riontel: (safari)
Finished Red Rising (Red Rising, Golden Son, Morning Star) series by Pierce Brown and would like to recommend it to anybody who likes grand space opera scale sci-fi. It's really well written, with solid and gripping storyline through all three books, great characters, and a satisfying ending. It's like a mad mix of Hunger Games, Game of Thrones (with a lot more bodies), Communist Manifesto and New Testament set in the future where humanity learned to control gravity, expanded throughout the Solar System yet still didn't learn to do without slavery and tyranny.

"Demokracy <…> the Noble Lie - the idea that men are brothers and are created equal."
riontel: (safari)
Just finished the sixth, and sadly last so far, book in C. J. Sansom’s Matthew Shardlake series. It’s a very well written historical mystery series set in Tudor times, starting with Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries and continuing through the years. Supposed to go all the way to Elizabeth’s reign but it’s not there yet.

Shardlake is a lawyer at London’s Inns of Court with a penchant for detective work and a tendency to get mixed up, though reluctantly, in all sorts of high political intrigue. The books are complex and intricate, with a good mix of real persons and events of the time interspersed with fictional ones, and a hefty doze of contemporary atmosphere (yes, everything is smelly and dirty.)

I couldn’t put the books down and wish there were more already. Each book is complete, there are no cliffhangers, but you do need to start with the first to be able to properly follow the story.
riontel: (Default)
We had a staff meeting in NY this week and as is the tradition our boss took us out to dinner on the first evening. The place he picked was called Hillstone, it's on the corner of 54th and 3rd, and it provided us with a very enjoyable and delicious dinner. I had a bronzini, which was one of their specials that day. It was done to perfection in some lemony sauce with a sprinkling of almonds. They are very flexible with the sides and I switched my wilted spinach (nasty!) for a lovely fresh salad with a house dressing. Portions there are not the usual enormous size but a quite manageable one serving, I finished mine, so if you are really hungry an appetizer might be useful. For dessert we split a warm five-nut brownie, which was absolutely fantastic, even though they did contaminate it with some ice cream. I hate it when people dump ice cream (or whipped cream) on top of cakes. I was quick enough to move the scoop to the side and fed it to my companions before the melting mess did damage to the brownie. Other than that everything was perfect, including a fairly quick and attentive service and nice atmosphere. Boss was picking up the tab so I didn't pay much attention to the prices but it's rated $$$ on Yelp.
riontel: (Default)
Went to see CHINGLISH in Longacre Theater today. It was a last minute suggestion by Lena (some of her friends were going) and I didn't even bother to check what the play was about, just got a vague notion that it was some kind of a situation comedy based on language confusion between Chinese and English with a love story thrown in. Well, not to spoil the story, because I do highly recommend you go and see the play if you have a chance, but it was a hilarious take on an American businessman coming to China hoping to give a boost to his declining business. It was funny, clever, well acted and well staged. We all unanimously agreed that the play was worth every minute of our time and every dollar we spent on the excellent orchestra seats Lena procured for us.


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December 2016

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