muccamukk: General Organa looking up. (SW: The General)
Title: Undiminished (The Planets and Islands Remix)
Remix of: No Man is an Island (the Drowned World remix) by actonbell
Author: [personal profile] muccamukk
Fandom: Star Wars (Mostly OT and TFA)
Rating: Teen
Word Count: 2,100
Notes: Written for [community profile] starwarsrollingremix, reveals here.
Summary: Five times Leia Organa left home, and built a new one.

I strongly rec basically every other fic in this collection, but especially the Rogue Squadron chain, which does some very cool stuff with mythology. Oh, and the rest of my chain, which is amazing. POE!

[personal profile] fuesch has made Doctor Who icons from all eras, including some non-spoilery ones of Bill and Bill&12.

(Via [personal profile] kjata) Men Recommend David Foster Wallace to Me by Deirdre Coyle.

(Via [personal profile] marthawells) Issue one of Anathema Magazine is out. Anathema: Spec from the Margins is a free, online tri-annual magazine publishing speculative fiction (SF/F/H, the weird, slipstream, surrealism, fabulism, and more) by queer people of colour on every range of the LGBTQIA spectrum. I subscribed for a year.

Save the Unicorn Humble Book Bundle.

Volunteers, Professionals, and Who Gets to Have Fun at Cons by Michi Trota.
muccamukk: Close up of Rey wearing a beat up X-Wing pilot's helmet and looking up at the sky. (SW: Dream of Stars)
When the Star Wars: The Last Jedi teaser dropped, I watched it three times and then woke Nenya up and made her watch it. Nenya: That... doesn't really show anything new. Me: *wanders around cheerfully humming Binary Sunset theme for next two days.* Apparently I'm easy.

"Carrie Fisher Was a Script Doctor For Star Wars: The Last Jedi"

Star Wars - The Force Awakens - Rey's Theme - Violin vs. Machine cover.

Most of you know now I have a mixed relationship with Moffat's run, which has followed my mixed relationship with RTD's run. I watched the last two Christmas specials, liked the River one, was kinda meh on the super hero one, hadn't watched the last series with Clara because the previous series with Clara pissed me off so badly. I love Capaldi generally, but found that Twelve wasn't really my Doctor (though he was more my Doctor than Matt Smith, admittedly). I liked Clara, but her plots often made me want to set my hair on fire, so I bailed for a bit.

Doctor Who 10x01: "The Pilot." OMG! I LOVED THIS EPISODE! I love Bill. I love her relationship with what seems to be a kinder, lighter Twelve. I like Nardol and how he seems to be the one proping up the Doctor, rather than the companion doing all the emotional h/c stuff. Spoilers )

Apparently Kris Marshall is the odds on favourite for the new Doctor. Please no.

I watched Cape Fear, or rather I watched the bits of Cape Fear that weren't showing women being terrorised. It was a short movie.

Nenya and I watched The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, which we both really liked. There have been a million movies about white suburban malaise in the 1950s, and I guess this was one of the first. I really did like the focus on mental health, struggling to set boundries, and how much each little individual choice made up your character. It felt like it was about real people, not the pop version of what the '50s were like. I'm surprised they got all the gory and unglamorous depictions of WWII past the censors.

Nenya and I watched The Purple Plain, which was enjoyable on another level. It's a British WWII movie about a Canadian Mosquito pilot in Burma who is Sad Because of His Dead Wife, and Learns To Love Again. The plot was not all that, but it was reasonable in its depiction of the Burmese, and featured perspiration soaked and increasingly grubby Gregory Peck the Canadian, so I was well pleased. I was charmed that they'd obviously decided to hire him, knew he couldn't do a British accent, and therefore literally labeled him "CANADA" and called it done. (I have a weakness for RCAF Mosquito pilots as that's how my maternal grandfather spent the war, though not in Burma.)

Local Eats

Apr. 17th, 2017 02:40 pm
muccamukk: A pair feet wearing steel-toed boots. Text: "Have boots. Will travel." (Lights: Work Boots)
In reply to my comment about beachcombing a couple posts back, [personal profile] spiralsheep reminded me that gooseneck barnacles are super trendy eats right now, which also reminded me that I'd vaguely been meaning to try them. They grow abundantly all over the lower intertidal zone. Though they're a different species here than in Spain, they look pretty well the same.

