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Tales from the Book Bandit
Stand and Deliver
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1st-Jan-2020 12:01 am - Hello! A friends post thingumy!
stock: red hair butterfly

This is where I tell you that my journal is mostly locked but that I love new friends. So, if you want me to add you back, just leave a comment to say hello! Easy peasy.
26th-Feb-2013 02:25 pm - choose wisely
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More reading group business: below are the nominations for our first book club read. Two votes per person, and to those of you who nominated, you must use at least one of those votes on a title not suggested by yourself. All clear? Then let's go!

Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine (non-fiction)
Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright (non-fiction)
The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (non-fiction)
Stonemouth by Iain Banks
The Unlikely Pilgrimmage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Poll #1898875 Book Selection

Which are your top two choices?

Delusions of Gender
Cold Light
The Haunting of Hill House
Going Clear
The Yellow Birds
Before I Go To Sleep
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Into the Wild
Harold Fry
22nd-Feb-2013 10:24 am - awesome people
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Thanks to those of you who are interested in setting up a book group with me!

So far on the YES PLEASE LIST we have:
nahara (that would be me)
lemniciate (that would be Jenn)
Sophie (BFF to Jenn)

The maybes/drop-ins...
sabriel75 - who may come to a meeting in August when she's in the country

And dear old kylezy who doesn't know what books are. *pets her*

If everyone is happy to get moving on this, I have several things that need to be worked out prior to our inaugural meeting!

Several orders of business:

srs bsnsCollapse )
21st-Feb-2013 12:42 pm - Londoners?
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I know there are some Londoners on my friends list (and some on lemniciate’s), so what I would like to propose to all of you is: what do you think of starting a reading group?

I’m not talking about an on-line one (I’ve always found that on-line book clubs never work as well as our good intentions mean them to), but an in-real-life reading group, where we meet up in person and discuss books.  I’d propose meeting up after work/on the weekend every other month. That would give us all two months to read the selected book. I’d also propose that the group not be genre specific, as personally I like to read a range of different fiction/non-fiction titles.

Is this even viable? Would anyone want to join one with me and Jenn?

Poll #1897724 Reading Group

Do you want to join this reading group?

Yes, count me in!
Yes, but I'm not a Londoner.
Maybe, tell me more...
No, but good luck.
What are books?
10th-Jun-2012 11:22 pm - Teen Wolf
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Teen Wolf

Alpha Spikes by starbeast
Summary: AU. Alphas are like royalty and are offered their choice of any age eighteen-and-up virgin Omega for each year's heat season, as a 'thank-you' to all they've done for their compounds throughout the year. Derek is an Alpha and...yeah, Stiles. Stiles is an Omega. And still a virgin. In every way. And he's just turned eighteen. This...is not his day.
Rating: NC17
Length: 62k
Comments: Had a blast reading this. Just the kind of trope I love.

The Common App by ionthesparrow
Summary: The summer after junior year, Stiles trains to be part of a werewolf pack, comes out, is kissed for the first time, falls in love, then out, and still has nothing to write about for his college application essays.
Rating: PG13
Length: 13k
Comments: A take on soul-bonding which I can totally get behind. The chemistry between Stiles and Derek in this fic is electric and very much worth the read. Also read the brilliantly ploty follow-up, As We Sail It.

The Forgotten Predator by WitticasterCole
Summary: When half a dead woman is found in the woods outside Beacon Hills, Special Agents Stilinski and Martin return to their hometown to investigate.
Rating: PG13
Length: 40k
Comments: Love Stile's voice -- very witty and very him. It has great pacing and is fun read. Oh, and Lydia kicks all kinds of ass.

go home, or make a home by lady-ragnell
Summary: In a world where Derek lets Scott kill the Alpha and get the cure, he has to figure out how to rebuild his life, with help from Stiles.
Rating: PG
Length: 7.4k
Comments: A lovely little fic about the blossoming relationship between Stiles and Derek. They are so wonderfully themselves in this story.

Hear His Alibis by 1001cranes
Summary: Creepy never looked so cute - or, how Sheriff Stiles accidentally adopted a juvenile offender. (another) pyromaniac au.
Rating: PG
Length: 6.6k
Comments: This was lovely and human and I enjoyed every minute of it. Also read the (much darker) follow-up, Multiplied by Seven, which is the story told from Stiles and Derek's POV (NC17 for sure, and beware, under-age sex).

Important Things by suzvoy
Summary: Stiles learns that even with werewolves, giant lizards and psychopathic hunters on the loose, life can still find other ways to screw with you. Case in point: everyone keeps assuming he and Derek are a couple. What the hell?
Rating: R
Length: 70k
Comments: Love, love. love.

