I’m pretty sure the wrongreading I did here was 100% my own fault. After being blown away by American Gods ages ago my hopes were super high that this would be yet another wild ride through Gaiman’s imagination as he revamped Norse tales from the olde days of yore. Now, these little snippets of ancient history did feature our favorite pals such as . . . .
But sadly, it was not a reimagining of the past, just a simple retelling instead. On my American Gods review, I said I was hoping for a Dogma type of experience and got just what I had hoped for. This one was like an encyclopedic rendering of Norse mythology that had me like . . . .
Gaiman is waaaaaaay too creative and talented to push out a basic regurge.
However, this knocked a pretty old selection off the TBR as well as was a recommendation for the library’s Summer Reading Program, so I’m still calling it a win. One of these days I’ll be able to go and get my free swag, right??? I’ve probably read 20 books at this point instead of the 5 required to obtain the major award.
And not two but THREE storylines which appear to be unrelated, but duh of course they are all interconnected somehow. Add to that a main character who I thought deserved a pretty solid punch in the throat for being absolutely horrible at adulting and that is 2 Stars at best.
I’ll gladly pick up whatever Lisa Jewell releases next due to me having such a great experience with her other stuff and simply file this away as “you can’t please all the people all of the time.”
Is lockdown making anyone else do crazy things???? Like convincing yourself you have to read ALLLLLLLL of the library books because at some point you won't have time to read? Or that you’ll really like a sequel despite spending pretty much your entire existence avoiding sequels? Yeah, me too.
Much like my opinion of nearly all “seconds” in a series, I felt this one was unnecessary. Especially seeing that this author has already proven to not be just a one-hit-wonder with Two Can Keep a Secret. The synopsis here is some characters from the first book return for the second and this time around a game will be used in order to uncover the players’ dirty little secrets . . . .
The problem? One Of Us Is Lying worked because it was an homage to The Breakfast Club. This one didn’t have any of those nostalgic vibes and instead falls flat as just another YA mystery. Teens may very well love it, but this oldster found herself really feeling her Captain Murtaugh vibes . . . .
I know they can’t all be winners, but for this unpolished turd of a cliché with hardly a story propelling it forward to have come from the mind of the man who created Hap and Leonard and who is capable of writing some seriously stellar grit lit is practically a crime. If you’re looking for some modern noir, might I recommend dipping your toe in the lady pond and picking up Sunburn, because this one????
Man, I have a disappoint. This book had so much potential. To sum things up briefly, The Operator is a story that takes place back in the 1950s in a little town called Wooster, Ohio. The main character of the story is a gal named Vivian, who makes a living working for Ma Bell . . . .
Like all of the other operators, occasionally Vivian likes to listen in on a call or twelve two in order to keep up with the local gossip. But what happens when the gossip in question just so happens to be about her?????
This book is all about Vivian believing one dirty little secret from her past is going to become public domain, while eventually watching all of the skeletons fall out of some other townsfolks’ closets as well. As I said before, it had tons of potential (and that cover is the bees knees). Unfortunately, it fell flat for me.
Obviously YMMV, so if it’s on your to-read stack, give it a whirl.
^^^^tearjerker survival kit – copious amounts of snacks, Kleenex, tea (to drink and save the bags to put on your puffy eyeholes), warm fuzzy cuddly thing, etc.
In yet another display of how much I channel my inner Cartman on the regular and do what I want, let’s get real unconventional and “review” two books at once. I read these about a week or so apart. They have similar covers, they both have the modus operandi of destroying the reader via emotional manipulation, they both deal with a cheating aspect of sorts, both had female leads who were more than a bit self-centered. However, I loooooooooved You Were There Too and did not enjoy The Light We Lost much at all.
The Light We Lost was my mother-in-law’s book club book last month. They pick all sorts of stuff – sometimes I have read them, sometimes I have no desire to ever read them, sometimes I go ahead and get them from the library as was the case here. I didn’t know anything before beginning aside from the fact that it was a romance and I thought that was a pretty odd choice for a book club selection and that it begins with two people meeting in NYC on September 11th and then follows their story for 13 years. I have no idea if the ending was supposed to be a shocker, but I knew immediately upon starting what the “big reveal” was going to be to due the style of delivery used by Jill Santopolos. I also wanted to punch the narrator Lucy right in the babymaker and that never makes for a good time. I appreciated 9/11 simply being used as a jumping off point that brought two strangers together rather than some horrible manipulation at the end, but sadly there was plenty of attempted manipulation still to be had.
