Mar. 31st, 2009 07:49 pm
fiveforsilver: (Books [pile])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
35. *Girl At Sea by Maureen Johnson (336) YA/Fic

A high school girl gets the summer job of her dreams, just in time to find out that she has to spend the vacation with her father in Italy. On a boat. Sounds great, right? Except her dad has a tendency for wild schemes that seem like a good idea at the time (to him) but never go quite right after all (especially for her). What type of crazy is he cooking up this time?

Girl At Sea was a stressful book to read; it never seemed to slow down. From the very beginning, and especially after she gets to Italy, it's just one thing after another - and often it's one near-disaster after another. On the other hand, it really reflects the feeling of the main character, who is resentful and angry at the situation she has been stuck in. It is well written and the plot kept me guessing, but it is not a book I'll read again.

36. *The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson (384) YA/Fic

It was a good book. I heard they tried to ban it in some school library because it has (the horror!) lesbians. Ridiculous. The issue seemed to me to be dealt with reasonably and fairly realistically (so far as I can imagine) and just like any other aspect of teenage life as opposed to something major. Well, of course it was major, because to teenagers everything is major, but it wasn't any more major than anything else.

37. The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner (246) A/SF

37 / 150 books. 25% done!

22 / 75 *new books. 29% done!

0 / 10 ^non-fiction. 0% done!

10374 / 45000 pages. 23% done!


Jan. 29th, 2009 10:41 am
blue_ant: (sid [reading])
[personal profile] blue_ant
4. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
As a librarian and avid science fiction reader, it came as some surprise that I'd never even heard of this book before. My sister suggested it's because the book is more fantasy than science fiction, but I think it's because it as Eyre in the title and I don't actually like Jane Eyre. That being said, The Eyre Affair is one of the most interesting and amusing books I've read in a long time. I thought the plot was good, the writing story (and witty) and, well, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the novel. I can't wait to read more of Fforde's works in this series.

5. Mr. Midshipman Hornblower by C.S. Forester
Not being a big fan of historical fiction, I wasn't sure I would like a book about sailing during the Napoleonic Wars. Turns out, though, that I absolutely loved this book. It's the first in the Hornblower series and it's a great introduction to the character of Horatio Hornblower. The book is made up of several interconnected short stories that take place over several years. They begin with 17-year old Horatio boarding his first ship, and end with an older, though not always wiser, Horatio captaining a captured French vessel into Spanish territory. What makes these stories so good is how well Forester writes of Horatio's experiences. His writing is so vivid that it's hard not to see yourself by Horatio's side, suffering as he does. I plan to eventually read the remaining novels, especially since this was such a good introduction.

6. The sheep look up by John Brunner
Not being a big fan of "classic" science fiction, I'd pretty much never even heard of this title. I don't even know how I found out about it, but it had sheep in the title and I had to read it. Basically, this book is an extremely bleak look at our future. Brunner, in the 1970s, saw a future that most people couldn't even begin to dream of. Sure, there weren't really computers or iPods or cell phones, but there was pollution, food shortages, gas shortages and all manner of environmental and health problems. In many ways, our future is exactly as Brunner described, but in other ways, we've made the advancements that he expected us not to make. Regardless of how we're living now, I feel that The Sheep Look Up should be required reading for everyone. Because this book is how our future might be, if we don't fix things. Brunner's book is excellent, if depressing. I highly recommend it, even to those who don't ever read science fiction.

6 / 100 books read. 6% done!


Apr. 30th, 2008 06:27 pm
fiveforsilver: (Books [YW: Did I do right?])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
45. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson (615)

This is a well-written fantasy novel that I enjoyed even more the second time around.

46. *Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest (285)

I really like Cherie's blog ([livejournal.com profile] cmpriest), so I decided to check out one of her books. This will make her the third author whose books I read after I was already a fan of their blog. I am not a big fan of horror, though, so I made [livejournal.com profile] blue_ant read it first, so she could tell me if I'd be able to read it or not.

Eden is an orphan who occasionally sees the ghosts of her dead relatives, has a cousin who keeps trying to kill her, and that's just the beginning of her family dysfunctions. She finds out just how crazy it all is when she starts probing into her family's past - but if she hadn't, things could have turned out a whole lot worse...

I did like it, although not quite as much as I expected. Eden never seemed to take much of anything seriously, and the book was in first person, so the whole book had a rather sarcastic tone and a pretty even level of emotion. Which on the one hand, meant it wasn't especially scary, even for a horror-phobe like me, but on the other hand...it felt like it should have been scarier.

47. The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner (246)

This has been one of my favorite books since I first read it in high school. It is definitely dated, with an optimistically organized and truthful version of the internet (or "data net") and pessimistic views of the US future, but I've always enjoyed the way the story is told - it starts out as a series of flashbacks that eventually work up to the present time, and has random thought-provoking (to various degrees) quotes and questions peppered throughout the book.

47 / 110 books. 43% done!

18 / 75 *new books. 24% done!

2 / 10 ^non-fiction. 20% done!

14440 / 33000 pages. 44% done!

