If I had to use one word to describe this book, it would be UGH!
I would rather get on the Erin Express (a...more**spoiler alert** Crossposted at Booklikes.
If I had to use one word to describe this book, it would be UGH!
I would rather get on the Erin Express (and if you live in Philly, this tells you so much).
This book makes me fear for the human race. It makes me fear for the state of publishing. It makes me feel for the state of writing.
(I should note here that I read this book for work so it was more of an assignment).
How does book warrant a price tag of 16 dollars?
I get it is suppose to be erotica. I get it was fan fiction first. But if the book costs 16 bucks and runs 500 pages, it needs to be more – well – professional.
And how anyone woman thinks this is an S&M guide is beyond me.
While I do not think this book should be banned or pulled from any library, this book offends me on so many levels.
Here goes – and this is going to be a rant and totally unprofessional.
The writing, in terms of style and word usage, is just bad. Take for instance these sentences, “His bedroom is vast. The ceiling-height windows look out on lit-up Seattle high-rises. The walls are white, and the furnishings are pale blue.” (111) Or “I pause, fractionally too long” (77). Or “My blood is pumping though my body” (112) –um, you mean it normally doesn’t? Wouldn’t that be a problem? Or “I try to push him away rather feebly” (59). Or “he says phlegmatically” (66) – I’m not sure how that is attractive. At one point an elevator whisks her away at terminal velocity – so wouldn’t she be dead? The college she attends is variously –WSU, WSUV, WSUVA. There are people who have apparently have stone steps – sorry, there are people who have stone steps attached to their bodies. There is this, “He pops a fragment of ice in my navel in a pool of cool, cold wine” (193). It’s supposed to be erotica but it sounds stupid (cool, cold) and doesn’t make sense. Is her navel in a pool of wine? Also apparently it is a very big and deep navel a few sentences later. And what exactly is a sandle? This bring me to
How can this book be erotica when the writing is wince worthy and makes no sense? How can it be erotica with words like "inner goddess" (who talks way too much) and "oh my" and "holy Moses"?
I know there are people who are going to say that this gripe is unfair, but I don’t think it is. Jacqueline Carey wrote two erotic series that were also political fantasy with adequate if not good world building (granted drawn on European history). James places her story in the real world (she even gives a year), and it doesn’t make sense in any way shape or form. It feels so fake. I’m sorry but if Kate wants to be a reporter, she would be journalism major, not an English major. If she ran the student paper and the interview was important, she would not get Ana to cover it. I’m sorry but American professors are not tutors in the English sense of the word. No college holds a graduation ceremony in a gym, stadiums yes. Though this apparently magically becomes an auditorium a few paragraphs later. Ana has an IPod but not a computer of any type or an email address. If Ana is interviewing Grey because he is giving a speech at her graduation, how come she doesn’t know this at her graduation? If Ana had a job at the campus library (which means payment), why is she working in hardware store? Isn’t the library job connected more to her English major? What American uses the term in situ to describe parents who aren’t divorced or absent? Considering that Ana doesn’t know basic opera information, would she really know Carmen Miranda? Internships are not salaried jobs. Finally, despite what this book implies, Washington state does in fact have speed limits. I checked.
As a reader and a holder of an English degree, I am deeply disturbed by Ana’s attitude toward reading. One, she apparently has vastly misread Tess. Two, when asked her favorite books, she simply says British Literature. Three, Thomas Hardy is never, ever light reading. Though Ana wouldn’t know this because apparently Tess puts her to sleep. If Ana loves reading so much, why doesn’t she, you know, read?
For a book that is supposedly about, in part, a woman coming to terms with her desires, it is rather misogynistic. It even endorses rape culture.
In the course of the book, Ana, unattractive Ana, is desired by three men – Grey, Jose, and Paul. Ana has made it clear to both Paul and Jose that she is not interest. Paul, at the very least, harasses by touching her when it makes her uncomfortable. Jose sexually assaults her while Ana and her friends are out drinking, trying to force her to kiss him when she repeatedly tells him that she doesn’t want to. The assault is only stopped by the appearance of Grey. Jose and Ana are still friends after this. (The character of Jose and Ana’s relationship to him is problematic for other reasons. Jose, like all minority characters who make brief appearances, is a stereotype. Furthermore, while his actions towards Ana at the bar are wrong, Ana does use him. He services her car free of charge. Ana, of course, condemns Kate for how Kate treats Jose, which is the same way Ana does).
