Month: May 2016

May 31

Rich People Behaving Badly: Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford

Audio Books, Contemporary Fiction 15

Happy Tuesday, Bookworms!

The day after a Monday holiday is always the most insane of days, particularly for us working stiffs. I can’t say it wasn’t worth it though. I got some flowers planted and books read and lots of delicious grilled things in my belly. I’m still trying to catch up on reviews for books I’ve read. I’m waaaaay behind schedule. Whatever. Today we’re going to be discussing an audio book I listened to a while back called Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford.

everybodyriseI won a copy of this audio book through Armchair BEA last year (I think?) It took me forever to get around to importing the words into my brain, but I blame that on the fact that it was an audio book on CD which isn’t the most convenient format for listening on the go. I ended up listening to it in my car (and totally got the first CD stuck in the player, thank you very much. Eventually the issue resolved itself. I think it may have been the first time the CD player was ever used in my car.)

Evelyn Beegan is the 26 year old product of prep school and a social climbing mother, but she’s determined to create a life for herself in Manhattan on her own terms. That is, until she takes a job with the world’s snobbiest website, People Like Us. Evelyn is put in charge of recruitment, where she’s paid to rub elbows with the ultra privileged elite she once avoided. During the course of her work, Evelyn finds herself summering at the vacation homes of New York’s old money- Newport, the Adirondacks, and the Hamptons become her stomping grounds. She is able to blend in with the people she’s recruiting and finds their world intoxicating. Evelyn soon begins to pass herself off as old money, and sweeps her wealthy-by-normal-standards family history under the rug. I think you can guess where this is heading.

I don’t know how to properly explain this audio book’s narration. The narrator used the most over-the-top fancy East Coast upper crust voice you can imagine. Does anyone anywhere REALLY talk like that? It was like Richard and Emily Gilmore on steroids. My husband came in from moving my car one day and felt told me in his own version of the hoity toity accent just how well Camilla’s croquet game was progressing. While the accent was kind of hilarious, the book was maddening. THESE PEOPLE.

Everybody Rise introduced me to a brand of human beings I didn’t think actually existed. This East Coast old money thing is NUTS. The amount of money casually thrown around in this book is staggering, and just wow. Everyone was so unapologetically snobby! Evelyn and her mother are DESPERATE to be in the club and it’s just SO SAD. Honestly, I can’t tell for sure how I feel about this book. I found this world so gross and upsetting. It’s eye opening, but I’m not sure I really wanted to see the world from this particular perspective. Yikes.

Talk to me, Bookworms! Did any of you attend Ivy League schools? Or Prep schools? Is this whole social scene ACTUALLY a thing? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. Those of us without trust funds don’t object when a few spare cents find their way into our Amazon accounts.*

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May 26

Thursday, 1:17 pm by Michael Landweber

Coming of Age, Science Fiction 9

Greetings Bookworms!

Have you ever had one of those moments where time just seems to freeze? Poetic types are wont to attribute the sensation to meeting their one true love, but in my world, this feeling typically precedes disaster. Still, the whole “time freezing” thing is usually a short-lived moment, things don’t just stay frozen. Unless you’re the main character in Michael Landweber’s new novel, Thursday, 1:17 p.m. *I received a complimentary copy of this book through the publisher for review consideration, thanks to Monika’s insatiable book pushing (I love her for it.) I am too ill mannered to be polite for politeness’s sake, so you can trust I’ll tell you exactly what I think.*

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Time stopped on a lovely Thursday afternoon at 1:17 pm. Duck, our 17 year old protagonist, is the only person, animal, or thing still moving in Washington DC. As far as he can tell, he’s the only, um, noun? on the planet Earth not in a state of suspended animation. Which is just freaking great. It’s not like he’s already got enough to deal with, what with his mother having succumbed to cancer that very morning and his father having been in a mental hospital for years. Not that having parents would be of much help in the current situation, since they’d be frozen. Fortunately, Duck is a smart kid and a good egg. He takes his new reality in stride and tries to do the right thing in the face of some seriously weird circumstances. He’s got all the time in the world (apparently) to face his demons, and with any luck he’ll figure out how to get time moving again.

