The Raven Cycle Discussion

Oct. 20th, 2014 08:06 am
helloladies: group shot of three My Little Pony's (Default)
[personal profile] helloladies posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Covers for The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily, Lily Blue


Tomorrow will see the release of Blue Lily, Lily Blue, the highly anticipated third title in Maggie Stiefvater's Raven Cycle series. It's a bit of an understatement to say that all three of us here at Lady Business are fans: love for this series spread among us like wildfire after Renay reviewed The Raven Boys last year, and we've been counting down the days until the next book is in our hands. To celebrate its arrival, I've invited a few of our friends — Aarti, Jenny, Memory and Teresa — to come discuss the series and speculate wildly about what Stiefvater might have in store for us. Please feel free to join in in the comments! Needless to say, spoilers for the first two books will abound.
— Ana

Ana: Jenny, you recently told us on Twitter that your "frequently prescient" mother had a theory about the series. Mind sharing what that is with everyone?
Spoilers for the first two books ONLY )
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (me)
[personal profile] brigid

Mirrored from Words, words, words, art..

“The Awakening” is a tense ghost story set in a boarding school in the early 1920s.

If you’re anything like me, you saw “The Awakening” available to watch on netflix and thought to yourself “Huh. I wonder if there’s any connection to Kate Chopin’s feminist short story about desire and sexual awakening.” The answer is no, although the trousers-wearing (at home, at least), cigarette smoking, atheist, ghost debunking Florence Cathcart has consensual sex with the emotionally traumatized but sex headmaster of a haunted boarding school, which is pretty great for a woman in London in 1921. Cathcart, who’s written a best selling novel about ghosts not being real, also works with the police to debunk fraudulent charlatan spiritualists intent on ripping off grieving patrons… an actual thing that actually happened, although in real life they pulled cheesecloth “ectoplasm” from various orifices, instead of using blood capsules and killing birds. After one successful raid, she’s approached by a teacher at a boys’ boarding school in Cumbria. A boy has died recently, apparently at the hands of a ghost, and the students are terrified. After a bit of emotional blackmail on his part, she agrees to join him at the school and investigate things.

At the school she reveals she attended Cambridge, unusual for a woman of her time. She sets up a variety of ghost/fraud hunter traps including tripwire cameras, and investigates the school. Despite some creepy events (including an alarming and unsettling dollhouse), she figures out what happened: some of the boys pranked her… and the dead child was killed because the English teacher locked him outside in the dark to help him “man up.” Terrified and alone, he had an asthma attack and died. “These boys must be strong– stronger than us,” he says in his defense.

The specter of both victims of the flu and the dead and surviving soldiers of World War I are laced throughout the film. There’s conflict between Robert Mallory, the teacher who contacted Cathcart, who is a veteran and Edward Judd, the groundskeeper, who faked physical disability to avoid being drafted. Mallory resents Judd’s cowardice while Judd resents that Mallory and other veterans are treated as heroes, as his betters. Cathcart, it turns out, is obsessed with ghosts because she desperately wants them to be real, she desperately wants to make amends to her dead fiance.

The acting in the film is fantastic, and the cinematography is interesting. It has a washed out, faded look and feel to it that I absolutely adored. Had the movie ended with Cathcart solving the mystery of the student’s death and leaving the fate of ghosts up in the air, I would have been very happy. A nice little mystery neatly solved, with the question of spirits not conclusively solved. Sadly, the movie continues on, and although the acting and atmosphere are both wonderful the plot descends into convoluted yet predictable plot twists and el oh el the skeptic is proven wrongity wrong about her deeply held beliefs and career.

There’s also an attempted rape scene, where Judd just happens to witness Cathcart and Mallory having consensual sex, so he decides that Cathcart is a slut and he beats her and tries to rape her, because that’s the price that must be paid if one is to see a woman in a film I guess. It’s a price I’m getting increasingly tired of paying, and quite frankly I’m getting burnt out on movies at this point. I was really enjoying “The Awakening” ridiculous over-telegraphed “plot twists” and all, and then BAM! a violent struggle and attempted rape of a very cool woman. There’s no escaping it. And that’s just so incredibly depressing and disheartening.