(Click to enlarge, this picture taken on a different, rather nicer day. They're the white ones growing in the middle of the blue mussels.)

Then [personal profile] spiralsheep posted this: I'm now wondering whether the following description of how to eat a foodie must-try Spanish delicacy would put other people off as much as it does me? Or am I merely a finicky eater? Hold it by the foot at one end, peel back the scaly skin and pull out the rubbery inner tube, then remove the single claw before swallowing the tube.

Which admittedly does sound like something form Welcome to Night Vale.

But that's also the sort of thing that makes me go, "Hold my flower! Imma try this!"

So since we were going on a walk anyway, I picked a few on the way back. They were way easier to harvest than I would have thought. The scaly skin of the foot cut easily with a sharp pocket knife. I only got three in case I didn't like them. I doused my kerchief in a tidepool and wrapped them in it to keep them fresh.

I then boiled them for three minutes in brine with a bay leaf, a slice of onion and a slice of lemon, and then chilled them on ice.

Eating them was a bit trickier than described, as the scaly skin doesn't really peel back? But rather has to be picked off, but the "claw" pulled off very easily, leaving about two cm of muscle which is the eats bit. It was slightly chewy, but not at all gloopy like a raw oyster. The flavour was fresh, slightly salty and savoury, and similar to clam broth. Went well with lemon, but I think aioli would overwhelm it.


Apr. 13th, 2017 02:27 pm
muccamukk: text 'Writers expressed themselves with cymbals' with a picture of a set of cymbals (Books: Writing)
I just found out that my Peggy/Angie story is included in Awesome Ladies Podfic Anthology.
I don't know if they missed telling other authors, so check the ToC and see if your stories are in there too! I see a couple names I know. (I have a blanket permission statement, but I do wish people would let me know so I can squee at them.)

Over at Jim C. Hines' blog: Sexism and Second Chances by Brianna Wu.
This is specific to the latest round of SF/F con mismanagement, but I think speaks to women in STEM and SF/F generally.

In Hakai Magazine: Pool-landia: For 70 years, Iceland has kept afloat the idea that mandatory swimming lessons save lives, but the policy doesn’t hold water by Egill Bjarnason
For those interested in oddly specific policy wank.

At [personal profile] hearts_blood's: Portrait of a young Gregory Peck before his entrance into Hollywood, 1942.
muccamukk: Gregory Peck looks up from the book he's reading. (Books: Hello Reading)
What I Just Finished Reading
The Keys of the Kingdom by A.J. Cronin
So I totally read it because of the movie, and I probably enjoyed the movie better, but the book still had the gentle charm and humour, as well as a little more criticism of the Church. It also had Francis Being Right a bit more, which was less enjoyable. The section with his curacies in Scotland was probably my favourite.

An Extraordinary Union (The Loyal League #1) by Alyssa Cole, narrated by Karen Chilton
I was really excited about this book going in; it seemed like all the things I liked in one place. Romance, spies, the US Civil War! Huzzah!

Unfortunately it sort of managed the Civil War part and the fubbed both the spies and the romance. For me, an adventure romance novel has to balance the plot and the sexual tension so that they work together. This was way to heavy on the romance side, and kept hammering on about how the characters thought constantly of each other, and didn't spend nearly enough time on spying. The supposed superspies manage to meet twice and not exchange any useful spy stuff whatsoever! Also, the hero's contribution to the spying was to do basically nothing useful for the entire book. If he hadn't been there at all, the heroine would not only have done the spy thing, she'd probably have done it better. Both characters should have been really interesting, but the plot failed them.

The writing was really heavy handed. Part of his mission was to charm another woman, so every scene the other woman is in (and she's a total shrew!), he constantly thinks how he doesn't really like her and he wants to be with the heroine. Yes. We know. You told us the first 500 times! You don't constantly have to reassure the reader of something for them to know it. I felt like I was getting spoonfed a lot of the motivation. Also false rape aligation as a major plot point. Delightful.

