bubosquared: (Default)
( Jan. 4th, 2008 02:16 pm)

So last Saturday, my last day in Belgium*, my mum informed me that I should “have a look through that one shelf of books” because anything I didn’t explicitly select for keeping was going to go. My brother and I went D: at her, because while neither of us care much for material possessions, we both have this sense that throwing away, or even giving away, books is Just Plain Wrong. I then went D: some more when i realised that what was on this shelf were a whole lot of children’s books.

“But. You can’t,” I said, aghast. “You can’t get rid of any of them.”

“Most of them are falling apart, or they’re stupid commercial series we never got more than half a dozen of,” she pointed out. “And there simply isn’t enough room for all these books.”

I conceded, because she did have point. The first thing one sees when one enters the house is a room full of books. It used to be the shop, long ago, and 70-80% of the walls are taken up by bookshelves, floor to ceiling. There’s more bookshelves on the upstairs landing, and a whole lot of books in boxes still. Some of these were inherited; there’s a whole shelf of truly magnificently old books that came from great-uncles on either side of the family, and most of the boxes came from my late uncle — and that’s with the majority of his books stashed at my gran’s, and with my paternal grandparents’s books mostly at my dad’s, and if you’re getting the impression that my family has book-loving genes, you’re absolutely correct**.

So I went through the books. Some of them were easy enough to part with, like the Disney books for kiddies and similar things. Some broke my heart, but I was strong and parted with them anyway — these included a bunch of books for very young kids, which I had fond memories of but which, really, there’s a gazillion of these kinds of “Up/Under” books. Some I had to admit really were too beaten up to keep, although I still put some of those apart and made my brother decide on them, because I like making others make the hard decisions for me.

But there were some that I just couldn’t part with, because there is just no way I could ever find them again for less than an arm and a leg, and I’d want to read them to my future nieces and nephews. (The wonderful children’s books by Jac Linders, with illustrations by Lie, for example, which are so very Seventies and yet so very fabulous and yeah.) Still, I think I saved about half a dozen, and left about the same number for my brother to decide on, and I know it was necessary and for the best but I’m still sad about the ones that had to go.

Books: They’ll break your heart. :(

* My mother’s habit of asking things at the last damn minute, often when people are about to walk out the door, is a frequent source of frustration for the rest of us. This, at least, was a relatively mild example. Sigh.
** When my paternal grandparents died six months apart, a few years back, it took nine (sets of) children(-in-law) plus a handful of grandkids several weeks to clear out the house, mostly of books. There were books in every room, often stacked along the walls for lack of shelves to put them on, and keep in mind that this house had a room for each of the nine kids, at least one spare bedroom, a master bedroom, an office, and an attic, and there were still books stashed in various other places downstairs. If I ever get a house, this is how I will end up. I have seen my future, and it is books.


In more cheerful news, my Ravelry invite came! I can now be find there as femgeek, for those of you who’re also there. (For those of you who aren’t, and have no idea what this is about, please ignore the yarn geek in the corner. Ahem.)


I’m trying to keep riding this wave of determinedly-doing-stuff I have going and, now that my flat is largely clean and my website is revamped, and my flist is reorganised and culled, the next thing on my Internet To Do List is to cull and reorganise my bookmarks. I’m removing comics I don’t really read anymore, and blogs/websites that do nothing but annoy me anymore. This is where you come in.

This is your chance to pimp links at me, although I’m going to be slightly picky.

Comics:

  • Gaming comics preferred, especially WoW-related ones.
  • Alternatively, amusingly recognisable comics about Tech Support and/or call centres.
  • Alternatively alternatively, historical stuff, boytouchig a bonus.
  • I’m … not overly fond of a lot of anime-style drawings.

Blogs:

  • I’m especially looking for feminist and feministy blogs, but also knitting/crafts blogs, or anything else interesting.
  • Of the feminist stuff, I’d prefer WoC, older (”") women, disabled women, and (gender)queer/trans blogs.
  • No radfems. I’m serious. (Too much exposure to the transphobia in radfem circles this past year, can’t stomach it at all anymore, even for posts I might have liked or even loved, sorry.)

