Aug. 15th, 2010 04:54 pm
fiveforsilver: (Books [open book])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
85. *Life in the Fat Lane by Cherie Bennett
Young Adult, Fiction, 260 pages

A "popular" high school student has a metabolic disorder that causes her to gain lots of weight.

On the one hand, this is at times a pretty accurate account of what it's like to be a fat woman - the world is against you, people can be nasty and judgmental just because of how you look, and much of life seems off-limits...even if many of the limits are only societal pressure.

On the other hand, the book emphasizes the "good fat" vs "bad fat" myth, for example that it's "ok" for one person to be fat because you know they have a disorder, and that somehow sets them apart from all the other fatties who obviously just eat too much and sit on their butts all day. It's a difficult prejudice to shake, but it would have been nice to see the characters try a little harder.

I was afraid the book would end with the main character losing all the progress she had made, and it nearly did, but overall it wasn't bad. Not recommended to people who are feeling fragile or self-conscious, but potentially recommended to people who don't understand what it's like to be fat in a fat-phobic world.

86. Magician's Ward by Patricia C. Wrede
Young Adult, Historical Fantasy, 288 pages

87. *Spacer and Rat by Margaret Bechard
Young Adult, Science Fiction, 192 pages

87 / 160 books (54%)
49 / 80 *new books (61%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
21532 / 48000 pages. (45%)
Audiobooks: 46h29m


Dec. 21st, 2009 12:12 pm
fiveforsilver: (YW [Did I do right?])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
151. Sorcery and Cecelia, or the enchanted chocolate pot by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevemer
YA, historical fantasy, 326 pages

152. *Conrad's Fate by Diana Wynne Jones
Young Adult, fantasy, 393 pages

I thought I read this once before (and really, really liked it) but I remembered almost nothing about it. I liked it this time, but I think I'll need to read it another time or two before I really get what was going on.

153. Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
Young Adult, fantasy, 534 pages
Tortall (Beka Cooper)

154. *The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevemer
Young Adult, historical fantasy, 326 pages
sequel to Sorcery and Cecelia

155. Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Young Adult, fantasy, 563 pages
Tortall (Beka Cooper)

156. Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi
Adult, Science Fiction (humorous), 365 pages

157. The Will of the Empress by Tamora Pierce
Young Adult, fantasy, 539 pages

157 / 157 books. 100% done!

80 / 80 *new books. 100% done!

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

46429 / 45000 pages. 103% done!


Nov. 5th, 2009 12:40 am
fiveforsilver: (Holiday [Halloween cat])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver

131. Sunshine by Robin McKinley
Adult, Fantasy, 405p

I was so tired from the job I had last month (among other things) that it actually took me about three weeks to read Sunshine. Usually it takes me about two days.

Still one of my absolute favorite books.

132. The Magician's Ward by Patricia Wrede
Young Adult, Historical Fantasy, 288p

133. A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny
Adult, Fantasy, 280p

134. Old Man's War by John Scalzi
Adult, Science Fiction, 311p

135. The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi
Adult, Science Fiction. 343p

135 / 150 books. 90% done!

72 / 75 *new books. 96% done!

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

38473 / 45000 pages. 85% done!

Audiobooks: 26h30m


Aug. 25th, 2009 09:15 am
fiveforsilver: (Cooking)
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
114. ^*Mind-Rain by Scott Westerfeld (ed) (out of order) (240) YA/NF

Essays and short stories related to Westerfeld's Uglies series. They were really fascinating to read, including some totally different perspectives on the characters. For example, who is the real hero of the series: Tally or Shay? It was a great read, including the two short that were the inspiration for the series.

115. *Saga by Conor Kostick (334) YA/SF

Sequel to Epic. A secret probe has arrived on New Earth, which excised Epic from their computer system and installed another game, Saga. The people of New Earth are becoming addicted to Saga like a drug. Can Eric and his unusual new friends save two worlds?

