Friday, 25 October 2013

The Post Where We're All Cripplingly Disappointed

Alright, Denise section! Finally!

I haven't even taken any notes during this section. My only note would have been "Whelp, Denise sucks, too." Disappointed? Yes. Surprised? No.

(So many f-word gifs in this readalong for me. Sorry, Mom and Dad. It's Alley's fault.)

We're reading(along) The Corrections, and it's providing solid evidence that reading anything can be fun if you do it with the right people. That being said, I have not finished the reading for this week.

Quick, I need a distraction...

Thanks, guys.

I am at the part where Denise is at Robin's garden and just got around her guilt for almost banging Brian by telling his Robin she's a lesbian. I hate Denise's whole attitude around not banging Brian. Like she's a feminist icon for not doing him. Like she's done this great thing for Robin, and Robin should be grateful. The whole thing is gross.

Speaking of gross, the entire episode of Denise with the older man at her summer job. Just, what. No. Stop.

But tell me more about Robin's psychopathic brother. I was liking his story. He crazy. And I always love foodtalk, so I'm liking hearing about Denise trying to think up food that will work in this spectacular venue.

This is a super scattered post that doesn't say anything. At least it's posted on time? No? Please accept this thing I found that's not about this book but is still super appropriate by way of an apology:

(From American Chickens)

Friday morning update: I've read up to the Chip/Denise emails and I'm not so mad at her now.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

The Post Where We All Talk About Poop

Oh. *coughs* Uh, hi! We're posting these Sunday nights now, right? I'm pretty sure I heard that somewhere.

Sorry for pulling a Chip, you guys. It's (two days past) Corrections time again! Thanks, Alley, for bringing us together, because I'm pretty sure we're going to need the support for this section. There are spoilers, herein, if such a book can be spoiled.

My first note is "Gary seems super fun."
As he entered the darkroom, he estimated that his levels of Neurofactor 3 (i.e., serotonin: a very, very important factor) were posting seven-day or even thirty-day highs, that his Factor 2 and Factor 7 levels were likewise outperforming expectations, and that his Factor 1 had rebounded from an early-morning slump related to the glass of Armagnac he'd drunk at bedtime.
Too bored to properly throw myself down the stairs

Does not make for stimulating narration.

I'm still loving Denise because she gave Jonah Prince Caspian. And Jonah makes me want to WEEP because he is clearly the best person in the whole of the extended family, and they are going to ruin him. In the meantime, little buddy, keep being right about which Narnia book is the best.


Franzen really digs in on the "look at all the reasons I named this book as such" in this section, the first instance I noticed being a kind of theme for the book: "But his entire life was set up as a correction of his father's life." And then there's Correcktall and other stuff and THERE'S NO TIME TO LIST THEM. DID I MENTION HOW LATE THIS POST IS?

Gary is dealing with some weeeird investor guys. Pudge Portleigh? Really? Why not just Fatty McFatfat? Daffy? Dick Hevy? 

It's probably a metaphor for something, but I don't know what.
(Different scene. Doesn't matter.)

Then other stuff and then, let's get to why we're really here: Alfred, on the cruise, hallucinating a talking, taunting turd. 

One of the few things in this world that warrants
the legendary quadruple take.

So, OK, do we want to analyze this scene and work out why Alfred's hallucination would take the form of a poop (his strong needs for order and propriety raging against his gradual yet complete loss of control - over his children, his wife, his body), or do we wanna just throw a 

Franzen's way?

The fuck bro? The fuck bro.

Also I guess maybe Alfred's dead now. SEE YOU NEXT FRIDAY, FOLKS! 

Saturday, 12 October 2013

October 2013 Readathon - 11ish pm

So tired -- it's the dreaded hour 19.

This is when I called it quits last time. BUT NOT THIS TIME, readers. I'm going to splash water on my face, for that is a thing people do.

Reading: Bossypants

How is it?: It's awesome. Obviously it's awesome.

Pages read, altogether now: 922

Books completed: The Graveyard Book, Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

October 2013 Readathon - 8:30ish pm

Hey, readathon! It's been a while! Let's do a regular check-in post.

Reading: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

How is it?: SUPER GOOD. It's the pictures that take it from dark fantasy to horrifying creepfest.

I mean, have we all seen this one?

Pages read, altogether now: 812 (Books with pictures, guys. BOOKS WITH PICTURES.)

Books read from: Bossypants, The Graveyard BookLocke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Books completed: The Graveyard Book, Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft

And, also: Since we last talked, real food in dinner-shape was had by all.

A paltry serving of snap peas because I was starting to feel guilty, even though, as Ron would say, readathons should involve

Right now, it's 8:35 pm and I'm making coffee. Oh, readathon. You so crazy.

