aryllian: (Default)
I read a lot of books, and a lot of them flow by, not really sticking in my mind. Sometimes I look back and I wonder if I've already read all the books that are going to have a big impact on me, because there are so many books I've read in the last five or ten years that didn't stand out. Books that I look at the title in my book list, and wonder what it was about.

But some books do stick. In This House of Brede has been in my mind a lot since I read it, for example.

I am certain that Cyteen is going to be one of the books that stick.

The scope is large -- it touches on entire societies and how they're put together, grow, change, and either work or don't work -- but mostly this is the story of two people trying to grow into who they could be / would be / ought to be, and do the work that is theirs to do -- and what that means, and how it's never done in isolation. Plus, it's about being a clone of someone else, and the various ways that could go, especially if other people have ideas about who you should be and how to make that happen.

The character dynamics are fascinating. I had no idea what was going to happen, but everything that did happen made sense.

This book does do some things that are very very recognizably in the Cherryh pattern...I think Cherryh thinks very differently than I do, so sometimes her books have this alien sense to them, even when they're not about aliens. But this one is both very approachable (to me) and the patterns I noticed fit into the book in a way that makes sense. (Sometimes, especially in the Foreigner series, I feel like Cherryh just uses the same patterns because she's not interested in that part of books so she just uses whatever comes to hand most easily, which happens to be the same thing a lot of the time. And sometimes I do think the repeating patterns detract from the books...but I still read her books, because the things that she is interested in are usually so well done it makes up for anything else.)

I'm still thinking days later about what this book said about power and influence and the role of the individual in a society, the morals and ethics of using power and influence on other people, and also about how thinking works and how everyone effects everyone else on all kinds of levels. I love books that make me think.

It does have some really questionable stuff at the beginning, I almost stopped reading before I got to the good part. I'm really glad I didn't.
aryllian: (Default)
This book has really good battles. I say that as someone who is usually not that into battles.

Books, 2014

Jan. 2nd, 2014 04:58 pm
aryllian: (Default)
To be updated throughout the year. Italics indicate a reread. Entries without numbers indicate that I didn't finish for some reason but read enough (and liked enough) to consider it worth recording.

