31 October 2014 @ 08:02 pm
Books round-up: October  

Heppermann, Christine: Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty
Feminist fairy tale poetry, a really enjoyable combination. The subjects often address issues of body image and self-worth as well as eating disorders, sometimes a little unsubtle, often times enjoyable through the lens of fairy tales. Some experiences are too US America specific to resonate with me, others seem truly universal.


Abedi, Isabel: Isola
Only read this book if its in your library, or don't, because you already know it and the cardboard characters never really come to life.Read more... )


Rothfuss, Patrick: The Slow Regard of Silent Things
More later, I have to reread this a couple of times to savour it. For now: The only thing that spoiled my reading experience of this beautiful volume was the author's constant need to apologise for this story which isn't run-off-the-mill and normal. This is incredible to me, and wrong - more of an apology would be needed for a story that is yet again the same as any other story.
This wasn't, and it was beautiful. I could have done without the frame story of Auri waiting for Kvothe, as I'd have loved to hear more about her time before the beginning of the plot of the Kingkiller Chronicle and her relationship with the masters. As it is, it remains a charming and saddening insight into her wonderous world in the belly of the university.


Snicket, Lemony: Shouldn't You be in School?
I really enjoy this new series, though not as much as I did the ASoUE.


Jung, Marius: Singen können die alle!: Handbuch für Negerfreunde
Sometimes cynical, sometimes funny account of racism in Germany by a black comedian. He talks about his youth growing up as the black child of white middle class parents, his experiences as an actor in a country that still doesn't really realise not all of its inhabitants are whitee and white wannabe saviours.
I don't agree with the fact that political correctness is a bad thing, though I agree that it should not be the only underlying reason for changing one's behaviour.


Harris, Joanne: Gospel of Loki
I like this modern version of the Lokabrenna, which works as a prequel to Runemarks, though some details are different. The contemporary phrases that crop up annoyed me vaguely to the and I didn't see their point. They didn't endear the characters to me, if that was the idea.
Loki is as entertaining and human and as a prequel he couldn't have been much different, though I'd really like to see a Loki that does not suffer from this civilising softening. It makes us understand the characters as humans, but in their original context they were different, revered as forces of nature and arbiters of life a and death. they were also human, of course, but they were still fundamentally different. The difference seems to have home lost and turns gods into powerful mortals, superheroes. In the words of the novel, named and tamed.


Strandberg, Mats; Bergmark Elfgren, Sara: Zirkel
This is the first book in a long, looong time that I found that is:
1.) centred more or less exclusively on female teenaged characters,
2.) whose main plot isn't a love plot,
3.) who don't get raped.
Read more... )


Elsberg, Marc: Zero
The book seems more hurried and breathless than
his last one and less convincing. It is still an entertainingly fast-paced thriller, but the plot has its holes. Especially the random underground chases in Vienna and New York were too much, and while the concerns it raises about tech and choice are valid, it doesn't always do that in a very subtle way. I am also not overly keen on the ableism and the way neuroatypical people are portrayed here.


Carey, Jaqueline: Kushiel's Dart
I really enjoyed this book, and the world, and the fact that there was not as much slut-shaming and whorephobia as might have been expected in a book in which the main protagonist is a prostitute. The world's religious system is believable and interesting and the characters lovable. I don't recall it passing the Bechdel test, but there are several strong female characters and some of them are queer.
I did not like that there are no romantic relationships between women, hardly any sadistic or dominant women, no sadistic/dominant women who aren't evil, no romantic relationships that aren't heterosexual. One toe outside the box and then straight back in


Boie, Kirsten: Ringel, Rangel, Rosen
Read more... )


Beagle, Peter S.; Gillis, Peter; De Liz, Renae; Dillon, Ray: The Last Unicorn
I have to admit that I've only read the book two or three times and have seen the movie version so often that I have no memory of how well the book version translates into the movie, which is one of my favourites. So I was not so much worried about the book as I was about my memories of the movie, but it translates, as I suppose this book does into all possible media. The short passages of text seem well-chosen, although as I mentioned I don't remember the text well-enough to judge, but my gut says they are.
The artwork is stunningly beautiful and I could stare at some of those panels for hours. The one thing that bugged me was that Schmendrick and Molly have undergone a serious makeover and the way the human unicorn looks is scary because she is so thin.


Brosgol, Vera: Anya's Ghost
I heard from this via Graphic Novels 4 Girls and really liked it. Anya and the difficulties she faces as a Russian immigrant ring true, although it is strange to me that she doesn't speak Russian at home, though I do understand that would be inconvenient for story purposes. I'd have liked seeing more interactions between Siobhan and Anya, but I can see that it wouldn't have fit into this very compact tale.
I was also positively surprised by this graphic novel as a graphic novel - it's good to see that there are diverse and positive role-models for younger girls at least, even though I find it hard to see the same applying to the "mature" end of this genre, which features gratuitous boob and gore panels more than truly mature topics.


Green, John: Looking for Alaska
The over-the-top love that my students have for this book shows me that I'm probably missing out. But I just don't understand it. I see very interchangeable, uninteresting characters involved in things that I, as a teenager, would have had no interest or part in in their situation because it seems designed to make things worse for them (no matter how bored or depressed, taking up drinking and smoking was never that attractive to me). Though the signs of characters' mental health issues are there in places, they don't ring true to me. The romance plot is superficial and only shows once more how mundanely boring "Pudge" is.


König, Tim: Ich bin ein Kunde, holt mich hier raus
I'm so embarrassed to have read that, even though I did get the audiobook at a very reduced price. It's really bad.
Read more... )


Pratchett, Terry: Dragons at Crumbling Castle.
Adorable short stories presented in a way that I can see children liking as much as adult fans.
Current Mood: happy
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
28 February 2014 @ 05:00 pm
Book Round-up: February  

Rowling, J.K.: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Crocky and I are probably not the best fans considering how little we've actually been reading the books ever since the last movies came out. Sure, I've certainly flicked through them occasionally, but the last time the two of us read a book together was when DH came out. I love reading with her.


Pratchett, Terry: Dodger
I really wanted to like this book. I don't. And ... I don't know what to say. I judge this author by much higher standards than any other, anyway, because his books meant and mean so much to me.They have a huge influence on how I see the world, their humanism and underlying optimism inherent especially in his late eighties and nineties books changed me and how I see people forever and made me a much happier person.
Sadly, somewhere around, oh, it may have been around Thud!, that seems to have gone lost forever and taken over more and more by the mandatory cynical grittiness that are apparently a mandatory hallmark to achieve depth these days. Dodger... I was scared of this book. There were many possibilities and pitfalls, and... it just doesn't work. The characters don't, the Dickensianism... also sort of doesn't, the historical figures didn't. Oh, and that love plot, too, but there aren't many love plots that I'd ever consider entirely necessary, so. Shame -there are many things that could have worked if he'd picked a different main character instead of writing Harry King's biography in Dickens' London.


Davis, Lindsey: The Silver Pigs
Private Eyes in Vespasian's Rome, strong female characters, a walk through the underbelly of the Aventine, a fun read.


Goldacre, Ben: Bad Science
Re-listening after finishing Bad Pharma.


