Books read in 2013

Tuesday, 1 January 2013 10:43 pm
yati: (watch your step)
2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
Mothstorm by Philip Reeve
The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Un Lun Dun by China Miéville
The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald

Fly by Night by Frances Hardinge
The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida

Books read in 2012

Sunday, 1 January 2012 08:42 pm
yati: (*sweatdrop*)
2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

The Homeward Bounders by Diana Wynne Jones
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
Thud! by Terry Pratchett

Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene

Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina by Robert Graves

. . . No books finished. (Maybe I was swapped with a pod person and no one noticed.)

Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr
Deep Fathom by James Rollins
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Voices of a Distant Star by Mizu Sahara (manga)

June and July
No books finished! (Seriously, what.)

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
The Morning Gift by Eva Ibbotson

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carré
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
Vortex by Robert Charles Wilson
All Clear by Connie Willis

No books finished!

Blackout by Connie Willis
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

That NPR book meme

Sunday, 14 August 2011 12:27 am
yati: Danny Phantom (with a cape!) in front of a full moon in a superhero pose. (superpowered!)
From here and there in my circle and my network, from the NPR list here. 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.

Top 100? Really? )

It's a pretty odd list.

a number of things

Wednesday, 13 April 2011 08:19 pm
yati: (odd ways of expressing love)
A few things, in no actual order of importance:

• There is a style class being conducted over at [community profile] style_system; the first session starts here, and the syllabus is here. If you want to learn how to modify or make a layout, that is the place to go. It starts from the very basics, so even without any knowledge of CSS or S2, you'd be able to follow.

I guess I actually already know most of the things listed in the syllabus, but it'd be great to actually properly learn S2 this time around. XD

• There's an April Showers Challenge over at Archive of Our Own, where the challenge is to upload your fanworks. Which reminds me, I still have a few fics I had meant to upload but kept . . . putting off. (I'm not even entirely sure I want my name attached to some of those any more, ahaha. We'll see.) If you don't have an AO3 account, I have an extra invite. PM me your email address and I'll send it your way. :)

• I've been taking the bus to work lately so it's been giving me something like an extra 1.5 hours a day to read. (For some reason I can't seem to fall asleep on the bus despite knowing that it's quite impossible for me to miss my stop.) So I've been reading instead. I'm awfully flighty about reviewing stuff, but my Goodreads profile is here if you're interested. I also try to keep an updated list here in this journal.

What I'm still grappling with right now: Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver and I curse the thickness of the book every time I try to stuff it into my bag. Woe. I've been reading it for almost a month (a month!) on and off, and I'm only around two-thirds done with it asfdfljg;flg. A good thing it's interesting. If nothing else it gets an A+ for diagrams annotated in Latin.

• What I should be doing: writing fic for Doink! Final Fantasy Exchange. I haven't started yet! It is far too early to panic, but I am terrified of the tonberry.

Apparently there are only four things! I'm getting worse and worse at this updating thing.
yati: Flonne squishing Laharl (Disgaea) while waving one arm (Default)
I spent three days and two nights on Redang Island with my sister, a sort of a treat to myself. As far as vacations go, it wasn't much of one -- it rained a bit too much.

cut for blather and photos )


Also I am watching the new Doctor Who trailer for series 6 and I am ridiculously excited about it. It's a strange feeling -- I've never been particularly excited about television before; I'm mostly blasé about the whole thing and will only get to watching stuff ages after everyone else.


Sunday, 6 March 2011 12:40 pm
yati: An open book lying on a green grassy field. (grasp the horizons)
The books I'm reading: I just finished Sarah Waters's The Little Stranger at around midnight, and that book seriously gave me the creeps. I ended up sleeping in the living room with the TV on because going up to my messy bedroom felt too spooky for me.

I have Robert Charles Wilson's Julian Commstock somewhere midway through, and for some reason I've been stuck there since the end of last year.

I haven't picked up the next book to read yet, though I've been eyeing AS Byatt's The Children's Book and the latest two books of The Wheel of Time series (my brother actually has them in hardback!).

The books I'm writing: Uh. No writing going on for now, books or otherwise.

The book I love the most: Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, quite possibly. It's hard to choose favourite books. Dorothy Dunnett's The Game of Kings is another one I love.