If the movie had ended after the mystery of the student’s death was solved, I would have rated this a 4 out of 5 stars. But it went on and took some bad turns and ultimately, as much as I wanted to like this movie, it only gets 3 out of 5 stars. Which is a shame. The acting is great, the ghostiness is great, the creep actor ramps up nicely (I’ve never seen such an effective use of a spooky dollhouse), and the cinematography is gorgeous. Alas.

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Daily Happiness

Oct. 19th, 2014 10:50 pm
torachan: onoda sakamichi from yowamushi pedal with a huge smile (onoda smile)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I did not sleep in this morning because I woke up super hungry and could not get back to sleep, but I did take a nap in the morning!

2. We went to Walmart and Fry's today. Haven't been to Fry's in ages, since we don't have a car anymore and I just feel like electronics stores are not as exciting as they once were, but it was fun to take a look around. And Walmart had (among other things) Crispix for under $3! That is my favorite cereal and it's usually $5 something at other stores and never goes on sale, but this was their regular price. Too bad we don't have a Walmart near us or I'd buy it all the time (as it is, I bought three boxes).

3. Alexander came over this evening and we started a Gravity Falls rewatch. He's only seen about half of season one, and rather than try to figure out where he'd left off, we just decided to start from the beginning. Irene had never seen it before and wasn't sure she'd like it or not, but she did, so yay. :D
jae: (yuletidegecko)
[personal profile] jae
Every year, I choose three verrrrry rare source texts to have written for me for [staff profile] yuletide, and every year I worry that I won’t be matched because no one will be able to offer to write them. So far, there has always been at least one brave soul who has saved the day in the end, but just in case this is the year when it finally all catches up with me, I figured I’d put this out there, at least. If I’m lucky, maybe somebody out there will decide to offer to write a source text they hadn’t otherwise planned to offer because of this post. And even if that doesn’t happen, well, it can’t hurt, right?

My requests this year are for one recent Scandinavian television drama (Bron | Broen | The Bridge), one recent Israeli television drama (חטופים | Hatufim | Prisoners of War), and one cancelled U.S. television drama from 2010 (Lone Star).

Bron | Broen | The Bridge

This show is essentially a character-focused drama (a Danish/Swedish co-production) disguised as a crime drama. The two main characters are both detectives, and each of the two seasons focuses on the two of them solving a different crime together, but this is not a show for people who are primarily interested in crime procedurals (the detective plots, while interesting enough, admittedly kind of go off the rails in a few places). Instead, what actually makes this show truly special is the unconventional friendship that develops between the two lead characters over the course of two seasons: the Swedish detective is the serious, methodical Saga Norén, who is difficult to work with due to the fact that she's clearly somewhere on the autistic spectrum, and the Danish detective is funny, casual, friendly Martin Rohde, who is tragically flawed in his family relationships. They are both seriously flawed human beings, but incredibly real, and very fragile in such different ways that make each the yin to the other's yang...and I'm making this sound like a trope, but it's really so much more than just that--these two are such fully-realized individuals that you can really believe that these are people who exist somewhere in the world. I should probably also specify that one of the endlessly intriguing parts of the show to me is linguistic, i.e. the way the show plays on the fact that the two languages are mutually intelligible (the Danish characters speak Danish, and the Swedish characters speak Swedish, even when talking to each other). But even if you don't care about that sort of thing at all, if you are the sort of viewer who loves two complex, fascinating individuals and their entirely platonic relationship with each other, you will want to get your hands on this somehow.

