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.”

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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?

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

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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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Apr 27

Bite Size Reviews April 2016

Bite Size Reviews 19

Howdy Bookworms!

Today I’m going to do a roundup of the books I’ve recently read that I’ve been a little too lazy to review individually. It’s a thing that happens sometimes, I trust you won’t mind terribly? I’m going to include a graphic of a cookie, so I’m assuming you’ll forgive me. It’s hard to stay mad at chocolate chip cookies, even if they are imaginary.

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ONE. Shades of Grey by Jasper Fford: Hold your roll there, folks, I’m not talking about that soft core porn/ Twilight fan fiction (mostly because I already talked about it.) This is a different book. And what an enjoyable romp of a book it was! Jasper Fford’s unique brand of quirky humor and general weirdness thrills me to no end. I mean, remember The Eyre Affair?! (Review) In Shades of Grey, some unnamed tragedy destroyed society as we know it and the mysterious dystopian society that has replaced it is completely based on the levels of color blindness. It is weird and wonderful.

TWO. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling: If you have the opportunity to experience this book via your earholes, I highly recommend the audio book. Mindy Kaling’s voice telling her own stories makes it that much more enjoyable. It’s a cute, fun book in which Kaling addresses some of her experiences in Hollywood. Her discussion of body image I found particularly interesting, because it’s complicated. And I totally get that. Also, apparently she and I wear the same size. Which means we should become best friends so I can raid her closet. Obviously.

THREE. Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson: Dead Wake is about the sinking of the Lusitania (obviously), which has long been considered a major catalyst for the US entering WWI. I like Erik Lason, I do. But he tends to get bogged down in details I don’t find super interesting. Like, the carrot of the Lusitania sinking is dangled before me and the U-Boat life is all grossly and wonderfully described, but that dang U-Boat sees and sinks or damages boat after boat after boat- none of which are the Lusitania. I’m not good at delayed gratification.

FOUR. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri: I’ve been meaning to read Jhumpa Lahiri for a long time, but you know what finally got me to pick of one of her books? I read that she’s Mindy Kaling’s favorite author. I don’t typically base my reading choices on celebrity endorsements, but since Mindy Kaling and I are sharing clothes now, she’s more of a trusted friend than a celebrity. This book was SO GOOD and the only reason that it’s being lumped into a tiny review is because I don’t feel smart enough to discuss it with the nuance it deserves. Here’s a snippet of the synopsis from Goodreads: “Two brothers bound by tragedy; a fiercely brilliant woman haunted by her past; a country torn by revolution. A powerful new novel–set in both India and America–that explores the price of idealism and a love that can last long past death.” So yeah. You can see why I can’t review this properly, right?!

Whew! What a whirlwind! And what a variety. High five to me on for the complete randomness of reading choices. You can’t plan this kind of thing folks. To borrow a phrase from the brilliant Andi and Heather, this is FREE RANGE READING at its finest! 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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Apr 22

Dietland by Sarai Walker

Contemporary Fiction, Women's Studies 18

Greetings Bookworms,

Wow. Am I ever behind on telling y’all about what I’m reading. 99 percent of the time when I’m running behind, it’s because I’m pretty lazy. This time, though, I really needed to sit on my thoughts for a while before I could put together a blog post. That’s mostly because reading Dietland by Sarai Walker felt so… Explosive.

dietlandPlum Kettle goes through life trying to keep a low profile. Her lifelong weight struggle has instilled a desperate desire to blend into the background, a feat she never quite accomplishes. Plum works from home or a local cafe answering the fan mail and advice requests for a popular teen girl’s magazine. After years of failed diets, Plum has decided to undergo weight loss surgery.

She’s confident in her decision until she acquires something of a stalker in a college age girl wearing brightly colored tights and combat boots. When Plum tries to investigate the odd girl that’s been following her, she falls into a collective of women living life outside of society’s terms. All this comes about around the same time as a vigilante group known as “Jennifer” begins dangerous attacks on a world that’s hostile toward women.

Dietland takes a no holds barred approach to eviscerating the beauty industry, gender inequality, rape culture, society’s obsession with weight loss, and the general nastiness that surrounds being overweight.

You guys, I have so many complicated feelings about this book. Every time I wanted to high five the author for making an incredible point, something happened that made me want to rescind my hand. I was all about the take down of diet culture. It sucks and this book disembowled it. High five right there. Of course, I wanted that high five right back when I read the way the author treated Plum’s antidepressant use. Are anti-depressants over-prescribed? Maybe. But are there a lot of people who NEED medication to manage their mental illnesses? Abso-freaking-lutely. Is this sort of characterization helpful? Nope. Not even a little. Then there’s the beauty industry. Does it feed on women’s insecurities? Totally. But the book slammed the beauty industry SO HARD that it made me feel like a crap feminist for enjoying wearing makeup and shaving my armpits. And as much as there’s a part of me that would love to see rapists and other horrible human beings punished when the criminal justice system fails, I just can’t with the vigilante stuff.

