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Reader the First & Reader the Second
Reader the First & Reader the Second

Playing Catch Up - Days 5-9

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Book That Makes Me Happy:


 Someone needed to write a book about a zombie outbreak that takes place in Houston in a hotel that is hosting a Star Trek convention & thank god, it was written this well.


Book That Makes Me Sad:

 This was one of the best mysteries I've ever read, up until the jarring shock of lady-on-lady misogyny on the very last page. Like a slap in the face. What a waste.



Book That Makes Me Laugh:

 Wodehouse. Blandings Castle. The Empress. Enough said.


Most Overrated Book:

It was either this or The Help. Everybody read 'em, including me, and I can't say that my life is the better for it.



Book I Thought I Wouldn't Like But Loved:

Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year - Anne Lamott

This is a great, lovely book about having a newborn. I had a blast reading it because I don’t have a newborn anymore (a three & a half-year-old is a whole other flavor of getting your ass kicked) & it’s easy to have fond feelings about G's babyhood that are based on totally false recollections. "Remember when we could just set him on the couch & he couldn't go anywhere? Remember when he took two whole naps a day? Ah, such good times." I am an idiot. I was so constantly exhausted that my skeleton hurt, and while you could set G on the couch & he couldn’t go anywhere, he’d just start crying hysterically, so it wasn’t actually that cool. Lamott gazes at her napping son, thinking sweetly how angelic he is; she falls asleep, he wakes her up a few minutes later, and she thinks, “Oh great, he’s raising his monstrous lizard head again.” Yeah, I know that feeling. Every ludicrous fear she has that she’s broken Sam’s neck because she hit a pothole in the car, all her amazement at his star-like little hands, his gigantic round eyes, and his porno-baby puffy lips, every time she’s been listening to him cry for hours & she wants to give him back – every bit of this is totally spot-on. It’s so accurate to my own life that when she comments about how Sam can now say more than “Ah-goo” I laughed out loud. Ah-goo is the name of G’s stuffed monkey because it was the first animal he ever noticed & it was also the first thing he could say. This is such a wonderful book & I am absolutely never having another baby.

Lullabies for Little Criminals - Heather O'Neill

t feels off-kilter to have such maddening love for a book that is so distressing, but I have to say that this is the loveliest writing about child prostitution & heroin addiction ever. I can turn to any page in this book & find something marvelous.

"For a kid, I knew a lot of things about what it felt like to use heroin, just from looking and listening. Supposedly, it was like shaking hands with God. It was cool like a Black Panther. It was like putting your face on the fur collar of a great leather jacket. If you passed by a poster of a band of singers coming to town, you could hear them singing."

Red Country - Joe Abercrombie
"“'Who are you?' she said.

He looked up from his blades for a moment. 'You know me.'

'I know a big, soft Northman scared to whip a mule. I know a beggar turned up to our farm in the night to work for crusts. I know a man used to hold my brother and sing when he had a fever. You ain’t that man.'

'I am. But that’s not all I am. Stay out of my way, Shy.'”"
The Night Guest - Fiona McFarlane

Ruth is a widow who lives alone, her grown sons in other countries. Frida shows up at her house one day, a carer from the government she says, here to help out with the cleaning for an hour a day. Eventually the single daily hour turns into hours. Frida stays for lunch. Sometimes she makes dinner. When Ruth invites an old friend to stay with her for a weekend, Frida offers to stay the weekend too, just to help out. When Ruth discovers that Frida’s moved into her guest room, she’s mad about it, but Frida gets more mad, and by the end of the weekend, Ruth can’t quite remember why she was so angry at Frida. And little by little, Frida steamrolls over this old lady’s life until there’s nothing left.

Day Four

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Cheating a tad here: Favorite book of my not-favorite series:



I first read this when I was fourteen. Since there was a six year gap between book three & book four, it's a damn good thing that I had this brilliant thing to keep me warm for that whole time. Another one by King that I've read so many times that I've got bits of it memorized, this is a very bright spot in a series that was kind of downhill, gradually at first & then sharply like "whoa-what the hell happened here?" from here on out.

Summer Lightning - P.G. Wodehouse
""Nevertheless, it seemed to me that they, like you, lacked vision, This pig, you see, is a prize pig. Don't picture to yourself something with a kink in its tail sporting idly in the mud. Imagine, rather, a favourite daughter kidnapped from her ancestral home. This is heavy stuff, I assure you. Restore the animal in time for the Agricultural Show and you may ask of Lord Emsworth what you will, even unto half his kingdom.""

Day Three

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Favorite series:


The First Law by Joe Abercrombie


I'm going to cheat a little on Day Four & pick my favorite book of a less-favored series, but if I was going to pick the best book in this trilogy, it'd have to be Last Argument of Kings.




68 pages to go, Spero.

Day 2

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There are a lot of books that I've read more than three times that I could pick for this, since - true story! - I used to not continually have 30+ books on my to-read pile & I actually re-read books. This one is a classic. I've read it so many times I have parts of it memorized.



“Life was such a wheel that no man could stand upon it for long. And it always, at the end, came round to the same place again.”

The Code of the Woosters  - P.G. Wodehouse
""What do I want? I like that. That's good. Since you ask, Spode, I want to know what the devil you mean by keeping coming into my private apartment, taking up space which I require for other purposes and interrupting me when I am chatting with my personal friends. Really, one gets about as much privacy in this house as a strip-tease dancer. I assume that you have a room of your own. Get back to it, you fat slob, and stay there." "

Hey, why not?

Reblogged from Take Me Away...:

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Day 01: Best Book I read in 2012


 Ah, deadly. For sure the best book of last year was: 


Please hurry up & write the next one, Tana.


When people ask me why I waste my time in reading a book that is going to turn into a movie.

The Secret History - Donna Tartt

Evidence suggests that if a book should happen to feature a group of insular, pedantic, slightly twisted college kids, I will eat it up like cake. I was so obviously primed to love this book & I did, right down to the velvety soft pages & tiny Garamond typeface of my library paperback copy.

Saga, Volume 2 - Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

Ahh, the second installment in the series my son calls “Monster & Love had a baby.” First of all, the only problem I have with this is that it isn’t 100 pages longer. I read it once last night & once this morning & the third book comes out when? Second, if I ever get $20 to rub together again in my life, I’m going to buy the big print of the cover art; I bought the big print of the back cover at DCC (autographed!) & it’s improved the value of my home considerably. Third, it was a total pleasure to see Fiona Staples at DCC & hear her talk about her artistic process. There are things she does that I’d never even considered but that make perfect sense, like taking pictures of her own face making certain expressions & translating these to the page. It’s one of the things that make these books such a treat for me, that the characters are so particularly expressive. I’m thinking specifically of when Barr blows in Alana’s face to put her to sleep & her expression is so absolutely spot on . . . anyway, it’s fabulous. It’s genius. This has all of the same awesomeness & wonder & debauchery & love & heart of the first book, as well as introducing some more kick ass characters, Gwendolyn & Barr in particular. Much thanks to my friend Laura who lent me this so I wouldn’t have to wait for my work copy to come in. Although now the wait for #3 is just that much longer, I’m still happy & satisfied.