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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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books, books, books
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Recently, due to aforementioned sulking, I've been reading.

The Shadow Queen by Anne Bishop, latest of the Black Jewels novels. Possibly, this is the least sexually violent of the books so far--I know! Weird!--and it's possibly my favorite (for totally non-related reasons, though I will admit a refreshing lack of flinching). The novel follows two separate plotlines; one about Cassidy, a Rose-jeweled queen who goes to Terreille to become a territory queen at the request of the descendants of the Gray Lady, as their Territory is a mess, and the second following Daemon and Saetan's continuing traumatic flashbacks. Okay, I love Saetan and Daemon and everything, but seriously, the Cassidy stuff is fantastic and I could have lived without the other, but of all the Jewel novels, I'm going to say this one is my favorite. Cassidy is awesome.



I'm still thinking on how to review it, because Cassidy's experience as queen is new and different in the stories--a good queen with a First Circle that doesn't trust her, isn't sure they like her, and doesn't respect her entirely due to her power being not so strong, being Rose. But as a view of how a Queen is a Queen no matter what, and a good Queen gets shit done even when they can't command the power of the Black, it's unbelievably good. And Cassidy seriously kicks ass. For those who didn't really like Jaenelle becuase she felt Mary Sue (my continuing argument is, the point of Jaenelle was a.) to be a Mary Sue because otherwise, she has no point in exisitng and b.) the problems inherent in being a Mary Sue and why being a Mary Sue sucks, I could seriously meta that shit forever, because it is freaking awesome), Cassidy is a really interesting look at Queens who are good, not all-powerful, and raised in Protocol and Blood tradition.

Theran is annoying, but I'm hoping for more development of Cassidy's First Circle, Shira, a Black Widow and Healer, and Gray, who is--odd, along with Territory politics with the Shaladar. The next book is due out in March, and I'm seriously looking forward to it. Like, more than I looked forward to Tangled Webs and that's saying something. Cassidy is in fact that awesome.



House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street by William Cohan, which is self-explanatory on what it is about. I'm not done yet, and I do not even pretend to know how accurate it is so far, but I picked this one up because Fortune had an excerpt a while back and I really loved reading it.



Layman Readability: it was compared to Vanity Fair in terms of readability, and I'll concur, but I'd suggest (suggest!) picking up a basic primer on Wall Street or at least have google ready. I already read Standard and Poole's Guide to Money and Investing to entertain myself back in January, so most of the terminology is familiar to me from there, but I'm pretty sure you could get by with an online dictionary or Investopedia or something along those lines to double check some of the terminology if you arent' familiar with it. Also, you'd be surprised how many definitions there are for the concept of "mark to market" depending on whether someone is pro, neutral, or con on the subject.

Besides that--very readable, very, very interesting, and, at least to me, goes to a lot of trouble to be clear on what is going on and how it is happening. More when I'm finished, but so far, I find this much fun.



I have not yet read every Georgette Heyer Regency out there, but I am trying. So far:

Cotillion, Grand Sophy, The Nonesuch, The Corinthian, The Convenient Marriage, Frederica, False Colours, The Reluctant Widow. *grimly* I am trying. I will say, Cotillion and The Grand Sophy are my favorite, and I seriously loathed The Convenient Marriage like whoa. Really a lot. Like, DIAF to everyone. They were that annoying. Except oddly, the heroine's reprobate brother. He's kind of dim and sweet. I LIKE THE DIM, SWEET IDIOT WHO GAMBLES TOO MUCH. I mean, that's not a good sign.

Still in progress:

Antony and Cleopatra: A Novel by Colleen McCullough. I sort of need to be in a melodramatic mood to read the Masters of Rome series. Mostly because it just gets. More. Crazy. With. Every. Book. And people? I've been reading this series since I was fifteen years old. I have been reading this series over half my life. I also need to replace my paperback version of The First Man in Rome because it is now in several parts. In the inside cover is my name and the date I bought it. I treasure that.

...actually, I need to replace most of them, come to think. My mother borrowed these nad well, yeah.

Earth's Magic by Pamela Service, the YA King Arthur in the Post-Apocalyptic Future novels. Actually, in progress is it's prequel, Yesterday's Magic. There was this--thing. Wiht my bed and timespace.

