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coprime: an awesome lady stepping out of a boat (Default)
Monday, January 7th, 2013 11:15 am
In your own space, share something non-fannish about yourself. A passion or a hobby or a talent, something that people might not know about you. We are more than just our fandoms. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

This was tough because I tend to be very close-lipped about my non-fannish life on the internet, but I eventually figured out that I could talk a bit about math, which was my major in collage and something I've always found fascinating.

I actually chose my username, [personal profile] coprime, because it was a math term that was unique and that I liked the look of. Two whole numbers are coprime if the only whole, positive number that divides both of them neatly is one. As an example, 9 can be divided by 1, 3, and 9 while 22 can be divided by 1, 2, 11, and 22. The only number in both those lists is 1, so 9 and 22 are coprime. (As a counterexample, 9 and 15 are not coprime because both are divisible by 3.) It's not a term or idea that I ever used in my studies at school, but as I said I liked the look of the word.

I've also dug out some math-related links from my bookmarks that I think laypeople might also find interesting or fun (as well as two more math-intensive links).

-A video about the surprising Menger Sponge and its cross section. If I were a cartoon character, I would have had hearts in my eyes while watching this video. It does a good job explaining what's going on in friendly terms, and I think the cross sections are beautiful to look at. (Sorry to any visually impaired persons reading this because while there is narration explaining things, it's a bit of a brain-twisting idea even with being able to seeing the model. I doubt it's easily understandable without the model.)

-What the Tortoise Said to Laurie is an Alice in Wonderland-esque look at the idea o infinity via an infinitely long, two-inch piece of string. Infinity is one of those ideas that's fun to explore because it lends itself to all sorts of mental diversions.

-How to make your bagel into a Möbius strip, for those who like a little math with their breakfast. Neat looking even if you don't have a bagel yourself handy to experiment on.

-Finding Point Nemo, the spot in the ocean furthest from any land, and the answer is not where I would have guessed. There's not much explanation here of how the computer calculated this point, but I find it an interesting bit of mathematically discovered trivia.

-A function that is continuous at only one point, and this link is something you need some higher math (basic calculus) to get. But if you do understand calculus, I think this is a pretty nifty function.

-The Tau Manifesto, positing a replacement for π that makes a very compelling argument. This is super-math geeky, I'm afraid, but the basic idea is that π is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter while τ is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its radius. And by changing π to τ, a lot of things found in trigonometry (which are then populated up into higher mathematics) get simplified. I find it an interesting thought experiment, even though I know π is not getting replaced anytime soon.

-A comic poking fun at the word problems you used to do in elementary school, to close out my links. This one should be understandable to everyone.

Transcript under here )

And two book recommendations! Fantasia Mathematica and The Mathematical Magpie, both edited by Clifton Fadiman. They contain short stories, cartoons, poems, and other things that have a mathematical bent. A lot of the things in these books are laypeople playing around with ideas like infinity or multiple dimensions, so I don't think any extensive math knowledge is required to enjoy them. I adore these books because of the imagination and the fun the various authors have with all these ideas.
coprime: animated icon of a boy reading intensely and then shouting "But I don't want it to be over!!" (books)
Sunday, August 5th, 2012 10:42 pm
I always enjoy writing up my thoughts about the books I've read, but I never seem to stick to it long-term. So here goes try number three at making it stick.

Ladies of Lantern Street #1: Crystal Gardens - Amanda Quick*
I wanted so much to like this book but in the end there were too many things that left me rolling my eyes for it to be more than okay. All of the dialogue, but especially Evangeline's, came across as affected and unrealistic to my ear. The constant use of the twee word "psychical" didn't help either. The romance between Evangeline and Lucas lacked any sort of tension. Lucas very quickly realized that he wanted to marry her and then that was it for his romantic plot arc, while Evangeline said the relationship would end after the danger was taken care of but then acted exactly the opposite. There were several plot points that just felt like they were never explored as fully as they should have been so that when they got wrapped up at the end, it all felt too neat - the final confrontation between Lucas and Judith, the confrontation with the murderer that included six pages of dialogue explaining the murderer's motivation, and the really cute secondary romance that got one scene devoted to it before the couple ended up happily engaged offscreen. The last was especially disappointing because I would have liked to see more of them. They seemed surprisingly well-suited to each other, but all I got was that one scene.

