sailorzeo: (Default)
What the title says.  :-P  I've just read the first two books in what looks to be an ongoing series (book two just came out a few months ago).  They're classified as young adult, but hey, nothing wrong with YA fiction.

The first book in the series is The Search for WondLa.  The second is A Hero for WondLa.  The books start with Eva Nine, twelve years old, in Sanctuary, an underground complex.  She's been there her whole life, raised by the robot MUTHR.  She has food pellets and nutri-bars for meals, runs holo-simulations learning how to survive Outside, and relies on an Omnipod, a hand-held omniscient computer about the size and shape of a hand mirror, to help her with her lessons.  Being twelve, she's getting to the age where she has more questions than answers, and MUTHR is less-than-helpful with answers.  Eva found a code inside one of her dresser drawers which gave her unlimited access to the Sanctuary databases, and using a map of Sanctuary, found an abandoned passage.  There, she keeps her "secret stash:" toys, clothes, and other things she was supposed to have outgrown and gotten rid of, but wasn't ready to give up just yet.  One item stands out from the rest; one item that wasn't originally given to her by MUTHR: a piece of pasteboard with a picture of a robot, a child, and an adult.  They're smiling, happy.  The only text originally on the board was La, in ornate script; she later found another piece of it, with Wond in the same script.  She calls her picture "WondLa," and wants to know more about it.  How did it get there?  What does it mean? 

One day, Sanctuary is attacked.  With MUTHR's help, Eva flees to the surface...and finds it much, much different than her simulations.  Her Omnipod is near-useless in these conditions.  She's left wondering if this is even Earth, like she always thought. 

I don't want to go into too much more detail, and really, I can't go into much more without giving away some of the important plot points.  I can't talk about Hero for WondLa without totally spoiling Search for WondLa.  The books have lovely illustrations, and an interactive element: each book has three drawings you can scan (?) with a webcam to be taken to interactive features online--sort of a variation on the ever-increasing QR code.  Not having a webcam, I didn't bother scanning the drawings, so I don't know exactly what they do.

Overall, I liked them, and will wait somewhat-patiently for the next book in the series.  The author is Tony diTerlizzi, who also wrote The Spiderwick Chronicles.
sailorzeo: (Default)
Every so often, I start thinking about books I read in elementary school, junior high, and high school. I read a _lot_of books back then, and I can only remember bits and pieces, sometimes cover art, sometimes passages, but never the author and rarely the title.

I started again today thinking about the young-adult/teenage novel bin at the library back home. I read _so_ many of those; they were quick reads; I could finish one in about an hour. One, I thought I remembered the title as "Jeff and the Fat Girl." I think maybe the cover art mentioned something about Jeff, the narrator, which is why I remember it that way (that, and my brother, named Jeff, threw a fit about me reading this, because he wasn't interested in fat girls. He was seriously pissed that I'd read something that implied he liked fat girls). Apparently, the title is just "The Fat Girl," author Marilyn Sachs. This is a book I kind of want to go back and read again, to see if my perspective on it has changed with age and weight. I remember my original feeling was that Ellen, the titular fat girl, seemed very disrespectful of Jeff in the end.

Spoilers here )

Another book I remember the basic plot, but not the title of, had a girl whose older sister thought to be weird, because the girl liked to go to funerals. It turned out (not a spoiler) that the reason she liked to go to funerals had to do with the people and their clothing. It was a lot easier to get into a funeral than a wedding, both occasions where people tend to dress their best. The girl liked to sew. Just sew. Not design, not create, but sew (another reason her family found her weird). The girl had a thing for her older sister's boyfriend, and ended up making him a camel sportcoat. He eventually left the sister for her, but the girl, after being with him for a few months, started to realize he was very tiresome. She had made him the camel sportcoat because it was the in-thing in his collegiate crowd (IIRC), put leather patches on the elbows for him when the elbows started to wear thin, and when he started making hints that something else (something of a more expensive fabric, IIRC) was the new style, she finally broke up with him. I can't remember the title or author on this one, much the pity.

Maybe the next time I'm back east, I'll stop in the library and see if any of these books are still there.

Book 7

Jul. 25th, 2007 05:42 am
sailorzeo: (gaius potter)
Purchased Monday evening.
Started reading just before boarding the plane in Pittsburgh.
Read from Pittsburgh to Atlanta. (about 1.5 hrs)
No reading in Atlanta airport; plane boarded an hour early.
Started reading again after takeoff.
Finished about an hour outside Phoenix (another 2.5 hrs).

Initial, spoiler-free reaction: "That's it?"

sailorzeo: (thinking)
Eek, my books were due today, I forgot, so I renewed most online. One had a request on it, so I couldn't renew it, but I'll drop them off tomorrow on the way home from work.

