Monthly Archives: July, 2013

WWW Wednesday

The usual three question meme brought to y’all by Should Be Reading.

  • What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Fish: A Memoir of a Boy in a Man’s Prison by TJ Parsell, my 2nd “prison book” in a row. I don’t think this is very healthy. I read Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Woman’s Prison in three days, watched the entire thirteen-episode series in one, and then started this. And then had a realistically scary prison dream. I think I need to take a break from these. 

  • What did you recently finish reading?

Like I said above, I’ve just finished Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Woman’s Prison. These people aren’t very creative with their titles. Kind of sound the same. I didn’t write up a review, I might do so later. It was fantastic. The show is even better. GO.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Great question. No clue. Maybe 1984? I haven’t decided yet. Maybe another prison book. I know, I know – I said I should stop, but I really enjoy them. We’ll see. 

ANSWER THESE TOO.

Top Ten Tuesday – Favorite Beginnings/Endings In Books (July 30)

I’ve been looking forward to this one for ages! THANK YOU THE BROKE AND THE BOOKISH.

 Beginnings and endings of books can be major factors in whether or not one will continue reading or evne like the book when it ends. Like a first and last impression – a first, because it’s your first time coming in contact with said book, and a last because once you finish it you’ll never be able to experience that “first read” again. From this point on it’ll only be rereads. There’s something so wonderful about a good ending. It can make the difference between an okay book and a really amazing one. They don’t have to be powerful. Sometimes even just a simple one can do the trick. 

Some of these are even quotes I’ve memorized. I’ll mark those with an asterisk (*). For example, the first and last Potter sentences. I know the very first sentence in the series and the very last. Very proud of the fact.

July 30: Top Ten Favorite Beginnings/Endings In Books 

  1. *But it wasn’t, and we weren’t: Mysterious Skin, Scott Heim. One of the most powerful sentences I’ve ever read, especially for a book ending. It’s on my list in my post about potential literary tattoo ideas. I remember finishing the book and just being… astounded at such a simple and honest ending for such a complicated novel.
  2. *Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four. Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, JK Rowling. I just really like this one for some reason. It’s a very simple, very exact sentence that perfectly sums up the essence of the Durlseys and, in doing so, does a perfect job of explaining the very core of the difference between them and Harry, and why their lives don’t really work very well together. 
  3. *All was well: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, JK Rowling. Again, Rowling does an amazing job of summarizing. It’s funny how the last sentence to an extremely long, twisted, messy tangled plot is just three short words. It sounds as if nothing ever happened. It’s the perfect way to end a close to ten year journey – and a generation. The childhood of so many people. Rowling is telling us how in the end, when everything was cleared up, they all kept on living and enjoying the world. People died, friendships were destroyed, hearts were broken – but in the end, it was okay.
  4. This book begins with a plane crash: Beauty Queens, Libba Bray. This is just the first sentence in a hilarious opening that appears before the first chapter. It’s so straightforward. I love it. Lemme give you the next few as well. We do not want you to worry about this. According to the US Department of Unnecessary Statistics, your chances of dying in a car crash are about one in half a million. Whereas your chances of losing your bathing suit bottoms to a strong tide are two to one. So, all in all, it’s safer to fly than to go to the beach.
  5. The best day of my life happened when I was five and almost died at Disney World: Going Bovine, Libba Bray. The lovely Bray yet again. Although really the best sentences are in the Acknowledgments that appear on the first page. I fell in love with her through those, even before the real story started. EVERY SINGLE REVIEW FOR THIS BOOK RECOMMENDS READING THEM. In them she thanks everyone she’s ever kissed or punched and anyone who has ever kissed or punched her. She thanks the guy who once validated her parking ticket and a homeless lady who said her hair looked like a dandelion with pieces blown away. Just… go read it. Even just that, without the book.
  6. There was a point to this story, but it has temporarily escaped the chronicler’s mind: So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, Douglas Adams. If I remember correctly, this was definitely the weirdest book in the series. It seemed sort of out of place. It really didn’t have much of a point, so this sentence excused it from the “pointless books” section, and gave it a perfectly good reason for being redundant – it was just that. Pointless. Even Adams thought so. The book is a romance, and very different from the others. According to Wikipedia “Adams’ editor Sonny Mehta moved in with the author to ensure that the book met its (extended) deadline. As a result, Adams later stated that he was not entirely happy with the book, which includes several jarring authorial intrusions, which fellow author Neil Gaiman described as “patronising and unfair”. Makes sense. There was something I sort of didn’t like about it either. But this ending made me forgive him.
  7. The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This had made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Douglas Adams. Classic Adams. These are the kind of sentences that made me fall in love with him. Intelligent humor.
  8. That evening it was dark early, which was normal for the time of year. It was cold and windy, which was normal. It started to rain, which was particularly normal. A spacecraft landed, which was not: So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, Douglas Adams. Same exact reason as the previous one. Adams’ writing style is just… fabulous. And it’s these quotes that showcase it in the best way possible.
  9. The afternoon my parents died, I was out shoplifting with Irene Klauson: The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Emily M. Danforth. No reason for this one. There’s something very alarming, yet also very calming in this one.
  10. The ending of The Fault in Our Stars, John Green. I’d like to meet the person who couldn’t have sworn this book was going to end midsenten