The book concluded by getting a key fact of the Civil War almost completely wrong. Won't bother with the next one, despite the cliffhanger set up.

What I'm Reading Now
Library: Tecumseh and Brock: The War of 1812 by James Laxer, which I'm about 2/3rds of the way through, both title characters now dead, rest of the book summary of war?

What I'm Reading Next
For audio, might give Updraft by Fran Wilde a go. Library: A two-spirit journey: the autobiography of a lesbian Ojibwa-Cree elder by Ma-Nee Chacaby with Mary Louisa Plummer

Icon is from Nenya's Gregory Peck Black & White Icon Post.

I posted to [community profile] fanifesto: Ship Manifesto: Misty Knight/Colleen Wing (Marvel Comics)


Apr. 11th, 2017 05:02 pm
muccamukk: Padme in formal make up, happy and smiling. (SW: Padme Smiles)
If you're into Books of the Raksura by Martha Wells (and if you're not, you should be), [community profile] raksura_fans is ramping up for this year's exchange.

There's a ship/character/fandom manifesto comm on DW now: [community profile] fanifesto. Nothing posted there yet, but I'll put my Colleen/Misty thing there once I've converted from markdown to html.

Finally, I have a story in [community profile] starwarsrollingremix, and the collection has been revealed!
Feel free to guess, or not, what mine is.
muccamukk: Creedy and Quinn reenacting a lightsaber battle. Text: "Bedtime Stories" (Reign of Fire: Stories)
I realised that I forgot to mention that I'd watched Hannah Arendt a week or so back, which was very good. I'm glad that it focused on just a few years (I don't think the flashbacks to college added anything) and told that story closely. The acting was fantastic, and I really liked her friendship with Mary McCarthy. I admit I would have been a little lost on the details if I hadn't recently listened to the In Our Time about her. The movie seems to expect you to already know the story.

I also watched the first disc (four episodes?) of From the Earth to the Moon which went up to Apollo 7's launch, I think. They were fine? I'm not feeling the urge to order the rest from the library.

Nenya and I watched The Great Sinner (sans subtitles), which was melodramatic enough that you didn't really NEED subtitles, plus the old movie diction is easier for her to make out. It was on one hand not very good, especially as an adaptation of The Gambler. (It sort of cludged the book together with Dostoyevsky's actual life and then gave it a happy ending.) However, it had Ava Gardner sporting banter and lowcut gowns, and Peck in increasing levels of dishevelment and distress, so I'm glad I watched it once. I kept pausing it to e-mail screen caps to people.

I watched Gregory Peck's third movie, Valley of Decision (also sans subs), which was a Greer Garson vehicle. I spent most of it shipping Garson with Marsha Hunt. Peck was mostly a love interest, though he made several stirring speeches about local ownership of steel mills, and then had a cute kid. Overall, it was too melodramatic to take seriously and not melodramatic enough to be fun.

Nenya and I watched The World in his Arms, the first thing I'd seen where Peck plays a rogue. He's not bad at it? I could not describe the plot as the movie was 90% dashing about madly, and 10% racism. It's also The One Where Gregory Peck Clubs a Seal. It's Also Also the one where he gets left at the alter, sulks massively, wrestles with Anthony Quinn several times, and is later chained up and whipped. I suspect that historical accuracy need not apply, but the costumes were pretty. [personal profile] sholio, did Sitka ever have a castle?

Here's the annual report of American Library Association, notable for librarians doing cool things, and the annual banned/challenged book list for 2016. Shocking everyone, most of the books had lgbt content!

Here's NASA doing something cool.
muccamukk: Inked art of Tony with a black cat on his shoulder. (Marvel: Black Cat Tony)
I know it's an oldie, but this v. grumpy review of Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss totally cracked me up (warning for winterfox in the comments). Ever have one of those books that is constantly recced to you by men and never ever at all by women? *points at series*

In news not quite as old, I'm very pleased with this year's Hugo Award nominations. The odd thing Nenya and I nominated even made it (Monstress and Obelisk Gate, I think?), but it's almost entirely a great list with all kinds of varied and cool things on it (a few slate nominations still, but the rule changes seem to have discouraged them). Nenya, are we voting this year?

Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone's Hugo reaction post is wonderful. I liked the short story El-Mohtar is up for, but my very favourite of hers forever is actually "A Hollow Play" (and as a podcast). I haven't read Gladstone, but I think Nenya enjoyed The Craft Sequence? Best series is going to be a tough call generally.

Stolen from 770 (where I was trawling for Hugo wank, but it's pretty quiet so far this year): NASA to crash Cassini probe into Saturn to avoid risk to watery moon.
Trust NASA to always be doing something cool.

(In case you're wondering why I'm blaming NASA for the Gregory Peck movie binge, the logic goes: One of my favourite historical NASA people is Gene Kranz. Gene Kranz was nicknamed "General Savage" after the main character in 12 O'Clock High, a WWII TV show airing at the time. 12 O'Clock High was based on Twelve O'Clock High, a WWII movie staring Gregory Peck as General Savage. Which I got from the library on a whim, watched and went: PRETTY! I WANT ONE! And here we all are.)

[community profile] 2017revival has a list of username changes, and non changes, of people moving from LJ to DW. Find it here.

[staff profile] denise just posted an update on the status of imports from LJ (Short version: The queue is long; please be patient.)

ETA: Thor 3 trailer! I had not previously been excited, but now am!


Apr. 9th, 2017 07:46 pm
muccamukk: Stephen with his hand to his forehead, looking exhausted. (B5: Tired)
(which just logged me out three times)

Since it's a topic that's going around. I've got a lot of mixed feelings about leaving LJ, though I don't regret it. A list:
  • I don't think that there will be any consequence to me in RL under the new rules.

  • I don't think it's likely that any of my content would be taken down under the new rules.

  • It's possible that LJ would do a strikethrough style keyword based deletion of all gay content.

  • It's much more likely that the new rules will be used to come down on Russian and Ukrainian political bloggers.*

  • It's possible that my e-mail and password have been harvested by whoever.

  • I kind of assumed that'd already happened.

  • I also think pretty much all of the above took effect the second the servers moved.

  • I don't think having the TOS only officially in Russian is either here or there. It seems like pretty common practice. Just sucks to be on the other side of it.

  • All the new ad stuff sounds obnoxious as hell.

  • The ToS acceptance thing was also obnoxious, but that's probably the strongest word I'd use.

For the most part, I looked at the whole thing and went, "Oh, Lord. Livejournal again." And realised that was one of the many, many times I'd said that in the last few years. When I thought about it, I didn't have ANYONE who posted regularly there and not here. There were a few comms, none of which I was deeply invested in or didn't mirror somewhere. So I just said screw it and bailed. The newish posting interface is almost unusable for me anyway. So that's my grand moving reason: Was tired of this shit.

Seems like a lot of people did, going by DW's new journal numbers here.
2017-04-01: 278
2017-04-02: 198
2017-04-03: 1327
2017-04-04: 22331
2017-04-05: 27948
2017-04-06: 54721
2017-04-07: 23707
2017-04-08: 18610
2017-04-09: 25000

I did end up deciding not to tick the boxes that would delete both all my old comments and my comm posts, in case others wanted to keep or move them. I have a couple very, very old side journals that I don't care about and don't remember the passwords for, which whateverthehell can happen to.

*This is the one thing that actually bothers rather than irritates me.
muccamukk: Porthos laughing victoriously. (Musketeers: I Win!)
(no the other rewatch)

As Nenya pointed out in her picture post, yesterday was Mr. Gregory Peck's 101st birthday.

Since Guns of Navarone, we have watched Keys of the Kingdom where 28-year-old GP is a Catholic priest who goes to China and basically fails to convert anyone who wasn't already Christian and spends half his time hanging out with the Methodists, but does woobie well. He does this thing where he's just decent to everyone and respects them, and therefore is liked, even though he himself thinks he's terrible. It's extremely attractive. There is no fic.

