Nov. 19th, 2013 08:43 pm
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
On this reread of Les Miserables I’m paying a lot more attention to the money than last time because it is INTERESTING. Also I happen to be in the middle of Hugo glorifying Marius’ voluntary poverty and I am annoyed so I am writing this instead of continuing to read.

Here are some of the things I have noticed. Probably I’m not saying anything surprising here. I’m just documenting for myself my observations:

Marius makes about 2 francs a day. Feuilly, on the other hand, who fandom often thinks of as “the poor one,” makes 3 francs a day - so that’s actually a very livable wage Feuilly is making. Bahorel’s allowance comes to a little over 8 francs a day.

One cannon shot costs 6 francs to fire. (Hugo mentions this when discussing the waste of the formal shots that are a sign of respect within the navy, and the amount of money wasted.) This is really interesting to me, because a recurring theme within the Aubrey-Maturin novels is the importance of captains having to supplement their stores of powder because the allowance from the government is not enough to get your crews really practiced at firing accurately. So all of a sudden I have a bit more of a sense of HOW MUCH MONEY it costs to do all of that practicing.

Fantine, after she is fired from the factory, makes 12 sous a day, which is then reduced to 9 sous a day - which is around a quarter of what Marius makes when Marius is poor. (20 sous per franc is the conversion.) Of course, there’s a decade or so (I think) between those two time periods, and the value of money may well have changed in that time; and also there’s the difference in cost of living in Paris versus the small town of M-sur-M. But it gives one an idea of how little Fantine was living on - especially considering she had to send 10 sous of that 12 to the Thenardiers for Cosette, so she was living on 2 sous a day, which is ONE TWENTIETH of what Marius lives on.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Well, two more books to add to my read list, but I'm afraid my reviews of them are uninspired.

The Ionian Mission, by Patrick O'Brian
As always I am falling over myself to compliment Patrick O'Brian. Really I don't ever have anything new to say about these books, it feels like -- each one is just YEP PATRICK O'BRIAN CONTINUES AWESOME, THE END. I am such an O'Brian fangirl. NO REGRETS.

Dealing with Dragons, by Patricia C Wrede
Charming, not particularly deep, and a comfortable reread! Also a VERY fast read, wow. It took me something like six lunchtimes to read The Ionian Mission and this one I got three quarters of the way through in a single lunchtime. I'd forgotten how short the books in this series are!
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
I have MORE THAN ONE book to post about having read recently, even though I haven't been on vacation or anything? THE SHOCK.

Ronia, the Robber's Daughter, by Astrid Lindgren

I picked this one up after reading [personal profile] skygiants' post about it, because she made it sound excellent. And she was right! I found it SUPER CHARMING and rather wish I had stumbled across it when I was a kid instead of being under the vague impression that the Pippi books were the only things Astrid Lindgren had ever written!

Some spoilers to follow )

The Fortune of War, by Patrick O'Brian

Okay so this is one of those books that sat beside my couch with a bookmark halfway into it for I DON'T EVEN WANT TO KNOW HOW LONG and I finally decided recently to just BUCK UP AND START FROM THE BEGINNING AGAIN because it's not like I remembered the first half well enough to be able to properly follow the second half.

And then I was reading, and reading, and reading, and realized slowly that waaaaaiiiit a minute I'D TOTALLY ACTUALLY FINISHED THIS BOOK BEFORE, and WHO KNOWS WHY I'D LEFT THE BOOKMARK IN. But by the point of this realization I was far enough in that I finished reading it anyways. I have no clue whatsoever when I finished it the first time, so I'm going to count it as a first read for this year's end-of-year count, since it clearly never made it into the stats for any previous year.

ANYWAYS MY THOUGHTS ABOUT IT. It was super excellent LIKE ALWAYS OF COURSE, oh my god I spend every single Patrick O'Brian book just staring at the pages going "PATRICK O'BRIAN HOW DO YOU WRITE SO WELL. HOW. HOW." He's just such a good writer, y'all! I can't get over it! And I hope I never do!