Top Ten Tuesday – Words/Topics That Will Make You NOT Pick Up a Book

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish, is the exact opposite from the April 30th topic. I’ve just realized that I did the April 30th topic and holy shit I’ve been blogging for a while now. I mean, not really very long, but still. APRIL. Okay, this is making no sense. On to the CHOICES.

Top Ten  Words/Topics That Will Make You NOT Pick Up a Book

P.S. Some of my choices are… weird. And aren’t words. Or topics. You guys know how I work, I feel like we’re past the point of apologizing for my seemingly unavoidable cheating.

  1. Botany – I really don’t like flowers. I was always the odd one out as a child because I just thought flowers were… boring. I really don’t get why little girls like flowers so much. They’re. I don’t even know what adjective to use. WHAT IS GOOD ABOUT FLOWERS. Don’t even get me started on trees…
  2. Anything That Seems Too Textbooky – I’m still not over my childhood nonfiction hate. I’ve been getting better but I just can’t read a book that’s about something without any plot or progress. I am interested in reading about people’s lives, cultures and historical events but they all have to be told in a way that’s not too fact-listing-like. For example, Portia DeRossi’s biography is written by her and it tells her story along with emotion and interesting happenings. However, just reading about her in dry, objective information is way too boring.
  3. Books With Very Dark Covers – this won’t make me NOT choose them, I am just more attracted to light colored books. It’s not that I WON’T go look at a book that falls under this topic, I’m just less likely to. I just don’t like darkness. I always hated the evil singing scenes in Disney films because they had no light and colors.
  4. Books With Titles That Sounds Like Weird Erotic Romance Novels – these just creep me out. And immediately make me think of Fifty Shades of Grey and bad writing. And they also usually have weird-ass covers. Some examples for this are Play of Passion, Secret Desires of a Gentlemen, The Darkest Pleasure.
  5. One Word Titles – again, not a definite NO. It just puts me off sometimes. Again, this isn’t a clear rule. It’s just that there are WAY too many badly written or weird-plot one word title books.
  6. From Very Old Times – okay almost everything I’ve mentioned and will mention aren’t 100%. I tend to prefer books that take place in the 21st century, or in the last fifty years. I don’t know why. I just… do.
  7. Books Whose Covers Include Women in Minimal Clothing and Weird Scenery (These Also Tend to Include Blood Somewhere in the Cover) – again, reminds me too much of erotic romance you find on the Free Ebook section of Amazon.
  8. Books That Look Like They’ll Include Too Much Scenery Description – wow. I’ve really hit nonsense topics now. Oh well. I just don’t like very long nature ramblings. They’re really very boring. Scenery descriptions need to put you in a setting, relate to the plot – NOT confuse you. That’s what poetry’s for.
  9. Royalty – Usually has to do with old Britain and with lots of descriptions of surroundings, clothing, royal ceremonies. All things I have no patience for.
  10. Horses – I really don’t like horses. Again, weird dislike back when I was young. They’re weird. And I don’t like long, endless wild west horse adventure books so this fits right in.

Here are examples for everything I don’t like so you know what I mean.

You guys don’t know how hard it is for me to include covers like these ANYWHERE ON MY BLOG. Gah, I hate them so much. They make me feel ewwy.

