Evidence: Adams has been blogging for years, and every so often the pointy-haired boss does a post and there is a big kerfuffle.
Latest example: "Science will someday be able to identify sociopaths and terrorists by their patterns of Facebook and Internet use." Bruce Schneier considers the possibility rationally.
Part of a version of "Anecdotal Evidence" set in an AU where Gregor/Ekaterin works, for avanti_90.
Finch and Reese pick strawberries, for yunitsa.
However, I see no possible way this can work:
"Harder," I said. The noise was sibilant.
...yeah. Not sure if I recommend this book or not!
- Barbara Hambly, Stranger at the Wedding - Reread. This isn't one of my favorites, but Hambly's virtues are so consistent it is almost always a great comfort to read her. I picked it because I've reread it much less often than my favorites.
Many of Hambly's fantasies are about European-inflected worlds undergoing great technological change and attendant social shifts (sometimes it's trains, sometimes it's printing presses, sometimes it's lost access to previous wonders as transportation networks and archives break down). The background attention to the economics of her societies is one of the things that makes them feel so solid. There's also the way her take on the magic of naming seems based in scientific observation (rather than McKillip's poetry or Le Guin's meditation), and characters who are unusual for fantasy. The heroine here is tall, clumsy, arrogant, splendidly dressed, and not secretly beautiful. She returns home because of premonitions that her younger sister will die on her wedding night. The book is an investigation into a mystery and an examination of tensions within the family that cast her out six years ago.
- JoSelle Vanderhooft (ed.), Wiscon Chronicles 7: Shattering Ableist Narratives - The Wiscon Chronicles 5-7 have really felt like they're describing my Wiscon.
- Rachel Manija Brown, A Cup of Smoke: stories and poems - Noted without comment because Rachel is too close a friend for me to be objective.
- Kathryn Immonen & Valerio Schiti, Journey into Mystery Featuring Sif: Stronger than Monsters - After Kieron Gillen's Kid Loki run, Marvel relaunched Journey into Mystery with a focus on Sif, who is Thor's wife in Norse mythology and a great warrior and Thor's sometime girlfriend in the Marvel version. Asgard has recently fallen and been besieged, and Sif is determined to become better able to protect it. The means that she chooses carry an unexpected price, and make her dangerous to her friends as well as her enemies.
This suffers from coming after the Gillen run, because it's well-done but not brilliant. The change in characters, focus, and tone do help diminish the comparison. (Although Immonen keeps some of Gillen's supporting cast, particularly Volstagg's family.) This arc makes a pretty good fantasy adventure, except that the last issue wraps the storyline up too quickly and in a slightly confusing way.
The series is being canceled soon, which is sad; I like it so much better than others that appear to be going strong.
The art is nice and nicely nonobjectifying -- Sif stands like a warrior, not a pin-up, and there are no panels oh-so-carefully arranged to show off her ass.
Well, mostly nicely nonobjectifying. The supporting cast are all in medievalish clothing, with both women and men clothed for the Norse winter. Sif, however, is walking around in fur-lined shorts. Her shirt actually covers her entire torso, though! (Oh, superhero comics.) And she does not wear ridiculous metal boob armor.
I am so frustrated Marvel can't manage an art team like this for Captain Marvel. I have to admit to wishing that Schiti and Matteo Scalera would be switched over to Captain Marvel after Journey into Mystery ends.
What I'm reading
Skipping around a lot. Kevin Young's The Grey Album is my morning commute book, but I haven't settled on an evening read, which needs to be less thinky and probably fiction. Tried Karen Lord's The Best of All Possible Worlds, but I'm not in the right mood for it.
What I've acquired
- Heather Gladney, Bloodstorm - The sequel to Teot's War, which I ordered before I realized I didn't like the first book that much
- Annemarie Schwartzenbach, All the Roads Are Open: The Afghan Journey - Translated by an old friend.
I am now back up to four books I have acquired this year but not yet read. But I will read them! I will read them before I get Ancient, Ancient! I am determined to stick to my arbitrary but comforting book rules. Also, they have greatly slowed my TBR shelves' conquest of my living space.
by SB Sarah
The Beach House (and there are, like, eight books with that title) by Georgia Bockoven, is $1.99 right now. Some reviewers loved the easy writing style and the starting over storyline, but others felt it was too light and forgettable. It was originally published in 1997.
Georgia Bockoven aims straight for the heart in a tale as timeless as waves beating against the shore. The beach house is a peaceful summer heaven, a place to escape mundane troubles.
Here, four families find their feelings intensified and their lives transformed. With equal measures of heartbreak and happiness, this unforgettable story tells of the beauty of life and the power of love, and speaks to every woman who has ever clung to a child or loved a man.