There were good bits - the different suspense plots were interesting, and I always enjoy seeing family and friends work together and help each other - but so many things threw me out of the story that I couldn't immerse myself like I normally do and that significantly decreased my enjoyment of this book. I really did want to like it too.

Flight v3 - Kazu Kibuishi, ed.
This is a collection of short comics by about twenty-five different artists spanning a variety of styles, genres, and emotional tones. I was very surprised by the quality in this volume; I thoroughly enjoyed around two-thirds of the stories. The other third mostly had the problem (for me) of me either not understanding the comic or finding it a bit dark for my taste. And there was one comic I vehemently disagreed with. (I don't care what a stranger looks like, if I find them with their hand inside my purse, I am assuming they're stealing from me and I really don't think I should be faulted for that.) I would definitely enjoy reading the other Flight collections.

Hereville v1: How Mirka Got Her Sword - Barry Deutsch
I originally read the 57-page webcomic version of this (that has since disappeared off the internet) and enjoyed it so much that I knew I wanted to get it in dead tree form as well, especially since the book was over twice as long. I have a feeling that one can read the book's subtitle ("Yet Another Troll-Fighting 11-Year-Old Orthodox Jewish Girl") and pretty much know whether this is the sort of thing one wants to read or not. I loved everything about it: the art, Mirka and her stubbornness, her family, the look at Orthodox Judaism (something I know little about), and especially how Mirka finally won her sword.

Sector General #1-3: Beginning Operations - James White
This is an omnibus of the first three Sector General novels, and after reading this I am eager to get the rest of the series. The Sector General novels are science fiction stories set aboard a gigantic hospital in space. The first novel was a bunch of independent short stories while the other two were more of a novel being presented through linked short stories. I loved the imagination shown in the different types of aliens and in the mysteries presented by their symptoms. I never once felt that these medical mysteries were getting repetitive or predictable.

The only annoying bits were a fair amount of repetitive descriptions (Everything was originally written as short stories that got independently published and then gathered into novel-length format. So explanations regarding the hospital in general and some of its tech and the more common aliens just gets repeated nearly word-for-word.) and a really jarring bit of sexism. The first short story written was written in the 1950s, and I know a lot of older science fiction really doesn't do too well on the "female characters are people too" test. Sector General surprised me by feeling like it could have been written within the last twenty years. Until I got to the bit where Earth-human females can't use this one particular bit of important technology because our brains are too emotional and using it would drive us insane. So there's like five hundred pages of awesome alien medical mysteries, twenty pages of repeated descriptions, and one page of sexist crap.

I dealt with it by just ignoring that one page, but other people's mileage may vary.

Life Behind the Mask: Memoir of a Youth Baseball Umpire - Michael Schafer*
I'm not sure why LibraryThing matched me with this book (I don't have many sports-related books or memoirs in my library.), but I'm really glad it did. I took my time reading it, enjoying it leisurely, and letting the author's love for the game sink in. The author explains many of baseball's more complicated rules and uses those rules as an excuse to tell stories about some of the more memorable games he's umpired for. I'm only a casual baseball fan, but I never had problems understanding the author's explanations. I came away from this book with a greater appreciation of the game of baseball as well as a greater understanding of the game.

*I won a copy of this through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program.
coprime: animated icon of a boy reading intensely and then shouting "But I don't want it to be over!!" (books)
Saturday, December 31st, 2011 12:21 am
Every year when I look back, I get sad that I haven't read more books than I did and resolve to do better. This year, I made a really good push in the first half of the year and then discovered I could easily put AO3-hosted, book-length fanfic on my ereader. And that kind of killed my reading in the second half of the year, haha. Thirty-three books from January to June, eleven from July to December.

Oh well. Something to note for the upcoming year: make an effort to read those paper books you keep buying and ebooks you keep downloading.

* means I loved it, + means I liked it, = means I was neutral, - means I disliked it

The List! )

My favorite was probably Zoe Archer's Blades of the Rose series. I devoured the entire series as soon as I got them. I haven't enjoyed a romance series that much in a while -- it had about everything I could ask for: interesting heroines and heroes, plot, magic, lots of action, fun sex, exotic locations. Even now, it makes wish for more in the series in any form I can get. The only complaint I had was that once each novel's couple started having sex, they had sex a lot, to the detriment of moving the plot along sometimes.

