kangeiko: (bookworm)
Book List 2014

1) The Lost King of France: Revolution, Revenge and the Search for Louis XVII (Deborah Cadbury) p.284.
2) The Player of Games (Iain M. Banks) p.309.
3) Gun Machine (Warren Ellis) p.308.
4) The Once & Future King (T. H. White) p.812.
5) The Charioteer (Mary Renault) p.420.
6) A Game of Thrones (George R.R. Martin) p.801.
7) The Birth of Venus (Sarah Dunant) p.408.
8) The Secret Listeners (Sinclair McKay) p.335.
9) Adventures at Trebizon (Anne Digby) p.375.
10) Goldfinger (Ian Fleming) p.372.
11) ...
kangeiko: (bookworm)

Book List 2013

1) Seeing (Jose Saramago) p.307.
2) One of Our Thursdays is Missing (Jasper Fforde) p.385.
3) Almost French: A New Life in Paris (Sarah Turnbull) p.322.
4) Shape-shifter (Pauline Melville) p.240.
5) Remainder (Tom McCarthy) p.284.
6) The Parthenon (Mary Beard) p.240.
7) 1,227 QI Facts to Blow Your Socks Off (John Lloyd and John Mitchinson) p.307.
8) Nothing to Envy (Barbara Demick) p.324.
9) Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman (Robert K. Massie) p.926.
10) From the Holy Mountain (William Dalrymple) p.454.
11) Alif the Unseen (G. Willow Wilson) p.448.
12) Mockingbird (Chuck Wendig) p.345.
13) From Russia With Love (Ian Fleming) p.356.
14) Dangerous Gifts (Gaie Sebold) p.381.
15) Candide, or Optimism (Voltaire) p.115.
16) The Apocalypse Codex (Charles Stross) p.386.
17) Saturn's Children (Charles Stross) p.371.
18) The Casual Vacancy (J.K. Rowling) p.503.
19) Live and Let Die (Ian Fleming) p.307.
20) Boneshaker (Cherie Priest) p.414.
21) Burning Dreams (Margaret Wander Bonanno) p.351.
22) Star Trek: That Which Divides (Dayton Ward) p.304.
23) Of Human Bondage (W. Somerset Maugham) p.700.
24) The Two Towers (J.R.R. Tolkien) p.444.
25) The Woman Who Died a Lot (Jasper Fforde) p.380.
26) Tigers in Red Weather (Lisa Klaussmann) p.389.
27) Bring Up the Bodies (Hilary Mantel) p.482.
28) The Long Earth (Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter) p.424.
29) My Life in France (Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme) p.333.
30) Car Fever (James May) p.183.
31) The Weaker Vessel: Women's Lot in Seventeenth Century England (Antonia Fraser) p.573.
32) Bess of Hardwick: First lady of Chatsworth (Mary S. Lovell) p.479.
33) Wool (Hugh Howey) p.537.
34) King Charles II (Antonia Fraser) p.612.
35) Queen Victoria: A Personal History (Christopher Hibbert) p.502.
36) The Poison Eaters: And Other Stories (Holly Black) p.212.
37) In the Shadow of the Sword (Tom Holland) p.474.
38) On the Edge: My Story (Richard Hammond) p.306.
39) Railsea (China Mieville) p.376.
40) Chaos: the amazing science of the unpredictable (James Gleick) p.317.
41) NW (Zadie Smith) p.333.
42) Broken Homes (Ben Aaronovitch) p.357.
43) Full Dark, No Stars (Stephen King) p.480.
44) Different Seasons (Stephen King) p.688.
45) The Atrocity Archives (Charles Stross) p.336.
46) Senna Versus Prost (Malcolm Folley) p.416.
47) First Man in Rome (Collen McCullough) p.1056.
48) The Winter of Our Disconnect (Susan Maushart) p.267.
49) Moranthology (Caitlin Moran) p.354.
50) Deathless (Catherynne M. Valente) p.349.
51) The Fuller Memorandum (Charles Stross) p.352.
52) Ice Land (Betsy Tobin) p.374.
53) The Deadly Sisterhood (Leonie Frieda) p.362.
54) The Kingdoms of Dust (Amanda Downum) p.371.
55) Arbella: England's Lost Queen (Sarah Gristwood) p.453.
56) The Tigress of Forli (Elisabeth Lev) p.320.