The flipside was You Were There Too. I received an advanced copy of it basically because I am a greedy whore who wants all the free things. I then completely missed the release date and forgot I even had it until people started posting pictures on Instagram and I saw it staring at me from across the room on my “shelf of shame.” As I said above, Mia was more than a bit focused on numero uno as well, and yet somehow I didn’t want to physically harm her like I did poor Lucy. I actually didn’t foresee all the reveals of this one – even the ending that could easily be predicted by most snuck up on me because I was so invested in the story. The “I’ve met you in my dreams” is what I call tropey yum-yum so this had that going for it as well. And most of all, it made me have the feelz. In order to maintain my street cred, Imma go ahead and blame that one on . . . .
I give up. After having a very not-so-great time with ‘salem’s Lot last week I thought the easiest way to turn my frown upside down was with a newer Stephen King and a nice little shorty that’s been popping up on my recommendations list ever since I enjoyed (definitely not the right word – can you truly enjoy something that makes you dry-heave??? – so let’s change that to “high starred”) In the Tall Grass.
To say I did not enjoy this would be a severe understatement. It was so bad it was nearly embarrassing. It was also very apparent that poor Uncle Stevie might have grown a little out of touch when it comes to . . . I was gonna say kids/what they like to do/how they talk, but then I remembered he also included an adult character who advertised her gayness in the form of a big ol’ pink gay bumper sticker so he might just not be awake period . . . . .
I’m all for a gory good time and 80 pages of bodycount, but the car thing has been beaten to death by you Stephen. And the big “alien” reveal? I can only assume this happened sometime in your past for it to be your preferred fallback crutch . . . .
The story here is about a man named Ben who lived in a place called Jerusalem’s Lot (located about 20 miles north of Portland) back when he was just a kid. An experience with a place known to the locals as the Marsten House has always stuck with Ben and now as an adult (and as an author), he returns thinking there might be a story there. What he could never expect is his return to the Lot coinciding with another new arrival in town which would eventually result in nearly the entire population becoming . . . . .
Sounds great, right? Yeah, well when I was a teenager I thought it was. I think I’ve officially learned my lesson as far as re-reading Uncle Stevie goes. I’m not so sure I would be a fan of a lot of these books now that I’m an adult. This one definitely missed the mark. I knew things weren’t going great almost immediately since the first 150 pages were dedicated to introducing a billion one-dimensional characters simply for the point of being able to recognize the future victims . . . . TWO HUNDRED PAGES LATER. (My recollection is I enjoyed this set-up in Needful Things, but I’ll be damned if I voluntarily wrongread that one again just to make sure!) And even when it looked like he might be picking up the pace . . . .
Like, at one point this was (even to me) considered to be primo writing. But now?????
“Make love to me? Do you want to?”
“Yes,” he said. “I want that.”
“Here on the grass,” she said.
She was looking up at him, her eyes wide in the dark. She said, “Make it be good.”
I was going to go ahead and give this 3 Stars, but I read the version that contains all the pages that found their way to the cutting room floor rather than the book and that is where all the effing interesting stuff was apparently left so I’m giving this 2. Bottom line . . . .
Save your trolling. I’ll most likely just tell you to go F*&^ your own mother and then block your dumbass so you can’t come at me twice. For anyone else who may be skeered to post your honest opinions, here’s my advice to you . . . .
Am I in a book slump? It seems my “mehs” are seriously outweighing my yeahs at this point : (
Alright, so I’m the naysayer when it comes to the Akin party. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Aside from the aforementioned possible slump as well as the fact that I consistently suck turtles. I mean, there’s zero doubt that Emma Donoghue knows how to tell a story – unfortunately I just didn’t connect with this one.
Maybe my expectations were too high? I was lucky enough to read Room before the hype train left the station and no one had ever heard of it and I picked up (and really enjoyed) The Wonder upon my reaction to Room. I actually took a gander at the blurb (after wiping the drool off my face from that gorgeous cover) and went into this expecting a feel-good tale in the form of an elderly curmudgeon obtaining a new lease on life courtesy of a sassy whippersnapper. Well, I got the sassy whippersnapper . . . .
“It’s an, rather than a, when it’s followed by a vowel: an atheist.”
“Like, you’re AN asshole.”
He supposed he deserved that one.
And I guess I got the “feel good” – but not in the form I was expecting (we’ll get to that in a second). However, the elderly curmudgeon I was hoping for????
It starts with our main character Noah preparing for a trip to the South of France where he was born. He’s forced to alter his plans – adding a plus one – when a never-before-met great-nephew named Michael emerges needing an emergency interim caretaker due to his mother being in the slammer. Things got awkward for me immediately upon the arrival to Nice, which either was already pre-planned as one of the most boring walks down memory lane EVER or went off the rails into a Nancy Drew episode upon Noah discovering some old photographs while cleaning out his recently deceased sister’s things that he decides must be monumental or she wouldn’t have kept them (despite her being described as a bit of a packrat with boxes upon boxes of mementos that hold absolutely no sentimental value to Noah). Now, mind you, these two are staying here . . . .