Galbraith, Robert: The Cuckoo's Calling
A very decent crime story by an not entirely unknown Scottish author who's shown before that they can do plots, and didn't disappoint here.
I liked the characters, I didn't like the moment when our sleuth tells the murderer what they'd done and they never actually confess or say much to agree or disagree with the sleuth's version. It seems strange that anybody would sit and listen at length to someone laying out what happened without any input from them, but this is a gripe I have with many crime novels with sleuths.
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
Current Mood: cheerful
31 December 2013 @ 09:37 pm
Book Challenge 2013  
Book challenge 2013 round-up. I seriously hope that my editor will allow me to post this without empty lines.

50 books this year )

Half-assed statistics:
Male Authors: 28
Female Authors: 22
New books: 35
Old books: 15
25 September 2013 @ 08:02 pm
How perfect would Emma Chambers be as Her Majesty the Queen of Lancre Magrat Garlick?

I'm watching Vicar of Dibley and apart from marvelling at the rather consistent cast of British actors who seem to be in everything and giggling at Dawn French, but then she appeared:

She seems perfect.  
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
Current Mood: excited
01 June 2013 @ 01:31 pm
Book challenge  

Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett
Con artist Moist von Lipwig is pardoned, in a way, by Lord Vetinari who asks him to run the Ankh-Morpork post, which may or may not turn out more dangerous than the hanging he just avoided.
I book would have been around 300% better if it had been about Adora instead of Moist, but it's still fun to watch him run around.


The Truth, by Terry Pratchett.
Two dwarves and a human start an Ankh Morpork newspaper together.
I'm here mostly for the dwarves, not too big a fan of William de Worde, though it's an interesting attempt of showing someone overcoming privilege. Not entirely successful, but cookie points apply.
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
Current Mood: bouncy
18 May 2013 @ 02:04 am
Book Challenge  
Read a lot on the trip to Munich, two bus tours of over ten hours took care of that, and even without that I love listening to audio books while walking around the city during breaks.


Terry Pratchett, Good Omens
Angel Aziraphale and Demon Crowley have been stationed on earth on opposite sides for so long that they've not only become quite fond of earth, but also become something like friends. When Crowley is asked to plant the Antichrist in a family to bring about Armageddon the two change plans to try and stop it. However, it soon turns out that the baby that they believed to be the Antichrist isn't. While they set out to find the real one, professional descendant Anathema Device prepares to stop Armageddon with the help of the prophecies of her ancestor witch Agnes Nutter. She is helped by modern Witchfinder Newton Pulsifer and soon discovers that she is closer than she first thought.
I've re-read this book at least once a year ever since I was sixteen years old, and whenever I feel down. I love the characters, and though I notice the problems (casual racism, classism, gender issues, slightly flat magic) it is one of my favourites for the characters and how the authors see humans.


Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay
In the main plot, Samuel Vimes' life has become busy after his marriage to Lady Sybil Ramkin as well as his promotion elevated him to knighthood. The Assassins guild keep trying to kill him, people are killed gruesomely and there does not seem to be any trace of them left on the scene, and as though this is not enough, Lord Vetinari, benevolent tyrant of Ankh-Morpork, is poisoned.
One of the books that I keep re-reading when I feel down.


Nella Larsen, Passing
Two black women, Clare and Irene are able to pass as white in twenties Chicago. While Irene does not rely on this in daily life and avoids confrontation with racism wherever possible Clare is married to a white racist who does not know that she is not white. Both women navigate their identities and personal happiness differently until the discovery of one has disastrous consequences.
I spotted this novel when I looked for books on passing and was surprised to find out it was so old, published in 1929. It's a fascinating insight, but also depressing.


Donna Jo Napoli, Hush - An Irish Princess' Tale
Shortly before Melkorka's family is trying to avenge an offer of marriage by a Viking trader by her father she is captured by Slavish slavers together with her eight-years-old sister. Worried that anyone'll find out about their royal birth they keep silent to keep their secret.
The tale tells the story about how Melkorka became a slave and travelled to Iceland. I quickly grew fond of the characters, but it's a very depressing read. The first sexual assault of a thrall happens about 20% in, she starts having fond feelings for the rapist who purchased her at about 70%. Fuck that.
Current Mood: amused
17 March 2013 @ 10:20 am
Book challenge 2013  
Backdated, because who cares.

I am not convinced I'll do much better this year, as the main reasons why I didn't make it last year still exist and I'm down to barely two books a month. Also, I'm rereading so many books that I am not sure whether to count them or not.


Jim Butler, Storm Front
See my longer account on the book here. The short version: I did not like it much because of the misogynistic male character, though I wasn't that thrilled about the world either. And I thought you couldn't go wrong with a wizard private detective!


Kirsten Boie , Skogland
A shy girl takes the place of a princess after winning a casting show.
Not sure about this one yet. So far, I've only met one of the two main characters and she is very likeable. Maybe this goes onto the potential books I might read with my fifth grade, though.


Nora K. Jemisin, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
I'm not very far in - so far the heiress of a slightly dilapidated Northern kingdom called Yeine Darr travels to the court and is named one of the potential successors of the current ruler, her grandfather, who disowned her mother for marrying a commoner. Various of her cousins are also interested in ruling the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and thus she is thrust into a power struggle in which both gods and mortals play a role.


Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum
The Lancre coven is up against a group of modern vampires, an indecisive Omnian gets in an ax fight with vampires and a crisis of faith.
This goes well with Small Gods because of what Granny Weatherwax and Mightily Oats have to say about relativism.


Terry Pratchett,Small Gods
While the Omnian church is powerful and is busily being spread by the sword and the inquisition, their god finds himself incarnated into a small tortuous and sets out to find out what happened to his church with his one remaining believer.
Terry Pratchett once said in an interview that he got very positive reactions on this book both from Christians who consider this an incredibly pro-Christian book as well as from atheists who think this is a very anti-Christian book. This makes sense, because most atheists I know have issues with the OT rather than the NT, and this is a very pro-NT and a very anti-OT-book.


Patrick Rothfuss,The Wise Man's Fear
Kvothe leaves the university, becomes a court musician, sleeps with a sex fairy, is a Nice Guy(TM), kills lot of innocent people, takes a roat trip, and is a douche bag.
I'm torn on many parts because they piss me off, especially how the main character treats women. Pacing is a little off, but the author's language and world are still interesting enough to keep me interested.


Patrick Rothfuss,The Name of the Wind
An intelligent boy of varied talents called Kvothe grows up in a group of traveling performers in a renaissance European world, loses his parents to demonic fairy creatures, becomes a street urchin and a thief, gets his way into university, and starts searching for the forces who killed his parents.
I love this book because of the world building and the impeccable pacing of the narrative. The author is incredibly good at language and style. His main character is a bit of an annoying tit, but if you can get over him, this is a really rewarding and fun read.
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
Current Mood: okay
Current Music: Spektrum - Florence and the Machine
29 December 2011 @ 06:51 pm
Book Challenge 2011 Masterlist  
I have to try keeping closer tabs on my list. Most of the books I read during the first half of the year are on my Oyo - which died in November, which makes it harder to piece together what I've been reading. Though since the books I read and forget probably shouldn't count, anyway, this list works just as well. The bold titles are my top seven of this year's books. 

