osprey_archer: (books)
One last set of meme answers! For [personal profile] asakiyume: Harry Potter

the character I least understand

Tonks. Oh, poor Tonks. The problem with Tonks is that the narrative railroads her into a relationship with Lupin rather than letting her grow and develop on her own, so it’s hard to understand her as a character because you can sort of feel her being meddled with from without.

I feel similarly about Lupin in the later books, too, which is also sad because I liked him so much in Prisoner of Azkaban. He’s one of the few adults who is ever truly nice to Harry, without any ulterior motive, just because Harry needs it.

interactions I enjoyed the most

It would be so hard to choose just one - or even just a few! As I said above, I really liked Harry & Lupin’s interactions in Prisoner of Azkaban, just because it’s nice seeing a grown-up be nice to Harry for once. Also Sirius and Lupin in that book - in fact, the entire Shrieking Shack sequence, everyone interacting with everyone else in that, is probably one of my favorite scenes in anything ever. I must have read it a hundred times.

Quite possibly literally a hundred. When I was eleven I kept my Harry Potter books by my bed (there were three at the time) and reread a bit every night, not in order, just whatever I felt like, and often ended up settling on the Shrieking Shack. Old friends reunited! Betrayals exposed! Snape making bad life choices! Hermione being extremely clever. Loveliness all around.

the character who scares me the most

Dolores Umbridge probably. I will not tell lies will probably stick with me for the rest of my life.

the character who is mostly like me

I’d love to say Luna but I don’t think I ever oddballed as effectively as Luna does. Radishes for earrings! Who can top that?

hottest looks character

I always had the feeling that Sirius was desperately attractive, but this is 100% about how much I loved the character and not even slightly related to descriptions of his actual filthy and skeletal appearance post-Azkaban. Of course in later books we get descriptions of Sirius Black, Hogwarts Hottie, but my belief in his attractiveness definitely predated that.

Nonetheless, I will never get over my disappointment at his casting in the movies. He’s supposed to be younger and hotter! ALL the Marauders ought to be younger and hotter! James and Lily were twenty at most when they died, so Sirius and Snape and Lupin should all be in their early thirties and I will never understand why they are all played by old men.

one thing I dislike about my fave character

How can I pick just one favorite character? IMPOSSIBLE. I did love Sirius a lot (I will NEVER GET OVER THE ENDING JKR GAVE HIM, NEVER, still bitter), but then there’s Hermione and Luna, and I do also feel a great fondness for Harry himself.

one thing I like about my hated character

Do I have a hated character? It occurs to me that I am parsing “hated character” incorrectly for this meme: when I say I hate a character, it means that I dislike them so much that I would happily kick them out of the story entirely, which doesn’t leave much room for having a sneaking admiration for any of their alleged better qualities. And I don’t think I hate anyone in HP like that. Dolores Umbridge and Peter Pettigrew are both terrible human beings but they are terrible in ways I am interested in reading about.

I always felt a weird admiration for the way Peter Pettigrew cut off his own hand to bring Voldemort back to life. That takes a guts and dedication, even though alas both qualities are all being squandered on an evil cause.

a quote or scene that haunts me

Oh, gosh, I’m not sure I can pick just one. The whole Shrieking Shack scene in Prisoner of Azkaban, as I mentioned. Or the ending of Half-Blood Prince - Harry and Dumbledore’s quest to the creepiest pool in the world, Snape killing Dumbledore, the confrontation between Snape and Harry - ”I was the Half-Blood Prince!”

a death that left me indifferent

I can’t remember which Weasley twin died in book seven, but that one.

a character I wish died but didn’t

The body count is already so high! I don’t want anyone else to die.

my ship that never sailed

I never really got into Harry Potter shipping (which is probably why I didn’t read that much fic for it, despite reading the first three books almost to pieces), so… none really, I guess? I had a vague fondness for Sirius/Remus - but I never had the faintest expectation that that one would sail - and Luna/Neville, which seemed somewhat more likely, but it didn’t tear me up inside when they didn’t get together.
osprey_archer: (Agent Carter)
For [personal profile] evelyn_b: the MCU. Which is awfully broad! There’s a lot of MCU out there and I have seen quite a bit of it (although I never did finish any of the Netflix shows). But even without them, there are still all those movies, and Agents of SHIELD, and Agent Carter (RIP! I wasn’t as fond of the second season as the first, but I still would have liked a third.)

the character I least understand

Oh, man. I love Skye a lot (have I mentioned that she and I have the exact same birthday? Not just the day but the year. WE ARE SPIRIT TWINS) but I still don’t get her swift switcheroo from “Rising Tide hacktivist” to “loyal SHIELD agent” in season one. It’s just so fast! And so completely devoid of guilt or regret! She meets up with one of her former friends one time, and then Coulson cuts off her computer access and all contact with the outside world (brainwashing 101! I’m just saying!) and she never tries again or worries about betraying them or anything. It’s like she’s forgotten her Rising Tide friends ever existed.

