fiveforsilver: (Flowers [violets])
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125. Juniper by Monica Furlong (198) YA/Fan

Prequel to Wise Child. Juniper, whose real name is Ninnoc, is a princess in Cornwall who is sent to learn about magic and healing from her godmother, Euny. At first she is horrified by Euny's poverty but gradually she begins to appreciate the simpler life and understand the power Euny draws from it. Juniper's own growing powers are tested when a childhood friend is bewitched by a dangerous sorcerer.

It always confused me that the story in this book didn't match the tale Juniper tells when Wise Child's leg is broken.

I love Juniper as a character, but this book is uneven. It's interesting to read about most of her training, the contrast between her life as a princess and her life with Euny, the differences between her two teachers, and the things she learned. But some things that are made out to be vital to the training or practice of their power in one book are not mentioned, glossed over, or changed in the other. It's very strange.

I do like this book, but it's not as good as Wise Child.



125 / 150 books. 83% done!


69 / 75 *new books. 92% done!


5 / 10 ^non-fiction. 50% done!


35478 / 45000 pages. 79% done!

Audiobooks: 26h30m
fiveforsilver: (Lights)
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
123. Wise Child by Monica Furlong (228) YA/Fan

This is a historical fantasy about an orphaned* girl known as Wise Child, who is adopted by Juniper, essentially the village witch. Wise Child struggles first with her own fear, then between the joy in her new life and the disapproval and fear of the villagers - especially the priest - and later between her love for Juniper and the temptation of living like a lady with her real mother, Maeve.

Wise Child has been one of my favorite books for twenty years, since I was a child myself. Fulong is not shy about letting Wise Child act like a child. She is stubborn, proud, and makes all manner of silly and dangerous mistakes throughout the story, some of which put her and even Juniper in serious danger. But she also matures from a selfish, spoiled child into a caring, loving (though still sometimes exasperating) one.

One of my favorite lines in the book is something Juniper says to Wise Child: "You always feel someone must be to blame when you are tired or miserable or frightened, Wise Child. It may not be so at all - it may just be the weather of life - but even if they are to blame...does it matter?"

*She's not orphaned in the sense that her parents are dead, but they're both absent at the beginning of the story when her grandmother, who was caring for her, dies.



123 / 150 books. 82% done!


68 / 75 *new books. 91% done!


5 / 10 ^non-fiction. 50% done!


35008 / 45000 pages. 78% done!

Audiobooks: 26h30m

20-23

Mar. 8th, 2009 10:32 pm
fiveforsilver: (Books [Alanna])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
And to make up for February, I seem to be on a roll in March, finishing three books this weekend alone.

20. Juniper by Monica Furlong (198) YA/Fan

Reread.

21. He, She, and It by Marge Piercy (429) A/SF

This is a reread, but it's been a while. Wonderful post-apocalyptic, pre-cyberpunk SF.

22. *The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (374) YA/SF

Recommended by my sister.

Every year, each sector has to randomly pick two teenagers - a boy and a girl - to play in a sadistic event called "The Hunger Games", a fight to the death where the winner gets extra food and gifts for the next year, not just for themself but for their entire sector.

It was wonderful. It was horrible. It was an amazing read, and I am looking forward to the next in the series, although I can already imagine some of the things that will be in it and I'm sure it will be another heartbreaking read.

23. *Graceling by Kristin Cashore (471) YA/Fan

Another book (strongly) recommended by my sister.

A Graceling is a person with a gift, an almost magical ability to do something (although it's never referred to as magic). Someone Graced with speed, say, or swimming, or juggling can perform feats in that area that no regular person could hope to achieve. In Middluns, Gracelings are feared no matter how benign their Grace may be, and that fear is multiplied with Katsa's killing Grace. Even her uncle the King fears her, though he uses his authority to force her to dole out punishment across his kingdom. But what if she decides she will no longer only be his pawn?

Katsa is a wonderful character who grows constantly and believably over the course of the book. I was so surprised by some of the plot developments that I exclaimed out loud several times. The only thing that bothered me was the climax of the book - with such an enormous build-up, the climax was shockingly brief and unsatisfying and I was concerned for most of the rest of the book that something was wrong and things were somehow not what they seemed.

I enjoyed Graceling from beginning to end, with that one exception, and I am looking forward to the upcoming books in the series.


