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Showing posts from May, 2011

Fanfiction and Why It Doesn't Suck

Like most female 20somethings, I was at one point very into the fangirling scene. I wrote fanfiction, I made music videos, put together fanmixes, and created horrible graphics using a version of Photoshop I or someone bearing a resemblance to me possibly downloaded in my college dorm room off Limewire. I would here like to interrupt myself by stating that perhaps “most” was the wrong word, as I have met many normal female 20somethings who don’t have a fricking clue what I’m talking about when I use words like “fangirl” or “ship” as a verb involving the romantic involvement of two fictional people. So by “most” I mean “most of the people I met online in fangirl communities.” Or perhaps “all” in that case. Anyway. Fanfiction is probably always going to be controversial, in the dumbest way something can be controversial. Are we talking about climate change? Well, no, we’re talking about whether or not it’s at all okay for a 15-year-old to write a scene where Mulder and Scully get stuck

My Carefully Thought Out — Nah, It's Stream of Consciousness Again

I am reviewing once more! Ok, so here's the thing with my blog: I want to do book reviews, but I don't like writing them. There's a way of doing them I've never really grabbed a hold of mentally, so I prefer to just rant about book-related topics for the most part (or do blessed, blessed memes). But if I really love a book, or it's consumed a lot of my time (*coughTheOldCuriosityShopcough*), I feel I should mention it. And tell you all it's WAY AWESOME AND YOU SHOULD READ IT. The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance Review Elna Baker is a single Mormon lady living in NYC. Her dad works for Boeing, so she's lived all around the world, but she got into NYU and just kind of stuck around after that. I should make clear that this is a memoir and not fiction. Like most of my favorite books, this is split into a series of essays, although they were chronological. She talks about things like working at FAO Schwartz and dealing with NYC mothers; h

Patrick Dennis: One of Those People You Should Realize Is Awesome

For those unaware, the Literary Blog Hop is fricking awesome. The topic for this week is " Talk about one author that you love and why his or her writing is unique. Please be specific ." All right. I thought this might be hard, but the second after I read it, the name ‘Patrick Dennis’ popped into my head. Patrick Dennis is awesome. He wrote primarily in the ‘50s, and the only thing of his most people have heard of is Auntie Mame , more properly Auntie Mame, An Irreverent Escapade . It is both right and proper that that’s what they’ve heard of, because it’s almost definitely his best novel. His others are rather difficult to find nowadays. Auntie Mame ’s survived because 1) it is awesome, and 2) it was made into a movie AND a musical, so people continue to be interested in it. It’s the story of a young boy whose father dies and he goes to live with his highly eccentric, wealthy aunt. Dennis has been likened to Dickens in his writing style NOT because he’s ov

Hazards of Reading

Reading in the park next to Navy Pier for four hours. Ostensibly a good idea, but I've developed what my friend has dubbed 'a reader sunburn.' This is apparently where your knuckles remain pale white (as you are, of course, pale white) and the backs of your hands suddenly resemble half-boiled lobsters. You were worth it, New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance .

Dickens vs. Austen Cage Match

Brief Thoughts About The Old Curiosity Shop Dickens uses many words, but English vocab needs to survive, damnit, and I applaud his efforts. So apparently they used to throw dead kittens at criminals. Thank you for that bit of disgusting historical knowledge, sir. I love Richard Swiveller. I feel like people are not so much making this a battle between Dickens and Austen as reviewing the book they read. Maybe that’s how we’re supposed to do it? But screw that – it’s Dickens vs. Austen cage match time. I have Things to Say about both authors, and I do not pussyfoot around when it comes to picking sides. HEED THIS, ALL YE. Dickens                                                             Austen Has lots of characters of disparate                   Has a decent number of characters, social statuses                                                  most of which have the same status. Has pretty much flat, sucky heroines.            Has generally kickass heroines. Uses an omn

Book Orders: The Awesomeness of Yesteryear

Do you remember how fricking amazing book orders were? That was the best part of my grade school experience, hands down. Or it at LEAST vies with the time my fourth grade class made a baobob tree out of chicken wire, cardboard and paper mache while watching The Lion King . Scholastic would send out their little forms, consisting of pages and pages of discounted books. You’d circle way too many; your mom would make you whittle it down (or be overly indulgent until your dad stepped in), and then you waited. Weeks would go by, you’d learn about long division, and one day there would be several red and white boxes from Scholastic on your teacher’s desk, and she – demon harpy that she suddenly was to you – would refuse to open them until the end of the school day, knowing full well that once the class got their books/stickers, there’d be no going back to learning. I totally want book orders as an adult. Some might say that would be browsing Amazon at work, but it’s totally different. I d

