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-Why did no-one tell me that the voice of Quasimodo in Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame is Tom Hulce, who played Mozart in Amadeus? Did everyone else know this but me? It's... a weird mental image in my mind, now.

-The Murder at the Vicarage (Agatha Christie) is, I think, not one of the better Christies, but the one thing that made it hilarious to me was that one of the characters is a mysterious "Mrs. Lestrange." I spent the entire book, whenever she showed up, inventing ways to reconcile the character with Bellatrix Lestrange. (Alas, she did not, in fact, turn out to be a sociopath Death Eater. But that would have been awesome!)

-Tangled is a much more entertaining movie if you watch it thinking of a sort-of alternate Eugenides (from the Megan Whalen Turner books) as the main male character. (I know i'm not the first to think this. Still.)

-I was rereading Tam Lin, which I adore (I blame it for leading me to believe everyone in college spouted random Greek and Shakespeare -- turns out, not so much for physics majors), for various nefarious reasons. I think when I first read it, in high school, I might have found the college sex hijinks vaguely titillating. This time around, I was all "OMG ARE YOU PEOPLE SERIOUSLY NOT USING CONDOMS AND USING HERBAL TEA BIRTH CONTROL WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?" Okay, yes, it's set in the 1970's when people didn't worry about HIV, but still! I was rather amused by my change in reaction over the last twenty years (as well as slightly appalled that it wasn't my reaction as a teenager :) )
cahn: (Default)
Because [livejournal.com profile] julianyap wanted to know! Unfortunately it's hard for me to categorize things based on when they were published rather than when I read them, so... here we are. Books actually published in 2000-2010 are indicated by asterisks.

Cut for length )Well. I'm sure I'm leaving stuff out, but this is a beginning, anyway. Are there books published in the last ten years that didn't make it on this list and a) you know I've read it and are interested in discussing why it's not on, or b) you think I should read, because if I had read it, it would be on this list, or c) why is this sentence so atrociously convoluted?
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Read Daniel Abraham's Long Price Quartet. It's a fantasy set in a vaguely Japanese-ish setting, so gets meta points right away for that. I want to call it an epic fantasy -- epic things happen: there's a war that consumes, well, maybe not the entire world, but all the parts of the world we know about, and enormously powerful magical beings, and a hero... but to call it epic fantasy brings up visions of Robert Jordan, and it's just about as far from that as possible. For example, the enormously powerful magical beings, the andat, are also slaves to poets, who capture them by crafting very specific descriptions, and have (as one might deduce from the preceding clause) extremely specific powers: Stone-Made-Soft can do exactly what his name implies with any sort of stone, but can't do anything else.

It reminds me a bit of KJ Parker or Joe Abercrombie, but with actually likeable characters. (The relationships between the characters are the most important and interesting part, to me.) And, while Parker's Engineer trilogy might be summed up in the word "engineer" or perhaps the phrase "Rube Goldberg machine," I would describe these books as... elegant? The overall impression I get is one of elegance, anyway.

I liked the first two books in the quartet much more than the latter two. The first two are more about people, and the latter two are more about the epic (though both have aspects of the other). The latter two suffer a lot, I thought, from the plot arcs being driven by (large) actions of the andat, which to me smacks a little of deus ex machina. (I also had a fairly severe problem with one of the motivations for a key plot point in the fourth book.) The first two books, of course, have andat actions as major plot points, but the actions themselves are quite a bit smaller and therefore seem less like authorial manipulation. However, that caveat aside, I think this is the best epic fantasy series I've read since... since Attolia? (Though I do not love and adore it like I do Attolia; that would be entirely too much to ask.)

Speaking of which, though, I have also read A Conspiracy of Kings, which I love to little bits and pieces, although my favorite is still King of Attolia.
cahn: (Default)
We have been married four years today! We aren't really big into celebrating that sort of thing (unless we change this habit soon, the little food machine is going to tell her therapist one day that we never gave her a birthday party and that is the root of all her psychoses)... but last night when I went to bed I found A Conspiracy of Kings on my pillow. D knew I was annoyed about it and had secretly gone to the independent bookstore and picked it up on his way home from work... *sigh of happiness*
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So I went to Borders Saturday. Did they have thank-you notes, which I was planning to get from the Hallmarks next door? Why yes they did. Ones that were, in fact, nicer, and competitively priced, compared to the Hallmarks.

Did they have A Conspiracy of Kings? Why, no they did not. So, no, I have not read it yet. Grr. (I have a Borders gift card -- best shower gift card present ever!! -- and have promised to use it before buying any more books from other sources, otherwise I would have ordered it from Amazon already, or got the ebook version.)

Okay, on to borders.com. Free shipping over $25, cool. Okay. ...Does it sell Creative Stonesetting, which is the other book I've been meaning to buy? No, it does not.

I thought borders was supposed to be a bookstore?

(So, the answer is no, I haven't read aCoK yet. Though I am dying to, and presumably to talk about it once I have.)

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