Friends Mostly
hamster
hamsterwoman


Locked (except for book babbling) during the last round of LJ paranoia, but generally happy to add people if we know each other from somewhere (comms/mutual friends/other interaction).
Tags:

Communally Sourced Reading Bingo is live!
Dragaera sorting -- Giles
hamsterwoman
Thank you all for the brainstorming and voting and checking in over the last week or so! I think this thing is ready to go...

Differences from the last snapshotCollapse )

Cards:

csrb mixnmatch

The other two -- Serious and RandomCollapse )
Explanations / Rules / OptionsCollapse )
Prompts lists, with clarificationsCollapse )
'Mandatory' recs listCollapse )

Recs and Resources

Thanks to thistle_chaser, _profiterole_, egelantier, sephystabbity, postingwhore, wordsofastory, deeplyunhip, ms_geekette, _grayswandir_, aome, aletheiafelinea, dhampyresa, zhelana, flo_nelja for the recs!

Lots of booksCollapse )

Everybody please feel free to keep rec'ing things for these categories. Categories that could especially use more recsCollapse )

Reading roundup
hamster dragon
hamsterwoman
It's been a while since I've done a reading roundup, so here's the last three books of 2014, and the first two of 2015. But before we get to that, please VOTE if you're thinking of doing the Reading Bingo, and also help us brainstorm recs if you're so inclined even if you aren't planning to play along.

61. Michelle Sagara, Cast in Peril (Elantra # 8) -- you know, I have remarkably little to say about this one. Even the writing didn't annoy me as much as in the past, so I don't have a rant in me, and there wasn't much here that I was excited about. Spoilers from here, but very mild onesCollapse )

62. Lisa Sweetingham, Chemical Cowboys: The DEA's Secret Mission to Hunt Down a Notorious Ecstasy Kingpin -- funny story about this book. Random digressionCollapse )

And found myself pretty hooked, and enjoyed the experience. The book covers the period from the time Ecstasy was first noticed by the DEA to the take-down of Oded Tuito (first Ecstasy distributor to get the "kingpin" designation) and Ze'ev Rosenstein (Israeli mafia bigshot arrested on Ecstasy distribution charges because he was too good at evading everything else), and weaves in stories from the personal lives of cops and drug-dealers. So, even though this was non-fiction, there was a definite plot, and the people really did feel like characters, even if things did not develop or resolve as cleanly as one would expect them to in fiction. More, with spoilersCollapse )

Anyway, this ended up being an enjoyable read, and also covered a square in Reading Bingo
that I had the most trouble with, pretty much by accident, so, hey! Thanks, Murder Mystery theater people from three years ago!

63. Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy -- this was my "forgotten classic" for the 2014 Reading Bingo, taken from my flist's recs, and it was a very good choice! Definitely a forgotten classic, since I had never seen it come up in school canon but it seems well known by conoisseurs and apparently was popular back in the day. And I was looking for something non-depressing, and this definitely fits the bill. I did find myself wishing, a lot, that I were reading this with a class, for the extra context that one gets in that sort of setting. I picked up on some things, but I definitely had the feeling that I was missing out on a lot more, and, like, it would've been good to know whether there was something subtle going on with some of those passages that I wasn't registering, or if they really were just extended dick jokes... A little bit more, unspoilerlyCollapse )

1. Martha Wells, Cloud Roads (Books of the Raksura #1) -- I finally read some Martha Wells! It only took me like ten years. Picked this up based on egelantier's Reading Wednesday reread, as the dragon-people and found family aspects sounded highly relevant to my interests. And they were! But even that did not prepare me for how weirdly ADORABLE this book is. Spoilers from here!Collapse )

As you can tell from the length of this review, though, I really liked the book and am looking forward to continuing with the series. Also, note to self: links to short stories and fanart on the author's site.

