oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Finished des Anges, As Simple as Hunger, which was - interesting. Didn't work for me as well as Brown Bread, Boys, and also I am detecting a bit of a pattern (perhaps on insufficient evidence). But was still worth reading.

Sally Smith, Marshall Hall: A Law Unto Himself (2016), as recommended by [personal profile] legionseagle - biography of famous late C19th/early 20th defense lawyer famed for his emotional appeals to juries, with rather turbulent private life. Very readable; also very good on legal minutiae of how the law and courts of the period actually operated.

On the go

Sarah Tolmie, Two Travellers (2016), which I am liking a lot (personal note: met her at Wiscon, very nice person: however, finding someone agreeable as a person doesn't always mean one likes their writing.)

Up next

Might be one of the other Tolmies on my e-reader; might be Kate Elliott Poisoned Blade; or do I feel in the mood for some Tanith Lee? Watch this space.


Book/reading related links:

Who is this guy and why should one take at all seriously anything he says? Why young-adult fiction is a dangerous fantasy.

There are so many weasel-words that decode to 'ugh, lady-cooties', in that piece, no?

And do we not think that 'the young' might be getting their factual, non-fictional requirements met from the internet?

The perpetrator is described as an author: this seems to mean, writing intros to Shakespeare and Milton, presumably for The Young.

Are his arguments not entirely dissimilar to those Jane Austen took a codfish to when she defended the 'only a novel'?

Okay, will concede I am probably not the target audience for this: 100 Must-Read Lesser-Known Classics, because I would say I'd at least heard of the majority of them, the author if not the precise work, read quite a number, and it includes some that I would not describe as 'lesser-known', at least, perhaps, in the UK. Though I will say that the Rosamund Lehmann is a very odd pick from within her oeuvre, because I would anticipate that if you think The Return of the Soldier, Testament of Youth and I Capture the Castle are obscure, presumably that would also apply to The Weather in the Streets?

Will refrain from going WOT NO [fill in the gap].

More Links Than A Bag Of Sausages

Aug. 24th, 2016 03:10 am
petzipellepingo: (more links by eyesthatslay)
[personal profile] petzipellepingo
Spike's Story , Spike/Dawn and Angel's Bitch , Spike/Angel by [personal profile] katleept.

Show Her Claws , Cordelia/Willow by [profile] brutti_ma_buoni.

[community profile] fantas_magoria re-watches "The Initiative" .

Thinky thoughts on BtVS & AtS by [profile] infinitewhale.

Soundcloud podcast talks The Initiative & Pangs .

Storywonk podcast talks Intervention.

Hypable podcast talks Pangs & I Will Remember You .

Storywonk podcast talks Disharmony.

Redemptioncast podcast talks Provider.

The AVClub talks to Clea Duvall.

Major moves ahead

Aug. 23rd, 2016 02:38 pm
yourlibrarian: Perky-noaluvsjames (BUF-Perky-noaluvsjames)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
1) After seeing Japanese prime minister Abe's appearance in the Olympics closing ceremony, I could see the 2020 games being the most fannish ever.

2) Thanks to [profile] hamsterlady I got an invite to Imzy and have been nosing around the platform. I opened two communities :


Merlin & More

If anyone's interested in hanging out there, I have bunches of invites if anyone would like one. Just let me know what email you want me to send it to. And if anyone who's reading is already on Imzy, do join!

BTW, Imzy is offering a t-shirt when 5 users accept someone's invitations so if you would like that t-shirt, tell me that too and I'll send it along if I pass that number.

3) Mike got the job! Despite the crunch time and working on his presentation during our vacation, things apparently went well. And today is our 24th anniversary so it's an extra reason to celebrate. Read more... )

Research day is long

Aug. 23rd, 2016 07:09 pm
oursin: Drawing of hedgehog in a cave, writing in a book with a quill pen (Writing hedgehog)
[personal profile] oursin

Because even though I was getting the first train to Ancient Seat of Lerninz on which off-peak ticket was valid this involved me in getting up a good deal earlier than my wont.

And heading to that mainline station which is not easily reached from North London; I took the rather counter-intuitive route suggested by TFL,which worked rather well.

What I had not factored in was that because the train was the first on which off-peak tickets were valid, it was Absolutely Chokka.

(Also, I realised on collecting my tickets that somehow my Senior Railcard discount had not been applied, chiz.)

On my arrival, I got a taxi, which due to heavy traffic took an inordinate amount of time just getting clear of the station.

