annerb: (Ariadne)
posted by [personal profile] annerb at 07:14pm on 28/07/2011 under
I bought a kindle a while ago and I am still muchly enjoying it. I kind of hit that slump where I wasn't sure what to read though, and someone somewhere mentioned The Queen's Thief series, and seeing as how I generally enjoy YA quasi-fantasy quasi-historical stuff I thought I might give it a go. The first book, The Thief, was slow going for me at first. (It's the first person thing. I know, I know, we've all done it, it's like the natural starting place for writing narratives, but it generally takes a really awesome story to make me get over that. I'm looking at you, Lady Julia.) Anyway, I kept along with the book with some determination at first, but eventually forgot to force myself to read. It really wasn't until the ending that I finally felt this moment of being impressed. Enough so that I immediately downloaded the sequel. (Oh, kindle, you are instant gratification at its most dangerous.) The second book in the series dumps the first person (thank god) and spends a lot more time with the awesome women of this realm. By the end, I was cackling with glee at the sheer pwnage going on. So, yeah. The second book was pretty damn awesome. Just downloaded the third. Fingers are crossed for more greatness.
annerb: (Castle Reasonableness)
posted by [personal profile] annerb at 12:47pm on 24/06/2011 under
As I promised a few people who read the Lady Julia books, here's my review of the latest one that came out this week:

My thoughts on the Lady Julia Grey Series Thus Far (Major spoilers for first three, minor after that) )

Final verdict? If you can forgive the first half, it may just be worth trudging through the fourth book to read the fifth. And I'm cautiously optimistic for the sixth.
annerb: (Eowyn)
posted by [personal profile] annerb at 10:35am on 01/06/2011 under ,
I seem to have caught the plague. It's no fun. I mean, who likes to be sick, right? But usually I take illness as a sign from my body that I need a day or two of total wallow and relaxation. Only this is that one where you have no appetite and can't sleep and standing makes everything go dizzy. NOT COOL. What fun is staying home all day if you can't sleep for years and eat comfort food, or at least write fic? (Though I *may* have hallucinated an ending to the next chapter of my Ginny fic last night while I was not sleeping.) At least today I am upright enough to type on my laptop. So, how have I been keeping myself sane? Elizabeth Chadwick's Greatest Knight and The Scarlet Lion (omg, Isabelle, I love you.) Quite enjoyable reads, though as typical of historical fiction, there is a certain predictability and lack in the books. (Though they would have been less predictable had I not read the afterword of the first book before reading the second. Lol.) Overall well done though. Other than that? Well, here's a hint:

OMG, streaming Netflix. You have reunited me with one of my childhood obsessions. The Young Riders! Josh Brolin, yum. God this show is cheesy, revisionist, white man apologetic, goofy, man-candy wonderfulness.

Ok. Time to lie down again before I pass out. Time for the next ep!
annerb: (Life)
posted by [personal profile] annerb at 05:38pm on 20/09/2010 under

Why, oh why did no one tell me about Markus Zusak's The Book Thief? It was only by accident of a bookshop and a delayed plane that I stumbled upon it. Rarely do I come across a book that rather than zipping through it out of love, I actually lingered, and deliberately put it aside so as not to be done with it quite yet. Just. DAMN. This book is amazing. Utterly heartbreaking and somehow strangely uplifting at the same time. Lyrical and cranky and gritty and beautiful, and with just enough quirk to make it truly joyful. I am still coming down from the high of finishing it, but it may well be one of my favorite books ever. Seriously. EVER. If, like me, you have somehow never read it, go now. Quickly. I'm jealous that you have this book ahead of you.
annerb: (Maddie)
posted by [personal profile] annerb at 11:40am on 02/06/2010 under , , , ,
I'm beginning to realize that in my reading and watching habits, I am willing to forgive a lot when it comes to plot and science and even feasibility and logic, particularly in the name of good characters. But take one misstep with characters and characterization and I'm out of there, no matter how fascinating or original or interesting a premise/plot/etc. Primarily this revelation is coming from my reaction to the Lost finale, but also this book I just finished reading called The Forest of Hands and Teeth. In the book, I find the setting and mythology potentially interesting (zombies and stifling community rules for Your Own Good!), but the characters are so underdeveloped and wishy-washy and just...I don't know, sort of one-dimensional, that it completely ruined the book for me. I think you're supposed to care if the protagonist dies or not. And I so wanted to like it! I mean, zombies! Meh.

