Apr 28

Go Ask Alice… All of Them.

Top Ten Tuesday 15

Happy Tuesday Bookworms!

I can’t help but notice random things, and I’ve noticed that I’ve met very few people in real life who are named Alice even though I seem to run into them in literature ALL THE TIME. When I saw that this week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, as always) was “Top Ten Characters Who…” I had to do it. Today I’m listing characters who are named Alice. Curiouser and curiouser, my friends.

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1. Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll- Ah yes, the original Alice. Her adventures are the stuff of legend. She is and will remain my homegirl.

2. Alice Liddell Hargreaves from Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin- The fictionalized story behind the “real” Alice, or Lewis Carroll’s supposed muse. This book is kind of disturbing… If you want your view of Alice in Wonderland to remain untainted, maybe skip this one. It makes some suggestions about some of the more disconcerting aspects of Lewis Carroll’s unusual relationship with Alice. (It’s a well researched book, but certainly takes some license in the conclusions it draws.)

3. Alice Cullen from the Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer- Okay, I KNOW. But my inner 13 year old loved these books (when my outer grown up shut up long enough) and Alice was by far my favorite character. I mean, she’s psychic, but psychic in a way that allows you to change things before disaster strikes. Sweet, right?

4. Alice Love from What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty (review)- I kind of thought that part of the reason Moriarty chose the name Alice for her protagonist was because said protagonist had amnesia and was in something approaching her own confusing version of Wonderland. Good book, though. I’m rather fond of the name Alice under any circumstance.

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5. Alice Quinn from The Magicians by Lev Grossman (review)- Alices tend to be some of the coolest characters, don’t they? I loved Alice the brilliant, feisty magician. She deserved better. Siiiigh.

6. Alice Howland from Still Alice by Lisa Genova (review)- My heart broke into thousands of tiny pieces reading Still Alice but it was so brilliant. Of course, part of me felt that the Alice’s name was chosen yet again in homage to my homegirl the original Alice, but I digress. Again.

7. Alice Foxman from This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper (review)- desperate to conceive a baby, this Alice goes a wee bit off the deep end… I shall not spoiler you, but I’ve heard the movie isn’t faithful to the book during a crucial scene.

8. Alice from The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (review)- What gang of high school misfits would  be complete without an Alice? So what if she is from a wealthy family and still insists on shoplifting? I mean, Winona Ryder, you know?

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I couldn’t come up with any more fictional Alices, but Alice Walker, Alice Hoffman, and Alice Sebold are all awesome authors. Are you tired of me saying “Alice” yet? Alice, Alice, Alice!!! Alright, Bookworms. I’m SURE I’ve forgotten a good many fictional Alices. Name some of your favorites!

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Apr 27

The Fellowship of the Worms Blasts Off: The Martian

Audio Books, Book Club 19

Happy Monday Bookworms!

smarty-mcwordypants-199x300It’s time that time again, y’all! The Fellowship of the Worms is in session! Today we’re going to be discussing the impossibly suspenseful novel, The Martian by Andy Weir. WARNING: We will be discussing the WHOLE book. This will no doubt include SPOILERS. If you did not read the book and would like to participate, pick up a copy of The Martian and give it a read. This post will be here waiting for you when you finish. Now that the particulars are out of the way, I’ll remind you of the premise here. I’ll pose questions in bold and answer them in regular type.  If you don’t want your opinions influenced by my rantings, stick to the bold first. Feel free to answer questions in the comments, or if you’re so inclined, leave a comment linking to your review or discussion of The Martian on your own blog! I fully encourage shameless self promotion, so don’t hesitate to get your link on. Let’s do this! 

1. Does anybody else have a bit of a crush on Mark Watney after reading this? 

Um, heck yes! Super smart botanist/astronaut/engineer with a killer sense of humor and survival instinct? If MacGuyver, Bill Nye, and, I dunno, Tina Fey? got together and conquered Mars with science, duct tape, and hilarity, it might come close to matching Mark Watney’s awesomeness. Yes, please.

2. Do you think the crew was right in leaving Watney behind?

I’m with Mark on this one. I absolutely cannot blame the crew for leaving Watney. All their evidence pointed towardthemartian his being dead. It’s not like they were just like “he wasn’t back in time let’s go.” They were like “noooooo our friend is dead and Mars is evil!” The data all said “dude is dead, get out before you get sand stormed to death” so they did.