That One Book, Two Book, Three Book Thing I Don't Quite Understand the Origin Of

People reference this meme...and point to its originator...but when I go to that person's blog, I can find no posting about it, and thus am confused. The way to credit it seems to be to point to the blog you saw it on, so...I saw this at Karen's Books and Chocolate , so...yayyyy. Oh, and there's a spoiler for The Old Curiosity Shop . So if you actually care about that (which you shouldn't) then skip that awesome paragraph. Book I’m currently reading The Old Curiosity Shop. Like Karen I am reading multiple books, but this is the one I’m trying the hardest to finish because of the whole ‘deadline’ thing. Stupid deadlines...basically, at this point, any time Nell shows up I want to yell “JUST DIE ALREADY.” I love Victorian lit, but one of the things that really pisses me off is when a character is too fricking good to live. If they respond to things said by other characters in the book “humbly, with a clear brow and an honest heart,” then they’ve got 300 pages left to l

In Which We Again Discover That I Have No Focusing Skills

It's Monday! What are you reading is hosted by  One Person's Journey Through a World of Books . Each week we spotlight the books we are reading, planning on reading or just finished reading. The books I was working on on May 2nd have actually significantly changed for this past week, and I didn't finish any of them. They're just on hold. Yeah. 1. The Old Curiosity Shop   Okay, this one didn't change, because I'm supposed to have it done by next Saturday. Hah! I just counted a 14-line sentence. In tiny tiny type. Touché, Dickens. Nah, he's great, but I do understand why people who love, oh, say Hemingway, hate Dickens. His sentences are the least concise you will ever encounter ever. Oh, except for maybe someone like Joyce. So not 'ever,' but they're long, use tons of commas and tend not to get to the point. Kind of like this blog. Ooh, I hope everyone imitates their favorite author's writing style. Unless they like Hemingway, because his

In Which I Am Condescending and Want Free Things

Three months ago I had no idea what BookExpo America (or 'BEA') was, and now I'm overwhelmingly jealous of any and all who are going. I could explain what it is, but frankly I'm not entirely sure, and it's probably more informative just to google it. The main thing that interests me is, of course, that one gets free stuff, of which I am pro. Of course, by this time next year my book blog will have millions of followers, all of them brilliant, and it will make more sense for me to attend such an event. And my reasons will perhaps be less mercenary (but probably not). Speaking of followers, I am stuck in something of a conundrum. Can you be stuck in a conundrum? Probably not, but English is a flexible language, unlike blasted French. Anyway: followers. I've noticed in the course of browsing through various book blogs that some people seem to be what I'm going to call FollowerWhores. They welcome all, so long as the end result shores up their numbers. These b

A Post With Little Point

Harry Potter . Why is it so awesome? In 2009, I started a re-read of the series, which fortunately coincided with my ten year anniversary of first starting it. I got halfway through Goblet of Fire and got swamped with other things. What with the advent of the second part of the last movie this coming July, I've picked it up again. I just finished GoF, and have started Order of the Phoenix , which is probably the one I've read the most. I harbor an undying passion for Gilderoy Lockhart, but there just isn't enough stuff  in CoS for it to be one's favorite. Of course, I'd argue that there's a little too much stuff in OotP, but really just the Grawp storyline. That needs to be cut right out. Everything else is swell.   Anyway, my original question. Why is it awesome? Harry Potter , I've found, unlike basically everything else I've ever read, can make me laugh on one page and literally cry on the next (this laughing/crying usually has to do with the

Dickens and My Kind of Overblown Prejudice Against Him

Like many people, I have a tendency to simplify things in my world through generalizations. Generalizations are awesome. If I were younger and more crass, I might even say they were the shit. If we didn’t have generalizations, every single topic would take hours to go through in our minds because there are so very, very many exceptions to absolutely everything. With this in mind, I’m going to talk about Dickens. I’m going to be writing about him soon for the Austen vs. Dickens thrown-down that is currently sweeping the interwebs, but for right now I’d like to discuss his douchiness. My one thing I’d like those touchy people out there to bear in mind is that I am well aware that I’ve never met Mr. Dickens, and I do not know the exact circumstances of his mid-19 th century situation. Could there have been mitigating circumstances to alleviate his douchiness? Yeah, probably. But I’m still going to be pissed off about it. For those who have not read an excessive amount of his works (read:

A List! Because Those're Always Fun

It's Monday! What are you reading is hosted by  One Person's Journey through a world of Books . Each week we spotlight the books we are reading, planning on reading or just finished reading. I am, as usual, working on way too many books at once and possibly shall never finish any of them. A quick review!: 1. The Old Curiosity Shop, Dickens . I’m reading this for both the TBR Challenge AND the Dickens/Austen Challenge. I was assigned the final day, which I feel either puts pressure on me to deliver in my reasoning of why Dickens kicks Austen’s ass, or maybe everyone’ll have stopped caring by then. Hm. Anyway, I keep wanting to dislike this book and I CANNOT BECAUSE IT IS TOO GOOD. Damn you, Dickens! 2. Slammerkin, Emma Donoghue . This rocks. I’ve never cared about the 18 th century, and this makes me care because Emma Donoghue did so fricking much research for it. There’re all these details about how one got by as a prostitute in 1700s England, which, y’know, is useful in