opera142: (crayons)
Moe and I were on an end of the metro we don't normally visit yesterday, and bumbled across a Borders. We almost didn't stop-- our nearby Borders is a wasteland of Sarah Palin bios and Jesus+Christmas = TRU MEANING "gift" books. But stop we did, because WHAT IF GUYS.

Thank you crappy residents of the suburb that Borders was in. THANK YOU. We hauled. Moe got pretty much every graphic novel ever written, plus a ton of euro history. And let me tell you, his plenty fails next to mine. I got Foley's Countdown to Lockdown (sidenote: they had roughly 50 copies of Jericho's latest, meepies I paid retail when it came out), an anthology of steampunk re-tellings of fairy tails, the 2009 Pushcart antho, and more porn that I'm going bother listing.

I would have had more porn too, if my evil twin hadn't show up. There was two long shelves full of porn, wonderful 80% off porn. I snatched up a handful to mull through; she snatch up an armload. I put back what I didn't want, she snatched up another armload. I snatched the 2011 Best Gay Bondage. She grabbed In Search of Cock by Alex. Moe interrupted me, and she grabbed the rest. Oh the porn that could have been mine.

I am giddy anyway, except for the knowledge that between this haul and the other recent pickings and the backlog on my Kindle, I shouldn't buy another book until Christmas.
opera142: (The Precious)
Ugh. So sick. I don't know if I have a nasty virus, or if I have a moderate virus and food poisoning. NEVER AGAIN BLACK BEAN SOUP. I've barfed everywhere!I made a mess of my poor Snuggie. I'm so thirsty, but whenever I try to drink my tummy goes NO WHY *lurch*

Moe had to go into the office this morning so I'm laying on the couch awaiting the lawn care guy. Please show up soon so I can pay you then return to my sweet, sweet bed.


Anyway to kill time between barfing jags until Moe comes home, here is my April reading list.

A Clash of Kings George R.R. Martin. Book Two of the A Song of Ice and Fire Series. Heartbreak and tragedy. No one's morals are safe. Everything that I didn't want to happen, happened and worst than I ever imagined. Read this series. Do it.

How To Suppress Women's Writing Johanna Russ. This will get its own post.

A Dash of Style Noah Lukeman. Punctuation primer. A little too advanced for me. I'm still working on competetence; this was about ballsy use. I'd still recc it for anyone, though. It does a great job of explaining the vibes certain marks give a piece of writing, the 'why' to use a semi colon, rather than the how-to.

Reading Like a Writer Francine Prose. I felt white-trashy and unwanted in this book. Instead of being the how-to-pick-apart-prose guide I'd hoped for, it was a long and tedious essay on that broad's dead Russian reading list.

Animal Handlers Jay Schaffer. Gay pRonz. Lots of piss play and fisting which aren't my thing.

The Best American Mystery Stories 2003 Ed. Michael Connelly. As with most series like this, the stories ranged from terrible to really awesome. A lot of the stories were set in the past. I wonder if that's because technology makes it harder and harder to put characters in peril and to drag out a situation.

Starring Sally J. Friedman as Herself Judy Blume. I never read this one as a kid, and I didn't miss much. No plot, really odd dialogue stuffed full of elipses. The only enjoyable part was Sally was a day dreamer. She was all about concocting Mary Sue fantasies for herself. And it was a fun mix, sometimes she'd meet actresses and they'd be charmed into asking her to play their younger sister in a movie, and other times, Sally would be totally pwning Hitler.

A History of the World in 6 Glasses Tom Standage. A review of history through the dominant beverage of the day. Beer for the rise of civilization; wine for Greek and Roman times, spirits during colonization, coffee during the age of reason, tea as symbol of the British Empire (but not any Asian countries, though -___-. Also, the Opium Wars was a nasty bit of history) and Coca Cola as sign of globalism.
opera142: (this shit is bananas)
Bad month, reading-wise. My cat, spring, etc, etc. Plus, I started A Clash Of King partway through the month, and that beast is +700 pages, so I finished it yesterday, April 1.

-Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin: writers running wild in the 20's. Marion Meade. Biography of Zelda Fitzerald, Dorothy Parker, Edna Ferber, and Edna St. Vincent Millay. Okay, I never heard of Edna Ferber, and apparently she's written everything well-known. Oklahoma! is based off of one her books.

Edna St. Vicent Millay was the reason I picked up the book. I like her poetry. Her, not so much after reading this. She came off as an utter boor. Self-serving, shady, and as the 20's passed, behind-the-times. Sad because she was sorta-kinda edgy (for the times).

I highly reccommend this book. Its one flaw is that some passages felt like she took a detail from a diary or letter and repeated it-- Dorothy Parker and her then-husband moved into "an apartment the size of a teacup". Otherwise, the book is fun. The 20's are far enough past (and technologically unadvanced) to feel historical, yet modern enough that the people feel relatable. I want an algonquin round table.

-Green Grass, Running Water. Thomas King. Book club selection. Hard read for the first 100 or so pages. Lots of POV characters, seemingly unconnected at first. Anvil-ious rants on colonialism. Lots of randomness. Though the randomness continued through the book, the characters and plot eventually came together and felt meaningful. I'm not super well-read in First Nations fiction, but this was the first story that took the "do I live in the Indian culture or the white one?" question and answered "both".

-Dinner Is Served-- an English butler's guide to the art of the table. Arthur Inch & Arlene Hirsh. BECAUSE I AM JUST TEXT ON A SCREEN. How to set a table, serve a meal, show good manners, and disgress into rants about Winston Churchill. Lots of period costumes (boner!) and how-to on menial tasks done the old-fashioned way (boner!boner!)
opera142: (whee)
I'm on book 2 of the A Song of Ice and Fires series. It's balls awesome. Noble people doing the right thing even when they don't want to and getting totally screwed over because of it; jerks who are seriously sadistic; jerks who are jerks because that's their culture; classism! elitism! badass swordplay; manor houses with catchphrases (winter is coming; we do not sow); assholes nursing old hurts and manpain; icky, dreary living conditions.

I cannot wait for the HBO series next year(zomg, Boromir is that you?). Big ass fandom, please. I've been lonely for too long.

Feb Reading

Mar. 1st, 2010 06:58 pm
opera142: (crayons)
Hot Dog, A Global History (Bruce Kraig). Just finishing up my food history collection. This book is terrible. No historical detail, no details in general except for easy gross-out stuff like hot dog ingredients. Skippable.

Sex In History (Reay Tannahill). More like the history of marriage. Interesting read. Tannahill writes well and snarky. Some of her theories are little suspect--- I doubt Rome fell because bored housewives shopped too much.

Lover's Knot (Donald Hard) Romance and TERRIBLE. The main character fell at least twice in every chapter. The "British" dialog was along the I-once-saw-a-friend-act-out-a-scene-from-a-British-comedy variety. Also, it was super overwrought. The love interest fell from a wagon and broke his wrist and the Main Character (perhaps jealous he did not get to fall in this particular instance) screamed, "MY GOD!"

Throw in sekrit rape in the past, "evil" chick who's only crime was going after a dude who she thought was into her (he slept with her and agreed to marry her) and really, really, really, really tedious prose (He set and book on the table before him and opened the cover. His eyes began scanning the words on the page.) UGH

Odd Girl Oout (Rachel Simmons) review forthcoming in seperate post. I want to talk about this with a fandom slant.

Sarah, Plain and Tall (Patricia Maclachlan) Cute fluff, no plot.
opera142: (Default)
-3000 MPH in Every Direction - Nick Mamatas, essays and short fiction. I liked the essays better. The stories were good too-- future fiction in particular, Mamatas does well with capturing how people, boring old everyday people would behave in societies with advanced tech. The essays have a strong POV - his- but it's never overbearing or preachy. There are opinions and solutions, but they get presented in ways that make me think.

