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Showing posts from December, 2015

2015 in Review

To put things into perspective, at the beginning of this year, I hadn't even read Carmilla. CARMILLA.


Insanity.

Counting the two books I will assuredly finish New Year's Eve, I read 73 books this year, which is probably my highest ever, except that's kind of negated by the sheer number of comics. 2013 still beats me out in pages by a couple hundred.

A shockingly low 24 out of 73 were written by women. That's an all-time low. Has to be. Unsurprisingly, I also read very few feminist histories this year. I think we can all blame this on the sad state of female representation in comics.

How many were comics!
30

Were any of those comic collections over a thousand pages long!
Yes.

Does that kind of negate your guilt about also counting volumes that comprised only about 6 issues?
Obvs.

Some Things:

1. At the beginning of this year, no Carmilla, no Aquarium, no Sandman, no comics at all, no King Mob, no Robbie Kaplan book that led to me speaking with her on the phone, thereby fulfillin…

Hamilton Readalong

Did you too perhaps receive a copy of Ron Chernow's extremely long with tiny font biography of Alexander Hamilton for Christmas? Do you worry about having the follow-through to finish it? I know I do. So we are having -- A WINTER HAMILTON READALONG.


IT'S GONNA BE SO GOOD.

It's gonna be January/February, first post is Thursday, January 7th, and will be chapters 1-5. We will power through and open the gates and seize the day, and -- sorry, wrong musical.

Don't throw away this shot....to read the whole Chernow Hamilton.

Schedule:
January 7th: Chapters 1-5
January 14th: Chapters 6-9
January 21st: Chapters 10-14
January 28th: Chapters 15-19
February 4th: Chapters 20-26
February 11th: Chapters 27-31
February 18th: Chapters 32-38
February 25th: Chapters 39-End


The Fox and the Star

Penguin asked if I wanted to review The Fox and the Star, and I said yes because it is so. damn. pretty. My tiny tiny wonderful nieces are appx 1000x more artistic than I ever was, and all I could think while reading through it was how beautiful the pages were and how much time you could spend on one of them.

If you're into loops and whorls and a more natural-style aesthetic, this is very much for you. Lots of repeated patterns and a mix of dense and stark illustrations. I could see it being good for a meditation book since you can use the patterns as a sort of "walk the labyrinth" for your mind.

I'm not gonna say the story was super-compelling to me. The story's not really the point as far as I can tell. There's a fox. It likes looking at a star. The star goes away and the fox goes looking for it. Yeah, there's symbolism, but I think if we take a quick review of my preferred authors, we will quickly see that symbolism is not a favorite of mine.

For that s…

Is Gone-Away Lake THE best book or only like in the top 2?

Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright. A girl and her cousin go exploring on their summer vacation and find a ghost town of summer houses from the turn of the century, as well as two elderly people who grew up there and are the last holdouts. They mainly tell the girl and the cousin (whose name might be Julian?) stories about growing up there.

I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I love Gone-Away Lake. I loved it when I was ten and I love it now.


Tales of the past! Backstory! All that stuff! And they explore old houses! I grew up in the country, and while we weren't so isolated that we could potentially find a whole group of hidden houses, there was a lot of creek-exploring and thicket-roaming, so we could imagine we were so isolated we could potentially find a whole group of hidden houses. The two main characters' wandering about without parents was very familiar, since everyone knew everyone in my community. (and told us to stop going in their creek because it was dangerous, but it was a CREEK, …

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

The Scorch Trials is the second in the Maze Runner series by James Dashner. It's your standard YA, post-apocalyptic, Possibly Evil Government Is Manipulating Teens situation. CHILDREN ARE THE FUTURE. 


After the first book, the hero (Thomas) is out of the maze. As perhaps indicated by the title, there is another trial, and it involves things being very hot. Namely, an extremely hot desert to cross. 

Now, I'm probably going to read this whole series. I want to make that clear. I like mysterious trials and I really want to know what the hell is going on and how Dashner is going to justify what the characters are going through (there're a lot of scenes with government officials giving vague hints and it's maddening). 

But I still have a LOT to complain about, because it's a YA dystopian series and I am a 30 year old woman who will not just put up with shit.

1. Again? Again we have one girl? ONE GIRL. It's not even the same girl! Original Only Girl disappears at the beg…

Probably Great Unread Books

I have pounding sinuses, I am on meds for menstrual cramps, and it's 2 AM, but let's dive into what looks good on my ever-expanding Goodreads to-read shelf, currently listing at 431 items.

Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. Do I have any interest in Russian lit? Y'know what, not really. They are a depressing people. But my junior year Russian TA that I had a massive crush on said it was great, so I've been meaning to read it for nine years.

The Teeth May Smile but the Heart Does Not Forget: Murder and Memory in Uganda by Andrew Rice. I added this in 2010. What? What? Does this sound like something I'd read? I mean, it has a 3.92 on the Goodreads rating scale, but what on earth induced me to add this? The only thing I can think is that I'd just watched The Last King of Scotland.

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld. I own this by now. Still never read it. But I'm like 90% sure I'm really going to enjoy it. Apparently it's about an outsider girl who observes…

American Authors and Their Manly Manliness

American authors. How about we talk about American authors. Guess what I didn't study in college? Ok, lots of things, but those especially. I did 19th century British and French lit, and when I asked if I could take one American lit class and have it count for my major, the head of the Comparative Lit department said "NO ENGLAND AND AMERICA ARE DIFFERENT CULTURES YOU STAY AWAY; MORE BALZAC FOR YOU." 
Add to that my high school's horrible English Department, and I've read pretty much nothing of what I'm supposed to read. Here are the authors I think of when I hear about American authors:
Ernest HemingwayWilliam FaulknerJohn UpdikeJohn IrvingJack London
And...others. I guess. I've read at least one book by most of the American ladies, because I'm a ladyist, and I've read enough Steinbeck (although is there ever really enough, people?), and probably enough James, Twain, and Hawthorne. But American literature is SO DOMINATED BY DUDES. Partic…

Book Riot Linkage!

Did you all know I write for Book Riot? Probably. I don't really mention it on here though. But it's Thursday! And I'm sleepy! So here're some posts I've written for them that I like:

What to Read After Seeing Suffragette. I want to read all of these. I have read none of them. BUT! I did a thorough investigation of whether they sucked or not before adding them to the list.

6 Books You Can Discuss At Thanksgiving, By Wine Glass. I wanted to do something topical. The wine glass addition was my brilliant oldest brother's idea. All these books should probs be read though.

8 Classic Novels Retitled As Clickbait. ONE OF MY MORE POPULAR POSTS is that ironic or not; I'm too scared to use that word.

Gifts for the Charlotte Bronte Fan in Your Life. I'm legit a big fan of this post and will go to my grave thinking it did not achieve the recognition it deserved. THERE ARE SO MANY WEIRDASS CHARLOTTE BRONTE GIFTS OUT THERE.

Where We All Cry About the Library of Alexandria