Friday, June 29, 2012

The Last Werewolf Deliberation

I've mentioned that I've been plenty brain-fried here lately. It seems to be getting better by the day (hallelujah!) but my reading has still been super slow in the meantime. In the name of reading what I want, when I want, I have another admission.

I re-read Fifty Shades last week. Because I could. not. read. anything of substance. So there. I've said it. The air is clear. I'm reading what I want, when I want. Booyah! I practice what I preach! 

But in the name of moving on to bigger and better (and less shittily written) books, I've been contemplating what would get my reading mojo going. The winner is...

If last year was the year of literary fiction for me, this year is the year of genre lusciousness. Give me romance, give me sf, give me fantasy, give me historical. Nothing is off limits: BDSM, time travel, witches, and werewolves, and goblins, OH MY!

I hadn't really any interest in reading this one until I had a bored afternoon to ruminate and then I remembered that one (all?) of the Bookrageous podcasters read it eons ago, and I thought, "Hmm, brutality and philosophy and some sensational sex? Why not!" 

I'm not very far in, but one thing was achingly obvious from the beginning -- Duncan has an interesting style. The cadence of the writing was almost offputting  in the first ten pages, but now that I'm settling in with Jake Marlowe, I kinda dig it. Although, at times it strikes me that this book vacillates between oozy pretension and utter beautifulness. 

Wanna see?
It was still snowing when I stepped out into the street. Vehicular traffic was poignantly stupefied and Earl's Court Underground was closed. For a moment I stood adjusting to the air's fierce innocence. (14)
Fiercly innocent air? That makes me think Glen Duncan is a writerly self-gratifier. But then bits like this make me reconsider:
Adrenaline isn't interested in ennui. Adrenaline floods, regardless, in my state not just the human fibres but lupine leftovers too, those creature dregs that hadn't fully conceded transformation. (15)
I love odd analogies and eye-opening, fearless prose, but there is also a sense of get-to-itiveness that I admire. The second passage is an example of this. The first passage is a waste of words.

And that's it. I'm going to finish up The Secret Garden over the next couple of days and see if I can become engrossed in The Last Werewolf. Off to a decent start, I'd say!

What are you reading? Anything that leans toward one particular genre or another?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Blog Tour: I'm Not This Girl

I seriously love Nina-Marie Gardner. Her first book, Sherry and Narcotics, knocked me on my butt with its fantabulousness. Unfortunately--because life kicked me in the face the last couple of weeks--I did not finish her newest book (see above) for today's blog tour. This makes me a bad fan. But it also makes me honest. I will finish it and review it, but I haven't had a chance.

If you don't go out and nab a copy of I'm Not This Girl you should definitely give Sherry and Narcotics a go. Trust me. I wouldn't lie to you because I don't believe in that sort of thing and I tell some hard truth 'round here.

I received this book from the author. She is amazing as a person and a writer. She's one of the few authors I would accept books from despite my embargo in the previous post.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Book Blogger Liberation

I've been sitting here humming and hawing over what to blog for the majority of my lunch hour. I've weighed the pros and cons of blogging about how disappointed I was with the crap streaming in from this year's BEA Bloggers Conference (SO not for book bloggers). I shot off an e-mail to Heather that said...
I don't like book blogging today. I'm sick of publishers. Sick of the arguing about whether e-books are the downfall of civilization.
That's right, kids. I don't give a damn about Richard Russo's latest e-book issues.  Nor do I care if publishers ever send me another advanced reader copy of anything (I'll buy it if I want it bad enough). I also will never feel pressured to pimp my blog.

After seven years of book blogging I'm liberating myself from influence and pressure in a way I've not done before. Because I was afraid this blog wouldn't be relevant if I withdrew MORE. But the beauty of it is, one can become more independent from publishers, authors, and guided reading without losing anything. I've been saying this for years, but I haven't really DONE IT until now.

And there's no use complaining if you're not gonna do something about it. Which we are. So sit tight because it's still taking shape. And it's going to rock your face off.

In the meantime...

  • I no longer have a review policy because I really don't need one.
  • Kiss my stats.
  • Read whatever, whenever.

Shuck off your readerly bonds, people!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Mishmashy Malarkey Muddlement

How's that for a title!

Geez, I'm glad to have gotten through the last week. Starting anew is a good thing! A few updates of the readerly (and personal) sort.

Greyson is doing GREAT after his surgery Friday. He was one unhappy camper in the recovery room until he got a Popsicle in one hand and apple juice in the other. The doc reported that his adenoids were so swollen as to cut off 75% of his breathing room at the back of his nose. Also, the doc thinks his ear infections have never completely cleared up between rounds of infection, and he had an active infection in his right ear (the PROBLEM ear) at the time of surgery. Poor baby. No wonder he's already feeling better. By Friday afternoon he was up and around as if he'd never had surgery.

See, he's even reading...

I missed the shot of him actually holding the book up in front of him as if he were actually reading. Oh, and I found him on my bed "reading" Jane Eyre a while before this. He's been lugging this poor book around all weekend. I think it's a sign of brilliance, personally. I'm sure most bookworms would agree.