1.(01/02/14)Unfinished Desires, by Gail Godwin
2.(01/09/14)The Thousand Names, by Django Wexler
3.(01/21/14)Cyteen, by C. J. Cherryh
4.(01/2?/14)The Fifth Elephant, by Terry Pratchett
5.(01/23/14)The Screaming Staircase, by Jonathan Stroud
6.(01/29/14)Carpe Jugulum, by Terry Pratchett
7.(02/02/14)Gypsy, Gypsy, by Rumer Godden
8.(02/03/14)Across the Great Barrier, by Patricia C. Wrede
9.(02/09/14)A New Kind of War, by Anthony Price
10.(02/10/14)The Girl of Fire and Thorns, by Rae Carson
11.(02/12/14)The Far West, by Patricia C. Wrede
12.(02/21/14)Touch, by Michelle Sagara
13.(02/21/14)Downbelow Station, by C. J. Cherryh
14.(02/24/14)King and Joker, by Peter Dickinson
15.(03/02/14)Midnight Riot, by Ben Aaronovitch
16.(03/03/14)The River, by Rumer Godden
17.(03/04/14)The Chosen, by Chaim Potok
18.(03/12/14)The Siren Depths, by Martha Wells
19.(03/18/14)Brain Plague, by Joan Slonczewski
20.(03/18/14)Archer's Goon, by Diana Wynne Jones
21.(03/25/14)Hild, by Nicola Griffith
22.(03/29/14)The Raven Girl, by Audrey Niffenegger
23.(03/30/14)The Real Boy, by Anne Ursu
24.(04/07/14)A Prospect of Vengeance, by Anthony Price
25.(04/??/14)Hawkeye: Little Hits, by Matt Fraction et. al.
26.(04/15/14)A Candle for St. Jude, by Rumer Godden
27.(04/20/14)The Penguin and the Leviathan, by Yochai Benkler
28.(04/28/14)The Unknown Ajax, by Georgette Heyer
29.(05/01/14)The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison
30.(05/05/14)Breadcrumbs, by Anne Ursu
31.(05/06/14)The Memory Trap, by Anthony Price
32.(05/07/14)Cognitive Surplus, by Clay Shirky
33.(05/11/14)The Islands of Chaldea, by Diana Wynne Jones and Ursula Jones
34.(05/14/14)The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. Le Guin
35.(05/17/14)Battle Magic, by Tamora Pierce
36.(05/21/14)Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
37.(05/23/14)Ender's Shadow, by Orson Scott Card
38.(05/23/14)Naturally Selected: The Evolutionary Science of Leadership, by Mark van Vugt and Anjana Ahuja
39.(05/26/14)Royal Airs, by Sharon Shinn
40.(05/27/14)A Breath of Air, by Rumer Godden
41.(05/30/14)Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie
42.(05/31/14)The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater
43.(06/06/14)Moon Over Soho, by Ben Aaronovitch
44.(06/07/14)Valour and Vanity, by Mary Robinette Kowal
45.(06/11/14)Steering the Craft, by Ursula K. Le Guin
46.(06/12/14)Peacemaker, by C. J. Cherryh
47.(06/12/14)Whispers Underground, by Ben Aaronovitch
48.(06/13/14)My Real Children, by Jo Walton
49.(06/16/14)Three Parts Dead, by Max Gladstone
50.(06/18/14)The Other Brain, by R. Douglas Fields
51.(06/19/14)Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, by Lois McMaster Bujold
52.(06/20/14)Broken Homes, by Ben Aaronovitch
53.(06/24/14)Two Serpents Rise, by Max Gladstone
54.(06/29/14)The Nature of Economies, by Jane Jacobs
55.(07/02/14)Understanding the Process of Economic Change, by Douglass C. North
56.(07/05/14)A Hat Full of Sky, by Terry Pratchett
57.(07/07/14)Foreigner, by C. J. Cherryh
58.(07/12/14)Wintersmith, by Terry Pratchett
59.(07/15/14)Use of Weapons, by Iain M. Banks
60.(07/19/14)The Ogre Downstairs, by Diana Wynne Jones
61.(07/21/14)The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
62.(07/21/14)The Queen of Cool, by Cecil Castellucci
63.(07/22/14)The Time of the Ghost, by Diana Wynne Jones
64.(07/25/14)I Shall Wear Midnight, by Terry Pratchett
65.(08/07/14)Binny for Short, by Hilary McKay
66.(08/12/14)Beyond Nature and Culture, by Philippe Descola
67.(08/14/14)Full Fathom Five, by Max Gladstone
68.(08/16/14)The Blue Castle, by L. M. Montgomery
69.(08/20/14)Nature's Second Chance: Restoring the Ecology of Stone Prairie Farm, by Steven I. Apfelbaum
70.(08/21/14)The Forbidden Library, by Django Wexler
71.(09/01/14)The Causal Angel, by Hannu Rajaniemi
72.(09/07/14)The Cuckoo's Calling, by Robert Galbraith
73.(09/09/14)Her Fearful Symmetry, by Audrey Niffenegger
74.(09/20/14)California Bones, by Greg van Eekhout
75.(09/22/14)Dragonsong, by Anne McCaffrey
76.(09/22/14)Dragonsinger, by Anne McCaffrey
77.(09/24/14)Exo, by Steven Gould
78.(09/26/14)Dragondrums, by Anne McCaffrey
79.(09/30/14)The Lions of Al-Rassan, by Guy Gavriel Kay
80.(10/02/14)The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Distaster Strikes -- And Why, by Amanda Ripley
81.(10/13/14)Ancillary Sword, by Ann Leckie
82.(10/15/14)Hawk, by Steven Brust
83.(10/28/14)Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen, by Garth Nix
84.(1?/??/14)The Lives of Christopher Chant, by Diana Wynne Jones
85.(1?/??/14)Conrad's Fate, by Diana Wynne Jones
86.(1?/??/14)Charmed Life, by Diana Wynne Jones
87.(1?/??/14)The Pinhoe Egg, by Diana Wynne Jones
88.(1?/??/14)Mixed Magics, by Diana Wynne Jones
89.(1?/??/14)The White Dragon, by Anne McCaffrey
90.(11/18/14)Winter Rose, by Patricia A. McKillip
91.(11/18/14)Kingfishers Catch Fire, by Rumer Godden
92.(11/??/14)Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by J. K. Rowling
93.(11/30/14)Roadmarks, by Roger Zelazny
94.(12/0?/14)Witch Week, by Diana Wynne Jones
95.(12/07/14)The Slow Regard of Silent Things, by Patrick Rothfuss
96.(12/08/14)The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, by Genevieve Valentine
97.(12/14/14)The Magicians of Caprona, by Diana Wynne Jones
98.(12/26/14)Fool's Run, by Patricia A. McKillip
99.(12/29/14)Scout's Progress, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
100.(12/30/14)Hellspark, by Janet Kagan