Other:

  • Oh, hell. Hit me. :D
  • Oh, wait, any website with good info about he Renaissance and/or the history of knitting would especially be welcome.

Crossposted from Sleepless in Scotland. Comment here or there.

bubosquared: (domesticity)
( May. 30th, 2007 12:35 am)

*dies vaguely* Owie. Walking across the room again and again, carrying armloads of books, makes for hurty feet. :( But! Phase III (Operation: Hey, Where'd All These Books Come From?) is a rousing success! And yeah, like the link says, that's not including the probably almost one more full shelf of books that're hiding in my bedroom somewhere. Which I should be finding later on this week, after I tackle Phase IV (Operation: Sort Out Bedroom Closet Before A Falling Box Crushes Mr Tumnus), which I hope and pray I'll be able to finish in two evenings.

bubosquared: (lord of the rings)
( Mar. 12th, 2007 12:58 pm)

A post by [livejournal.com profile] amandazillah has reminded me that I have a whole lot of unread books in my collection, so one of my new goals is to read all of those, and alphabetise (and possibly slightly cull) my book collection while I'm at it. I may or may not also do reviews of them, and reviews of re-reads, or whatever. Watch this space, I suppose.

There's a costume contest for Comic Relief at work this Friday. Now taking suggestions, because I'm all out of ideas.

Hi, I'm boring!

bubosquared: (soapbox)
( Mar. 10th, 2005 05:56 am)

Twice in recent days, while talking to [livejournal.com profile] ruby_fruit, we've gone off on rants about Things We Want To See More Of (Or Even At All) In Books And Other Media. Specifically, what we want to see are "casually gay characters."

Honestly, I'm a little burnt out on Gay Lit lately. Not that I don't still love to read about boys loving boys and girls loving girls and either loving both, but I'm starting to feel a bit ... ghetto-ised, I suppose. It's not that I want Gay Lit to go away, it's that I want more gay characters in "mainstream" lit. And on TV. And in movies. And fuck, in songs, in advertising, in the street, in every part of everyday life. But I'll limit myself to books, and the general media to some extent, because if I get started on the rest I'll just never shut up.

As most of you will know, I pretty much read only fantasy and some science fiction (with a peppering of True Crime and nonfic when I'm feeling like reading brainless trash and brainfood, respectively). You'd think in these genres if not in any other genre, or in "mainstream" lit, you'd see more gay characters being generally accepted. Or even gay characters at all.

In fantasy, you have the opportunity to set up a society where same-sex relationships are accepted the way opposite-sex relationships are. Yet very, very few writers do this. Why? If nothing else, it's a perfect way to set your novel apart from the gazillion other fantasy tomes on the shelves. Because there are people out there, people like me, who will give anything a chance if it has two boys or two girls touching in sexy ways.

For once, I want to read a book in which there are queer characters other than the by-now-cliché effeminate gay mage or the lesbian mercenary (especially if she "turned gay" because of rape--HATE!). I want to see the macho mercenary fall in love with a bloke. I want to see the hero walk into a bar and get hit on by the waiter instead of the waitress, and not freak out. I don't care if he's straight and just politely turns him down, even, though it'd be even better if he flirted back, of course. I want to see the beautiful witch fall in love with the heroine rather than the hero. I want to see the kitchen boy go on a quest to prove himself worthy of his True Love, and have that True Love be the prince rather than the princess. I want to see a society where same-sex relationships are the norm, and procreation is the only reason for m/f sex, if it happens at all (turkey basters, anyone?)

Science Fiction is marginally better about this, but not by much. In most science fiction worlds, sexism (and, usually, racism) are things of the past, yet queer people are still not even acknowledged most of the time, and when they are, well. See above for the usual clichés. I'm tired of it. Show me the hero saving the guy instead of the girl, and falling in love with him. Show me the women settlers raising a child together. Hell, show me the people falling in love with aliens whose race has more than two genders, or no gender at all--though that's getting into genderqueer territory somewhat.