Are you starting to get a clearer picture of why I’m such a muddled mess over this book? The cognitive dissonance is STRONG with this one. Even though I didn’t agree with every little stance, I still think that Dietland starts all sorts of incredible and important conversations. It would make a stellar book club pick, especially if debates are your group’s jam.

Alright Bookworms. As you can see I’m a hot steaming pile of emotions here. What was the last book you read that left your feelings all a roiling?

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

 

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Apr 20

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts: April 20, 2016

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts, Personal 13

Hidey Ho Bookworms!

Man, life has been getting away from me. I have read oodles and oodles of books that I have yet to tell you about. I’m simply having the worst time getting myself to write coherent thoughts. In the spirit of incoherence, though, it’s Wednesday. Time for Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts! (Thanks to Christine at Bookishly Boisterous for my new favorite game.)

bookishnotsobookish

ONE: I returned from Cincinnati on Sunday, and though I’m happy to be back home with the Hubs, every time I part company with my bestie, I’m transported back to being 14 years old at an airport saying goodbye to the BFF who moved from Illinois to Maryland. I mean, we generally devolve into our pubescent selves immediately upon meeting anyway, what with the giggling, Dave Coulier jokes, and spontaneous Fountains of Wayne singalongs, so I tend to get a little misty when saying goodbye. And now that there are adorable little kids I have to say goodbye to as well? Suffice it to say I left a little piece of my heart in Ohio.

TWO:  I have several pieces of furniture containing collectibles and odds and ends in my house, not to mention a statue of a penguin butler (Alfred rules.) You might think that I had one of the more whimsical living spaces of my friends as a result of these things, but you know what I don’t have? A gold gryphon mask perched atop a dress form wearing an Elizabethan doublet and ruff. That’s right. My pal has a degree in costume design and Godric (I named him) is simply the compilation of a couple of her school projects on display. He was hanging out in the guest room, so she obligingly hid him behind some furniture along with another scary mask so I wouldn’t wake up in the middle of the night terrified. Her kids will always have the most amazing Halloween costumes. If she can get Junie to wear something other than a tutu, that is.

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THREE: Hanging out with my nieces and nephews is my favorite. Being Crazy Aunt Katie is so much fun, I can’t even tell you. And I’m not just talking about all the awesome kid lit I get to buy (though that is a major perk. Do you know how many picture books there are about penguins? I mean, it wouldn’t be weird for me to buy doubles of them just to keep for my own purposes, would it?) I am also talking about the fact that when I went to pick Jack up from school on Friday, one of his little 2nd grade friends asked who I was, then said “Wow, she looks really young.” I’m sure it didn’t hurt that I was wearing a t-shirt bearing the Disney version of the Cheshire Cat (complete with sparkles) but I’m going to accept the compliment at face value and embrace my (apparently) youthful countenance. Thanks, random 2nd grader!

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Yeah yeah I know it’s out of focus. You try to get a steady selfie with an 8 year old and 2 year old!

FOUR: I’m going to BEA in Chicago this year. For those not in the know, it’s Book Expo America, a giant trade show for the book and publishing industry. Because APPARENTLY I qualify as an industry professional. Sort of. Anyway, I’m very excited, but I’m also super nervous. There will be plenty of bloggers there that I “know” but I’ve met none of them in person. When I went to BlogHer, I attended with Chrissy (fellow blogger, college roommate, and easily one of the most important people in my world) so she HAD to hang out with me even though there were cooler people around. I have no built in safety person and I’m currently the queen of anxiety. I don’t feel cool enough or in-the-know enough or smart enough or anything. But I also know that if I don’t go when BEA is in my proverbial backyard, I’ll never go and that I’ll always regret it. Soooooo. I’m going. I’m also sleeping on my SIL’s couch which means I’ll get to snuggle niece in the evenings post conference. Emma thinks I’m cool. Just because she’s still in diapers doesn’t mean she doesn’t have good taste, right?

FIVE: READATHON is THIS WEEKEND!!! Have you signed up yet?

I think that’ll do it for today. I’ve got other things rattling around in my noggin, but I’m going to attempt to channel them into some book review posts. Yeah, I don’t really think it’s going to happen either, but a girl can dream. What are you up to, Bookworms?

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