Saturday, 27 April 2013

Readathon, Hour, I just, the last one

I can't do it, you guys. 

I just, I'm so sleepy. But this was so fun. And also I quit.

Pages read this hour: 50, from Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell

Pages read, altogether now: 606

Books completed: The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson
Moranthology, by Caitlin Moran

Good night, you crazy internet dwellers. So long and thanks for all the books.

Readathon, Hour 18

Reading: E&P

How is it?: Lovely

Pages read this hour: 40

Pages read, altogether now: 556

Books completed: The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson
Moranthology, by Caitlin Moran

And, also: Tea, earl grey, hot. Also, the cranberry muffins make a reappearance, joined by a slice of Balderson's mega-old cheddar.

I had to get rid of the dust jacket, because I hate those things. But that's a story for another evening.

Readathon, Hour 17

Reading: Eleanore & Park

How is it?: Still amazing, but I'm worrying there's going to be a Thing that is Upsetting, and man, Rowell just doesn't need to use such plot devices. But we'll see. Hopefully noThing happens.

Pages read this hour: 40 (slowed down by talking to Neil. Damn human interactions. [I kid, Neil. I love your face.])

Pages read, altogether now: 516

Books completed: The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson
Moranthology, by Caitlin Moran

And, also: What time is it?

Also, 9 pm. But mostly the tea thing.

Readathon, Hour 16

Reading: Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell

How is it?: Good crap, you guys. It's great. It's wonderful. It has revitalized me.

Pages read this hour: 60 (why, hello, YA!)

Pages read, altogether now: 476

Books completed: The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson
Moranthology, Caitlin Moran

And, also: This book deserves more chocolate.

Readathon, Hour 15

Reading: Nothing, at the moment. Finished Moranthology earlier in the hour and then took a break.

How is it?: The break? Great!

Pages read this hour: 18

Pages read, altogether now: 416

Books completed: The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson
Moranthology, by Caitlin Moran

And, also: Dinnerrrr

Beef enchiladas (made last night), salad, salsa. All is well with the world.

Readathon, Hour 14!

Reading: Moranthology

How is it?: I love her. That is all

Pages read this hour: 25

Pages read, altogether now: 398, aw, man! Little did I know, amirite?

Books completed: The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson

And, also: OK, really, it's enchilada time.

Big enchilada fan, Snape.

Readathon, Hour 13

Reading: Moranthology

How is it?: Still good. I read her famous piece on libraries and it was beautiful and wonderful. Then she had a couple of pieces on Downton Abbey that I didn't really get, what with not watching the show. But still. Good stuff.

Pages read this hour: 33

Pages read, altogether now: 373

Books completed: The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson

And, also: Bits & Bites: Cheddah Flavoured

My head is feeling heavy, dudes. Maybe I'll look around the internet until it's time to warm up a proper dinner.

Readathon, Hour 12

Reading: Moranthology

How is it?: 

... is how it is.

Pages read this hour: 33

Pages read, altogether now: 340

Books completed: The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson

And, also: Still no food pictures! I'm going to have to get a snack, just on principle.

Readathon, Hour 11

Reading: Moranthology

How is it?: Well, Moran just used the word "breastkateers" so you tell me. (Awesome. It's awesome.)

Pages read this hour: 33

Pages read, altogether now: 307

Books completed: The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson

And, also: No snacks, so here's a classic GIF

Readathon, Hour 10

Reading: Moranthology

How is it?: Still excellent

Pages read this hour: 32

Pages read, altogether now: 274

Books completed: The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson

And, also: After lunch comes chocolate (bridge mixture, in this case). It's the natural order of things.

Readathon, Hour 9

Reading: Moranthology

How is it?: Excellently quippy. 

Pages read this hour: 24 (distracted by lunch)

Pages read, altogether now: 242

Books completed: The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson

And, also: The aforementioned lunch

Lunch woke me up a bit. Now, to read in earnest.

Readathon, Hour 8

Reading: Moranthology, by Caitlin Moran

How is it?: FanTAStic. Being crazy-tired from waking up at 5 am is definitely upping the LOL-factor from already really very good levels.

Pages read this hour: 36, even though I took time out to describe the scariest bits of Hill House to Neil so that we could exclaim in horror together.

Pages read, altogether now: 218

Books completed: The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson

And, also: It's noon here, now, which means it's time for Food. Off to gather and melt that, then. That does mean, though, that I have no pictures of food to show you at this time. Instead, please accept this GIF, which has been used to great effect by many of the excellent participants in Reading Rambo's Harry Potter Readalong.


