Thursday, November 01, 2007

The October Recap

I'm tickled to say that my back has STOPPED HURTING. Do a little dance with me, will you? Why? Because I CAN! *wiggle wiggle*

Not sure what the deal was, but the pain began to subside around noonish of the day after my very bitchy, pained post. I'm pretty sure it was just muscle spasms from an afternoon and night of sleeping wonky (wonkily?). B affectionately refers to me as "pretzel girl" on occasion for the odd positions I work myself into when I sleep, so it's not exactly surprising that my back had to suffer for it.

It's that time again to recap the books that have come into the house this month and those that I've actually read. I must admit to you, dear reader, I haven't really counted this month. Alas, we must depend on my very own memory to provide the books that have come into the house, and like all good, dependable, sweet minds do, mine has conveniently blocked out some of what landed on my stacks. Good thing or I might have a panic attack over all the books I own but haven't read (and who knows when I will???). *sigh*

First, the ones I've read this month:

What I thought was going to be a *very* slow month turned out to be a decent one after all! I read five books, and TWO of them were 10's. That's almost unheard of!

The Journal of Dora Damage, by Belinda Starling - a review copy for Estella's Revenge. This is the story of a woman with an ill husband who must take over his book binding business and make a success of it if they are to live. She falls in with a seedy crowd of noblemen who employ her to bind pornographic works, which she does to support her family. A fascinating story of 1800s London, and the characters were wonderfully fleshed out. 8.5/10

The Borden Tragedy, by Rick Geary - a graphic novel (comic) about the Borden murders. I expected that this one would be over the top and prescribe to gratuitous gore and whatnot, but it was actually a very straightforward telling of the events as investigated and recorded in the journal of a Borden family friend. 7/10

The Secret Lives of People in Love: Short Stories, by Simon Van Booy - another book that came to my attention through Estella's Revenge. This one is a poignant, lovely collection of stories that take place all over the world (Kentucky, Greece, Paris, etc.). Van Booy's writing is classy, beautiful and just downright enthralling. 10/10

No One Belongs Here More Than You, by Miranda July - the complete opposite of Van Booy, although that's not a bad thing. July's stories are hip, contemporary and more than a little odd. But they are still affecting and wonderfully, quirkily told. 9/10

Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley - What can be said about such an outstanding classic? It far surpassed my expectations. It's not traditionally scary, but more disturbing in its implications toward Victor Frankenstein and his foibles in relation to the monster. Shelley's narrative structure is SO COOL, as the tale of the monster is told as a story within a story within a story. Finished it in 2 days. 10/10

I could be a very good blogger and post the links to the books I've reviewed here, but I am decidedly a very bad blogger and will simply urge you to click on the "books" tag at the end of this post and go find those reviews for yourself if you're so inclined. Happy hunting!

The books that have come into the house but I haven't read:
  • The Electric Michelangelo (some author whose name eludes me at the moment)
  • Tender at the Bone (Ruth Reichl)
There have to be more. Surely. Hmmf. Thanks, brain o'mine, that wasn't as bad as it could've been!

In other literary news, the new issue of Estella's Revenge is online! I hope you all like it. I like it. The writers are way awesome and did some cool stuff this time around (cookie recipes!!!), and I can't take the least bit of credit for it. Well, I can take credit for the Audrey Niffenegger interview, but that's about it.

I also urge you to visit not only the 'zine, but also the blog for the My Year of Reading Dangerously Challenge!!! This is Heather F.'s brainchild, so we put it into effect at Estella's Revenge. The basic premise: you read along with our 12 "dangerously" delicious titles (aka, intimidating books and "out there" genres) or you pick 12 of your own. Or, honestly, do a little of both. IF you choose to participate in one of our "officially official" discussions, your participation automatically enters you in a drawing for fabulous prizes. And I do mean FAAAAABULOUS, dahling.

So, yeah, click on the linky up there and go check it out for yourself. I hope you'll join us, cuz it's gonna be fuuuuunn.

Now, go back to work. What are you thinking reading this blog in the middle of the day?


  1. Glad to hear you can wiggle now!! Man, I've had back problems a few times and it sucks royally!!

    I'm on my way now to check out Estella's Revenge. Can't wait!!

  2. Steph, back problems are definitely a drag. I haven't had too many, and I hope I don't have too many more in the future!

    Enjoy Estella!


  3. Yay for wiggles! I'll be interested in seeing what you think of Electric Michelangelo by Sarah Hall (I think it was) since I couldn't stand the thing and so did not finish. Amanda A. was similarly impressed but was a better reader than me and finished the book anyway.

  4. Imani, I'm almost certain that because I bought the book brand new it will suck. A lot. We'll see. The fact that you and Amanda disliked it doesn't bode well either.

  5. You know me. I want to SEE the wiggle...

    Stop by and click. You'll be surprised.

  6. Tender to the Bone is good, but don't bother with her later books; they become very self indulgent and annoying

  7. The Journal of Dora Damage sounds really good (is that your review on Amazon?), I'm going to add that to my list. I really enjoyed Ruth Reichl's first memoir (I think it's the one you have) and Garlic and Sapphires which I found very entertaining.

  8. Tara, that is my review on Amazon! I often post the reviews I write here or for Estella's Revenge on Amazon if I'm particularly fond of the book.

    And I'm looking so forward to the Reichl! I haven't read any of her work before, but I've heard lots of good things.

  9. I feel your pain! Literally! I got hit by a car a few years ago and i've had awful back pain only relief i ahve is when i sleep as i bought a special mattress for back problems! I LOVE MY BED!


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