lunabee34: (sg1: jack closeup by casett)
Go HERE to read this year's entries (they're still trickling in).

And here's my entry:

The Grey and Tender Rain. I am once again holding on to my title of shortest story in the collection. LOL

Wrede

25/8/17 08:10
lunabee34: (reading by tabaqui)
Talking to Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #4)Talking to Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I didn't like this one as well as the first three, I think because the implications are so sad (and as I suspected unacknowledged by the book). In fact, it's even worse than I predicted to begin with. Not only have Mendenbar and Cimorene been separated for 17 years, he's been sentient and aware that whole seventeen years and essentially alone in the dark in a closet. Also, Cimorene has been separated from her friends who don't appear to have been socializing in her absence with each other. That makes me really sad.

I also feel like the first three books are better written (which makes sense as this last one was actually written first).

The book ends on a happy note with order restored, but on the whole, I prefer the first three books of the series.



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lunabee34: (inuyasha: kirara by zuko14)
1. The students have asked me to be the faculty advisor for the Anime Club. I am going to decline. I feel bad for saying no, but I cannot go up to campus one day every week and watch anime with them for three hours (EVERY WEEK), and I am not going to supervise lock-ins. Um, ever. So, I'm flattered they asked me (this is what I get for talking about Dragonball Z and Inuyasha with my World Lit 1 class), but I am not prepared for that kind of time commitment.

2. This is Fiona's second week of school. We got a note sent home last week that she had hit a kid while standing in line. Why? we asked her. Because it was time to go, and he wouldn't move. Yesterday, I got a call from the school because Fiona has pinched a kid who tried to usurp her turn at the smart table. At least we don't have to worry about her having Emma's problem with being assertive. *jazz hands*

3. I got a letter from [profile] kayleecat. I love getting unexpected correspondence. :)

4. GoT finale on Sunday! Yay! I have to get my reviews typed up for the last two episodes before it airs. brief, spoilery speculation )

5. Academical people who do book reviews, how do you get that process started? Do you just cold email a publisher or something? How does that work? I'd like to do some reviews, I think.
lunabee34: (reading by sallymn)
Calling on Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #3)Calling on Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is just a fun series. I love that since most of the book is from Morwen's perspective, we get to hear what her cats are saying.

I hate that the book ends with Cimorene and Mendenbar being separated (and although I doubt the final book will deal with this issue, he's going to be the same age while she'll be much older when they can finally get the shield down and rescue him).

I'm interested to see what happens in the last book.



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I'm so glad Kaleecat got me into this series. I'm really enjoying it. Already halfway done with the final installment in the series.
lunabee34: (reading by tabaqui)
Under GeminiUnder Gemini by Rosamunde Pilcher

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Pilcher does two things very well: setting and character. The descriptions of the Scottish coast and Scottish manor homes and a posh London hotel and Cornwall by the sea--all are evocative and lush and beautiful to read. The characters in the novel are complex, interesting, and nuanced, and most of them are warm and kind people I'd love to spend a weekend with drinking tea and walking on the beach.

This is an Old School Romance and a product of its time, so there are some elements I could do without (like the male love interest slapping the female protagonist in the face or the implicit assumptions about what women will do with their lives in terms of occupation, matrimony, and motherhood), but Pilcher is definitely a good storyteller.



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lunabee34: (reading by thelastgoodname)
Dark Lord of Derkholm (Derkholm, #1)Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I really liked this book. It was a lot of fun, and I liked the unusual cast of characters.

I did not like, however, that there is a short scene in the middle that alludes to a rape. I mean, I guess you could read it as not going that far, but I don't see how, and it seems really, really unnecessary in what is otherwise a delightful YA fantasy novel. It's literally like two paragraphs long, and the book would have been better for the pruning of it.

With that caveat, I think this was a very enjoyable read.



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Scholarship Assessed: Evaluation of the ProfessoriateScholarship Assessed: Evaluation of the Professoriate by Charles E. Glassick

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This report is the follow-up to Scholarship Reconsidered which seeks to begin answering the question: if we're going to expand the definition of scholarship, how should we assess the newly defined scholarship for promotion and tenure purposes?

