chelseagirl: Alice -- Tenniel (Default)
Lovely long weekend.

Saturday we had some people over to watch England lose ignominiously to Portugal in the free kicks, despite my loyally wearing the England team shirt my mum-in-law had sent me a few Christmases back. Afterwards we and one of our guests saw Superman Returns about which the most one can say, really, is "eh." Also, James Marsden needs a new agent, so he doesn't have to keep playing Second Choice Guy.

Sunday I worked, but blessed my boss for sending me a project on the press during the civil rights era.

Monday, [livejournal.com profile] misskittytalks and I had our annual Shakespeare in the Park expedition to see Hamlet with Liev Schrieber and Jennifer Ehle. Wonderful production, despite the "eh" reviews Read more... )

Tuesday some friends held their annual Fourth of July brunch. This is a large-scale event, and our group of friends traditionally outlast everyone else, and get quality time with our hosts when they're actually able to sit down and socialize, which makes for a long, but fun, day as brunch stretches way past dinnertime. Lots of Doctor Who talk, which was interestingly problematic as some of the group have only seen Eccleston in the SciFi run and others of us had just seen the first half of the Tennant finale, but luckily, not a spoilerphobic bunch. Read more... )

Finished Naomi Novik's Throne of Jade and found myself actually more enthused by the end than I have been. Read more... )
chelseagirl: Alice -- Tenniel (Default)
I think my brain exploded -- there was a Crow movie on tv last night with David Boreanaz and Tara Reid as the villains and Edward Furlong as the Crow-du-jour. DB played a kind of cross between Angelus and Goofy!Angel and the train wreckage went on and on and . . .

Dinner at A Voce for my parents' anniversary was low-key spectacular -- those of you in NYC who do fine dining, go there at once! My parents had never been to a restaurant on quite that level, and were duly bowled over by the food (they both had sea bass); M. had a veal dish and my aunt and I both had pappardelle with lamb bolognese -- really excellent. M. and I had been staying away from fine dining since he left the business, a) because of not being able to afford it and b) because even though he's well out of it, there are some regrets, so why taunt himself. So we really appreciated this. And the chef sent us an extra starter as well as champagne and desserts as an anniversary treat for my parents. (Just in case you missed my other post, he's a friend so I don't think this is standard celebration procedure there.)

How good was this week's Doctor Who? And how annoyed am I at HBO at making such a production out of this being the last season of Sopranos and then pulling the "You think it's over? There are eight more episodes next year!" switcheroo. OK, so literally, they're splitting the sixth season into two parts, as SciFi often does, but I'm feeling cheated. Although considering how totally benign the season-ender was, probably more cheated if that *had* been it. And there needs to be more Big Love -- I want to know what happens next.

Reading: Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson for book club; I'll just say that considering the central premise of the book, it was exceptionally strange to have finished it shortly before going to church for Pentecost Sunday. Also, Graham Joyce's Requiem, which gets a bit muddled towards the end but is a well-written book with engaging characters and a strong sense of place which happens to be, in part, about a missing scripture regarding Mary Magdalene and the place of women in the early Church. As well as a ghost story set in modern-day Jerusalem. First published in 1995, when it did NOT make its author twenty million dollars, but as an alternative to That Other Book, well worth reading.
chelseagirl: Alice -- Tenniel (Default)
I have a particular interest in fantasies (and science fiction) set in the nineteenth century, and one of the things I've noticed lately is that much of what I'm coming across now is set in the Napoleonic Wars/Regency era rather than in the High Victorian period. And I'm curious about that.

What I've been reading (some recently, some within the past year or so):
His Majesty's Dragon, by Naomi Novik
Sorcery and Cecelia by Caroline Stevermer and Patricia Wrede
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton
Freedom and Necessity by Emma Bull and Steven Brust

Of these, Tooth & Claw and Freedom & Necessity are Victorian, the others are pre-Victorian. Read more... )

Freedom and Necessity is very much grounded in its historical era.Read more... )

Tooth and Claw was a book I kept hesitating to pick up, because the plot summary "it's a Victorian novel only everyone's a dragon" sounded potentially way too precious. It's not. Read more... )

But the reason I say the others are more prevalent is because of the vast popularity of the Clarke book, and the fact that the Novik and the Stevermer and Wrede are both the first book in series. In response to an early comment I'd made, [livejournal.com profile] nessreader suggested the popularity of Georgette Heyer might have something to do with it. I'm relatively Heyer-ignorant, but very familiar with the books of Jane Austen and Patrick O'Brian. My guess is that nessreader is right that Stevermer and Wrede, though they cite Heyer and Austen both, might be particularly influenced by Heyer. With Clarke, it's Austen and Dickens, while Novik is most heavily influenced by O'Brian.

Sorcery and Cecelia was really enjoyable. Read more... )

I've rambled on here about how much I love Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Read more... )

Naomi Novik is definitely a Patrick O'Brian fan; Read more... )

Anyway, just some roughed-out ideas; would love to hear what other people think about these, and please send friends along if you think they'd be interested in this topic.
chelseagirl: Alice -- Tenniel (Default)
So much for my self-proclaimed hiatus -- I commented a lot *less* than I ordinarily would have and missed out on some certain-to-have-been fascinating exchanges, and yet I was never really gone. 'Cause of how that working at home thing gets a smidge lonely, though now that one of the post-semester deadlines is met and the other is underway, I can start having a real life again.

Since I haven't been posting, M. and folks from his job went to New Orleans to work for Habitat for Humanity for a week. He came back with my digital camera filled with wreckage pictures and a sense of the vastness of the destruction down there, and how little is really being done to rebuild compared to the scale of the devastation. (I'm looking at *you*, Mister President.) Also stories of accomplishments and fun, and because he was working outside in the 90s, several t-shirts on which the ink had, quite literally, run.

Met his work buds at his supervisor's cookout over the weekend. Quite liked some of them and especially the artist girlfriend of one of his bosses; think I inadvertently terrified his particular female buddy (who is literally half my age) by making the "ah, so you're the competition" joke. (Not *at all* true, or I'd never have said it.) One of the women and I went for a walk around the neighborhood, which is at the end of 3 line in Brooklyn; what does it say about NYC in this day and age that both of us suddenly became paranoid that we looked like real estate speculators?

Out to Jersey for my goddaughter's fourth b'day party. The cake was fascinating -- Maggie has serious allergies to flour, dairy and most of the things that go into cakes, and yet her mom pulled together a quite creditable one out of ingredients like barley flour and tofu. I wouldn't exactly seek out the recipe, but I got through my slice without wincing once.

Recently read: Sorcery and Cecelia, which was already on my wish-list when [livejournal.com profile] queenofthorns gave her royal seal of approval, and was terrific fun (and which has triggered many thoughts out why nineteenth century fantasies tend to be sent during the Napoleonic Wars/Regency period in greater numbers than during the high Victorian era -- speculations on that in another post soon), and The Elementary Particles, by Michel Houllebecq, which was loaned to me by someone I felt the need to be polite to and which I'd otherwise never have picked up. Read more... )


Books read in May:Read more... )

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