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Interests: Our interests are oh-so-various, but it all begins and ends with books. As to our areas of expertise? Medieval and Islamic history, museum ethnography and anthropology, geoscience and English literature.
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Reading is my no 1 escape from my research. :) I think I read more for pleasure when I'm working hardest on the thesis. I think you should totally try the space llamas, though calling them that makes them sound cute when they are actually pretty sinister.
Toggle Commented Mar 19, 2016 on Reading Re-cap: January-March at Eve's Alexandria
I love how similar our taste in books is. :) Yes, the explicitness of the sex in Uprooted! There I am bobbling along, under the impression that I'm reading a book suitable for 13+, and then bam. I don't think of myself as prudish and I know sex is normal in YA, but Novik wrote proper erotica kind of sex. It did seem a bit incongruous.
Netgalley is such a temptation! I know I shouldn't request anything else, but then I get an email from them and like the look of one or two things...which makes me visit the website, where I take a sneak peak at my favourite publishers, and then... It always ends in excess, like so many of my bookish adventures!
Toggle Commented Dec 28, 2015 on Reading Resolutions 2016 at Eve's Alexandria
(Catching up on your DGLA reviews) Rather, due to the age of the readership, YA novels can assume that their young audience aren't as experienced in (and/or exhausted with) recurring tropes, plots and archetypes. Basically, YA readers aren't jaded - so stories about Chosen Ones with magical wolves can be passed off as new and interesting. This is nicely put, and I agree. I'd be curious to get the input of someone (an adult) who reads a lot of YA on this, though: how do they feel about the tropes? Do they read for interesting uses of the tropes, or something else?
Yeah, this one, like its predecessor, is not for me, I think. "which he can't stop picturing, because, you know, someone violated his love interest" I hate this trope with the power of a thousand fiery suns. See also: Brent Weeks' The Way of Shadows, where one character spends pages agonising over how much a certain female character is probably getting raped right now, and another salivates over the prospect of same; for the reader, no functional difference between the two, just shared creepiness. #shudder Interesting thoughts on the series question; I wondered the same when reviewing the DGLA shortlist some years back. Then I ran out of reading time, so: standalone. But I agree that considering books in their series context is probably the best, at least for the DGLA.
Heh, no pressure!
Toggle Commented Sep 10, 2013 on Translating Genre at Eve's Alexandria
Great, hope you like it! I just noticed that Larry of the OF Blog of the Fallen posted on translated fiction today, too:
Toggle Commented Sep 10, 2013 on Translating Genre at Eve's Alexandria
Ah, the Theft of Swords review... *gets misty eyed* Good times.
Yes, I completely agree; I read the book a few months back, and have a review coming out in Vector at some point. I was more enthused by the setting than you - I'm a geek for medieval Cairo and Baghdad, so I was revelling in the coffee house and the architecture and so on - but taken as a whole I found it a little too lightweight and over-familiar. Definitely more entertaining and enjoyable than some of the other authors I've read because of DGLA shortlists, though (hello, Sanderson and Weeks). There's a lot to be said for *not* writing a book 800 pages long and filling it with interchangeably angsty manchildren and a thinly narrative'd version of the rulebook for your magic system...
Thanks, all! As the post title says, too late, indeed. :-) Abigail: The Islamophobia is just an unpleasant garnish sprinkled on top of the endless plate of limp iceberg lettuce that is this book. But the profoundly delusional and self-congratulatory view of medieval European society really riled (and disturbed) me; surely you don't have to be either Jewish or a medieval historian (or both) to know that systemic and systematic persecution of Jewish communities long pre-dated the Third Reich? -Nic
And thank you for your comment (and for all your comments here in the past, for that matter) - I'm so glad it's not just me! --Nic
Toggle Commented May 30, 2013 on Told to the World at Eve's Alexandria
Heh, thanks! I think my main problem is how clunky it all is: whenever there's a break in the tension, it's filled with Collins-via-Katniss telling us what to think about certain characters, or piling on the terrible dystopia details, or pointless emotional manipulation. It's hard to care when secondary characters die horrible deaths because they never really feel like people - they're just names on a page that we're told about, but whom we actually *see* very little of. But I really am looking forward to the rest of the films!