A Short History of the Jewish People by Raymond P. Scheindlin. This one got lost for a while. it's a long and terrible story involving my bed and a strange series of events. (And timespace.)

Not Read Yet, Still Bracing Self:

Unmasked: An Erotic Tale of the Phantom of the Opera (I hate myself)
Master: An Erotic Novel of the Count of Monte Cristo (Don't judge me.)
House of Leaves (Like, I keep scaring myself with this one. IDEK.)
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War (This is part of the terrible story involving my bed and a strange series of events. Possibly there is a timespace disturbance underneath? IDK.)

There is also a small pile of read Jane Austen sequels that make me hate myself, but I feel I should review them to warn people away. Some people have drugs. I have Jane Austen sequels as my kryptonite. Even when they are bad. Very, very bad.

Re: Masters of Rome—crazier with every book, really? I don't know, I feel like the Sulla books were crazier than the Caesar ones, regardless of McCullough's obvious Caesar fangirlism and of Caesar's admittedly more impressive (and dramatic) accomplishments.

Master: An Erotic Novel of the Count of Monte Cristo Oh my God. I...I don't know if I really, really want that or if I just want to stare at it in horror.

Oh man, Sulla was special wasn't he? The October Horse was the most surreal for me, though admittedly Sulla's crazy was like, really crazy. Octavius just was--IDK. I didn't really like anyone except Caesar and when he was dead, it just got bizarre. Though I still love the books like whoa.

I am totes a Caesar fangirl, though. *grins*

*stares at Master* Yeah. I know. I keep--looking at it, and then running away. But it mocks me from my bookshelf. LOUDLY.

Man, House of Leaves is my favorite book in the ENTIRE WORLD - that said, yeah, it definitely creeped me out in parts. Like, I could have my feet on the floor creeped out >__>

I read in five page increments. It is way too easy to freak me out.

You must read Devil's Cub! And These Old Shades, which Devil's Cub is actually a sequel to, but Devil's Cub is my very favorite Heyer. Even more than The Grand Sophy. Mary is just so practical and Leonie remains adorable.

Ooh. *adds for next month's amazon delivery* thank you!

I have totally lost track of the Black Jewels books. As in, I read the original trilogy and then one other and... *hands* (Also I think I lost one of the trilogy in the Great Move. DAMMIT.)

YOU WILL LOVE THIS ONE. CASSIDY KICKS ASS. And Daemon makes out wiht her boyfriend TRUFAX. And apparently makes out with lots of guys in the past.

Jaenelle has to be a slasher by now. Srsly.

So have you ever read that book I left with you? The Atrocity Archives? ;-)

Yeah, the Black Jewels were fun and interesting, I may pick this one up now to add to the Bookcase To Be Read Later.

In progress. Interrupted due ot pneumonia. *g*

Heyer must've loved the Duke of Avon series like whoa, because it's actually a 4-book cycle. In order, those are: The Black Moth, These Old Shades, Devils' Cub, and An Infamous Army.

In The Black Moth, the characters have different names, but it's clear from These Old Shades that it's the beginning of the same story.

An Infamous Army is particularly interesting, for a couple of reasons. One, it's actually a sequel to another Heyer, "Regency Buck," as well as to the Avon series, so it's like a canon crossover. Two, the events take place against the backdrop of the Battle of Waterloo, with the characters from the Avon series and Regency Buck playing important roles militarily and socially.

Other recs: "Friday's Child," a very frothy Regency which is laugh-out-loud funny; and "The Conqueror," (one of Heyer's beloved "armors") about William the Bastard.

Re: More Heyer recs

Ooh, marking down now.

Unobtrusively nominating The Foundling for your Heyer pile: I'm off to re-read it now.

I'm about the same point with House of Leaves: I keep picking it up and then choosing another instead.

This. Verily. I have no idea how it happens!

I found that, at least for me, House of Leaves was an easier and more interesting read if I re-parsed it as an art installation in the form of a book. Mind you, this does not change that it scared the crap out of me the first time through, like I-am-going-to-sleep-with-the-lights-on-tonight-okay kind of scared.

I LOVE World War Z. It's a very intelligent and realistic zombie story, and I think the format gives the story a lot more impact and chill than a straight narrative would have had. There's a great deal that one is left to imagine, and that makes it so much more horrifying than having the horror detailed.

