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Showing posts from July, 2012

Legend of the Seeker: A Bunch of Hot People Having Exciting Adventures That Involve Magic

I published my readalong post before midnight SO I GET TO POST AGAIN TODAY. Such are the rules. Also I've sucked at posting lately and tomorrow's Moonstone Day (did you all see my addendum about researching the Siege of Seringapatam? very good). Sooo today's gonna be about Legend of the Seeker . Said post is inspired by  Meg's most recent post , and if you're not following Meg, WHAT ARE YOU DOING GET ON THAT. So. Legend of the Seeker  is based on a terrible series of books by Terry Goodkind. I mean, I picked up the series thinking "All right, this probably isn't going to be very good," and it was WORSE THAN MY LOW EXPECTATIONS. However. A tv series was made and aired a few years ago on ABC and I watched the first few episodes and went ZOMG THIS IS THE BEST BUT ALSO THE WORST BUT ALSO THE BEST. Basically, Legend of the Seeker is the prettiest. The writing's cliché, the acting's so-so, and its special effects are those of fair to middling sc

Telegraph Avenue: The Finishening

So ends the month-long readalong of Michael Chabon's Telegraph Avenue . And look, the basic question should just be wrapped up here — should you read this or not? And the answer is yeah. Yeah, you should read it. I believe we've discussed the shiny, shiny red cover, which'll just look nice on a bookcase. Really brightens up the place. Basically this book takes subjects I don't really care about — jazz, blaxploitation films, midwifery — and made me care about them. Not forever and for always, but while I read. Which is damned impressive. This was my first Chabon. I'd suspected I wouldn't like him too much, and while he does verge on the I'm a Sensitive White Guy side of things, he's an excellent, awesome author and I'm totally checking out more of his books. Titus? Love. Gwen? I tolerate. Julie? Aw, Julie. Luther Stallings? That guy's great. Y'know, to read about. Probably not to actually know. Damn, I want pie. I'm writing this in

The Moonstone: Readalong Planning

Ok, I'm sure we're all very excited about the Moonstone readalong, because WILKIE COLLINS. Last time we had basically no idea who he was, and now we are filled with a deep and abiding love for him and his weird-looking head. So this'll be good times. I bought my copy the other day, and saw to my utter delight that it is AGAIN broken up into different narratives, so we shall have our various preferred characters again and debate over whether someone is hilarious or DOES NOT STRIKE US THAT WAY (ok, this happened, but then I reversed my opinion). I left said copy at home, so my chapter divisions might be weird since they're based on the internet, but people need to be reminded this is happening, and happening WEDNESDAY, although Wednesday's just the first sort of "Let's introduce ourselves, etc etc" which people don't HAVE to do, but it's nice if you do it, 'cause then people're like "Oh, you! You're that person I know more ab

This once again morphed into something I did not expect

You know what I want? I want it to be like the 1300s, and a parallel universe, and I'm made to go on a quest in my leather boots, carrying my satchel with bread, cheese and a flask of wine, and maybe there're some gnomes and shit, and at some point I get lost in the forest, but then this deer that's totally into me but not in a gross way leads me out of the forest, and I hug it around its deer neck and carry on with my journey, and then YOU THINK I'M NOT GOING TO FINISH THE QUEST, but then I DO, and I journey back home and everyone's all "We shall have a celebration in the mead hall!" and then we all have an awesome time. That's what I want. My readalong post is indefinitely postponed for this week, as my crazy, hedonistic partying lifestyle got in the way of reading the book. So if I were going to post about Telegraph Avenue this week, it would just be bitching about the 12 page sentence that Chabon saw fit to throw in there, because I'm sti

Not Everything Is Terrible

In the wake of the events of last night, it can be easy to despair over the fact that things like this are still happening, and to feel a certain sense of hopelessness about humanity. So here is one random, beautiful thing created by man that has done nothing but uplift others for years now. If you can think of something else, please list it/link.

