Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween reads!

Happy Halloween!

I thought about doing the scary book covers post for the Tuesday Top Ten but I couldn't think of any. Not in an obnoxious "Oh I don't even SEE book covers. I really go for what's in the story" because that's lame, and people who say they're color blind to race are lying liars.* It's more like "I am pretty oblivious so unless the cover really wows me I have already forgotten it". BUT I still wanted a Halloween post and I figured this would be a good opportunity to link to a bunch of old posts I wrote about horror stories. It's like the blogger equivalent of a clip show**. Cos that's how much I care. To make up for that, please enjoy the Nightmare Before Xmas gifs.

Not-so-scary/mostly-funny options
First up, there's a bunch of Christopher Moore.
Practical Demonkeeping by Christopher Moore When I went to one of his book signings he said he was told you could mix horror with any genre except whimsy. And his response was "well fuck that" and wrote this

Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story by Christopher MooreYou Suck: A Love Story by Christopher MooreBite Me: A Love Story by Christopher Moore These three are his vampire love story. Think of how bad Twilight was. This is the exact opposite of that.

A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore What happens if a beta male becomes death (not big d Death, but sort of a worker for the guy)? I like Moore's books. A lot. And this is one of his best ones. PLUS it takes place in the same universe as the vampire stories. There's even a scene that shows up in both books, but from different points of view. So yeah, you should probably just read them all and be covered.

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion It's all about zombies BUT it's not a scary story. I mean it's a zombie love story and I KNOW, I can hear the eye-rolls but it's well done.

 Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith This isn't exactly a funny story. It's written straight. BUT I mean, it's still Lincoln, the president, slaying vampires. So yeah, I'm gonna keep it in this category.

The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks Another borderline book is this survival guide. Again, it's written straight and there is some actual general survival tips here. But still, bookstores categorize it as humor, so I will as well. Though I know in an interview Brooks said he disagrees with this organization.

Classic horror stories 
The House of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle This one is all about atmosphere. Be warned, there's is way less Sherlock than you're probably expecting.

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells The other Wells made this a perfect Halloween read when he caused mass panic reading this on the radio.

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Lewis Stevenson Admittedly, this would be a lot better/scarier if you didn't already know the twist. But you do, so you'll just have to enjoy the fact that it's also well written. And short.

All about atmosphere
"The Adjustment Team" short story by Philip K. Dick I'm pretty sure I'm one of the few people that liked The Adjustment Bureau movie. The short story isn't quite the same, but it's an interesting peek-behind-the-curtain story.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield The narrator was annoying and whenever we had to listen to her wax poetic about pencils or something I lost interest. But the story she's being told about the twins that blink in unison and the strange house and the secrets. Gothic style atmosphere.

Zone One by Colson Whitehead A brainy (haha) zombie book. A literary zombie story all about clearing part of Manhattan with lots and lots (and lots) of tangents.

The Thriller-y-est
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane A thriller. An insane asylum on an island. A missing patient that couldn't have possibly gotten off. That strange section of the hospital where all the really nuts patients end up. And a hurricane to strange you there.

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson The main character in this one annoyed me. A lot. He's sort of a dick. But then again, he is the last man on earth and there are these vampire/zombie hybrids running around everywhere, so I guess he sort of has an excuse.

Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig Miriam can see exactly how you're going to die just by touching you. Then one day she sees a vision where the man says her name with his dying breath. What's this mean for her? Can fate be changed? Bonus, this is one of the book covers I remember. Because it's beautiful.

So Much King
I could fit King into the different categories, but I've apparently read a lot of him (and I left out the non-horror stories) so why not give him his own section
Dreamcatcher by Stephen King There are fart alien things. You know, it's cool if you want to skip this one.

Everything's Eventual by Stephen King Don't skip this one though. It's a collection of short stories, and even if you don't find yourself a short story fan, give King's a try. Some in here are very scary, some will keep you on the edge of your seat, some will make you laugh. If you can only pick one, "1408" is one of my favorite short stories ever. So yeah, I recommend it.

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King Another collection of King short stories. Not quite as good as the Everything's Eventual group, but still good. And like EE it's a mixture.

Pet Semetary by Stephen King Horror. Straight horror, done well. Sure it's about a pet semetary and zombie pets. Kind of. I mean technically sure. But it's about so much more. Like how sometimes dead is better.

Under the Dome by Stephen King People being terrible when cornered. He sort of paints himself into a corner so the end can't help but be a let down. But honestly, the book is roughly a million pages long so the percentage of good to bad is acceptable.

Creepy, unsettling, prepare for nightmares
Horns by Joe Hill Sort of supernatural, sort of good vs. evil, sort of thriller tense crime drama. It has gruesome moments and funny moments.

World War Z by Max Brooks I really love this book. I've read it twice. I've listened to the audiobook twice. I just finished listening to it for the second time this year, and I was very tempted to start it over again when the last track played. I had more zombie nightmares when I read it. Not sure if reading is a more personal experience or if by the time I listened to it I already knew the stories so well they didn't affect me in the same way.

Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates This goes in the same pile as American Psycho for "books I wish I could Eternal Sunshine out of my head". It's not about zombies as in the undead (or reanimated) that hunger for brains. It's about a serial killer. And he's trying to make his own sex zombie via transorbital lobotomy. JCO can get under your skin.

So there you go. Halloween reads that probably would have made better suggestions if I had made them before Halloween. So just keep them in mind for next year.

*Not actual color blind people. They're probably not lying.
**I'm sure I've made this joke before too. This whole post is full of recycled bits. Consider it earth friendly.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Why shouldn't quiet be strong? And what else can quiet do that we don't give it credit for?

I finally got around to reading Susan Cain's Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. I wanted to learn more about introverts and extroverts. I was intrigued by the idea of outgoing introverts and shy extroverts. I'd seen a number of positive reviews and it's one of those books I kept seeing people reading on the subway, so it seemed like a good choice.

