half magic

Jan. 23rd, 2010 10:27 am
megotelek: (dumbo magic feather)
Day 1 - Your fav song
Day 2 - Your fav movie
Day 3 - Your fav TV program
Day 4 - Your fav book
Day 5 - Your fav quote
Day 6 - Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 7 - A photo that makes you happy
Day 8 - A photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 9 - A photo you took
Day 10 - A photo you took recently
Day 11 - A photo you took 10 years ago
Day 12 - Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 13 - A fictional book

I just reread this book last night, and remembered why it was one of my favorites when I was growing up. It's the story of four children -- Jane, Katharine, Mark, and Martha -- and their adventures when they find a magic charm that grants wishes...by halves.

in days of old when knights were bold )
megotelek: (little women)
Day 1 - Your fav song
Day 2 - Your fav movie
Day 3 - Your fav TV program
Day 4 - Your fav book

This isn't nearly as agonizing as the last few. There are only two books that can vie for "favorite" in my head:

Little Women, Louisa May Alcott -- I've read this book so many times; it's like comfort food to me. And if I don't have the book handy, I'll just pop in the movie (the 1949 version, with June Allyson as Jo and Elizabeth Taylor as Amy).

Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card -- I first read this book when I was probably 11 or 12. I've reread it countless times since, and I recommend it to everyone I know. Card captures the essence of the "precocious child/loner" so well, and the story is heavy and real the way so few stories are nowadays.

the enemy's gate is down )
megotelek: (iRead)
So...at work today, Tony mentioned BookSwim to me. It's like Netflix, but with books. Really. You search their library, add books to your queue pool, and they ship you three at a time (or more) and you read them and ship them back. And get more books. And you can buy a book and keep it if you really like it.

So. Awesome.

Also awesome: Bear's blog post on the BSG finale. Warning: VERY spoiler heavy, as it basically details every minute of the score in relation to the episode. It's things like this that make me love the show even more.


Mar. 23rd, 2009 03:07 pm
megotelek: (bellereading)
Over at [livejournal.com profile] bookish, [livejournal.com profile] stillwaiting21 posted this list of 100 books that the BBC says most people have only read 6 of:

snip! )

I've read 37 of them (including ones I read and hated. Yes, I'm talking to you, Dune!). And I have 5 or 6 more on the list that I haven't read. Because I'm that big a geek, here's my partially-catalogued library of books. I think I'm about a quarter of the way through them...maybe a third. Scary!
megotelek: (bellereading)
Because I've been thinking about it lately...

My top 20 books, in no particular order )

And that's me...in books. There are lots more that I've read and liked, but these I consider to either have been 'formative' in some way, or have opened me up to a new genre/author, or somehow made me think.
megotelek: (bellereading)
I'm back from my whirlwind Oregon trip! Jessica and I spent basically all of Saturday at Powell's City of Books. It was heavenly! I left with two bags full, including:

Treasury of Gilbert and Sullivan - the complete piano/vocal Gilbert & Sullivan scores - big old used hardcover ($12! !!!)
Ellery Queen books! I found ones I was missing, including: Ten Days' Wonder, Inspector Queen's Own Case, QBI, Ellery Queen's Calendar of Crime, The Greek Coffin Mystery, and The Tragedy of Y. My collection has just eaten another shelf of my bookshelves. Whee!
The Archivist by Martha Cooley
Punctuation: Art, Politics and Play by Jennifer Deve Brody
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages by Amman Shea
Quiet, Please: Dispatches from a Public Librarian by Scott Douglas
The complete Messiah vocal score (Schirmer ed.) EEEEEEE!
The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis (for John - we watched the movie a few nights ago)

and a couple of presents for the family!

Then we headed over to Salem and had dinner at the Best Little Roadhouse and then out to the Pentacle Theater (really cool, intimate theater out in the woods) and saw their production of Corpse! Great play, great cast/crew. Totally have to plan a giant family trip up there next fall when they do My Fair Lady.

Sunday morning we went and had brunch at the Busick Court Restaurant (Rachael Ray went there for "$40 a Day" when she went to Salem), hit a few more little bookstores, and went to see the City of Ember movie. It was...okay. It wasn't bad, but it could have been better. They condensed and dumbed down the whole puzzle-solving aspect and changed a few things, but overall it was still a good, enjoyable movie and it was faithful to the spirit of the book, if not exactly the letter. The look of the movie was perfect and the casting was great. It really says something for DuPrau's book that you can dumb it down that much and still get a really good movie out of it.