Complete list and top 7 (bold) )
    Half-assed statistics: 
    Female authors 143021
    Male authors 363629
    Re-read books 180911
    New books 325439
    Current Mood: dorky
    Current Location: Home
    Current Music: Maurice (1987)
    12 October 2011 @ 05:20 pm
    Only one more day left!  

    Only one more day! Though for some reason, the audiobook seems to be out already for the lucky people who're able to purchase things at audible US. German audible does not offer it, for reasons best known to the morons themselves. 
    Current Mood: happy
    01 May 2011 @ 07:28 am
    Book challenge (backdated)  
    Interesting Times, by Terry Pratchett.
    A reflection on holidays sparks a revolution in the counterweight continent and Rincewind is thrown in the middle of it.
    Even though this was the first book I read in the Discworld series I did not read this one more than twice. Reading it now I can see why. The grey horde, much as I love the idea of aged heroes kicking butt, really make me extremely uncomfortable because of the "pillage, plunder and rape, hur hur hur"-aspects of it.. Rape is not funny. Killing is not funny, and in other novels, this seems to be clear to him as well.
    Current Mood: disappointed
    26 November 2010 @ 10:21 pm
    Book challenge  
    I did not write entries for the books I read this year, so this'll have to be from memory and it'll be very incomplete.

    59 books I can remember reading this year )

    It's become pretty obvious that I don't have as many long train rides anymore as I used to.

    Next on the reading list: 

    - Boy2Girl  by Terence Blacker- a story of a boy who cross-dresses as a prank. Sounds horrid and is on the reading list for our 6th graders.
    - Ich hätte Nein sagen können by Annika Thor - a book about mobbing, also on the reading list for our 6th graders.
    - Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller,
    - Ambereye, by Gill McNight. Here's hoping my fears about the quality lesbian werewolf fiction are unfounded.
    - Wit'ch Star by James Clemens. Found this at a sale at the local library. Not sure about this because it's the sixths part of a six-part-series and I only have this one, but might be worth dipping into.
    - Die vollkommene Ehe - Eine Studie über ihre Physiologie und Technik by Hendrik van de Velde. Surprisingly open German sex ed from the 1920ies.
    - The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer if I ever have the patience.
    - Middlemarch, by George Eliot. This'll be the third time I start that novel.
    Current Mood: calm
    05 September 2010 @ 11:04 pm
    I Shall Wear Midnight  
    I finished it today.

    I am really not what to make of it yet. I'm worried about a couple of things, especially with regards to word choices, and love others.

    Spoilers and yes, trigger warnings. For domestic abuse and misogynistic language. Yes. In a Discworld novel.  )

    So, I loved the way that coming of age in a misogynistic world as a powerful woman is dealt with, I really didn't agree with the way misogyny is portrayed. I have to think about this a bit more.
    Current Mood: blank
    04 June 2010 @ 12:23 pm
    Going Postal Part II  
    Ok, readers of Discworld novels. [Poll #1574185]

    Going Postal Part II )
    Current Mood: busy
    31 May 2010 @ 03:07 pm
    Going Postal Part I  
    A list of first impressions. ) So, overall, this is a really enjoyable movie and so, so much better than Colour of Magic or Hogfather, and I can't wait for the second part.
    Current Mood: excited
    01 May 2010 @ 08:39 pm
    Current Mood: excited
    08 February 2010 @ 03:06 am
    Let's have a dude in a golden suit  
    And for something completely petition-unrelated: [ profile] kindkit on [ profile] discworld shared these promotional pictures for the adaptation of Going Postal that have been published on Sky's official page:

    I haven't been following this, and I'm mostly looking forward to this as this is really not a series I care about that much. I am not sure how I feel about Witchfinder Aredian/Mr Tulkington/Christopher Lilly/Lord Stockbridge/Maxim de Winter being cast as Lord Vetinari, but Im not likely to agree with whomever gets cast in that role. Well, unless the acting is going to be what it was in large parts of Hogfather, then I'm not sure I'm looking forward to this at all.

    4 more pictures )
    Current Mood: bouncy
    02 January 2010 @ 02:13 pm
    50 book challenge 2009  
    Half-way through 2009, I abandoned the project of keeping track because I was busy with other things. This is an attempt to reconstruct what I have been reading that year.
    1. A Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England, Ian Mortimer
    2. Homosexualität und Crossdressing im Mittelalter, Stefan Micheler
    3.  Making Money, Terry Pratchett
    4. Going Postal, Terry Pratchett
    5. The Black Jewels Trilogy, by Anne Bishop
    6. Schwuler Osten - Homosexuelle Männer in der DDR, by Kurt Starke
    7. Harvard's Secret Court, by William Wight
    8. Die Stumme Sünde - Homosexualität im Mittelalter, by Brigitte Spreizer
    9. Sodom und Gomorrha - zur Alltagswirklichkeit der Verfolgung Homosexueller im Mittelalter, by Bernd-Ulrich Hergemüller
    10. Guards! Guards! - The Play. Adapted by Stephen Briggs
    11. Wyrd Sisters - The Play, adapted by Stephen Briggs
    12. Thud!, by Terry Pratchett
    13. The Amulet of Samarkand, by Jonathan Stroud
    14. What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew, by Daniel Pool
    15. Magic Kingdom for Sale - Sold!, by Terry Brooks
    16. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey
    17. The Golem's Eyeby Jonathan Stroud
    18. Ptolemy's Gate, by Jonathan Stroud
    19. Nation, by Terry Pratchett
    20. Men at Arms, by Terry Pratchett
    21. Feet of Clay, by Terry Pratchett
    22. Graceling, by Kristin Cashore <- read this book. You won't regret it.
    23. Fire, by Kristin Cashore
    24. Victorian London, by Liza Picard. In large parts, that is.
    25. Fighting Talk, by James Inglis.
    26. Privilege: A Reader, Michael Kimmel.
    27. John Donne: Selected Letters, by P.M. Oliver (ed.)
    28. John Donne: The Reformed Soul: A Novel, by John Stubbs.
    29. Brown Angels, by Walter Dean Myers <- This is a real treasure.
    30. Push, by Sapphire. Brutal at times, but definitely worth reading!
    31. Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris
    32. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, by David Sedaris
    33. Blonde Roots, by Bernadine Evaresto.
    34. The Penguin Book of Modern African Poetry, by Gerard Moore (ed.)
    35. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
    36. The Nixie's Song, by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi
    37. A Giant Problem, by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi
    38. The Wyrm King, by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi
    39. The Screwtape Letters, by C. S. Lewis
    40. Circle of Magic: Sandry's Book, by Tamora Pierce
    41. Circle of Magic: Tris's Book, by Tamora Pierce
    42. Circle of Magic: Daja's Book, by Tamora Pierce
    43. Circle of Magic: Briar's Book, by Tamora Pierce
    44. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, by Mark Haddon
    45. Lord Chesterfield's Letters to his son, by David Roberts (ed.)
    46. Renaissance Self-Fashioning, by Stephen Greenblatt
    47. The First and Second Dalhousie Manuscripts, Ernest Sullivan (ed.)
    48. When Jeff Comes Home, by Catherine Atkins
    49. Unseen Academicals, by Terry Pratchett.
    50. Whipping Girl, by Julia Serano. <- You need to read this book.