Late Night Basement Songs by melfice
Summary: They're still nobodies when Laura Hale hears them, when she asks them to open for her band at their show in Lincoln, Nebraska. Which is a little terrifying and extremely exciting and it's the first real gig they book. It's also the first time that Stiles meets Derek.
Rating: PG
Length: 8.2k
Comments: Mmm... band AU. Derek in guyliner. Is there really anything better?

Mating Habits of the Domesticated North American Werewolf by lielabell
Summary: Derek doesn’t do pining. He doesn’t. So when it becomes clear that Stiles is much more interested in having Derek as a new best friend than a boyfriend, he puts on his big boy pants and makes it fucking work. He becomes the best goddamn friend a spastic teenager could ever hope to have.
Rating: R
Length: 35K
Comments: This was full of angst -- in a good way. Oh Stiles. Oh Derek.

The One Where Derek is Courting and Stiles Fears the Zombie/Werewolf Apocalypse by im_not_a_lizard
Summary: Awkward courtship funtimes! Derek is courting Stiles in the way that all male animals go about impressing their mates. Giving them practical (if weird, like, Derek gives Stiles 10kg of steak) gifts, making a nice home (he starts renovating the old Hale house), weird shit like that. Stiles is oblivious, and Scott keeps sort of helplessly hinting at what Derek is doing to little effect.
Rating: PG13-ish
Length: 8k
Comment: Completely ridiculous -- a fun read.

Open the Door by Renay
Summary: Derek gives Stiles his jacket.
Rating: PG13
Length: ~23k
Comments: I do love a good Teen Wolf fic wherein Stiles is dense and Derek is secretly trying to court him.

The Rags of My Skin by Saucery
Summary: In a world ruled by werewolves, Stiles is a hooker and Derek is his client.
Rating: NC17
Length: 6k
Comments: God I wish this fic was longer. I love the world building (I think this would could be explored in no less than 100k, no lie) and it's a damn sexy read. Phew.

(Sacred) In the Ordinary by idyll
Summary: The Pack, after college, graduate school and the starting of careers, comes back to Beacon Hills. Nothing's gotten less complicated after all this time.
Rating: R
Length: ~78k
Comments: Sacred is literally my favourite piece of fanfiction in this already talented fandom. It's beautiful, cleverly written and honest. The dynamics of the pack their behaviour is the best I've read. It's just such a relief to read all of them as bright, mature adults. The slow build of Derek and Stiles' relationship was breathtaking. The difference between their causal intimacy as pack slowly becoming more focused and deliberate, slowly and inch by inch. Their coming together, when it finally happens, feels like perfection.

The Sanctuary by chase_acow
Summary: Stiles runs away during his first heat, right into the waiting and ambiguously scary arms of the Alpha's nephew, Derek Hale. He doesn't have any choice except to submit, but along the way, he digs up a mystery that threatens his family and even the town's safety.
Rating: NC17
Length: 25k
Comments: A fun and sexy AU where Stiles is a werewolf in a werewolf town and he's going into his first heat and then Derek is there and... just really HOT.

There is a Brotherhood by minusoneday
Summary: The one where pledge brothers Stiles and Scott start a prank war with Derek Hale's fraternity.
Rating: NC17
Length: 21k
Comments: A really fun collegue AU. Stiles is brilliant and clever and sarcastic. Derek is a brooder who likes Stiles' cleverness and sarcasm. Happy-making.

To Have Outlived the Night by stillane
Summary: Derek steps away from the window. “You helped me. They took that as a declaration.”
Rating: R
Length: 23k
Comments: Wow. This might be my favourite piece of TW fanfiction thus far. Beautifully written and both Stiles and Derek's characters are pitched perfectly. I love reading something from Derek's POV for a change. I can see why this got a billion kudos, honestly.
27th-Feb-2012 05:01 pm - My gril crush, lemme show you it
So awards season has come and gone. Lots of great films/music and lots of boring speeches. :P

I just felt like sharing what has to be THE ULTIMATE acceptance speech, as given by my girl!crush, the beautifully clever Emma Thompson. I am not worthy. ♥____♥

14th-Feb-2012 07:40 pm - Recs: Suits
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Suits (USA)


The New Deal by Closer
Summary: Harvey Specter, second year law student at Harvard, was walking home one night when he found a teenaged runaway named Mike freezing to death on his doorstep.
Rating: PG-13 (heed warnings)
Word Count: ~33,500
Comments: Sometimes I forget how good a gen fic can be. I get so wrapped up in my predetermined slash and come into fics with a vengeance, slash-goggles gleaming. It was a delightful surprise to read this heart-warming and very human fic about a young Mike living on the streets and a young Harvey giving him a home. The plot is an old one in fandom, but this fic feels real and understated. It isn't simply a pretext to get them in to bed together. Their growing respect and love for each other is beautifully portrayed. Best 'brothers' fic I've read in a long time.


