glasses and book

Books of 2012

Ali, Nujood: I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced

Briggs, Patricia: Moon Called
Briggs, Patricia: Blood Bound
Briggs, Patricia: Iron Kissed
Briggs, Patricia: Bone Crossed
Briggs, Patricia: Silver Borne
Briggs, Patricia: River Marked
Briggs, Patricia: On the Prowl
Briggs, Patricia: Cry Wolf
Briggs, Patricia: Hunting Ground
Briggs, Patricia: Fair Game

Card, Orson Scott: Ender's Game
Card, Orson Scott: Ender's Shadow
Carriger, Gail: Soulless
Carriger, Gail: Timeless
Carson, Rae: The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Carson, Rae: The Shadow Cats
Carson, Rae: The Crown of Embers
Collins, Suzanne: The Hunger Games
Collins, Suzanne: Catching Fire
Collins, Suzanne: Mockingjay
Conan Doyle, Arthur: The Hound of the Baskervilles
Cross, Kady: The Strange Case of Finley Jayne
Cross, Kady: The Girl in the Steel Corset
Cross, Kady: The Girl in the Clockwork Collar

Donoghue, Emma: Room (good but if you have any trigger issues with depression/suicide, DO NOT READ)

Evanovich, Janet: One for the Money
Evanovich, Janet: Two for the Dough
Evanovich, Janet: Three to Get Deadly
Evanovich, Janet: Four to Score
Evanovich, Janet: High Five
Evanovich, Janet: Hot Six
Evanovich, Janet: Seven Up
Evanovich, Janet: Hard Eight
Evanovich, Janet: Visions of Sugar Plums
Evanovich, Janet: To the Nines
Evanovich, Janet: Ten Big Ones
Evanovich, Janet: Eleven on Top
Evanovich, Janet: Twelve Sharp
Evanovich, Janet: Lean Mean Thirteen
Evanovich, Janet: Fearless Fourteen
Evanovich, Janet: Finger Lickin' Fifteen
Evanovich, Janet: Sizzlin' Sixteen
Evanovich, Janet: Smokin' Seventeen
Evanovich, Janet: Explosive Eighteen

Gabaldon, Diana: Outlander
Gabaldon, Diana: Dragonfly in Amber (only read half)
Gaiman, Neil: Neverwhere
Goodman, Alison: Eon
Goodman, Alison: Eona

Harkness, Deborah: A Discovery of Witches
Harkness, Deborah: Shadow of Night
Harris, Charlaine: Deadlocked
Harrison, Kim: Dead Witch Walking (didn't finish it, honestly)
Huff, Tanya: The Fire's Stone
Huff, Tanya: The Enchantment Emporium

Johnson, Maureen: The Name of the Star

King, Leslie (editor): A Study in Sherlock

Morgenstern, Erin: The Night Circus

Riordan, Rick: The Mark of Athena
Roberson, Jennifer: Lady of the Forest
Roth, Veronica: Divergent
Roth, Veronica: Insurgent
Rothfuss, Patrick: The Wise Man's Fear
Rowland, Diana: Sins of the Demon

Shaffer, Mary Ann, and Barrows, Annie: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Wall, Elissa: Stolen Innocence
Weisberger, Lauren: Everyone Worth Knowing
Weisberger, Lauren: Chasing Harry Winston
Weisberger, Lauren: Last Night at Chateau Marmont
Wrede, Patricia C. & Stevermer, Caroline: Sorcery & Cecelia
Wrede, Patricia C. & Stevermer, Caroline: The Grand Tour
Wrede, Patricia C. & Stevermer, Caroline: The Mislaid Magician

Currently reading:
Butcher, Jim: Cold Days
zimmerman at bat

(no subject)

Today, the Washington Nationals sponsored a blood drive, administered by INOVA, held at the ballpark, since the Nats are on the road. If you donated blood, you got two free tickets to a game (in the 400-level) and a t-shirt that says "Give blood? I do" with the Nats' curly W logo. I got rejected for having iron-deficiency anemia, a condition I was already aware of but had been working on. So while a couple of people went "Your iron is only 9.7?!", that's actually not bad, because last time it was below 8 (has to be 12.5 to donate). AND they gave me tickets and a t-shirt even though they rejected me. My mom also got rejected, though her iron was 12.4, which is just silly, and she got her tickets, too. And THEN they told us we could do a free tour of the park right then. We said HELL YES and did a tour. It was very, very cool. Nationals Park is only in its fifth season and it's still one of the nicest parks in the league.

Bob, the guy who did the tour, was awesome and said "Welcome to Nationals Park, home of the first place Washington Nationals! I never get sick of saying that. I almost have to pinch myself every time!" He was fabulous and the tour was fun. Want photos? Here! (Sorry they just came out ok, I had no idea there would be a tour and my phone camera is not so great.)

The view from the press box. The highest in the MLB, and apparently the journalists complain that they're too far away, but I think it's a gorgeous view. This is also the background on my phone now.

After the press box, we went straight to the clubhouse, aka the locker room. I think this is the most beautiful locker room I've ever seen.

