Rivers of London #3-6

May. 24th, 2017 07:04 pm
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
[personal profile] sophia_sol
WELL I am now finished the Rivers of London series so I suppose I will post about the last four books all at once here since it feels weird to keep posting one at a time as if I'm not already done. Here we go!

Whispers Under Ground, by Ben Aaronovitch )

Broken Homes, by Ben Aaronovitch )

Foxglove Summer, by Ben Aaronovitch )

The Hanging Tree, by Ben Aaronovitch )
actiaslunaris: Galileo - Yukawa and Utsumi standing on a bridge - text: don't know why i need you (don't know why i need you)
[personal profile] actiaslunaris
your favorites or the most recent ones.

Let's go with my favorite Galileo stories, in order from most to least:

1. In the last few moments before her grasp on wakefulness eased, she felt the pressure on her pillow lighten and then the support dropped out under her again, like he’d moved closer, and she didn’t mind it. She didn’t mind it at all.
["Unsound" | Utsumi and Yukawa | general audiences]

2. "I love you," she says. "I love you, and I'm sorry I didn't say it before I left for America, because now it feels like I'm really home."

He swallows, hard, the bob of his larynx very visible. He says, "Good, because I don't like it when you leave."
["The Road Home" | Utsumi/Yukawa | mature]

3. Bundled up into a thick towel, he'd count seconds, the time passing into inevitability: the end of the storm, and the play in the light, and warmth of the water from the sky.
["Limitless" | Yukawa | general audiences]

4. She thought about tornadoes and safety, and how this decision, this escape, was as wide as the horizon.
["Departure" | Utsumi/Yukawa | mature]

5. She chases after him a little when he backs away, wanting to breathe in his skin more, and only opens her eyes when he speaks, his voice serious. "Try me again," he says. "I can take it."
["every second, dripping off my fingertips" | Utsumi/Yukawa | explicit].

I was going to do the most recent (all Galileo as well) but when I did that, I discovered that lately I seem to like ending with a line of dialogue and I found that too boring to list. This way I also get to list my favorites and I like the solidity of prose here, too, which is descriptive, but in simple ways that I strive for achieving.

FMK #13: First Book in the Series

May. 23rd, 2017 05:30 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
Last week's F winner was Juniper Time by Kate Wilhelm! Should be interesting; it's one where I have no idea why I own it or why I kept it. K was Alas, Babylon.

Since I will be away from my book collection for the next two weeks, there will be an FMK break; next poll should go up June 12. I will keep reading and possibly posting reactions, though - the plan is to take the K books that I really wanted to read first with me on the trip, and leave them there.

This week's poll: Books where I own only the first book in the series (and have read none of them.)

How FMK works, short version: I am trying to clear out my unreads. So there is a poll, in which you get to pick F, M, or K. F means I should spend a night of wild passion with the book ASAP, and then decide whether to keep it or not. M means I should continue to commit to a long-term relationship of sharing my bedroom with it. K means it should go away immediately. Anyone can vote, you don't have to actually know anything about the books.

I pick a winner on Friday night (although won't actually close the poll, people can still vote,) and report results/ post the new poll on the following Tuesday, and write a response to the F winner sometime in the next week.

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)

Poll: Banks, Barnes, Cherryh, Czerneda, Doyle & MacDonald, Eddings, Gardner, Hines, Lynn, McGuire, Niven, Scott & Barnett, Weber )

Knitting project!

May. 23rd, 2017 02:57 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
I finished knitting my first sweater! It's a lopapeysa (= sweater knitted out of loosely-spun unplied Icelandic wool, usually knitted bottom-up in the round with a circular yoke and patterned stranded colorwork.)