We rewatched Roman Holiday which neither of us had seen in ages (and Nenya possibly not with subtitles), which is not my favourite GP role, but does have a lot of Audrey Hepburn being stunning, so there is that. Also not usually huge on size kink, but I'm pretty sure he could cup his hands around her waist, and gives good hugs. Plus he spends the last ten minutes trying not to cry and not doing very well at that, so decent woobie. There's a handful of fic, but nothing notable.

I watched his first movie Days of Glory which was fascinating for being a middle-budget Hollywood war propaganda movie that was fervently pro-Soviet (hey, remember when we were all on the same side?) It's worth copying the first few lines of the opening narration here for a flavour of it. (Plus I spent like six hours last night coding subtitles so that Nenya could watch a few scenes, so I have it to hand!)
Here is the true story, which could have happened in any land, of a little group of free people who lived and loved and fought to drive the invaders from their native soil. One of the countless thousands of those guerrilla bands who from secret hiding places in the swamps and in the great forest lived days of imperishable glory. Their leader had been left behind by the army especially to organise them: Vladimir (as played by Mr. Gregory Peck, distinguished star of the New York stage).

Anyway, GP plays an engineer who became a partisan and has angst about his life now being just destroying things. Tamara Toumanova plays a ballerina who got stuck behind enemy lines on a USO (or whatever the Russian USO was) tour gone wrong. The dialogue is cheesy as hell, but the romance has good chemistry, and it's hard to remain uncharmed by something so deeply earnest (though GP says, "There is an old saying, 'bullets spare those who are in love,'" and promptly gets run over by a flaming tank, which was hard not to find unintentionally humorous). There is no fic.
muccamukk: Sam Wilson and Redwing (Marvel: Falcons)
What I Just Finished Reading
My Mother's Wars by Lillian Faderman, narrated by Suzanne Toren
Pretty brutal, but also a fascinating look at pre-WWII NYC and the Jewish community there. It's meant as a memoriam to the author's mother and her family, most of whom died in Latvia in the Shoah, and it's written very effectively and emotionally. I'm sure there are more comprehensive looks at that period, but this was certainly the most evocative that I've read.

(No, seriously I was not expecting graphic depictions of Holocaust in this book. I knew her extended family died, but this was on page. I'd be interested to read the follow up about Faderman's own youth, which she wrote about fifteen years before this one.)

The Elite (The Selection, #2) by Kiera Cass
Is this series good? Not really, no. Is it moderately addictive popcorn fluff? You bet! Would it be improved by adding lesbians? Wouldn't everything?

Penric and the Shaman (World of the Five Gods #1.6) by Lois McMaster Bujold, narrated by Grover Gardner
Just as enjoyable as the first one. I liked watching Pen having grown into his skills and his role and his more settled relationship with Des. He's filled out a bit, but is still the character we first met. I liked the mystery and the road trip plot, for which the alternating PoV worked really well. It's been long enough since I read Hallowed Hunt that I don't remember how all that went, but the story stood well without too many background details. Looking forward to the next one.

What I'm Reading Now
Library: Tecumseh and Brock: The War of 1812 by James Laxer, which I'm about half way through. Brock is about to get it, which means Tecumseh is also about to get it not long after, and the latter half will be sans title characters.

What I'm Reading Next
Maybe the next Penric novella, or the Civil War one for audio. Probably the next Selection one for reading.


Apr. 4th, 2017 05:50 pm
muccamukk: Constance smiling and looking completely adorable. (Musketeers: Cutest!)
Anyone have recs for icon communities/makers on DW? That's one thing I leaned pretty hard on LJ for.
muccamukk: Vala lying listlessly in the middle of a ruin. Text: "Bored Now." (SG-1: Bored Now)
I just deleted my LJ.

Dreamwidth has been logging me out when I navigate between pages for over a year, and I have an open support ticket for it, but nope. No other site does this.

AO3 is showing signs that its perpetual wobble may turn into falling over. The official "work around" for this on the AO3 twitter is to ask people not to use the site on the weekends. Comics fandom tagging is unbelievably borked.

Maybe I SHOULD move to imzy.
muccamukk: B'Elanna standing in front of lines of code. (ST: Engineering)
Biology Versus Bones: The Case of the Cape Flattery Fur Seal
(I find Hakai Magazine always has something interesting to say about the ocean, so I made a DW feed: [syndicated profile] hakai_magazine_feed)

[personal profile] melannen's been cleaning out her shelves via a running game of FMK, which has lead to a lot of great SF/F discussion in comments, plus reviews with more comments.