The show is widely available with English, Dutch, or German subtitles on torrent sites (make sure you've found the version with hardcoded subtitles in the language of your choice before you proceed), but if you're opposed to that, here are some fully legal ways of acquiring it: in the U.S., you can buy season 1 at amazon.com, in Germany, you can buy season 1 and season 2 at amazon.de, in the UK, you can purchase both seasons on DVD or watch season 1 and season 2 on Amazon Instant, or in the Netherlands, you can purchase both seasons from bol.com.

חטופים | Hatufim | Prisoners of War

This is one of those shows that I wish I could tell absolutely everyone to watch because it's just so. damn. amazing, but at the same time I realize it's so intense that it wouldn't appeal to people who ideally prefer lighter fare, so I never do. However, if you are personally on board with a story that pulls absolutely no punches in recounting the experiences of three former Israeli prisoners of war and their families (and in which the ensuing violence is a key part of exploring character but never gratuitous), let me be clear that this is right up there in my top two or three television shows ever, and I have watched a whole lot of very good television in my day. It's the Israeli show that originally inspired the U.S. megahit Homeland, but it's a much quieter, more contemplative show than that one; season one starts small and slow and very character-focused, while season two picks up the pace a bit and gets a bit more externally plotty, but without ever losing the character focus. I don't want to spoil too much about the story because it's worth experiencing without knowing too much detail about it in advance, so I'll just say that one key difference between Hatufim and Homeland is that Hatufim is about three prisoners of war rather than just one, and each of the three men reacts very, very differently to their imprisonment and its aftermath. My yuletide request focuses specifically on the one who becomes more important to the overall story in the second season, but they're each entirely real and utterly fascinating in their own right: three damaged men struggling through a hard life that never fully breaks them. They leave the viewer emotionally exhausted but always with a real sense of hope.

The show is widely available with English subtitles on torrent sites (make sure you've found the version with hardcoded English subtitles before you proceed), but if you're opposed to that, here are some fully legal ways of acquiring it: in the U.S., you can apparently watch it at Hulu (I say "apparently" because I can't see hulu from Canada, but I have it on good authority that it's been available there at least off and on). In the UK, you can buy both seasons on the original Hebrew DVD or season 1 and season 2 separately at amazon, or you can watch season 1 and season 2 on Amazon Instant. In the Netherlands, you can buy both seasons on bol.com.

Lone Star

This was a smart, innovative show with a fascinating premise and some great actors that was also one of the most critically acclaimed shows of 2010, but its ratings weren't strong for the time, so it was cancelled after a mere two episodes. Four others were filmed, but never aired, and this year the show's creator finally announced publicly that those would never be shown (something about music rights). This was extremely sad for those of us who saw potential in the show and wanted more, but it's a real goldmine for fanfiction writers who enjoy working with a closed canon: the two episodes that aired set up a seemingly endless number of potential future storylines, and since we know for certain that the base of canon for this show is forever limited to those two episodes, there's nothing else that could come along in the future to "joss" any story that could be written. If the potential in this intrigues you, here are some details: The character at the centre of the show is Bob Allen, who was raised by his con man father into the family business, and he's about as good at it as anyone can be. After years of successes, though, he's ready to cut through the web of lies and strive for something real both in his business life and in his personal life. The trouble is, he has fallen in love with not one but two women whom he knows as two different alter egos, and he's not willing to give either of them up, and this sends his truth-lies seesaw into overdrive. I'll stop there so as not to spoil anything, but as a final note let me just add that if you, like me, are a fan of the double-life aspects of the show The Americans (and specifically the way playing a role for long enough can serve to turn that role real in some warped and identity-confusing ways), this is a show you might very well love as much as I did.

I checked, and apparently the episodes are no longer available for purchase at iTunes, which makes it much harder to get your hands on than I was ideally hoping for. But those on my access list can refer to the locked post that immediately follows this one for some ideas (and if you're not on my access list, please feel free to email me at jaegecko@jaegecko.com, and I will send you the same ideas). Two measly little episodes! That's a mere hour and a half or so of your time. Come on, dooooo iiiiiiiiiit. :)

Culinary

Oct. 19th, 2014 09:33 pm
oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
[personal profile] oursin

Saturday breakfast rolls: brown grated apple, with a touch of maple syrup.