Here are pictures of my beautiful models!

a very grumpy cat wearing a beautiful wool cat sweater

a different cat in the same beautiful cat sweater flopped over with her legs straight out like she is petrified

(Sorry about the photo quality, I promised them they would only ever have to wear it long enough for one good picture each and then my camera's phone app kept freezing and I felt guilty.)
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
I keep trying to write up my response to Castle in the Air but basically I really liked it a lot and it was great, also there was a very angry kitten, and the things I want to talk about it end up being complicated structural/worldbuilding questions that go beyond just this book. So I think I will just do a short three things capsule and save the drafts for more pondering:

Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones )

Contrast this to the other YA series I finished in the last couple weeks, Laurence Yep's Dragon of the Lost Sea series, which has been my nemesis since I was about nine because the library had ONLY THE THIRD BOOK, which BEGAN AND ENDED AT CLIFFHANGERS, and twenty-five years later I had still only managed to find one of the others, plus Yep kept publishing books with "Dragon" in the title that were super-realistic stories about the Asian-American experience and I am sure they were great and all but they did not have actual DRAGONS in them so that was a terrible bait-and-switch, Mr. Yep. Anyway I finally went wait, I am a grown-up and a librarian now so I can just ILL them if I want.

Dragon of the Lost Sea by Laurence Yep )

I also read Captain Blood for FMK yesterday! It is another one that I really liked, and tbh I liked it too much to want to think about it in a critical way as opposed to a squee way. So here are three things for it too:

Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini )

Also despite 1922 Captain Blood was way better on both race and gender than the community theater production of Peter Pan I went to see a friend in yesterday, so, you know, that was a thing where they had elementary school kids wear feather headbands and say "ugh" lot, it definitely was.

Last weekend I also saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Dr. Strange, because I have the best friends.

Guardians of the Galaxy )

Dr. Strange )

Also I now really really need the story where Thor is fucking his way though all the Infinity Stone bearers. I may possibly even need to write it myself. ;_;


Let's see, what else have I been meaning to post about here? Oh! I did read Makt Myrkranna and Pale Guardian, did I post about them?

Makt Myrkranna, the early Icelandic Dracula translation, managed to be a better Dracula story than Dracula, I think. Vilma was great. Also possibly helped by the fact that Iceland has much more of a living tradition of revenants, maybe, so it felt more like it was part of a vampire tradition? IDK. Also I apparently now know enough Icelandic that I could immediately tell when the translation footnotes were screwed up and referenced to the wrong part of the text.

Pale Guardian was the new Ashers novel. 1) That continues to have the best vampire worldbuilding I have ever encountered, and she always follows it to the logical conclusion and makes it work, and she made it work on the front in WWI too; 2) The way James just accepts the fact that the London vampires basically treat him as one of their own at this point was really good character development? 3) He REALLY needs to catch up with the other two and realize he is in a poly triad not a poly V already.

...and that is probably enough.

Before I leave for Iceland on Sunday I still have both Becky Chambers books and two FMK to read and also to decide whether to actually read that Falco book I checked out right before I read the last one and she made it weird, or return it unread.

Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel

May. 18th, 2017 09:59 pm
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
[personal profile] sophia_sol
Alison Bechdel's second comic memoir. Her first was Fun Home and was about her father and her relationship with him. This one does the same with her mother.

I wasn't nearly so into this book as I was Fun Home. I think my biggest problem with it is that it just so very much about psychoanalysis, which is not a topic that interests me, and in fact I'm rather skeptical about given how based in Freudian theory it is, and how much of Freud's theories have been discredited.

The book really felt more like it was about the psychoanalysis of Alison's relationship with her mother instead of actually about her actual relationship with her mother. So for what it is, it's well done, but it's just not what I personally wanted to be reading.

Oh well. I was warned going in by the friend who lent me this book that it's not as good as Fun Home, so at least my expectations were appropriate going in so I didn't experience unexpected disappointment.

FMK #12: Our Oncoming Apocalypses

May. 16th, 2017 04:47 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
Well, happy birthday to me, I guess. I would tell y'all to try to figure out what I'm wishing on my birthday candles but you might and then it won't come true.

