Sunday, June 26, 2011

100.

This my one-hundredth post. I am wallowing in phlegm, tissues, and self-pity so this is going to be something less than substantial.

Currently, I'm watching a Remington Steele episode. I'd planned to spend the afternoon reading in bed, but this was not to be. Firstly my older son is also sick with both a flu and a stomach bug. Secondly, I have nothing to read. The public library is closed til Tuesday, there's nothing of interest in the library's ebook collection, and I just can not bring myself to spend more than $10 for a book on the Sony Reader Store.

I'm cautious about what I read when I have a fever. My dreams are weird enough when I am healthy. But when I'm fevered, they get really trippy. Which is why I'm setting aside my current read, which is about the inevitable and colossal earthquake that will devastate the coast of BC at any point in the next 200 years. When I was sick in January (or was it February?) I read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I had freaky dreams for days. I think pretty much everything you need to know about The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is that it was originally published under the title Men Who Hate Women. It had been recommended to me by several people, including someone in my family who is very religious and who loved it. Also a very soft-spoken, demure, crunchy-granola, yoga-loving type woman who -- when I asked her if it was graphically violent -- said, "No. Not at all." I now have LOTS of questions about her personal predilections and history.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is the most recent title recommended to me that was a grave disappointment. A few other titles: Twilight, The Kite Runner, The Road, The Help and Marley & Me. I am not a fan of pies made of poop, people eating one another, dogs that need to be shot, rape and/or poorly written prose about vampires. At this point I'm going to either stop soliciting book recommendations, or preface my requests with the statement, "In the event that the title you recommend sucks, I will think less of you."

• • • •

It's later now. Mr Wrath and Klaxon (who are both healthy) have gone for walk with the Wunder Dog. Upstairs Zarf, has eaten six saltines and a bowl of rice and not vomited. And I feel so badly for him, I'm letting him have my humidifier. He is sitting up in bed watching Scooby-Doo. I've got another mug of hot lemon with honey and another episode of Remington Steele is playing in the background. I guess as far as lazy Sundays go, this one isn't bad. But that might just be because these non-drowsy Advil Cold & Flu pills pack a pretty good punch.

I fear this maybe the most boring post ever composed. I wish it weren't, but this is all the creativeness I can muster. Does it elevate the status if I include a snap of the awesome present we received from The Awefull Family? Look at it:

I'm adding this bobble-headed bowling girl trophy to the list of ten things I will save if the house burns down. Sorry, boys, your baby books have been demoted.

And on that (possibly unintelligent and/or cruel) sentiment, I'm going to take a nap.

11 comments:

  1. Happy blogoversary! Hope you feel better soon. If it makes you feel any better, I detested Twilight, I thought The Road was very well-written but it depressed me for days afterward, and The Kite Runner just made me want to read it as quickly as possible so I could be done with it and put it behind me. Life's too short to be saddened by what I'm reading!

    I'm burning through the Sookie Stackhouse books right now. They are cotton candy for my brain. Anything more than that, I cannot handle right now.

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  2. Wait a minute: You read The Help and just got that it was about pies made of poop?

    I went through a string of "Books That Make Me Cr"y---though I think I'm drawn to this stuff. I just read The Hunger Games which was gripping but REALLY disturbing. I also loved The Stormchasers by Jenna Blum. But, if you want just sugar-sweet, check out Steve Almond's Candyfreak---fun!

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  3. I read the Hunger Games trilogy whilst recovering from my varicose vein surgery and that, accompanied by my Percocet, made for some pretty strange dreams.

    Also, the Kite Runner. Years ago I read this for a book club, and my comment was "How many more little boys are going to get it up the ass? I can't take it anymore!" No one else seemed to share my despair.

    If this is a weird comment, I'm sorry but I'm drunk. I just got back from a big family dinner and booze is my coping mechanism.

    Was that over sharing? SORRY.

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  4. *snicker* LOVE the part about thinking less of them if the title recommended sucks!

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  5. My sister gave me Dragon Tattoo for my b-day, she read it, could not put it down and went on to read the rest of the series. I still have not picked it up, now I probably never will. I have The Help on hold at the library...we'll see. I have the same problem...so many books people LOVE I find awful, to violent, sad or depressing. In recent years I read a lot more non-fiction.

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  6. @hodgepodgeandstrawberries -- YES! Life is too short for sad or bad books.

    @Fairly Odd Mother -- I know it was more than story about poop-pie. Don't you think The Help (a meditation on the constraints and freedoms of gender, age, class and race) would have been better served if the "secret" used to re-allocate power was something more substantial and less trivial than a pie of shit? In my opinion the author was simply not up to the task of constructing a tale with a more nuanced, more realistic, weightier plot device. I wish The Help had been more Alice Walker and less Candace Bushnell.

    @Nicole -- I wish I was in a book club with you! HAHAHA!

    I have The Hunger Games audiobook on reserve -- because that's all I'm willing to invest in the series.

