So, I’m developing a girlcrush on Sarah Rees Brennan, for her Gothic Tuesdays. This week’s winner was Collie Wilkins’s Woman in White. (Project Gutenburg can hook you up too.)

LAURA: I’m going to tell Sir Percy Cruelpants that I will marry him, but I love another, so he won’t want to marry me.
MARIAN: Well, he will if he doesn’t give a crap about your feelings, though?
LAURA: Nonsense, I’m sure this will work out awesome. Sir Percy Blackheart, I love someone else and I don’t wanna marry you. Still want to marry me?
LAURA: … That did not go the way it did in my head. (Sarah Rees Brennan)

The whole thing is pure gold. You should also look at her Jane Eyre one.

Also, here’s a free documentary on Haruki Murakami. I enjoy Murakami’s work–frex, I read his latest, 1Q84, in a few long gulps. (No, LONG gulps. Nearly a thousand pages, OMG.) Seriously, you don’t read Murakami for linear coherence just like you don’t watch a David Lynch film for it. They’re both harvesters of subconscious gas-bubbles. (Also, really fricking weird, and not too good with the portrayal of teenage girls, meh.)

And the Heart Attack Grill has its first moment of truth in advertising.

In other news, the first book of the new YA series is back with the editor for another revision pass. And the second Bannon & Clare book, The Red Plague Affair, is heating up inside my skull. Rest is overrated, don’t you think? Plus there’s martial arts for the kids, a four-year-old I’m watching for a few days, and a dog who thinks the Roomba is a demonspawn predator I need protecting from.

So…off I go. Be careful out there, Gothic Lady Sleuths!

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

Oh, Friday, I’m not in love. But I will consider letting you buy me dinner.

* Want to chat me up and maybe get some books signed? Come to the First Annual Author Faire at Cover to Cover Books! I’ll be there Saturday, December 10, from 11AM to 3PM, along with other great authors like Bill Cameron and Lisa Nowak. I plan on drinking tons of coffee so I’m bright-eyed and manic. Should be lots of fun.

* Today I’m over at the Orbit Books blog, talking about the Hedgewitch Experiment. Any day I can use the phrase “suppository supposition” is a good day.

* Oooh, they dug up a Pendle witch house!

* Big happy doings on the YA front. I can’t say much yet, but it involves a new series. I hate sitting on secrets like this, so rest assured, as soon as I can give more details, I will.

* A certain Squirrel Wonder scared the bejesus out of some guys in my front yard the other day. Which reminds me, I really have to tell you guys how that convalescence of Neo’s turned out. It involves me barefoot and screaming in the backyard again. It’s nice to know I’m consistent…but I’m amazed you guys aren’t bored yet.

* I am starting a project. It involves wine and livetweeting my reading of Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour. I did the first 25 pages the other night and had a blast. My favourite? “Hi, I’m Aaron Lightner/Rod Serling. For the next 965 pages, I’ll be showing you through Anne Rice’s id.” I kill me sometimes, I really do.

* To the skeezy guy trying to chat up the young girl with her dog near the middle-school’s soccer field this morning: my earphones weren’t playing music. I just don’t want to talk to people while I’m running. Consequently, I heard every word you said. And yes, I was looking at you. Because YOU ARE CREEPY. I’m glad the girl fled, and I took that extra lap around the track just to make sure you didn’t follow her. I’m surprised my gaze didn’t burn a hole in you. NEXT TIME IT WILL.

Yeah, Friday. It’s turning out to be a doozy. Let’s skip dinner and go straight to the drinks…

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

It’s chicken-with-head-cut-off time. There’s the trip next week and wordcount and ARGH. So, three things today.

* First off, more on the Google Books Settlement. Richard Curtis asks where all the “concerned” people were before all the work was done. More links, of course, as I find them. Feel free to post links in the comments, but keep the shouting/arguing to a minimum, ‘kay? Thanks.

