Bookish Things

Bookish Things August 2017

I promise I’m trying to find things that aren’t just Jane Austen related, but I guess when I read so much Jane Austen and love so much of what is produced around her it’s inevitable. I have a decent balance this week between Jane Austen and non-Jane Austen. I think it’s 50/50 this week.

I’ve been trying to make an effort recently (which I’ve made before) to read more long-form pieces (including book reviews). A lot of these pieces end up coming from The New Yorker and I noticed they spell any word that has a double vowel like coöperate or reëlect with a diaeresis, NOT an umlaut. This is a great brief article from The New Yorker about why the continue to do it – in essence to signal to non-English speakers that the word is co-operate and not coop-erate. Continue reading “Bookish Things August 2017”

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Books

Book 509: The Communist Manifesto – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

You’re welcome in advance for my not just writing “What a load of horse-shit.” However, as you read keep in mind that’s pretty much what I’m thinking. I’ll try to write something a bit more PC, but I’m not sure how successful I will be.

I picked up a copy of this a little over four years ago and who knows why I did this. I’m sure part of it was just that The Communist Manifesto is one of those books/works that EVERYONE has heard of but that so few have actually read, especially outside of a history course. For me though this book didn’t feel like it was meant to be read, it felt like it should have been an incredibly long and boring speech given at some sort of rally. Basically you’d be incredibly energized at the very beginning, fall asleep in the middle and then energized again at the end.

Continue reading “Book 509: The Communist Manifesto – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels”

Books

Book 505: Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight – Loren A. Olson

I’m nearing the end of my galley/ARC backlog. With this one finished I only have four more. I’ve had this since March and finally got around to it this past week.

The publicist for this book reached out to me and with my Masters degree (Gender, Sexuality and Queer Theory) and a friend who at one point studied gerontology, I of course said yes!

Finally Out is Olson’s look at gay men/MSM who come out/acknowledge their practices later in life. What seriously strengthens the book is Olson’s own story and experience of coming out at the age of 40. What Olson really needs though, is a good Queer Theory 101 course. In general he did a really good job of writing about these men, but there were some problems when it came to sexual orientation/identity/practice. He basically gets it, but in choosing not to use the pre-existing language, I feel that the book suffers.

Continue reading “Book 505: Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight – Loren A. Olson”

Books, Professional Development

Book 503: Win at Losing – Sam Weinman

I’m still making headway on my pile of galleys/ARCs from the end of 2016 and early 2017.* Now this one is read I think I’m down to under five!

This is another one of those Tarcher Perigee books that I wouldn’t necessarily go out of my way to read, but the publisher reached out to me and it sounded interesting enough that I figured why not through it into the mix and thankfully, it covered a lot more than just sports (which I was really worried about at first).

The entire premise of this book is Weinman’s son throws a fit after a tennis match he “clearly” should’ve won, but didn’t and Weinman pondered the idea of losing and not just losing, but losing in such a way that it became iconic in certain aspects of our culture.

Continue reading “Book 503: Win at Losing – Sam Weinman”

Books

Book 502: Jane Austen, the Secret Radical – Helena Kelly

Perhaps I’m too smart for my own good, but overall this book was a bit disappointing. With a title like Jane Austen, the Secret Radical, you’d expect there to be revelations of sorts and yet there weren’t. I mean that’s why I requested a copy from the publisher.* I was hoping as the 200th anniversary of Austen’s death rapidly approaches there’d be something completely new and innovative to talk about, but there wasn’t.

Sure Kelly highlighted a few things that I missed when reading Austen, but really she just expounded upon the things that those of us who don’t read Austen ONLY as a romance novelist, but as a social commentator hopefully picked up on. She provided more detail of course, especially when it came to names and places, but overall there just weren’t a lot of revelations.

Continue reading “Book 502: Jane Austen, the Secret Radical – Helena Kelly”

Books

Book 497: Ordinary Goodness – Edward Viljoen

Now that I’m starting to settle into my new job (and have two weeks of vacation – when this posts I’ll be somewhere between Seattle and Alaska), I’m starting to catch up on galleys/ARCs that I received at the end of 2016.*

This is one of those books that goes in the pile of I would probably never pick up on my own, but since the publisher sent it and it was vaguely interesting to me I read it. I found the concept interesting and the idea of goodness outside of institutionalized religion is something I “believe in,” so I figured why not.

The book itself was easy to read and I enjoyed Viljoen’s writing style and the bits of himself he let seep into the book, but overall this was just a meh book for me. I’ve definitely read books that were much more focused than this one and maybe that’s what it was for me, what felt like a lack of focus.

Continue reading “Book 497: Ordinary Goodness – Edward Viljoen”

Books

Book 476: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Original Screen Play – J.K. Rowling

rowling-j-k-fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them-newt-scamander-1I’m going to keep this one short and sweet. See the movie and if you enjoy it, read this. (Also how adorable this is posting on Valentine’s Day – Newt and Tina 4ever!)

I don’t know why I loved this so much. I think it’s because I was so disappointed in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child that this one stood out for me. Don’t get me wrong though Cursed was okay, but it just wasn’t up to the same standard as the original seven books.

I fell in love with Newt and Tina when I saw the movie. I saw it four times in the theatre (yeah I know right?) and each time I found more to enjoy, just like the original books every time I re-read them. I know there were some plot holes and I know there were things people didn’t like, but for me it was perfect. The awkwardness of Newt and Tina and all the other characters just made me grin like an idiot.

Recommendation: As if you need to ask. READ IT. I found this a fast and delightful read. It also allowed me to actually understand a few lines where it was either hard to hear or I was distracted by something on screen.