liaku: (hp avada kedavra)
Day 08 – A book everyone should read at least once

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JKR, and I highly recommend following it up with Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban. After that... well. I made it to the sixth book, and I do intend on reading the seventh someday. Eventually. Maybe. I'd like to think it might happen, basically for the same reason that I think everyone ought to give Harry Potter a shot.

Harry Potter has defined a generation. By this point, it's not so much a series as it is a phenomenon, and while you can duck under a rock and pretend it doesn't exist--c'mon. Don't be so hipster.

It's a children's book, Philosopher's Stone, and it's delightful. If you're the right age for it, then it can single-handedly convince you that magic is real, and despite what the Papacy thinks, that's a beautiful thing. If you're not the right age, you've still got to have quite the icy heart to not even be reminded of a time when your imagination ran wild and maybe, just maybe, magic is real, and it's all hidden away from you in its own little part of the world, too shy or too scared or simply too damn elitist to come out to play with the rest of us. You know, maybe. Could be. It'd be nice to believe so.

Imo, just maybe is enough.

the rest of the meme )
liaku: (mulan be a man)
Day 07 – Least favorite plot device employed by way too many books you actually enjoyed otherwise



No more Asian monks or faux-Asian monks. Definitely no more non-Asian Asian-esque monks. Definitely definitely no more kung-fu monks. Especially if they're cryptic.

The only viable excuse is if the story's actually set in China. For instance, they don't bother me in Xi You Ji or Shui Hu Zuan. ...And for some reason, evil kung-fu Catholic monks somehow don't bother me, but that's a discussion for tv series, so whatever.

the rest of the meme )
liaku: (im on a horse)
Day 06 – Favorite book of your favorite series OR your favorite book of all time

RED is a play by John Logan, premiered last year in London and then closed in New York. I'm not sure if it's kosher to use a play to answer this meme, but it's published as a script in book form, so I think it counts as a book, though it certainly doesn't count as a novel.

RED is a one act play with only two characters: the artist Rothko and his new assistant Ken. Rothko's been commissioned for his Four Seasons paintings, the most expensive commission of all time, and he's going to talk about it. A lot. (Though he still doesn't talk as much as the General in Embers, that'd take some doing.)

Rothko's infamous for his egotism and humorless vanity, and in RED, he often speaks of seriousness in art, all grand sweeping monologues about Art and Immortality and Significance and Tragedy, but that's peppered still with fatherly love for his paintings, his creations, the necessity of treating them well and protecting them. There's discussion of light and color, movement, intensity, sanctity, painting, preparing, and everything you'd expect in a play about art--yet I don't think you need to be an art critic to find these dialogues spell-binding, even if it's only because Rothko's own passion is contagious.

My friend saw the play at my recommendation and thought it was passably decent at best, reminding her of two drunken art students debating a stream of consciousness that really amounts to nothing more than extravagant philosophizing over their favorite pastime. Needless to say, I disagree, and so do the Tony awards. However, I do think it may come across this way in text alone. Like any play, it has a hard time standing on its script alone since that's not how it was meant to be experienced. That being said, I still think it's a worthwhile read anyway, even if the reading isn't bolstered by memories of the live performance.

the rest of the meme )
liaku: (caution this is sparta)
Day 05 – A book or series you hate

I'm going for a series, because that seems more to the spirit of things. Twilight's too easy. Same goes for Eragon. I have a special fondness for Harry Potter and choose to remember it for its better moments. Most of the shallow pulp fiction series aren't that poorly written and are a fun read anyway. And honestly, writing a series isn't all that popular amongst non-children's/YA and non-genre fiction.

So here we are with Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series. As an ASOIAF fan, this is probably an even less inspired choice than Twilight would've been. GRRM fans don't tend to be Goodkind fans and vice versa.

I'll say this first: they're not actually poorly written. Are they well-written? No. But poorly? That's too much. It's quite repetitive and longwinded and mind-numbing though, but his editors kept that checked within reason at the start. The first book is actually quite enjoyable if you're just looking for a romp in a fantasy world, and the second is a typical mediocre sequel. The rest embarrass the genre. (I only made it as far as Faith of the Fallen, but I hear it only goes downhill from there.)

The rest are only the disastrous creations of an author that ejaculates as he preaches against the terror of socialism and writes the rape and/or humiliation of every female character in sight. Our leading man spends his time waxing and waning between emo and "heroic" while his (female) entourage become freakishly slavish and co-dependent upon him. I use the word heroic in quotes because our leading man is touted as having the most superior of moral fibres, yet he condones rape, murder, terror, casual violence, not to mention plain old stupidity.