The last book I received as a gift: Probably Diana Wynne Jones's House of Many Ways, given by [personal profile] arianur years ago. I picked the book myself at the bookstore, and I'm pretty sure that's the only reason she actually dared to buy me that book. People generally don't gift me books unless I ask for a specific title, probably because they can't be sure whether I've read the book and have no idea whether I'd like it.

The last book I gave as a gift: Matilda by Roald Dahl, given ages ago, incidentally, to [personal profile] arianur. Though if you count "books I bought for my siblings but not actually calling them gifts" it would be Conn Iggulden's Wolf of the Plains, simply because my brother couldn't seem to find a copy of it on his own.

The nearest book: I'm sitting in the living room facing whole shelves of books, but there's one on the floor there, probably my brother couldn't be bothered to put it back on the shelf, silly boy. It's Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall, which is one absurdly long book about Thomas Cromwell.

The last book I bought myself: Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass. I wanted a copy for myself.

Books read in 2011

Saturday, 1 January 2011 12:01 pm
yati: (thinking of you wherever you are)
2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012

No books finished :(

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K Le Guin
A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner
The Outsiders by SE Hinton

Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson

The Tailor of Panama by John le Carré
A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin*

No books finished :O

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Warhost of Vastmark by Janny Wurts

And Another Thing . . . by Eoin Colfer
Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones*
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones*
The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden by Catherynne M Valente

Julian Comstock by Robert Charles Wilson
The Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson
Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
The Ships of Merior by Janny Wurts
300 by Frank Miller

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Axis by Robert Charles Wilson
Alphabet of Thorn by Patricia A McKillip
Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings
Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
Hotel Iris by Yoko Ogawa
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
Victory of Eagles by Naomi Novik
Old Man's War by John Scalzi

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Curse of the Mistwraith by Janny Wurts

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

* denotes a reread
yati: (So. It has come to this.)
Saya rasa ini novel Bahasa Melayu pertama yang saya baca sejak sekolah menengah.

(Eh, mungkin tidak. Rasanya ada terbaca -- dan "ter" di sini memang bermaksud tak disengajakan -- sebuah novel cinta remaja berjudul Cinta Marissa (saya cuba Google tapi tak jumpa; mungkin saya salah ingat tajuknya) yang saya terjumpa di rumah nenek saya sewaktu pulang ke kampung. Mungkin kepunyaan sepupu saya. Segala klise kisah cinta remaja ada dalam buku tu -- lari dari rumah, cinta tiga segi, cinta tak berbalas, diperkosa kemudiannya insaf (hish, yang terakhir inilah trope yang paling menyakitkan hati saya) -- tapi sekali dah mula membaca, teruskan juga sampai habis. Lagi pun dah tak ada buku lain masa tu; yang dibawa dari rumah semua dah habis dibaca.)

Ini juga kali pertama saya cuba menulis dalam Bahasa Melayu di sini. Rasanya macam tidak berapa berjaya -- bunyinya kekok, kan?

Berbalik kepada novel ini: 1515 oleh Faisal Tehrani. ulasan pendek )


Here is where I lose all coherency to write in Malay. I lack the words, and whatever I say will sound harsher than I mean it, especially with that somewhat formal tone I was employing. (No, I do not sound like that when I speak.)

Quick notes for English-only readers, since the book's summary on Goodreads is in Malay apparently there's no summary there at all: the book presents an alternate history of Malacca, where in 1511 it isn't conquered by the Portuguese. It's told in a non-linear fashion, going back and forth from the past to the present where a young girl called Nyemah Mulya who had lived in Malacca around 1511 asks for help from a modern day historian to help her prevent Malacca's fall. Slightly mind-bending, I guess, and breaks as many rules of causality as The Terminator did. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though.

I checked the Institut Terjemahan Negara Malaysia's (Malaysian National Institute of Translation) website; it doesn't seem like there's a translated version of the book.

other problems I have with the book )
yati: (thinking of you wherever you are)
Is there some sort of milk crisis going on? The store had chocolate milk, and strawberry, and those weird coffee flavoured things, but nothing else.

It was also out of coriander leaves. Daun ketumbar. Cilantro? I'm not sure which is the more common name. They only had parsley. I should have bought those and potatoes instead, hmm.


