chani: (Deadwood)
It's been a hectic week again. And I'm under the weather. I couldn't call in sick (too much wok to do, and two meetings with parents) but I went to the doctor on Wednesday evening and I've been on antibiotics since then. This afternoon I had a 2 hour nap. Body needed it. I ran errands afterwards and now I'm relaxing in front of Deadwood S1. *pets the dvd box*

A few thoughts which I don't think I mentioned in previous posts:

Read more... )
I wish I had more time to watch my shows, read my books and interact with my Internet friends. Unfortunately I am in the grip of RL. And I haven't started shopping for Christmas yet! I am not much of an internet shopper, except for books. By the way many thanks to [personal profile] herself_nyc  for the heads-up about Richard Powers' new story, ebook-style, which I found on Amazon and bought right away. I even passed the info to Tom McRae on twitter, because I know that he is a fan too, and he told me that this will make the kindle he owns worth using at last. It was like having a New York/Paris/London threesome! I love having my literary network all over the world.

The internet contains horrible places and allows ugly behaviours but it is so wonderful. The things and the people you can access, it makes life easier and brighter. 
I often marvel at the fact that I can find many useful papers online when it comes to my thesis research and that I can follow my shows almost at the same time as my fellow American viewers when it comes to my entertainment.

Boardwalk Empire
's penultimate episode was terrific and I can't wait for the finale! It isn't Deadwood, and many things are predictable story-wise, but it's so well-crafted and the characters are so wonderfully played. Best show currently on in my opinion.

Steve Buscemi nailed it in "Two imposters" and it was a very exciting episode. Every scene was a little gem, one after another.

Read more... )

Also, I now own Alan Sepinwall's book on kindle so you can already picture me tonight reading it under the duvet while the cats are purring against me.

chani: (Tom)
First weeks are always exhausting, I know it.

And yes I'm exhausted. I'm so glad I haven't got to teach on tomorrow morning! I'm going out with my girlfriends this evening, though.

I'm still reading Williams' Augustus and loving it. Beautiful prose and excellent re-creation of historical events and characters.

I realise that this year has been very Roman for me...I have to post more pictures from Rome. I'll try to do so on Sunday.

BTW here is a link to a website giving the list of Pompeian graffiti (translated into English). Some of them are hilarious or filled with some weird wisdom ("The one who buggers a fire burns his penis"), others show that little has changed over centuries...

As for Augustus, I had another little exchange with Daniel Mendelsohn on twitter – after I thanked him for recommending the book and told him how good the account of the battle of Actium by Agrippa was–, which was very nice. That's the magic of the Internet, talking with an author you love about a book you both like very much.

Also, my dear Tom is releasing a new album (the second part of Alphabet of Hurricanes, finally!) and has an official video clip:




chani: (Default)
This one was inspired by an internet friend who isn't on LJ so I don't think it's going on around here, but I might be wrong.


Suggest up to five books that would help define you; that is, by reading them you would get a sense about the member who chose them. What books would you suggest, that tell something about you? Explain a little about why you picked the book.

I think it's an interesting meme because it isn't your usual "5 favourite somethings" , it's about picking books you think that they would define yourself, so it's as much about your tastes and books you love as about the way you see yourself or the way you'd like to be...

So it's probably way too much revealing but hell, here we go!

My 5 choices )
Now tell me, what are your five books?

chani: (Default)
Nicked from almost everyone on my reading list. I haven't done a meme for ages so here we go, even though those lists are always a problem and I am not very happy with the mixing of Science Fiction and Fantasy, especially since the definition of Fantasy seems to include fables (Animal Farm?).


Bold for books I have read, underlined if I loved them

Read more... )
chani: (Default)
I don't read as much as I used to...I mean I don't read for pleasure and fun as much I used to – of course I read al the time because of the doctorate, but it's either mediaeval documents I work on or History books or theology books or canon law books.

I still read "in bed" but it isn't as regular as it once was. I blame all those great American tv shows I can't help but follow.

I say American, because most of them are from the U.S, but there's of course Doctor Who, and lately I've followed the daring and dark The Shadow Line on the BBC. It wasn't as "special" as Life on Mars or even Ashes to ashes, but it was a memorable moment of television.

To be fair, there are also movies and music that fill the relaxation/culture moments of my life, but it saddens me a little that tv is eating away the time I could devote to reading, especially in the evenings. Feeling the urge to write essays on certain shows that are so thought-provoking doesn't help of course.

Actually, I blame the Internet for providing both tv shows and places to write down about them!

So the pile of to-read-books keep getting higher and higher. There's for instance the book a colleague gave me last year (!) when I left our school, or Pynchon's Mason & Dixon that I  got about at the same time; or The Goldbug Variations by Richard Powers (and it's one of his biggest novels) that I bought months ago; or La fabrique du droit by Bruno Latour or Viktor Vavitch by Boris Jitkov; or the book ( Dino Egger by Eric Chevillard) that I keep in my purse for metro-reading but I rarely find a seat when I am in the subway so I haven't begun to read it yet! And the list goes on...

I finally started reading the last novel by Umberto Eco, Le Cimetière de Prague, yesterday and I'm determined to finish it quickly so I probably won't be online much in the upcoming days.