And once genre fiction gets with the program, let's start fixing "mainstream" lit. Let's start seeing queer characters in contemporary books, and let's start letting them have actual relationships. Let's start letting the protagonist have a gay or lesbian friend, and allow that friend to be more than just "the best friend". Let's start writing about queer characters, and have a plot beyond the main character's sexuality. One in ten people are queer, and that's not even counting the bisexuals, and a whole lot of us are out and proud, so let's start seeing that in books that are supposed to take place in the here and now. Let's start seeing an accurate picture of what (especially urban) life is actually like in this day and age.

I'd especially love to see more queer characters in YA novels that aren't coming-out stories. Not that I dislike those, and I'm sure they're a great help for a lot of queer teens, but not every queer person had to struggle first with themselves and then with their family and peers to come out as queer (I didn't), and putting queer characters in "straight"/"non-queer" YA novels may help make people, especially teenagers, realise that we are everywhere.

I'm sick and tired of being "accepted". I don't want to be "accepted", as if I'm some sort of embarrassing relative you'll put up with for the sake of blood ties but who you'd rather not be seen with in public. I want to be acknowledged as part of society. Because I am, and I've had it with being invisible to the media, with seeing queer people trotted out to show that look, aren't we progressive? I want to see "my kind" in books, on screen, in ads and in the street, and have no one bat an eye the way no one bats an eye at straight couples.

I'm here, I'm queer, and I refuse to be invisible any longer.

bubosquared: (Default)
( Feb. 1st, 2005 06:05 pm)

To: Bloke Behind Me In Line At Waterstone's
From: Irate
Re: Book Snobbery

Yes, I bought several True Crime books. What of it? At least I, not having been raised by earworms, have the good manners not to loudly snort when other people's tastes don't match my own.

FYI, apart from True Crime, I also read non-fiction on (Roman) history, Shakespeare, and a whole mess of fantasy and science fiction, though I don't suppose genre fiction of any kind would pass your standards, would it? Here's a clue, asshole: I read a lot, so I can't really afford to ignore books just because they're "trashy".

In the future, kindly shut up, or I will have you killed.

With a pinecone!

No love,
That girl you snorted at, loudly

bubosquared: (work)
( Jan. 18th, 2005 08:43 am)

Dude, how impossible is it to find an actual retail store that sells Windows? It's all online these days! (Which would normally be fine but I need gratification NOW!) *grumbles* Stupid Bill. Conspiracy, I say.

ETA: And in not entirely dissimilar news, how come the paperback version of Song of Susannah isn't coming out in the UK until April, but I could find a Dutch version in paperback when I was in Belgium over Christmas? Unfair!

bubosquared: (happy)
( Oct. 26th, 2004 11:52 pm)

Once upon a time there was a girl who got into a hot bath intending to get out in an hour or so. She got herself caught up in The Talisman and didn't emerge until four hours later. Um, oops?

Speaking of which, if Stephen King doesn't stop writing 12-yo boys in a way that makes me want to slash them with lots of snuggles and awkward smooches and hand-holding, I am going to fly over to Maine and throw a goddamn shoe at him! *hits self with lamp*

bubosquared: (geek)
( Oct. 21st, 2004 05:28 pm)

... I should never be allowed near secondhand books. *eyes five new books* Sigh. At least I have room for them now.

bubosquared: (contemplative)
( Sep. 1st, 2004 11:14 pm)

Questions from [livejournal.com profile] ruby_fruit:

1. You are allowed one consequence-free murder, who do you kill? Do you kill?

Probably not. "Consequence-free" would only be truly consequence-free if I'd not get any repercussions from my concience, which just isn't going to happen. Which isn't to say I'd never kill, because I would, in self-defense or in defense of a loved one, or even in defense of a random stranger, I think, but not just because I can do it and not get punished for it.