Readathon, Hour 7

Reading: The Haunting of Hill House

How is it?: Great. Really great. Excellent kick-off book.

Pages read this hour: The rest of it! Or, 22. Then I took an internet and moving around break.

Pages read, altogether now: 182

And, also: Grapes and pistachios for the picking at:

Readathon, Hour 6

Reading: Hill House, still. Will finish it in the next hour.

How is it?: So. Great. It is totally my kind of scary. And lots of day and lots of books before I have to try to sleep again, which is good.

Pages read this hour: 35

Pages read, altogether now: 160

And, also: Comfort tea:

With a tiger to fend off ghosties.

Readathon, Hour 5

Reading: Hill House

How is it?: THE WORST. Why did you guys let me read this? Stuff is happening.

Pages read this hour: 35

Pages read, altogether now: 125

And, also: No snacks. But will make some comforting tea, I think.

Readathon, Hour 4

Reading: Hill House

How is it?: So great. Definitely keeping my interest.

Pages read this hour: 30

Pages read, altogether now: 90

And, also: 

Readathon muffins! 

This whole thing is going by pretty quickly. Readathon onwards, doves.

Readathon, Hour 3

Reading: The Haunting of Hill House

How is it?: Still great! Atmospheric and scerry.

Pages read this hour: 35

Pages read, altogether now: 60

And, also: No snacks this hour, but a second cup of coffee is on the brew. It's light out now (thank goodness) and the birds are a'chirping. Can't hurt me now, book.

Right? RIGHT?

Readathon, Hour 2

Reading: The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson

How is it?: Creepifying, already.

Pages read this hour: 25

Pages read, altogether now: Why, 25!

And, also: Break-a-fast was had:

And orange juice. And coffee.

Also, the Neil watched a bit of Hemlock Grove while he was eating breakfast, and the creepy soundtrack went so well with my book. The readathon is a success, so far, is what I'm saying.

The Readathon Commenceth

Rub those eyes and crack those spines (book spines, that is. Let's not get violent this early in)  it's time for the readathon a la Dewey.

Introductory meme!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
The Vancouver Island part. Victoria, BC, to be exact.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, because I loved Attachments like woah.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
I made some cranberry muffins yesterday that I've been eyeing.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
My name is Kayleigh and I'm a freelance copy editor and writer. I love puppies, long walks on the beach, and serial commas.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

This is my first readathon, and I am SO EXCITED. I'm looking forward to the books that have been taunting me with their greatness since I checked them out on Tuesday, and to finding some new blogs out there.

Now, to breakfast? To breakfast!

Friday, 26 April 2013

The Readathon is Looming

You. Guys. Dewey's 24-hour readathon is tomorrow.

I'm so excited that I might not sleep. BUT I MUST. We on the West Coast are starting at 5 tomorrow morning, and I am determined to actually wake up and start at 5. I've decided to do separate update posts throughout the day, because Blogger gets all What Now? with the formatting when I repeatedly open up posts to edit them. 

I'm really looking forward to diving into my pile o' books (not that I'll get to all of them. But options, they're good).

From top to bottom, that's

Black Juice, by Margo Lanagan (short, fantasy-esque stories)
Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell (young-adult excellence from the author of Attachments)
We Have Always Lived in the Castle, by Shirley Jackson (for the short and scaries)
The Haunting of Hill House, by, oh, also Shirley Jackson (for the same)
Maus: I, by Art Spiegelman (classic graphic novel [comic?] that everyone has read and loved except me, but this will soon be rectified [thanks, readathon])
Moranthology, by Caitlin Moran (who I'm told is the British Bloggess and really that's all I need to know)
You Suck: A Love Story, by Christopher Moore (because I've read Bloodsucking Fiends and you can't go wrong with more Moore)
Watchmen, words by Alan Moore, illustrations by Dave Gibbons (because when you want comics for a readathon you might as well include the one people say is the best of ever)

I think I'll start with The Haunting of Hill House, because that should wake me up. Plus it's short and I'd like a feeling of accomplishment as early as possible, honestly.

What about you all? Are your plans (read: snacks) in order? What book will you read first?