2. Benedict Jacka, Chosen (Alex Verus #4) -- I have to admit, this series has been growing on me. The first book mostly irked me with how derivative it was, and with Alex being patronizing towards Luna. I liked book 2 much better, and book 3 was decent, too. After reading this one, I am sort of grudgingly impressed with MAJOR SPOILERS from here!Collapse )

Currently reading: The Kindly Ones by Melissa Scott, after looking at a couple of different fantasies that I had on my Kindle, because apparently I felt like sci-fi all of a sudden.

Communally Sourced Reading Bingo needs your help
Dragaera sorting -- Giles
hamsterwoman
So, it looks like the Communally Sourced Reading Bingo idea is a go! :D Actually, I've gotten enough prompts, and enough of a variety of prompts, that I'm thinking of doing the following:

Cut for the uninterestedCollapse )

INPUT NEEDED / DESIRED

Also cutCollapse )

3) Recs for things! I think the easiest way to do this is in the comments, and I'll either edit them in later or put them up in the post with the cards once they are ready. Please feel free to leave recs even if you don't intend to play along with the bingo -- the more recs the better!

Here's a full list of what's on the table between the three cards that I think could benefit from recs: Lots of varied things!Collapse )

4) Just to gauge interest a bit:

Does all this sound like something you're thinking of participating in?

Yes, I'm thinking of doing the SERIOUS card
1(5.6%)
Yes, I'm thinking of doing the RANDOM card
2(11.1%)
Yes, I'm thinking of doing the MIX-AND-MATCH card
4(22.2%)
I'm thinking of doing both the SERIOUS card and the RANDOM card
3(16.7%)
I'm just here for the ticky boxes (remember those?)
8(44.4%)

If you're thinking of playing, please contribute a book rec to the "mandatory rec" challenge square:


Snowflake challenge, day 15 (done! :)
Dragaera sorting -- Vetinari
hamsterwoman

Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner


Day 15: In your own space, create your own challenge. What’s something you want to see more people doing in fandom? Is there something fun you’ve tried that you think other people would enjoy if they gave it a go? Dare your friends to try it out, and have fun with it.

Hmmm. I actually thought about sitting out this one because I had no ideas, but it's the last day, and I'm so close to finishing (shh, completist here). And then I thought of this, which isn't really the right sort of challenge, but hey.

I really enjoyed doing the Reading Bingo last year, and was looking forward to doing it again in 2015. But the site that ran it last year is doing a Canada-centric one this year, which is all nice and good but not what I'm looking for. And other bingo cards / reading challenges I've seen around are too specific in their requirements, or too narrow in their scope, or otherwise not to my taste.

So I was wondering... Maybe we can make up a Reading Bingo for 2015? Like, collectively. Come up with 24 book prompts (+ the free square), randomize them, make a grid, and go from there. Anybody want to play? Either at suggesting book prompts for the squares, or at doing the bingo after, or, of course, both. Because I think it would be a lot more fun to brainstorm this together, and also it feels a bit like cheating to assemble one's own bingo card, you know?

List of 24 squares to be filled with prompts. Please throw suggestions!

1-24Collapse )

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Also, I was browsing the Snowflake post and came across McTabby's Nightmare Pairing Pledge challenge. Obviously, I couldn't resist.

I was especially intrigued by the crossover potential, so I went to the multi-fandom version. I'm taking my favorite character and least favorite character from the character meme I did ages ago, so you can tell I'm not cheating.

Nightmare Pairing Pledge
I, Hamsterwoman, do solemnly swear that my favorite character is Havelock Vetinari and my least favorite character is Phedre no Delaunay. The mere thought of them doing naughty things together makes me whimper. However... given sufficient crack and an infinite number of monkeys, here's how a Vetinari/Phedre shag might happenCollapse )

But also, this is way too much cracky fun to do it only once. So, if you give me a fandom I'm familiar with, I'll also do it for that fandom. :D?

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Randomly, Dragon Pets is an awesome idea, and really cute!

