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22 August 2010 @ 12:33 pm
oh dear finally I'm back! plus memes and book recs and blathering  
1. HAAAI everyone!!! :DDD Let me tell you, catching up was hard. And I didn't even look at the comms. Anyway, I should be caught up for good, but since I went through a bunch of stuff I might have missed stuff. (though haldoor, your fic is waiting for me as a reward for when I'm done posting, expect me gushing about it in the next 24 hours. XD)

2. The opera frenzy went great! Also more people should set operas in insane asylums because the one which was... well, it was one of the most awesome settings I ever saw. Not to mention that I ended up with fic ideas because of that, but that'll be written... a very long time from now, since I need to finish a bunch of stuff before.

3. Between four days without the net and being stuck in Sicily I read a bunch of books. Therefore, some recs! I'll try not to spoil, but some will happen.

a. Under The Dome by Stephen King: or, the more serious/detailed review. First thing: even if the mole is more or less the same, it isn't The Stand (definitely not nearly as complex, and there's a device he used both times which in The Stand worked better imo). In the sense that that other one is still the best out of all the epic stuff he ever did imo, but with that out of the way, this one is pretty good. It has its flaws, mainly that after the town gets put under the mysterious glass, sane people stay sane and people who were evil-ish before go even more evil (it would have been nicer if he had spiced it up a bit, which he totally can do), and that if you don't buy the solution to the hot question (what the fuck is the Dome?) you'll probably shake your head through all the last one hundred pages. But, if you do buy it, then the whole thing holds up together pretty nicely. Also, I think it was the first King book where my favorite character was the main character, who is imo lovely and most definitely interesting, and thankfully he's not too much of a stainless hero. Also even if the evil people are downright evil they're very well written and the character development is all pretty much excellent, but then again I like King because I like how he develops characters. Also, I lol-ed at Zevon's Play It All Night Long being quite important to the plot, but that's just because I wrote 43000 words of fic with that title. Er. Also, despite the flaws, the thing is damned compelling/readable. I mean, it's 870 pages long (my edition) and I finished in one seven-hour setting. I swear I couldn't put it down. Also, the Corgi is adorable.

b. The Ghost Writer by Robert Harris: I'll admit that I read this one just because I'm in Ewan McGregor withdrawal and I want to pick up the movie, but I was pleasurably surprised. I'm not too much into political thrillers, but this one had a good pace, the plot was well done, the protagonist was one you could identify with, I was pretty much able to get the whole Blair-Lang parallel even if Brit politics isn't exactly my field (or well, I have enough on my hands worrying about Italian politics..) and I liked that he didn't have a character that was one-dimensional. Also, I hadn't totally guessed the ending, and the actual ending paragraph totally sold the whole thing. It was.. solid, I'd say? Anyway, enjoyable read, it doesn't have a dull moment and I guess it's what everything in the genre should be. And while Robert Harris isn't like his brother-in-law (Nick Hornby. Shows I've read all of his book reviews) in the I-have-a-quite-personal-prose department (or one I could tell from any other book of the same genre) it's still a nice read.

c. Outer Dark by Cormac McCarthy: okay, this was amazing. Even if, I'll have to admit, I'm not sure I understood the last six pages. (Anyone who read it and wants to discuss it, please tell me in comments. I need to talk about it!). Or well, I guess I did, but I've been thinking about that goddamn ending for three days and I still didn't decide what I think of it. But I always took it as a sign that if you keep thinking about some book for days after you finish it's obviously good, and well, I think I got all the rest pretty much right. Anyway, while I liked the two other McCarthy books I read better (The Road and No Country For Old Men) this one was.. uh, wow? The writing itself was gorgeous (when I wasn't figuring out the vernacular) and while the subject matter starts icky and becomes ickier (brother and sister commit incest, she gets pregnant, he leaves the child out in the woods to die, she finds out and sets off to find the child, except that it's more complicated than that) I think no one does apocalyptic settings like him. Or well, this is the second I read which was of the apocalyptic kind and it totally delivered. It had such an eerie atmosphere, and I still don't think I fleshed out all the layers I should have fleshed out. There were some things that could have been more fleshed out, but maybe it works also because it doesn't do it and because neither of the two main characters are the most sympathetic. Or well, the sister is more than her brother, but finding him sympathetic after the first five pages is hard, if you ask me. Anyway, definitely not what you'd bring to read on the shore or easy (actually I think it was the most complex of the three of his I read), and it definitely stays with you. Also I really need to discuss the ending with someone who actually has clear ideas about it. Still, most definitely worth it. (Though, if you don't like incest or cannibals, I'd avoid it.)

d. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold: I'm probably the last person to jump on the wagon because apparently everyone has read it already (and I had it on my shelf for two years or so), but since I did get around to read it, I'll throw in my two cents. It won't get into my top ten, but the writing itself was absolutely lovely and the prose matched the narrator incredibly well (kudos to anyone managing a just-killed-13 year old so well), and the story was very compelling. Also the characters were all as compelling and I appreciated that no one was of the flat kind, and especially how she dealt with the protagonist's assassin/parents/sister. And how she dealt with her family's reaction, because it all seemed very plausible. Also as the review on the back of my edition said, the best thing about it is that it's all about death but it's written in such a light way that it's more uplifting than depressing, and she really pulled that off. I thought that the ending could have been longer, but it did make sense with what was happening by then. Definitely very well written and a pretty nice read, though not in the masterpiece range.

e. Forest Of Flowers by Ken Saro-Wiwa: I'm really not familiar with much African literature if you don't count Coetzee (and I read just one of his), and I picked up this one because it was recommended by Roberto Saviano (for not Italians: he wrote a book about the mafia, now has to live under constant surveillance) during a tv transmission. It's a collection of short stories divided in two parts, the first being all set in the same small village in Nigeria and the second outside it. And if I didn't know zilch about how people live in Nigeria before reading it it did give me an idea of how it works. You get a pretty good image of, other than the traditional village, how it works in a big city if you have a position, if you don't, if you live in a slum or if you just have a small shop. And it's pretty straightforward in saying everything that doesn't work (which is a lot), including how oil wells are exploited (and the writer was executed in the mid-nineties mostly because he was very vocal about the issue). It definitely gives you a lot of things to think about, and I'd definitely recommend it. Also the writing itself was very good and at times it felt like you actually were there. Not to mention that it takes skill to denounce things and doing it well but while writing fictional stories and not a non-fiction book. Clearly it was the only one that was published here, but I might hunt down some other book by the same author if I manage.

And, that was all for now. Or well, I also read a book on how to write your degree thesis but I can't exactly rec that one.

4. Noow, a couple of memes! Just because I need to make more than four points in this entry. Soo, first, from snowweisz:

If you’ve been tagged, you must write your answers in your own LJ and replace any question that you dislike with a new question.

→ What song are you currently addicted to?
Loverman by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, but also Out In The Street, Bruce & ESB, London Calling version. Also I should probably add some opera but I'll spare you that. XD

→ What's your favorite season?
Spring. I hate cold and I hate extreme heat, but I hate cold more and in the fall you're going towards winter, so.. also, it's always been the season with less school crap to deal with.

→ What’s the latest movie you watched?
Hellzapoppin' before I left. It was crack on a stick and I loved it.

→ What is the one skill you wish you had?
Singing. Or drawing. Tho since my dream job when I was six was being an opera singer I guess the former. Sigh.

→ What’s your current fandom/obsession/addiction?
Always the same. Lost, SPN (Dean/Cas, really), Misha Collins, His Prettiness and all the rest. If opera singers were a fandom I should probably throw in the girl crush I got on the protagonist of the opera set in the insane asylum. (Who played a man, but she still was amazing.)

→ What's one live show (opera, concert, ballet, circus- anything!) that you want to see before you die?
BON JOVI, GODDAMMIT. I just want to go see goddamn Bon Jovi some-fucking-where. One day I will manage.. though well, I also want to go to the NY MET. (And to the Chicago opera, but just because my favorite-opera-singer-ever plays there on a regular basis. Only there, sadly.)

→ What web sites do you always visit when you go online?
Lj, yahoo, wikipedia, youtube and google.

→ What was the last thing you bought?
.. er, a dvd at the opera place? Tho it was my mom's money and it wasn't for me. In that case, a wacky philosophy book and two Bresson movies.