All Straight Lines Circle Sometime by liketheroad
Summary: Mike swallows and stares unblinkingly back at Harvey when he says, “Like it or not, Mike, you made me the man I am today.”  Time Traveler’s Wife AU.
Rating: R
Word Count: ~19k
Comments: I wasn't sure whether I'd like this as The Time Traveller's Wife isn't my fave book, but I do love unashamed romance and this was beautiful. Harvey's love and patience for Mike was wonderful to read. Plus it's happier than the book. Thank god.

Exit Velocity by matchsticks_p
Summary: Louis can't have nice things. An exploration in three parts.
Rating: R (for language)
Word Count: 2.2k
Comments: A lovely character study piece from inside the head of Louis Litt. For all that Louis is one of the more reviled characters in the show, he does occasionally show his genuine side, some humanity. machsticks_p does a great job of writing him sympathetically.

Gag Order by jonius_belonius
Summary: "Just remember: whatever Sandor wants, Sandor gets. Be accommodating. Get this guy signed.” Louis waved a hand in front of Mike’s face. “Hello. Did you hear what I just said? What are you going to be?” Mike blinked. “Accommodating?”  “That’s the spirit. Now, get on that chopper. I’ve got to get back to the office.”
Rating: NC17
Word Count: WIP, currently 58k
Comments: I've only just started this but I've heard some good things. Will write more detailed comments later.

Grande Soy Triple Dirty Chai by friskaz
Summary: Every fandom needs a barista au. Original prompt on the kink meme: "Harvey is (still) a lawyer. Mike is the only barista that gets his coffee order right, and isn't afraid of a bit of intelligent and snarky banter."
Rating: R
Word Count: 38k
Comments: Sometimes I can help but roll my eyes at all the barista AUs out there. I possibly don't get the romance of it because I've never been that interested in coffee or tea. But you can't beat the fun of fics like this.

He's a Friend by janedujour
Summary: Mike accidentally imposes on Harvey's evening with a "friend" when he is mugged in the neighbourhood and needs a place to crash.
Rating: NC17
Word Count: 24K
Comments: This was very sexy read, and the relationship between Mike and Harvey strained and full of tension. I love the execution of their coming together and Harvey's sexual angst and Mike's sexual frustration.

My Brother's Keeper by Closer
Summary: Donna and Harvey have been looking out for each other since they were kids. It's what family is supposed to do, after all. [The premise that Harvey is Donna's little brother.]
Rating: R
Word Count: ~28k
Comments: I love the dynamics of this fic, the relationship between Harvey and Donna, their younger brother, their douche-bag father, Harvey's growing feelings for Mike, Mike's charming obliviousness. Everything is balanced beautifully. Donna's voice is funny and bright and she generally kicks ass all over the shop. Her and Harvey's shared history and family strife is well thought out and executed. The romance between Mike and Harvey is charming and real. There's nothing I don't like about this fic.

needs must by thatotherperv
Summary: When Grammy needs an upgrade in care, Mike knows that the usual one-off gig as a paid submissive won't be enough. He takes a job he's been refusing for a while - a long-term, full-time contract. He expects his client to be a sadistic asshole. He expects not to like it. He's wrong on both counts.
Rating: NC17
Word Count: WIP, currently 60K
Comment: Not finished yet but my god this a great read. I have a soft spot for Pretty Woman-esqu plots, wherein one character has to sell sex because there's literally nothing else they can do and lo and behold they meet the sexy, rich and kind-hearted benefactor who changes everything. SO ROMANTIC. I like this take on the old trope because the sex is a little more... hardcore. Back in the old days when I was just getting into fanfiction I hated D/s type fics, but now, if done right, I can't get enough. This one pitches this kink perfectly. I've never felt odd or uncomfortable reading it. I can't wait for the conclusion!

This Tornado Loves You by liketheroad
Summary: A story about first loves and true loves, about friendship, growing up, and growing together. Alternatively, this is a story about Mike figuring out what he deserves, and learning how to ask for it. AU.
Rating: R
Word Count: 60k
Comments: This Tornado Loves You is basically what I wish I had written myself in the Suits fandom -- it's a drama and a coming-of-age love story. It follows Mike's early life and his poisonous relationship with drugs and Trevor. I adore how Mike meets and falls for Harvey. It is an intense read but ultimately satisfying.