Last week's F winner - pulling past Coraline at the last minute - was C. J. Cherryh with Downbelow Station. The K leader was actually Starship Troopers, but for the first time ever, the K leader did not have a plurality of K votes; in fact it in was in the top five for F as well. So I'm invoking the hidden rule that the K winner must have a plurality of K votes and giving it to Hominids instead (I knew that was going to be a hard one for K, you don't get a hugo/nebula win if you're comprehensively terrible.)

I am still skating about a week behind on reading but I did finish Castle in the Air! It was good. Review upcoming. Captain Blood coming soon (hopefully tonight.)

For this week I think it's finally time to pull out Apocalypses and Post-Apocalypses. Whoo.

How FMK works, short version: I am trying to clear out my unreads. So there is a poll, in which you get to pick F, M, or K. F means I should spend a night of wild passion with the book ASAP, and then decide whether to keep it or not. M means I should continue to commit to a long-term relationship of sharing my bedroom with it. K means it should go away immediately. Anyone can vote, you don't have to actually know anything about the books.

I pick a winner on Friday night (although won't actually close the poll, people can still vote,) and report results/ post the new poll on the following Tuesday, and write a response to the F winner sometime in the next week.

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)

Bear, Brackett, Frank, Goulart, Howard, Le Guin, Matheson, Scarborough, Shute, Wilhelm, Wyndham, Zelazny )

Moon Over Soho, by Ben Aaronovitch

May. 16th, 2017 12:12 pm
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
[personal profile] sophia_sol
Second in the Rivers of London series. Another enjoyable book!

Read more... )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
[personal profile] sophia_sol
A kids' book about a preteen girl who wants to save the outsider-art tower structures her uncles created, whose neighbourhood society wants to get rid of the towers for looking weird and driving down the value of the gentrified historic neighbourhood.

Read more... )

The Screwtape Letters, by CS Lewis

May. 13th, 2017 09:47 pm
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
[personal profile] sophia_sol
Eh. It's well-written, but as a work of Christian apologetics I have some issues with it. I do not agree with all of Lewis's theology or ruminations on human nature. It's not all bad, but I have enough points of departure to be annoyed with him. Plus the deliberately negative perspective of the book (it being written from the pov of demons after all) just feels to me like it puts the reader into a really unhelpful headspace.

And since the point of reading this book is, I gather, supposed to be that the reader finds it useful in becoming a better Christian according to Lewis's understanding of how to be Christian, these issues mean that the book fails for me.

Oh well. I was kind of expecting to have this response to it, given that I've come across people's discussions of their issues with CS Lewis's approach to Christianity in the past. It's just that I own a copy of the book and since it's so widely known and well-regarded, I felt obligated to give it a try before getting rid of it. And now I can! And I think I can at this point also get rid of the other non-Narnia book I have of his as well, without bothering to read it.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
[personal profile] sophia_sol
So one of the reccing communities I follow recently had two novel-length fics recced for the Rivers of London fandom and they looked kind of interesting so I gave one a try and loved it, read the other and loved it too, and proceeded to spend the next week or so reading nothing but Rivers of London fanfic. And eventually I was like....okay so maybe I should actually read the actual books these are based on, I've heard good things about those.

So I am! This is the first one in the series, and is known as Rivers of London in most of the world and Midnight Riot in North America because apparently we can't handle books with titles that indicate the book is foreign.

I was a little nervous going in that maybe I wouldn't like the books because fandom....does not always do a good job of representing what a canon is actually about or actually like. And I mean it's not quite what I expected, but still good. More focus on cases and less on people, but also much more of a sense of humour than I was expecting! I was 100% charmed by just a few pages into the book. And then I accidentally stayed up past my bedtime to finish the book. So, you know: I liked it.

For those who are unfamiliar, the basic premise is: policemen in London who do magic and deal with magic-related crimes. The main character, Peter, discovers the existence of magic early in the book and ends up apprenticed to Nightingale, more or less the last practitioner of Newtonian magic in Britain.

Some miscellaneous thoughts:

Read more... )

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