    There are more, but I can't seem to remember them right now. Most of them I did not buy but borrowed at various libraries, so it's hard to remember which book I read when.
    Current Mood: annoyed
    26 December 2009 @ 06:04 pm
    Unseen Academicals  
    • As is always the case with the more recent books I felt rather apprehensive towards this one. My worries were rather unfounded. It is not a masterpiece compared to many of the books he wrote in the late nineties which I loved, but it does work, and the characters he introduces are charming.
    • Romeo and Juliet and football. Yes.
    • Lady Margolotta. I really like her, but I think I liked her more as an éminence grise. I am not quite clear on why she needed to be bested by Glenda, but she is as charming as ever.
    • Lord Vetinari seems to suffer from a spell of Villain Decay, or there is a lot more to Glenda than meets the eye, whose character puzzled me.  
    • I love Madame Sharn and Pepe and all their gender complicatedness.
    • Dwarf fashion. Dwarf fashion!  Glittering pick-axes just in case the dwarf in question spots a seam and just can't help herself! Hyperfeminine assecories self-confidently invading a traditionally hypermasculine culture. Take that, femmephobia.
    • Speaking of which, what does bother me is the recurring coincidence of being dense as a brick and unbelievably stunning. I am about to forgive him because of the utter awesomeness of his other female characters as well as the fact that she is not the only woman who is good-looking, while she is definitely one fo the few dense ones.
    • It's always good to see Ridcully again.
    • Ponder <3. Although it's sad to see that he managed to liberate himself somewhat from the Archchancellor, I rather enjoyed their original relationship.
    • Nutt. I'm fairly meh about him apart from in his function as a love interest for Glenda. They are so cute together.
    • Trevor. Equally meh.
    • Repetitions, gnuh. I wonder what went wrong there. Would it really have hurt to cross out a few "I am an Orc"s or "but I promised my old Mum"'s? These lines were repeated so often that they really annoyed me towards the end.
    Current Mood: calm
    05 December 2009 @ 02:18 pm
    Day 5  
    Day 01 → Your favourite song
    Day 02 → Your favourite movie
    Day 03 → Your favourite television program
    Day 04 → Your favourite book

    Day 05 → Your favourite quote

    I don't really like quotes. For a long time, it used to be, "All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost.". I was a depressed teenager.

    It's probably this passage from Carpe Jugulum, though:

    "'There's no greys, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.'
    'It's a lot more complicated than that-'
    'No. It ain't. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they're getting worried that they won't like the truth. People as things, that's where it starts.'
    'Oh, I'm sure there are worse crimes-'
    'But they starts with thinking about people as things.'"

    Day 06 → Whatever tickles your fancy
    Day 07 → A photo that makes you happy
    Day 08 → A photo that makes you angry/sad
    Day 09 → A photo you took
    Day 10 → A photo of you taken over ten years ago
    Day 11 → A photo of you taken recently
    Day 12 → Whatever tickles your fancy
    Day 13 → A fictional book
    Day 14 → A non-fictional book
    Day 15 → A fanfic
    Day 16 → A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
    Day 17 → An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
    Day 18 → Whatever tickles your fancy
    Day 19 → A talent of yours
    Day 20 → A hobbie of yours
    Day 21 → A recipe
    Day 22 → A website
    Day 23 → A YouTube video
    Day 24 → Whatever tickles your fancy
    Day 25 → Your day, in great detail
    Day 26 → Your week, in great detail
    Day 27 → This month, in great detail
    Day 28 → This year, in great detail
    Day 29 → Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
    Day 30 → Whatever tickles your fancy
    Current Mood: calm
    04 December 2009 @ 08:37 pm
    Day 4  
    Day 01 → Your favourite song
    Day 02 → Your favourite movie
    Day 03 → Your favourite television program

    Day 04 → Your favourite book

    Can't pick just one of the Discworld novels, but in general, I prefer the Witches and the Watch series to the Wizards, and most of the books he wrote before 2000 to the later ones (the Wee Free Men series being a very notable exception).

    Day 05 → Your favourite quote
    Day 06 → Whatever tickles your fancy
    Day 07 → A photo that makes you happy
    Day 08 → A photo that makes you angry/sad
    Day 09 → A photo you took
    Day 10 → A photo of you taken over ten years ago
    Day 11 → A photo of you taken recently
    Day 12 → Whatever tickles your fancy
    Day 13 → A fictional book
    Day 14 → A non-fictional book
    Day 15 → A fanfic
    Day 16 → A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
    Day 17 → An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
    Day 18 → Whatever tickles your fancy
    Day 19 → A talent of yours
    Day 20 → A hobbie of yours
    Day 21 → A recipe
    Day 22 → A website
    Day 23 → A YouTube video
    Day 24 → Whatever tickles your fancy
    Day 25 → Your day, in great detail
    Day 26 → Your week, in great detail
    Day 27 → This month, in great detail
    Day 28 → This year, in great detail
    Day 29 → Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
    Day 30 → Whatever tickles your fancy
    25 May 2009 @ 02:29 pm
    25th of May  
    Truth, justice, freedom, reasonably priced love, a hard-boiled egg, and Alzheimer's research, thanks to [ profile] auronsgirl.

    I like her lilacs, although the large one is sadly not very practical for attaching it to a bag as I had intended, I should have gone with the smaller one. Next year, definitely.

    ( (c) ~Yoodi)
    Current Mood: cheerful
    03 March 2009 @ 12:04 pm
    50 book challenge  
    Let's see... homosexuality in Harvard, the GDR and medieval times and some old favourites. If I pass out half-way through of this, it's because I breathed in some dust of the bleach that I used to get our terribly grey towels white again. Just what I needed after the sudden attacks of nausea yesterday.


    Magic Kingdom for Sale - Sold!, by Terry Brooks.
    I am reading this with Crocky. We have talked about this series several times, and while I now don't enjoy it as much as I did when I read the series with fifteen, I still think he's handled the main character's acclimatisation and his various predicaments and his new surroundings very well. I had never realised how poor the writing is - but I wouldn't have. When I first read it, I had studied English as a foreign langauge at school for five years and my proficiency had me struggling with this book. I really dislike is Willow. Her characterisation drives me crazy. Even though she has a lot of potential the entire premise for their relationship is terrible, and her position in the story is frankly disappointing. No cookie points.


    What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew, by Daniel Pool.
    Provides a very sound overview and some very nice in-depths accounts on the various topics relating to etiquette and everyday life in the 19th Century.

    The Amulet of Samarkand, by Jonathan Stroud.
    When I read the first page of this novel five years ago, I fell in love. I am still in love, and re-reading this makes butterflies reappear in my stomach. Bartimaeus, Nathaniel and their relationship is incredibly charming.
    I'm rereading this because Crocky has to read it for her paper and I want to be able to discuss it with her on a more informed basis.


    Thud, by Terry Pratchett.
    I could read P'Terry's descriptions of fatherhood all day and I love the various darknesses, such beautiful ideas.

    Wyrd Sisters - The Play, adapted by Stephen Briggs.
    Another one Crocky and I read and voice-acted together. She's a decent Granny, I must say, and I am rather happy with my rendition of Nanny. Neither of us makes a very good Vetinari or Carrot, though.