Overall, a fun weekend -- it was great to see Jessica and hang out in the brisk Oregon weather. I basked in the cold the way she basks in the sun when she comes down here. Yes, I'm a freak.

Tonight: back to the Choral Society groove and catching up on Heroes, Life and Valentine. Oh, and My Own Worst Enemy starts tonight (the Christian Slater dual-personality one).


Aug. 20th, 2008 07:25 pm
megotelek: (darcy sparkle)
Okay, I'll say it.

Tess of the d'Urbervilles was really ghostwritten by a PMSing Jane Austen.

I may end up reading Breaking Dawn for giggles after this is over. Just kidding...I'll read the rest of the Ember books and possibly reread Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason to get my spirits back up.

Also, if you would like some serious Twilight/Breaking Dawn lulz, head over here.

yay books

Aug. 20th, 2008 12:52 pm
megotelek: (menolly)
So I finished reading Bitterwood by James Maxey. From the Amazon synopsis:

In the distant future—year 1070 of the Dragon Age, to be exact—Earth has been commandeered by dragons, who subject their human inferiors to lives of misery and squalor, either as slaves or pets. Human Bant Bitterwood, consumed with thoughts of vengeance against the dragons he believes murdered his family, goes on a dragon-killing spree that makes him a folk hero among the oppressed human populace. When Bitterwood slays the dragons' crown prince, Bodiel, their king vows to exterminate humankind—the only way he can be certain of victory over Bitterwood. To that end, the king enlists his murderous brother Blasphet to build a city that will serve as humanity's abattoir.

It was terrific. His world has just enough detail to be fascinating and not so much as to be overwhelming. I love the idea of dragons ruling humans in a sort of alternate-future Planet of the Apes style. The sequel, Dragonforge, is out of stock at the library so I'm waiting for it to come in.

In the meantime, I'm reading Tess of the D'Urbervilles (my Jessica-assigned work of literature) and in my to-be-read pile are People of Sparks and Prophet of Yonwood (the 2nd and 3rd books in the City of Ember series) and Foundation by Isaac Asimov (because I've never read any of the Foundation books, but I loved I, Robot so...we'll see how this goes).
megotelek: (bellereading)
I've been reading on a hot streak lately:

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison: 3.5 out of 5 - It was a good story, I liked the protagonist (even though I was annoyed at his lack of name), but it feels like the book just sort of...fizzled out in the last chapter or so. Like the author decided, oh, I'm done now. Bye! Plus, the prologue doesn't really come full circle in the end and I was disappointed.

Watchmen by Alan Moore et al: 4 out of 5 - I don't read comics or graphic novels normally. Buffy season 8 is an exception, and Watchmen is now the second exception. Fantastic characters and story, though I made the mistake of reading it too close to bedtime and had bizarre Rorshach-inspired dreams (NO NO DO NOT WANT). I was having trouble keeping track of who everyone was, though, and what timeline we were in at any given time (who's Sally Jupiter? Is she Silk Spectre? But who's the new Silk Spectre? And who was that other girl who was with Dr. Manhattan originally? Gah!). But I chalk that up to my lack of experience reading in picture form. Also, the pirate/horror story woven throughout was really confusing me. I kept fighting the urge to skim.

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway: 3.5 out of 5 - Bleakest ending of a book. Ever. Good love story, though. I love the premise of an American in the Italian army during WWI and seeing things from that perspective. And, according to Jessica, the movie sucks. So I won't be watching that.

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau: 4.5 out of 5 - I read this a long time ago but wanted to reread before the movie came out. It's still awesome. I love the puzzle-mystery, and the whole world DuPrau built without really explaining how it came to be. I love how she pays attention to the small things, like that they wouldn't have any idea what candles or matches are and describing them as if she had never seen one before. I requested the rest of the series at the library (The People of Sparks, The Prophet of Yonwood, and The Diamond of Darkhold) and I can't wait for them to come in!