But it’s like the author has ever been there (despite having lived there and being very vocal about how much she loves the South of France) because very little regarding the fact that it is a paradise is mentioned. Instead they go searching for the source and story behind these old pictures. Noah eats stereotypical touristy types of food that an American with a real “daring” palate would eat – like snails (Michael is a child so he pretty much only wants French fries). Young Michael also proves to be the real brains behind the organization and can take one gander at a photo and instantly know what it is/where it might be despite the fact that he’s ELEVEN years old and has never been to Nice. This is the second book I’ve reviewed in as many days where the characters didn’t feel authentic and had me wondering if Donoghue has ever met an eleven year old. This kid read more like 14 or 15, aside from the fact that he did do that really effing annoying thing all kids seem to be doing now . . . .
(Michael called it “ballgazers” and that actually made me laugh a little – but I’m sure would not please most parents and teachers. My kids just say “that’s a neck” and then karate chop the shit out of you for looking.)
Michael’s unfortunate familial circumstances also get whitewashed because apparently this is a book about an adult/child relationship that is very unlike Room in that no darkness should dare to tread. The “mystery” of the photos could have been something that resulted in an amazingly skillet-to-the-face type of reveal, but no. Again, this book is all about love and light. Except when it came to any time Noah talked about his nephew (and Michael’s father) . . . .
I wanted to read Summerlings for the cover as soon as I saw it via my local indie book store’s weekly email. Period. I did sneak a peek at what I was getting into before my turn came around at the library and thought a story about a group of kids that takes place in Cold War era D.C. during the dog days of summer would probably be right up my alley. I started reading and could hear Richard Dreyfus’ voice in my head narrating to me a la Stand by Me. Unfortunately, it lost me almost immediately.
The premise revolves around the kids attempting to plan a block party for their “Whitman’s Sampler” type of neighborhood in order to bring everyone together (and hopefully earn them an invite to the De Haans’ pool). They also hope they’ll finally get revenge on the local bully. Oh, and there’s a spider infestation happening. The kids are supposed to be between 8 and 10 years old - and sometimes it seems they are, like when it comes to their snappy comebacks . . . . .
Not to mention the glaring reality that despite there being a lot of various plotlines going on per the description above, there just wasn’t much to this story. And the dialogue??? At times the only way I could describe it would be . . . . .
So mad props to whoever designed this cover. It’s sure to sell some copies. As for the content? Aside from the very very very end of the story, I would probably market it as Young Adult and roll the dice that kids might want to read about life in the late ‘50s.
If you do read/do like this one or are looking for a trip on the wayback machine via a young narrator, I highly recommend picking up some Gary D. Schmidt. He’s pretty remarkable. ...more
I checked out of Goodreads for several weeks due to taking some time off to watch my boys play ball and work being extra worky on the days when I was actually in the office. I returned this week FORTY reviews behind – not including this selection which didn’t even manage to make it to my “Currently Reading” list. Now I’m wondering how many more of these there are. I’m starting with this one because . . . .
If you know me, you know I’m not a blurb reader. Apparently I’m also not real good at slap-you-right-in-the-face clues via way of titles. I requested this book without knowing anything about it simply because I enjoyed In a Dark, Dark Wood and because I can’t help myself when it comes to requesting things from NetGalley. I will warn you, if you have a problem with this sort of presentation . . . .
I know I’m going on. And I know you must be wondering when the hell I’m going to get to the point – to the reason I’m here, in this prison cell, and the reason I shouldn’t be. And I promise you, it’s coming. But I can’t – I can’t seem to explain the situation quickly.
Ruth Ware is not the author for you. As for me? I kind of dig this style of delivery. However, I didn’t like this story the first time I was forced to read it back in the dark ages high school when it was called The Turn of the Screw. If I would have known it was a retelling of that old slog I would have avoided it. Sorry, Ms. Ware. I probably still won’t read blurbs in the future, but I’ll definitely read more of your books.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!...more
Seriously, though, if I actually had something bad to say y’all know I’d be barfing out all over the place. This just didn’t cause much of a reaction. It takes a brave soul to roll the dice and name drop “if you like Liane Moriarty” and it doesn’t always work out. The story here was about a rumor of a potential child killer moving into a small town and all the mommies getting in a tizzy about it. It was perfectly mediocre. I will say I have notes on the Kindle regarding the big reveal raising my hinky meter due to the ages of people maybe not lining up for it to work for me without questioning things, so you could maybe take that into consideration? Or not. After all, the only reason I requested this book in the first place was because I thought I was asking for . . . .
