pedanther: (Default)
Fiction books
Frances Hodgson Burnett. The Secret Garden (e) (re-read)
Kenneth Grahame, GMW Wemyss, Markham Shaw Pyle. The Annotated Wind in the Willows, for adults and sensible children (or, possibly, children and sensible adults) (e)
Josephine Tey. A Shilling for Candles

In progress
Terry Pratchett. The Fifth Elephant (e) (re-read)

Non-fiction books
Pauline Scudamore. Spike

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Michael Troughton. Patrick Troughton
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Frances Hodgson Burnett. The Lost Prince (e)

In progress
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. I Dare (re-read)
Tamora Pierce The Healing in the Vine (e)
Terry Pratchett. Guards! Guards! (e) (re-read)

Non-fiction books in progress
Simon Singh. Big Bang

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Terry Pratchett. Eric
pedanther: (cheerful)
1. This weekend is the final weekend before the season of short plays opens. Today was the tech rehearsal, where we nailed down the lighting and sound effects. There's something about seeing the play properly lit for the first time that makes it seem real in a way it didn't before.

Or maybe it's just relief; there were times when I wasn't sure the lighting was going to come together. As it was, we ended up throwing out one of my ideas because it just plain wasn't going to work. (Fortunately, it was a bonus subtlety, not a key detail, and I wasn't all that attached to it.)

Actually, during the first run through the lighting cues, there was a second idea that wasn't going to work, so I threw it out too, and we moved on. Then, some time later, after we'd gone on to other things, the lighting guy wandered past and asked a question about it, and then a few minutes later he wandered past again and said, "How about if we...?" And we tried it, and it wasn't what I'd imagined, but it did the job even better than what I'd imagined would have done if it had worked. One of the things I love about working in theatre is the collaborative aspect, especially when it means somebody comes up with a better idea than I did.


2. This week, Mark Oshiro reached a new high-water-mark in unpreparedness at Mark Reads. One of the things that makes it so entertaining when Mark is working his way through a new novel is that not only does he not know what's coming in the sense that he's never read the novel before, but he also doesn't have the kind of mind that retains and assembles clues to predict future plot twists. The plot twists always take him by surprise.

But he's surpassed himself this time. He's currently reading Terry Pratchett's Guards! Guards!, which has a plot revolving around a detective on the trail of a sinister conspiracy led by a shadowy anonymous figure. He didn't pick up on any of the hints that might lead a genre-savvy reader to guess the villain's identity in advance, but that's normal for Mark. He didn't put it together after reading the scene in which the detective figures it out, which is okay because it's not spelled out for the reader in that scene. But then he went on and read the scene in which the detective goes and confronts the villain and he still doesn't know who the villain is.


3. Last week was the local round of the annual Toastmasters speech evaluation contest, which I always enter, even though I never win, because it's valuable practice and a good way to sharpen a useful skill set.

This year I won.


4. Two weeks ago, I finished reading The Lost Prince, one of the lesser-known works by Frances Hodgson Burnett, the author of A Little Princess and The Secret Garden. It was... kind of weird, for a number of reasons, and something of a disappointment after the two novels aforementioned. It hasn't aged well on things like classism and sexism, and I'm not inclined to give it a pass on anything like "of its time" grounds because it was written after The Secret Garden, so we know the author could pass the Bechdel test and write working-class characters as actual human beings if she wanted to. (It should perhaps be noted, to be complete, that some of the upper-class characters in The Lost Prince don't quite convince as real people, either; class essentialism cuts both ways. I was amused and not entirely surprised to subsequently discover that a significant proportion of the Lost Prince fic on AO3 is crackfic in which the Lost Prince's bloodline literally isn't entirely human.)


5. Three weeks ago, I signed up for HabitRPG, which aims to make getting stuff done more interesting by supplying a RPG-themed context: strengthen a good habit or tick off something on your to-do list, and your character gains XP and loot; strengthen a bad habit, and your character loses health points. It probably says something about my habits that most of my loot has been going toward armour and health potions to stave off the effects of my bad habits, but I have been seeing some improvement, and noticing moments when I've gained the necessary willpower get something done or avoid a bad habit by remembering what will happen to fictional-me if I don't. One area where I feel I've made definite improvement is in the area of getting to bed at a reasonable time; even when I fail to get to bed by the self-imposed deadline that would win me loot, it's usually not by much, and I don't do the noodling-around-on-the-internet-until-ridiculous-o'clock thing nearly as often. It's having a knock-on effect on how easily I get out of bed in the morning, too.
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Ben Aaronovitch. Foxglove Summer (e)
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Plan B (re-read)
Tamora Pierce The Fire in the Forging (e)
Terry Pratchett. Pyramids (e) (re-read)