...and we know that SHIELD totally has the tech to make that happen. Fury used it on Coulson to make him forget the process by which they brought him back to life. I’M JUST SAYING.

interactions I enjoyed the most

Peggy Carter and Dottie Underwood’s interactions were all A++ and I will be forever sad that we won’t get to see them team up against a greater threat - not in the “You have to work with us or this exploding necklace will explode” way they worked together in season 2, but genuinely working together to fight, like, aliens.

I also loved Natasha & Steve’s friendship in Winter Soldier. And of course Steve vs. the Winter Soldier on the helicarrier is absolute gold, the fight that launched a thousand ships.

the character who scares me the most

Honestly I find the Hulk pretty terrifying and I don’t think it’s responsible of SHIELD or the Avengers to send him out on missions in anything less than a Chitauri-invasion type situation, because the threat he poses is just too great. Just look what he did in Age of Ultron: he loses control and wrecks great swathes of a city. (With Tony’s help in the Hulkbuster, of course, but that honestly only strengthens my point.)

the character who is mostly like me

Probably none of them; I am just not that badass. Even Darcy is way quicker with quips and cooler under pressure than I would be.

hottest looks character

You realize this is an impossible question in the MCU. There are so many of them and they are all so pretty, it’s completely impossible. Even just going with the movies - even limiting it to just the Cap films - how are you going to choose between Steve and Peggy and Natasha and Winter Soldier Bucky (I think he’s so much more attractive with the long hair and stubble)? You can’t do it! They’re all too gorgeous!

And it just gets worse when you bring Thor and Bobbi Morse and everyone else from every MCU thing into the mix. Too much pretty. Too much. Too much!

one thing I dislike about my fave character

Most of Bucky’s everything in Civil War, honestly. I dislike the fact that the writers went with trigger word brainwashing instead of something closer to real-world brainwashing (I realize that this is a silly complaint about a superhero sci-fi movie but I can’t help it), and the ending where he chooses to go into cryo. I realize he has every reason in the world to give up but I still don’t want him to.

one thing I like about my hated character

I ACTUALLY DO HAVE A MOST HATED MARVEL CHARACTER. I DESPITE DR. HOLDEN RADCLIFFE (the scientist who first shows up in season 3 of Agents of SHIELD) WITH THE FIERY PASSION OF A THOUSAND SUNS. He is trying to hide the fact that he is evil behind an eccentric yet harmless mad scientist veneer but I am NOT HAVING ANY OF IT ANY MORE, he is just straight up evil and views humans as chess pieces - not even chess pieces! Chess pieces have some individuality! - as checkers, flat little checkers to be moved around the board at his whim.

I will not list all the terrible things he does, because there are simply too many, but the scene that really snapped me is the one where he’s trying to manipulate Fitz by telling Fitz that Fitz is like a son to him - and then it turns out that Radcliffe isn’t even the one talking; he’s sent in a decoy robot to say all this while he scurries away out the back door. FUCK YOU RADCLIFFE.

Um. I’m supposed to be thinking of something I like about him. He’s always got a contingency plan, which is admirable in a way, or at least it would be if each contingency plan wasn’t more evil than the next.

a quote or scene that haunts me

Does “the entirety of Winter Soldier” count? I’m not sure I can narrow it down more than that. Although the helicarrier scene and “I’m with you to the end of the line” and Bucky jumping into the Potomac to fish Steve out and then leaving him on the riverbank - all of that got me in the feels.

Or the bank vault scene where Pierce is trying to explain to the asset about the importance of his world-saving mission and the asset is just “....but I knew him,” like, he doesn’t know what’s going on but he knows Pierce is not answering his question - and then Pierce just has him wiped...

a death that left me indifferent

Pietro. Honestly, I just don’t really believe that he’s dead: his power is literally being faster than bullets and then he dies in a hail of machine gun fire. And it’s so abrupt and weirdly quippy, I can’t take it seriously.

a character I wish died but didn’t

I haven’t finished season 4 of Agents of SHIELD so it is ENTIRELY POSSIBLE that Dr. Radcliffe will, in fact, die by the end. I CAN ONLY HOPE. But as of episode 12 he is still alive and I want him dead, as dead as a doornail.

my ship that never sailed

Still in mourning for the Bobbi/Simmons that never was. They had such a glorious beginning! Bobbi undercover as a Hydra agent! Threatening Simmons and then saving her life! And Simmons getting all giggly and “She’s amazing” about it!

