wednesday, you know the drill

May. 24th, 2017 05:11 pm
isis: (squid etching)
[personal profile] isis
What I've recently finished reading: David Blaize, by E.F. Benson, which I learned about via ffa and snagged from Gutenberg (it was first published in 1916). This is an odd little novel by modern standards, a schoolboy Bildungsroman in which the adventures of the title character are mostly internal and emotional. There's really no overarching plot or structure, it's just the growing pains of the title character. (Growing pains plus way too much cricket for any non-Commonwealth reader to understand.) But these growing pains are genuinely affecting, sometimes funny, sometimes sweet, sometimes skirting the edges of a dimly-sensed abyss.

And that abyss, of course, would be homoeroticism. ) I found the book surprisingly readable and enjoyable, though I admit I skimmed the cricket scenes; so alas I will never be quite sure what, exactly, made David a bowler of the googliest type.

I also officially abandoned Deathless by Catherynne Valente, because I do not have time nor patience to wade through the hip-deep prose.

What I'm reading now: Still listening to Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast "Destroyer of Worlds" (about 85% done) and enjoying it, for values of 'enjoying' relating to listening to just how close we came to global thermonuclear war in the fifties and sixties.

I'm also about halfway through Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep which was a free e-book from one of Tor's monthly promotions. The beginning was irritating, but I'm enjoying it now, mostly because it's one of the few SF books I've read where the aliens are really alien.

What I'm reading next: Still waiting for one of my library reserves to come through. In audio, I have In Our Backyard: Human Trafficking in America and What We Can Do to Stop It by Nita Belles from the Sync promotion, and you can download it for free through today only.

In other news I have just returned (well, Monday night) from a mini-vacation in the Paso Robles area of California, where we stayed with a friend - actually one of B's business partners - and drank way too much wine. And ate way too much food. It was really good! But not sustainable.

I am also about 2000 words into my Night on Fic Mountain assignment, which may be twice the minimum but is still only prologue to the actual story I want to tell, oog.

Speaking of fic, [ profile] Hagar has podficced my Yuletide story The Greatest City in the World! (This is the story I wrote for The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker.) I have downloaded it already, and I guess that's what I'll listen to even before the next book!

Frasier (re)watch season 1

May. 21st, 2017 01:47 pm
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (Default)
[personal profile] alias_sqbr
[ profile] hoidn has been posting lots of cute Niles/Daphne gif sets on tumblr and it reminded me how much I enjoyed Frasier but found it frustrating that I was stuck with whatever episodes I happened to catch on tv. So I decided to watch it in order! Not all 220 episodes or whatever just the ones that sound good/shippy. And then Cam was inspired to maybe do the same, so I'm going to write up the episodes as I watch them to help him decide what to watch himself (unless he just watches them all, he is more of a completionist than me)

Read more... )

wednesday reads 'n things

May. 17th, 2017 04:27 pm
isis: (Default)
[personal profile] isis
What I've recently finished reading:

Text: Course of Honour by [ profile] Avoliot is now complete on AO3, so I gleefully read the final three chapters. For those of you who were putting off reading it as a WIP, I repeat my rec from a few weeks ago - original m/m space princes arranged marriage novel, with delightfully twisty-turny action/adventure/political shenanigans plot.

I have also been reading the stories in the Fandom 5K collection, though I didn't participate in the exchange. (I did beta-read one of the Fantastic Beasts fics.) I might possibly make a recs post, though so far everything I've read in fandoms I know has been lovely.

Audio: The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich, a YA audiobook which I downloaded from the Sync summer promotion. The book tells the story of "the Johnson incident" - a fire burns down a residential school, after mysterious disappearances and deaths - as presented through an olio of "found" materials: transcribed video recordings, diary entries, email messages, post-it notes, police interview records, and so on. As audiobook, this is cleverly done with two readers, a man who gives the framing information and the male voices in the taped interviews, and a woman who does the diary entries, the female voices in taped interviews, and the transcriptions of the video clips. There are a few sound effects, and spooky incidental background music plays occasionally, creating something more akin to a radioplay than the usual run of audiobook, without it being a complete full-cast production. It's very well done, and it enhances the story.

More about this book, cut for length, no spoilers, warning for characters with psychological issues )

What I'm reading now:

Text: I have not yet officially abandoned Deathless, but I am on hiatus from it. Instead, I've started David Blaize by E. F. Benson, which is a classic English schoolboy novel available on So far (three chapters in) it's quite entertaining, though I am prepared to be confused by the cricket. Also still reading Fandom 5K stories.

Audio: I'm not listening to an actual book right now, but to the most recent podcast from Dan Carlin's Hardcore History, The Destroyer of Worlds, which is about the early days of the post-nuclear era. While I usually skip over Carlin's modern-era podcasts, this one so far (I'm about 1:45 in, out of just short of 6 hours) is really fascinating. He is focusing on the unprecedented power that the US president acquired (beginning with Truman, but continuing to this day) of being able to destroy cities in an afternoon - and the necessity to act swiftly if necessary against the possibility of nuclear bombs from an aggressor.

What I'm reading next:

The current offerings from Sync don't interest me, but beginning tomorrow the (audio)book In Our Backyard: human trafficking in America and what we can do to stop it by Nita Belles will be available (here) and I plan to grab it for when I'm done with the Hardcore History podcast.

I also have holds at the library on both the new Fitz and Fool book, and the new Queen's Thief book, so we shall see which comes in first!

What I'm currently watching:

We finally started watching the second season of The Man in the High Castle, which was released in December. I hadn't been paying attention to previews or information about it, but SURPRISE CKR! (Actually, I saw his name in the opening credits, so that was the surprise - by the time he actually appeared I was expecting him.)

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