I should have known better than to tempt fate after my miserable failure with Evelyn Hugo, but it was all over the Instagram and I am an easy mark.
I’ll be more than willing to take some of the blame for my experience here and say that from the cover/description I had definite opinions about what I was hoping the story would be like. Mainly in the form of . . . . .
How was no one else not completely bored with this? What a snoozefest! I was sure the high ratings were going to end up being just a Bookstagram thing because most of those young’uns are young enough that they might not realize this story/the delivery really wasn’t a fresh idea and was 100% done before . . . .
But most of my fellow oldsters over here loved it too. I’ll just go suck some turtles, I guess.
All that smacktalking aside, there is one thing about Daisy Jones that is deserving of all the Starzzzzzzz and that is the audio. Making it to the end of this selection had I opted for the print version may have ended up being one of the greatest struggles of my life (first worlder here), but the full cast audio was amazing. Too bad I hated the story they were reading to me : (
Seriously, though, who my age didn’t have a crush on . . . . .
Somehow after double fails, Maybe In Another Life is still calling my name. If that one ends up as a wrongread like these other two have, someone take me out of my misery if I ever mention reading another book by this author....more
To say I was not the correct audience for this book is a serious understatement. Don’t even call me a wrongreader either because the blurb was responsible for making me think it was going to go all . . . .
With a story about a dude who maybe killed his wife on the river and the two young fellas who happen to stumble upon him both with and without his better half accounted for that also included a side dish of . . . . .
What I didn’t expect was for nothing – and I mean NOTHING AT ALL – to happen for the first 25% of the thing aside from descriptions of flora and fauna, both surrounding the lakes/rivers where the story is currently taking place or about the ranch and maple tree farm (okay not really a farm, but only serious tree tappers are boiling freaking syrup all night) where the two main characters grew up. Oh, the berry picking and fishing and the list of what they had packed and how to pack it in a canoe and how to sit in a canoe and the name of the type of paddling they are doing in the canoe and also the name of the person who designed the paddles for their canoe and on and on and on . . . .
All I knew about The Beach before beginning is that it was a movie I never watched starring little Leo that was released about 72 years ago and that it seems to be on many “if you want to call yourself a bibliophile, you better read this” type of lists. Now that I’ve checked it off my reader’s bucket list I’m a bit at a loss for what to say. This is a story that had A LOT of things that I typically enjoy.
And I know it was supposed to be because he was obsessed with Vietnam via movies and whatnot rather than actually being there, but it was still stupid.
In a strange turn of events, I actually liked reading about the place more than about the people this time around. Which goes to show I might be the most unreliable narrator of them all since I just totally flamed a book for being too descriptive about the setting....more
A better title for Dream Sequence might have been Much Ado About Nothing, but I think that one may have already been taken.
Kristin is a wealthy divorcee from Philadelphia who spends most of her time redecorating her home in the style she is accustomed to and writing correspondence a couple of times a week. Henry is a British actor who has starred in the hottest show on television for the past several years and is now looking to land an artier type of film role. They are both pretty smitten with the same person – and that person just so happens to be Henry.
I guess this was a literary version of a book about obsession???? I obviously wasn’t smart enough to get it. All I know is there were a lot of words and descriptions of things, places, feelings, etc. but pretty much nothing ever happened.
Let’s just be honest. This wasn’t a huge winner for me due to a couple of reasons . . . .
Ouch. No not that one. Well, not that one exclusively.
1. If a blurb leads me to believe I’ll be reading about a stalker, I pretty much want to be in the head of said stalker. Being introduced to Kristin only to have her go poof almost instantly and not reappear until the SIXTY-SECOND PERCENT mark was a bummer; and
2. There is never going to be a character so in love with himself or with such a desire to be famous and seen than Maurice in A Ladder to the Sky. This was just a case of bad timing and I apologize to Adam Foulds for not being able to fully appreciate whatever he was trying to offer up with Henry.
I really didn’t enjoy this at all, but am giving it 2 Stars rather than one because I truly believe there is an audience for this book. Sadly, I just don’t seem to be a part of it : (
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!
Once again I am the dissenter in the ranks amongst my friends and their high ratings. However, at 3.68 this book doesn’t have a high rating from the masses in general so maybe I didn’t read it completely wrong??? I also chose to pick it up during a time when my attitude was like such . . . .
So maybe that can shoulder part of the blame. Thanks work for being so extra last week, you turd!