And then nothing. They barely even get a friendship. WHYYYYYYYYY.
osprey_archer: (Default)
For [personal profile] minutia_r: The Count of Monte Cristo

the character I least understand

Most of Dumas’ characters have pretty simple motivations - they want Love or Vengeance or Status or Money - so I don’t think any of them are hard to understand, really.

interactions I enjoyed the most

Any scene where the Count and Mercedes interact is 100% pure gold and I love it. The tension just crackles off the page!

the character who scares me the most

Honestly the Count is terrifying in his single-mindedness. I sort of root for him anyway, because it’s hard not to, but at the same time - the collateral damage he causes! All of Villefort’s innocent relations who are poisoned for no fault of their own! And it never bothers the Count until he realizes that Valentine’s death would harm Morrel, who he likes. The non-Morrel-harming deaths that have already happened, meh, he never really cares about that.

the character who is mostly like me

Probably Valentine, simply because she is the least epically dramatic person on this epically dramatic cast. And even she ends up almost being poisoned by her stepmother, so she’s got some drama going on to, so really none of them I guess.

hottest looks character

The book keeps describing Mercedes’ beauty, so I think it’s got to be her. Although Eugenie and Valentine are clearly lookers too.

one thing I dislike about my fave character

How am I supposed to pick just one favorite? There are like five hundred characters in this book, picking a single favorite is like taking just one potato chip.

one thing I like about my hated character

All of the men involved in Dantes’ denunciation are pretty loathsome, but I do feel some sneaking admiration for Villefort’s hard work and devotion to duty. His whole life is coming down around his ears, everyone in his household is dying, and yet still he’s filling out case dossiers.

a quote or scene that haunts me

MERCEDES AND THE DRAMA!VEIL. The whole scene where she confronts Edmond and convinces him not to kill her son - aaaaaaaah that’s just so good.

Also the scene where Noirtier saves the day through dramatic eyeblinks. Who would have thought that eyeblinks could create such a held-breath sense of tension?

a death that left me indifferent

I don’t think I was as upset by the Abbe Faria’s death as I should have been. He’s just got “Wise Old Mentor, Marked For Death” written on his forehead from the moment we meet him.

a character I wish died but didn’t

Danglars! Of all of Dantes’ tormentors he is the most purely evil, and yet he’s the one who escapes both alive and sane. So unfair!

my ship that never sailed

I WILL MOURN THE LACK OF ENDGAME EDMOND/MERCEDES TILL THE END OF TIME. Get over the fact that she married someone else, Edmond! You were practically dead at the time! Did you want her to live the rest of her life in abject misery because of your loss?

I mean, he totally did, and really that ought to make me reconsider whether they ought to get back together - is Edmond “I have spent literally decades plotting my vengeance. It is my only purpose in life” Dantes really such a catch? But it does not. They are meant to be together. Look at that scene with the drama!veil: they understand each other! They are soulmates! ADMIT IT TO YOURSELF, EDMOND. GO BACK TO HER AND TELL HER YOU WERE A FOOL NOT TO FALL AT HER FEET THE MOMENT SHE WAS FREE OF FERNAND.
osprey_archer: (books)
Meme answer time! For [personal profile] sovay, the L. M. Montgomery ‘verse.

the character I least understand

The Story Girl never quite gelled for me as a character. Compared to Emily or Anne or Pat, she just seems flat.

interactions I enjoyed the most

Honestly I think I will have to go with Valancy Stirling + the universe here, because Valancy just has no fucks to give and it is glorious. All the scenes where she starts standing up to her family, just by straight up telling the truth - EXCELLENT.

And of course there's that scene where she asks Barney Snaith to marry her.

the character who scares me the most

Teddy's mother in the Emily books always worried me. She's so creepily possessive; it would not have surprised me if she went all "A Rose for Emily" on her poor son rather than let him get married.

the character who is mostly like me

As much as I would love to say Anne or Emily, it is probably Pat of Silver Bush.

hottest looks character

Honestly I have trouble thinking of any Montgomery characters as hot (as opposed to pretty or beautiful) - but Anne, once her hair has turned auburn, is obviously the most beautiful. Although Anne would probably insist that it was Diana.

one thing I dislike about my fave character

How am I supposed to pick just one favorite Montgomery character? IMPOSSIBLE.

However, I read the Anne books first so probably I've imprinted on Anne the most strongly. But I can't think of anything I dislike about her, so that's not helpful.