* Just finished The Storm of War, which for a one-book history of WWII was magisterial and pretty good. Some of the author’s assertions I don’t agree with, but I can see how he got there. Moved from that to digesting Disease, Desire, And The Body… in little pieces, and was thrilled to find an intersection with Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s thought in the Introduction. (Homosocial bonds, etc.) I’m also blazing through The Vagabond. I’d forgotten how much I love Colette.

I’m trying to figure out which books to take with me on the trip. I’ll have a lot of time while on the plane and train to read. I’m thinking some JR Ward and This Republic of Suffering, with Epistemology of the Closet for when I feel ambitious.

Yes, I am obsessing over what books to take. It’s better than my usual angst over flying. You don’t even know.

* From Digby:

Seriously, if they can’t support those reforms, which are even supported by the insurance companies themselves, then regulation will never be enough to keep the system honest. A public plan will be impossible to dismantle once it’s in place and will not discriminate against sick people. If they keep premiums low enough to attract some healthy people as well, it will provide enough competition to keep these insurance company greedheads and psycho Republicans from doing their worst. It’s a necessity.

I love how it’s the reformers who everyone believes are trying to kill people when it’s these defenders of the status quo who actually are. (Digby)

It’s funny, but the conservative side of the healthcare debate, with its lunatic fringe yelling about Nazism and death panels, is a huge exercise in projection. They’re trying to pin on everyone else the things–i.e., killing people who don’t agree with them–they actually ascribe to, the things their poster boys do. Words can’t express my disgust at this point. Though Barney Frank does a good job. And so does the Rude Pundit, who is not for the faint-of-heart and NSFW either. (You’ve been warned.)

Glenn Greenwald, in his typically logical and nonemotional way, details what’s actually driving the healthcare reform process and debate.

I just feel like, come on people. We could put a man on the moon, fer Chrissake. We can figure out how to get healthcare for everyone, the way other developed countries do. Quit being idiots. And at the same time, I feel weary contempt for the lies and fear-and-hatemongering going around, but I don’t know why I’m surprised. This is business as usual from the jerkwads who brought us Fox News. Yawn. Let’s do something productive instead, mmmkay?

I’m almost glad I’m going to be taking an enforced break from blogging next week while traveling. I’m worn out.

And that, as they say, is that.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

lilithsaintcrow: (Default)
( Aug. 13th, 2009 12:13 pm)

The Selkie sent me a link to Eugie Foster’s story Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast, in Apex Magazine, this morning. I read it before coffee–it reminded me quite a bit of Tanith Lee’s Four-BEE series, the one starting with Don’t Bite The Sun. I’m a huge Lee fan–she’s my favorite author–so I was disposed to like the Foster story. Barring a few jarring word choices (fabulists who throw in modern jargon take that risk) it was awesome. The fact that it kept me away from my coffee and the other half of my breakfast speaks for itself. I literally could not walk away from the story, which is one of the hallmarks of a good one. Go, read if you have time. I recommend it.

I’ve got tons to do today–two guest blog thingies and feeding the snake, dinner and housecleaning and wordcount–so this is necessarily brief. I know I’ve promised to post a couple recipes and I will get on that as soon as I find a way to do it–I might just put ‘em in PDF and stick them up or something. But that’s far down on the list. And…well, there’s struggle. Things are a bit hectic here.

Anyway. I finished rereading The Unicorn’s Secret (I have the 1986 edition, I think, that dates to before Einhorn was extradited from France.) That’s something not a lot of people know about me: I read a fair amount of true crime.

I know, you’re not surprised.

I also started on The Storm of War, which I read a good review on in The Economist. (Like I need a reason to read another WWII book, especially those that focus on the Eastern Front.) I’m still motoring through Epistemology of the Closet and recently got my greedy hands on a copy of Disease, Desire, and the Body in Victorian Women’s Popular Novels Academic writing is slow for me to plod through but I enjoy it.

And that is all the news that’s fit to print out here. I have my Friday post well in mind too. No wonder I feel scattered.