Snowflake challenge, mostly, plus a quick meme:
ASOIAF -- Tyrell conspiracy
hamsterwoman
QuotidianaCollapse )

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Snowflake Challenge: I accidentally skipped day 12 -- I thought I was posting day 13 on private, because I've been juggling computers, then noticed I wasn't, and figured I'd just roll with it (sorry for the uncut image and missing bits, though; I thought I caught them all, but clearly I hadn't). But here's day 12 that had been hanging out on my work laptop while I was posting that from the ultrabook:

Day 12: In your own space, talk about what you bring to fandom. It can be something tangible, or not.

Heh. Moderate amounts of crack and fandom baba-ing, mostly...Collapse )

Day 14: In your own space, post recs for at least three fanworks that you did not create.

I have three recs that I was planning to post anyway, so, here we go:

Vorkosigan Saga: Aftershocks by philomytha (Galeni and Ivan, gen, in which Ivan is handling drunk Galeni after Galeni's father's funeral). Ouch, but also perfect.

Rivers of London: The Glorious Cause (Lesley and Nightingale, gen, Broken Homes fix-it fic). I... wish I could believe in canon turning out to be this more than I do; I still think [Broken Homes spoiler] Lesley is playing double-agent of some sort, but not with Nightingale's knowledge. But this is totally the fic I wanted to read after Broken Homes, and I'm glad it now exists.

Elantra: It is a very odd feeling to discover that a big name fanartist is drawing in a tiny fandom, but I was very pleased to see all of mathia's Elantra art on dA and Tumblr. These Dragon Court chibis are probably my favorite, but this group portrait and this epic poster are also really awesome. Also, for my own records, the sketches on Tumblr, here and here.

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Also, a non-fannish "rec" (in quotation marks because, once again, don't be me, and don't get sucked in): 2048 with a larger grid and no ending (I think): 6x6 variant (I think the play is actually easier / the likelihood of getting screwed over by the random number generator is lower than in the real 2048, but that just means you can keep going and going and going. So far I've gotten to the 65,536 tile, and a total of 1,240,932. Someone should really take this away from me...

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Finally, I've been missing fannish memes, but don't have the brain for anything especially involved, so, stealing this simple one from etrangere:

Send me a fandom, and I will tell you everything I ship in that fandom

For reference, fandoms of note: ASOIAF, AtLA/Korra, Avengers (movie-verse only), Babylon 5, Buffy, Chronicles of Amber, Curseworkers, Demon's Noun, Discworld, Dragaera/Vlad Taltos, Dresden Files, Firefly, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Kingkiller Chronicles, Kushiel's Legacy, Lord of the Rings, Rivers of London, Sherlock BBC, Temeraire, Tortall, Vorkosigan Saga, and anything else you know I'm into.

Snowflake Challenge, day 13
ASOIAF -- crow
hamsterwoman
In your own space, talk about a creator. Show us why you think they are amazing.

I had to ponder this for a while, and started thinking along the lines of, what creator is so good that I would read their fic without knowing the fandom? And the first thought was copperbadge, but everybody on LJ knows copperbadge anyway. There's actually one other author whose fic I've read without knowledge of the fandom, and once I started thinking about her, I realized that she was amazing in other ways, so, let me feature curtana:

She is ridiculously talented in waaay too many milieus.

Her fic is archived on shadow_truths and on AO3 as Nary. She wrote my favorite Jaime/Loras fic, Brothers-in-Arms, and a ton of ASOIAF fic in general of variously palatable pairings, which is invariably superb. I've also enjoyed her Firefly fic, and now some Raksura fic as well. (A lot of it is explicit.)

She used to make absolutely gorgeous iconsbycurtana. I especially adore her text-only icons, like these Buffy ones, ASOIAF icons, Discworld, and Vorkosigan. She also has great image and quote icons for B5 and LotR and Firefly and Futurama and Gaiman all kinds of things. I think I have more icons by her than any other one person. *edits post with one of my favorites*

She is also an impressive artist, which I got to see on valyrian_forged. My favorite pieces are Quaithe and Sunset (nsfw, Renly/Loras). And, in non-ASOIAF pieces, this Discworld art is really cute.

