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Showing posts from March, 2013

Harry Potter Readalong, Order of the Phoenix II: "Does this mean they're going to shut down the Gobstones Club?"

RIGHT. So. Halfway through. Umbridge is a lovely vessel for cathartic anger. Hermione saying "V-Voldemort" is seriously cute, only wtf because she didn't grow up being afraid of his name, so her reaction should be like Harry's and what's going onnnnnnn, book. I'm really, very much not looking forward to Grawp. Also: The Hog's Head bar comprised one small, dingy, and very dirty room that smelled strongly of something that might have been goats. I guess I'll just address the main reason I dislike Sirius, as it's pretty much what fucks things later on. Let's look at the end of the chapter "Percy and Padfoot." Sirius appears in the fire. Very nice. Sirius yet again offers, like an idiot, but a cooped-up, been-in-Azkaban-and-now-is-trapped-in-a-hated-house idiot (so it's understandable), to "disguise" himself and see Harry in Hogsmeade. Harry, finally NOT acting an idiot, says no. Rather than just look disa

Readathons and Book Expos

BOOKISH EVENT THINGS. Ok, so as Kayleigh V has reminded us, Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon is a month away, which is CRAZY and also I've never actually done it because things always come up but THIS IS MY YEAR so it'll happen and also BEA so really all the bookish things. But yes, so go sign up and then later we'll discuss what we're going to read and HURRAH. I still very much want to get a hotel room and do a hole-up thing -- mostly because I am 90% sure I won't get much reading done in my apartment, as it has All the Distracty Things -- but it costs moniiiies and also what if I get pulled away by the prospect of a tv with channels. I know we've discussed BEA before, but it is looking more and more likely that I'm going. So. People should hotel it with me. Because then it'll be like a slumber party except for the part where I fall asleep at 11 pm because, let's face it, I am no longer one of those chickens of the spring. AND THEN we will

"I am just going to be polite and silly, and point at cool things," I decided.

I want to write about Moranthology . I'm slightly worried about doing it justice, as I was up late last night attending my former professors' discussion about their new book , which has an awesome cover and is about Mad Men . I don't watch Mad Men because why would I want to watch sexism if I don't have to, but TO EACH HIS OWN. Also, again. Nice cover. SO. Caitlin Moran. My journey to you has been tortuous -- NOT torturous -- and filled with lengthy detours consisting of other minor British personalities and now I am here and I like you but am also a bit wary, as one generally is with people who express their opinions rather extremely strongly. (UNLESS THEY INCLUDE GIFS RIGHT?) Despite the awesome  Laura from Devouring Texts  sending me Moran's How to Be a Woman  A YEAR AGO, I instead have ended up reading her essay collection, because it was from the library and an eBook. These are the life choices I have made. BUT I do quite like essay collections.

We're past the Ides of March. Thank God, right?

I have high hopes for my March as regards reading. Mainly because we're almost at the end of it and I seem to have read a lot of shit. I can't start out the month with high hopes, because then if I read nothing I shall be terrifically disappointed in myself. But as it stands on the 26th, I AM ROOTING FOR YOU, ME. Yesterday I finished Anna and the French Kiss and immediately tried out one, two, three different library eBooks. I was like the Goldilocks of Overdrive. (if you do not know what Overdrive is, your life is unfulfilled) The first was Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns . Oh, how this book has been lauded. Oh, how intelligent Wilkerson seemed when she guested on NPR. And -- oh, it's partially done in a fictional narrative style. Nope. Next up was The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones. It is entirely possible that this book gets fantastic after the first chapter. But to be honest, despite my love of Victorian novels and warm fondness for Wodeho

Harry Potter Readalong, Order of the Phoenix I: "Don't think about that," Harry told himself.

