23 December 2009

Random Fun, And The GTTBRPU200 Effort Continues

So, my darling laptop Sapphire has been through a bad break up. Two weeks ago she split with my home wireless internet - which, really, I have to say I understand. He was lazy, slow, and really just couldn't bring what was required.

Today, I took Sapphire to work and introduced her to real wireless internet. He was smooth, he was fast, and he gave her everything she needed.

(Updated anti-virus software, in case you wondered. I mean, I know your minds wouldn't wander off in unsavoury directions, so this clarification is, I know, totally unncessary. But still.)

And now, she's back to being her perky self, and she's feeling so good she's even agree (somewhat cautiously) to just sometimes, only-if-we're-never-alone-and-don't-think-this-means-I-changed-my-mind-okay, try being friends with my home wireless.

Good girl. *applauds*

So, on to today, and more random miscellania in keeping with the spirit of how I feel two days before Christmas with a head cold in the middle of summer. o.O

First up, some very exciting news: the wonderful Merc's most wonderful story Hero's Choice is out! It's a serial, so you'll have to check back in each Monday to read it, but I promise you, it's worth it. I read this story when it was only a baby, and let me tell you, it's every bit as good looking as an adult ;)

In this week's installment:

On a cold and starry night, Dark Lord Mrakota finds the Chosen One prophesied to kill him. Being unconventional, Mrakota adopts the boy and names him Hero. This does not go over so well with the Guild of Old Mentors or the rangers...

Click! Link! Here!

Secondly, stories of my own. Work on anything writerly has stalled out in the last week due to insane Christmas busyness, but we leave for holidays tomorrow and Sapphire is Coming With Me. As are a whole swag of books. Huzzah :D Huzzah also for a week of nothing-to-do-except-occasionally-be-sociable-with-the-in-laws, and therefore a chance to recoup brain power so that things like writing can actually occur.

So, in lieu of actual progress, I updated my WIPs page for you all O:) There's now a blurb there for The Hunter Hunted, aka "That tiger novelette I finished the other week and squeed about". Yay :) (Yes, you have to scroll down. What is this, Lazyville?)

Finally, the GTTBRPU200 loving continues. Today I bring you three books, bringing my total books read in the challenge so far to 11, and the books remaining to 219. ... And I'm getting a couple more for Christmas. Ouch.

... I should quit blogging and go read, shouldn't I? Ahem. Well. About those three books...

GTTBRPU200 #9: No Small Thing by Natalie Ghent

This is one of those awesomely quiet books that, when you read it, you think are 'nice': a good read, a satisfactory story and conclusion, but nothing... sparkling. And yet, somehow the
impact of the book doesn't quite mesh with that initial impression. Another book that did this to me was The Thirteenth Tale; it's quiet and unassuming, with (objectively) nothing to really keep you intrigued - and yet, somehow, it does, and you remember it for the rest of your life.

No Small Thing is like that. It is, essentially, a book about a boy from a struggling single-parent story who sees an ad in the paper: Pony, free to good home. They used to have ponies, back when Dad was around, but Queenie, his younger sister, was too little then to remember. And she wants a pony more than anything. And he wants one too.

This quiet story follows (MC) through a year of his life, showing the effects that one small act - responding to the ad, bringing home the pony - has on both his life and the lives of his family. It reminded me of the way that sometimes, even when everything else in life is rubbish, all that's needed is for one thing to go right, and that's enough. It's a beautiful story about a boy and a horse, set against the backdrop of a broken and real family that somehow connected with me deeply, and left me satisfied after what was superficially a quick, light read.

GTTBRPU200 #10: Heidi by Johanna Spyri

So, there's this whole pile - well, half a shelf full - of childrens classics that somewhere had on sale once for like $5 each in matching hardcovers. For those of you lucky enough to be Bibliophiles living anywhere OTHER than Australia, let me point out here that your standard MG/YA mass market paperback (MMP) is $15-$20, and hardcover anywhere from $20-$50 bucks. Adult book prices are similar for hardcover, and MMPs retail for $19-$25. Whole set of matching hardbacks for $5 each? Yes please!

That was like a year ago, and now, watch me finally sit down to read them. *grin*

Anyway, Heidi. Cute story, very quick read that reads exactly like a classic should: lovely simple yet stately language, 'perfect' storyline where everything turns out exactly as it should, and characters right out of a fable. *pats the story fondly* If you like fables and classics, this one should be on your to read list :)

GTTBRPU200 #11: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I picked this one up cheap at the uni bookstore one day because someone (I think Angela?) mentioned on their blog that it had been influential to their own writing - so I was naturally curious. Curiosity = rewarded. This is an AWESOME little book (v. quick read, only took me 30 mins) that is fully illustrated by the author and just makes me go *shine*. This is one I'll definitely be reading and rereading.

Told from the POV of a man (or woman? I don't think it's ever explicitly stated. Given the time period, we assume male, but, you know.) stranded in the desert after his plane breaks down, it details his encounters with the little prince, who is a traveller from another planet - a very tiny planet that he alone inhabits. On the face of it it's such a simple tale; and it's pretty enough to be enjoyed as such. But this is a perfect example of 'literature', IMO: not only can it be enjoyed on the brain candy level, it's also packed full of allusion and meaning, and philosophical musings on the nature of the human condition. I'm positive I didn't pick everything up on the first read through; like I said, this is a book to reread.

So there you have it: this week's booklog :) I have a 5 hour car trip coming up tomorrow and the next day, so hopefully by next week I'll have a bunch more books to review for you :)

In the meantime, thanks for reading my meanderings, and I hope you all have a fantastic holiday. See you next Monday!


Krispy said...

I love the Little Prince! So classic and so good! I even bought a copy in Taiwan even though it was completely in Chinese, which I can read like 3 characters of. Mostly, it had beautiful watercolor illustrations, and I couldn't resist. :)

Yay for making progress on your TBR pile! You reminded me that I wanted to read Thirteenth Tale, and now I'm curious about No Small Thing. :)

Merry Christmas!

Merc said...

Thanks for the plug for HC, Inky One! :D *beams*

And good work chipping away at the TBRPOD (TBR + Pile of Doom = easier for me to remember how to type than GTTBRPU200 :P).

More books are always good, even if it does set things back. O:)

Merry Christmas! :D

Inkblot said...

Krispy - Lol at your Chinese version of TLP :D I can so understand buying it for the pictures though, hehe. And yes, definitely read 13th Tale! :) (And No Small Thing).

Merc - No problemo! I adores HC B-) TBRPOD works for me. It's pronouncable! :D

And really, I can't think of ANY circumstance that can't be improved by books O:)

Lying in the bath? Read a book. Long car trip? Read a book. Need to know how to assemble a tricky piece of furniture. Read a book! Attacked by velociraptors? FEED THEM THE BOOK!!!


Liana Brooks said...

I love your description of the computers! So cute. :o)

Happy Christmas, Twin o'Mine! Be good.

Inkblot said...

Happy Christmas, Li! I'm always good O:)

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