eruthros: X-Files: Mulder in glasses, text "sexier in glasses" (XF - Mulder sexier in glasses)
[personal profile] eruthros
Books, tigers, whatever.

Potential spoilers are under the cuts.

10. Thud!, Terry Pratchett. Not a re-read; I didn't pick it up until after Christmas. I'm a fan, but not really in a hurry. (I hate opening weekends, too.) Anyway, I enjoyed it. I still like Carrot, although everyone else seems to find him boring now, and his scenes with the dwarves were great (dwarf tattoos!), as was his poking at Vimes about being regarded alternately as a dwarf and as a watchman. And of course I love Vimes. And Vetinari. And Vimes and Vetinari together. Vimes! Reading to Young Sam! Carrot clearing the roads so Vimes could read to Young Sam! Since there was all this Big Deal about the vampire on the Watch, it would've been nice to see her for more than two scenes, but I understand that really the point of the story is Vimes and the dwarves and the trolls and the coming war. (Dear Vimes: plz to be figuring out horrible plots mostly on your own in future, as we like it best when you're dogged and determined and disrespectful of clues, or at the very least not being led around by politicians. However, the details of your internal landscape are lovely, and we quite like the tie-in between the Mr Pessimal subplot and the internal landscape dealibob.) Also, I haven't read The Da Vinci Code, but this is an infinitely better parody of it than Shroud of the Thwacker which, apologies to Chris Elliot, completely sucked.

Also, for people who don't think reading fiction is educational, I'd like to point out that Mr Pessimal's name is not Pratchett's portmanteau of "pessimistic" and "optimal," or whatever words people were thinking, but is in fact a real word: a Latin-based attempt at an antonym to "optimal." That is, "Northern California is my optimal environment; the moon, my pessimal." Someone with an OED ([livejournal.com profile] waywardwords?) should take a look at "pessimize" or "pessimal" for me, though, because I think it's a recently created word but can't check here as I lack the OED. My guess is mid to late twentieth century.)

11. Memory, Lois McMaster Bujold. Re-read. I still think this is the best of the Miles Vorkosigan books (I rank the Cordelia books separately). Some of the others are quite good, but Memory really maxes out Bujold's "take Miles as far down as I can" strategy. Also, the scene where Miles is wrestling with temptation and no one believes him is just fabulous. Also I love Gregor here. Awww! Gregor!

12. Komarr, Lois McMaster Bujold. Re-read. I always end up reading Komarr after Memory, though I don't usually take this logical progression as far as Civil Campaign. It's enjoyable and has some good scenes, and the girl gets to save the day. It does, however, contain one of Bujold's phrases that always weirds me. I mean, I know that in some English dialects it is fine to say "I'm highly allergic to it, anymore" but that use of "anymore" throws me out of the story every time.

13. Okay, this time I did take the whole Vorkosigan thing as far as Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold. Re-read. I'm uncertain if this really counts, since what I read are the political bits (Lord Dono, Rene Vorbretten, and the whole Ekaterin-and-Miles mess post-party) and everything with Cordelia and Aral Vorkosigan in it. I skip most of the highly embarrassing bits and the angst, and I get really irritated by the end of the book, because if Bujold really does want to make things hard for Miles, Ekaterin should just stand up and say something like "I believe the word of Lord Vorkosigan, and the fact that I am able to say no to his offer of marriage should be evidence enough that he is not pressuring me." Not with the marriage proposal thing. Really, though, I think my problem with this book is that Miles is saved by a coincidence that he doesn't even arrange, and that Miles, like Dr. House, is in point of fact an irritating character who can only be tolerated as long as he succeeds. He can make mistakes, even huge mistakes, but he's got to save the day in the end. And in Civil Campaign, he doesn't; all his plans fail and he is only saved b his enemy's incompetence. Bleh.

14. Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold. Re-read. I dunno what's wrong with me! Well, at least this one's mostly good -- I like Bel Thorne. And Nicol. And Miles does, in fact, do the quick-thinking part that saves the day, even if other people have to help him make it so. Ekaterin's line to Vorpatil -- something like "shut up, he only makes those noises when he's thinking too fast," is just lovely. Miles' infatuation with his blastocysts somewhat less so.

15. The Loch, Steven Alten. This is the second book I've read in the past year which has blurbs from crytozoologists, making my total this year two more crytozoologisty books than any other year. Or, in fact, all other years put together. (The first was Tyrannosaur Canyon, a Douglas Preston book from the BEA; this one was a gift from my aunt.) Oddly, the first thing I noticed was that the copyright page was done up in sans-serif (curious!). Had I been editing this book, I would have prohibited all "Scottish" dialect ("whit" and "tae" -- oy vey) and cut the entirety of the diary of a Templar. Or at least set it in plain English and a readable, not gothic, font. (Actually, I think I would have also have cut these multiple-paragraph histories of Scotland. Blahblah Hadrian's Wall blah.) Other than that... well. The women are all sluts, and it's hard to feel any sympathy for the main character, an associate professor, when he HAS SEX with his STUDENT, a FRESHMAN, and ends up ENGAGED to her during the course of only the one class. We're supposed to be all "awww, poor guy!" because, see, she breaks up with him after grades are posted, when he's in the hospital 'cause of nearly drowning, and sells the engagement ring to go to Cancun with her boyfriend. But, really, I don't care if she's a money-grubbing slut (as are the other women in the book) because there's a bigger problem -- he slept with a student. (This is only a tossed-aside comment in the book, but I instantly lost all sympathy with the author, because Alten totally sets it up as "pity my poor pathetic character! woe! poor Zach!" and I'm going "Dear Mr. Alten: how could you possibly think that that was okay?") Tra-la. Also, there was a plot, but it was buried under really overblown writing. And involved the loch ness monster. Going craaaazy. And eating people.

Also, on a book related note, this year the BEA is in Washington, D.C. the weekend of May 18-21. (This is Terribly Wrong, as the ABA convention/BEA should always be the last weekend in May or the first weekend in June. What's up with this mid-May weirdness?) Reed Expos, which runs the website, claims that more information will be available in February (from past experience, this appears to mean "April"), but registration is already available.

ETA: Okay, I said that without going to their website, and then I did, and then I snerked. Because... well, this is their logo this year:


And then their slogan is "this year, it's truly monumental."

Yes, I am twelve. TWELVE.

Date: 2006-01-26 02:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waywardwords.livejournal.com
The closest it seems to get (at least in the second edition) is pessimism, although obviously it's all related....

Date: 2006-01-26 03:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] copperbadge.livejournal.com
I am determined to attend this year. Especially with that logo :D

Actually, I will know in about a week if I can attend or not. If I get the job I'm interviewing for on Monday, I'll have enough money...

Date: 2006-02-18 08:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] copperbadge.livejournal.com
Oh man, I totally forgot! End of may, you said?

*PONDERS AND PLOTS*

There's a festival in Wisconsin at the end of May too. I may be able to do a world tour. *snerk*

However, I will also have to see about cash, because the job I got is part time, whereas the job I applied for was full time.

Date: 2006-02-18 10:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] copperbadge.livejournal.com
Hmmmmm, I'll look into it. I have to find out what the dates for the festival are.

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eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
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