October 2013 Readathon - 5 in the pm

Oh, hey, look at that. The mid-event survey was for an hour ago. LATE BAND-WAGON JUMPING.

1) How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired? Yes, little sleepy. May have taken some mini-half naps.

2) What have you finished reading? The Graveyard Book and volume one of Locke & Key. I've also been reading bits of Bossypants in between things, and I'm on page 135 of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

3) What is your favorite read so far? I'm reeeally liking Miss Peregrine's. The writing style is less fantasy, more modern YA than I thought.

4) What about your favorite snacks? Miss Peregrine's is actually pretty creepy, don'cha know, so I've had to call in the cheezies. They did their duty admirably. 

5) Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? If so, give them some love! No, because I am selfish. But good job, everyone out there! And thank you, wandering cheerleaders!

Page stats! 681, so far.

October 2013 Readathon - Hour 9ish

Well. Lesson learned. Always include comics/graphic novels in your readathon pile if you want to up your page count in a hurry.

Books finished: The Graveyard Book, Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft

Pages read so far: 510. BAM.

Speaking of, it was recently lunchtime in this corner of the world, and so - quesadillas.

Surrounded by readathon snacks to come.

October 2013 Readathon - Hour 7 (and a half)

Finished The Graveyard Book

Pages read, altogether now: 352

Time to check in on my fellow 'thonners.

October 2013 Readathon - Hour 6

Reading: The Graveyard Book

How is it?: Still great! And I'm enjoying this whole business much more than last time. Feeling less pressure (which was totally self-imposed in April) to read quickly and lots-ly, and instead just planning on having an excellent day, reading. And snacking, of course. Go readathon, is what I'm saying.

Pages read this hour: 52

Pages read, altogether now: 265

And, also: Halloween candy is playing no small part in my general sense of well-being.

October 2013 Readathon - Hour 5

Reading: The Graveyard Book

How is it?: Delightful. I'm loving the crap out of Silas. And I hope we get to spend more time with the Grey Lady. In the book, that is. I don't want to die.

Pages read this hour: 50

Pages read, altogether now: 213

And, also: Oranges!

October 2013 Readathon - Hour 4

Reading: Graveyard Book

How is it?: Still great!

Pages read this hour: 58

Pages read, altogether now: 163

And, also: Time for second breakfast.

October 2013 Readathon - Hour 3

Reading: The Graveyard Book

How is it?: "Bod was thrilled. He imagined a future in which he could read everything, in which all stories could be opened and discovered." So, perfect.

Pages read this hour: 60

Pages read, altogether now: 105

And, also: Everything is wonderful and this book gives me the Fall happies.

October 2013 - Hour 2

Reading: Bossypants

How is it?: SO GOOD. I love her, I do. Think I'll switch to a novel now though.

Pages read this hour: 45

And, also: Breakfast!

October 2013 Readathon: Hour 1

Can you feel it in the air? It's that time of year again. The time to read like maniacs and take pictures of our snacks.

It's READATHON time.

Our untiring hosts at readathon headquarters have provided us with an introductory meme:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Fort St. John, in northeastern BC.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? It's a toss-up between Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and Bossypants by Tina Fey. (I obviously have a soft spot for geeky and hilarious ladies.)

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Halloween candyyyy.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I'm a proofreader/copy editor for an environmental consulting company, I'm a Hufflepuff married to a Slytherin, and I'm a Harry Potter megafan (which is to say, I am a breathing person). 

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? The last readthon was my first, and I pooped out at around hour 19. This time around, I'm hoping to make it the full 24 hours. (It's Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, so there's lots of time for recovery.) I'm also going to allow myself to switch between books even if I haven't finished the one I'm currently reading. Also, more Twitter (both tweeting and reading), because that's just a good time.

Aaaand, go!

Friday, 11 October 2013

The Post Where We All Want to Punch Chip

It's time for another instalment of The Corrections Readalong! Check out the other posters and see if I'm right about this Chip thing (I'm right).

Let's jump right in, shall we?

I was not a fan of the first "chapter" or section thing, wherein Franzy tries to tries to earn the capital "L" in "Literature." There's a lot of talking for the sake of talking, using more words than necessary because those words are, admittedly, beautiful. So I do kind of like it, or I appreciate it, but if it weren't for this readalong, I would have walked away from the book. Which would have been tragic, because I would have missed Chip.

Oh, Chip. Chip is both Jonathan Franzen and, worse, Brian from Family Guy, with his script and his Mona turning into his protagonist's ex-wife's "diabolical lesbian lover."