Desert Hearts, You Were Not What I Was Expecting

I NEVER get to write blog posts at home, as home is where I practice piano and singing and watch South Park and eat hummus. Work is where I wait for the phone to ring and stuff envelopes (I AM THE BACKBONE OF MY COMPANY). But here I have access to a whole other array of gifs. SO EXCITING. So although this shall be published while I am at work, it is written in the midst of a thunderstorm, as I wear an oversized t-shirt with multiple superheroes on it and pirate boxer shorts, both of which I fear would be deemed unsuitable work attire (a tragic loss for the company). This week I am basically only super-focusing on Telegraph Avenue and Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich (summary thus far: Native Americans are people too), so I have little to say on the subject of books, BUT I just watched the film Desert Hearts (based on Desert of the Heart by Jane Rule), which I, for about a year, mistakenly assumed was about a transvestite man getting stuck in the desert. I'm sorry, but from far

Telegraph Avenue: The Vinyl Section and So Forth (minus the so forth)

All right. Section 2 of Emily's Telegraph Avenue Readalong . So here's the thing: I love Titus. Like, love. A whole lot. To the point where I'm kind of like "Why isn't everyone shouting on their posts about Titus?" BUT I get that this is the kind of book where the expanse of characters who are given page space is so great that people are going to pick different ones they love. This section...I'm actually not that crazy about Gwen. And with these character likes and dislikes, you can then ask yourself "Well, why?" and LEARN THINGS about thyself, so good job there, Chabon. But yeah, I get that she's got a whole lot of shit going on in her life. And that there's this stigma I just don't get because I'm white, but CAN YOU STOP SHOOTING YOURSELF IN THE FOOT, GWEN? PLEASE. It is frustrating to watch. You're not proving anything to these people other than confirming stereotypes they probably have. Archy's kind of more myst

The Fire Chronicle: Quest for the ARC

Do y'all remember when I reviewed The Emerald Atlas and basically said it was covered in glitter, unicorns and Santa's laughter? Yes, well, so there's that, AND THEN I FOUND OUT THE SEQUEL WAS COMING OUT, and the ever-delightful Megs from  The Terrible Desire helped me out on Twitter. Below is my Twitter Quest to obtain this ARC. Did I succeed? ONLY TIME WILL TELL.   (note: I totally succeeded) Alice : Followers! I charge you to assail the fortress of @randomhousekids until they deliver unto me the ARC of the Emerald Atlas sequel! Go forth! Alice : *dons epaulets, used for fancy battle* I shall not rest until the ARC hath been given unto me for reviewing purposes! #emeraldatlassequel Megs : *Lights torch* *Hoists pitchfork* *Knocks politely on fortress door* @randomhousekids Alice : @MegsGranger We should have battlefrogs. Or kangaroos. Although the latter would be used more for fighting than riding. @randomhousekids Megs : @operawombat Or AT-ATs! Polite o

Bookish Issues

These are all books I've started. Looking at what I have checked out from the library, it seems I left out a couple, but I haven't looked at those in a few weeks, so they don't count.  I have a problem, and it's bookish ADD. Note: These are all excellent books. Don't blame the books.

The Moonstone Readalong! (and a question about Emma)

Last night I, on the spur of the moment, decided to go to the Women's Classics book group at the fantastic bookstore Women and Children First in Andersonville (it's on the northside in Chicago). I was kinda down and was like "It'd be really great to be around people who aren't work-people," and they were discussing Emma ! Which is my favorite Austen! And I just watched Clueless , so I was obviously all set (aside from forgetting the character Mrs Elton existed, so when she was brought up, I believe I made a "Hnyer?" face). Anyway. The point being that someone brought up an excellent question about Mr Woodhouse (Emma's father). Namely, does his railing against marriage throughout the novel serve as a counterpoint to Emma's matchmaking/eventual marriage, or what is the structural point of it? I think this is worth pondering. NOW. MOONSTONE READALONG IN AUGUST. Wilkie Collins! Apparently a moonstone! Dudes in turbans! Surely some intrigue!

Never Trust a Librarian and Readalong Pt 2

Firstly, an aside. Dear Library Man: There was no call for you to be Mr. Rudepants with me when I asked if you had any Christopher Moore and where would it be and you said "The fiction section" and waved your hand dismissively towards that area. I know he writes fiction. One could perhaps assume that I wasn't just picking a random name and seeing if it was associated with a book. But maybe he was in Mysteries! Maybe he was in Sci-Fi/Fantasy! I HAD JUST COME FROM FICTION AND HE WAS NOT THERE. You followed this up by finding me in the Fiction section, book in hand, saying "It seems he's written a mystery novel." This is when I must inform you that "Christopher G. Moore" is not the same as "Christopher Moore," and Christopher Moore never wrote this: But then I had to check it out so I wouldn't make you feel bad. So now I have this book by Canadian detective novelist Christopher G. Moore, when all I really wanted to do was read L

"Lisa, never, EVER stop in the middle of a hoedown."

