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Quick summary of, er, since I last updated. (Funny how every time I make a big dramatic post about OMGjournalingblock&self-hatred, updating suddenly becomes easier...)

Around All Saints Day I took a couple of days off for a four days trip to Salzburg, where I took a lot of walks as well as a lot of photographs, and felt, if not exactly happy, at least mostly relaxed and content and a bit more like breathing freely.

Also watched S5 finishing my B5 marathon and I cried through the best part Sleeping In Light from the moment Susan gets Sheridan's letter, which must be a new record. One might think I'd have become a bit desensitised by the third or fourth time, but apparently I'm getting even more sentimental in my old age. ::sigh::

Surprisingly enough I found I liked - the telepath[s of the very glossy hair, and does it come with the gene?]-arc aside - S5 best of all, maybe because it's the most grittily realistic. Maybe I've become too old and cynical, or maybe it's the spirit of the time and we've all become harder and more disillusioned, but at times throughout the earlier seasons I caught myself thinking that this would never work out, people are just never that idealistic, self-less and heroic and not the least bit corrupted by the power the wield. (And I guess MJS must have been aware of that potential problem, or he wouldn't have gone to such lengths to establish Sheridan and Delenn's personal integrity, not to mention Sheridan's personal memento mori.)

The character I most identify with is still Garibaldi, Sinclair can be surprisingly, dare I say it, hot on occasion, and somehow Ivanonva doesn't live up to the memories I have from when I watched the show on tv.

Took along a few books, but because of all the B5 watching I only manged to read naominovik's Empire Of Ivory, which I partly liked and partly not so much. Her strength is definitely the world-building and those parts that are driven by her characters (even if they do remain a bit pale and sketchy) and the interaction between them, which probably is why I liked the first part best, where she builds the relationship between Lawrence and Temeraire in a quintessentially slash fiction-y way without the actual slash.

I like where she's going idea-wise, the whole theme of the relationship between dragons and humans, I like what she's doing with her female characters without being too heavy-handed with a capital letter feminist message, but the action-driven parts - in case of this volume the drawn out search for the magic mushrooms - dragged a bit and failed to really draw me into the story. I can't quite pinpoint what bothers me about the books; maybe it's that I'm consciously or unconsciously comparing them to O'Brian, which is at once unfair and almost unavoidable and while his style is occasionally even more rambling, his main characters are more complex and more interesting and despite his rambling style of narration his prose has a power that hers lacks...

Not that I won't buy the next volume, the cliff-hanger ending took care of that. *g*

For someone working in a book-store I've been reading embarrassingly little lately, lack of focus, lack of concentration, lack of a functioning brain, perhaps. But a book I really enjoyed was Perihan Maǧden's Two Girls which I'd seen in a bookshop in Madrid but wasn't sure I actually wanted, especially not the really quite battered copy at the price they sold it. And even while I was reading it part of me kept on thinking I'm just too old for a book about an angsty teenage girl who listens to Limp Bizkit, Blink whateverthenumber and the like with, well, teenage angst. Lots of it. But Maǧden has such an original style and gives gives Behiye such a unique, personal voice that one is totally drawn into the story of her falling in love with Handan (The Feeling You'll Be Rescued) how it falls apart and all the resulting pain and tragedy...

And it really made me want to continue learning Turkish.

Clive Barker's Mister B. Gone is another book I partly enjoyed, partly didn't quite so much. IMO the general tenor of the reviews on amazon is too harsh, because for the most part the book did work for me; very well even. The playing with the fourth wall, the interaction between his protagonist and the reader, the characterisation - a demon who by his nature is beyond human morals, but all the same can be hurt by cruelty, long for a bit of love and domesticity in some sheltered ruin with another demon, a goat and the occasional bath in the blood of infants, or even be shocked by human evil. It's a roller coaster, because Barker makes you sympathise with Jakabok Botch one moment and be horrified by him the next, never -- and I'd almost written, never letting you make the mistake that this being is human, but (although it does seem to be drawn a bit more extreme, since he is a demon, after all) history has amply proven that human beings perfectly capable of that kind of thing, too...

So, not a bad book, with some interesting ideas, only in the end the themes (the power of the written word, the struggle between good and evil, and, I guess, although it emerges only slowly, but since it is a decisive factor in Jakabok's fate, love) didn't quite come together and the revelation of the mystery was a bit lacking, IMO, which is surprising, because I usually love those parts in Barker's novels.

Still looking forward to the next Abarat book, though...

Since then, work, procrastinating (as usual), two birthday cakes (cheesecake for B. and M. at work, apple cake for my father), a bit of a lingering cold, more work with books arriving at the last possible moment or later, skipped Spanish class & belly dancing class this week because I was too tired and sick, with a sudden pain in my back/right hip to add to the general miserableness, snow, cold, heat in my apartment not working when I tried to turn it on Saturday (repair guy comes tomorrow), being wrapped in blankets with a hot water bottle as a result, starting to watch the Hornblower DVDs I bought a while back, and while it's a bit like O'Brian light, the boy is ridculously pretty as well as heroic, and it's fairly enjoyable to watch...


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 22nd, 2007 12:36 am (UTC)
beauuuuutiful pictures!

no one seems to have the time anymore to write a proper entry. but thank goodness some on occasion do!
hope you are most well, xo
Nov. 22nd, 2007 10:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you!! :)

I'm... variable, kind of. Okay-ish mostly. And either I'm too busy or too lazy to update, or I feel too guilty for bothering people with always the same thoughts & feelings...
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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