2. You have to choose, permanently: internet or books?

Oh, argh. Um. Ummmm. Um? Um! *tears out hair, flips coin, attempts to splice self in two* Okay, books. And I hate you.

3. Because the Sim Effect intrigues me: JKR says something incredibly offensive about homosexuals, perhaps in response to H/D or R/S. Do you continue reading her books?

Sim Effect what?

Probably, yes. I still read her books even though she's bashed the Draco-fans, and really, as [livejournal.com profile] wibbble's pointed out to me, the woman just does not know from PR. Then again, I find it a lot easier to seperate published writers from what they write, compared to fanfic writers, probably because with fanfic writers I feel "closer" to them, if that makes sense. It feels more personal.

4. Lets say a person only has a certain amount of talent, where would you want yours if you could choose. Art, writing, politics, etc...

Just one area? Writing. I'm pretty sure that's already the case. I have a moderate amount of skill when it comes to drawing, but I know writing is where my real talent lies, and it's a talent I can also use, to some extent, in politics, but I have no political ambitions (ignore the whole Glorious Leader Melle thing, that's not ambition, that's my god-given DESTINY! ;D), and I do have ambitions in writing.

5. So there's this new genetic treatment out there for gender re-assignment and the scientists want to test it on you. On the plus side, they're paying you a lot, on the down side, you'll be a boy for the rest of your life. Wanna give it a go?

Hm. I don't know that the money would play a big role in this decision, to be honest. What it comes down to is, while I'd like to try out boyparts for a while, and I'd sign up in a heartbeat if I could switch back and forth at will, I'm too used to this body to switch permanently.

And in other news, LJ needs to stop holding my comments hostage, dammit!

bubosquared: (contemplative)
( Aug. 31st, 2004 10:19 pm)

Questions from [livejournal.com profile] elance:

1. Hmm. When you look at a pretty woman, what is it about her that makes her pretty? Body shape, hair colour, the way she moves, something else...?

The fact that she's br--

(And no, "the fact that she's breathing" doesn't count. *grin*)

Oh. Bugger.

I guess it's too late at this point to deny my boobie-fetish, right? I just love breasts, of all shapes and sizes, with the exception of artificially blown-up ones the size of, say, my head. A nice handful is ideal.

Other than the tits, it's hard to say, and depends on the woman. The way she carries herself, mostly. I love women who can walk down the street like she's dancing, completely unselfconcious and just content, with life, with herself, with the world.

2. If you could go anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, and stay there for two weeks, where would you go?

Erk. Um. Rome, probably. But not in summer, never again in summer. Or possibly New Yorl City, with the same disclaimer.

3. Say you're reading a LOTR fic, and you come across a phrase or word that is unmistakably modern. Do you hit back immediately, or proceed with caution?

Oooh, tough one. Depends how jarring it is, really. Some phrases are very modern, but don't immediately call a certain image to mind, whereas on the other hand you've "like" and "totally", which will have me scrambling for the back button like a madwoman. It also depends on the story--if it's a pairing I really want to read, and of which there aren't a lot of stories, I'll be a lot more forgiving than I'd be under different circumstances.

4. I'm stealing your aliens. Suppose they landed, took over, and, seeing something special in you, offered you the job of Queen of the World. What would be the first law you would pass?

... Oddly enough, I'd quite possibly immediately abscond and then lead the rebellion against my successor, thus becoming Glorious Leader Melle. Once the Revolution has come, and I, Glorious Leader Melle, am once again in charge of the world, then I'd start passing laws. And I'd start by redistributing the wealth in the world.

5. You have the chance to meet up with J. K. Rowling, and hit her over the head with one of her own books, while of course yelling the phrase of your choice, no consequences. Which Harry Potter do you hit her over the head with, and what do you yell?

