Angelic Paranoia

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Sunday 13th September 2015 8:47 pm

Yesterday me and my sister went to Hay-on-Wye for the day. Hay-on-Wye is a market town just the other side of the Welsh border and it's famous for its second hand bookshops. We spent about four to five hours just looking at bookshops (and buying a lot of books). By the end of it my feet hurt from standing and I was all bookshopped out. I bought 19 books and had a Tayberry sorbet - a Tayberry is apparently a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry. It makes very nice sorbet. It was, I think, only the second time I've been to Wales and it's not rained.


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What I am reading Wednesday
Wednesday 4th June 2014 9:27 pm

(I really need to create myself a template for these posts, because I can never remember the prompts)

What I Just Finished Reading
The Angel's Kiss by Melody Malone. It's written from River's point of view and she has a high opinion of herself, which makes the tone quite amusing. It's probably just as well that it's short, though, because there's probably only so much of that you can take.

I also finished Clients From Hell 2, which looked long, but was half full of freelancers tips. The rest are stories similar to ones on the website, but entirely web designer/developer ones, I think. Unsurprisingly, given that the stories on the website are amusing and worryingly true, the same can be said of the ones in the book.

What I'm Currently Reading
Hugh Laurie by Anthony Bunko. It's a biography of Hugh Laurie and it's very interesting so far (I'm up to Jeeves and Wooster, chronologically). I do like biographies and autobiographies, reading about the lives of people who have/had completely different lives to me.

What's also exciting about it, is that it's an ebook I borrowed from the library. I'm interested to see what happens when it reaches it's due date - I'm guessing the DRM expires and I won't be able to open it any more.

What I'm Reading Next
The Serrano Legacy by Elizabeth Moon. Or rather the first book in it, but I have the omnibus version because it was the same price as just one book. I intended to read this a while ago as my local library had books 2 and 3 and the county had the omnibus. But I had quite a bit sitting around at the time that I thought I ought to read first, so when I came to think about this, the libraries no longer had it. So I bought a second hand copy.

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What I am reading Wednesday
Wednesday 28th May 2014 9:46 pm

What I Just Finished Reading
There's nothing like a long train journey for getting a lot read. I finally finished Singled Out by Virginia Nicholson. It was really interesting, talking about how before the First World War getting married and having children was considered to be what every woman aspired to, and spinsters were to be pitied and/or ridiculed. But then after the war there ended up being nearly 2 million more women than men, and not being married meant they could go and do whatever they liked (ish). It was sad in places because there were women who wanted to experience love or have children or have sex (although there was a bit of that going on). Or they'd lost someone during the war that they'd loved and they missed.

A lot of them were working for not much pay, living in not that nice hostels and not being able to afford to eat properly. But the book ends on a more optimistic note, talking about the women who were the 'first' to do something, and how not being married freed them up to have careers or travel - the sort of life that wasn't really open to them before. Without them we wouldn't be where we were today - we'd probably have been getting there, but without both wars we'd be a lot further off.

And then I read Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner, which I liked a lot more than I expected it. It probably helped that I read the whole thing in a weekend, but I found Alec and Richard to be nicer people than I expected - maybe because my expectations were quite low. But I really like how their relationship was underplayed - it was just there and didn't need any comment about it. I'm not especially excited and fannish about it, but I intend to read the rest of the books.

What I'm Currently Reading
The Angel's Kiss by Melody Malone. It's really short, so I've nearly finished it. It's pretty much a bit of short fluff, but I really like the tone of it - it is a bit silly. It's nice after all that seriousness of Swordspoint and the non-fiction of Singled Out.

What I'm Reading Next
Clients From Hell 2, as I got it for free for joining the mailing list.

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Post-series books
Friday 23rd May 2014 7:27 pm

Earlier this week I promised I'd talk about books set after the TV series had ended. I haven't read many of these - aside from recently reading the Stargate Atlantis ones I've read the odd Star Trek one and the odd Doctor Who: New Adventures ones. They do have some things in common: it is possible to just pick one up and enjoy it without needing to know everything that went before it, and they are quite different from the TV series.