First read: 63
Reread: 37
Adult fiction: 58
YA fiction: 32
Nonfiction: 10
aryllian: (Default)
(01/13)The American President
(01/13)Step Up Revolution
(01/13)Captain America: The First Avenger
(01/13)FarscapeSeason 2, Episode 4
(01/13)Shakespeare High
(01/13)Farewell, My Queen
(01/13)Ruby Sparks
(01/13)Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
(0?/13)Little Miss Sunshine
(02/13)Robot and Frank
(02/13)Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
(02/13)AngelSeason 3
(03/13)10 Things I Hate About You
(03/13)Downton AbbeySeason 3, Episode 1
(04/13)Project RunwaySeason 7
(04/13)Where Do We Go Now?
(04/13)A Royal Affair
(04/13)The Forsyte Saga (2002)Series 1
(04/13)Project RunwaySeason 8
(05/13)Project RunwaySeason 9
(05/13)Angel (2007)
(07/13)Center Stage: Turn it Up
(07/13)Project RunwaySeason 10
(08/13)The Incredible Hulk
(08/13)Center Stage
(08/13)Iron Man
(08/13)White CollarSeason 1
(08/13)Murder Must Advertise (1973)All episodes
(??/13)Dorothy L. Sayers MysteriesAll episodes
(09/13)Iron Man 3
(10/13)From Up on Poppy Hill
(10/13)The Garden of Words
(11/13)Much Ado About Nothing (2012)
(12/13)Pacific Rim

Books, 2013

Jan. 5th, 2013 11:02 pm
aryllian: (Default)
To be updated throughout the year. Italics indicate a reread. Entries without numbers indicate that I didn't finish for some reason but read enough (and liked enough) to consider it worth recording.

1.(01/05/13)Thief of Time, by Terry Pratchett
2.(01/06/13)The Privilege of the Sword, by Ellen Kushner
3.(01/09/13)Monstrous Regiment, by Terry Pratchett
4.(01/11/13)Vessel, by Sarah Beth Durst
5.(01/1?/13)Days of Blood and Starlight, by Laini Taylor
6.(01/14/13)Miss Pym Disposes, by Josephine Tey
7.(01/14/13)Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo
8.(01/18/13)Thud!, by Terry Pratchett
9.(01/23/13)Masquerade, by Terry Pratchett
10.(01/23/13)Buffy Season 9: On Your Own, by Joss Whedan et. al.
11.(01/24/13)Impulse, by Steven Gould
12.(01/30/13)Wrapt in Crystal, by Sharon Shinn
13.(02/??/13)The Wise Man's Fear, by Patrick Rothfuss
14.(02/14/13)Catching Jordan, by Miranda Kenneally
15.(02/??/13)Lords and Ladies, by Terry Pratchett
16.(02/20/13)Tales from Outer Suburbia, by Shaun Tan
17.(02/21/13)Gaudy Night, by Dorothy L. Sayers
18.(02/??/13)Komarr, by Lois McMaster Bujold
19.(02/26/13)A Civil Campaign, by Lois McMaster Bujold
20.(03/01/13)The Stonekeeper, by Kazu Kibuishi
21.(03/04/13)The Fractal Prince, by Hannu Rajaniemi
22.(03/05/13)To Love and Be Wise, by Josephine Tey
23.(03/10/13)A Shilling for Candles, by Josephine Tey
24.(03/12/13)The Paladin, by C. J. Cherryh
25.(03/12/13)The Magicians of Caprona, by Diana Wynne Jones
26.(03/14/13)The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, by Kate Summerscale
27.(03/28/13)Speaking from Among the Bones, by Alan Bradley
28.(04/01/13)The Freedom Maze, by Delia Sherman
29.(04/03/13)The Man in the Queue, by Josephine Tey
30.(04/05/13)Renegade Magic, by Stephanie Burgis
31.(04/09/13)Revenant Eve, by Sherwood Smith
32.(04/16/13)The Dragonfly Pool, by Eva Ibbotson
33.(04/18/13)Clouds End, by Sean Stewart
34.(04/19/13)A Cluster of Separate Sparks, by Joan Aiken
35.(04/19/13)Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti, by Genevieve Valentine
36.(04/27/13)Madness: A Brief History, by Roy Porter
37.(05/02/13)This Alien Shore, by C.S. Friedman
38.(05/03/13)When We Wake, by Karen Healey
39.(05/05/13)Cold Comfort Farm, by Stella Gibbons
