Book 486: The Vile Village (A Series of Unfortunate Events #7) – Lemony Snicket

It will come as NO shock that the next installment of our book group was Lemony Snicket’s The Vile Village. That’s the fun thing about reading a series, you already know what you’re going to read and you just have to space them out so you don’t read them too fast. That being said, I have the next four already on my kindle ready to read!!!

The series, as I said in my response to The Ersatz Elevator, appears to be picking up pace. The Baudelaire orphans seem to be taking on more responsibility for their own well being/future (or as much as they can) with the incompetent adults around them doing nothing. I’m glad to say the rest of book group agrees that it’s starting to pick up the pace.

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Book 484: The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events #6) – Lemony Snicket

There were a couple of pretty big revelations in this book that I was like WHOA. Some you could see them coming, but they were still like WTF!? I really really really really really want to read through the whole series ASAP, but I’m doing my best not to as these are the book group books for this year.

This book piqued my interest even more than the last because the Baudelaires have decided to try to take charge of their own destiny as much as three children can. They haven’t quite figured it out yet, but they’re working on it, but when Klaus said, “We’ve spent so much of our time trying to escape from Count Olaf, I can’t believe we’re trying to find him.” (Loc. 1200), I almost whooped out lout on the airplane. I was just so happy they were finally acknowledging the idiocy of the adults around them and were going to do something about it.

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Book 483: The Austere Academy (A Series of Unfortunate Events #5) – Lemony Snicket

I don’t know why, but for some reason I always assumed the man on the front of this book was Count Olaf. Maybe it’s the illustrator’s style, but either way I was surprised to find out it wasn’t him.

This book is just as ridiculous as the rest, but not as dark. As the story begins to turn away from the day-to-day struggles of the Baudelaire orphans and their guardians to the broader mystery of their parents death I’m starting to be more interested in the series. There are just as many incompetent adults in this novel as in all the others, but honestly I think this is the least dark when it comes to physical violence, but it’s one of the worst when it comes to abuse and situations children shouldn’t be put in because of “rules.”

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Book 482: The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events #4) – Lemony Snicket

I’m starting to appreciate these more. Maybe I’m in a better place mentally, but this batch (The Miserable MillThe Austere Academy and The Ersatz Elevator) weren’t quite as draining as the first three (The Bad BeginningThe Reptile Room and The Wide Window).

We once again join the Baudelaire orphans as they are about to meet their new guardian and of course it’s going to be horrible, that’s a given. But what I wasn’t expecting was how much this book would sort of set me off. I mean I knew it would because of the other books in the series. Snicket is using these books to talk about things we don’t talk about anymore: child marriage, child labor, abandonment and neglect. It’s still a lot to take in but looking at it through this lens has really helped me appreciate the books a lot more than I originally did.

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Book 439: Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight – Alexandra Fuller

Fuller, Alexandra - Don't Let's Go to the Dogs TonightI would never have selected this book to read for a few reasons: it’s nonfiction; it’s a memoir/autobiography; it’s set on the African continent; and it’s not by someone I know anything about. Now I have nothing against any of these things, they’re just not on my usual list of go-to’s for books to read and that’s why I’m glad book group chose auto/biographies and memoirs this year. We’ve already done Fun Home and Girl In A Band, and there are a few interesting ones left on the list, so we’ll see what’s next.

That being said, I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. It did take a little longer to read than expected, but adjusting to a new job while trying to read a piece of nonfiction wasn’t exactly the brightest idea, but that’s book group for you. I think it also didn’t help that Fuller’s story telling style would I think be better in person or as a spoken story rather than a written narrative.

It was hard to know what I was expecting from this book. Going in I didn’t know if it would be about the revolutions/civil wars that took place or if it was going to be about post-colonialism. I also had no idea where in the hierarchy of white settlers Fuller’s story would fall. Thankfully, it sort of talks about all of this but through the eyes of a child. Continue reading

Book 428: Girl In A Band – Kim Gordon

Gordon, Kim - Girl In A BandFor our second book in our year of biography/autobiography/memoir books someone chose Kim Gordon’s Girl In A Band. It’s a look back on her time in the band Sonic Youth (never heard of them) and about her life as an artist. Seriously though, not my thing. I looked up a few of their most well-known songs on YouTube and was like “nope.” I just need a bit more structure in my music. It’s probably the same reason I don’t like jazz. I’m also still not quite sure what the difference is between New Wave, No Wave, Punk, and Post punk, but I guess it doesn’t really matter.

If I’m honest, I wasn’t looking forward to this book, or at least two more that we’re planning to read. It’s mostly because I know nothing about the subject matter, but it’s also because I don’t find the subject matter interesting. That being said I did find enough in this book to keep me mostly engaged.

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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.