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So, I've completed my first book of 2009 and thought I'd put that fact down in writing!

1: Wolfblade by Jennifer Fallon

I definitely enjoyed it, and got stuck into it. It's a book primarily about politics and there are several main characters to sympathise (or not!) with. There are quite a few twists and turns in it. Some were obvious, but most of them came as a surprise, so that's nice. I only discovered upon reading the end (which has a question and answer session with the author in it) that this book (and its two sequels) are actually the prequel to a trilogy that she'd already written, called The Demon Child trilogy. If the other two books are as good as this one, I may very well go on the hunt for those three. *g*
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Another petition, again about a matter close to my heart: books!

[quoted directly from [livejournal.com profile] loriel_eris]

The gist of the matter is that from the autumn some publishers are going to put age banding on children's books. ie 5+, 7+, 9+, 11+ and 13+/teen. Why? So that people can buy age appropriate books for kids. Huh. That's what I thought front cover, text size, book description and where the bookseller had placed it on the shelves was for...

[end quote]

[Links from [livejournal.com profile] loriel_eris]

A Telegraph article

An article in The Guardian

[This is all me now!]

Frankly, I think this is ridiculous, and pointless. Considering the fact that I read books way above my age when I was younger, I'm totally against it, mainly for the reason that it would put off parents letting their children read what they wanted. You know, 'you're only 10, you can't read a book that's labelled 12+' or whatever! It seems to have completely forgotten the point that children read at different levels - as I said, I read a lot of books way above my reading age when I was younger (mainly because there was nothing else to do!) but my parents never censored what I read. In fact, they actively encouraged it! Personally, I feel that children can only benefit from a wide range of reading. I highly doubt that young children (and let's face it, once kids reach about the age of 13, parents aren't going to be able to prevent them reading what they want!) will actively seek out books that are potentially 'harmful' to them. (I'm thinking of descriptive crime novels and books with a lot of sex - although I'd read a Mills & Boon when I was about ten (in fact, it was one of my favourite books at the time!).) There are a lot of entertaining reads that might be considered 'too old' for an eleven year old, but each child is different!

I can appreciate the reason for banding of films - although that only works in the cinemas. In films, nothing is left up to the imagination. Everything is right in front of you, in blazing technicolour (most of the time. I realise that sometimes you have to infer, in which case younger children probably wouldn't get the references and it will all be fine.). Violence, blood flying every where, sex. Books can leave that up to the imagination. And reading about blood flying is not the same as seeing it! In books, children can read things quite happily and not necessarily realise what they mean. They might take a completely different meaning from the one that was meant (in the right way). I'm afraid I'm not explaining myself particularly well - if it doesn't make sense, then comment, and I'll try and do better!

From my experience, a lot of parents don't pay any attention to the age banding of films when it comes to buying/renting films. Instead, they make an informed decision regarding their child and what they know the film to contain (unless they don't care at all, in which case the point is moot). Why can't they do that with books, as I'm sure they've been doing all these years? What has prompted this? I've never heard of stories of children being scarred for life from having read a book that was 'too old' for them. Frankly, I find the whole thing offensive.

I mean, surely the fact that in bookstores (and online, so the getting rid of bookstores idea doesn't really hold true) there are children's sections, 12+ sections, teen sections (which hold some great books!), infants sections etc is enough guidance, for goodness' sake! What's next, having to show your ID to buy a book?!

It seems pretty pointless to me, and I think that perhaps the people who have come up with this idea have had a crisis of imagination and are clutching at straws to keep their jobs!

I have been reading from as soon as I was able, and devoured everything that I could. My parents never restricted my reading, and as such I believe that I benefited with a great love of all books. Age banding is pointless, as far as I can see, and can only be damaging to the youngsters of today. We are already having a hard time encouraging children to read, and adding the stigma of reading books with age banding on them (also, think of the potential bullying possibilities), I think it would only make things more difficult. Surely, the sectioning of books into different sections in bookstores is enough guidance for parents?! Is this age banding insulting the intelligence of parents?

