Monday, May 13, 2013

The Semester is Over! BOOK PARTY!!!

My teaching duties are officially complete and summer is here! I taught a whopping (stupid) five online classes during the spring semester, and I am so stinkin' glad to be done. I don't have any teaching obligations over the summer -- just my day job in PR. What does this mean? Less money to pay student loans and more time to read!!! It's almost win-win. 

So what's shaking in my reading life, you ask? Ask. Please? 

I am currently reading Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline, for my Girls Night Out book club. I have mixed feelings about it on a couple of fronts, and this has little to do with the book.

1. I'm sick and frackin' tired of books that bounce back and forth between a historical narrator and a contemporary narrator. The last several book club choices we've read have followed this format. I've never been a huge fan, so this many in a row is really rubbing on my nerves. 

2. I like this book when I'm in the act of reading it, but I have a harder time making myself pick it up. Maybe that will change now that I have more free time. 

What would I prefer to be reading??? Well, let me show you. 


Yeah buddy!!! As big a fan as I am of skinny books (they make me feel like I'm finishing/accomplishing a lot), I think I'm in the mood for a book that is not of the dueling narrator variety and which is sink-intoable. It's a word. Sorta. What that really means is that I'm interested in the idea of a book that is suitable for immersing myself in. 
At the heart of this panoramic, multidimensional narrative is the compelling struggle of a young woman to lift her body and soul out of the gutter. Faber leads us back to 1870s London, where Sugar, a nineteen-year-old whore in the brothel of the terrifying Mrs. Castaway, yearns for escape to a better life. Her ascent through the strata of Victorian society offers us intimacy with a host of lovable, maddening, unforgettable characters. 
And this one has been around for years. I can't believe I haven't read it already. 

Things I Need to Review:




Help me out, peeps. Which book should I review first? 

OH! And how could I forget??? I need to review this film.





Hosted by the awesome Sheila of BookJourney.


23 comments:

  1. I taught 7 (yeah, count em, 7) writing classes this past semester. Our college is on a skeleton faculty right now with no relief in sight. To say that I am burned out would be a colossal understatement. I'm home with my books now though and already feel better this first slow morning of summer. I too have The Crimson Petal and The White on my shelf needing desperately to be read :) I say we do it!
    I can't wait to hear about the others you mentioned, especially the graphic novels. I've added each of the other 4 to my wishlist!

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    1. HOLY cannoli! I've done seven! I've even done ten! I don't recommend it, but I know how burned out you are right now. Have a whiskey.

      WE ARE READING CRIMSON PETAL!!! I'm so excited!

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  2. Yay for summer and more reading! I can't wait to see your review for Gatsby. The more I ponder over it, the more it's growing on me.

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    1. Amen, Brooke. A-stinkin-men. I will stick Gatsby at the top o'my to-do list.

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  3. Some days I wish that I lived in Texas.The semester isn't over until next month. :-( It seems like so many bloggers are reading The Orphan Train. Enjoy your week.

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    1. I saw that on your blog, and I feeeeel for you! I hope you can finish the semester strong and have some time to recover over the summer.

      Many bloggers are reading Orphan Train. I think I'd be enjoying it more if I wasn't so tired of alternating narration.

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  4. Can't wait to hear how you like The Obituary Writer and the Gatsby film!
    Kerri @ http://turnthepagereviews.com

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    1. Thanks, Kerri!!! Gatsby is on the top of my list with The Obituary Writer not far behind. :)

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  5. I need to know NOW how you liked Gatsby. Scott and I will have several hours to ourselves this weekend for our anniversary and I would like to see it but I just don't know if I should take him with me.

    In terms of reviews, Fun Home. I LOVED the book years ago but failed to review it. I just couldn't figure out how to talk about it in just a few paragraphs.

    And Orphan Train. Only 12% in but I feel the same--it's easy reading and goes quickly but I can think of 100 other things that I would rather do this week while Scott is out of town and I don't have to entertain anyone after Elle goes to bed. I think we need to stand up against back and forth at the next meeting. ;)

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    1. Trish, the Gatsby review is coming tomorrow! I can't keep my thoughts in!

      And we're SO on the same page with Orphan Train. We're taking a stand at the next meeting of bookish people.

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  6. Congrats on your semester being over! I teach online courses as an adjunct too, and my term just ended...what a relief.
    Orphan Train sounds interesting, I hope you enjoy it (even if it has been tough to pick up sometimes). :)

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    1. Kelly, thank you! I'm tickled about it. Glad you're also finding some time to recover from the online teaching gig.

      I read more of Orphan Train at lunch today. Still ok. Still not a fan of the back and forth narration. The historical story is ALWAYS better.

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  7. I loved The Crimson Petal and the White. Best first chapter of a novel ever (seriously--it's amazing). I really need to go back and reread it one day.

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    1. Beth, that makes me so happy to know that I have a best first chapter ever in my near future. Whee!

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  8. And that is why I don't teach. Arrrghh. Of course, that means that my graduate degree in history sits and collects mold, because if you're not teaching and you're not writing, what the hell good is it for? (Gee, I haven't heard that refrain before...bah). I taught one undergrad history course and when a student turned in a paper about Teddy Roosevelt talking about what a shame it was he had polio, it was game over for me. But I'm glad you are free of it for the summer. And I'm glad you mentioned the narration of the Orphan Train...it's sitting here staring at me, unopened, but I need a break. I'm thinking something dystopia for kicks and giggles....hmmmm.

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  9. OMG I LOOOOVED "GATSBY." Sorry for the caps -- I just can't find any other way to express my intense excitement. I know it's been garnering some negative reviews and some folks are like "eh," but I thought it was both faithful to the book while feeling surprisingly modern and fresh. Can't wait to read your review! I was going to try to write mine today, but... it's too fresh. Brain is mush. (Also, I downloaded "Young and Beautiful" from the soundtrack. So haunting.)

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  10. I really enjoyed Orphan Train, but I know what you mean about the leaping between historical and contemporary storylines. It's been done and done to death. I thought it could have easily been contemporary only, with the older lady (whose name I've forgotten) slowly telling her story to the teenager - might have had a bit more emotional impact, that way. But, I still loved it.

    Can't wait to hear what you thought of Gatsby.

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  11. Woo-hoo! congrats on having more free time to catch up on your reading. Oh yes, I want to read your review on Relish! I read her book French Milk a couple of years ago and loved it. Looking forward to this one!

    Oh and I haven't read that big chunky book either! :)

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  12. I need to see Gatsby! Your books look good - I just want some time to read ;)

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  13. Congrats on finishing your semester!
    I completely agree about the dueling narratives. They aren't always terrible, but it feels you can't find a single narrative in historical fiction anymore!

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  14. I think you need to review "So many books so little time" :-)

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  15. Alternating narration usually drives me up a wall too. In Orphan Train I was surprised that it didn't bug me as much as it normally does ;)

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  16. Wondering about the Ann Hood "Obituary Writer" book? Maybe you should review that one first. cheers. http://www.thecuecard.com/

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