    @Marty -- I am still not over the glowing reviews many, many friends gave the Twilight books. WHY?!

    @Jenifer -- Dragon Tattoo is AWFUL. When I finished it (and I only got through it b/c I had insomnia) I read the wikipedia articles about the next 2 books, and they are even more disgusting. Erm. Enjoy The Help -- it'll turn you off chocolate mousse FOREVER!

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  7. I think I might be over sensitive to this subject. I write romance, & I hobknob with a variety of authors at my writing group (erotica, chaste 'sweet romances', romantic comedies, paranormals, suspense), and read a wide variety of genres.

    Lots of people delight in trashing romance books and saying OH, THOSE AWFUL HARLEQUIN BOOKS! It's a bit disconcerting to hear that & awkward to admit that one is hoping to be published by Harlequin. :-)

    So anyway - one of the things that I don't do is call a book awful.

    There have been a few that have been poorly written & in need of massive re-writes or an editorial whipping; they tended to be self-pubbed, full of grammatical errors, self indulgent descriptions and meandering, boring prose. I still wouldn't say awful; I'd say prematurely thrust on public stage.

    Most books that I don't like are just not to my taste. My friend can produce the best steak in the world but I'm a vegetarian and even when I wasn't, I never liked steak. It's not that the steak is awful - it's actually a great example of what it's supposed to be: cow meat, grilled - but for someone who doesn't like 'cow meat, grilled', it's never going to satisfy.

    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is a recent book that I just don't get all the fuss about. It was just ok for me, but I know some people really loved it. It's not awful, it's just not quite to my taste.

    I liked The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It is a fine example of a modern thriller. It has some scenes of graphic violence (I can't imagine readers forgetting those that quickly!), but I'm ok with that. :-)

    I abandoned The Kite Runner after a few pages once I understood the type of book it is: 'serious book about awful things that happen to people. Because it's "literature", as opposed to genre fiction, happy endings are rare and the reader is supposed to sift through the debris of people's lives in order to find some shard of hope to hang on to amidst melancholy and ruin'. That's what it is, that's what it's meant to be - at a right time & place, I might have finished it.

    I wonder how you'll feel about the Hunger Games. I'm not a huge fan of dystopia lit and was so-so about that one. It is definitely violent and I found it quite depressing. I didn't give it to my dd when I was done with it. I did give her Beth Pfeffer's Life as We Knew It tho.... she didn't like it LOL

    Hope you're feeling better!

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  8. How can she have read Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and not thought it was violent?! That's crazy. Maybe she hasn't really read it and was recommending it based on the mass world hysteria about the book.

    If I have ePub files, do you think I could email them to you, and you could upload them into Adobe Digital Editions, and then into your reader? I know I am theoretically supposed to be able to share an ePub file up to five times (according to Adobe Digital Editions), but I've never actually tried it. If that worked I could share all of my books with you, and vice versa!

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  9. @hornblower -- You're right. It's not very fair of me to call books awful. I don't do dedicated book reviews (here or at Good Reads or Amazon.ca) because I do think that any author deserves some credit for having the dedication to go through the whole creative process. I don't have the discipline to do it.

    But one of my biggest complaints is a book that doesn't deliver on what is promised -- either on the book jacket, or the author's press tour, or word of mouth. The titles that I've listed are all ones that I might have enjoyed had they not been touted as so wonderful and built up in my mind. There's something to be said about a book that unpretentiously entertains. I suppose this is why I'm drawn to murder mysteries and chick lit romances.

    @Marilyn -- That sounds good. Thanks. I don't own v. many books (Bossy Pants and a Meg Cabot, is it I think) since I'm a dedicated cheapskate. Could we do a dry run with one title -- and see if my technical knowledge is up to the task? I'm wrathofmom (at) gmail (dot) com.

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  10. I don't know how anyone could recommend a book and NOT assume that the person will think less of them if they don't like it - I am always hesitant to recommend books and if I do, I hedge outrageously, on that very assumption. And I take hornblower's point about not calling books awful except sometimes when you've invested reading time in something you hate, there's no way to describe it but awful (or something even more strongly-worded) - I don't do it lightly, but come on, the fact that the world is ablaze over the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy? Bleah! I actually enjoyed The Help, but I agree with you that it was a lighter, fluffier treatment of the subject than it would have been in more sophisticated hands. I admired The Road - can't say I liked it. I liked The Hunger Games trilogy, but I have doubts about whether you will. I'd be happy to send you a list of my favourite murder mysteries - I don't read chick lit much, but I have some friends who do. Have you read Jennifer Weiner? She seems to be a particular favourite.

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  11. @Bibliomama -- I'd like a copy of your list of murder mysteries. Thanks.

    I don't like Jennifer Weiner, I don't understand why she has such a great reputation. The only thing I've ever enjoyed that Weiner authored was this article about the Star Trek reboot. Actually the article isn't even funny, but in the comment section Trekkies start mocking her for confusing Andorians and Orions -- and that amuses me. Because I'm 12.

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