3. Do you think it’s realistic that Mark could have kept his sense of humor throughout his ordeal?

If it were me, I’d have given up early on and gone to a cold Martian grave. Watney’s maintenance of spirit is impressive, but I kind of believe it could happen. In listening to Mary Roach’s Packing for Mars (review), I learned that they have some crazy methods of picking astronauts. Would a person with an “ordinary” temperment have reacted the way Watney did? No. But they choose some pretty unusual characters to go into space. It makes sense to me, on some level. Plus, I loved Watney’s snarky humor so I’m talking myself into his being plausible.

4. Matt Damon is going to be playing Mark Watney in the upcoming movie version of The MartianHow do you feel about the casting decision? 

I listened to the audio version of this book (which was spectacular, BTW) and I can TOTALLY hear Matt Damon delivering Mark’s lines. I think he’s probably more handsome than what I imagine a botanist/engineer/astronaut would look like, but it’s Hollywood. Everybody is prettier than normal and that’s just something that happens in movie versions of books.

5. How many times did you think Mark was really, truly, going to bite it? 

The suspense killed me. Every time I thought Mark was really getting somewhere something insane would happen. Something would blow up or crash or get fried or be sucked into the Martian atmosphere and ruined. I was seriously stressed out reading and didn’t believe Watney would make it several times. Of course, in the earlier catastrophes, I tried to figure out what would fill the rest of the book if they killed off Watney but holy cats I don’t know HOW he made it out alive. Fictionally. Whatever. This has all been very intense and real for me, okay?!

Sound off, Bookworms! I want to know your what you thought of The Martian. Tackle some of the questions in the comments, or if you’ve written a post on your own blog (discussion or review, anything goes!) LINK IT UP! 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Apr 22

Literary Love Connection: Sinners and Saints

Humor, Literary Love Connection 18

Greetings Bookworms,

It’s been a while since I set any fictional characters up on a date, and the time has come. As you recall, the rules for Literary Love Connection are simple. I choose two fictional characters. I send them on a fake date. I watch imaginary sparks fly. Who will join Snaponine, Scarcliff, Minurtagh, and Arigo in the mildly disturbing ranks of my oddball couples? Read on, my friends!

literaryloveconnection

Today’s Bachelor is Jean Valjean from Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (review). Jean has a checkered past, but after a meaningful encounter with a clergyman, he’s sought to live a virtuous life raising a beautiful and precocious daughter.

Today’s Bachelorette is Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hester’s checkered past begins with a meaningful encounter with a clergyman (AHEM), and with only a wee bit of defiance, she has sought to live a virtuous life while raising a beautiful and precocious daughter (who might be a little evil.)

Date Takes Place In Wooded Area Outside Boston

Jean: Bonjour, Madamoiselle. Your gown is so beautifully embroidered.

Hester: I thank thee. Unfortunately, the embroidery you admire is the evidence of my sin.

Jean: I have tried for years to atone for my sins! I was inspired by the holiest of men to turn my life around. Alas, I was thwarted at every turn by an unfair and antiquated justice system! And this complete jerk of a cop… You seriously would not believe this guy…

Hester: I have tried to atone for my sin by embracing it… Fashionably. After owning up to adultery, why not add vanity to the list? Of course, none of this would be necessary if it weren’t for this Puritanical justice system.

Jean: Was your clergyman as kind and loving as mine?

Hester: In a manner of speaking…

Jean: And your beautiful daughter! This is how a young girl should be raised. You wouldn’t believe how I found my beloved Cossette!

Hester: Found? She’s not the child of your loins?

Jean: No, her mother, Fantine, was a prostitute. I promised to care for the child as my own on her death bed.

Hester: So you’re ammenable to raising children that aren’t yours, and you don’t mind ladies who aren’t, perhaps, the most pure? What do you say we sit side by side in contemplative silence?

Jean: It is my greatest wish!

literaryloveconnection Jeanster Valprynne

Welcome to the ranks, Jeanster Valprynne! May you and your tortured souls enjoy a morally ambiguous relationship together. Tell me, Bookworms! Are there any other fictional characters you’d like to see meet their match? I’m always open to suggestions! 
 
