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.)

I've never actually kept track of how long it takes me to read or how many books I can read in a month, or anything like that.  When I posted my to-be-read pile for the month, I thought four was a safe number.  That would be one book a week, which seemed super reasonable to me.

Well, I actually read way more than that.  I'm not sure how I would count it, because some things obviously take longer to read than others.  I'll just make a quick list (yay, a list!)

Fiction Novels - 6
Cookbooks - 1
Graphic Novels - 6
Poetry Books - 1

Let's just go in order of how I read them, shall we?

Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Ugh, I don't know if I can do this thing with Becky (Bloomwood) Brandon anymore, you guys.  She never learns any lessons!  At the end of the second book in the series (Shopaholic Takes Manhattan) it seemed like she had finally gotten her shit together.  She had a nasty fall to rock bottom because of her terrible spending problems, and there was nobody to pick her up but herself.  It seemed like she was going to be able to stand on her own.  But here we are, book six, and she's making all the same mistakes.  I'll never understand how her marriage to Luke has lasted as long as it has, considering they do nothing but lie to each other!  And it's definitely both of them lying.  And now her daughter is just like her, spoiled.  This poor kid doesn't stand a chance.  Especially because they don't seem to really resolve the spoiling issue.  It makes me sad, because this series started off hilarious, and introduced me to the whole chick-lit genre, and now I'm just over it.  I love everything else Sophie Kinsella/Madeleine Wickham has written, but I think it's time she put this particular series to bed. 

Read more reviews for this book on LibraryThing.

The Twinkie Squad by Gordon Korman

Already reviewed here. 

 Pure Vanilla by Shauna Sever

I think the best way to review this book is through a recipe demonstration, which I'm sorry to say I haven't done yet.  I have written down about a million recipes from this book, though.  So, I will get to baking as soon as possible and post it later.  I'm really excited about some of the recipes in this; especially things like Vanilla Simple Syrup and Vanilla Infused Liquors, both of which I think I'd use pretty frequently. 

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

This book was not "cunty horrid" as I was previously told.  I actually really liked it.  True, it's not the type of book I would have ever picked up if it weren't by Jo, but I do think I would have missed out on a good story if I hadn't.  I don't really know what genre to put it in.  It's not a mystery, because the death that happens in the beginning is truly the result of a medical issue and not a murder.  It's really just the story of a small town, and how everyone reacts to the death of a prominent town councilman.  Sadly, conflicting personal politics heavily affect the grieving process of a lot of the townsfolk, and some of them begin to turn on each other.  Teens against parents, wives against husbands, doctors against patients.  It's an interesting look into the minds of a lot of different people and the ways different levels of pride can affect their actions.  There's also quite a bit of sexual description, which was disorienting at first.  Especially if you're used to associating Jo with Harry Potter.  Although, Harry wasn't all that innocent.  We all know what was really happening during all those "hours by the lake" with Ginny.

Read more reviews for this book on LibraryThing.

Fables Book One: Legends in Exile
Fables Book Two: Animal Farm
Written by Bill Willingham     Illustrated by Mark Buckingham, Craig Hamilton, Lan Medina and Steve Leialoha

Books One and Two were combined in this deluxe edition.  I LOVE modern retelling of Fairy Tales.  Especially when there is a hot WolfGuy involved, and this graphic novel series totally has that!  Basically, all Fable Society has been exiled from their homelands due to some psycho called "The Adversary" totally taking over a bunch of their kingdoms and killing most of them.  They've all been living undercover in NYC for the last few centuries.  Except for those that can't pass as human; they have to live on The Farm in upstate New York.  King Cole is the Mayor and Snow White is his Deputy Mayor.  Snow White and Sheriff Bigby Wolf have to pretty much run things; all while dealing with escaped killers from their homelands, animal uprisings at The Farm and their growing attraction to each other.  It's pretty much one of the best things ever.  Also, I love that the whole Prince Charming thing is explained by Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty all marrying (and eventually divorcing) the same prince.  He's a dick. 

Read more reviews for this book on LibraryThing.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

I've been meaning to read this forever.  I tackled it this month as part of my Shelf by Shelf Project.  It took a little bit of reading before I could really get into it.  Bradbury sort of starts the novel as though he was already talking to you about it.  The main character, Montag, is a fireman, whose job it is to burn down houses that have been reported for holding books.  Occasionally, it seems, the owners of the houses also perish in the fire.  This really sounds like the worst version of the future ever.  Nobody is allowed to read, because books don't always tell the truth?  Or they have conflicting ideologies?  Which makes me wonder what the hell any of these people can possibly have to say to each other, if none of them are allowed to have opinions on anything.  Montag's marriage is depressing and empty.  Neither he nor his wife are able to remember how they met.  At one point, Montag's wife attempts suicide and then DOESN'T EVEN REMEMBER IT THE NEXT DAY.  Montag tries to bring it up and she's just confused.  This basically kickstarts Montag's self-discovery, as he attempts to find out just what it is that's in those books that no one's allowed to read.  I found this short novel entertaining, but I probably wouldn't reread it.

Read more reviews for this book on LibraryThing.

Hiss of Leaves by T.D. Ingram

Already reviewed here.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

I've already read all five of  the novels in this series, and I crack up every time.  It's been awhile since I've gone through them, so this book is also part of my Shelf by Shelf Project.  I've only reread the first novel this month, so I'll try to finish this omnibus in February.  I love Arthur Dent so much that I would marry him if I wasn't already married to my day planner.  And I also love the movie version, especially since Alan Rickman is the voice of Marvin.  Every time Marvin speaks in the book, I hear it as Alan Rickman; a man I would gladly divorce my day planner for.  If you haven't read this book or at least watched the movie, then please rethink your life.  This book should be mandatory.

Read more reviews for this book on LibraryThing.

Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral

Already reviewed here.

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

I'm actually planning on doing a more in depth review of this soon, so I'll post that later and link to it here.

Edit: Longer review here.

Fables Book Three: Storybook Love   
Written by Bill Willingham         Illustrated by Mark Buckingham, Lan Medina, Bryan Talbot and Linda Medley

I'm definitely going to continue with this series, as I'm already really invested in the characters.  The non-human Fable uprising at The Farm was stopped in the last volume.  Although, Goldilocks, the ringleader, is still AWOL and most likely plotting Snow White's death as revenge for foiling her plans.  There is still a lot of awesome sexual tension between Snow White and Bigby and Ijustwantthemtogettogetherrightnowandhavelotsofsexandbabies.

Read more reviews for this book on LibraryThing.

Fables Book Four: March of the Wooden Soldiers 
Written by Bill Willingham            Illustrated by Mark Buckingham, Craig Hamilton and P. Craig Russell

It's business as usual as a lost Fable escapes to safety from the homelands, and one of The Adversary's inner circle begins raising an army to defeat the exiled Fables once and for all.  There's a lot of blood and angst and it's awesome.  Plus we get some more back story on the fighting in the homelands.

Read more reviews for this book on LibraryThing.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine, Vol. 2:  On Your Own
by Andrew Chambliss and Joss Whedon

I've been waiting for the library to get this for awhile.  Especially since there was a cliffhanger with a pregnancy scare at the end of Vol. 1.    Buffy has a bunch of decisions to make that will affect her life (and possibly the lives of others) as per usual.  And she's picked Spike to confide in!  More Spike, please! 

Read more reviews for this book on LibraryThing.

Okay, I'm done!  And I'm exhausted.  So, compiling my to-be-read list for February is going to have to wait a few days.

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