kungfuwaynewho: (tng picard :o)
Ahh, the new Kim Stanley Robinson book made it to the library!  It's very exciting when your favorite author releases a new book when he only puts one out every three years or so.  Of course, it came in on my late day, and I'm stuck at work till 9pm.  But then I am going home, getting directly into my jim-jams, plopping into bed with cats, and reading till I can't keep my eyes open anymore.

I will report back with what is likely to be a glowing review in like four days or so.  I AM SO EXCITED EEE.  This on top of Curiosity this week, I'm just all of a sudden flung back to 1999, when I was fucking obsessed with KSR and space and Mars and NASA and everything.  Sigh.
kungfuwaynewho: (drh penis)
I started my new year off by waking up on a futon to an angry cat clawing at the door demanding to be fed, feeding said cat who continued to dislike me, and then I made my own breakfast: chocolate cake in a bowl with milk.  I had a very nice, casual New Year's Eve at a friend's wherein we watched HGTV and Arrested Development, ate pizza and chocolate cake, drank some wine (I had two whole glasses!  Bringing my 2011 yearly total of wine consumption to approximately 4.5 glasses!), and generally just hung out.  At one point we heard distant fireworks and then like half an hour later were like, oh, happy new year.

Today we took down all the Christmas stuff and grilled out, because this weekend was gorgeous.  Yesterday we went for a walk!  In short sleeves! ♥

December Writing Progress )


New December Media )

kungfuwaynewho: (ready set van gogh)
For [livejournal.com profile] fandomverse: cast (or in my case, recast) a book with five characters.  An excuse for a picspam!


Picspams under the cut. )

Book Meme

Aug. 18th, 2011 11:18 am
kungfuwaynewho: (tng big goodbye)
19. Your favourite picture, junior fiction and Young Adult books

I don't really remember many picture books.  I started off with Berenstain Bears and He-Man/She-Ra books, but beyond that, I don't really remember.  (I actually still own all those books, and had them in my bookcase along with all my regular books.)  Some of my favorite kids and YA books:  Invitation to the Game, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Singularity, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, and of course old stand-bys like the Anne of Green Gables books, Little Women, etc.  The ones that I linked to are all books I've continued to reread over the years as an adult, and they're all great - I totally recommend them.

20. Least favourite plot device employed by way too many books you actually enjoyed otherwise

I'm not at all a fan of the love triangle.  AT ALL.  It is incredibly difficult to make work, it tends to make the central character, the one torn between two others, into some kind of irresistible Mary Sue (because that character is usually a woman), it overwhelms the plot (or becomes the plot), and it just generally bores me.  I hated it in The Hunger Games, it drives me to distraction in the Sookie Stackhouse books (especially when it's not a love triangle but it's instead a love rectangle or pentagon), and I haven't read Twilight so I probably can't complain about it (and wouldn't enjoy the books otherwise, I'm sure), but hey, why not.  I'm sure there are books out there with interesting stories about someone caught between two lovers or something, but for the most part?  Eh.

21. A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving

I just now read Jane Eyre for the first time.  I won't say I didn't think I wouldn't like it, but I expected to just read it, and have my "classic I've never read before" book out of the way for this year.  And I LOVED IIIIIIIIIIITTTT.  So, so good.  Even though I knew the basic plot ahead of time, I still found myself reading late into the night so I could see what happened next.  And I was just incredibly impressed with the character of Jane, who became a confident, intelligent, completely independent woman who knew her own heart and mind and refused to let anyone, not even the wealthy Mr. Rochester, change that.  (If you want to talk about things that are depressing, compare Jane Eyre to Bella Swan.  Yeah.)  I just finished watching the 2006 BBC miniseries (which was perfect and wonderful and Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens I LOVED THEM YESSSS), will watch the 2011 film this weekend, have the 90s film with Ciaran Hinds (mmmmmmmm) to watch after that, etc.  I'm sort of consumed by it atm.

Book Meme

Aug. 4th, 2011 11:22 am
kungfuwaynewho: (ready set van gogh)
Remember the book meme?  LOL, I'm horrible at remembering to finish memes all the way through.  But my life has been v. boring lately, so here goes.

16. Adaptation: What book would you most like to see made into a film? Do you like to read the book first or see the film? Any books you have read after seeing the film version?

I'm torn about wanting the Mars Trilogy turned into movies, and not wanting them to be, because I want to make them myself.  But I know that's never going to happen.  I'm just afraid that whatever is done with them will never match what I have in my head.  Besides those books, I'd love to see Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell on the big screen.  I think it would also work as a miniseries.  Generally, if the movie's about to come out, I'll watch the movie first.  If it's going to be awhile, I might read the book.  It depends.

LOTS of books I've read after watching the movie, or the TV show.  Most recently, the Game of Thrones series.  (So. Good.)