Both TV series are fairly tame in the sense that they're on quite early in the evenings, so there's a limit to things they can show, and they're both shorter than a book. Both series books set during the series have plots that wouldn't be too out of place on the series - which means that if they aren't very good they drag. I think because you're used to something shorter, or it's just that I read a lot of Star Trek books and they got too much after a while.

The good thing with setting books after the series ended is that you can do whatever you like - you don't need to put the characters and situations back where they started. Which is why dipping into them gives you a sense of 'whoa, that happened'. Probably the same if you were to dabble in any TV series where things followed on. The bad side is that if they go off and do something you don't like, you're stuck. Same with a TV series, but the difference is that books you have to search out and pay for, TV is free (for certain values of free).

In general I like spin-off books and ones set post-series are things I'd like to read more of. It just requires effort and money and I don't know if I'm prepared to invest that much of both into something that might go in a direction I don't like.

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What I am reading Wednesday
Wednesday 21st May 2014 8:10 am

What I Just Finished Reading
Mock the Week's Only Book You'll Ever Need. It's just a collection of all sorts of 'scenes we'd like to see'. It was quite amusing. I bought it because it was 99p and I would say it was worth it. It was very useful because right after I bought it I went next door to the hairdressers, who had a queue and I hadn't brought anything to read with me.

What I'm Currently Reading
Still reading Singled Out. I have been distracted by reading Remix fics.

What I'm Reading Next
Swordspoint. It arrived on Monday, as one of my birthday presents, so it's next on the list.

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What I am reading Wednesday
Wednesday 14th May 2014 6:27 pm

What I Just Finished Reading
The Science of Discworld IV: Judgement Day. It could be that I'm remembering the previous Science of Discworld books wrong, but the science in this one feels less integrated into the narrative. The Discworld fictional bits are short and the science chapters are long and only vaguely related to the previous chapter. The science stuff were generally bits I already know, although have forgotten the details of. Mostly I liked the historical bits about what old religions thought the Earth was shaped like and how it came to be. Also I learnt that the Maths Institute at Warwick has (or had) an aquarium.

I also finished off Summer Falls by Amelia Williams (or really James Goss, according to the copyright). I started it a couple of months ago, got 20 pages in (a third of the way through) and couldn't take any more. So then I went and finished it off yesterday. The second two-thirds was better than the first third, because something actually happened, but on the whole it bored me.

What I'm Currently Reading
It's another non-fiction book and it's called Singled Out. It's subtitled: How two million women survived without men after the first world war. I've only just started it, but it seems interesting so far. Which is why I bought it, after reading a few pages.

What I'm Reading Next
Depending on when I finish this book and when things turn up, one of my birthday present books.

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What I am reading Wednesday
Wednesday 7th May 2014 9:42 pm

What I Just Finished Reading
The Stargate Atlantis Legacy series. Talking about that is a whole post on its own, so I won't do so here.

What I'm Currently Reading
The Science of Discworld IV: Judgement Day. I got this one for my birthday - it's been out for so long that it's in paperback, which I'm not used to with Pratchett books. The reason I didn't get it sooner is that my grandmother will pretty much only buy books for birthdays and Christmases and if I don't ask for a Pratchett book she thinks that means I've gone off him, rather than I just have all the books. So this one I saved up for my birthday. I've not got far with it so far - it's not the best book to read in bed at night when you're not that awake.

What I'm Reading Next
Depends when I finish this one/I decide I need some a nice fictional universe I can get lost in and not have to think about so much.

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What I am reading Wednesday
Wednesday 2nd April 2014 9:12 pm

A rare Wednesday when I am in! While ballet stops for Easter.