[personal profile] rachelmanija went to a city council meeting about her city becoming a sanctuary city, and wrote a very interesting account. If you're interested in getting into civic politics, I think this is a great read: In the Room Where It Happened.

[community profile] soulexchange is open for sign ups, for those who like soulmate OR soulbonding tropes. Check it out.

(I'm not signing up for it, or anything else ever again.)

Couple fic I wrote ages ago and never posted here. I did them both for different [ profile] cap_ironman projects, and they stand alone, but since they all fit in the same (rare) continuity, I made a series of them and an older fic.

Title: An Interlude in the City of Angels
Author: [personal profile] muccamukk
Fandom: Marvel 616 (Steve/Tony)
Rating: Teen
Word Count: 1,200
Notes: Written for Ten Years of Steve/Tony, for the year 1994. Full list here. Thanks to Dapperanachronism for beta reading.
Summary: Steve is having one of the worst weeks of his life, and going to visit Tony is the only thing he can think of that might make it better.

Title: Only Works Backwards (The Poor Sort of Memory Remix)
Remix Of: Up memory lane [Part of my Future Remix] by ranoutofrun.
Author: [personal profile] muccamukk
Fandom: Marvel 616 (Steve/Tony)
Rating: Teen
Word Count: 1,200
Notes: Written for Cap/Iron Man Relay Remix Redo (since I remixed the wrong one last time around). Masterlist here. Thanks to Robin for beta reading.
Summary: By entering Steve's mind, Tony may be able to save his life, but it will also mean confronting his greatest demon.
muccamukk: Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson walking arm in arm. Text: "We strolled about together." (SH: Strolling)
I buzzed through the Guns of Navarone the book yesterday (skimming for dialogue and slashy introspection, mostly skiping the fight scenes) and it was regrettablely not as enjoyable as the movie. I mostly just don't like that style of adventure novel, and found the dialogue quite clunky. Interestingly Mallory was more openly emotional, and he and Andrea were quite a bit closer and more overtly slashy (though the I'll likely kill you in the morning plot was gone). All two of the female characters weren't there. The two-three other slash ships weren't shippy at all.

So like I mostly want fic for the movie, and there's exactly zero. [personal profile] giglet did a couple movie/book fusion things, which I liked, but there is no straight up movie fic where say Andrea finds Mallory after the war or we find out what happens to Roy. Boo.

I tried to make Nenya watch Going My Way, but she demanded Gregory Peck and would not accept Bing Crosby as a substitute. Which is fair, I guess.

Really pretty day today, so I mowed the lawns for the first time. Nice to see the sun.
muccamukk: Lt Bush salutes ironically. (HH: Salute)
What I Just Finished Reading
Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie (Great Discoveries Series) by Barbara Goldsmith
This series seems to be short summaries of people's achievements, but even given that I really liked this book. It didn't have room to get very technical or go into great detail on any given era, but was well written, interesting and didn't idolise its subject.

The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution by Deborah E. Harkness, narrated by Kate Reading
This is going to be one of those books that makes me annoyed at a lot of other books. I've read a fair bit about the scientific revolution, and this is all completely new to me to the extent that I'm now irritated at all the other books I've read for not including any of it.

It's a wonderful exploration of scientific culture in the late 16th-century, including pushes to increase mathematical literacy for national economic development, collecting-comparing-publishing findings from experiments, in fights over priority and credit, and government support of large-scale scientific projects, mostly focusing on how individual practitioners fit into all this. The idea that this was all going on, and that Francis Bacon (who the author dislikes!) was more or less whining because he didn't get to be in charge of it and gentlemen shouldn't get their hands dirty doing actual work, was frankly a little mind blowing.

Really good, very enjoyably read by Kate Reading, would recommend.