I really wanted/expected this to turn my frown upside down. I mean, you know your homegirl likes the stalkers. And all the comparisons to a certain someone being dropped had me expecting You 3.0 - only . . . .
The Perfect Girlfriend had potential. Hell, it started out with our main gal breaking into her ex-boyfriend’s apartment while he was out of town. Her lack of self-awareness even made me chuckle at times . . . .
“I have seven missed calls from Nate and one from James. It feels like harassment.”
Buuuuuuuuuuuuuut, it was really slow going for me – the ridiculous(™Ron2.0) was off the charts – which would be A-okay if things didn’t go from farfetched over-the-top storylines to ones that . . . .
Also? I would have MOTHER.EFFING.LUUUUUUUUUUURVED it if Juliette had actually been (view spoiler)[obsessed with her former schoolmate rather than Nate and the opener was simply a red herring before she Single White Femaled her to death (hide spoiler)]. That would have been a fun twist I didn’t see coming. Buuuuuuuuuut, it didn’t happen and what did happen just left me feeling meh.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley! ...more
Or not because I read this one supah wrong and thought it was booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooring (and also if this can win the Pulitzer then why didn’t The Interview win the Oscar????). Whatever the case, I read it and even wrongreading counts when it comes to getting free swag so yay me . . . .
Many thanks to my awesome library for creating these challenges (and handsome rewards) each year. I poo-pooed the notion of this theme when I first saw it, but have now traveled to Sweden, Alaska, Fallujah, Russia and North Korea because of it and removed books from my TBR that would have remained there indefinitely if it weren’t for this forcing of my hand.
It is 173% a hockey book – nearly exclusively for the first 38%, but really FOR.EV.ER. because “it’s a hockey town,” yo! And heaven help if they stop reminding you about that fact for one flippin’ page.
Next, here are some notes I made:
“If this another motherfucking book about a girl who goes to a party and gets raped by an overprivileged white boy who then either ends up killing/threatening to kill him or the boy who loves her/the bullied fat kid/her bestie/her daddy decides to kill/threaten to kill him on her behalf Imma burn the fucking building down.”
However, I am T.I.R.E.D. of these books. The subject matter at hand shouldn’t be a tired trope. Especially from an author who presents the viewpoint that “no one tells you it can be with someone you know.” Fuck you, dude. EVERYONE knows that it’s most likely going to happen by someone you know and unless you live in a “Beartown” where no one teaches anything other than hockey, that’s what you learn growing up.
Obviously I didn’t like this. I didn’t like the stuff mentioned above, or how un(or under)developed the OH-SO-MANY characters were, or that there always seemed to be HUNDREDS of pages left to read because the pacing was non-existent, or that it was so devoid of emotion. (I noticed that the same translator who was used in Ove was not used here. Maybe he can shoulder part of the blame?) I considered bumping up a half Star simply for Ramona . . . .
But JFC, at some point I have to stop rewarding clichés, ya know?
I think I need to cut ties at this point, appreciate the one beautiful story I read by this author and not sullen my own memory of him further.
Sorry I failed you all . . . yet again. The good news is I killed two birds with one stone – or hockey puck as the case may be here. I read a book I actually received as an ARC, but never opened because I was terrified of being the wrongreader (#nailedit) and I was able to check Book #1 off for the library’s Winter Reading Challenge by traveling to Sweden in my head for this selection . . . .
Let’s take a trip on the Wayback Machine to this book that I read during the FIRST FREAKING WEEK OF THE YEAR and has become part of the more than 40 unreviewed books I’ve added to the pile since. I picked this up for one reason and one reason alone . . . .
Full disclosure: I had never heard of this author before. Immediately upon starting I noticed that there was a pretty big explanation of how this came about and that it was sort of a “labor of love” and even though publishers didn’t want it Bolton never gave up and I feel really bad that I didn’t like this, but . . . . .
The story here is told in a dual timeline. In 1969 Florence Lovelady (that is just a terrible name for someone I am supposed to take seriously) is a fresh-faced rookie cop trying to make it in a man’s world. That happened when she cracked the case of three murdered children and sent Larry Grassbrook to prison for the rest of his life. In 1999 Florence has returned to Lancashire to see Grassbrook be buried . . . . but then history repeats itself.
Here’s where things went wrong for me. First . . . .
Seriously. Way too long and slow rolling for a thriller about a child killer. Bored was the last thing I thought I would be when I checked this out from the library.
Second, being beaten over the head by the message that Florence was being treated sooooo unfairly because she was a woman in a man’s world. That definitely was (and sadly still sometimes is) the case, but Florence was taken to task for being a rookie who was overstepping her boundaries/breaking protocol/etc. . . . .
