usuallyhats: Alicia from The Good Wife, seen from behind, wearing a red coat, in front of a wall of bookshelves (alicia books)
Assassin's Quest - Robin Hobb
Thornbound - Stephanie Burgis
Faith: Hollywood and Vine
Not Your Villain - CB Lee
City of Brass - SA Chakraborty

Rereading some Robin Hobb turned out to be a very successful reset button, I seem to have remembered how to enjoy books again. Or at least how to trust my own reactions to them and not go into a spiral of "oh no I don't know how to like books anymore I will NEVER LOVE AGAIN" any time I read something I'm not 100% into.

Faith: Hollywood and Vine (four stars), Not Your Villain (three stars), City of Brass (four stars) )
usuallyhats: The cast of Critical Role sitting round a table playing Dungeons and Dragons (how do you want to do this)
Title: Rainbowland
Fandom: Critical Role
Music: Miley Cyrus feat. Dolly Parton
Content notes: None
Summary: Don't worry, it's almost Thursday
Notes: Uses footage from campaign one, campaign two (up to episode 51), Bunions and Flagons, Crash Pandas, Critical Role and the Club of Misfits, Honey Heist 1, The Screw Job and Thursday by Night
Download: here (3:23 minutes, 184MB) | subtitle .srt
Also at: Youtube | AO3 | Tumblr

streaming and lyrics under the cut )
usuallyhats: Alicia from The Good Wife, seen from behind, wearing a red coat, in front of a wall of bookshelves (alicia books)
Infernal Devices - Philip Reeve
A Darkling Plain - Philip Reeve
Assassin's Apprentice - Robin Hobb
Royal Assassin - Robin Hobb

ONLY REREADS, NOTHING ELSE. I did read 19 short stories this month, though (clearing out my Instapaper backlog), that's, what, an anthology and a half? Anyway, here's a few that I liked:

Court of Birth, Court of Strength - Aliette de Bodard: I love this world, I love de Bodard's writing, and I loved this story about people trying to find a better path when it looks like there are only bad options.
Sun, Moon, Dust - Ursula Vernon: Sweet story about a man who inherits a magical sword containing three ancient spirits who are somewhat taken aback to find that he has no desire at all to be any kind of legendary warrior.
Last Chance - Nicole Kornher-Stace: Engrossing novelette set in a different corner of the world of her Archivist Wasp books.
The First Witch of Damansara - Zen Cho: Zen Cho has such a strong voice. This story is a delightful mix of down to earth humour and emotional truth and I liked it very much.
usuallyhats: Uhura happily snuggling a tribble (Default)
Revenant Gun - Yoon Ha Lee
Mortal Engines - Philip Reeve
Predator's Gold - Philip Reeve
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase - Joan Aiken
Clockwork Boys - T. Kingfisher
The Wonder Engine - T. Kingfisher
Witchmark - CL Polk
Doctor Who: Birthright - Nigel Robinson

This month I found out that I am in fact eligible to nominate for the Hugos this year, so I tried to read a lot of stuff that I might potentially want to nominate. I don't know if it was the pressure, or if I made bad choices, or if I'm in another book slump, but it went... poorly. I feel bad that all these reviews are so negative, but here we are.

Clockwork Boys (three stars), The Wonder Engine (two stars), Witchmark (three stars) )

Didn't finish: The Queen of Ieflaria - Effie Calvin, The Poppy War - RF Kuang, Elysium Fire - Alastair Reynolds )

I feel like I might have finished all three of these if I hadn't forgotten how to like books again. :/
usuallyhats: Close up of Jaylah from Star Trek Beyond (jaylah)
FYI, changed my username from shinyjenni to usuallyhats! (No dramatic reason, and the old name still redirects here, but I've become less and less fond of the old name, and I'm pretty attached to usuallyhats having used it on tumblr for so long.)
usuallyhats: The cast of Critical Role sitting round a table playing Dungeons and Dragons (how do you want to do this)
For 2018 I set myself some goals and didn't do too badly on most of them:

mostly only of interest to me )