Oh, dear. You should't tempt me like this, you know. :D Er, probably Philospher's Stone, as it's the smallest one, and I don't want to do any permanent damage, here. And I'll probably end up yelling "Buy a calculator!" because I'm original like that.

bubosquared: (Default)
( Aug. 24th, 2004 02:56 pm)

Quick! Reccommend me a book/CD/DVD so I can get my Amazon order to £20 and get free shipping!

ETA: Veeeery funny, Amazon, now stop tempting me with Michael Owen books.

bubosquared: (pimpin')
( Jan. 31st, 2004 10:29 pm)

So does anyone have any book reccomendations? I'm looking preferably for something fantasy that's fairly big, something to read on my 15-hour flight over to the States next month. Anyone?

Edit: I'm also fond of British detective novels, but those tend to be on the smaller, finished in three hours side, and true crime stuff, sometimes, and often non-fic as well. Feel free to throw random recs at me, I'll probably read 'em even if it's not on the plane.

bubosquared: (blah)
( Jan. 26th, 2004 06:13 pm)
  1. I had this really weird dream this morning, in which a nuclear bomb went off over Antwerp, and without going into detail, let me just say at least I know now that my faith won't fail me in the end. Good to know, I suppose, although I'd have liked to gain that knowledge through something else than my worst fear come through (well, in dream-shape). However.
  2. Tangentially related, I remember I once had this song on tape, about God looking down on the world and not seeing anything wrong because everything's all peaceful and nice and green and blue, and I cannot for the life of me remember either the title, the artist, or even a shred of the actual lyrics. Does anyone know what I'm on about?
  3. Page 73 of Luck in the Shadows and I already want Alec/Seregil. This does not bode well.
bubosquared: (work)
( Jan. 9th, 2004 12:35 pm)

Posting by e-mail because the web is completely down here. Actually, so's e-mail, it seems, so it may be this doesn't get posted until the web's back up, but hey, until then, I can at least blather into the ether.

Finished reading Wizards and Glass yesterday evening. This morning, I found a note on my night table that I apparently scribbled some time during the night. It says: "Roland&Cuthbert = Harry&Ron?" I'm not entirely sure what I meant by that, and I don't even remember writing it, but there you have it.

Wolves of the Calla very good so far. Also, big. And heavy. Hello, RSI!

*goes back to trying to do some work, or at least get on with her NaNoWriYe plotting*

bubosquared: (freak)
( Jan. 9th, 2004 12:47 am)

Y'know, I love the Dark Tower cycle and all, but I'm beginning to remember why I usually only buy books in pocket edition. See, I do most of my reading on the train and the metro, and while walking home from the station in the evening, and let me tell you, Wizards and Glass, in paperback edition? Really, really fucking heavy and unwieldy, that is, and I swear to god, that thing could double as a handy blunt object with which to knock would-be muggers uncouncious. This would be a good thing, except mysteriously, I never get mugged. Hit on, yes, and burgled, but never mugged, so I don't need a weapon, I need a book I can handle!

I'm starting on Wolves of the Calla tomorrow. Which is a hardback.

Could somebody please come and try to mug me so I can at least get something good out of the volume of this book? Please?

bubosquared: (contemplative)
( Jan. 1st, 2004 07:00 pm)

It's probably a good thing that I'm going back to work day after tomorrow, because I've atleast three series of books (The Dark Tower cycle, Nightrunner, and Harry Potter) to (re-)read and, in the case of HP, take notes on. And then there's the late Christmas drabbles and of course NaNoWriYe, and none of that is going to get done when I'm at home, because I need to be on a train to really read.

And of course I will now need the books to distract me from the fact that as of 1 January, I can no longer smoke on the train. Fuckers.

In other news, I'm watching A New Hope, and man, I thought the special effects in The Phantom Menace were bad. Wow.

bubosquared: (geek)
( Dec. 29th, 2003 07:36 pm)

There may come a day when I will walk into a book store to buy presents for others and only buy what i came for.

But it is not this day.

.

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Sofie 'Melle' Werkers

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