cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (Default)
2017-04-20 10:24 pm
Entry tags:

Interesting meme...

Stolen from [personal profile] afrozenflower:

Comment with one of my fandoms and I'll tell you:

the character I least understand
interactions I enjoyed the most
the character who scares me the most
the character who is mostly like me
hottest looks character
one thing I dislike about my fave character
one thing I like about my hated character
a quote or scene that haunts me
a death that left me indifferent
a character I wish died but didn’t
my ship that never sailed
cloudsinvenice: Tree silhouetted against a twilight sky, with full moon behind it (Twilight tree/moon)
2016-09-14 11:26 pm
Entry tags:

Wednesday Reading Meme

Finished:
Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders by Gyles Brandreth - This was very satisfying and fun: essentially, if you want to hang out with Oscar Wilde and his friends and solve mysteries, this is the book (and series) for you. And who doesn't want to do that? I'll continue to read these as I spot secondhand copies.

Doctor Occult - Dave Louapre, Dan Sweetman (Vertigo Visions, 1/1) - I hadn't come across Doctor Occult before (appallingly, I still haven't finished reading The Books of Magic; if he's an an issue I have read then I don't recall him), but it turns out he's another old DC character like the Sandman who was resurrected in a new form by Neil Gaiman. Doctor Occult and his partner Rose Psychic are, in this incarnation, aspects of the same being, and when Rose disappears, the Doctor must find her in a world of subconscious desires.

So it's a metaphysical, psychosexual journey where the plot is more character-driven than an ongoing series would demand - in other words, the sort of thing that Vertigo Visions one-shots were made for. The real-world background stuff shows its age a little, in that the gender fluidity of Occult/Rose is counterpointed by a trans interviewee on a TV talk show in a way that's played for 'extreme' value (they're a preacher and have transitioned more than once).

Overall, the comic's typical of Vertigo's attempts to push boundaries in storytelling at the time, and if you love 90s-style pencilling and colouring, the art will certainly be your bag. There's also a hilariously pithy summing up of the characters' adventures up to that point inside the front cover, which makes me want to dig around in our collection to see where else they show up.

Reading next:

A handful of DP7 comics we found in a charity shop.
cloudsinvenice: Medieval art: illuminated manuscript with a knight in gold leaf (semyaza illuminated)
2016-09-08 11:26 pm

Return of the book meme (still late)

First off, there's another Friending Friendzy post here in case you're looking. Secondly, here's a post from back in July: Why Imzy doesn't have ads, and what we're doing instead which has some stuff I hadn't heard before. I'm not altogether convinced all these ideas will work, but it's interesting anyhow.

Finished recently:

Dance of the Tiger: A Novel of the Ice Age, by Björn Kurtén. The author is an expert on Ice Age fauna, so it's interesting to read speculation rooted in deep knowledge, and his afterword, along with Stephen Jay Gould's introduction, really add to it. Since the book is a few decades old, I'd imagine that much then-current information has been superseded by new discoveries (we often seem to hear that we've underestimated the Neandertals, for instance), but the characters, situations and world are compelling enough for this not to matter. But the best pleasure of this book is a piece of narrative boldness: a third of the way through, we switch to hear the story from the antagonist's point of view, before returning to the protagonist for the last third. The only real problem for me is that the ending feels very rushed, which is a pity after everything else has been so cleverly set up and allowed room to breathe.

Currently reading:

Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders, by Gyles Brandreth. I thought that what I'd previously read was the first in the series: actually this is the first, and that was the second. It doesn't matter, though if you're looking for the series in America you need to know that some of the titles have been changed for that market. Here's a nice interview with the author, too, in which he theorises that Wilde may have been the model for Mycroft Holmes.

Good Kings Bad Kings, by Susan Nussbaum. So far this is very good, though harrowing at points. I'm very glad it was recommended to me.

Reading next:

Something digital in a waiting room, probably.
cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (Default)
2015-10-15 08:45 pm

Back to the book meme

I can't believe it's been a month since I did this, but then it was a very busy one...

...and then I cleverly left in the filler text and had to edit the cut )
cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (Default)
2015-09-11 11:30 pm

I can't resist list challenges, especially the ones about books...