40.(05/06/13)The Borders of Infinity, by Lois McMaster Bujold
41.(05/07/13)Fuzzy Nation, by John Scalzi
42.(05/08/13)The Vor Game, by Lois McMaster Bujold
43.(05/09/13)Six-Gun Snow White, by Catherynne M. Valente
44.(05/09/13)The Two Princesses of Bamarre, by Gail Carson Levine
45.(05/14/13)Earth and Air: Tales of Elemental Spirits, by Peter Dickinson
46.(05/14/13)B.U.G. (Big Ugly Guy), by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple
47.(05/17/13)The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry, by Gary Greenberg
48.(0?/??/13)Dealing With Dragons, by Patricia C. Wrede
49.(06/02/13)River of Stars, by Guy Gavriel Kay
50.(06/04/13)The Serpent Sea, by Martha Wells
51.(06/07/13)Searching for Dragons, by Patricia C. Wrede
52.(06/12/13)Doc, by Mary Doria Russell
53.(06/12/13)Daggerspell, by Katherine Kerr
54.(06/17/13)Protector, by C. J. Cherryh
55.(06/22/13)Man in the Empty Suit, by Sean Ferrell
56.(06/24/13)Without a Summer, by Mary Robinette Kowal
57.(07/03/13)Mairelon the Magician, by Patricia C. Wrede
58.(07/11/13)Calling on Dragons, by Patricia C. Wrede
Queen Victoria's Book of Spells, ed. by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling (p. 130)
59.(07/20/13)January First, by Michael Schofield
60.(07/23/13)Unspoken, by Sarah Rees Brennan
61.(07/24/13)Confessions of a Sociopath, by M. E. Thomas
62.(07/24/13)The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman
63.(07/26/13)Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon, by Matt Fraction et. al.
64.(07/29/13)Magician's Ward, by Patricia C. Wrede
65.(08/06/13)The Diddakoi, by Rumer Godden
66.(08/07/13)Interesting Times, by Terry Pratchett
67.(08/11/13)The Last Continent, by Terry Pratchett
68.(08/14/13)Guards! Guards!, by Terry Pratchett
69.(08/16/13)The Golem and the Jinni, by Helene Wecker
70.(08/18/13)Handbook for Dragon Slayers, by Merrie Haskell
71.(08/25/13)Cromartie vs. the God Shiva Acting Through the Government of India, by Rumer Godden
72.(08/26/13)Glasshouse, by Charles Stross
73.(08/29/13)The Mote in God's Eye, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
74.(09/05/13)Try to Feel It My Way, by Suzette Haden Elgin
75.(09/0?/13)Thursday's Children, by Rumer Godden
76.(09/0?/13)Redshirts, by John Scalzi
77.(09/09/13)Pandora's Keepers: Nine Men and the Atomic Bomb, by Brian VanDeMark
78.(09/??/13)Starfarers, by Vonda N. McIntyre
79.(10/01/13)Transition, by Vonda N. McIntyre
80.(10/06/13)Metaphase, by Vonda N. McIntyre
81.(10/07/13)Nautilus, by Vonda N. McIntyre
82.(10/07/13)The Gentle Art of Written Self Defense, by Suzette Hadin Elgin
83.(10/08/13)Breakfast with the Nikolides, by Rumer Godden
84.(10/12/13)Rose Under Fire, by Elizabeth Wein
85.(10/21/13)Gateway, by Frederik Pohl
86.(10/2?/13)Men at Arms, by Terry Pratchett
87.(10/27/13)Feet of Clay, by Terry Pratchett
88.(10/??/13)Black Narcissus, by Rumer Godden
89.(11/01/13)The Republic of Thieves, by Scott Lynch
90.(11/05/13)Home Before Morning, by Lynda Van Devanter
91.(11/??/13)Blood of Tyrants, by Naomi Novik
92.(11/??/13)Shadows, by Robin McKinley
93.(12/01/13)The Social Conquest of Earth, by Edward O. Wilson
94.(12/04/13)Necessity's Child, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
95.(12/??/13)Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain, by Michael S. Gazzaniga
96.(12/18/13)Jingo, by Terry Pratchett
97.(12/24/13)Hero, by Alethea Kontis
98.(12/29/13)Dreamers of the Day, by Mary Doria Russell

