fahye: ([orig] mistress of an empty kingdom)
Not enough, NEVER ENOUGH, but there were some good ones on the list! I am not going to chatter about favourites and disappointments, but if you would like my opinion on/are curious about any of the books listed here, PLEASE ASK.

This was the year I discovered historical and romantic fiction. I AM SO HAPPY WITH THIS DECISION. I also read a bewildering amount of nonfiction about the American economy, go figure.

101 in all )
fahye: ([other] write this down)
Hello, flist, hello. Part of me is sure this is a disastrous idea given the amount of unread books languishing on my bookshelves, but part of me is always up for an excuse to acquire long lists of new books, so here we go.

Last year my reading habits, so long based firmly around Novels with the occasional Play thrown in, expanded somewhat: I read a lot of poetry, and I also began to read a few more non-fiction books and memoirs. This year I would like to continue this expansion!

To that end, I am soliciting recommendations for:

- short story collections (either by single authors, or anthologies)
- non-fiction books on any subject*
- essay collections

...these being the areas in which I am very much Under-read.





*Thanks to [personal profile] highlyeccentric I just finished a book about the political history of modern Australian pornography and censorship laws; it was excellent! I am open to books about pretty much anything as long as they are well-written and engaging. I will also admit to a serious predilection for chatty pop-psych books by people who have given TED talks.
fahye: ([orig] tell your own reality)
Brace yourselves for a WHOLE LOTTA SHAKESPEARE (given my project to read his Complete Works this year), some forays into poetry, and fewer Booker Prize winners than in previous years; my read-through has been chugging along a lot more slowly.

Like last year I divided my favourites into 'most impressed with' and 'most enjoyed reading'.

123 including plays )
fahye: ([other] is not that strange)
Resolution to Blog More With Words, here we go :) I'm not feeling the best at the moment, and my mother has introduced me to a book that I think will become one of my go-to books during sickness and insomnia: Stevie Smith's Novel on Yellow Paper. It's also got a lively, I Do What I Like, Thor! kind of writing style that's helpful to be exposed to in my current state of complete block on my WIP.

Have a quote!

My friendships, they are a very strong part of my life, they are as light as gossamer but also they are as strong as steel. )
fahye: ([dw] and you might grow)
Summer has kicked off its sandals and settled in! It's been around 35 (= 95F) here most days, with thunderstorms in the evenings, and it's been even hotter in Victoria and South Australia. 'Tis the season of total fire bans and most of the population rushing to the edge of the continent and splashing around in the sea.

We make iced tea every day and Tasha the cat can be found sprawled directly underneath an air conditioning vent at all times. It's so hot that the unpleasant idea of turning on the oven has finally outweighed my desire to bake things -- all to the good, Mum's pleaded with me to STOP BAKING for the sake of everyone's waistlines. I don't think she realises how much pent-up baking urge I have after three years in a res college (no oven) and one year in Orange (oven was terrible; burnt the base of everything). The cookies will continue. When it's cooled down a bit.

*

I can't believe I've never read Northanger Abbey before now. Mum & I watched the most recent BBC version (with Felicity Jones, who was Miranda in the Helen-Mirren-as-Prospera Tempest film; she has the most perfect, birdlike ingénue face) and I immediately pounced on the book afterwards. It's HYSTERICAL. Jane Austen goes off on rants mid-page about how undervalued the novel is! Fun is poked at every Gothic romance trope imaginable! Austen, Austen, why did I ever doubt you.

I'm also reading it with, at the back of my mind, all the posts that [livejournal.com profile] sarahtales has been making about the Gothic genre. This post on the Gothic Heroine/Mysterious House pairing is SO TRUE.
Her passion for ancient edifices was next in degree to her passion for Henry Tilney - and castles and abbies made usually the charm of those reveries which his image did not fill.

Catherine, you fickle vixen, you.

*

There's an exhibition on at the National Library of Australia at the moment which features handwritten manuscripts from a very impressive German collection. I have now seen letters/diary entries/more letters written by Newton! And Kepler! And Einstein! And Darwin! And Goethe and Dickens and Hegel and Kant and Marx and Nietzche and Voltaire and Watt and the dude with the twitching frogs' legs. Galvani. Plus musical scores written by Handel and Bach and Mozart and Schubert --

Actually, there was a book of Goethe's poems set to music by Schubert; the blurb on the exhibit said that apparently Schubert sent it off to Goethe with a polite note asking if he could dedicate it to the poet. Goethe returned it without comment. BURN.

*

I start work in two weeks. I expect I have already forgotten half of my medical degree.
fahye: ([other] my heart's a drummer)
Due to the study required for my final year of med school, I didn't read as many books as I did last year, and I did a lot more rereads of old favourites. A lot of the book choices were informed by my Booker Prize project (and my vague intention to move on to the Pulitzers next) and my desire to get some more seminal scifi under my belt. I also rectified last year's lack of Shakespeare, and plan to continue with that next year :)

As usual, I did lists: seven I was most impressed with, seven I most enjoyed reading, and a handful of disappointments.

