Tag Archives: Attachments

Reading the old year out…

31st December 2011

And I must say, I’m not at all sad to see the back end of 2011. It was a very tumultuous year, and I am very happy to be ringing in a new year this evening with a mini-readathon cooked up by two other bloggers (Becky and Tasha) and myself. There will be champagne, so in the infinite wisdom and singing voice of Bing Crosby, let’s start the new year right.

But. Before we get to that, I wanted to do a year end post. As of midnight on December 30, I have read 121 books. Of these, 46 were written by men and 75 written by women (wow!); 109 fiction and 12 nonfiction. This year I read 9 audiobooks, and considering I read none last year, that’s quite a jump. Also, just so you can see my habits, 42 of these books came from the publisher/author/publicist, but I bought 52 and checked out 26 from the library, a pretty decent statistic. Now down to brass tacks….

Least favorite books of the year: Let’s just get this one out of the way. I only really disliked two books this year, and if you’ve been around for a bit, you can probably guess the first one: The Magicians by Lev Grossman. The other I just finished this morning: Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me by Ian Morgan Cron. I’ll put up a review next week with details. Suffice it to say, memoirs are tricky.

Best New-to-Me Series: Well, obviously I love the Patricia Wentworth Miss Silver books, but seeing as they were written in the last century, I won’t call them new. If you’re looking for a vintage mystery, give these a go. Also consider joining me for Miss Silver Saturdays through 2012.

Best New Series: I just finished Discovery of Witches and am pretty much in love with it. I can’t wait for the next one. Many compare it to Twilight, but for me, it was much more reminiscent of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I loved it!

Funniest Book: Hands down, Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman. In fact, this is a book that I plan to re-read soon, I liked it that much. Definitely keep an eye out for debut author Matt Norman.

Best Dark Comedy: Funny Man by John Warner. I’m really surprised this book hasn’t gotten more attention, as I think it’s pretty genius in a lot of ways. I’m really eager to see what else Warner writes.

Book that Made Me Think Rainbow Rowell stole my life and wrote about it: Attachments. Runner up for funniest book of the year, it was just so perfectly me. Sadly, many other bloggers have said the same thing, so obviously I ain’t anything special. Distinctive? Pshaw.

Book That Seriously Creeped Me Out and Blew My Mind: The Magus by John Fowles. Review next week, and boy howdy, what a book. Thanks so much to Sean at Read Heavily for the gift.

Best Middle Grade Book: Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier. Absolute fun and super smart. Reminds me of books written when I was young.

Book that Made Me Cry: Thankfully there were only two of these this year (one sparked this post about crying in reading). The other is A Train in Winter by Caroline Moorehead. This is nonfiction and about the women of the French Resistance. It’s incredibly moving to see just how much the human spirit can endure.

Most Beautiful Book: The Paper Garden by Molly Peacock. This is physically just a beautiful, beautiful specimen of a book. The cover art, the inside art, the paper. It’s technically the biography of a woman artist, but it’s so much more than that.

Biggest Surprise: Ian Fleming’s Bond series. Yes, he can be a misogynistic, slightly-racist ass, but damn, these books are good. If you think you know Bond from the films, think again and join Lit Housewife’s Shaken Not Stirred challenge. You won’t be disappointed.

~and last but not least~

Best Book of 2011: Galore by Michael Crummey. I read this book in April, but it will not leave me. The story is timeless, the writing superb. If you haven’t read it, make sure you add it to your list for the new year. I compare it to East of Eden by Steinbeck and House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende. One of my favorite passages from the book is below:

~Watching Judah emerge from the whale’s guts, King-me felt the widow was birthing everything he despised in the country, laying it out before him like a taunt. Irish nor English, Jerseyman nor bushborn nor savage, not Roman or Episcopalian or apostate, Judah was the wilderness on two legs, mute and unknowable, a blankness that could drown a man.

So that’s my list. I wish you all the best in 2012 and hope to see you back here. Thank you all for reading, commenting, emailing, etc. I so enjoy your company.

And on that note, what was your favorite book this year?

Why She’s My Best Friend…

17th September 2011

Today I get home after a long day, only to hear this on my cell phone voicemail:

“Ok listen to this:

<<Jennifer to Beth>> I think I’m pregnant.

<<Beth to Jennifer>> What? Why do you think you’re pregnant?