Grey’s stopping of Jose might make him out as the good guy. But it doesn’t. The following morning, when Ana wakes up he blames her. If she hadn’t been drinking, he wouldn’t have had to save her. She shouldn’t drink so much. And she really isn’t frightened by his tracking her phone. They’ve only met three times but the stalking is a turn on (WTF?). Grey does this blaming after he has slept besides the semi-dressed Ana. He took off her pants and put her to bed because she was sick after drinking so much.
Incidentally, Grey’s concern about Ana’s drinking (and she drinks like a fish) doesn’t stop him for using it against her. Every time he and Ana discuss the rules, or the potential rules for their relationship, he makes sure she is drinking. He manipulates her repeatedly. Part of this is the rules –which is a semi-legal contact (how Ana knows that is not really a legal contact without consulting a lawyer, I have no idea. Ana is stupid in every way. The rules themselves and the discussions about the rules are so repetitive and constant; any reader should want to throw up). The rules give Grey control of most, if not all, of Ana’s life. He gets her clothes, she must eat and exercise per his command, and birth control is her responsibility. He does include STD testing, but she just takes his word for it and doesn’t ask for the results herself. And he picks her doctor.
Seriously, what woman would let any man do that?
You could argue that the book is about Ana finding her role as submissive or as a sexual woman (she was a virgin before Grey), but this is problematic because she is not allowed to discover on her own. She is forced to discover per his terms. The first spanking is by his choice, not hers. She cannot talk to Kate about it, the rules forbid this. How is this discovery? Why is food a no-go area for her, but clothes are not? And there is a reason why she fears she is like a prostitute or a mistress, she is one. She is a kept woman. He controls her computer, her car, her phone, and her living arrangements. Every time she says she needs time to think, he makes a show of giving to her, but then shows right back up – including at one point forcing his way into her apartment. He stalks her. He abuses her. He ignores her use of the word no at times. He lies when he says he doesn’t want to change her – he does. He changes her in more than just a sexual awakening, and the only person to really notice this change is Kate, Ana’s “dearest, dearest friend” and roommate (and whom Ana seems to sponge off of).
Despite claims of Kate being Ana’s dearest friend, Ana sure doesn’t act like it. While Ana starts an affair with Grey that is based solely on the physical, Kate and Elliot (Grey’s brother) start a relationship as well. Kate and Elliot are hot heavy, and multiple times Ana wishes that they weren’t, that Kate should control herself. This is rather strange coming from Ana who is fucked by Grey during a dinner with his parents and, unlike Kate who seems to know about Elliot’s business, knows nothing and shows no real interest in. Furthermore, when Grey slut shames Kate, Ana does not say anything in defense of her “friend”. And Kate is a good friend, not only apparently paying Ana’s way in terms of living costs and allowing her to borrow clothes and cars, but by being concerned and actually pegging Grey for what he is. However, Kate’s real reaction (the only sense of reality in the book) is shown to be wrong while Ana’s mother, who basically tells her daughter to go back to Grey’s hotel room, is shown to be correct. This is the mother who Ana chose not to live with, preferring to live with her step-father.
In fact, the majority of people in power in this book are men. The hardware store is owned by a man (his wife, however, is mentioned), Ana gets a job with a male boss, Grey’s go to people are all men, all the women in Grey’s offices seem to be sectaries or PAs (and a housekeeper), and Ana’s favorite professor is a man. Ana’s only female friend is Kate.
There is a one exception to this, and that is the non-seen but present character of Mrs. Robinson, the older woman who introduced Grey to the whole S&M thing. Robinson, a friend of Grey’s mother, did this when Grey was 15. Ana does not think to call this what it is – rape – until over 200 pages after she is told of it. Truthfully, she uses the word molestation. This only occurs after repeated bouts of jealously – not worry, but jealously. It’s OMG is he still seeing her, jealous. This whole thing is problematic because it implies that man can’t be sexually abused, that people are only into S&M if they are mess up mentally and abused at a young age, and shows a complete utter endorsement of rape is okay because Grey keeps calling it seduction. (What Jose did too is seduction).
I will grant that there is something attractive in having things taken care for you. But there is a fine line between being taken care and being abused. Ana, herself, refers to the Grey’s stalker and control issues. Grey’s control issues are not control issues. They are abuse issues because Ana exists solely for him, even in her mind. She worries about his reaction to everything. When she finally “leaves” him, it is implied that it is because she isn’t woman enough, not that he hurt her or is abusive. Compare that to Jane Eyre in one of Ana’s British books. Jane Eyre leaves Rochester because what he wants his wrong. It violates her being. She becomes her own being. This is not why Ana leaves Grey, though James seems to want you to think so. Jane Eyre would have left Grey long before.
