing to stabilize and/or increase my weight has been working. I have gained back both some of my appetite and some of the poundage I had lost. Thank Goddess for that.

Here are the things I did:

- Chivvied myself into a normal eating schedule (for me that means 4x per day) but was very permissive about what and how much I ate.
- Asked my friends to help encourage me in eating. Tsuj and gentlescholar were especially helpful with this.
- Tried to eat, where possible, with distractions. Eat while watching something on the computer, or reading, or having a conversation.
- Tried to eat what I was craving, if I was craving anything.
- Did the opposite of all the weight-loss advice I could think of. Put more on my plate than I thought I could eat, put sauce on everything, drink soda or juice instead of water, eat cookies MANY COOKIES.

(This is a test of DW crossposting.)
snugglekitty: (Default)
So, who does Psinging still? I heard about it some years back from [livejournal.com profile] ayalanya but never went. Now I'm looking for more singing opportunities. Let me know if you have an "in."
snugglekitty: (chicken)
Here are two things that made me happy today:

- Watching a little girl jump up and down on a pogo stick in her yard in pink pajamas.
- Hearing this cover: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlWKYVZQRAs

What brought you joy?
snugglekitty: (Default)
Title: In Fire Forged
Author: David Weber
Series: Worlds of Honor #5. These are the anthologies spun off from the Honor Harrington series, she is not always a major character in them.
Genre: Space opera, anthology.
Setting: The Manticoran Empire, the People's Republic of Haven, the Silesian Confederacy - made-up stellar empires.
Reason for Reading: Boredom.
Finished In: Days
Pages: 336
Copyright Date: 2011
Cover: A woman with a blaster leaping down the corridor of a spaceship.
Themes: Kidnapping, religious fanaticism, intrigue, spaceships, telepathic cats.
Best part: I loved the first story, "Ruthless" by Jane Lindskold.
Worst part: I am just not the type to appreciate essays on the design of imaginary spaceships, though I realize after a conversation with [livejournal.com profile] gentlescholar that such people do, in fact, exist.
Imaginary Theme Song: Let's Dance by David Bowie
Grade: C+
Recommended for: Actually, this wouldn't be a bad introduction to the Honor Harrington series, for those who are not yet sure they want to commit to reading 15 volumes.
Related Reads: On Basilisk Station by David Weber, Crown of Slaves by David Weber and Eric Flint.
snugglekitty: (bee safe)
Title: Children of Men
Author: PD James
Genre: Science fiction. All of James' other titles are mysteries.
Setting: England in 2021.
Reason for Reading: I saw the movie and liked it a few years back.
Finished In: Days
Pages: 241
Copyright Date: 1992
Cover: A closeup in blue of a child in the womb, eyes open. Rather creepy actually.
First line: "Early this morning, 1 January 2021, three minutes after midnight, the last human being to be born on earth was killed in a pub brawl in a suburb of Buenos Aires, aged twenty-five years, two months, and twelve days."
Themes: Infertility, end of the world, death of a child, betrayal, dysfunctional families. (Yeah, it's a cheery one all right.)
Best part: For such a short book it is very dense and intense.
Worst part: It was even bleaker than the movie.
Imaginary Theme Song: Ruby Tuesday - though it wasn't in the book it was very important in the movie, and yes, I know some people will think that's a dumb reason.
Grade: B
Recommended for: Folks interested in different models of the world ending in literature.
Related Reads: Dies the Fire by SM Stirling, A Brother's Price by Wen Spencer, An Unsuitable Job for a Woman by the same author.

weather

Apr. 21st, 2011 12:50 pm
snugglekitty: (if only tonight)
I hear it's going to freeze in Boston tonight, so snuggle 'em if you got 'em. If you don't got 'em, perhaps a hot water bottle?
snugglekitty: (Default)
Title: When the Tide Rises
Author: David Drake
Series: RCN (that's Republic of Cinnabar Navy to you wogs!*) book 6
Genre: Space opera
Setting: The Bagarian cluster, a troubled outpost of the Republic of Cinnabar.
Reason for Reading: These books are like reassuring candy to me. I'd like to collect the whole series.
Finished In: Days.
Pages: 486, plus an excerpt from In the Stormy Red Sky.
Copyright Date: 2008. Sadly, I am catching up to Drake - I can read them much faster than he can write them.
Cover: Adele and Daniel at the console. The tilt suggests the craft they are in is plummeting to earth.
First line: "Commander Daniel Leary sipped whiskey from a glass with the Quenzer monogram as he surveyed his fellow guests; he held his lips in a neutral smile."
Epigraph: "When the sands are all dry, he is gay as a lark / And will talk in contemptuous tones of the Shark / But when the tide rises and sharks are around / His voice has a timid and tremulous sound." - Lewis Carroll
Themes: Spaceships, space navy, alcohol, espionage, loyalty, love triangles.
Best part: I enjoyed the introduction of new character Rene Cazelet.
Worst part: The books are starting to blur together a bit, which is likely my fault for reading them too close together.
Imaginary Theme Song: A bawdy vaudeville tune.
Grade: C
Recommended for: Fans of the series, who would read it anyway.
Related Reads: With the Lightnings, first book in the series. Plan B by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.

*"Wogs" is a word that gets used a lot in the book for planetary colonials, non-citizens of any race. I'd never use it in real life.
snugglekitty: (Default)
Title: Mother of Winter
Author: Barbara Hambly
Series: Darwath, book 4
Genre: High fantasy with alternate worlds stuff (though here it only manifests in that the two main characters are originally from SoCal).
Setting: The magical kingdom of Darwath, where an ice age is in progress and the war with the Dark nearly destroyed civilization.
Reason for Reading: I enjoyed the first three books when I read them.
Finished In: Weeks, mostly because it was packed in a box and I couldn't find it when I wanted to pick it up again.
Pages: 323
Copyright Date: 1996
Cover: A woman holding a bowl. Blue lines of light emanate from it. She has blue filigree tattoos on her arms and bald head.
First line: "In the moonstone dawn, the lone rider dismounted at the top of the steps, passed through the black square open eye where the doors would one day be, and halted on the edge of the shadowed abyss."
Themes: Evolution, mutation, betrayal, religious intolerance, food, and a few more things I won't mention for spoilers.
Best part: The villain/problem in this book I actually found much more compelling than I did the Dark. Creepier and also easier to understand.
Worst part: At several points and with some of the problems the characters faced, I found myself wondering "Why don't they go back to California, which they are able to do, and get the stuff they need and come back with it?"
Imaginary Theme Song: Hey, ho, nobody home.
Grade: C
Recommended for: Fans of the series will want to see what happens to Gil and Rudy after their last adventure.
Related Reads: The Coming of the Dark by the same author.
snugglekitty: (Default)
Is now in one place. Woo hoo.

I am so exhausted it is hard to post. I just want to take a few days off. I don't know that I can... but I really want to.

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