Today's lunch: halibut steaks baked in foil with lime and ginger, served with baby carrots roasted in pumpkin seed oil, cauliflower roasted in olive oil with cumin seeds, and baby leeks healthy grilled in walnut oil and dribbled with wild pomegranate vinegar.

No bread made, because reasons.

Alphabet books

Oct. 19th, 2014 07:01 pm
liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
[personal profile] liv
I know I had a big stash of topics I wanted to talk about once I got past the intense festival period, but I can't remember what they all were now. So have a meme about books, via [livejournal.com profile] ghoti:

26 questions )

Anyone else want to have a go?

Normally I am hesitant to invoke 1984

Oct. 19th, 2014 02:43 pm
oursin: Cartoon hedgehog going aaargh (Hedgehog goes aaargh)
[personal profile] oursin

But, really? this? Am reminded of Winston Smith's compulsory and surveilled physical jerks.

The National Health Service is to put its own 1.35 million staff at the head of a new fight against obesity by encouraging them to join weight-watching groups and take out gym memberships, its new head will announce this week.

How about you reduce the stressful conditions they are working under, getting ever more so, rather than piling another requirement on top of them?

I am more on board with the idea of having healthy food available in hospitals, for staff, patients and visitors. This seems more to the point than 'encouraging' them to join gyms and weight-watching programmes (where are they going to find the time for that?).

And related to this, via Barbara Ellen's column (scroll down): Belgian MP Maggie De Block has been made minister of social affairs and health, amid criticisms that, at more than 20 stone, she is far too overweight for the job.

Even if De Block doesn’t have underlying health issues affecting her weight, there is the insidious implication that her appearance is more important than any experience or intelligence she could bring to the job, that how she looks matters more than what she does.

Yesterday at LFF

Oct. 19th, 2014 01:26 pm
queen_ypolita: A section of a film reel (Film)
[personal profile] queen_ypolita
I went to London yesterday to see two films at the London Film Festival: Deutschland bleiche Mutter, a 1980 film shown in the archives stream, and Bande de filles, a new French film that was in this year's official LFF competition. Both were shown at Ciné Lumière at Institut français.

I wasn't sure what to expect from Deutschland bleiche Mutter, but I found it captivating.

Bande de filles, on the other hand, I didn't really like. I think it was aiming for gritty and realistic but in the end it just made it seem that people like Mariéme are locked into an endless series of bad options and worse decisions.

31 Days of Horror: “V/H/S”

Oct. 19th, 2014 01:23 am
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (me)
[personal profile] brigid

Mirrored from Words, words, words, art..

“V/H/S” is a movie that exists in the world.

One of the problems with “V/H/S,” and there are many, is that it came out in 2012 and features people recording things on digital cameras (or directly onto a laptop), but then other people watch those recordings on VHS tapes. Like, what? Really? Seriously? These folks couldn’t have found a DVD or website or something? It’s a conceit that would have worked 10 or so years ago, but now? One of the video vignettes is specifically dated in the 1990s, and it makes sense that it’d be on video tape. But it’s hard to find excuses to have people continuing to record while horrific things are happening around them, so two different vignettes use a headcam… one of which is disguised as a pair of glasses.