And then she wrote The Tale of Brandon in alliterative verse (which I mentioned the other day; I keep bringing it up because I've *tried* alliterative verse, and it's bloody hard to do well). And (that's range!) the words of the A Very Gorey ASOIAF-bet (illustrated by skyclearblue).

And came up with this brilliant stick figure contest entry, which I can't link to because it's in a locked comm, so I will reproduce it hereCollapse )

Fandom Stocking, Snowflake Challenge, and other ways of avoiding real life
Avengers/HP -- Slytherin Tony
hamsterwoman
I'm trying to hide from real life: L's big test is tonight, and I'm trying to walk the line between making sure she's focused and prepared and taking it seriously and... psyching her out past a point of usefulness. I'm not sure I'm doing a very good job of it. (I would be much less nervous if it were ME taking the test... XP)

Anyway, so, at least fandom_stocking reveal timing is fortuitous in this regard, because I can read the new fic and chat with new people and all that good stuff. My stocking was full of goodies -- way more than I'd expected, for a first year doing this and with mostly highly obscure fandoms -- critter icons, very promising book and puzzle game recs, lovely greetings, the news that The True Meaning of Smekday is getting a sequel OMG, and this wonderful Jaime/Loras ficlet: "Pleasure", PG by celeste9 -- I'm claiming having caused more Jaime/Loras fic to exist as my chief accomplishment for this, beyond any of the trifles I tried to stuff stockings with. But also it was just awesome to have a chance to share squee about my various tiny fandoms with both people I know, through flist or fic, and with brand new people. I'm very glad I decided to participate after all, and am already looking forward to doing this next year :D

I should also catch up on the Snowflake Challenge, where I've fallen a couple of days behind:

Day 6: In your own space, create a fanwork. A drabble, a ficlet, a podfic, or an icon, art or meta or a rec list. A picspam. Something.

I thought I'd already made everything I wanted a couple of days ago when I was messing around with Paint.NET, but then I remembered I had saved a nimue_18 Ted with the intention of making myself a Kosmo~oluhi icon and never did, so:



(art by nimue_18)

Also, this is as good a place as any, I guess, to park the couple of things I made for fandom_stocking. Mostly my contribution was book recs and fic recs and the like, but I did make a handful of icons (plus a couple of random extra icons not for anyone in particular):
iconsesCollapse )
ASOIAF poemCollapse )
Holiday greetings bannersCollapse )

And, because I don't want to lose track of it, Rivers of London / Temeraire fusion musings for asthenie_vd

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Day 7: In your own space, share your love for a trope, cliché, kink, motif, or theme. (More than one is okay, too.) Tell us about it, tell us why you love it, give us some examples and recs.

I've pondered this for a little bit, and I think there are maybe two categories of this: one for canons which prompt me to be fannish about them, and one for fic (mostly but not exclusively in those fandoms).

Trope/theme for canons: familyCollapse )

As for tropes for fanworks, I tend to be drawn towards total crack, for some reason. Like, I like hurt/comfort a lot, but have to be in the mood for it, and it has to be the right sort of fandom. But there's something I'm always in the mood for and can enjoy with, I think, any kind of source: high school / Hogwarts AUsCollapse )

Day 8: In your own space, create a love meme for yourself. Let people tell you how amazing and awesome and loveable you really are.

I waffled about this prompt last year, because I feel weird about love memes, but liked the solution I came up with last year, so I'm reprising it:

If there's a book you picked up, or poem or fic you read, because I was talking about it, or a community you joined, or a fun meme or icon or silly timewasting game you found, or a random headcanon or phrase you've acquired because of me, directly or indirectly, or anything of this sort which makes you glad that you did, and you feel like telling me about it, please do!

(I will be very happy to hear it, because few things please me as much as connecting people with things they enjoy when I also enjoy them.)

