July 3rd, 2008


Book Meme!

This'll be at least the 3rd or 4th time I've posted about books this week, but, hey! Ganked from rebness.

1. A favourite book.
The Last of the Wine by Mary Renault. All her books (except for The Praise Singer) are amazing but this one in particular really got to me. Set in ancient Athens, centering on two soldier/wrestler friends. It made me CRY so hard. Amazing book.

2. A book that affected you in your YA years.
The Vampire Lestat. I first read it in 8th grade I think, and was pretty much obsessed with it, and other Vamp Chron books and characters, for over 10 years. Other books I was way into as a teenager: Shogun, The Chosen, and Helter Skelter.

3. A favourite fantasy novel.
Bypassing the obvious, I'll go with a *different* Storm book, Calenture. Truly fabulous, wild fantasy book. Once you read that, you realize that most people don't fully express their imagination. And that you don't need drugs to get high. Now aside from Storm? There are lots of British fantasy writers I love. Imajika (Clive Barker), Perdido Street Station (China Mieville), The Chosen (Ricardo Pinto) are all great.

4. A favourite sci-fi novel.
Again, will bypass the obvious and go for one that, while not perfect, is very interesting: Shadow Man by Melissa Scott. It's set in a universe where humanity has (as the side-effect of a space-drug) split into roughly 5 sexes. About 1/3 of humanity is intersexed. For the most part humanity has accepted this, but there's this one planet that didn't and this story is all about this denial. The central character is a "herm" who winds up leading (reluctantly) a sort of Stonewall-type revolution. I do wish it had a bit more sensuality in it, but overall, well done.

5. An awesome book you think not many people around you have heard of/read.
Here I will NOT bypass the obvious -- WRAETHTHU. There are so many people I know who would love this but haven't read it, either because they haven't heard of it or because the title is too weird ;)

6. A book you own more than one copy of.
I have 6 different versions of Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit, the first book in the Wraeththu series. And 6 of the 2nd and 3rd books, too. Have: 1) original UK paperbacks, 2) original US omnibus edition, 3) revised 2003 UK editions, 4) revised 2006 UK editions, 5) revised 2006 UK editions omnibus and 6) 2005 German edition (of Enchantments).

7. An author whose every single book you own/will buy.
Storm Constantine. And multiple copies of some books (see 6).

8. The worst book you've ever read.
I'll be generous and name two.

One is Vampire Vow, a gay vampire novella Outworlders book group read. Amongst group members, this is the standard by which we measure all bad books: Bad as Vampire Vow? Aside from all its other "issues" (and there are many), its opening line is pure, awful, tacky sacrifice: "I loved Jesus Christ. No, I really loved him." You see, back in the day, the vampire dude was a Roman soldier with a huge boner for Christ. Kid. You. Not.

Second book is King Rat by China Mieville. Now his other books are great, but this first novel of his drove me insane. Could not STAND it. I had two problems with it, namely the precious pretentiousness that comes from being written by a grad student and the ridiculous "Pied Piper" plot. I mean, "rat" people? WTF? The whole thing got more and more annoying as the book went out. And the prentiousness and oh-aren't-we-coolness of integrating drum & bass culture doesn't help.

9. A book you dislike that lots of other people you know like.
I read a Terry Pratchet book (Monstrous Regiment) for book group and was NOT amused. WTF?

10. The most difficult book you've ever read.
Hmmm. I can't really think of a book I've read that I considered "difficult." I guess Ricardo Pinto's The Chosen might quality, as it's very long (1000 p.) and while I loved it, got my brain going b/c of some of the obvious logical flaws. That and the plot twist at the end is infuriating!

11. Tell me what kind of books your mum reads/read.
All sorts of things! For non-fiction, she's read a lot of history, including huge books like history of the Civil Rights movement, a biography of Robert Moses, etc. She also reads mystery, biography, and even fantasy (ha, she read Wraeththu). My dad (why doesn't the question ask?) reads a lot of non-fiction but reads novels, too. His favorite book is Moby Dick.

12. What have you read so far this year?
I posted about this recently, here: http://wiebke.livejournal.com/2143650.html

13. What are you reading now?
This afternoon I finished Sekhem Heka, a magic/spiritual system Storm did. Also within the last week I read Shadows Return (Lynn Flewelling) and The Golden Compass (aka Northern Lights) (Philip Pullman).

14. What are you reading next?
I have a NY Times Sunday crossword book coming in the mail soon so it will probably take over reading. BUT if I don't read that, there are about 30 books in my book pile. Right now I'm eyeing Drawing Blood by Poppy Z Brite.

Ohh h h h...

I think I have figured out why my central air hasn't been working.

The reason is so stupid I'm leaving it out of this post for now.

Can anyone guess?

(And yes, it had power, before anyone offers that as a guess.)

I think I just saved myself money because I was about to call my air repair guy.
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