Thursday, July 31, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
NP: I have noticed that do you a lot of reading.
JH: Not as much as I would like to, but I manage.
NP: I also noticed that you read a lot of Young Adult Lit (YA), why is that?
JH: This is a complicated answer, do you have time for it?
NP: Sure, I can't get far with these plastic legs.
JH: There are many reasons that I read YA. First and foremost, it is my dream to be a YA librarian. So I have to know the material to be able to match the perfect book with the person. Secondly, a lot of YA is better than your average fiction for adults. I challenge you to find a better book than one of John Green's, M.T. Anderson's or Meg Cabot's. The writing is sophisticated, complicated, and just damn good. Granted there are a lot of sugar-coated, trite, "pink" books out there for the YA crowd. But even those are fun. Who hasn't read a Danielle Steel or Nora Roberts book? And finally (for time purposes), I get a lot of free YA books because of my job. :)
NP: I enjoy a good YA book as well, as you know I wrote Book Crush.
JH: Yes I know, you are my idol after all :)
NP: Well it is getting late and I have a date with my little BatHunk so I better make myself beautiful.
JH: Thank you for guest blogging. I think I am going to get a jump start on my Twilight reading.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Since I finished The Liars' Club on Wednesday I didn't want to start the next book (American Pastoral) until after my Twilight break so I have been reading through some of the books that have been stacking up on me. This is one of the areas that I keep "my to read" books. These are only Young Adult. I have one other basket of fiction and nonfiction. Never fear one of the perks of my job is free books so I don't have a spending problem. For a partial listing of my library see the side bar...
So what have I been reading (I should point out that I read a LOT of Young Adult Fiction, there are reasons I will explain in another post, just be warned)...
How to Be Bad - I love road trip books in general and this one is a fun read. I love E. Lockhart and Lauren Myracle has written several books with a character named Jana so I like her :)
Ambition - This is book 7 of Kate Brian's Private series. This is probably my favorite Alloy series right now. Private school, rich girls, and death. Fantastic. They keep getting better. The next one comes out in September...can't wait.
And today I started Rumors - The sequel to The Luxe. The Luxe has been called Gossip Girl set in the late 19th century. I enjoyed the first one and am looking forward to this one. I will let you know what I think.
So that should take me up to Monday. I have to work this weekend and tend to my gardens so I am not sure how much reading I will fit in. I hope you all have your copies of the Twlight books and are ready to go. Just a warning... These books are long so if you need more time start now. In the three volumes there are a total 1824 pages (please don't be scared you won't even realize you have read that much). My pace will be roughly 365 pages a day so adjust your schedules where necessary. I have recommended these books frequently and I have never had a complaint! Edward, Bella and Jacob await you :)
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Was it work? Well I have been extraordinarily busy at work but this is not the first time and I usually still fit reading in.
Was it because you lost the book? No I carried it around with me.
Was it because you sustained an unfortunate eye injury? Nope I managed to keep sharp objects away from my face.
Then what was it?
I will explain. Let's flashback to high school English class. In a normal story (fiction or nonfiction) you have a story arc... introduction - conflict/plot - resolution. This is what makes up a story. Now there are many great works of literature that have tried to escape this convention, where a writer writes for the sake of writing. But you can even boil away On the Road or The Sound and the Fury and find the elements of a story arc. Ok end of class.
Here is why I think I disliked this book so much...it is all introduction. Sure there are a few conflicts here and there...did her mom try to stab them, did her mom shoot Hector, etc. But she shies away from digging into the situations. I realize that she was young, 6-8, in these years but my advice is write about something you remember, not vaguely remember.
But what is even more irritating about the book is that there is no resolution/redemption in the end. Things that were intriguing: her adolescence, college years, step siblings, were glossed over. I feel like she got tired of writing her life story and I know I was definitely tired of reading it. In the end I had the same feelings towards everyone in the book as I did in the beginning...they are a selfish, drunk, unsympathetic family that I didn't need to know.
I have read a lot of memoirs and can off the top of my head come up with several that were better than this one. I think I might need to research if the publisher is a parent of EW and that might be the answer :)
My picks would be This Boys Life by Tobais Wolff or Keeper of the Moon by Tim McLaurin. Check it out if you are in the market for a childhood memoir but don't waste your time on The Liars' Club. I promise I am telling the truth.
Can you give negative stars when you rate?
Monday, July 21, 2008
6 issues of People
The Queen of Babble Gets Hitched
1 issue of EW (I am a week behind)
And don't worry, the baby was not neglected during all the magazine reading. She was busily playing with matches in the corner by a pile of flammable liquid.
Guess what I didn't read? Yep, you guessed it. The Liars' Club has been collecting dust since Bronwen picked it up and perused its contents last week.
Luckily the book is due back to the library on the 24th, so that will be my motivation to finish it up over the next two days. If I don't finish, I'll skip to the last page to see what happens. Since it's a memoir, I know the main character lives.
I also ordered all 2 Twilight books from Amazon as well as They Might Be Giants' "Here Come the ABCs."