RoL chastushki (of all things), and Snowflake Challenge
dabbler
hamsterwoman
So, back when I posted this thing, sysann suggested I should try Rivers of London poems, and that idea has been percolating for a while with nothing to show. But this weekend I've been feeling creative (messing around with stuff for fandom_stocking), and suddenly the urge for RoL poems struck (caution: silliness!)Collapse )

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Also, I wasn't thinking of doing the Snowflake Challenge this year, but the timing seems fortuitous, so, what the hell. I didn't manage to finish last year's, petering out at day 11 of 15; maybe this year I will. I'm certainly enjoying reading everyone's Snowflake posts! So, catching up on the first three days:

Day 1

In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you have created. It can be your favorite fanworks that you've created, or fanworks you feel no one ever saw, or fanworks you say would define you as a creator.


Links to further silly poetry and iconsCollapse )

Day 2

In your own space, create a list of at least three fannish things you'd love to receive, something you've wanted but were afraid to ask for - a fannish wish-list of sorts.
All my stuff from last year still holds, and there's a little bit more wishlisty stuff in my fandom_stocking signup. But if I were to go with a top 3Collapse )

Day 3

In your own space, talk about your creative process - from what inspires you to what motivates you to how you manage to break through blocks. Does your process change depending on the type of creating you're doing?


Mmm, I don't think of it as "creative process" so much as messing around with things when the mood strikes me, but in generalCollapse )

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Rounding off with some links:

Extremely Silly Photos of Exteremely Serious Writers. My favorite is Nabokov hunting for butterflies (#11), and I had no idea what Edward Gorey looked like -- surprisingly cuddly!

Yuletide has brought an influx of The Goblin Emperor fic (by which I mean there are 6 stories now where before there was one). All the ones I've read so far are really good, but this one is my favorite, because it's got the most Csethiro: Betrothal Negotiations.

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I need to post on a bunch of RL stuff in the next couple of days, so, keeping trackCollapse )

Reading Bingo and reading meme
meme -- lemming herd
hamsterwoman
Oh, right, I got to blackout on the Reading Bingo card! :D

Bingo!Collapse )

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This was a book advent calendar (sorta) meme from mauvais_pli, and now seems like a good time for it. I believe the rules are to list a book for each prompt (not necessarily read this year).



Seasons ReadingsCollapse )

Secret Santa Squee, and December ramble meme, day 19: characters in need of Iroh's parenting advice
hamster -- happy
hamsterwoman
So I've been having some very productive mail days! I went and mailed off the New Year packages to ikel89 and danny_li2 (and I've gotten *really* good at packing just under the 4lb weight limit -- one was 3lb 15oz, and the other one 3lb 15.3oz :D), and in the same two days sephystabbity got my thank-you-for-the-awesome-scarf package and rinkafushi (hi! :D) got the Secret Santa package. And then yesterday B called me in the morning but I was in a meeting at work, and when I called him back, he couldn't remember why he'd called. "Somebody called for me?" I said. "Something came in the mail?" Sort of -- they dropped off a slip because it was signature required and they would try to redeliver on Friday. But it had the sender name, and B said, "Do you know a Kim?" And I started bouncing in my chair because I now knew my Secret Santa was deeplyunhip :DDD

Squee and braggingCollapse )

Kim, thank you SO MUCH for the awesome Santa-ing! This package was filled to the brim with joy and things I love and didn't realize I needed in my life, and with the heartwarmth derived from your thoughtfulness and that special amazing feeling of receiving presents from somebody who *gets* you in all kinds of ways and goes to great lengths to show that.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

And thank you, ikel89, for facilitating this wonderful tradition and masterminding the coast-to-coast and international squee. You are the best Santa-yenta, and I am now two for two for two in terms of fabulous Santa gifts and awesome recipients and just all-around amazing Santa-ing experience. <333

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While I'm uploading pictures and talking about presents, let me show off some of L's handiwork that went into the parcels to sephystabbity and rinkafushi: L craftsCollapse )

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Dec 19: top 5 people Iroh needs to give parenting advice to (lunasariel)