Most of these aren’t black and white – there’s room for leeway. They just mean that these are books I won’t be eager to look for, and if I’m standing in a bookstore they definitely won’t be the ones I go to first. Unless they were recommended to me – I very much love recs. If you’ve taken time to actually think about and then inform me of something you think I’d like, in 99% of cases I’ll check it out. My aversion from certain covers makes the Kindle even better because it allows me to read things without having to see them and not wanting to give them a try.

Next week’s topic sounds great! See you all then.

*insert cliche questions about YOU and YOUR choices blah blah*

Read, Write, Smile

As you may have noticed, even though I do love reading, my real passion is writing. It’s why I started this blog in the first place. Yes, I wanted to talk books with other people who were interested, but for the most part I wanted to WRITE. And what could be better than writing about something I love so much? So I started a book blog and pretty much completely gave up on my original writing blog, although lately that one has been getting some more action.

I mostly write for myself and for the Internet – far away from anyone I know personally. Only recently have I begun sharing my writing with people in my life, and that’s become quite a success. I’ve been trying to find a way to really get my writing out there and this blog has become a great platform for that, using the Book Talk page I love so much. I’m also debating reading my Spoken Word Poetry at a talent show I might participate in sometime in August.

However, the real excitement is the fact that my very own writing piece will be appearing, as I’ve mentioned countless times before, in the new magazine project brought Jayde-Ashe @ The Paperbook Blog is in the works of creating. The first edition will come out on the 1st of August, the plan being to have a new edition come out on the first of every month. Hopefully, I’ll be writing for the following ones as well. I can’t wait!

Moreover, I have a friend who works for this company that creates and manages websites. They’ve been looking for writers to put together short articles about all kinds of topics. I wrote up a few and my friend said he’ll show them to his boss and we can discuss payment. The two I’ve sent in are already up and my job application email is in his boss’s Inbox, waiting. This just might be my first ever serious job, and it’ll be related to writing. I don’t think I can explain how excited I am. This is what I’ve always wanted to do – get paid. For writing. About whatever I choose. I’m in complete shock. Unfortunately, the writing is in Hebrew and so it would be pretty pointless to link y’all, but still. I. AM. SO. HAPPY.

This has been an exciting week – hell, an exciting few months – ever since I began this in blog in April. This post, like some recent ones, has strayed from the strict topic of books but I feel like by now, with seventy six of you, after nearly four months, I can be a bit more… personal. I’ve already gone all sappy on y’all with a previous post and so again, I’ll spare you now. This is just a random update from my life. Here I go trying to get closer – meet me halfway, my friends. Comment. Share. Anything.

Adios for now!

P.S. Paid. FOR WRITING. YEEHAW.

Top Ten Tuesday – Authors Who Deserve More Recognition (July 16th)

GOOD MORNIN’. Or evening? Dunno. It’s actually Thursday but I’m worried I’ll be so busy and I don’t want to miss posting. So anyway, GOOD *insert time of day*.

ANOTHER TUESDAY. ANOTHER TOP TEN. ANOTHER HYPERLINK TO THE BROKE AND THE BOOKISH.

Subject for today? Authors Who Deserve More Recognition. Alrighty’o. This might be tough since I read lotsa mainstream – hard to get really weird or non-mainstream whatsoever English books here. I’mm give this a shot.

  1. Ellen Raskin – Raskin wrote The Westing Game, one of many books I love very much. Funny thing – I’ve read this book multiple times and yet I still CAN’T remember the ending, or how the entire mystery is solved. But I remember everything else. It’s weird. Also, Raskin was a graphic artist. Didja know she designed the cover for the first edition of A Wrinkle In Time? No? Neither did I. Now we do!
  2. Eva Ibbotson – wrote yet another childhood favorite called Island of the Aunts, also known as Monster Mission. I remember loving this book so much as a child. Never read anything else by her… maybe I should.
  3. Daniel Handler – Daniel Handler is actually very famous, but by his other persona named Lemony Snicket – author of A Series of Unfortunate Events. Most have never read any of his less famous works, ones he wrote under his real name.
  4. J0hn Verdon – author of the brilliant mystery novel Think of a Number. Every single part of this book is absolutely genius. The idea, the way it plays out, the solution. He’s written two other books since, both including the main investigator from his debut novel. I’ve read the first, the second is unfortunately still on my neverending TBR list.