The book opens with a story about a lawyer named Laura. Laura is an introvert and as a typical introvert, she isn't comfortable in confrontational situations. But as a lawyer she's sometimes has to deal with these. She's leading a negotiation for her client and the lawyer she's up against is confrontational. She's loud, she makes demands, and she won't back down. At first Laura thinks she can't do this, but then she remembers her strengths and she's able to remain calm and she's well-prepared, while the other side is blustering and arrogant (and probably kind of stupid, though this is only implied).  Eventually they're able to come to an agreement and everyone is super impressed with Laura. Her clients are very happy with her, the opposing lawyer is so impressed she offers her a job with her firm, and the other clients decided Laura was the best lawyer ever and want HER firm to represent them. See how great introverts are? Then, in a Shymalanian twist, the Laura in this story is actually Susan Cain, author of the book. WHAAAA? I hear you saying. And then I eye-rolled hard. It's not that I disbelieve her (though I'm a bit skeptical with how awesome everyone thought Laura/Susan was) or that this is so untrue cos no one would think this of an introvert. I think it could happen and I do believe an introvert could be powerful and the best person for this job. But maybe if she started it saying this was a story about her. Or if she just kept calling the person Laura and never told me it was her. Whatever the case, that reveal at the end of the intro sort of colored the rest of my reading. Well that, and the extrovert hate.

I think she does a good job pointing out the strengths introverts have, even when the assumption is these features are weaknesses. It talks about how to get the most out of introverted employees, how to best teach introverted students, what you're missing by only working with extroverts, and how even some people you may think are extroverts are actually introverts that have learned to fake it. There are a lot of interesting points, she quotes a lot of studies, and she brings up points that I hadn't considered before. Like the idea that not all introverts are shy (though many are) or that all extroverts are outgoing (though again, many are). She looks at how the emphasis on extroversion is a Western culture thing and with most Eastern cultures the opposite is true, and those that are quiet are more highly thought of.

The focus is on introverts in the US, a society she notes is the most extroverted. Or at least places the most value on extroverts. There are a few mentions of extroversion in Europe and a little bit about introversion in China, although it's told through stories of people that now live in the US.

I think there are a lot of good points about how important it is to not see introversion as a problem to be corrected but just a personality type and how introverts are needed. This is really an introvert's manifesto. And because of this, extroverts are sort of given the short stick. I didn't assume there would be a lot about extroverts, because why should there be. I didn't expect there to be so much focus on how extroverts are shallow, materialistic, and stupid. OK, she didn't come out and call extroverts stupid (though materialistic and shallow do come up multiple times). She just talks about how introverts are "deep thinkers" and how they really pay attention and prepare for things. She doesn't say extroverts don't do this, but the implication is there. I get this is coming from point where we assume extroverts are the awesomest* so there is no need to point out the good things extroverts bring to the table. Therefore she can just focus on the negative aspects. Except this comes off at times as a bit extrovert bashing. I don't think this needs to be a love note to extroverts as it is to introverts, but I think a little more about the positive things both types of people bring to the table would have been nice.**

Oh there was also another bit that irked me. This wasn't Cain, but a study she discussed where a scientist Kagan was testing how babies reacted to different stimuli and how highly reactive infants tended to be more sensitive and introverted, while those that didn't react tended to be more outgoing as adults. This part is fine. The next part, about how Kagan said that his findings even allowed him to identify physical features of introverts vs extroverts and then says introverts were more likely to have blue eyes. Which, I guess, if the only people you're including in your study are white people. Though at least Cain says these physical attribute findings are speculative, but she doesn't point out that they cut out non-white people.

I'm not sure where I stand on the introvert/extrovert scale. Whenever I take those Myers-Briggs personality tests I get a different answer. Probably because I only ever take them online to see which Harry Potter character I'm most like (I apparently fall somewhere between Neville and Ginny, with some Snape thrown in) so I realize this isn't the most scientifically accurate way to see what my personality is, but there you go. I guess I'm somewhere in the middle. I honestly don't mind public speaking all that much, but I'm not great if I got to parties or something where I don't know a lot of people. I stay quite and will talk to one or two people. Given the choice I tend to prefer being with people (I know) than being on my own, but I also hate confrontation. I make Boyfriend+ do most of the talking when we go to look at wedding vendors.

Overall I thought this book was interested, but I would have preferred if it talked a little bit less about all of the awful things extroverts are and all the amazing features introverts have. Maybe something a bit more balanced. But overall it's an interesting read and I do hope this helps people realize the power of introverts.

Oh also, you should check out this video from PBS Idea Channel about introverts. And then you should check out all of the other PBS Idea Channel videos because they're pretty great.

*There are so many words Blogger doesn't recognize as real. Awesomest, however, is acceptable.
**I should point out here that in Laura's review (which is great and you should check out) she got the feeling more that Cain was saying extroverts and introverts are both great and work well together. So I could have just be overly sensitive to this. For reasons I don't really know, since I can't say I think of myself as that extroverted, but there you go. Also I think she may have called me racist for thinking this. THANKS A LOT, LAURA.

Title quote from page 2

Cain, Susan. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Broadway Books, 2013.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Wedding Update: Name Changing

I had mentioned in an earlier post how I had thoughts about name changing but I would save them for another time. Now seems to be a good time.

See, I'm not really sure what I'd like to do regarding my last name.

Should I keep it? I am lazy, and this route means I don't have to change anything. I've had people tell me it's really not that hard to change your name on things, but you know what? I don't believe any of you. I'm sure these places make it as easy as possible, except I STILL have to go to the DMV. And the passport office. How much time do YOU like spending at these places? It would also mean time off work because their hours always seemed to be from 11 to 3, minus an hour for lunch break. Plus I have the added bonus of the fact that I have a bunch of stuff due to expire riiiight when we're getting married. Such as said passport. Which means I before the wedding I need to get a new one so I have it for the honeymoon, and THEN I'll need to get another one with the new name. That's lame. Plus, beyond the laziness stuff, I like my last name.

Should I change it? On the other hand, I do like the idea of changing it. At least a little. But then what do I change it to?

Do I go hyphenated? I could do this. Neither of our last names are particularly long so I wouldn't have a super unwieldy name. But I'm not crazy about hyphenated names. This is mostly coming from having to set up usernames for people in our systems at work and the hypenation always gives us trouble.* And while the name wouldn't be too long, it would still be sort of pain to sign on things. But these are stupid reasons to write this off as an option, which is why I haven't yet. I have a bunch of friends that have gone this route. Besides, as I said above, I like my last name. But I like his name too.

