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Showing posts from November, 2011

New Readalong! Let's Do It!...But Not Until Next Year.

Ok, I don't know about all the participants (massive number that it was of...four?), but The Help readalong was totally fun despite The Help not being the most stellar book on the planet. So LET US DO ANOTHER ONE. In January. The only issue being that I have no idea whatsoever what we would read. 
So. I open the floor for suggestions. I'd kind of prefer a book that isn't hugely popular right now, as that is easier to get at the library AND they will let us renew it, but I guess I could always NOT be a cheapskate and just buy a copy. I want to read The Marriage Plot, but I probably won't actually get to that for like two years.
SUGGEST! SUGGEST, BLOGGERS! I'm bad at this sort of thing.
I leave you with an amazing gif that is, my friends, Bellatrix Lestrange and Molly Weasley patching up their differences:

The Help Readalong Pt V: The Helpening

You know how Chicago's called the Windy City, and then some smartass says that it's called that because of our bluster about definitely being chosen for the 1893 World's Fair? Yeah, it's also fricking windy here. You don't quite understand why people in Olden Times anthropomorphized the wind until it's shoving you against a bridge railing as you walk over the river. "STOP TRYING TO KILL ME, WIND." But anyway. The Help.




Wait, I need to do more for the final post?
I mean...that scene is pretty much the best one in the book. I didn't expect anything truly bad to happen at the end, because it's popular with suburban moms, and those books don't end sadly. Those books end with women being Empowered, and this had, count 'em, THREE empowerment endings. Four if we count Lou Anne. Sure, let's count her.
I don't know. It just wasn't that good. It wasn't infuriatingly terrible. The writing was decent, but just not good. Skeeter goes t…

Wherein I Feel Like Wearing '90s Plaid and Listening to Nirvana

You know when you had a three day week and then you go back to work and you have a five day week staring back at you and you just kind of sit listlessly at your desk and glare at the phone every time it rings?

What? No, that's totally not me today. No, I'm way chipper. But for reals, this:




But I also don't want to be home, because I've been home for too long, so if I go there, I'll just be moping in a different place. So instead I have chosen option 3, which is to mope on my blog. Hello!

I mainly just want to sit here and be listless, but that's not a fun blog entry and it's been SO LONG SINCE I'VE UPDATED, which you might not have realized, but I do because I update all the time and it's been something ridiculous like five days. FIVE. Okay, let's think of a topic.

Twilight. Man, let's get into Twilight today. The craze is pretty much over, thank God, so this hopefully won't devolve into some kind of vitriolic diatribe, but let's address…

Dr. Seuss, You Clever Old Man

First off, I want this. And will do dastardly things to obtain it:


(if you are desirous of this print as well, it can be found here on Etsy...and no, I do not advertise on my blog. I just post shit that I like)
Thanksgiving is upon us! Most of us. Not you European/everywhere-but-America people. I enjoy that the American holiday tradition is that we just eat a lot. Like, that's the goal. And family togetherness or whatever, but mainly the eating thing.
So. After tomorrow, we'll be in full-on Christmas season, which brings us to gifts. And since this is a book blog, let's talk about book gifts. Does anyone buy them? I tend to be nervous because it feels like giving someone a job to do. "Here's a book. I expect you to read it and then discuss it with me to prove you love me." 
Not to be all nosy, but anyone gotten a book as a gift that made you way way happy? Hopefully something you didn't ask for, as obviously you'd be happy if you asked someone for somethi…

The Help Readalong: Week Four. We Are Getting INTO This.

SO CLOSE. We are so close to being done. And just about time, too, because frankly, I'm getting sick of Skeeter to a huge degree. And SO MUCH OF THE STORY IS HER POV. Which I guess makes sense because that's what Stockett can relate to the most, but OMG I don't care about her social troubles or her boyfriend or how she's been fired as editor of the Junior League newsletter.