→ If you won 10,000 bucks today, what would you do with it?
Go to see the live show that I want to see before I die. Considering that they are three, the money would probably be over after that.

→ Favourite time of day?
Late afternoon. Because it's when I actually do stuff.

→ Explain why you have your username
LJ: I was twelve, I wanted a Bon Jovi related username which wasn't too obvious, I checked songs and there was a Janie in one. It was short and functional and pretty, so I picked it. Tangerine is my favorite fruit and Led Zeppelin song. E-mail/twitter/etc: Janie is always the same, Dean is the surname of my favorite literary character ever. And the name of a bunch of people I like, anyway.

→ Do you want to learn another language?
I need to pick up my German asap. And learn it fastly.

→ Five things you can’t live without.
Books, music, internet, movies, coffee.

Tag eleven people. Don’t refuse to do that. Don’t tag who tagged you.

Ew, I hate tagging. Whatever, whoever wants to. XD

5. Stolen from all my fl, and since it's a very Nick Hornby meme I want to do it:

Ask me my Top Five Whatevers. Fannish or personal or pointlessly random. Any top fives.

6. And, to close this, Misha Collins is a wonderful human being. End of story. I might have cried sometime after the middle.

7. That said (because it needed to be posted), I'll be off tidying stuff and betaing things. If I manage everything I should before this day is over I'll be very, very happy. *waves*
feeling: contemplativecontemplative
on rotation: jangling jack - nick cave & the bad seeds
bold_seer: inceptionbold_seer on August 22nd, 2010 11:41 am (UTC)
It's a shame, really; I thought The Ghost Writer looked somewhat interesting. Then I saw it was directed by Polanski. But read the book instead, perhaps? I haven't actually read The Lovely Bones, but will think about reading that one, too.
the female ghost of tom joad: marlon brando *_*janie_tangerine on August 22nd, 2010 12:30 pm (UTC)
The book was nice! Not exactly my genre, as said, but it was a good read. And Lovely Bones is a pretty good read too, it's probably the one of the two I liked better. Also everyone I know who saw the movie for the Ghost Writer say that the ending is crap, so idek. And I can totally see the Polanski issue.
(no subject) - bold_seer on August 23rd, 2010 08:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
jenks1983jenks1983 on August 22nd, 2010 11:56 am (UTC)
Sei stata qui in Sicilia e non mi hai detto nulla? T___T
the female ghost of tom joad: ILUjanie_tangerine on August 22nd, 2010 12:21 pm (UTC)
Eh sempre provincia di Messina, non mi muovo mai da lì ;__; l'anno prossimo organizzo una scappata dalle parti tue magari? ;_;
(no subject) - jenks1983 on August 22nd, 2010 12:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - janie_tangerine on August 22nd, 2010 12:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jenks1983 on August 22nd, 2010 12:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
the female ghost of tom joad: pink!!!janie_tangerine on August 22nd, 2010 11:18 pm (UTC)
I joined ages ago but I just utterly sucked at making time for anything this year. Also I don't like showing off charity acts either much. That said, that video made me cry. And if I can spread it out...

Also the flowers thing is indeed so great! I should try it sometime, it sounds like such a lovely idea. *has never done it, but has never seen it done around here either* and hey, you do have a lot of stuff lined up! You should totally be proud of it. :D
elliotsmelliot: Bookselliotsmelliot on August 22nd, 2010 01:26 pm (UTC)
Also, the Corgi is adorable

That goes without saying! I think I'll check out Under The Dome anbd I won't ask questions about what the dome is made from.

Th African book sounds really good. I'll put that on my to read list. Ghostwriter was playing on the plane on the way home from France but I couldn't watch it because it was one of the planes with the tiny TV in aisles and it make Ewen look green.

I love that you are fangirling opera stars? The asylum ones sounds really cool.

As for top 5s...What are five books you want to read but probably never will?
the female ghost of tom joad: booksjanie_tangerine on August 22nd, 2010 11:23 pm (UTC)
Do check it out! The Corgi should totally make it worth it, if anything. ;) And ha, when it does get answered just take it for good. That should avoid any 'what's this fuckery?' effect. ;)

It is! It was a great read really. And ha, poor green Ewan! That happened to me once, too, but it was Entrapment, I think, and Sean Connery was yellow. I kind of gave up on that after ten minutes.