-Kiss This - Gina Arnold, overview of Punk music. Lame and offensive. When discussing the rise of rap, Ms. Arnold says "Black is finally beautiful". The whole book is her pushing her "punk" credentials (pssst. if you have to tell someone, you aren't) and dividing everything into Punk or Not Punk categories. Her idea of punk is very white, over-educated, comfortably middle-class and prone to attending Lollapolooza.

-Writer's Notebook- - Various, meta writing craft. Some essays got stodgy and academic, and the one about the physical space writing takes up on a page sounded a lot like drunken conversations I had at Perkins while my friends and I tried to be deep and wise artists. I liked it, don't get me wrong but sometimes it strayed into murky theory when the idea was better served by tangible expressions. The book was the worthwhile read for the first two essays: Dorothy Allison's on Place, and Steve Almond's (I think) sex writing.

-Miss High Heels - Anonymous, pr0n. Bleh. This is the kind of porn I dislike the most: a main character so caught up in getting his own fantasies catered to that he never once lifts a finger to satisfy anyone else. Chapter after chapter of this guy getting his rocks off by not-so-forced crossed dressing and weak punishments, and never ever a single instance of giving pleasure back.

- Breath & Bone -- Carol Berg, fantasy. I loved this. The first chapter disappointed me because, as a sequel that picks up where the first book left off, I was very much looking forward to Val's new life as the indentured servant of the Evil Bastard Prince Osriel. Instead of lurid subtext and woe, it turns out Osriel is really a good guy with good intentions. I wanted lurid! But, the story soon provided even better villains, and the good guys didn't like each other, everyone was screwing everyone else over, and the magic was belivable. The ending felt rushed and a bit too pat. Someone needs to teach awesome fantasy writers to quit writing huge epics so that they're not so sick and tired of the story by the time they get to writing the endings.

- Wolf at the Dinner Table-- Augusten Burroughs, memoir. This felt very scraping the bottom of barrel-y. It doesn't necessarily contradict his previous stuff, and I realize that he upplayed or downplayed certain aspects of his life to aid the other stories, but it felt very contradictory to read about him being as gosh-gee little boy who wanted to play catch outside with his dad when his first few books over-characterized him as fussy and faux-elegant.

Oddly, my strongest reaction about this book happened while I was reading reviews on it at Amazon after I had finished it. Someone had accused Augusten of playing the victim, and stated that as long as he wasn't being tortured and had a roof over his head and food on his plate, that he wasn't being abused. BULLSHIT.

BULLSHIT.

One of the things that really, really messed me up as a kid was the truly fucking idiotic idea that abuse involves outlandish torture. Made-for-TV movies and Readers Digest articles were always showcasing the electric cords and the bathtub drownings. When you're a kid, and that's what TV is telling you is abuse, suddenly drunk-ass mom shoving you down the stairs or dad showing you a bullet with your name written on it doesn't compare. Which can only mean one thing: you really are a rotten kid who drives your parents who would be otherwise be caring (look how nicely they treat the neighbor kids) to oh-no-not-abusive at all acts. Bullshit.

- Rouge Pulp - Dorothy Barresi, poetry. Okay when she wrote about personal stuff and wasn't needlessly using $5 words. Boring when she tried to go for deep. Strippers pay an emotional price for what they do? Gosh, I didn't realize that. Vietnam was a tough war? Gosh, I didn't realize that.

Books

Jun. 17th, 2009 09:07 pm
opera142: (this shit is bananas)
Finally received the last of my Amazon junk today. An order of 5 books and 1 cd came in 4 packages. -___-. They claim it was for faster service. Two weeks is not fast service, and two packages came on the same day.

I buy books faster than I buy shelving. This is problematic.

It's weird, I've been having such book-luck at the used-book and thrift stores lately. (Perhaps I am 3 or so years behind other people's reading habits?) I went through a dry spell a while ago. Nothing to read, nothing looked interesting. I re-read favorites and forced myself through some classics, and now life is a book fountain and I'm splashing around in it.

I burned myself out on the subject of food history. I'll have to find a new non-fiction go-to. Get me to a library!

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