Posts tagged ‘books’

Angst, as taken out on the book world

Wow, it’s November 9th.  Don’t even look at the date of that last post.  Very sad.  Somehow, though, I’ve managed to get 100+ hits since I last checked this?  Thanks, whoever made that happen.  Time for me to actually re-enter the blog world now, though, I think.

I missed an election, consequently.  This would be about the time I commented, but I’m keeping my journalistic standards on and just want to say I hope everyone takes a positive attitude, regardless of outcome — our country, and for that matter the world, could use some positivity right now. 

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So, what to write about today?  How about THIS?  Wow, you know it’s a slow book time when the NYT Bestsellers list includes both yet another Nicholas Sparks book and a book that’s been on the list since Summer — admittedly, I just found out that Oprah put Edgar Sawtelle on her book club….and gained a tiny bit of respect for Oprah’s Book Club, emphasis on tiny.  Even longer on the list, The Host by Stephenie Meyer.  Will someone please explain to the world that Stephenie Meyer is not a good writer????  I’m so sick of hearing about how great she is.  She’s not, she just thought up a good story line.  Okay?  Okay.

So, logical transition now….into my intense hatred for Nicholas Sparks — since this has for some reason been a hot topic for me this week.  Now, I’d just like to say that I’m as big a chick-lit/movie girl as the next, and own a pretty impressive collection if you want to argue my ability to judge this situation — an ability I’d like to think is pretty founded.

That said, there are few things I despise as much as I despise Nicholas Sparks.  The man preys on women’s sentimentality, and the fact that he can continue to make millions and millions of dollars writing the same exact storyline every time, just baffles my mind.  Who doesn’t know a woman who basically only reads Nicholas Sparks?  I know several, and while I still love them, I will never understand them. 

Pick up something new.  Something that doesn’t involve a complete warping of human emotion and condition.  Something that doesn’t romanticize love and death to a point that completely warps women’s views of the world.  Edgar Sawtelle, for instance.  Or even an oldie but a goodie — Franny and Zooey by Salinger being my latest endeavor.  It’ll expand your mind, I promise.

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November 10, 2008 at 2:58 am Leave a comment

Just a dabble, thanks

Lately I’ve been dabbling (yes, dabbling) in book reviews, mostly just trying to learn how to write them since I’ve always wanted to, and just getting some thoughts out since I’m currently surrounded by books pretty much all the time. I’ve got zero friends on the website I’ve been using, GoodReads, which is fine, but I figured I might as well stick it up here too. I realize the latest Lauren Weisberger (of The Devil Wears Prada notoriety) doesn’t really appeal to all, but don’t move! I just started my first ever delve into David Sedaris, so I’ll be sure to post that one next. Who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to…dare I say…pick up a book this summer? Well, I was under the impression that you should.

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The Book: Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger
The Consensus: 3 out of 5 stars
The Review:
I’m not sure why this book has been getting such terrible reviews, because I didn’t really see much wrong with it at all. No, it wasn’t Everyone Worth Knowing – which, coincidentally, is a fabulous book and especially great for summer – but I don’t think it necessarily deserved the pretty bad rap it got.

Sure, the characters can, at times, be so frustratingly typical and absurdly blind to their own mistakes that you find yourself wanting to yell out loud, perhaps in an effort to channel them and somehow change their (somewhat predictable) course. [This being particularly true regarding Leigh, a rather crass character who I could never quite relate to and was constantly bothered by.] And yes, if you let the book, as well as the absurdity of the parrot one character, Emmy, inherited from an ex and felt bad getting rid of, despite it’s incessant noise and insulting phrases (any rational, real-life person would sell the damn thing), get you down – well, you probably wouldn’t open yourself up to any type of good conclusion.

Yet, I found myself re-thinking this book a couple days after I read it, and I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. There’s something about Weisberger’s characters that allow me to find a little something I relate to in each one of them, and it’s always nice to know you’re not alone – even if the one you’re relating to isn’t really real. Plus I think it’s great to subscribe to the adage that you can’t change yourself, but you can change your outlook, and this story does that superbly.

Read it with an open mind, chug through it in a day or two, and I think it’s a pretty good read in general.

July 18, 2008 at 7:21 pm Leave a comment

Read, little Johnny. Read.

The movie industry is, in my opinion, becoming out of control.  And not in a wow-there-are-so-many-big-budget-movies-out-right-now!! kind of way.  More like an are-there-no-original-ideas-in-the-world? kind of way.

Case in point:  the INDIE movie theatre in my area is playing Indiana Jones.  Now, yes, this may be the decision of that particular theatre – but 6 months ago there were hardly any big budget movies playing in said theatre – not to mention big budget action films.  Indiana Jones #4?  Really?

Even more bothersome is the increasing number of movies being ripped off of books.  To be fair, this is something I’ve had a problem with for years.  It’s like those kids everyone knows (or is) who watch the movie version to get by without reading the book.  ‘Why read the book when I could watch the movie?’ has always bothered me.  

A study released just last November by the National Endowment for the Arts found ‘startling declines’ in the number and proficiency of Americans reading books.  [NPR discussion about the study here]  Now, personally, I’ve always lived with a book in my purse at all times – it doesn’t have to be the most intelligent piece of literature ever made, but just to be reading makes you a better person – and that’s not just my opinion.

So why aren’t we reading anymore?  The answer isn’t hard.  How many times have we discussed technology in our age?  The rise of video gaming?  The subsequent rise in childhood obesity?  The possible detrimental effects of standardized testing on originality and creativity?

This, like all discussions, could go on forever.  But in closing I’d just like to say that when I was younger, my mom made us read every night before we went to bed.  And I will never stop being grateful to her for instilling that value in me.  I’ll be doing the same for my kids, if anyone’s keeping track.

May 25, 2008 at 12:32 am 1 comment


Look at THESE too, yo

Does anyone actually READ this?

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