perevision: (Default)

A funny thing happened on the way back from the shops...

I have been wanting to read Alan Bennett's The Uncommon Reader for a few years, and I had forgotten it until I saw it in a pile sitting on someone's garden wall. There were maybe twenty others including two Twilight books, a Stieg Larsson and a Nicholas Sparks. They had been set out for anyone passing to take. I carried off Mark Haddon's A Spot of Bother, Nick Hornby's Slam, Nora Ephron's Heartburn, Margaret Atwood's Wilderness Tips, and Ali Smith's The Accidental, aside from this book.

I've been a little down because of failed job apps lately, but this is a great reminder of why I love London and decided to move here. I know 'free books that don't suck' is a petty reason and might have better served an Oxfam or the Mind store down the way, but I got them and they do mean a lot to me now. So I will be reading these and posting reviews.

The Uncommon Reader )

perevision: (bookgirl)
I've been following [personal profile] petronia's reading/watching meme for a while now, and between that and Film Crit Hulk I've been inspired to catch up on movies, series and books.

Movies finished:
Jiro Dreams of Sushi - my mouth watered the entire time, and so will yours, but that's an irrelevant detail. This has so much in common with my favourite documentary, Bill Cunningham New York: it's inspiring and very humbling to watch these men perform their craft with such skill. I wanted to say their skill was effortless but it's not true--like a kata, constant repetition makes every movement smooth and light. I have never been so mesmerised watching someone pinch nigiri together. Also charmed by food critic Masuhiro Yamamoto, who serves as a guide to Jiro's genius. Loved his breakdown of the three criteria for the Michelin stars: quality, originality and consistency. This one's going in the Artist Handbook.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - ahahaha this actually showed in London while I was there. I enjoyed the hell out of this film; I'm sad I didn't see it in the theatre.

Books finished:
To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee - I am so ashamed that I hadn't read this yet! Of course I loved it, but I can't really process my feelings until I read it a few more times, detached from everything that's already been said about it.
Do the Work, Steven Pressfield - a little gung-ho for my taste, but good for motivation.
Blood and Gold, Anne Rice (reread) - Short version: vampires are assholes, but they're fascinating assholes.
Zen and the Art of Writing, Ray Bradbury - Another one for the Artist's Handbook, but also just fun to read.

Still reading/watching:
The Fall - about 1/3 of the way through and enchanted. Although that might be more the two leads than anything else; I am super weak for Lee Pace.
Sunshine Cleaning - I honestly thought this would be way more engaging and funny?
Elementary - now watching 'M'.

Venice Is A Fish, Tiziano Scarpia - ♥
Why We Broke Up, Daniel Handler - Lemony Snicket's turns of phrase are just as amazing when he is not being Lemony Snicket. And I feel even more for his characters.
Stuff White People Like, Christian Lander - Sometimes I read so many sad things, I just need a bathroom book.

Just acquired:
Hannibal, ep 1
Da Vinci's Demons, ep 1 - SO EXCITED.

Diary of a Dictator, William Rempel - Ferdinand Marcos's diary. I honestly have no idea what to expect.
The Dreyfus Affair: A Love Story, Peter Lefcourt - apparently an LGBT love story about baseball NOT written by Steve Kluger. Recommended on the podcast Slash Report.
The Eagle of the Ninth, Rosemary Sutcliff - because I am obsessed, not with Channing Tatum, but with trying to remember the title of this one children's book I read, which was also about the dying days of Roman Britain and featured a teenage protagonist called Marcus who meets a Celtic boy. In the book Marcus, whose family is about to leave for Tuscany, gets to witness the ritual of the Horned God and exchanges his toga for a fur pelt. Also Rosemary Sutcliff.
Fantastic Metamorphoses, Other Worlds: Ways of Telling the Self, Marina Warner - I love this lady.
perevision: (Default)
EDIT: Forgot to link to Part 1.

Ok, so it took me forever to post Part 2 because I was going back and forth about just how much I wanted to reveal. Suffice it to say this is the condensed version, to spare all of us, and it does really get back to the TL;DR VAMPIRES GAH part.

