monanotlisa: Dutch pulls Johnny's ear to check for a tech implant (dutch & johnny - killjoys)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
[personal profile] mirabile, I received your Get Well Soon flowers -- thank you so much! They cheered me up a lot today on my last day of recuperating at home, and will continue to do so at night.



(Feel free to click the thumbnail.)

Also, y'all, I love this show, especially this season: Killjoys up to & including 3x04 ''The Lion, The Witch, and the Warlords'' )
monanotlisa: AtS's Fred, reading a book, in olive-green soft coloring (fred - ats)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
Because my wife purchased it after watching the movie trailer, I too read the book, mostly in waiting rooms: A Wrinkle In Time )

I may pass on the follow-up books of the quartet (the ones I haven't read already), but I'm definitely looking forward to the movie, which looks visually stunning and well-cast.

Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls

Jul. 24th, 2017 08:32 pm
lunabee34: (reading by sallymn)
[personal profile] lunabee34
Brother to Dragons, Companion to OwlsBrother to Dragons, Companion to Owls by Jane Lindskold

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This is a weird book. I liked it, some parts of it quite a bit, but it's a weird book. I think I started out with the wrong expectations; I'd just read a YA book, and the cover of this one looks like a YA novel. It's also told from the perspective of someone who believes her plastic dragons can talk to her, so initially I thought I was going to be reading a YA fantasy novel.

Pretty quickly, though, the book veers into adult territory; the protagonist Sarah is actually in her thirties, and there's a fair amount of sexual content, including mentions of child prostitution, although none of it is graphic or detailed, just alluded to.

This is set in some sort of possibly dystopic future, but we don't get a lot of details about the world because everything comes from Sarah's very limited POV. That's actually one of my favorite parts about the book--the way the author lets little details about the world slip through (everybody uses some kind of credit system, hovercars are a thing, etc) without really explaining anything.

Another part I really like is that Sarah can speak to inanimate objects. At the beginning of the story, the reader thinks she's hallucinating and then gradually comes to realize that she truly can hear her plastic dragons and other objects speak. I also like that Sarah falls in with a group of marginalized people who have banded together to protect each other and live together in what sounds to me like an abandoned chemical plant. Their society is based on the Jungle Book, and is very cool if also very disturbing in many ways.

So, pros: very cool world building, very interesting protagonist, very interesting plot.
Cons: mentions of child rape and child prostitution, consent issues, really bizarre (dated?) understanding of autism (the story begins with Sarah in an institution, and she's believed to be autistic because she was mute as a child and now can only communicate in quotations from stories that she's memorized)

Recommend with reservations.



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Wynonna Earp 2x07

Jul. 23rd, 2017 12:15 am
monanotlisa: (dolls & wynonna - wynonna earp)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
As everybody reading this knows, the most curative thing during recovery is binge-watching a television show. Recall my earlier brief notes on iZombie Season Three? One down; four to go: The 100 (still on Netflix, I hope); Orphan Black; Killjoys; and Wynonna Earp.

I looked at the latter two and chose Wynonna Earp. Why? Guess I was feeling Western rather than Westerly, feeling like two sisters as the leads rather than two brothers.

Just three bulletpoints on Wynonna Earp, up to & including 2x07 ''Everybody Knows'' )

So You Want to Be a Wizard

Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:18 am
lunabee34: (reading by thelastgoodname)
[personal profile] lunabee34
So You Want to Be a Wizard (Young Wizards, #1)So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This was wonderful! It's YA, and on the younger side of YA, but such a fun read. It follows Nita and Kit who both find books about becoming wizards and choose to take the oath. They meet a white hole and senior level wizards and become responsible for the fate of the whole universe along the way.

The magic is really cool here--based on the Speech, on knowing something truly by saying it truly. It also features sentient trees and mechanical objects and some really cool magic involving time.

I don't want to spoil the ending, so I won't say what happens to make me cry, but I was surprised how moved I was by the ending. Full on sniffling. :)

Definitely recommend this one; I think it's the start of a series as well.



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Take that, reproductive system.

Jul. 20th, 2017 12:28 am
monanotlisa: (scrubs! - duh)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
Surgery itself went well...though complications then kept me in the hospital for not the planned 2-3 hours but for about 12 -- and it's all a bit ongoing, shall we say. I'll post more, but despite my three-hour nap after we came home, I'm beat. And my brain still isn't working properly.

Shout-out to the folks working at UCSF Mt. Zion -- they've all been both both friendly and competent medical professionals (the super-enthusiastic residents were THE BEST. One of them bounced little on his feet, holding the clipboard for consent signing out to me).
monanotlisa: Sam Wilson in Falcon gear, in profile, looking fabulous as ever. (falcon - captain america)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (www.blackalliance.org) is having two webinars on the State of Black Immigrants. Part 1 is July 18, tomorrow, at 5pm; part 2 is July 25, both 5 pm EST.

