Thursday, January 31, 2013

January's Over!

And I already failed on my resolution to not buy any more books this year until I read all the ones I already own!

I'm trying to feel bad about it, but I got some really good deals.  Plus, Barnes and Noble sent me coupons in the mail, and it would have been really rude not to use them.

First, Steve Martin's An Object of Beauty was on sale for $5.98.  It was originally $26.98, so I don't know what the hell's going on.  Must be overstock?  I don't care.  I love Steve Martin so much, I wish he was my dad.  In fact, I wish he was my dad so much that it's really hard for me to watch him be sexual with Claire Danes in the movie Shopgirl, even though I LOVE that book.

Then I found this gem on sale for $7.98.  I love making lists of things.  I already own some of the Listography Books, and I keep a notebook full of lists I've made on my person at all times.  This book is almost 300 pages, and includes list titles such as "List All the Times You've Fallen Flat on Your Face," "List All the Celebrities You'd Like to Have Sex With," and "List All the Hallucinations You've Had."  I'm so excited about this I could literally barf.  I bet there's a list for all the times I've wanted to barf in here.

After I grabbed these two, I figured I was done.  But then, THEN, I saw a sign that said all the 2013 planners were 75% off.

I fucking love planners.  I would marry a planner if it was legal.

I bought this beauty for $3.37.  This thing has a removable address book.  And, not one, but TWO ribbon place holders.  It's like the planner that Jesus would own if he wasn't able to remember all his appointments in his GodBrain.

And now I'm going to wrap up the rest of January after a page break, because I totally surpassed my reading goal, and all my mini reviews are going to take up the whole front page.  (I'm still not sure anybody is even reading this blog, but just in case.)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Cover Snark

Daughters of Rome
by Kate Quinn

Remember all those beautiful mornings, when you used to drape yourself in your silkiest toga (the one with optional scarf), and go pose on the balcony with your sister while you both watch the Colosseum burn down as the sun rises?

Yeah, me either.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Stop What You're Doing and Read This Book Immediately

Chopsticks: A Novel
by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral

This was another impulse check-out at the library for me.  I'd never heard of it before, but once I saw that it was a story about a missing girl told mostly in pictures, I was in.  It's beautiful and haunting; with an ending that totally makes you go, "Wait...whaaaaaaa?"

The actual narrative is done mostly in flashbacks.  The novel starts out by explaining Glory's disappearance, and you spend the rest of the book going back to the beginning of her relationship with Frank, trying to piece together clues of what may have happened to her.

Most of the actual text used in the novel is from scrapbooked articles or recital programs.  Occasionally there is handwriting from notes between Glory and Frank, the two main characters; as well as typed quotations that are meant to be read as one of the characters speaking to another.

Parts of the story require access to a computer.  In the transcripts of Glory and Frank's IM chats there are links to various YouTube videos.  They also make mix CDs for each other with song titles written on the disc.  I guess you aren't FORCED to look up the videos or songs, but it certainly helps with the mood of the story.  Plus it's super cool to go on YouTube and see who else commented on the video because they were reading this!

Run, don't walk, to your nearest library/bookstore/friend's house and read this book immediately.

Read more reviews for this book on LibraryThing.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Book Review

Hiss of Leaves
by T.D. Ingram

Haiku has always been my favorite form of poetry.  If you can turn three short lines into something deep and meaningful that really sticks with me, then you've got my vote (you know, if we're voting for something).

Ingram's poems sound so crisp, but they're really soothing. 

we peel pears
on the back steps
hands swarm with bees

If you didn't taste anything when you read that, then I don't know, maybe you're dead inside.

on a wardrobe shelf
cigar box of cedar chips
and dry broken insects

I love the sibilance in that.  It makes me want to hug someone.

bottle caps
stuck in blacktop
small planets

I love that one so much I want to hang it on my wall.

Read more reviews for this book on  LibraryThing.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Shelf by Shelf Project

You guys, I have a Book Buying Problem.

What happens is, I buy a whole bunch of new books, and then I check out a whole bunch of books from the library.  I have to read the library books first so I can turn them in.  But, by the time I finish reading those, I've either bought a bunch more, or checked out a bunch more.  Or I get another couple early review copies that I need to read first so I can review them.  Then, I inevitably buy more books.  I can never catch up. 


This is the way our bookshelves look:

And obviously this isn't even all of it, since you can't see behind the couch.  The fiction takes up the three middle sections.  And the two outside sections are non-fiction and periodicals.