I always thought that Emily's occasional psychic moments seemed super weird and out of place with everything else in her books, even though she is sometimes compared to an elf or other magical creature which really ought to have tipped me off. But the dream she has, especially, the one about Ilsa's mother who everyone thought ran away with another man - that seemed silly.

one thing I like about my hated character

I'm trying to think if there's a Montgomery character I straight-out hate. I have extremely mixed feelings about Dean Priestly, because he's a good influence on Emily until he is really really NOT, so while I hate some of his choices I don't think I hate him, exactly. If that makes sense.

Oh wait. There is Ilsa's father, though. I will never get over the way he ignores his daughter for years, and then it turns out his wife wasn't unfaithful, so he loves Ilsa again, hurrah! What a jerk. Uh, but I'm not sure he has a quality I like - he's not sketched out in much detail so there's not much chance for him to develop redeeming qualities.

a quote or scene that haunts me

The entire Dean Priestly plot in the Emily books - particularly the bit where he tells Emily that her book is rubbish, and she burns it and falls down the stairs on the scissors and spends ages wasting away in bed and then gets engaged to him in something like despair. WHY, DEAN, WHY? (This is a rhetorical question: I understand why, which is part of what makes it so horrible.)

a death that left me indifferent

I wasn't terribly put out when Valancy's friend Cissy died. Sorry, Cissy!

a character I wish died but didn’t

I don't think I would wish death on any Montgomery characters - not even Dean Priestly despite his flaws. He went elsewhere and is probably learning important life lessons and certainly eating his heart out about how he destroyed the most important friendship in his life (with Emily) by being such a jerk, which is clearly a better punishment for his faults than mere death.

my ship that never sailed

I've always been partial to Anne/Diana. And I really wanted to ship Emily/Ilsa, but Emily doesn't go on and on about Ilsa's loveliness, or sit in the window weeping at the thought that someday Ilsa will get married, or otherwise go on about her the way Anne does about Diana, so I just didn't see it.
osprey_archer: (Winter Soldier)
Stealing this from [personal profile] lost_spook, because it looks like fun + I haven't done a meme in a while.

Give me a fandom and I'll tell you

the character I least understand
interactions I enjoyed the most
the character who scares me the most
the character who is mostly like me
hottest looks character
one thing I dislike about my fave character
one thing I like about my hated character
a quote or scene that haunts me
a death that left me indifferent
a character I wish died but didn’t
my ship that never sailed
osprey_archer: (books)
And the last questions from the book meme, for [livejournal.com profile] littlerhymes!

16. That book you don’t dare reread for fear it won’t be the same anymore.

I am actually pretty fearless on this score. I recently (well, within the last few years) reread a couple of books that had been important to me when I was twelve or thirteen: the Babysitter’s Club book Claudia and the New Girl and also the first book in Francine Pascal’s Fearless series, both of which seemed to me to have a pretty high likelihood of being visited by the Suck Fairy.

And I wouldn’t call either book flawless - the Fearless series in particular has a ton of flaws in pretty much every possible area, both social justice-related and on the basic plotting and characterization level. And yet at the same time I still enjoyed them, and could see why they had been so intensely important to my younger self.

However, I think I’m somewhat unusual on this score in that I started reading critically when I was twelve or thirteen, so oftentimes if books have issues it’s something that I was aware of at the time, at least to some extent. It would have to be a book I’d read earlier for me to be gobsmacked by the content - “Who knew there was that much racism in Caddie Woodlawn???” - but, even then, the racism isn’t the only thing in Caddie Woodlawn, and I can see the other elements that made me love it.

17. Preferred bookshelf organization scheme

Hahaha oh man. The one that gets all my books on my shelves? My books are totally higgledy-piggledy, and it’s worse than usual right now because I had to move things around for the move - I was taking one bookshelf with me, so I had to decide which books would go on that, and find new homes for the books that had been on that shelf but weren’t coming, and…

So they’re all kind of tucked in wherever they’ll fit.

I’ve seen people who organize their bookshelves by alphabetical order or even in color (which strikes me as rather beautiful) but I know that if I did it, the whole scheme would slowly but surely come undone. I tried to organize our picture book collection in alphabetical order, and I ought to be able to keep it that way because I’m the only one who uses these books, and yet there’s already a wodge of unalphabetized books at the end of the shelf.
osprey_archer: (books)
Two more question for the book meme, for [livejournal.com profile] egelantier. Who picked hard ones!

6. If you read in more than one language, is there a difference between the experience of reading in your native language and reading in other languages?

I could, once upon a time, read in Russian (very slowly and with the aid of a dictionary) and in Spanish - still with the aid of a dictionary, but actually rather decently; I read a few novels in Spanish. So I’m not sure I can answer this question meaningfully for Russian, because I never got fluent enough for reading to be anything but a struggle, but in Spanish, yes, it was a different experience, although I would be hard-pressed to put my finger on just how.