Step right into Uncle Iroh's counseling office for a nice cup of teaCollapse )

December ramble meme, day 3: trading places with a character
HP -- ravenclaw by default
hamsterwoman
So, um. Today was going to be a long (certainly) insightful (possibly?) ramble on travel, but then this happened:

sysann: *prompts* Is there any character you'd like to switch places with for a week (or longer)? Why or why not? And if you do - who?
hamsterwoman: The answer to the switching places with a character is almost certainly "No", which makes for a not very interesting answer, so I will skip that one :P
sysann: *laughs* Well you could go crazy and explain why you wouldn't want to switch places with character a, b, c, d, e...
hamsterwoman: Haha, aaaactually! XD


So many characters, beloved, unique!
Are there any with whom I'd trade lives for a week?

Well...Collapse )

The travel ramble I will move closer to the actual travel, towards the end of the month, I think.

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I was also supposed to be in Oregon today, but, nopeCollapse )

Reading roundup: Foxglove Summer!
RoL -- Lesley&#39;s philosophy
hamsterwoman
60. Ben Aaronovitch, Foxglove Summer (Peter Grant/RoL #5) -- So I was seeing all these reaction posts pop up on my flist, because people unfairly live in countries where they can walk into a store and buy this book BEFORE the UK release date, as opposed to having to wait until January, like here (though the US version -- now with actual pretty covers! -- has been dutifully preordered), and I was very heroically resisting reading any spoilers (asthenie_vd's personalized admonitions not to click helped XD), and then not one but two kind people took pity on me (<333, egelantier and meathiel) and supplied me with my fix, and I got it just in time to start reading on my commute back from Oregon Friday, and read it before going to bed, and as soon as I woke up Saturday, and, despite annoying interactions like having to do stuff with my kids or go see my parents or pretend to care about grown-up responsibilities, I finished it on Saturday just as B was turning off the lights. So, Foxglove Summer has been accomplished!

I... liked it? A lot, because it's a RoL book and still chock-full of cranberries, but also even relative to other books in the series, I think? I didn't love it as much as Broken Homes (which, I'm pretty sure, remains my favorite of the series), but my expectations were suitably adjuted by the blurb and by the non-spoilery warning that I wheedled out of sysann, and it was actually a good book, I think, if not exactly the book I would have liked to read in an ideal world where BA was writing books just for me (these are already pretty close...)

In spoilery detailCollapse )

Reading roundup: Elantra
hamster dragon
hamsterwoman
59. Michelle Sagara, Cast in Ruin (Chronicles of Elantra #7) -- probably my favorite in the series to date (because all the dragons!), even though the writing still really, really annoys me. SpoilersCollapse )

I was curious, so I paged back through my author tag, to see how my impressions of the series evolved real time. Here's how things stand: somewhat spoilery, I guess?Collapse )

Book 8 (Peril), which I'm currently about a quarter into, is reminding me that I do like Barrani... but not nearly as much as dragons.

Reading roundup: Emperor of Thorns
Dragaera -- no excuse for bad manners
hamsterwoman
56. Mark Lawrence, Emperor of Thorns (Broken Empire #3) -- Well! So this is interesting. I picked up this series because I was really intrigued by ikel89 post and alenky_cveto4ek's comments therein. And now that I'm done with the trilogy, I'm really glad that I did, because I enjoyed the reading experience quite a lot, and these are books that will stay with me, and books that I want to talk about, and books whose world I'm interested in seeing more of (so I will probably read Prince of Fools, too), but, to my surprise, these are not books that affect me emotionally almost at all. I like the way they're put together, the puzzles and twists and foreshadowings and things dropping into place, and I like the prose, and I like the way Jorg's arc is done, because I didn't think something like that could be pulled off effectively, but it was. But I don't really *care* about these characters with maybe two possible exceptions (neither of which is Jorg, or, actually any character with a POV), not the way I typically care about fictional characters, where I want to rescue them and hang out with them or give them what they need. When I first read K's post, the quotes and the snappy-grimdark-with-gallows-humour made me think of Joe Abercrombie, and three books later, I find that's still the aptest comparison for how I relate to these books -- I admire them as artistic constructions, I want to poke around in them and discuss them, I intend to cautiously recommend them to people, I am glad to have read them... but I don't love them in the way I typically love books.