17. What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?


Oh, plenty.  As far as "the hardest book to follow," I'd say City of God.  I had to rely heavily on internet summaries and the like.  It was painful.  I kept trying to find the "right" time to read, where my brain would be sharp and I could pay attention.  I never found that time.  It was one of those books where I would read a paragraph and then realize I had absolutely no idea what I'd just read.

18. Your favourite book series & your favourite book out of that series

I've already mentioned several times my favorite series  (Maaaaaars), so to talk about something different: I love the Uplift series by David Brin.  It's set in the future, after we've met with all the other alien races in the galaxy.  We find out that we're basically the only species to achieve sentience on our own; everyone else is "uplifted," or given help by another species (usually by tinkering with their DNA).  The only reason we're not wiped out is because by the time first contact happens, we've uplifted two species ourselves, chimps and dolphins.  My favorite book from that series is The Uplift War, the third in the first trilogy of books.
kungfuwaynewho: (office whicka what)
(I first tried to post this on Tuesday, and when it wouldn’t go through I saved it.  Since then, I’ve just added to this same post, so I guess you could say that this was my week.)

7/25:
So today was horrifying.  Apparently our air conditioning at work never came on Saturday, and at 2pm they finally closed down, and stayed closed yesterday, too.  Today they allegedly fixed the air at 11am, but either it’s still not working or it’s just going to take forever to cool the building down.  It was 85 degrees when I walked in the doors, and super humid, and it’s weird to talk about an inside space having a heat index, but it totally felt like it was at least 90 degrees inside.  What was worse, the air wasn’t circulating at all, so it was just stifling.

I was pretty exhausted by noon, sort of shuffled about like a zombie to finish out the day, and skipped writer’s group tonight.  Now I’m home and have had a cool shower and such, but I am still super-tired, which does not bode well for the rest of the week.

7/26: BUGS.  LIVE BUGS.  LIVE BUGS IN A BOOK, TRUNDLING ABOUT OVER THE PAGES.  I WAS HOLDING THE BOOK AND THERE WERE BUGS.  LIVE BUGS.  LITTLE TINY BUGS I DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY WERE OH GOD.

TWO HOURS LATER AND I’M STILL ITCHY.

7/27:
I was thinking last night, as I came home, ate, got into bed and read for hours, that it’s not a bad thing to take a break, voluntary or otherwise, from the internet/Livejournal for a few days.  Sometimes I find myself sitting in front of the computer when I get home just out of habit, and not because that’s what I actually want to be doing.  I don’t want everything to be down forever, but I can’t honestly say that it’s not been a bad thing, LJ being down.  I mean, if nothing else, it’s a good idea to not immediately stare at a computer monitor after having spent 8 hours just doing so at work.

I’ve also used some of this time to finally catch up with Luther, which is an amazing show.  Dark, superbly acted, and very original for not actually being original (watch it and you’ll know what I mean), I definitely recommend it.

7/28:
Bug guy came in to pay for his book.  I started explaining about the bugs, and he said, “Oh, laughing out loud, I had that book in this truck I bought off Craigslist for three weeks, and the truck was full of bugs, and I took it to the salvage yard.”  Thanks, bug guy.  Thanks for maybe figuring out that keeping a book in a truck full of bugs might INFEST THE BOOK, TOO.  But he paid for it and was polite and didn’t complain, and that’s more than we get from about 95% of patrons whom we bill, so, eh.  I guess it’s okay.

7/29:
Livejournal is back!  But, I think instead of checking my flist and all that tonight, I’m going to write.  I have, like, eight WIPs and a new screenplay, and I feel like I never have time to write.  Although I did read like 800 pages of A Storm of Swords in the last three days, so maybe I need to sort out my priorities.
kungfuwaynewho: (b5 john smiles)
I really need to get caught up on A Song of Ice and Fire so I can start reading fic.  One chapter, and I'm already shipping Brienne/Jaime like crazy.  I could read Dany/Jorah, too, though I feel like I'm already being set up for Dany/Robb.  (I just started A Storm of Swords - no spoilers please!)  I've heard that Sansa/Sandor is a big deal in the fandom, but I so don't see that at all.  He may save her life here and there, but he's always a total prick to her.  Plus, she's like...really way younger than him.

I think watching Battlestar Galactica helped prepare me for this series, though.  I kept reading people, in that "oh I'm so special I have already read/watched what you are now reading/watching, that makes me ~fancy, let me spoil you without actually spoiling you" way, talk about how dark! horrible! painful! it was, but I'm like...eh.  I mean, yeah, bad things happen, but I haven't thrown the book away yet.  Or put it in the freezer.

Book Meme

Jun. 29th, 2011 03:05 pm
kungfuwaynewho: (Default)
13. Do you reread a lot? Why (not)? Name a book you have reread many times.

