tcastleb: (Turniphead)
( Dec. 2nd, 2006 11:30 pm)
Fitz is asleep on my lap. Aww. Better than chewing on my computer cord. -sigh-

I got the DVD of "Transgeneration" from the library. It's a miniseries that follows four trans students through a year of college. Quite fascinating. I got some good ideas from it to use in my book. I also liked it, because two of the schools featured were University of Colorado, Boulder (I've been there) and Michigan State, which brought back fond memories of wandering around that campus during Clarion. But I have to say I really admire the students, friends and their families in that video.

Read a few good books lately. Since I'm in a transgender phase, I found a YA called LUNA by Julie Ann Peters, which is told from the POV of a teenage girl whose brother is an MtF in the process of coming out. Very tastefully written, and the author (another Coloradan, yaaay!) did her research, so at least from my perspective it seems very realistic and touching, and I like the fact that the parents are dysfunctional, because it's much more realistic. It's also a good portrait of how such a big change can disrupt a family and how the sister deals with it and the impact on her own life. I liked this one a lot.

Read Sherwood Smith's CROWN DUEL and COURT DUEL this morning. Good books. Very well-written and detailed. It's in first person from the POV of a stubborn young countess, but it's cool, because the women in here have a lot of power and aren't afraid to use it. Methinks this might be because the majority of YA readers are girls, so the book is definitely tilted towards girls. Another hint of that is the big, bloody battle scenes are greatly reduced. The countess falls unconscious a lot in the first book. There's action and danger, but a lot of it is more mental than physical, but still has a lot of good tension.

Started Brandon Sanderson's ELANTRIS. Don't think I'll finish that one. For me, the two protagonists are too perfect. The woman drives me nutty. And while an explanation might come at the end, I'm not quite willing to suspend my disbelief about how seemingly random people can suddenly wake up one day and be an Elantrian, who were once gods, but are now walking dead who can't die unless they're burned or beheaded. I do like the take on it that any injuries to one of the walking dead doesn't heal, and hurts forever, and I liked the glyphs at the beginnings of the chapters that are a hint of what the chapter is about, but the book will be going back unfinished. There's also something that most of us newbie writers would get slapped for--the throwing in of made-up words as titles and objects. While they're in context, sort of, there are a lot of strange titles that would be easier to read if, well, they were more recognizable.

Found a mainstream one (well, shelved in mainstream, though I suppose it could be considered urban fantasy) called THE STOLEN CHILD by Keith Donahue, which is an interesting take on the myth about fey creatures stealing babies and replacig them with one of their own. The trick is that once a child gets taken, he spends maybe a hundred years in a mob of other changelings before he can steal another child away to live their life. This was a cool book, and a nice find.

Picked up a Booker award finalist, BREAKFAST ON PLUTO by Patrick McCabe. Has a transgender female as the first person narrator. It's interesting, but for me, it didn't stick very well. The narrator is very over-the-top, and since (as my crit partners know) I like stuff rather concrete and drawn out, I feel like I was missing stuff because there was a larger overall context I couldn't quite figure out. So, I guess I enjoyed the voice and character, but not much else.

Picked up another YA by Cynthia Voight called ON THE WINGS OF A FALCON. I read several of her other books growing up, and thought it would be interesting to see what a fantasy by her would be like. It was good. Had a very nice twist near the end I wasn't expecting, because I was thinking, "Boy the protagonist is getting too perfect, and his poor little sidekick is really damn passive and letting the protagonist have everything, including the girls." Characterization and the overall tale was very good.

Read a Kate Wilhelm book last week--THE PRICE OF SILENCE. This is the second book of hers I've read, the first being THE GOOD CHILDREN. She has a very deft touch at characterization and their little psychological quirks, which I really like. And the stories had enough twists and turns that I didn't know how they would end. She's good at mysteries. I really liked these books. Oh, and in P.o.S., it was such a nice change to have the protagist involved in a happy, healthy marriage, instead of the traditional girl trying to find boy or girl falling in love with cop/investigator/psychic/whoever while the mystery is getting solved. (Actually, that makes me wonder--can you have a romance novel or subplot if the hero and heroine are already married? Maybe if you toss in an affair or a believed-to-be-dead spouse, or something.)

Read Tess Gerritson's THE SURGEON. Creepy because of all the medical details, but to me it's an average quick-to-read suspense with about the same level of depth as GRAVITY. Good, worth reading, but more of an airplane book for me.

Anyhoo. Enough books for tonight. Time to get back to my own. Or sleep. One of the two.


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