BERFDAY.

Aug. 21st, 2012 11:09 am
moiread: (LOST GIRL • love you best.)
People have been asking what to get me for my birthday, which is on the 29th. As usual, I keep forgetting that my birthday is even coming up anytime soon, so now it's eight days away and I haven't given those people a list yet. Sorry! Better late than never?

For the people who specifically asked, here are suggestions. )

For most everybody else: What you can do for me for my birthday is to go take some time for yourself. Take a day off, or even just a few hours -- whatever you can manage. Do something nice for yourself. Recharge a little. Do something you enjoy, alone or with people you also enjoy. Carve out some time for a thing that will make you happy. And then come tell me about it. ♥

Books!

May. 10th, 2012 05:48 pm
moiread: (BOOKS • stock.)
I just had to send in a complaint to Kobo Books about their ebook version of Marissa Meyer's Cinder*, which I bought on a lark after seeing a physical copy in-store, only to discover that the e-book version being sold by Kobo is written entirely in allcaps. Yes, really. It's incredibly hard to read, and the original book wasn't written that way. This means that somewhere along the process chain, not only did somebody think this was a good idea but then someone else actually approved it. BAFFLING. So now I want my money back.

But to balance that out: A great big box of shinies arrived in my mailbox today!



I've actually read [livejournal.com profile] pameladean's Tam Lin and Octavia Butler's Lilith's Brood trilogy before, but the former was a library copy and the latter was a seriously messed up epub-format e-book from a friend. (I finally figured out that whatever idiot put the e-book together had arranged it so that you read the first chapter of all three books consecutively, then after that the second chapter of all three, and then the third chapter of all three, and so on. It was REALLY confusing. And yet the story was still good enough to make me an Octavia Butler fan despite the way it had been presented and despite it being my first exposure to her, which should tell you something if you're not already familiar with her work.)

I'm so excited to read the others! Even if these omnibus editions are heavy enough that I could easily beat somebody to death with a single one...

(* No relation to Stephenie, as far as I can tell, and thank goodness for that.)
moiread: (grinning • maria m.)
I saw myself -- overweight but not obese, very buxom, flowy shirt, comfortable pants, long chunky necklace, super short buzzcut hair, big earrings, glasses, a smirk, a crazy hippie bisexual feminist with health problems, book in hand -- and I had to laugh. Because I know that woman. I've known so very many of them. As a young teenager, I would meet these women, these awesome mothers and aunts of my friends, or my very favourite teachers, and they all looked just like that. Just like that. They were articulate, well-read, independent, critical-thinking women with wicked senses of humour, who raised smart kids and gave books to everybody and talked about politics in ways that went completely over my head. I always thought they were so cool and worldly, and I admired them a lot.

I just never expected I'd be turning into one.

See you when you're 35, self.
moiread: (bookish • liv t.)
I just finished reading Laura Goode's "Sister Mischief", and I have come to post about it so that I can tell you it is the best YA novel I've read in years.

It's about girls, words, nerds, poetry, hip-hop, being gay, being straight, religion, race, gender politics, family politics, self-expression, and all the combined awesomeness, cringing awkwardness, and pain that is being a teenager. It contains swearing, sex, vandalism, and some light drug use, yes, but those are things that teenagers have in their lives, and it comes with a lot of really awesome messages alongside in a way that assumes young people have the capacity to make good choices when given enough room and information to do so. (It also assumes that they will sometimes fuck up, just hopefully not in ways that cause big problems for themselves in the future. It is a book with Good Parenting.)

Also it takes places in Minnesota, which makes me smile for other reasons.

It was an awesome read and I heart it and now I am going to bed. Goodnight!
moiread: (BOOKS • stock.)
I've been going on a lot of 3am cleaning binges lately. I only ever do this when things have been hard for a long time and I have been stuck in the rut of being unable to fix those hard things for too long. I get restless at night, even moreso than usual, and I just need to improve something, anything, that I can actually control. One of the hardest things for me, when my health is bad, is keeping up with housework -- my apartment rarely gets to levels that I would consider gross, but most of the time it's still not as clean as I would like -- and cleaning is something I can do at 3am without bothering anybody. So I clean. And then I clean something else. And then I clean some more. And some more. And some more after that. And then eventually I can't go anymore because my joints are screaming and my body refuses, but at least all that frustration with the jagged edges will have stopped rattling around in my head and maybe I'll be able to get some sleep.