When I was in my first year of art school in London, I met this boy. )

OK, we're back to vampires, you can look now. )
perevision: (Default)
Sorry, this is going to be really, really long. It's been a while since I unburdened myself online. You might want to skip all the feelings and just click the links before the cut, you'll enjoy them.

So I gave up reading fanfic for Lent but then got addicted to Steve Rogers' American Captain, which is part Harvey Pekar pastiche, part Avengers fancomic, and all Steve Rogers feels all the time.

And through a link to an extra-large comic I was led to the artist's DeviantArt page, and her comic called Therapy with the Vampire, which is about Anne Rice's Louis and Lestat and their compelling, twisted relationship. And that reminded me that I still had my uncle's Vampire Lestat graphic novel that I first read at fourteen. So I cracked it open for the first time in more than a decade...and like cracking an egg, a gooey mess came spilling out. And in the process of cleaning it all up I suddenly understood several blind spots in my real life past, not to mention my fandom tendencies.

The thing that's wrong with these vampires is the thing that's always been wrong with vampires. )

Part Two
perevision: (Default)
Ok, I promised fanart so that my last post is not a rant. Here it is.

Title: Window Dream (#18)
Pairing: Arthur/Eames
Rating: G
Warnings: Surreal imagery.
Summary: AU. Eames is a window display artist who can't seem to stop dreaming about his artistic rival Arthur.
Artist's Notes: see end.

18th of a nonexistent series )
perevision: (inspired)
Title: Window Dream (#18)
Pairing: Arthur/Eames
Rating: G
Warnings: Surreal imagery.
Summary: AU. Eames is a window display artist who can't seem to stop dreaming about his artistic rival Arthur.
Artist's Notes: see end.

18th of a nonexistent series )
perevision: (howl anim)
I spent the whole day reading coffee table books about window displays and now all I want is a fic where Arthur and Eames are window dressers and Eames keeps having recurring dreams about Arthur in window displays.

I even drew art for it, what the hell )

In possibly related news, my art is also in this video, which makes me weirdly happy. I drew the dinner. JGL is eating my turkey.
perevision: (swans 2)
Anne McCaffrey has gone between.

Thank you for your books, Anne McCaffrey. They were a huge part of my teens and one of my gateways to SF from fantasy.

I'm sad I'll never get to meet you.
perevision: (books ganymede)
Found this at the end of an article in the Bookseller, on which I mostly had no opinion (although the opening sentence was in much the same tone):

"That diversity in the book industry is crucially dependent upon the survival of Waterstone's on the high street has become a truism—but the grim events of this summer point to a possibly even more portentous conclusion.

When rioters in Clapham think nothing of looting a charity shop, but leave the local branch of Waterstone's untouched, should we laugh or cry? One thing seems certain: a high street in which there is no book shop for rioters to loot will be the mark, not just of an etiolated book industry, but of an impoverished culture to boot."


In happier news, I read two new books!
my first Bujold )

Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird )
perevision: (books merboy)
Had a great time over at [ profile] lyrakristine's house; she's in town with her whole family, whom I'm quite close to. So nice to spend time with all of them again. It really only needed [ profile] angelthorn to make things perfect; in fact if A had been there I think we might actually have got round to Ly teaching me how to sew. Next time, I swear.

Got back home and am having a lazy day reading instead of painting or anything productive. Picked up Volume 1 of the Complete Novels and Stories of Sherlock Holmes at Fully Booked some days ago and just finished The Sign of Four.

thoughts on ACD, gender and race, historical notes, and tragic conclusions )

The really sad bit is the last line of the story. Watson says, 'You have done all the work in the business. I get a wife out of it, Jones gets the credit, pray what remains for you?'

I was expecting Holmes to say something pithy about the work being its own reward, but I got this:

'For me,' said Sherlock Holmes, 'there still remains the cocaine-bottle.' And he stretched his long white hand up for it.

No wonder all the ACD canon fic is choked with angst. Damn.
perevision: (tiny bamf)
Woke up at 7, skyped with Mom at 9, now i'm reading things cos I can't get to sleep...

So, a brief moment here to pimp two of my current favourite Sherlock fics!