When thirty-year-old Julia, mourning the death of her husband, decides to sell the Santa Cruz beach house they owned together, she changes the lives of all the families who rent it year after year. Teenaged Chris discovers the bittersweet joy of first love.
Maggie and Joe, married sixty-five years, courageously face a separation that even their devotion cannot prevent. The married woman Peter yearns for suddenly comes within his reach. And Julia ultimately finds the strength to rebuild her life--something she once thought impossible.
Desperate times call for desperate measures...
When Tyler Garahan said he'd do anything to save his family's ranch, he never thought that would include taking a job as a stripper at a local ladies' club. But the club's fiery redheaded bookkeeper captures Tyler's attention, and for her, he'll swallow his pride.
And one good turn deserves another...
Emily Langley feels for the gorgeous cowboy. It's obvious that he's the real deal and wouldn't be caught dead in a ladies' revue if he wasn't in big trouble. And when he looks at her like that, she'll do anything to help.
Working days on the ranch and nights at the ladies' club, Tyler is plumb exhausted. But could it be that his beautiful boss needs him just as much as he needs her.
Love Drunk Cowboy is $2.99 digitally. This is book 1 in Carolyn Brown's Spikes and Spurs series. Many readers I've talked to at RT love Brown's books, but I can't get into them.
She's a self-made city girl...
High-powered career woman Austin Lanier suddenly finds herself saddled with an inherited watermelon farm deep in the countryside. She's determined to sell the farm, until her new, drop-dead sexy neighbor Rye O'Donnell shows up...
He's as intoxicating as can be...
Rancher Rye O'Donnell thinks he's going to get a good deal on his dream property—until he meets the fiery new owner. Rye is knocked sideways when he realizes that not only is Granny Lanier's city-slicker granddaughter a savvy businesswoman, she's also sexy as hell...
Suddenly Rye is a whole lot less interested in real estate and a whole lot more focused on getting Austin to set aside her stiletto heels...
Emily's Reasons Why Not is $1.99, or .99 if you're Amazon. This is a novel that's best described as 'chick lit' though I wish there were a better term for 'contemporary fiction, female protagonist, romance secondary.' Anyway, it has mixed reviews: some folks loved it, others found the tense changes confusing and the heroine whiny.
Though her (biological) clock is furiously ticking away, entertainment publicity pro extraordinaire Emily Sanders didn't hear the starting bell. Hitting thirty and watching her best friends settle down, she too wants to have the life that once upon a time ... wished upon a star ... she dreamed she'd have: the house, the kids, the perfect man.
But in L.A., where image is everything, "where every beauty pageant winner is an eight in a sea of nines all wishing they were Julia Roberts," finding true love isn't easy. Especially when boyfriend material includes a beautiful young surfer god, an aging music executive, the boss's boss's boss, and a baseball player with two cell phones (one of which Emily doesn't have the number to).
With her confidence heading due south like everything else on her body, Emily turns to a smart, sharp-eyed psychotherapist who helps her get past the "flutter, flutter," her old time-tested method for picking the wrong guy. Soon she finds herself able to spot "the reasons," the previously invisible flags of a destined-to-fail relationship, and narrow her focus to stop looking for Mr. Right and learn how to start looking out for Mr. Wrong.
Emily's Reasons Why Not is for everyone who has ever wasted her time chasing down the wrong guy for the right reasons, wondering "why" and "when is it going to happen for me?" With the edge of an insider, but the heart of a dreamer, the disarming and unflappable Emily meshes her views on the entertainment industry she works in, the men she's dated, the therapy sessions she mulled over, and "the one" she knows is out there for every woman ... including herself.
by SB Sarah
Title: The Anatomist's Wife
Publication Info: Berkley 2012
Scotland, 1830. Following the death of her husband, Lady Darby has taken refuge at her sister's estate, finding solace in her passion for painting. But when her hosts throw a house party for the cream of London society, Kiera is unable to hide from the ire of those who believe her to be as unnatural as her husband, an anatomist who used her artistic talents to suit his own macabre purposes.
Kiera wants to put her past aside, but when one of the house guests is murdered, her brother-in-law asks her to utilize her knowledge of human anatomy to aid the insufferable Sebastian Gage--a fellow guest with some experience as an inquiry agent. While Gage is clearly more competent than she first assumed, Kiera isn't about to let her guard down as accusations and rumors swirl.
When Kiera and Gage's search leads them to even more gruesome discoveries, a series of disturbing notes urges Lady Darby to give up the inquiry. But Kiera is determined to both protect her family and prove her innocence, even as she risks becoming the next victim...