Do I just change the name? This is certainly the expected path. And this is the one that would be the most amusing. See, I'm a little red-headed white girl. Boyfriend+ is part Chinese and his last name is Chen. Which means I would be Alley Chen, which means I could Donna Chang people. And confusing strangers seems like an equally good use of a name change as the whole "so we have the same last name" thing. I should also point out I have a bunch of friends that just changed their name as well.

I would throw out the options that he could change his name, or we could both hyphenate, but those have already been vetoed. I blame society. (I actually have a friend, or really a sibling of a friend, where both she and her husband hyphenated their names and I want to give them both big high fives for that.)

So I haven't come to any decisions yet. I'll probably make them when we're actually getting the marriage license. Or maybe after that, because I'm pretty great at procrastination. And I should point out here that, outside of changing his own name, Boyfriend+ said he's cool with whatever I'd decide. He said he'd like me to change my name to his, but ultimately it's up to me what I want to do and he's not going to be mad or disappointed if I don't change my name.

I also have a couple links I found regarding name changes, that I feel I should share cos they're pretty great.

The first one is from Jezebel's Lindy West who wrote "Men Who Insist You Change Your Name Make Terrible Husbands" and she pretty much nails every thought I've had on the subject cos West is pretty great. I don't like the whole idea and basis behind a woman taking a man's name BUT I do sort of like the idea of taking his name (beyond just the Donna Chang thing).

The second one is from the Vagenda titled "The Penis Perspective: A Wife By Any Other Name..." which is a guy's point of view on the whole name changing thing. Now it's a guy's point of view on a feminist website, so this isn't going to be the average "I want her to take my last name FOR REASONS" as I'm sure you'd get if this were to show up on a typical site. Or you know, in those Men's Health responses West quoted in her piece. I should say for the most part people have been asking me if I'd take his name, rather than assuming I would. So that's nice. Though the part that most hit me here was about the kids' name. The fact that many women would want to change their name so they would have the same name as any future kids, because OF COURSE the kids would take the father's last name. No question there. Which got me angry because I didn't even think of it until it was pointed out. Then I was mad that I hadn't thought of it. Or that I also assumed kids would just take the dad's name and while I'm not saying they couldn't, I'm angry that's the ingrained assumption.

Also, the part about how invitations were being addressed to Mr. and Mrs. His Full Name. No. That shit will not fly. I already got into a (sort of) fight with my mom about this with our wedding invitations. I told her I wouldn't be addressing invitations this way, and each person is getting their own name spelled out. This is mostly an issue with her friends that are invited, and she said they wouldn't care and would expect it to be written Mr. and Mrs. His Name. I said I knew the women better, and also they are their own people, and they're my invitations so this is how it's going. They may not care, but I do.

What do you think? For those of you who are married why did you or didn't you change your name? Did you get a lot of shit for your decision?

*Those and apostrophes in names. You O'Rourkes and O'Tooles are really messing things up. And by that I mean, we didn't program the system to do know what do with an apostrophe in a name. So I guess our fault, but I'm still going to blame you a little.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Beauty or excellence...could redeem almost any humiliation

Happy Franzy Friday everyone!

We finally get to meet Denise, not just through her brothers' stories. And guess what, I don't hate her! I mean, she makes not the best choices, but I'm so happy that she is more like a Gary than a Chip. My standards have obviously been lowered.

I don't quite know why we needed the whole Robin bit in the beginning. Why is it important we learn so much about her and her family and where her money comes from? I get that we eventually get the connection to Denise because of the whole funding-her-restaurant-and-then-she-sleeps-with-both-Robin-and-Brian thing. But I don't see why that means we needed their whole back story. We don't even learn that much about Caroline, and she's actually a Lambert (through marriage, but still).

OK, so Denise. Why do we need to start with her as a teen? We just get Chip and Gary in the present but for Denise we first have to go through the Robin's-brother-is-an-asshole story. Then we see her as a teen and her first sexual encounter(s) before we can see her in the present and why? Is it because these are the things that defined her later, where for Gary and Chip it was more them as small children? And why are these the things that defined her later? Ugh Franzen, what are you trying to say?

And then Franzen, you really need to add sexual assault to her first time? Really? Things were creepy enough, what with Denise sleeping with one of her dad's co-workers (employees?) who's at least twice her age. Perhaps it's to make a connection to her mom and the rape scene we read last section? I don't really know what Franzen's saying here, but that's also because I'm not 100% sure he realizes he wrote two sexual assault scenes. Both options make me sad.

So we learn that Brian made lots and lots of money and they never have to work again, so he decides he's going to open his own restaurant and he hires Denise to be the chef. She gets to run the kitchen and make the decisions about the food and get paid way too much. And she gets to go to Europe for awhile to eat and be inspired. Look how good things are going for Denise? So obviously we know this won't last. At least I like that she's a cook. I know we already knew this from the earlier Chip & Gary chapters, but still. I'm just happy she's actually a cook and apparently a very good one. So see, Denise makes good decisions in one part of her life. Not so much with the trying to sleep with Brian stuff though. Of course, she seemed almost like she didn't want to do it. That she was going to have to. Not that Brian was forcing her but that that was what was expected based on the way he was acting and that's just how things work.

Let's talk about something happier. Brian and Robin's kids are annoying and pretentious. This is happier for me, because making fun of small, fictional children is fun. But seriously, "you be a pathogen...and I'll be a leukocyte" and no. No. Shut up.

I like that Denise was so focused at getting Robin to like her, not because she really wanted to be Robin's friend, but because she wanted to deny her the satisfaction of disliking her. All I could think was
Of course then they become more than just friends, because TWIST. You think Denise will have an affair with Brian, but turns out she's going to have one with his wife! And then with him because why not. I wasn't crazy about the affair with Robin, but mostly because of how the restaurant was suffering by her not being there, because I have messed up priorities. But dammit, Denise, this is a kick ass opportunity and you're sort of throwing it away. I'm not saying STOP sleeping with Robin. I'm just saying, maybe quit sneaking away from the restaurant during the dinner rush.

Now you've lost both Robin and Brian AAAND the restaurant. Dammit. I knew that was going to happen.

And we learn that Alfred didn't die. Which...what? How? 