Two Two One Bravo Baker by abundantlyqueer is a mind-blowingly awesome AU where Sherlock and John meet much earlier, in Afghanistan instead of London. It has scads of action, a cracking mystery, extensively researched details of military life, and more BAMF!John than my little brain can take. Also very graphic slash, so proceed with caution. Not yet complete.

On the gen/het side, The Affair of the Asphyxiated Acafan by AJHall is another great mystery, unusually written from the POV of Sarah, John's is-she-isn't-she girlfriend. It's full of fannish detail and reads like a proper mystery story; I almost feel as if I'm reading a tie-in or watching an episode of the series. Very satisfying and everyone's voices come across just right. Complete!

Also managed to borrow my officemate's copies of Philosopher's Stone and Chamber of Secrets; the proper British versions, too. Very pleased, as they're very hard to get here! Have resolved to re-read the books and watch at least some of the movies again before The Big One opens in July.
perevision: (invert)

Fascinating reading, starting with the "English Couple" tomb of two (male) knights found in Istanbul, and going on from there. If the book is as intelligent, well-informed, and utterly absorbing as the review, I can't wait to order it.
perevision: (bookgirl)
It's really true that you only pick things up when you're ready for them. I used to think reading choices explained something about the kind of person I am, but if there's something to be deduced from my reading patterns I'm not sure I want to know.

I've never thought of myself as a mystery fan in the same way I think of myself as an sf/fantasy fan. I have a mainstay 'comfort list' (Doyle, Christie, Poe) and of course there are my favourite mysteries muddled with other genres (Pratchett's Night Watch, Adams's Dirk Gently) and all the crime shows I can't seem to stop watching on TV no matter how ridiculous or predictable they become. But I never thought of myself as a mystery reader.

brief thoughts on Lord Peter, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and BBC Sherlock. Well...not that brief. )
perevision: (Default)
I have been reading a LOT of YA lately, to the point that it's the first section I head for in Fully Booked. This hasn't been the case for 13 years--I got into YA as a genre in itself via lit-major friends (HAI GUYZ) and dropped off a little after we went our separate ways.

But now I'm living in a city with a bookstore that actually believes kids have their own personalities and can think for themselves instead of grabbing the nearest black-red-and-white cover on the Teens' Choice table...

I have these books that I love but didn't realise for years were written by authors who actually wrote more books. E.L. Konigsburg, Jerry Spinelli, Patricia McLachlan and Steve Kluger gave me a genre I had no idea I would love: a world without magic, vampires, fantastic machines or any of my usual favourite tropes, a world in which kids did kid things and realised they weren't enough, a world where kids got older and connected with adults and other kids and...changed, irrevocably, often for the better.

If you have any recs for these authors' books and more authors like them, please let me know.

In the meantime, I re-read The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World and succumbed to the inevitable: William Wilcox/Amedeo Kaplan slash fanfic. Because really, it was RIGHT THERE, hardly even coded at all. Oh, and a bit of het at the end.

Learning Russian
by Pere
EL Konigsburg's The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World
William/Amedeo, mostly

They don't really talk at school. )
perevision: (books ganymede)
I tried reading Twilight but I just couldn't get into it. I've probably read Anne Rice and watched Angel and devoured vampiric literature (Underworld, Dragon Waiting, Lord of the Dead, even a Batman alternative storyline!) far too often to really appreciate Meyer's work. Also, how judgmental am I? I couldn't read her work without thinking of the article where she admits that being a Mormon informs "every aspect of my writing". Shallow of me.

I did, however, read the last chapter of Breaking Dawn two days ago, JUST BECAUSE the bookstore where I work got it earlier than its release date. I had to do it. It was such a delicious feeling to read something before it was allowed to be read, regardless of how I felt about the work itself. I wanted to gloat about it on the day, too, but I was too tired to post until now!
perevision: (books merboy)
Been sucking down books like summer cherries, especially the New York Review of Books series. Have read Wescott's The Pilgrim Hawk, a few bits off Borges' Labyrinths, James Wood's How Fiction Works, Schuyler's What's For Dinner?, Henry James' What Maisie Knew, and thanks to a lucky find at Oxfam and a special discount run on the Amazon marketplace, all the rest of James Marsden's Tomorrow series. Hey Lars, remember those? They're still as good as I remember--I think JK Rowling could have learned a thing or two from them.

