A Book Reading and Obnoxious Readers

2015 03-09 Boyne and Vann at Harvard Book Store

David Vann, left, and John Boyne, at Harvard Book Store.

Monday night, I had the pleasure of attending a reading at Harvard Bookstore (Shop Local!) featuring John Boyne, of The Absolutist fame, and David Vann, whom I haven’t read yet! It was an enjoyable event and both novelists’ new works, A History of Loneliness and Aquarium respectively, sound fascinating! (I will definitely request them from my local library in the near future.) Boyne’s humility impressed me and I was glad to see him shift focus to Vann when everyone kept asking him questions.

While there, I took the chance to get my copy of The Absolutist signed (SWOON!) and that photo is at the end of this post. Did you know that it was his favorite as well? I nearly hyperventilated (and actually clapped out loud like an awkward lunatic) when he said that and immediately messaged Heather (who is getting a signed copy of a surprise book). When John, first name basis obviously, signed my book I told him how Heather and I are still getting a lot of traffic from our responses to The Absolutist and that I got a long email just last week about it. He commented that he was always fascinated about how long a story can continue to gain traction.

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Book 338: Tender as Hellfire – Joe Meno

Meno, Joe - Tender as HellfireI first encountered Joe Meno way back in 2011 when I read The Boy Detective Fails, which was a wonderfully quirky story. That following October at the 2011 Boston Book Festival I picked up this novel and it’s taken me almost four years to get to it. I’d love to say it was worth the wait, but I’m not really sure and that had very little to do with Meno’s writing or storytelling (Amazon link).

This was by far one of the worst copy edited books I’ve ever read. I found a mistake about halfway through (see photo at the end) and then I found them on every two-to-three pages after that. They weren’t even minor comma mistakes, which I’d miss, they were WHOLE WORDS MISSING FROM SENTENCES!

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February Recap 2015

2015 02-15 King of the SnowAnother month gone. I know they say the years go by faster the older you get, but this is getting ridiculous. Maybe I was just too busy, or maybe I just don’t have a grasp on time with so much snow covering everything, but 2015 is 1/6th of the way over and I’ve no idea what happened.

February was a rough month personally and professionally. It’s never a good sign when one aspect of your life drains into the other aspect in negative ways, and I honestly couldn’t tell you which bled into which more, but either way it was just a gross month. But that being said I did have an excellent last weekend of the month when I went skiing with my sister and a bunch of friends for a belated birthday and Christmas present! (See photos below.) The photo directly above is of me in South Boston standing on a snow bank. I could touch the One Way sign and was taller than the street light. Thankfully, snow is starting to melt, but we’re LESS THAN TWO INCHES from the all time record (107.9) and I can’t help but think, “Bring it on!”

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Book 337: Crome Yellow – Aldous Huxley

Huxley, Aldous - Crome YellowMy friend Nick gave this to me to read ages ago and I’ve finally gotten around to it. I wasn’t sure what to expect at first, but the further I read the more I enjoyed the story (Amazon link). Coming in at under 200 pages, I was pleasantly surprised at how much Huxley fit into the novel without overwhelming the sense of lackadaisical whimsy of the people.

I am incredibly glad I read the foreword though, because I don’t think I would’ve understood this was a satirical novel of the British upper-class. I probably would’ve happily read it and thought, “wow these people are petty and ridiculous,” and then thought nothing more of it. It reminded me a lot of the various upper-class dioramas I’ve read from Jane Austen to Cécil David-Weill’s The Suitors, which is what Huxley was going for in his social criticism.

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CRWM #04: Twilight

CRWM04The highly anticipated (perhaps the only anticipated episode ever) of Come Read With Me has arrived!

In case you hadn’t heard, I read the infamous Twilight Saga last year. It took her more than five years, but my oldest friend finally wore me down and I read it for the podcast. It wasn’t as bad as I expected and it even made it on to my best books of the year list last year, mostly for the story and not the writing. UGH. We honestly could’ve talked even longer about the rest of the series, but as you’ll see I hadn’t quite finished the second novel when we recorded.

Download it here: CRWM #04 (Right click and “save as.”)

As a special bonus there are two bloopers on this episode, one at the beginning and one at the end! I hope you enjoy it! I’m making plans to record episode five, but still need to find additional locals for the next few episodes.