James is no doubt laughing all the way to the bank. Good for her. But don’t tell me that this book is erotic or female empowerment. It’s just recycled rape culture.
Actually pretty good considering its length. It is general, but then it is suppose to be. Nice level of detail about the conflicting ideas and confusi...moreActually pretty good considering its length. It is general, but then it is suppose to be. Nice level of detail about the conflicting ideas and confusion over Tut’s family.
Well, I am not sure that this ebook makes the case for both of them to be History’s Most Powerful Couple. Caesar is presented...moreCrossposted at Booklikes.
Well, I am not sure that this ebook makes the case for both of them to be History’s Most Powerful Couple. Caesar is presented in more solid detail than Cleopatra. For instance, Cleopatra’s arrival is the standard carpet story, but apparently she was naked. It is okay.(less)
Disclaimer: Gotten as an Audible freebie. David Suchet reading M. R. James great combo. I’m not really sure how this qualifie...moreCrossposted at Booklikes.
Disclaimer: Gotten as an Audible freebie. David Suchet reading M. R. James great combo. I’m not really sure how this qualifies as a Christmas ghost story, but nice and spooky. Don’t listen to it in a bedroom. (less)
This was a kindle freebie. I am conflicted a bit about this book. In some ways, it was a bit too stereotypical in the “old fo...moreCrossposted at Booklikes.
This was a kindle freebie. I am conflicted a bit about this book. In some ways, it was a bit too stereotypical in the “old folks discover the internet but still spin out folksy wisdom” type of a way. But there is something charming about the mystery.
This is 7th in the series, but I haven’t read the others. It was easy enough to get into for a newbie The premise is Emily runs a travel group/agency and murders happen when she goes on trips to places. The main customers seem to be seniors, including Emily's grandmother. The thing that annoyed the most was the main character’s, Emily, e-husband. He had gender reassignment, which isn’t my problem. But if I am suppose to believe that Emily is down with the whole thing, why does Emily still use the male name of Jack instead of the chosen one of Jackie? I could understand say, Jacks, but it just seemed a bit off. I could understand if this was right after the surgery, but both Emily and Jackie have moved on and are re-married. So it felt a little strange, off, and borderline insulting. I should note, however, that Jackie is shown as a transgender who is NOT addicted to anything and who is happy and well adjusted. She might be a sterotype in terms of shoes, but considering Emily is also this way, I'm willing to let that go.
That said – what I really enjoyed about this book was the use of humor. Even if I had trouble believing that the old folks didn’t remember about the coffee shops not serving coffee, the “high” seniors scene was very entertaining, especially with the legs and balls. Additionally, while the use of Jack instead of Jackie struck me as odd, I have to applaud the use of female friendship and teamwork. Jackie and Emily work very well together, and the friendship is done well. While I found it little hard to keep all the seniors in Emily’s group straight, the friendships were conveyed well, and it was nice seeing a group work together instead of being in opposition. (less)
Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley. Rembrandt van Rijn. There is something about his work, and when everyone thinks of Rembrandt, they think of Amsterdam a...moreDisclaimer: ARC via Netgalley. Rembrandt van Rijn. There is something about his work, and when everyone thinks of Rembrandt, they think of Amsterdam and the Night Watch. Famous and special. But Rembrandt’s other paintings are great and his house is worth a visit too. For me, Rembrandt’s paintings work because of the quiet and mystery that exists in each one. In some ways that is like Amsterdam, where a twist or turn can lead to someplace unexpected – such as the hidden Catholic church almost in the Red Light District.
The Anatomy Lesson is also a famous Rembrandt paint and has that sense of quiet mystery.
Nina Siegal’s novel is like a Rembrandt painting.
Siegal’s novel is told from several view points, each connected in some way to the painting. There is Dr. Tulp’s wife, Rembrandt, Descartes, Kid Aris, Fetchet, and Flora. In the present day, there is a Pia whose restoration and examination of the painting are used in part as a framing device.
Siegal manages to capture different voices for each of these diverse characters. Flora is radically different in style and tone than Kid Aris. More importantly, there is a quiet power in how these stories are interlinked, how paths cross, and how friendships are lost or created.
The sense of Amsterdam as well as the sense of the characters evolves slowly, in many ways like the crafting of paint. A stoke here, a change in color there. Rembrandt becomes more than just the ambitious artist, Fetchet more than just a collector of oddities, Flora more than a woman in love, and Aris more than a simple body. How these details and back stories are revealed is slight, like the presence of the barking dog or the girl in gold, but the smallest detail is wielded by Siegal like a brush, transporting the slight detail into an item of importance. The book feels like the literary offspring of Vermeer and Rembrandt.