Then there's some stuff about Chip and he was in Lithuania but now the country is falling apart and he's trying to get back to the States but doesn't really want to and blah blah blah. I tried to pay attention to this section, but really didn't care. Maybe Chip will end up just stuck at the airport in Lithuania. Or he'll be shot there. Whatever.

Sorry this was all over the place, but really, you know what you're getting into. Next week, we finish this thing! Will everyone stop being terrible? (Probably not.) Will Alfred be visited by more talking poo? (Thinking 50/50 chance.) Will Jonah find out he was actually adopted, and his real parents are loving and normal people who have come to take him back with him and give him lots of books to read? Also he's actually a wizard and he'll get to go to Hogwarts. But Hogwarts after the HP stories, so he doesn't have to deal with ever year of school getting ruined by Voldemort. I assume Jonah would appreciate really getting a full education. (Yeah, so this won't be happening, but oh man, how great would that be? You'd never see it coming. [Except if it does happen, I clearly just called it. I don't really know where I'm going with this, but it's been a long day.])

Till next week!

Title quote from page 377

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Top Character Names I Love and a Few Terrible Ones

I'm going to be upfront with you. This is a procrastination post. I am writing this post so I can have something to post without having to write up reviews for Alif the Unseen or Quiet or Coraline, all of which I enjoyed (to varying degrees [EXCEPT CORALINE WHICH I LOVED]). I even have a wedding update post I was planning on writing/posting last week and that clearly didn't happen. Last week and this week are just stress extravaganzas so the odds of a well thought out review are unlikely.
Instead, I'm doing this week's Tuesday Top Ten (hosted by the folks over at The Broke and The Bookish) which I like the topic, but my heart isn't totally in it. I'm sorry, and I'll make it up to you next week.*

Top Character Names I Luuuuurve

1. Thursday Next from the Thursday Next series - I don't like names that are ridiculous or unusual just for the sake of being unusual. Thursday's name is just unique enough to be interesting, but not so out of the blue that I think "You poor dear. Your childhood must have sucked."

2. Coraline from Coraline - As with Thursday, it's juuuust this side of unusual. I mean, it's really just Caroline with two of the letters switched but I LOVE THE NAME CORALINE. (Did I mention I read this not long ago and very much enjoyed it so I'm still in internet-shouty mode?)

3. Rosalind from As You Like It - I just think this is a pretty name.

4. Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird - I supposed technically this is a nickname, but still. it's so much more her than "Jean Louise" is.

Top Character Names That Make My Eyes Roll So Far Back I Actually Give Myself A Headache

5. Jaime Lannister from The Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones series - The name itself isn't bad. The fact that this is a character in an epic fantasy series and his nickname his "Kingslayer" but his real name is Jaime, and I'm sorry. No. That makes me laugh every time. A fantasy name with lots of consonants would have made more sense. But Jaime is not a name that instills fear in my heart. *Updated* to fix the fact that it's  Jaime and not Jamie. Neither name is scary

6. Bella Swan from the Twilight series - Really? Bella Swan? Not even going to try the whole "subtly" thing, huh?

7. Renesmme from the Twilight series - Oh Meyer, you made it here twice. Congrats. At least she seemed to realize, at least on some level, that this name is ridiculous given she had characters make fun of it. I mean, she also later had a teenager fall in love with a new born, so I guess that was his punishment.

8. Anastasia Rose Steel Grey from the 50 Shades of Grey series - Ladies and gentlemen, we have our champion. I think 8 year old me would have put this in the other category, because 8 year old me had terrible tastes. (Have you read Jennifer's 50 Shades recaps? Cos if not, you are seriously missing out)

*I understand I could just not post. But I WANT to post. I just don't want to write anything that requires too much brain power. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go back to yelling a fictional characters on TV.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Nevermind what's going on underneath. As long as we're all 'civil'

Guess what, everyone! It's another Franzy Friday!
FranzEEHHH is excited
Now we've made it through section 2, which was the longest section in this readalong. AND Goodreads tells me we're more than 50% of the way done. Which really just means I didn't split this up very well but what are you gonna do? Let's just enjoy the moment.

I did a lot of this reading during the Dewey's Readathon which meant it was easy for me to take notes. While for some this may mean a coherent and well thought out post, please instead expect there to be more random thoughts than usual since instead of having to just remember the stuff that happened, I wrote down a whooole bunch of stuff that is probably not that important. My note taking did take a nosedive near the end of this section, but that's because I spent a lot of time going "wait...what just happened?" Because, seriously, whatnow? To my random thoughts!

We get to meet Gary, the final member of the Lambert clan. I want to applaud Franzen's ability to make me hear the cacophony in his house. When Gary's trying to talk to Enid and everyone is just loud and yelling and needs something and OMG just shut up for 10 minutes, please.

Of course, Gary didn't exactly win me any sympathy points when we first meet him. He complains about the awesome dark room his wife had built for him because he really didn't want it anymore and he'd rather do his photo stuff on computers and now it's this gift he feels he HAS to use. And I get it, that would suck and be awkward. But you know what I get more? Your wife got you a super kick ass gift, and something YOU HAD BEEN SAYING you wanted to shut up and be grateful.
(Also I would like a darkroom, pleaseandthankyou.)

Gary's wife Caroline had some sympathy points with me at first. I mean, the darkroom, she's a mom that actually wants to spend time with her kids, and she gets hurt and Gary won't help her cos she didn't hurt her back inside but hurt it running around and WHO CARES, YOUR WIFE IS HURT. STOP BEING AN ASS. But then she does shit like wants to be her kids' best friend and totally not their mom and UGH
But even that I could let slide. Then she says this:
Basically, I think your brother's got the right idea. Here's a sweet, smart, funny man who's honest enough to say what he can and can't tolerate in the way of get-togethers.
And I'm sorry no. We're done. Chip is sweet and smart and funny and honest? AHAHAHAHA. No you lose. You lose everything.

Gary won back all his sympathy points plus Caroline's when I realized how terrible she is. I mean, her being an idiot about Chip is one thing. But what is this absolute refusal to go to St. Jude's and spend time with Enid and Alfred for one last Christmas. Oh I'm sorry, one time you went out there and had a bad time? A kid got sick and you fell down? Yeah, those are reasons to NEVER VISIT YOUR IN-LAWS AGAIN. God, you suck.

Man, I didn't realize how ragey this section made me.

