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Showing posts from September, 2011

Everyone Loves Turn-of-the-Century Novels!

I bought Catching Fire for Kindle, because it wasn't even IN TRANSIT from the library, which means I won't get it for weeks. I'm finding myself becoming ridiculously belligerent about Peeta vs Gale, which is just silly because I've barely seen Gale so of COURSE I'm going to want Katniss to end up with Peeta. But my brain ignores this fact. "NO. I AM RIGHT AND EVERYONE ELSE IS WRONG." But, y'know, ingrained thought patterns and all.
So let's talk about how Ragtime is completely amazing and you should all read it. Daaaaaymn, E.L. Doctorow. I'm kind of a giant Broadway nerd, so in high school I was like "RAGTIIIIIIIME!" and checked out the cast recording from the library, as this was in the days before Spotify and mp3s and the like (*grumbles about kids today*). Liking it for the most part, I got the book, but being a teenage UBER-CHRISTIAN, around the 20th mention of sex I was completely disgusted and returned it unfinished.
Now, of cour…

Harrowing Acts of Courage (not really)

It's apparently Banned Books Week. 
I've never gotten my knickers in a twist about banned books. I dunno, I just don't really mind. There're a ton of books out there to read, and you can TRY to ban something, but people'll get it anyway, and probably be more likely to look at it because it was banned. Soooo I don't really see the harm. Other than letting the idiots win. But those idiots aren't going to learn anyway; they'll just see themselves as martyrs up against a morally profligate age if the books remain unbanned, so let them feel that way, don't ban books, and everyone's happy.
That all being said, I have indeed suffered for the cause of banned books. *looks heroic* I went to a Christian high school whose (unofficial) policy was that if anything was controversial, it was banned. I tend to be somewhat contrarian (not you, Alice!), so I was moved to extreme teenage anger anytime something new got banned.
Being a Christian/Pentecostal school, an…

Hunger Games? More Like Hunger...Awesome..Games

Hunger Games was way better than I thought it was going to be. Because I didn't want to let myself like it, but then I did, DESPITE MYSELF. I don't even know how technically "good" it is; it's just really entertaining. Which then makes me feel a bit nasty because that's why the people at the Capitol watch the Games. For entertainment. So I'm really like the stupid Capitol people. I mean, I can live with that, this all being fictional, but I feel like it's a dirty trick on the part of the author. *shakes fist*
I still thoroughly plan on reading the next two, even if I am a bit annoyed by the direction I believe it's going to take (down with the oppressive regime! let's outsmart them by being sneaky and out-of-the-box!). If anything, it's taught me that I don't care at all that girls were arguing to death about the Twilight battle of Edward vs Jacob. Because I would engage in a lengthy debate about Peeta vs Gale, and I haven't even re…

In Which I Undermine Myself, Crafty Person That I Am

I was visiting my family peoples this weekend and thus did not check ANY blogs for like three days. So in case you're like "WHY am I getting comments today on a post from Friday? THE TIME IS PAST," that's why. I am catching up on blogs instead of reading The Hunger Games which, y'know, I actually would very much like to do as it's at a very exciting part. But I respect you all too much. Posts cannot go commentless if I have the slightest thing to say, be it edifying or not.
I hesitate to say what I'm about to say, as it necessarily puts my blog in not as stellar a light as I would at all times wish. But my friend Julie, both fortunately and unfortunately, has started a book blog. Fortunately, because it's funny and clever and contains genuine book reviews, unlike here. Unfortunately, because it's better than mine, and by me directing you to it, you will be made aware of this.
I hang out with this girl fairly regularly, and I was still surprised and …

I Tried to Come Up With a Sophie's Choice Joke, But It Made Me Sad

As part of Roof Beam Reader's TBR Pile Challenge, which I have kept up with relatively well throughout the year thus far, I'm reading Sophie's Choice. I have zero idea when I thought that would be a stellar addition to my shelf, but I asked for it for Christmas, and my at-the-time 12-year-old brother bought it for me. Yeah. Appropriate? No. Oh well.
So I'm pretty near the beginning, and I have been CONFLICTED, because I hate -- HATE -- when authors use unnecessary words. Like Nabokov and his damn 'nates' in Lolita. Screw you, sir. He also FOR REAL used 'nictitate,' a word I made fun of in my high school SAT prep class because all it means is 'to wink,' only it sounds nasty. Our sample sentence in the book was "The old man was nictitating at her." Gross.
Anyway, so the book is narrated by an author, a young Virginian who -- dare we guess? -- is supposed to basically be William Styron, who was born in Virginia and would've been the cha…

New Idea! and Oh, It Shall Be Fun.