    Guards! Guards! - The Play. Adapted by Stephen Briggs.
    This was actually Crocky's birthday present. We're reading it together, voice-acting the different parts. It's great fun.


    Sodom und Gomorrha - zur Alltagswirklichkeit der Verfolgung Homosexueller im Mittelalter, by Bernd-Ulrich Hergemüller ("Sodom and Gomorrha - on the everyday reality and persecution of homosexuals in the Middle Ages")
    The gist seems to be that they weren't, really, not methodically, that is, up until the rise of the inquisition and the witch hunts. Homosexual behaviour was forbidden, of course, but apart from the few accounts which do exist of trials in which anal sex and homosexual paedophilia was the primary charge, people engaging in homosexual behaviour seem to have led a rather undetected life. The trials which do mention homosexuality seem to do so only on the grounds of adding more charges and underlining the moral depravity of the people charged - usually with large-scale theft and murder. It is noteworthy that homosexuals were referred to as Ketzer (heretics), and anal sex was known as ketzern. To go against the order of nature as god apparently intended it was heresy. When the witch hunts began and the tempers started to get tetchier the mere accusation was enough to light torches and the wooden stakes.


    Die Stumme Sünde - Homosexualität im Mittelalter, by Brigitte Spreizer. ("The Silent Sin - Homosexuality in the Middle Ages).
    Very recommendable - it has many origininal sources in the appendix, and reading medieval laws for the proper behaviour of monks in convents makes fascinating reading, even though in some cases my Latin is too rusty to really understand everything.
    Especially interesting for me was the development of the laws regarding anal penetration - it was always considered an Especially Bad Sin, but at first, during the times when pueri oblati were uncommon and men entered monasteries as adults, homosexual behaviour was merely one sexual sin among many. As novices entered the monastery at younger ages and the monastery was no longer a place for individuals to share a living space who usually would have become hermits, but took the place of the family in many cases, laws against homosexual behaviour became increasingly strict. Towards the end of that development, those penetrating the other man during anal intercourse were excluded from the monastery, while the one penetrated could hope for redemption.

    It is important that medieval sex was divided into "natural" vs. "unnatural" sex and "active" and "passive" parts. "Natural" was only the sex which led to babies, every other sexual practice was "unnatural", therefore against the will of god, and forbidden. "Active" were those penetrating, "passive" the other ones. The "active" partner was usually punished more severely than the "passive" one.
    In the beginning, monks had individual cells, but as sexual sins became increasingly bad, dormitories were reintroduced. In those, a young monk would sleep between two older monks to prevent the youngsters from being tempted to commit sins of the flesh. Monks were not allowed to see anyone naked, including themselves, and bathed in light shifts.They were never permitted to sleep in one bed together.

    Also fascinating is the pornographic detail in which the kinds of forbidden sexual contact among nuns is described. Nuns were allowed to sleep in one bed - if it was a young and an older nun - but only if there was at least a room of two spans between them, they lay back to back, and did not speak a word until morning. Female homosexuality was regarded as less bad than anal penetration, but female sexual sins were as discouraged.


    Harvard's Secret Court, by William Wight.
    It's an account of the purges of gay students from the campus after the suicide of one of them that occurred in the nineteen-twenties. Very shocking stuff, especially considering that the purges themselves led to more suicides and completely ruined the lives of the students in question. Not only did Harvard purge their names from the permanent records, they also sent out letters to explain why they dismissed this students if they chose to associate themselves with the university in any CV they wrote for an application to other schools or jobs. This meant that many of these students could not hope for further education at other schools at all or for jobs. The last of these letters was sent in the early seventies, if I remember correctly.
    What struck me as very strange is Wight's last chapter which outlines the possibility that homophobia may be as genetically induced as homosexuality. While I get that he probably had to include something of the sort to stop him from being in trouble with the renowned university, it was still rather baffling to see him struggling to explain and absolve these decisions which had ruined the lives of some twenty students for decades to come, sometimes on the basis of mere association with gay students.

    Schwuler Osten - Homosexuelle Männer in der DDR, by Kurt Starke. ("Gay East - Homosexual Men in the GDR)


    The Black Jewels Trilogy, by Anne Bishop.
    Wow. Bad. Already ranted about it here. I don't mind the torture, but the writing and the characters are so incredibly, horribly dull that we probably won't make it through this. It's a book about an evil, magical matriarchic society in which males are used as sex slaves. Needless to say, all the main characters with the exception of one little girl are male woobies. The girl has extra-special superpowers, but her only function seems to be to make the abused males feel better about themselves. The scary sexual violence and abuse is not as bad as the rampant paedophilia and I don't know how I'm going to face the person whose favourite series of novels this is when we give it back.


    I think I'll attempt to eat some lunch now. I can't stand the sight of pretzel sticks and tea any more.
    Current Mood: nauseated
    22 January 2009 @ 10:51 pm
    50 book challenge 2009  
    Going Postal, Terry Pratchett.
    I decided to re-read it to find out whether I really like Spike. I am still not sure.
     Making Money, Terry Pratchett
    I wonder whether I should be worried about the fact that Spike is growing on me.

    Homosexualität und Crossdressing im Mittelalter, Stefan Micheler (ed.)
    Very interesting indeed. Apparently, there were several cases of crossdressing in the middle ages, even though only a comparatively small number was documented. Women usually cross-dressed to get around being raped at war times, and men cross-dressed to avoid being killed. Women also cross-dressed to make an army appear bigger, and men to get out of warzones.
    Homosexuality between men was frowned upon, though there are only few documents. Most of them are monastic documents. They have homosexuality as one sin among many and don't single it out, even though that changed as monastic tradition in Europe changed. In the beginning, they were places in which individuals who wished to isolate themselves to get more deeply in touch with god lived, each of them wanting to remove themselves from company, looking for loneliness. That changed in later years, when people started entering monasteries as children rather than adults. That shifted the structure of monasteries - suddenly, they needed to provide structure substituting families for the pueri oblati, and meant that rules to cull sexual innuendos among growing males were kept rare. This was achieved by introducing dormitories (younger brothers were placed between two older brothers) and rules about physical contact (monks were required to keep one cubit apart at all times) and nudity (outlawed - monks were encouraged not to look at their own naked body and to bathe in shrits). Active homosexual behaviour was punished  heavily (by exclusion from the monastery), and "passive" homosexuality faced seven years penance.

    A Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England, Ian Mortimer. 
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The set-up, the individual chapters, the topics, the time frame he chose - all is really good. The only thing that seriously bothered me and made me an increasingly frustrated reader is that this book is aimed exclusively at male time travellers. All the examples in which he attempts to write interaction have people adressing the traveller as "Sir", and the way he describes women makes it obvious that they are strange beings worth observing. It drove me up the wall, and I can't believe that someone who, like Mortimer, can put himself in the shoes of deeply religious plague-stricken peasants from the fourteenth century can find it so very hard to put himself in the shoes of female peasants. I suppose that one could argue that time-travellers to the fourtheenth century would be advised to appear as male as possible to avoid trouble, but I seriously doubt that he had this in mind.

    Current Mood: tired
    31 December 2008 @ 11:28 pm
    Happy New Year!  
    Happy New Year, everyone!!