This whole section...I dunno, things seemed to start getting really annoying. Like when Skeeter's listening to the radio and this happens: "I ease into the Tote-Sum store parking lot and listen to the song. It's better than anything I've ever heard....A voice in a can tells me his name is Bob Dylan."
I just went "Really? REALLY?" And yes. Obviously time for another gif:


Trying to make characters sympathetic or seem forward-thinking by having them like things that are NOW considered amazing before everyone thought they were IRRITATES ME TO NO END. Mainly because it's …

Look at That, Not Even a Humorous David Tennant GIF

MY RESTRAINT, LET ME SHOW YOU IT. Because Doctor Who minisodes have been uploaded to youtube, fresh from the UK (the DVDs don't come out here until tomorrow) and let me tell you, the teenage girls on tumblr have been expressive about their feelings. Personally, I've just been rather twitchy and excited, but I still want to post gifs from the episodes everywhere and SHALL NOT, as this is a book blog and has nothing to do with Doctor Who, thankyouverymuch. 
Except for that dream I had the other night where Alex Kingston asked if I wanted her to read aloud from Sophie's Choice and I went "OMGYES" and then she did and it was awesome.
I'm going to pick nine books from my Extremely Lengthy TBR List on goodreads and post them here, and if any of them suck I want you to let me know, yes? Very cool. Okay:
A Great and Terrible Beauty, Libba Bray - I read Beauty Queens, and unlike some snobby snobs out there, highly enjoyed it. Or really enjoyed it. Maybe the latter. But w…

I Wasn't Going to Update, But...

I started listening to this and then I thought 'Who am I to keep this from the Good People of the Internet?' So here's your Friday '80s youtube vid.





IT'S ALL IMAGES OF LIGHTNING AND RAIN. Someone put that together. Because when that person hears songs, they take them literally. And bless them for it. 
Your bookish topic for today is: 19th c. Lady Authors if They Lived Today and Were Teenage Girls. What Would They Listen to on Spotify?
I have a very old journal entry that states quite clearly that Charlotte Bronte would get very into Whitney Houston, so even IF, on further reflection, that doesn't totally make sense to me, I have to stick with it.
George Eliot would be into intelligent, weird shit. And since my playlists are variations on Celine Dion, Britney Spears and Kelly Clarkson (...you think I kid, but I do not), I can't name any of that. She'd like The Decemberists, but they're a bit too mainstream, y'know? OH. And she'd totally listen to…

Books. They're Pretty Great.

You all miss me when I don't post, don't you? *waggles eyebrows* Yesterday I was so exhausted that I hated pretty much everything ever (except for this, because how can you hate that?), but I went home and napped and read some of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland, which made me giggle, and now things are just peachy. So I bid you all hello. Now. Let's talk about books.

Last Sunday, I was reading bits of various things I'm in the middle of, and all of a sudden the sole thought that came into my head was "Shit, I love books." If I might quote from The Thirteenth Tale, which is quite enjoyable if not the best book ever and you all should read it because it says lovely things like this: People disappear when they die. Their voice, their laughter, the warmth of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living memory of them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an exception to this annihilation. For in the books they writ…

The Help Readalong: Week Three. Spoilery Things Again.

I kind of feel like Hilly's some vaudeville villain. Like she actually has some sweeping black moustache and every time she does something particularly evil, she rubs her hands together and says "mwahahaha." She's just ridiculously awful. Like a Southern 1960s version of Dolores Umbridge.
Look at how far we are! My Kindle informs me it's 59% of the way through. Which is excellent, because this is a damn long book. And of course, I'd like to remind you all that if you've already read it, or want to jump in now, other points of view are welcome. Especially since my particular opinions are going to continue to primarily be composed of gifs proclaiming my love of Celia and Minny (and Mr. Johnny! oh, how wonderful he is!):

I fully admit that I started tearing up when all the maids started walking by Skeeter and telling her they'd help with the book. DISPLAYS OF UNITY AND LOVE, you always make me cry. This extends as far as that scene in Legally Blonde 2 when…

Delightful Fairy Folk or Sad Holocaust Talk

So I found out last night that when faced with reading either The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland or Sophie's Choice, I will always opt to read about a little girl wading through piles of gold and consorting with wyverns. In my defense, Sophie's Choice is currently alternating (hah! alternating current) between stories of the author's first sexual experience and Rudolf Hess's invention of the gas chambers, so it's not really at an "Oh I TOTALLY want to pick this up right now" kind of place.