But, OK, book 3 specifically. Massive spoilersCollapse )

So, hell of a ride! Cautiously recommended to those who aren't put off by grimdarkness.

Finally, I'm counting this book and the two previous ones for "set on a different continent" (I've been excluding islands, so the zillion books set in England that I read this year didn't count), since it's abundantly clear that the book is set on future-Earth, and takes place in Europe and Africa. And I think I can count it for the "book your friend loved" square as well?

BingoCollapse )

Oh, and because this is a "catching up with Kay" reading post, I am also ~56% through Unmade, which is being very, very melodramatic and just as full of Ash/Jared vibes as ikel89 promised XD

Reading roundup: HAWK!!!
Dragaera/Sherlock -- Vlad and Morrolan
hamsterwoman
55. Steven Brust, Hawk -- So. Hawk. You know, it would be nice if a book I had been waiting for since April 2011 had lasted me longer than 24 hours, but ah well -- it was too much fun not to race through it, and the Vlad books always go fast for me, and I couldn't wait to see how everything turned out (ahahaha. ha.). I was ~80% done when my Kindle died during my return commute*, and it was the most frustrating thing EVER (though I did have the Tom Holt book to tide me over, at least), and I kept checking if it was sufficiently recharged to read yet all through the rest of the commute (I was trying to recharge it from my laptop battery). So, yeah, I'm done. How's Vallista coming along, then?

Non-spoilerly: I'm pretty sure this was my favorite Vlad book since Issola and possibly since before then. I think it, impressively, combines the fun and frenetic pace and caper-ness of the early Vlad books with the growth of the later ones, which is apparently what I've been wanting and waiting for.

SpoilerlyCollapse )

*This is emphatically my own fault for jinxing it, because just the night before I remarked aloud that I'd had the Kindle for three years now and it was still working fine.

Reading roundup: more Prince Jerk, and The Goblin Emperor
Dragaera -- no excuse for bad manners
hamsterwoman
53. Mark Lawrence, King of Thorns (Broken Empire #2) -- Hmm. I still enjoyed it, but, unexpectedly, I found it less fun than the first one. Still a hell of a ride, and impressive in its way, and I have hopes for #3, because I think a lot of the things that made this one less my thing that the first book have resolved themselves by the end. But, yeah, the middle section kind of dragged for me, and the structure worked less well, and older Jorg's voice wasn't quite as much fun, even though I respect the character development. It definitely picked up for me at the very end, though (maybe about the time Miana joined the narrative in earnest), and I've already started on #3.

Before I get to spoilers, a quick note on the violence level in this book, since I know a few of you were potentially intrigued. I think the violence was actually down a notch in this one, but there is more zombie-horror, and there is a fairly extended passage of animal cruelty in flashback that I had a hard time getting through. It's a traumatic event for the characters involved, too, so it's definitely treated seriously. But, if you're planning on reading and are especially sensitive to things like that, you may want to know about it.

Spoilers from hereCollapse )

So, in general, still really enjoying this series (and am now about a quarter into the last book, which is continuing to be fun).

54. Katherine Addison (aka Sarah Monette), The Goblin Emperor -- I heard a lot of good things about this book, but I'm not sure I would have picked it up if Monette had not already built up my trust with Melusine and Iskyrne, because it sounded like it could be tedious. It's a slow book, more inwardly focused than anything, but tedious it was definitely not, at least to me. It's got interesting, unusual (though somewhat challenging) worldbuilding, and the protagonist, who has a lot of the focus of the book, is not the sort of character I normally gravitate towards, but his kindness, humility, and determination to keep being a decent person in the face of sudden power and circumstances where conflict between duty and doing the right thing was frequent and conflict between either or both of those and what he would have truly liked to do was pretty much universal was quite impressive, and so he really earned my sympathy and respect. Spoilers from hereCollapse )

I was very glad to see that this book was nominated for Yuletide, because where it leaves off really does cry out for fic. Hopefully YT will produce some -- I'm looking forward to reading it already!