What I Just Finished Reading
When I last posted one of these it was before I went to Torquay and after a look through my shelves I decided I didn't want to take anything new in case I didn't like it (and there were only so many books I was prepared to take - and paradoxically the more I put on my ebook reader the less I want to read any of them). So I followed [info]watervole's advice and went with some Bujold. I read Shards of Honor and Barrayar while I was away and Captain Vorpatril's Alliance when I came back (because it was too big to take). Cordelia never stops being awesome and I do like Ivan's take on the Vorkosigans.

What I'm Currently Reading
We Bought A Zoo by Benjamin Mee. I hadn't heard of it at all, but Benjamin Mee was one of the speakers at Conference (his zoo being local) and his talk was so interesting I bought the book (and got it signed). The story starts when his father dies and his family decide that rather than let his mother move to a smaller house, they'll buy something bigger and have a few generations living there. They end up buying a run-down wildlife park in which a lot of things don't go to plan. He was a journalist, before he ended up being a zoo director, so his writing's good. There is a film of it. I don't know if I'll look for a DVD of it because it'll be weird seeing Matt Damon playing Benjamin Mee, having met him.

What I'm Reading Next
I'm back to I don't know. I have a few books I need to buy second hand, which the library did have, but I waited too long and now they don't. In the meantime I really should get to some of my unread books. Or admit I'm never going to read them and get rid of them to make some space.

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Monday 12th August 2013 9:45 pm

I have read a few books recently that I decided I wanted to talk about: Read more...

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Sunday 24th March 2013 6:44 pm

This weekend's been a good one for discovering things I like.

The films I've been renting from Blockbuster recently have either been Ewan McGregor ones or really popular ones. The really popular ones I've hated and Ewan McGregor doesn't half make odd films (but I only have four of his films to go, including one that's not out on DVD yet and the one I only made it ten minutes through and should really give it a bit longer before giving up on it). The one I watched today was Brave, which I was expecting to be a standard tomboy princess thing and turned out to be surprisingly good.

On the book front, I recently tried a Stephen Baxter book on the basis that I liked the one he and Terry Pratchett wrote. But after 50 pages I couldn't take any more. His characters just all annoyed me and I just can't be doing with it. The summary on the back sounded interesting, but after 50 pages we hadn't even got to the start of it and I just couldn't find the will to pick it up and continue.

Then based on the list I got from the recommend a book panel at Redemption, I got Alistair Reynolds' Revelation Space out of the library. It didn't give a summary on the back and I still have no idea what it's about because I gave up on page 33. According to my notes it was recommended for the real world physics, but I just couldn't bring myself to care about that. His characters were dull, not helped by not a lot of characterisation happening because he was too busy writing all about his world and yet I still didn't have a clue what the world was like.

And then on Friday I got an Elizabeth Moon book (the first Vatta book). Which I didn't intend to read because I'm currently reading one of Mum's and promised to read another at Easter. And now I'm two-thirds of the way through. Finally, some decent characterisation! And likeable characters! Interesting situations! No infodumps! (well, there was one of two paragraphs, but I skipped that).

So it turns out there are films and books in the world that I haven't tried before that I like. I was beginning to wonder.

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I read a comic shocker
Monday 18th February 2013 8:29 pm

At the weekend I read a comic! Well, I think it was technically a graphic novel, either way it's short and has pictures that get in the way. It was Superman: True Brit, which was a re-telling of Superman with him landing in Britain. I read something about it years ago and I remembered it when I was at the library, turned round from the science fiction/teenage section (they're next to each other) and saw it on the graphic novel stand. So I borrowed it.

It seemed to suffer from someone putting speech bubbles in random places, so quite a lot of it I didn't read in order. But I do that with books too - sometimes I get distracted by the next paragraph, read that and then have to go back and finish the one I was on.

It was interesting some of the things I changed, and amusing in some parts, but some of it just seemed so OTT. But then my knowledge of Superman comes from having seen the first film and the re-make, the odd episode of Lois & Clark and the first four seasons of Smallville. So I don't really know how true to the original it all was.

The whole thing just felt really odd. It goes through Colin Clark's life from a baby to university, journalism and Superman in little jumps. So you get a bit with him being sent to Earth and his parents finding him, then some of him as a child, then some of him as a teenager etc. So it felt all a bit bitty. But then I'm not sure how else you'd do it, except as a book and there's just not enough story to stretch it out for that.