Speaking of awesome, amazing, three-dimensional characters: I'm getting very excited for Burn Notice, especially after doing some rewatches with [ profile] katcorvi . As much as I love Michael/Fi (oh, you just know that ship hits all my kinks), and all the characters really, it's Maddie all the way who has won my heart in that show. She is so awesome it cannot even be expressed. If you love Maddie, read the first part of this fic: The Last Smoke. (spoilers for season 3 finale). I need more Maddie fic! Maddie fighting the zombie hoard with a cigarette would be even better. Lol.
annerb: (Miss Bingley)
posted by [personal profile] annerb at 10:15pm on 06/04/2010 under , ,

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman Trilogy (An Assembly Such As This, Duty and Desire, and These Three Remain) by Pamela Aidan
Great retelling of Pride and Prejudice from the point of view of Darcy. Really great look into his motivations, his misinterpretations of Lizzie’s behavior, and his character development. (Not to mention that the vague promise of a fourth book dealing with Miss Darcy’s future made me so excited, even though it has yet to materialize.) The second book wanders a bit from the traditional scope of P&P, but explains Darcy's change of heart rather well.

Frederick Wentworth, Captain (in two volumes: None But You and For You Alone) by Susan Kaye
I enjoyed the first half more than the second, but overall a very nice retelling of Persuasion from Wentworth’s point of view, maintaining the ache and restraint that I love so much about the original.

Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife and Darcy & Elizabeth by Linda Bedroll
A big warning up front, this is the Pride & Prejudice for those who don’t mind a little marital romping. Or rather a heck of a lot of romping. Basically anywhere Elizabeth and Darcy can get away with it, and even some places they probably shouldn't be able to but do anyway. The book swerves into melodrama and cliché at points (particularly the second book), but I love it too much to care. Here is an Elizabeth still sparkling with wit, a Darcy fighting darker elements of his personality, and an evolving marriage with all the bumps and moments of adoration you would expect without the romantic lobotomy so often seemingly required in this genre. I enjoy both of these and re-read quite often, but I get that these are not to everyone's taste.

Mr. Darcy Presents His Bride by Helen Halstead
This novel is chock full of the unspoken, the restrained, the misunderstandings, and the wit that I so love about the original. This is not the book with steamy sex scenes, but rather titillating scenes of the most treacherous ground ever—the drawing room. I particularly love the evolution of the other characters around the main couple as well, particularly Georgiana and Kitty. They traverse their own romantic grounds and entangle themselves in real, heartfelt situations that feel true to their characters. If you only give one Pride & Prejudice sequel a chance, make it this one.

The Last Man in World by Abigail Reynolds
I know, I know. I basically couldn’t even finish a lot of Abigail Reynolds’ other Pemberley Variations, as she calls them, but this one out of the bunch I actually quite enjoyed. It is still a bit overly melodramatic at points, the characters a bit two-dimensional, but my major complaint about her other books, the hyper-sexualization of the two unmarried characters, is not a problem since they are married from the very beginning. It’s not perfect, but it’s an enjoyable read. Think of this as my indulgent pick. Angst and misunderstandings, oh my!
annerb: (happily ever after BOOM)
+ Kavan Smith and Felicia Day in a movie together? Yes, please. (Syfy's upcoming Red)

+So far season three of Burn Notice has taught me one very important thing: Madeline Westen kicks serious ass. I love her with the passion of a million suns. Michael had to get it from somewhere, right? Now if only Fi and Maddie had more to talk about than Michael, this show might be able to dream about passing the Bechdel test.

+Just finished reading The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig. spoilers as to the identity of the Pink Carnation and my review below. )

+I've moved on to Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch. I'll let you know if it lives up to the promise demonstrated in the opening chapter.

+[ profile] apocalyptothon is gearing up again! Go vote for your favorite fandoms to be included. You aren't promising to participate by voting, just making sure there's some awesome fic for you to read. Go now!