Thursday, 25 April 2013

HP Late Thursday: Find the Wilkie

It's time for another installment in the Harry Potter Readalong hosted by Alice at Reading Rambo. This week we're talking about chapters 8-18 in Half-Blood Prince

Well, cutlets, there are readathon snacks to plan, so I'm going to get right to the bullet points:

  • That Harry places the majority of the blame for Sirius's death on Snape and his teasing gives me multiple levels of sads. Harry is blinded by his hatred of Snape, even after seeing that horrible memory  sad. Harry can't imagine that it was Sirius's love for him that ultimately drove him to the ministry, can't imagine that an adult would love him that much  THE MOST SAD.

  • Harry's love for Ginny is getting developed and I am a'flutter, folks. First, he smells Ginny in the love potion which, aww. Second, he sees her and Dean going at it in that hallway and promptly imagines himself in Dean's position.

  • Page 176, "Malfoy looked rather as he had done the time Hermione had punched him in the face." Hermione slapped him in the book! She punched him in the movie. Looks like I'm not the only one getting movie scenes mixed up with book scenes.

For reference. And for lols.

  • Please tell me that Fleur refused to wear Mrs. Weasley's Christmas jumper, not that Mrs. Weasley refused to make one. I don't care if you think it's true; just tell me.
  • The Apparition Instructor is named Wilkie, and that's why we're all here, really.

"Destination, Determination, Deliberation!"

  • Finally, love-potion drunk Ron might be my favourite Ron. "Ron burst through the door into Slughorn's overheated, crowded study, tripped over a tasselled footstool, regained his balance by seizing Harry around the neck and muttered, 'She didn't see that, did she?'"

Oh, Ron. You lovable dope.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Out - Natsuo Kirino

Hold on to your hats, chickadees: I've finished a book that isn't Harry Potter or an unreviewable installation of Song of Ice and Fire.

I picked up Out by Natsuo Kirino after Book Riot listed it with Gone Girl as a "Badass Female Revenge Thriller," a genre I can happily get behind. In the end, Out fits the genre better than Gone Girl, with a bonus of sweeping gender commentary.

Out follows four ladies who work the night shift in a boxed-lunch factory in Tokyo. One night, one of these ladies strangles her abusive husband and calls on her friends to help get rid of the body. Calm and intelligent Masako, without fully knowing why, finds herself leading the group in their plot to cover up the crime. As they fall further into the unseen, violent depths of Japanese society, Masako begins to wonder if something like this can ever really be over, if she can ever get out.

Out was both an excellent thriller and a thesis on gender relations in Japan. All of those traditional gender injustices that women face  from the paramount value placed on youth, to viewing ambition in the workplace as uppity ungratefulness, to the inescapable nature of those prescribed roles: wife, mother, caretaker  they face in this book. As a Canadian reader, it struck me that the men and women perpetrating those injustices made a total of zero bones about it. There was no double-talk to soften or cover it: folks were rocking out with their sexism out.

So, then, read it. It's atmosphere and characters are tops, and though I did feel like parts of it were a bit slow, I consistently chose to read it over those Harry Potters. If that's not a mark of a good book then I do not even know.

Friday, 19 April 2013

HP Friday: Mollywobbles. That is all.

We're starting Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince this week in Alice's readalong, and you know it's getting real because, though I did write my name in this book (a practice that has long been discarded), my writing looks like my grown-up writing. Getting really real.

Spoilers ahead, as per the usual.

Not much to talk about yet. Snape has a front room we'd all swoon over, with many leather bound books.

I bet it smells of rich mahogany.

Do we buy "fear of relapse" as the reason why Dumbledore wouldn't let Snape teach DADA? I always figured it was because Snape was just to damn good at Potions to waste. I guess it would be believable for Dumbledore to be wary of letting Snape dwell on the dark arts, but do you really think Snape would snap and fall back into those presumably evil habits? I think he was burned too badly by Lily's death to ever go back.

The Dumbledore-Dursley scene makes me so happy. The man with the hat has some sass! 

Por ejemplo (pg 53):

Uncle Vernon shouted, "Will you get these ruddy things off us?"
Harry looked round; all three of the Dursleys were cowering with their arms over their heads as their glasses bounced up and down on their skulls, the contents flying everywhere.
"Oh, I'm so sorry," said Dumbledore politely, and he raised his wand again. All three glasses vanished. "But it would have been better manners to drink it, you know."

And this. Sweet, sweet this (pg 57):

"You did not do as I asked. You have never treated Harry as a son. He has known nothing but neglect and often cruelty at your hands. The best that can be said is that he has at least escaped the appalling damage you have inflicted upon the unfortunate boy sitting between you."

