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06 September 2007 @ 09:40 pm
I'm glad my Lord of the Rings post generated so many comments. And whoever pointed out that the detail about the sword coming from the Barrows was important was totally right. I am sorry I didn't reply to the comments but life went all crazy. I'm all moved and settled in to the new house. I'm currently stealing internet signal. Once my own internet gets figured out then I will be be back to my usual online alertness.

I have started (at this point it might be more like halfway through but whatever) reading Charles De Lint's book "Memory and Dreams." I really like it a lot and I feel like it touches the part of me that still wants to write. The main character named Isabelle (or Izzy if the reader is being shown parts of her past) can bring things to life by painting them. So if she paints a figure of any kind, human or not human, it can come to life. The mature Isabelle is about to embark on a project that will require her to use this gift of hers after she had abandoned painting figures. Because the past is directly related to the present due to this project, the author gives you pieces of her past when she was "Izzy" mixed in with the story of her present. It's very interesting. I like the magic aspects. The reader even gets pieces of the present story from a being (who is in the form of a young girl) that is from one of Isabelle's paintings. All of the people Isabelle knows are also creatively inclined. I need to be surrounded with as many creative people as possible. I didn't realize I meant it so seriously. But I am glad I picked up this book. I hear that sometimes De Lint involves fairies in his stories so I wanted to start reading him.
Temper: contentcontent
Song: Marcel's music
01 August 2007 @ 08:43 pm
Warning to Colleen: most of this post will look familiar. I am so so tired but I really want to start posting in this wonderful meadow you've created. Oh and my two sense is I feel like us reading related books would be cool. It would allow the discussion to involve even more perspectives on a topic. I'm fine with whatever though. Those were just some thoughts I had. Now on to what I'm reading right now.....

I just started Tolkein's Return of the King. It's interesting to me to see how closely the movie reflects the books. I think the most striking difference that I can think of right now is the difference between Tolkein's Faramir (I might be spelling the name wrong) and Faramir in the movie. Now I haven't seen Two Towers in a while so I could be remembering this wrong, but that Faramir seemed more eager for the ring, dragging Frodo and Sam to a city where Sam made the speech about being put in tales where the heros don't turn back. The Faramir in the Two Towers book was more noble. While it took him a long time to figure out exactly what Frodo was carrying, he didn't want it because he had already given his word to let Frodo be. It's pretty easy to see why they changed other parts. There's a lot of mini adventures, like the things that live in the mounds and the Tom character. If every single thing was included the movies would be even longer and they were already long. Overall, I think that up to the point where I've read to so far the movies did a good job in keeping true to the spirit of the books.

I think that the imagery of the realm of Man, Gondor, and other places where Men still rule is really really strong in Return of the King so far. I also think that the forest of the Ents was the strongest in The Two Towers. Obviously the places where there is a key loss or gain for the good guys will get an intense amount of attention from the author but in Tolkein I believe he's trying to reach beyond the universe of Middle Earth. If you consider the odds the good guys are up against, them winning or even just taking on this huge battle, gives the "never give up" message to the reader.

I also think that such loaded imagery does translate well to the screen. It makes the motif of the scenery and mood and lots of details very clear so the movie makers can easily make them happen.
Temper: exhaustedexhausted
Song: TV - Colbert Report
30 July 2007 @ 10:07 am
Like so!

I am not reading much right now, as I have just moved, but here are three books that are in my "in progress" pile:

Light By M. John Harrison

Nam-A-Rama by Phillip Jennings

Rainbow's End by Vernor Vinge

Impressions So Far:

Light is so far the most accessible of the three, at least for me. Shades of space opera, with a smidgen of cyberpunk, there is a lot more going on than it seems at first. Delightfully surreal and asymmetrically symmetrical, if that makes any sense.

Nam-A-Rama is more of a dark comedy, so I have been putting it off until I am in the right mood. So far it is kind of coming off like Vonnegut writing a buddy comedy set in Vietnam. Or like dropping acid and watching M*A*S*H. I am not very far in yet though, so we will see if that changes.

Rainbow's End is another nerd book, this one more cyberpunk or maybe just futuristic sci-fi. It was very hard for me to get into at first, immersing the reader immediately in the idea of viruses causing behavior and vice versa. This guy is even more into just throwing you into the deep end than William Gibson, so I may end up having to re-read the first chapter several times to make sure I understand what the hell is going on. I am not sure if this qualifies as a strength or a weakness in a writer, so I am still on the fence as to whether I should feel dumb or just annoyed.

Anyway if any of these three books turns out to be the OMG best thing I ever read, I will keep you posted.
In a meadow by: sofa
Temper: lazylazy
30 July 2007 @ 11:16 am
I started this community knowing many clever ladies who read good things and think good things. I'm currently modding it and trying to make it look pretty (and also make this an icon). Once I figure out how to make other people moderators I will do so, just let me know if you want to be one!

I'm not sure whether this would be more fun all reading the same book, related books, or different books to discuss. I hope people will get into some interesting discussions!

Right now I am reading a book called Evolution's Rainbow. It is a book that takes issue with some of the points of current evolutionary theory, namely, that sex/breeding has always been discussed in terms of good/bad genes and desirability. The author proposes that it is there to maintain diversity, not prune it into sameness,  that (barring truly maladaptive mutations or expressions) a diverse population with multiple roles of interaction is able to function better and survive more easily. I don't have it with me, but at some point I'll post a quote or two from it, as it has really changed a lot of my perspective on the way evolution and animal society shapes species behavior.

In a meadow by: WGBH
Temper: calmnapwise
Song: The Presets - Bad Up Your Betterness