Currently reading:
The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie (at work read)
Tithe by Holly Black (at home read, about to start it)



23 / 150 books. 15% done!


9 / 75 *new books. 12% done!


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


6364 / 45000 pages. 14% done!

14-19

Mar. 7th, 2009 10:14 am
fiveforsilver: (Books [pile])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
I read very little in February. This doesn't seem like it is possibly the right number of books, but I can't think of anything else, so I guess I just didn't read much. I guess I also started but didn't finish quite a few books. All in all it was an incredibly stressful and exhausting month.

14. Pearls of Lutra by Brian Jacques (audio) (no clue) YA/Fan

This was quite enjoyable to listen to. The reader did fun voices for everyone (a necessity with this kind of book) and did a lovely job of reading. I always liked the Redwall books - I have a dozen or so of them myself, including this one, since my parents gave me Redwall when it was first published. Many of the later ones were basically rewrites of the earliest few, but this one is more original than some of the others.

*15. Watchmen by Alan Moore (graphic novel) (416) A/SF

I read this for a book club that I participated in briefly. It was not exactly my usual type of book.

*16. Mort by Terry Pratchett (audio) (7h45m) A/Fan

Fun to listen to.

17. Mairelon the Magician by Patricia C. Wrede (280) YA/Fan
18. The Magician's Ward by Patricia C. Wrede (288) YA/Fan
19. Wise Child by Monica Furlong (228) YA/Fan

Rereads.



19 / 150 books. 13% done!


7 / 75 *new books. 9% done!


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


4892 / 45000 pages. 11% done!
audio: 8h3m (+ ?? Pearls of Lutra)

145-149

Dec. 30th, 2008 07:08 am
fiveforsilver: (Bantock [shattered glass])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
145. Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey (176)

A gifted musician is forced to leave her home when her teacher dies and she's told that girls can't be Harpers. I don't much care for McCaffrey's Pern books, but the Harper Hall trilogy is the exception.

146. Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffrey (288)

Menolly moves to Harper Hall and has to learn to get along with new kinds of people and a new way of life.

147. Dragondrums by Anne McCaffrey (223)

Menolly's friend Piemer grows up and gets into a new series of scrapes.

148. Catherine, Called Birdy by Monica Furlong (176)

Written as the journal of the daughter of a country knight. Catherine's brother Edward (a monk) taught her to write, and her mother wants to please him, so between them they convince Catherine to keep the journal. It is by far the most entertaining journal-book I've ever read and Catherine is a fabulous character.

149. *Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice (352)

I liked this book very much, up until the end. The last page or two annoyed me. The rest of the story, however, was intense and interesting and I enjoyed it.



149 / 150 books. 99% done!


70 / 75 *new books. 93% done!


7 / 10 ^non-fiction. 70% done!


40394 / 40000 pages. 101% done!

127-130

Oct. 31st, 2008 08:34 am
fiveforsilver: (Books [pile])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
127. A Knot in the Grain by Robin McKinley (192)
128. Wise Child by Monica Furlong (228)
129. Juniper by Monica Furlong (198)
130. Survivor's Quest by Timothy Zahn (416)

I've been sick and loopy (due to prescription meds) all week, so the idea of reading new books is pretty much beyond me. These are all books I've read before - all except the Zahn are books I've read many, many times before.



130 / 150 books. 87% done!


63 / 75 *new books. 84% done!


5 / 10 ^non-fiction. 50% done!


35204 / 40000 pages. 88% done!

Abandonded books:

Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

I tried. I really, really wanted to like this book. I think the characters and the story and the humor have a lot of potential, and I generally think Sanderson is a great writer, but something about this book just rubbed me the wrong way. Perhaps it was the way that Alcatraz kept talking to the reader, which I tend to find uncomfortable. I think I would have liked it a lot better if it had just been a straight fantasy book rather than one of those books that insists that it's not actually a fantasy book, it's really actually true!

101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived by Dan Karlan, Allan Lazar, and Jeremy Salter

The idea of this book is fantastic. The excecution? Not so much. I was expecting a book by people who had researched how various characters had influenced Western society. With, you know, actual research and credentials and stuff. Not a couple guys sitting around trying to think up who they thought were the most influential fictional characters. I was extremely disappointed by this book.