I think the closest I can get is the time that I read Lois Lowry’s Number the Stars in Spanish. I had read the book in English the summer after second grade, and it was very important to me - it kicked off a reading binge of every Holocaust-related children’s book in the library, culminating in an attempt to write a Holocaust novel of my very own after third grade, so it really shaped my identity as a writer and my interest in history, in a way. And I read it many times in English, so I remembered it very well.

But rereading it in Spanish made it feel different - even though I already remembered the plot in fairly fine-grained detail, the fact that the words themselves were different gave the book a sense of newness and tension that I don’t usually feel during a reread. But at the same time, I think because reading in another language forced me to slow down, I got an experience closer to what I had when I first read the book, when I read more slowly than I do now. There’s less sense of gulping down the story and more of a feeling that one is living in it, immersed in it, because of the difficulty of reading it forced me to keep my entire attention on it.

15. The book you reread over and over again and get new things from every time.

I’ve been trying to think of an answer for this that is slightly more, oh, literary, but honestly it’s probably Zilpha Keatley Snyder’s The Changeling. Although I try not to reread it to often so I don’t rub the magic off it.

When I first read it, as a child, I was completely enchanted by Martha and Ivy’s friendship and their imaginative adventures; rereading it when I’m older, I’ve been impressed also by the care Snyder took with the background characters (it’s clear that Martha’s parents love her and want what they think is best for her, and yet don’t and probably can’t understand her), and the subtlety with which she dealt with Ivy’s family, which is at best neglectful and at worst downright abusive - and yet that went over my head as a child; I only really noticed it rereading it as an adult.

It also adds a note of poignancy to Ivy and Martha’s friendship, because all Martha wants is for Ivy to live in Rosewood Hills always, and yet it’s really better for Ivy when she’s away living with her Aunt Evaline in Harley’s Crossing. (Great missed opportunities of literature: I would love to see Martha visit Ivy at Aunt Evaline’s house. Not that her parents would ever let her.)
osprey_archer: (books)
For [livejournal.com profile] inspirethoughts: 21. A book you gave up on, and the reasons why.

I give up on books with a fair amount of regularity - or, at least, more regularity than I used to, when I grimly read just about everything to the end. Nowadays I’ll give something up because it’s boring, too technical, not what I’m in the mood for right then, due back at the library and someone else has a hold on it so I can’t renew it and I don’t care enough to sit down and steamroll through it before the due date...

I think the book I abandoned most recently is Charles Darwin’s On the Origins of Species. I’d heard it was charmingly written despite being a 150 year old science book, but the part I read was baffling rather than charming, and life is just too short for this sort of thing.

I also gave up on Naomi Novik's Uprooted, which at the time I meant to get back to, but the more I think about it the less I want to read the romance that, I have been informed, is going to unfold as the book continues. Whyyyy do authors have to lard their books up with unnecessary romances?
osprey_archer: (books)
For [livejournal.com profile] lost_spook: 30. The book you read the blurb of, constructed a version of in your mind, and were promptly disappointed by once you finally got around to actually reading it

Okay, you know Sherman Alexie’s The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven? I’m not sure I even read the blurb before I had constructed a beautiful version of this book where the Lone Ranger and Tonto actually have a fistfight in the afterlife. It was epic and beautiful and probably kind of slashy.

Imagine my surprise when I read this book and discovered that not only is there no heavenly fistfight, but the Lone Ranger and Tonto don’t actually appear at all. It’s just a bunch of vaguely interconnected short stories, and I’m not usually interested in short stories and in any case don’t remember them well because I was so put out about the aforementioned lack of Lone Ranger and Tonto's slashy fistfight.

Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is super good, though, and neither the blurb nor the title are misleading. So if you want to read some of his work, I definitely recommend that one.
osprey_archer: (books)
More book meme! For [livejournal.com profile] evelyn_b again. I tried to be a bit more concise this time.

5. Which genre(s) don’t you read? Why not?

I hate to say that I don’t read in a genre, because there always seem to be exceptions: I barely ever read horror, for instance, but I did read Stephen King’s Misery, which is awesome and terrifying. Or I don’t read a lot of category romance, but I really enjoyed Courtney Milan’s Brother Sinister series. (I still haven’t read the final book. I should get on that at some point).

I don’t think I’ve ever read a business book. Probably at some point that’s something I should actually do.

8. The book you read when you’re stuck in bed sick.

Usually by the point I’m so sick that I’m stuck in bed, I’m too out of it for reading. I pop a movie I’ve already seen into the DVD player and gaze blearily at it until I fall asleep.