I still like Denise best, Chip is an ass and needs punched, and I'm starting to pity Gary. I don't like him, but I see he's really trying to do the right thing. He's trying to get the money from his dad's patent, even though his dad doesn't want it. It doesn't seem like he wants the money for himself, so the motivations don't seem entirely selfish. He's sort of a dick to Caroline, but she's a zillion times worse and is working on turning the two oldest sons against him, so who cares. He seems like he was told that if he had this type of life, he would be happy. And he's not, so he's falling apart but he really wants to keep it together. Meanwhile, he's sort of

Plus we see some childhood flashbacks where Alfred is terrible and mean and I'm starting to actually feel bad for Enid having to put up with him. It's difficult to connect the Alfred who has trouble sitting on Chip's weird sex couch and hallucinates a Mr. Hankey as being such a dick when he was all there. But wtf him smashing all of the jars because Enid hadn't gotten around to moving them. Chip's reactions to him are starting to make sense.

Speaking of those flashbacks, we see how Enid ended up with Alfred. Well, kind of. But we see Enid was trying to make a good choice and find a good husband, and that sort of backfired, didn't it? She was hoping his personality would change and nope. I guess at least she did get someone that's a good earner, since that's what she wanted.

The cruise part. Pretty much all of that. I have no idea what's going on. So like I mentioned above, Alfred hallucinates some talking poop, but also Enid meets a lady whose daughter was raped and murdered and whose husband has decided the way to deal with things is to pretend it didn't happen, and then some crazy ship doctor guy gives Enid a bunch of "Aslan" pills, and Alfred possibly falls off the side of the boat.

Can someone explain this whole section to me because I'm not even sure if anything I just typed above happened. It's all a weird blur, which I think is the feeling you're supposed to get when reading this section (and if so, again, kudos Mr. Franzy) but I don't really know what we're going to get when we start the next section. Which I suppose is a good thing. It'll keep us reading.

Next week we'll read up to the section One Last Christmas. Hopefully we'll learn more about Denise and we'll figure out if Alfred actually did fall of the boat and maybe that Chip was really beat up by that Lithuanian guy
Title quote from page 171

Franzen, Jonathan. The Corrections. Picador, 2001.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Confessions of a reader who has to sometimes force herself to read

The readathon this past weekend got me thinking about my own reading habits. And also about how sitting around and reading all day is not really how I'd choose to spend my time. Which I feel is a sort of blasphemy for a bookish person.

I get the feeling the point of the readathon is to give ourselves the excuse to spend the whole day reading. The idea is almost that this is what we'd like to do anyway, but real life gets in the way. So this day is more to tell other people to leave us readers be more than it is a challenge for us to spend the day just reading. You know, for most participants anyway.

I was talking to a friend last Friday and I told her my weekend plans included doing a readathon. She paused and said "Huh. I don't think I could do that. I'd get too restless." My first instinct was to defend it. But then I thought about it and honestly, I don't do that much reading just sitting around at home, not unless I have something to compel me to read: a story I'm especially sucked into (this doesn't happen all that often, even when I do enjoy a book), I have to read to meet a deadline (like for a readalong), a readathon. Otherwise if I'm just hanging out at home I'm messing around online or playing Plants vs Zombies 2, or watching TV. Or honestly, a mix of those 3 things. On the one hand, reading requires too much focus, so I can't do it while doing other things. On the other hand, reading is always immersive enough. I can start reading, but I can also get easily distracted by pretty much everything around me.

But it can't just be things around me are distracting. I do the majority of my reading on the LIRR and subway, which are not exactly bastions of peacefulness. But the distractions on public transportation are the sort I'm actively trying to ignore (the weird smell of the guy next to me, the fact that this lady and I are currently sharing 2sq feet of personal space, the crazy man screaming that he's not short even though no one told him he's short and he is really of average height) while the things at home are vying for my attention in a positive way (I need to kill more zombies so I can get more keys and get better plants to kill more zombies). OK, maybe not positive. But just "things I'd like to ignore" and "things I like to pay attention to, even if maybe I should do less of it".

In this case a readathon, be it the Dewey 24 hour one or Tika's mini-readathon, gives me the push to do something I enjoy doing but don't usually do if I'm just hanging around the house. Even then I have to remind myself, "No! Do not go online. Stop that. Sit down and read." I'm not hating my time reading. But I do have to work to stay focused on reading instead of doing anything else.
My readathon wrap up, in GIF form
Am I alone in this? OK, I don't actually believe I'm alone in this, but I guess how many other people have to make themselves read, even when it's something they want to be doing, and that they enjoy doing?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Readathon Update Another!

The reading is continuing!

Let's give an update shall we?

Books read
~100 pages of Corrections
~20% of Alif the Unseen
~3 and 1/2 discs from World War Z

So yeah, I have no idea how much I've actually read. But that much.

I've just about made it through this week's Corrections readalong section but the words stopped making sense so I needed to take a break. I went back to Alif the Unseen and I am 6% from the end but my Kindle starting getting all annoyed cos it was out of battery or something blah blah blah. So I'm taking a little break to watch some SNL.

In terms of snacks, on the way back home we stopped at Shake Shack and got milkshakes. So don't worry, I've yet to eat anything healthy today.

...I just got to Katy Perry's "Roar" performance on SNL and I recommend taking a look at some screencaps from it because I feel so bad for her band. What has she made them wear? I'd say watch the clip, but that means you'd have to listen to the song.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Readathon Update 2!

I know it's been awhile but I was out doing all that family stuff and getting locked out of a church and whatnot.*

BUT I have been reading. Or listening to someone read to me anyway. We listened to the World War Z audiobook and made it through about 3 and 1/2 discs because traffic between LI and NJ is terrible.

I don't have any food pictures but I did eat a lot! So I'm pretty much fulfilling the  duties of this readalong.

Now back to actual sit-on-the-couch-and-read-some-books stuff.

*We went to a confirmation for one of Boyfriend+'s cousins. Apparently if you get there late they aren't happy

Readathon Update!

Alright so it's been about an hour, so it's time for an update!

I read about 40 pages or so of The Corrections while riding the exercise bike cos I wanted to feel somewhat productive today.

I ate a bagel with lox. So my breath smells awesome right now. This could be a good way to keep people away and get some reading done. Except right now Boyfriend+ is the only one around and he also had the bagel so this isn't going to work.

