starlady: a circular well of books (well of books)
I was digging through my filing cabinets to answer a question for [personal profile] thistleingrey the other day (yes; I am one of those people who saves her school notebooks. I could probably get rid of the ones from middle school, though) and came across my eighth grade reading journal. It's hilarious on multiple levels, the most obvious being that the entries form a pattern: one will read, "Dear [teacher name redacted], I started [insert book name here] today…" and the next will begin, "Dear [teacher name redacted], I finished [insert book name here] today…" The other thing is that my reading journal consists almost entirely of plot summaries. And they're not even very good plot summaries! So, yes. As a reviewer, I have had a long apprenticeship in my craft (I'd rate myself at the journeywoman level now), but there has also been a definite learning curve.

So, for my own amusement and because it turns out I read some decent books in eighth grade, I've extracted the non-plot summary bits for some and am posting them here, with some contemporary commentary.


David Weber, On Basilisk Station )


Michelle West, The Uncrowned King )


Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass/Northern Lights )
starlady: (dodge this)
Weber, David and Eric Flint. Torch of Freedom. Riverdale, NY: Baen Books, 2009.

I wanted to like this book so much less than I did. In point of fact, it's the most sheer fun I've had in the Honorverse since…I don't know when; maybe not since The Short Victorious War (though I think the Saganami books are also pretty enjoyable). It's also an interesting mixture of frustrating tropes combined with some surprisingly thorough thinking on (among other things) slavery as an institution and human nature.

This is the most recent book in the Honorverse, which is at 14 books and counting, but I have made every effort not to discuss anything which isn't generally comprehensible from the backs of the books.

First cut! )

There's always more to say.  )

So, all in all, a guilty pleasure, but a guilty pleasure in which my faith has been partially restored. And if you're interested, you can download full-text HTML versions of the first 14 books here; they're off the Torch of Freedom CD bound into the book, which is free to share for free. I've numbered the main novels according to internal chronology; the remainder of the books are the short story collections, which generally fill in interesting gaps in the narrative.
starlady: (utena myth)
I went to H&M tonight in an attempt to buy a summer dress for a wedding next month, but the H&M by me brilliantly decided to stock only about 6 pieces from the collection, all XS or S, so no joy. And when the shirt that I paid $8 for at Old Navy two weeks ago was now $15 (different color, of course), I was immediately disinclined to part with my cash.

I'm such a bad capitalist drone. But this way I have more money to spend on things that actually are worth the expense.

In a deeply, deeply tangential way, MammothFail (follow the link to [personal profile] naraht's archives) has been making me think about the privilege inherent in being able to enjoy authors whose works are in some ways (deeply) problematic but in others are a total gas. Specifically, I'm thinking of David Weber's Honorverse books. I read the most recent, Storm from the Shadows, in March.

They'll get along like a house on fire! )

All these things taken together leave me deeply uncomfortable at the thought of buying any more Weber books. I will keep reading them, however.

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