No, I am operating on an I HAVE DEADLINES reading schedule right now, which means I keep having to figure out which book has precedence, because I obviously need to finish things before 2012. Not doing so will not be tolerated. By me. But, while I have to finish Sophie's Choice; Speak, Memory; Understanding the Woman of Mozart's Operas  and State By State by the end of the year, I also have to read appx. nine chapters of The Help each week, and the dilemma la…

Off the Shelf Hideously Long List

I am almost embarrassed that what I consider to be a huge commitment (30 books) is, in fact, classified as no more than 'Making a Dent' in the Off the Shelf challenge, but I suppose that is pretty much exactly what's happening, as my TBR shelf is currently at 150+. Oh my indeed.
So. Here're my proposed 30. Let me know if any are hideously terrible:
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (I own this in hardcover and paperback and have yet obviously not read it) The Reef, Wharton A Brief History of Time (stolen from my aerospace engineering professor father — suck it, nerds) Official Book Club Selection, Kathy Griffin (got this in my stocking last Christmas) Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil The Looking Glass Wars, Beddor (owned this an embarrassingly long time w/o reading it) Rules of Civility, Towles My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me (I got terribly excited about this and yet have not gotten around to it yet, boo to me) The Crimson Petal and the White Twilight Sleep, Wharton

I Wouldn't Have William Styron's Babies, But I'd Have His Books' Babies

Some kind of self-flagellating instinct makes me listen to Rebecca Black's "Friday" when that day comes around. Not that what that's all about.
So I've been on-again, off-again working on Sophie's Choice, but now I'm trying to actually sit down and finish it, and I LOVE it and want to marry it but I'm worried it'll think I'm too young or just not experienced enough because it uses SO MANY WORDS and I don't know them all and that means there's a lack of equality in the relationship.
I'm seriously a giant fan of William Styron now. He's all "Now I'm going to use 'marmoreal'" and I get ExcitedFace and say "Okay! Let me look that up!" and then I learn new words. A Kindle sale a while back had another one of his books for like $3 and I bought it WITHOUT KNOWING THE PLOT because I trust him and his smartness and love of words. Although I should add that I trusted A.S. Byatt implicitly after Possession, a…

The Help Readalong: Week Two. Here Be Spoilers

Everyone read their nine chapters? Hurray! Weren't they fun? I enjoyed them. There's a reason these kinds of books are popular, and it's not because they're hard to read.
I have some bullet points of my own, and then since this is supposed to be a readalong, I'd love some kind of discussion to happen. And hopefully some small disagreements. Or big ones, so long as we don't resort to name-calling (unless it's hilarious name-calling):
Celia and Minny scenes make me want to do this:
WHERE IS CONSTANTINE OMG SUCH A MYSTERY. I am thoroughly intrigued. Ms. Stockett has baited her hook and I am CAUGHT, damnit."With other people, Hilly hands out lies like the Presbyterians hand out guilt." Hey! Watch it, book!Mae Mobley searching for her tail is the cutest thing ever.Who's constantly pissed at Miss Leefolt? EVERYONE EVER."After I spent a year dreading it, November eighth finally come." *checks out the date* Well, that was weird.Is Skeeter's…

Hunger Games Is Better Than Twilight, But That's Not Really Saying Anything

I certainly hope you all are reading your chapters 1-9 of The Help. *looks stern* Ok, so I'm only on chapter 6, but three more chapters is DOABLE. And there have totally already been parts that've made me want to do this to the characters:
I'm like halfway through Mockingjay and sometimes I'm like "SUZANNE COLLINS THIS COULD BE YOUR BEST YET" and sometimes I'm like 


Because I am SUSPICIOUS of her and what she is going to do to the characters. Sure, she made up those characters and some people would say that gives her the right to do what she wants with them, but that is FALSE. Things must end the vague way I've decided in my head, or I shall stomp about angrily.
But now that Katniss is genuinely doing things and not spending all her time being like "*whine* Why can't I just run away with *insert whichever person she's currently the most into* and we'll be happy and -- oh my, I've been forced into acting bravely in yet another dire si…

Daylight Savings Time is Magical. Also There's a Classics Challenge!