I should now have a couple uninterrupted hours to read before I need to get ready and then head off. I'll try to keep reading while I'm out, although I will likely be unable to update here and visit blogs.


Readathon daaaay! Alice is forcing me had suggested that I should do this year's Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon. I agreed to it and since that time have done no preparations whatsoever. So this will be interesting.

Also, when I originally agreed to the readathon I had nothing going on today. I now have a family function I must attend to. Don't worry! I plan on making Boyfriend+ play an audiobook in the car and I figure I'll be anti-social and try to get some reading done when I probably should be socializing. Also there will be food so if nothing else, I'll have snacks covered during this time. Hopefully his family won't mind me snapping pictures.

So, the books:

I don't plan on reading everything here. I don't plan on reading most of what's here. This is just the TBR pile I have sitting near me and that seems like a good place to start. Top to bottom

World War Z by Max Brooks - This is the audiobook I mentioned before. I figured I needed something Halloween-y and also it's fantastic. I don't care if I've read the book twice before and listened to the audiobook earlier this year.
The Corrections by Franzey - You all know I'm doing that readalong right? You should joooin in.
Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson - OK, so this is actually my Kindle, but it has Alif on it. It has a lot of stuff on it so there's a good chance I'll pick up Attachments where I last left off for this readathon too.
Quiet by Susan Cain - I bought this about a month ago and keep saying I should read it. So hopefully I'll actually start it now
The Hours by Michael Cunningham - I believe I bought this right around the time of Quiet. Hooray sales racks.
Shakespeare's Insults by W.F. Hill and C.J. Ottchen - Who doesn't like some good Shakespearian insults?
The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat by Oliver Sacks - Yes, let's laugh at people seeking psychological help

At this point we get to my TBR books that I want to read, but they've been on the pile for over a year. Actually, I think I won a couple of them during a readathon I did 2 years ago...

The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke - I loved Strange & Norrell so I thought I should try this. I haven't yet...
With My Body by Nikki Gemmell - Not really sure what this one is about. Won it in a set of 5 mystery books.
When We Argued All Night by Aliuce Mattison - Another won book
The Given Day by Dennis Lehane - This one I do want to read cos I heart me some Lehane, it's just so big. My shoulders weep if they see me putting it near my purse.

Oh and question time!

1. What fine part of the world are you reading from today? 
I'm in NY for now and will be hopping over to NJ later. Then back in NY.

2. Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? 
I actually really want to get through this week's Franzen section. And Quiet has been on my radar for awhile now. And there's a chance I may go to a bookstore later and try to find a copy of Coraline...

3. Which snacks are you most looking forward to? 
Hmm haven't really planned those. I have these coconut bar things that are pretty great. It's pretty much a mounds bar without the chocolate. And some carrots if I need to be healthy

4. Tell us a little something about yourself.
I am terrible at planning and assume things will just get figured out on their own. Hasn't happened yet.

5. If you participated in the last readathon, what will you do differently? Or if this is your first, what are you most looking forward to?
I participated a few years ago and I think that was a last minute decision too. But it was fun. I think I'll try to do things mostly the same, except this time around I'll have to be in a few locations, so we'll see how things go.

I haven't decided how I'll update (keep it all in one post? separate posts?) So we'll see. For now I'm going to start with some Franzen and maybe ride the bike while reading.

Friday, October 11, 2013

You could feel it: something terrible was going to happen

Welcome to Friday and our first Corrections post. Well first one where we actually talk about the book. And you know what? I actually enjoyed it.
I know, right? What? I thought it was going to be very dense and difficult to get through. The beginning, before we get to Chip's story, was a little bit difficult to start. I didn't just fall into the rhythm. I had to learn it. But once I did, the reading went really fast.

Before we get into the post I have something to share. There was some talk of how Franzey is sort of like Fonzie and hey, wouldn't it be great if that was a thing? I mentioned it to Boyfriend+, and look what he has given us:
We have our mascot

*Beware, for thar be spoilers.* Also this isn't going to be anything coherent but instead a bunch of random thoughts I had while reading. I figured that structure worked out during the HP readalong.

Even though I said I'm actually enjoying the book doesn't mean I LIKE the characters. I mean at this point I don't think enough people are punching Chip. This should be a every-time-he-shows-up type of thing. He's just so terrible and pathetic and pretentious and yes, I do think we're seeing some Franzen in there. But I think it's safe to say there is no issue with Mary Sue-ing here.

Since so much of this first chapter focused on Chip, let's see what notes I took:

Chip wore leather pants to go pick his parents up from the airport. CHIP WORE LEATHER PANTS.
Chip is watching Cent Ans de Cinema Erotique. Dammit, even your porn is pretentious. You are terrible. And you're going to be pissed after throwing your pretentio-porn in the dishwasher, because you are totally going to want that VHS back. I feel like he'd still be watching VHS porn even in the internet age. You know, because Chip is Franzen and they both hate technology.

Of course, Chip had weird sex with an undergrad. Because he's creepy. But then the whole humping the chaise searching for remnants of vaginal tang? That's moving into new and special levels of creepiness
Chip gets so angry at his sister for wearing a tank top in a photo in the magazine. At first I was on his side. "Yeah, why are they doing this girl-as-object thing??" But then I thought about it some more and thought "She's just wearing a fucking tank top? What's the answer? There can't be any photos of women? Or they have to be totally covered up? I hate you Chip." I don't know how much of that is actual anger or how much of it is because Chip sucks so much.

So did Chip end up in Lithuania? I sort of lost the plot at this point.

Now some non-Chip stuff. I am undecided on if I like Enid or not. I think she's a bit racist, from a different time, very concerned with appearances and what the neighbors think and a bit manipulative. Maybe it's more than a bit. I'm hoping to see some more of her. I sort of picture her as a light-weight, Midwestern version of Lucille Bluth. She doesn't seem as conniving as Lucille but I don't think she's as naive as she'd like people to think. Her repeatedly telling Denise the story about Norma? Yeah, she's not as sharp as Lucille, but she knows what she's doing.

We've seen Alfred and Denise, but I feel like we've really only been introduced to Chip and to a slightly lesser extent Enid. I feel like I have opinions about those characters. Al and Denise we have a sketch of them, but we haven't filled in the shading just yet. Then there's Gary who we haven't even met yet.