There are a few series that deal with the story behind a painting. One of these, Every Picture Tells a Story, has a half hour episode about this painting. While the show does an interesting job of talking about the origins of the painting, this book is far more touching and wrenching in how one sees the painting. The painting itself is about using the end of life to aid in the continuation of life, but the book too is about life and what the absence of and ending of life means to those left behind.
I got this via Netgalley because the original short story is one that I loved. This comic version of it, I do not.
Perhaps it is because what works in prose form doesn’t always work in picture. Perhaps it is because I really don’t need to read yet another thing where the women in the story are just there to perform for the men. Granted, the angels don’t have any genitals, but they are male. Perhaps the pictures highlight the gender difference far more.
Perhaps this time reading it, I know about Gaiman’s connection to Scientology. The story features something that will no doubt get some Christians’ panties in a twist, to borrow a phrase. I don’t have a problem with it. My problem is I have to wonder if Gaiman would be okay if someone depicted Scientology in the same possibly insulting manner.
The art is pretty good, pretty much stunning (and made up for the perhaps). It is not a children’s story, and it would help if you enjoy noir.
So Roman Britain doesn’t look that bad when you are dealing with massive debts, a sneaky loan collector, a ship wreck, and clogged drains. This entry...moreSo Roman Britain doesn’t look that bad when you are dealing with massive debts, a sneaky loan collector, a ship wreck, and clogged drains. This entry into the series concerns both the Medicius and Tilla returning to the family home. The mystery really isn’t that mysterious, but the characters and interactions make up for the predictable plot. Part of the fun is watching Tilla’s introduction to fledging religion of Christianity.
Perhaps the best known play about witch trials in the United States is Miller’s The Crucible. Its popularity is not only due to the connection to the...morePerhaps the best known play about witch trials in the United States is Miller’s The Crucible. Its popularity is not only due to the connection to the McCarthy Hearings, but also because it is taught in what seems to be almost every American school. It says much about our culture that the play about witch trials is a plot about a jilted lover getting revenge on the married man who jilted her. Witchcraft trials wouldn’t really about that at all. The connection between misogyny and witchcraft trials is pretty much obivious, but what Barstow does in this study is present numbers to prove it. Some numbers are not shocking, such as more women being accused and executed in general, and some numbers are shocking, such as the information from Finland. Besides numbers, Barstow also shows how the investigation could destroy a village, at least the female population of a village (some villages only had one woman left) or the voyeurism of the witch finders. Apparently the witch finders were paid to feel up women and touched their most private areas. Of course, the witch finders did this would the best interest of everyone at heart. It is this close look at not only accusations in terms of gender and class but also on the investigation of such charges that Barstow brings the trials back to where they should be seen – as an attack upon women.
I have to give a big thank you to the National Park Worker who recommended this book. Thank you, Ma’am, you were so right.
I picked this up last year when I visited the Cemetery.
The book is a comprehensive guide to Arlington. It includes a history (brief) of the property as well the family. Then there is a history of the Cemetery itself – including the fact that for a time it housed escape slaves on part of the property. There is a section of 100 people, notables and unusual people buried or remembered. Each of these 100 is given a biography and includes not only the Kennedy clan (Jackie O is one of only two first ladies buried on the site) but Wild Bill Donovan, Richard Byrd, Matthew Hensen, Joe Louis, Lee Maarvin and others. There is second listing of more notables (no biographies). Finally there is a detailed description of the major moments, including a history of each, criteria for burial and description of services. There is also a map, a guide to symbols, and a listing of ranks broken down by the type of service. The writing is friendly and there are many neat facts.
Honestly, if you are planning to visit or have visited, get this book. (less)
I have not read Gorky Park, yet. But I have seen the movie and this book reminds me of that with the added bonus of fantasy and without the unbelievab...moreI have not read Gorky Park, yet. But I have seen the movie and this book reminds me of that with the added bonus of fantasy and without the unbelievable romantic sub-plot. (less)
Honestly, can someone please tell me why people think charging 2.99 for a book that is basically a wikipedia entry is good? I mean, this isn't bad per...moreHonestly, can someone please tell me why people think charging 2.99 for a book that is basically a wikipedia entry is good? I mean, this isn't bad per se. It's a good high school paper, I suppose. But you can get work by Derbyshire and Ridgway for the same price, and those works don't read like a wikipedia entry in any way.
Black keeps refering to a historian at times, but doesn't tell you who. He does to be fair mention three historians by name. There also isn't any type of cited or further works page.