End of year fandom meme, slightly edited as usual:

spoilers most of the answers are I HEART CRITICAL ROLE :DDD )
usuallyhats: Alicia from The Good Wife, seen from behind, wearing a red coat, in front of a wall of bookshelves (alicia books)
Hellblazer: Original Sins
The Paper Menagerie and other stories - Ken Liu
Death in the Spotlight - Robin Stevens
Dotter of Her Father's Eyes - Mary M Talbot and Bryan Talbot
Sing for the Coming of the Longest Night - Katherine Fabian and Iona Datt Sharma
The Daughter of Time - Josephine Tey
Ms Marvel: Mecca
Provenance - Ann Leckie
White Houses - Amy Bloom
Station Zero - Philip Reeve
Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race - Reni Eddo-Lodge
Merry Happy Valkyrie - Tansy Rayner Roberts
Not Your Sidekick - CB Lee

The Paper Menagerie and other stories (three stars), Death in the Spotlight (four stars), Sing for the Coming of the Longest Night (five stars), Not Your Sidekick (four stars) )

Didn't finish: Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong - and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story - Angela Saini, City of Strife - Claudie Arseneault )
usuallyhats: Alicia from The Good Wife, seen from behind, wearing a red coat, in front of a wall of bookshelves (alicia books)
(super late, I am a disaster)

Thornfruit - Felicia Davin
Power and Majesty - Tansy Rayner Roberts
Flight of Magpies - KJ Charles
Built on Bones: 15,000 Years of Urban Life and Death - Brenna Hassett
American Street - Ibi Zoboi
Middlemarch - George Eliot
A Spoonful of Murder - Robin Stevens
The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal - KJ Charles

Power and Majesty (unrated), Built on Bones (four stars) )

Didn't finish: Doctor Who: Rags - Mick Lewis )
usuallyhats: The cast of Critical Role sitting round a table playing Dungeons and Dragons (how do you want to do this)
Hello dreamwidth friends new and old! Here is an intro post.

Some facts about me )

Fandoms )

footnotes )
usuallyhats: The Ninth Doctor, Rose and Jack (nine/rose/jack)
Landmarks - Robert Macfarlane
The Seventh Bride - T Kingfisher
Han Solo - Marjorie Liu
Night and Silence - Seanan McGuire
Tiny Titans: Welcome to the Treehouse
Tess of the Road - Rachel Hartmann
Doctor Who: Mission: Impractical - David A. McIntee
Cream Buns and Crime - Robin Stevens
A Seditious Affair - KJ Charles
A Case of Possession - KJ Charles
Doctor Who: Time and Relative - Kim Newman
The Wicked and the Divine: Rising Action
The Wicked and the Divine: Imperial Phase, Part 1
The Wicked and the Divine: Imperial Phase, Part 2
The Ninth Flame - Jen Williams
Spectred Isle - KJ Charles
Hamilton's Battalion - Alyssa Cole, Courtney Milan and Rose Lerner
Things A Bright Girl Can Do - Sally Nicholls

(I briefly experimented with cross-posting these to Goodreads, but then the editor of the Critical Role comic I read last month commented on my review to tell me my opinions were wrong, so definitely don't want to do that anymore.)

Han Solo (five stars), Tiny Titans: Welcome to the Treehouse (three stars), Tess of the Road (three stars), Doctor Who: Time and Relative (four stars), Things A Bright Girl Can Do (four stars) )
usuallyhats: The cast of Critical Role sitting round a table playing Dungeons and Dragons (how do you want to do this)
Archivist Wasp - Nicole Kornher-Stace
The Tea Master and the Detective - Aliette de Bodard
Under the Pendulum Sun - Jeannette Ng
The Cobbler's Boy - Elizabeth Bear and Katherine Addison
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman
The Dinosaur Hunters - Patrick Samphire
The Greatest Story Ever Told - Una McCormack
Latchkey - Nicole Kornher-Stace
Vox Machina: Origins