Okay, so as many of us discovered yesterday, we suck for not reading The Help. Boo us. So I propose that in the month of November, we do a group readalong of this. Look, I even made a graphic for it!:



Get it? Yeah...
So...I guess...Mr Linky? And I never knew that the 'leave a comment after linking' thing was automatically in it. Screw that, I don't beg for comments. So let's do this, people. Hopefully November 1st (a Tuesday) is late enough that we all have time to get it from the library, overly-checked-out though it might be. Oh, the discussions we shall have! So exciting.
edit: Yes! You can "read along" with the audiobook. It's not like you'll be understanding fewer words than the people reading a paper copy.

Top Ten Books Everyone Has Read But Me

I have missed an astonishing number of books that most people did not. 


1. The Help - YES I WILL READ IT. Eventually. I got shit to do, people. Those 30 Rock reruns aren't going to watch themselves.


2. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - I started this after buying it for Kindle, and I genuinely did like it. But then I got sidetracked and have not yet made it back. But I'm totally pro-running with the crowd so long as the crowd isn't mass-reading something idiotic *coughEatPrayLovecough*


3. The Kite Runner - I read someone's hilarious review of this on Goodreads (this is me, by the way) and now I can't find it. But rest assured, they convinced me that if I read it and liked it, I was a dribbling moron. So now I cannot read it. Plus I soooo don't care about the subject matter. (*hides from thrown rocks*) (edit:review found)


4. Hamlet - Yeah. This. Like two years ago I thought 'Hey. I've never read or watched Hamlet. I mean, I've seen The Lion King, but tha…

IS NO BOOK SAFE FROM THE TWILIGHT COVER

*stamps foot and screams*

Mystery! Fire! Dresden Figurines!

I have read We Have Always Lived in the Castle, one of the two I chose for the RIP Challenge!
First off, PENGUIN YOU WIN AT COVERS. I cannot tell you how many people who normally don't fricking care one jot as to what I'm reading have asked about this book. The cover kicks ass. It, in my opinion, still doesn't justify the $15 Penguin is apparently charging for it (I got it from the library), but still. Awesome.
I haven't read The Lottery, because my high school had a substandard English dept, but I read Haunting of Hill House last year because I was told it has some ladies-liking-ladies stuff, and I'm always up for reading that, especially if written in the '50s (verboten! fun between-the-linesness!). I was disappointed in it, not only because the ladies stuff was perplexing to me, but it just felt SO VERY VAGUE. In general. Like, a fog of vagueness surrounded the entire thing, and I am only okay with that happening in Henry James' stuff, because I EXPECT IT…

"You die two pages later of TB."

Your Move, Dickens just posted on A Room With a View, which reminded me why I can't take any book that was made into a Merchant Ivory film seriously.




Oh, French and Saunders. You are my favorite.

"Excuse Me, Your Religion Is Showing."

So, despite railing against YA book blogs, I do indeed read YA fiction. But I like to think of the YA I read as "not shitty," and therefore, it is different than what those blogs talk about.
Last year I became a big fan of Rick Riordan. No, his prose isn't the most carefully crafted, but eh. He blends mythology into modern life really well, and he's actually much funnier than his dorky author pic would have you think (this picture makes him look like he still plays with Howdy Doody dolls).
So I bought The Throne of Fire in May (the second in The Kane Chronicles trilogy) and, as I am horrible about reading books I own, have only recently picked it up. It's Riordan's Egyptian mythology series (the other is Greek/Roman), and it's really good and I very much like it, but it's made me face some things about myself, people. Some unpleasant things. Yeah. Short sentences make better points.
The book blogger's default position on censorship is "GAHHHHHH …

People I Think Are Cool, PLUS, I Suck

All right, here's the dealie. My body has become some kind of huge wussfactory, where all my white blood cells are just hipsters who want to lay around and talk about their awesome ironic accessories rather than fight any kind of illness. Meaning I have AGAIN been sick, this time since Sunday night. I wasn't at work yesterday, and when I started writing this entry, I had to stop because my stupid body was being stupid. And ironic. Somehow. So anyway, this is Monday's response to BBAW. Huzzah!


So I've never done this before, as this is my blog's first year of existence, but according to other blogs that I've read thus far this morning, today we appreciate each other. Which I am all for.


According to their site, "today you are encouraged to highlight a couple of bloggers that have made book blogging a unique experience for you." Totes. I can do that.


