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Showing posts from October, 2012

Top Ten Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines

This week's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish . Top Ten Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines (aka The Usual Suspects) 1. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games 2. Hermione Granger from Harry Potter 3. Katsa from Graceling 4. Beatrice Prior from Divergent 5. Jo March from Little Women 6. Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables 7. Art3mis from Ready Player One 8. Polgara from Polgara the Sorceress , the Belgariad , and the Malloreon 9. September from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making 10. Meg Murry from A Wrinkle in Time

Art or Forgery?

40. The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro What is a forgery? Where does the fault line between artwork and forgery lie? Or, as Claire Roth, the protagonist of B.A. Shapiro’s elegantly layered new novel The Art Forger might say, the craquelure . In 1990, thirteen paintings were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. The museum has offered a $5 million reward, but none of the paintings have ever been found. This much is true, the rest is Shapiro's fiction. The Art Forger opens in 2011, at the South End studio of young Boston artist Claire Roth, who makes her living as a painter of high-quality reproductions. Dubbed “the Great Pretender,” by her peers, Claire has more than a little to prove when she is asked to make a copy of a Degas painting in exchange for a one-woman show at a prestigious gallery. When the painting she is to copy arrives, she recognizes it immediately as one from the Gardner. While the moral dilemma is a problem for Claire, there’s a greater se

Top Ten Books to Get in the Halloween Spirit

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by the Broke and the Bookish . There was a similar post last October, so it's more of a challenge to think of some new ones! 1. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente The main character, September, loves fall and pumpkins and her favorite color is orange. There's a memorable autumnal feast and several weird, wacky characters. 2. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak Max's costume brings him to a land of wild beasts... 3. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis The scene where the Witch captures Aslan with all of the various ghouls and evil people helping her feels very Halloween-ish to me. 4. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley The main characters are all mystical and use all sorts of disguises, and memorable events take place on Samhain, the Celtic originator of Halloween. 5. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux A man in a mask is the central

This Case Is Gonna Kill Me

39. This Case Is Gonna Kill Me by Phillipa Bornikova I received this for review from Tor paperbacks and read it recently in one feverish night. While legal dramas are not really my cup of tea, this one has a most intriguing premise-imagine a world ruled by Vampires, Werewolves, and Alfar (Elves). Linnet Ellery is a human raised in a vampire household who scores a job at a top law firm. Of course, only men can be partners since only men can become vampires, but it's a big break for a human woman. However, when her boss is killed and it's looking like she could be next... Yeah, it's that kind of story. But the world is fantastic-I'm dying to know more about it and the little snippets that Linnet gives are absolutely worth the mediocre plot and (at times) stunningly banal language. Bornikova has a wicked imagination, I just wish she knew how to package it better. On the Acknowledgments page, Bornikova thanks Ian Tregellis for "many great ideas about the world

Hilary Mantel Wins Second Man Booker Prize!

I must admit, I'm not surprised that Mantel won again-I think she's incomparably brilliant (though yes I'm biased toward the subject matter) and clearly the heavyweight among the shortlisted authors. Only Eng had even been in the running before, and Will Self's Umbrella isn't even available in the US yet ! Still, I am so so excited and need to finish Bring Up the Bodies as soon as I possibly can, after I get out from under this pile of graduate reading... And, combining my two favorite artistic genres: Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies are going to be stage plays AND a BBC costume drama! Get me to London, quick!

Top Ten Favorite Authors in X Genre

"Top Ten Favorite Authors In X Genre (Ex- Top Ten Favorite Science Fiction Authors, Top Ten Fave Contemporary YA authors)" is this week's topic for Top Ten Tuesdaus hosted by the Broke and the Bookish . Top Seven Favorite Science Fiction Authors 1. Frank Herbert 2. Ursula K. Le Guin 3. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. 4. Margaret Atwood 5. Octavia Butler 6. Douglas Adams 7. Robert A. Heinlein Top Three Favorite Biographers 1. Antonia Fraser 2. Alison Weir 3. Charles J. Shields

Mini Reviews

I've kept up with my reading, but not with my reviews. Only so much leisure time in this busy grad student's life. After these mini-reviews, I may stop posting reviews for every book I read and instead post reflections on literary happenings and movements, responses to other reviewers and bloggers etc. *These posts are assignments for a journalism class that I'm taking, which are first and foremost for class and will be posted on the blog only after being used for class purposes.* 33. Demon Lord of Karanda by David Eddings I finally read the third book in David Eddings' genre fantasy cycle The Malloreon , which follow some of the same characters in the same fantasy world from the earlier series The Belgariad . These books feel a lot darker, which is perhaps appropriate as the characters explore the realm of Mallorea, formerly the dominion of evil god Torak and discover that the "bad guys" are just as complex and fractured as the "good guys."

Used Book Sale

Ever since I moved here, I've been overwhelmed with events; academic, artistic, community, personal. But when I saw there was a used book sale this weekend, I couldn't resist. And when I saw that it was $1 for a paperback and $2 for a hardback, well... Some of these are old favorites that I didn't actually own, like Certain Women by Madeleine L'Engle, Gloriana's Torch by Patricia Finney, and The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares. Others are from known and beloved authors such as Philippa Gregory and Alexander Pushkin. Similarly, the Allende and the Erdrich are sequels to books that I've already read. I saw the Barbara Pym book and thought I'd try it out, since I know Boston Bibliophile is a fan. The MLA Handbook I thought might come in handy; A Passage to India is a classic I've wanted to read for a while. A Traveler in Time , however, is my big gamble. I've heard neither of the book nor the author, but the title and cover

Top Ten Most Unfortunate Character Names

This week's TTT over at the Broke and the Bookish is "Top Ten Tuesday REWIND (pick a past topic that we've done that you missed or just want round 2 of!)" so I chose "Top Ten Most Unfortunate Character Names." 1. Lee Fiora from Prep If only it were Leigh, or even better, Leia. But no. Lee Fiora's name is bland, short, and implicitly incorrectly gendered. No wonder she's unhappy. 2. Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye Seriously, what kind of a name is Holden? No wonder he hates his parents. 3. Blue Van Meer from Special Topics in Calamity Physics There's a cool reason for this and all (her mom could only catch blue butterflies), but it's not worth the color jokes. 4. Amber Brown from Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon Also a major issue in these books. Don't name your kid after a color. Period. But especially with a last name like Brown. 5. Dobby, Winky, and Kreacher from Harry Potter Now, I love Dobby with all my heart

Top Ten Older Books You Don't Want People To Forget About

This week's TTT at the Broke and the Bookish is "Top Ten "Older" Books You Don't Want People To Forget About (you can define older however you wish. Basically just backlisted books you think are great. Basically the point is to share books that could be forgotten about in the midst of all the new releases)." I feel like I've been overwhelmed with new releases lately. I make a point of keeping up with them and my TBR list is filled with them. But it's also nice to lean back, take a break, and recall all the great books I've already read. I'm going to try to list older books that are lesser known, not classics that have already stood the test of centuries. 1. The Seventh Princess by Nick Sullivan I read this in third grade and I've never forgotten it. It's about a girl who falls asleep on a school bus and wakes up as a princess-in a kingdom that's had its share of princesses. 2. The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak It's