Books 2012

Jan. 1st, 2012 07:49 pm
kangeiko: (bookworm)
Book List 2012

1) Cleopatra: A Life (Stacy Schiff), p.302.
2) Gifts (Ursula Le Guin), p.274.
3) America's Queen: The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (Sarah Bradford), p.597.
4) Bluestockings (Jane Robinson), p.218.
5) Eat Pray Love (Elizabeth Gilbert), p.346.
6) How to be a Woman (Caitlin Moran), p.309.
7) In Siberia (Colin Thubron), p.278.
8) The Real Queen of France: Athenais & Louis XIV (Lisa Hilton), p.392.
9) Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture (Ariel Levy), p.200.
10) The Settlers of Catan (Rebecca Gable), p.620.
11) Temeraire (Naomi Novik), p.352.
12) Life Below Stairs: True Lives of Edwardian Servants (Alison Maloney), p.192.
13) Doctor Who The Missing Adventures: Evolution (John Peel), p.260.
14) The Gift of Fear: Survival signals that protect us from violence (Gavin de Becker), p.299.
15) The World According to Clarkson (Jeremy Clarkson), p.327.
16) The Equality Illusion: The Truth About Women and Men Today (Kat Banyard), p.246.
17) The Secret Life of Bletchley Park (Sinclair McKay), p.322.
18) The World According to Clarkson Vol 4: How Hard Can It Be? (Jeremy Clarkson), p.332.
19) Graceling (Kristin Cashore), p.370.
20) Zoo City (Lauren Beukes), p.349.
21) Bergdorf Blondes (Plum Sykes), p.310.
22) Theater Shoes (Noel Streatfeild), p.281.
23) Fated (Benedict Jacka), p.322.
24) According to Queeney (Beryl Bainbridge), p.244.
25) The Bugatti Queen (Miranda Seymour), p.262.
26) Chile: Travels in a Thin Country (Sara Wheeler), p.302.
27) The Quantum Thief (Hannu Rajaniemi), p.330.
28) The Paris Wife (Paula McLain), p.385.
29) Rules of Civility (Amor Towles), p.324.
30) Call the Midwife: A True Story of the East End in the 1950s (Jennifer Worth), p.319.
31) The Windup Girl (Paolo Bacigalupi) p.505.
32) Lavinia (Ursula Le Guin) p.287.
33) Eating Air (Pauline Melville), p.476.
34) Ubik (Philip K Dick), p.208.
35) Slaughterhouse 5 (Kurt Vonnegut) p.157.
36) Downbelow Station (CJ Cherryh) p.477.
37) Love Walked In (Marisa de los Santos) p.307.
38) Overclocked (Cory Doctorow) p.285.
39) Pompeii: The Living City (Alex Butterworth and Ray Laurence) p.365.
40) Rivers of London (Ben Aaronovitch) p.390.
41) Persian Fire (Tom Holland) p.372.
42) The Fry Chronicles: An Autobiography (Stephen Fry) p.425.
43) Moon Over Soho (Ben Aaronovitch) p.373.
44) Rubicon (Tom Holland) p.389.
45) The Classical World (Robin Lane Fox) p.606.
46) The Mitford Girls (Mary S. Lovell) p.529.
47) Ragnarok (AS Byatt) p.154.
48) Drive On! A Social History of the Motor Car (LJK Setright) p.390.
49) Identity & Violence: The Illusion of Destiny (Amartya Sen) p.186.
50) The Women Incendiaries (Edtih Thomas) p.244.
51) The Sun King (Nancy Mitford) p.242.
52) Empire (Niall Ferguson) p.381.
53) The Last Generation (Fred Pearce) p.366.
54) The Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution (Caroline Weber) p.292.
55) Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire (Amanda Foreman) p.405.
56) Assassin's Apprentice (Robin Hobb) p.480.
57) Omnibus 1: At the Mountains of Madness (HP Lovecraft) p.552.
58) Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica (Sara Wheeler) p.298.
59) Shooting History (Jon Snow) p.379.
60) Courtesans (Kate Hickman) p.336.
61) Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman) p.372.
62) H2O: A Biography of Water (Philip Ball) p.346.
63) The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest (ed. Datlow & Windling) p.382.
64) The Social Animal (David Brooks) p.466.
65) The King Must Die (Mary Renault) p.353.
66) The Death of Ayrton Senna (Richard Williams) p.177.
67) The Song of Achilles (Madeline Miller) p.352.
68) The Gold Coast (Kim Stanley Robinson) p.389.
69) Delusions of Gender (Cordelia Fine) p.239.
70) Whispers Underground (Ben Aaronovitch) p.418.
71) Queen of the Damned (Anne Rice) p.491.
72) Jerusalem (Simon Sebag Montefiore) p.628.
73) Blood and Feathers (Lou Morgan) p.364.
74) The Mechanic's Tale: Life in the Pit-lanes of Formula One (Steve Matchett) p.226.
75) Luck in the Shadows (Lynn Flewelling) p.479.
76) The Vampire Lestat (Anne Rice) p.550.
77) Driven to Distraction (Jeremy Clarkson) p.466.
78) The Years of Rice and Salt (Kim Stanley Robinson) p.772.
79) The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) p.454.
80) How to Land an A330 Airbus (James May) p.239.
81) Band of Brothers (Stephen E. Ambrose) p.307.
82) Mockingjay (Suzanne Collins) p.455.
83) Catching Fire (Suzanne Collins) p.472.
84) Transition (Iain Banks) p.404.
85) Prep (Curtis Sittenfeld) p.478.
86) The Penguin History of the USA (Hugh Brogan) p.694.
87) The New Doctor Who Advantures: Theatre of War (Justin Richards) p.316.
88) The Memory of Whiteness (Kim Stanley Robinson) p.351.
89) Unseen Academicals (Terry Pratchett) p.540.
90) A tale Etched in Blood and hard Black pencil (Christopher Brookmyre) p.339.
91) Fire (Kristin Cashore) p.356.
92) Middlesex (Jeffrey Eugenides) p.529.
93) The Six Wives of Henry VIII (Antonia Fraser) p.430.
94) How I Live Now (Meg Rosoff) p.211.
95) Odd and the Frost Giants (Neil Gaiman) p.127.