(You should see my toilet right now. If it weren't for the overpowering smell of bleach-based cleaners, I'd be willing to eat off the seat. It gleams.)

But I had this moment tonight where I was boogieing around to some cheesy terrible dance music to keep my energy up, gathering stray bits of paper garbage for the recycling, when I stopped and realized that I have little piles of novels on basically every available surface outside of the kitchen. And that made me so happy that I laughed out loud to nobody. My library is not nearly so big as other people's, but my home is still full of books. And that seemed so symbolic to me, because growing up, I always hoped that someday maybe I'd manage to have a quiet little home that was all mine, where I could live my life my way, and I always imagined that it would be covered in books.

Now I have that.

Whatever else is going on, I have this life that I made for myself, in this place that I made happen and maintain under my own power, full of things that I love and that make me happy. I love where I am and who I am, and even when everything hurts and I lose perspective, the truth is that I'm okay. If I can start where I started and yet get to where I am now, I can pretty much dig my way out of anything.

I know I should tidy all those little piles of books back to their shelves, but I kind of don't want to. There's something to be said for the beautiful orderliness of neatly-arranged bookshelves, but tonight I think I'll leave all those novels right where they are.
moiread: (bookish • liv t.)
Hey, look! I was at the bookstore today and I found a thing!



It had a familiar name inside.



It was the last copy they had; they got it in a week ago and the rest sold. (Apparently Ottawa has a lot of fans of horror-ific puns. [Da dum ching!]) There would be more coming, but between that and the fact that the store was playing Josh Ritter over the speakers, I decided that clearly this copy was meant for me to find it and bring it home. So I did.

Sorry about the horrible cameraphone quality, but it was the best I could do at the time.
moiread: (bookish • liv t.)
"Teeth: Vampire Tales" (no cover image there, but Amazon shows it) just came out, and it's available in paperback already and available through Chapters already. AND YET I AM BROKE. I'm broke this whole month, and probably next month too, so I can't buy it. Not for awhile. I am so sad.

But the fact that I can't buy it for awhile doesn't mean you shouldn't buy it and tell me how it is! Please please please tell me how it is? It's got stories by Neil Gaiman and Emma Bull and Catherynne Valente and Melissa Marr, just to name a few. I AM EXCITED. :D

ALSO ALSO. There is also a new Borderlands anthology out, I think? If not, it's coming out very soon. And I am so excited for that, I can't even express it to you. I've had the other Borderlands books saved in my Amazon "Buy Later" cart for something like the last two years, but considering some are out of print and expensive, I've yet to have enough money at the right time to make it happen. Someday, though! And hopefully someday soon, if I can swing it, since the new anthology is some pretty strong impetus to get the rest. I am over here rubbing my greedy little hands together in glee!

EDIT: Or someone could just buy me the vampire book. Uh. That works too. I tried to say no, but they argued that I have lent them money/bought them things, and that I should just shut up and enjoy my book, so I have shut up and will enjoy my book when it arrives. I have the best friends! ♥
moiread: (bookish • liv t.)
Okay, more crowd-polling:

A friend of mine wants well-written erotic novels. Supernatural elements encouraged but not necessary, kink optional, female POV preferred, no preference on other participants' gender. I think. That's my guess, based on what I know of her taste.

I would love to give suggestions myself, but this is one area I know very little about, since usually I can't take romance/erotica seriously. (I keep thinking things like, "Oh, honey. I've DONE that, and that's not how it goes. Also, if his penis is 'a throbbing sword burning inside her', I think maybe he should get that looked burning looked at, and also shouldn't be shoving it up her tender bits. Seriously. Swords hurt.")

Still, I'm convinced that there has got to be some good shit out there somewhere, and so I turn to you, O Mighty F-List. Help a girl out, would you?
moiread: (bookish • liv t.)
World Book Day is coming up on April 23rd. I'm not sure why this meme is going around now, two months in advance, but I'm down with it anyway. Basically it is an opportunity to me to be all "BOOK PR0NS!!!" at you, and any excuse to do that is awesome.

The book I am currently reading: Cat Valente ([livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna)'s Habitation of the Blessed, though I have had to pause to mutilate the book with scissors. I really really really hate the deckle edge on it, and it is making turning the pages annoying, so while I appreciate the stylistic choice to use it, I am still painstakingly cutting the edge off every page. (YEAH, YEAH, LAUGH AT ME ALL YOU WANT. I really am that fucking neurotic.) Once I am done that, I will resume reading it.

The books I am currently writing: Hahaha. Haha. Ha.