Thursday, July 17, 2008
A man's at odds to know his mind cause his mind is aught he has to know it with. He can know his heart, but he dont want to. Rightly so. Best not to look in there. from Blood Meridian
Jan--remember how we used to play our own version of 6 Degrees of Separation, otherwise known as the Kevin Bacon game? I think it would be a fun side challenge to see how we can relate the books to each other. So there you go. Just an idea. Input?
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Play a board game (if you know me, you'll realize that this is a big deal)
Clean the floors: On my hands and knees
Watch paint dry
Mow the lawn--with tweezers
Yes, folks, I would just about rather do anything than read this book. To be fair it isn't all that bad. It is interesting, and there are definitely moments of intrigue. Still I can't stand the author, even as a little kid. I want to throttle her. I fear having a child like her.
But I will prevail. I will not give up! Semper Fi! (for this one, anyhow)
Anyone reading The Road right now? I miss it. Yes, it is that bad.
Monday, July 14, 2008
I didn't pick up a book once this weekend. Wipe the shocked look off of your faces.
For those of you who don't know me well:
1. This is a very rare occurrence, in fact I am pretty sure there are more blue moons in a year than days that I don't read. Just to reinforce the point, I keep a yearly list of what I have read and I average between 225- 275 books a year. Yes, I know I am a nerd. Did I mention that I didn't read for 2 days in a row?!?!?!
2. I hope you get to know me better, so comment so I can know you then we can be cyberfriends. Yeah!
And to top it off, I haven't even read today since I got a ride into work rather than taking a train. So you might ask...Is it because you don't like The Liars' Club?
Well, I don't love the book and I can obviously put it down. I have read many, many better southern childhood memoirs. But I am not using the 80 page rule and hopefully I can finish this week. It is not the book that is keeping me from reading, it is an evil thing called work, which I better get back to right now.
Oh and just in case you were wondering...
I finished the second relief last week and will be carving the third and final one this week. This is probably a good thing since I have my next 3 or 4 projects already planned. Barbara, when are you going to class with me? :)
Friday, July 11, 2008
A: You don't...
1. Liar - The Sex Pistols
2. Liar - Korn
3. Liar - Nine Inch Nails
4. Liar - Fireflight
5. Liar - Queen
6. Liar - Three Dog Night
7. Liar - Rollins Band
8. Liar - Dar Williams
9. Liar - 8mm
10. Liar - Stars
Bonus Track: Blame It On the Rain - Milli Vanilli (you can't buy this one so let me know if you need to borrow my tape)
An interesting and varied list, I find. Maybe the book will get better. We shall see!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Without a doubt, it is Goblet of Fire. I love this one and it is the one I have probably read the most. I remember when it came out I reread it as soon as I finished it.
So my questions to you are...
Which is your favorite? Why?
p.s. As I alluded to in a previous post, Jen and I have discussed rereading the whole series since we have both only read book 7 once. We have decided to put that project on hold until we make a dent in these 100 books. Perhaps they will be books 101-107 :)
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I am off to order the Twilight series as well as The Barenaked Ladies' new CD for kids.
Books that we have both read we will skip rereading for the time being. We (one or both) of us will make a brief post about the title, giving a mini-review to allow for Part II of the plan.
We invite you to read the book and post a review in the comments section. Let us know what you think. Make us want to reread the book :)
We each still get to skip 5 titles on the list. I hope you hear me Charles Frazier because I am skipping you!
So with that stated, Jen and I have started The Liars' Club. Harry don't fear I have a feeling we might be revisiting you soon.
Also as a tiny break from the project, I invite you all to join me starting July 28th in my Twilight Saga reading to prepare for the August 2nd release of the final book Breaking Dawn. If you have not read these books I encourage you to click to the left and order them NOW!!!!!! You will not be sorry. It is time for you all to know Edward Cullen.
Hey, I don't see you ordering! Do it!
Monday, July 7, 2008
I've been thinking about this all day, and keeping in mind that very tone, I think it is an uplifting story.
*putting on Devil's Advocate hat, which looks kind of like a trucker cap*
The plot involves a father and son, trudging down a road, trying to survive. They have to guard against rain, cold, snow, starvation, and evil marauders. The father is self-sacrificing and full of pure love for the son, evidenced in the fact that he still goes on day after day; his son has become his purpose.
The son is hope for humanity. Forget the simple symbolism of "children are the future" and see that the son is not just hope for humankind; he has a tender heart despite never knowing the world before its barrenness, and yet he still feels sympathy, empathy, and compassion for others. He is hope for humanity--that goodness that exists within each of us. Like Jan, I will not give away plot points, but he implores his father to have pity even when others would not have pity on them. He has no reason to be so pure of heart, yet he is. I found that pretty uplifting. He is hope amid despair. He carries "the fire."
The author chooses to write in the third person--a great way to keep the reader just slightly detached, which helped ease some of the horror. And as Jana pointed out, helped to make me want to continue on in the book. I really did care for the characters, but I was able to remain somewhat aloof as necessary.
What bothered me more was the lack of apostrophes. Yes, I know, nit-picky, unless it was just a visual way of showing conventions don't matter? That most of the world is dead and therefore grammar is as well? I don't know. The language was beautiful, even if the vocabulary could be a bit obscure at times. I do know that after I finished the book I wanted to read it again. I didn't, though. Time for something a little less intense.
