Friday, December 31, 2010

Next Up...

So 2010 has almost come to a close. It's been a fairly interesting year, I think, but I have even higher hopes for 2011.

Of course I'm currently at home watching a Dr. Who marathon with my dog, so what does that say?

Either way, I'm waiting on tenterhooks fro 2011 to roll around so I can start the 2011 book challenge for one of my groups on Goodreads. Basically, you pick 12 books (and 2 alternates in case you can't get a copy of a book or find it unreadable or whatever) and then cross them off as you go along. It's just something fun to do.

My list for the 2011 book challenge:

Catching Fire
Slaughterhouse Five
Franny and Zooey
Love in the Time of Cholera
The Bell Jar
Northanger Abbey
The Master and Margarita
Mennonite in a Little Black Dress
The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Infinite Jest
The Giver

And my alternates:

Mrs. Dalloway
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

I've been waiting quite impatiently to start reading the books on my list, so midnight really couldn't come fast enough. 1 hour and 52 minutes to go...

Monday, December 27, 2010


I finally broke down and read Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games. For the longest time I wasn't particularly interested in reading this book, but I kept seeing rave reviews, so in the end I caved. I'm really glad that I did.

Hunger Games is an interesting dystopian/futuristic YA novel. Katniss Everdeen, the protagonist, is a strong and dynamic character, and it is interesting to see things through her point of view.

I'd definitely recommend this book to others. Of course now I'm completely hooked and need to read the other books in the trilogy. Once I finish the other two, maybe I'll review the whole trilogy.

I also just finished Stealing Athena by Karen Essex. It took me about six months to read, but that isn't really the book's fault. I had to keep stopping to focus on school and editing and other things of that nature. Anyway, it wasn't really what I expected, but was somewhat interesting at times. It's under historical fiction, but it often feels like romance, so I think I wasn't into it at first because I was caught off guard. I started liking it a bit more once I got furhter into it, but overall it wasn't my absolute favorite book. It did, however, make me more curious about the real historical events upon which it is based. Maybe I'll look into it, but I just decided to participate in one of the 2011 Book Challenges on, so now I have to prepare. I also have to do thesis research. Oh joy. Gah. I'll be in touch...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Banging my head against the wall

At times it boggles the mind how many horrible books get published. Not only the horrible books that become popular and sell well (coughTWILIGHTSAGAcough), but also the books that publishers just decide to take on. Sure, there's self-publishing, so given the right information and enough money anyone can publish anything, but some of these things are published by well-known and respected publishers.

I'm not saying that every book published now has to be another Pride & Prejudice or Great Expectations but I feel like they should have some sort of substance. I just think books should be worth something. Not necessarily monetary worth, but some sort of worth.

This is one of the things that worries me about entering the publishing industry as I've planned. If I think a book is really horribly written, or just really horrible, I'm not sure I'd feel able to publish it, even if others thought it might turn a profit. I think I care more about books than money (which might explain both my dwindling bank account balance and shelf space), and that might not be a great trait in someone in the publishing industry. I guess I'll just have to keep my book love (or snobbery...) in check while on the job.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Things I learned the hard way

So I had this long, lovely, coherent post about A.S. Byatt's Possession and the film adaptation of the story, but then Word decided to freeze on me multiple times and I lost the whole thing because I'm an idiot and I didn't save it. I've been learning a lot about backing up my info these past few weeks. My phone also died recently, and if you know me, you know my phone is my life. I always swore I wouldn't be one of those people tethered to technology, but the crackberry won out and without the damn thing I'm entirely lost and can barely function. My phone tells me where to be and when to be there. Without it I'm hopeless. ANYWAY... I have a new phone now and am back to my dependent ways.

Back to Possession. The book was great. I still think I prefer The Children's Book, but I really enjoyed Possession, and it was truly a literary feat. Byatt essentially wrote two narratives, diary entries, letters, literary criticism, and a boatload of poetry. I'm not saying the poetry is the best thing I've ever read, but there's a lot of it and it must have been a huge undertaking.

But the movie. The movie was terrible. Filmmakers made absolutely ludicrous choices that completely messed up the entire plot. Since they destroyed the main conflict of the story, they majorly played up the romance between Maud and Roland. That relationship, as well as the relationship between LaMotte and Ash, was just uncomfortable. I found myself alternately cringing and wanting to stab things as I watched the movie. I planned on writing about adaptation with Possession in mind, but the notes I took were so riddled with obscenities and question marks that there was no real way to write an academic paper.

I have a migraine and a possible allergic reaction (to peanut butter nonetheless. I'm truly distraught), so that's all I'm writing for now. I've managed to actually finish my semester on time for the first time in a year, so now I'm on break and somewhat free. That means that I should be writing more. Well, that's the hope anyway. Off I go for now.