First read: 62
Reread: 36
Adult fiction: 64
YA fiction: 23
Nonfiction: 11
aryllian: (Default)
I love Sprig Muslin.

I especially love the ending, which has eight people in the same scene saying things at complete cross purposes that are absolutely hilarious mostly because of who they are and everything that's come before. But then in general, I love people saying things at cross purposes.

That is all.
aryllian: (Default)
Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman -- this appears to be a first novel. If I ever write a first novel that's as good and well balanced and well paced and well plotted (mostly, some tiny problems there when you really think about it) and has such interesting characters and interesting world as this -- a fascinating take on dragons...I will be very happy. As it is, I'm sort of jealous.

Fortress of Ice, by C. J. Cherryh -- so, suddenly in 2007 Cherryh decided she wanted to write about children/young adults caught up in her usual political plots? (Deliverer, the first Foreigner book with the young atevi Cajeiri as a point of view character, was also published in 2007.) But really, I love Cherryh's children/young adults, Elfwyn and Aewyn here and Cajeiri in the Foreigner books...but I missed the level of complicated in politics that previous books had. There was more personal plot, and I'm not sure the personal plot worked as well as the politics as a mix with the mystical sort of magic in these books, either. (I ended up a bit confused by the ending.) But that might just be me.
aryllian: (Default)
I was fascinated by the characters and their interactions (there's a pretty unique group of friends in this book), but a bit less than fascinated by the plot with dead people. Dead people == still not my thing. (I think it was handled really well, though. If dead people were my thing, I'm sure I would have adored this book.)