I didn't find anything new in this report, but I did find some useful suggestions for taking evaluation of teaching beyond student evaluations, and I think the suggestion that promotion and tenure committees (along with the administrators who will make those decisions) receive training in how to evaluate scholarship is a very good one.



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lunabee34: (reading by sallymn)
Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot (Cecelia and Kate, #1)Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This was so so good. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It's a novel consisting of letters between two female cousins, Cecelia and Kate, at the beginning of the 19th century. One of them has had to stay home in the country while the other is being presented in London, and so they write letters to each other to stay in touch. Magic is real in this world, and both girls become entangled in a plot that sends them into great peril (which, to be fair, they mostly end up enjoying).

We're living in pretty dark times, and reading something extremely funny and witty and utterly delightful was just what I needed right now.



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lunabee34: (lorraine is a teacher by emella)
1. [personal profile] spikedluv wrote me a wonderful MCU Clint/Coulson story called everything that's right (at the wrong time). It features some of my favorites, including misunderstandings that lead to pining. Everyone should go check it out and give her story some love.

2. Penultimate episode of Game of Thrones for this season. *squee* I guess this means I should finally write up my thoughts on last week's episode. LOL SPOILERS )

3. I was looking at the fall lineup of shows, and I am so pleased that Lucifer will now be on at 8:00 and Gotham has moved to a different day at 8:00. That means with the exception of Sunday night TV, the handful of shows I want to watch are mostly on at 8:00. NCIS:NOLA is still on at 10:00, but I've resigned myself to watching the show after it shows up on Netflix or something.

4. Downton Abbey is redeemed. I have liked these last episodes very much. SPOILERS )

5. I am so thrilled to be going back to teaching tomorrow. I am ready for a regular schedule and meaningful work. I am almost vibrating with anticipation.
lunabee34: (reading by tabaqui)
Faint Praise: The Plight of Book Reviewing in AmericaFaint Praise: The Plight of Book Reviewing in America by Gail Pool

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This was very informative about the book reviewing industry; it was also meticulously researched. I really appreciated the quotes from book reviews of yore and the look at the history of book reviewing. I think Pool offers some very good advice for people who are looking to get into book reviewing. She is also fair in her critique of the industry, admitting that she is guilty of many of the sins she highlights.

Unfortunately, the book is not a rolicking read. It's informative and the topic is interesting, but Pool's writing is pretty dry. The parts where she quotes from what other people have said about the practice of reviewing (usually pretty negative and cutting commentary) and the parts where she quotes actual reviews and the parts where she tells stories about things that happened to her or the one time this guy sued the paper because the review of his book was full of factual errors--those parts were engaging. The rest of it not so much.

Also unfortunately, the book is dated. It's ten years old and barely touches on the way the internet has changed book reviewing. Goodreads isn't even mentioned. I would be very interested to see what Pool has to say about the way the industry has changed in the last decade as well as what she thinks about the current status of self-published books.



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lunabee34: (reading by sallymn)
So, over the course of this week, the Boyer model of scholarship got brought up at two separate meetings, so I thought I'd better check it out. Over the last four years, we've consolidated and gone through two level changes, so we're now at the point where we're having to revise promotion and tenure processes yet again. Part of that is defining what we mean by scholarship and which activities will be rewarded by the institution. I think there's going to be a committee. LOL

Scholarship Reconsidered )
lunabee34: (reading by tabaqui)
Searching for Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #2)Searching for Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I really like this second book in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. It's told from the perspective of Mendanbar, the King of the Enchanted Forest, who is as kind, intelligent, unpretentious, and fed up with the usual way of doing things as Cimorene is. Naturally, they are end-game romance for the book. :)

I liked getting to know more about Morwen. I loved Willin, the stuffy elf who wishes Mendanbar would get on board with all the protocol and grandiosity that could be associated with his position.