    Have a great night and a great year 2009!

    There are already good news for the new years, too: Terry Pratchett is now Sir Terry.

    Why I'm on LJ half an hour before midnight? Crocky's caught a cold and is fast asleep. I think I'll just wake her briefly at midnight and then let her sleep again and watch the fireworks in the city centre from our window.

    Edit: We did watch the fireworks from our window. Our neighbourhood is thankfully full of very rocket-happy people who all live in apartment building, so more fireworks come per square meter of street than in my part of Hamburg, resulting in a multicoloured sky for hours.

    Open the window... )
    Current Mood: calm
    02 December 2008 @ 11:19 am
    Strong women  
    I backdated this entry as it is not very interesting and only a way of keeping track of what non-uni books I've been reading.

    A Hat Full of Sky, Terry Pratchett.
    Granny Weatherwax is my favourite character in the entire series. Nothing, not even my love for Vimes and Vetinari, can beat my love for this character. She is one of my main reason why I love Terry Pratchett so much.

    I, Claudius, Robert von Ranke-Graves.
    I read the German edition. Ranke-Graves actually seems to have supervised the translation - which shortened the two volumes of the original into one slim volume. I need to get hold of the originals some time, as I keep wondering what on earth they could have thought so unimportant that they chopped it down so much. 
    Even though I love Claudius, his character's development and story, my favourite character and reason for reading this is Livia - I absolutely love reading about her. She is evil, scheming, cold and calculating - and I love her. In spite of what she did to the other characters, I can't help feeling that she deserves becoming a goddess at the end of the book.

    Breakfast with Scot, by Michael Downing.
    I absolutely adored this book. The relationship between the two parents is interesting and natural, Scot is absolutely adorable and his deviant gender expression is not overdone and interesting. Thoroughly entertaining and heartwarming.
    Current Mood: cold
    27 November 2008 @ 10:18 am
    50 book challenge: 47-53  

    I just realised that I haven't updated this thing since August. I can't remember half the things I read since then, so this is more an informed guess than a correct account of what I've been reading since then. I can definitely remember reading four books, the first four listed here. I can't really get them in any sort of order, though.


    Maskerade, Terry Pratchett.
    It's an old favourite solely because of Agnes. I am not that fond of the story, but I love Agnes. She is one of the most realistic characters he has ever written, and much of the things which happen to her from the "but she has a wonderful personality" to the fact that she would never be the one to be looked after after a fainting fit but always the one to fetch cold water is incredibly spot on. Crocky and I are reading it together, and it seems that with his observances about opera in particular and the performing arts in general, Terry Pratchett is incredibly and unsurprisingly spot on.


    Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris. 
    I love reading his books. Even though I'm usually not a fan of books comprising of anecdotal writing, but he is so funny that it works well. I usually end up reading them out to Crocky because I want to share the funnier bits. Especially his exploits as a language student are incredibly entertaining and reminded me a lot of my own experiences as a language student abroad.


    Nation, Terry Pratchett.
    Interview with Terry Pratchett on the book.
    I usually buy P'Terry's books as soon as they come out, but with this one, I felt slightly sceptical that it would live up to my expectations, which it did, of course. The way the characters deal with the trauma of having lost everything they have known, the way they struggle to find their new position in life as their reality is toppled upside down and everything they have come to take for granted is called into question after the tidal wave which brought them together is much more interesting to read than other, similar "stranded on a desert island" books. What made this book for me are the asides on cultural relativism, cultural equality and the history of science, though. I've always have been a big fan of those.


    Monstrous Regiments, Terry Pratchett.
    I did not really like this book when I read it first because I did not really like the ending too much although it is realistic as it does capture the complicated nature of situations like these for which there is no simple solution, especially none that help from the outside can provide. I get that. I still felt very uncomfortable with peace-loving Terry Pratchett writing about wars and soldiers.
    Still, it is a good book. I do like the characters, his take on gender, patriotism, faith and fanatism.


    Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox, Eoin Colfer.
    Wow. I love his books, but this one was really, really less good than I thought it should be. Not only does he exploit the "sick mother" trope ad nauseam, he also uses it and the "dead mother" as a reason to justify all sorts of really unlogical actions and decisions. As much as I love his characters, what he does to them in this book is not really in character for any of them. Yes, it is fun, seeing the old Artemis again, and it is fun reading the interaction of Holly and Artemis, but the plot is forced, the decisions the characters make are not explained or motivated sufficiently, and the characterisation is stretched too much to be comfortable. They practically creak in some scenes.
    Also, Colfer can't write little children, much less gifted little children, to save his life. Yes, it is really hard, but it's not as though it isn't possible to do some research or watch a bleeding documentary on gifted children online, at least.
    As for what is probably one of the most frequently discussed scene - the Holly/Artemis moment - as squee-worthy as it was, it made me feel very uncomfortable. I don't like the way Holly is changing. Holly is one of my favourite female characters, and the way this character is undermined by the strereotypes she gets saddled with more and more is making me uncomfortable. Holly, the kick-ass-eager-to-prove-herself-Holly from the first book would not likely tear up and go on rescue missions because of her dead mother. She also would not kiss Artemis. Yes, their interaction changed them, but I doubt that it would have changed her this much.


    Sons and Lovers, D. H. Lawrence
    I had expected more, somehow. I do like this book, especially the characterisation of the married couple in the first couple of chapter, but the way he describes Paul Morel's characters' sexual exploits somehow did not really work for me. The importance placed on sex in the novel and the extra dimensions it receives somehow annoy me. I like my sex, and I like it a lot, but it is just that, sex, not something offering a deeper insight into the mystical nature of anything, or a spiritual union.


    Breaking Dawn, Stephenie Meyer
    Goodness. This is one of the worst books I have ever read, and I have read a few really bad books. It is so bad that it might as well be a parody. It is bad even in terms of the expectations raised by the first three books, which were stylistically not that good. It is really, really awful and reads like bad fanfiction.

    Current Mood: cheerful
    14 August 2008 @ 02:47 am
    Fanfiction: Books  
    Around 1 a.m. everything is a good idea, including making graphs of the most popular books used as an inspiration by fanfic-writers based on the number of fanfics written for those books on

    Here are the (fairly unsurprising) results:

    Graphs )

    I can't express how thankful I am that Discworld fics came in last, nor how appalled I am by the fact that there are so many DW ficcers in the first place. I don't know why, but for me, there is something extremely wrong and sacrilegious about the thought of people sitting down to write Vimes/Detritus cross-overs or whatever.
    Although, considering how many fanfics there are for the Bible, I probably should not be surprised at the fact that they do exist.

    Especially considering that there are 80 Minesweeper fics out there.

    Anyway. Good night!
    Current Mood: tired
    20 July 2008 @ 11:35 am
    Lots of Terry Pratchett...  

    Wings, by Terry Pratchett.
    The final instalment in the Bromeliad trilogy. This is Masklin's story and how he managed to get back to their mother ship and get back to Grimma and the store nomes in the quarry.
    Which I did not finish because it had been put on hold by someone at the library and I had to take it back earlier than I would have liked. I never thought this instalment was as interesting as the other two, even though Masklin is as likeable as ever and even though the store nomes reaction to meeting a decendant of his deity is hilarious.