Trust Graded on a Curve by BlackEyedGirl
Summary: Harvey asked for Mike’s loyalty, but doesn’t know what to do with it now he has it. Mike wants someone to trust, but can’t see what Harvey’s offering. Louis manages to takes advantage of both of those things, but only for a little while.
Rating: R
Word Count: ~5k
Comments: This fic is lovely. And Louis is an asshole, (What else is new?)

Pizza and a Movie by Closer
Summary: In an alternate universe, Harvey's still a lawyer but Mike's not a pot runner -- he's a deliveryman for Rollo's Pizza and Ribs, which happens to be Harvey's favorite pizza place. Once Harvey finds out his pizza guy is a genius, Mike's life takes a few turns he would not have expected...
Rating: R
Word Count: ~30k
Comments: This is the first fic in the "pizza 'verse" and probably the best. The other two are told from Donna's POV (The Secret Life of Lawyers) and then Harvey's POV (A Series of Covert Disasters), which gives a wonderful feeling that you've seen all angles of this story and Harvey and Mike's relationship. The dialogue is clever and idiosyncratic to each character, the plot is funny and well handled (though it sounds like it could be cracky, it isn't) and most of all this is just so pleasant and easy to read. It's like curling up in a blanket.
14th-Feb-2012 07:35 pm - Recs: The Eagle
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The Eagle

Bottoming Out and the multi-chapter sequel One Percenters by frackin_sweet
Summary: Modern AU where Marcus and Esca like riding motorbikes (and each other). But can a road rider and a motocross kid ever really make it work?
Rating: NC17
Length: ~50k overall?
Comments: Starts out as a long, and totally hot, PWP piece but slowly and deftly moves into a very compelling story of relationships and ex-cop!Marcus. The chemistry between these two is amazingly written and well worth the read.

The Boy with the Thorn in His Side by lallyloo
Summary: In Chemistry class, outgoing hipster Esca is partnered with moody goth Marcus. After a rocky start, they become friends and Esca finds himself drawn to the mysterious boy behind all the make-up.
Rating: R
Length: 26k
Comment: There was something very sweet about this High School AU. It charmed me.

Odi et Amo by pouxin
Summary: Esca and Marcus are at an all boys boarding school in the UK in the 1970s. They hate each other, until they both become members of the newly formed Dead Poets' Society... Adolescent ardour follows.
Rating: NC17
Length: ~40k
Comments: I wasn't sure of this fic at first... 40k of second person is a difficult sell, but I think pouxin pulled it off beautifully. This a fic for those of you who love poetry. The author does a great job is incorporating the perfect verses for what Marcus and Esca feel towards each other, using dead poets' words instead of their own. The sex scene (a first time for both) read as very believable and touching.

The Persistence of Memory by savvierthanu
Summary: Esca loses his memory. Marcus tries to help him get it back.
Rating: NC17
Length: ~12k
Comments: A lovely old amnesia trope. Particularly love Marcus in this - so noble.

See the Mountains Kiss High Heaven by rufflefeather
Summary: Marcus is too noble for his own good, Esca is too stubborn and they both are completely oblivious.
Rating: R
Length: 8k
Comments: One of the first fics I read in the fandom. Canon fic set after they return the Eagle where Marcus gets a new slave. Lovely and achy and plenty of crossed-wires.

Widdershins by beederiffic
Summary: Esca's a house master and history teacher at a 1950s boys school on the English/Scottish border, where welcoming the new Latin teacher proves to be a challenge.
Rating: NC17
Length: ~80k?
Comments: Sexy, sexy, sexy. beederiffic, as usual, shines when she write dialogue. She'll make you laugh and cry.

14th-Feb-2012 06:38 pm - Recs: Marvel
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The Avengers

Living in the Future by Closer
Summary: Eighteen-year-old Tony Stark is the boy genius who woke Captain America, and now he's stuck with him. That's not a bad thing, but between Steve's wide-eyed wonder at the new world and Tony's little fanboy crush, the awkwardness just keeps happening.
Rating: R
Length: 36k
Comments: As with everything that Closer writes, this is just so delightful and funny and quick-witted. The was she writes the entire ensemble cast with such flair and personality, it's hard not love this fic to death. And her Tony Stark voice is spot on. :D

Impulse by AlchemyAlice
Summary: Bucky is found by SHIELD. Tony wants a project. They meet somewhere in the middle.
Rating: PG (maybe PG13)
Length: 3.6k
Comments: Wasn't sure what to make of a Tony/Bucky fic, but me likeies. Well written and excellent characterisation.