When I got to the library, there was 1 person doing admissions, and 2 people ahead of me.

While second person was finally being dealt with - and I think there were being some complications due to non-British origins - up came a Massively Entitled Middle-Aged White Guy, the problems with whose reader's card were clearly so pressing that he could not possibly wait his turn.

Readers, I fumed. I may have muttered. I certainly returned a very obviously false smile, or rictus, when he turned around and grinned at the queue, which had by that time grown.

And then another desk opened up and I was able to acquire my reader's card, which, however, doesn't get activated for security gates for 24 hours... So I kept having to be let in and out by the security staff.

However, did some useful research, and, in additional pluses, there is now a cafe on the premises. Phone reception in the reading room was however dire, not ideal when one needs to send a text.

And when I was done, I had a most agreeable meet up, with scones and cream, with [personal profile] cassandre.

Top 100 movie meme?

Aug. 23rd, 2016 02:30 pm
beer_good_foamy: (Default)
[personal profile] beer_good_foamy
Woah, been a while since I posted anything. So why not try to meme this up?

BBC: 177 critics from around the world pick 100 greatest movies of the 21st century (so far)

And it's a good list, too. So the usual bit: Italics for the ones I've seen, bold for the ones I've loved (which isn't necessarily to say I didn't like the ones I don't bold, there are only a few I actively disliked, but there's a whole grey area between "Yeah, that was a really good movie" and "HOLY SHIT YOU LIVE IN MY SOUL"). 

So, how about you?

100. Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)
100. Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky, 2000)
100. Carlos (Olivier Assayas, 2010)
99. The Gleaners and I (Agnès Varda, 2000)
98. Ten (Abbas Kiarostami, 2002)
97. White Material (Claire Denis, 2009)
96. Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton, 2003)
95. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 2012)
94. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)
93. Ratatouille (Brad Bird, 2007)
92. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominik, 2007)
91. The Secret in Their Eyes (Juan José Campanella, 2009)
90. The Pianist (Roman Polanski, 2002)
89. The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel, 2008)
88. Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)
87. Amélie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)
86. Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes, 2002)
85. A Prophet (Jacques Audiard, 2009)
84. Her (Spike Jonze, 2013)

83. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (Steven Spielberg, 2001)
82. A Serious Man (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2009)
81. Shame (Steve McQueen, 2011)
80. The Return (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2003)
79. Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe, 2000)
78. The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese, 2013)
77. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Julian Schnabel, 2007)
76. Dogville (Lars von Trier, 2003)
75. Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014)
74. Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2012)
73. Before Sunset (Richard Linklater, 2004)
72. Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch, 2013)

71. Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012)
70. Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2012)
69. Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)
68. The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson, 2001)
67. The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow, 2008)

66. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring (Kim Ki-duk, 2003)
65. Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009)
64. The Great Beauty (Paolo Sorrentino, 2013)
63. The Turin Horse (Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky, 2011)
62. Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino, 2009)
61. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)

60. Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006)
59. A History of Violence (David Cronenberg, 2005)
58. Moolaadé (Ousmane Sembène, 2004)
57. Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow, 2012)
56. Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr, director; Ágnes Hranitzky, co-director, 2000)
55. Ida (Paweł Pawlikowski, 2013)
54. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2011)
53. Moulin Rouge! (Baz Luhrmann, 2001)
52. Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004)
51. Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)
50. The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
49. Goodbye to Language (Jean-Luc Godard, 2014)
48. Brooklyn (John Crowley, 2015)
47. Leviathan (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2014)

46. Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)
45. Blue Is the Warmest Color (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013)
44. 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013)
43. Melancholia (Lars von Trier, 2011)
42. Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)
41. Inside Out (Pete Docter, 2015)
40. Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005)

39. The New World (Terrence Malick, 2005)
38. City of God (Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund, 2002)
37. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)
36. Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014)
35. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee, 2000)
34. Son of Saul (László Nemes, 2015)
33. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008)
32. The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006)

31. Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan, 2011)
30. Oldboy (Park Chan-wook, 2003)
29. WALL-E (Andrew Stanton, 2008)

28. Talk to Her (Pedro Almodóvar, 2002)
27. The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)
26. 25th Hour (Spike Lee, 2002)
25. ​Memento (Christopher Nolan, 2000)
24. The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)
23. Caché (Michael Haneke, 2005)
22. Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003)
21. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)
20. Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman, 2008)
19. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)
18. The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke, 2009)
17. Pan's Labyrinth (Guillermo Del Toro, 2006)
16. Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012)
15. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, 2007)
14. The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2012)
13. Children of Men (Alfonso Cuarón, 2006)
12. Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007)
11. Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2013)
10. No Country for Old Men (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2007)
9. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, 2011)
8. Yi Yi: A One and a Two (Edward Yang, 2000)
7. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)
6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
5. Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)
4. Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)

3. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
2. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)
1. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)

(no subject)

Aug. 23rd, 2016 08:00 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] natlyn!