Worst was probably Craig Halloran's The Darkslayer, although someone who's not me might love it. It wasn't badly written, but it felt like someone decided their tabletop RPG was so cool it needed to be made into a novel. And I don't really care about someone else's D&D campaign.

Best new-to-me author was Pati Nagle. Both of her books I read this year were copies of books I won via LibraryThing, and I enjoyed both immensely. Coyote Ugly is a collection of short stories of hers that spans about ten different genres, though scifi/fantasy is the most common, and Pet Noir is a fleshed-out novella of one of the stories in Coyote Ugly about a genetically-altered cat who's on the police force of a space station.

Also of note, I finally finished the His Dark Materials trilogy, after reading The Subtle Knife four years ago.
coprime: an awesome lady stepping out of a boat (Default)
Monday, November 21st, 2011 04:20 pm
Going through my unorganized bookmarks, I found several links to bookshelves that I liked. Hence, linkspam.

This one looks so useful! It's got a spot to a drink, a spot to keep your place when you put your book down, and a spot to store other books you're reading. All in a nice, small piece. The more I look at this shelf, the more I like it.

The minimalist-est shelves I have ever seen. The lack of hard shelves would drive me nuts in my own home, but I really like the geometry of these shelves.

Another holder for books you're currently reading. This one would be useful on a desk. And it spins, which would be fun to play with while bored.

This is a bookend rather than shelving, but I can't imagine any lover of physical books not enjoying this bookend. It is cute and funny!

It looks like someone played Jenga with a bookcase. I like all the little nooks and crannies.

This bookcase is rather clever although not very practical for actually holding books.
coprime: an awesome lady stepping out of a boat (Default)
Thursday, July 9th, 2009 07:57 pm
I don't quite understand why looking at pictures of bookshelves makes me happy, but it does.

This one looks like a speech bubble! I've also seen a similar shelf with the wood painted white, but I much prefer this one.

Your books will never fall over again. I like the simple yet elegant solution of this shelf. There's no need for bookends, yay.

It's retro. I'm fond of the shape of this shelf and think it would make a nice bedside table.

Triangles are cool. While I like the look of this bookcase, the odd-sized shelves would make actual book storage frustrating. But it'd be a good knick-knack display case.

Another solution to the books-falling-over problem. I like that these shelves are stackable. (Only stackable to a point, I'd guess, but I don't think seven of these things on top of each other would be visually appealing anyways.)

Incorporating hidden pictures into your bookcase. I like how this is a standard sort of bookcase until you look closer at walls (or posts maybe?) of the case.

If you're more of a city person. While I do like the structure of this bookcase, it's the color of it that I really love. It reminds me of a sunset when you're downtown and surrounded by skyscrapers.

(All bookcases/shelves found via Bookshelf obviously, which is a fantastic blog if you like books.)
coprime: an awesome lady stepping out of a boat (Masdevallia notosibirica)
Thursday, April 2nd, 2009 06:47 pm
Probably reading a blog all about bookshelves will lead to nothing but trouble for me, as neither my apartment nor wallet are all that big and I'm stuck coveting them.

Cardboard Bookcase
Both of these are homemade shelves made out of cardboard. I adore the spiral shape of the top one, even if it does make storage trickier.

8.4 Bookcase
I really like how this one's very geometric but doesn't have a repetitive look to it. It's something I could stare at for a long time and still find fun, new patterns in. It doesn't look like it'd be sturdy enough to hold a lot of books, but the designer's website shows it with books so I guess it can.

Røys Bookcase
I keep thinking I should like this bookcase more, but the fact that it's at an angle makes me annoyingly tilt my head to look at it. Although, on second thought, the angle might make it less necessary to tilt my head when reading the books' spines, which would be nice.

Code Bookshelf
I like the different widths for the different columns of shelves and how large this bookcase is. If only those white columns opened up to reveal more shelving, it'd be perfect. As it is, I can't help but think that those giant white spaces, pretty as they are, are wasted space.

Piopio Bookcase
The crookedness of this bookcase reminds me a bit of The Nightmare Before Christmas's aesthetic. I like it.