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If you’re thinking “this sounds like a Twilight Zone episode” then you and I are on the same wavelength. I went into the book expecting some cool descriptions of the frozen world and I was NOT disappointed. Remember that scene in Big Fish where the circus freezes? It’s kind of like that. But cooler. This book blended sci-fi, humor, and a heaping helping of emotion into one neat little package. It’s a great book and a fast read. If you’re even the slightest bit intrigued by my rambling, you should DEFINITELY check out Thursday, 1:17 p.m.

Talk to me, Bookworms! If your world froze, what would you do with all your spare time? (I’m asking this even though I know the vast majority of us are going to answer “READ ALL THE THINGS!” I just want to encourage the mania.) 

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

 

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May 24

Bite Size Reviews: May 2016

Bite Size Reviews 19

Well Hello Bookworms,

It’s been a while since I just told y’all about some books! Let’s fix that right now, shall we? I’ve got some tasty little reviewlettes for you today because my brain simply won’t come up with all the words in the land. I blame this on Maggie Stiefvater, actually, because of REASONS.

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The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater- I told you this was all her fault! You’ll recall my folly when I read what I thought was a trilogy a while back? The final installment of The Raven Cycle was released and I put it right into my earholes. I just finished this bad boy like 4 hours ago. I can’t write a whole review because that’s nigh on impossible when you’re talking about a series, but suffice it to say my guts were wrenched and I found the conclusion emotional and satisfying. Big love to my tweeps with whom I was able to share all the feels!

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney- If you’re in the mood to read about fraught family dynamics, this is the book for you. The four Plumb siblings have lived their whole lives knowing they’ve got a large inheritance on the horizon and have made some questionable decisions as a result. Leo, worst of the bunch, does something super horrible that depletes the family’s nest egg on the eve of the siblings finally getting their share. It’s marketed as a bittersweet comedy, but if it was meant to be funny, it was too cerebral for me. The Plumb family members were each painted with compassion, though their foibles were maddening. Not really my cup of tea.

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer- A group of teenage camp friends stick together for life. Their lives, predictably, don’t go necessarily go according to plan. Following the characters from their youthful hopes and dreams to their adult problems is by turns fascinating and melancholy. I don’t want to get into spoilers or anything, but to those who have read it: WTF with Jonah and the gum?! I seriously cannot even. Also, Goodman. Ugh. Worst. I liked the book fine, but I really wanted to punch some characters. Pummel, actually. RAWR.

Approval Junkie: Adventures in Caring Too Much by Faith Salie- This is the first BEA book I finished! Yay me! I listen to NPR all the time, so when I heard that a regular guest on Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me was doing a signing, I figured I ought to get in that line. Faith Salie is good people. The book gets into the deep nitty gritty emotional bits of her life while still keeping a sense of humor about things. I’ll admit it wasn’t as gut busting as some other memoirs I’ve read, but I think the emotion and sincerity made the moments of wry humor all the more enjoyable. Plus she made a Game Of Thrones joke that made me guffaw in an unladylike manner. (Are you on Litsy? You may have seen the quote. I’m WordsForWorms. Say hi!)

Whew! That was a whirlwind, wasn’t it? I’m still not caught up on all my reviews, but it’s a start, right? What have you been reading, Bookworms?

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

 

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May 20

BEA 2016: Random Crap I Forgot To Mention

BEA 2016 12

Howdy Bookworms,

It’s Friday and I’m going to wrap up my BEA 2016 coverage because you’re probably sick of hearing about it by now. I thought I’d finish things up with some of the random factoids I wanted to tell you about that didn’t really fit into the other posts (which are HERE and HERE). Cool? Let’s do this.

ONE: There were a number of publishers who brought in the world’s plushest carpet for their booths. It was really nice and probably awesome for the feet of the people standing up in those booths all day, but it never failed to trip me up. Not actually trip, but like, “WHOA I AM ON A CLOUD” moments abounded.

TWO: On day 2 I saw a girl on the expo floor wearing tons of Ravenclaw swag. I was wearing my Ravenclaw shirt and told her I thought we were kindred spirits and that we should take a selfie. Thanks again, Ravenclaw Girl!