It brought home to me why I like fantasy better than non-fantastic fiction, though. Every now and then I read a young adult book without magic, and it seems like they're all about things falling apart. Friendships failing, things not working out. They sort of have to be, to have plot. But with magic, you don't have to have the group of friends fall apart, it can be tested by the plot involving dead people and weird things happening, but the friendships don't have to break to keep things interesting.

I wish I knew of more fantasy books about unique groups of friends, though. This book reminded me of Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary, by Pamela Dean...I wish I could think of more.
aryllian: (Default)
It's a book about a circus and clowns aren't mentioned even once: it's a very elegant circus. And a good book, it's evocative and it has enough of a story to pull it along. Not the kind of book to go to if you want to really understand every detail of magic and interaction, but that's clearly not the point. It is the kind of book to go to if you want to find an appealing and slightly disturbing place to hang out for a while and see what happens.
aryllian: (Default)
The final exam in a wilderness survival class turns real when all the students are trapped on an alien planet.

It's interesting to compare this book to The Hunger Games. In The Hunger Games, children/teens are trapped in a survival situation where their surroundings are out to get them, and they're forced to kill each other. In this book, children/teens are trapped in a survival situation where their surroundings are out to get them, and they band together in order to survive.

I find the premise of this book infinitely more interesting. The struggle to work together and keep things from falling apart and to deal with challenges together when everyone has their own ideas about what to do is so much more interesting than the struggle to kill people. I mean, really, I read The Hunger Games despite the premise, not because of it.

On the other hand, there are some places where Tunnel in the Sky is showing its age. The attitude toward women isn't as blatant as it could be, but it's there, and there's something else that seemed a little off to me. The whole book is about how survival requires being careful and making choices based on what you have without looking back and without trying to be macho, and yet at a very important point the main character makes a very emotional (and sort of stupidly macho) decision and then we don't even see how that choice might have led to problems because the narrative skips ahead to the point where that choice worked out in the long run.

So in the end, I liked the adventure aspects and I liked the thinking about group dynamics aspects, and it was definitely a very readable book. But I'd like to see a book like this, about creation instead of destruction when faced with a survival situation, that worked a bit more like The Hunger Games in terms of better characterization and more subtlety (though I wouldn't call The Hunger Games an especially subtle book either).
aryllian: (Default)
In my head canon, the answer to the question at the very end of the movie is: Spoilers )
aryllian: (Default)
(01/12)Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald
(01/12)Gilmore GirlsSeason 5, Episodes 21-22
(01/12)Star Trek: The Original SeriesThe Deadly Years
Wolf in the Fold
(01/12)Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
(01/12)Star Trek: The Original SeriesThe Trouble with Tribbles
The Gamesters of Triskelion
(01/12)Gilmore GirlsSeason 6, Episodes 1-4
(01/12)Monsters, Inc.
(01/12)Cold Weather
(01/12)Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
(01/12)Reclaiming the Blade
(01/12)X-Men: First Class
(01/12)Finding Neverland
(01/12)Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
(01/12)Attack the Block
(02/12)Star Trek: The Original SeriesA Piece of the Action
The Immunity Syndrome
(02/12)Sarah's Key
(02/12)Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
(02/12)Bend It Like Beckham
(02/12)Star Trek: The Original SeriesA Private Little War
Return to Tomorrow
(02/12)Before Sunrise
(02/12)Before Sunset
(02/12)The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
(03/12)Rob Roy
(03/12)Midnight in Paris
(03/12)Star Trek: The Original SeriesPatterns of Force
(03/12)The Adventures of Tintin
(03/12)Today's Special
(04/12)Romantics Anonymous
(04/12)The Tempest (2010)
(04/12)Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
(05/12)Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason 5
(05/12)AngelSeason 2
(05/12)Strictly Ballroom
(05/12)Gilmore GirlsSeason 6, Episodes 5-20
(06/12)The Secret World of Arrietty
(06/12)50 First Dates
(06/12)The Brother From Another Planet
(07/12)The Artist
(07/12)Gilmore GirlsSeason 6, Episodes 21-22
(07/12)Gilmore GirlsSeason 7
(08/12)Mary and Max
(08/12)Gone With the Wind
(08/12)Pride and Prejudice (1995)All episodes and extras
(08/12)Star Trek: The Original SeriesBy Any Other Name
The Omega Glory
(09/12)Star Trek: The Original SeriesThe Ultimate Computer
Bread and Circuses
Assignment: Earth
(09/12)FarscapeSeason 1, Episodes 1-4
(09/12)The Hunger Games
(09/12)Ashes of Time Redux
(09/12)Sense and Sensibility (1995)
(10/12)Lars and the Real Girl
(10/12)FarscapeSeason 1, Episodes 5-13
(10/12)The Illusionist
(10/12)The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
(10/12)The Avengers
(11/12)First Position
(11/12)Babylon 5: The Gathering
(11/12)Prince Caspian
(11/12)Iron Man 2
(12/12)FarscapeSeason 1, Episodes 14-22
(12/12)Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason 6
(12/12)The Secret of Kells
(12/12)FarscapeSeason 2, Episodes 1-3
(12/12)Remington SteeleSeason 1, Episode 1&2