Saga was quite different from Epic; although it was set in the same universe, it was almost entirely set within Saga and the main characters are NPCs, or characters from the game. It's a good book, I liked it nearly as much as I liked Epic.

116. Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (212) YA/Fan
117. Searching For Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (242) YA/Fan
118. Calling On Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (244) YA/Fan

119. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (546) A/Fan

I felt like rereading this and I lent my copy to my sister, so I read it at the bookstore over the course of a few weeks. I really like it.

120. *^Mark Bittman's Quick and Easy Recipes from The New York Times by Mark Bittman (330) NF

Technically I didn't read every word of this, but I skimmed every recipe and marked all the ones that looked interesting. I have various dietary limitations, so a lot of recipes are difficult to adapt or even just impossible for me, but this cookbook has lots of recipes that I plan to try. It's also fun that all the recipes (supposedly) take about 30 minutes to make, or if they take longer, it's "largely unattended".

121. The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman(122) YA/Fic

121 / 150 books. 81% done!

67 / 75 *new books. 89% done!

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

34524 / 45000 pages. 77% done!
Audiobooks: 26h30m

Currently reading:
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (started a while ago, haven't gotten very far yet)
Blood and Iron by Elizabeth Bear (almost done, having trouble getting through the last few pages)

I said I wouldn't buy any books this month, and I haven't, but it was easier this month when only one book that I want came out. Not buying books is going to get harder starting next month when all the new books I desperately want start coming out.


Jun. 14th, 2009 08:24 am
fiveforsilver: (Text [Obliviate])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
72. Book of Enchantments by Patricia C. Wrede (234) YA/Fan

Collection of fantasy short stories by Wrede:

Rikiki and the Wizard
A sweet story about a greedy wizard and his kind and beautiful daughter.

The Princess, the Cat, and the Unicorn (Enchanted Forest)
The middle princess from a kingdom where nothing is quite as it "should" be goes out to seek her fortune. The palace cat goes with her and they meet a haughty unicorn. Cute and funny.

Roses by Moonlight
An older sister meets an unusual woman and takes a walk through a unique garden. This story is different in that not a whole lot actually happens, and yet at the end, it still feels as though it did. I love this story.

The Sixty-two Curses of Caliph Arenschadd
An Arabian Nights type story with a wizard-monarch who curses everyone who makes him angry. Funny.

This is a dark, sad story of love and war. I never feel like I've quite understood it, but it's moving nonetheless.

The Sword-Seller
Classic good-vs-evil high fantasy, with a few twists. Dark and dramatic.

The Lorelei
Some students on a school trip to Germany make an unexpected stop at the Lorelei cliffs. A great story and I love the main character.

Stronger Than Time
Sleeping Beauty gone awry. The end is unexpected.

Cruel Sisters
A beautiful and sharp retelling of an old ballad.

Utensile Strength (Enchanted Forest)
Queen Cimorene and King Mendanbar must find the wielder for a powerful enchanted weapon. Absolutely hilarious. Recipe included.

73. Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn (439) A/SF
74. The Last Command by Timothy Zahn (467) A/SF
75. Survivor's Quest by Timothy Zahn (416) A/SF

75 / 150 books. 50% done!

39 / 75 *new books. 52% done!

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

23324 / 45000 pages. 52% done!


Jun. 13th, 2009 09:12 am
fiveforsilver: (Books [PotS])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
End of May:

67. Wolf-Speaker by Tamora Pierce (344) YA/Fan

Daine's wolf pack from her former home asks her to talk to the humans in their new territory about the destruction of the land, the water, and the hunting grounds in the new valley they have moved to, but it turns out that the situation is much different - and much worse - than anyone could have guessed.

Wolf-Speaker is one of my favorite Tortall book. Although the main characters are (as usual in Pierce's books) just a touch too good to be true, Daine grows and learnes and makes mistakes throughout the story and people besides her play roles vital to the plot. I particularly like Maura, a young noblewoman who is terrified but brave, and Tkaa, one of the immortals that Daine meets and befriends.

68. Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce (384) YA/Fan

Daine and her friends are sent to Carthack, to meet with the Emperor. Daine's duty is to see if she can heal the Emperor's pet birds and otherwise to stay out of trouble, but unfortunately for her, the god-touched don't have a choice about where and when they're called on to intervene.

Emperor Mage is another thoroughly enjoyable Tortall story. The Immortals series really improves with each book. I love Daine's interactions with the gods and how she chooses to use her borrowed power in a way that reflects her so very well (and which is not precisely the way she is expected to use it).

69. Realms of the Gods by Tamora Pierce (338) YA/Fan

Daine and Numair go up against a group of magical creatures of a kind they've never seen before and when it turns out that neither Daine's wild magic nor Numair's Gift can effect them, rescue comes from a surprising direction. But now they're stuck in another realm while war threatens Tortall.

There are a lot of new and interesting characters introduced in this last book in the Immortals series, including various gods, dragons, and other immortals and magical creatures, and Daine's prejudices against Stormwings are tested. The realm of the gods itself is an intriguing place to read about, with different rules from the moral realm and wonders and dangers all its own. It's a fitting end to the series.

69. Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn (404) A/SF
70. *The Seven Towers by Patricia C. Wrede (336) YA/Fan
71. Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer (320) YA/Fan

71 / 150 books. 47% done!

39 / 75 *new books. 52% done!

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

21768 / 45000 pages. 48% done!


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


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)


Nov. 12th, 2008 06:53 pm
fiveforsilver: (iFrazz)
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
First books of November:

131. Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (212)

Old favorite. Picked it up when I wasn't feeling well.

132. *Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (192)

Nick sees his ex walking toward him and asks the girl standing next to him if she'll be his girlfriend for five minutes. Norah sees someone she hates walking towards her and decides to take him up on it. Unfortunately, it turns out to be the same person...

My sister recommended this book to me and I really enjoyed it. It alternates chapters between Nick's perspective and Norah's perspective - and they aren't just one after the other, they overlap a little, or sometimes a lot, so you get to see what each person is thinking about the same situation. Which is really interesting when, for example, they're having a conversation and one of them thinks it's going really well and the other is wondering what the heck is going on. The voices of both characters felt very genuine, very real.

133. ^*Bogus to Bubbly by Scott Westerfeld (224)

I'm classifying this as non-fiction even though it's about half non-fiction and half fictional non-fiction. In Bogus to Bubbly, Westerfeld talks about how he came up with the idea for his Uglies series and for various things in the books, including the slang, the names, and the technologies. He also includes "instruction manuals" for some technologies, like the hoverboards, and "history" passages, such as how future generations would view what happened in the books. It was an interesting, if quick, read.

134. Searching for Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (242)

Another old favorite, sequel to Dealing with Dragons.

135. The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld (304)

Sequel to Peeps, or at least, a related book that happens at a later time. It's about different characters and a different aspect of the vampire parasite. I like it, but Peeps is far superior.

136. *Star Wars: Shatterpoint by Matthew Stover (410)

This book was fast-moving and action-packed. It was dark and intense, with many deaths and frequently no clear right or wrong answers - even the questions were unclear, which is often true in moral dilemmas. The setup made sense, some of the characters had interesting stories and motivations, and the end worked and was satisfying, even if it wasn't exactly a happy ending.

It all seemed a bit heavy-handed, though. I can't really remember any happy or funny or even really very neutral scenes in the book - almost the whole thing is depressing, stressful, angry, horrifying, or some combination. Anything positive gets cut off pretty much before it starts. And it also seemed to happen rather fast, although granted there is a lot that happened prior to the beginning of the book - the setup I mentioned - that we only hear about.

137. Calling on Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (244)
138. Talking to Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (255)

Third and fourth books in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. The first two are definitely my favorites, but I like all four, and Morwen in particular (main character of Calling, along with her cats) is a wonderful character.

