Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher

Rating: 4 stars
Shelf: Reading Now

What a challenging book to read. At the start, it made me angry. It didn't really seem as though Hannah committed suicide because she just couldn't face another day - it seemed as though she committed this tragic act as a means to get revenge on the 13 people who are forced to listen to her tapes. I thought that this book was going to be a book about bullies. And while the kids that affected Hannah's life weren't the nicest, many of them didn't quite deserve to get the brunt of Hannah's own obvious emotional problems. How dare she do this to those kids?

Then by the end, I sympathized more with Hannah. Her story started to change and as the dots connected, from one person to the next - it was easier to see that she wasn't really blaming the individuals so much as trying to teach them to see outside of their small box. I mean - she did out some of them for some truly terrible actions. But, mostly she finally admits: "No matter what I've said so far, no matter who I've spoken of, it all comes back to - it all ends with - me."

I mostly have to wonder what Jay Asher's purpose was with the story and with the characters. Were we supposed to sympathize with Hannah straight away? Or did he want us to feel the true range that all of us feel that have been affected by something like this? Because - I have and... it was fairly spot on. When my friend killed himself I was extremely angry and confused. There were times when I really hated him for what he did. But I was also so sad and I missed him terribly. And I wished there was more I could have done. And, like Clay, I started watching everyone around me so that next time, I will be able to reach out, reach beyond.

Good work, Mr. Asher. Good work.

Purchase Now from Amazon: Thirteen Reasons Why

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Top 10 Movie Adaptations

Brought to you by: The Broke & The Bookish

Boyfriend and I should probably do a similar theme for our Top Five on our movie blog. In no particular order:

1. Harry Potter (I love them all, but particularly The Order of the Phoenix )
2. Pride & Prejudice (sorry. I know y'all LOVE Colin Firth as Darcy, but the BBC version puts me to sleep. So this is the Keira Knightly version, which I LOVE)
3. Jane Eyre (The TV series where the little girl who played Lucy Pevensie plays young Jane Eyre)
4. The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe (ESPECIALLY because Jim Broadbent plays Professor Kirke)
5. The Golden Compass
6. Jurassic Park
7. Bridget Jones' Diary
8. Into the Wild
9. Princess Diaries (even though the books are way different and way better - I still love the movies for what they are)
10. Sense & Sensibility (I LOVE Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon)

My Horizontal Life - Chelsea Handler

Rating: 3 stars
Shelf: Reading Now

A moment of weakness! My nook had run out of batteries (and so I was introduced to this video by my friends) and I needed something to read on the train ride home from the Bronx. So I went into Penn Books and I held True Grit and My Horizontal Life in my hands. I came so close, so close to buying True Grit. But then I read the first page and it was entirely too close to the movie dialogue, and while that's great, I hadn't been particularly in love with the movie. So. My Horizontal Life it was.

Not as entertaining as Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang, but still a nice piece of brain candy. I can hardly believe that I've now read TWO books by Chelsea Handler, a woman whose show I despise and humor is a bit off putting. But I did. And I liked them both! And would definitely recommend both if you are, like me, feeling as though thinking (right now) is too much of a bother.

Purchase Now from Amazon:  My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands

Monday, February 21, 2011

What do you do when you HATE a book?

Do you stop reading? Or do you torture yourself and finish?

I tend to finish. Because, I feel like, if I don't, I can't say I've read it. And then all that torture was for nothing.

I'm in the middle of A Lion Among Men right now... and. It's just awful. Awful. Sad too because, I loved Wicked and Son of a Witch. This third book seems to solely exist to fill whatever gaps the first one had and also to introduce the subject of FGM. So basically, it didn't need to exist at all. I want to stop reading it so bad, but then - where would I be?

Purchase Now from Amazon: A Lion Among Men (The Wicked Years, Book 3)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

What I'm Reading Weekly Roundup

In Blogs
This is going to be two weeks worth of shared blog stories, as I missed last week. Life is still proving hectic, but I'm trying to make the most of it!
Northern Light Ever since I finished reading this book, it's been popping up everywhere. Nonfiction Challenge I like to read a few nonfiction books each year. This seems like a bit too much for me, but interesting nonetheless.
The Anatomical Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Story of Medusa as told by T-Rex
RIP, Brian Jacques
How to WORK a Trade Show We just went to Toy Fair at the Javits Center and I completely forgot to bring business cards. FAIL.
Scott Westerfeld talks the LIST I know that this whole Bitch Magazine thing is old news, but I really liked this interview and I really like Scott Westerfeld.
Nancy Drew Cookbook
The Children's Hour I want to see!
Tim Probert's Etsy Shop now OPEN! He's going to be famous one day so get your hands on these prints ASAP.
Best Literary Pick Up Lines
World Read Aloud Day I'm guessing you have to read aloud to children for this to count. But I do really enjoy reading aloud to myself. In a fake accent. Shhh....
Ugh. A Twilight Room
Rope Bridge Bookshelf
Books for Birthdays Middle Grade birthdays, probably the hardest to buy for. Or to buy quality, attention grabbing books for boys and girls. This post is also favorited so I can refer back.
Bring a Book back from the DEAD I voted on the only book I know out of this year's bunch.
Don't start reading too young?
McSweeney's launches Children's Imprint Okay. I just don't get McSweeney's. I try to get it, but I just don't. What am I missing?
More Chelsea Handler? Didn't know they were making a TV show based off of Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea.
Borders files for Bankruptcy
List of Borders Store Closings
Borders Bankruptcy for the laymen
75 more Borders stores closing than originally reported
Super Computers and Dave Eggers
"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
The Fantasy World Map LOVE that Westeros is on here!

