jen_264364's profile
Champion

Champion

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4.3K Messages

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88.6K Points

Tue, Feb 28, 2017 4:45 AM

5

JFF: What are the last three books you read?

Just started Different Seasons by Stephen King
Before that read You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams: And Other Stories by Alan Cumming
Before that read Isabella Blow by Martina Rink

Responses

845 Messages

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34.3K Points

2 y ago

Discipline and punish by Michael Foucault

2.7K Messages

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70.4K Points

2 y ago

Charles Stross, The Nightmare Stacks (Laundry Files, #7) 
Nina Stribbe. Man at the Helm  
Rob Dircks, You're Going to Mars!  
Aminder Dhaliwal, Woman World  

2.7K Messages

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70.4K Points

2 y ago


Currently reading (and enjoying) A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C.A. Fletcher.
Since my previous post:
The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson.
The Broken Vow (Spill Zone, #2 after rereading Vol.1) by Scott Westerfield
The manga version of I Want to Eat Your Pancreas by Yuro Sumino
Heavy Vinyl, Vol. 1 by Carly Usdin

4.4K Messages

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123.8K Points

2 y ago

Once Upon a Dream: A Twisted Tale by Liz Braswell
As Old as Time: A Twisted Tale by Liz Braswell

For those of you who are not familiar with it, these books tell classic Disney movie stories with unexpected and dramatic twists.  I will review each one now, if anyone cares:  :)

Once Upon a Dream is, of course, about Sleeping Beauty.  The big twist is, "What if she never woke up?" and is now trapped in a dream-world controlled by the evil Maleficent, but she doesn't know it yet.  The second chapter was quite intriguing and made me really into it.  The story aims to show that Aurora needs to buck up, because in the scary and high-stakes situations of her story, she can't trust just anyone.  It also points out the stupidity of some of the plot senarios (like why would someone let three strange fairies just take their daughter?), which is refreshing, but in trying to make Aurora "brave" and give her lines for cryin' out loud, the author actually makes her unbelievable.  Instead of just changing her thought process to make her not an idiot, Aurora's personality changes, and she begins acting and talking nothing like our Briar Rose would.  It is exciting, but the middle (after the epic first act but before the epic third) it gets predictable and kinda drags.  So I give it 6/10 stars.

As Old as Time tackles Beauty and the Beast, and this one, in my opinion, does a much better job.  It asks the question, "What if Belle's mother cursed the Beast?", so it gives a lot of backstory about Belle's parents, their friends, and the turmoil of the kingdom (presumably France) at that time.  It does a much better at not dragging during the second act, and it keeps the characters believable during the terrifying non-Disney-type situations they are put in.  Mystery after mystery unfolds to reveal a scary but realistically triumphant ending.  It too points out the dumb stuff of the original movie, like "these adorable talking objects are actually people trapped in a shell so it's more sad than cute."  I also liked Belle and the Beast's relationship better in this one.  So I give this 8/10 stars!

2.7K Messages

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70.4K Points

2 y ago

Novels:
The City & the City  by Miéville, China;
Borne (Borne, #1) by VanderMeer, Jeff;
 
Novella:
The Strange Bird: A Borne Story by VanderMeer, Jeff

Graphic novels:
The Avant-Guards, Vol. 1 by Usdin, Carl
Space Boy Volumes 1, 2, 3 by McCranie, Stephen
Waves by Chabbert, Ingrid

Novel currently reading: Embassytown by China Mieville.
 


4.4K Messages

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123.8K Points

1 y ago

Conceal, Don't Feel: A Twisted Tale by Jen Calonita

This Twisted Tale book puts a new spin in Frozen, where, due to magical mishaps, Agnarr and Iduna are forced to adopt Anna into another family, for her own safety.  Each girl struggles with being a lonely only child, feeling like there's someone out there waiting for them.  It's not boring by any means, but the twist simply wasn't dramatic enough to make it feel like an experience.  It works in some of the same dialogue and situations, only playing them out with different context and timing.  In the end, it felt like the same old Frozen, which is nice, but it just wasn't "twisted" enough for what I was expecting.  I give it 7/10.

2.7K Messages

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70.4K Points

1 y ago


Finding it kind of difficult to focus on reading books. I did manage to reread James Morrow's Only Begotten Daughter in mid-March. First, read back in the early 90s. I love that his books are starting to pop up on Audible.

