solaciolum: King of Night Vision, King of Insight (Default)
Time Traveler Extraordinaire

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solaciolum: A tree, a mountain, snow; blessed art thou, amen. (benedicta tu)
Monday, June 20th, 2011 11:23 pm
Was gonna make a post about weight loss and my mood and meds and shit of that nature, but have decided not to because ugh.

"Ugh" is a perfectly valid reason. Do not even try to tell me otherwise. >:x

Instead, books! I recently finished Cat Valente's Deathless (which I meant to read back in March, but, well, ugh) and the first book in N. K. Jemisin's Inheritance trilogy, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.

Read more... )
solaciolum: Pie: It's Good Stuff (pie)
Friday, October 29th, 2010 02:12 pm
I have a Kindle! And yes, normally I make angry hissing noises at devices that don't support non-DRM formats, but um. I'm shallow. And the latest-gen Kindles are pretty. I've done more reading in the last week since I got it than I have in the last month, which is lovely. (I can read on the bus! And it doesn't make me nauseous! This is so awesome for me.) I'm also finding it incredibly useful for doing my class readings, since reading .pdfs on my computer always makes me dreadfully irritable.

She has no name yet, but I'm working on that. So far I've read The Scarlet Pimpernel, thanks to Project Gutenberg's lovely supply of classic trashy adventure stories. (I have half a dozen Rafael Sabatini books, too!) And is offering all of the Vorkosigan books except Memory for free in various formats! I'm rereading them from the beginning, since I can't remember where in the series I left off before. Free books! Free books make me so happy.

And Catherynne Valente's new novel, The Habitation of the Blessed hits dead tree stores on November 1, but Amazon released the ebook two weeks early- and since I am the biggest Valente fangirl ever, this felt a bit like the internet was giving me a birthday present. I'm about halfway through, and it is delicious.

Also reading The Cross and the Prodigal because of a comment thread on Slacktivist (one-click book buying: seriously dangerous). I've read through the exegesis-y parts, but the rest of the book is a one act play that I am somewhat less interested in. And I picked up the first book in N.K. Jemisin's Inheritance Trilogy because, well. One click book buying. *hangs head in shame* Haven't started it yet; I will once I finish Habitation, because if I start reading too many books at once, I will suffer crushing book anxiety and stop reading altogether.

You know what else is awesome? The fact that AO3 lets you download fic in ebook format. So my Kindle is not only full of books, it is also full of porn. Porn that I can read on the bus between classes. Life is good. >:D
solaciolum: when night falls on the land, all will understand (walking on the wind)
Saturday, March 20th, 2010 11:22 pm
Yep, still reading, just not at the rate I ought to be. I plead February for my laxity, but I really don't have much excuse for the beginning of March.

The Wordy Shipmates is Sarah Vowel's witty and heartwarming exploration into the lives and times of the original Massachusetts Bay Colonists. I pretty much only ever read one non fiction book a year outside of those I read for classes, and that's only because my father makes a point of giving me one for Christmas every year. Vowel's often irreverent commentary on the Puritans and the seventeenth century British is good fun, though; perhaps if I remind myself that not all nonfiction reads like my textbooks, I'd read more. And perhaps if I read more about American history, I'd feel less ashamed of my very, very sketchy background in that subject. (Thanks, public school! (I kid, I kid, I'm very grateful to have gone to public school- but US History 2 was essentially a second study hall, when I caught up on sleep or my pre-calc homework.))

The Egyptian Earth is actually something I had to read for my politics class, but I'm counting it because it's a novel and it wasn't on the textbook list. I have to write a paper examining some aspect of Arab social dynamics in it- complete draft is due Monday, and I'm getting very very tired of the fact that every aspect of this class causes me some level of anxiety.

At any rate, it's not at all my usual fare, and I've still got it percolating in my head; you have an Egyptian peasant village suffering the abuses of the government and struggling to rebel in productive ways that really don't go anywhere. It presents a sort of idealized version of peasant social relationships, if not of peasant life- these are not happy, idyllic peasants, they are poor and filthy and frequently irritable and full of vicious gossip, but when push comes to shove they unite against a common cause.