*If you make a purchase through a link on this site I will receive a small commission.*

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Apr 20

20 Questions (Because I am Ill-Prepared to Discuss Books Today)

Q&A, Uncategorized 19

Howdy Bookworms!
I’m running behind blog wise so I thought I’d tackle the super fun 20 questions game I saw Jen at The Relentless Reader complete a while back. Everybody loves 20 questions, right?!
20 Questions About Me:
 
1. HOW TALL ARE YOU?
5’3 and a half. The half inch is very important to me. I typically round up and tell people I’m 5’4 because it’s weird to claim the half inch when you’re over the age of 9.
2. DO YOU HAVE A HIDDEN TALENT?
Hmmmm. I’m actually really good at hula hooping. Not like, circus caliber hula hooping, but I’m pretty confident I could win a contest at a company picnic.
3. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST BLOG-RELATED PET PEEVE?
Like that I do or that other people do? I’ve been so awful about reading other blogs recently that I can’t even think of complaints. How about this? I spent my evening working on a post that I didn’t realize I couldn’t post until next week anyway? That’s kind of annoying. But really, I think we’re all winning, because me interviewing myself is highly entertaining. To me.
4. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST NON-BLOG RELATED PET-PEEVE?
Personal space. Lately this has been bugging me at the gym. Like, I am going to sweat and be repulsive and I really just want a three foot radius so I don’t have to worry about bumping into people. Invasion of my space (even though I KNOW I’m not entitled to it, especially when a class is full) just bugs me. Or, like, during the running track of BodyAttack there are always a couple of middle aged dudes who feel the need to run super fast and like try to win. There just isn’t any “winning” in running laps during an aerobics class, okay? Nobody is impressed!
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5. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SONG?
I don’t know that I can claim a favorite song. Is that bad? How about “our song?” My husband and I claim “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” by Gordon Lightfoot as “our song” because it’s the least appropriate and least romantic song ever. Of course, I secretly think that “our songs” are “Romeo and Juliet” by Dire Straits (because it’s pretty), “The Way I Am” by Ingrid Michaelson (because it’s adorable), and “True Companion” by Mark Cohn (because I’m a sap and attended far too many weddings.)
6. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE ETSY SHOP?
Oh that’s easy! My pal Lily (who also writes a blog, It’s A Dome Life) has a FAB Etsy store full of hand painted jewelry and art. It’s amazing.
7. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE WAY TO SPEND YOUR FREE TIME WHEN YOU’RE ALONE?
Reading, obviously. I also like to soft-shoe dance in my kitchen.
8. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE JUNK FOOD?
Nacho Cheese Doritos are my dietary kryptonite. I can’t keep the darn things in my house because I can’t just eat a few chips, I eat like half the bag. It’s highly detrimental to my quest to keep my pants fitting.
9. DO YOU HAVE PETS?
Nope. Unless you count my husband. But he’s like a super clean pet who is really fond of windex, so…
10. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE FICTION AND NONFICTION BOOKS?
Ha! No. That I cannot tell you. All time favorites are super impossible. I can give you two that I love though. Will that do?
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Swoon!

11. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BEAUTY PRODUCT?
I looooove EOS lip balm and ELF eyelid primer. Because APPARENTLY I only like beauty products by companies with three letter acronym names beginning with “E.”
12. WHEN WERE YOU LAST EMBARRASSED?
Oh heavens. It happens all the time. Actually, I tripped rather spectacularly last night on a stroll through my neighborhood. Thanks to my cat-like reflexes I was not injured, but it wasn’t my most graceful moment.
13. IF YOU COULD DRINK ONE BEVERAGE FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Water. I’m so freaking boring. I just really like being hydrated, okay? And this is the rest of my life we’re talking about!
14. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?
Mary Poppins. I usually turn it off before they get to the bank, though, because it used to scare me. Besides, all the best parts are at the beginning. The chalk painting? The floating laughter tea party? The dancing penguins?! Awwww yeah.
15. WHAT WERE YOU IN HIGH SCHOOL? PROM QUEEN, NERD, CHEERLEADER, JOCK, VALEDICTORIAN, BAND GEEK, LONER, ARTIST, ETC?
Hmmm… I was pretty nerdy, pretty broody, and I took ballet lessons. An enigma wrapped in a mystery swathed in very large pants was high school Katie.
16. IF YOU COULD LIVE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, WHERE WOULD YOU LIVE?
I am SUCH a chicken. I get sweaty palms when I think about uprooting from my current surroundings. It’s not because I’m just THAT in love with Central Illinois, but I don’t do change particularly well.
17. PC OR MAC?
I always had Macs growing up. Hubs still uses a Mac for most things (esp video things) but I do most of my blogging and whatnot on a PC.
18. LAST ROMANTIC GESTURE FROM A CRUSH, DATE, BOYFRIEND?
This isn’t the most recent romantic gesture, but it’s come up a couple of times recently and it bears mentioning again. For my 30th birthday Hubs took me to meet a penguin in real life AND bought out the whole penguin encounter so it was just the two of us and the penguin. It was pretty great.
19. FAVORITE CELEB?
Amy Poehler. She’s my spirit animal. (I am keeping Jen’s answer because it is perfection.)
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20. WHICH BLOGGER DO YOU SECRETLY WANT TO BE BEST FRIENDS WITH?
Oh man. This is a tough question. Mostly because I actually met and became friends with some of the bloggers I admire most (Filing Jointly and Pocketful of Joules, I’m looking at you!). That, or I was friends with them before the whole blogging thing even happened (Quirky Chrissy.) There are a ton of book bloggers I’d love to pal around with whom I’ve yet to meet, but I feel like putting that level of creepiness out on the internet would be weird. They’re not famous per se, they’re just awesome.
Talk to me, Bookworms. Anybody else feel like over sharing? I’d love to know more about you! I also want to know if anybody wants to secretly be Best Friends with me. I’m open to the idea. You really can’t have too many friends. 
*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Apr 17