kangeiko: (bookworm)
Book List 2011

1) For Crying Out Loud: The World According to Clarkson Vol 3 (Jeremy Clarkson), p. 328.
2) And Another Thing: The World According to Clarkson Vol 2 (Jeremy Clarkson), p. 340.
3) Bravo Jubilee (Charlie Owen), p. 432.
4) The Lacuna (Barbara KIngsolver), p.670.
5) The Fourth Bear (Jasper Fforde), p. 383.
6) Cold Comfort Farm (Stella Gibbons), p. 233.
7) The English (Jeremy Paxman), p. 266.
8) Long Way Down: John O'Groats to Cape Town (Ewan McGregor & Charley Boorman), p. 328.
9) By Any Means (Charley Boorman), p.330.
10) Car Fever (James May), p. 288.
11) The Stars My Destination (Alfred Bester), p. 258.
12) War Reporting for Cowards (Chris Ayres), p. 289.
13) Affluenza (Oliver James), p. 510.
14) Vicious Circle (Mike Carey), p. 501.
15) Wolf Hall (Hilary Mantel), p. 650.
16) The Edible Woman (Margaret Atwood), p. 281.
17) Coraline (Neil Gaiman), p. 185.
18) Madame de Pompadour: Mistress of France (Chriistine Pevitt Algrant), p. 302.
19) Long Way Round (Ewan McGregor & Charley Boorman), p. 357.
20) Embassytown (China Mieville), p. 405.
21) A Mercy (Toni Morrison), p. 165.
22) As You Do (Richard Hammond), p. 304.
23) The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to the British (Sarah Lyall), p. 261.
24) Ark (Stephen Baxter), p. 455.
25) On Cars (Jeremy Clarkson), p. 242.
26) Excession (Iain M. Banks), p. 455.
27) Motorworld (Jeremy Clarkson), p. 197.
28) The Well of Lost Plots (Jasper Fforde), p. 360.
29) Half Gone: Oil, Gas, Hot Air and the Global Energy Crisis (Jeremy Leggett), p. 281.
30) Child 44 (Tom Rob Smith), p. 470.
31) Inverted World (Christopher Priest), p. 303.
32) Miss Pettigre Lives for a Day (Winifred Watson), p. 234.
33) Against a Dark Background (Iain M. Banks), p. 487.
34) Generation Kill (Evan Wright), p. 462.
35) Victoria's Empire (Victoria Wood, Fanny Blake & Franck Walsh), p. 276.
36) We Danced All Night: A Social History of Britain Between the Wars (Martin Pugh), p. 446.
37) The Girls' Car Handbook: Everything You Need to Know About Life on the Road (Maria McCarthy), p. 271.
38) Beyond Black (Hilary Mantel), p. 457.
39) Henry (David Starkey), p.370.
40) I know You Got Soul (Jeremy Clarkson), p. 233.
41) The Hippopotamus (Stephen Fry), p.400.
42) The Steel Remains (Richard Morgan), p.391.
43) Helen of Troy (Bettany Hughes), p.343.
44) Something Rotten (Jasper Fforde), p.393.
45) The Nightmwatchman's Occurrence Book (V.S. Naipaul), p.546.
46) The Island of the Day Before (Umberto Eco), p.513.
47) The Separation (Christopher Priest), p.374.
48) Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know (Ranulph Fiennes), p.358.
49) Mary Queen of Scots (Antonia Fraser), p.691.
50) Changing Planes (Ursula Le Guin), p.214.
51) White Boots (Noel Streatfeild), p.256.
52) Emergency Sex (and Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone (Kenneth Cain, Heidi Postlewait & Andrew Thomson), p.304.

kangeiko: (servalan is my evil overlady)
You guys, it has come to my attention that no one has yet signed up to write for the Seafort saga. UNACCEPTABLE, not least because it's one of my requests! I have realised that this is because no one has heard of it, so allow me to bring some sweet, unadulterated joy into your lives and tell you all about the brave Nick Seafort and his many ill-fated voyages.