Corner Book Nook
The styling for this bookcase, with the slats on the shelves and walls of it, makes it look like it belongs in a college dorm. But I really like the idea, and if it were constructed out of solid pieces of wood, I think it'd be quite pretty.
coprime: animated icon of a boy reading intensely and then shouting "But I don't want it to be over!!" (books)
Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 07:51 pm
Is it wrong that I always get incredibly excited whenever I find a Firefox extension that fixes some niggly behavior to how I like it? Today, it's the ability to permanently sort my bookmarks -- and I can specify which folders I want to sort and how! -- thanks to SortPlaces. Now if only there was an extension so I could easily create duplicate bookmarks (ideally with also telling me when I was about to do so), my day would be made.

The Best of the Spirit - Will Eisner
I figured something labelled "The Best of" would make for a good introduction to one of the most influential comics ever, and I was right! This was amazing. Just incredibly innovating and imaginative and good even when compared to current-day stuff. Not that everything today is good, but The Spirit manages to be unique even when compared to sixty years worth of comics. My favorite thing about The Spirit is the same thing I love about Mushishi. All the stories are focused on people in them, rather than on Eisner's cool idea or neat art or some other bell and whistle that exists to show off and doesn't actually help tell the story. (Something that is, sadly, not as common as I would like.)

God Save the Queen - Mike Carey
This was a gift from a friend, and she got it for me because I really like Lucifer, a different title by Mike Carey. And those sorts of reads are always a bit of a crapshoot, so it was nice that I did enjoy this, mostly because of the art. (Drug use, which isn't something I like to read about generally, features heavily, and I found the heroine unlikable until about two-thirds of the way into the story.) All the pages are painted by John Bolton and are surprisingly realistic yet pretty. I have a feeling that his art is an example of photo referencing done right, but I can't find anything to confirm that he does that. In any case, the art has a slight static quality due to the fact that it's painted and referenced, but it grew on me quickly as I read.

Mushishi v6 - Yuki Urushibara
Finally, a volume with stories that weren't made into episodes for the anime! Because, okay, I adored revisiting the stories as each volume came out, but having completely new material to read is wonderful. "The Chirping Shell" I found charming, and I dare others to find the idea of seashells chirping like birds anything other than charming. "The Hand that Pets the Night" was a surprisingly creepy horror story (surprising because I rarely classify Mushishi stories as horror). "Under the Snow" was nicely uplifting even as it dealt with sibling grief, although I had to reread a few scenes because I didn't realize they were flashbacks the first time. And "Banquet in the Farthest Field" was a neat exploration of the lives of mushishi.
coprime: animated icon of a boy reading intensely and then shouting "But I don't want it to be over!!" (books)
Thursday, February 19th, 2009 11:27 pm
I want the Trilogy bookcase so bad. Look how geometric and orderly it is! Sadly, I cannot afford it, and even if I could I have no place to put it. I think the Platzhalter bookcase is cool idea well-executed. It was my favorite bookcase until I saw the Trilogy one.

Uncharted Territory - Connie Willis
For the longest time, whenever I went into a bookstore, I had to remind myself that it was a bad idea to start collecting everything by an author when I'd only read one thing of hers, even if I had really enjoyed it. And that I already had two other novels of hers sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. So I finally decided to actually read one of those two novels, and I picked Uncharted Territory (rather than Lincoln's Dreams) because the premise sounded fun -- hijinks and adventures! exploration! needlessly ridiculous bureaucratic red tape! a socioexozoologist who specializes in sex! -- and it was short.

And I did really enjoy it until the end because nothing had changed in the end. Fin and Carson are the same at the end of the story as they were in the beginning. I would have been happy even if the end change had just been mental or if they'd decided that they didn't want to be in a relationship. Instead, I finished and was left with the impression that all the events in the book might as well have not happened for all the impact they had on Fin and Carson. Which is not what I would call a satisfying ending.

The Drakon #3: Queen of Dragons - Shana Abé
Ohh, I wanted to like this book. It's a historical romance about a race of dragon/human shapeshifters, and [ profile] glenraven read and thought I'd like the first Drakon book. I picked up the third Drakon book first, but I thought I'd be okay because I've found that most romance series can be read out of order so long as you don't mind not knowing all the details when couples from previous books pop up. But it turns out this approach doesn't work so much for this series because when the hero from a previous book popped up, he was doing secretive, important-to-the-plot things and not a one of them was explained. I was left thoroughly confused, right in the middle of the final action scene.

