kangeiko: (bookworm)
I am so behind on these, there is a stack of notes accumulating on my desk that I needed to clear out.

These were a mixed bunch, with some outstanding books and some a little plodding. There is a definite bias towards biographies and histories, as I am somewhat still wrapped up in French history at the moment.

Racists
by Kunal Basu, p.214

An interesting story, but it pulls its punches a little. )

*

Lady Jane Grey: Nine Days Queen
by Alison Plowden, p.184

A smart, interesting book about a somewhat dull subject. )

*

Millenium
by Tom Holland, p.413

A sweep through Europe in the Dark Ages, but it's hard to know the target audience. )

*

Anne Boleyn
by Joanna Denny, p.327

Too biased for my liking. )

*

The Man Who Outshone the Sun King: Ambition, Triumph and Treachery in the Reign of Louis XIV
by Charles Drazin, p.308

Interesting topic, but perhaps too broad in scope for just one book. )

*

Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King
by Antonia Fraser, p.398

Gorgeous and very, very fun indeed. )

*

Confessions of an eco sinner
by Fred Pearce, p.372

Thought-provoking and very interesting indeed. )

*

An Utterly Exasperated History of Modern Britain
by John O'Farrell, p.479

A fun read. )

*

Marie-Therese: The Fate of Marie Antionette's Daughter
by Susan Nagel, p.365

An interesting take on the subject. )
kangeiko: (bookworm)
Catching up with some book reviews -

The Lathe of Heaven
Ursula Le Guin, p.184.

Not a lot like the other works of hers I've read, but still a cracking read. )

*

Bad Science
Ben Goldacre, p. 321

Where everyone lies. )

*

Living Dolls: the return of sexism
Natasha Walter, p. 238

Smart, interesting, and British-specific. )
*

Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town
Mary Beard, p.316

Fun to read while visiting. )

*

Marie Antionette: The Journey
Antonia Fraser, p.548

Highly recommended. )
kangeiko: (Default)
With all that's been going on work-wise, I haven't really had much time for reading. So here's the few I did manage to finish:

The Graveyard Book
Neil Gaiman, p. 289

Sweet and clever, but it reads a bit like a ready-made adaptation. )

*

Let the Right One In
John Ajvide Lindqvist, p. 519

A very different beast than the film. )

*

The Night Watch
Sarah Waters, p. 503

Beautiful and highly recommended. )

*

The Virgin in the Garden
A.S. Byatt, p.566

Dull. )

Meme time!

Jun. 24th, 2009 12:07 pm
kangeiko: (Default)
I am stuck at home waiting for several people to turn up. I am ostensibly still working on the Multiverse fic still sitting in pieces on my hard-drive (I am up to version 5, now, and I still hate it. It's due by the end of today, bollocks.), but actually I want to be outside, cavorting in the sunshine or whatever it is the cool kids are doing these days.

Yesterday my daddy got discharged from hospital super-early, which is great. I went to see him, and he's doing well, resting at home. My brother and I then went to see Terminator, which was Not Bad (tm). Don't think about it too hard or the entire timeline collapses in a big limp pile, but other than that...

I am currently reading "Flood" by Stephen Baxter, which I picked up yesterday and am already 1/4 of the way through. I'm really enjoying it. It's a 'what if climate change causes huge amounts of flooding in low-lying places such as, say, London' type of book, much like Robinson's 'Science in the Capitol' series but with more emergencies. I guess I'm in an apocalyptic mood right now. (Also, horror short stories, but I don't know of any good anthologies. I've already read all of Stephen King's short stories. Recs, pls?)

From [livejournal.com profile] yahtzee63, meme time!

List 10 platonic male/female relationships in fiction that you enjoy. Rules:

1. They interact in canon, preferably in a significant (apply your own interpretation of such) way.
2. They are not related. They can, however, view each other as surrogate family.
3. Neither has confessed or implied romantic love for the other in canon.
4. They have not dated, been married, had sex, or made out in canon, on purpose, and of their own free will.
5. A popular fanon ship is ok (though preferably not your ship) but a canon pairing you wish were just friends is out.
6. Try to avoid using the same character or series twice.


Hmmm, ok! )
kangeiko: (Default)
Air Volume 1: Letters from lost countries by G. Willow Wilson is amazing, truly masterful storytelling. Blythe is a flight attendant who suffers from vertigo who meets a man who could be anyone but isn't, and who is travelling to a land that doesn't exist. The story starts off as semi fantastical, then progresses to steampunk seamlessly. The cover blurb - by Neil Gaiman, no less - has it as a transition from Rushdie to Pynchon, and I think that's pretty accurate. Recommended.
kangeiko: (bookworm)
Trying to catch up stuff I've read.