I’m pretty sure this is what the publishers all passed on and was also what the author was committed to writing about. It just didn’t work for me. I notice that most of my friends who enjoyed this are big fans of Bolton to begin with. I probably should have started with one of her other books rather than this one. ...more
But then a miracle of all miracles happened and our fearlessful leader Ron 2.0 not only finished this book but managed to write a review nearly instantly rather than his usual 18 month turnaround time. And then we agreed on it . . . . .
Ron points out in his review (go read it, he’s way gooder at the word thing than I am) how this is grit lit without the grit and that is spot on. From the title, cover and blurb I think we were all expecting a little more David Joy and a lot less Barbara Kingsolver, but the oh-so-very- eco-warrior-y undercurrent was pretty hard to ignore.
I think the easiest way to differentiate between this story and our usual reads about the potentially shady underbelly of Appallachia is that while all of the writers may have resided in the mountains at one point or another – they haven’t all lived in them. It seems to seep out of Joy and Brian Panowich’s pores onto the page while this selection delivers information in a nearly textbook type of detail that paints a clear picture, but does so without a whole lot of feeling.
If you are a fan of descriptions of the land rather than action involving the people who live there, this may be a winner for you. I, on the other hand, really channeled my inner Ron the entire time I was reading. Perhaps because the pace was so slow the issues pretty much jumped off the page, or perhaps because a scientist somehow not only finding himself banging what he thought was another scientist who just so happened to be a mule on the side AND ending up in the pokey AND somehow ending up miraculously turning into a real Billy Badass and doing a superbadawful making some scurrrrrry guys real mad so he has to hide AND then thinking maybe said bad guys were maybe in the business of stealing bear paws and gallbladders for a couple hundie a pop despite the fact that their general line of work dealt with millions AND even though he was like HBIC in asswhooping when he was in the joint gets concussed immediately the first time he even talks to a redneck AND being an outdoorsy science man in his previous life but having no idea what a ghillie suit even is but somehow being able to make a homemade one – well, all that had me saying . . . .
Especially with Like Lions just around the corner : )
Coming soon to a Goodreads near you – a Ron 2.0, Shelby and Kelly buddy-up. Who will read it right? Who will read it wrong? Who doesn’t really have time to read it at all (*cough Shelby cough*)? These questions and more will be answered on this upcoming episode of . . . .
Elevation isn’t what you would typically expect from someone known as the “Master of Horror.” It is, however, most definitely a story you might expect to hear from your favorite relative – Uncle Stevie. Simply put, it’s a puff piece. A little feel-good story about not judging books by their covers and finding a higher plane (either figuratively or perhaps in this case quite literally).
Back in the olde days of yore this probably would have been nestled somewhere in a collection of other novellas rather than being released as a solo work. The lack of quality wouldn’t have been as noticeable because the quantity would have made up for it. If you have a great library system like me or are a King completionist, it’s worth the little time it will take to read. If you’re neither of the above, you might want to jump into your time machine and listen to some Depeche Mode instead . . . .
People are people so why should it be You and I should get along so awfully
So we're different colours And we're different creeds And different people have different needs It's obvious you hate me Though I've done nothing wrong I never even met you So what could I have done
I can't understand What makes a man Hate another man Help me understand
Yet another selection that I didn’t even manage to mark as currently reading – or listening to, as was the case here. Fail!
This was a recommendation from the library software and, even though it wasn’t great for me, it did pretty much fit what I gravitate toward for my listening pleasure. The problem I have with some of these is my unfamiliarity with the authors. Thus was the case with Okay, Fine, Whatever. I was intrigued by the idea of a middle-aged woman trying things that took her out of her comfort zone because I am a middle-aged woman who is terrified by the idea of being taken out of my comfort zone. I appreciated her willingness to talk about her anxiety and (hopefully) make people understand that while people like me might be assholes, our inability to be the life of the party is not always asshole-based. I also liked that she wasn’t going to do crazy stuff like jumping out of airplanes or climbing a mountain. Buuuuuuut (you knew that was coming, right?) I thought I was going to be getting a little more. I had never heard of Courtenay Hameister before or her radio show Live Wire (they still do radio shows? Whodathunk it.) and from the cover alone I thought I would at least be getting a little . . . . .
Sadly what had a promising start soon devolved into “look, even chubby 40-somethings can get a boyfriend if they try real hard.” There was a LOT of sex stuff in this – fellatio class, going to a sex club, having sex with polyamorous dudes. Obviously I am a lover of both the sexytimes books as well as the funny memoir, but not in this case. Also, dear publishers, be careful when you tell someone a book is “pee your pants funny.” Trust me, at 40+ and after birthing some chillins it ain’t supah hard to get me to take a wee in my drawers – this one didn’t even come close. ...more
Simply put, that’s my whole problem with The Real Lolita. This is a book that doesn’t have much book to it. There are few documents remaining to provide detail and the main players are all deceased. Heck, even the person who this is about is dead by the halfway point and my Kindle copy was wrapped up at 76%. The remainder of the story is full of quotes like the following . . .
