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samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Monday, December 29th, 2008 10:07 am
  • Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones. I'm totally charmed by this story, the magical duels, the characters and Chrestomanci's clothes fill me with glee. Cat Chant and his horrible sister are adopted by Chrestomanci the magician.
  •  The Lives of Christopher Chant by Diana Wynne Jones. Fantastic worlds, unnatural love for cricket and magicians. Christopher has no idea what normal is as he gets bumped from weird life to weird life and then he gets adopted/recruited by Chrestomanci.
  •  The Magicians of Caprona by Diana Wynne Jones. Evil enchanters, talking cats, spells that turn people green. Tonino Montana and Angelica Petrocchi, the youngest members of their warring families must save their city.
  •  Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones. Boarding school full of witches in a world where witches are illegal and burned to death. Children being revoltingly normal, uncivilised, self centred little beasts.
  •  Conrad's Fate by Diana Wynne Jones. Didn't get to the end the first time I read this but on the back of all the others it's far more entertaining. Conrad is convinced he has a Terrible Fate and gets caught up in the young Chrestomanci's schemes.
  •  Fake vol 1-7 by Sanami Matoh. Just as adorable as the first time I read it. (Madman were having a sale so I grabbed copies for myself) Gay cop manga. A really nice mix of romance and cop story.
  •  The Cat Family Album by Barbara Thayne. Paintings and musings on life, I’m charmed. I’m also impressed, this is by my aunt.
  •  Little Book of Hugs by Kathleen Keating. Technical training for huggers! A must read.
  •  Grave Peril by Jim Butcher. The pace picked up a bit and it was good. Grotty, misunderstood wizard battles vampires and true love.
  •  Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer. Light reading, not as funny as some but enjoyable. Well bred single lady meets inescapably rude man who makes her laugh, Love ensues.
  •  The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer. Deeply amusing dialogue as governess Ancilla Trent meets Sir Waldo Hawkridge, a man of great sporting abilities and perfect manners. Orphans! Temper tantrums! Fleeing to London!
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Monday, December 22nd, 2008 01:17 pm
  • Kilmeny of the Orchard by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Brilliant, manly young Eric Marshall falls desperately in love with a beautiful, mute violinist. This retains much of the charm that I recall from Anne of Green Gables but I find it hard to overlook the way it reeks of manly, sexist, racist entitlement. I'm also unable to not giggle at lines like "...and he loved that man's son with a love surpassing that of brothers..."
  • A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I've been meaning to read this for what seems like forever and I'm so glad I did. John Carter is unspeakably heroic and nicely tragic in his role as manly defender of Martian Princesses and befriender of Martian dogs. Dates surprisingly well.
  • Frederica by Georgette Heyer. Rereading for love of Dr Ratcliffe’s Restorative Pork Jelly.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Wednesday, December 17th, 2008 11:17 am
  • The Sundered (03) Lady of Mercy by Michelle Sagara West. Early writing, reading it for completeness.
  • The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer. Rereading because I love Prudence.
  • Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett. Rereading because I love all the jokes about socks.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 Issue 19 by Drew Goddard. Winds up the Fray storyline and has least porny cover - must be compensating for last time.
  • Dresden Files: Storm Front and Fool Moon by Jim Butcher. Detective/supernatural/romance mashup, not the greatest but entertaining.
  • House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones. Nothing but love. Charmain looks after her Great-Uncle William's cottage. This has bad guys, laundry, magical dogs, self discovery and much, much more.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Sunday, November 16th, 2008 09:10 pm
  • Spike and Co. by Graham McCann. This is a biography of Associated London Scripts, a cosy professional nest of British humour in the 1950's but my heart goes to Spike Milligan (again) for his awful and amazing life. Utterly worthwhile.
  • So hard to say by Alex Sanchez. Young maybe-gay boy coming of age story, gentle and well developed.
  • The Wave Runners and The Shell Magicians by Kai Myer. Adventure on the high seas, with pirates, magic and mysterious men in capes. I didn't get into this and have not picked up book three but suspect it would appeal to pre-teen boys and girls.
  • Castle in the air by Diana Wynne Jones. Re-reading, still funny!
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. The language in this is great. A toddler narrowly escapes being murdered by a dark man named Jack and is adopted by a cemetary of ghosts.
  • Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley. I want to like this because I love many of her other works but the POV character irritated me a lot and the writing style I just could not get into. Young, socially isolated boy inherits baby dragon and raises her.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 Issue 17 & 18 by Drew Goddard. Still in love.
  • The Grand Sophie by Georgette Heyer. Re-reading, still one of the best out there.
  • Gone Postal by Terry Pratchett. Re-reading, thoroughly enjoyable.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Monday, September 10th, 2007 07:14 pm
The Convenient Marriage by Georgette Heyer. The Earl of Rule offers for the hand of the Beauty of the Winwood Family and after being informed by the youngest Miss Winwood that she is the only option, he takes her hand in marriage. The whole situation escalates alarmingly as Horry does her best to pretend it's a marriage of convenience while getting into steadily more bizarre scrapes. For those of you who love this kind of thing, the brooch going missing, the highway robbery scheme and the poker scene will delight.