...but this is an incredibly weird list:

http://www.listchallenges.com/books-youll-never-brag-about-having-read/

I mean, there are the obvious blockbusters that people love to mock, like Twilight, 50 Shades of Grey and The Da Vinci Code, but otherwise a lot of the significance escapes me; they seem to be American popular political/psychological hits, plus the odd work of Nazi propaganda that a lot of history students will actually have read because they're studying the period.

Anyway, I've read 12/100, and I've got Peyton Place on the shelf waiting for me to get round to it...
cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (Default)
2015-09-03 10:52 pm

Reading Thursday, not Wednesday

Close enough, I guess. But I've decided to give myself an amnesty on the backlog; there comes a point when it's just irrational to attempt to catch up on five months' worth of unwritten-up books.

So, most recently... )
cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (Iron Man flying)
2015-07-13 10:52 pm

The great book meme backlog

I fell out of doing the Wednesday reading meme back in April, which is unfortunate because at the time I still had a backlog dating from the end of February to work on. So, nearly five months' worth of books...

...will certainly not be tackled in this one post, but I can make a dent in them at least. )

Well, this has taken me into April. I'm going to try and post another batch of these every day until I get to what I'm reading now...
cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (A woman's place is in the revolution)
2015-04-01 11:30 pm
Entry tags:

Wednesday reading

It's been a while, but the meme is back! Also, I see this is my first public entry in ages. I swear, potential friends, it's not a complete desert - there is more going on beneath f-lock...

Come for the books, stay for the books )
cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (Problematicus)
2015-03-22 09:47 pm

Memes!

The pairings meme and the letter meme... )

Also, I'm watching this amazing documentary, The Private Life of a Doll's House on iPlayer. It's presented by Lauren Child, and she talks about her childhood experience of making doll's house furniture with a family friend (who still runs a big, thriving workshop), and how the Swedish doll's houses she loved in the 70s influenced her design of the world of Charlie and Lola. There's some beautiful antique doll's houses to look at, and god, just so many amazing miniatures...
cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (Default)
2014-09-26 10:59 pm

The painting, the skip, and the £20,000 auction...

ETA: You can tell I wrote this late at night - forgot to mention this was for the 50 Days Meme!

DAY NINETEEN: whatever tickles your fancy

Here's a strange thing: R found a news story about how the officials of a church in Cheltenham sold a painting of the Madonna and Child without permission. It was auctioned off for £20,000, resulting in church court proceedings and the vicar leaving the parish. I think the scariest bit in the article is when they say that there was "an initial plan to throw it away": http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-29347751

But if you click through to the investigation report by the chancellor of the diocese (link goes to the PDF), things get more and more surreal. It seems the painting was regarded as too Catholic (which is quite impressive given that they seem barely to have glanced at it or been aware of it for some time) and, well... the writer of the report does not pull any punches:

"They were not in any way being dishonest. Their behaviour was more akin to a driver who causes a crash by driving through a red light, but whose excuse is: 'I had never bothered to read the Highway Code, and I forgot what I had been told about it, and so I did not know what was the purpose of a red light.'"

"In the event, someone, when it was on the point of being thrown out into a skip, did question as to whether it might have a few pounds value. Given the plethora of television programmes about auctions and treasures in the attic, I suppose I must be grateful that some kind of warning bell was rung.

However, worse was to come."


You can really hear her getting her narrative thing on here.

"This wretched and lamentable history is a textbook example of how not to do things, as I have sadly had to set out above. Monumental stupidity is involved, some degree of arrogance, and, even possibly [I make no finding as to the latter] a degree of evasiveness."

Unflinching practicality re: the asbestos/leaky roof budget:

"...but there is a limit to the burdens that can be placed successfully on an average congregation of some 40 adults."

I enjoyed this as much as those proceedings about Richard III that [livejournal.com profile] semyaza found...
cloudsinvenice: Tree silhouetted against a twilight sky, with full moon behind it (Twilight tree/moon)
2014-09-18 12:15 am

Wednesday reading

It's been a while since I've done this, so here's about two months' worth of reading, or at least the ones I can remember:

I gave up on a lot of books in this period, but some stuck... )

Also interesting (and found via [livejournal.com profile] author_by_night): some people are organising a Harry Potter fandom reunion on LJ, for those who miss fandom as we did it in the old pre-Tumblr days, want to reconnect with the larger fandom, etc. etc: [livejournal.com profile] hp_reunion.