If you're an evangelical Christian? His brand of hellfire religious satire could likely be seen worse than the Holocaust.

"Call it a miracle or an accident at the sperm bank. But Julie Katz, the half-sister of Jesus, has been born to a celibate father. Soon poor Julie is tempted by the Devil and challenged by neo-Christian zealots-and that’s just the beginning of her fantastic odyssey through Hell, a seceded New Jersey, and her own confused soul. Winner of a 1991 World Fantasy Award." Goodreads synopsis.
5/5 on Goodreads.

I often mildly fantasize that if I ever wanted to practice writing a film screenplay from an adapted source, this one would be a great start.

My next book took me from that point to June 3: The Delirium Brief (Laundry Files, #8) from Charlie Stross. Rated a 5/5 (but closer to 4/5)

One graphic novel/volume: Sass & Sorcery (Rat Queens #1) in May.
4/5. Crass adult fantasy/comedy. Pretty dang gory.

Presently drip reading (30% done) All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane  Anders. I went in mostly blind about this one other than a brief mention in NPR book review. Wasn't exactly what I was expecting. Still a good read. I just need to find a better mood or maybe get a witch to put a focusing spell on me for the duration of this moderate length book.;-)

cinephile

2.6K Messages

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50K Points

1 y ago

I just randomly thought of the series Bobby Pendragon, I read while I was really young, and they really shaped my childhood. Total masterpiece. My favorite is the 9th one.

4.4K Messages

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123.8K Points

1 y ago

My Immortal by Tara Gilesbie... torn between giving it 1/10 or 10/10.
What masterful garbage.
It's hard to tell if it's real or a troll's work, but either way they have truly plumbed the depths of oddness and insanity, so it's impressive either way.
cinephile

2.6K Messages

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50K Points

1 y ago

How to Win Friends and Influence People (9/10) 

 It took me a long time to be convinced to read that book, and while I haven't "wind friends and influenced people". I have to praise well-written and clever books such as this one.

Babette's Feast (6/10)

 That short story. There is just the wrong dose of pointless stuff.

Too much to keep the story interesting.

Not enough to make it a challenge or a meme.

PS: If you really like pointless stuff I recommend the masterpiece that is Artamène ou le Grand Cyrus. 160 pages of a man monologuing about his lost love alone in a prison cell is truly a delight XD. No wonder that this book was 14 000 pages long.

2.7K Messages

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70.4K Points

1 y ago

GN = graphic novel.
M = manga.
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Anders: 5/5;
Snotgirl, Vol. 1: Green Hair Don't Care by Scott Pilgrim's writer, Bryan Lee O'Malley: GN 5/5;
Artificial Flowers by Rachel Smith: GN 4/5;
Make Russia Great Again a Trumpian satire by Christopher Buckley: 4/5;
The Rabbit, another by Rachel Smith (I bought 3 or 4 books from her UK publisher, Avery Hill via a tweet): 3/5;
Yotsuba&!, Vol. 1 (Yotsuba&! #1) by Azuma, Kiyohiko: M 5/5;
Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles Volume 1 by Narumi, Naru: M = 5/5.

I'm a sucker for slice of life anime and manga. Great comfort food during these times of anxiety.

The Elementals by McDowell, Michael. Slow burner horror that could make for a great character study if adapted as a miniseries. Wouldn't work as a film. 4/5.

Currently reading a really new YA novel, Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything
by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland.


 



2.7K Messages

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70.4K Points

8 m ago

Whale Day: And Other Poems by Billy Collins. A decent set of poems. Not as moving or humorous as his past work. 3/5.

The Labyrinth Index (Laundry Files, #9) by Charles Stross. Another great Laundry Files novel. A great save the world once again from a mega-other-dimension threat to take over the planet with its usual cheeky aplomb.  5/5. The author just dropped a first spinoff novel in the same universe, so #9 might be the last we hear from series regular protagonist, bureaucrat and resident IT, Bob Howard. 

Reread of Towing Jehovah (Godhead, #1) by James Morrow. I absolutely adore his blistering blasphemous sense of humor. 5/5.

Axiom's End (Noumena #1), the first novel by Lindsay Ellis, member of the YouTube academic world. A fascinating first-contact subgenre of science fiction. I just hope the author doesn't creepily ship the human and alien protagonist). 4/5.