ETA: I leave you for a little while with this poem, which, contrary to common belief, has not been written by Pablo Neruda.

Muere lentamente )
chani: (Default)
I read until 2 am last night for I couldn't drop Henning Mankell's novel before the end.

L'homme inquiet tells Kurt Wallander's last story. The mystery could be have been better crafted but the mystery wasn't really the point in that 9th novel and it is not Wallander's case even though he can't help investigating. This detective story is all about our beloved detective, and "the worried man" from the title is neither the possible victime nor the possible criminal, but the aging hero (and probably his aging creator as well) who gives away a last confession, a testament.

It isn't Mankell's best Wallander book, crime novel-wise – far from it –, but it has its moments here and there.

Obviously Mankell was fed up with Wallander, a character he doesn't like much which he admitted in several interviews; he had already turned the page and involved himself in other projects (books and plays) for a few years, but I guess the pressure was there so he needed to get rid of the myth for good, and destroy the creature that gave him a world wide success (the Holmes syndrom as Conan Doyle's legacy!) . I won't reveal how Wallander "leave the stage", but it's quite depressing. Mankell is merciless!

I think it's probably better that the series ends before it becomes really poor, but I was sad to see Kurt disappear. He has been in my life for so long, it's like losing an old companion.
chani: (Default)
Part One about Daniel Mendelsohn

My second American hero is a genius whom it's difficult not to admire. I've been marathon-reading Richard Powers' s work for about a year now, starting with the widely and rightly acclaimed The Time Of Our Singing –I reread it after Obama won the American elections, which added to the emotions the story and the characters convey, and I've failed to post about it since then but I will some day because it deserves a post of its own–going on last Autumn with the wonderful The Eko Maker that convinced me that Richard Powers was one of a kind, and perhaps the best American writer alive. So I've decided to explore Powers' s bibliography before.

Read more... )
chani: (Default)
No this entry was not prompted by a documentary about WWII GI's; it has nothing to do with movie stars and I am not particularly into those superheroes born in comics of which Americans are so fond either. Actually I guess it goes against a lot of clichés but my American heroes are writers.The more I read Daniel Mendelsohn and Richard Powers the more I adore them.

Perhaps you remember how I fell in love with the former while reading his The Lost. I have read two other books of his since then, and I'm still under Daniel Mendelsohn's spell.

Read more... )

PS: I'm spamming(yes there's a Part Two coming soon) today but since the History & Geography test took place yesterday morning and given that this afternoon I went to Saint-Cloud to picked the Baccalauréat papers, that I'm supposed to mark in the 7 upcoming days, these entries are probably my latest "big posts" for a while. Marking Hell begins tomorrow morning so you won't see a lot of me until I'm done, unless I need a place to rant and whine from time to time...which might happen.
chani: (medieval demons)
A few days ago, I heard about Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles' fate as I was finishing Richard Powers' Galatea 2.2, and I watched Caprica pilot thanks to the Internet fairy.

When I first heard that there would be a the spin-off, I was rather skeptical. I didn't really see the point of telling the story of what happened some fifty years before the Cylons destroyed the colonies, so I wasn't sure I would watch the 82 minute movie, less alone like it, but I thought I could give it a try, and honestly I did enjoy Caprica. It is quite different from BSG even though there are connections through Bear McCreary's music, the Adama family (William isn't Bill yet but he's there as a young boy) and the "birth" of the first "cybernetic life-form node" that is a CYLON. The line "A Cylon? Interesting." was a killer.
I spotted flaws here and there, and yes there was some stuff that bothered me but I was left wanting more, wanting to know what would be going to happen next. I guess it's a good thing given that Caprica is a prequel! The Greystones are really intriguing and touching, especially Daniel. Eric Stoltz was simply amazing.

Also looks like Ron Moore and Joss Whedon keep giving nods to each other's work. I couldn't help noticing that two characters have names that connect them to Buffy: Cyrus Xander and Clarisse Willow! It can't be a coincidence! Or was it Jane Espenson's wink at her former boss?

So I recommend Caprica to anyone who likes intelligent Sci-Fi. You don't even need to have seen BSG in order to understand it. But it's better to see to pilot, unspoiled!


Spoilers )

Richard Powers' Galatea 2.2  is terrific. I loved it. I can't believe that there isn't a lot more fans of Powers out there. He is a genius and manages to move me every time (I cried reading certain pieces from The Time of Our Singing!). For anyone interested, Galatea 2.2 tells the story of a writer anmed Richard Powers, who's going through a life crisis and gets involved by acognitive neurologist in a crazy project: building an intelligent machine, a machine who can read and comment on the readings in question. Here is what I wrote about the novel on my Goodreads account.
chani: (Locke)
I don't know if I should be punished but, instead of marking papers in the afternoon I downloaded the last episode of Lost, "Dead is Dead" and then I watched it...

Here comes a long review with a lot of Egyptian stuff.

I love that show  )


In other news I really hope that Fox isn't going to cancel Terminator:The Sarah Connor Chronicles. It has flaws but I'm hooked, and it's funny to watch the birth of A.I on that show especially since I'm reading Richard Powers' Galatea 2.2 .

Did I say how much I love Richard Powers? He's really becoming my favourite American writer, along with Daniel Mendelsohn.

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