It's after 1 in the morning. People cleverer than I am have decided to take advantage of Daylight Savings Time by getting extra sleep. I, of course, have decided to use it to dance to the Back to the Future soundtrack.


Ok, guys. Prepare to have your face rocked off by my list for the Back to the Classics Challenge of 2012.
Any 19th Century Classic Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of '80, Dickens
Any 20th Century Classic The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck
Reread a classic of your choice Emma, Austen
A Classic Play A Doll's House, Ibsen
Classic Mystery/Horror/Crime Fiction The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins
Classic Romance The Reef, Wharton
A Classic translated from its original language to your native language The Divine Comedy, Dante
Classic Award Winner A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole
Classic set in a country you (realistically speaking) will not visit during your lifetime Pavilion of Women, Pearl S. Buck (China)

Where I Discuss How I Am Screwed Book-Wise

I finished The Family Fang last night (recommended by Emily at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads)) and it was super-awesome and if it were somehow able to be made a part of my life for forever, I think I'd be ok with that. An element towards the end made me REALLY REALLY ANGRY, but then I was like "Well. It elicited a strong emotion in you and it WASN'T because of bad writing, so that = successful."
I started this blog because of the TBR Challenge. I wanted to have a place to post reviews of the books I finished that wasn't Goodreads. Little did I suspect what this would turn into. "Mwahaha" indeed. But anyway, that challenge means I finish 12 books from my To Be Read pile that've been on my shelves for at least a year. I did all the easy ones first because I'm an idiot. I now have:
Sophie's Choice -  William Styron Speak, Memory - Nabokov State By State: A Panoramic Portrait of America Understanding the Women of Mozart's Operas
I am not a fast re…

Wherein I Have Many Opinions

I get disappointed when people don't update daily. This is mainly because my job involves a lot of sitting around trying to find things to read. So perhaps others are busy doing "productive" things that aren't blogging, but because I can only truly see things from my own perspective, I am now blogging despite not having any clear subject about which to blog.
What about the Brontes! Let's discuss them, oh let's do! (and no, I'm not umlauting them -- deal)
I think my second blog post here compared the Bronte family to sea turtles, so rather than do that tired old thing again, here're my uninformed opinions on the three sisters who managed to remain not-dead for longer than the rest of the family:
1. Charlotte. Ah yes. Charlotte. Was I obsessed with her at age 16? Yes. Did I have make believe conversations with her? Yes. Did I read anything of hers beyond Jane Eyre? Of course not, I'm not a weirdo English major. 
But for reals, I tried Shirley and it was…

Let's Do This: The Help Readalong, Week One

Okay, people. Halloween's over. It's November. Let's read The Help and jump on this pop culture bandwagon (that apparently the black community isn't too thrilled about, but more on that later). *waves little bandwagon-jumper flag*

When this first came out, I equated it with The Secret Life of Bees, which I did not read, but I saw the lovely movie version. As it stands, I think I still do this, but now that I have some extra knowledge about it, my brain adds "The Secret Life of Bees, but there're more white people."
The plot elements might be different, but it's still (according to the limited information I have) about a group of wise black women who have A Little Something to Teach The World at Large (aka white people in the '60s). Also the movie posters are both yellow.
I didn't intend this to be a "THE HELP = SECRET LIFE OF BEES" post. Oops. Okay! So! For anyone who wants to do it, we're reading chapters 1 through 9 for next Tuesd…