firstlight: (Gay Empire)
Hi Internet. Today I read a paper titled Kukai and the Tradition of Male Love in Japanese Buddhism. It provided me with many... gems.

There is a book attributed to Kobo Daishi (the monk who supposedly invented Japanese homosexuality -- yes, really). He didn't actually write it. But you know. The introduction talks about a man who prayed to Kobo Daishi so that he could learn "the mysteries of loving boys in Japan":

On the seventeenth day of the man's austerities, Kobo Daishi appears and agrees to present him with a one-volume book explaining the love of boys, the basics of which "even the monkeys of the hills and fields can comprehend."

Pez: Homosexuality for Dummies?
Val: ...I'd buy that book.**
Liz: Can we photoshop that onto a picture of Kobo Daishi...?

** but presumably not off amazon.

Then the body of the text. It talks about hand-gestures and what they mean. Then it talks about how to seduce acolytes:

If an acolyte practices martial arts, be sure to praise his swordsmanship. Then tell him some warrior tales. Things will proceed naturally from there.

Before snow accumulates,
it is shaken off the branches;
in a windy pine, snow breaks no limbs.


Right. (A lot of the descriptions have random poetry. It's great.)

You don't know what it tells you to do with an acolyte who is "very beautiful but insensitive to love." Anyway, I'd have to cut this entry if I included that bit, since it's completely not safe for work.

Also,

If an acolyte is too shy to show himself to you, delay by plucking the hairs of your nose and then try again.

Val: Are you meant to do this in the acolyte's presence?
Liz: It doesn't say...

Then the third part talks about what to do AFTER you've managed to seduce your acolyte of choice! Some of the options are... concerning. The less said about that the better, but one of them involves the word tearing. Not in relation to clothes. Others sound a lot less traumatic.

The paper also talks about a book called The Great Mirror of Male Love by Ihara Saikaku. In the introduction Saikaku says that Kobo Daishi did not preach the profound pleasure of this love [of boys] outside of monasteries because he feared the extinction of humankind.

Wow.

I feel enlightened.
firstlight: (Illumi - <3)
Love me! *attention-whores* XD;;; (No. I cannot be bothered to go the socially acceptable route and just do one of those love-meme things. Shut up. Or ignore me. EVERYONE ELSE DOES. :D)


For valentine's day I received some cat-drool and a hairball. It's all good. Rather that than most of the things Pez and I spotted in shops around Colchester the other day. There are some true pink-and-red horrors out there.


Lynn ([livejournal.com profile] readerofasaph) apparently wants to outread me this year. I'm finding this endlessly amusing, sorry Lynn. So far I believe she's on one book and I'm on eleven -- well. I've read 11 and I'm reading 2. Of course, Val ([livejournal.com profile] firescribble) is on twenty-five, so I don't actually get to feel that superior. And I refuse to even think about how much Em has probably read this year.

Read:
The Lies of Locke Lamora - Scott Lynch
Red Seas Under Red Skies - Scott Lynch
The Warrior's Apprentice - Lois McMaster Bujold
Fairyland - Paul J McAuley
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle - Haruki Murakami
Nation - Terry Pratchett
The Uncommon Reader - Alan Bennett
Broken Angels - Richard Morgan
Odd and the Frost Giants - Neil Gaiman
To Say Nothing Of The Dog - Connie Willis
A Winter Book - Tove Jansson

I'm currently reading:
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
The Prestige - Christopher Priest

I'd really like to read some more by Tove Jansson. I found her writing totally captivating. Also I may go a little mad waiting for another book from Scott Lynch. And The Prestige is good but of course reduced in mind-fuck value by having seen the film previously. Apparently it's the most sane and straightforward of Priest's books, though. Which I think basically means I'll have to check out the rest at some stage. I've been lent Doomsday Book by Connie Willis which is apparently in the same setting as To Say Nothing Of The Dog but different in tone.

(I should take new photos of my bookshelves. *laughs* They were pretty much full when we moved in, after all, and the books have multiplied a lot since then. We fitted two extra shelves into the units, and probably have space for about three or four more books left on those...)
firstlight: (Hitchhiker's Guide - beware!)
The book of the moment is The Book Thief (Markus Zusak). Every time I pick it up I find it really interesting, but it's a lot harder to get through than any other book I've read lately. I find myself stopping a lot more, putting it aside to do other things. I'm enjoying it but in a different sort of way, I suppose. Perhaps it lacks a little of the pull of some others I've read recently, or perhaps tiredness is getting the better of me. Sometimes it's hard to tell. I'm pretty sure it's a good book but I'm not tearing through it. (I'm still only about 180 pages in.)

Tonight I'm going to do some gaming for the first time in a couple of years. Has it really been that long? I guess so. Anyway, we'll see how it goes; I'm feeling a lot more capable of socialising now than last time I was invited, at any rate!

I just have to say that I really love waking up to find bizarre emails about, for example, what homosexuals did for entertainment in Victorian England in my inbox. It always makes my morning a little brighter. (This is a thinly-veiled declaration of love for [livejournal.com profile] firescribble. Again.)

ETA: My current writing project is the Agatha Pitt Mystery [friendslocked], as Unni has dubbed it. It's all terribly mysterious. No-one is entirely sure what the crime was, or even if one took place. It is also currently not making any sense, but I suppose that's what heavy revision at a later date is for.