P.S. ikel89, look who's a fan :)

P.P.S. I'm using this icon because I don't have a more generic "elves" or "crazy bloodthirsty maniacs" icon, but that reminds me that Hawk comes out in 24 hours!

Reading roundup: Prince of Thorns
ASOIAF -- my works
hamsterwoman
52. Mark Lawrence, Prince of Thorns (Broken Empire #1) -- this is a book I wouldn't have picked up if not for ikel89's intriguing write-up. The write-up reminded me of Abercrombie, but, beyond a sort of gallows humour and a snappy style combined with the grimdarkness of subject material, the book didn't feel very similar to the First Law stuff at all. Spoilers from here! Big ones!Collapse )

But it was a much quick read than I had expected, and quite fun considering the body count, so: Onward!

In addition to having just started the sequel to this, I'm also reading King's Shield and The Goblin Emperor. From the trifecta of royal titles, I guess you can tell I'm back to epic fantasy, heh.

Reading roundup: Inda #2
ASOIAF -- my works
hamsterwoman
I seem to have recovered my high fantasy groove...

51. Sherwood Smith, The Fox (Inda #2) -- Yes, I'm done with it! I started this book at the beginning of the year, and things were going at a good clip until I apparently had my fill of ships. (Something very similar happened with Locke Lamora #2 last year, and I'm starting to suspect may have also been the reason I ran out of steam with Robin Hobb. Maybe I just need to accept that ships are just not my thing and plan, or brace, accordingly...) Anyway, after a while I was ready to continue, and now I'm done! (SPOILERS)Collapse )

I've bought book #3 and am eagerly awaiting Inda and Evred's (and Hadand's, and Tdor's) reunion.

But also I'm currently reading The Goblin Emperor and enjoying that, too. Like I said, I seem to have my high fantasy groove back :)

Reading Roundup: Simpsons math and Kosmo~oluhi
Simpsons -- Prof Frink
hamsterwoman
Feeling quite a lot better today, thanks to the powers of vast quantities of soup, tea, and raspberry jam. Thanks for the get-well wishes, y'all!

48. Simon Singh, The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets -- this was a birthday present from aome, and turned out to be one of those things I didn't realize I needed in my life. I probably would've hesitated to get it for myself, anyway, because I would've been concerned that it would just be a rehash of Simpsons' episodes + recap of math I already knew, but, not so! There is a very little bit of that, to level the playing field, and having missed a lot of the later seasons, I actually appreciated the Simpsons recaps. But there was a lot of history of the show I had no idea about, and a lot of history of math stuff that was new to me, too, and a lot of actual new math tidbits, also (because between the math courses required for my engineering degree and B telling me about his papers, I know and have retained a fair bit of applied math type stuff, but when it comes to things like number theory or other pure math topics, or topology, I really don't know anything I did not learn from the Martin Gardner math puzzle books I read as a kid in Russia).

In more detailCollapse )

Maybe I should read more non-fiction, considering that I had more fun with the two non-fiction books I read this year than with quite a few of the fiction ones that are my usual fare...

49-50. Olga Gromyko, Kosmopsiholuhi (vol.1 & 2) [Kosmo~oluhi #3] -- OK, this book. It was such a weird feeling reading it, because it really felt like it was hovering over the line separating fanfic from canon. BecauseCollapse )
Actual impressions, with marked spoilersCollapse )

For my own records, this was the entry with Kosmooluhi "spoilers", which are quite funny in retrospect.

Also, link to the new FB: http://fk-2014.diary.ru/?userid=3211081
login: "Читатель ФБ" login and password: uhjvsrj2013

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