Title: Fabulous Things
Author: Kelly Braffet
Page count: 310 pages

5. A slightly twisted love story. )

*

Title: Brick Lane
Author: Monica Ali
Page count: 492 pages

6. Precisely the sort of book I enjoy. )

*

Title: The Historian
Author: Elizabeth Kostova
Page count: 704 pages

7. This modern Dracula tale could have been written specifically with me in mind. )

*

Title: White Teeth
Author: Zadie Smith
Page count: 542 pages

8. A disappointment, given how much I'd enjoyed 'On Beauty'. )

*

Title: Twilight
Author: Stephanie Meyer
Page count: 434 pages

9. Unintentionally hilarious. )

*

Title: New Moon
Author: Stephanie Meyer
Page count: 563 pages

10. More of the same, now with added werewolves! )

*

Title: Minority Report
Author: Philip K. Dick
Page count: 290 pages

11. A series of short stories, sharp and engaging. )

*

Title: Troubling Love
Author: Elena Ferrante
Page count: 139 pages

12. Creepy and distressing. )

*

Title: Star Trek Academy: Collision Course
Author: William Shatner with Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens
Page count: 401 pages

13. Not a patch on 'Best Destiny' for Kirk-origins. )

*

Title: The Age of Innocence
Author: Edith Wharton
Page count: 299 pages

14. Tear my heart out and stamp on it, why don't you. )

*

Title: An Utterly Impartial History of Britain: Or 2000 years of Upper Class Idiots in Charge
Author: John O'Farrell
Page count: 552 pages

15. A great rompt through history! )

*
kangeiko: (bookworm)
A series of quickie reviews. This is all stuff before I went to Burkina, so there's a big pile of books I've yet to review still sitting about!


Title: The Luxe
Author: Anna Godbersen
Page count: 433 pages

Ah, the perils of false advertising. )

*

Title: On Beauty
Author: Zadie Smith
Page count: 443 pages

Interesting, absorbing reading. )

*

Title: The Interpretation of Murder
Author: Jed Rubenfeld
Page count: 522 pages

A convincing thriller. )
kangeiko: (bookworm)
Title: The Scar
Author: China Mieville
Page count: 624 pages.

Starts off well but doesn't deliver. )
kangeiko: (Default)
Remember my determination to read 50 books in 2008? I've read 4, and am in the middle of 4 more. Here's the review for the first two.

*

Title: Herland
Author: Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Categories: fiction, feminism, sci-fi

Witty and enjoyable. )

*

Title: Woman, Child for Sale
Author: Gilbert King
Categories: non-fiction, modern slavery, politics, gender

Not recommended. )

*
kangeiko: (Default)
I'm going to talk about things other than DH soon. I promise. Like... now! Ta da!!

Title: The God of Small Things
by Arundhati Roy

page count: 339 pages.

Elvis and a fountain, standing locked in an embrace... )

***

Title: Diary
by Chuck Palahniuk

page count: 260 pages

This is Misty Wilmot's shitty life. )

***

Title: The City and the Stars
byr C. Clarke
page count: 255 pages

Sadly predictable )

***

I might go finish watching Prisoner of Azkaban. I have popcorn. I have diet coke. I have peanut M&Ms. I am the home cinema queen. Yes.

More to the point, I've spent so long stressing about exams - and say what you like, it was merited, as the exam was bloody hard! - that I'm emotionally exhausted. I'm totally regressing into potter-love as my default-setting. *purrs*
kangeiko: (Default)
I reviewed the first half of the book here.

I finished!! - Spoilers, obviously. )



I've also read three other books in the last couple of weeks, btw - The God of Small Things, Diary and The City and the Star, which I really must review at some point... But, for HP7, I have two thumbs up.
kangeiko: (Default)

Spoilers up to the end of Chapter 18 )



*dives back into the second half*

kangeiko: (Default)
I completely forgot about this book! I read it a few weeks ago, and it was rather fun & groovy.

Title:Scurvy
by: Stephen R. Bown
page count: 263 pages.

Read more... )

I also read #1 - #21 of Astonishing X-Men. (I'm at home & snuffly, can you tell?)

ZOMG spoilers!! )

So, yeah. I sorta liked it, but sorta didn't. We'll see.

Vaguely amusing sidebar - I'm going to a few talks at the British Museum over the next few weeks, and they're being carried out by a Professor Xavier. I laughed myself silly over that. :)
kangeiko: (atia of the julii)
I appear to be working my arse off, which makes lj-life um, difficult. It does, however, mean that I'm romping through a great many fabulous books. They make my train journey bearable. Yes.