+I think an old-fashioned ficathon may be just the thing I need right now. What else is on the horizon? What about [ profile] apocalypse_kree ? [ profile] ucp_ficathon ? [ profile] sjficathon ? Anyone?
annerb: (Cora Victim)
So...I'm still alive. Really. I'm in this weird stretch I hit sometimes when the words just stop (usually because there is some plot hole or major issue with a story that I refuse to admit). This is when my reading phase kicks in. I get strangely voracious after not reading much of anything for a long time. I think it's the distraction factor. My brain is subconsciously churning away at whatever writing block I'm pretending doesn't exist, while I read, read, read, read until a solution presents itself, BAM, usually in the middle of something. (Got a lot of half-finished paperbacks abandoned around the house due to this.)

Unfortunately, I am reading stuff so fast that I'm desperate to get my hands on enough stuff. Inevitably this means I get desperate enough to hit the paperback historical romance rack, even though I know this only ends up torturing me. (BUT! I picked up 'Silent in the Grave' on a stupid supermarket whim once! I could discover another Lady Julia Grey to fall madly in love with! Really! Suuuuuuuuuuure.) Needless to say, I did not stumble upon my next great beloved heronine of snark this time. No. This time picking up the first novel with a minimally embarrassing front cover with no half naked people humping on it, I stumbled unknowingly into some of my most HATED elements. Some I had been fooling myself into thinking were only the foibles of young, eager fangirls writing their first grade school fanfic. I don't know why it's so much worse to find them in print. Maybe it's the back section where the author pimps all their other novels and you realize they've written 25 of these hideous things, many of which sat on the best-sellers list at some point and seem to repeat the SAME EQUATION. This particular novel's sins?

Cut for ranting and mention of non-con )

Ok. I'm done ranting now. Really. And since I feel it's bad karma to dump vitriol out into the world without at least a little squee to balance, here are some things that don't suck and that I quite love:

Any Persuasion fans out there? As much as I love Pride&Prejudice, I think Persuasion may be my favorite Austen book. I think it's the maturity of the characters, the subtlety of their ship, not to mention the drawn out angst of missed chances. (no, I am not predictable in my kinks. Lol.) Anyway, I have just finished Susan Kaye's 'None But You' which is a retelling of Persuasion from the point of view of Captain Wentworth. I haven't read the second half 'For You Alone' yet. (HURRY UP UPS, do you have any idea what I have been reading in the meanwhile?!) But I can comfortably say that the first half alone is enough to make me love and adore it. Great tone, delicate touch, and more Mrs. Croft. What more could you possibly want?

If SJ smut is more to your taste today, make sure you don't miss: Drink That Sun by [ profile] penknife 

Oh, and [ profile] dsudis  continues her awesomeness with the next in her Bechdel Fix-it's for Stargate. Really great Sam piece. Solidarity

Yes, it's always good to remember that for every piece of crap out there, there are some pretty freaking awesome things too.
annerb: (Apocalypse Fandom)
posted by [personal profile] annerb at 08:56pm on 24/01/2010 under , ,
Moff's Law.
Be prepared to see me invoke this Law nearly as often as I go on about Bechdel Tests.

Fandom slashocalyspe '10. Slash is not inherently superior to het. Het is not inherently superior to slash. They both have serious hangups (mostly the same exact ones, manifesting in different ways. Coincidence? I think not.) Het does not equal backwards hard-wired sexism, and slash does not equal forward-thinking enlightenment. Dichotomies are not your friend. That is all.

[ profile] supplyship's birthday! Happy day to you, my dear. Sorry I do not come with fic. My muse is on holiday. Or possibly she has learned to ignore me. I fear this does not bode well.

Kathy Griffin's "Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir". Just when I thought I couldn't love you more, Kathy.

Big Kahuna Reef. What? I'm addicted.

Nicky Parsons. I may have purchased all three of the Bourne movies. I blame you, [ profile] beanpot.

Bones. (No explanation needed, surely?)
annerb: (passion)
posted by [personal profile] annerb at 05:28pm on 20/02/2009 under ,
Book Rec )

Sound interesting? Then get your hands on Deanna Raybourn's 'Silent in the Grave', 'Silent in the Sanctuary', and hot off the presses 'Silent on the Moor' and let me know what you think so we can squee over Brisbane together. ;)


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