I also had an issue with the fact that the entire action plot was just a set-up for the next book and nothing actually gets resolved. No, seriously, I very nearly threw the book across the room I was so frustrated with the ending. The book ends with spoilers if you care )

And then I had a lot of issues with the romance aspect of the novel. Partially, it's because I'm a bit sick of every shapeshifter/demon/animal hybrid/etc. having some sort of "animal instinct" where they must mate for life with one specific person and if that person isn't overly enthusiastic about them, then they just keep pursuing the person despite the other's wishes because their instinct tells them differently. It's very popular in paranormal romance, which is mostly what I read. And I don't like it because it dehumanizes the couple for me. There's always lots of talk about mates and alphas and such, and it's done regardless of whether our hero and heroine are dragon-shapeshifters, psychics, vampires, some form of were-. I can understand it more with the weres/shapeshifters, but why with other paranormal characters? Why can't the hero and heroine just fall head-over-heels for each other like normal, human romance couples do?

I will give Abé credit for doing a good job of integrating the different forms of the Drakon so that they all seemed equally natural. Kim and Mari were appreciative of each other and had chemistry no matter their form, and it never read weird for me. (Although -- and I know I'm harping -- I wold have expected dragon instincts to tend more towards a solitary existence rather than a pack existence.) But then halfway through the novel Kim did something where, if I had been Mari and had gone through what she'd gone through with her previous husband, I would not be able to trust him again without some serious work on his part.

I never got the emotional payoff of them rebuilding their trust however because Abé (and therefore Mari) didn't see what happened as that much of an issue as I did. So Kim made extra special sure not to do what he did again, and Mari had no doubts or hesitance at all stemming from Kim's actions. Sure, she still didn't want to end up in the same situation as when she'd been married before, but that was because she was against getting remarried in general. She never once thought "I don't want to get married, and especially not to Kim because he treated me like my former husband did (albeit by accident)."

Oh, and then there's Kim, who (along with the rest of his village) spends nearly the entire book acting like Mari and he are already married because years before he met her, he and the village council decided he should marry her for political reasons. And then when Kim and Mari finally meet, bam! they're married in the eyes of everyone except Mari, who keeps saying that no way no how is she going to get married again. Kim doesn't ever physically force himself on Mari, but it's incredibly annoying to have the hero saying that he doesn't care about the heroine's wishes on the matter of her marital status, he's decided they are and that's that.

Between my numerous frustrations with the romance plot and the wash-out that was the ending of the action plot, I was very dissatisfied with this book, and I don't think I'll read any more of this series. I might be willing to read one of her other novels if it was recommended to me by someone I know, but that's it.

ETA: [ profile] glenraven has informed me that this is the really sucktacular book of the series and that the two before it are better. So maybe I'll read them at some later date.

Warrior - Marie Brennan
I have nothing bad to say about this one! Haha, finally my first book of the new year that I just out-and-out enjoyed. It was fun and interesting fantasy, and if I had the sequel I'd probably be reading it. I really like both Mirage and Miryo, and it was a nice change of pace to read a fantasy novel without any romance in it.
coprime: animated icon of a boy reading intensely and then shouting "But I don't want it to be over!!" (books)
Saturday, February 7th, 2009 05:59 pm
Man, I cannot believe it's taken me this long to do my annual book round-up! Apparently, my annual winter reading slump included talking about books too.

* = loved it, + = liked it, o = neutral about it, and - = didn't like it

Novels )

Only thirty novels. I knew my job had cut into my reading time, but I hadn't realized how much it had. Oh well, that's something to work on this year, I suppose. I found some new-to-me authors (Matthew Reilly, Rick Riordan, and Liz Williams) but didn't branch out as much as I have other years. Apparently this was a sad year for reading by a couple different measures?