Conversations With My Husband: Crankypants

Personal 17

Happy Friday Bookworms!

Everybody has crappy days from time to time. What’s important is surrounding yourself with people who can (usually) snap you out of that mood. In case I needed a reminder as to why I married my husband, this conversation happened recently.

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Katie: I hate everything today. Please excuse me while I go listen to Nirvana in the dark.

Jim: Are you channeling teen angst Katie?

Katie: Yup.

Jim: The floors could use a nice shine from your giant blue jeans.

Katie: I just want to win the lottery. And for Hogwarts to exist.

Jim: Yeah, but for Hogwarts to exist, we would have to battle evil. Plus, that’s how basilisks happen. Do you want basilisks, Katie? Do you?!

Katie: You jerk. You made me laugh when I was in the middle of a good sulk!

Jim: Is this conversation going to make the blog?

Katie: Indeed it is.

Nothing cheers me up like a well timed Harry Potter comeback. Even if battling evil is NOT how basilisks happen. It’s all those toads hatching chicken eggs… But I digress. Hubs is a keeper.

Talk to me, Bookworms. Does anybody else out there banter HP style?

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Apr 16

The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg

Historical Fiction 19

Bonjour Bookworms,

Sometimes songs get stuck in my head and it’s a book’s fault. Occasionally, it’s because a song is mentioned in a book. Sometimes it’s because the song and the book just go together. Sometimes it’s because they share a title. I probably should have been kind of suspicious of Elizabeth Berg’s new novel, The Dream Lover, when it succeeded in getting a Mariah Carey tune stuck in my head. My 10 year old self didn’t make up a dance routine to “Dreamlover” or anything. That would definitely did not happen… *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley for review consideration. I pledge on my right to wear pants that the following opinions are uninfluenced by the fact that I didn’t have to purchase this book.*

dreamloverThe Dream Lover is about scandalous 19th century novelist George Sand. She not only took on a man’s name for her nom de plume (rather a fad in those days. Just ask the Bronte sisters… Erm… “Bell” “brothers”) but she also dressed like a man and had extra marital affairs while hobnobbing with Paris’s intellectual elite. As one does. The most famous female writer of her time, Sand had an impressive list of friends and lovers including Frederic Chopin, Gustave Flaubert, Franz Liszt, Eugene Delacroix, Victor Hugo, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and probably all the other famous writers, actors, artists, and musicians in Europe at the time. She was terribly popular. Salons, you know. And not the kind in which I have my hair dyed. The fancy kind with the thinking and the art and the discourse. Elizabeth Berg takes on Sand’s story from a first person perspective and tackles love, family, loneliness, and companionship.

This book sounded like it would be everything I loved. Ladies succeeding in a man’s world? Celebrity name dropping? Historical fiction? Cross dressing? It seemed like the perfect book for me. Until it wasn’t. I’ll admit I wasn’t at all familiar with George Sand’s story and I’ve not read any of her work (though I totally dig the work of some of her pals.) I think, for me, things went badly because it was written in the first person. It got very introspective, which is incredibly difficult to pull off when you’re writing about a historical figure. I found the life of George Sand fascinating, but I think I would have enjoyed reading about it more as non-fiction. (I know! Who is writing this, and what have you done with Katie, right?!) I struggled getting into this book and never really hit a stride. To be completely honest, I very nearly didn’t bother finishing the thing. I managed to finish (because DNF guilt), but I’m afraid The Dream Lover simply wasn’t the book for me. Just because the book wasn’t a winner for me, though, doesn’t mean it won’t be for you, my darlings. If you are a big fan of George Sand, introspection, and 19th century-esque prose, run, do not walk, and check out The Dream Lover.