Often when I’m having trouble falling asleep, I’ll reread old favorites; that’s guaranteed to be soothing and also it doesn’t matter if I start to drift off partway through, because after all I already know what happens. (I once tried to read a Ngaio Marsh book to put me to sleep. I had theater murder themed dreams all night. It was not restful.)
osprey_archer: (books)
I found this book meme on Tumblr and I liked it so much that I thought I would bring it on over to LJ. Give me numbers! I will answer your questions in a post of their own!

1. What’s the last book you read? What did you think of it?
2. What’s the worst book you’ve ever read, and why?
3. A book you found overhyped, and why
4. Ereaders versus physical books is such a false dichotomy. Instead, tell me what other formats (phone apps, tumblr fiction, twitter haikus) you read in
5. Which genre(s) don’t you read? Why not?
6. If you read in more than one language, is there a difference between the experience of reading in your native language(s) and reading in other languages?
7. If you’re not a native English speaker, how much do you read in your native language versus how much you read in English? How do you feel about that? // If you’re a native English speaker, go find a book in your second/third/etc language, or in translation, to add to your to-read list
8. The book you read when you’re stuck in bed sick
9. Fiction or non-fiction or both? In what ratio? Where do you draw the line between the two?
10. The book(s) you bought because the cover was pretty, and whether it was worth it
11. The worst book hangover you’ve ever had
12. Do you have to finish one book before you start the next one, or do you read multiple books at the same time?
13. The fictional character you want to believe you resemble and the fictional character you actually resemble
14. The book that, in hindsight, really should have clued you in to the fact that you’re _________ (queer/in love/doomed to be an academic/etc)
15. The book that you reread over and over again and get new things from every time
16. The book that you don’t dare reread for fear it won’t be the same any more
17. Preferred bookshelf organisation scheme
18. Do you theme your monthly/yearly/etc reading (eg Year of Reading Women)?
19. That book with a twist that felt like a blow to the chest. Tell me about it. (But warn for spoilers if necessary!)
20. The coolest bookshop you’ve ever been to
21. The book you gave up on, and the reasons why
22. The book you finished even though you hated it, and the reasons why
23. The book you expected to hate, didn’t, and then got angry about not hating
24. The book that you got into because of the movie/TV series/etc, and the relative merits of each version
25. The only book care question that actually means anything: do you write in your books? If so, in pen or in pencil?
26. Do you read reviews of books? Before or after you read the books themselves? Why? Why not?
27. The book you’re embarrassed to admit you’ve read
28. The one where the fanfic was better than the original (and the relevant AO3 links, pls)
29. Your vacation reading habits
30. The book you read the blurb of, constructed a version of in your mind, and were promptly disappointed by once you finally got around to actually reading it
Bonus question: rec me something!


Apr. 29th, 2016 10:22 pm
osprey_archer: (window)
Via [livejournal.com profile] tamsinwillougby, a meme!

Fave fandom:

The only fandom I'm really in right now is Captain America (the wait for Civil War is crushing me), so that wins by default. I had some lovely times in the past in Sutcliff fandom and in my little Owen/Ianto corner of Torchwood, though.

Countries you’ve lived in:

I lived three months in England for study abroad - does that count? - but otherwise just the US.

Languages you speak:

English. I can still read Spanish fairly well, but my Russian skills have basically evaporated since I left college.

Fave film of 2015:

Inside Out. I looooooved Inside Out. The Martian was also excellent, but it did not make me cry the same way.

For "movies I saw in 2015 that didn't actually come out in 2015," I also really liked the Natalie Wood film Inside Daisy Clover (with bonus Robert Redford as a devilish love interest), Blackfish (the documentary about the killer whales at Sea World), and Fried Green Tomatoes. 2015 was a good year for movies.

Last article you read:

Probably something from The Toast.

Last thing you bought online:

A couple of coloring books as presents for friends: M.C.A. Hogarth's Not In Need of Quests: Men in Fantasy and Critters, Beasts, and Fluffies. I don't know if any of you are into coloring books, but if you are, I so recommend these: they aren't as frustratingly intricate as adult coloring books often are, and the critters in particular are soooo cute.

Last person you dreamed of:

I think my brother, although I don't remember what the dream was about.

Any reoccurring dreams:

Ever since grad school I have had a reoccurring nightmare where I have forgotten - something - signed up for a class and then never attended it, or never even started researching a final project, or sometimes in the dream I'm not even sure what I forgot, I just wake up gripped by the horrifying certainty that I have forgotten something important.

Any phobias/fears:

DEATH. And various death-related things. In first and second grade I was deathly terrified of thunderstorms, because thunderstorms might herald tornadoes which might blow my house down and KILL ME and the world would be forever bereft of the light of my genius without ever realizing what it had lost, and all memory of me would sink beneath the dark waves of time.