Registration: goo.gl/u8Eckc.

Ethan Frome

Jul. 19th, 2017 02:20 pm
lunabee34: (Default)
[personal profile] lunabee34
Ethan FromeEthan Frome by Edith Wharton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I last read this book in 8th grade about 26 years ago. I remembered liking it and the general plot but not much else. Recently, a bunch of people on FFA were talking about how much they hated the book, so I thought I'd revisit it and see if my opinion had changed.

I still like it. :) I am a huge sucker for stories in which much of the narrative is ambiguous or imagined or a deliberate fantasy (see the Haunting of Hill House, which also shares a climax with this novel, or "The Last Man" episode of SGA). We don't actually know if the backstory the narrator of Ethan Frome has invented is true; he imagines the bulk of the story in the second before he crosses the threshold to Ethan's home. Conversations he has with Ethan and with other townspeople corroborate parts of his fantasy, but our unnamed narrator could be misreading the clues as badly as Lockwood does in the beginning of Wuthering Heights (although probably not; there's no textual evidence he's doing so).

The language here is so beautiful. It isn't spare though the scenes Wharton describes are often spare and stark. Here's an example: "A mournful peace hung on the fields, as though they felt the relaxing grasp of the cold and stretched themselves in their long winter sleep."

Overall, an enjoyable and quick read. If you're looking for a happy ending, this is not the novella for you. Everyone in this story is trapped and has very few choices if they have any at all. Poverty is a vise around Ethan and Mattie and Zeena that they can't dislodge. It's beautifully written, though, and a good look at the shape despair sometimes takes.



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lunabee34: (btvs: buffy gun by eyeconic)
[personal profile] lunabee34
Let's do a silly meme.

Tell me about the episode (or book chapter) that never appeared in one of your fandoms but should have.

Here's mine.

Buffy: I always wished that Buffy's dad had showed up again after Joyce's death. I found his complete disregard of his children horrific, and while I didn't want him to be redeemed at all, I wanted him to show up at least once again so Buffy could tell him off for abandoning her.

Firefly: I would have liked a trip home for one of the crew, maybe to meet Kaylee's parents or Jayne's siblings or Mal's extensive network of female cousins.

Star Trek TNG: I really wanted more episodes with Beverly and Deanna being besties. I would have especially loved an episode where they were trapped on a planet and in survival mode or spent the episode with only each other to rely on.

What about you?

Game of Thrones: Season 7 Premiere

Jul. 18th, 2017 07:49 am
lunabee34: (got: sansa by bluelantern)
[personal profile] lunabee34
Man, I love this show. Last season was so strong, especially the finale, and this opener promises another really strong season.

SPOILERS )

Reading

Jul. 18th, 2017 07:07 am
lunabee34: (reading by tabaqui)
[personal profile] lunabee34
The Liberation (The Alchemy Wars, #3)The Liberation by Ian Tregillis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This book is the best of the series. So many times, an otherwise excellent series ends on a faltering note; endings are really, really hard, and making the final installment worthy of what comes before is a difficult task. Tregillis hits it out of the park.

Many, many aspects of the situation are left unresolved. Years, decades, maybe even centuries of work are left to be done to figure out how the three empires will coexist, share or withhold resources and territory, and police themselves.

But the character arcs are resolved quite satisfactorily. I do not want to spoil even a mote of this wonderful conclusion, so I will just urge you all to read it. If you like artificial intelligence, steampunk, female characters (strong, flawed, stubborn, sometimes bordering on evil), tight plotting, and beautiful language, then this is the series for you!



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The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook: Revolutionary Techniques. Groundbreaking RecipesThe How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook: Revolutionary Techniques. Groundbreaking Recipes by America's Test Kitchen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is an excellent cookbook--meticulously researched with a great introductory chapter that explains what gluten is and how it functions in the foods we eat as well as going through all the different types of gf flours and grains. There are even some product reviews like in the magazine (best already-made sandwich bread, etc.).

I like that this isn't just about desserts. Baked goods get more than half the cookbook and rightly so, but there's all sorts of savory dishes and salads with grains that look amazing.

This would be an excellent addition to the kitchen shelf for anyone who's eating gf.



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Book 2: The Alchemy Wars

Jul. 17th, 2017 12:09 pm
lunabee34: (reading by sallymn)
[personal profile] lunabee34
The Rising (The Alchemy Wars, #2)The Rising by Ian Tregillis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This series is so good. Tregillis's writing is beautiful; his descriptions of the natural world are a delight to read.

Without giving too much away, this middle installment sees the hopes of both Jax and Berenice fundamentally altered. Jax in particular discovers that sometimes a myth is just that.

I especially enjoyed the sections from Longchamp's POV. His stoicism and crudity and perseverance make him such a interesting and colorful character.

I am very interested to see what happens in the concluding book. I hope all my favorite characters make it to the end, but I suspect that's a naive hope.