Tell me something, Bookworms. At what point do you  give up on reading a book that isn’t ringing your bells? If I’ve made it to the halfway point I try my darnedest to finish it, but I’d like to know how long y’all give it before throwing in the towel.

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Apr 14

Potent Quotables

Quote Books, Top Ten Tuesday 19

Happy Tuesday Bookworms!

I know there are a lot of people out there who are big into highlighting their books and quoting amazingness all over the place. It’s awesome, but frankly, I’m too lazy to do it most of the time. However. This week the folks at The Broke and the Bookish challenged the book blogosphere to get their “inspirational” quotes on for another thrilling edition of Top Ten Tuesday. Now, in fairness, my quotes aren’t necessarily inspirational because I would feel too much like a motivational poster if I went there. But. These are some of my favorite quotes on a variety of topics. Out of books, obviously.

potent quoteables

I first ran across the phrase “Potent Quotables” at Psychobabble. I’m not sure if Lyssa is the originator of the phrase but I adore it. Because Jeopardy!

1. On Joy: “She wished she had known back then. Known that happiness isn’t a point in time you leave behind. It’s what’s ahead of you. Every single day.”― Sarah Addison Allen, First Frost (review)

2. On Laughter: “There’s nothing like deep breaths after laughing that hard. Nothing in the world like a sore stomach for the right reasons.”― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower (review)

3. On Fate: “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.”― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

4. On Underdogs: “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” ― Neil Gaiman, Coraline (review)

5. On Humanity: “We like to pretend that our generous impulses come naturally. But the reality is we often become our kindest, most ethical selves only by seeing what it feels like to be a selfish jackass first. It’s the reason… we have to get burned before we understand the power of fire; the reason our most meaningful relationships are so often those that continued beyond the very juncture at which they came the closest to ending.” ― Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar (review)

6. On Truth and Finesse:

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7. On Grief: “You know, a heart can be broken, but it still keeps a-beating just the same.” ― Fannie Flagg, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
8.  On Perspective: “Nothing is either as bad or good as it seems.”― Helen Fielding, Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination

9. On Imagination: “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

10. On Metaphysics. And Mary friggin Poppins: “The same substance composes us–the tree overhead, the stone beneath us, the bird, the beast, the star–we are all one, all moving to the same end.” ― P.L. Travers, Mary Poppins (review)

And there we have it. Potent Quotables a la Katie. What are some of your favorite quotes, Bookworms? Anybody else feel like they could have simply quoted the entirety of Tiny Beautiful Things?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Apr 13

Inside the O’Briens by Lisa Genova

Family, Psychological, Science 17

Hey Bookworms,

How’s it going? Read any good books about devastating neurological disorders lately? No? Well, you’re in luck! Lisa Genova is at it again and Inside the O’Briens is pretty fab. And not JUST because one of the main characters is named Katie. She’s actually named Kathryn (with a “y”) because apparently her parents and mine were both illogical enough to pair Kathryn with a “y” with Katie with an “ie.” Doesn’t it seem like Katie should go with Katherine and Katy should go with Kathryn? Am I the only person troubled by this? I should have considered this when I was getting married. I mean, if Princess Consuela Banana Hammock could happen I could have changed my Kathryn to Katherine. Sigh. Live and learn. (And no, changing to Katy with a “y” simply is not an option for me. It. Just. Isn’t.)

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Inside the O’Briens follows an Irish Catholic family living in Boston. Joe O’Brien is a hardworking police officer and father of four children now in their twenties. He married his high school sweetheart and they’ve lived their entire lives in an insular Boston neighborhood. When Joe begins to have odd symptoms like muscle ticks, difficulty concentrating, and flashes of temper, he attributes it to his stressful job. I mean, he’s a cop for heaven’s sake. As the symptoms become more difficult to ignore, he finally agrees to see a doctor and is diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease. It’s a rare degenerative neurological disorder with no treatment, no cure, and a 100% fatality rate. What’s worse is that Huntington’s Disease is genetic, and there’s a 50/50 chance that each of Joe’s four children will inherit the gene and suffer Joe’s fate. Katie O’Brien and her siblings are faced with the decision to find out whether or not they carry this genetic mutation and live with the knowledge.