Comics/Manga )

Forty-four comics with a fair bit of variety. I'd thought it'd end up being all manga, but no! Work is much more conducive to comic reading during breaks than novels, so this list is not as sad. Best find was probably Little Vampire, which I found charming and adorable without being cutesy.
coprime: animated icon of a boy reading intensely and then shouting "But I don't want it to be over!!" (books)
Wednesday, November 26th, 2008 04:51 am
I finished Kushiel's Scion yesterday and find myself in the really weird position of not having a book I'm currently reading. Normally, I've got bookmarks stuck in five books at least. And, okay, I'm reading both Mathematical Magpie and The Mauritius Command but those don't count because I'm taking my time on the former and don't yet have the book that comes after the later. (I have problems reading books in series where I know there's a book after my current one but I don't own it. I don't need to read the next one immediately, but I get antsy about not having it available at my beck and call.)

Which leaves the problem of what book (or books more likely) I should pick up. I've only read about half the novels I normally do this year because work makes it difficult, and I don't want to choose the wrong book. It's a lot of pressure made worse by having lots of choices.

My (Narrowed Down) List of Choices )
coprime: an awesome lady stepping out of a boat (Default)
Wednesday, July 30th, 2008 11:49 pm
I am really weirded out whenever I find a factual error in a book because I am a go-with-the-flow reader. I trust whatever the author tells me! I do not want to spend an entire book looking up facts because they sound wrong to me.

So yes, weirded out when on page six of a new book, I read "9:35 P.M. in Washington, D.C., is 4:35 P.M. in Alaska."*

And then I had to look up both a time zone map and Alaska's feelings about daylight saving time to prove that there's only a four hour difference between Alaska and the Eastern Time Zone, which I already knew.

Although I will admit that most of Alaska is actually located in the time zone behind the zone it observes.

*The book in question is Area 7 by Matthew Reilly.
coprime: animated icon of a boy reading intensely and then shouting "But I don't want it to be over!!" (books)
Sunday, June 29th, 2008 02:48 am
Haha, this has been the month of comic books for me. It's been great.

Scary Godmother: Ghoul's Out for Summer, by Jill Thompson: The art makes this comic. Story-wise, it's not bad. It's fun and it's cute, but I wouldn't love this book like I do if the art was only half as fantastic as it is. It's expressive and detailed without being cluttered, and Jill Thompson makes her characters come alive in her drawings. I want to watch the movie based on this series now. I've seen it before, but the CG characters in it failed to be even slightly interesting for me. I think, now that I can fill in the blanks from the comic, I'd like the movie if I were to see it again.

Blue Beetle v1: Shellshocked, by Keith Giffen (writer) and Cully Hammer (artist): I wish all superhero comics were like this, with family and friends and other interpersonal relationships being just as important in the story as whatever evil plot our hero has to foil.

PS238 v1-4, by Aaron Williams: Dude, I read all four volumes in two days and am now sad that I didn't buy volume five last time I was in the comic shop. This series is great! It's about an elementary school for metahuman children. And, oh, it's adorable and funny and occasionally heart-wrenching. Also, volume three makes much more sense when I've gotten to read the two books before it.
coprime: animated icon of a boy reading intensely and then shouting "But I don't want it to be over!!" (books)
Thursday, May 15th, 2008 10:12 pm
Mmm, I got to bake today and yesterday for the first time in what seems like forever. Both recipes (a type of peanut butter cookie with chocolate chips and a brownie with peanut butter chips and a shortbread bottom) were new recipes for me, and both were delicious successes!

Pride of Baghdad, by Brian K. Vaughan (writer) and Niko Henrichon (artist): The story is told from the point of view of four lions who escaped from the Baghdad Zoo when the US invaded in 2003. It's an...odd story for me. It's very politically charged, to the detriment of the story. It felt like Vaughan wanted to write something about the nature of freedom and Iraq and that entire mess and then structured the story around that, so that the message and ideas behind the story felt more important than the story itself.

Which isn't a bad or wrong way to go about writing something, it's just not what I like in my personal fiction reading. Also, if I'm going to read about politics, I prefer it to be via non-fiction. I think Vaughan succeeds (and succeeds in a big way) with what he was trying to do in Pride of Baghdad and Henrichin's art is gorgeous, so the book's a good book and a compelling read, just not quite for me.
coprime: animated icon of a boy reading intensely and then shouting "But I don't want it to be over!!" (books)
Thursday, April 24th, 2008 10:20 pm
Caste Waiting V1: The Lucky Road, by Linda Medley: This was just utterly delightful to read. The story's a fairy tale, and it's one of those where I read it quickly because it's fun but it didn't feel rushed. I like the art and the expressiveness of the faces. I'm going to go on a search tomorrow for the hardcover, which (I believe) collects volumes 1 and 2, since volume 2 is out of print.