Seafort Saga (aka the Hope series) by David Feintuch

First, let's have a look at our hero:

Midshipman's Hope

Isn't he just the most square-jawed young man you've ever seen?

Nick is born in Cardiff, at some point in the future (Wiki tells me it's 2177, but the timing is irrelevant in this series; suffice to say it is In The Future) into a world that is vaguely reminiscent of Victorian England, if Victorian England rolled out the Royal Navy across all institutions, whether on land or at sea. Nicky is, at fourteen, thrilled beyond belief to become a cadet at the Academy, and to eventually be shipped off on an interstellar voyage between Earth and several of its many dependent colonies. There are no aliens out there, as far as anyone knows, but space travel is difficult, time consuming, and eventually kills you: unless you start early enough and develop immunity to the plasma science, you develop melanoma. I suspect that this was introduced a hand-wavy reason to have a great many young men in neat blue uniforms, but I digress.

By the time we join Nick, he is seventeen and Senior Midshipman about HMS UNS Hibernia, which is not filling anyone with great confidence. He can't seem to wrap his brain around astronavigation, the second most senior Midshipman is older than he is, taller, better looking and more able to command a room, and Nick, we suspect, has yet to make the acquaintance of anything friendlier than his own hand.

And then a series of disasters robs Hibernia of all senior officers and leaves Nick in charge. He has to deal with rioting passangers, mutinous crew, a broken computer, ambushes and, finally, an alien life form no one has ever encountered before that he cannot understand. So far, so standard space opera. Where this one differs is just how gay-friendly the writer is. Those who have come across The Still - where a young prince must remain virginal and battle a variety of enemies, while being trained in mysterious ways by his mentor/lover - will not be surprised to read that Nick is similarly incompetent around women, and similarly unsure of whether he wants to have a relationship with one, or simply thinks it's the thing expected of him. The social and religious mores of Victorian England having been reproduced, and particularly amplified in the character of Nick's father (who appears to be a monk of some kind, to be honest), Nick is brought up to believe that homosexuality is wrong. However, his first love - his best friend, and the person he is most involved with as a pre-teen - is openly gay, and Nick is conflicted. Later on in the series, Nick spends a great deal of his time staring in wide-mouthed admiration at the various beautiful Midshipmen he has under his command, and a great many pages are devoted to detailed descriptions of just how beautiful and perfect they are.

This early on in the series, however, we have far less conflict and uncertainty. Nick is 17, he's trying to get laid - with a pretty schoolteacher - and meanwhile hijinks with his fellow bunkmates ensue. Sometimes, when they step out of line, they must be disciplined by being beaten over a barrel. It's, er, all very proper, I assure you.

Anyhow, once Nick takes command, he is torn between trying to remain friends with his former bunkmates - prettier than ever - or being the untouchable Captain. He quickly becomes exceedingly tortured and conflicted. He's kept in line by the brilliant Darla - YOU READ THAT RIGHT - who is the ship's computer, and isn't going to have any of his nonsense. Until things start to go wrong with her as well...

Basically, Midshipman's Hope is a fun, sexy romp, with some space operae thrown in. Nick is Very Serious and Earnest about things, and seems intent on self-flagellation. The world David Feintuch constructs is actually quite interesting from a post-colonial perspective, especially some of the self-justifications used to bring about regressive social rules (I'm looking at you, ConDems!). I do recommend giving it a shot, especially if you're a fan of slashy space operas, as it isn't hard going at all, and has some very endearing characters.

And speaking of AWESOME CHARACTERS -

Fisherman's Hope

OK, I don't actually have a picture of Edgar Tolliver, but I imagine that he looks something like this:



Edgar Tolliver is a Lieutenant in the God-damned Navy, and has no problems with bending you over the afore-mentioned barrel.

*cough*

I, er, had more coherent thoughts on him, but Tolliver and Nick roomed together at Academy and DO NOT GET ON when they meet again in the third book, Prisoner's Hope. Tolliver took too much pleasure in the hazing inflicted on earnest young Nick (being a sarcastic git even back then), and Nick is the type to bear a grudge. But after an accident leaves Tolliver demoted and sabotage leaves Nick crippled, the two must rely on each other to try to thwart a violent revolution on the biggest colony, Hope Nation. Tolliver is NOT IMPRESSED, especially aftr Nick pulls a spectacular stunt to try to prevent the annihilation of Hope Nation by the invading alien... fish. OK, no matter how many times I write that, it still looks funny. Why don't you look at the picture of Paul Bettany for a while.

Good? OK, then. Having accomplished that, Tolliver and Nick - on incredibly familiar terms (as in, Tolliver is by then allowed to touch Nick, which is a crime that normally carries a capital sentence, and to also talk back to him, occasionally call him by his first name, and any other number of little familiarities) - then have to spend several months locked together on the UNS Victoria journeying back to Earth.  Once there, Nick will take up his position as Commendant of the Academy, hence the spiffy white uniform you see above on the cover of the fourth book, Fisherman's Hope.