The comfy chairs in the middle were my favorite part. A far cry from the folding chairs and benches you see in movies.

MLB uniform regulation posters right outside the locker room. They were up in both English and Spanish.

Bat science! How to cut down on broken bats, which are not only annoying, but can be dangerous to players, umps, and fans. The photo to the right is of Ryan Zimmerman, after hitting a 2-out, 3-run walk-off homer on July 4, 2006, during his first (full) rookie season (he was called up in September of 2005 and played just a couple of games that year).

Batting cages back behind the clubhouse. Much better warm-up for pinch hitters late in the game than a couple of swings in the tunnel like they used to do.

The stairway down to the tunnel.

Quote from Joe DiMaggio in the tunnel, the last thing any Nat sees before taking the field. I wish I'd gotten the photo of the heavy bag hanging in a little alcove off to the left just before getting up to the field- as the tour guide said, if that game where Bryce Harper threw the bat against the wall had been at home, he could have just hit the bag a couple of times, and not had to get stitches.

The dugout, from right on the field! The tour guide said "so you'll notice that Danny Espinosa, who's only a sophomore, has two places for his batting helmet, while veteran Ryan Zimmerman only has one, anyone know why that is?" and I was like "Cause Danny's a switch hitter and has a helmet for each side..." and then I realized that I'd referred to a player by his first name and that was weird. Oops.

My photo of the field from the dugout didn't come out well, so here's one standing up on the field in front of the dugout <3
captain america

(no subject)

K SO this will totally be a tumblr post once I get my tumblr password reset. Also I don't think I ever friended anyone so if you want to be friens with me on tumblr please tell me your username?

I was over at the Avengers party posts on ONTD and there was so much awesome that I had to post it. So here:

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glasses and book

Books of 2011

Aaron, Rachel: The Spirit Eater

Barker, Clive: The Thief of Always
Beddor, Frank: The Looking-Glass Wars
Brontë, Charlotte: Jane Eyre
Butcher, Jim: Ghost Story

Cabot, Meggin: She Went All the Way
Carriger, Gail: Soulless
Carriger, Gail: Changeless
Carriger, Gail: Blameless
Carriger, Gail: Heartless
Carriger, Gail: Marine Biology (short story)
Conan Doyle, Arthur: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Conan Doyle, Arthur: A Study in Scarlet

Fforde, Jasper: The Eyre Affair

Gaiman, Neil and Pratchett, Terry: Good Omens
Gibson, William and Sterling, Bruce: The Difference Engine (didn't finish)
Godbersen, Anna: Bright Young Things
Godbersen, Anna: Beautiful Days
Gruen, Sara: Water for Elephants

Harris, Charlaine: Dead in the Family
Huff, Tanya: Valor's Choice
Huff, Tanya: The Better Part of Valor
Huff, Tanya: The Heart of Valor
Huff, Tanya: The Truth of Valor

King, Stephen: 11/22/63

Lawhead, Stephen R.: Avalon: The Return of King Arthur

McKinley, Robin: Sunshine

Priest, Cherie: Boneshaker

Rinaldi, Ann: Time Enough for Drums
Rinaldi, Ann: Wolf by the Ears
Rothfuss, Pat: The Name of the Wind
Rothfuss, Pat: The Wise Man's Fear (twice)
Rowland, Diana: Blood of the Demon
Rowland, Diana: Secrets of the Demon

Weir, Alison: The Captive Queen
Wells, H.G.: The Time Machine
Westerfeld, Scott: Leviathan
Westerfeld, Scott: Behemoth
Westerfeld, Scott: Goliath
glasses and book

(no subject)

In December, Melissa Marr (aka melissa_writing) and Robin McKinley (who no longer uses her LJ and can be found here) had a small debate back and forth on their blogs about Rochester and whether he's an attractive character. I started to read them, but having not yet read Jane Eyre and knowing only "Jane is the governess, she and Rochester fall in love, he has a crazy wife in the attic" and not knowing the outcome of that, I decided to go back and read those entries after I actually got around to reading the book. I finished it on Tuesday, I read Melissa Marr's and Robin McKinley's views, and here is what I was thinking as I read the book.

My issue with Rochester is actually not the wife in the attic. He puts her in a nice room, with a caretaker, which while not good, is far better than would have happened in an asylum. A good part of Bertha's "madness" is that she's an alcoholic- Rochester says so, even- and while she's definitely unstable (to the point of setting fire to his bed while he's asleep, and attacking her brother and biting him so that he bleeds copiously), I have to point out that we have no idea of knowing how "mad" she was BEFORE she spent ten years in the attic. I'm inclined to think she was already well on her way to being dangerous, but like Melissa Marr said, we're getting Rochester's version of the story through the eyes of someone who loves him.

My point is that I can forgive that. What I cannot forgive is that he lies about it. Granted that it's a lie of omission at first- he's been pretending for so long to everyone around that he's a bachelor, the lie comes naturally- and yes, I actually do understand that the longer something like that goes, the harder it is to come clean. I have no problem with him falling in love with Jane- you can't help who you fall in love with, and Jane loves him too. But he then proposes to Jane and tries to illegally marry her anyway! That, in my eyes, is unforgivable. I kept texting sheamackenzie increasingly incredulous messages in all caps, causing her to crack up.