Around third grade this faded, or rather was effaced by a crippling terror of vomiting, to the extent that I basically didn't eat breakfast for a year because I woke up feeling hungry and feeling hungry is sort of like feeling nauseous and therefore breakfast might make me throw up and that would be THE END OF THE WORLD, possibly literally, if I choked to death on it and died, and also that would be the grossest way to die ever, ew.

Eventually I got the whole hunger/nausea thing straightened out, which helped with the breakfast issue, but not so much the fear of vomiting. In fifth grade I pulled a muscle in my leg so badly that I couldn't walk on it for about five days and I wouldn't take painkillers for it because I heard somewhere that ibuprofen can cause nausea and CLEARLY the agony was preferable.

I am also petrified of dentists, but honestly I think this is at least 75% rational, because dentists are minions of Satan.

Would you take a bullet for someone:

I hope I'm never in a situation where I have to find out.

If you had money to spare, what would you buy first:

A trip. Possibly a lot of trips! I'd like to visit Japan (however, I might want to wait until my Japanese college roommate is in Japan; right now she lives in Singapore) and France, and also I'd just like to go on a big road trip around the US and just visit my friends.
osprey_archer: (window)
One letter, six questions meme. [livejournal.com profile] evelyn_b gave me J, which is surprisingly hard! Or maybe any letter might have been difficult; I guess I’m just not used to grouping things alphabetically in my mind.

Something I hate: Man, this is hard. I thought the movie Judgment at Nuremberg was pretentious and not nearly as morally insightful as it thought, but I felt bored rather than filled with hatred.

Oh! Jelly beans. Jelly beans are the worst. They’re sticky and too sweet and they have a weird texture and just in general they are disgusting.

Something I love: Julius Caesar! The Shakespeare play! Have I told you about the tragic nobility of Brutus, who is only trying to do what is best for Rome, only it all goes horribly wrong because he allows himself to be led astray by that viper in the grass, Cassius? I think I’ve mentioned this before.

I also think that this is probably not the most nuanced understanding of this play, but I first read it when I was in ninth grade so, you know, nuanced was not the name of the game.

Somewhere I’ve been: Jacksonville, Florida.

Somewhere I’d like to go: Japan!

Someone I know:: One of my friends in elementary school was a Jessica. But she was a grade above me, so we grew apart when she went over to the junior high.

A film I like: I have some reservations on J. Edgar – I think they should have focused more on the politics of Hoover’s life and less on his mostly-sublimated love affair with his second in command, Clyde Tolson – but nonetheless I did quite enjoy that mostly-sublimated love affair.

I also retain a weird fondness for Josie and the Pussycats, even though I wouldn’t really call it a good movie.

Let me know if you'd like a letter!
osprey_archer: (Winter Soldier)
Total Word Count: 160,668 words

Total Number of Fandoms: Two, I guess. Almost all Captain America, with one Pepper & Natasha fic set during Iron Man 2. (I’ve been thinking about writing a PepperNat sequel to that one. “I’ll miss you after leaving Stark Industries,” Natasha said.

“I bet you say that to all your marks,” Pepper said.

“Oh no,” said Natasha. “I’m only a spy. We’re not at good at lying as CEOs.”)

Total Fics: 31

By Month )

Q&A )

From my past year of writing, what was the... )
osprey_archer: (cheers)
For [livejournal.com profile] poeticknowledge: Best birthday and Christmas gift ever received?

Confession time: I have a rather poor memory for when I got things. I remember such-and-such a thing was a gift, and generally I can pinpoint who gave it to me, but I usually can’t remember if it was for Christmas or birthday or just because or who knows what.

For instance, [livejournal.com profile] poeticknowledge sent me a wonderful teapot with pink flowers one year - wonderful both in that I like the teapot very much, and also because it fortuitously matches some china teacups and saucers that I inherited, which lacked only for a teapot to make a complete tea set - but I’m not actually sure when it was. Maybe early after I moved to Bloomington? We did have lots of delightful tea parties with it in Bloomington.

Another favorite gift is an olive wood lemon juicer my friend Micky bought for me while she was on an archaeological dig in Greece. It’s the perfect souvenir: suggestive of the area (the olive wood), beautiful (gorgeous wood grain), and useful.

I think that was the year she sent me hot chocolate cubes, so that must have been a Christmas present. The hot chocolate cubes were delicious, too.

Oh, and the mug I still use for my morning tea was a present from Caitlin (high school friend Caitlin, rather than current friend Caitlin; too many Caitlins…) - from not too long before our friendship imploded, ironically. It is too bad. I never was quite sure what went wrong, but I guess you can’t win them all. It’s a really good mug, anyway.
osprey_archer: (window)
[livejournal.com profile] poeticknowledge asked: What are the top 10 best films you have seen this year (or in the past year, either one)?