If you’re unfamiliar with “V/H/S,” it’s an anthology of 5 short horror films within a framework of a bunch of dickbags robbing a house looking for a special VHS tape. “You’ll know it when you see it,” they’re told. Why do I say they’re dickbags? They make a living assaulting women in parking garages and restraining them while they pull their shirts up and videotape them struggling, naked breasts exposed, and selling the footage to “reality porn” websites. They also record sexual encounters without the partners being aware of the recording. And they record themselves smashing up peoples’ homes for larks or whatever. I don’t know what any of their names are. They’re violent, they’re sexual predators, and I don’t give a fuck about them. I don’t care that they broke into a creepy dark house with a dead body in it and continued to faff about watching VHS tapes in the presence of the dead body and gathering up all the other VHS tapes that were stored in the basement far away from the multiple television screens for whatever ridiculous reason. Each vignette (watched by one of the B&E dudes) is framed by spooky stuff happening to the guys. But… I don’t care about them. So big deal.

The first vignette is about a group of dudebros who have made a pair of fake glasses that takes digital video and sound. They decide to go pick up a woman and have sex with her and record it, without telling her. Again, this is the second time “videoing a woman having sex without her permission” comes up as a plausible, possible, good choice of action. They go to a bar, get super drunk, take two young women back to a hotel. One of them passes out while a guy is trying to initiate sex. His friends laughingly advise him not to rape her. He turns his attention onto the other young woman, who is pretty creepy. She turns into some kind of vampire ghoul thing and eats everyone. This is actually an interesting idea, and I’d love to watch a movie about a freaky vampire ghoul thing that looks like a human woman and eats dudes. But about 75% of the vignette is the dudes wobbling around getting drunk and bro-ing it up and just generally boring the piss out of me. Also, there’s the troubling idea that a group of men try to take advantage of a woman but she is a violent monster who eats them so everything’s ok.

The second vignette is a video of a young couple on a second honeymoon road trip. You know how people groan about other folks’ vacation photos? Remember how old sitcoms used to feature vacation photo slides as like the most horrific boring thing in existence? Imagine watching an excruciatingly dull video of two strangers on a road trip as they record the scenery dribbling past and make small talk. It was like experiencing death. There’s a creepy part where the couple goes to bed and then at night the camera clicks on and pans over the dude asleep in his bed and then it continues panning over to the gal asleep in HER bed, and the videographer strokes her ass (clad, of course, in a lace thong) with a switch blade. It was a very creepy scene, very fantastically done. Later on the same videographer comes into the room at night and records herself killing the dude and then making out with the gal, because they planned this murder-thing for whatever reason. Killer records herself making out with New Widow, and we hear New Widow asking for reassurances that the footage had been erased. Earlier, her husband tried hard to coerce her into getting naked on camera for him. I mean, he really put the pressure on. He also recorded her changing her clothing without her knowledge/permission. So again, this is the third piece that involves filming a woman without consent.

The third vignette is about a young woman who lures a group of people to an isolated vacation spot to act as bait for the serial killer/boogeyman that killed her friends previously, so he’ll come out and she can kill him. She fails. The special effects were good– he (she? it?) didn’t show up on the recording except as glitchy static-y artifacts. There was a LOT of wasted time, irritating characters, and general bad acting. As with the previous two vignettes, a woman is a predator. The guys also take close up video shots of the breasts of the other woman in the group, and constantly refer to her as a slut.

The fourth vignette is a skype/webcam exchange recorded directly to a laptop. Why the fuck would it be on a VHS tape? It’s about a guy pretending to be the long distance boyfriend (and almost a doctor!) of a young woman he’s known since childhood. She is concerned about a lump on (in) her arm, and possible ghosts in her apartment. The lump is a tracking device and the ghosts are actually aliens who’ve been using her body to host alien/human hybrids… one of which we see the fake doctor boyfriend carve out of her body. Although the fetus is pretty big, she didn’t look pregnant at all. He arranges things to have her fake-diagnosed– and medicated– as shizoaffective, leaving her even more emotionally reliant on him. She was unaware he recorded all of their conversations, including her taking off her shirt and playing with her breasts. As he closes a conversation with her, he opens another one with a different woman that plays out exactly the same way: she takes off her shirt and plays with her breasts, then picks at her arm while complaining of a lump. This is actually an interesting story with serious pacing issues, mediocre acting, and a very low believability. The set up is too complicated, the removed fetus is too big, etc. And, again, this is the fourth vignette… the fifth piece over all… that records and displays a woman’s breasts without her consent.