Sunshine by Robin McKinley. Not what I was expecting; McKinley making a foray into the supernatural romance genre with varied success. I'm not quite the right audience here as I find it hard to get behind a reluctant heroine who would far rather bake cinnamon rolls than battle the Forces of Evil. I wanted to like this more than I did but would still read more set in this world should it appear.

The Blue Girl by Charles de Lint. I love Newford stories and this is another gem - I'd call it young adult fiction though.  Imogene Yeck is a tough lass who decides to make a go of things at her new school. She starts off by not getting in to a brawl with the school bullies, even better she makes friends with a lovely girl who is in just as much need of a companion as she is. Things are not going to be easy however, the school ghost has a crush on her and has drawn her to the attention of the school's fairies.

The Complete List of best English Language books since 1923 according to Time. )
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Monday, July 9th, 2007 09:08 am
The Quiet Gentleman by Georgette Heyer. Gervase Frant, 7th Earl of St Erth returns to his family from the army to find his younger half brother expecting to inherit the title when Gervase dies conveniently in the wars. Alas for Martin, Gervase is alive and well but his increasingly alarming ‘accidents’ may put an end to all that.

The Foundling by Georgette Heyer. The 7th Duke of Sale has never been unsupervised in his entire life so when he finally bolts, his entire staff panic. The Duke himself has a ball finding out just how capable he really is. This is a gem; it has escalating hilarity, misunderstandings, and fabulous characters.

Across the Wall by Garth Nix. A collection of short stories. Short and sweet for the most part, I found them uncomplex but enjoyable. Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case won two Aurealis Awards and has that lovely, creative touch that made the Old Kingdom such a great place to visit.

The Keys To The Kingdom (05) Lady Friday by Garth Nix. Young Arthur is still interesting as is his gradually increasing collection of chunks of the Will of the Architect. Now waiting patiently for books six and seven.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Peterson. A children’s classic I failed to read as a child that I hear traumatised generations of young people. Well written and engaging in a way that will break your heart. No desire to see the movie at all.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer S8 (02) & (03) by Joss Whedon. Loving it; the voices, the story, the artwork. As comics go this is working for me.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Thursday, August 24th, 2006 02:22 pm
Broken by Kelley Armstrong is another installment in the Women of the Otherworld series and has much werewolf happiness.

The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer is one of her earlier romances and deals with two young adventurers, a brother and sister who swap genders in order to escape exposure as former Jacobites. Their irascible and possibly genius father bounds onto the scene determined to convince the world he is a missing Lord which would neatly solve all their problems... if it turns out to be true. Yay! Fun!

American Gods by Neil Gaiman, I have mixed feelings about this. I liked a lot of the ideas and happily read through the novel but am strangely numbed, I don't really have a reaction.

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn is an alternative view of human history. I like the interpretation that humans view ourselves as not subject to Laws of Nature relating to population and resources.

Teranesia by Greg Egan has many fine things going for it including a very amusing summary of the history of post modernism and It's also a bit confusing, lacking in character development and overall structure. 6/10
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Friday, November 4th, 2005 12:51 pm
The Corinthian by Georgette Heyer was charming and funny although my feelings about 30 year old men pursuing 17 year old girls... I'm torn: part of me is yicked and the rest of me wishes I was being chased by someone who knew something when *I* was 17.

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown is airport_jet_lag reading trash. Sensational and pulpy with heavy exposition. I was told to read this before The Da Vinci code as it's supposed to be better, shall skip his other books. Am particularly enthused by the idea of containing antimatter with magnetic fields generated by an ionic polymer gel with teflon. A gel capable of producing the amperage of a jellyfish will happily contain antimatter so long as it has teflon!

The Final Planet by Andrew Greeley is a science fiction religious romance action novel. Poor Seamus O'Neill; beautiful women, strange rituals, saber tooth tigers, civil war and a terrible conscience. Also appears to be in a world where diffusion works differently - I wish pills worked that fast here. Err 6/10.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Thursday, October 27th, 2005 05:35 pm
You know that thing that happens when you're reading and you get on a bus and you're still reading and then the book ends and you look up and you're on a street you've never seen before on a bus you didn't want and isn't it great that it's a fine day for a walk? Certainly didn't happen to me today.

In other news there has been some very fine reading going on recently.

Read more... )
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Friday, October 14th, 2005 11:26 am
Brightly Burning by Mercedes Lackey is the 'tragic story of Lavan Firestorm.' It's not my favourite but it was the first one I pulled of the shelf for bus trip survival. I think the lack of character development of poor tragic Lavan makes it harder to love. [livejournal.com profile] ascetic_hedony points out I like my characters Machiavellian.

