Urgh. Two romance questions in a row? Really? Pass the sick bucket.
As much as I love Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, I’m going to have to go back to Pratchett for this one.
(His Grace, His Excellency, the Duke of Ankh, Commander) Sir Samuel Vimes and Lady Sybil Ramkin first meet in Guards! Guards! as an alcoholic captain of the Night Watch and the richest spinster in Ankh Morpork. Long story short he saves her from being sacrificed to a dragon and she helps reform him into the one of the most influential men in the city. I’m choosing these two, rather than the more “romantic” Angua and Carrot or the more intriguing Lord Vetinari and Lady Margotta, simply because they are ultimately so very ordinary. They just get on with life with out excessive drama, ok so they have the occasional soppy moment but usually its interrupted by Vimes having to run off to deal with criminals or some international crisis.
Yes Heathcliff and Cathy are terribly passionate, but by the end of Wuthering Heights everyone is dead. Sybil and Sam are a prime example of a sensible older couple who perfect compliment each other – Sybil can’t cook but “since Sam Vimes”s spectrum of gastronomic delight mainly ranged from ‘well fried’ to ‘caramelized’” it’s a match made in burnt crunchy bit heaven. I’d much rather have that kind of relationship than some tragedy.
Even Better 30 Day Song Challenge – Day 21 – Oh My God Listen to the Violin!
Don’t just listen to this song, watch what he’s doing! It’s all the violin, including the percussion. If you haven’t seen Matt Howden live, you haven’t really experienced music.
I switched around day 13 and day 18 when I realised that I already had an entry for favorite opening scene.
It’s hard to chose a favorite childhood book because I wasn’t really a booky kid when I was a child, though I was an extremely booky teenager. I thank Terry Pratchett and Anne McCaffery for that, though more their adult books than the ones aimed at kids. Amazing Maurice didn’t come out until 2001 when I was at university and that was really the first kid centric Discworld book. I’d already read the rest of Discworld by then, working backwards from Soul Music in 1994. But there are Pratchett books outside of Discworld. The shockingly tragic Nation being the latest, Carpet People being the first.
For me however the Bromeliad/Nome series was my first taste of Pratchett, and the first time I found a book that really appealed to me. It was set in places I knew about – department stores, quarries and Kennedy Space Center (yeah, I was a geeky kid and one of the few in my class to be lucky enough to go to Florida regularly). Pratchett has a great way of making everyday things wonderful by changing your perspective, and seeing the world through the eyes of creatures a few inches high is perfect for that. Plus it has spaceships, and Concord. It will always be a regret of mine that now Concord is gone I’ll never get to eat strange woobly pink stuff and look for Nomes under the seats.
Even Better 30 Day Song Challenge – Day 18 – Track That Reminds You It’s Gonna Be Alright
Normally songs like this just make me more depressed but I think the combination of JoCo’s voice and the fact that this is about a real guy, who really did all these insane things, makes it all ok.
They stared at this sudden, bloody, swaying apparition, which was dreamily waving a sword in one hand and an axe in the other.
They had axes, too. But the thing glared at the and asked:
“Where’s… my… cow?”
They backed away.
“Is that my cow?” the creature demanded, stepping forward unsteadily. It shook its head sadly. “It goes ‘Baaaa!'” it wept. “It is… a sheep….”
Then it fell to its knees, clenched its teeth and turned its face upwards, like a man tortured beyond his wit, and beseeching the goods of fortune and the tempest, screamed: “That! Is!! Not!! My!!! Cow!!!!”
The dwarfs backed away down the slope. Overhead, the vurms were still pouring in, outlining the invader against their green-white glow.
“Where’s my cow? Is that my cow?” it demanded, following them.
In every part of the cavern dwarfs had stopped work. There was hesitancy in the air. This was only one man, after all, and the though in many minds was: what is someone else going to do about this? It had not yet progressed to: what am I going to about this? Besides, where was the cow? There was a cow down here?
“it goes ‘neigh!’ It is a horse! That’s not my cow!”
Dwarfs looked at one another. Where was the horse, then? Did you hear a horse? […}
Half a dozen shrouded dark guards stepped out from the group. One of them carried, ahead of him, a flame weapon, and advanced on the figure cautiously. The flame of its little pilot light was the brightest thing in the cave.
The figure looked up, the light reflected red in its eyes, and growled: “is that my cow?”
Then it threw the axe overarm, full at the guard. It struck the flame weapon which exploded.
“It goes, Hruuugh!'” Burning oil fountained across the dark. Some of it splashed onto Vime’s arm. He slapped at it. There was pain, intense pain, but he knew this only in the same way that he knew the moon existed. It was there, but it was a long way off and didn’t affect him very much.
IMO, the best fight (and most ridiculous) fight scene ever. You’ll have to get the book to read the rest of it, but it is awesome.
Even Better 30 Day Song Challenge – Day 9 – Track for Dancing to Like a Muppet
A song for muppets, with muppets. You remind me of the babe….
No contest for this question, there could only every be one answer- Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.
Currently checking in at 38 individual books (Snuff, book number 39, is due for release in October 2011) and 5 short stories, The Discworld series in really several different series all taking part in the same universe. With the Rincewind series we get traditional big bold sword and sorcery, whilst the Witches focuses more on superstition and a less showy form of magic. The City Watch are police procedurals with a twist and the Death/Susan series are about the ultimate outsiders trying to make sense of humanity. And that’s not including all the stand alone and mini series books.
There aren’t many of these books that I don’t adore, and whilst some of the early ones are weaker compared to the recent books, they all still have endearing qualities. If I had to pick one thing that makes Discworld great as a series is the fact that you don’t HAVE to read the books in order, and missing out the weaker books won’t really prevent you from enjoying the others. I hate to waste time and money slogging though unenjoyable books to get to the good stuff, and these are perfect for avoiding that. For example the first Discworld I read was Soul Music, book 16 of the overall series, and book 3 of the Death storyline, and it didn’t matter! Whilst the various characters grow and progress with the series, all the relevant bits are recapped in a way that is intrusive to a familiar reader but just informative enough to a newbie.
So if you like police books and murder mysteries then just start with the City Watch, if you prefer to focus on the human condition the go for the Death series. Or if you aren’t sure then choose one of the stand alone books like Moving Pictures, Pyramids, Small Gods or Monstrous Regiment. Actually I’d probably list those four amongst my favorites anyway. My all time favorite in the series is probably Fifth Elephant a political mystery focusing on rivalry between vampires and werewolves. The German version is shown above.
Even Better Thirty Day Song Challenge – Day 4 – Track for Feeling Lovesick and Good
One of the few songs both my partner and I agree on, that wouldn’tfreak you all out. Ahem.