A few other bullets related to my previous post:

  • Stupid Internet issues seem to have calmed
  • TV is working! We've been watching "The Cat in the Hat" on Roku
  • Got my money back from the a-holes who drafted it
  • Greyson is still sleeping in the office. Happily, I can report!
And I can't say I've been reading a whole lot. I've been glancing back through Outlander when I have an urge because I can't say the urge to full-on read anything new-to-me has been terribly strong. I still love The Secret Garden, I just needed to let my brain chill this weekend. And I need to whip through the rest of I'm Not This Girl by, oh, Wednesday. Arrgh!

In the meantime, I'm much more active on Twitter and Facebook than I am here (see the Connectables buttons to your right). I've been sharing news and funnies on Facebook and random crap on Twitter. Want a Facebook sample?

Ohhh, gonna have this stuck in my head all day long. Damn Facebook. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bullets, bullets everywhere...


What a week. Stresses here, stresses there. The bulleted version:

  • A large sum was taken out of my checking account by a business without my consent. NOT COOL.
  • A deadline for a new unit in my online class snuck up on me. Scramble!
  • Finally got Greyson's crib moved into the house and it WON'T FIT THROUGH HIS BEDROOM DOOR. So he's been sleeping in his crib in the office! Hopefully getting this issue fixed tonight.
  • My high speed Internet died for the second time yesterday, though it was very luckily an easy fix.
  • Still no TV -- long remote-control-related story.
  • Greyson's ear tube surgery and adenoid removal are tomorrow. Dreading this. A lot. 
So as you can see, a busy, anxiety-laden week. Luckily, I'm buddy reading The Secret Garden with Heather and it's a good book to relax with. 

See y'all on the flip side of the surgery! Send those virtual hugs our way.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Personally: The Great Move, 2012

Everyone lived to tell the tale of the Great Andi Move of 2012. It started 'round 7am on Saturday. Greyson and I took care of some last minute packing at my mom's house until the heavy lifting started at 11:00. Greyson escaped to Chuck's house so as not to be squished and the sweating process began.


  • It took exactly 1 hour to move all of the big furniture. This has to be a record AND testament to my "nomad" status of the last 10 years. 
  • My mom missed all of the heavy lifting, but she ordered pizza to make up for it.
  • My friend Rachel helped with the moving, arranging, and staging and I'm so glad she came over!
  • My cousin Kevin also helped with the heavy lifting (not the arranging and staging), and it was great to see him, too!
  • I had Chuck and the Rockets and my mom over for a Father's Day lunch on Sunday. The crock pot baked ziti was blissfully good.
  • Once Greyson was back with me yesterday and everyone went home, I found myself completely overwhelmed by the really real idea that we live alone in our own place. Hello, culture shock.
  • Greyson's crib never arrived (I am not mentally ready for a toddler bed yet) so he spent another night at his Noo-noo's house. I passed out cold around 10:00.
A few pics of the new digs. Click to embiggen. 

Adding more pops of yellow to brighten it up.

Couch cover is on the way!

I strategically snipped out the remaining boxes. :D

A tired baby settles for a little "zone out" time with the portable DVD player. 

There's still much of the furnishing and accessorizing to be done. The high speed Internet isn't working. And despite a valiant attempt yesterday, the yard still needs a good mowing. But overall we got the big stuff done and now it's just a process of settling into our routine in a new space. So simple but so enjoyable and scary all at the same time. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fifty Shades of Endorsements

I've already made the admission here that I read all three of the Fifty Shades books in under a week. While there's probably a separate post coming on the topic, I rarely find myself ashamed to admit I'm reading anything. Not sure why I felt the need to come out of the box on the defensive about these books in my previous post. It's probably a mixture of the overwhelming hype and the bad writing. The writing is as bad as you've heard. Whenever I see or hear someone say, "They're so well written," my ass twitches. Not in a good way. 

But what's appealing about these books? What would prompt me to sink so thoroughly into this fictional world for a week? A few things:

1. Hot sexytimes. For real, yo.

2. The Twilight take-off...blushworthy and amusing.

3. I wanted to know what happened to Christian and Ana, even though I was more or less able to guess at every turn.

4. All of their problems could be sorted out in 20-30 pages. It was a little like watching a dirty sitcom. 

So while I'm not terribly inclined to do a proper review. You can find those anywhere. The thought struck me: Fifty Shades of Endorsements! My biggest qualm with the writing of these novels is the repetition. There were some seriously ridiculous things that came up ALL THE TIME. This also presents an opportunity for the film makers to do some product placement AND there might even be some spinoff product possibilities (see pocket protectors). 

Roget's Thesaurus - Because I like my books to contain more than a few words repeated over and over again. Examples: "Oh my!" and "F*ck"

Chapstick - For all the time Anastasia spends biting her bottom lip.

Socks - Anastasia seems to have a hard time controlling herself when Christian is barefoot.