Originally I wanted to give it 3 stars, but upon reflection, I think it deserves 4 out of 5 stars as well.
However, the writing is extraordinary. I truly cared about the characters and although, at times, it seems like nothing is happening I kept turning the pages. With that said, I do feel that there are times in the story that McCarthy relies too heavily on plot devices, events seem a bit too convenient. I think the last 2 pages are a fine example of that. I don't want to give too much away about the ending so I won't go into anymore detail but when you read it you will see what I mean.
I would like to challenge all of the reviews that I have read about the book in the end being uplifting or redeeming, so listen up all of you Amazon reviewers. I don't feel it, I am not and was not uplifted. In fact, I think I will have to read 3 or 4 pink Young Adult novels just to counteract the effect of The Road.
Overall though, I give it 4 out of 5 stars. It just goes to prove if you can write, it can make up for the plot :)
Jen, your thoughts?
Sunday, July 6, 2008
While en route to our destination, I hoped to use her enormous brain to devise a plan to free my BatBrother. She explained that he was probably being brainwashed by that cute little baby. What she said made a lot of sense to me because every time I see that cute little baby I want to fly over to see her. Perhaps she was trying to brainwash me as well. Must see cute little baby! Musst go now! Nancy fearing for my safety handed me an in flight magazine...
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Plus we have a Jon Stewart book to look forward to at the end. Trust me, it is much lighter far than The Road, which I have finally started. Even better, I have the large print edition (see: JCPL Sucks A$$) and can read it from any location in the house. Turning pages has proven difficult, though.
Friday, July 4, 2008
She is the only one who has finished the book.
So while I wait for everyone to catch up with me. I will use my imagination...
Me: So, Sister have you been enjoying the book?
Me: It is very depressing. Yet, I can't put it down.
Me: The man can turn a phrase.
Me: Boy you sure are quiet...
Since you are not saying anything I guess I will get back to reading....
Oh wait look who else is reading...
Thursday, July 3, 2008
I was so excited to receive the call from my neighborhood man-brarian telling me that I was on The Road to reading the first novel of the challenge. I admit I waited a day, but I like to consolidate my trips as much as possible, working around nap time (both Bronwen's and mine). Today we had a few errands to run, namely buying a card (anniversary), buying meat (4th of July sales), and picking up the book. It was hot today. Blistering humidity. By the time I hauled Bronwen out of the market with $60 worth of various meats I was, well, quite frankly, ripe. I was hot, sweaty, and despite my 100 layers of deodorant, a bit musty. Bronwen was getting a tad irritable, no doubt because I had hauled her in and out of a hot car 3 times. I drive a Jetta, black. Black is a great color for many things: coffee, cocktail dresses, Taye Diggs, but for a car, it's sheer stupidity.
I promise B a quick trip in and out of the library. I go in, tell the gentleman at the front desk my name and the book title. He can't find it in "the back." I go to the reference desk where I requested the book initially. It was Methusala's daughter with her skirt tucked nicely beneath her boobs. She was slow in addition to being ancient. She walked back up to the front to check for the book in "the back." (Seriously, like she was going to see something Mr. "30-year-old check-out guy" couldn't?) I put B down and she starts crawling like a baby Dale Earnhardt all over the library. I let her, trying not to get to close to any patrons lest my sweatiness offends. Meanwhile, I can't help but think of my meat in the trunk, getting all toasty in the Black Jetta.
I'll move forward a bit quickly; no need to put you all through my own personal torture. They couldn't find my book. They found a copy on hold for David Rice--they wouldn't let me take it. I had to swear up and down I got a phone call, even at one point doubting my own veracity, until I took out my cell and recited the number from caller ID. Ha! Proved my point.
I left my number and went home.
I received a call about 30 minutes later saying my book had been there the entire time, but it was filed under Saint. (you know, instead of St.) So I understand and tell them I will be there to pick it up later today. The lady specifically tells me it will be at the reference desk.
Fast forward. Today is my 4th anniversary, hence the card. I am making a nice meal and realize that if I wait until after dinner, I will be 2 wine glasses closer to getting a DUI. So I decide to leave dinner on the stove, baby in the high chair--with TJ, and brave the weather to go to the library. Did I mention a storm was raging outside?
I run into the library, getting drenched of course, and guess what? Book is NOT at the reference desk, and the guy at the front can't find it. I am about to render my garments and tear out my hair. After 3, yes, 3 librarians look in "the back" finally they find my book.
Part of me wonders if David Rice is really going to be reading The Road any time soon.
I shall drive over today upon opening to retrieve my copy. I hope it isn't the large print edition; although, I did used to read those large print Reader's Digests when we were little. I suppose it could come in handy--I can leave it lying open and just read from any location in the house.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
I have been working on this large coil pot for close to 4 months now (although I had to take a 2 month break due to travel restrictions) and have for the past 2 weeks finally been able to start carving the reliefs. The good news is that I get to take a break from The Road go carve some more tonight! I hope to finish this side and start the 2nd relief. Should only take about another month...I hope.