By page 35 in my edition, Franzen had succeeded in making me hate Chip's self-pitying guts. I mean, he serves "retro joke desserts." He serves chocolate ironically

After reading about Franzy's dislike of consumerism and our over investment in technology, Chip really does seem to echo some of Franzen's actual opinions, and, after Chip hears Melissa's rebuttal on that last day of the semester, maybe even expresses some of Franzen's real doubts. But, if I'm following that course, Melissa must be a part of Franzen, too. I don't know, doesn't matter. And it doesn't matter because on the very next page Chip is eating chips with MAYONNAISE. Is that a thing? How have we allowed that to be a thing?

Then this happens: "He ate arugula ("rocket," the old farmers called it) so strong it made his eyes water, like a paragraph of Thoreau."

And then, suddenly, I'd read to the end of the section. It turns out I'm genuinely liking hating Chip this book. This is why you should always go into things with super low expectations.

Also, obviously Chip loves this Gitanas guy who looks exactly like him. Obviously he does.

Finally, The most important thing I learned during this week's section of the readalong is that someone left Chip a chocolate statuette of Michael Jackson.

I'm so happy we live in a world where that could be a thing.

And that's it! Here's your unrelated GIF of the week:

Thanks for hosting, Alley-kins.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Get ready for snack pictures

Books books books books books books! (Please read to the tune of Ani DiFranco's Up up up up up up. [Also, "Half of learning how to read / is learning what not to read." HAHAHA ANI DIFRANCO JOKES.])

The 24-Hour Readathon is this Saturday and I am super excited about it. I've got my pile of books ready, I'm in the process of hoarding snacks, and I have prepared my reading nest (I threw my Snuggie on the couch).

I'm even more excited about my books than my snacks, and that's saying something. Because eating is just the best.

In the queue, we've got
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  • The Sky is Falling by Kit Pearson (comfort children's book for 3 am)
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • Bossypants by Our Lady Tina Fey
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  • Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • Maus, Vol. 1 by Art Spiegelman
  • Locke & Key, Vol.1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodríguez
It'll be a good day, is what I'm saying.

After the last readathon, I set out some bullet points as to what I'd do differently this time. Let's compare what I thought I'd do with what I actually intend to do.

  • As my kindly father pointed out, I need more snacks with energy-to-the-brain potential. Energy drinks, chocolate covered espresso beans, cocaine strong tea... Well, I've got coffee, Coke Zero, and a new box of earl grey, but I'd love some late-night snack suggestions.
  • Moranthology, a collection of article hilarity by Caitlin Moran, was just the right kind of book for a readathon. My excitement about it waned a bit by the end, though. Could be better to read a couple of pieces from a book like that (sideeyes Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls) between novels. I have Bossypants in my pile, and that might be a good breaker-upper.
  • Less spammy. I felt distinctly guilty about posting so much by hour 19, so in October I'll do one post with many updates. Also, probably not as many updates. Maybe multiple posts but fewer updates. Maybe I'm not sure on this one yet. MOAR SPAM. You guys were wonderful with your feedback, here, and I will go ahead and keep doing multiple posts, probably still hourly because why the hell not.
  • Audio books. I'd like to have an audio book (probably Bossypants by everyone's favourite Tina) on hand to listen to on a walk and while knitting or crocheting in the middle there, just to break things up. (Side note: must learn to knit or crochet by October.) And this is where I fail on all counts. No audio books, and still no fabric craft ability of any sort. But, I'm super accomplished in sitting still and looking at words on paper. Stick to what you know, I say.

I'm totally going to make it all 24 hours this year.

Friday, 4 October 2013

A Very Correct Readalong: The Intro Post

That's right, we're doing it again! The wonderful Alley at What Red Read is bringing us together for another readalong.

We'll be reading The Corrections by Jonathan I'm-Best-Known-For-My-Popularity-On-The-Internet Franzen.

I've never read any Franzen, and the only thing I know about him is that he recently said some mean things about Twitter and the internet and people were pissed

Not that he would know, as said upset people were venting their anger on the internet. I haven't read the source material for the internet hatealong, but I'm expecting to be much more informed on why exactly people don't like this guy after this readalong, even the intro post. I don't think knowing the author's kind of a goober will stop me from enjoying his book; I think only his book can do that. 

Not that I know anything about the book, either. The Goodreads summary makes it sound a bit like Revolutionary Road -- suburban melancholy and whatnot. But hey, if he gives us some interesting characters and some engaging, realistic dialog, I think we can all have a good time. And if those unsavoury aspects of his personality leak into his writing, making the book settle in the boring-when-it's-not-annoying category, then I think we can have a lot of fun.

I mean, think of the GIFs.

What? They don't all have to be topical.

So thanks for hosting this, Alley! Now to actually get a copy of the book...