The Diary of River Song (Series One)

Aug. 23rd, 2016 08:15 am
selenak: (River Song by Famira)
[personal profile] selenak
Aka Big Finish using the fact they finally got license for the New Who characters, big time. This audio series consists of four episodes, about an hour long, each written by a different writer and with an overreaching story arc, though each adventure is more or less self contained as well. Continuity-wise, this seems to be post-Demon's Run, pre-Library (obviously) in River's time line. It also was conceived and produced before The Husbands of River Song was broadcast, I'd wager, because this River on her own while still capable of ruthlessness has a much stronger commitment to ethics than the one from the most recent Christmas Special.

Overall impression: enjoyable, Alex Kingston is great, of course, the guest voice actors are good, and so far it navigates around the inherent prequel problem of us knowing River's ending and the way she can't come face to face with any pre-Ten Doctor in a memorable way pretty well. When I heard that the Eighth Doctor guest stars in one of the episodes, I assumed he'll get yet another case of amnesia (because this keeps happening to Eight), but no, the writer of the episode in question solves the continuity problem another way. Go him! The season also, like Doctor Who itself, uses the opportunity to try different types of tropes.

Individual episodes:

The Boundless Sea, written by Jenny T. Colgan: allows River to start out depressed and shaken, instead of being the unflappable-no-matter-the-trauma guest star she usually is on DW. This not being season 6 of Buffy, she gets over it in the course of the episode's adventure, which is essentially a classical Universal horror story with walking mummies in Egypt (if you've read my Penny Dreadful reviews, you know this part satisfied an urge), complete with clueless (OR ARE THEY?) archaelogists and civil servants. The episode's "monster" is more like a tragic antagonist and also an obvious reflection/counterpart of River herself (originally entombed for the sake of her husband), though I'm not sure I buy what the script seems to be getting at. Introduces Alexander "Mordred from Merlin" Vlahos' character Bertie Potts.

I went to a marvellous party, written by Justin Richards: introduces the season's true antagonists, the self-styled "Rulers", who are the classic type of rich privileged callous bastards you love to boo-hiss at. Also a Christie-homage paying murder mystery and a con story. Alexander Siddig's character is a bit of a let down in that he's not around for long and doesn't interact with River much, but River solving the mystery while also tricking the "Rulers" and screwing them over was very satisfying to listen to.

Signs by James Goss: co-starring Samuel West, and essentially Gaslight in space. Very creepy for what is clear to the audience though not River (for plot reasons) from the start. Also inadvertendly supplying an additional explanation as to why River has trouble realising Twelve is the Doctor in The Husbands of River Song. West is good in a role that's spoilery, sweetie ). Not one to re-listen to, I don't think, though not because it's not good.

The Rulers of the Universe, written by Matt Fitton: in which the various plot threads from previous episodes come together, there's a showdown with two antagonists at once, both the "Rulers" and the ones introduced in "Signs", and River manages to work with the Eighth Doctor to save the day without actually meeting him, and yet they interact, sort of. (It's great team work, btw.) Both how River foils the Rulers and how the Doctor foils Those Other Guys are classic for the characters, and it's a good conclusion to this audio-season.

Wishes for season 2: has Big Finish the rights for Amy and Rory, too? Because I really truly want an episode long interaction between River and her parents post-reveal.
oursin: Drawing of hedgehog in a cave, writing in a book with a quill pen (Writing hedgehog)
[personal profile] oursin

I.e. for various reasons I have been dithering over a review I'm writing, and managed to procrastinate all last week for various reasons, but I did actually start the thing today, which as usual feels like a massive advance even if I'm only up to paragraph 3, it is the step on from pacing up and down wringing my hands and emitting cries of dooooom.

Also I have actually made arrangements to go and do research in a major academic library outside London tomorrow, because there are actually things I should go and look up for this ODNB entry I am writing. Even if I already have at least 2 NEW and EXCITING things that as far as I can see, no-one has mentioned when writing about this rather obscure couple. (Well, new, anyway, I am not entirely sure about the exciting.)

Maybe I will actually find myself going to the British Library to look at obscure journals they were associated with before too long.