I also liked that magic and the way it works is the major theme of this novel. I love that Cimorene has become more competent with magic, enough so that she's a formidable opponent.

Can't wait to see what happens in book 3.



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lunabee34: (reading by thelastgoodname)
Dealing with Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #1)Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I'd read and enjoyed this as a child, and it definitely holds up as an adult.

Cimorene is a fantastic character. I love the way she takes her destiny into her own hands and helps those around her to achieve their destinies. I can't wait to see what happens to her in the new role she adopts at the end of the novel.

I didn't realize it was part of a series when I was a kid, so I only read this first book in the series. I'm really looking forward to reading the next book.



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lunabee34: (Default)
1. Fiona started Pre-K! She is thrilled. On the very first day only, the school allows parents to park and walk the children in to their classrooms. I asked Fiona if she wanted me to walk her in or drop her off at the car-riders' line like I'd be doing the rest of the days of the school year. She said, "I want to do it by myself." She was grinning when I let her out and grinning when I picked her up. She doesn't have an ounce of anxiety about anything in her. I didn't even have time to tear up at all; I bawled like a baby when we dropped Emma off for kindergarten. I think some of that is because it's a second child, but mostly it's because Fiona was too happy and chill about it all for me to get a tear in edgewise.

Emma started high school! At orientation earlier this week, we were both flummoxed at her schedule which had her taking Advanced Band (without ever having had any kind of band whatsoever). We asked to have her moved to a different class, but I didn't have much confidence they'd do so. The middle school forced her to take the same exact class with the same exact content two years in a row and forced her to take chorus when she has no interest in it, so I was worried we'd run into the same thing. Fortunately, they switched her to Intro to Health Care. Georgia has a handful of career paths they make HS students choose; naturally, none of them map on to what Emma wants to do. There's art, agriculture (which is the one she chose; there are a couple classes in it that seem like they might be at least tangentially helpful or related to the marine biology she wants to pursue), health care, and a couple more. The health care one is really cool because if you know you already want to go into that field, when you graduate HS you will have a certificate degree (like an LPN or something like that) that will allow you to immediately work. It's just weird to me that they don't have a separate college prep track and that they force the kids into these tracks they're not going to use. Oh, well. It's not advanced band. I hate to be That Parent, but I didn't want her stuck in some class that's guaranteed to lower her GPA. (She's probably not going to be Valedictorian, but she *could* be, dammit.)

2. One week with onions and no problems!!!! Now I'm getting antsy to try something else, but I will be good and remain committed to my two week trial period for each new food.

3. Josh's physical therapy is going well. I think he's feeling a lot better.

4. Screw you, pants! I am having such an issue with pants. cut for talk of weight and clothing sizes )

5. Finally, Downton Abbey is looking up! SPOILERS )
lunabee34: (Default)
The King Must DieThe King Must Die by Mary Renault

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I liked this a lot. I've always enjoyed retellings of Greek and Roman myths, and this is a wonderful example of that genre.

The story follows Theseus from his childhood through his escape from Minos, and I think what I like most about the book is that although the characters certainly believe the supernatural is real, the reader knows that natural explanations exist for all the supernatural elements.

Sometimes I felt a little bogged down in the prose; more often, I thought a turn of phrase beautiful and arresting. Always, I anticipated how Renault would twist the bare bones of the myth into something that could actually have happened.

Highly recommended.



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lunabee34: (got: arya-jon hug by princessbloomy)
Oh, man. These last two episodes have been magnificent. So many people are complaining about the pacing, and I don't know what they're on about. I am so so happy to get some movement forward on these story arcs.

episode 2 )

episode 3 )

I can't believe we only have three more episodes!
lunabee34: (hp: snape trouble by so_severus)
1. We just got back from a trip to Josh's parents in Jackson. I took the girls, and Josh stayed home because shortly before we were to leave, he developed a sudden and rather severe case of TMJ. He's never had it before, and it seemed to hit him like a freight train (which is weird to me because I also have TMJ, and it always starts gradually for me and builds to an agony). He stayed so he could get treatment started (x-rays, mouth guard, topical gel, physical therapy) and thus be ready for classes to start back on the 14th. He is much improved, and his first physical therapy appt is on Thursday.