So, without further ado, my reviews.
Ado, ado, ado! )


Feb. 9th, 2006 09:39 am
sailorzeo: (science is cool)
I need to go to the library. I have a list, and one of my books was due Tuesday (but Tuesday was an "I don't want to leave the house" day), but Matt took my car to work today. So, no library til this afternoon.

I need to do laundry. Don't wanna do laundry. But have to.

What I want to do is sit and watch CSI all day. But afaik, there's no CSI marathon on Spike today, and I don't have the season dvds. Yet. I'm hoping to get my bonus this week, and then it's off to eBay I go. I'm thinking about picking up one of the boxes that has all five seasons in one box. Yeah, I realize they're probably bootlegs. The main thing stopping me from doing so is the fact that Matt has a Voyager box like that, and about half the discs don't play on his dvd player. I still have mine, so we're going to hook it up, see if the discs work in that (since they work on his computer). If they don't, then I'll be hunting for the individual seasons, since I don't want to have to sit at his computer to watch CSI.

Bleargh. Guess I'll start the laundry, and see what happens. I've got about four hours still before he's home from work.
sailorzeo: (science is cool)
Okay, so I started reading the first of the two CSI novels I checked out of the library. Keep in mind, these are actual, licensed, published novels, not ff.n fangirl drivel. What do I find on the first page?

"Grissom's boyishly handsome features were slightly compromised by the gray encroaching on his brown hair, and crow's feet were sneaking up on the edges of his eyes, frown lines etching inroads at the corners of his mouth."

I'm sorry, but I started giggling so hard when I read that. Maybe because it was 6 am, but, "boyishly handsome?" Grissom? Must have been written before William Petersen grew the beard. Yeah, I think he's attractive, but, "boyishly handsome?" *snerk* Add in that no other character so far has had such a loving description...we've had Brass described as having "sad eyes," Sara's smile as "gap-toothed," Catherine as having "reddish-blonde hair," Nick as having "well-chiseled features" (hey, if I'd call anyone "boyishly handsome," it's George Eads! see icon), Sergeant O'Riley as "burly" and "crew-cut," and Greg as "skinny, spiky-haired." Six chapters and 70 pages in, no real description of Warrick, even. I understand that the audience the book is marketed to already knows the characters, knows what they look like, how they act, etc, so the author doesn't have to spend much time establishing personality or description, but if you're going to describe one character so completely, why not all of them? The author takes the time to describe the secondary characters, those that aren't represented on the show (and another "aww," I was hoping the AV tech they used would be Archie), but barely describes the regulars.

Ah well. Just some early-morning ranting. And so I don't spam the f-lists, other thoughts this morning:
Things you should never have to say, but often do when you have cats:
No fighting on Mommy! Mommy is NOT a battlefield!
Mommy is not a landing strip!
Mommy is not a launchpad!
Mommy is not a chewtoy!
Mommy is not a scratching post!


Jan. 31st, 2006 10:47 am
sailorzeo: (love geeks)
So I go to the library, thinking I want something fluffy to read. I come back with four CSI novels (among other things, including the 2 most recent Meredith Gentry novels). Problem was, staring at the generic fluffy novels, nothing appealed to me. So I'm looking for suggestions. I know I want to read Wicked, but it's all checked out, with like 32 holds on it in the system. If I put a request in for it today, I might get it by April...or August.

So, list me some good books. Romance, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, classics... I'm just not as up on new releases as I used to be. Help me out, list me some titles or authors to look into.
sailorzeo: (Default)
I have to thank [ profile] jetwolf for pointing me towards this.
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And I mean it. I don't know when I'm going to be able to get the book, as I still haven't sat down and crafted a few 1:6 outfits out of vinyl, eyelets, jump rings and chain yet.
sailorzeo: (crowbar)

It's the most wonderful time of the year again.  Tomorrow I get to go for my annual poke-n-prod at the gyn.  I'm actually really looking forward to it, because I can get drugs!  I'm hoping for three prescriptions: 1) birth control pills, to keep my cycles regular and prevent an uh-oh, 2) flutamide, to take down the extra androgens in my system, and 3) glucophage, or the generic equivelant, to help with the insulin-resistance part of PCOS.  Plus, I'm going to a good doctor (according to friends down here), so maybe they'll actually TALK to me.  That's one thing that annoys me.  Doctors never seem to want to tell me anything, not my test results, not how to deal with the conditions they diagnose me with, nothing.  This is why I'm bringing Cyn along (well, also since she knows where it is).  She's been going to this place for years, and she's a little older than I am, so she knows what to ask.  I know I need to ask/request the flutamide and the glucophage, but she might think of something I've missed.