The book I love most: I refuse to answer this on the grounds that it is a dumb question. I am not aware of anybody who really geeks out over books who has a One True Favourite, and I hate this question more than any other question I have ever been asked in my life. (Other stupid questions: "What is your favourite song?" and "What is your favourite food item?" ASK SMARTER.) But if somebody wants me to talk about some of the books I love and why -- apart from the ones in this post, obviously -- then just ask. I can do that.

The last book I received as a gift: Mris ([livejournal.com profile] mrissa) sent me Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl and a De Lint novel that I didn't own my own copy of. Until now. :D :D

The last book I gave as a gift: Just last night, I sent Emily ([livejournal.com profile] skycornerless) a copy of Jo Walton ([livejournal.com profile] papersky)'s Among Others. Before that, I think it was the Christmas present books I gave to Rose ([livejournal.com profile] unintendedmuse), which were the two Cherie Priest 'Clockwork Century' novels that are currently in print and Juliet Marillier's Daughter of the Forest and at least one other book that I forget now because I suck. (I also gave my brother my first three 'The Dresden Files' books by Jim Butcher just last week, but since my brother and I treat our libraries as interchangeable, it doesn't really count. I currently have Elizabeth Bear's All the Windwracked Stars on my shelf, for instance, and have since mid-January, even though I got it for him as part of his Christmas present, because he said he had too much other stuff on his list first and wouldn't get around to it for awhile, so I yoinked it back.)

The nearest book on my desk: China Miéville's Un Lun Dun, which I have been carrying around in my purse all week but haven't actually had a chance to start on yet.

And a question I am adding:

What is the most recent book you bought for yourself: The most recent book purchase I made for me was four copies of Emma Bull ([livejournal.com profile] coffeeem)'s Finder. Yes, four. Two hardcover with the pretty Richard Bober illustration, and two paperback (one of which is also with the Richard Bober art, and is signed by Emma inside). WHAT? Don't give me that look. It's out of print and I found some at a local used bookstore for a great price and I know I'll wind up sending some to people as gifts, so I figured I should stock up while I had the chance, yeah? In fact, three of them already have people they're meant to go to... So I guess actually I wasn't really buying them for myself. Uhhhh. Okay, I know! I pre-ordered Cat Valente's Deathless, because I read the excerpt up on Tor and loved it.
moiread: (bookish • liv t.)
Jo Walton ([livejournal.com profile] papersky)'s new book, "Among Others", is out! And having already read it, I can assure you it is oh so very, very good. There are fairies and evil relatives and a boarding school. There is magic both big and small. The protagonist is a disabled girl who loves science fiction and fantasy. It is forthright and painful and hopeful and fabulous, and I cannot even begin to tell you all the ways in which it spoke to me, but if you know me and you read it, you will see why right away.

If you want, you can read a considerable chunk of the beginning of the book at Tor.com! When you get to the bottom of the excerpt on that page, click "Next" and just keep going until the words run out. And then if you don't want the words to have run out (which I suspect you won't), you can go buy a copy either in hardcover or for Kindle, and hopefully soon in paperback. (I say that because I know some of you have trouble with heavy hardcover books and e-books, and I recognize that, and I am hoping that paperback versions will be out in time for birthdays and things later this year, so that I can buy copies for you. You know who you are.)
moiread: (WORK • post-it notes.)
Figure out wtf I'm bringing to the NYE potluck. Go to the grocery store. Tidy the apartment some. Call dad for a ride around 1pm. Hit up Sears. Hit up the Virgin Mobile kiosk at Carlingwood, since I'll be right next door, to see if they have any Samsung Galaxy S phones in stock or if they're out too. Go to the post office to pick up my mystery package. Come home. Make arrangements with anybody to take me to Little Ray's before Monday, so I can get more mice for Eve. Continue reading Perdido Street Station. Take out the recycling. Grab a shower before bed.

PS: I finally borrowed the copy of Cherie Priest's Dreadnought, the third book in her Clockwork Century trilogy, that I got my brother for his birthday and have spent the last 48 hours in my armchair in the living room, devouring it whole. And oh, it was so so so good. More my style, even, than the first one, Boneshaker, which I also loved. I just loved this one even more. I didn't want it to end. Got to the last two chapters and suddenly realized there was only a tiny sliver of book left, maybe only twenty pages, and panicked. Want more! More, more, more! (Will see if I can find a copy of the middle book, Clementine, that doesn't require paying $60/copy from Amazon.com. Won't be more of Mercy's story, damn it, but it'll at least be more related characters in the same world, written as brilliantly. If not, I can wait until it comes out in paperback, which will apparently be at some point in 2011.)
moiread: (bookish • liv t.)
Over the last two days, I've been rereading some of my old Mercedes Lackey books, particularly The Last Herald Mage Trilogy, because they were in a box of old books I brought home from my parents' basement. I remember being kind of meh about them, but I didn't remember them being bad.