Once Upon a Readathon is here and backing out. I feel like doing a readalong and the mandatory posts that go with it, coupled with readathon posts, would make this blog a mass of uninterestingness for those not involved in either, and I CARE ABOUT YOU PEOPLE AND YOUR BOREDOM. I saw Spider-Man this past weekend, and since I hadn't wanted to see it and was dragged by my younger brother, my final reaction was something along the lines of: Not NEARLY as stupid as the shitstorm of misogynistic suck that was Spider-Man 3 , but stupid in the sense of "Rahhhh and now I'm a giant lizard man and I WILL DESTROY YOU" and you're like "...wait, am I watching a lizard man? Didn't this cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make?" And then you go home and wikipedia Spider-Man history and find out that yes, there was indeed a lizard man enemy, and he was named "Lizard," because back in 1964 they just didn't have to try very hard. And a

The Price of Salt: A Book I Am Reviewing

All right. Gonna sit down and talk about The Price of Salt , which is an important enough book to get its own post (even though I was up stupid-late last night being excited about things, so I am going to do things like write "up-stupid late"). Why is this book relevant to you AT ALL? Well, they're going to start filming a movie version of it with Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska (it's going to be called Carol , apparently, which is an alternate title of the book anyway). So if you like those ladies, you might want to read this beforehand. SO. Book. What are you. From the cover we can tell that, oh, this appears to be a book about a young woman, perhaps set in the past, and she seems ANXIOUS about something. Oh my, I wonder what. The girl is Therese, the year is 1953 (or thereabouts), and she starts out the book working in a department store, like you see in the movie Elf.  Only she works in the doll department and doesn't believe in Santa as far as I kno

I haven't listened to any Toby Keith today, and that, my friends, is a miracle

Not going to bed yet. For reasons. So here's something I've dredged up because Netflix just recommended yet another terrible lesbian movie to me, and look, I get that it's an underfunded genre and maybe the people with the most to say are just terrible at saying it, but THAT IS NO EXCUSE FOR THIS SORT OF THING. There's a movie called I Can't Think Straight (GET IT?) about these two girls and they meet, get all interested in each other, and then ZING revelations/family issues/empowerment for all. In terms of the genre, it's ACTUALLY not terrible. Which is why I own it. But the scene where the sister of one of the girls realizes said sister is gay is maybe the worst thing ever. She's in her sister's room and has this ah-ha moment prompted by various books and CDs that are innocuously piled up/displayed. "Waaaait, Sarah Waters? Jeanette Winterson? A BOOK THE DIRECTOR WROTE?" "I feel like these MEAN something..." "OMG

Telegraph Avenue: The Patriotic Readalong (or something)

Ok, People About to Celebrate the Kind of Birth of Our Country (and others). Tuesdays for this month are going to be me posting about the Michael Chabon Readalong hosted by Emily at As the Crowe Flies and Reads . She's an awesome actual bookseller lady, so she got ARCs of his new book out in September, Telegraph Avenue . Today's the intro post. I decided to do this because ARCs make me feel special (TREMBLE, PUNY POPULACE AS I READ THINGS BEFORE YOU) and I haven't read Chabon before BUT he's all respected and such. As opposed to, like, the ARC of that YA author who writes about how a teen girl is really into this guy BUT THEN HE LIKES SOMEONE ELSE FOR A WHILE NO (you totally know which author I mean). The cover's fairly awesome, as you can see below: Look how red it is!   So that's a +1 from me. The first sentence makes me think it might be about race relations. Because a white kid and a black kid are mentioned. IN THE FIRST SENTENCE. So we shall see. F

"And my buns -- they don't feel nothin' like steel."

And a happy Beginning of This Awkward 4th of July Week to you all. My current plans for this weirdass no-work-on-Wednesday-but-then-back-Thursday situation are to sit around and do nothing. AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE. When they passed the Declaration of Independence, surely what they wanted was for a 21st century American girl to sit around in sleepy shorts and a superhero t-shirt, watching Designing Women and not worrying about the damn British knocking on the door and quartering their troops on the couch she's using to store her Pop Chips. There was a Clueless "watchalong" (if you will) this weekend, with Laura from Devouring Texts , Alley from What Red Read , and Megs from The Terrible Desire . If you weren't there and right now're like "HEY!", all I have to say is the announcement went out on twitter. WHY DO YOU PEOPLE HATE TWITTER. This is what you get when you have a Clueless watchalong on Skype chat: Alley : who has a drawer just full of turkey l