How I Proposed to My Wife: An Alien Sex Story, by John Scalzi: This is a short story that Scalzi's offering as shareware. It's a very funny story and totally lives up to the awesomeness promised by its title. Also, I like the idea of shareware fiction.
coprime: animated icon of a boy reading intensely and then shouting "But I don't want it to be over!!" (books)
Friday, March 28th, 2008 10:36 pm
You know what's a really effective way to motivate yourself to read? Be away from home for a month and try to ward off homesickness by reading rollercoaster ride books.

Scarecrow (Shane Schofield #3), by Matthew Reilly: Yeah, I read book three in the series first because the store didn't have book one, and I thought Scarecrow sounded more fun than Area 7. Which worked out fine since I don't care about spoilers, and the book stands on its own well. It was a very, very fun book too! I kept being reminded of this one scene from Die Hard 4 where Bruce Willis launches a car into the air and takes down a helicopter with it. It's a scene that's really awesome to watch while it's also comepletely ridiculous, and the entirety of Scarecrow is like that.

Seriously, at one point a guy gets microwaved to death, it's awesome.
coprime: animated icon of a boy reading intensely and then shouting "But I don't want it to be over!!" (books)
Monday, March 24th, 2008 09:32 pm
The Down Home Zombie Blues, by Linnea Sinclair: I am really glad I decided to stick with this author and keep giving her a chance. Because the (very major) pacing problems present in Gabriel's Ghost and An Accidental Goddess were gone in this book. I had a feeling the problems in those books were because she was still learning, and it looks like I was right. Anyway, The Down Home Zombie Blues is about a galactic special forces operative and a Florida policeman having to team up to stop these cyborg zombie things from destroying Earth and then the rest of the galaxy.

It was a fun book. Lots of action, lots of adventure, and lots of romance. It was a nice change of pace from other romance novels that Theo and Jorie never had all that much angst about whether or not they should get together and denying their attraction for one another. Because, well, I know how that dilemma's going to resolve itself so reading about it gets old fast. I still wish there were fewer romances where the hero and heroine fall in love after having known each other a week, but I also get why that's so often the case.
coprime: animated icon of a boy reading intensely and then shouting "But I don't want it to be over!!" (books)
Wednesday, March 19th, 2008 08:40 pm
Bleh, the month of virtually no free time whatsoever has caught up with me and I've caught something. Sore throat, mostly. I did find enough time to finish a book last night however.

Cybermancy (Ravirn #2), by Kelly McCullough: This was a quick, little read (hence being able to read it in two days despite a lack of free time), and the best description I can come up with for the series is Computers + Sorcery + Greek Mythology = Awesome. Both Cybermancy and WebMage (the first book) are really fun to read, which is my main criteria for choosing reading material. The only thing that keeps me from loving these books completely and utterly is that occasionally McCullough is a little too enamored of how cool he thinks Ravirn is. (I will be disappointed if every attractive woman who meets Ravirn wants to get it on with him. It's close to going that way, but I'm waiting to see if this trend is continued in Codespell or not.) Oh, and the line "you can count her ribs from fifteen feet" does not make me think sexy thoughts.

But that's really a minor complaint. The story arc about the webgoblins (and other magic technology) and minor spoiler for WebMage ) is one I'm finding really interesting, the Greek mythology is snazzy, and the books move along at a fast clip without being a whirlwind.
coprime: animated icon of a boy reading intensely and then shouting "But I don't want it to be over!!" (books)
Sunday, March 16th, 2008 11:39 pm
I participated in the [ profile] 50bookchallenge last year as a way of forcing myself to think about books after I'd read them. And it worked, but I realized I don't want to write up my feelings on every book I read. There's only so many ways to say "Hana-Kimi was enjoyable; Sano and Mizuki are still being boneheads about their feelings for each other" after all. So I'm doing something similar here but only for the books I want to say something about.