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monanotlisa: (studying!)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
I have also managed to...well, let's call it "consume books" during commute hours, dead wait times, or long drives -- audiobooks, often in combination with the written Kindle version (you can buy a combo package that lets you pick up reading or listening at the point you left off; it's one neat function). After the breathtaking Rivers of London series by Ben Aarononovitch, I was looking for urban fantasy of a similar vibe: witty, well-written, and featuring diverse protagonists.

My choice fell onto Seanan McGuire's InCryptid series -- the first two novels feature Verity Price, a cryptozoologist-slash-ballroom dancer in New York City; I like them for the setting, frankly, and the richness of this imagined world of non-classified monsters in our midst.

The following doesn't spoil plot points, but it does give an outline of characters and places.

''Discount Armageddon'' & ''Midnight Blue-Light Special'' )

''Half-Off Ragnarok'' & ''Pocket Apocalypse'' )

Ultimately, these are entertaining, so I may stick with the InCryptid series because of the dearth of diverse urban fantasy (true fantasy has gotten much better on that vector these days; read Ancillary Justice or The One Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, or or or). Again, if anybody new is reading this who has recommendations for books or series similar to Rivers of London by Ben Aarononovitch, please let me know!

iZombie Season Three

Jul. 16th, 2017 10:14 am
monanotlisa: (advice)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
Full disclosure, I haven't had the time to watch a single new show I'd waited for and subscribed to on iTunes: The 100; Orphan Black; Killjoys; Wynonna Earp.

The one show I managed to finish is iZombie. And I do recommend it.

Zombie S3 )

The question this show poses about humans and zombies is: Can't we just all get along? The answer potentially being, OH HELLS NO! But...not necessarily.

Doctor Who

Jul. 16th, 2017 09:32 am
monanotlisa: (adventures! - dw)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
The Doctor Who news out of the UK have made me unexpectedly emotional. Doctor Who Casting )

Because I so loved Doctor Who for its undying sense of wonder.

The last show that conveyed the incredible, the vast strange beauty of the universe that well had been Farscape -- a different show, of course, heavy into the psychedelic, with even more whump and the personal perk of never taking itself seriously. But then Russell T. Davies' New Who came along, and finally I understood what all these other nerds and geeks with their t-shirts and telephone boxes had been about all along.

You already know the below if you've been following this blog; I'm just summarizing my experience with Doctor Who in the past and looking to the future )

So yes, I'm back to Doctor Who. Buckle up, companions.

OMG YES!!!!!!!!!!

Jul. 16th, 2017 05:29 pm
trobadora: (Missy (stylised))
[personal profile] trobadora
*SCREAMS*

ETA: link

Will be coherent later, for now I'm just running around screaming. :D :D :D

ET again A: The clip is now up at the BBC website:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p058vj2q

*STILL SCREAMING*

Another edit - some quotes from Whittaker, Capaldi & Chibnall here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2017/jodie-whittaker-13-doctor
http://variety.com/2017/tv/global/bbc-doctor-who-1202496884/

OMG OMG OMG

Spiderman plus Downton Abbey

Jul. 15th, 2017 10:32 am
lunabee34: (avengers: cpn america by youcallitwinter)
[personal profile] lunabee34
Emma and I went to see Spiderman: Homecoming a couple days ago and loved it. SPOILERS )


We are also continuing to watch Downton Abbey. Y'all, I love this show, truly, but I am getting a bit fed up with some of the plot lines. Please don't spoil me for future episodes.

SPOILERS )

I don't think we're that far from the end; we're about halfway through this season, and then I think there's just one more.
trobadora: (MP - missing pieces)
[personal profile] trobadora
NPT reveals have happened! It was a very short anon period, alas, but now I can actually talk about this. It was my first time writing this fandom - and it's a for a show I've loved for a long time. I used to watch The Pretender on German TV, and read a lot of (English) fanfic on the old pretender.de archive back in 2001/02, checking it almost daily until it vanished. My fic reading dropped off after that, but I never stopped loving the show, and rewatching it - my last full rewatch was in 2015 - only reinforced that. (It holds up very well, in case you were wondering. ♥)

Writing it myself for the first time after all that time felt pretty strange, but in a good way. :)

Title: Set Us Free
Pairing: Miss Parker/Jarod
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Jarod should be used to people being unworthy of trust, but some things hit closer to home than others. - Miss Parker knows how it goes when Jarod calls her in the middle of the night, but some calls are stranger than others.
A/N: This story refers to events from episode 3.04, Someone to Trust, in which Jarod gets himself hired as an arsonist and becomes close to his boss's seemingly-innocent wife. But Kristi isn't what she seems, and Jarod finds himself in trouble. Don't worry if you don't remember the episode well (or at all) - everything in the story should be clear from context.
Written for [personal profile] the_rck as part of Not Primetime 2017.

Originally posted here at AO3.

Set Us Free )

October 2012

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