Books, 2012

Jan. 3rd, 2012 11:11 pm
aryllian: (Default)
To be updated throughout the year. Italics indicate a reread. Entries without numbers indicate that I didn't finish for some reason but read enough (and liked enough) to consider it worth recording.

1.(01/03/12)These Old Shades, by Georgette Heyer
2.(01/05/12)Kat, Incorrigible, by Stephanie Burgis
3.(01/06/12)A Company of Swans, by Eva Ibbotson
4.(01/08/12)Dear Octopus, by Dodie Smith
5.(01/13/12)Pirates of the Caribbean: The Price of Freedom, by A. C. Crispin
6.(01/17/12)The Ivy Tree, by Mary Stewart
7.(01/22/12)The Door Into Sunset, by Diane Duane
8.(01/26/12)The Children Star, by Joan Slonczewski
9.(01/29/12)The Black Moth, by Georgette Heyer
The Junior Officers' Reading Club : Killing Time and Fighting Wars, by Patrick Hennessey (p. 85)
10.(02/01/12)Perfect Gallows, by Peter Dickinson
11.(02/03/12)An Invisible Sign of My Own, by Aimee Bender
12.(02/05/12)Tunnel in the Sky, by Robert A. Heinlein
13.(02/08/12)My Enemy, My Ally, by Diane Duane
14.(02/09/12)The Romulan Way, by Diane Duane
15.(02/11/12)Bigger than a Bread Box, by Laurel Snyder
16.(02/18/12)Swordhunt (including Honor Blade), by Diane Duane
17.(02/21/12)Clockwork Angel, by Cassandra Clare
18.(02/22/12)Drive, by Daniel H. Pink
19.(02/24/12)Beautiful Minds: The Parallel Lives of Great Apes and Dolphins, by Maddalena Bearzi and Craig B. Stanford
20.(02/27/12)To Touch a Wild Dolphin, by Rachel Smolker
21.(02/28/12)Kingdom of Gods, by N. K. Jemisin
22.(03/01/12)The Blue Castle, by L. M. Montgomery
23.(03/04/12)Throne of the Crescent Moon, by Saladin Ahmed
24.(03/04/12)The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley
25.(03/06/12)The Penelopiad, by Margaret Atwood
Palimpsest, by Catherynne M. Valente (p. 224)
The Map of my Dead Pilots: The Dangerous Game of Flying in Alaska, by Colleen Mondor (p. 62)
Visionary in Residence, by Bruce Sterling (p. 114)
26.(03/??/12)The Reluctant Heiress, by Eva Ibbotson
27.(03/20/12)Two Under the Indian Sun, by Jon Godden and Rumer Godden
28.(03/20/12)Will Supervillains Be on the Final?, by Naomi Novik
29.(03/20/12)The Somers Treatment, by Gillian Bradshaw
30.(03/20/12)Artist Descending a Staircase, by Tom Stoppard
31.(03/25/12)Crucible of Gold, by Naomi Novik
32.(03/29/12)The Lost Duke of Wyndham, by Julia Quinn
33.(04/05/12)Range of Ghosts, by Elizabeth Bear
34.(04/07/12)The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern
35.(04/1?/12)The Empty Chair, by Diane Duane
36.(04/1?/12)Spike, by Peter David and Scott Tipton et. al.
37.(04/17/12)Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline
38.(04/19/12)The Shape of Desire, by Sharon Shinn
39.(04/20/12)Looking for Rachel Wallace, by Robert B. Parker
40.(04/21/12)Glamour in Glass, by Mary Robinette Kowal
41.(05/06/12)Intruder, by C. J. Cherryh
42.(05/??/12)The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch
43.(05/??/12)A Maze of Stars, by John Brunner
44.(05/28/12)Gunner Kelly, by Anthony Price
45.(05/31/12)Some Buried Ceasar, by Rex Stout
46.(06/03/12)Truckers, by Terry Pratchett
47.(06/04/12)Diggers, by Terry Pratchett
48.(06/04/12)Wings, by Terry Pratchett
49.(06/11/12)Early Autumn, by Robert B. Parker
50.(06/11/12)Seven for a Secret, by Elizabeth Bear
51.(06/14/12)The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag, by Alan Bradley
52.(06/16/12)Meeting, by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
53.(06/26/12)Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein
54.(06/27/12)Silence, by Michelle Sagara
55.(07/06/12)Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
56.(07/09/12)The Killing Moon, by N. K. Jemisin
57.(07/11/12)Miss Buncle's Book, by D.E. Stevenson
58.(07/11/12)Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Promise, Part One, by Gene Luen Yang et. al.
59.(07/26/12)Buffy Season 9: Freefall, by Joss Whedan et. al.
60.(07/27/12)Enchanted, by Alethea Kontis
61.(07/30/12)The Princess Curse, by Merrie Haskell
62.(07/30/12)Debt: The First 5,000 Years, by David Graeber
63.(0?/??/12)Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman
64.(08/04/12)Sion Crossing, by Anthony Price
65.(08/08/12)Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis, by Wendy Cope
66.(08/08/12)The Homeward Bounders, by Diana Wynne Jones
67.(08/11/12)Stardance, by Spider and Jeanne Robinson
68.(08/13/12)Mirabile, by Janet Kagan
69.(08/15/12)The Steerswoman, by Rosemary Kirstein
70.(08/16/12)Devil's Cub, by Georgette Heyer
71.(08/20/12)Death of a Dude, by Rex Stout
72.(08/22/12)Libriomancer, by Jim C. Hines
73.(08/22/12)The Last Musketeer, by Jason
74.(08/27/12)Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor
75.(08/30/12)The Outskirter's Secret, by Rosemary Kirstein
76.(08/30/12)Team Human, by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennann
77.(09/06/12)A Woman of the Iron People, by Eleanor Arnason
78.(09/22/12)Rose Sees Red, by Cecil Castellucci
79.(09/22/12)Moon-Flash, by Patricia A. McKillip
80.(09/25/12)Flora's Fury, by Ysabeau S. Wilce
81.(10/04/12)The Banner of the Damned, by Sherwood Smith
82.(10/08/12)A Red Herring Without Mustard, by Alan Bradley
83.(10/13/12)So Silver Bright, by Lisa Mantchev
84.(10/22/12)Deadly Pink, by Vivian Vande Velde
85.(10/24/12)The Ordinary Princess, by M. M. Kaye
86.(10/24/12)Red Plenty, by Francis Spufford
87.(10/28/12)Here Be Monsters, by Anthony Price
88.(10/29/12)The Conqueror's Shadow, by Ari Marmell
89.(10/30/12)A Fistful of Sky, by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
90.(10/31/12)Foiled, by Jane Yolen
91.(11/01/12)The Warrior's Apprentice, by Lois McMaster Bujold
92.(11/02/12)Brothers in Arms, by Lois McMaster Bujold
93.(11/05/12)Leave it to Psmith, by P. G. Wodehouse
94.(11/07/12)I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, by Alan Bradley
95.(11/11/12)Dragon Ship, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
96.(11/13/12)Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, by Lois McMaster Bujold
97.(11/??/12)For the Good of the State, by Anthony Price
98.(11/21/12)Earwig and the Witch, by Diana Wynne Jones
99.(11/23/12)Spring Muslin, by Georgette Heyer
100.(11/25/12)Still Life with Shape-shifter, by Sharon Shinn
101.(12/11/12)Dodger, by Terry Pratchett
102.(12/18/12)Sister Mischief, by Laura Goode
103.(12/20/12)Caddy's World, by Hilary McKay
104.(12/25/12)Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls, by Jane Lindskold
105.(12/26/12)House of Many Ways, by Diana Wynne Jones
106.(12/29/12)The Well-Favored Man, by Elizabeth Willey
107.(12/30/12)Night Watch, by Terry Pratchett