Some spoilers )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Hmmm yes this is a good time for an update on the books I am reading! I STILL HAVE A BACKLOG OF POSTS TO MAKE ABOUT THAT, surprise surprise. So today you get my thoughts on the most recent two Patrick O'Brian books I've read! In a shocking twist, my thoughts pretty much boil down to "PATRICK O'BRIAN ILU"

#4: The Mauritius Command )

#5: Desolation Island )


Jun. 11th, 2012 05:07 pm
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Yeah, so there's a lot of books I've read in the last little while when I haven't been posting regularly, so there's a bunch to report back on! Some I have more, uh, extensive thoughts than others. I'll start with a compilation post for a number of the books for which I had less to say. But after posting this I am taking my beloved computer off to the repair shop to get a serious overheating problem looked at, so my presence may be erratic until the repairs are complete! (depends on how often Mara needs her computer, how often I go to the library, and how often I decide that the frustrations of internet via iPod are worth facing :P)

The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You, by S Bear Bergman )

Tooth and Claw, by Jo Walton )

Magician's Ward, by Patricia C. Wrede )

H.M.S. Surprise, by Patrick O'Brian )

Dragonbreath, Dragonbreath: Attack of the Ninja Frogs, and Dragonbreath: The Curse of the Were-Wiener, by Ursula Vernon )

Drystone Walling Techniques and Traditions, by The Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain )


Jan. 26th, 2011 09:52 pm
sophia_sol: Geoffrey with his head resting on a podium, with text saying "headdesk" (S&A: Geoffrey: *headdesk*)
My issues with tv-watching have unexpectedly popped up in my audio-book exploits with the Dresden Files. Namely, I get to a certain point in a tv series (different every time) at which I acquire some sort of a...mental block. A thing that's hard to describe, where I both want to and don't want to watch the next episode. I know I'll enjoy the next episode, and I want to know what happens next, and I want to finish the series, and I know it'll be fun and interesting and all that, but -- I just somehow am entirely missing the desire to actually sit down and watch it. Even though I want to watch it.

The same thing can happen to me with books as well, if I'm reading a longish series. It happened with the Vorkosigan books, I'm currently vehemently denying to myself that it's happening with the Aubrey-Maturin books, it very nearly happened with the Lord Peter Wimsey books, etc etc.

I don't quite know what it is that causes it, but it's a stupid and frustrating issue to have.

I thought I wouldn't have to worry about that problem with these audiobooks, because it's not like I specifically sit down and make the time to listen to them. Listening to them is something I do while walking to class, while going jogging, stuff like that. It's built into my daily routine.

But today I found myself curiously unwilling to put my iPod earbuds in and turn it on, even while walking to class. I LIKE listening to stuff while walking, and yet I ended up just walking without listening to anything at all, because I just...really had no desire whatsoever to keep listening to the Dresden Files. Despite wanting to know what was going to happen next.

This afternoon I made myself turn on my iPod and go through the audiobook, so that I could find my place (which I'd accidentally lost), and as I did so I got caught up in it again, enjoying myself. But the very next time I headed outside to go somewhere, I'd already lost my interest in the audiobook again, and I had to make myself turn it on and listen.

I enjoyed it while it was on, got caught up in the story and all that, but -- now that I'm home again and it's off again? BACK I am to that mental space where no matter how much I want to finish the book, I don't want to keep listening to it.


sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Yeah!!!)
Over Easter weekend, I was visiting my parents, as one does. And I ended up at an antique shop/market, as one does. I wandered around looking at the enamel bowls and coffee grinders and butcher's knives and fountain pens, just to admire them, not really expecting to buy anything.

And then! In the farthest back corner of the crowded basement (and yes, it really was the farthest corner; I'm not even exaggerating for rhetorical effect) I found that apparently one of the merchants thinks that books with a copyright date from the 1990s somehow counts as antiques, because there were the first SIXTEEN books in the Aubrey-Maturin series for sale, two dollars each! Well, what could I do but dance around in glee and proceed to buy them all?

AWESOMESAUCE. I now have enough tasty Aubrey-Maturin goodness to last me for a long, long time.

(PS: today I rewatched The Eleventh Hour, and then I watched the Doctor Who Confidential. I AM STILL SO THRILLED ABOUT IT ALL! Why is it not Saturday yet?)
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (O'Neill's Dark and Stormy Mission)
I watched Master and Commander today for the second time, after an impulse-purchase of the dvd earlier this week (at least it was used, so it was cheap...). And mmm, it was even better the second time around )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Fraser/RayK Duet)
To spare [ profile] sentientcitizen from even more of my ridiculously squeeful emails on the subject of the Aubrey-Maturin series, I'm going to subject you, O Friendslist, to my thoughts instead.

But under cut, for length and for spoilers. )

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