Thanks for humoring me, Ravenclaw girl! #HousePride

Thanks for humoring me, Ravenclaw girl! #HousePride

THREE: On my way back to the burbs from the second day of the convention I got on the wrong train. I accidentally got on an express train that blew right past the stop I was trying to get to, so I had to text my dad to pick me up in Aurora instead of Naperville. He was SUCH a good sport about the whole thing. (My actual hometown of Bolingbrook is apparently not cool enough to merit a train station of its own. Nor is Peoria, for that matter. Why do I always end up living in trainless towns? It’s terribly inconvenient for a person who enjoys the occasional trip to Chicago but also has a crippling fear of driving in the city.)

FOUR: I had a picture of myself taken with my head in a dinosaur’s mouth. It pairs well with my current Facebook profile photo, which features my head in an alligator’s mouth. Did I mention that I behaved with the utmost professionalism?

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You can’t take me anywhere.

FIVE: When you’re at BEA, you wear a name tag. My name was commented upon multiple times. First, Jennifer Close’s helper person was all “oh your name is like in You’ve Got Mail!” And I was like “Oh yeah, I didn’t realize that!” Because I saw that movie before I married into the name (even though I’m Kathryn not Kathleen.) I know I totally could have kept my maiden name (hyphenation was NOT an option because my maiden name ALSO started with a K. The initials. Not cool) but I liked my husband’s last name better. It’s half the letters and nobody ever mispronounces it. I make important decisions based on solid logical reasoning. AS YOU CAN TELL.

There we are. BEA 2016 is in the books and I have a lot of friggin books to read. Thanks for putting up with the craziness here. Hopefully we’ll be back to regularly scheduled programming next week. If I don’t lose my ever loving mind planing ALL THE FLOWERS this weekend. Because that’s what I’m doing this weekend. What’s your favorite color flower? I’m still wishy washy on this year’s color scheme and I’m open to ideas.

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

 

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May 18

BEA 2016: What the Heck Is This?

Author Events, BEA 2016 34

Happy Wednesday Bookworms!

One week ago today I was a bundle of butterflies heading off to my first BEA. In case you missed the world’s gushiest post about how cool people from the internet can be, you can check it out HERE. If you already read the schmoop and are like, “but Katie, what did you actually do?” I shall now answer all of your questions. I know what they are, because I can read your minds. If I were you I’d be making a tin foil hat about now, because if there’s one person I don’t want rooting around in my brain, it’s me. (I cannot actually read minds, thank heaven. Wouldn’t that be the worst superpower?!) What follows are the whats and wherefores regarding what actually happens at BEA.

Expo Wandering: Alright, you guys. The majority of BEA is a ginormous expo floor. All the major publishers in the land along with lots and lots of cool less giant publishers have booths showcasing their wares. All the wares are books and book related products. Are you hearing the choir of angels yet? Since BEA is a trade show, most of the publishers are looking to drum up business with influential folks like booksellers and librarians and important Bookternet people. (Luckily “importance” is difficult to quantify when it comes to the internet, so occasionally stooges like me are allowed in. Insert maniacal laugh.) Thus, they give out a lot of free samples in the form of ARCs. ARCs (pronounced like Noah’s Ark, not like the acronym A-R-C, a thing I learned whilst at BEA… I wonder how many times I said that to people?) are early proofs of upcoming books. That’s right. Free Books. It is effing magical. Bloggers tend to get kind of a bad rep for being grabby and entitled when it comes to ARCs, but I assure you, I conducted myself with the utmost professionalism. If squeals of delight and unabashed enthusiasm can be considered professional.

Photo Courtesy of Florinda of 3 R's Blog

Photo Courtesy of Florinda Pendley Vasquez of The 3 R’s Blog (Thank you for giving me permission to use your photo! I got a lot of pics of feet and carpet!)

Panels: As cool as the expo floor is, my inner introvert got overwhelmed from time to time. Sensory overload is a thing that happens. Plus, when you’re lugging a tote full of books (or half full even, seriously, three books in a bag get heavy after a while) you start to get kind of tired and sore. Which is why it’s super cool that there are panels. Because panels have chairs. Sometimes a panel is a bunch of people pitching books. Sometimes it’s a bunch of authors discussing a thing. Sometimes Robyn Carr and Susan Elizabeth Phillips tease each other about being old and banter about the ridiculous things they put their characters through. It’s a treat, I’ll tell you what.