    Diggers, by Terry Pratchett.
    Living together in a disused quarry, especially the store nomes have troubles adjusting and putting by old feuds. Masklin, the main character, decides to go and get help from a decendant of the store nomes "deity" who founded the store. In his absence, the quarry is re-opened and Grimma, who now leads the nomes even though she is female, acts to save them.
    Again, my gender-goggles were pleased, even though I keep thinking that Terry Pratchett's positive message is made easier by the fact that his female characters are all coming directly out of deeply prejudiced worlds which are just moving on to more equality. Still, I have a very soft spot for Grimma.


    Truckers, by Terry Pratchett
    Four-inch or so tall people, originally form outer space, the nomes, who live next to a motorway decide to improve their perilous condition by moving, use on of the trucks that sometimes come by, and find out that there are nomes which live in a store. When the store has to be demolished, they leave together.
    When I first read these books, I read them in German on a train ride back from my elderly relatives in Essen and frequently I had to literally bite my hand to stop myself from making a spectacle of myself by repeatedly getting into laughing fits. On second reading, in English, ten years later, I do not find these novels THAT funny anymore, but these predecessors of the Wee Free Men, successors of the Carpet People are still interesting enough for me to read all three novels. Again, my gender-goggles are deeply gratified by the progress perceptible in this world, and even though the plot itself is nothing that new, there are many elements to the story that I liked a lot, like the religion the store gnomes have.

    Equal Rites, by Terry Pratchett.
    A story about the first female wizard who goes to Ankh-Morpork's famous Unseen University, or tries to, as women can't enter the university.
    Not in this pretty version, obviously. What I love about Terry Pratchett is that you can analyse his books at leisure and still hardly ever be disappointed. I have never used race goggles on his books, he may have skeletons in the closet there, but gender-wise, and my gender-spectacles are permanent by now, I'm afraid, this man is perfect. This is one of his earliest novels and even though he cheerfully draws on the same stereotypes as many of his Fantasy-writing colleagues do it does not matter, as he does so tongue-in-cheek, as he deconstructs the things he does use as he goes along. The deeply prejudiced world he depicts at the beginning of the story is already going somewhere by the end of the novel, and this deeply optimistic view of his world as a place which starts out bad but is evolving to something better every novel makes his Discworld novels such a great read.
    Current Mood: cheerful
    25 May 2008 @ 03:11 pm

    ( ~Yoodi)

    For Truth, Justice, Freedom, Reasonably Priced Love, and a Hard-Boiled Egg.

    And also for Alzheimer's research.

    I love that initiative and the amount of time and effort fans put into it, especially [ profile] auronsgirl.
    Current Music: Johnny and the Bomb - Audio Book
    Current Mood: fannish
    Current Location: Uelzen
    13 January 2008 @ 11:53 am
    In a clubby thing near the main station they're putting on a discworld musical: Mort - das Musical, and I only noticed yesterday.

    I want to go I want to go I want to gooo.

    But since there are only three performances left I doubt I'll get any tickets now. The worst thing: the only evening when I would be able to go I can't because it starts at eight and my course only finishes at a quarter to eight. I'll never make it on time, and I doubt they'd let me in fifteen minutes late.

    Life is unfair.

    Although I'll try to get tickets, anyway, and see when we finish. We usually finish about thirty minutes early, but there have been exceptions before.

    Current Music: A Finnish choir performing modern church music.
    Current Location: Uelzen
    Current Mood: excited
    07 December 2007 @ 05:08 pm
    Book Challenge: 45-49  

    "... ist unstreitig homosexuell":  Diskriminierung von Lesben und Schwulen in Arbeits- und Zivilrecht, Manuela Malt.
    A book on the discrimination against lesbians and gays in civil law and employment law. Another chilling one. There are a lot of quotes in it, some of them from politicians, and most of them unbelievable bullshit. Also, even though it's from the early nineties, there's little that changed.


    A hat full of sky, by Terry Pratchett.
    I think The Wee Free Men is a better book, but there are many things in this book I really love. Great one.


    The Wee Free Men, Terry Pratchett.
    I can't shake off the feeling that I have read this before, this year. Well, maybe I have not, who knows. It's one of my all-time favourites. I love Tiffany, I love the self-insertive components of her, I love the Nac Mac Feegle, I love Terry's Scots. Great.


    Beyond Sex and Romance? The Politics of Contemporary Lesbian Fiction. By Elaine Hutton.
    Very interesting essays on lesbian literature, mostly from the eighties, little new from the nineties. One very annoying article by Elaine Miller, who showed that lesbian feminists can be bigoted idiots by suggesting that FTMs are subverting "women-only spaces" which she sees as crucial for the development of feminist politics. Two paragraphs which annoyed the hell out of me in her otherwise very interesting essay.
    It's funny, finding my reading list crowded with books on feminism and lesbians all of the sudden.


    Lesbische Frauen: Lebenswelt - Beziehungen - Psychotherapie, Kristine Falco.
    And I continue the trend. Book about lesbian women and therapy, mainly,  but there are also a few chapters addressed to non-psychologists. Very interesting.
    Current Music: Full Fathoms Five - Mäntyjärvi
    Current Mood: cold
    Current Location: Hamburg
    25 October 2007 @ 04:14 pm
    Books 24 - 35  
    I can't believe I forgot about this thing again. I have no clue if this list is complete.


    The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood.
    I LOVE. This book. It's absolutely unputdownable. There are not many books which nearly make me tap my foot during lectures, looking forward to the break so I can get back to my book, this is one of them. Absolutely great.


    Making Money, by Terry Pratchett.
    Eerie. I had a lot of Going Postal flashbacks, reading this. Again great to see more of Vetinari, but on the whole... Where is the author of Small Gods?


    Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett.
    By far not my favourite discworld novel, although it does have it's highlights. Not many, but they're there. When I read it back in '06, I thought that it's good to see more of Vetinari, and I liked Spike a lot, but on the whole... I never thought I'd say this, but where's the author of Small Gods?


    Imperium, by Robert Harris.
    Great read. Experiencing Cicero's very impressive career and his various schemes through the eyes of his slave Tiro is interesting enough, and the amounts of history textbook personalities around him add to the appeal of that book. The probably most interesting character in this novel for me was not Julius Caesar, or the obscenely rich Crassus, or the notorious Verres I know from the speeches, but his Cicero's wife, Terentia.
    I cannot, for the life of me, understand, why he divorced her later in life. Of course he must have his reasons, very probably political reasons, knowing the two. Still. I didn't find much information on her, but what is known seems to suggest that she was a very independent woman who knew what she wanted, and even though there never seemed a lot of romance between her and her husband, she always supported him. She invested considerable amounts of money into his career, and stood by him while he was exiled. After more than thirty years of marriage, he left her for his rich young ward who was no older than twenty - about ten years younger than his daughter.

    Dragonsbane (albeit in German, Der Schwarze Drache), by Barbara Hambly.
    I love this book. It's not the best fantasy novel there is, it's not that well written, there are whole passages which are ... long, most of all. Still, again, what makes this novel for me, is the characters. The main character is a witch in her late thirties, she's torn between pursuing what she feels is her true calling, her career as a witch, and her family, her husband, down-to-earth Lord John and her two sons. It's great to read a fantasy novel which is not about people in their twenties for once.