I hope we get more Denise and Enid in the next section. And Al. I guess.  Oh, and since this opening wasn't nearly as painful as I assumed, I'm thinking we'll be fine to read some extra pages. So read until you get to The Generator chapter break. Til next week!

Title quote from page 3
Franzen, Jonathan. The Corrections. Picador, 2001.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

To really be a nerd, she'd decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one.

I read Rainbow Rowell's third book Fangirl a week ago. I almost missed my stop on the train. I've come close but never actually been surprised to realize I am at my stop and need to get off the train right now. Or else have a very unfun morning commute. The saddest part? I was reading the acknowledgements. I really was not ready for things to be over.

I was planning on a the very least liking this. I still read Attachments pretty much anytime I finish whatever Kindle book I'm reading but don't feel like starting something new. (It's really great for this cos it's easy to put down for a month+ and then pick it up again, no problem.) Then there's Eleanor & Park which is wonderful and makes me wish I had enough money to buy everyone in the Minnesota Anoka-Hennepin district a copy of this book. Fangirl did not disappoint. You know, if the fact that I almost missed my stop wasn't obvious enough. I really can't decide which one I like best. Every time I make a decision, I change my mind and remember the other 2 exist. So just know they're all wonderful and you should probably read them all right away if you haven't already. Even if you have, maybe read them again.

Cath is, I believe, a classic introvert.* She and her identical twin sister Wren are starting college in the fall and to Cath's disappointment, Wren doesn't want to room with her. She thinks it's about time they meet other people. She doesn't want to go exploring, not even to find the cafeteria, which means she spends a lot of time eating granola bars in her room. She doesn't want to meet new people, not even her roommate Reagan, who can be a bit intimidating but is also sharing a tiny space with you so maybe say hi. Cath is out of her comfort zone all the time. Except when she's writing fanfic about Simon Snow, which is Harry Potter (except HP is also a thing in this world). I don't know what else to say about the plot without giving things away but there's so much good stuff with Levi, Reagan's friend that is always hanging out in their room and seems unnaturally nice, and Cath's writing classmate Nick, and Cath's dad, and Wren with her more "traditional" I guess collect experience. I'm trying really hard not to start rambling and how much I like this, and it's not going all that well.

Rowell makes me happy because first she makes Eleanor a redhead BUT she's not Irish, and she has brown eyes which is so nice to see (because seriously, not every redhead has green eyes). THEN this time she writes this:

"I can't decide what color [Cath's eyes] are. What does it say on your driver's license?"
"They're not blue."
"They are on the outside."
"And brown in the middle," [Levi] said. "And gray on the edge and green in between."

And TOTALLY nails what my brother's eyes look like. Maybe I have a doppelganger family living somewhere in Nebraska.

What's that? You'd like some more example quotes. Well, if you insist.

In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can't google.) Like, where does the line start? What food can you take? Where are you supposed to stand, then where are you supposed to sit? Where do you go when you're done, why is everyone watching you?...Bah.
(I go through this pretty much anytime I'm in a new situation and it's why I end up getting lunch at the same few places. New things are stressful.)

"I feel sorry for you, and I'm going to be your friend."
"I don't want to be your friend," Cath said as sternly as she could. "I like that we're not friends."
"Me, too," Reagan said. "I'm sorry you ruined it by being so pathetic."

"It makes me feel like the Ugly One."
"You're not the ugly one." Levi grinned. "You're just the Clark Kent."

"I don't like hello. It makes me sound like I have dementia, like I've never heard a phone ring before and I don't know what's supposed to happen next. Hello?"

I'll stop now, but know I could keep going.

I really liked this book. I liked Levi, I loved Reagan (and would like to add her to the list of fictional people I would like to be BFFs with), I like Cath's dad, I even grew to like Cath and it didn't even take that long. Which is good goes she's the main character so you spend a lot of time with her. I can't say the Simon Snow and Carry On chapters were my favorite thing, but I liked them more than I expected to. Not as much as I like the "real world" chapters, but still.

If this was a different author and you told me to read a sort of YA**, sort of love story that centers around a very shy girl who writes fan fiction, I would smile and nod at you while thinking that I will never be getting around to this. But as soon as you say Rainbow Rowell wrote it, well I am there. And I love it. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to continue reading all of those lines I highlighted.

*I haven't read Quiet yet but it's on my radar. And I assume once I get to it I'll be an expert.
**I really have no idea what is and isn't YA. This is why I never organize my books by genre. Or at all.

Title quote from page 299, location 4721

Rowell, Rainbow. Fangirl. St. Martin's Griffin, 2013. Kindle edition.

Monday, October 7, 2013

That's how it goes, you think you're on top of the world, and suddenly they spring Armageddon on you

I wish I had read Good Omens sooner. Like in high school. And I don't mean "I wish I'd read it sooner because I think I missed my window, like with A Wrinkle in Time." I mean it like "Dammit, high school me would have really liked this book, as does present day me, and had I read it back in high school I'd have more time to read and enjoy it." Which I know is a little When Harry Met Sally-esque, but still. True.
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch is the story of the Apocalypse, which is due to happen next Saturday. In preparation Satan sent his son up to earth to be born, but there was a bit of a mix up in the Satanist Nun run hospital and little Adam was raised as a normal human. Of course he still has a very confused hellhound. Best friends Aziraphale and Crowley, and angel and demon respectively, have grown to enjoy (or are at least amused by) Earth and the people on it and aren't so keen for everything to end. The Four Horsemen, War, Famine, Pollution (Pestilence retired once penicillin was invented), and Death are gathering. Then there's Anathema Device, descendant of the titular prophet and witch Agnes Nutter, who has the only copy of Agnes's totally accurate prophesies and knows the end is coming. She joins forces with Newton Pulsifer, descendant of the man that orchestrated Agnes's burning at the stake, to try to find the Antichrist.

My first Gaiman experience didn't go so well but I heard there was a connection between this book and the movie Dogma which I was (am) a big big fan of. Hence the reason why high school me probably would have loved this book. After this I'm thinking Gaiman needs to team up with Prachett all the time, pleaseandthankyou. This was great. It was hilarious and surprisingly easy to keep track of all of the characters and story lines that all come together to try to stop the impending Apocalypse.