Under normal circumstances, I'd stick with what I know and write about gender relations in the book, but I just finished my gender and sexuality midterm, and I'm a little sick of it. I need to produce some amount of bullshit to hand in; so long as it looks like a potentially complete paper, I can edit it as much as necessary before handing in the final version some time in April. *sigh* Still not feeling this semester at all, and it's half over.
solaciolum: Kefka didn't orchestrate the fall of Doma- Sabin's erection did. (Sabin)
Thursday, January 28th, 2010 11:05 am
The Alchemist is the tale of a young man on a Journey to Discover his True Purpose in Life, wherein he and the reader learn that All Things Are Connected, and Love is the True Path to the Divine, and Everything Exists to Fulfil Its Purpose. The main character discovers that his true purpose is to find a treasure in Egypt, and he has fantastic adventures along the way. On his journey he encounters people who help him along: the King of Salem, an Englishman in search of the Philosopher's stone, a mysterious Alchemist, and a beautiful young woman named Fatima, whom he falls in love with at first sight. Of course, she loves him in return, because while the boy's purpose is to find treasure, Fatima's purpose is to wait in a desert oasis her whole life until the boy finds her, and then to wait again until he returns to her with his treasure.

And they lived happily ever after.


*throws the book across the room*

I might have enjoyed The Alchemist, if it hadn't been for that; I have a fondness for stories about mysticism, and I like general tales of adventure and coming of age. And it's a quick, breezy read that filled my train ride into the city yesterday quite nicely. But there's a sour taste in the back of my mind that isn't going to go away, and I'm so tired of reading books that do that.

Cities of Coin and Spice is up next, because it's about time I finished the series, and I know I can trust Cathrynne Valente to not induce book-throwing urges.
solaciolum: King of Night Vision, King of Insight (Default)
Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 09:30 am
I haven't actually read any Discworld since highschool, which seems a little strange and shameful considering the number of people I know who have read every single book in the series. And it's taken me several years to read Going Postal, which also seems strange, given that I was living with a Pratchett fan with family members in the postal service when the book came out.

I'd forgotten how much I really, really liked Pratchett- sure, there are moments when the book is over the top and emotionally manipulative, but then there are moments of spine tingling, profound awesome, like Mr. Pump's actuarial approach to murder, and more or less every time Vetinari appeared on page. I'd somehow forgotten how much I enjoyed Vetinari- now I need to find a book about the Watch to see if I still enjoy Vimes as much as I used to.

It's taking me longer to read books now that I can't just spend a day in one of the chairs in the library; I read Going Postal on my meal breaks at work and then finished it as a treat for doing my homework on Sunday.

I now have The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo, Cities of Coin and Spice by Cat Valente, and one of the Aubrey and Maturin books (for real, this time!) out from the library; hopefully I will find myself more time to read this week.
solaciolum: King of Night Vision, King of Insight (Default)
Tuesday, January 5th, 2010 09:23 pm
I meant to grab the first Aubrey/Maturin book at the library, but instead I ended up with Patrick O'Brian's first novel, Testimonies, which is some sort of a creeping horror of a small town psychological thriller. Only not, really, but it does end up being creeping and horrible at the end. I think I'd have been happier with an Aubrey/Maturin book- although the main character's middle name is Aubrey, and he does at one point mention a friend named Maturin, so. Patrick O'Brian, I see what u did there.

massive massive spoilers )
solaciolum: Time to shank some dudes (Assassin's Creed) (hidden blade)
Monday, January 4th, 2010 07:27 pm
I am determined to read at least fifty books this year. I love books, there's no reason for me to be doing as little reading as I do. And so: first book of the new year! I had a bit of free merchandise credit to spend at Borders after Christmas, and this was the only thing that leapt off the seriously picked-over shelves. Turns out it was an excellent choice.