Author Signings: If you’re someone who is extraordinarily organized like Julie from JulzReads, you’ve got a game plan and a schedule so you can get all the books signed by all the authors. If you’re someone like me, you walk past a line and tap someone on the shoulder to find out who is doing the signing. I don’t have the best history with author signings, anyway. I mean, there was that time that I scared Jo Baker back across the Atlantic and that time Danielle Fishel was probably offended to find out that people think I look a little bit like her. Stacey from Unruly Reader has serious author signing game. She had heartfelt stories for each author explaining what their work meant to her. I did things like tell Colson Whitehead that I live in Richard Pryor’s hometown. I mean, how can an author respond to that kind of a statement? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, KATIE? (In my defense, he did ask me where I was from and Richard Pryor was the first Peoria factoid that came to mind. Well, second, but I didn’t want to have to explain the Vaudeville joke, so.) Luckily, Jennifer Close had the good grace to compliment my penguin cardigan so I didn’t have to come up with anything to say to her, and Faith Salie neglected to point out that my blog’s title isn’t strictly a pun when I awkwardly tried to explain it. I shouldn’t be allowed out in public.

That's me with Paul and George wearing the penguin cardigan. It really is rather adorable.

That’s me with Paul and George wearing the penguin cardigan. It really is rather adorable.

Speed Dating for Book Groups: I heard about this event through that glorious Facebook group of book bloggers I mentioned in my last post, and it was so much fun. Wandering around and getting free books is great, but the pace is somewhat frantic and you don’t always have a lot of time or desire to slow down long enough to give the back of the book a good long look. The Speed Dating event was like having a friend tell you all about the cool new things they’ve been reading. I landed at a rather sedate table of mostly librarians, so they were all far more dignified than I was. Thankfully, Debra from Algonquin assured me that once one stopped caring about one’s nerdiness one becomes cool by accident. Also, Laura from St. Martin’s Press was really excited to see how jazzed I was about Lev Grossman’s new release (it’s actually a re-release of his first novel, so it’s sort of time capsule-y. Eeep!) I was pretty good about limiting the books I took throughout the conference… Until Speed Dating. Everything sounded really good, you guys!

And now you know what the deal is with BEA. And that I can’t actually read minds. And that I live in Richard Pryor’s hometown. This has been an incredibly informative post, no? Make me feel less weird. Have you ever made a fool of yourself in front of an author?

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May 16

BEA 2016: The Cool Kids

BEA 2016 39

Happy Monday Bookworms!

As you know, I attended Book Expo America (or BEA for those who do not like to type out full words) last week. That’s part of the reason for my blog silence (that and laziness), but if you follow me on any social media you likely got an eyeful. I decided to break up my experience into multiple posts because I have a lot to say and I don’t want you to fall asleep reading and miss any exclamations of joy. HAVE YOU HAD COFFEE?

This was at the Penguin Random House booth. I got way too excited about it. I'm not sorry.

This was at the Penguin Random House booth. I got way too excited about it. I’m not sorry.

I mentioned this in several posts leading up to the event, but I was hella nervous about BEA. My plans morphed a several times and during the metamorphosis some of the people I was internet closest with (Andi who would have been my roomie, and also Rory) ended up not being able to attend. So I was going to go to an event with people I knew in internet passing, but more on an acquaintance level than a “let’s get matching tattoos” level. Not that I want to get a matching tattoo with anyone. Or a tattoo at all, probably. But you get my drift.

Just kidding. They're temporary.

Just kidding. They’re temporary.

So I did what I do best. I wrote an extremely awkward “please be my friend” post in a Facebook group for book bloggers who would be attending the convention and made plans to meet up with some people. Every single person I met was gracious and kind, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t give some shout outs to my main posse. That’s right, I said posse!

From Left: Marisa from The Daily Dosage, Julie from JulzReads, Yours Truly, and Stacey from Unruly Reader

From Left: Marisa from The Daily Dosage, Julie from JulzReads, Yours Truly, and Stacey from Unruly Reader.

Julie, bless her heart, is the most organized person on planet earth who also happens to know all the things about commuting into Chicago from the suburbs (which is where I ended up staying with my parents. Extra thanks to Dad for train station drop offs and pickups.) She shepherded me and my fellow commuter Marisa around Union Station and is about as obsessed with Alice in Wonderland as I am with penguins. There’s a bond there, people. (I will tell you more about her mad organizational skills later probably, because WHOA.)