I do!  I generally have at least one book I'm reading at any given time that's a reread.  Sometime it's a comfort thing, sometimes it's nice to have a book I can pull out of my purse and just open anywhere if I need to randomly have something to do for a few minutes, sometimes a book is so awesome I need to reread it the same way I'd watch an episode of TV or a movie again.  Besides my favorite books and authors that I've previously mentioned, I've reread David Brin's Uplift series several times.

14. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?

I was quite taken with The Monstrumologist.  Very scary, very well-written, intensely dark.  

15. Do you recommend books to other people? If you could force everyone you know to read one book, what would it be?

I...don't.  I find that no one ever actually reads books I recommend?  So I sorta gave up on that.  Every now and then (like, really every now and then), I'll convince someone to try a book I like, but it's so rare that I don't usually bother.  I would definitely try to make everyone I know at least read the first 100 pages of Red Mars.  Give it a shot!

Book Meme

Jun. 20th, 2011 03:28 pm
kungfuwaynewho: (ready set van gogh)
10. What author do you own the most books by and why?

I'd have to sit down and count, but off the top of my head I would guess Stephen King.  Mostly because they're good rereads, and with few exceptions I like them all.

11. Do you own multiple copies of any book? What are they? Why do you have multiple copies?

I do!  I have a couple copies of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, the Mars trilogy, the Hyperion Cantos, and quite a few others.  What generally happens is that I'll buy a book at a thrift store or Half-Price Books or the like, because I can't remember the last time I paid full price for a new book, and then later on will find the book in better quality, or hardcover instead of paperback, etc.  At some point I'll be able to put all my books into bookcases and will probably get rid of the redundancies, but right now everything's in boxes for the most part and I don't worry about it too much.

12. Book borrowing – do you use the library? Do you prefer to try before you buy? What about lending your books to friends? Are you a good borrower, do you remember to return books?

Do I use the library?  Oh, Lord, do I use the library.  If I actually bought the amount of media I consume through the library - even at a way discounted price - I'd spend an absolute ton of money.  I get books as well as movies and TV, and sometimes music, too.  I've bought books from authors I like, or that I've heard good things about, before having read them, but never ever full price.  Generally, if it's not less than a few dollars, I don't bother with it.

I was better at remembering to return my books on time when I still had to pay fines.  :/

I don't generally lend books out?  I just tell people to read books, but assume they can go to a library themselves.  I have known some people who don't ever use the library, who only read books they buy at, like, actual bookstores, and I must admit I find this puzzling.

Book Meme

Jun. 15th, 2011 12:41 pm
kungfuwaynewho: (elijah and liv)
07. What fictional character are you (secretly) in love with?

I'm sure I'm not alone with this one, but Gilbert Blythe.  Growing up, I very much wanted to be Anne Shirley, and find a Gilbert of my own.

08. The last book you acquired, and how (begged, bought, borrowed?)

I had to think about this one for awhile.  Nearly all the books I read come from the library, and that's not really "acquiring" them, I don't think.  I was trying to remember the last book I actually bought, and whether it was from the library booksale cart or from a thrift store, when I remembered that the last book I acquired was actually given to me.  [livejournal.com profile] nhpw gave me a copy of the novelization of In the Beginning, a Babylon 5 movie, which I'm quite excited about!  I'm not sure when I'm going to get around to reading it, as should be evident from the next question.

09. Your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next.


I rarely read a single book at a time.  I generally have a book in each location where I tend to read.  So I have a work book (two, actually), a kitchen table book, a purse book, a bed book, and a bathroom book (exactly - we all do it!).  I'm currently reading:

Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans, by Malachi Martin
Marvel 1602, by Neil Gaiman
The Story of Civilization Volume I: Our Oriental Heritage, by Will Durant
Insomnia, by Stephen King
The Valley of Fear, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
A Clash of Kings, by George R.R. Martin
ETA:  Also, The Fall of the Roman Empire, by Peter Heather.  I'm currently reading so many books I can't keep them straight.

I consider a book one I'm currently reading if I've opened it up in the last two weeks.  There are other books I'm not finished with lying around here and there, but I haven't looked at them in awhile.  (I will never finish my sister's college Art History textbook, for example.  I read a chapter approximately every eight months.)

You can see my last reads in my last new media post, though I've read The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle since then.  Up next are the aforementioned In the Beginning, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, by Christopher Moore, The Demonologist and The Devil in Connecticut by Gerald Brittle, The Uninvited by Steven LaChance, and the next A Song of Fire and Ice book.  (A Feast of Crows?)  I also have a couple series I'm working on but I keep getting distracted by other books: the Master and Commander series, a hard SF series I need to finish up, the Chelsea Quinn Yarbro vampire books; I need to catch up on the True Blood series (I think I'm three behind now that the new one's come out), and I have some books I've bought that I'll eventually read (Neal Stephenson's Anathem for one.)  And of course my Latin books.  Yeah...