I finished Hilary Mantel's Wolf's Hall. The book was long, and it felt much longer than it actually is. Despite that, I rather enjoyed it, though I went through it feeling somewhat puzzled, because I can't seem to place the historical events at all. Not that I know much about the Tudors or Thomas Cromwell. I found myself thinking, vaguely, Elizabeth will end up being queen, right? (the thought ended up being irrelevant to the story anyway), and I just ploughed through the whole thing and simply filed Thomas Cromwell under "to look up later", though I've done nothing of the sort yet.

I've finally picked up one of Graham Greene's books to read. (In my head, I can hear my sister going, "Finally! You're giving him a go!", even though in reality my sister isn't one to insist that I read anything. We stay out of each other's reading lists, mostly. Our tastes don't overlap much.) There were a few on her shelf, and I picked The Quiet American, mostly because it was the most recognisable title to me. There are quite a few of his books there: Our Man in Havana, The Human Factor, maybe one of the travelogues, and I know The End of the Affair is somewhere in this house. I'm nearly midway through, and I keep wondering where this is going. For some reason I had half-expected a spy story -- I blame this article. Also: there are lines in French. My French is so rusty I'd probably need a tetanus shot just attempting to sound the words.

At least it's not a thick book. Wolf's Hall was a pain to lug around; it was over 650 pages and hard to cram into the usual work bag.
yati: (and until next time)
Wow, this place is full of cobwebs, pretty much like my brain.


I'm watching TV. NCIS is on, and it's the episode where Tony gets obsessed over a reporter gone missing. That basic premise is really similar to an episode of Numb3rs where Colby, well, obsesses over a missing reporter. He keeps watching footages of her, thinks he knows her better than anyone else. Tony is doing the same thing. The NCIS episode bugs me as much as the Numb3rs episode did, and I can't really pinpoint what it is that bothers me so much -- I think it's the stalking. It creeps me out.

. . . Oh. That didn't end happily. Poor Tony.

Now Criminal Minds is up (that probably won't end happily either). And then there's the NCIS: LA season finale.

I think I'm watching too many police procedurals.


I finally finished Iris Murdoch's The Sea, The Sea and I can't remember having so many unlikeable characters in one book -- I'm mildly amazed that I got to the end. Then I read Lev Grossman's The Magicians, which borders somewhere between interesting and slightly annoying and made me wonder whether the whole point was to rewrite and deconstruct Harry Potter. Also it had one of those endings that made me wonder whether it's just there to prove that hey, life sucks, that's just the way it is, or it's a set up for a sequel.

I've been reading more fic than anything else lately, though.
yati: (the future doesn't scare me at all)
So. In a fit of annoyance at the impossibility to quickly find a particular book among those lining the living room bookshelf, I took upon myself to rearrange the books, this time by author's last name. (It was originally sorted by colour by my sister years ago. Aesthetically pleasing, yes, but there's no way I'd be able to remember what colour that Neil Gaiman book was.) I also lugged down some of the books that were in my room because the shelves were getting too full, and, well, if I kept my Dorothy Dunnett books to myself how was I supposed to entice other people into reading them?

Most the books left in my room are the unread ones -- those already take two rows of my shelf:


I'm currently reading Iris Murdoch's The Sea, The Sea.

more books )

Now, if I only could get some reading done . . . I have next Monday off and Tuesday's a public holiday, so here's to catching up with some reading. Or sleep. We'll see.
yati: A sketch of Rukia from the Bleach manga, saying "Doh". (doh)
So, a quick one:

• I've been busy and tired and horrible lately, especially at commenting and keeping in contact. I'm taking three days off work starting Wednesday, though I can't promise I'd actually do anything useful within that time. Plans right now mostly consist of going back to my hometown to see my parents.

• I don't think I've read a single book this month. I am rather aghast by this. Despite being aghast, I still haven't managed to concentrate on anything for more than a few pages, and this scares me somewhat. I seem to be reading more fic, though. The more interesting ones are linked up at

• Too much TV hurts your brain. I should know this. I've been watching I don't know how many episodes of FlashForward on the new channel, though like most things that deal with time travel (admittedly no one is time travelling per se in this one, but still) it takes an effort from me not to let my head explode.