118 in all )
fahye: ([stxi] save me han solo)
I JUST FINISHED MIRA GRANT'S DEADLINE.

CAN SOMEONE ELSE WHO'S READ IT PLEASE COME AND SCREAM IN A SPOILERISH FASHION AT ME IN COMMENTS.

I NEED TO PROCESS MY FEELINGS.

OH MY FUCKING GOD.
fahye: ([stxi] phonemes and syntax)
Today instead of studying medicine or writing, I read Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers cover-to-cover.

What this basically means is that instead of devoting any of the hours in my day towards the two areas in which I would like to one day have a career, I read about how achieving real success in anything is estimated to take ten thousand hours of effort.

How anyone thinks I have my life together is something of a mystery, I must admit.

(Yesterday I spent those same precious hours reviewing Sebastian Faulks's A Week in December, which I adored.)
fahye: ([httyd] I'll give YOU a blind spot)
My latest review (of Jean Plaidy's Daughter of Satan) is a satisfying and outraged takedown of a book I really wanted to like, but which unfortunately left me wanting to stab things. This icon is PERFECT, actually.

I am full of the warm glow that comes when you are very close to having actually checked ALL THE LITTLE BOXES on your evening's to-do list; I am three pages of otolaryngology study and a few paragraphs of fic away from having done everything I told myself I would do, which is, let's face it, a vanishingly rare occurence.

Other things I am full of include desperate woe that the second season of The Good Wife is not yet available on DVD, because I need more Alicia and Kalinda and Diane (and some of the men, I suppose) in my life right the hell now. SHOW <3 What with it and Damages, legal dramas are bewilderingly ahead of the rest of TV when it comes to Bechdel-ing it up; why can't my beloved speculative-fiction shows get their arses into gear and follow their lead?
fahye: ([science] the body is a roman thing)
Two new book reviews (I'm working on a backlog here), both of Booker Prize winners:
- The Old Devils by Kingsley Amis
- Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

I'm on my last rotation before final exams (!!!) which is cardiology. I don't find it particularly thrilling but I'm getting slowly better at interpreting ECGs, and today I cardioverted someone who was in atrial flutter. Yep, there were paddles, and I got to say 'CLEAR' and press the buttons and the patient gave a violent KA-BUMP under my hands and I looked up at the ECG trace and she was in sinus rythym. It wasn't exactly a medical emergency, but it was deeply satisfying to the part of me that has watched far too much medical television and has always wanted to send an electrical current through someone's heart.
fahye: ([avatar] we're burning down)
Because I feel like one is due!

Med school
My long case exam was on Tuesday...I'm really not sure how I went, and look forward to two weeks of intermittent agonising about the damn thing before I find out whether or not I have to retake it. My final written exams are in five weeks, and as yet I'm not too worried about those.

Jobs
At this stage it's around 90% likely that I'll be going to Wollongong for the next two years, but ACT Health continues to waffle around, and they've made noises indicating a couple of second-round offers might be given next week; my dad's done everything short of outright nepotism to convince them that actually, I DO really want a job there, despite the fact that I've provisionally accepted the Wollongong offer. In my current fragile state I do not deal well with extraneous sources of uncertainty!

Relaxation
My housemates and I are throwing an impromptu dinner party tonight for the few fourth years who aren't going back to Sydney for the weekend, that should be fun. I also bought S1 of The Good Wife on DVD and am looking forward to watching that in study breaks. Or instead of study. Whatever.

Writing
*SOBS* I think stress has momentarily fried my writing brain. I have things to work on but I can't find the right headspace for any of them. I've also really, really started to miss original writing; it's been forever since I worked on eyai or thought about any of my other ideas.

Reading
I am MASSIVELY behind on booklogging (see also: inability to form words) but I don't think I linked to the two latest, Guardian of the Dead and The October Country. I have a couple of older Booker Prize winners waiting by my bedside at the moment, although they're probably a poor choice; I'm more in the mood for comfort rereading or escapist fantasy at the moment.
fahye: ([lotr] no haven for this heart)
I've read a little over a third of them, I think?

Feel free to recommend any of the unread ones if you think they'd be up my alley, too.