ETA2: I've recently located some archaeologists, and I've been trying to sort out some tail-ends from an old project as well, so I've been thinking more about that topic lately. This reminded me of one of the Stories. Since a lot of you weren't around when my adventures with the London Wall and the Corporation of London took place, I thought I'd dust the tale off and dig out some old posts! Oh, nostalgia.

1. The Corporation of London vs. Tourism and Cultural Heritage, "We here in London like to keep our cultural heritage locked up in case it gets out and attacks someone."

2. Hairdressing and Ancient Monuments. No, really.

(And one day I'll have to tell you about the Phenomenology... it's activated.)
firstlight: (Tenpou - books)
The Uncommon Reader (Alan Bennett) is an absolutely lovely little book. It made me smile a lot. (It also reminded me of the existence of the book Howard's End by EM Forster and that particular passage about Beethoven's Fifth, which I remember being very fond of but which I haven't read since, oh, my early teens. Hmm.)

Broken Angels (Richard Morgan) contains considerably more archaeology than I was somehow expecting! Onward. :)

(This is me actually keeping a record of what I'm reading.)

Onward!

Jan. 14th, 2009 04:44 pm
firstlight: (Cyborg - timepiece)
*adds The Warrior's Apprentice (Lois McMaster Bujold) to the read pile*

Good read, that one. *g* I started off a bit dissatisfied purely because I bounced straight over to it from the Gentleman Bastard books and I am possibly... somewhat over-fond of the main characters there. Other books were liable to be found guilty of the crime of Not Being About Locke. That slight barrier overcome, though, it was a really enjoyable story. I look forward to Miles's continued adventures, when I can actually find any of the other books. (Not least, one has to wonder how he'll avoid getting strangled. WAIT, DOES THIS SOUND LIKE SOMETHING I MAY HAVE SAID ABOUT LOCKE RECENTLY? HMM.)

Apparently I'm quite fond of characters who are Too Inventive For Their Own Good.

Who knew.

(Don't answer that.)

Next is Fairyland by Paul J McAuley, because it's been sitting on my to read pile since I was in my mid-teens, and that's a slightly embarrassing period of time to have been meaning to read a book for. It's probably been about four or five years since I even spoke to the person who recommended it to me. (They also recommended Altered Carbon and The Stars My Destination, both of which I only got around to last year and both of which I loved... oops.)
firstlight: (D1 - WTF)
From Wikipedia: The series [From Eroica With Love] revolves around the adventures of Klaus Heinz von dem Eberbach, an uptight NATO major, and Dorian Red Gloria, an openly gay English lord who delights in bothering Klaus. ... Dorian is physically modelled after Robert Plant.

...

Dorian and his gang are based on the band Led Zeppelin, of which Yasuko Aoike is a fan.


...do Led Zeppelin know about this?
firstlight: (Tenpou - books)
I have a happy new year period! But also a hot water bottle and painkillers. Did I say today was going to be a productive day? Haha. I'm sure I didn't. You must be imagining things.

Anyway.


Read in 2008 (non-comprehensive list, I fear, because I have a sieve-memory -- this is just what immediately comes to mind. next year I'm writing it down as I go, damn it):

Read more... )


Books begun in 2008 which NEED to be finished in 2009 (most unfinished for reasons of library reservation queues, some only just started):

Read more... )


To Read in 2009:

Read more... )

...and there is a lot more BUT I AM GOING TO STOP NOW, before I scare myself. I write this down largely as an attempt to remind myself what I'm meant to be reading, since I own a lot of the above books and just haven't got around to them yet but tend to GO OUT AND BUY MORE BOOKS WHENEVER I HAVE MONEY ANYWAY.
firstlight: (Tenpou - books)
I got The Chronicles of Amber out from the library last weekend and finally finished various other books I was working my way through yesterday morning, so I started reading it when I went to bed last night.

And read and read and read and read.

Why on earth haven't I read this before? I think I'm sort of in love. I want my own copy! I want to read it OVER and OVER until I have to buy a new copy! ...okay fine. I've only read Nine Princes in Amber so far. But I am in love with that. Had totally forgotten that fantasy could be this good.

(Resisting picking it up again to continue right now because I fear that would be my day gone. Early morning and late evening are my main book-reading times. But, heh, to think when I picked it up from the library I feared it would just sit there unread due to length...)
firstlight: (Tenpou - books)
I have finished a fic. *serene* Classified Project Number 1, which is why it isn't here yet. Give it a few weeks.

Feeling pretty good about the world as a consequence. Watch beta readers come back to me with a million problems now... *grin*


I went a little nuts at the library today. More books than I can possibly read right away, which is what late fees renewals are for! ...I mean... Anyway, I have more volumes of Temeraire, and The Prestige, and A Wild Sheep Chase, and I already had The Birthday of the World and The Unlimited Dream Company to read, and then there are the graphic novels (part of Constantine, & Global Frequency)... shut up. Anyway, once I get some of these read and returned I'll move onto some of the recs people were kind enough to give me today. :) Awesome.
firstlight: (Default)
Dear flist,

I'd really like some book recs. Anything you think might grab me. I've been reading a lot of sci-fi lately, so I'd be particularly interested in... you know... other things, but of course I love sci-fi so if there's something I absolutely have to read in that area then that's good too.

Pretty please?

Love,

Liz


(Today = tidying-up-fic day. Oh the pain.)

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