So satisfying. 

Most importantly, in this section, Ginny names her Pygmy Puff "Arnold" and we fall in love with her all over again.

Hahaha, that's a person's name!

To Hogwarts? To Hogwarts!

Because when is it not a good time to post a
Harry Potter narwhal? Almost never.
[by Hayley Cassatt]

Friday, 12 April 2013

HP Friday: Diversionary Centaur Pun

From Gemma Correll

It's topical, see, because of Firenze and the Anti-Umbridge Centaur Brigade.

I realize that no amount of centaur puns will distract from the horrible sadness that is this week's section of Order of the Phoenix, but I had to try.

Oh, wait, but how about this, said of Hermione on page 632: "Nobody was foolish enough to snap back, so she was unable to vent her spleen on any of them."

Gross, right? Totally gross.

Alright, alright, I guess we can talk about the horrible sadness. I got to the Department of Mysteries and I wanted to stop reading and substitute an ending of my own. Turns out, Sirius kills Bellatrix. And Voldemort. And then lives happily ever after in a sprawling-if-run-down country manor with Harry and Dobby and Dumbledore and Fawkes. And Hagrid.

*Sunset Arms*

Alas, it is not to be. What makes it so sad is that Sirius' death has that horrible element of doubt that comes with the death of any loved one. No, no way, they can't really be gone. All he did was fall through a veil! Surely you can come back from that. I was certain that our man Black would pull a Gandalf and reappear on the hunt for Horcruxes, but double alas, that's not to be, either.

And you know what, I was about to go through a list of things that smashed my heart into wailing pieces, like Harry's breakdown in Dumbledore's office, and the mirror (oh god the mirror), but I don't fucking want to. And that's the reason why, though it's been solidly proven to be a wonderful book, OotP will forever remain the one I read the least. Screw you, OotP.

Too soon? YUP.

Now on to the next one where we'll all feel better until the next guy drops. GOD, JK.

Friday, 5 April 2013

HP Friday: "Hem he-" Judo CHOP

As that upsetting walrus said, the time has come to talk of many things. It's Harry Potter Friday, and we're discussing chapters 21 to 29 of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Check out Reading Rambo for some keen, GIFy insight and links to all the other posters. There be spoilers, herein.

I'm watching A Very Potter Sequel on YouTube right now, so I came into this week's reading with Joe Walker's Umbridge in my head.

Book Umbridge could hardly get my rage cauldron boiling if I've cast her as hilarious internet Umbridge. But then, of course, five pages into chapter 21, Umbridge "hem hem"s her way through Hagrid's class and I'm shaking my fist at the heavens, back to my murdery old self. So much for that coping mechanism.

A Britishism question for you all (Laura) from page 399: what, exactly, is it to be at "loggerheads" with someone? I do not know this saying. (I'm guessing it's effectively "butting heads.")

Bullet points? Bullet points.

- pg 400: Harry is worried about Sirius being alone at Christmas, which is probably why I never got too irreversibly upset at Sirius over whole "James" comment: Harry keeps a'loving him and, dangit, I do too.

- pg 416: Dumbledore says, cryptically, "But in essence divided?" I think this is when he realizes that Harry's and Voldemort's soulsorwhatever are bound, but separate. Voldemort is not actively possessing Harry all the live long day. Yes?

- pg 441-442: Ginny reminds Harry (and us, dear readers) that she's a freaking badass. 

"I forgot," he said. 
"Lucky you," said Ginny cooly.

We love you, Ginny. Forget Harry.

- pg 444: Percy is so horrible that I actually can't handle it. Returning your Christmas jumper with no note just days after your father was attacked and nearly killed?!

- pg 450: This calls for comic relief! Sweet, crazy Lockhart had me loling and all was right with the world again.

- pg 455: LOLJK actually everything's horribly tragic and we meet Neville's parents and his mom gives him a wrapper because IT'S ALL SHE HAS TO GIVE and he keeps it and will likely treasure it always.

- And then Dumbledore leaves Hogwarts in a pleasingly badass manner and somewhere in there we see James and Sirius as horrifying teenagers and I just wish Harry would talk to Snape about it. "My dad was an asshat. I am not my dad." 

- Fred and George close out the section for us with the best exit in the history of exits.

Did we all use this GIF this week? Yes, right?

Alright! Good luck with next week's section! See you next Friday; I'll be the one with the rent garments.