My deepest condolences if anyone on my FL's a Sword of Truth fan.

the rest of the meme )
liaku: (marshmallow omg)
Day 04 – Your favorite book or series ever

The Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett. It's not so much a series as it is a setting and itself a genre. Satirical fantasy, someone else should've come up with that idea sooner! All the books are good, but some are significantly better than others, and there's a noticeable jump in satire. The earlier books are mostly just a fantasy-comedy hybrid, which is also a fantastic idea, but starting with Small Gods, the genre is firmly satire. All the novels are capable of being standalone, but there are some sequential storylines, most prominent being the Witches, the Unseen University, and City Watch. The City Watch sequence is undeniably the most reliable in terms of high quality.

Recommended starting books: Guards! Guards! is the first of the City Watch storyline, my personal favorite, and it's older than the previous two so less satirical, and it's about the Watch (basically the city misfits and deadweight) saving city Ankh-Morpork from a dragon. Small Gods is about the god Om, powerless and stuck in the body of a turtle, and the boy Brutha, who is the only person that can hear his voice. It's completely standalone in the series. Going Postal! is about Moist von Lipwig, a con artist of epic proportions, who is saved from the noose only to be tasked with reviving the disused and rundown postal service. It's better than it sounds and absolutely hilarious.

Guards! Guards! was actually one of the last books I read in the City Watch stories, so it's not like you have to read them in order. I assume it helps though, and some people are sticklers for getting things chronological. My first was Lords and Ladies, which has since defined the elves of my imagination. After that, I read a smattering of random books (Mort, Hogfather, Reaper Man, Witches Abroad), all of which were entertaining, but I sold my soul for good to Night Watch. That being said, it seems like fans of the series have VERY mixed opinions on the books. For example, I love Monstrous Regiment, but many consider it the worst of the series by a long shot. (Sure, Jingo is a better satirical piece criticizing war, but while Monstrous Regiment passes the same message along, they're really not at all comparable.)

Basically, you should check out the series. It'll be worth your time. If English is your second language, they're not terribly difficult reads, plus I've heard that most of the translated versions are excellent as well.

the rest of the meme )
liaku: (all your bass)
Day 03 – The best book you’ve read in the last 12 months

Was Nation. Embers by Sandor Marai, a Hungarian novel that I read recently in class. I figured I'd do the books I'd read since the semester began since, um, I read maybe two or three books a week during the summer. Apologies for the tiny cover image. It's a new cover, and I insist on using that one since the other features the main character's late wife. Considering that imo the book is not about her in the slightest, I don't intend on using an image featuring her.

Embers is set post-WW1 in Hungary, about an old, wealthy general and his estranged best friend. I consider it a suspense novel, as the backstory is slowly unveiled to you as the two characters talk. The book opens with his best friend, who he hasn't seen in ages, unexpectedly drops by for a visit. Then it drops into flashback mode, telling the story of the general and his old friend, when they met at academy and the origins and developments of their epic, epic bromance. There's more to it than that, but I'd spoil you if I said any more. The latter half of the book isn't as strong as the first, as it's mostly an extended monologue for the general. That dude talks a lot. Luckily, he's got a honeyed tongue, and he's so passionate when he speaks of friendship, love, music, hunting, living, aging, and everything and anything in-between that it's hard to complain.

It's a short book, a beautiful and quick read, really poignant and touching, though the entire class found the ending rather abrupt and a let-down. Personally, I thought it suited the book. Got to say that it frustrated me when I first read it though.

the rest of the meme )
liaku: (pikachu love)
Day 02 – A book or series you wish more people were reading and talking about

Nation by Terry Pratchett. There are actually tons of books that I wish more people had read, but Nation's such a gem that I feel a lot of people have passed over because it's not a Discworld book (that'd be Terry Pratchett's fantasy-satire series) and it's also a children's book to boot. It's about an island nation that's swept away by a storm, and all that's left is a boy, who's soon joined by survivors from neighboring islands and a lone shipwrecked girl from Britain. Boil it down enough, and it's boy meets girl, but it's not a love story at all, even though I expected it to be.

I read Nation in such a way that it should've been impossible for me to like it: whenever I went for Chinese carry-out, I had the book in my purse and read a few pages while I waited for my food. By the time I was nearly done, I sat my ass down to finish it proper, without the smell of stir-fry over my head. I shouldn't have, because it was right before midterms, and it broke my heart and then had the mercy to piece it back together again. It'd been so long since I'd last sat down to read a truly excellent book that I'd forgotten that books could even do that.