I’ve only been reading less well-known authors recently – since I got my Kindle – so this list is going to be a short one. I may update it in the future, but this is it for now. This was a pretty damn hard topic for me, so I hope I haven’t failed y’all too badly.

Also, my article in the very new Paperbook Blog Magazine is coming out on August 1st! I’ll link you guys when it comes out. SEND ME YO’ OWN TOP TENS.

Practice Makes Perfect?

Guys, I think horror books are sort of like playing guitar. You gotta read a couple before you get the hang of it.

I finished reading Red Dragon by Thomas Harris at 2am. This was my second time venturing into the feared genre of horror. The first was last year, with Stephen King’s Cell. As I’ve mentioned before, the King round ended quite badly, with me quitting the book about 100 pages in because I was simply… bored. It had started off pretty well and then very quickly became pointless.

You can imagine I was hesitant to start Red Dragon. I was excited to try horror again, but also worried it would end in another unfinished book. The novel had a great start. There was something about the writing that made it enjoyable to read. That feeling lasted through about 30% of the book. By the time I reached about halfway I’d sort of lost interest. It wasn’t that I wanted to stop reading; I just didn’t care to continue either. I pushed through and read the last 30% yesterday.

I’ve never seen horror film before. The closest I’ve gotten is NBC’s Hannibal, which is actually what got me reading Red Dragon in the first place. Reading for me is most times a better experience than watching, and so I was waiting for that creepy scare, that struggle to turn the next page for fear of what lies behind it. I never got that. Simply put – I wasn’t scared. I liked the reading, the characters were likeable enough – the book just wasn’t scary. Maybe I need to read more to get used to it. I don’t understand why I’m not scared. I was waiting for that fun horror feeling the entire time and it never came!

It’s not me, it’s you. Or is it?

I don’t know.

Is something inherently wrong with me, or have I just chanced upon the not so scary novels of the horror genre? Tell me, guys. What’s wrong? Why am I not creeped out? Why am I still sleeping at night? Why do I still forget to double-lock the door at night, and why do I not jump at the sound of footsteps outside my room at night, even though I know it’s just the cat?

Internet and Real Life Collision

So, a while back – well, actually a few months ago – I wrote a post about Orson Scott Card and explained my refusal to buy products associated with him. To sum it up for those who have forgotten Card is on the board of directors of an organization who actively protests against the struggle for marriage equality in the United States. My refusal doesn’t stem from his opinion – to each his own. I’d just rather not have my money being put into this kind of activism. I do this because I support equality and I think it’s an important cause, whether you yourself are LGBT or not.  It’s better if you just go and check out the post yourself. It’s called Reading Is Not Just A Habit But A Way of Life or That Time I Told You Why I Don’t Buy Orson Scott Card Books (click the link).

I made a (personal) hard choice to boycott the film, and to only watch it when it’s available for download. I really want to see it on the big screen but buying a ticket means Card is making money off me – money that goes into these causes he supports. Yes, my few dollars will have no impact whatsoever on his fortune, however I know I’m not the only one making this choice, and ever since news of the film came out I’ve wondered if other organizations or famous people would come out with the same statement.

Just this Tuesday, during one of my aimless browsing through Yahoo News articles I came across one titled Who’s Gearing Up to Boycott Harrison Ford’s ‘Ender’s Game’ Film? I immediately remembered my own article and got really excited. It was heart-warming to know other people are calling out Card on his actions and are taking a stand against this sort of behavior.

This post isn’t really book related – I admit. I also stay relatively objective on this blog and read all kinds of books from different genres, including the LGBT one. However, there are some things I consider the building blocks of who I am as a person and my morals and principles are one of them. I decided to make this post because it’s interesting to see how what I write here as a free, opinionated person links back to reality.

I’m going to keep this short. I just wanted to share this with you guys because I found it very interesting, and also just plain nice. GeeksOUT – the organization calling to boycott Card – is organizing  a series of “Skip Ender’s Game” events in New York, Orlando, Seattle, and other major U.S. cities to coincide with the movie’s debut this November, so if anyone is interested go check it out.

I don’t expect everyone to be an activist. Some people are more lenient with these sort of things and more admant about others. That’s okay. It’s a personal choice – one that I’m making for MYSELF. I am not writing this post to call out those who WILL go and watch the film. America’s a free country… not that I’m IN America, but you get my point.