And here is LJ's review:
Ugh, I hate writing this review, because I so wanted to like this book and it started with such promise.
Huber opens the novel straight into a grisly murder at a Scottish castle. She deftly introduces all of the main characters and demonstrates their relationships well within the first few chapters. She starts the story at a breakneck pace, describing the setting and mood through Keira’s eyes in a tense, claustrophobic way.
“The clatter of our footfalls echoed off the old stone, the only sound other than the creak of the swinging lantern. The silence unsettled me, but I somehow felt speaking would only make it worse. As if making conversation somehow demeaned the seriousness of our undertaking.”
To add interest further to the story, Huber draws on the fact that Keira is an artist and, thus, sees things differently to the way other people see them. Her observational skills and eye for detail are used in interesting ways to propel the story forward.
“But I didn’t think like a surgeon. I though like an artist. I saw everything as it was – the contours, the colors, the rhythm – not how it should be. My mind did not try to correct an image but capture it.”
The relationship that slowly develops between Keira and Mr. Gage is really well done; it seems natural and the characters react to the relationship itself in a believable manner. I really did enjoy this aspect of the novel. Spoiler alert for those planning to read this: there is no sex in this book! It’s the first in a series and I’m pretty sure Keira and Gage’s relationship is going to grow through the next few books.
Unfortunately, the solution to the murder mystery feels sloppy, like Huber got halfway through the book and ran out of ideas. I could tell who the murderer was approximately two-thirds of the way through, and it was frustrating that these characters who were supposed to be “so smart” and so “attentive to detail” were ignoring what was right in front of them.
In addition to this, the characters all seem to have a real penchant for drama which simply became ridiculous very quickly.
“Philip rose from his chair and came around to kneel before her. He gripped her hands and leaned forward to peer up into her eyes.”
This is a very public display of affection between Keira’s sister and her brother-in-law, which happens in a room in front of three other people, one of whom is a complete stranger. While it’s nice to see characters with genuine affection for each other, all I could think of was “Why is he kneeling? And why does the book act like this isn’t completely weird? How many people kneel in front of their spouses to talk to them?”
It’s not the only time in the book that people kneel in front of other people to reassure them/make a point/say something important, and it really started to drive me crazy. As did the extremely inappropriate public displays of affection that struck me as completely unsuitable for the time period.
“I rounded his desk to kneel by his chair. ‘She will be all right,’ I murmured as I grabbed hold of his hand.”
This particular example is the main character with her brother-in-law and happens in front of Mr. Gage, a person who is, at that time, almost a complete stranger. WEIRD!!
“Phillip took her face between his hands and stroked her cheekbones with his thumbs.”
Ugh! INAPPROPRIATE!! (In front of their in-laws and a few of their society houseguests?)
I’m also the type of person who is annoyed by accents when they’re written out in a book; and this book does it particularly badly.
Here is “French:”
“’Mmm…zee day before zee last day.’ ‘Two days ago?’ ‘Mmm…oui.’ She nodded.”
There’s the stock standard “Scottish character whose accent grows stronger whenever they are experiencing emotion of any description at all”
“If we’re gonna be trapped here for four days or more with all o’ these guests, and likely our murderer, I’d like to make every effort to catch him in case there’s a chance he intends to strike again.”
As well as all of this, Keira’s dark past, although interesting at first, is paraded past the reader constantly. It’s almost like Huber thinks that her readers are so stupid we can’t remember that the main character has issues, although these are mentioned almost every second page.
All-in-all, this book only gets a C grade from me. It was fluffy and had promise initially but all things considered, I’m not going to read the second book in this series because too many elements of this one annoyed me too much.
A woman who has lived in the United States for 30 years and now hopes to become a naturalized citizen has run into a road block: her lack of religion.
Margaret Doughty, 65, of Palacios, Texas applied to become a citizen of the United States, but on her application she did not agree to bear arms in defense of the United States because she was morally opposed to killing. Naturalization applicants are required to swear such an an oath, but conscientious objectors can obtain an exemption...
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Houston responded to Doughty’s conscientious objector claim by asking her to provide an “official church stationery” showing she was “a member in good standing” of a church that opposed the bearing of arms. She has until Friday to provide such evidence of her church membership.
Two prominent atheist groups... have sent letters on behalf of Doughty. The letters warned the USCIS office in Houston that it would face legal action if it refused to acknowledge Doughty as a conscientious objector because she was not a member of a church.
Source: Immigration office tells atheist applicant to prove church membership
See also: Metafilter thread
Note to self: on FedEx days, the connecting door stays closed.