I can’t believe it’s already the end of January! (I know I say something along these lines at the end of every month but it never ceases to startle me) Madness, lol. Here’s what has been going on around the website for this first month in the new year:
Not my gif but that’s what it feels like I’m doing these days, tidying up my online life a bit =P
- I reviewed a lot of books this month. Just check out the tag and find out what’s been reviewed =) I’ve also posted up a commentary on Jane Austen’s Emma.
- I posted up one movie review this month: To Rome With Love (review)
- I also posted up one television-related review this month: Doctor Who Christmas Special 2012 (review). The only other television-related post I’ve been posting up this entire month is everything Babylon 5-related (tag) as part of the 100 Things blogging meme.
- Big website news: I posted about it the other week but this is just a reminder that starting sometime next month (there will be a notice about this sometime before this happens) this website will no longer be rulethewaves.net but caffeinatedlife.net. Be sure to change your bookmarks and/or links! I’m not sure how quickly the switch-over will be (as I’m a bit busy IRL at the moment) but follow me either on Twitter or on Tumblr (may also use my WP.com blog) for the latest updates!
- New layout! Aside from last week when we finally got -20C-like winter weather, it hasn’t really felt like winter over here but nonetheless my layout is featuring some winter-y goodness =D Plus, a total change in colour scheme was refreshing IMO =D
- Finally, I’m a bit behind on getting back to comments *blushes* I haven’t forgotten, it’s just that I have a few quizzes to write next week so I’ve been studying, lol. Soon, soon…
And of course, the following are just a few links to articles I found interesting during the past month. Actually, it’s a whole slew of links ranging on a number of subjects of interest (and in no particular order, really):
By: Henry James
Traveling in Europe with her family, Daisy Miller, an exquisitely beautiful young American woman, presents her fellow-countryman Winterbourne with a dilemma he cannot resolve. Is she deliberately flouting social conventions in the way she talks and acts, or is she simply ignorant of them? When she strikes up an intimate friendship with an urbane young Italian, her flat refusal to observe the codes of respectable behavior leaves her perilously exposed.
I think I added this to my to-read list a year ago because it was partly set in Italy and I was looking for classics set there. It’s a rather short read and I was debating what to read next so I decided to read this in the meantime. Contains some spoilers ahead!
By: Peter Golden
More than thirty-five years ago, Gordon Meyers, an aspiring writer with a low number in the draft lottery, packed his belongings and reluctantly drove away, leaving behind Glenna Rising, the sexy, sharp-witted med student he couldn’t imagine living without.
Now, decades later, Gordon is a former globe-trotting consultant with a grown son, an ex-wife, and an overwhelming desire to see Glenna again. Though she’s stunned when Gordon walks into her Manhattan office, Glenna agrees to accompany him for a drink. As the two head out into the snow-swept city, they rediscover the passion that once drew them together—before it tore them apart. And as the evening unfolds, Gordon will finally reveal the true reason for his return. . . .
I admit, it was the title and the cover that first caught my attention for this book. Anyways, I was in the mood for a contemporary read (almost all of the books on my to-read pile at the moment are either classics, historical fiction or science fiction) and the premise of this novel was up my alley. Contains some spoilers ahead!
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
This week’s topic: Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters
Happy Tuesday! This week’s topic actually took a bit of thinking, lol. They’re not necessarily the most frustrating characters I’ve come across ever but they are characters that came to mind…and thus this list =P
By the way, I do apologise in advance if I come off as snarky or irritated or too strongly at any point during the following; just remembering some of these characters has gotten me all worked up all over again, lol *blushes*
In no particular order:
- Emma Woodhouse from Jane Austen’s Emma — (commentary) The first time I read the book I was pretty frustrated with Emma (found her more stubborn and snobbish than endearing or someone to sympathise). Re-reading it recently, it’s not so much the fact that she’s set in her ways and steadfast in her opinions (which were still frustrating to a degree; seeing clips from the recent adaptation might have warmed me a little to the character) so much as you know trouble is bound to come about when she starts meddling in other people’s affairs (which still leaves me toe-curling and cringing).