In Books

A Lion Among Men - Gregory Maguire (I'm not even halfway through and I HATE this. Anyone?)
The Yiddish Policeman's Union - Michael Chabon
Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

In The Pile

The Eye of the Dragon - Stephen King
Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher
A Million Little Pieces - James Frey
On Writing - Stephen King
Into the Land of the Unicorns - Bruce Coville

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang - Chelsea Handler

Rating: 3 stars
Shelf: Reading Now

I've been having a hard time concentrating on some of my more serious books and so I decided to finally read Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang. It was exactly what the doctor ordered. The book was absolutely nonsensical - none of the chapters had anything to do with each other. The story was not cohesive in the least... actually, there wasn't really a story to speak of at all. Unless it was the story of how Chelsea Handler is a crazy person that I wish I could drink with and laugh at on a semi-irregular basis.

I read this on my nook on the train and I looked like a loon - sitting there, covering my mouth every time I had a hysterical fit of laughter, which really only resulted in some truly spasmodic behavior. It's a wonder no one ever asked me if I needed an ambulance.

Read it if you need a good, hearty laugh.

Purchase Now from Amazon: Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Broke & the Bookish

I decided I want to participate in this one. It's Top Ten literary characters/authors that you'd name your kids after. I'm going to include pets in this as well. Here's the skinny from her blog:

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of our bloggers’ answers. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND post a comment on our post with a link to your Top Ten Tuesday post to share with us and all those who are participating. If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. If you can't come up with ten, don't worry about it---post as many as you can!

1. Joe - I'm getting off really easy with this one. It's my brother's name and my grandpa's name. And I've always planned on naming my first son Joe. But, there'd also be a bit of Joe Kavalier from The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay in there too. And that's important.

2. Tyrion - I'd probably name a pet after Tyrion, it's too strange of a name for a child. But still, one of my favorite characters. It'd be after my boyfriend, Tyrion Lannister from the Song of Ice and Fire series.

3. Ernest - Along the same Hemingway lines as our Top Ten creator, the dude is my favorite author and I would certainly give his first name, or last name, as a middle name to a son.

4. Catelyn - I've gone all boys so far. It's hard for me to pick girls names. All of the characters I want to pick are just my favorite characters. Like, Lizzie Bennet or Charlotte Doyle or Hermione Granger. I don't really ever want to name a daughter Elizabeth or Charlotte or Hermione. Catelyn I like though. After Catelyn Stark, from the Song of Ice and Fire series.

5. Daenerys - again from Song of Ice and Fire. This name would need to go to a pet though. And most likely a cat. It's a great, fierce name. If only I could own a dragon.

6. Prim - from The Hunger Games. Either for a child or a pet. Though I think Primrose, as a middle name, could be really pretty.

7. Mathilda - aka Mattie from A Northern Light. I don't really like Mathilda, but I do really like Mattie. So this is an option.

8. Diggory - after Diggory Kirke (aka, Professor Kirke) from The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia). This would probably also go to a pet, but he'd need to be a real roly-poly dignified sort of fellow.

9. Sophie - a serious contender. After Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle. I've always wanted a Sophia just as I've always wanted a Joe. I think I can still name my daughter that, even though one of my best friend's just named her beautiful baby that?

10. Bella - just kidding. Total joke. I would never name my kid after Twilight.

For real - maybe Tana, after Tana French author of The Likeness and others. She doesn't even write the kind of fiction that I typically like, yet I love her. And her name is so unique and Irish. It'd add it to the list.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

What I'm Reading Weekly Roundup

In Blogs

Wintergirls Another, really good review. Mine, which is, you know, pretty good too, can be found here.
Borders. It's sad. I know I have a crazy loyalty to B&N, but I think competition is a healthy party of our economy.
100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader This list caused so much backlash this week. See below...
Feminist Rant 1 Really good and new favorite blog.
Feminist Rant 2 A list to beat the list.
Feminist Rant 3 Where does censorship begin?
Children's Book FAIL 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 7
Doodles By Famous Authors Of course my favorites are Vonnegut's.
Cover Love a variety of teen/middle grade covers around the world. What's your fav?
More Cover Love this time The Millions takes a look at US covers versus the UK.
Bookshelf Envy I think I finally found a boy who will give me this some day. At the very least I know he knows how to mend roofs, so bookshelves shouldn't be too far behind?
Lies for Writing This reminds me of Melissa's Myths. Very interesting and all very true.
Don't ever interrupt me when I'm reading a book!

In Books

A Game of Thrones - George R. R. Martin (a re-read before the show!)
Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

In The Pile

The Eye of the Dragon - Stephen King
Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher
A Million Little Pieces - James Frey
The Yiddish Policeman's Union - Michael Chabon
On Writing - Stephen King
Into the Land of the Unicorns - Bruce Coville

Friday, February 4, 2011

Viewers & Game of Thrones

So I've been getting - a ridiculous amount of views on my blog as of late. From referring sites I've never heard of. In the Netherlands. Well. They aren't all in the Netherlands. But still. Who are you guys? Please tell me...

In other news - I'm almost through Game of Thrones for the second time and I can't stop looking at stills from the upcoming HBO special. I just want to take some time to post some photos of my boyfriend, Tyrion Lannister/Peter Dinklage:

Maybe they're on their way to the Eyrie!

And here, I bet he's Lysa Arryn's prisoner. Mother, I want to see him fly! Ahhhh! "Lord" Mord in the background!

I am BEYOND excited for this entire thing.
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