Semaphore by DevilDoll
Summary: "I’m trying to like you, Tony. You’re just making it very hard." Steve Rogers/Tony Stark
Rating: NC-17
Length: ~ 40k
Comments:  Slow-build Steve/Tony. Tony getting over Pepper and Steve coming to terms with missing the last 70 years. Their friendship is rocky and awkward and sad, but eventually they learn to trust each other. And then love each other. Brilliant Tony Stark narration.

Slipping Through the Years by often_adamanta
Summary: The plane crash and subsequent ice might have killed Steve Rogers, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t still around, haunting those he cares about. And since the only person who can see him is Tony Stark, death sure isn’t going to be boring.
Rating: R
Length: 18k


Into the Fray by miss_aphelion (XMFC)
Summary: Every year, two alphas are chosen from each district for a fight to death, and every year, a single omega is chosen to join them in the arena as the prize.
Rating: R
Length: 30k
Comments: I can't get enough of alpha/omega 'verses in any fandom, but paired up with The Hunger Games, this fic was just my kind of thing.

Limited Release by rageprufrock (XMFC)
Summary: When Alex Summers broke out of supermax to rescue his stupid kid brother, he had no idea it was going to be so fucking complicated. (Charles/Erik + Hank/Alex)
Rating: R
Length: ~63k
Comments: I really shouldn't have to introduce Pru to anyone. This is very typically her. Clever to point of almost constant sarcasm. Funny and well written.

Nine Eleven Ten by Subtilior (XMFC)
Summary: Years later, Charles would remember that day. Sometimes he would wonder if he could have changed anything; other times he would despair over what he had since become. But he would always hold the image in his mind: Raven, laughing, and his thoughts flying alongside her on strong wings, silver-gold through the winter air. Once upon a time.
Rating: NC17
Length: WIP -- ~360k thus far

* Special by minisinoo (2000 movie 'verse)
Summary: The genesis of Cyclopes.
Rating: NC-17
Length: ~150k
Comments: Though not the first ever piece of fanfic I read it was pretty close. This hit me where it hurts, such a beautiful and painful character study about Scott Summers and his early years. Realistic and human. Heed the author's warnings.

Unbound by cesare + helens78 (XMFC)
Summary: Thousands of miles apart, Erik Lehnsherr and Charles Xavier form a connection that will change both their lives. AU/Soulbonding
Rating: NC17
Length: WIP -- ~140k thus far
Comments: I don't often recommend fanfics which are WIPs for obvious reasons. However, I do occasionally make exceptions to this rule. Standing at 40 chapters (and with the final tally likely to come in at 46) there is light at the end of this angsty tunnel. The world building is fantastic. In the past I've never gone for many of the 'kinks' which are warned for in this fic, but they are so integral to this reality that I find Unbound fascinating and disturbing and it's been breaking my heart a little. Plus, what's not to love about a good soulbonding fic?

Where There is Darkness by unveiled (XMFC)
Summary: In the autumn of 2012, Daniela Zhou interviews Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr. This is her story. (Charles/Erik established)
Rating: PG
Length: ~2200
Comments: Written like a newspaper interview, this fic is a short, delightful and insightful read.

* White Noise by tawabids
Summary: Charles is the consort Scheherazade, who must keep the king of Genosha occupied with stories every night or be hanged for treason.
Rating: R
Length: 10-15k?
Comments: Considering the 'Charles = Scheherazade' prompting, this is surprisingly un-fairy-tale-like. It is dark and bitter and very cleverly written. I like the structure of it, the way the story is told in different media. This is an AU set in a roiling dystopia/utopia (depends where you stand). Another Alpha/Omega fic (sort of).
14th-Feb-2012 06:30 pm - Recs: Toy Story
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Toy Story

* Under the Table and Dreaming by snooter
Summary: Andy met Sid when he was four years old, and while some things change, a lot of things stay the same.
Rating: NC17
Length: 15k
Comments: The moment I heard the concept of this I just knew it would work and boy snooter knows what she's doing. The characters are intelligently written and nothing seems far-fetched.
There are several sequels:
Behind the Wheel (5k) Driving to California
To The Dogs or Whoever (23k) The first time Andy persuades Sid to come home with him to visit his family.
Second Most Important Person (60k) Sid and Andy's life as told by six important people in their lives. This last instalment in particular is stunning. Moving, human.
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