Schizophrenia medication -- for all the time Anastasia spends talking to her inner goddess (really, she wrote "inner goddess" a shitload of times)

Plastic pocket protectors -- for all the condoms Christian put in his pockets to dispose of later. Eeww!

And that's it! A week's worth of mindless entertainment. That's what I needed and that's what I got. If you're looking for the same, I highly recommend these books. If you're looking for something more, keep on truckin'.

Fifty Shades of Grey
Pub. Date: April 2012
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday
Format: E-book
ISBN-13:  9780345803481  
Source: Purchased by me

Fifty Shades Darker
Pub. Date: April 2012
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday
Format: E-book
ISBN-13:   9780345803498 
Source: Purchased by me

Fifty Shades Freed
Pub. Date: April 2012
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday
Format: E-book
ISBN-13:   9780345803504  
Source: Purchased by me

Sunday, June 10, 2012

TSS: Zonked House Brain and Trash Reading

Taken by previous owner and Facebook friend.
This has taken over my week. It's my new place and I move in on the 15th. I've ordered the electrical service. I've ordered the wireless Internet service (priorities), gas service, water, etc. I've shopped for various and sundry home items (Crock pot! Spice rack! Rugs! Kitchen utensils!). I've even hung a shower curtain.

I cannot wait to get this moving business DONE. I already have the key so I've been steadily dropping stuff off. So ready to get in there, make my nest, and rest.

So in the spirit of brain drain, I've been reading steadily. And I am loathe to admit what I've been reading: Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and now Fifty Shades Freed. They are so bad. I know this. Please don't lose your faith in my taste in books, but I can't seem to handle anything heavier than these. And these are so fluffy light I'm surprised they don't float away.

There's a whole snarky post coming up about how bad the writing is (which I'm reading anyway, ack, splutter) but I am amused by the Bella/Edward take-off. And they're practically written on a 3rd grade level, so the reading is quick.

On that note, I'm going to crawl into a hole with my last bad erotic novel. Actually, I have boxes to move. THEN I can crawl into a hole with my bad erotic novel.

What are you reading that I should try when my brain is back to normal?

Monday, June 04, 2012

Armchair BEA: Wherein I VLOG!

The time has come... I now bestow upon you all my ridiculous Texas accent, a few moments of madness, and I really do mention some books. Oh, and there's a joke about a kilt.

This is my interview with myself. Err, my introduction for Armchair BEA. It's gonna be a great week, y'all!


And don't ya just love how YouTube picks the thumbnail where I look constipated? Constipated but introspective. Maybe?

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Pre-Armchair BEA and The Sunday Salon

I am not in New York City. This means I am not at BEA. However, I am stoked for the beginning of Armchair BEA tomorrow. I finally got off my readerly duff and recorded a video blog (vlog) for the occasion which will post tomorrow!

In other news, it's been a rocky week here at Casa de Estella's Revenge. I had a cold (or something) with fever on Monday. I crawled through Tuesday. Wednesday through Friday were ok, and then Greyson started running fever yesterday. Hmmphf. He also went to the ear, nose, and throat specialist on Friday. It's official. We--he--needs tubes in his ears. I'm prayerful that the tubes will assuage some of this illness that keeps befalling my sweet lil boy. He's curled up on a pillow in the living room floor right now where he spent most of yesterday, and I suspect we'll be making a visit to the pediatrician tomorrow. Poor thing. We're keeping a hefty stock of children's Tylenol flowin'.

In other news, I kinda put a deposit down on a house yesterday. A rental home, that is. Shortly afterward I came home and started a spasm of Pinning that lasted through G's two-hour nap. It's been about 10 years since I've had my very own place. Between then and now I've lived with others, been through grad school and a few stints at home with my mom. So I'm excited, but nervous-excited. Since G's gotten older, I can no longer share a room with him. My spidey sense of hearing is still acute, so I wake up every time he rolls over, snorts, talks in his sleep. Which is a lot, so I don't sleep much. I've been sleeping on the couch almost exclusively for two weeks, walking through my days like a zombie. When a suitable house came quickly onto our small town rental market, I SNAPPED. It. Up. The owners have known me my entire life, they feel good about having me there, and I trust them not to screw me over in any way. Pictures to come soon. It's mine to move in on the 15th, so I have plenty of calls to make and deposits to pay this week.

Oh, and you wanted to know something about books? Right-o!

I finished up Drums of Autumn earlier in the week and it was kick-ass. No surprise there. I am itching to read The Fiery Cross, but as usual, I'm going to make some attempt to read something else between. Before I fail miserably and cave mid-week.

Thanks to Heather, I'm currently reading Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. I'm really glad that Heather warned me that the first 50 pages or so are slow because I'd dare say they are booo-ring. Another character just came into the mix, and then there was a development, and now I think it's going to pick up. I hope. Please?

So, between nursing a toddler and the overwhelming urge to buy housewares, it's a pretty normal Sunday here.

What's shakin' at your place? 
Images by Freepik