The fifth vignette is about a group of guys who are headed out to a Halloween party, in costume. They wander into the wrong house and although it’s extremely obvious they’re in the wrong place they explore all the rooms and then head upstairs where they see some kind of ritual involving a tied-up woman and a knife. There’s some great scary special effects, but the set up (dudes in costume wandering around what is obviously the wrong house) is so ridiculous and the guys so bland and boring not even the effects could save it. To their credit, they try to save the woman, but it turns out she’s evil and kills them. Again, woman as predator.

I watch these movies and I take notes on them as I watch. I’ve noticed that the more I like a movie, the fewer notes I take. I took 2 pages of notes for “John Dies at the End,” and 3 pages of notes for “Pontypool,” but most of those notes were ruminations on the nature of fear and zombie movies, not the actual movie. “V/H/S” resulted in six pages of notes, including notes in the margins. This is time of my life, both watching and reviewing this movie, that I’ll never get back. This time has been utterly wasted.

The acting throughout the anthology is very uneven. Characterization is almost entirely absent. When it’s present, the characters are unrepentant assholes who sexually assault women for money or fun. The editing is very poor… most of the vignettes could have stood to be half as long, literally, as they were. I get establishing a sense of normalcy and complacency before whipping out the big horror guns, but tedium is not the way to do it. “Pontypool” handled this really well, and the contrast is striking. Women are overwhelmingly treated as sexual objects, victims, or monster predators (often all three) and not human beings. A lot of the special effects are great and there’s some genuinely creepy/scary moments, but they are overwhelmingly lost in utter tedium and banality. There’s a lot of really great things like this on YouTube, but for free, and better in every possible way.

I give this movie 1 out of 5 stars.

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Daily Happiness

Oct. 18th, 2014 11:09 pm
torachan: john from homestuck looking shocked (john shocked)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I feel like I got quite a bit done at work today. Still so, so behind, but starting next week I'll be training someone to take over one of my departments, so hopefully that will make things easier.

2. Irene made pasta for dinner tonight. Very tasty!

3. I caught up on Shingeki no Kyojin. Argh, it's so good!

4. Homestuck is back from hiatus! I liked the first updates a lot, but then I like Caliborn a lot, so.

5. Day off tomorrow! Not only do I get to sleep in and relax, but I won't have to hear the Hokuto mushroom song on loop for hours on end. (We have a Hokuto mushroom fair going on this week and so during the sale period we have to have this on by the mushrooms and omg I can't take it anymore!)

Student loan scam heads-up

Oct. 18th, 2014 06:59 pm
sailorptah: C:/DOS/RUN (computing)
[personal profile] sailorptah
Got a too-good-to-be-true letter in the mail the other day. Figured I would put the details online, so you'll know it's not just you if something similar shows up in your mailbox.

It's a folded sheet of paper with those sealed and perforated edges, so it looks official. And it starts off innocently enough:

Dear Erin,
Due to your student loan balances totaling over [price], you are now eligible to receive benefits from a new law that has passed regarding federal student loans including TOTAL FORGIVENESS in some circumstances.


Two problems with this:
1) If a new law like this had really passed in the US, it would be ALL OVER the news, the blogs, my Facebook feed, and my Tumblr dash.
2) My loans are currently several thousand dollars under [price].

Googling some of the language in the letter turned up this Metafilter post about similar "refinance your loan!" tricks. Including this comment:

This is a (phish-y) refinancing offer. I get teh same thing all the time regaring my mortgage. Ususally the loan balance will be slightly higher than your real loan balance because their info is a few months out of date.


Ah, that explains it.