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J. K. Rowling.

    Carpe Jugulum, by Terry Pratchett.
    I am an Agnes fangirl. There should be more Agneses in literature. It also contains some of the best quotes on literature, and I've always meant to write an essay comparing Granny Weatherwax's and Vorbis's views.

    Wyrd Sisters, by Terry Pratchett.
    This is the book which made me love Terry Pratchett. It's the second book I bought, and when I read it, I fell in love with Death and Granny Weatherwax at first sight.


    Witches Abroad, by Terry Pratchett.

    Lords and Ladies, by Terry Pratchett.
    I doubt that there is anyone who dislikes this book.

    The End of Alice,  by A. M. Homes.
    Another very recommended book. It's very well written, and the way it forces you into the psyche of the abusive, paedophile character and narrator of the story is deeply disturbing, but also very captivating.


    Incidences in the life of a slavegirl, by Linda Brent.
    I really recommend this book, although the main character's story is horrible. Not an easy read.

    Ok. Back to The Handmaid's Tale.
    Current Mood: blank
    Current Location: Hamburg
    10 June 2007 @ 04:23 pm
    Sorry for spamming everyone's Friends page like that, I guess backdating this will be best so you aren't knocked out by the pics. I forgot about the challenge thing. Again. Let's see which books I can remember...


    Fünfzig Gedichte des Expressionismus, selected by Dietrich Bode.
    Great poems in there, I instantly fell in love with a few poets, too. It's nice reading German poetry again.
    They were a much-treasured present from Crocky!


    The Night Watch, by Sarah Waters.
    Booker nominee set in 1940ies London centred around a group of very lovable Londoners, carefully drawn with sympathy and sensitivity by the author, great locations with very vivid descriptions that depict the horror of the war but also the realities of every-day life and lesbian couples more realistic than I have ever seen.


    The Gay Teen, ed. Gerald Unks.
    An interesting text book on facts and figures of Gay teens and their problems with heterosexualism at US Highschools. Interesting read, but also pretty devastating at times.


    Blood, Bread and Poetry by Adrienne Rich.
    I fangirl her. Her essays are striking, alarming, and easy to read. It is scary that what she said back in the 1980ies still did not really sink in in the minds (eg. the fact that homosexuality is not a lifestyle, who would have thought).


    Herland, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
    Great book, although some of the properties she outlines for her females-only utopia are a bit unrealistic to my eyes. Still, it was fun to read and interesting.

    Love that dog, by Sharon Creech.
    Great self-proclaimed novel about a boy and his introduction to free verse poetry, very sweet. It consists entirely of the poems of a boy called Jack who is writing the poems instructed by his teacher Miss Stretchberry. Although he is more than unwilling at first, he comes to enjoy writing poems more and more and is able to come to express a traumatic event through his poems.

    Oh, I forgot:


    Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett.
    One of my favourite Discworld novels ever. I adore the Watch series, and Vetinari even more.
    Current Mood: calm
    19 March 2007 @ 08:14 pm
    Do youse know what we're doing?  
    We are watching HOGFATHER!!!!11

    ... I think my frequent "OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1! LOOK!!!!!!!!!!11 There is SUSAAAAAAAAAN!!!!"s are driving Crocky a bit nuts, but my perfect girlfriend is taking it in stride. Her left shoulder might be numb because I keep clawing at her whenever I spot something I like (every other second), but she looks as though she's fine.

    Lyk OMG.

    [Error: unknown template 'video']
    I LOVE youtube.
    Current Mood: ecstatic
    08 February 2007 @ 01:52 am

    The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene.
    Whoa! It's very depressing, though, because of all that heat and the lack of communication. I have to admit that in spite of the vivid scenes I can barely remember the beginning because I read it on the train only. I really like it so far. I haven't read many of Greene's books, and I keep wondering why. At the moment it's not the best idea, though, because his characters are so depressing in their hopelessness.

    The Wintersmith. Lovely, lovely book by Terry Pratchett.
    I love Tiff and the Nac Mac Feegle. Siiiigh. They are awesome, and they always make me homesick for Scotland. I even like Roland, and I like the fact that Tiff is not really Esk, whom she reminded me of in Wee Free Men.
    Some of the jokes he's trying to make are terribly forced, though.
    Current Mood: tired
    18 December 2006 @ 05:17 pm
    Hogfather, or Why don't I have Sky One?  
    Today  more than ever I regret that I am not in the UK at the moment. Ok, I have to admit, I did not want to look and did not look for fear of being disappointed. But.

    This is so thrilling, there are hardly any words for it. It looks soooo much better than I had ever thought it would!
    Parts of me even starts daring to hope that they won't mess it up!

    Of course, they are going to mess it up, because they always do. Well, considering that today's the 18th already, they probably already have messed it up. I don't dare enter any convos about it for fear of spoilers...
    Especially Susan... how could they NOT mess that one up? I guess none of the actors has actually gone so far as to read the books (as always), and hence they will not get that Susan is neither a Goth princess nor frigging Mary Poppins, and it is very likely that they make her switch from one role into the other without putting any thought into it. Poor, poor Susan, I don't think there will be anything left apart from the very stereotypes she is a parody of...

    Oooh, they are so going to mess this up.

    And yet, and yet, and yet... And yet and yet and yet...

    I really don't know what to say, because whenever I try to put my pent-up fannish feelings of bliss into words something as elaborate as OMG LYEK LOLZ TEH SQUEEE TEH HAWT SUUUUSAN!!!!!! ensues.

    So I guess I shouldn't even try.


    OMG NOBBY!!!!!!

    Ah, well. Merry Christmas indeed. We'll see (or not, if there's never a DVD) what horrors await us.

    ... And the voice of Death is a graduate from the College of Dramatic Arts in Glasgow (squee!) AND Michelle Dockery has been on Fingersmith and that's so absolutely awesome. Well, Joss Ackland seriously reminds me of Professor Greiner, but other than that...

    Ooooh, please, please, please don't mess this up, this looks to good to be true!


    Except for Fred. What happened to Fred? IS that Fred?

    EDIT: Phew, no, it's Constable Visit. Pheeew.

    EDIT 2: OMG, I am so curious about the auditors.
    Current Mood: thrilled
    Current Location: My Room
    Current Music: My tinnitus
    20 September 2006 @ 04:28 pm
    Why NOW?!  
    Terry Pratchett, the master, my favourite author, the first person I felt fannish feelings for, the hero of my child-, teenager-, and adulthood, the - I think you get the message - is going on a book tour to -ing Scotland and coming to -ing Glasgow on the -ing 30th of September for a -ing signing session in the -ing Buchanan Galleries and I can't -ing be there because it's too -ing expensive to go and all around too much of a hassle because of -ing Ryanair, because they've -ing canceled the direct flight from Hamburg to Glasgow, and that would mean that I have to fly to -ing Stansted, travel from -ing Stansted to -ing London, from -ing London to -ing Glasgow, stay there for some time, and travel back, take the bus home from -ing Lübeck, which would be too expensive.


    Current Mood: sad
    Current Location: My Room
    Current Music: Some old season of Charmed on tv.