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NaNo-stalled; have some reviews

November 9, 2012

I only have a backwib of 113 left.  So, end of Feb and whatnot.

I finally finished up a book that had been on my to-read for ages: The Awakening and Other Short Fiction by Kate Chopin.  I’d bought it for a class way back when (like wayyyy) and had read some of the other stories but not all, so this time I went back and read them all.  Even despite my modern-day twitch at Gambit-like dialog (DAT DERE, CHERE), my big and pretty much only beef with it was that it’s a B&N edition and it SUCKS.  It explains stupid things in footnotes and doesn’t explain other stuff that might make sense.  It drove me batty, and it will be the last B&N student or classics or whatever it was edition I buy. (Check Goodreads for exact version.)  The Awakening never struck me the way The Yellow Wallpaper did, and I hate comparing them but since I read them around the same time, I can’t help it.  We discussed in my book club how universal the patriarchal pressure is from The Yellow Wallpaper–I met the douchiest dudes at the Wegmans this week who proved that men calling women irrational isn’t limited to the internet; they’ll say it to our faces too–while the upper-class privilege in The Awakening doesn’t touch that same place at all.  But it is what it is.

I bought Finola Hughes’s Soapsuds at a book sale a year or two ago thinking maaaaybe I hadn’t read it before; when I finally got around to it, I realized it was indeed a reread.  I didn’t imagine a world where I didn’t try to get some behind-the-scenes from my favorite elementary-school girlcrush (before I really “got it”) but really, the book is as fluffy as its title suggests.  It’s a great read if you aren’t looking for more, which I guess I was.  I also wish I could miss soap operas, but I doubt I could get back into them at this point.  Still, she sure is pretty.

Nick Spencer’s Morning Glories Volume 1: For a Better Future was a jumbled mess, in my opinion.  It doesn’t tell the story as clearly as it could, and with comics (in my opinion), clarity is necessary.  (Which is why Grant Morrison can fuck a duck.)  There’s, like, this school and it’s evil maybe and…oh who knows or cares anymore?  I actually would be willing to think that it gets better as it goes on, but I’ve got many other books to read before that would ever happen.

John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars is my pick for best book of the year.  And possibly forever.  The story of terminally ill Hazel and her friends and her obsession with a book that ends in mid-sentences sounds depressing and it IS, except it’s also one of the funniest books I’ve read, and I made myself sick laughing and crying on the same page and now I’m tearing up and I don’t even want to think about it but you should read it and everyone should read it and we should stop glorifying poor Alaska and move on to Hazel.

Four of a Kind by Valerie Frankel was a highly satisfying book that falls right into “chick lit” and I’m not sure if it deserves the title, with the way people tend to look down at the phrase.  But it’s a women’s book, about four women who are brought together only by the fact that their children go to school together, and they find a connection through poker.  Which doesn’t sound great, but this book is.  I’ve always said that I enjoyed Frankel’s memoir more than her fiction writing, but this book definitely raised her to another level for me.

Trail of the Spellmans is the fifth book in Lisa Lutz’s series, and while it’s not the strongest effort, dammit, I keep hanging on, because it’s good.  I’m worried she’s going to start spinning her wheels soon, and I hope that isn’t true.  Wrap it up, Lutz.  Your non-Spellman book sucked, but it’s time to let go.  Izzy’s gotta grow up.  You were heading there, I think, and then pulled it back because people were reading your books.  But you don’t want to be Evanovich even if you want her paychecks; I don’t think you really want people complaining about where the characters are going (or NOT going) and yet are still reading.  There’s no victory in that.  Do something else.  You’ll be awesome. Just stay away from the weed. (I think.)

I read the Paranormalcy trilogy by Kiersten White: Paranormalcy, Supernaturally, and the disappointingly-titled Endlessly (but what can you do?).  It’s Hellboy for teenage girls; it’s a bit fluffy but consistently entertaining.  It’s my go-to rec for girls who are looking for light paranormal reads.

(Chronologically, most of my reviews go in order, but if I read a series, they may end up grouped.  Just so you know.)

Then we had our Christopher Pike month–I mean, Nostalgia Month with Christopher Pike as our main read.  I did a LOT of posting at the book club about that, so I’m just going to list the books I read in order of enjoyment: Remember Me, Scavenger Hunt, The Cold One, Falling, The Grave, the three Final Friends books, Chain Letter, Remember Me 2: The Return, Road to Nowhere, Weekend, Bury Me Deep, Execution of Innocence, and Whisper of Death.  Yeah, I did that.  I read ALL of those in a month.  I’m a sucker for Pike and Nostalgia Month.

I started The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss on the recommendation of a patron.  Um, no.  Rapetastic!  I love being raped, y’all, said no good heroine ever.  So I put the book down quick and moved on.  So rare I don’t finish a book, but there you have it.

Okay, I’m dropping, y’all.  One day they’re going to make NaNo and NaBlo in different months; or else I am.  Next up: the end of March, my love of Odd Thomas, my mixed feelings on Eloisa James (gasp!), and maybe even I will tell you about my feels on Fifty Shades of Grey.

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