I'm also still amazed at the whole confession of love scene. I loved the way he described it, I really did. But the preceding three pages of waxing lyrical about Blanche I could have done without. Especially when she calls him on it and his reaction is to laugh and admit so cavalierly that he was just making her jealous. Really? Didn't they already discuss that she'd never felt jealousy? Is that why he's trying to make her jealous? She has nothing to be jealous about- she's his employee! She has no earthly reason to believe she has any chance with him, so all his rhapsodizing about Blanche really should (and I think does) just make her sad.

And my biggest issue. When all is revealed, he tries to convince Jane to stay. And when she says she doesn't want to be his mistress, he says they'll go to France and live as husband and wife, though they won't actually be married. Jane replies that she feels it's wrong*, and his response is to say "Well, since you have no family, nobody's going to be upset by it, so what's your issue?" THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. NOT AT ALL. Manipulative is the only word I can possibly use to describe to his behavior here.

I was so happy when Jane ran away. I wanted the book to end with Jane as an independent person, even living with Mary and Diana. Tragic love that she never recovered from, never marrying, would have suited my sensibilities just fine. I knew not to expect that, though, from my friends who are self-proclaimed hopeless romantics who love the book. I declared after Jane ran away that I didn't believe there was anything Rochester could do to make me forgive what he said and did. I still can't think of any way the book could have gone that would have made me forgive him. For some reason, the fact that his atonement comes in the form of having been blinded, rather than his actual doing something, really annoys me. He didn't change! He hasn't done anything to make him worthy of forgiveness! Just because he was injured, everything's suddenly fine? I know Jane's objection was actually just that Bertha was still living. Even if he hadn't been injured, she would have married him as soon as it was legal. And I think that's what annoys me the most.

The biggest defense I hear of Rochester as a character is that his mistake makes him human. Except that it's a big damn mistake. It's not like he kissed her, oh oops. No, he actually got her all the way to the church to get married and would have gone through with it if Mason hadn't intervened. I've also heard that it's likely that Bertha was actually insane and not just independent, since one of the reasons Rochester likes Jane is because she's willing to stand up and speak out. I do agree with that point, but just because Jane stands up for herself sometimes (and really, she's not that assertive, she's just in a time where women hardly ever said anything at all) doesn't mean she can't be manipulated.

I love Robin McKinley's heroes without exception**, and my favorite is probably Constantine from Sunshine, who sparked the debate between Melissa Marr and Robin McKinley. So I fully expected to view Rochester as she does, and as sheamackenzie, who has been my friend for quite a while, does. We tend to agree on things like this. But as I read on, I found myself surprised not that I didn't find Rochester unbearably attractive, but that other people do. He lies and manipulates and doesn't atone for it, and again, we're getting this story through Jane's eyes! She loves him, she married him! And so even though the retelling is colored by her love for him, I still find him to be manipulative and his actions to be reprehensible? Yeah, I'm not so sure.

What it comes down to is that I love the book. I love Jane (it's not her fault she falls in love with him). I like Rochester as a literary character that I can read about and go "how could someone DO that???", but I still don't think I find him attractive even though I really really like his description of his feelings toward Jane. And I can't wait to see the most recent film adaptation of the book. The casting looks absolutely perfect.

*I really liked Jane's constant struggle with religion, and that she continues to be very moral anyway.

**Or at least any exception that I can recall. I positively adore Corlath and the Beast and Tor and Luthe and omg Sahath was my very first literary crush at the age of ten. The Healer remains one of my favorite short stories ever.

(no subject)

Last week, I was working on casting for Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. Now I'm posting it.

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Also I am using my Neverwhere icon, which noone ever realizes is from the book. It's from the author's preferred text and it's not in the American version, but the passage is:

To say that Richard Mayhew was not very good at heights would be perfectly accurate, but would fail to give the full picture. It would be like describing the planet Jupiter as 'bigger than a duck'. Richard hated clifftops, and high places. Somewhere not far inside him was the fear--the stark, utter, silently screaming terror--that if he got too close to the edge, then something would take over and he would find himself stepping off into space. It was as if he could not entirely trust himself, and that scared Richard more than the simple fear of falling ever could. So he called it vertigo, and hated it and himself, and kept away from high places.

That is a perfect example of why I love Neil Gaiman. My favorite joke ever and a beautiful passage with the phrase "silently screaming terror". And why this is one of my two favorite books.

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ANOTHER PICSPAM! Seriously, I'm having fun here. innoittaa and I were talking about people I'd missed. So here I am. I may be doing a few more of these over the next few days- I've been casting some of my favorite novels in my mind and I'm going to post them.

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Yeah, I'm having a shitty time of it the past few days (or, to be perfectly honest, the past few years). On top of everything else, my stomach has decided that it hates food and is going to empty itself every time I try to eat. This is probably because of stress. So I'm going to cheer myself up much as sunnyrea does, by posting awesome things.

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