138 / 150 books. 92% done!

66 / 75 *new books. 88% done!

6 / 10 ^non-fiction. 60% done!

37287 / 40000 pages. 93% done!


Oct. 31st, 2008 08:22 am
fiveforsilver: (Bantock [shattered glass])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
123. The Magician's Ward by Patricia C. Wrede (288)
124. Mairelon the Magician by Patricia C. Wrede (280)

After reading a number of new books, I switch to some old favorites for a while. I actually read these in reverse order for some reason - Magician's Ward is the sequel, but I felt like reading it and then picked up Mairelon the Magician when I was finished. I enjoy Wrede's characters and her humor; these books never fail to make me smile.

124 / 150 books. 83% done!

61 / 75 *new books. 81% done!

4 / 10 ^non-fiction. 40% done!

33753 / 40000 words. 84% done!


Jun. 29th, 2008 09:04 am
fiveforsilver: (Chocolate)
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
69. Book of Enchantments by Patricia C. Wrede (234)

Short story anthology:

Rikiki and the Wizard
A cute story about a clash between a pompous wizard and an animal god, with the wizard's daughter thrown in for good measure. Who do you think turns out to be the cleverest one?

The Princess, the Cat, and the Unicorn
Princess Elyssa decides to go adventuring with the support and help of her family (to the frustration of the kingdom's advisers, since they live in a kingdom where fairy tale things never go quite right). But what does the palace cat lead her to the Unicorn Pool?

Roses by Moonlight
This is a more serious story and one of my favorites. It's set in modern times and it's about two sisters and what kind of relationship they have - and more importantly, what it could be.

The Sixty-Two Curses of Caliph Arenschadd
Another funny, cute story. The main character is a young girl whose father is adviser to the Caliph (a sort of king). The Caliph is also a wizard, and when he gets angry at someone, he curses them and their immediate family off his list and it's up to them to figure out how to break it. But what can they do about an unbreakable curse?

A story about love and relationships as much as about magic and war. This is an excellent story, where a few carefully chosen words conjure up an unwritten saga.

The Sword-Seller
It's all about flaws and mistakes. One man does something out of desperation and doesn't think - or doesn't want to think about - the consequences, and the ripples effect people he knows and people he doesn't.

The Lorelei
Another modern story. I like this one a lot. A school trip to Germany and a couple of kids go up against a magical creature.

Stronger Than Time
Something went wrong in the curse of Sleeping Beauty and nobody woke her up, and now everyone who tries to dies. Can a prince and a woodcutter together succeed? It's a sweet story, and sad. I like it.

Cruel Sisters
This is a sad and serious story. The middle princess, Meg, has always tried to play peacemaker between her sisters Anne and Eleanor, but their rivalry and hatred for each other is beyond her influence as they grow older, and is also somehow invisible to everyone else. Until the younger sister steals the suitor of the elder without so much as a thought. And then the two sisters take a walk by the river...

Utensil Strength
I'm pretty sure this is the reason I bought this anthology to begin with - it's an Enchanted Forest story, with Cimorene and Mendanbar and so on. An enchanter was in the process of making the Ultimate Weapon when his wife stormed into his workroom waving her best frying pan around. The spell fixed itself to the pan and suddenly instead of the Sword of Doom, he's stuck with the Frying Pan of Doom, which nobody can hold without a potholder. In order to find the wielder of the Frying Pan of Doom, Cimorene and Mendanbar decided to hold a tournament - but to include a bake-off, so all the contestants will have to touch the Frying Pan in the process. It doesn't quite go as planned, of course, but everything turns out well, and they still have the bake-off, too. The winning recipe - Quick After-Battle Triple Chocolate Cake - is available in the back of the book.

69 / 110 books. 63% done!

29 / 75 *new books. 39% done!

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

20783 / 33000 pages. 63% done!


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