Toggle Commented May 13, 2013 on Turning Pain Into Words at Eve's Alexandria
Thanks - hope you enjoy it!
Toggle Commented May 13, 2013 on The Dampness and the Dazzle at Eve's Alexandria
Yes, I want to echo Jared's query on the Campbell here. Because I nominated for the Hugos this year and the Campbell was definitely on the ballot (and Zen Cho was one of my nominees \o/).
They really are amazing books. I'm constantly thrusting them at people, whether they usually read fantasy novels or not. I think GRRM is a consummate writer of dialogue, which is rare in the genre I think.
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2013 on True Delicacies at Eve's Alexandria
We're catching up on the series now, after I had a late night One-Click incident with the Season 1 & 2 boxset. Just up to the Season 1 episode scripted by GRRM and it's grown on me enormously. Wasn't at all sure about it after the first three episodes but I see now how clever they have been with the exposition. Only one major disappointment remaining, that the relationships with the direwolves are so underdeveloped. Still Lena Headey's Cersei makes up for all flaws and then some though.
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2013 on True Delicacies at Eve's Alexandria
I'm almost tentative over starting Code Name Verity. Everyone loves it so much I'm expecting an amazing read and don't want to rush it. :-)
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2013 on True Delicacies at Eve's Alexandria
Yes, yes, you must read it! It's a good book to save for a reading slump moment - it has such enormous energy.
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2013 on True Delicacies at Eve's Alexandria
Thanks for reading (readin'?) this so I don't have to! Nic
This was absolutely one of my favourite books as a child. My earliest memory of it is listening to the audio book. It felt like a book especially for me because of the Yorkshire accents - its where I'm from and Dickon sounded just like our next door neighbour! I also had the paperback, the film on VHS and went to see the theatre production. I haven't reread it though, probably for fear it won't be as amazing as I remember. The Little Princess was a much loved book too - every little girls fantasy I think.
Someone at the book group had seen the sweets documentary and said that reading the book made them reconsider it in an entirely different light. But then not all of them found the book as overwhelmingly sinister as I did. I'd be interested to hear what you think of it.
Toggle Commented Jan 13, 2013 on Licking out the chocolate cream at Eve's Alexandria
I saw the film before I read the book and, while I enjoyed the film, I think I liked the book more. It was more visceral I thought. At times I thought the film felt a bit like an adaptation of a Roald Dahl book. Helena Bonham-Carter was excellent in it though. Apparently Joan Potter's real life daughters (who are briefly mentioned in the book) were horrified by it and claimed it was all made up.
Toggle Commented Jan 13, 2013 on Licking out the chocolate cream at Eve's Alexandria
Ooh, there are some excellent books on your list. I really enjoyed Fatherland (although it was quite a long time since I read it). Tipping the Velvet is fantastic - there is a lot of energy in it, an exuberance that Waters has more under control in her later books. I did hear she was writing a novel set in the 1950s, a sort of thematic follow-on to The Little Stranger. I'd love to read more from my TBR shelves too, but I find it so hard. I will have to keep coming back here to keep me strong as I try to do the same. (I say that of course, but my list of books to read in 2013 are nearly all new ones!)
Those top three are the ones I'm most excited about too - I can't wait for February and Orkney to come out! I can't believe how much I remember of Game of Thrones on the one hand, and how much I have forgotten on the other. I'm also surprised which characters are now my favourites as opposed to the favourites of my 21 year old self.
Toggle Commented Jan 1, 2013 on Looking forward to 2013 at Eve's Alexandria
They are fun aren't they? And so grand and epic too. Not to mention occasionally traumatic. I think one of the reasons that I didn't read the later volumes was fear of what was coming next - he is so ruthless with his characters. I'm so enjoying my reread of A Game of Thrones though, I'd forgotten what a treat the dialogue is.
Toggle Commented Jan 1, 2013 on Looking forward to 2013 at Eve's Alexandria