I'm reading Bitterwood by James Maxey right now and loving it.
megotelek: (iRead)
Playing With Fire (Silver Dragons, Book 1) by Katie Macalister
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Pages: 352

From the Amazon description:
Gabriel Tauhou, wyvern of the silver dragons, has found the one woman who can withstand his fire. Too bad May Northcott is already bound to a demon lord. But when the demon orders May to steal one of Gabriel’s treasures—an immensely important relic of all dragonkin— Gabriel has to decide which to protect: his love or his dragons.

Snip! )
4 / 50 fiction books. 8% done!

0 / 25 nonfiction books. 0% done!

x-posted to [livejournal.com profile] bookshare , [livejournal.com profile] 50bookchallenge , and my personal journal
megotelek: (mathnet)
Ok, so I just finished reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, which is the book that supposedly inspired the movie Blade Runner.

Why do I say supposedly? Because...well, let me put it this way. I really want to see a movie based on this book! Because Blade Runner wasn't it.

Things in the movie that are also in the book:

*Main character's name is Rick Deckard.

*Main character's job is to "retire" humanoid robots on Earth, which can be identified using an empathy test.

*Main character "retires" several humanoid robots on Earth.

That's it. The movie makes up an entire plot for the robots ("replicants" in the movie, "androids" or "andys" in the book - the term "blade runner" isn't in the book at all) that isn't in the book.

Cut in case you haven't read the book and want to - spoilers! )

The book just had so many layers and levels and on one hand, it's a typical sci-fi action adventure story, and on the other hand, it's a discussion of what makes us unique as humans and whether or not we could lose that identity.

I think that, especially today, a movie actually based on this book would do well. We've reached such a technological age that these questions are more relevant and timely than ever.

And, for you Blade Runner fans out there, I'm not knocking the movie. I just don't think it was what a movie of this book could be.
megotelek: (luthien)
Why, thank you for asking!

I am:

take the WHAT BAD BOOK ARE YOU test.

and go to mewing.net. not as good as reading a good book, but way better than a bad one.

Hmm...never read it, so I can't judge. But one of the other ones was Beowulf, which...just because something is old and written in an epic style doesn't make it awful.

Although, my father read me Gilgamesh as a bedtime story when I was very small, so I think I'm in another category altogether...
megotelek: (jowriting)
Since I knew absolutely nothing except that "the writers went on strike in Hollywood", I went looking for information...and found some.

United Hollywood - a WGA strike captains blog.

The Artful Writer - Writers Craig Mazin (Scary Movie 3 & Disney's Rocketman) and Ted Elliott (Pirates of the Caribbean) blog about the issues in a refreshing open-debate way.

WGA homepage - Official-type stuff.

And a quick video with a good explanation of the issues.

Now, I'm the first person to blame unions for a lot of things these days; I think that some unions (especially here in CA) have really overstepped their bounds and far from "getting a fair deal", they go out of their way to demand really insane things.


From all my digging around, I have to say -- I'm not happy with the fact that there is a strike, but I completely support the WGA's efforts in this case. Writers get the short end of the stick so often, and I agree that they should be paid residuals for what the companies are calling "electronic sell-through" - internet residuals. After all, if you go to any of the major network websites, you can view entire episodes -- with commercials! Why shouldn't the writers be paid for that? The networks are calling that "promotional use". Uh huh. I have a word for that, but my mom reads this blog and I don't think she'd like me to use it.

And as you know, I have a soft spot for issues where writers are not being paid fairly.

So let the strike continue -- you know what I'll do if my favorite TV shows get delayed? I'll pick up another book.
megotelek: (grammar icon)
When I'm reading a 'corporate profile' of some CEO in the paper and under the Personal Interests section, they put that their "favorite book" is The Secret Life of Bees or whatever just came out in the top of the fiction bestseller list or (gag) Oprah's book club. Or worse, something like Who Moved My Cheese? "...because it just SPOKE to me, you know?"

Uh huh. Nothing could make you look any more fake in my book, personally. Come on, tell people your favorite book is actually The Hobbit or Ender's Game or Superfudge. It makes you more believable as a real person -- someone will read that and say, "Hey, that was my favorite book as a kid too! I like how this person thinks!"

