[personal profile] jtniehof
A Call to Duty, A Call to Arms, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Kiss Him Not Me, Izetta, Murder Princess, Johnny English, Strange Brew

A Call to Duty (Timothy Zahn, David Weber): A nice mix of politics (military and palace), character development, and space battles. Travis is a bit two-dimensional but still has both flaws and some odd competencies; no groundbreaking character study here but better than most books of the genre. Also well-balanced between we-know-what's-coming and self-contained plot.

A Call to Arms (Timothy Zahn, David Weber): Worked much better at novel length than the cut-down short. I did get bored with the actual Big Battle: it went on for nearly half the book.

Gödel, Escher, Bach (Douglas Hofstadter): Took me fifteen years to get around to reading this. It's not a terribly accessible book, even thought written clearly. It's strongly connected and the argument progresses linearly, but every bit builds on absolutely everything that came previously and the more you can hold in your head, the better: ideally all 700 pages should be read in a single sitting. I found I couldn't read it close to bed or I'd be kept awake thinking, or worse, have very tangled dreams; it really gets the brain going. One could dismiss it as "have you ever really looked at your hand?" and it dances on the edge of too clever by half, yet the presentation is as concrete as possible given the subject (the nature of consciousness). Although it's tempting to dismiss the dialogues, they do hold the work together. This is an excellent book. It's a really important book. And reading it is an awful lot of (enjoyable, rewarding) work.

Kiss Him Not Me (5 ep): I so wanted to like this, but the largely unexamined body image issues were too squicky to push through. Each time it seemed they were going to be addressed, it was dropped in favor of a gag.

Izetta: The Last Witch (6 ep): Again we held on for a awhile...the first couple of episodes were rich in intrigue, plot, and implied backstory. Somewhere around the third episode it settled into very straightforward and downright boring.

Murder Princess: Ultimately rather forgettable. The cyberpunk rock flair added a bit of spice when they remembered to throw it in, but the fantasy/postapoc tech thing has become a pretty standard anime trope, and the characters weren't all that interesting. Once you got past the first episode the plot was pretty obvious.

Johnny English: I thought it was pretty funny (although inconsistently and pretty lowbrow); Liz was bored throughout. It did go on for a bit and relied heavily on physical comedy.

Strange Brew (rewatch): It's been a long time, and while this hasn't exactly aged poorly, it's a product of its times: a pretty even mix of guffaws and "wha?"

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March 2017

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