It was an interesting read, but on the whole I'd rather read a book.

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Saturday 29th December 2012 9:21 pm

I read a couple of books lately that were good enough to talk about.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
I really enjoyed this, although it took me to the end to enjoy it. The rest of the time I spent hoping there was a point to it - because otherwise it was just a child in battle school. But the ending was satisfying. There is a series, but I don't have any desire to read them - the whole thing felt self-contained to me.

The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
I read this because it was by Terry Pratchett and I liked the idea of parallel universes. I enjoyed it. There were some unanswered questions, but the way it was set up I don't think it was possible to answer all the questions. It, and the brief bio of Stephen Baxter on the dust jacket has made me want to look up some of his books. Luckily there are some in my local library - I just need to finish reading some of my other books before going in there.

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I’m not good at popular things
Tuesday 10th April 2012 6:25 pm

I'm terrible with wanting to try a book/film/TV series that's popular. There were four Harry Potter books out and a film on the way before I decided that maybe it was popular for a reason and perhaps I'd try it. Of course by that time the first book was really cheap because it had been out for a while, so that helped.

Since then I've been better at trying things. Lost, Heroes and Once Upon a Time were big hits before they were on over here. But none of those I enjoyed for various reasons.

The latest big thing is The Hunger Games. I don't know anything about it, except that it's a book and a film. I'm quite happy not knowing anything about it because I refuse to try it. Everyone else is reading it therefore I don't want to. And I definitely shouldn't go and see the film given that it gave [info]jedinic motion sickness, so I dread to think what it would do to me.

But Downton Abbey and A Game of Thrones were series I held out on for longer and then enjoyed. Perhaps the answer is not to try something when it's popular, but wait until everyone who's going to watch it has tried it and the fuss has died down, then give it a go. I even enjoy Doctor Who less the more people it seems are watching it...

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Tuesday 7th February 2012 8:13 pm

Theoretically I was writing up the books I'd read every month. But then I spent a while putting off reading A Game of Thrones, then spent a while reading A Game of Thrones and I haven't done one since. So here's what I've read in what I can remember of December, January and so far in February.

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This week
Sunday 15th January 2012 5:28 pm

I have mostly spent this week being dizzy and working. Although I have managed to get through most of my to-do list - there were things on there I could do lying down or only took five minutes of sitting up.

Although this weekend I have felt well enough to move around a bit and I have finally put all my books, CDs and DVDs on my bookshelves. And then I took photos of them. The last two (Flickr orders them in reverse) are from a funny angle because there's not much space in that corner.

As you can see, there's not a lot of space left... If I owned this house the shelves would be floor to ceiling. I don't have any more space left along the walls in the spare room. Although I might be able to fit another one in and have it sticking out a bit (the room's a funny shape). Theoretically I could have shelves in the middle of the room, but it is supposed to be a spare room too, and I do need space to unfold the bed. But I haven't used the tops of the shelves yet, so when I run out of space I'll buy some bookends and start on those. When I run out of space up there I need to get rid of some books. According to LibraryThing I have 435 books, which is plenty. Maybe one day when I have a house big enough to fit them in I can have more.

There are still things in my room at home. The bookshelves still have ornaments and rabbits (of the cuddly variety) on them. There are still things in the cupboards too (including a lot of videos). But the cupboard doors are being used to keep bunny's hammock up, so I can't open them, otherwise her hammock falls down and she falls out.

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Saturday 30th April 2011 8:18 pm

I went to Oxford yesterday morning, to avoid the royal wedding because a) I'm a Republican and b) wedding's just aren't that interesting. Although when people ask I've just been telling them answer b, which satisfies them, even if they think I'm odd. Although, this is mostly girls. I don't think I've come across any men watching it out of choice.