Two more Black Sails fanfic recs

Aug. 22nd, 2016 12:06 pm
selenak: (John Silver by Violateraindrop)
[personal profile] selenak
Here we stand: missing scene between Silver and Max post s2 and pre s3, while Captains Flint, Vane and Rackham are busy negotiating. It shows how they've both changed since the pilot and what remains the same with them, and has their voices down perfectly.

They that sow the wind: plotty prequel AU in which James McGraw doesn't come back from that first trip to Nassau, and Miranda and Thomas have to rescue him. Fun take on my favourite Black Sails trio, and it uses the ensemble well to boot.

(no subject)

Aug. 22nd, 2016 10:10 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] elisem!


Aug. 21st, 2016 09:21 pm
oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
[personal profile] oursin

Bread made during the week: loaf based on Len Deighton's Mixed Wholemeal from the Sunday Times Book of Bread: 3:1:1 wholemeal/strong white flour/mixture of bran, oatmeal and coarse cornmeal. Nice.

Friday supper: pheasant and lentil soup.

Saturday breakfast rolls: Tassajarra cinnamon and raisin.

Today's lunch: fillets of Scottish loch trout, brushed with teriyaki sauce and baked in foil, served with Charlotte potatoes roasted in goose fat, fine green beans roasted in olive oil and splashed with tayberry vinegar, and samphire steamed and tossed in butter.

Touring Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska

Aug. 21st, 2016 01:33 pm
yourlibrarian: Impala on the road (SPN-OntheRoad-leeloo3)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
1) Given their short time to prepare I rather liked the last episode of The Nightly Show. It was nice to see all the support Larry got from the other DS alums, and also great to see Jon Stewart come on and say some encouraging (and very true) things to Larry about his accomplishments. Read more... )

2) Because I've been having so much trouble embedding photos from Google photos I'm only going to try the one below, but all the photos (each captioned) can be seen there.

Read more... )

(no subject)

Aug. 21st, 2016 11:22 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] kerrypolka!
oursin: George Beresford photograph of the young Rebecca West in a large hat, overwritten 'Neither a doormat nor a prostitute' (Neither a doormat nor a prostitute)
[personal profile] oursin

Go Hadley! Sure, it’s nice to feel you have a literary alter ego. But the idea that you need to find one to enjoy a piece of art is one I only ever hear in relation to women.

It is as true as it is a truism to say that books written by women about women are generally seen as niche fluff while those written by men about men are big manly literature... As Emily Nussbaum wrote on Bridget’s contemporary, Sex And The City, “while The Sopranos has ascended to TV’s Mt Olympus, the reputation of Sex And The City has shrunk and faded... The assumption that anything stylised (or formulaic, or pleasurable, or funny, or feminine, or explicit about sex rather than about violence, or made collaboratively) must be inferior.” Emphasis on the feminine, I’d argue.

And let's embroider this on our samplers, laydeez:
when I read a novel, I want a story, not a mirror

(Though I think the idea that MENZ don't identify/wymmynz do is complicated by that pervasive supposition that BLOKES won't read GURLEE books/watch meedja that foregrounds female protags but women will. Perhaps the supposition here is that when wymmyn read about wymmyn it is for a mirror and to understand The Real World of Real Stuff they read men?)

I find this piece on writers, shyness and introversion not entirely satisfactory. Partly because it starts out with the writers making copy from their (somewhat assumed) social anguishes, and only then moves to people who write about people different from themselves. I'm also Y O Y no mention of Arnold Bennett?

And on a beloved and enduring work of gurlee-fic: Evie Wyld [Who she?] on I Capture the Castle.

And further on 'there is nothing wrong with cheering people up': this by Steven Isserlis is addressed to composers, but I think has wider resonance:

Don’t think that in order to be profound you have always to be dark and depressing. True, terrible things happen in our world, and the music of our time is likely to reflect that in some way. But terrible things have always happened – as I write this book, in fact. Although these times are undoubtedly scary, much of the world is in better condition than it was a hundred years ago. And nature is still beautiful: sunsets are as stunning as ever, mountains are still awe-inspiring and the sea is still wild. Of course, write as you feel, and try to move beyond mere entertainment (unless that’s all you’re aiming for); but don’t think you are being superficial if your works fail to cast their listeners down into a pit of gloom.

Though not sure 'entertainment' is not a valid end in itself.

(no subject)

Aug. 20th, 2016 11:23 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] gmh and [personal profile] ravurian!


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