54-57

May. 19th, 2008 11:36 am
fiveforsilver: (P&P [Darcy])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
54. *Lost in Austen by Emma Campbell Webster (340)

This book is hilarious. Want to see what happens if Elizabeth Bennet had married Mr. Collins, or hadn't gone to Pemberly? It is a choose-your-own-adventure version of Pride and Prejudice. I thoroughly enjoyed it and, well, I probably didn't exactly read 340 pages (I haven't gone back to try every different choice) but I've read enough other stuff that I don't mind putting that number in.

My only problem with the book is that every ending I caught that wasn't the "right" ending was miserable. There weren't any that were just unhappy or dull. I wish there had been more of a range of possibilities.

55. Wise Child by Monica Furlong (228)

My parents gave me this book when I was 10 and I still enjoy rereading it from time to time. It is a historical fantasy about an orphaned girl known as Wise Child who is adopted by Juniper, essentially the village witch. She struggles between the joy in her new life and the disapproval and fear of the villagers - especially the priest - and later between her love for Juniper and the temptation of living like a lady with her real mother, Maeve.

One of my favorite lines in the book is something Juniper says to Wise Child, who grew up spoiled and stubborn:

"You always feel someone must be to blame when you are tired or miserable or frightened, Wise Child. It may not be so at all - it may just be the weather of life - but even if they are to blame...does it matter?"


56. Juniper by Monica Furlong (198)

This was written several years after Wise Child and is the story of Juniper's childhood, growing up as a princess in Cornwall and learning to be a doran (like a kind of witch). I like it nearly as much as I like Wise Child. It is a more dramatic book, with chases and fights and magic. It's interesting to see Juniper grow from a prideful, spoiled princess into a resourceful and powerful doran.

57. *Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (369)

I liked it. Of course I liked it. I love the BBC/A&E miniseries and that is a very close adaptation. One thing I found very interesting, though, is that in the book, Elizabeth seems slightly less clever and sophisticated, and Darcy seems less proud and nasty. Of course, having a window inside their heads and hearts is part of it, but also some of the lines of dialogue were cut in such a way as to make character traits more exaggerated.

Are there spoilers in a classic book like this? If so, then spoilers ahead. I think my favorite part was the very end, when we found out things were like after the weddings. Maybe that's just because I had nothing to compare it with - the miniseries ends with the wedding - but I also liked to read that Kitty and Mary weren't left to stagnate, that Jane and Elizabeth helped Lydia and Wickham as best they could, and so on.



57 / 110 books. 52% done!


23 / 75 *new books. 31% done!


3 / 10 ^non-fiction. 30% done!


17271 / 33000 words. 52% done!

105-107

Dec. 30th, 2007 08:49 pm
fiveforsilver: (Cats [Apple])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted December 27, 2006 in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver:

105. Juniper by Monica Furlong (198)

106. Little Women/Good Wives by Lousia May Alcott (528)

For a long time, I didn't realize that Good Wives wasn't part of Little Women. The copy I have is titled Little Women but has both books in it. Anyway, I like both books well enough. The only problem I have with Good Wives is how the men are portrayed as flawless, or their flaws are minor and part of their charm, and the women make all sorts of mistakes that their men have to correct or help them with.

107. The Ruby in the Smoke* by Phillip Pullman (230)

Zokutou word meter
107 / 100 books
(107.0%)

Zokutou word meter
32 / 30 new books
(106.7%)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
39,006 / 50,000 pages
(78.0%)


Currently Reading:
Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny
Trickster's Choice by Tamora Pierce

25-27

Dec. 29th, 2007 09:34 pm
fiveforsilver: (Books [open book])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted April 16, 2006 in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver:

25. Thud! by Terry Pratchett* (373)

I enjoyed it, as I enjoy all of Pratchett's books. That's all, really.

26. Wise Child by Monica Furlong (228)

An old favorite, about an abandonded child who is taken in by the local "witch". Margit, known as Wise Child, is at first terrified but soon learns to love Juniper, her adopted mother and the knowledge that Juniper shares with her.

27. Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank (312)

An apocolyptic story about nuclear war. Written in the '50s, it is dated in many ways, including some blatent racism and sexism - more sexism than racism, I would say, but maybe that is because I am a woman and not black - but the way that characters survive (or don't) after communication, electricity, government, and so on are all cut off is the interesting part.

*New books

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
27 / 200 total books
(13.5%)


Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
7 / 50 new books
(14.0%)


Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
10,179 / 50,000 pages
(20.4%)

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