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Showing posts from February, 2016

Legend of the Seeker: A Bunch of Hot People Having Exciting Adventures That Involve Magic

Legend of the Seeker the TV show is based on a terrible series of books by Terry Goodkind. I mean, I picked up the series thinking "All right, this probably isn't going to be very good," and it was WORSE THAN MY LOW EXPECTATIONS.

However. A tv series was made and aired a few years ago on ABC and I watched the first few episodes and went OMG THIS IS THE BEST BUT ALSO THE WORST BUT ALSO THE BEST.

Basically, Legend of the Seeker is the prettiest. The writing's cliché, the acting's so-so, and its special effects are those of fair to middling sci-fi/fantasy, BUT. The Pretty cannot be ignored.

And the clichés are kind of comforting. Like in the pilot, one of the characters not only says "Who are you to decide a man's destiny?", but also "Prophecy be damned!" So you can predict most of what people are going to say (ex: when the hero tries to interfere and save the girl in the pilot, the villain says something along the lines of "Get out of my w…

Hamilton: "Had I read Sterne more and Voltaire less, I should have known the world was wide enough for Hamilton and me."

I FINISHED IT. THE ONLY ACTUAL IMPORTANT DEADLINE FOR THE READALONG AND I DID IT. The sense of accomplishment, it is as rich as I had expected. Because this was not only a two month readalong, but a grueling two month readalong. I acknowledge this! But who wanted to be reading this book for three months? I thought not. I have read ALMOST NOTHING ELSE this year, but I'm going to openly declare that it was worth it. Why?

1) The immense length of this ostensible biography actually led to it being an overview of early American history, making me feel like for the first time I have some real notion of how our country was formed

2) Politics were as screwed from the very beginning of America as they are now. Everything's not about to collapse. It's all going to be fine. 

3) I don't like Aaron Burr, but him saying "my friend Hamilton, whom I shot" is pretty funny.

4) Also, Burr's heart described as "stuffed with cinders raked from the fires of hell" is mayb…

Hamilton: The Almost-Final Hamiltoning

Let's imagine an alternate universe, a simpler one, perhaps, where instead of coming home and watching old Simpsons episodes while eating chocolate-covered frozen bananas, I read Hamilton, the book whose readalong I'm leading. Wouldn't that be something.

But no, it's Simpsons and frozen bananas all the way down the line for me, so what I have to give unto you all this week, OUR PENULTIMATE WEEK, is a lovely linkup situation so I can read your all's posts on this book that everyone will feel highly gratified to have finished so that we may continue with our reading lives.

As I read this past week, I found myself coming to a feeling of almost total detachment from politics today. Everything always feels so urgent, and if this person gets elected, then this horrible thing will happen, but if this person gets elected, then this other horrible thing will happen. Well, Hamilton and Jefferson were both convinced if the other one got power, everything would go to hell. Both…

Frances Willard's immense sadness

FRANCES WILLARD. You got your shit together on such a massive scale later in life, and you led the first international women's organization and you helped refugees and you were responsible for so many social programs, but when you were 20! You were such a tormented young lady.

Only feeling romantic love for women must have been so ridiculously confusing in 1860, and to have your best friend in the whole world who you were secretly in TOTAL CRAZY LOVE WITH be engaged to your brother must have been so incredibly painful and perplexing. You're supposed to be happy! She'll be in your life forever! But instead you're just jealous and angry and you feel like something's wrong with you and people are calling you abnormal and your brother's pulling you off to the side to tell you to cut it out and omg

20 year old Frances kills me, which is probably why I read that year more than any of the others in her online journals. She's engaged to a man named Charles Fowler a…

Books. They're Pretty Great.

Let's talk about books.


Last Sunday, I was reading bits of various things I'm in the middle of, and all of a sudden the sole thought that came into my head was "Shit, I love books." If I might quote from The Thirteenth Tale, which is quite enjoyable, if not the best book ever, and you all should read it because it says lovely things like this:
People disappear when they die. Their voice, their laughter, the warmth of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living memory of them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an exception to this annihilation. For in the books they write they continue to exist. We can rediscover them. Their humor, their tone of voice, their moods. Through the written word they can anger you or make you happy. They can comfort you. They can perplex you. They can alter you. All this, even though they are dead. Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in the ice, that which according to the laws of nature sh…

#HamAlong: John Adams is the best and Chernow can shut his face

I am especially bummed about being behind in my reading (YES, STILL) because this section talks about John Adams, and John Adams is my dude. So rather than say things like "how bad was 'Creole bastard' in the 1790s really?" and listen to Chernow talk about how terrible John Adams was, I'm going to talk about why I love John Adams.

THE YEAR WAS 1995 and a 5th grade Alice was watching 1776 the musical every day and writing short stories about it for class. John Adams sure was great in that.

THE YEAR WAS 2002 and a high school senior Alice was weirdly not finding any guys in her high school to have a crush on, so she decided she would say she was going to marry John Adams because he was short and talked all the time and argued with everyone and wore ruffled sleeves in a very becoming way.



THE YEAR WAS 2010 and a 25-year-old Alice decided that for her golden birthday, she would go to Quincy, Massachusetts and visit all the John Adams spots because sure why wouldn't …

Mardi Gras Post!

It's Fat Tuesday! The tradition that echoes down to us from the medieval ages and possibly before, I don't know, I'm not going to Wikipedia for this. But back when people took Lent seemingly much more seriously, today was the last kickass day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, where things involve deprivation and sadness. 
(by the way, my high school judged you if you gave up sugar or something dietary for Lent, because then you were doing it to look better and not for God #ChristianHighSchools)
If you threw your reading responsibilities to the wind, what would you read? What giant and/or trashy novels?
WELL. Personally, if I lived in a time lock like where the Daleks were exiled on Doctor Who and I could just take however long because TIME DOES NOT MOVE, I would read The Last of the Amazons, because my voice teacher keeps telling me I'd love it because it's all ladies and olden times, and to be honest, I would not be averse to reading some damn books abo…

HamAlong: I've lost count of which number we're on

How're you all feeling about Hamilton? Do you like him? While I assume he was likable, since the book keeps saying he was, I've kind of been pissed at him for a while. And this quote of his:

"I pledge myself to you and to every friend of mine that the strictest scrutiny into every part of my conduct, whether as a private citizen or as a public officer, can only serve to establish the perfect purity of it"
left a bad taste in my mouth about him, because sir. You have been having an affair for almost a year, and this is a baldfaced lie that you have said right here.

I mean. Everyone's human. People make mistakes. People do stupid, stupid things, and it doesn't make them "bad" people. But the Reynolds affair just straight-up sucked, which fortunately, after all the "fatal enchantress" etc comments, Chernow admits. Thank you, sir.

A lot of the rest was the Whiskey Tax (boooooo) and the French Revolution. Or rather the French Revolution after the…