Granted Charles River Editors charges a similar price for thier work, which can be hit or miss, but even in the miss one, CR Editors at least gives you further reading. But I don't buy the CRE books either. I just pick them up when offered free, but they do seem like better bang for the buck. And they are geared toward high school and college freshmen.
Additionally, the wording makes it sound like Catherine of A and Henry got hitched right after Arthur's death, which was not the case.
I just don't get why anyone, even a student, would pay for this at all. (I picked it up when offered as a freebie). You can find something like, with a better source list, on the internet for free.
Sometimes you read a book and wonder why the hell it won all the acclaim listed on the cover.
This is not one of those books.
French’s work details the investigation of a murder of a young English in Peking just before the onslaught of the Japanese. To say that the book is engrossing would be an understatement, and to say that the whole book is engrossing would also be wrong.
It does start off very slow but picks up around page 40.
French keeps the reader’s attention because he plays with the ideas of guilt and innocene. In many ways, the reader is like a third investigator in the case or perhaps the jury while French is the advocate.
This is a relatively good short biography of Anne Frank. It is designed for children and schools, so it offers a glossary and...moreCrossposted at Booklikes
This is a relatively good short biography of Anne Frank. It is designed for children and schools, so it offers a glossary and fact boxes. While it doesn’t hide the truth, it is not as graphically illustrated as it would be in an adult biography.
Mullin gets full marks for doing much to present a further picture of Edith Frank and Pfeiffer than what Anne presents in the diary. Too often Edith give way to Otto, and Mullin does much to correct this. It is well worth a read by anyone who has read the diary. The focus is on the Franks so no real mention is made about the adaptations of the Diary. Further information is given, however, about Anne’s friends. It, in many ways, answers questions that someone would have after reading the Diary. (less)
**spoiler alert** Full review at Booklikes Note, that there it is in two parts.
The things you do for online friends. I think my eyeballs will never fo...more**spoiler alert** Full review at Booklikes Note, that there it is in two parts.
The things you do for online friends. I think my eyeballs will never forgive me. This is the funny partof the review, a more detailed anaylsis will follow, as soon my eyeballs forgive me.
At least I didn't pay for it.
"Bring on your best bikini" - Bikini fight apparently.
Emily's sex growls (Loc. 82) Vagina dentata eat your heart out. Emily's vagina is a pitbull on a leash. (Which must make it rather hard to sit down).
Wait, no. I had that wrong. Emily's sex quivered. So it is an arrow. Does that mean she has a penis?
Yeah, I know, I know. Okay, so the first part of this review pointed out some of the typos and mistakes that could possibly lead to laughs. This second part of the review is more serious
First off, if you are going to charge 2.99 American for a book that would take anyone whose reading level is higher than second grade 20 minutes at the most to read, it better be damned good and not filled with fragments, confusing sentences, and independents clauses that just don’t make sense. (Please note, that I got this book for free. The list price on Amazon is 2.99).
Second, and more importantly, this book is a big solid endorsement of rape culture.
It’s the girl really wants to be dominated, abused, and raped trope.
That pisses me off. Fine, ignore the conditions between porn and abuse. Ignore the stupidity of a woman doing what Emily does, and even ignore the fact that an aspiring porn actress is okay going bare back – how is rape erotic? It’s not. It’s, at best, pornographic. And Emily is seen begging for her rape, there really is no other way to put it, twice in this thing. TWICE! (less)
You see, what I like about Le Carre is the total lack of James Bond cool factor. Like the Looking Glass War, this wil...moreCrossposted at The Fish Place>
You see, what I like about Le Carre is the total lack of James Bond cool factor. Like the Looking Glass War, this will just leave you speechless. Wonderful BBC production as usual. If you have seen Law and Order UK, Harriet Walker is part of this cast.(less)
I have to admit, even as I hate doing it, that the only Heaney I have read prior picking up this book is his translation of Beowulf. To say that the...moreI have to admit, even as I hate doing it, that the only Heaney I have read prior picking up this book is his translation of Beowulf. To say that the poems in this collection are good would be correct. They are bag of Irish life, ancient myth, and family life. It is the Irish ones and “Mycenae Lookout” that tend to be the most powerful. The power of Mycenae Lookout is obvious. It is about Troy, told from various views, including a solider waiting for the return of his king and fellow soldiers even as he knows that the king’s welcome isn’t assured at all. “Two Lorries” is about, well, two lorries, one whom was in fact. It is a powerful comment on the Troubles and the fight for Irish independence. It is the type of poem you read and cannot forget. Reading this small volume you realize how great Heaney was.