In progress
Frances Hodgson Burnett. The Lost Prince (e)
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. I Dare (re-read)
Terry Pratchett. Guards! Guards! (e) (re-read)

Non-fiction books in progress
Simon Singh. Big Bang

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Tamora Pierce The Healing in the Vine
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Maurice Broaddus. King Maker
Frances Hodgson Burnett. A Little Princess
Kelly Sue DeConnick, et al. Captain Marvel: In Pursuit of Flight
Warren Ellis, et al. Global Frequency
Kathryn Immonen, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Kevin Shinick, et al. Avenging Spider-Man: The Good, the Green and the Ugly
Chip Kidd, Dave Taylor. Batman: Death by Design
Mike Mignola, John Byrne. Hellboy: Seed of Destruction (re-read)
Mike Mignola. Hellboy: Wake the Devil
Mike Mignola. Hellboy: The Chained Coffin and others
Tamora Pierce. Realms of the Gods
Adrian Ramos. Some One to See the Emperor (re-read)
Charles Stross. The Apocalypse Codex
Syd of the Funny Hat. Q de Grace

Non-fiction books in progress
David Fromkin. A Peace to End All Peace

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Tamora Pierce. First Test
pedanther: (cheerful)
1. I once considered doing a blog where I'd post about events from fictions set in the future, on the dates they supposedly occurred. If I'd done it, there would have been a post due last Monday for Marty McFly's visit to the future in Back to the Future part II. If you've noticed it's taken me almost a week to mention this, you've discovered one of the reasons I decided not to go ahead with the blog. [ETA: And if you've noticed that I have no idea when Back to the Future part II is set, and will believe any munchkin with a doctored screencap without checking a reliable source as backup, you've discovered another reason.]


2. I've now read two novels on the Kobo. I'm finding it quite a comfortable reading experience, although I'm still having a bit of trouble with the page-turning. It's a touch-screen device, so instead of there being a Turn Page button, you tap on the screen, and it moves forward a page -- except when it moves forward two pages, or decides you really wanted a dictionary definition of the word nearest where you tapped.

One of the small but satisfying features is a result of the e-ink display, which only uses power when it is being changed. That means that when you switch the device off, the display doesn't have to go blank; displaying an appropriate image uses no more power. If you switch the device off while you're part way through a book, it displays the book's cover.


3. One of the two novels was A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, the author of The Secret Garden. It's got some really nice scenes, mostly those featuring the protagonist's interactions with her various and sometimes-unlikely friends, but I think on the whole I prefer The Secret Garden. The latter book also has really nice scenes featuring a protagonist interacting with various and sometimes-unlikely friends, and in addition it has the exploration of an interesting setting, and an ending that doesn't rely on a huge and improbable coincidence.


4. Mark Reads Tortall is coming to the end of the Immortals Quartet. I had been undecided about whether I would follow on when Mark got to the Tortall novels I've never read before, but since Tamora Pierce is coming to Swancon next year it seems like a good idea to continue. Anyway, it appears I'm already into the novels I've never read before: book four of the Immortals Quartet has been completely unfamiliar apart from the cover illustration, and I've got a strong suspicion I never actually got around to reading it the first time I read the series.

(Mark is also reading Mira Grant's Newsflesh trilogy, and watching Friday Night Lights, The West Wing, Dead Like Me, and Stargate SG-1. He keeps busy.)


5. A confluence of circumstances recently led me to ponder the idea of a crossover between Sherlock and Global Frequency. I came to two conclusions: First, and almost immediately, that Mycroft would not be out of place as one of the shady government figures who cause the messes that the Global Frequency Rescue Organization exists to clean up; and second, that if there is any of the regulars whom I would not be surprised to learn was on the Frequency, it's Molly.

(I'm not sure they'd want Sherlock, despite his talents, and I'm pretty confident he wouldn't want to be part of any hierarchy he wasn't at the top of. John knows how to take orders, but now that he's found his place by Sherlock they've got nothing he wants -- though having put it that way, it's interesting to speculate about what might have happened if they'd found him before Sherlock.)
pedanther: (Default)
Fiction books
Bennett Cerf, Roy McKie. Bennett Cerf's Book of Riddles
Marianne de Pierres. Code Noir
Marianne de Pierres. Crash Deluxe
Marianne de Pierres. Nylon Angel
Phyllis Ann Karr. The Idylls of the Queen
Anthony Price. Our Man in Camelot
Brandon Sanderson. The Way of Kings

In progress
Murray Leinster. The Forgotten Planet

Non-fiction books
Declan Donnellan. The Actor and the Target

In progress
Barbara Sher, Barbara Smith. I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Verlyn Flieger. Interrupted Music: The Making of Tolkien's Mythology

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