This book makes me emotional. This is perhaps an understatement. Because this book makes everyone emotional. If I could marry this book — not in a weird, I'm sexually attracted to inanimate objects way, but in a "this is how much I would like to prove my eternal devotion to you" way — I would. So, People Having a Beef With It, while I perfectly understand that everyone has their opinion, I'm going to act like a total 5-year-old regarding criticism of it and just be aware of that. be aware. I don't know how...I glanced through the previous four. But with Order of the Phoenix , I started on page fucking one and then threw myself into the experience with sheer delight. I love everything about this. Except maybe Grawp. But we'll get to him later. If we could do a post on each chapter, I would be thrilled. But in the interests of Harry Potter Readalong harmony, we're gonna do four and not 38. Things people aren't going to like: Harry bit

I met Emma Donoghue and then I cried

I needed to photocopy something, so I ran to the library after work. As I headed upstairs, I glanced at the Visiting Authors board as I always do, and was about to keep going when suddenly -- "Emma Donoghue. March 20. 3:30 PM." WHAT. What was today? Surely the 19th. NO IT WAS THE 20TH. AND IT WAS 5 PM. WHY GOD. WHY DID YOU DO THIS. Utterly dejected and pondering the meaninglessness of existence, I trudged the rest of the way upstairs. 'But perhaps she's still here!' I suddenly thought, and made my way to the security desk. "Do you know if the Emma Donoghue event is over?" Two extremely kind guards said maybe it was, as it was almost 5:30, but there was no harm in taking the elevator to the basement floor and checking. So I did. And you know what? The 3:30 event was over. BUT THERE WAS ANOTHER AT 6. And suddenly there I was. In a ridiculously not-full auditorium, watching Emma Donoghue speak. She was charming. She was tall. She was Irish-Can

Diana Victrix: "When people begin to call me conservative, I shall know that I have accomplished something."

A novel from 1897 about feminism and romantic friendship? I would like five tickets for that boat ride, please. So I can EXTRA-enjoy it. My survey book -- which I'm still in the process of finishing -- about the history of romantic friendship mentions Diana Victrix as an exception to the rule of romantic friendship novels. That rule is that in these novels one or both of the ladies gets married. Always, always always. I mean, they have to! Women can't earn money . Ah, but Florence Converse, 26-year-old Wellesley grad from New Orleans in 1897 says yes, yes they can. I'm a bit delighted by older books that haven't made the canon, because while we're swayed by The Dudes Who Decided Which Books Should Be Read, they didn't catch nearly everything. And I've got a 14-year-old girl crush on this book. Mainly because it is funny. And has an awesome heroine. And they go HIKING omg. I was not anticipating that, but all of a sudden, the six young people are lik

Charlotte Bronte: The Clive Cussler of Victorian Literature

For those unaware, my friend Doug sometimes reviews classic novels that I make him read. His previous awesome reviews that make my normal posts look bad can be found under 'doug reviews things.' This time, he did Jane Eyre . Enjoy. ++++++ I have a problem. I actually liked this book. 'Oh, Doug,' you're no doubt thinking. 'You stupid, sad, fuck-up, you're supposed to like Jane Eyre !' First of all, hey! Secondly, writing reviews of Wuthering Heights and Pride & Prejudice was easy because I absolutely hated the holy hell from both those books. Now I have to write a review without utilizing merciless venom or copious dick jokes. Well, others have done it. Here we go... I think Nike should come out with a pair of shoes called Eyre Janes. Um... hmm... So, here are some characters that sucked all the dick there was to suck. Not Jane, though. That chick fly. We start off with 10-year-old orphan Jane living with her uncle's widow and her t

Harry Potter, The Goblet of Fire: The Finishining

This would've been up last night, but I fell asleep in the middle of html coding. With my laptop in my lap. So here we are. I'm gonna start actually reading these books next week. I think. Because the last time I tried to read through the series, I'm pretty sure I got stuck in book 5. Dumbledore. Your office is not very well protected. Come on, sir. I fricking love the Pensieve. Anytime it shows up, I'm like "SCORE THE BOOK'S ABOUT TO GET WAY AWESOMER THAN IT ALREADY IS." Good job, JKR, on that device. Karkaroff's trial is brilliant, and then...oh, and then.  There was...a woman with thick, shining dark hair and heavily hooded eyes, who was sitting in the chained chair as though it were a throne. HEY GIRL  I belonged to some Facebook group back when those were a thing, that was like "I am intrigued but horrified by Bellatrix Lestrange." Which is the truth. Because she is TERRIBLE, but also one of the best characters. She's