It is a beautiful, poignant story that I don't think anyone should miss out on. You should read it, all of you.

the rest of the meme )
liaku: (Default)
I just ordered the green PSP + Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker pack, as well as Dissidia, Crisis Core, and FFT. I feel slightly guilty because I bought them all new, and who buys games new? Besides me, apparently. I believe I'll be holding off on Cata until the summer, and I'll be holding off on a PS3 until PS4 comes out. Alas.

So while I was in Bosnia, I really wanted to pick up a Dzeko Wolfsburg jersey, except they only carried his Bosnia NT kit, which makes sense, but I didn't want a Bosnia kit. But bizarrely enough, there was a random little store that had a RM Özil jersey on display, so I got one of those. The shopkeep was delighted with me--apparently, the Özil kits had just arrived the day before, and I was the first to buy one. He gave me free whistles. Go me, I guess.

Anyway, ganked from [livejournal.com profile] savepureness.

Day 01 – A book series you wish had gone on longer OR a book series you wish would just freaking end already (or both!)

Mike Carey's Felix Castor series (starting with The Devil You Know) needs to go on for longer. It's terribly similar to the Dresden Files; Felix Castor's an exorcist in an AU London where the dead, zombies, weres, ghosts, etc, walk the earth, and he just needs to eke out a living busting ghosts. And then there's some demons. My favorite character's a vain, paranoid zombie that's an ace hacker and collects jazz records in his abandoned movie-theater turned fortress. He's kinda cool, though I do like everyone.

The series is not technically over as far as I know, since they never specify how many books are within the series, and the fifth book's ending definitely leaves plenty of room for more story-telling. I'm pretty sure he was only contracted for five books though, so I don't see any more coming in the future.

book meme: what's to come )
liaku: (dw 11 screwdriver)
To the ASOIAF fans, Finn Jones (aka Loras) was in two episodes of Sarah Jane Adventures. To DW fans, these would be the same episodes Matt Smith's in, so worth checking out for that maybe. [Part 1] [Part 2]
liaku: (for the horde)
So since I've basically succumbed to the fact that I won't buy a PS3 (Slim, because the old one's fugly) until either 1) it's backwards-compatible with the goddamn PS2, 2) there's a FF7 remake, or 3) the price drops--a lot, I've been looking at PSPs every now and then, because I want to play Dissidia and a translation of FFTactics that's actually in English as opposed to JRPGese.

So I just found this.


I do so love the color green. ...Though I'm aware that the cost-effective method of getting my gaming fix is to wait until December for Cataclysm and play my heart out then. But it's GREEN! I mean, I almost certainly will since my poor mage is about a million levels behind [livejournal.com profile] lillueyue and [livejournal.com profile] emago. And green's my favorite color~ Maybe I should renew my account now since we could use it both for KEK and for me to get my ass into gear if we all start playing through winter break. And at least I know as an MGS game, it'll be good. I could catch up quick since I can do a level a day if I'm disciplined, which I'm not. Besides, Dissidia. I've got two words for you: Troll Druid.

If it's not yet obvious, I somehow think shopping for a PSP is more worthwhile than studying for microeconomics.

The smartest acquisition I could possible make is Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac. Because right now, I ain't got nothing.
liaku: (mushu he did it)
Blame [livejournal.com profile] wolef .

1. Pick 15 of your favorite movies.
2. Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.
3. Post them here for everyone to guess.
4. Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
5. NO GOOGLING!/using IMDb search functions or using social networking sites. Cheat at will.

Most of these are pretty easy. One's nigh unguessable, and another might prove tricky. )
liaku: (Default)
Just wanted to say that last night's Rebecca was fantastic. I basically missed the entirety of the Broadway festival thingmabob though I caught a few songs from Atti before the show. So, so sorry [livejournal.com profile] baby_mammoth, I did get back in time to meet you, but I was feeling horribly sick and not in the mood to be in a crowd.

I am fucking in love with Polyák Lilla as Mrs. Danvers, and I'm delighted that she's the Danny in the official recording. Never liked her voice in anything, and I've always been confused when people said she had a stunning voice, but holy shit last night left me stunned. What a voice! So far, most of the casting is working out for me (though I don't want to see SzPSz!Max or MÁZs!Favell except out of morbid curiosity), but Lilla blew me away. Despite not liking the book, I somehow still really appreciate accuracy to it because it's still a good book nevermind my opinion, and Lilla nails the canon perfectly imo.