Oh, wow. I actually think that if I listed my top ten films this year, I might end up listing every film I’ve seen, because I haven’t seen that many. I tend to watch more TV than movies, probably because I’m already invested in the characters.

...Okay, I actually went and did a count, and in fact I saw seventeen movies this year, seven of which I already posted about, so this is clearly a providential opportunity to post about the other ten.

This got long. Short reviews of Wreck-It Ralph, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Electric Horseman, Inside Daisy Clover, Rebel without a Cause, Snowpiercer, Blackfish, The Hot Rock, Antman, The Incredible Hulk, and Mosquita y Mari follow )

In short, here are my movie recs from the things I watched this year.

For something funny and light, I’d recommend Night at the Museum 3.

For something that will make you sob like a baby even as you delight in its clever world-building, Inside Out. Blackfish is also quite sad, although in a very different way.

For tense and cynical with a tough, complicated heroine, Inside Daisy Clover or Fried Green Tomatoes. (Fried Green Tomatoes also has some delightfully light-hearted and funny moments. Inside Daisy Clover is pretty much 100% intensity, all the time.)

For tense but uplifting (with great scenery), The Martian.

I don’t think I’d anti-rec anything I saw this year, but the others are all flawed in some way that means I wouldn’t rec them unreservedly.
osprey_archer: (cheers)
For [livejournal.com profile] greenet: 5 things you really like about summer! Or winter! you can pick whichever one most appeals. :)

(All the seasons appeal. All of them. But I am just going to do summer for now.)

1. Ice cream. I mean, I like ice cream during all seasons of the year, but it’s best in the summer when you can walk to the ice cream parlor and eat the ice cream on the walk back and it’s a race against time to see who will finish the ice cream first: you or the sun…

However, I don’t particularly appreciate it when the sun actually tries to win.

2. Long summer evenings. It’s so lovely to be able to take a walk after dinner, and it’s still light out, and the sun takes a long, long time setting.

3. Fresh peaches - when you walk into a supermarket and can smell the peaches from the door, when they’re rich and aromatic and soft enough that they give, just a little, when you press your thumb against their furry sides.

4. Daylilies. Bright orange and tall enough to waver in the breeze.

5. Fireflies.
osprey_archer: (food)
[livejournal.com profile] littlerhymes asked: Talk about all baked good things please. I always love the food details in your stories, how much of that comes from life?

Ha, well, the baked good obsession definitely comes from life. Once some friends and I went to Nashville, Indiana (it's a little town that was famous in the early 20th century as the home of the Hoosier Group, a pack of American Impressionist artists who decided to devote their artistic talents to the hills of Brown County), and we ended up eating five desserts or so over the course of the day. There was a pumpkin loaf, a blackberry crumple and an apple crisp, a foray into a fudge shop, and an ice cream sundae to round the afternoon off.

We were sharing these, not each having our very own of every single one, but that was still a lot of dessert.

I also liked to throw tea parties, back when I lived in a place where I had enough tea-drinking friends to appreciate it. But that was a while and a while ago.

I try not to write about food that I haven't tried at least once, because otherwise I'm sure I would mess up the description. And generally if my characters are cooking something, it will be something that I've cooked, too. Except that time that they set a plum pudding on fire. I have neither made a plum pudding, nor set one on fire, but I couldn't resist tossing that scene in.
osprey_archer: (tea)
[livejournal.com profile] bunn asked: Do you have a favourite tea?

I do! Well, actually I have two. In the mornings, I like to drink Lady Grey tea: aromatic, citrusy, and without the harsh throat-scratching qualities of Earl Grey. Admittedly, it also doesn't have that delicious billow of bergamot-scented steam that Earl Grey has right after you pour the water on it, but one can't have everything.

But I don't drink caffeinated tea at night, so if I want tea in the evenings I drink Stash's Christmas in Paris tea, which is the perfect tea and glorious and... I'm actually kind of hard-pressed to describe it. In some ways it isn't what I would think of when I say Christmas tea: there's no ginger or cinnamon, and while there is a little mint, it's very understated, just barely a hint. (Usually I find mint teas much too minty.) There are hints also of chocolate and lavender, but it's so subtly blended that no particular flavor predominates, and it's just very nice.

I have been poking around that Adagio Teas site, considering the fandom blends. This Felix Felicis blend looks pretty delicious, for instance. But we'll see if I ever get around to it.

(There's still plenty of room for more questions over at the December Meme post!)
osprey_archer: (window)
Oh hey, it's December! It sort of snuck up on me, okay, it's basically been December in Starbucks since the beginning of November.

Which means it's... time for December meme! Ask me questions! I will post answers!


osprey_archer: (Default)

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