Book Meme

Jun. 9th, 2011 09:58 am
kungfuwaynewho: (lotr silver trumpets)
04. The book that’s been on your shelves the longest.

I actually still have a lot of my books from childhood, and back when I had an actual bookcase and not just a lot of boxes here and there, I had them out with all my other books.  He-Man and Duck Tales were the big two.  If you want to talk about actual, like, books I've purchased myself, then probably the Anne of Green Gables series. 

05. A book you acquired in some interesting way.

I have about a dozen books on ancient Egypt.  A co-worker of my Dad's had them, and was either weeding his book collection or was no longer into Egypt, and my dad mentioned that I love Egypt, so he gave them to me.  The coolest one is really, really old.  It's like, turn of the 20th century or so - before the discovery of Tutankhamen.  There's just a brief paragraph in his entry, and a lot of question marks - it's pretty cool.

06. A book with a story for you, that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time).

The first thing that popped into my head was Dan Simmons' Hyperion Cantos, which I read the summer I lived by myself in Austin.  I was just taking a History of Italian Art class that ended after one month (we had it every day like in high school - it was kinda neat), and I interned at Austin City Limits twice a week.  It was so hot I rarely left my apartment, and I ended up getting kind of depressed because I just sat in the same two rooms nearly every day.  I did read this series for the first time that summer, though.  There's a monster in the first two books called the Shrike, and that thing CREEPED ME OUT.  There were one or two nights where I woke up and was sure someone (or something?) was in my apartment, as one does.  

Book Meme

Jun. 4th, 2011 09:34 pm
kungfuwaynewho: (ib laughing)
02. Your earliest memory of reading or being read to.

My dad read to me every night, and my earliest memory of that was when we lived in what we call "the old house."  The attic had been finished into two bedrooms, and mine had a window that overlooked the street.  Every night, my dad would read a book to me, and then we'd sit in front of the window and play an absolutely stellar and very complicated game called "I think I see a car coming."  (It was a tremendous day when I figured out how my dad always won - the bastard knew to look for the headlights!) 

What books did my dad read me?  He-Man books, AWWWW YEAHHHH.  That's how I learned to read.  He would read them and read them, and then start reading them with the wrong words, which I found endlessly entertaining.  I would correct him, and he'd tell me I was wrong, that He-Man was in fact fighting the Poo-Poo Monsters, and I would have to point out the actual word and what it said.

03. Your favourite book aged 9 ½, or 13 ¾, whichever you remember best.

I can't remember with anything approaching that level of specificity, but one of my favorite books in elementary school was My Teacher is an Alien, by Bruce Coville; as far as middle school goes, that's when I started reading adult fiction, so I'd say probably The Stand by Stephen King, or maybe The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice.  (LOL, one of my mom's favorite stories was the day my 6th grade language arts teacher called her to let her know that I was reading Interview With a Vampire and maybe she and my dad would want to have a talk with me about what was acceptable reading material, and my mom told her that my dad had given me that book to read.  She said there was literally twenty solid seconds of silence from the teacher before she meekly hung up.)
kungfuwaynewho: (lotr silhouette)
I never finish old memes before I start new ones.  Expect three entries before I get bored and wander someplace else.  Grabbed this meme from [livejournal.com profile] sonneta.

01. A fictional character you identify with and why.

I was in high school the first time I read the Mars Trilogy, and the series impacted me in a lot of different ways - it made me think about history as something living, as culture and government and society as something we create while we live in it, about conservation and environmentalism and how those aren't always the same thing.  But one thing that immediately struck me the most, and has stayed with me the most over the years, is my huge and undying love for Sax Russell.  He's my favorite fictional character from any medium - books, TV, film - for a variety of reasons.  One big thing that I identify with him is the way he is a very logical, pragmatic person who is also very emotional, even if no one else realizes it.  I'd spent quite a few years by that point trying to make myself more popular, believing that I had to be Miss Bubbles and Butterflies and tamp down those parts of myself that were too cold or rational or unfeeling if people were going to like me.  I can't honestly say that I had some kind of eureka! moment after reading the books that made me decide to be myself, but this was definitely one of the steps along the way.
New May Media )

Readering.

May. 4th, 2011 01:50 pm
kungfuwaynewho: (lotr galadriel)
So I started reading The Story of Civilization, which after just ten pages is totally awesome.  The writing is just...amazing.  "Most history is guessing; the rest is prejudice."  GUH.  PERFECTION.  WILL DURANT, HOW YOU WRITE MY FEELINGS.

Anyone have any non-fiction, especially non-fiction on ancient history, they want to recommend?

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