A Borrowed Man by Gene Wolf. REALLY not feeling it. I had to double-check the publishing date. Nope. It was in fact first published in 2015. Dropped quickly after the 3rd chapter as it read like it was written as a 50s noir/science fiction hybrid - language-wise and character development-wise with its 50s women don't like math as that's the realm of boys sentiment and beyond. 2/5.

Manga:

Yotsuba&!, Vol. 4 (Yotsuba&! #4) (as well as Vol. 2 and 3) 5/5 for this super endearing comfort read with unmeasurable amounts of adorableness and charm.

Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles Volume 2 Wondering if one can earn credits towards a doctoral degree in ramen science when reading this perfect food porn and character study manga? 5/5.

2.7K Messages

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70.4K Points

6 m ago

Not in any particular order.

Doughnut (YouSpace, #1) by Tom Holt. The laziest way to describe? Think Douglas Adams, a crap ton of theoretical physics, and an absurdly convoluted way to travel the multiverse - wrapped into a startup tech company of sorts. Reread at 5/5.

Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix.  Short horror/comedy novel parodying all things Ikea. Funny yet damn bleak. The creepy interstitial commercials read by Bronson Pinchot make the audiobook version more fun. I'm so glad I haven't experienced working retail. 5/5.

Dead Lies Dreaming (Dead Lies Dreaming #1), Charles Stross's spinoff series from The Laundry Files (mentioned a dozen or so times in this thread by me). More cosmic horror/office comedy had by all. 5/5.

Novellas:

Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries, #2) and Rogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries, #3)

by Martha Wells. Both 5/5.

Nonfiction:

What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe. Reread but as an audiobook this time. 5/5.

Manga:

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!, Volume 1 by Oowara, Sumito 5/5.

2.7K Messages

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70.4K Points

4 m ago

MANGA:

5 Centimeters per Second (5 Centimeters per Second, #1-2) by the acclaimed anime director, Makoto Shinkai. 3/5. I will have to rewatch the anime to regrasp that magic that was missing from the manga (that came after not before the film).

Made in Abyss, Vol. 1 through Vol. 4 by Tsukushi, Akihito. 5/5 for the first 3 volumes and 4/5 for the last. The first season of the anime takes up the first 3 and a half volumes and the manga skips several scenes that are featured in the series (more small-time jumps). The fourth volume ends on a confusing point in the story due to the flaws in the art style and it being black and white. Visually making it difficult to determine what happened at the key climactic moment. There's the anime movie that came out in 2020 but no where to be found online. Desperate to watch that. I guess I'll keep reading the next four or so manga volumes to find out what happens next.

NOVELS:

When It's A Jar (YouSpace, #2) and The Outsorcerer's Apprentice (YouSpace, #3) by Tom Holt. 5/5 and 4/5 respectively.

Rendezvous with Rama (Rama, #1) (reread) by Arthur C. Clark. Raised from  4/5 to 5/5. Damn you Audible for not having any of the sequel audiobooks.

My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix. 4/5. Definitely not a light comic romp as the on-the-nose title and 80s setting might imply.

Accelerando by Charles Stross. I finally finished it for the first time ever after making at least 3 or 4 attempts in the past several years. 4/5. A ton of Masters's level economic and doctoral level physics went over my head. Still very enjoyable and I'm glad I made it through this time.

The City We Became (Great Cities, #1) by N.K. Jemisin. 5/5.

cinephile

2.6K Messages

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50K Points

3 m ago

I finished:

The Kite Runner by . Not that great, lazy writing. 2/5

Shuni by . I loved it. First nations are such an important and recurrent issue right now in Canada, I thought it would feel redundant. Never, this novel is more complex than I hoped for. 4/5

Currently reading: 

The Prince by . I have no doubt that this is a masterpiece. I can't tell if Machiavelli is serious or not. Either way, it is a remarkably insightful look at politics, a book that still can teach useful truths today. So far, 5/5.

Incendies by . I'm not far enough into the book to give my opinion.

Forbidden City by . Decent book giving basic knowledge on the Tiananmen protests. If you have prior knowledge, I don't recommend it because first and foremost, it is a children's book. So far, 3/5.

La Nouvelle Vague: Portrait D'une Jeunesse. Written by one of the luminaries of the subject. It is really detailed and interesting, I think no matter how knowledgeable you are about the french new wave, this book could suit you. 4/5.

About to read: 

To Kill a Mockingbird by

Wuthering Heights by

Ingmar Bergman : "Mes films sont l'explication de mes images" by