Bold if you've read, italicize ones you fully intend to read, underline if it's a book/series you've read part but not all of. )
fahye: ([stt] and now some legal jargon)
Two new book reviews:

- Mary Renault's The Friendly Young Ladies
- Ray Bradbury's The Halloween Tree

Right now I'm reading DWJ's Conrad's Fate, Kinglsey Amis's Booker Prize winner The Old Devils (my review of THAT is going to be mostly my long-in-coming rant about the Booker's love affair with the theme of middle-aged white people ~contemplating their mortality~) and also some of Bradbury's short stories. And also a book of essays for radio by Dylan Thomas, and also Wilfred Owen's poems again, and also Peter Ackroyd's London: the Biography which has been on the go for-fucking-ever because I'm not always in the mood for it. I think I might also be two pages into A.S. Byatt's The Children's Book but I got...distracted. As you can see.

WHAT ARE YOU READING, FLIST? Is it any good? Are middle-aged white people contemplating their mortality, and if so, can we make them stop?
fahye: ([other] this is the day)
New book review: Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451.

I'm quite happy with this one. Although I made the mistake of going to TVTropes to look up the Manic Pixie Dream Girl page, and half an hour later I emerged via ISO Standard Urban Groceries, with a TVTropes headache and a craving for baguettes.

I've just started reading The Wise Man's Fear so the next review might be a while in coming (going by sheer length) or it might be very soon (going by how quickly I end up reading Rothfuss, damn his page-turner eyes).
fahye: ([glee] oh my god you guys)
Dammit: kind of hooked on The Vampire Diaries now, to the extent that I might even try to buy the first season on DVD. What can I say, I do like a show that has such a cavalier approach to killing off its characters.

New book review up: Michael Cunningham's Specimen Days. Next on my list is meant to be Schindler's Ark but instead I'm rereading the Thursday Next books. Ah, holidays. How quickly you disappear.
fahye: ([other] turn up for work)
1) Black Juice by Margo Lanagan

2) Eight Days of Luke by Diana Wynne Jones

...meaning that my backlog is pretty much clear, hurrah! I don't know that I'll ever get around to reviewing Brave New World; I liked it, and I had opinions about it, but I'm not sure if they're organised or coherent enough for a proper post, and I'm currently too lazy to poke them into shape. I'm in the middle of Farenheit 451 right now, and then I plan to attack The Wise Man's Fear in all its intimidating length.

so what

27 Apr 2011 09:25 pm
fahye: ([mer] just a voice I did create)
While Australian television screens every movie ever made that has even the slightest bearing on royalty, and Go Fug Yourself holds a Kate Middleton retrospective, my household has planned a Royal Wedding party that is a very (very) thinly veiled excuse to drink pink bubbly and make cakes and maybe even wear frocks, though it is much more likely we will be wearing pyjamas, considering that this party will be taking place in our living room.

In the spirit of things, I am rereading Drastically Redefining Protocol in between studying. I can pretend it's relevant. There's paediatrics in it. Sort of.

Newish book review: Unexpected Magic by Diana Wynne Jones.
fahye: ([vm] the warp of the world)
New book review: Annette Curtis Klause's Blood and Chocolate.

The book I'm now lugging around hospital and reading during breaks is Brave New World, and I'm not very far in but I already have a collection of sentences around which I want to scribble sparkly hearts. I'm trying to read all of those seminal scifi books that I have been vaguely meaning to read for years, and although the Orange Library has so far been very helpful (epic amounts of Le Guin!) they don't have Farenheit 451 :(

Med school news: bluh. Med school is med school. Most of us have the final-year equivalent of senioritis, which is equal parts apathetic burnout and sheer panic that we're going to be expected to be real doctors in a rapidly shrinking amount of time.

Today there was a paediatric surgery list and I got to see what a testicle looks like. (A: white and squidgy.) Medicine makes you blase about almost everything, but there are still those rare moments when you're pressing down on the groin of a sedated child and someone is standing by your shoulder crying "Milk! MILK the testis into the scrotum!" and you think, my profession is a bit weird.
fahye: ([science] dr fahye needs coffee)
New book review: So Much For That by Lionel Shriver.

Not much to talk about at the moment. Paediatrics is interesting but ugh, SO much to learn. I've been making lists in clinic and then coming home and looking up everything item by item in the textbook, and doing prereading for our surgical tutes, and trying to ignore the daunting length of the Shit We Expect You To Know For The Exam section of my handbook.

Going home this weekend, though :)

I am sans the ability to make proper polls right now, but hey, impromtu voting session! After splashing out on ($2/each) Ulta3 nail polishes last week, which shade should I wear this weekend?

(sadly, nail polish is only a weekend fixture in my life, for hospital infection control reasons)

NO SWATCHES, ONLY NAMES. Though Ulta3 does have some weirdly misleading names for its shades sometimes, so in the interests of full disclosure: Wild Berry is not the shade of any berry that a rational person would put into their mouth. It is dark grey.

- Pepper Pot
- Waterlily
- Midnight Fever
- Wild Berry
- Watermelon
- Blossom Fever
- Jelly Bean

??

so tired. bed now.

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