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Archive for November, 2011

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“Hugo”

Mr Lush and I are planning on seeing “Hugo” this weekend. It’s been getting amazingly good reviews from practically everyone.

With a few condescending jabs at what does and doesn’t constitute a movie (or book) that children will understand and love, of course. Sigh.

I have the book, although I confess that I haven’t read it yet; I doubt I will have the time to before I see the movie. But I know enough about the book to be able to enjoy and appreciate what is so clearly a labor of love and a very faithful adaptation of excellent source material. And I’m also smart enough to know that it’s perfectly accessible to children–the very same children who love the book will surely love the movie as well. Give the kids credit for being smart enough to get it, foolish adults!

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Finn lives in Incarceron, a vast, sentient prison built to contain all of the undesirables of the world. Despite the fact that the prison has been sealed for many years, Finn is convinced he is in fact from the outside. Only one man has ever escaped from Incarceron, and that was so long ago that whatever truths were once known have long since been forgotten.

Claudia lives outside, equally a prisoner. Her world is trapped by the stifling constraints of Protocol; all advanced technology is forbidden, and time is artificially frozen in the 17th century. Her marriage has already been arranged by her father, and Claudia has become embroiled in a mad scheme to assassinate the queen.

When Finn and Claudia manage to contact each other by means of a crystal key, both are convinced that only the other can save them. But the true nature of Incarceron is beyond what either of them could ever have imagined.

I loved these books so much. They’re an incredible mixture of grim dystopian sci-fi and high fantasy. The world building was amazing–the contrast between Claudia’s artificial 17th century faux-Europe and the extremely brutal yet technologically advanced world of Incarceron was incredible. Each world has its benefits and its pitfalls, and neither can survive without the other. Both Finn and Claudia are trapped, and neither can escape without the other. And that remains true in the second books as well; Sapphique picks up where Incarceron stops.

While I’d like to go back to the world and learn more about the history that was only hinted at, I don’t think there needs to be a third book to complete the series.

And I don’t even want to talk about the movie.

Catherine Fisher’s site

Source: borrowed from library

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Borrowing Data

This Book Is 119 Years Overdue: The wondrous database that reveals what Americans checked out of the library a century ago

I full understand and embrace the reasons why libraries do not keep records like this now, but is is a fascinating read nonetheless. It *almost* makes me wish that this sort of data were still collected, so that future researchers can make finds like this. But, cynically, I suppose that that’s what Amazon’s data-mining will be used for.

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Mr Bean

I know for a fact that I’ve posted this before, but. 1) It’s Saturday. 2) It’s Mr Bean.

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Listmania

100 Notable Books of 2011

I’ve read none of the fiction and am on the waiting list for one title; I’ve read one of the nonfiction and am on the waiting list for five titles.

So much for thinking I read more fiction than nonfiction!

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As you consume too much food today, please take a moment to enjoy this NSFW song about Thanksgiving…and “Star Wars.”

Edited to add:

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