Over and out.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

I’ve had good luck on the book front recently:

* The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery. Oh. My God. I LOVED this book. It was beautifully written, wonderfully constructed, lovingly translated, and Barbery did not punk out on the ending. The concierge Madame Michel looks like any other 54-year-old concierge in an upper-class Paris apartment building. This is camouflage. She is in reality an autodidact, a connoisseur of art, literature, classical music, and film. The privileged, hyperintelligent girl Paloma plans to kill herself on her next birthday because adult life is a sham. Both of them are doomed to loneliness and self-destruction…but then a new tenant moves in, and an odd sort of salvation between dissimilar creatures takes place.

I won’t lie. The book made me cry, especially the part about the camellias. And I expected Barbery to go for the Hallmark ending and ruin a great book, and she didn’t. My faith in humanity is officially restored.

* Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri. I blame Bam for this. She was reading Lahiri the other day and tweeted that Interpreter of Maladies got a Pulitzer–a collection of short stories, getting a Pulitzer. I had to read it. I flat-out loved every story. I am still thinking about Mrs. Sen, though I suspect my favorite story is a toss-up between Sexy and A Real Durwan. The only wrong note was The Third And Final Continent, mostly because the exposition at the end seemed like a case where the writer got tired and took the easy way.

I find Lahiri very Ibsen-like. There is not a great deal of motion on the surface; it is mostly interior action. This is difficult to pull off without getting boring, but Lahiri does it brilliantly.

* Her Majesty’s Spymaster, Stephen Budiansky. This is history the way it’s meant to be told. Action-packed, deftly explained, and occasionally hysterically funny in a dry academic way, this slim biography of Walsingham–the man who, more than anyone other than Cecil, kept Queen Elizabeth I on the throne–just knocked it out of the park for me. It starts with a gripping description of the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre and managed to make me finally understand what the hell was going on with Mary Queen of Scots and why she and Elizabeth acted the way they did. I’ve read other books that haven’t given me half as much insight into Elizabethan society and political maneuvering.

* Along For The Ride, Sarah Dessen. I’m a big, big Dessen fan. I bought this in hardcover because I couldn’t wait. (Dessen’s Dreamland is one of the best YA books I’ve ever read, hands-down.) The protagonist, Auden, is an insomniac overachiever, dealing with her parents’ divorce. In trademark Dessen style, with lyricism and deft characterization, Auden finds solace in nighttime rambles with another insomniac, a boy haunted by a deadly accident. However, it’s in Auden’s relationship with her stepmother and her halting, painful relationship with her demanding mother, that Dessen’s craft really shines. A very solid, very beautiful YA book.

If I ever meet Sarah Dessen in person my brain is going to melt from the sheer fangirl squee. Nuff said.

So, it’s been a good run for me lately. I’m still working very slowly on other books, ones I either have to savor or slow down and really untangle each word of. Obfuscation is considered a sign of academic and literary athleticism, but it’s hell to work through even when one loves the material.

Poor, poor me. Yeah, I’m just unlucky all over, ain’t I.

Over and out.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

First of all, a couple messages: Thanks to Tami H. for the virtual chocolate--it made my day. And AJ: your username is totally separate from the username on your own hosted WP blog. Just go sign up for that (as Kerry notes, you don't have to use the blog at all, I use mine as a placeholder, though I should probably find some way to mirror there a plugin to crosspost to a WP-hosted blog?) ANYWAY, that will give you an API key you can use for Akismet and will make all sorts of stuff totally easier.

*cracks knuckles* We got your tech support right here, babe.

SO. Evil Ways is the second Chastain & Morris investigation, written by Justin Gustainis. Justin approached me for a quote for Black Magic Woman, the first Quincey Morris book, and I loved it. (I have also grown to adore Justin, but that's beside the point.) I also loved Evil Ways. So, on to the review!

My opinions, let me show you them... )


lilithsaintcrow: (Default)


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