And now I disappear again! Good night!
yati: Matilda sitting on a pile of books, reading. (Quentin Blake illustration.) (reader of books)
Ten Yuletide recs, with tl;dr fangirly useful canon information for each because you need to read these books:

recs for The Dalemark Quartet (Diana Wynne Jones), The Gentleman Bastard Sequence (Scott Lynch), The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood), I Capture the Castle (Dodie Smith), Malay literature, Matilda (Roald Dahl), To Say Nothing of the Dog (Connie Willis), Sunshine (2007 movie) )

I have a few more fics and fandoms, but I'll leave that for some other time. Oh. And AO3's bookmark feature is awesome; bookmark or rec at one go -- you don't even need posts like these, but of course we like long, rambly, off-tangent posts. This has been a "books you should read!" post almost as much as a fic rec post, but hey, sharing things you love is a good thing, right?

Books read in 2010

Friday, 1 January 2010 12:43 am
yati: Flonne in front of a blackboard with the word "Love" on it. (love & peace!)
2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011

The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway
Back Home by Michelle Magorian
Coraline & Other Stories by Neil Gaiman
Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones
1515 by Faisal Tehrani
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

The Quiet American by Graham Greene
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
The Changeling Sea by Patricia A McKillip

The Magicians by Lev Grossman
The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch

Red Shift by Alan Garner
A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan

Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian
Crooked House by Agatha Christie*
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E Lockhart

No books finished! :(

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell

Z for Zachariah by Robert C O'Brien
Lord Sunday by Garth Nix
Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome

Star Wars: Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn*
Star Wars: Specter of the Past by Timothy Zahn*
Star Wars: Children of the Jedi by Barbara Hambly*
Tam Lin by Pamela Dean
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Ragwitch by Garth Nix
I, Claudius by Robert Graves

Star Wars: Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn*
When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees

The Sandman: Endless Nights by Neil Gaiman
The Sandman Volume 6: Fables and Reflections by Neil Gaiman
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

* denotes a reread
yati: An open book lying on a green grassy field. (grasp the horizons)
I bet no one is really interested in a list of books I read this year. So, instead, we'll have a post with pictures and toppling towers of books.

[personal profile] renay was talking over here about her resolution to read her height in books in 2010. I was impressed by this commitment (and also by how tall Renay is)! I totally want to do something like that but I had no idea how much I needed to read to reach my height. Out of curiosity, I stacked the books I read this year to see how tall the pile is. XD

the leaning tower of books of 2009 )
yati: An open book lying on a green grassy field. (grasp the horizons)
I've never been much of a reader of historical fiction. Most of the problem came from the fact that I didn't have much grounding in world history; it seemed like my education began with the ancient civilisations and skipped straight to World War II. (Well, the Renaissance was in there somewhere, I vaguely recall the pictures in the textbooks, but it went by very fast and didn't grab me much.)

Then came Dorothy Dunnett. I read her Lymond Chronicles and loved the books, and The Game of Kings, the first book in the series, is one of my favourite books ever. But that story (or the retelling of it) is for another time.

I started her House of Niccolò series this year. The series is a prequel to the Lymond Chronicles, following the adventures of one Nicholas de Fleury, an ancestor of Lymond in mid-fifteenth century Europe, who started as a lowly apprentice and rose to become a merchant trusted by kings. I spent almost ten months, on and off, reading these books. )

What can I say? The lady was a magnificent writer.

Below are some thoughts about the series, and some knee-jerk reactions especially to the last book, Gemini, since it's fresh in mind and I am somewhat boggled about a number of things. They are not in any particular sequence. None of them are very coherent.

spoilers for both House of Niccolò and the Lymond Chronicles )
yati: A prinny (from the video game Phantom Brave) floating in the water. (we'll go with the river's flow)
This hasn't been a very good week.