Oh, I am! I do, I just don't gush about it too much. And the asylum opera was amazing. I don't know how they got the idea (maybe because the protagonist was supposed to be crazy in the original) but I thought it was genius.

And ha, that's a good question. *ponders* I'll post the list tomorrow and I think I already can say a couple..
...a kind of sweet metaphysical blur...: grinhitlikehammers on August 22nd, 2010 01:54 pm (UTC)
So glad you enjoyed the opera! :D

Also: via Misha's video, you have reminded me that I haven't given out random flowers to random people in waaay too long of a time. I need to do that soon.

Alsoalso: a top five -- Top Five Scents, which might be kind of weird, but there are pancakes cooking in the kitchen and I have deliciously-scented things on the brain ;)
the female ghost of tom joad: COFFEE POLICEjanie_tangerine on August 22nd, 2010 11:24 pm (UTC)
It was amazing! :D

And aw, the flowers thing is just so lovely. I should try to see what happens if I do it, since I've never seen it happen around here but apparently it's not too uncommon over there?

Oh, nice one! I like weird scents though. I'm totally thinking about it between today and tomorrow though. ;)
ciaimpalaciaimpala on August 22nd, 2010 03:09 pm (UTC)
Top 5 Lost moments? Top 5 least favorite Lost moments? Top 5 Lost minor characters?

the female ghost of tom joad: lost -> generaljanie_tangerine on August 22nd, 2010 11:25 pm (UTC)
Nice ones! :D I'll totally put them up tomorrow. The last one will be hard...
(Deleted comment)
the female ghost of tom joadjanie_tangerine on August 22nd, 2010 11:25 pm (UTC)
Eheee, me too! With Springsteen added, possibly. XD
(Deleted comment)
the female ghost of tom joad: pink!!!janie_tangerine on August 23rd, 2010 07:20 pm (UTC)
sad side of normal: Good thinking!fosfomifira on August 23rd, 2010 01:47 am (UTC)
Hiiiiiiiiiiiiii :D I want to hear all about your opera days: what you saw, what was it like, who do I have to kill to have three days of opera.

The section on books made me realise how badly I miss reading fiction and how I want to make money so I can import books. Local bookstores are insanely expensive, translations awful and not enough variety for my taste. There are so many authors I've only heard of but never actually read. Grrr.

[I can't believe I don't have that Nick Cave song. WTF?]
the female ghost of tom joad: amadeusjanie_tangerine on August 23rd, 2010 08:12 pm (UTC)

It was amazing! I went to the Rossini Opera Festival (again, except that last time I had seen all three operas and this time just two, but they were so worth it) so it was just Rossini, but it was gorgeous ohmy. The first was this utterly obscure thing (actually I think it was the second time they performed it since the 19th century..), which has kind of a terrible libretto but was the one set in the insane asylum and that totally managed to sell the whole thing. Also the singers were amazing (especially the one playing the protagonist who spent the first act between a wheelchair, the floor and a bed and totally sold the whole is-going-insane thing), and the music was good despite the content, to that so I thought it was awesome. [also someone posted like a minute from the finale on youtube, it's crappy quality but gives an idea of how the setting was.) ;) The second was Cenerentola which was just delightful. They had a setting with people coming in from chimneys and stuff moving while on scene, the singers were all totally perfect (especially the poor protagonist girl who I think broke her foot while on scene and did the whole thing anyway) and the tenor/one of the baritones were also pretty nice on the eyes which didn't hurt at all, and it was also insanely funny. I had such a good time. And records were half the price. If I lived nearer I'd have so started going there before.

Also yeah, whenever I'm dealing with school stuff I never manage to read fiction. :/ One good thing about the summer is that I can just block stuff out and ignore all the non-fiction I can. Also word on the translations, thankfully here the import fees aren't THAT bad and I can get stuff in English, but just to say one the Nigerian one I had to buy in Italian. And I fear the translation wasn't that great.

[Heeey, no problem, I provide! ;)]
(no subject) - fosfomifira on August 25th, 2010 05:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - janie_tangerine on August 25th, 2010 11:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
hell on wheels: Gabe is the bestgalain_7 on August 23rd, 2010 07:32 am (UTC)
Amazing doesn't even begin to cover the awesomeness that Misha is. True fact.