I come to Blogger from the now-universally-scorned Livejournal. Livejournal is mainly the residence of fang…

Two Posts? What Is This, St. Swithin's Day?

I was doing my daily blog-skimming from Google Reader the other day, when something on Laura from Devouring Texts' blog caught my eye. And that would be a reference to How to Leave Twitter by Grace Dent, which she loved.
So I have a particular kind of love for obscure British celebrities, which is at least partially due to me finding it hilarious to know anything about them. I follow a gang of them on twitter, and they all tweet to each other, because there are ten people in all British Entertainment (it's a tiny island), so they of course know each other. They're mostly clever/funny, but they also make many references to things I totally don't get, because, y'know, two countries separated by a common language, etc etc.
The author is one of these people. My path to knowledge of her went like this: 1. Get interested in British actress Keeley Hawes. Watch her show Ashes to Ashes. 2. See Amelia Bullmore on Ashes to Ashes, google her. 3. Find pictures of Amelia Bullmore …

Librarians Do Not Become Librarians Because They Are Social Creatures

Isn't the internet wonderful? At least for recommending things. I had people I've never talked to before (yes, I consider commenting 'talking') suggest scary/mysterious/generally unsettling things to read, and thereby helped me overcome something of my Horror Genre Idiocy.
Everyone's suggestions got me very excited about getting new things to read, so I went to the Chicago Public Library directly after work, picked up We Have Always Lived in the Castle, marched over to the 'L' section of the broadly-termed 'FICTION' category and! -- discovered there was no H.P. Lovecraft. Well, that's not entirely true. There were two books of Lovecraft "revisions." Yeah, they decided to assemble two collections of stories Lovecraft helped revise. But they had nothing -- NOTHING -- that was just him.
Thinking I might be in the wrong section -- maybe short stories all by one author were in another area? -- I walked up to the Reference librarian, somethin…

More Reading Challenges, That's What I Need

All right. I wasn't going to do this, despite EVERYONE doing it, but who am I to be above bandwagon jumping? Let's all read scary things!


I am not great at reading scary things, as I do not like to scared (possible problem with this challenge? perhaps). But I had a weird sort of liking for Haunting of Hill House despite giving it, I believe, 2/5 on goodreads, so I shall attempt to read other stuff that's creepy/scary/what-have-you, and hopefully it'll result in...something.
Definitely won't be able to do more than two, but now I need to pick them. Everyone's freaking out about The Night Circus now that it's only one week from release, so mebbe that. But I feel like I should read old scary stuff. I have no idea who writes old scary stuff. Poe? Yeah, him. But there have to be others; I've just always ignored them due to the aforementioned dislike of things scary.
Anyway, huzzah for challenges and I hope you're all participating if you have the inclinatio…

As a Worker, I Have the Right to Sit Around and Eat Salsa con Queso From the Jar Today

Hello! It's a Happy Labor Day (or Labour Day, as our friends to the north say) posting from Reading Rambo! Did you forget the blog was called that? Because to be honest, I do sometimes. But I guess I tend to think of my blogging compatriots by their blog titles, so maybe right now you're looking at me like you have no idea what I'm talking about.
Right then! In honor of today, I finished a book. Yes, a book. The Mysterious Benedict Society. And OH, what a journey it was. An awesome, awesome journey, with illustrations by Carson Ellis of Decemberists fame.
I possibly laughed. I know I cried, because I am an emotional mess today (turns out it wasn't allergies, but rather a pernicious cold, which I am still battling), and I pretty much all-around loved it.
Those who are my friends on Goodreads, don't hate on me for using the same review in both places. In this one, you get bonus stuff! (see above) So it all turns out well in the end.
So there's children's lit and…

Allergies, You Are a Stuck-Up, Half-Witted, Scruffy-Looking Nerfherder

Allergy season has hit Chicago, meaning I and most of my coworkers are sniffling/coughing/being generally gross. I used to be one of the privileged people who was unaffected at this time of year, but then oh, the distance I fell from my very high horse. If we met in person right now, I would in all likelihood glare at you and then refuse to speak, as talking hurts my throat and has made me generally irritable, but! these are the interwebs! So I can project a very happy-go-lucky state indeed. Now let's talk about books!
After a succession of reads that were just kind of 'eh,' I started to think I was going through what I've seen other book bloggers talk about as a dry spell, book-break, rest from reading, or what-have-you. But I have since revised my opinion, and decided instead that the books were really just kind of lame, and I am still very open to reading non-lame things.
SUCH AS -- The Mysterious Benedict Society! My gosh. Cannot tell you. Love. LOVE. I mean, things …