I've had a persistent sore throat that doesn't seem to want to go away no matter what I do, and it makes me feel as if I'm about to come down with a flu. Ergh. No amount of gargling or throat lozenges is doing the trick -- this might mean a visit to the clinic. :(

I've been coming home from work feeling tired and out of sorts, and I've been getting nothing done the last week. Lack of motivation: check. It's been so bad that I'm not even doing the simple things that can be done in minutes, like generating the diff for a patch for bug 1886. (It's already done -- the work is all there. I just need to generate the patch again because of, uh, I'm not entirely sure what happened, probably some Unfortunate Event between ftp-ing it over and uploading it to Bugzilla. Alas.)

work stuff, end of year appraisals )


Reading-wise: I've finished Stephen Hunt's The Court of the Air, which I didn't like very much. It's the first book in a series. This is rather unfortunate, because I was recommended the second book in the series, The Kingdom Beyond the Waves, and I thought I might as well start from the beginning. I'll try post a longer write-up for it later.

Kind of hit a snag in reading Dorothy Dunnett's Gemini -- it's sitting on my desk waiting for me to pick it up again.

Nanowrimo: as predicted, it is going nowhere. (For the curious, the total wordcount is now 0. If it was possible for it to be a negative number, it would be one.)
yati: Sophie looking at Calcifer, from Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle (burn bright)
And it's a Sunday night!

This week I was supposed to do some sewing (curtains -- will have to explain in another post) and work on bug 1813. Not much progress on the bug; I was doing the fixes alphabetically and right now I am still at, uh, Bases. Yay progress? But I did Tabula Rasa first, honest! So that all the layouts based on it will have the icon placement thing fixed or partially fixed. Perhaps I should submit the ones I'm done with first.

I probably shouldn't have picked something so CSS-y, huh. Not my strongest suit, CSS.

As for the curtain, no progress on it at all! It's still on my floor, alas.

I worked on my own layout for a bit, based on some feedback I received, and ended up making some modifications of my own. I'm beginning to dislike the colours, which probably means I've been looking at it too long, XD.

Other things I've been up to: I've been reading the House of Nicolò books and have finished book seven, Caprice and Rondo. I started the last book, Gemini, but I have been rather slow at getting through it, mainly because Caprice and Rondo ended on a somewhat happy note and while there are tons of things unresolved, I'm just glad that the main characters are reconciled about a number of things. Also the writing in Gemini seems a bit more low key and toned down -- I don't feel like I need to rush through it as I did for the other books.

Re-watched Howl's Moving Castle (the Miyazaki movie) with my brother, who hasn't seen it, and now I feel like rereading the book. I love the movie -- it's so pretty! -- but I'll always love the book better.

I had also just realised, with dawning horror, that November is here and I have signed up for Nanowrimo and I have nothing to write! I don't know what foolishness makes me attempt to write 50,000 words year after year. We'll see where this will go. (My prediction is nowhere.)
yati: Ichigo, Ishida, Orihime, Chad and Yoruichi from the Bleach manga, looking exaggeratedly shocked. (we have no words)
I think I'm having an allergic reaction to the book I'm reading.

No, seriously. I got it from a used book store and it's dusty and looks slightly icky and if the microwave still worked I would've considered putting it in to kill germs and stuff, but it isn't so I can't, so now I am stuck reading a slightly icky looking book. I started sneezing the moment I started reading it -- you would've thought that the dust of centuries were upon it.

Now I have a sore throat and an itchy nose.

Dangerous hobby, reading. Who knew.

(For the curious, the book is Caprice and Rondo by Dorothy Dunnett, in which I spend a lot of time feeling like I'd like to throttle the main character, despite him being fascinating and clever and all. I have been doing this for six books, people! Someone should come join me.)
yati: An open book lying on a green grassy field. (grasp the horizons)
So. I'm participating in Dewey's Read-a-thon, which simply means I will be stuck in a nook somewhere, reading, for the next twenty-four hours. Official start is in less than an hour!

Here's a list of books I might read in the next twenty-four hours:

a list of books! )

I won't be posting hourly updates -- it's more likely I'll update using Twitter, and probably add comments to this post instead of making new posts.

Fifteen minutes to go!

(The only downside to this is I won't have time for bug fixing *looks at bug 1886 woefully* but I'll try to get it done by tomorrow night. It's mostly done, but done in the wrong places, heh. It shouldn't take much work to get it fixed, I think.)

P/S: OpenID works on Dreamwidth -- you can log in with your blog's URL if you're using a blogging service that supports OpenID, like Blogger and WordPress. :D


yati: Flonne squishing Laharl (Disgaea) while waving one arm (Default)

September 2013


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