You guys, this book is worth the price of admission alone. Tollier is his sarcastic, mocking best, smacking Nick down when he gets too self-righteous or setting him straight when he wanders off. When Nick risks himself in a stupid Kirk-esque manner at one point, Tolliver goes berserk trying to find him. By this point there is not a single person in the universe who can convince me that they're NOT shagging on a regular basis. Nick even seems to have been miraculously cured of his uncertain sexuality woes. We never really have long, heartfelt descriptions of Tolliver, just his constant, comforting presence as he tells Nick that he's being an idiot. Bliss.

Here, have some quotes:

After the midshipmen manage to turn off the gravity at Lunar base (my meddling with the gravitrons), and Nicky has fired someone -

My tone was glacial. "Tell him you're no longer employed at Naval Academy. Get out! Now, before I call Mr. Tenere to help!" Adam had recent experience in removing uncooperative superiors. I wondered if he'd find a posting anywhere, if I allowed that into his record.

Crossburn threw his notes onto the table. "You'll hear about this, sir. I'm not done -" He saw my expression, and fled.

For a moment all was silent.

"Very instructive, sir. I must remember that technique next time a middy -"

"Edgar, shut up!" He was truly impossible; why did I put up with him?

Jeff Thorne asked in a plaintive tone, "What, exactly, does a systems and maintenance officer do?"

I growled, "There's a manual someplace. Read it."

Tolliver said helpfully, "His main duty is keeping the middies away from the gravitr-"

"EDGAR!"


*

Later on, they're negotiating over some visiting VIPs. Tolliver is trying to reason with Nicky:

"Be reasonable. You can't tell them who to bring and -"

"Who runs this place?" I threw myself into my chair.

"I'm not quite sure, sir." Tolliver regarded me gravely. "Do we get hints?"

Jeff Thorne intervened before I could explode.


*

And, finally, when the shit hits the fan -

"Am I relieved?" Tolliver.

"What?"

"You put Thorne in charge. What will you have me do?"

"Go with me."

His tone was bitter. " I thought so. I'm at your orders."

I said gently, "It wasn't an order, First Lieutenant Tolliver. "

[...]

"I'll go. We started together. It's fitting that we end together."


*

Snark and loyalty - what more do you need??
kangeiko: (bookworm)
The internets are back! Oh internets, I could kiss you.

I've been catching up on my reading for the last few days. I ran across the following, courtesy of [personal profile] selenak, an analysis of writing that matches it against the style of a famous literary figure. Of course, running just the one fic would give spurious results, so I ran about 20-25 to get a clearer idea of who I've plagiarised the most My Artistic Genius (tm).

snip for lots of images )

What would be fun with this would be to run extracts from tests that aren't from one of the authors on the available list, and see which author the software would suggest. Or better yet, run some of the texts from the authors that are on the list and see if it picks them up. I remain doubtful, but it is a fun thing to play with nonetheless.

In other news, I finished Cryptonomicon! I feel I should get some sort of award. It only took being isolated from the entire world, mind you, but at least this kept up a consistent sort of sense throughout, rather than abruptly turning into madness 2/3 of the way through like The Diamond Age. I am encouraged, and will have another go at Quicksilver when I get back (immediately after I read Mieville's Kraken, of course, which has been waiting patiently for my return).

I am rather desperate to get back into the swing of writing at the moment, and I'm turning to various bingo cards I still hold and a variety of fics I owe to try to kick-start the process. The problem is, without a deadline, it's prtty difficult to get myself motivated to write. It seems to have become an annual process, waiting around until Yuletide kicks off again, which just isn't good enough, damnit. I'm contemplating rifling through the NYR to see if there is anything there I can get my teeth into.

*

On the TV front, I brought the DVDs of Jekyll (Steven Moffat's baby before DW) with me when I left, and recently watched the lot. snip for spoilers )

Finally, Sky News has just informed me that Robbie will be rejoining Take That. Tell me this is so, internets! Sky News lies, and the 12-yr-old in me that loved TT, and especially Robbie, just can't take the strain of having this dangled in front of me and talen away!

...

I'd probably go to a reunion gig purely for the nostalgia factor, that's all I'm saying.
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: (geek)
Book List 2010