But for those of you who ARE boycotting – lemme know! Comment! You’re not alone!

WWW Wednesday July 10th

Hello friends! Once again, the weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading! You guys know the drill – three questions, three answers. Nice, simple, update style.

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Thomas Harris’s Red Dragon. For those of y’all who don’t know that’s the first book in the Hannibal Lecter series, the second being Silence of the Lambs. It’s my second attempt at the horror genre, the first time being last year for the 2012 Eclectic Reader’s Challenge. I’d chosen Cell by Stephen King and I was so excited because it was my first horror AND first King novel. That turned out to be a total flop – quit 100 pages in because I was bored. Well, I’m about 70% into this one and it’s going pretty well so far. Started on Friday, I’ll probably finish over the weekend.

What did you recently finish reading?

I finished Dirk Gentley’s Hollistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams on Thursday. You can find my review for it here.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Well, since I’m currently reading a series I might just continue on to Silence of the Lambs. Then again, it’s supposed to be damn scary and I’m not so sure I’m ready for that. We’ll see. I was considering starting Stephen Colbert’s book but turns out it has images and fun stuff that the Kindle would ruin, so that’s plan ain’t gonna happen. We’ll see. Maybe something for the Eclectic Challenges (2103, 2012 – Attempt #2).

Yeah, that’s all. I’ll update y’all soon about some interesting stuff – Camp NaNoWriMo, Ender’s Game film news. You’ll see. I think next week’s Top Ten Tuesday is supposed to be a good one.

Answer these questions in the comments below! Go check out the Dirk Gentley review! Go check out other things! Yay!

Top Ten Tuesday – I’m Choosing Something Else Because I’ve Already Done Top Ten Most Intimidating Books (July 9th)

Hello again! Since my Dirk Gentley review I haven’t posted much this week because since last Tuesday I’ve been hosting my two best friends who came to visit me together for the first time ever from New York! I am currently about halfway through Thomas Harris’s Red Dragon and it’s pretty great. It’s also interesting to see how it differs from the new NBC show Hannibal that I love so much.

I posted here on Friday lettin’ y’all know that this week’s Top Ten Tuesday subject happens to be the one I invented myself for the Freebie week back in May. I asked if you guys could suggest other topics from the list of previous ones which appears on the blog of the girls who host this meme over at The Broke and the Bookish. Sadly, I received no replies and so I guess I’ll just choose a topic myself. I think it could be fun to make you guys an active part of this blog and despite the failure of this first attempt I’ll be posting more things like that and hopefully the response grows over time.

Anyhow, for today’s Top Ten Tuesday post – in order not to bore you anymore since I do complain quite a it about the whole cinema-literature relationship – I’ll go back and complete a topic I’ve never done.

BREAKING NEWS: I’ve just gone over the old list and decided to come up with my own topic instead so now, without further ado, I present to you…

Top Ten Books Goodreads Recommends Based on My ‘Read’ Shelf (and What I Think About Them)

Continue reading →

Dirk Gentley’s Hollistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams

  • Title – Dirk Gentley’s Hollistic Detective Agency
  • Author – Douglas Adams
  • # of Pages – 306

———————————————————————————–

There is a long tradition of Great Detectives, and Dirk Gently does not belong to it. But his search for a missing cat uncovers a ghost, a time traveler, AND the devastating secret of humankind! Detective Gently’s bill for saving the human race from extinction: NO CHARGE.

———————————————————————————–

Dirk Gentley’s Hollistic Detective Agency is the seventh Douglas Adams novel I’ve read (if you count Starship Titanic, which was his idea and highly resembles his writing style, depsite being written by his friend Terry Jones). I’ve mentioned countless times how much I love this man. I usually do so not by using the word love exactly, but by mentioning future plans to pickle his brain in a jar on my shelf or plan a pilgrimmage up to his grave. I think Adams is a brilliant writer – witty, funny, and a master of satire and sarcasm.

It took me nearly two weeks to finish this book – a major break from my previous five-completed-books week. The last Adams book I’d read before this was Starship Titanic and even though I haven’t, were I to review that book it would be very similar to the points I shall make in this one.

Continue reading →