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Is it yuletide yet?

Ahem. I read Zen Cho's Sorcerer to the Crown, which its cover promised me I would enjoy if I liked Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell) and Georgette Heyer (she of many titles).

I loved it with squeeful love, which surprised me a little - not in the least because the male protagonist is rather sincere and serious and polite and just, well, decent. Most of the stuff I read or watch and enjoy has protagonists that are a bit more hm roguish?

Not sure if comparing it to JS&MR is really doing it a favor, though. There's an overlap in themes (British magic in danger! studious gentlemen dealing with Faerie!) and yet they didn't really feel alike. That might just be me, though.

I watched Sucker Punch (my mistake! erk), ventured into the first episode of The Bletchley Circle only to decide it wasn't quite the thing to cleanse my palate, and ended up watching The Great Mouse Detective instead, which was all kinds of delightful, even if I'm not sure what censor would label this movie G. (People get eaten! People visit a nightclub with a sexy stripper-ish lady! People get very nearly crushed to death and beheaded! People are adorable mice wearing adorable clothes! Maybe that's why?)

And, to come back where I started, I 'shook my Yuletide gift' and am now in happy anticipation of reading my gift. Not in the least because two other fics were posted in the same fandom. Yesss!

Is it still not yuletide yet?

This entry was also posted at Dreamwidth.
Just finished the Westmark trilogy, written by Lloyd Alexander, whom some of you may know as the author of the Chronicles of Prydain (with Taran and Eilonwy and a prophesying pig?) or possibly as the author of, well, the Westmark trilogy. I think that one's a little more obscure, though?

I was a bit surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Unlike the Prydain books, Westmark has no magic and no talking pigs - although it does have a princess and a printer's 'devil', who fairly quickly turns to a far more exciting career as a wanted fugitive.

Things get pretty grim on several occasions (the main character looks at his hands at one point and realizes that dark brown stuff caked under them is blood). Never too explicitly so, given that this is, after all, intended for young adults (which I admit I hadn't quite realized was a thing already in 1981) but it turns out you can imply a whole lot of terrible, gruesome and/or just plain sad things if you choose your words and images well.

By way of a blast from the (slightly more recent) past, I also picked up the first season of Sports Night, which is fun and also probably a terrible influence on my idea of what conversations go like.

This entry was also posted at Dreamwidth.
Just started rereading Sarah Monette's Doctrine of Labyrinths series after not quite managing to fall in love with The Goblin Emperor, which I'd rather expected to. Ah well.

(Of course, when I say 'just', what I mean is 'some time last week', so I'm about four-fifths into The Virtu by now.)

Last time I read these books must have been three, four years ago, so I don't quite remember everything that happened. Some stuff, I don't remember at all, in fact, which is not a bad thing, I think.

I also treated myself to the *cough* fourth season of The Good Wife after rewatching the third season. I've spoilt myself for some S5 and S6 events, so I'm not sure if I really want to venture into those seasons after this one.

Happy Halloween tomorrow!

Technically a day early for Halloween but by way of a treat, Steak to the Heart is two minutes of pure cuteness involving a vampire and a werewolf on a date. No humans were harmed in the making of this short, although these aren't quite vegetarian denizens of the dark, either.

Full disclosure: someone nominated this short as a fandom in the yuletide exchange, which is how I stumbled over it.

By way of a trick: quick book reviews I hinted I might write while pruning my collection? Never wrote a single one of them. (Look, it doesn't say anywhere it has to be a good trick, right?

I just finished Mark Gatiss's The Devil in Amber (Lucifer Box #2) which was as much fun as the first Lucifer Box adventure

(our dashing hero is Her Majesty's most highly skilled secret agent, who is also an incredibly gifted portraitist, and, of course, fully aware of the value of modesty (i.e., non-existent). TDiA finds him in post-WW1 New York where he almost pulls off another smooth assassination of a man posing a threat to the happy state of the world as we know it while commenting on the nice bums some people have as well as the fact that he is still every bit as intelligent, nimble and handsome as he was ten years ago. Then, things get complicated)

decided I wasn't really feeling like continuing to read V.E. Schwab's Vicious

(it's about two childhood friends who grow apart to be each other's archnemeses ... with superpowers, which sounded promising, but the chapters alternate between dates like 'now', 'two days ago', 'two weeks ago', 'ten years ago' and so on, which just didn't work for me. Plenty of people seem to love it, so I guess it might just be me.)

and settled on a reread of Connie Willis's Lincoln's Dreams

(two pages in, so nothing to say here yet).

Lastly: I thought The Mummy might make for a fun, Halloween-themed, PG-13 rated movie to watch. very mild spoilers for the first ten minutesCollapse )

Dear Yuletide writer

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This entry was also posted at Dreamwidth.

Books in Boxes

Last time when I moved, which was less than a year ago, I packed all of my books. It didn't matter that I hadn't read or even looked at some of them for years; they were my books, and I was going to take them with me everywhere.

This time, I feel ... a lot less strongly. I'm not sure why - it's tempting to say I've 'grown up' (ha!) or 'become less attached to earthly possessions' (er, no) but I guess I like to look at it as hm, a mix of laziness ('I don't want to pack all of this stuff ... again') and practicality ('well, I haven't wanted to read these books during the past five to ten years, so it's unlikely I'm actually going to miss them')?

And so my mission, for the next three weeks, which I have chosen to accept, will be: cleaning out the book collection.

(Also: post to DW/LJ a little more often, which seems like a goal that could conveniently tie in with 'reading* lots of books and deciding whether to keep them or not'.)


* Well, just the first twenty pages or so. If I want more, I know it's a keeper and I'll put it down for later. This cannot possibly go wrong! My self control will be iron! Ahem.


Unrelated: I've just finished watching the second season of Defiance. Has anybody by any chance watched the third season when it was on? (From Wikipedia, I gather it's the last?)

This entry was also posted at Dreamwidth.

fic: White Collar/Chuck crossover

Title: Be(com)ing Bryce Larkin (sidestory)
Written for: oxoniensis's Porn Battle IX (Dressed to the Nines)
Characters/pairing: Neal, Bryce.
Warnings/notes: Really, I never planned on writing this. But. It happened. (This is your cue to say: I knew that already, now what about the resolution?, by the way. Ahem. Or just to ask: but what about this? - because the last chapter contains absolutely zero exposition regarding anything that happened before the first chapter. Of course, if you do ask, that might make me write yet another sidestory - or not.)

first chapter
first sidestory - three years ago, give or take
second chapter
second sidestory - sixe years ago, give or take
third chapter
fourth chapter
third sidestory - five years ago, give or take
fifth chapter
first intermission - five years ago, give or take a few months
sixth chapter
second intermission - three years ago, give or take a few months
seventh chapter
fourth sidestory - date unknown
eighth chapter
fifth sidestory - date unknown
ninth chapter
tenth chapter
eleventh chapter

Bryce Larkin dies for four weeks.Collapse )