Desire Wears Diamonds (Jaded Gentleman #6) by Renee Bernard
So I haven't read anything else in this series, but clearly stumbled on the best one anyway. The author sets up the intro pretty well, and then I just spent the whole book drawing hearts around Michael and Grace, so who cares about the big arc plot (other than Michael is angst about it! Oh noes!) Michael just wants to atone by dying for his friends! But then he might have to die for his wife! And he can't do both at once! It's a challenge! Grace just wants a room of one's own.

I'm not sure if I'll back read, since idk if Michael will be in them enough, and I wasn't as invested in any of the others. Will keep an eye out for Bernard stuff though.

Four Wars of 1812 by D. Peter Macleod
I think this must have made a very fine museum exhibit, but in terms of trying to get a handle on the war, it just didn't have enough information in it. The art and pictures from the display were very interesting though, and I always appreciate an O'Brian reference.

(Speaking of [as the book also mentioned Forester], just watched Captain Horatio Hornblower, RN with Nenya, since I'd seen it ten years ago, and she hadn't at all. To conclude: "Ioan Gruffudd grew up to be Gregory Peck. Bush got less gay and slightly less hot. But it works amazingly well in continuity.")

Tropical Tiger Spy (Shifting Sands Resort #1) by Zoe Chant
Fun read. It was a bit slow to start, but once the action plot kicked off, I really enjoyed it. I liked how resourceful Amber was, though Tony's agency should seriously hire her, because she's way better at spy stuff. The action (and the "action") was very well written. Could have used a little more angst.

Tropical Wounded Wolf (Shifting Sands Resort #2) by Zoe Chant
Oh there we go. THAT one is angsty enough. Enjoyed it even more than the first one (because angst!), though the plot itself was a little slower. However, I appreciate trapped in peril plots, and both characters were very likeable. I'm curious what's going on with the resort though, so I hope Zoe writes more of these. Oh and the gazelle. Really great setting for a series.

(I was saying to Nenya, having just read Diamonds and Wounded Wolf back to back, is that the fantasy with heroes with massive self-esteem issues doesn't seem to be that you'll find someone who will tell you you're good, but that someone will tell you you're good, and you'll believe them.)

Pirates of Barbary: Corsairs, Conquests and Captivity in the Seventeenth-Century Mediterranean by Adrian Tinniswood, narrated by Clive Chafer
Okay, look, I came into this researching English relations with pirates in the 1600s, which is what this book is about, and had the information I needed, and the Anglo-centrism STILL annoyed the crap out of me. I know that the author's area of study is England, but 100% of his sources are English, and he appears to have put zero effort into finding contemporary sources from any of the actual pirates or people who lived near them (unless they happened to be English), or anyone other than the odd note from the Venetian Ambassador to London , which leaves this book MASSIVELY one sided.

There's a lot of acknowledgement that okay, yeah, the English perspective is happening here, and that's not the whole story, and pointing out how the English were wrong about things, but very little quotes from primary sources from any other country. And we're talking Ottoman Empire here, so it's not like this stuff doesn't exist, they LOVED records.

So a lot of the information was interest, but the whole book was incredibly frustrating.

What I'm Reading Now
Audio: My Mother's Wars by Lillian Faderman about Faderman's mom living in NYC in the '20s to '40s. It's very engaging so far, though I just started it.

Library: Tecumseh and Brock: The War of 1812 by James Laxer, which I'm about 100 pages into and the war hasn't started yet. It's well written but also super depressing because genocide.

What I'm Reading Next
I have the next Selection book as a library e-book, so I'll probably buzz through that. I'm not sure for audio. Maybe that new romance novel about US Civil War spies.
muccamukk: text 'Writers expressed themselves with cymbals' with a picture of a set of cymbals (Books: Writing)
What I Just Finished Reading
Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party by Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin Jr., narrated by Ron Butler
Coming from the standpoint of knowing basically zero about any of this, I thought this book was a really good place to start. It laid out the social and political background, how the movement formed and why, the main players and their backgrounds and what happened from there.

It was a little bit repetitive, and the timeline zigzagged a bit, but mostly it read very well.

I would like to read some individual stories by Panthers, as this book was meant to be more academic, and I feel like there's a lot of voice and emotion left out.

