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Big update, since it's been three weeks - Vox Audita Perrit, Literra Scripta Manet.... — LiveJournal
The heard word is lost, the written letter remains...
Big update, since it's been three weeks
This update's actually been sitting here for a while, but I only just got around to posting it. I know, FAIL. It has been a very non-eventful three weeks of non-updating though, readers. Which is why this update is half book meme, half fandomy stuff. I'm canvassing Fishpond for gift ideas, and gearing up to commence the nightmare which is Christmas shopping.....and really, that's it.

So, here's the book meme. Which really are my favourite memes, when it comes down to it.

1. What book are you currently reading?
Just started reading The Road to Jerusalem by Jan Guillou. Crusades fiction set in Sweden!

2. What is the last book you read?
An incredibly shitty novel that I can't even name, it's that bad. I've lost a week of my life reading it, and I can't even get my money back for it because I picked it up second-hand on a whim. FML! And if you're looking at my reading list, it's not on there because I would rather forget I read it at all to begin with.

3. What is the next book you plan on reading?
After The Road to Jerusalem, I think I might re-read Terry Pratchett's Hogfather, since that's a favourite holiday read.

4. What is the worst book you've ever read?
Caesar by Allan Massie used to be the worst book I ever read....now I believe it's this heinously bad novel I got through. What has made it worse is that the author in question appears to be a shit-stirring amateur Egyptologist after some Google-Fu. NOW I FEEL TAINTED FROM READING THE BOOK. D:

5. Name a book you were required to read in high school that you loved:
Jane Eyre. I know, LAME, just about everybody reads Jane Eyre in high school. Think a large chunk of my love for the book is because of Mr Rochester and his Byronic hero ways.

6. College?
...This is actually a tough question, because I only did two semesters of English literature and after that? Well it was all pretty much academic textbooks, which aren't exactly what you read for leisure. And I'm not actually sure there was any fiction I read for university that I ended up loving. Well, I read The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde but I'd read that in high school so I don't think it counts? If you were going to press me, Apuleius' cracked-out magnum opus The Golden Ass was quite fun.

7. Name a book you wish you read in high school but did not:
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. Actually read it for the first time in the summer after my first year of uni and felt disappointed that it wasn't on our curriculum in high school English or the English literature course I did at USQ.

(Somewhat related sidenote: after the really crappy even though I haven't actually seen it film adaptation came out last year, I think the best critique of the film I read was from Christopher Hitchens- I mean, if Christopher Hitchens hated the film based on a book that is essentially about how God's grace operates in our lives, you know something's wrong.)

8. Name a book you would like to read but haven't:
Ulysses, James Joyce. Well, maybe not so much 'read' as 'conquer'.

9. Why haven't you?
Well, I actually got about 100 pages in before Joyce's dizzying stream-of-consciousness narrative made me put down the book in surrender. I've not tried to read any further since, but think I could probably only average about ten pages more of the book per year, it gave me that much of a headache.

10. What books are on your wishlist?
I haven't actually updated my Amazon wishlist in ages.....thinking about what I might like for Christmas, a lot of the tomes I want are to do with my academic studies- stuff on cults of saints, early Christianity, church fathers, etc. But fiction? I've decided I'm going to try and get through the entire Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O'Brien (Read Master and Commander and Post Captain, so HMS Surprise is up next), so those are on my wishlist. Oh, and Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh.

11. What book changed your life?
I'm not sure I've actually had a book that *~changed~* my life, but I read Marcus Aurelius' Meditations when I was in grade eleven. Between Marcus Aurelius and Seneca (Meditations is here because I like it a fraction more than Seneca's writings), I had decided by the end of that school year that it was classics and ancient history that I primarily wanted to pursue at uni after finishing high school.

....All that said, now onto part two of the update: finally got around to watching the last Doctor Who special and Sarah Jane Adventures!

....I actually liked this more than Waters of Mars. I mean, it was a bit cheesy- it's a kids' show, and I think they have to keep the tone a bit light. If this had been a Doctor Who episode, it might have been much darker and there would've been more angst from Ten and Sarah Jane about Peter's death. But I don't think it needed that....it really was just right for what it was.

Comparing Ten here to what he was in WoM (more on that below), this characterisation of Ten felt more like early series two than anything recent. He wasn't overly annoying or shouty and I loved that he let Luke/Clyde/Rani into the TARDIS to look around. The only clue that this is one of Ten's final appearances is his final conversation with Sarah Jane about whether or not she'll see him again, and I thought that was a well-handled scene.

Really a lot of win in this episode, overall. Not sure if I'll ever watch SJA regularly, but I might try a bit harder to track down a torrent with the Brig's episodes on it now.

Better than Planet of the Dead. I appreciated the darker tone (this episode really didn't feel like an episode for kids), and Ten's characterisation as being less flippant, though the last 15 minutes was just epic fail, even if it was a deliberate show of Ten going off the rails and deciding he was in fact God of Time, as opposed to Lord of Time. Adelaide never really felt like a companion (ok, Ten spent the most time with her, but the whole episode felt like an ensemble piece), but I think she's probably done more for Ten in a single episode than any of his other companions have. Donna can tell Ten to rein himself in, that he needs to be checked, but Adelaide's suicide was probably the most effective lesson for Ten in how he needs to recognise the importance of the laws of time, even without the Time Lords existing. That part, shocking as it was, really saved the episode for me- that rational counterpoint to Ten's power madness was needed.