Will definitely post my thoughts on the show at length on [livejournal.com profile] magyar_musicals, ideally after I finally catch SzPSz and VágoZ.

Will post about Eger too. Visegrád was rained out, so we went to this gimongous cavern by Miskolc. I have zero appreciation for nature, but it was pretty fucking stunning, so more photos are on their way. In related news, Eger now ranks as the absolute most adorable city in the world. I want a snow globe of it.
liaku: (ratatouille squee)
Okay, so I haven't taken many photos of Budapest at all, mostly because I'd seen it before so it wasn't so snapshot worthy for me, but these are what I'd bothered getting.



Yes. I am luring you in with a photo of ice cream. No, I have no shame. )

Pretty, pretty Esztergom with a tiny cameo from Slovakia. But mostly just the basilica. )
liaku: (Default)
1) In Budapest and alive. So so so tired though. I only got to my room around 9PM, and then I moved furniture with my roommate until 11PM or so before crashing. Yesterday was busy busy busy from 8AM to 9PM. Today wasn't much better. I'm not even jetlagged, but I'm tired.

2) Photos forthcoming. Turns out my camera isn't compatible with macs. A bit of an oversight, but I'll use one of the school PC's when I find time. I've only taken a few so far anyway--the weather's been utter shit, so the lighting hasn't been fantastic enough for me to bother except for things that amused me.

3) My other pair of boots broke. A stone scraped a chunk of rubber off the heel, and now its all shaky and unstable and incredibly straining to walk in, which I had to do for a few hours yesterday. My right foot is in a world of hurt now.

4) Crazy American students are going out for a drink despite being dead tired and it's raining like the apocalypse out there. I'm going to sleep, thanks. I enjoy ditching my sobriety just as much as the next person, but I'm pretty sure all the rain would give it right back.

6) The 6 trolley is my new best friend. It stops both at Oktogon and LUSH. How brilliant is that?
liaku: (im on a horse)
I have four days left in America. I'm considering having a last hurrah and doing everything I'd miss, but I'm not sure what I'd miss. My playstation, maybe?

There's this one pair of boots I've packed, and I'm afraid the heels will snap. I keep telling myself they won't since I've wrapped the heels in my sweaters and then cushioned the sweaters from impacting anything with my fluffiest socks. I'm really considering just wearing them onto the plane to make myself feel better, but who goes on an overseas flight with knee-high leather boots? I mean, really?

In other news, Real Madrid may want to hire a new translator for their website. Or not, because this possibly made my day.
liaku: (mesut)
Özil to Real Madrid. DNW. Are there even any Madristas happy with this?

I mean, I wasn't happy about Khedira going there because I didn't think he'd get much playtime. Now he really won't get much playtime. Not so worried about Özil in that regard at least.

Oh my god

Jul. 24th, 2010 04:10 am
liaku: (marshmallow omg)
(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers from the University of Sydney's Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease Laboratory have achieved a major breakthrough by finding the causes of Alzheimer's disease at a cellular level and thereby identifying a potential therapy as a result.

The groundbreaking new study led by Professor Jürgen Götz and Dr Lars Ittner, based at the University's Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI), is published today in the prestigious international scientific journal Cell.

The researchers have discovered how a protein called TAU affects and mediates the toxicity of amyloid-b, which together with TAU causes the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

[Source]

Sweet lord on high.

emo now

Jul. 7th, 2010 04:56 pm
liaku: (schweinski)
So. At least Neuer did good.

I don't even mind Spain winning. I don't like their bandwagon fans, but I'm happy for Spain and all they've accomplished nonetheless. I just wish I could be proud of my team right now too, but I can't. That was an ugly game from Germany.

Maybe more thoughts later. Doubt it though.

ETA: One thought, at least: Spain fans are well on their way to persuading me to support the Netherlands again. Oranje, I want to love you so much, and I certainly love you more than Spain, but every time one of you fall down, I want to spork my television screen. Spain doesn't make me put my bitch face on, and that counts for a lot.
liaku: (football prussia GER)
asofubowebvwrb -- I'm missing the first half of the game tomorrow. Class starts at 2PM. Game starts at 2:30. Class ends at 3:30PM. If I leave early, I can at least watch the second half. Or I could only come in a little bit late if I only stick around for the first half hour. (Seems a bit rude to the prof to leave any earlier than that.)

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