1) The Graveyard Book (Neil Gaiman) : (review)
2) Let the Right One In (John Ajvide Lindqvist) : (review)
3) The Night Watch (Sarah Waters) : (review)
4) The Virgin in the Garden (AS Byatt) : (review)
5) The Lathe of Heaven (Ursula Le Guin) : (review)
6) Bad Science (Ben Goldacre) : (review)
7) Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism (Natasha Walter) : (review)
8) Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town (Mary Beard) : (review)
9) Marie Antoinette: The Journey (Antonia Fraser) : (review)
10) Racists (Kunal Basu) : (review)
11) Lady Jane Grey: Nine Days Queen (Alison Plowden) : (review)
12) Millennium (Tom Holland) : (review)
13) Anne Boleyn (Joanna Denny) : (review)
14) The Man Who Outshone the Sun King: Ambition, Triumph and Treachery in the Reign of Louis XIV (Charles Drazin) : (review)
15) Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King (Antonia Fraser) : (review)
16) Confessions of an eco sinner (Fred Pearce) : (review)
17) An Utterly Exasperated History of Modern Britain (John O'Farrell) : (review)
18) Marie-Therese: The Fate of Marie Antionette's Daughter (Susan Nagel) : (review)
19) The Excursion Train (Edward Marston) (p.318)
20) When the Light Went Out: What Really Happened to Britain in the Seventies (Andy Beckett) (p.524)
21) Jennifer Government (Max Barry) (p.335)
22) Shakespeare (Bill Bryson) (p.195)
23) The Little Stranger (Sarah Waters) (p.499)
24) Soulless, An Alexia Taraboth novel (Gail Carriger) (p.357)
25) ST: Strange New Worlds (ed. Dean Wesley Smith) (p.350)
26) The Fire Gospel (Michael Faber) (p.213)
27) ST: Uhura's Song (Janet Kagan) (p.373)
28) ST: First Frontier (Diane Carey and Dr James I Kirkland) (p.383)
29) Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France (Evelyne Lever) (p.360)
30) Queueing for Beginners: the Story of Daily Life from Breakfast to Bedtime (Joe Moran) (p.220)
31) Yellow Blue Tibia (Adam Roberts) (p.324)
32) Casanova (Ian Kelly) (p.352)
33) Incompetence (Rob Grant) (p.323)
34) The Vinter's Luck (Elizabeth Knox) (p.241)
35) The Winter Queen (Boris Ajunin) (p.249)
36) Boadicea's Chariot: The Warrior Queens (Antonia Fraser) (p.375)
37) The Voyage of the Short Serpent (Bernard du Boucheron) (p.206)
38) The Undercover Economist (Tim Harford) (p.255)
39) Murder on the Orient Express (Agatha Christie) (p.347)
40) The Children's Book (AS Byatt) (p.615)
41) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Caroll) (p.160)
42) The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Agatha Christie) (p.208)
43) Green Oranges on Lion Mountain (Emily Joy, the Accidental Optimist) (p.271)
44) The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver) (p.614)
45) Labyrinth (Kate Mosse) (p.694)
46) Cryptonomicon (Neal Stephenson) (p.910)
47) An Instance of the Fingerpost (Iain Pears) (p.692)
48) The mysterious flame of Queen Loana (Umberto Eco) (p.449)
49) The Devil You Know (Mike Carey) (p.470)
50) The Railway Viaduct (Edward Marston) (p.314)
51) Isabella de' Medici (Caroline P. Murphy) (p.351)
52) Stone Spring (Stephen Baxter) (p.496)
53) Lost in a Good Book (Jasper Fforde) (p.372)
54) Evolution (Stephen Baxter) (p.658)
55) The Time Traveller's Wife (Audrey Niffenegger) (p.518)
56) When the Rivers Run Dry (Fred Pearce) (p.351)
57) Carter Beats the Devil (Glen David Gold) (p.560)
58) The Court of the Air (Stephen Hunt) (p.582)
59) Forty Signs of Rain (Kim Stanley Robinson) (p.356) - reread
60) Fifty Degrees Below (Kim Stanley Robinson) (p.520) - reread
61) Wintersmith (Terry Pratchett) (p.399)
62) Ballet Shoes (Noel Streatfeild) (p.235)
63) Voices (Ursula Le Guin) (p.364)
64) The Big Over Easy (Jasper Fforde) (p.398)
65) UnLunDun (China Mieville) (p.521)


...
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: (bookworm)
I read 52 books for 2008 [see the list here], which were a good mix of fiction and non-fiction. 50 of those I had not read before (and the two re-reads were Kim Stanley Robinson, so it's not like they were light reading!).

As usual, one of my New Year's Resolutions will be to read 50 books in 2009. And - crucially - review them. My reviews petered off quite quickly in 2008.

I even have a good idea of what will be on my reading list for 2009, and people are welcome to comment and recommend stuff to me. In non-fiction, I like hard science, early American history, pre-Civil War British and Victorian British history, genetics, environmentalism, global warming and climate change, African history and politics (usually left-leaning, although I like to read some good dissenting views as well).

Fiction-wise, I like pulpy, trashy sci-fi, grand world-building narratives, gloriously detailed historical fiction, and pretty much anything by J Winterson, M Atwood or AS Byatt.