- what I wrote in my email

Anyway, here is the petition website. Please send them an email of support if you agree.
No To Age Banding
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I've just found out that Borders on Buchanan Street in Glasgow might be closing, because book sales are down thanks to online bookstores, and the fact that US sales are up, so they might be pulling out of the UK!!! They can't close down the one in Buchanan Street! We must do something. Go and buy out the bookstore, or petition, or something!!!
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Okay, well, I decided quite a while ago that I would post an entry from Diana Wynne Jones' The Tough Guide to Fantasy Land every day, but then I never got round to it. So this is me just starting!

First of all, the reviews on the back are great!

An indispensible guide for anyone stuck in the realms of fantasy without a magic sword to call their own. - Terry Pratchett

I've got a magic sword actually, so I'll stick with that if you don't mind. Even if it is broken. - Aragorn, son of Arathorn

Would have been a lot more use on the quest than three Elven hairs. - Gimli, son of Gloin

And now for the first entry (which isn't actually an entry but a guide in how to use the book, but it's a must read!):

What to do first:

  1. Find the MAP. It will be there. No Tour of Fantasyland is complete without one. It will be found in the front part of your brochure, quite near the page that says:
For Mum and Dad for having me
and for Jeannie (or Jack or Debra or Donnie or ...) for putting up with me so supportively
and for my nine children for not interrupting me
and for my Publisher for not discouraging me
and for my Writers' Circle for listening to me
and for Barbie and Greta and Albert Einstein and Aunty May

and so on. Ignore this, even if you're wondering if Albert Einstein is Albert Einstein or in fact a dog.

This will be followed by a short piece of prose that says:

When the night of the wolf waxes strong in the morning, the wise man is wary of a false dawn.
Ka'a Orto'o, Gnomic Utterances, VI ii

Ignore this too (or, if really puzzled, look up GNOMIC UTTERANCES in the Toughpick section). Find the Map.

The whole first entry can be found at this webpage, because I didn't want to blow up LJ! (The reference to Toughpick is talking about the main part of the book; the glossary part.)

[ETA: All of the writing I'm quoting is copyrighted to Diana Wynne Jones and Gollancz publishers. I don't intend to post every entry, because that would take years and bore everyone to death. Instead I was thinking about posting interesting ones with the idea of getting people interested in the book, so I'm not encouraging people to read my entries instead of buying the book. You should buy the book if you like what I post, because it's really funny!]
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This book review is dedicated to [livejournal.com profile] chelle86, because she specifically asked for it.

I have just finished reading Temeraire, by Naomi Novik. Here is the blurb on the back:

Set amid the turmoil of the Napoleonic wars, Temeraire is a thrilling tale of one of the most dramatic chapters of European history with a brilliant veneer of bold fantasy.

The war tearing Europe apart is not fought upon land and sea alone, for battalions also fill the sky. And the fiery death they bring has little to do with gunpowder - it comes from the very guts of the beasts they are flying: DRAGONS.

Weeks out of port at Madeira, a British vessel - the 'Reliant', commanded by Captain William Laurence - captures a French frigate. Within its hold lies a precious dragon egg. And it's close to hatching.

Once harnessed, a young dragon will accept no other master, so when the new-born ignores his chosen rider and approaches the Captain instead, Laurence's life is changed forever.

So that's the premise. Here's my review:

This book is fantastic. As I said in my previous post, I did stay up all night reading it, so it can't be half bad! You can't help but love the main characters of Laurence and Temeraire. Although sometimes the description of all the harnesses and things that go on a dragon to enable it to become a flying, killing machine are a little complicated and difficult to understand (although that could just have been from the late hour that I was reading at!), it doesn't detract from the story in any way. I got really into the story, and the way it's been written, which is sometimes a little unusual in that it harks back to the way of speaking in the Napoleonic wars. I think I was lucky in that I've seen the Hornblower series, which this book put me in mind of, so I had no trouble getting into the story and being engrossed in it.