And here's a post from [livejournal.com profile] strannik01 about how LJ themselves seem to be doing some sensible outreach at long last - they've got a brand new ad on YouTube which does some smart stuff by focusing on how customisable privacy levels are, the comment threading and the strength of the site being discussion. Also, they underline the fact you can use any nickname and will never have to disclose your RL info if you don't want to; and the fact they will never filter your feed content (one in the eye for Facebook and, most recently, Twitter). I would love to see this working out for them, I really would, because while all the other social networks have strengths, LJ and Dreamwidth combine the greatest number of aspects I like with the fewest irksome aspects. And it's just the style in which I most enjoy interacting with people and having a -cough- online presence.
cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (Default)
2014-07-18 09:48 pm

First moon party!

Today's 50 day meme instalment:

DAY SEVEN: a YouTube video that you find funny:

cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (Default)
2014-06-18 07:46 pm

Wednesday reading

I owe the new people I met on the friending meme an intro post, so that will hopefully happen tomorrow. But for now, books!

Books finished:

Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin

spoilers; TW suicide and rape )

Books abandoned:

Sane New World: Taming the Mind by Ruby Wax

I raced through the first 90 pages during a particularly long session in a waiting room, but when I went to pick it up in bed that night I found I couldn't muster the will. What bothers me is that she veers so much between fact and opinion in a way that sometimes blurs the two - sometimes "millions of years" is used colloquially, other times literally. Often she's candid about something being her opinion, or a generalisation that won't necessarily apply to everybody, but then she'll make a sweeping statement about how none of our ancient ancestors had OCD, which leaves me thinking, "But how can we know that?" I can believe that human mental problems have changed with the social and environmental context in which we find ourselves, but it just makes no sense to bang on about how great neuroscience is and then make assertions you can't back up with it. It made me think I should probably just find a book for a lay audience that is specifically about neuroscience (your recs are welcome).

The Other, Darker Ned by Anne Fine

This is a story about the friendship between a young girl, and the student husband of her blind father's assistant. I like found family, and stories set during lazy, atmospheric summer days (hypocritically, I often enjoy them during actual atmospheric summer days in which I complain about the atmosphere; I was not made for heatwaves), and Anne Fine (one of our best modern children's/YA authors) was a mainstay of my bookshelf in my teens. But this turned out not to have aged well (it was written in 1979, and along with much of her ouvre, Fine has since updated it to reflect a changing society and her own tougher editing skills, a process she writes about interestingly, for adults here and for young readers here). While it's as sharply observed as any of her work, I prefer her more conflict-ridden books, and when Wikipedia confirmed that the success or otherwise of a charity jumble sale is the high dramatic point of the book, I decided to bow out.

Currently reading:

Romanitas by Sophia McDougall

The premise is that the Roman Empire never fell; today the world is (apart from the Independent South of Africa) divided between the Roman, Chinese and Japanese empires. The world map at the beginning of the book is terrifying to behold - vast swathes of the world under Rome's control, and as the cover picture suggests, crucifixion is still a punishment; one's life prospects are still defined by being either a slave or a freeman. So far, I love it - it's extremely well written, with subtle characterisation and inventive takes on the telepathy and healing powers experienced by two kids who are on the run...

Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel

I adored Fun Home, and recently I got lucky and found a very cheap nearly-new copy of the sequel. Only a few pages in, but so far I love it, and R, who has a better eye for these things than I do, remarks that her style has evolved interestingly since the last book. Me, it just makes me want to draw, as her work always does. What a luxury to have another Alison Bechdel graphic novel ahead of me...

Reading next:

This is a bit of a joke, as since I began doing this meme I've noticed that listing a book here almost guarantees that I will NOT read it next. But for what it's worth, Morrissey's book is still hanging in there (technically I did read a little of it).
cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (Default)
2014-06-16 12:25 am

There's a new friending meme!