The biggest complaint I have is that the book went by too quickly. I couldn't help by blow through it. I wanted to know what happened next. I wanted to see if Adam ever realized the powers he had. I wanted to see if Asiraphale and Crowley would be able to find Adam and stop the Final Judgement. The Four Horsemen are dealt with so cleverly. Pollution is a little heavy handed and I could see him as a Captain Planet villain, but Famine is so great (he owns restaurants that serve insanely small portions and creates diet food so even people in developed nations are literally starving to death) that it all evens out.

I'm not really sure what to say. Anytime I write a review of a book I enjoy I never really know what to say to really convince you that you should read this. Guess it's a good thing I don't write book reviews or anything. So yeah, if you liked Dogma you should read this cos you'll probably enjoy it too. It's not the same and it's not a movie version or interpretation of the book, but you can tell the book influenced the movie (and I believe Smith even thanked Gaiman in the credits. Which seems mean to leave Pratchett out...) If you haven't seen Dogma, you should do that. Then you should go ahead and read this. Or read this first and then see the movie. Either order is fine, really. As long as you've got both covered.

Title quote from page 22

Gaiman, Neil and Terry Pratchett. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch. HarperTorch, 1990

Friday, October 4, 2013

Corrections intro: Hate the author, love the novel

WELCOME to the first post of The Corrections readalong!

For this first post, I guess normally the plan is to introduce yourself. Except we sort of already all know each other so that's probably a waste of time. Instead, let's talk about Franzen and why we're doing this. Or hesitations we may have about the book. It's almost like an AA meeting.

I'm reading The Corrections because I bought it almost 3 full years ago (October 10, 2010) on my way back home from a friend's wedding. I had finished whatever book I brought with me and was browsing one of the airport bookshops. I didn't know much about Franzen. This was still early in my book blogging days. I just knew I'd seen the cover, and the summary looked like something I'd be into. Then for whatever reason, I ended up not starting the book during my flight home. Probably cos of the massive hangover I was also nursing. I got about 5 pages in before I quit. I tried again last year for the Smooth Criminals reading challenge and yeah, that worked out just as well. I'm hoping the readalong is the thing.

I'm hosting it because Laura said it's my turn.

As for my hesitations. Well...

Is it possible to enjoy a novel if the author is a doucheface?

Short answer: Yes
Long answer: Well, most of the time...

The way I see it there are 2 general types of douchefaces:
Douchefaces who just seem like they'd be unpleasant to hang out with but aren't necessarily terrible people
Douchefaces who are racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic various other -ists and -phobics and overall seem like just awful people

This can be further broken down into 2 groups:
Douchefaces who are alive
Douchefaces who are dead

And because seeing Tina Fey host SNL made me realize how much I miss Liz Lemon, I'll let her demonstrate my emotions towards these different doucheface authors

Unpleasant & Dead
Let's say we have a doucheface who isn't awful, merely unpleasant, and they're dead. Well, that's pretty easy. There are lots of people I don't really want to hang out with. I'm pretty sure that's the majority of the world, so you'd be very busy if you constantly let it get to you. And they're dead so you won't have to listen to them being obnoxious in any new interviews. Think of this as Charles Dickens. He (as I learned from Alice) was very openly an ass to his wife. But he's not getting into any new family abandonment shenanigans what with being dead and all, and you can read his stuff with a clear conscious.

Liz Lemon Level:

Unpleasant & Alive
Next, what if we have the merely-unpleasant doucheface and s/he's also still hanging around? Other than causing spontaneous eye-rolls whenever you read their latest complaint about whatever is pissing them off at the moment or maybe they're the Lindsay Lohan/Charlie Sheen of the literary world and you just watch them make new and exciting bad decisions while you continue to enjoy their early work. Maybe you don't want to encourage their behavior and buying their new books/keeping them relevant is, in a long distance kind of way, encouraging this. But whatever. This is where Franzy* falls. He may bitch and moan about how terrible Twitter is or how he can't stand TV and doesn't even OWN one** but that doesn't really affect his writing. We're still in no harm/no foul territory.

Liz Lemon Level:

Awful & Dead
Now we get into more complicated territory. What if the doucheface author in question was an awful person? But the key word there is WAS cos now they're dead. Perhaps they were horrible racists. And vocal ones at that. Maybe they were some of the original "make me a sandwich" sexists, or whatever some historical equivalent of that would be. But the bad (wo)man is gone now and can't hurt you any more. Think of this as Flannery O'Connor. She apparently loved her some racist jokes and had no problem pissing off her Civil Rights Activists friends with them. It may be uncomfortable cos you want to love the authors as much as you love their work. But you know what, it's fine. You can hate what the person stood for, but they aren't around to keep being terrible so you don't have to worry about supporting their hatred.***

Liz Lemon Level:

Awful & Alive
Finally we have the worst of them. The awful doucheface who is still alive and keeps being awful. They let you know how much they hate X type of person. And they support foundations that make the world a terrible place. This is noted homophobe Orson Scott Card. Is it possible to separate the author completely from their work? Yeah. Will I yell at people if I see them reading his stuff? Nope. Am I happy that I read Ender's Game before knowing about all his doucheface-ness? So happy. Will I be reading any more of his stuff or seeing the Ender's Game movie? Probably not till he's dead. Or if he does a 180. Chuck Wendig puts it much better than I ever could, but look, I don't want to support this guy. I don't want to support him financially so he can (again, in a very long distance sort of way) spend that money I gave him on groups I hate.

Liz Lemon Level:

SO. Why are you joining in this readalong? Other than it's going to be awesome and full of snark and gifs.

*Yeah I have a feeling I'm going to call him this throughout the readalong.
**I've obviously been giving this a lot of thought. And not just because of this readalong but given Franzen recently being in the news for being extra crotchety, it's all working out nicely isn't it?
***I had author examples for each category but this one was a bit tricky. Luckily I found this great list. And by great I mean "DAMMIT DR. SEUSS WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?" Hits your right in the childhood. However, before finding this list I did consider Lewis Carol cos I had read about his weird child photography stuff in the Annotated Alice Through The Looking Glass, but I'm trying to think maybe this is a different time and he's not quite as bad as some of the others.