Archivist Wasp (five stars), Under the Pendulum Sun (four stars), The Cobbler's Boy (five stars), Latchkey (five stars), Vox Machina: Origins (three stars) )

Didn't finish: The Kindly Ones - Melissa Scott )
usuallyhats: The cast of Critical Role sitting round a table playing Dungeons and Dragons (how do you want to do this)
The Curse of Chalion - Lois McMaster Bujold
Star Trek: How Much For Just The Planet? - John M. Ford
The Henchmen of Zenda - KJ Charles
The Scorpion Rules - Erin Bow
Children of Blood and Bone - Tomi Adeyemi
Decalog 3: Consequences ed. Andy Lane and Justin Richards
Raven Stratagem - Yoon Ha Lee
The Embassy of Cambodia - Zadie Smith
Doctor Who: Shadowmind - Christopher Bulis
Kitty Peck and the Daughter of Sorrow - Kate Griffin
Rat Queens: Demons
Indexing - Seanan McGuire

The Curse of Chalion (four stars), The Henchmen of Zenda (four stars) )

Didn't finish: Toil and Trouble )
usuallyhats: The cast of Critical Role sitting round a table playing Dungeons and Dragons (how do you want to do this)
Updraft - Fran Wilde
The Covert Captain: Or, A Marriage of Equals - Jeanelle M. Ferreira
Decalog ed Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker
Decalog 2: Lost Property ed Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker
Heart of Iron - Ashley Poston

I came into this month in a terrible book slump, feeling like it had been ages since I'd really loved or been engrossed by a book*. This hit something of a peak with The Covert Captain, which I really wanted to love but really didn't (see below), so I spent quite a lot of this month hiding in early nineties Doctor Who short stories, on the grounds that I wasn't expecting to have any reaction to them stronger than "well, that was entirely fine".

But then Doctor Who came through for me, as it so often does: Decalog 2 had two unexpectedly charming stories that made me feel like maybe I do know how to enjoy books after all. "Where The Heart Is" by Andy Lane was a lovely little slice of UNIT era goodness (Jo rescued the Doctor! The Doctor told the Brig that he does actually respect him! The Brig stole the last vol-au-vent off Yates's plate!), and "Timeshare" by Vanessa Bishop somehow managed to be a delight despite committing the two standard sins of Six and Peri stories (hewing towards the meaner end of their relationship and harping on Six's size). Good work both, much appreciated.

*Not necessarily the same thing; I'm still not sure how I feel about Too Like the Lightning, but it certainly gripped me.

Updraft (three stars), The Covert Captain (two stars), Heart of Iron (four stars) )
usuallyhats: The cast of Critical Role sitting round a table playing Dungeons and Dragons (how do you want to do this)
Title: All in Together
Fandom: Critical Role (Campaign 2)
Music: Professor Elemental feat. Nick Maxwell
Content notes: None
Summary: We're just having a good time here at breakfast.
Notes: Premiered at [community profile] vidukon_cardiff 2018. Thanks to [personal profile] cosmic_llin and [personal profile] walkthegale for watching various drafts and saying helpful and encouraging things, [personal profile] silly_cleo for sharing the clipping, and [personal profile] odessie for introducing me to the song via the medium of her amazing Great British Bake Off vid. <3
Download: Zip file including subtitles (3:13 minutes, 120MB) (Mediafire has been capricious recently, lmk if the link doesn't work and I'll find an alternative.)
Also at: Youtube | AO3 | Tumblr

streaming and lyrics under the cut )
usuallyhats: The cast of Critical Role sitting round a table playing Dungeons and Dragons (how do you want to do this)
Eat Up: Food, Appetite and Eating What You Want - Ruby Tandoh
The Furthest Station - Ben Aaronovitch
Star Trek: Boldly Go Vol 3
The Wrong Stars - Tim Pratt
Doctor Who: White Darkness - David A. McIntee
Tremontaine Season 3
Splashdance Silver - Tansy Rayner Roberts
The Tethered Mage - Melissa Caruso

The Wrong Stars (four stars) )