Girly stuff )

So, in preparation for this event, I shaved.  And I will be shaving.  While in the shower, I came up with a silly bit of rhyme:

My husband has a wife who's rather hairy
I find the sight of her appalling, even scary!
I can't avoid her to avoid the scare, you see
For that hairy, scary woman there is me!

I've been reading short novels by Effie Leland Wilder, who started writing when she was 85, and in a retirement community.  She peppers the diary-style novels with little rhymes she's written, and I think she's rubbing off on me.  Very cute novels, quick reading, and great when you just want something nice to read.  I suggested them to my mom, with a note that my grandmothers might even like them.  It's hard to tell about my grandmother Mooney anymore, what she'll like and dislike.  She may love them, or she just might look at them and say, "I'm already old, I don't need to read about other old people."  So who knows.

I'll just end with this thought: when parts other than fingers and toes turn pruny, it's time to get out of the tub!

sailorzeo: (Default)
Just something I've noticed during this first week-and-a-half of diet: food tastes so much better now. I was making spanish rice the other night, put a slice of black olive (just plain old ordinary canned black olive, nothing fancy) in my mouth, and I swear, flavor exploded.

Grocery shopping is a new, keep experience. Add in the whole "budget" factor, and trying to buy healthy food, and it just feels so accomplished when I leave the store.

And carrots are both tasty and suprisingly filling.

As for books, going back to the library today. I didn't devour the stack of books checked out last time as fast as usual, so I'm, returning four and renewing three. My goal is to finish all the Star Wars novels befor Episode Three comes out in May. In order. I've just started the novel before Episode Two. Now, here's the thing: the timeline I found from the publisher didn't have the Clone Wars novels on it. Are they after Ep.III? Guess more research is in order.

And Saturday I started reading Jetwolf and Ultrace's Buffy virtual continuation, The Chosen. Yikes. That sucked me in, and now I'm even more convinced I am NOT the person to write the Buffy chapters in The Ultimate Crossover. Even if I am playing fast and loose with continuities and timelines.
sailorzeo: (Default)
Lifted from [profile] alessar

Banned Book List

List of the top 110 banned books. Bold the ones you've read. Italicize the ones you've read part of. Read more. Convince others to read some.

#1 The Bible
#2 Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
#3 Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
#4 The Koran
#5 Arabian Nights
#6 Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
#7 Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
#8 Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (in Middle English, even)
#9 Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
#10 Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
#11 The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
#12 Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
#13 Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
#14 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
#15 Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
#16 Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
(I'm counting this as read even though the last 2 pages were missing)
#17 Dracula by Bram Stoker
#18 Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
#19 Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
#20 Essays by Michel de Montaigne
#21 Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
#22 History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
#23 Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
#24 Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
#25 Ulysses by James Joyce
#26 Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
#27 Animal Farm by George Orwell
#28 Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
#29 Candide by Voltaire
#30 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee--Haven't read, but have had out of the library for three years
#31 Analects by Confucius
#32 Dubliners by James Joyce
#33 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
#34 Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
#35 Red and the Black by Stendhal
#36 Das Kapital by Karl Marx
#37 Les Fleurs du Mal by Charles Baudelaire
#38 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
#39 Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
#40 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
#41 Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
#42 Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
#43 Jungle by Upton Sinclair
#44 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
#45 Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
#46 Lord of the Flies by William Golding
#47 Diary by Samuel Pepys
#48 Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
#49 Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
#50 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
#51 Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
#52 Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
#53 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
#54 Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
#55 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
#56 Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
#57 Color Purple by Alice Walker
#58 Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
#59 Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
#60 Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
#61 Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
#62 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#63 East of Eden by John Steinbeck
#64 Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
#65 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
#66 Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#67 Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais
#68 Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
#69 The Talmud
#70 Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#71 Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
#72 Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
#73 American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
#74 Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
#75 Separate Peace by John Knowles
#76 Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
#77 Red Pony by John Steinbeck
#78 Popol Vuh
#79 Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
#80 Satyricon by Petronius
#81 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
#82 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
#83 Black Boy by Richard Wright
#84 Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
#85 Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
#86 Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George (I think?)
This sounds familiar, but I don't remember if I _actually_ read it.
#87 Metaphysics by Aristotle
#88 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
#89 Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin
#90 Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
#91 Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
#92 Sanctuary by William Faulkner
#93 As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
#94 Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
#95 Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
#96 Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
#97 General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
#98 Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
#99 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
#100 Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
#101 Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
#102 Emile Jean by Jacques Rousseau
#103 Nana by Emile Zola
#104 Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
#105 Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
#106 Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#107 Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
#108 Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
#109 Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
#110 Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Funny how many of these I read in school, or were suggested to me by teachers. :)

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