And this:

Presort Standard (marked by the postage) is for bulk, unpersonalized mail only. What this means is that they can't include any specific details that pertain to you, and it's almost always junk or spam. Presort First Class mail, while still for bulk mailings, allows personalized information. This type is more likely to be authentic and applicable specifically to you.


And what do you know, this letter is marked Presort Standard. (Even though it has my full name, and some information, however out-of-date, about my specific loans.)

Would be nice if the senders put their name on this thing -- but here's the other big red flag: they don't. No name, no company logo, no return address, no identification whatsoever. The closest they come is this:

We are a consumer advocacy group. We are not debt collectors. We work on your behalf with the U.S. Department of Education to find applicable flexible financial relief programs to make your Federally Insured Student Loans flexible and easy to manage.


(There's some fine print with a more honest disclaimer, but the letter is folded in such a way that I literally only just found it: "This is a private fee-based application assistance service, not endorsed or associated with any government agency....")

The only contact info is the toll-free phone number -- 888-852-2076. Which turns up the website of something called "Diabetic Savings Club". I can't figure out what they do, or how they would be connected to loan refinancing, much less refinancing of my loans (ftr, I'm not diabetic, nor is anyone in my immediate family). And I'm not invested enough to go calling them to find out (although if anyone reading wants to ring them up and tell me how it goes, feel free).

There's also a bit of identifying info in the postage -- it's presorted by "Permit no. 1297" -- which turns up lots of sites and discussions about financial predation and dodgy scams.

Long story short: my fellow Americans, if you get a letter like this, don't let it give you false hope. Shred it, with no regrets.

Holy Days

Oct. 18th, 2014 08:49 pm
liv: In English: My fandom is text obsessed / In Hebrew: These are the words (words)
[personal profile] liv
So yesterday was Simchat Torah, which is the last of the big season of festivals. And lo, I have survived and all the many many events I needed to run in the past three weeks have worked successfully. There's an Israeli LOLcat / reaction gif doing the rounds of my FB feeds, with the cat looking shocked and horrified and the text saying "when you realize that 'after the festivals' means now". And yeah, there are a lot of things I need to sort out that I've been putting off until 'after the festivals', but many of them are fun social things, and my life really does look a lot more manageable from here on.

festival and Sweden trip reports )

I couldn't be more glad I went, I had a wonderful time even if it was nerve-wracking. And I'm so nostalgic for Stockholm and my little community there, wow. I've started thinking again that I might investigate applying to rabbinical school, because doing all this has just been so satisfying. I mean, I realize that if I were an actual rabbi everybody would criticize me for not doing things the way they want, instead of being so grateful to me for filling in a gap by volunteering, but even so.

What is problematic with this list?

Oct. 18th, 2014 04:11 pm
oursin: Photograph of Stella Gibbons, overwritten IM IN UR WOODSHED SEEING SOMETHIN NASTY (woodshed)
[personal profile] oursin

I will concede that it is probably never a good idea to click on the links in those spam emails that Abebooks send one, and that one can't automatically ditch in the Junk folder because one does sometimes buy books from them.

50 Classic Books & Why You Should Read Them

All of 4 of them by women, and 3 of those are beloved children's classics (but wot no Little Women???)

Okay, this seems to represent one person's idiosyncratic and MANLY tastes, but I think there is a difference between '50 books that I consider to be classics' and '50 classic books and why you should read them'.

I am not going to force anybody to read George Eliot or the Brontes or Jane Austen or or or [insert here numerous names of fantastic women writers] or insist that they enjoy them, but really.

***

Am a bit o tempora o mores to come across not one, but TWO reviews of new books which riff off of beloved children's classics in today's Guardian Review section, one of which is in fact a repeat offence and a sequel to previous riff/rip off of bcc. The New World – Andrew Motion's second Treasure Island sequel (with added dodgy representations of Native Americans), and Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders: Transplanting E Nesbit's much-loved characters into the trenches (are the original characters 'much-beloved'? except for the Bastables, I find Nesbit's characters can be a bit stock and thin).

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