Given that I still had money left on my Waterstones gift card that was my birthday present from my grandmother last year, and she gave me another one this year, early, I had lots of money to spend on Waterstones! Which doesn't go very far on new books, I found. I'm used to not spending more than £2 on books and most of the ones I buy these days are from charity shops.

But I spent £22 and for that I got:
Doctor Who: The Way Through the Woods by [info]altariel
Mothers and Daughters by Kate Long
On The Beat by Graham Cole (which is his autobiography)

I've read The Way Through the Woods, which was good. And there was a mention of Barbara and Tegan. And a bit where I went, "Are you sure he remembers that?" and then tonight's Doctor Who confirmed that yes, he did.

I ended up spending an hour at the train station because I got there just in time to miss one train. The next one was half an hour later, which I missed because I got distracted by reading and then the train left a minute early (when does that ever happen?). But it was just as well because I was tired and dizzy by that point and needed a rest and Waterstones only really make a token effort towards seating among the books.

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Book reviews
Wednesday 30th March 2011 9:23 pm

Since I'm not doing any kind of book-reading challenge, I don't tend to talk about what I've read. But I've recently read a few books I wanted to talk about. Read more...

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Books and tennis
Tuesday 19th May 2009 9:21 pm

I had a good weekend - well, half a good weekend. I went to High Wycombe to drop off some knickers and other stuff for Knickers 4 Africa and go to 's ex-local bookshop. Where I saw her parents and spent £17 on books - that was being restrained. I'm still working through the books I got from my mum and grandmother for my birthday yet.

It was a good day and we somehow managed to avoid the worst of the weather. I was really tired when I got home, which I expected. What I didn't expect was how dizzy I felt Sunday. All I ended up doing on Sunday is lying on the sofa reading and watching tennis because I wasn't capable of doing anything else. Fortunately, there was tennis on - exhibition matches under the new Centre Court roof at Wimbledon and I enjoyed them, although I could have done without the camera moving so much. I didn't even feel like I'd done that much either. I'm less dizzy now but back to going to bed at 10pm.

But on Friday I'm going to see if I feel well enough after work to go and see In the Loop, which wasn't at the cinema walking distance from where I live now. But it is at the cinema walking distance from work on Friday and Saturday. Then it is at least a three day weekend, although I plan to do things with it - not least find a place for all these books to live...

Also, in the unlikely event that there's anyone left who doesn't have a Dreamwidth account that wants one, I have four invites. And, it turns out, Trillian Astra invites, since it's now in beta. And probably has been for a while, I've just failed to notice, just gave them money...

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The good news bad news update
Sunday 29th March 2009 7:04 pm

Because I haven't got the energy for anything more substantial.

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Being organised
Monday 17th November 2008 11:00 pm

I finally managed to get myself out of holiday mode and cleaned the house yesterday. It's hard to motivate myself to do it when I know I'm going to be moving out of it, but I'll be even less motivated when I'm not living in it, and the dirtier it is then, the worse it's going to be to clean. But it does all look so much better now I have cleaned it.

I also finished the book I started while I was away and it felt never-ending. I'm now a third of the way through The Graveyard book. I have two piles of books from the ones I bought in Canada and the Pratchett I finished just before I went. They're just the right size to fit my laptop on in front of the TV, so I can plug the TV into it. Now I've changed the books the two piles are more level too.

I made the mistake, when I got back, of watching all four Spooks episodes, which included the one from BBC3. So although I put it on last Monday because I was too tired to take it in much the first time, it's not the same as watching it new. So now I am back on watching them on Mondays because Monday needs something to look forward to, since I only watch SJA every other week. Suffice to say I enjoyed tonight's, even if I spent most of it wondering where I knew the bad guy from. Turns out it was one of the recent Poirots.

And just to make all the other people doing Yuletide jealous: I have a first draft of mine. At 1200 words I'm doing better than last year where I managed 1006 (but any padding to that one would have been just that, padding). I'm aiming to get it finished by the end of the week and hopefully writing every night will get me back into it and who knows, I might even get round to the requests I asked for back in June that are sitting in my inbox...

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