Postcards: True Stories that Never Happened, edited by Jason Rodriguez: It's got an interesting premise: take old, used postcards and give them to comic writers and artists for them to make a story around. The stories were, for the most part, enjoyable and even the ones I didn't like as much weren't bad per se, just not to my taste.

I do, however, wish that the introduction to each story hadn't been included because every single one told me what Jason Rodriguez thought the story would be when he gave away the postcard and then what the story that got written was about. And, okay, I want to be able to suss out what the story's about for myself, not be told that it's about the power of love and redemption, because it may not be about that for me. But, other than my annoyance at being told how to interpret the stories by the introductions, it was an interesting little graphic novel.

Time Travelers Strictly Cash, by Spider Robinson: I bought this book because I'd heard good things about Robinson's Callahan's Crosstime Saloon series and thought this was a collection of short stories from that series. (The back cover made it sound that way.) Turns out that only a third of the stories are, another third are unrelated science fiction short stories, and the last third consists of various non-fiction writings of his.

Despite looking at the back cover suspiciously once I realized what the actual contents were, it was a good book. The Callahan's stories were fun to read, and I always love a good (or bad, depending on how you look at it, I suppose) pun. The other science fiction stories were also good. I particularly enjoyed "Soul Search," which dealt with cryogenics and reincarnation. The non-fiction Didn't hate it, could have easily lived with never having read "Rah Rah R.A.H." (Robinson's essay on why Robert A. Heinlein is the bestest), but I've also read more boring things and at least these were short.

The Subtle Knife, by Philip Pullman: This took forever to read due to losing it in my mom's car of all places for six months. (It drove me batty during those months too because I knew I owned the book and yet it wasn't anywhere in the house.) Anyway, about the book, I can now see why people decided the series has an anti-Christianity message. (I still think the people kicking up a fuss about said message are rather silly, but anyway.) I'm holding out on making any judgements about Pullman's big message until I read The Amber Spyglass because right now it looks too obvious where Pullman wants to go. And I'm hoping The Amber Spyglass is subtler than that.
coprime: animated icon of a boy reading intensely and then shouting "But I don't want it to be over!!" (books)
Tuesday, January 1st, 2008 12:11 pm
Once again, it's time for me to inventory what I've read in the past year. And maybe I can convince myself to get out of the annual December reading slump while I'm at it.

* = loved it, + = liked it, o = neutral about it, - = didn't like it

Novels )

Between Joseph Hansen and Richard Stevenson, this year shaped up to be, in some ways, the year of the gay mysteries. Also a year with a lot of romance novels, ten as compared to last year's four. Coolest discovery was either WebMage, which I found by randomly picking it up at the bookstore, or The Woman Who Loved Reindeer, which I found in a used bookstore after having looked for the book for years. Favorite novel, however, was Fantasia Mathematica because it is an entire book book filled with math-related short stories and poems.

Comics/Manga )

I'm slowly making my way through Frank Miller's most famous works (with an open mind, mind you) so that I can say I've given him a fair shot when I say I don't like his stuff. My comics reading is branching out to be a lot more indie stuff rather than DC/Marvel, which is cool. Coolest discovery had to have been The Perhapanauts, followed closely by Mouseguard. Oddest book was easily The Last Christmas. Mushishi continues to be the most gorgeous manga I've seen.
coprime: an awesome lady stepping out of a boat (Jasione montana)
Monday, August 20th, 2007 10:02 pm
Today was not intended to be a good book-buying day, despite going to the used bookstore, Borders, and the library.

The used bookstore was to see if they had any Joseph Hansen or Richard Stevenson novels. They didn't. (I believe if I want these two, I have to either visit my friend in NYC again or buy them online.) But they did have Night Watch, which I hadn't bought yet only because I dislike paying for oversized paperbacks. So the used price was too good to pass up. And then I read the back of Uncharted Territory, thought it sounded like it was full of fun and wackiness, and couldn't not get it.

Borders was a bust, but I knew that going into the store. I wanted a specific dvd, and their online inventory said it wasn't in stock.

And the library was just to return two books. But I decided to check and see if they had a copy of Suzanne Brockmann's Hot Target. And they did. So I borrowed it. I've even started reading it already because goodness knows I wouldn't want to read one of the other eight books I've got a bookmark stuck in.