I know, I know, I've read new books and said that they were my "new favorite book" about a dozen times -- The Prestige and The Time-Traveler's Wife come to mind -- but to me, the actual "favorite book" is the one that's so worn and dog-eared from being read and reread so many times. The old, comfortable friend.

For me, that would be a tie between Little Women and Ender's Game. I know every word, every line, every punctuation mark -- in a new edition of Ender's Game, they changed some lines of dialogue, and I felt betrayed. I have been known to spend an entire day rereading Little Women, and then digging out my DVD of the 1949 movie with June Allyson and Elizabeth Taylor to watch.

Or, maybe I take books too seriously in today's fast-paced, high-tech world. But I don't think so. After all, books never need troubleshooting and they still work with the power out.

Also, my new favorite blog: The Grammar Vandal. This woman purposefully carries a pen with her at all times to edit menus, signs, and anything else that has been abused, grammar-wise. Awesome.
megotelek: (lorelaisurprise)
I can't believe I forgot to mention it, but Spoilerama! )

Sorry 'bout the cut, peoples, but I think I'll have an embargo on open book content until Monday...give people a chance who haven't read it to read it this weekend, and then all bets are off.
megotelek: (luna)
I got the book at midnight Friday - and haven't had a chance to devour it until last night. I stayed up until about 2 reading it - took me about 4 1/2 hours to do. Dad, I'll call you about your predictions, but here's what I've been able to sort out so far:

Major spoilers - if you read this, I warned you! )

After I reread, I’ll be in a better position to talk about it more, I think...
megotelek: (jowriting)
From [livejournal.com profile] ravenclawed...

What are the three books you'd like to see filmed (movie or mini-series)?

Also, what is the one book you love but know it would not make a good movie?

Ok, after a LOT of thought, because let's face it, I love my books and couldn't bear to see them butchered in any way...especially by Hollywood...here are the three I'd like to see filmed:

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card: In the future, we are fighting a war with the Formics, insect-like aliens (sounds WAY more hokey than it is), and Earth's leaders are trying selective breeding to get a genius military commander. 6-year-old Andrew "Ender" Wiggin may be that commander...

Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke: To my surprise, they may actually be making a movie of this one also! Check out the blurb: "Two centuries from now, scientists detect a 10 trillion ton object, nicknamed "Rama," hurtling through Earth's solar system at an unfathomable speed. After deploying a space probe, our deepest fears and highest hopes are confirmed: Rama is an extra-terrestrial spacecraft. The Spaceship Endeavor commander (Morgan Freeman) leads a team of astronauts inside the foreign vessel and discover a self-contained world of alien wonders and unknown purpose."

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller: Surprisingly enough, in my searches I found this article, an essay about the contrast between this book and Starship Troopers as regards the value of individual life and its relationship with the state. Very interesting. Here's a good blurb on the book, since it has so much in it that it's nearly impossible to summarize:

Six hundred years after a nuclear holocaust, an abbey of Catholic monks survives during a new Dark Ages and preserves the little that remains of the world's scientific knowledge. The monks also seek evidence concerning the existence of Leibowitz, their alleged founder (who, the reader soon realizes, is a Jewish scientist who appears to have been part of the nuclear industrial complex of the 1960s). The second part fast-forwards another six hundred years, to the onset of a new Renaissance; a final section again skips yet another six hundred years, to the dawn of a second Space Age--complete, once again, with nuclear weapons.

Ok, and as far as a book I love that I would not like to see made into a movie, I'd have to go with Diane Duane's Young Wizards series, just because the...mystery...for lack of a better word, and the magic of the books would be deflated if they tried to adapt it to film.
megotelek: (youngwizards)
Just a little itty bit of linkspam.  Diane Duane, author of my mostest belovedest Young Wizards series of books, is going to online-publish by subscription the third book in her Feline Wizardry series.  They're set in the same universe as the Young Wizard books but center on a group of cat-wizards...oh, just 

go here 

for a full summary and description of everything.  And subscribe, if you feel like it!  We need to keep the Young Wizards alive!  Aliiiive, I say!

Oh wow...I just realized that I probably read the first book in this series when I was...12?  13?  So at least 10 years ago.  And the newest one, Wizards At War, just came out last summer, which I promptly went out and bought the day it was released on hardcover.  Yes, I am that in love with this series. 


megotelek: (Default)

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