What should you know about Marisa? First, her name is pronounced like Theresa, but with an M. Second, she is incredibly sweet and warm and good humored. She loves short stories and laughs at my terrible jokes. She is also smart enough to heed Julie’s advice to bring and check a rolling suitcase for her books (which I am not.)

We all hung out beyond commuting, of course, but things get nuts when you hit that floor (particularly if you have a flipping spreadsheet schedule, cough cough Julie.) Thus, Stacey became my main partner in crime on the expo floor. I LOVE HER SO MUCH. She’s a librarian, and if you want to know just how creepy I am, I’ve always wanted a librarian as a friend. I got VERY excited when I found out one of my co-workers was dating a librarian and expressed my desire to become her best friend. As a result, she has avoided all office occasions in the history of ever. Probably because of me. But Stacey wasn’t weirded out by me! We talked about books and meandered and suggested reading to each other. I wrote down none of her suggestions because I didn’t bring a pen (I KNOW!) and I am the worst. She wrote down mine because she is smart and thoughtful. I have her digits now, though, so I can text her and be like “who was that writer you said I should read that is utterly heartwarming?” She will probably be like “Katie, that is like asking me for the book with the blue cover, you should know better!” And I will be like, “You are my favorite.”

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Me and Julie and Kim!

I feel like I should be getting played off the stage at the Oscars with a giant list of thank yous, but I’ve got more people to mention. I met Kim and Florinda first thing on day one (oh and they are the best best best!!!) and they helped to put my nerves right at ease. The Facebook group organized a Blogger Happy Hour the first night and it was SUCH fun. I met all kinds of bloggers like Kerry, Shannon, Julianne, April, Catherine, Janani, Rachel, Jenna, Kristen, Heather, Annie, Dawn, Beth and probably other people I am not remembering because my mind is a sieve. I facetimed Andi while at this event because OF COURSE I DID. So basically she was there too. I later met Shaina (who is as sweet as pie) and Michelle (who is a stealth ninja and hard to track down).

And then there was my blogger fan girl moment. I met Alice from Reading Rambo! I’ve long admired her blog and was sure that she’d be much too busy and important to chat with me. But she wasn’t! She complimented my accessories and there was charming banter (on her part, my banter was awkward and I probably avoided eye contact because I’m shifty when nervous.) It confirmed all my suspicions that book people are the best people. I’m going to close the love fest now because this is post is ridiculous. I promise to tell you more about my actual conference experience later. I had to get the gushing out of my system first. Whew.

If you click on any of the names mentioned, you’ll get to check out some amazing blogs. You totally should because these folks are legitimately awesome, online and off. 

 

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May 10

Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

Chick Lit 12

Greetings Bookworms,

I’ve been a little nervous about attending BEA (which is starting tomorrow, OMG!) I often find that the best way to calm my nerves is escapist reading. A book will cure anything that ails you! Except for things that ought to be cured by antibiotics. And, um… Yeah I’m not sure where I was going with that one, but clearly it wasn’t working so if you’re sick, go to the doctor first. Then read. K? Anywho, I thought talking about a fun, light read might be just the ticket to vanquish the metaphorical butterflies in my tummy. And really, is there anyone better at the light-hearted romantic comedy than Sophie Kinsella? After reading Wedding Night, I’m quite certain she reigns supreme. Someone get this woman a tiara and a sash!

weddingnightLottie is absolutely convinced that her boyfriend is about to propose, what with his inviting her out for a “special” lunch and saying that he’s got something important to ask her. Unfortunately, having misread all his signals, the proposal Lottie receives is not one of marriage, but one of international travel. Lottie leaves the lunch not an engaged woman, but a single one. Reeling from the effects of this change in circumstance, she reunites with an old flame and decides to marry him instead. Impulsively. Immediately. Lottie’s older sister Fliss soon discovers the plan and fears that Lottie is making a terrible mistake. She makes it her personal mission to stop Lottie’s wedding, using any means necessary.