Five things you can’t live without.
Books, music, internet, movies, coffee.

That would be my perfect day list.

the female ghost of tom joad: IDK WHAT MISHA DIDjanie_tangerine on August 23rd, 2010 08:14 pm (UTC)
True. I think he's too good to be human. Someone that amazing can't be human. He has to be from some other planet named Amazing or something. ;)

It's so my list! Nothing is missing, right? :D

(no subject) - galain_7 on August 24th, 2010 08:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - janie_tangerine on August 25th, 2010 11:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - galain_7 on August 25th, 2010 11:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
Fangirlage like WHOA.: Misha // JIB Laundryhopelessfangirl on August 24th, 2010 09:05 pm (UTC)

Misha = .... I don't even know, I don't have the words for how awesome he is. ♥
the female ghost of tom joad: pink!!!janie_tangerine on August 25th, 2010 11:10 am (UTC)

Misha is too good to be real. At times I think he's a collective hallucination, then I remember I touched him so he can't be. XD
valhalla37valhalla37 on August 25th, 2010 11:20 pm (UTC)
Okay, I need to get on that Cormac McCarthy STAT -- that sounds incredible (not the, errr, incest but the whole concept). The Road remains one of my absolute favourites, and All the Pretty Horses and No Country for Old Men were pretty amazing too. And you're totally right -- almost nobody does apocalyptic as well as him.

I'm about 200 pages into Under the Dome and I'm really enjoying it so far! Stephen King creeps me out in a way no other writer can -- his imagery just kind of sticks under your skin, I find. And I love how many disparate threads he's weaving; hopefully they all pan out by the end. And yes, the Corgi is awesome.

Lol, I still read The Lovely Bones! I already saw the movie, though, so I'm kind of hesitant ...? Maybe it wouldn't really matter. Plus I'm really curious to read that sort of narration perspective, since it does sound pretty awesome.
the female ghost of tom joad: booksjanie_tangerine on August 26th, 2010 10:14 am (UTC)
Oh yes you need to! And then you need to discuss the ending with me because I'm -still- breaking my head over it. XD And the concept is pretty great, itself. I haven't read All The Pretty Horses even if I will eventually (now I'm braving Blood Meridian), and if you liked The Road you'll probably like this one. Or well, I thought they were pretty similar conceptually, even if I probably liked The Road more.

Yay, I'm so glad you are! And word on that, if there's a reason aside from the characters for which I like King is the imagery. Even when the plot isn't that great he totally manages to get under your skin anyway. And well, according to me he did pan them out, though I won't say how. ;) And isn't the Corgi just? I want to smish him. (And a couple other people, since I'm there.)

Ha, I didn't watch the movie just because I had the book on my list for so long that I was determined to finish it first. But the book is indeed lovely and she totally pulled the narration off, so I'd say it's worth a read. Also it's pretty easy to get through, I finished it in maybe two settings? Not that it's a bad thing. ;)
Lou: damon b&wgottalovev on August 28th, 2010 11:16 pm (UTC)
I saw something, figured that you probably knew about it but decided to link you to it just in case....

here it is: http://mediocrechick.livejournal.com/473594.html


Misha is a wonderful man. and now I feel guilty for all the books I'm not reading. oops.
the female ghost of tom joad: LOL DEAN/DAMON FTWWWWjanie_tangerine on August 28th, 2010 11:21 pm (UTC)
OMG YAY THANK YOU! I knew about the magazine but I hadn't seen the scans, lol. And that said, I absolutely agree with the content of that article and the outcome of the poll. About time someone noticed widely that he IS a sexy beast. ;)

Misha makes me happy that I fangirl him in a way a few other people do. <3333 I ♥ him. And ha, I manage non-fiction just during the holidays at this point, don't feel guilty at all. XD
(no subject) - gottalovev on August 28th, 2010 11:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Amanda: ✈ sun. but the ground remembers herisis2015 on August 31st, 2010 03:06 am (UTC)
Hi hun! :) I'm trying to get things back up and running over at lostfichallenge and I wanted to ask you about the state of the banners. :)