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Showing posts from June, 2013

If you write "English Literature [sic]" about a supposed classic, I will love you forever

I went to the library last night (...) and checked out three books. Two were on my Goodreads TBR list and ONE was a delightful surprise find in the literary criticism section (I was there looking for the recommended-by-JennyMadwoman in the Attic, only to find it was missing from the shelf -- DAMN YOU PATRONS).

It's taken me some time to realize that not every awesome book gets reprinted, which is yet ANOTHER reason we need independent used bookstores and libraries. Because they have old shit. So this book I randomly found is Fifty Works of English Literature We Could Do Without, and it's by a lady and two gentlemen, printed in 1967 in the UK, and I've decided -- INDEPENDENT OF ANY RESEARCH -- that they're all 22-year-old besties who got money from their parents to publish a book because they could.

I've read a few of the essays (they're each two to three pages and hilarious) and will be quoting from them AD NAUSEAM when I have the book with me, but as with all …

Things of a Semi-Political Nature But Really It's Just Pictures

I was up. I was up late last night. Watching this lady:


And then there was the figuring out if the filibuster worked. And that went until 3. And then I had to juice. And then I kind of puttered. And then it was 4 and I went "Ahahahahahaha I am waking up in two hours and they're deciding on DOMA in five." And so then I made this just in case:



WHICH I GOT TO USE. So things are spiffy, but my bankrupt, end of the marathon brain cannot handle anything right now. So my day has mainly been staring at my computer blankly, answering the phone, and updating my OKCupid profile (THIS SHOULD TURN OUT WELL METHINKS).

There's been too much going on, between the Blackhawks winning, then the Texas thing, my DRY CLEANING PLACE NOT BEING OPEN, and then DOMA/Prop 8. But for serious, I need my dresses. I'm in a wedding this weekend. Why would you close at 6:30 and not 7, that doesn't even make sense. 

Days like this, I just want to be a medieval peasant girl named Strudegard whose j…

I bought more books and you are not allowed to hit me

The summer solstice is past! Summer continues, but begins to fade, and we press on, wending our weary way toward ever shorter days and the inevitable dreariness of winter and its dark dark darkness.

...I went to a book sale! Twice.

I know. I KNOW, OKAY? But I donated books BOTH TIMES I WENT. Because it was Open Books. And they are the best bookstore in Chicago and operate as a not-for-profit and all their books are donated so they are sold CHEAPLY and this was their annual half-price sale and I CAN'T NOT GO TO THAT.

These are the books from the second trip, as I was more restrained and bought little ones:


Yeah. So. The best edition of The Horse and His Boy (which I have read precisely once in my lifetime); What Now? by Ann Patchett, which is really only worth buying if you can get it for a dollar, because it takes half an hour to read; Are Women Human? by Dorothy L. Sayers, which I pretty much got because 1) hard to find, and 2) 75 cents; and then the second and third Amelia Peabody …

Harry Potter Readalong Wrap-Up: "Really gives a feeling for the scope and tragedy of the thing, doesn't it?"

This is just where we put our leftover GIFs, right?



I mean...


What am I....

Supposed to....


NO. Um. Okay. This readalong has been going on since the dawn of time, i.e. January. And we are DONE now. But I talk to almost all you suckahs all the time anyway, so it's not AS sad as it could be. Our first few readalongs it was like "BUT I AM SO USED TO YOU NOW" but then we all got on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Gchat and now it's like "Oh. Hey. It's you."
BUT BACK TO HARRY POTTER. 


The only thing this series has been compared to in popularity is Dickens, when people in America would MEET THE BOAT carrying the new volumes and be like "OMG WHAT'S HAPPENING? IS NELL ALIVE TELL US NOW ONLY DON'T BECAUSE SPOILEEEERS." People can talk about Twilight and 50 Shades of Fucking Grey, but those are literary fads. They're not going to last. 
They might inspire older women to revive their sexual relationships or make teen girls FEEL things, but nothing…

Mid-Year Review of Hastily Put-Togetherness

Sometimes I sit at my computer in the morning, staring at the blank post screen and just think 'All right. Pick a topic.' Okay, I do that EVERY time I update. Because who's got time for planning, amirite? I'll plan a trip to Seattle a month out and come up with a spreadsheet itinerary, but when it comes to writing, BY THE SEAT OF MY PANTS I SHALL FLY.

It's basically halfway through the year. So how's it been going? Getting things read? Thank God for Goodreads, 'cause otherwise I would be lost in a sea of forgetfulness.

All right. Here's the dealie-o. I have read 35 books so far this year. It's not AMAZING but it's not shit, so no sass, thank you. Of those 35 (and we're counting Scott Pilgrim volumes as individual books even though they take half an hour and also are counting them as YA do not question me), 16 are YA. I feel OKAY about this. Because some are grownass lady books and sometimes you need a break from that, y'know? And also to…

YA: Can We Move Past Twilight and Juno?

I'm not going to say YA is broken -- it's flourishing in too many ways for that -- but then why is it annoying the shit out of me?




It's entirely possible I just had a sheltered reading life, but I honestly don't remember there being Books for Teens when I was a teenager. And this wasn't like 1974, thank you, it was the turn of the millennium. And it's GOOD that we have these books now. Whether naturally occurring or formed by society, the concept of teenagerdom is real and it's a group that needs a literature to relate to. And not a Bobbsey twins-type literature (good Lord, I love the Bobbsey twins). Teenagers are full of hormones and weirdass feelings and a sense of being constantly misunderstood and are starting to become who they'll be (BUT, I caution any teens reading this, they are still light years from that person). They need books that reflect and help with that.