Today's brilliance is I, Claudius.

Title: I, Claudius
by: Robert Graves
page count: 395 pages.

It was really weird to read this while watching S2 of ROME. )

In conclusion, I need to write Atia meeting Livia. Because that would improve my world SO MUCH.

THE END!
kangeiko: (Default)
Today, I pootled. This makes me happy. I need to do a spot of cleaning a little later on but, otherwise, that's my day nice and free for more pootling. I may return some books to the library - the sun outside keeps tempting me with shininess, but I suspect that it is a RUSE to lure me outside and the RAIN ON MY HEAD. Hmmm.

Random meme from somewhere -

Only answer in Yes or No
You can't elaborate unless someone asks in a comment.

For brevity is the soul of... something. )

Well, that was nice and easy.

Last night's Dr Who was a bit up and down )

And, also, a book review -

This Thing Of Darkness
by Harry Thompson

page count:: 730 pages

*

You may have heard me raving about this book... )

Now. To the library, or to the sofa? Decisons, decisions...
kangeiko: (Default)

I spent this week (post-exams, obviously) commuting to Kent and back, about 2 - 2 1/2 hours each way. The joys. The work's hard, and technical, and I could have really used a break after exams, and getting up at 6am is no fun, but it could be worse. I could be in the arse-end of north London I could be back at a former posting. Plus, my team is made of awesome.

Except that one of them vaguely frightens me. She's about eighteen, I think, doing a gap year, and she wears more make-up than anyone I have ever met, drag queens included. Not bad make-up, not poorly applied, but just very, very thick. I only just realised that she has freckles - she'd painted them all off. Thick orange make-up, to simulate a tan. Kohl around her eyes, all the way around. Cheekbones precisely sculpted. Hair waist-length, ironed flat and - maybe extensions?

One of my colleagues was mentioning that she was on a diet to put on weight, as she'd lost a few pounds during exam time and her mother had been horrified (with good reason - said colleague is on the thin side) when this 18 yr old said, astonished, "I'm sorry, did you say you're trying to put on weight??" By expression, you'd think she'd discovered a prediliction worse than paedophilia. She explained that her current size 0 state was a result of her mother enforcing it upon her, and her grandmother enforcing it upon her mother - "that's the way it is," she told me, as if sharing a secret. What for all women? "Yes. Unless you look good, your life sucks."

Which is where I had to bite my tongue because - this girl is, yes, very thin, yes, her hair is immaculate, yes, her clothes are pristine, yes, her make-up has given her a flawless airbrushed face - and, no, she doesn't look good. She looks terrifying, like she's wearing a mask. No one looks comfortable sitting next to her. Yet she obviously thinks that she looks good - and, by the standards of beauty magazines, she does. Thin, stylish, heavily made-up: like a silk rose, all surface.

Intellectual pursuits other than working out if my coworker comes in her own box include lots of reading:

One Last Look
by Susanna Moore

page count: 288 pages

A treatise on empire and its malcontents. )



*

My Life as Emperor
by Su Tong

The worst Emperor ever? One can only hope. )

I have to go be asleep now. *fallover* 



*

ETA: I can't believe I forgot one! Just a quickie -

Fragile Things
by Neil gaiman

Funny stories, scary stories, witty stories - good, yes, but I still prefer Smoke & Mirrors... (mainly because I'd read some of these in various anthologies already, I think.)
kangeiko: (wasting time online)
I'm revising today. And tomorrow. And every day thereafter until I finish my exams, as it turns out. The last one is on 11th June, and then I get a nice long break until I (hopefully) return to college in September to start prepping for my finals. I say 'hopefully', because I need to have passed everything to take my finals, so if I fail either of these two - decison-making module, v. scary, and government policy module, v. tedious - I've got to retake in December - and then do my finals in June. Bah.

Anyway, study-things. )

I've got to do all of the above because the last week was spent commuting to the other end of fricking nowhere. Greenwich, it appears, is made entirely out of building sites. Seriously, wherever you turn there's a little plaque that tells you what fantastic place of fabulousness they're building there. They'd need t, frankly, as it's currently mainly fields and military complexes (i.e. Arsenal or The Arsenal - do we capitalise these things?). It did mean that I was nearly late on Friday, though, because my bus to work (the journey to work goes: walk, tube, train, bus, walk) was held up by a parade of horsies being taken up the main road. I have no idea why. But they were pretty horsies!!

That last client was v. high pressured, v. high complexity, v. high volume of work. I was worried that I wasn't getting everything done according to the task plan, but it turns out that the task plan was put together by someone with no idea of the complexity involved, and my supervisor on site said that she was very impressed. Which is good. My confidence re: work took a serious knock about a month or so ago, and it's been struggle to rebuild. There wasn't anything that happened to make it fall, really, it just sorta did. I'm still not really involved or enthused, but having people massage your ego occasionally does help with the motivation.