Sylvester by Georgette Heyer is hilarious as Sylvester's opinion of himself gets repeatedly punctured by the only girl who definitely doesn't want to marry him.

Detection Unlimited by Georgette Heyer is a murder mystery with an established and charming detective that made the whole thing worthwhile. Pekingese! Mysterious death! Have been introduced to the crime of wastage whereby you squander the wealth of an entailed estate in order to not pass it on to the heir. Still like the romances more.

Power Lines by Anne McCaffery is about a sentient planet, many cute bits and some great character moments. If people hunt tigers for stuff to make into aphrodisiacs - what do tigers hunt humans for?

Tales of Ten Worlds by Arthur C. Clarke is a collection of short stories, some now a tad dated but still very worth reading.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Tuesday, October 4th, 2005 08:14 pm
This merciful mitigation of the threat appeared to relieve the Tiger’s mind. He heaved a sigh, and very handsomely offered to allow himself to be nibbled to death by ducks if he should so far forget himself as to take even a pin from his prospective mistress.

samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Sunday, October 2nd, 2005 07:38 pm
Miss Charing, who shared with her governess a taste for romantic fiction, toyed with the idea of remaining (a statue of persecuted virtue) by the door, but succumbed to the lure of a fire. Seating herself on the settle beside it, she untied the strings of her cloak, pushed back the hood from her ruffled curls, and stretched benumbed hands to the blaze.


"That is not all," he forced himself to say. "There is worse."
"Is there?" she asked wide-eyed. "What else have you done, Mr. Carr?"
"I–once—" heavens, how hard it was to say! "I once . . . cheated . . . at cards." It was out. Now she would turn from him in disgust. He shut his eyes in anticipation of her scorn, his head turned away.
"Only once?" came the soft voice, filled with awed admiration.
His eyes flew open.
She drooped her head mournfully.
"I'm afraid I always cheat," she confessed. "I had no idea 'twas so wicked, although Auntie gets very cross and vows she will not play with me."
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Friday, September 30th, 2005 03:08 pm
I am so in it for the comedy! The detective story was not nearly so engrossing as the romance which had me giggling to myself late into the night. Yay Georgette Heyer.

Devil's Cub: Well what *is* a dissolute young man to do when he takes off with the wrong girl while being ordered out of the country after shooting someone in a gambling den? Tee hee.

Why Shoot a Bulter?: And rightly so! Good butlers are hard to find and so are incredibly vague yet astute_bordering_on_witchcraft aunts who have rude, unbearably smug nephews who like solving mysteries and annoying people.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Wednesday, September 14th, 2005 11:10 am
Witty, passionate and elegant.

Tried to explain to [livejournal.com profile] ascetic_hedony why I liked this so much and after much hand waving it is possible that my delight was communicated.

Unrelenting bachelor Max turns up to check out the scheming wench angling after his impressionable nephew. He manages to utterly offend a delightful young woman whose passion for vengeance lends itself to a fabulous game of one-upmanship.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Monday, August 15th, 2005 08:45 am

"But I must speak!" Miss Wraxton said earnestly. "I owe it to your cousin!"
"Indeed! How is this?"
"You will understand that he does not like to mention the matter to you himself. He feels a certain delicacy ---"
"I thought you were talking of Charles!" interrupted Sophy. "Which cousin to do you mean?"
"I am talking of Charles."
"Nonsense! He has no delicate scruples."

Sophy arrives to find her cousins household merely stumbling along and resolves to sort them out - with delightful consequences.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Wednesday, August 25th, 2004 08:58 am

Aww cute.

Had one of those magic moments down at South Beach last night.

It was windy and wild and the sky was one huge roiling mass of dark grey curls, I could see the rain falling all over Fremantle and from the way the wind was screaming it was coming South fast. Huge white mounds of foam were coming over the groin - it was way too choppy out there to form proper waves, and the woofer was doing that manic scampering that means even he noticed the weather was inclement.

Got to the car, let woofer in, closed door and heavens opened up. People appeared from nowhere and bolted into cars - fear the jogging lady in the short, tight lycra. By the time we left the car park I could barely see the road and all the smug panting from the back seat fogged up the windows something cruel.

Lo! We got home and the rain STOPPED.

Me: 1
Elements: 0

Visited training to watch people get grading results and ended up hanging about after (groupie) chatting and listening to parents telling stories about lies they have told their kids. Winners include:

"The Icecream Van always plays the music when it has run out of icecream"
"The Tooth fairy pays more for teeth in perfect condition"

Fake Telephone call..

"Yes, I have a little girl"
"Not allowed to watch Simpsons?"
"Trouble with the police?"

Just wait til she grows up and realises..