First read: 73
Reread: 34
Adult fiction: 68
YA fiction: 32
Nonfiction: 7
aryllian: (Default)
This is a science fiction book that goes into a lot of really big topics. Population pressure, reproduction, genetic engineering, functional immortality and the ramifications, artificial intelligence, and different cultures and different ethics to deal with these issues.

The characters -- a family that's come to the world of Shorra as so the parents can work as a translator and a genetic engineer, and much of their immediate circle of acquaintances and friends -- are real and they matter, and they're worth following around, but they're not the main point. The main thrust of the book is looking at the different cultures and situations, and the main story is a world level story, not a character level story. None of the characters lives a life outside the push of global and interstellar politics...which makes this another surprising entry in the I guess maybe I actually like politics in fiction collection. (I probably ought to add C. J. Cherryh to the collection and at that point I can quit calling it surprising.)
aryllian: (Default)
I love C. J. Cherryh's aliens.

This books doesn't have aliens that are as well developed as the atevi (in the Foreigner books), but the thing that really struck me about the way things play out in this book is that the aliens and the humans end up living together. Like, not just in the same area, in nearby villages, in nearby but separate houses--really together. The human society is completely shaped by the aliens. I think that's pretty rare, although now I'm wondering if it's some sort of reaction to Pern since the aliens are called dragons in a few places. Because quite frankly Pernese dragons are said to be intelligent, but they're not that alien, they're pretty subordinate to humans, and usually (in the books, not the roleplay) don't seem to have ever that much personality that I can remember. The humans completely shape dragons lives in Pern, and this book is the opposite. It's pretty fascinating, because the humans are still recognizably human too.

That's not all that's going on, there are some very strange human clones that made me uncomfortable (they made the non-clones in the book uncomfortable too) and there's a long generational story going on as we follow certain families as the colony develops, and I loved the payoff at the end.

The other thing that I thought while reading this book is that Jo Walton has talked about how the style of her book Lifelode was based on Rumer Godden's China Court, and she was trying to do something that was completely domestic but ended up bringing in a traditional adventure kind of plot because it was too hard not to...and it occurred to me while reading this, that something like this might work as a completely domestic/China Court type of book--China Court + aliens--because all the weirdness (and therefore the interestingness) is right on top of the characters and their domestic life. In Lifelode, the weirdness is spread all over the world, which meant that the world had to come to the place where the story was set, because what fun is it if the weirdness doesn't show up? But it's hard to have lots of dramatic movement without having a traditional adventure plot to go with it, perhaps?

I will admit that there's a big fight in this book (traditional adventure plot final battle), but there doesn't have to be. I'm pretty sure it could be done without that. China Court + aliens would also require much much much more knowledge about the aliens, much more by way of details (because interesting as they are, they're not super developed aliens in this book), but that would be what made it that much more fascinating too. Of course, I love aliens.

Oh, also, I don't know anything about the Union and Alliance except that there are other books about these entities, but I thought that the background of the Union and the Alliance really added depth to this story, even without knowing exactly who they were.
aryllian: (Default)
Politics and science and politics and romance and politics, and did I mention politics? Fascinating book. It made me forget that I'm not that interested in politics. Actually, maybe I am interested in politics.

One of the best things about this book is that the made up scientific advances were as meaningful as the characters thought they were. This book is crammed full of interesting ideas.
aryllian: (Default)
Diane Duane is very good at writing characters it's a joy to spend time with. Even the villain of the piece was, well, not a joy, but understandable and sad.

This is a book about a company that writes MMORPGs, and while I don't play MMORPGs, I have written computer programs. In terms of feeling real, I was pretty impressed. All I really have to complain about in the portrayal of computers here is that the metaphors can get a bit too much (for me). I think the idea of writing programs using graphical metaphors is pretty interesting, programming languages do usually step up in abstraction as time goes on...but this wasn't an examination of that, it was making the book easier to write by changing all the hacking scenes into virtual battle scenes. It's explained that the battle metaphors are just metaphors for coding going on at a different level, but it doesn't feel real to me. On the other hand, I'm sure that will be more readable for most readers anyway, realistic or not.

I am also very intrigued by what might happen next.
aryllian: (Default)
This book is beautiful and clever and funny and sad, and also triumphant. There are sequels, and as I recall, they're not as good, and I suspect that it's because the spearpoint for these characters has been used perfectly in this book, so what's left for the characters?

I might read the sequels and see if I'm right, though.
aryllian: (Default)
Good book. I was a little dubious at first because the style was so stark, almost distractingly so, but then I got pulled into the story of Solveig, the king's daughter who, along with her siblings, was sent away to an isolated steading for the winter to be safe from a war.

The setting is Norse (and there may be very subtle magic or there may not), and stories play an important part in the book because Solveig is a storyteller and over the winter is given the opportunity to learn to be a skald. I'm not sure I agree with everything that's said about stories, but I was very interested in how stories were presented, how the role of stories was explored.

I also loved watching Solveig grow into herself, this is a fascinating and rather subtle coming of age story. Solveig not only changes, but her impact on other characters changes and grows. I also really liked the setting, it was perfect for the story and very real.

Sadly, the plot (who betrayed whom and why) doesn't make a whole lot of sense (I'm convinced there would better ways of accomplishing certain goals), but that doesn't really mess up the experience of reading it, the best part of the characterization and the journey the characters take while staying in one place, iced in for the winter.
aryllian: (Default)
This book has a narrator. The narrator is very present in the telling of the story, very opinionated (in a good way), and that's part of what makes the story what it is. The other part is...magic realism? I'm not sure that I've really read any magic realism so I might not be using the term correctly, but weird things happen and they're pretty much accepted or seamlessly forgotten, or at least not viewed as all that weird. There's no hard line between normal and weird. It's refreshing after a lot of stories of the secret, hidden magic sort, where the line between normal and weird is an important plot point.

The setting is foreign to me but understandable, and the people are indeed people (even the ones that aren't human). It reads a bit like a parable, but mostly like a story. I enjoyed reading it.
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