Currently reading:
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
Steampunk edited by Ann & Jeff Vandermeer


Jan. 3rd, 2008 12:48 pm
fiveforsilver: (Default)
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted in April of 2007 (multiple posts combined) in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver:

48. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (468)

Really like this book. I wanted to reread it, but my library's copy is damaged so I decided to just buy my own.

My only complaint is that the end wraps up a little too quickly.

49. First Test by Tamora Pierce (206)

The first book in the Protector of the Small series, my favorite of the Tortall series. I've been reading a lot of new books (and I barely remembered anything about Snow Crash) so I felt like reading an old favorite.

Also, that thing I kept talking about earlier that was going to take up more of my time has suddenly happened - I have a job starting this Tuesday (yay!). It may or may not effect the amount I read.

50. Page by Tamora Pierce (288)
51. Squire by Tamora Pierce (380)
52. Lady Knight by Tamora Pierce (409)

The past few weeks have been very stressful, so I've been sticking to the old favorites.

Stress, stress, stress. Mostly I'm sticking to books I've read a dozen times before. Once school is out I will be able to concentrate on new books again.

53. Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones (218)

I really wanted to read The Lives of Christopher Chant, but I must have left that at my parents' house. I like this one better (which is why I wanted to read Lives first).

54. *The Last Colony by John Scalzi (316)

This is a new book. It is, in fact, brand new - or rather, it was on the 17th, when I bought and read it - and the first new book I read this month. Yes, it's been a stressful month. Anyway, I was waiting for my Amazon pre-order to come, but when Amazon still said it was coming out on the 27th and I knew there were copies available in the store, I said screw it, cancelled my order, and bought a copy at B&N. It's a very good book. Every bit as good as the previous books in the series (Old Man's War and The Ghost Brigades).

55. The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley (278)

Possibly my favorite Robin Hood story. Though I should someday read a few more to compare it with.

56. The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner (246)

This is an SF book that I really love - in part, I think, because it is in so many ways so unabashedly idealistic. It was written, I want to say, in the '70s, so much of the terms and technology are wrong, but...I wish some of it weren't, you know? I wish the internet ("data net") really was mostly full of real information, electric cars were everywhere, and there was some little utopia town somewhere that could change the world for the better.

Of course, there are things that I'm glad don't exist, too. We have enough evil without some of the awful things that Brunner thought up. But given the way our society is going, some of them aren't all that unbelievable, either.

56 / 100 books (56.00%)
32 / 50 *new books (64.00%)
16748 / 30000 pages (55.83%)


Dec. 29th, 2007 09:29 pm
fiveforsilver: (Default)
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted April 09, 2006 in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver:

22. A Wizard Alone by Diane Duane (book 6 in the Young Wizards series) (320)

I'm a big fan of Duane's Young Wizards series. I picked up the third book, High Wizardry, around 11 years ago at a KMart or some such when I was on a long trip with my parents and needed something to read. I did, I admit, judge a book by its cover, but I wasn't disappointed. It took me a few years to realize it was part of a series, though. These are ostensibly written for young adults but the writing style - particularly of some of the later books - and many of the themes can speak to adult readers of fantasy as well.

The two main characters in most of the books are friends and wizarding partners Kit and Nita. In this book, Nita is suffering from depression due to a great loss in the previous book (The Wizard's Dilemma) and so Kit strikes out on his own to try and contact another local wizard who is stuck in the middle of his Ordeal - a sort of test that every wizard goes through when the power is first offered to them. The catch is that that wizard, Darryl, is autistic, and entering his mind to try to communicate with him starts to take its toll on Kit.

A lot of YW fans don't care for this book, and I believe it is not because it's not a good book but because it is - because it gives you a taste of the depression, the lonliness that Nita is feeling, and even an idea of how cut off from the world Kit feels because of his time spent with Darryl. I tend to read it when I'm a little depressed, because while it intesifies those feelings for a while, it eventually brings you back out of it, too.

23. *Old Man's War by John Scalzi (313)

I read Scalzi's blog (although, y'know, I have no idea how I found it), so when I was at the bookstore to waste some time and saw his book, I decided it was high time I found out if I liked his fiction as much as his blogging. And I do.

Old Man's War is science fiction. I had no idea what it was about before I picked it up, but I found that the title is surprisingly apt. It's set in a future time, and all elderly people on Earth are given the option of joining the CDF (Colonial Defense Forces) when they turn 75. You are taken off Earth and - on Earth, at least - declared legally dead. Nobody on Earth knows exactly what happens next...except that they somehow make you young again, to fight in the war.

24. The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner (246)

Another science fiction. This is for some inexplicable reason one of my favorite books, though it's very dated - it was written around the birth of the internet, and Brunner's view of what the internet would become is interesting, though inaccurate in many ways. It's not a book I've ever really been able to summarize or explain well, though. I like the end - it's one of those things that you sort of wish could be in the real world, but it's probably too idealistic to really work.

*New reads

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
24 / 200 total books

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
6 / 50 new books

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
9,266 / 50,000 pages

Current reading:
Lint by Steve Aylett
The Best of the Best: 20 Years of The Year's Best Science Fiction edited by Gardner Dozois
(Still working on those two, one because I don't like it much and the other because it's very long.)
Almost finished with Thud! by Terry Pratchet


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