Didn't finish: The Hundred Days - Patrick O'Brian )
usuallyhats: The Ninth Doctor, Rose and Jack (nine/rose/jack)
The Rebellious Life of Mrs Rosa Parks - Jeanne Theoharis
Verdigris Deep - Frances Hardinge
The Island at the End of Everything - Kiran Millwood Hargrave
The Lost Plot - Genevieve Cogman
Doctor Who: Rose - Russell T. Davies
Doctor Who: Lucifer Rising - Andy Lane and Jim Mortimore
Hunger Makes the Wolf - Alex Wells
Saga vol 8

Doctor Who: Rose (four stars), Hunger Makes the Wolf (two stars) )
usuallyhats: Hermione from Harry Potter hugging her satchel; text reads "&hearts; books" (hermione hearts books)
Cryoburn - Lois McMaster Bujold
The Lost Steerswoman - Rosemary Kirstein
The Language of Power - Rosemary Kirstein
The Third Nero - Lindsey Davis
The Underwater Ballroom Society ed Stephanie Burgis and Tiffany Trent
La Belle Sauvage - Philip Pullman
Brit(ish) - Afua Hirsch
When I Hit You: Or, Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife - Meena Kandasamy
Patsy Walker aka Hellcat: Hooked on a Feline
Supergirl: Reign of the Cyborg Supermen
Star Trek: Waypoint vol 1

La Belle Sauvage
This gets its own cut, because I want to talk about something in the last 20% of the book, and I can't be bothered to find the code for the spoiler bars. not actually that spoilery, I don't think? ) So overall I'm not sure what I thought of it - some of it I definitely loved, other stuff not so much.

Cryoburn (three stars), The Underwater Ballroom Society (four stars), Star Trek: Waypoint vol 1 (four stars), Patsy Walker aka Hellcat: Hooked on a Feline (four stars), )

Didn't finish: The Golden Legend - Nadeem Aslam )
usuallyhats: Alicia from The Good Wife, seen from behind, wearing a red coat, in front of a wall of bookshelves (alicia books)
Angel of the Blockade - Alex Wells
Doctor Who: Deceit - Peter Darvill-Evans
Bernice Summerfield: Old Friends - Jonathan Clements, Marc Platt and Pete Kempshall
Sparks Fly - Llinos Cathryn Wynn Jones
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance - Lois McMaster Bujold
The Mislaid Magician, Or Ten Years After - Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
Smek for President! - Adam Rex
The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas

Doctor Who: Deceit (two stars), Sparks Fly (five stars) )
usuallyhats: Alicia from The Good Wife, seen from behind, wearing a red coat, in front of a wall of bookshelves (alicia books)
Arrow's Fall - Mercedes Lackey
We That Are Young - Preti Taneja
Doctor Who: The Pit - Neil Penswick
A Skinful of Shadows - Frances Hardinge
Insomniac City: New York, Oliver and Me - Bill Hayes
Borders of Infinity - Lois McMaster Bujold
The Stone Sky - NK Jemisin
A Civil Campaign - Lois McMaster Bujold
Winterfair Gifts - Lois McMaster Bujold
Robin: Year One

We That Are Young (four stars), Doctor Who: The Pit (1 star), A Skinful of Shadows - Frances Hardinge (five stars) )

Didn't finish: Naondel - Maria Turtschaninoff )
usuallyhats: River Song in her cell, looking up from her diary (river)
Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi
When We Speak of Nothing - Olumide Popoola
Too Like The Lightning - Ada Palmer
The Bedlam Stacks - Natasha Pulley
The Obelisk Gate - NK Jemisin
Mistletoe and Murder - Robin Stevens
Treasure Island - RL Stevenson*
A Long Day in Lychford - Paul Cornell
Heroine Complex - Sarah Kuhn
When We Wake - Karen Healey
Luna: Wolf Moon - Ian McDonald

Too Like The Lightning (four stars), The Bedlam Stacks (four stars), Heroine Complex (three stars) )

*yes, I reread this for entirely Black Sails related reasons, what of it

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