Anyway, given that I had 2 - 2.5 hours there and 1.5 - 2 hours back travel time each day, I got a lot of reading done.

As Meat Loves Salt
by Maria McGann

page count: 532 pages

Meet Jacob Cullen: homicide, fugitive, Roundhead, sodomite, printer and colonist. )

Memories of My Melancholy Whores
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

pages: 115 pages

Read more... )
kangeiko: (Default)
So, I'm on hiatus. I didn't mean to be on hiatus, which is why I never really posted a "goodbye, cruel internetz!!" post before disappearing for three days and then emerging, fresh-faced and glowy, from post-work doom. Um. Somehow, post-work never really happened, and so, instead, I have current work doom.

So, kind lovely people who emailed to check I was alive - I am, indeed, alive. Had a really bad couple of weeks (bad enough to consider selling up and running away to join the circus), but my secondment completed without a hitch, and I have a shiny feedback document that sings my praises to my bosses, lest they ever forget how awesome I am, and how many other companies would like to hire me. (Hah! I am so made of win.)

That, alas, was Past Work. I have Current Work, at Current Client, and Current Client is very far away. VERY far away. My working day is 12 - 14 hours long. Bad for enough sleeping time. bad for enough revision time. I am not impressed. But I'll finish tomorrow, and then I am on study leave, hurrah!

I suppose I am technically still on hiatus during it, 'cause otherwise I will explode from stress, but in the meantime:

1) WTF is fanlib and why is my flist flooded with tl;dr essays on it? Someone summarise for the time-challenged, please!

2) I will see a movie, or show, or PEOPLE again soon.

3) I have read all the books in the world. Have a review of The Demolished Man ).

4) Did I mention the hours?

*goes to bed*
kangeiko: (Default)
It's reveal day at the remix house! *dances* Firstly, a great big THANK YOU!!! to [livejournal.com profile] selenak who was my remixer, and wrote the splendiferous Burial Ground (The Rambaldi Remix), which gave me shivers. I sorta guessed it was her, actually, 'cause, well, it sounded like her (& how many other people are gonna play with Sloadney??), so, clearly I am win.

Things to cover in this v. exciting post: many things. Many, many things. get a cup of tea, for I shall be waffling for a bit. Nay, a lot. Comfy? Then let us begin:




REMIX REVEAL

My Remix: Frame of Mind (The Eye of the Storm Remix)
| part 1 | part 2 | part 3 | part 4 |
Summary: After a dig at Syria Planum goes awry, IPX dispatches a team from its New Technologies division to investigate.
Original Story: Before Any Coming Storms by [livejournal.com profile] aris_writing
The rest of the meta-tastic details )




BOOK REVIEW

The Blind Assassin
by Margaret Atwood

page count: 637 pages

Read more... )




MULTIVERSE FIC

Nope, I'm not doing Multiverse this year. But you should, 'cause it's great fun. Instead, I took one of the unfulfilled requests from previous years and wrote a quick ficlet for it. Just 'cause I can.

Title: Object Recognition
Request: #122 River Tam (Firefly) & Sharon Valerii (BSG 2003)
Summary: She's one of the old models, River can tell that much from sight alone.

Read the fic




I've really disappointed at the low volume of feedback for remix this year, with most stories barely registering as a blip. Come people, get out there and comment!

Harry Potter:
- Dudley Dursley and the Hogwarts Letter (the Top of the Pops Remix) by [livejournal.com profile] kindkit
I think I'm a little in love with this story. I like HP stories looking at some of the forgotten, ignored characters, and this one presents a really interesting look at Dudley. It's an AU - a 'what if it was the Dursleys who died, not the Potters' - and it's fabulous.

Babylon 5:
- Love (The Many Splendoured Mix) by [livejournal.com profile] leyenn
I guessed it was leyenn! *g* The I/T gave it away. This is wonderful, a very fun outsider POV looking at love in its many forms on B5.

ST:VOY:
- Power Corrupts (The Absolute Absolution Remix) by [livejournal.com profile] alara_r
Kes is on trial before the Continuum for an act - of revenge? Or self-protection? Or something else entirely... This story is fabulous, completely in character, and made my P/Q-loving heart jump for joy.

The X-Files:
- All in the Waiting (The Silent Funeral Overture) by [livejournal.com profile] rynne
Mulder/Scully, post-Requiem. He wills her to wait for him. Soft and lovely.




All done! *falls over*

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