My reading list - already purchased and sitting on my bookshelf - is thus far:

- The Scar, China Mieville
- Iron Council, China Mieville
- The Years of Rice and Salt, Kim Stanley Robinson
- Foucault's Pendulum, Umberto Eco
- Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell, Susanna Clarke
- Minority Report, Philip K Dick
- Carter Beats the Devil, Glen David Gould
- The Earthsea Quartet, Ursula Le Guin
- The Dispossessed, Ursula Le Guin
- Evolution, Stephen Baxter
- The Fabric of the Cosmos, Brian Greene
- Critical Mass: how one thing leads to another, Philip Ball
- Chaos, James Gleick
- The Secret History, Donna Tartt
- As Used on the Famous Nelson Mandela, Mark Thomas
- Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood
- Identity and Violence, Amartya Sen
- Brick Lane, Monica Ali

Any others I should add to the above?

Books: 2009

Jan. 1st, 2009 09:23 pm
kangeiko: (bookworm)
Book list for 2009:

1) The Scar (China Mieville) : ( review )
2) The Luxe (Anna Godbersen) : ( review )
3) On Beauty (Zadie Smith) : ( review )
4) The Interpretation of Murder (Jed Rubenfeld) : ( review )
5) Fabulous Things (Kelly Braffet): ( review )
6) Brick Lane (Monics Ali) : ( review )
7) The Historian (Elizabeth Kostova) : ( review )
8) White Teeth (Zadie Smith) : ( review )
9) Twilight (Stephanie Meyer) : ( review )
10) New Moon (Stephanie Meyer) : ( review )
11) Minority Report (Philip K. Dick) : ( review )
12) Troubling Love (Elena Ferrante) : ( review )
13) Star Trek Academy: Collision Course (William Shatner, with Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens) : ( review )
14) The Age of Innocence (Edith Wharton) : ( review )
15) An Utterly Impartial History of Britain: or 2000 years of upper class idiots in charge (John O'Farrell) : (review)
16) Catherine de Medici (Leonie Frieda). p.456
17)Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith). p.317
18) The Affinity Bridge (George Mann). p.350
19) American Gods (Neil Gaiman). p.635
20) Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (Fannie Flagg). p.403
21) Adverbs (Daniel Handler). p.272
22) Flood (Stephen Baxter). p.536
23) King Rat (China Mieville). p.421
24) A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian (Marina Lewycka). p.324
25) The Q-Continuum: Q-Space (Greg Cox). p.271
26) The Q-Continuum: Q-Zone (Greg Cox). p.270
27) The Q-Continuum: Q-Strike (Greg Cox). p.269
28) The Tipping Point (Malcolm Gladwell). p.259
29) Damnation Alley (Roger Zelazny). p.157
30) Iron Council (China Mieville). p.614
31) The World According to Clarkson (Jeremy Clarkson). p.327
32) Water: the causes, costs and future of a global crisis (Julian Caldecott). p.238
33) The World Without Us (Alan Weisman). p.275
34) Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads to Another (Philip Ball). p.588
35) Blink (Malcolm Gladwell). p.254
36) Lighthousekeeping (Jeanette Winterson). p.232
37) A Little yellow Dog (Walter Mosley). p.266
38) The Blade Itself (Joe Abercrombie). p.515
39) This Book Will Save Your Life (A.M. Homes). p.372
40) The Inheritance of Loss (Kiran Desai). p.324
41) The City & The City (China Mieville). p.312
42) Great Tales from English History (Robert Lacey). p.453
43) Unspeak (Steven Poole). p.253

...
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. )

*

Books: 2008

Jan. 1st, 2008 06:06 pm
kangeiko: (Default)
Book list for 2008:

1) Herland (Charlotte Perkins Gilman) : (review)
2) Woman, Child For Sale (Gilbert King) : (review)
3)The Black Swan: the impact of the highly improbable (Nassim Nicholas Taleb)
4)Happiness (tm) (Will Ferguson)
5) The Leto Bundle (Marina Warner)
6) Elisabeth (David Starkey)
7) Idoru (William Gibson)
8) Blood River (Tim Butcher)
9) Peony in Love (Lisa Lee)
10) Genome (Matt Ridley)
11) The left hand of darkness (Ursula le Guin)
12) Sixty Days & Counting (Kim Stanley Robinson)
13) Shooting War (Anthony Lappe and Dan Goldman)
14) Ring (Stephen baxter)
15) The Matisse Stories (AS Byatt)
16) Little Altars Everywhere (Rebecca Wells)
17) Seventh Heaven (Alice Hoffman)
18) Perdido Street Station (China Mieville)
19) Watching the English (Kate Fox)
20) Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (John le Carre)
21) Hopscotch and Handbags (Lucy Mangan)
22) Speak for England (James Hawkes)
23) Nectar (Lily Prior)
24) The Abortionist's Daughter (Elisabeth Hyde)
25) Ya-Yas in Bloom (Rebecca Wells)
26) American Psycho (Bret Easton Ellis)
27) The Devil Wears Prada (Lauren Weisenberg)
28) The Secrets of Jin-Shei (Alma Alexander)
29) The Golden Notebook (Doris Lessing)
30) The Siege of Krishnapur (J.G. Farrell)
31) the Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
32) The Empire of the Sun (J.G. Ballard)
33) Making Money (Terry Pratchett)
34) The Shock Doctrine (Naomi Klein)
35) Notes on a Scandal (Zoe Heller)
36) Field Notes From a Catastrophe: a Front-line Report on Climate Change (Elizabeth Kolbert)
37) The meaning of the twenty-first century: a vital blueprint for ensuring our future (James Martin)
38) The Black Dahlia (James Ellroy)
39) Doctor Salt (Gerard Donovan)
40) I Capture the Castle (Dodie Smith)
41) On Immigration + Refugees (Michael Dummett)
42) Desertion (Abdulrazak Gurnah)
43) The Eyre Affair (Jasper Fforde)
44) The Book of Loss (Julith Jedamus)
45) Devil in a Blue Dress (Walter Mosley)
46) Japan: Through the Looking Glass (Alan Macfarlane)
47) The Devil in Amber (Mark Gatiss)
48) Crooked Little Vein (Warren Ellis)
49) Antarctica (Kim Stanley Robinson)
50) Escape from Kathmandu (Kim Stanley Robinson)
51) Forty Signs of Rain (KS Robinson) (re-read)
52) Fifty Degrees Below (KS Robinson) (re-read)