I mean, seriously. The trilogy storyline goes like this: The protagonist starts off whiny and overwrought because he was neglected as a kid, and then after he supposedly "gets better", he morphs into an abusive emotional eunuch with a god complex and a bazillionty hangups about how horrible it is that he's gay. No matter what anybody else says or how the rest of the world feels about it. And then there's the fact that he's ~devastatingly gorgeous~ and everyone falls in love with him, even though he's an abusive shit, and his life is ~so very hard~ or so he feels enough to justify being the way he is. Every relevant male character ever introduced anywhere in the story is gay and effeminate and sparkly, while all the women are either gorgeous and vapid orrrr unattractive cantankeous old maid types that nobody wants. The world keeps throwing ethereally beautiful teenage boys at his head, but the protagonist is all, "I COULDN'T POSSIBLY GIVE IN TO TEMPTATION. I DON'T SLEEP WITH CHILDREN." Which I can respect, since the dude is at least twice their age. Except then his long-dead ~soul mate~ (waaaaangst and more reason for why he's been closed off from accepting so much as a friendship for the last twenty fucking years) gets reincarnated and shows up as yet another teenage boy to be thrown at his head and now suddenly he's all over that hot boy ass. Except he still keeps wangsting about his ~hard and terminally lonely existence~ anyway, even though he is surrounded by people who love him, because that's just how he rolls. And the poor reincarnated prettyboy is so desperate to be loved by the protagonist that he basically changes his entire life and personality to fit the protagonist's needs, only the protagonist keeps treating him like little more than a tool without an ounce of gratefulness for the way the boyfriend bends over backwards to keep things happy and never complains. And then PS: the protagonist saves the world, because he is ~the key of destiny~ or whatever the fuck.

I was so fed up by halfway through the final book that I just couldn't go on and basically chucked it off the bed. I kept hoping that at some point the protagonist would wake up and get over himself, but he just got worse and worse. Ugh. Talk about moronic drivel. How this thing won the Lambda Literary Prize, I will never know.

I hope my book order gets here soon because I really need some new reading material. Stuff that is actually good and not, you know, totally crap.
moiread: (mischief/bite lip • kate n.)
This morning my parents had a fight in my apartment and I wound up in the unfortunate position of mediator. To make up for the stress and frustration of that nonsense, I decided to have a lazy, decadent day.

Instead of getting things accomplished, I took off all my clothes, jumped into bed, had a three-hour nap, woke up, lounged in bed reading (GGK's latest, "Under Heaven") while I ate chocolate (some pear, some passion fruit, all very dark and good-quality), then got up and reheated the mango chicken curry (with big chunks of fresh mango) that I made at 2am last night, then I steamed some brussel sprouts and ate them slathered in butter and lemon pepper, and after that I went back to reading. Now I am taking a break from reading so that I can eat ice cream in bed while I watch various shows about attractive conmen. And I still refuse to put clothes on.

So there.
moiread: (sea creatures • jenny l.)
Sarah ([livejournal.com profile] truepenny) is a friend of [livejournal.com profile] timprov and [livejournal.com profile] mrissa, and I got to spend some time with her at Fourth Street. Like a bunch of the people I met there, she writes stories (I have blogged about some of her books before) and I wanted to share one with you because it resonated with me so much and made me cry. (Twice! I just read it again for the second time before posting this and it still did it.)

"After the Dragon", at Fantasy Magazine.

It goes with a necklace made by Elise ([livejournal.com profile] elisem) called "After the Dragon, She Learned To Love Her Body".

(If you want to see some other times where things Elise made turned into stories people wrote, some of them are listed here with links to the stories. This is a much better picture of "Orm the Beautiful" than the one in that post, though.)

PS: In checking out the rest of the set that that "Orm the Beautiful" photo came from, I found "Unsuitable Metal", which is the sort of thing that catches me and makes me give a low whistle of appreciation. It's an older piece from two years ago, so I can't imagine how it wouldn't be long since sold and gone. But by golly, if it came up today...

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