March 18th, 2016

Cat with book: Toy

Book #15 of 2016: The Tempering of Men

The Tempering of Men by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)



I really, really wanted to like this book. I love the idea of being bonded to giant telepathic wolves. I love the word the books are set in. I love how natural and accepted gay sex was in this book. But I just couldn't like this book. I stopped reading it later than perhaps any other book I've read: I reached 92% (one more night of reading and I would have finished it). I was just so beyond caring at that point though, I wanted to spend my very limited reading time on something I might like better.

Tempering of Men felt more like an in-between step between books instead of a book itself. There was no big plotline through the book, just a couple smaller things happening (most of which I didn't like/didn't work for me). There were three POV storylines. In order of how much I liked them:

1) The "love" (like?) story. Usually these wolf groups have one alpha male and alpha "female" (really a man), but in this case there were two alpha males and both of them loved the alpha female... but he was straight and didn't love either of them back. So, through time, the two alpha males realized they loved each other. In a book series where I still, after two books, had no idea who most of the characters were, it was unsurprising that the subplot with the characterization was the one I liked best.

2) Some new character who wasn't in book 1, met the world's elf race. As I never liked the elf race, this really was not at all interesting to me.

3) Half of the wolf group traveled south and met... the Roman Empire. It had a slightly different name, as everything in this book did from the real world version, but it was still the Roman Empire. While there had been nothing in the previous book that said there weren't other parts of the world other than the cold north where the wolf men lived, this felt like it came completely out of left field, and I really did not enjoy it at all.

Usually I rail against books that include a list of who characters are and a glossary of made-up words, but this book needed those. However, instead of including them, I wish the authors had instead written in ways that hadn't made them necessary. Character names were 10-20 letter long, appeared mostly random order to English-only me, and more often than not, started with V. At the 90% point of the second book, I encountered a name and had no idea if it was even a wolf or a man, and that was the final straw.

I wanted to like this book. Apparently I enjoy the "companion animal" genre (which makes sense, really). Sadly this one just didn't work for me. I never hated it (thus my "okay" rating for it), but I ever liked it either. I haven't deleted the third book from my Kindle yet, but I don't expect that I'll be reading it anytime soon.

Currently reading: The Fate of Mice, by Susan Palwick. Loving it!
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Deadpool and weight

While I'm not a reader of comic books, the Marvel movies still tend to work for me -- and some a lot more than just "work for me". I love the Avengers and Iron Man movies. Deadpool though? I didn't hate it, but I think I barely could have been less the target audience for it.

The movie made me feel very old -- I kept thinking how immature the humor was. I know it's just how the character acts, but again, I was far from the target audience for this movie.

I liked a few of the minor characters. Colossus especially (even though I had to google to find out even his name).

I have so little patience for movies nowadays. I don't know how I'd ever see a movie in a theater again -- I just cannot sit and do nothing else for multiple hours. Though Deadpool was 1:40 long, it took me about seven hours to watch it because I kept getting bored and pausing it to do other stuff. (Which happens even with movies I like, I just can't not multitask during them.)

---

Every week I write my weight down in a little notebook, and today I finished a page and so did some math. The page lasted me for seven months, and in that time I lost a grand total of... 19 pounds. On one hand, that sounds horrible -- so little! But when I do the math, that's not too much off from a pound a week (about .8 a week). So I'm trying not to kick myself over it.

I'm in an odd situation at work. A woman, a rather heavy one, keeps picking my brain to find out how I lost weight. I'm well beyond the point I could mention the surgery, and I honestly don't even know how I'm losing. I told her the things I know (never have fast food, never have soda, count calories closely, never have anything with sugar, and exercise), but she'd doing all that and not losing weight. Which, of course, I know the feeling of!

There's also the element of me feeling like, if I tell her about the surgery, she'll discount that it took any effort at all on my part. Because let me tell you, it's not even a daily effort, it seems an every-minute effort. I'm constantly thinking about calories, kicking myself, trying to fight the temptation to eat at all (seriously, I feel bad/guilty about every bite of food I have, nevermind that's stupid and of course people need to eat).

Blah weight.