Trip was good. Josh's mom is definitely struggling with memory issues. She got screened this summer, but as I feared, she went to her regular GP who she's known for years, and he didn't think anything was wrong with her. She's extremely intelligent and charismatic, and I just don't think he could be objective enough to ferret out the issue. She also went alone because none of us could be there. Sister-in-law was also at her parents for that week, and she agrees that we need to move forward with trying to get her diagnosed. SIL is getting married in October, and they are footing the bill and doing all the planning for it, so I suspect MIL's issues will wait until after then, and I don't blame her at all. Let's get the wedding over with, and then deal with it. Unfortunately, much of the onus will fall on SIL. She agrees with me that it's not my place to bring it up but to be supportive, and Josh's parents will react to this discussion better from her than from him. SIL is the golden child and less likely to be dismissed.

2. Fiona has cavities. I am so distraught. Emma has never had cavities. We took her to her first dentist appt yesterday, and she has several cavities. I thought it would just be a pro-forma visit. So Josh is running her up to Macon this morning to a pediatric dentist to get the ball rolling on that. *sigh*

3. Naturally, we depleted the HSA mid-July. LOL Let us not discuss how much that mouth guard costs. *boggles* At least fillings are relatively inexpensive.

4. I am starting to reintroduce problem foods today! I begin with onions. I'm going to eat onions for the next two weeks and see if they screw me up. Wish me luck, my friends. Next on the agenda: apples.
lunabee34: (reading by sallymn)
Brother to Dragons, Companion to OwlsBrother to Dragons, Companion to Owls by Jane Lindskold

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This is a weird book. I liked it, some parts of it quite a bit, but it's a weird book. I think I started out with the wrong expectations; I'd just read a YA book, and the cover of this one looks like a YA novel. It's also told from the perspective of someone who believes her plastic dragons can talk to her, so initially I thought I was going to be reading a YA fantasy novel.

Pretty quickly, though, the book veers into adult territory; the protagonist Sarah is actually in her thirties, and there's a fair amount of sexual content, including mentions of child prostitution, although none of it is graphic or detailed, just alluded to.

This is set in some sort of possibly dystopic future, but we don't get a lot of details about the world because everything comes from Sarah's very limited POV. That's actually one of my favorite parts about the book--the way the author lets little details about the world slip through (everybody uses some kind of credit system, hovercars are a thing, etc) without really explaining anything.

Another part I really like is that Sarah can speak to inanimate objects. At the beginning of the story, the reader thinks she's hallucinating and then gradually comes to realize that she truly can hear her plastic dragons and other objects speak. I also like that Sarah falls in with a group of marginalized people who have banded together to protect each other and live together in what sounds to me like an abandoned chemical plant. Their society is based on the Jungle Book, and is very cool if also very disturbing in many ways.

So, pros: very cool world building, very interesting protagonist, very interesting plot.
Cons: mentions of child rape and child prostitution, consent issues, really bizarre (dated?) understanding of autism (the story begins with Sarah in an institution, and she's believed to be autistic because she was mute as a child and now can only communicate in quotations from stories that she's memorized)

Recommend with reservations.



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lunabee34: (reading by thelastgoodname)
So You Want to Be a Wizard (Young Wizards, #1)So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This was wonderful! It's YA, and on the younger side of YA, but such a fun read. It follows Nita and Kit who both find books about becoming wizards and choose to take the oath. They meet a white hole and senior level wizards and become responsible for the fate of the whole universe along the way.

The magic is really cool here--based on the Speech, on knowing something truly by saying it truly. It also features sentient trees and mechanical objects and some really cool magic involving time.

I don't want to spoil the ending, so I won't say what happens to make me cry, but I was surprised how moved I was by the ending. Full on sniffling. :)

Definitely recommend this one; I think it's the start of a series as well.



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