“Here’s the point in the narrative where I would like to tell you everything that happened to Sally Horner after Frank La Salle spirited her away from Atlantic City to Baltimore, and the eight months they lived in the city, from August 1948 through April 1949. The trouble is, I didn’t find out all that much.”
As the author herself states . . .
“Inference will have to stand in for confidence. Imagination will have to fill in the rest.”
That just doesn’t cut it for me when it comes to a true crime novel. And the links between Nabokov’s and Horner’s tales are all based on presumptions as well. I mean, excluding the very upfront admission by Nabokov himself that Horner did inspire/breathe new life into the ongoing twenty-year project which was trying to give Humbert Humbert’s voice something to talk about. But the supposed symbolism and such were once again 100% speculation.
Like many other authors or students of literature, Weinman chooses to portray Nabokov as a bigger predator than the actual criminal himself. And like so many others, she has no proof behind any of her theories. I’ll happily admit Nabokov makes my hinky meter ping as well. His writing does tend to gravitate toward the same subject matter. But was he a pedophile or hebephile or ephebophile or simply fascinated with writing about the taboo? Most likely the latter.
It’s also abundantly clear how Weinman feels about Lolita - going so far as to reduce it to a “daring little sex novel.” She chooses to brush over the fact that this is a classic, subject matter notwithstanding - focusing on it selling a lot of copies rather than being a book entire literature courses are dedicated to studying. The baby is also sort of thrown out with the bathwater as fans are labeled as pervy wrongreaders who, for decades, were too stupid to realize Lolita was actually a victim and that in the present should simply keep their (and all other) copies firmly placed on bookshelves rather than encourage others to read at all, to which I say . . . . .
If you want to read about Sally Horner but aren’t lucky enough to have a public library like mine and share a similar beer budget which doesn't allow you to buy allllllll the books, I recommend skipping this one entirely and going for Rust and Stardust instead....more
“Can you come with me up to New York?” “For what?” “To see Donald Trump.” “What about?” “He’s thinking of running for president.” “Of what country?”
If you have ever bothered tuning in to the fake news, or read any failing publication or interacted with another human being in the past few years at all, nothing contained within the bindings of Fear will be new to you. I’m not a “let’s talk politics” on social media type of person and I’ve already blurred the lines of my own comfort zone enough by opining on Fire and Fury. I don’t have much more to say about this one . . . . pretty much because they are the same damn thing. Of course Woodward is a “respected” journalist so he claims to present a book full of facts and sources. Yet somehow it seems he just can’t wait to dive in to Pissgate and once again relies on using “deep background,” which although apparently mostly recorded (maybe) still relies a lot on the “I was in the room and heard this guy say this about this” type of telephone game sourcing rather than direct information.
At this point the only thing I’m interested in is what I quoted above. How the hell did we even elect someone like this into office . . . .
Are Americans really so stupid to believe in a snake oil salesman like Trump? Were they just so opposed to the status quo that they were willing to not only rock the boat, but potentially blow the whole motherfucker up in order to be heard? Was he simply the lesser of two evils? I know that’s what Hillary was for me.
As soon as Trump threw his name in the ring I told my husband he never planned on winning. I will stand by that statement until the day I die. Running for President was simply a marketing ploy for Trump. He wanted to revamp his brand and there was no bigger platform in which to do so. His appearances proved it – wheeling steaks, water, etc. onto various stages – remodeling a former post office into a luxury Trump hotel within walking distance of the White House. What I want to know is at what point things changed and he decided he wanted the big prize. I never believed the polls – partly because until a few months ago I still had a landline which received 99.99999% polling calls while our cell phones received about .00001% so I knew there was not a diverse section of society necessarily being reached, at least in my neck of the woods – but also because were people ever really going to admit they were voting for Trump? That’s what’s great about our election process – anonymity. It appears at least some of the powers that be felt the same – requesting donation money be diverted to Republican Senate campaigns generically and away from Trump. But at some point I think Trump began drinking his own Kool-Aid. I will never believe that on election night he expected to lose. What I do think is he had no idea how government operates or what was ahead. It’s clear he still doesn’t. He simply wanted to win and make everyone admit that he’s “the best.” Eventually Trump will no longer be President and actual sourced information will be divulged. Hopefully I’ll stop taking the bait on these damn books in the interim. Until then my new hope will remain that in addition to being 35 years old and a natural born citizen of this country, we also implement a “must be able to pass an 8th grade civics exam” as a requirement for running for Head of State in order to avoid a debacle like this in the future....more
First off, if you are allergic to books of noise then you best remove this from your TBR right now because it only works in audio format. The whole charm of listening to a couple who has been together nearly two decades is that they talk over each other and finish each other’s sentences and interject and add color to what the other is discussing.