~We Love Women! Multifandom Friending Meme~
We Love Women! Multifandom Friending Meme

If you love the awesome women in fandom, come on over and make new friends!
cloudsinvenice: Tree silhouetted against a twilight sky, with full moon behind it (Twilight tree/moon)
2014-05-28 10:26 pm

Reading Wednesday

I enjoy other people's Reading Wednesday posts, but I never seem to see them or think of making one myself until it's no longer Wednesday. But finally, I'm in the right place at the right time! The world is mine! Bwahahaha...

Finished reading:

The Bronte Project by Jennifer Vandever. (One day I will learn the Mac shortcuts for accents and actually use them...) It was very witty, though as it progressed it became less fun. I did pick up a lot of incidental knowledge about Charlotte's doomed correspondence with the man who would become the basis for The Professor, though.

Currently reading:

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes. It's about a serial killer who uses a time portal to commit crimes and escape detection in a Chicago of different decades, and a girl he failed to kill who's determined to track him down with the help of a jaded journalist. The whole alternative girl plus middle-aged journo thing reminded me of the Millennium Trilogy movies I saw recently, but that's not a bad thing, and so far it's well written, though it's reminded me just how little stomach I have for reading about graphic murder scenes, particularly of women. (How does this reconcile with Hannibal fandom?! Maybe it's the fact that my mind lingers on written descriptions in a way that it doesn't over televised ones.) It reminds me a little of John Connolly's supernatural/crime blend in the Charlie Parker series.

Planning to read:

Tentatively, I would say "a few quick reads I can shove off to the charity shop soon, in order to clear the shelves a bit". Maybe also The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling, just for genre contrast. Or I might pick up The Pagan Lord by Bernard Cornwell again, because that's where I ran out of steam when I was chugging through the Saxon series last month. They're nice books, by the way - very good for scratching any medieval politics/grisly sword-fighting itch you might have while waiting for The Winds of Winter...
cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (GoT: Brienne)
2014-01-01 08:34 pm
Entry tags:

Telly meme

I know, I know. One day soon I'll post with something that is not a meme. But today is not that day. I got this from [personal profile] londonkds:

What shows did you start watching in 2013?
Quite a lot, actually. I haven't watched so much current TV in years! My Mad Fat Diary, Ripper Street, Utopia, Hannibal, Teen Wolf, Elementary, Community, Parks and Recreation, Agents of SHIELD, Orphan Black... no doubt I'm forgetting some and will need to edit them in later.

Old show-wise, I also watched all of Freaks and Geeks.

What shows did you give up on in 2013?
Utopia (the torture was too much - I know, I know, "SAID THE HANNIBAL FAN", but I can handle worse in the horror genre than elsewhere), Parks and Rec (it was hit and miss for us), Agents of SHIELD (it just felt incredibly mediocre), Orphan Black (about 60 seconds in, when I realised it was building to a railway suicide, which Wikipedia confirmed - I realise it's not ABOUT that, but I didn't want to spend the rest of the season trying and failing to anticipate flashbacks and recaps).

I enjoyed the first couple of seasons of Teen Wolf, but lost interest a couple of eps into season three - I suppose the storyline with the Argents just worked so well, and wrapped up so completely for me, that I couldn't get worked up about the pack of alphas. I really liked Stiles and his dad, and also Lydia.

Which TV shows did you mean to get into in 2013 but didn't?
Supernatural, Once Upon A Time, and I vaguely meant to try Homeland but it had gone off 4oD by the time I geared up to do it. Oh, and Orange is the New Black because it looks awesome. I wanted to see Les Revenantes but I could never get the streaming to work. And I really want to see The Michael J. Fox Show!

Which shows do you expect to check out in 2014?
All of the ones I missed above, plus the new season of Game of Thrones.

Which shows impressed you the least in 2013?
I guess I covered that in the "which shows did you give up" answer.

Which shows impressed you the most in 2013?
Being Human recovered from a catastrophic fourth season with a funny, clever and touching season five. Sad that it had to be the last one, but they gave the characters endings I could live with, which is more than could be said for the original cast.

Fresh Meat had another really good year, as did Game of Thrones which, while it does some things I dislike, on the whole does a great job of condensing a huge unwieldy epic into a concise TV show. My Mad Fat Diary and Ripper Street were both incredibly good, and I love the central performances of Elementary.