Also, I always appreciate a good Old School shout-out and it would've been disappointing if the Ice Warriors hadn't been indirectly mentioned at all, especially since there are rumours that they will in fact return as series five's Old School villain.

Some other reviewers have said that Ten saved Adelaide and her two crewmates because he was afraid of his own death and that this would go some way to forestalling it. I really don't buy the Doctor being afraid of death, none of his previous incarnations feared death/regeneration before; although that might be because the previous regenerations were not anticipated (or in Two's case, forced by the Time Lords)- Ten's clearly got warning here that something bad's going to happen to him.

I think too that there's an obvious set up here for the return of the Time Lords/Gallifrey here. Not sure how, but I know that there will be a few Time Lords in The End of Time (The Master, possibly Timothy Dalton's character and another random Time Lord if Wikipedia is correct) and it makes sense to bring them back in some capacity, given the way Ten's end is coming and what's happened in WoM.

The Ood appearing to Ten at the end really reminded me of Frank's first appearance in Donnie Darko. I half expected it to say 'In 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes...'. It would've fitted perfectly too! Honestly, part of me wishes that Rusty would have left David Tennant's departure/the 10-11 regeneration a secret. Sure, maybe the wank would be much more epic, but the knowledge that DT is leaving makes the amount of foreshadowing going on a bit frivolous imho.

As for the next special....I've seen the teaser and the scene that aired during CiN. I can't say I got much out of it.....nothing really made me squee, but I think Ten's regeneration might end up mirroring Five's with him experiencing hallucinations and whatnot- there's a lot of publicity about Rose/Jackie/Jack/Donna/Sarah Jane appearing, but I think these appearances will be minor, with the exception of Donna and Jack, since both have unfinished business, as it were.

As for that clip? I say Ten's bullshitting most of his exploits as a front. Though The Shakespeare Code definitely showed he did something to piss Queen Bess off....

Current Mood: calm calm
Current Music: Coldplay- 42

8 comments or Leave a comment
psyc2321 From: psyc2321 Date: November 29th, 2009 12:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ergh, I attempted Ullyses once, and there was this complete jerk in my first year Lit course at UQ who at least claimed to have read it...I really should have another go, I suppose.

Also, there needs to be more Doctor Who in my life (oooh, and Torchwood...) I hold you and Lillibet personally responsible for this ;)

I'm going to be super busy over the next few weeks (and I'm hopeless about keeping in touch with everyone), but in case I don't get the chance to say it closer to the event, I hope you and yours have a lovely Christmas. Christmas shopping notwithstanding.
psyc2321 From: psyc2321 Date: November 29th, 2009 12:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
ALSO, no can spell good. Ulysses.
normandie_m From: normandie_m Date: November 30th, 2009 02:02 am (UTC) (Link)
It is a good time to be a Whovian, we're about to get a new Doctor and Steven Moffat is taking over the show! And everyone in the fandom is up in arms about it!

The Waters of Mars is screening on ABC1 on the 6th of December. Also, Fishpond is your friend if you're after cheap dvds for DW or Torchwood. Of course, I have absolutely no comment on if you want to get the shows via other means. ;p I go to Mininova for my torrents, but since they're in legal trouble right now, I also use IsoHunt.

Hoping your Christmas is a calm and happy affair too!
I will try to avoid the Christmas shopping nightmare by doing a lot of it online if I can manage it. Hate going into Queen St Mall at this time of year and try to get all the shopping done in two or less trips if I can.
dives From: dives Date: November 29th, 2009 08:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Now I'm curious about this epically awful book, haha!

I love Evelyn Waugh, so much so that when I won an English prize in high school, the English teachers gave me the complete collection of his short stories! Have you read any other of his books?
normandie_m From: normandie_m Date: November 30th, 2009 01:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Really, the indicator that it was going to be a bad book should've been that it even looked a bit dodgy- I mean, the whole design of the book (the cover, the layout and font, etc.) was also really crap. I plan taking it to the local charity bin near our place, though I'm also wondering if there was a way I could recycle it- seriously, it was that awful that I'd like the whole thing pulped. :/

I'm ashamed to say that Brideshead is the only one of his books I've read so far....I've put Vile Bodies on my reading list because I enjoyed Stephen Fry's Bright Young Things and heard that it was based on that novel. I am taking more reading recommendations if there was anything else of his that you think I should read. :)
dives From: dives Date: November 30th, 2009 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Let's see-- if you end up liking Vile Bodies, then I'd suggest Decline and Fall, which is the first Waugh book I read owing to my obsession with stories about British boarding schools. If you want something more Brideshead-esque, maybe A Handful of Dust, although really what they have in common is that they both involve the landed gentry. The latter is more satirical. I think, probably, The Loved One is my favorite of the books I've read. (I still need to read Scoop!)

P.S. Did you hear about Ian?!?!
normandie_m From: normandie_m Date: December 1st, 2009 05:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the recs! Shouldn't have any trouble tracking those down.

I read about what happened, yeah. IDK, maybe he was just having a really bad night? Don't think the guy he attacked was the culprit, but there must have been something that happened to provoke him like that. I think too that the UK media have (as usual) blown the entire incident out of proportion. :|
dives From: dives Date: December 1st, 2009 05:29 am (UTC) (Link)
No problem, enjoy :-)

It just seems so weird. I know he's mentioned in interviews that he gets annoyed very easily, but I've never heard of him losing his cool in a professional capacity. Really weird. Yeah, UK media freaks out about everything as you mentioned.
8 comments or Leave a comment