...
kangeiko: (Default)
My month of craziness continues. I've worked out that I haven't gone for more than three days without DRAMA!!!!11!! appearing on my doorstep. In some cases, it's been horrifyingly serious. In others, it's been vaguely amusing, and easily dealt with. Still DRAMA!!!11!!, though, whichever way you look at it. I haven't been sleeping well.

Stuff:
+ Fandom: I've hit 66 stories on my [livejournal.com profile] 100fandoms table. This makes me ludicrously happy. The prompts are becoming even harder now, with fandoms I'm not very familair with. The quality is teriorating somewhat, but I suppose that can't be helped. I haven't been terribly focused for these last few weeks, anyway, so producing fic that makes sense was always going to be a challenge.

+ LJ asshattery: actually, they're not being asshats at the moment. Their recent statement was rather professional. Unfortunately, I don't actually believe them, and don't even want to try. Fool me once, etc. Amusingly, I got an email today from the Better Business Buerau, where I filed my official complaint against 6A's conduct during this time. They've looked at my complaint, deemed it an actual complaint, and have forwarded it to 6A to address. They now have until 28 August to respond... I'll let you know what, if anything, I get in reply.

+ Life: I mentioned the DRAMA!!!11!! already, yes? Things have been all over the place. Oddly, I'm ok with that. Not ok with some of what's happened, but ok with getting through it. Even where I can't do a damned thing, I still feel a lot more in control of myself and a lot more useful. There, that was suitably cryptic.

+ World: I honestly wonder if the world is ending. I know that sounds crazy and all, but I'm getting back in the habit of reading my 'development news' bulletins, which means that a sizeable portion of my day is now once again filled with death and carnage. It makes you wonder.

+ Work&school: Because they are entwined, like lovers. Really twisted, boring lovers who like books. Boring books. OK, enough of that. I have about a week of work left, then am on holiday for a few days. Then back to work for, ooooh, three whole days, then on actual holiday. A week after I come back from actual holiday, I'm back in college, prepping for finals. I mentioned the DRAMA!!11!! bit, right? This month has been very bitty.

+ Books: I've read several. I should review and update my reading list, right?

+ Webpage: or lack thereof. I've been um-ing and ah-ing about setting up a space where I can put all my fic in one place, and stop faffinf about with using LJ and IJ and who knows what else as archival spaces. Any ideas on a suitable provider in the UK, not too expensive for a really small, compact website? (And a web editor that won't scare me into leaving this for another year?)

+ Boys: I have a date tomorrow.

Also? My robot brain needs beer tea.
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)
Ow.

I have a crushing headache.

I also have a computer that refuses to upgrade its security - poo! - and a meeting that I have no idea about, and a date I don't want to go to. Yup, today is shaping up to be a good day. /sarcasm

On the plus side, DH has generated fic ideas in me, which makes me happy. Admittedly, they are crack!fic ideas, with time-travel and meeting yourself and changing the course of events only not really because of paradoxes1!1111!, and bizarro silver-y futuristic clothing, but they are ideas. I'm also reading the Nightrunner series, because [livejournal.com profile] queenspanky is making me. Seriously. She is.

Comics - I bought DMZ volume 1 yesterday, and the first two volumes of Runaways. Am quite excited about them; will read them when I get in tonight. (Mental note - must have one drink at date, and excuse self due to crushing headache, have very bad feeling about this guy, he is way over-eager.)

Generally - I'm hormonal and in a crappy mood. I want it to be next week, when I am on holiday, and can sleep in for a week.
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*

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kangeiko: (Default)
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