- Lucy Steele from Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility (commentary) — Can we say perhaps the biggest troller in all of the Austen novels? The way she keeps going on and on to Elinor about her secret and forcing Elinor into her confidence…Elinor is a saint, I’m sure most of us would’ve smacked her at some point. Or fought back verbally. Or got back at her somehow (a la Regency-style).
- Mary Musgrove (nee Elliot) from Jane Austen’s Persuasion (commentary) — I tried so hard to understand this character after my many re-reads of this novel but yeah, Mary is just frustrating and annoying, having inherited the Elliot pride (Elizabeth and their father would’ve made this list too except for the fact that they weren’t as prominent in the novel as Mary was). Anne had to give way soooo many times throughout the novel just to placate Mary (because apparently if Mary feels like she’s unjustly treated, she’ll never shut up about it O_O Sometimes it can be funny but she does it in almost all of her scenes so it gets tiring). Don’t get me wrong, she also has a rather amiable side to her (unlike Elizabeth) but often times her self-centered-ness asserts itself more strongly.
- Catherine Earnshaw from Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights — I haven’t read this book since high school but I remember feeling very frustrated with this character, toting Heathcliff and Linton along and unable to decide between the two men. It just aggravated the situation the more she delayed and going back and forth between the two (then again I don’t find Heathcliff/Catherine relationship really romantic or anything–maybe in one scene but otherwise I found it rather unhealthy)
- Dexter Mayhew from Dave Nicholls’ One Day (review) — Well, he wasn’t frustrating for the whole novel per se but there was a good section of the novel (spanning a decade) where he really was being quite thoughtless to everyone around him. But it was a learning curve and he eventually grew out of it (and became less frustrating once more).
- Caris from Ken Follett’s World Without End (review) — She was a bit too stubborn to the point of disbelief (in relation to the time period), aggravating some of her relationships with those closest to her in the process (like a butterfly effect). I dunno, if I recall correctly I remember feeling like some of the events that happened could’ve been avoided if the characters, including her, were open to some kind of compromise.
- Egwene from Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World (review) — While I appreciate certain aspects of her character (wanting to see the world, wanting to be independent), her behaviour was both bewildering and annoying. I’m not sure why she stuck with Rand, she never quite seemed to be in love with him or liked him the way (or extent) that he liked her. She was also really hostile at times and I never understood why. So I ended up irritated more than anything *shrugs*
- Sherry & Hero from Georgette Heyer’s Friday’s Child (review) — Sherry’s thoughtless and careless. Hero lacks common sense. I don’t know how I (or the characters for that matter) got to the end of the novel to be honest (though I have been meaning to re-read it, maybe my opinion will change then).
- Paola from Juan Gomez-Jurado’s God’s Spy (review) — No one in this book is sympathetic IMO but Paola was perhaps the worst for me. Much as I love a fiercely tough and independent female character who can stand on her own as the next reader, her temper and gruffness with everyone got real old real fast and became more of a nuisance to the enjoyment and progress of the story than complimentary.
- Alice dela Rocca from Giordano’s The Solitude of Prime Numbers (review) — One the one hand it’s unfair to put her on this list since she clearly suffers from some serious psychological issues. And in retrospect, I think I feel a bit more sympathetic towards the characters in the book and the seriousness of the medical issues at hand. However there was one instance in this book where I was really frustrated with Alice and found myself wondering why she made that decision to begin with =/ Hence she made this list.
Edit: Honorable mention who should’ve been on this list — the Buchanans from The Great Gatsby (review); the quote about them breaking things they come across is so true. They were shallow and frustrating with no redeemable qualities whatsoever (and I read it twice, trying to read more in-depth and understanding the character motivations. Came up with nothing for those two =P).
Anyways, that’s my list for this week! Which book characters frustrated you the most and made it on your list? Let me know! =)
By: John Scalzi
Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory.
Life couldn’t be better… until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces, (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations, and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.
Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expended on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is… and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives.
This book has been on my need-in-my-life-asap ever since I heard of it. As a big sci-fi fan (okay, I started as a Trekkie), I always wondered about those redshirts that went on the away missions and never came back. I was so happy when this book finally came out in paperback a few weeks ago (decided to wait for it on paperback) =D Contains some spoilers ahead!