I'm going to go shelf by shelf, starting with fiction, and work my way through.  I'm dividing the process into "New Reads," "Re-Reads" and "Authors."  The "Authors" part will consist of me reading the rest of the works written by the authors on the shelf I'm currently reading.

For example, see Shelf One:

Shelf One New Reads
  • The Complete Hans Christian Andersen
  • Emma by Jane Austen
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Shelf One Re-Reads
  • The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy  by Douglas Adams
  • The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
  • Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
  • Fudge-a-Mania by Judy Blume
  • Double Fudge by Judy Blume
Shelf One Authors
  • Jane Austen
  • L. Frank Baum
  • Frank Beddor
  • Judy Blume
  • Maybe Ray Bradbury?
  • All 3 Bronte Sisters

I don't promise to not buy any more books until I finish this project.  But maybe this will prevent me from feeling the need to?  Yeah, probably not.

I'll update on my progress.

Some Questions I Have...

Now That I Have Finished Watching the Sixth and Final Season of "Lost."

Spoiler Warning!

  1. Is L.A. the only town these people are allowed to live in?  Even the people not originally from L.A. ended up here.
  2. Why won't Claire wash her hair?  Or bathe?
  3. Can we rebuild those mirrors in the lighthouse?  I feel like they would come in handy.
  4. Was Claire keeping a dead raccoon in that bassinet?
  5. Why do all these people have their flight number memorized?  I've never done this.
  6. How many people have to blow up before we stop throwing the dynamite around?
  7. Would it be safe to say that Sawyer has had sex with more characters than anybody else on this show?
  8. Allison Janney?
  9. Jacob and his brother really didn't have any questions about the existence of other people before they were thirteen?
  10. Is Aaron stuck spending the rest of the afterlife as an infant?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cover Snark

by Piers Anthony

This gem was recently donated to the library.

I started to read the back cover for the summary, but then I decided I didn't want to know.

I'm more than a little concerned that the title is a combination of the words "mermaid" and "bicycle," because I assume that means that these two things will be physically combined at some point in the narrative, as some sort of MermaidBicycle.  What would that even look like?  Would it just be a bicycle made out of fish parts?  Or a mermaid with wheels?  You guys, would the mermaid have wheels instead of boobs!?

How is that guy breathing underwater?  Or, you know, not floating back up to the top automatically?  Is the mermaid played by Cher?  Is this the sequel to the movie Mermaids?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Cover Snark

Nothing Short of Perfect
by Day LeClaire

 This cover pretty much snarks itself, but I'll try to give a little input.

Just what the hell is going on here?  Is he kidnapping the baby?  His posture suggests that he is about to make a run for it.  Why else would he be wearing his coat in the house?

Or is it a surprise Christmas gift for someone?  Who exactly do you buy a baby for Christmas?  Based on how crooked his coat is, I'm guessing he decided to hide the baby in there at the last minute.  But the surprise must have worked, because both he and the baby look pretty pleased with themselves.

The look on the man's face also suggests that after he finishes surprising the recipient with the baby, he is going to ravish them.  He may or may not be fully dressed underneath the coat.

This book seems to be part of a series called Billionaires and Babies, so I'm guessing the "Surprise Baby" plot is pretty popular these days.  Also, that fancy "B" in the logo looks like a sperm. 

Some Questions I Have...

Now That I Have Finished Watching Season Five of "Lost."

  1. Isn't it totally cool that all The Others speak Latin?
  2. Just how old is Richard?
  3. What kind of shitty hospital did Jack used to work for?  He just walks right on in and takes whatever he wants of their supplies.  Plus that "nurse" came in with a gun to shoot Sayid!
  4. Is there only one lawyer in L.A.?  
  5. What happened to all the extras?!
  6. Okay, is Richard wearing eyeliner, or not?
  7. How did Oceanic explain the plane being full of bodies, including the six survivors?
  8. Why are they trying to make me like Juliet?  I DON'T WANT TO LIKE HER, OKAY!
  9. Is Claire's mom just totally fine with having a child to raise now?
  10. Does Ben have some weird fetish with stealing kids to raise as his own?  First Ethan, then Alex?
  11. How did Daniel get the last name "Farraday?"

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Random Library Book

The Twinkie Squad
by Gordon Korman

I assumed this book was about a Middle School Club for Gay Kids based on the name alone, but then I took a closer look at the kids on the cover.

I don't think I need to elaborate here.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Some Questions I Have...

Now That I Have Finished Watching Seasons Three and Four of "Lost."