I also love reading odd bits aloud to myself, which is like the verbal equivalent of tying the occasional stem in a knot with my tongue. (Mixed success, but fun every time!) :P

sf hangover

May. 7th, 2008 09:13 pm
perevision: (air gear kya)
I need a "OMG I am such a f*cking fangirl" icon...

Sci-Fi London was SO AWESOME.

Check out the pics on the Flickr site...Stormtroopers galore, Alien and Predator slash, plus Mel Brooks, China Mieville, Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden and a Python or two...

Oh, and someone got caught reading on the job, heheh. I managed to read two of the AC Clarke shortlisters (The Raw Shark Texts and The H-Bomb Girl), as well as some of Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars. The rest of the festival was spent meeting fellow nerds, watching movies, cosplaying and messing about on the Manga Wall! Oh and grabbing ALL THE FREE STUFF. Made off with several DVDs of Ghost in the Shell SAC, Mushishi 2 (I have vol 1), Chobits 1, Duelist, the Ranma movies and Supernatural Season 1 part 1!

Oh my God the anime all-nighter!!!!!!!! I am so starry-eyed still, I can't talk about it, except to resolve to get every DVD of every movie, ESPECIALLY Appleseed Ex Machina. I haven't wanted a robot boyfriend so bad since Optimus Prime. Briareooooooossss...♥♥♥ ♥ ♥
perevision: (lotus)
Hey all, Happy New Year! Hope your Christmases were as full of food, presents and familial joy as possible.

After some hairy moments, it seems I am indeed returning to London for my very last term. In addition will get to live all by my ownsie, which has been my fondest wish but also means I will miss my cousin a lot. Thinking of casting out for a roomie if I can't find a single flat in time.

Leaving on the 9th from Manila, but am trying to get a day or two there so I can see friends and do shopping--didn't get anything good in Chiang Mai as it's more of a retreat and not a retail paradise like Bangkok. The vacation itself was really lovely; must get the pics from my aunts and cousins as I didn't bring a camera of my own.

I have been rereading all my aunt's Diana Gabaldon books while I'm in Bacolod--[ profile] angelthorn and [ profile] lyrakristine, much much better than Judith Krantz, I promise! Hot Scotsmen, witchcraft and time travel, gay British nobility...and sex that's not only genuinely sexy, but actually believable. Plus funny on purpose. I'm also reading Crime and Punishment, Kawabata's First Snow on Fuji and The Janissary Tree, but I admit the Gabaldon books are really an addiction, and have been for years.

Er, anyway, now that I've got my grandmother's computer working, there will be more posts. Expect pics next :)


Sep. 5th, 2007 08:19 pm
perevision: (shin kya)
On the 25th of this month Blackwell Books will be hosting this event.

I signed up to staff it. :D

There's a lot of them lately--it was Germaine Greer today, but I didn't staff as it's only my first week. Am only sorry I missed the William Gibson, as it took place before I was hired and I only knew about it afterward. But am SO EXCITED for this one!!!

[ profile] angelthorn, [ profile] kurozukin_a, I could get you a signed copy of Ladies of Grace Adieu if you like?
perevision: (bagoas)
Watching LJ erupt over the past few weeks I wondered why we're (and I include myself here) so violent about spoilers. Then I read the book, and I watched LJ erupt even more, and I took a couple of days to think about it, and...I formed a possibly unpopular opinion.

Spoilers are so important to this series because the plot points are all we have left. The characters we loved (and loved to hate), the thrill of the pacing and the discovery of this new universe that lives around and alongside and yet away from what we's all faded in the past few books, subsumed by the overwhelming plot devices and fake-outs and OH NOES vs. SQUEE!!!s that stuff the covers and feed the hype. And it breaks my heart to know that the series that captured and involved me so completely has turned into little more than a fireworks display.

I sound bitter, don't I? Maybe I'll post bullet points outlining the bits I found the most disappointing, along with the bits I actually did enjoy (there were some, I promise!). Maybe later.

In the meantime, here is one aspect of the series I AM forever grateful for.... Fandom, I turn this one over to you. Please make it right. You've done it before.

ETA: Some comments below contain spoilers.


perevision: (Default)

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