I'm doomed to lseep with lights forever though. I keep going to SCP Foundation and freaking myself out.

House of Leaves actually changed how I looked at rooms? Like, at one point when I was reading it, I thought, "I wonder what my house does when I'm not in it." And then I got really nervous for a really long time. *grins*

World War Z was almost as much fun. I have this terrible zombie phobia/fascination and WWZ fed into it completely - and yet I recommend it all the time. It's awesome.

I read the Black Jewels trilogy for the first time last year and spent the first book and a half getting ready to be pissed off at Bishop - she was skirting the line all the time between something I could read and something that would make me toss the book across the room? But I might pick up some of these other books - sounds like Cassidy is my kind of character. ;-)

Plus, uh. I might. Kind of love Saetan. I could probably read about his ~trauma for a couple thousand more pages, no problem. *G*

Like, at one point when I was reading it, I thought, "I wonder what my house does when I'm not in it." And then I got really nervous for a really long time. *grins*

...I would not do well with this. *thoughtful*

But I might pick up some of these other books - sounds like Cassidy is my kind of character. ;-)

No sexual torture! No rings of obedience! It's kind of exciting. Though per usual, someone has to die for being sexually predatory, but you know, you can see that coming, nad it's surprisingly less gruesome than expected.

Cassidy is awesome. I love her.

Plus, uh. I might. Kind of love Saetan. I could probably read about his ~trauma for a couple thousand more pages, no problem. *G*

I shamelessly ship Saetan and Silvia. GO BACK TO SILVIA. SHE MISSES YOU.

*sad* Even Daemon making out with Cassidy's boyfriend does not help me there.

Oh, man, Masters of Rome. I do an epic re-read every few years or so; I read The First Man in Rome and The Grass Crown this summer. I'd forgotten how completely INSANE the plots get after a while. Practically all the male protagonists go CRAAAAAZYCAKES at some point or other: Marius, Sulla, Drusus... I could go on and on. I found it oddly endearing that McCullough's so clearly a fan of Caesar's, though. Nary a flaw, and every response to his measures is always presented as reactionary and self-fulfilling prophecies.

Re: Georgette Heyer: Cotillion and The Grand Sophy are my favourites as well, closely followed by The Devil's Cub.

SRSLY. CAESAR CAN DO NO WRONG!

Actually, Drusus was okay by the end--he converted from reactionary to revolutionary, which was actually pretty bizarre to watch. From WILL LOCK SISTER UP IN AIRLESS ROOM FOREVER to WHEE SHE HAD A BASTARD BY A FORMER SLAVE. You just--kind of have to blink, y'know?

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Winter of Magic's Return, Yesterday's Magic, Tomorrow's Magic, nad Earth's Magic, which just came out. *happy*

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I too own a copy of House of Leaves which I haven't read yet - actually flicked through it the other day and my jaw dropped open at the script format that exists within the book.

I need time and a clear mind to start reading that book, really.

eta: Skimming the comments above, I realise I start reading House of Leaves & I may never sleep again *g* Also, on a separate note, have your read Heyer's The Corinthian? It may actually be my favourite of hers, not just for the for the cross-dressing.

Edited at 2009-09-23 05:48 pm (UTC)

I read the Corinthian, an yes, that one is hugely fun.

Yeah, House of Leaves makes me afraid.

The Talisman Ring is fun, too, with both a 'romantic' and a 'sensible' heroine.

Re: Another Heyer rec

Ooh. *makrs down* Thanks!

World War Z is awesome, awesome, awesome. I cannot recommend that book enough. Although it still irks me that the book's format makes it perfect for an audiobook, and the audiobook they made is abridged. :(

House of Leaves is amazing and frightening.

And Unmasqued is. Um. I've read it. I got it, and my roommate read it first while laughing the entire time. It's, um. It's quick and actually parts of it were kind of enjoyable? Yeah, I hate myself, too. I can't really judge any of your reading habits.

No, I take it back, I'm totally judging your reading of the Jane Austen sequels. FLEE FROM THOSE. There is no such thing as a really good P&P sequel. Trust me, I did my undergrad thesis on them, and most of them made me want to gouge my own eyes out.

Granted, in the two years since then, maybe some new ones came out and are actually good? I think I'm over the trauma enough to try one someone says is actually good. Which ones are you trying?