I will also say if you are like me and #teamronswanson all the way, this might not end up being great for you either. Despite being a woman of a certain age who has been around for Will and Grace to be shoved in my face not once but twice, I have watched maybe two episodes. Maybe. Maybe only one. And I can’t remember anything about it. I appreciate the Karen character and have seen plenty of clips. It’s obvious Megan Mullally is funny, but the only way I know that firsthand is from when she guest starred on Parks and Rec. The Greatest Love Story Ever Told is Mullally heavy and I didn’t find her nearly as charming as she finds herself. The fact that Offerman is so willing to let her drive the train probably is what makes him the perfect husband. However, for an Offerman fan it leaves the narrative a little lacking. I think I’ll give his solo stuff a listen and see if that works better or if I’m simply a superfan of the fictional version and not of the real human himself. I know that’s the case with the couple together so they will forever remain Ron and Tammy . . . .
Despite not being hip enough to have ever watched any “webisode” of anything . . . ever, as a middle-aged woman I most certainly responded to the siren song of “from Executive Producer Amy Poehler,” became a Broad City instafan and discovered . . . . .
Unfortunately, I also expected this to be FUNNY since, you know, Jacobson is a COMEDY WRITER for a living. I didn’t expect free association/stream of consciousness and I was unaware that the whole idea of the trip was inspired due to a breakup. It’s disappointing to report that I may really only be in love with one member of this duo . . . .
I also realize you are not supposed to discount or dismiss someone else’s heartbreak, but because I am a horrible old lady who has been married 147 dog years I will freely admit that it was my knee-jerk reaction to do so and I was more than a bit bummed that this didn’t live up to my expectations. I will say, however, if you frequently find this happening in your life . . . .
The “Sleep Study” chapters may be worth the price of admission.
Bonus: Jacobson might have the most pleasant speaking voice/delivery I’ve ever subjected myself to whilst commuting (and yes, I realize the print version contains “illustrations” of some sort, but really – skip it, audio is the way to go on this one). ...more
I had a feeling I would be the dissenting opinion on this one right from the start when the author performed a Google search for some stolen cufflinks based off of a sketch (not an actual picture) and swore she found the exact items (for a bargain price of $8 even) and that she would be able to identify the original owner/identify the perp due to the fact that “names starting with the letter N” weren’t very prevalent on the Top 100 Baby Names list at the time and also thought it was perfectly reasonable to Ziploc baggie the things and present them to the police (because DNA evidence would still be present 30 years later??? Zoinks). I stopped watching Nancy Grace once my firstborn started sleeping through the night and I wasn’t held prisoner by the lack of viewing options at 2:00 a.m., thank you very much.
I feel I need to disclose that I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of Patton Oswalt’s book . . . . that I still have not read because he broke what is left of my dried out rotten apple of a heart when his wife died unexpectedly and he shared how shattered he was and I can’t bear to even think about picking the damn thing up to this day. That being said, I understand why getting I’ll Be Gone In The Dark to print was so important to him. But it’s MY belief that reviews should be honest - and honestly??? I don’t get the hype. I don’t think McNamara’s writing is particularly brilliant unless you are interested in what type of clothing and music were popular at the time of a crime rather than details of the cases (not to mention the fact that she only wrote half of it before she died, making it EXTREMELY choppy); the timeline itself is 100% disjointed and hops from past to future to past again without rhyme or reason; despite the “EAR” or “ONS” or “EAR/ONS” being responsible for 50+ crimes hardly any are covered in this book; and last, but certainly not least, McNamara doesn’t seem to have had too much insight into the case at all, but rather an obsession/borderline addiction where conjecture rules and fellow couch commandos are considered experts (if you’ve ever been on a site like Websleuths or the like, you’ll know the exact opposite is true).
Bottom line is: I don’t think this would have ever been published were it not for her husband being famous and making it happen as part of his grieving process. Good news for everyone involved is that the Golden State Killer wound up being caught which gave I’ll Be Gone In The Dark new life and a sort of cult following and very few people who want to go on record as “poo poo-ing” it due to McNamara’s untimely death. Obviously I drank the Kool-Aid because I read the thing too. I’m just also willing to shit on everyone else’s sundae....more