insidetheobriens

Talk about your impossible situations, right? Sure, it would be a great relief to find out you were gene negative, but if you were gene positive, how would you live your life knowing exactly how it would end? Or, even if you weren’t a genetic carrier, how would you feel knowing that your siblings might not be so lucky? Would it affect your decisions on having your own family? Would you wallow in despair? Become reckless and self destructive? Genova rose to fame with Still Alice (review) in large part because Alzheimer’s Disease is so prevalent, but Huntington’s Disease is every bit as heartbreaking. (Okay, in fairness, Still Alice is an amazing book, so the fact that Alzheimer’s is prevalent isn’t the only reason Genova is famous.) Still though, the journey of the O’Brien family packs a serious emotional punch. I’m not going to tell you that you should read this book, but… You should read this book. If you want to learn more about Huntington’s and perhaps make a donation to help fund research into treatments, visit Lisa Genova’s Readers in Action page.

It’s time for you to sound off, Bookworms. If you found out that you might be a carrier for a disease like Huntington’s, would you want to know for sure, or would you rather not find out?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. Of course, I will also be making a donation to help fund Huntington’s research, because I’d feel like a total douche if I didn’t.*

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Apr 10

Confession Friday: Divine Facial Hair

Confession Friday, Personal 10

TGIF, Bookworms!

Because I trust you not to judge me, I thought I’d share a nonsense tidbit from my week. I was on my way to the gym (I exercise purely because punching air makes me feel like a badass when in real life I’d never punch or kick anything) when a song came on the radio. I’m no good with music released beyond 2005 (and 2001-2005 are pretty shaky for me. 90s alterna-pop and grunge is my musical wheelhouse) so I have no idea who was singing this song, but is was something broody and Cure-ish. In any case, the lyrics were being sung very slowly and went “If God had a master plan…” Except they sort of paused on the “mmmm” of “master plan” and for some reason every fiber of my being was expecting the lyric to be “If God had a mustache…” Because that’s a completely reasonable leap for my brain to make, right?

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What about you, Bookworms? Any weird assumptions or brain bubbles pop up for you lately? Freudian slips? I want to hear about them!

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Apr 09

It’s All About that Backlist: Audio Book Mini-Reviews

Audio Books 14

Greetings Bookworms!

I’ve been having such great fun with audio books these days, specifically audio books I download for FREE from my library. It’s been kind of awesome to check out some older titles I wouldn’t necessarily have devoted eyeball time to. Gosh I love audio books. I can do things and ALSO get books into my brain. Glorious. But, you know how it is. Sometimes you just don’t want to write a whole review on one book, so I’m smushing several into a single post.

backlist

1. Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster- This book had highs and lows for me, but overall I thought it was a nice listen. Reminiscing about past fashion faux pas is something I can totally relate to, but being a risk averse worry wart, some of the shenanigans Jen got up to kind of boggled my boring mind. I still have nightmares that I get a ‘C’ my final semester of college thus destroying my Summa Cum Laude quest, so I simply couldn’t FATHOM ditching class for weeks at a time.

2. Heartburn by Nora Ephron- I didn’t realize that this book was released the year I was born until after I’d finished it. Good news? It holds up AND it’s narrated by Meryl Streep. Bad news? It’s a little dated. It’s hard to read modern-ish books sometimes without thinking “gah, just GOOGLE HIM! Where is your cell phone?!” You couldn’t Google anything in 1983, and cell phones? Pfft. You could, however, type cookbooks on a sexy typewriter, so, you know. It wasn’t all bad. It’s just really weird to think of my lifetime as borderline historical fiction.

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3. Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult- This book has kind of been haunting me since I finished it. I’m not sure how much to reveal without getting super spoilery, but I think it does a really good job of getting inside a messy relationship and the way people rationalize things to themselves. Plus, it rips a pretty big hole in fairy tale fantasies which I think needs to happen more. Marrying Prince Charming or a sexy billionaire or a movie star is no guarantee of a happily ever after. If you’ll excuse me, I should probably go and tell some children the truth about the Easter Bunny because I’m THAT PERSON now. (Joking. Your children’s fantasies are safe with me. Just channeling my inner curmudgeon.)

4. A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley- I never tire of Flavia de Luce stories, but I doubt I’ll ever want to read one with my own eyeballs while Jayne Entwistle narrates the audio version. The utter glee she manages to inject into her voice when Flavia discusses chemistry is positively magical. I am sort of appalled at the way Flavia and her sisters treat each other though. I mean… Really?

 What are your thoughts, Bookworms? Have any of you read/listened to any of these? Weigh in!

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