Oh. My. Word. The plot of this novel is among the most ridiculous I’ve ever read and it was all the more delightful for it. I almost want to see it made into a movie, the situations are SO ridiculous. Plus, I really want to see a small British child actor ask about “putting the sausage in the cupcake.” You’ve got to have a fairly good sense of humor about sexual innuendo to appreciate this book, but there aren’t really any steamy scenes if you’re sensitive to that sort of thing. Suspend your disbelief and indulge in the hilarious nonsense that is Wedding NightYou can thank me later. I accept gratitude in the form of vacations to Greek islands, minus meddling siblings. Also, tiaras and sashes.

Talk to me, Bookworms! What’s your favorite romantic comedy? What’s the most enjoyable yet completely ridiculous plot line you’ve ever encountered?

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

 

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May 05

Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet by HP Wood

Historical Fiction, Plague 5

Greetings Bookworms!

I’m about to tell you a story about what happens when one doesn’t read titles carefully. I was browsing NetGalley one day looking for something to read (it’s a rare occasion that I go hunting for books in this manner, as they usually find me, but I was in a reading lull.) Anywho. I ran across a book called Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet by HP Wood. However, seeing as I had Harry Potter on the brain at the time, I read “Magruder’s” as “Marauder’s.” It sounded a bit circus-y, so I was down for it, even once I realized I’d misread the title.

magrudersMagruder’s Curiosity Cabinet is set in 1904 Coney Island. Kitty Hayward is a British girl visiting the attractions in Coney Island with her mother when her mother comes down with a mysterious illness. The hotel staff send her off on a fool’s errand for some medicine, and upon her return she’s treated as though she and her mother were never at the hotel. She’s left marooned on a strange island in a strange country. She’s penniless and frightened, not to mention terrified for her mother’s well-being. The residents of Coney Island are largely “Unusuals,” or the sideshow entertainers. It’s an eclectic bunch of strongmen, flea wranglers, lion tamers, and con men that Kitty encounters, but the Unusuals quickly embrace their suddenly impoverished foreign guest. Plagues make for strange bedfellows, after all, because that mysterious illness Kitty’s mother contracted? It’s spreading.

I must admit I was rather disappointed to discover that there was no actual reported outbreak of plague in Coney Island during this time period. I like my historical fiction best when the overarching situations are rooted in fact. I also adore a motley crew of misfits, so I was on board with the Unusuals and their fascinating little society. Unfortunately, I found the execution just a bit clunky. It got to a point where it seemed like every cool or quirky concept the author brainstormed while writing was thrown in for the sake of not wasting an idea rather than making sure it worked well in the narrative. In the end, I was left wanting more backstory for certain characters and fewer extraneous asides. Still, I think it’s a book worth reading- it’s certainly a fun and bizarre ride. If you’re in the mood for something different and dig the whole circus/sideshow thing, you should totally check out Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet

Talk to me, Bookworms! Have any of y’all been to Coney Island? What’s it like? Is it one of those places that just seems to breathe with old timey creeptasticness?

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

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May 04

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts, May 4, 2016

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts 17

May the 4th Be With You, Bookworms!

This post isn’t actually going to have anything to do with Star Wars, but I do so love that pun. I’m running behind on reviews, to the surprise of nobody, so I’m just going to recap some random things from this weekend, cool?

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ONE: Hubs and I took a long weekend just for the heck of it. I mean, we’re grown ups and we always seem to have more vacation accrued than is necessary. So. We thought, “We should go to St. Louis and see the penguins at the zoo there and maybe go in the arch and probably eat Italian food.” Sounds like fun, right? Except. It rained so so so much both at home and in St. Louis that we decided we’d rather be warm and home than cold and in the rain with penguins. So we watched a lot of TV on Saturday, including Hubs’s first viewing of Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

TWO: After watching Fast Times at Ridgemont High and the glorious opening mall scene, we got a bit morose at the death of the shopping mall (our mall just lost its Macy’s and has been struggling to keep stores in it, and it’s a pattern we’ve seen in a number of Central Illinois malls.) So on Sunday, we decided to drive like 3 hours to the Woodfield Mall in the Chicago suburbs because it’s huge and full of stores. At least it was indoor entertainment.