The Drowning City is part high-fantasy action adventure, part spy thriller- Isyllt Iskaldur is a Selafai spy and necromancer sent to the city of Symir to help foment a revolution among the native Sivahran people so the occupying Empire won't turn its sights to her homeland.

This book hits so many of my story kinks- necromancy, assassins, fantastical cities, sensible elemental magic systems, spiritual possession. It has the added bonus of being populated primarily by Asian and Middle Eastern equivalent cultures, which was unexpected and awesome. It also passes the Bechdel test with flying colors- all of the viewpoint characters are women, none of them are defined by their romantic relationships (affected by them, yes, but not defined by them, and all three of them are effectively single by the end of the story), Sivahran society is quietly matriarchal, and most of the moving and shaking of the plot is done by women.

And man, what a plot. Intrigue! Spies! Terrorists and revolutionaries! Corrupt government officials! Isyllt's story is just a small part of the whole, bloody, revolutionary mess, and I do love a tale of revolution. Once the story gets going, there are a few madcap reveals of awesomeness (although you see the thing with Asheris, the Lord Inquisitor, coming a mile away, but it's fine because Asheris is fantastic. I have a thing for pyromancers, what can I say.).

There's pretty much nothing I didn't enjoy about this book, apart from the occasional stylistic sentence fragment and the overuse of the word "gooseflesh." But I'm the sort of freak who thinks too hard about tiny flaws in writing, so. *coughs, hides rants on the first half of The Name of the Wind under the rug* I'm looking forward to the sequel, as I thoroughly enjoyed Isyllt and her adventures- though I do hope some of the characters from The Drowning City show up in The Bone Palace when it comes out.
solaciolum: (starry eyed girl)
Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 07:47 pm
I think I desperately need to read this book: Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials. Of course, there's a good chance that Negarestani will put me off the way Neal Stephenson and China Mieville tend to- I would love to enjoy their books, but I always get stuck on some dry bit of worldbuilding and forget to pick up their books after putting them down. But there's also a good chance that Negarestani will hit my buttons like another Hal Duncan or Cathrynne Valente, and a crawling tale of horror and politics and mythology sounds like it's right up my alley.

I'm starting to notice a pattern of sorts, in the things I like to read- give me a Descent to the Underworld, and I am all over it. ...possibly this is a good and important thing for me to know about myself. Possibly it's a thing I will examine properly when I have time to breathe.

I have four or five more pages to write on Sunni jurisprudence, and then I need to rewrite half of what I already have so it isn't utterly incoherent; I'm afraid this paper is just going to get handed in late, because I cannot get my thoughts in a straight line tonight and it's nearly 4. (How much do I miss "5pm on Friday in the department inbox" paper deadlines? So frickin' much. This whole "hand it in in class" nonsense is crap. And don't get me started on pre-scheduled exams, man. I understand that self scheduling isn't feasible for large universities, but damn, it must suck to be someone with an exam on the 24th.) And I dearly wish I didn't have work tomorrow- my hours are far more reasonable this week (23 instead of 30), but I hate my job with a sick, seething despair and I've never gotten home earlier than 11 when working a closing shift.

Apathy and poor time management will be the death of me; I think I'm still not taking things seriously enough, and the sudden loss of 20-30 hours a week for $shittyretailjob threw a bigger wrench into my routine than I'd thought it would.
solaciolum: Kefka didn't orchestrate the fall of Doma- Sabin's erection did. (Sabin)
Wednesday, September 9th, 2009 03:44 pm
I need to collect all of my library books and return them- I was being so good at getting them in on time for a while there. And then Things happened and School happened and now I've got a bunch of books that are four days overdue that I haven't even read yet.

Brief thoughts on some books )

When I'm not reading or avoiding homework, I'm replaying FFIV on the DS- I blame the OCRemix album project, which is amazing. I really ought to replay the J2E rom translation or the GBA version instead- I much prefer Kain's characterization in both of those versions to the DS- but I am too enraptured by the pretty graphics and the silly voice acting.

After seventeen years, I can admit that it is no longer the Greatest Game of All Time- but it will always hold a special place in my heart for being the first game I ever fell in love with.