<<Jennifer to Beth>> I had three drinks last Saturday.

<<Beth to Jennifer>> I think we need to have a little talk about the birds and the bees. That’s not exactly how it happens.

<<Jennifer to Beth>> Whenever I have too much to drink, I start to feel pregnant. I think it’s because I never drink, and it would just figure that the one time I decide to loosen up, I get preg- nant. Three hours of weakness, and now I’m going to spend the rest of my life wrestling with the special needs of a fetal alcoholic.

<<Beth to Jennifer>> I don’t think they call them that.

<<Jennifer to Beth>> Its little eyes will be too far apart, and everyone will look at me in the grocery store and whisper, “Look at that horrible lush. She couldn’t part with her Zima for nine months. It’s tragic.”

<<Beth to Jennifer>> You drink Zima?

Ok. Is that not you and me, or what? I’ve only read Chapter One, and I’m cracking up. This little Chapter One reminded me of you and me so much. Thanks for giving me the name of this book. I got it through Inter-Library Loan. By the way, this is Sommer, your best friend.”

And yes, she said: Beth to Jennifer, Jennifer to Beth. And then laughed. A lot. I mean, who wouldn’t love a best friend like that? 🙂

And, which book is she referencing? Attachments by Rainbow Rowell.

 

 

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

8th August 2011

*I got this book from my library after reading about it on nearly every blog for the last several months.

My best friend Sommer is so funny – I mean she has me literally laughing out loud all over the place when we talk. And thankfully, she loves to read. However, she’s a bit more in to romance, and if you’ve been around for a while, you know my former issues and newfound love of an occasional romance. So when Sommer asked me this weekend for a really good book recommendation, I knew exactly what to tell her:  Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. It is far from a romance novel; however, it is a great book with elements of romance:

The people in Lincoln’s life think he is a bit of a dud. He’s 28, plays Dungeons & Dragons, and lives at home with mom, a fact his sister Eve can’t get over. But Lincoln is stuck. He had his heart broken young, and he just doesn’t quite know how to date or when to find the time. He spends his nights working for the local newspaper as an Internet security guy in 1999, building up to Y2K. In 1999, Lincoln was the guy everyone feared. When email gets flagged for words like “naked” or “menstruation,” Lincoln has to read the emails and send warnings to the offenders. It’s a cush job, but Lincoln feels badly about it, especially when Beth (a movie reviewer) and Jennifer (a copyeditor) get flagged. The two friends are not doing anything harmful; they just talk about their lives, and slowly, Lincoln gets hooked – especially by Beth – and latches onto the friendship in a way only a lonely, D&D-playing guy can.

I cannot quite tell you how much I really loved this book. Perhaps it’s because the romance is subtle and sweet. Or maybe it’s because the epistolary style of the emails, which can be so difficult to pull off, grabbed me just like it did Lincoln. Or maybe, as Jo says in her review, it’s because I liked Jennifer and Beth so much. Beth was a child of the 90s like I am, and there are some great pop culture references. Plus, the emails are funny and heartwarming, and the friends reminded me very much of my best friends, several of whom I met on the job.

All in all, Attachments was a purely enjoyable read; it’s funny, quirky, and I loved it.

Read this: in a bubble bath or with a glass of wine at your side.

Other reviews:

Read the Book

Word Lily

Unputdownables

 

 

 

Mischief Managed!

1st August 2011

It is August in Texas, yet I am looking forward to starting this month more than you can possibly know. July packed a punch, and not in a good way. It was one of the worst months of my life because of some job-related stress. However, apparently stress and no money are really good for reading. I read 16 books in August, and thankfully my Shelfari account, instead of telling me I am behind last year’s pace, now tells me I am ahead of my 2010 reading pace. Yippee! It’s a damn shame when a website can make you feel guilty…

As per the title of this post, mischief has most certainly been managed. Since last Friday, I completed Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. That’s approximately 3,184 pages in one week, and I also listened to Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming and read Attachments by Rainbow Rowell.

That’s why reviews have been a bit light around these here parts over the last month. Looking back I only reviewed 5 (five!) books. Don’t hate me. I promise I’ve got a lot in store for you this month, and that’s partly because so many great books are coming out this fall.

So sit back, try to stay cool, and tell me what the heck you’ve been up to.