BEA talk is cheap, but I'll let you know when I've bought a plane ticket

Doug's post on Jane Eyre is coming next week. So be prepared. I've talked about BEA for about two years now. I've planned on going twice, and twice have my plans been foiled. But HOPEFULLY NOT THIS YEAR. Although I should add that I'm not planning on actually attending BEA: I just want to be in NYC while it's happening so I can go out for milkshakes with book bloggers. So the current idea is Thursday/Friday/Saturday, leave Sunday. And you know what? I'm seeing the damn Statue of Liberty, and anyone who doesn't want to be a tool can come with, because I've been to New York approximately a billion times, and I've never seen the Statue of Liberty that my, according to my mother, kind of asshole great-grandparents saw when they came over from the Ukraine. FAMILY CONNECTIONS. But for serious, I'm planning on going. End of May. And I want to meet you all and consume comestibles with you. So save up, fly in, and we can MAYBE have a super-awesome

Surpassing the Love of Men

Yeah. The title. I know. Surpassing the Love of Men: Romantic Friendship & Love Between Women from the Renaissance to the Present was published in 1981, at a time when there was something of a feminist pushback. A pushback and a lot of defensiveness. I'd like to add that this is not the case in the book itself so much, because she tries hard not to use 20th century ideas when dealing with previous centuries. Quite the opposite, in fact: Lillian Faderman has been criticized by more recent scholars for NOT assuming things about historical relationships between women. yeah, assuming that thing. This is part I because it's over 400 pages, and is an ENORMOUS historical/literary survey (and completely awesome) and if I did just one post on it, that post would be obnoxiously long. I'm hoping to split it into two, if I feel like doing the more emotional side of things. The book begins in the 16th and 17th centuries, discussing how there was essentially no notion of

More books I'm barely reading (FEEL the excitement)

I am officially reading an insane number of books. I don't know when it got this out of hand. I suspect early January. I have one book I'm technically ACTUALLY reading, and then five billion others (slight exaggeration possibly) I'm picking up at random intervals. So this being my blog where I talk about unfinished books, let's look at some of them: Lamb , Christopher Moore. Ah, recommended by  Alley  and then forcibly lent me by someone (for reals, we didn't discuss it; he didn't ask; it was just shoved at me). I'm...liking it? Yes. I am liking it thus far. But I am not very far. Surpassing the Love of Men , Lillian Faderman . Right. This book. How to explain this book. The title is awful, but it's a product of the 1970s and WE WERE FEELING A LITTLE DEFENSIVE OK. I actually passed this book with an eye-roll about ten times at the library before I found out that 1) Lillian Faderman is the best, and 2) Oh, it's actually a historical/literary surve

Harry Potter Readalong: Harry Potter's Secret Heartache

I was seriously just screencapping the trailer to Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing and preparing for bed when I realized it's basically Harry Potter Post Day, which made me go "Fuck" and now this is what you're getting, because I have to go to sleep in like five minutes. Cho Chang. Don't we all hate Cho Chang? I did, anyway. Because I was 14 and Harry was clearly fated to be with Ginny because she LIKED him, and thusly had my sympathy. stop being you, Chang. just stop. The Yule Ball. And the subsequent Best Fight for a While Now. I specifically remember marathoning this book at the same time as my Ron-and-Hermione-ship-doubting friend, immediately post-release, and when I got to "he somehow thought that Hermione had gotten the point much better than Ron had," I phoned her and launched into "I TOLD YOU. I TOOOOOLD YOU" only to discover she was about 20 pages behind. Don't spoil your friends, kids. *skims some more* Rita

Julius Caesar: Let's just change the title to 'Brutus'

I saw Julius Caesar last night with my delightful playwright friend Skye. indeed. So I went into this knowing nothing about the shape of the play. So when Caesar gets stabbed in Act I (surpriiiise!), I was all "Whoa. What happens now?" Especially since I saw Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra  and in THAT, after the boring Rex Harrison-as-Caesar part is over, she has awesome sexytimes with Marc Antony. But she's not even in this play. Boo. Instead, Antony's all "DAMN YOU BRUTUS" and tries to exact vengeance upon all the Caesar stabby dudes, but when they're all dead because Octavius shot most of them (it was updated to modern times), he's like "DAMNIT Octavius. Brutus was AWESOME. He was awesome  and you're a dick." And I'm like "Omg Antony make up your mind, because you just spent all this time asking people to lend you their ears and assorted body parts to make them hate Brutus and now you want to make out with him but