I don't really have any complaints about this book. It's very unusual in that it takes place in our world, in our time (sort of!), and thus it makes it seems as though what is written actually happened! (After all, none of us was around for the Napoleonic wars, who's to say dragons weren't involved! *g*) It's just so different from the usual fantasy drivel that's poured out these days that I recommend just on that strength: it's a breath of fresh air in the staleness of the fantasy world. However, it's also a good read! *g*

So there you are, [livejournal.com profile] chelle86. :)

[ETA: I also noticed a note at the back of the book which mentioned Livejournal, so I've searched her out, and here is her Livejournal: [livejournal.com profile] naominovik. Needless to say, I've friended her!
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This is a combination of lists that I got from various sources. I don't think that there are doubled-up copies, but there may be, in which case, I apologise.

It's behind a cut simply because it's a very, very, very long list!

Have you read it? )
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Yes, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] chelle86 (got the number right this time!), I went looking for a Daina Wynne Jones book and ended up ordering:

Fire and Hemlock
Deep Secret
The Year of the Griffin

The total amount per book (including shipping) was £5.69, which I figured wasn't too bad, especially since I'm getting one which is unbelievably hard to find!
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So, the discussion that [livejournal.com profile] chelle86, [livejournal.com profile] nimoloth and I are having about Diana Wynne Jones' books reminded me of another author (who I always get mixed up with DWJ) who's books I love: Diane Duane. She writes the Young Wizards series (which I originally thought was a trilogy and was delighted to discover not that long ago that there were in fact a lot more books). So I seek her out on the internet, and she's got her own fanfic writing project! How awesome is that?! She sets the scenario, writes the first few paragraphs, and then fans write the next ones, vote on which one is best and then it gets stuck on the end as the next part! The work becomes the copyright of Diane Duane, but she legally promises not to use it in any of her future books.

I think it's awesome that a well-established author is embracing fanfiction. Also, she has a weblog, where she keeps her fans up-to-date on the goings on in her world - like the prospect of a movie being made of So You Want to Be A Wizard?. *g*

ETC: I had to edit [livejournal.com profile] chelle86's name, because I accidentally put her down as [livejournal.com profile] chelle89, who also exists, and I apologise to both of them for getting them mixed up! *g*
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So, I got eaten by Borders tonight, along with [livejournal.com profile] loriel_eris. I used up my £30 of book tokens and in fact got just over £1 back ([livejournal.com profile] loriel_eris gave it to me, because she bought all the books together as she got a 15% discount.

What I bought was:

Dark Lord of Derkhelm by Diana Wynne Jones - this is a book that I've read more than once before and find it so funny. They didn't have the sequel, The Day of the Griffin, unfortunately, but I'll be on the lookout for it.

The Tough Guide to FantasyLand by Diana Wynne Jones - I've seen this book referenced a few times, generally in relation to Tamora Pierce stories (I was in fact looking for the new Tamora Pierce book that [livejournal.com profile] nimoloth was talking about, but they didn't have it), and since I'm a great fan of DW Jones, I thought I'd give it a go. I started on the train, and am finding it amusing already.

Temeraire by Naomi Novik - it's set in the Napoleanic War and is about a British Navy Captain and a dragon. Sounds interesting, will let you know.

Heroics for Beginners - by John Moore - it's another spoof/parody. It looks funny.

Battle of Everlight - Celia Dart-Thornton - it's the third part in a series (I was hoping it was a trilogy but I have a nasty feeling that it isn't) which I already own the first two (obviously), and is very good (the first 2, I can't speak for the third, because I haven't read it yet!). They're fantasy novels with a strong Celtic mythological influence, which makes them more interesting than a lot of the usual fantasy stuff out there.

I'll let you all know what I think of them once I'm finished. *g*
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Hey, everyone, in case you haven't heard, there's you can vote for Jen Garner, Alias, and David Anders, as Best Actress, Best TV Show, and Best Newcomer on:http://www.syfyportal.com

I've been DLing photos of [livejournal.com profile] kyizi's favourite underage man, Daniel Radcliffe, since I realised that I had hardly any photos of him! Anyway, [livejournal.com profile] kyizi, if you haven't got that many of him, there are some really good ones at www.danradcliffe.co.uk.

Also, [livejournal.com profile] loriel_eris has been and bought me David and Leigh Eddings' new book, The Elder Gods since I have all of the Belgariad, the Mallorean, the Elenium, and the Tamuli, apart from The Rivan Codex and I also have The Redemption of Althalus. I figured I should get the next book written by them!