Watership Down by Richard Adams
Third time I've read this, but first in a few years, but I remember so much of it so vividly from when Dad read it to use when we were young. It is very difficult to talk about a book as deeply foundational as this one. I noticed more character details this time, how the stories built on each other, how the chapter quotes tied in. Still in love with it, still get teary at the end.

The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass
Hard one to rate. One one hand, was it good? No. The world building is meant for people who thought the Hunger Games was too deeply considered and realistic, the obvious love triangle is obvious and all plot twists were predictable from page one.

However, I've gotta say that I needed to buzz through a book like this for pure soap to reset my brain, and it does exactly what it says on the tin entirely competently. I'll probably read the next two, while I'm at it.

The Raven and the Reindeer by T. Kingfisher
So this is pretty much a creepy Nordic mythology retelling of Snow Queen except with lesbians. I was a fan. It was also really funny, and the characters felt well built and real. I loved all the talking creatures.

A Story as Sharp as a Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World by Robert Bringhurst
Absolutely fascinating and probably better read more slowly or more times than I did. As the traditions are so absolutely different than literature I'm familiar with, I had a hard time getting a lot of them as clearly as Bringhurst wanted me to, I think. What I did get was slightly dizzying in scope, and I feel like I'll need to go back to it.

Bringhurst was also selling his point hard that he was talking about proper art, which was more or less preaching to the choir, but I suppose it did someone good. I should like to hear it spoken, as pronunciation guides elude me.

The Lost Child of Lychford (Lychford #2) by Paul Cornell
Very enjoyable, more so even than the first one. I liked tying in the bedevilment of Christmas rush for the vicar with actual bedevilment, and how the women are starting to work together as a team. It could have been a little too direct, but let each woman have their own beliefs and ways of thinking about and using magic. I'd be happy to read more of wants to publish them.

What I'm Reading Now
From the library: Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie by Barbara Goldsmith, which I just started, but is interesting so far. I'm curious how much it will include that I hadn't hit on the Curie research binge I did for that LoT fic.
Audio: The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution by Deborah E. Harkness, which I'm almost done, and was absolutely fascinating.

What I'm Reading Next
Probably finish up a few audiobooks I left hanging, then work through the library stack (in order of dueness):
Hot pterodactyl boyfriend by Alan Cumyn
Four wars of 1812 by D. Peter MacLeod with the Canadian War Museum 1812 team
Tecumseh & Brock: the War of 1812 by James Laxer
The theatre of the world: alchemy, astrology and magic in Renaissance Prague by Peter Marshall.
A two-spirit journey: the autobiography of a lesbian Ojibwa-Cree elder by Ma-Nee Chacaby with Mary Louisa Plummer
muccamukk: Wanda casting a spell, surrounded by violet swirls. (Avengers: Scarlet Witch)
Hi, sorry for posting this late, yesterday was busy here.

Since there doesn't seem to be a lot of participation, I'll wrap up here. I hope people were lurking? In any case, I want to binge watch season two before I do my SSR Confidential sign up, so I'll let it rest here.

Cheers to everyone who commented.
muccamukk: Peggy Carter wearing a leather jacket, holding a gun and looking like she means business. (Cap: Agent 13)
Please comment in this post with reactions, impressions, meta, fic ideas or whatever else you think of. Anon commenting is on if you don't have a DW and don't want to fuss with OpenId. Comment totally anon, or sign with your user name, as you like. Don't worry if you're late watching, join in the comments anyway, whatever time you get to see the episode.

This post is a spoiler zone for the whole Agent Carter series, and the MCU generally. If you want to avoid spoilers, you can comment in this thread.

We're trying out a Squee-Only Thread. If you'd like to focus on squee, and remain untroubled by people not liking your fave, whoever your fave may be, check it out and ignore the rest.

I'm sure everything will be pretty casual, so I'm not going to have rules or anything. Please don't be an asshole to other commenters.


Mar. 15th, 2017 11:54 am
muccamukk: Telya standing in the forest. (SGA: Forest Woman)
Humble Bundle: Women of Science Fiction and Fantasy

I can't decide on this one. I own a bunch of it already. Good books in there though.


muccamukk: Spiral staircase decending multiple levels inside a tower.. (Default)

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