But. When your primary themes are supernatural romance (okay) or two smartasses who…

Harry Potter Readalong, Deathly Hallows IV: Omg wait are we done?

"Hogwarts is threatened!" shouted Professor McGonagall. "Man the boundaries, protect us, do your duty to our school!"


HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KEEP THIS CONCISE HOW.

The Battle of Hogwarts is probably one of my favorite things in literature. The entire last quarter of the book is brilliant, and J.K. Rowling deserves her damn place in the twinkly literary firmament.  Did you notice she actually started trying with her prose? Like, her normal writing is just awesome because of the way she makes you care about characters and how she sets up a world, but then we fucking get stuff like:

As they turned a corner the flames chased them as though they were alive, sentient, intent upon killing them. Now the fire was mutating, forming a gigantic pack of fiery beasts: Flaming serpents, chimaeras, and dragons rose and fell and rose again, and the detritus of centuries on which they were feeding was thrown up into the air into their fanged mouths, tossed high on clawed feet, before bei…

First 50 Pages: A Thing I Do Here Every So Often

I've started more books. Like. A lot more books. But obviously haven't gotten very far in any of them because WHO WOULD WANT TO FINISH A BOOK THAT'S CRAZY. So it's time for First 50 Pages, where I review books based on the small amount I've actually gotten through.




The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl. Whenever I go through a reading slump, I pick up some YA so I can feel accomplished and like "BOOM look how quickly that went I AM A READING GOD." So I checked this out from the library because hey I'd like to see a fanboy get together with a goth girl; that sounds mightily fun. HOWEVER. As of the first 50 pages, it is veering in a direction that is worrisome to me. Worrisome. If this turns into a giant bummer of a book, I will be alas-ing a lot.

Desert of the Heart. I reviewed this movie a while back. It's a lady book for ladies. It's set in the 1950s, about a lady professor who's getting a divorce -- I'm actually just gonna…

Festivals are way more fun than they are NOT fun

Summer in Chicago is a time of fests. We have a lot of them. And they are everywhere. Without planning it, my Saturday turned into an encapsulation of what I want in my life, so BOOM, crushed it, thanks, Saturday.

I had a Gilbert & Sullivan audition. Then I went to a LADY festival in Andersonville, which is technically called Midsommarfest, but is really just Ladyfest. Andersonville is known for being Swedish and for being populated with lesbians. 



Those are the only two things you need to know about Andersonville. Also that it is delightful and has a bookshop called Women and Children First that you should support if you're ever in Chicago.

FROM THERE, I discovered that the Printers Row Lit Fest was happening downtown by the library, which I did not even know. Shame, shame on my face. Printers Row Lit Fest is where booksellers from all around (from the far reaches of Illinois, they came! I see you there, Rockford Books) set up little booths and sell books and you maybe get in…

Harry Potter Readalong: But this is gonna hurt more than when Snape killed Dumbledore

We're not even gonna get into how far behind I am here, so this post is going to be about how back when the movie version of Deathly Hallows was first released, this happened:


And I was just in the theater being like


And then they became the only HP couple I've read fic for as a grownass adult lady and IT'S NOT MY FAULT. THE FILM MADE ME. IT WAS A WEIRD SCENE. And there's no way you make an enormous film like one of the Harry Potters and DON'T realize there's weird sexual tension in your torture scene. Someone points it out to the director. Or to ANYONE. And then -- AND THEN -- Emma Watson and Helena Bonham Carter do not-okay shit like this:


Wtf is that? I don't even know what to do with that. Except maybe write a story where Bellatrix changes her ways after finding the brilliant young witch who challenges her someone for whom she can abandon her sordid past and maybe they live in a little cottage off the main road in Hogsmeade and raise chickens while Hermion…

The Tale of Bessie Bueller and the Postal Service

Back in December, I saw a show. You might have heard of it, it's called THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD. This caused me to descend into a spiral of Dickensianity, which involved reading about him, Nell Ternan, and LGBT subtext in Victorian literature, because I was 92% positive the Drood characters Helena Landless and Rosa Bud were doin' it.

In February, I mailed my very marked-up copy of Edwin Drood to the Broadway theatre where the show was playing (along with a return envelope, because I'm not an ANIMAL), and more specifically, I mailed it to the actress playing Helena Landless, whom for the purpose of hiding from Google searches we will call "Bessie Bueller."

I asked her to sign it and write her favorite quote, and to please if possible get the actress playing Rosa Bud ("Wetsy Bolfe") to do the same. Because then my copy would be LEGIT AWESOME.


So I sent it. And I waited. And I waited some more. And then the show closed. And I went 'Hm. Ok. Well. She ca…

New York City, where I basically just stalked a dead woman. Wasn't too hard.

I AM RETURNED. Having walked the Brooklyn Bridge! Seen the sights of Broadway! Drank two grande iced mochas in a Starbucks while reading Where'd You Go, Bernadette! Oh, it was a glorious time.

As I did not attend BEA proper, you will have to refer to BookRiot or Emily's blog (when she writes about it) for posts on that. I am sure it was swell. I'm sad I missed Grumpy Cat. ALSO MICHELLE TEA. Because I'll bet she's kind of crazy. But in a fun way. And I wanted to hear about her new mermaid book. Mermaids. So hot right now.

But I was BUSY getting closure on my Bessie Bueller story (to be told later this week) and stalking Emma Goldman's apartment like the most non-threatening stalker of all time. And meeting book bloggers!


Rest assured, they are all awesome. And a delightful time was had and they let me talk about women's suffrage for an allotted period and then we MOVED ON (eventually to Harry Potter and slash fiction, but that is neither here nor there). Oh, …