Haven't done much else, although I returned to my "Body in Balance" class yesterday, which is a misture of Tai Chi, Pilates, and Yoga. Because I haven't been in a while, I'm incredibly sore today. My lower stomach muscles hurt, as do my upper arms and chest. Argh! I suppose it's doing me good, but a long hot soak in the bath is called for tonight!


Apr. 28th, 2004 04:20 pm
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Just noticed that Tom Felton has started up his own Official website, at the same address as the old unofficial fansite: Tom Felton dot com

It's pretty good, although still in the early working stage, but since he's got a life, like the rest of us, I can understand that. After all, my website has 3 pages!
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So, I've been a busy little bee. Just finished the second and third books of the Tamora Pierce series I've been reading. My rant over pairings was not completely justified. The reason being )

I spent all night reading them. They're so good that I actually didn't read DV14 last night! I know, shock, horror! I don't know what came over me!

Today, things did not go so well. My alarm didn't go off, so I missed my lecture in the morning. Then when I did get up, I managed to burn my first piece of toast and set off the smoke alarm, and nearly burnt the second - I had to cut a bit of it off to make it edible.

Then, I realised that I was going to make a manip for my Calendar's page. Fortunately, the screencap that I wanted didn't need much manipping, and it only took me about 15 mintues to do it. It's up. I also changed the colour code for my Friends page, (I changed it to a Web colour) but it doesn't seem to be working. However, [livejournal.com profile] loriel_eris said it looks fine on another computer, so maybe it's these ones here.

Am sitting next to the charming and quite scrumptious Russell at the moment. Yumm!

Sorry for the random comment, but I don't actually want him to see it! *g* How embarrassing would that be! And don't say anything [livejournal.com profile] kyizi!
heliona: (Default)
Well, I've changed my Friends layout. I've been wanting to put this up for a while, but didn't want to get rid of Orli because I like it so much.

The only thing is, the colours don't exactly match up, so I'm going to have to go back on my computer and try to find the code again. I'm sure I got them the same, but maybe I didn't. If I did and it's because it's not a web colour or something, then I'm going to have to fiddle. Grr!

Still, it's pretty!

And, huzzah! Draco Veritas 14; Part 1is up. Hurrah!!! Guess what I'm going to be doing tonight!

And, what's more, my friend's lent me more Tamora Pierce books, so I'll be reading all night long! Hurray!

On another note, I'm rereading Order of the Pheonix. I don't know why, I guess I'm a glutton for punishment or something. But it's really annoying me, because I've got to the bit where Kreacher's gone missing and Hermione's a little worried, and so is Harry, because he says that house elves can leave their home if they really want (eg: Dobby), and even Sirius is a little worried, but they don't think much of it! Argh! It's *really* annoying! I'm not sure if I want to read more, because I'll just get so mad. The only good thing about OotP is that Ginny's much better in it - she's no longer a wimp drooling over Harry. And Gred and Forge are brill as well.


Blah again

Mar. 3rd, 2004 04:15 pm
heliona: (Default)
Yes, I'm bored. I've just finished going over [livejournal.com profile] loriel_eris's CV for her, and changing a few things, and now I have to hang around for an hour, doing nothing. Don't you hate it when you're on the Internet and you really can't be bothered doing anything, but as soon as you get home, you can think of all sorts of things you could have done.

What's more, I can't even go and download any fic, since I don't have Frankie with me. Grr!

Hmm, speaking of fic, I'm in the middle of reading Tamora Pierce books, so I might go and see if I can find any decent fanfic.

Am also hoping to have a new layout for my Friends page for tomorrow. I've got some ideas floating about in my head, I've just got to find time to do something about them tonight, in between doing the ironing and watching ER!

EDITTED: spoilers for Tamora Pierce books )

Book list

Jan. 28th, 2004 02:42 pm
heliona: (Default)
Because I'm bored, I thought I'd do the meme booklist thing )

It makes me feel a little better about my reading list, especially since I've heard of most of them, and actually intend to read some of the others too!


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March 2011

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