THREE: While at the Woodfield Mall, we went into one of several hoity toity interior decorating places. I don’t know how one can be hoity toity AND inside a mall, but they managed it. Anyway, I picked up a bejeweled skull and was all “Oh Jim, LOOK! It’s Poor Yorick!” Because I never miss an opportunity to make a Shakespeare joke, plus, it was a bedazzled skull. Only a sales lady saw me with said skull and was all “Have you seen our other skull things? We have the best collection of skulls you’ll find anywhere!” And I didn’t want to embarrass her (or admit to my lame Hamlet joke) so I listened and was all “Oh wow. Skull things. Cool.”

malleverybody

FOUR: We decided to eat at Rainforest Cafe because I remember it being the coolest place EVER when I was a kid. (It doesn’t really hold up, but I digress.) Because we didn’t want to wait half an hour for a table, we told we could eat at the bar with no wait, AS LONG AS WE WERE BOTH 21. Haaaaaaaaaa! They even double carded us. We had to each show a driver’s license PLUS a credit or debit card (or anything else with our names on them.) It got me thinking. When I was in college and underage SOME PEOPLE (definitely not me…) had IDs that were not fake, they just weren’t ours. I mean theirs. Because this was not about me. Of course, this was in the era before everybody and their mom had debit and credit cards with them at all times (back in the day, many of us carried cash) BUT. We THEY would have been SO BUSTED had the whole double carding thing happened.

FIVE: Because we were on our little adventure to the mall, we were in danger of missing Game of Thrones so Hubs set it to record from his phone. He can do all the things from his phone. Open the garage door, set the thermostat, monitor his credit card purchases- it’s insane. So. We finally get home and hit play on our show. The previous episode’s recaps have Spanish subtitles. I look at Jim and I’m like “Dude, I think you recorded the Spanish version” and he’s all “well, whatever, if it’s just subtitles, NBD.” But then the theme music played and at the end, a booming voice announced “JUEGO DE TRONOS!” Aaaaaaaand the whole episode had, in fact, recorded overdubbed in Spanish. Because our HBO package is comprehensive enough to include all the things in more than one language. So we stayed up late and caught it in a re-run. In English this time.

The only “Bookish” thing about this entire post is a bad Shakespeare joke. High five, self. You are one super duper book blogger. Alright Bookworms, what did you do this weekend?

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May 02

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Coming of Age, Fantasy, Humor, Vampires, Young Adult Fiction 12

Hello Bookworms,

I’ve told you how much I love Rainbow Rowell before, right? In case you missed my reviews of Attachments, Eleanor & Park, Fangirl, and Landline, you can check them out here, here, here, and here. After devouring Landline much too quickly, I decided I’d wait on reading Rowell’s next release. Instead of begging the publisher for an advanced copy, I put myself on a seemingly endless library wait list so that by the time I read it, the wait for the next book wouldn’t seem as long. I probably won’t do that again because it kind of sucked, but I thought I should try it. The good news is that the library wait list eventually ended and I got to read Carry On!

carryonCarry On is the story of Simon Snow. Yes, THAT Simon Snow. The one Cath and Wren were totally enthralled with in Fangirl? Of course, it’s the fan fiction version of Simon Snow, not “canon” (which doesn’t actually exist. Wow. This is harder to explain than I thought it would be.) Okay, so. You don’t HAVE to have read Fangirl to enjoy Carry On because I think it can stand alone, but you should read both regardless because they’re delicious. Back to Simon. He’s a magician who attends a magical boarding school and he just wants to get through his final year without any of the life threatening shenanigans that have plagued his school career up to this point.

Unfortunately, his mentor wants him to hide out in the mountains, his roommate is missing, and his girlfriend just broke up with him. Ghosts are coming out of the woodwork, vampires are a thing, and don’t get me started on the super villain. Suffice it to say that our dear Simon probably isn’t going to get his wish for an uneventful school year.

I love Rainbow Rowell. This book was such a playful take on Harry Potter-esque stories, what with the punny spells and such. Plus, it’s a bit of a swoony love story. It’s not a spoiler for those who have read Fangirlbut it becomes apparent quite early on in Carry On that Simon and his roommate/potential vampire Baz have some serious sexual tension happening. Which means, yes, there are boys falling for other boys. Which is, in my opinion, pretty awesome. Even if the dudes in question are magicians/potential vampires, it’s nice to see some LGBT representation in YA literature.

Talk to me, Bookworms! If you were to write fan fiction, what would be your fandom of choice?

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

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