Season Three
  1. Exactly how rich is Penny?
  2. Why is Charlie so wonderful and lovable?
  3. Who was in charge of naming the stations?  Are all the names linked in some way?
  4. Is Claire breastfeeding?  I mean, she has to, right?  I doubt Dharma is sending baby formula with those pallets.
  5. How come more people aren't having inappropriate sex with each other?
  6. Why did they make Kate wear that dress for her lunch with Ben?  Was I the only one that thought he was going to force her to be his wife/slave?
  7. Why does everyone have such severe father issues?

Season Four
  1. Where the hell is Claire?
  2. Where do all the extras hang out in between their scenes?
  3. Are we ever going to get to see Desmond again?
  4. How come it only takes Sayid about five minutes to fall in love with someone?
  5. Why didn't Dharma take better care of their orientation videos?
  6. Can we get rid of Juliet?
  7. Who the fuck is Jacob?
  8. Why is Jack's dead dad hanging out with everyone?
  9. Why does Jack cry all the time?  Is he jealous of his Popular Zombie Dad?
  10. Is Dharma going to get in trouble with PETA because of all their rabbit testing?
  11. Is that guy who was drilling into the Time Warp Thing going to be okay?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas Books and Movies! And January To-Be-Read Pile!

If you give me cash for Christmas, I'm going to spend it on books.  That's a scientific fact.  This year my husband, Edward, and I had lunch with his dad the day after Christmas.  He gave us a card with $50 cash, which we immediately spent at the Barnes and Noble next door.

Here's this year's haul:

My mother-in-law gave me The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer.  I'm excited because I checked this out at the library and never got a chance to read it before I had to hand it back in.

I used the last of a Barnes and Noble gift card and my half of the cash to buy Jasper Fforde's The Woman Who Died A Lot, which is the latest in the Thursday Next series; and Who Could That Be At This Hour? by Lemony Snicket.  We also made a stop at Half Price Books and I bought another copy of Wizard of Oz for my collection.

This copy is part of a set of children's classics.  They had a few more of them on display and they all look a little cartoony like this one.  This one also happens to look a little slutty, which I like.  Although, the more I look at it, the more it looks like her left leg is no longer attached. 

My brother talked me into going with him to movie exchange, where they were selling three $3.99 movies for $10.  There was a severe lack of Alan Rickman movies, so I had to settle for some other stuff.

Seen here against my new Hogwarts blanket:  My Super Sweet Sixteen:  Seasons 1 & 2, I Really Hate My Job, and Shopgirl.  You can judge me if you want, but season one of My Super Sweet Sixteen was good entertainment!  It was before they started competing with all the other Sweet Sixteeners on the show, and before they started getting really ridiculous with their invitation processes. 

I've also managed to squeeze in some clothes shopping during all the after-Christmas sales.  Everything at Old Navy was about a billion percent off, and I am now the proud owner of their lacy camisole in six different colors. 

So, that brings us to...

2013!  Happy New Year!!

I've spent a lot of time trying to come up with some realistic resolutions, but I find that they're all repeats of resolutions I've already made and haven't been able to keep.  So this year's goal is to try and achieve my goals.  Even the mini-goals I set for myself, like how often I'm going to blog each month, or how I'm going to start getting up early.  I'm going to concentrate on one goal at a time, rather than set myself up for failure by trying to improve my whole life at once.

So, here's Goal #1:  January's To-Be-Read pile.

You may notice that none of the books I just bought for Christmas are in it.  Hooray for already being behind!  I thought that working at the library would help keep me from buying so many books, but my buying habits haven't changed at all.  I do, however, borrow a lot more books than I used to.  The only trips to the library I used to make were when I had run out of books at home, but now I see everything as it comes in.  I imagine it's a lot like working at McDonald's when you're supposed to be dieting.

I purchased Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella several months ago.  I haven't read it yet because I have this annoying habit of re-reading all the books in the series before I'll read the newest one.  Edward hates it because he thinks it's a waste of time, but I just want everything about the characters to be fresh in my mind when I read the next installment.

Then there's The Casual Vacancy, JKR's first non-Harry Potter novel.  I'm a little nervous about this one, because I've heard really mixed reviews.  A British guy my brother met at a bar told him the book was "cunty horrid."  So, now I have a new catchphrase, but also some apprehension.  We'll see, I guess.

I've also got Bill Willingham's Fables: Book One.  This was an impulse check-out, because I'm basically a sucker when it comes to any sort of retelling of fairy tales.  Also, Pure Vanilla, which should be easy to get through, since it's a cook book.  There's a recipe in there for Vanilla, Brown Sugar and Black Pepper Bacon that sounds amazing.

Happy New Year, everybody!  Good luck with your resolutions!