Category Archives: books

Thank you for indulging my obsessions

Someone awesome sent me this. There was no note, so I assume one of my awesome readers or Twitter followers sent it from my wishlist. Whoever you are, thanks so much. Please let me know who you are! I can’t wait to wear it to the midnight premiere of Breaking Dawn!

One thing I never noticed until I saw it in person–there’s a big old hand sitting on top of the Cullen crest. What is that about?

You know who can’t wait for June 30th?

Me. I can’t wait. Me me me me me.

If they ruin it by not showcasing Jasper, I’ll make you all endure awkward stares, and I’ll stutter. I WILL STUTTER.

Under 200 book reviews: Persuasion

Persuasion by Jane Austen

I am working my way through Jane Austen (never read any of hers) and loving her. I love her style, her humor, and the wit of her heroines–I especially love their sarcasm. And I want to marry her heroes. I don’t love her use of commas, but that’s not her fault–I’m sure comma rules were just different then.

I had high expectations for Persuasion, because several of my friends list this one as their favorite, so I was surprised when it came in second to Pride and Prejudice (of the two I’ve read so far). I still loved Persuasion and was not disappointed; Captain Wentworth just wasn’t in the book enough for my liking. I wanted more more more of him, because I’m in love with him. Also, I kind of wanted to smack Anne a few times for always deferring to Lady Russell. You’re in your twenties, Anne. Be a big girl.

watching New Moon with Frank

Frank told me last year that he kind of wanted to see New Moon, so I got all excited. He said he wouldn’t go at midnight with me, but maybe a week later when the crowds weren’t so bad. And then he saw the bad reviews and started hemming and hawing around, and eventually the movie was out of the theaters, and he was a bad sweetie. But he really wants to watch the New Moon RiffTrax, and since the DVD is mine, purchased with my allowance, I made him watch it with me regular once before we watch with RiffTrax. Here are his and my comments from our screening.

“Is that a Snuggie festival?”

“That’s a gay jacket he’s wearing. Velvet collars? Really, Edward?”

“Line…”

“When I asked for a gram and a mirror, this is not what I had in mind.”

“In a city of like 3000, how many can they afford to have die?”

“What, she didn’t trade up for better friends for this movie?”

“He always has such a gay little car.”

“If the secret to getting women really is being silent while staring awkwardly, I thought I had that down in high school.” “Well, it was your awkward internet staring that attracted me to you.”

“Hahahaha! ‘I’m slow-motion walking toward you.’ Hey, when our kid walks for the first time, we’ll put it in slow motion.”

“Why would anyone not want presents?”

“What is Alice wearing? She looks like a pregnant Raggedy Ann.”

“It’d be neat if they had a sign up here. ‘FORESHADOWING.’”

“All the girls, including Eric, are crying.”

“What kind of crappy teacher pauses the movie right before Romeo’s last line?”

(re: Caius) “I like the blond one. He’s got the fruitiest awkward stare.”

(Frank laughs when Bella says she could protect Edward if he makes her a vampire.)

(“It’s a necklace. Alice picked it out.”) “I don’t like you.”

“Alice apparently can’t predict papercuts.”

“Do it, Jasper, kill her!”

“He sure likes shoving people.”

“Jasper, you’re a failure.”

(“You’ve always been very gracious about us.”) “And stupid.”

(“If you believed as Edward does, could you take away his soul?”) “Yeah, I totally could.”

(“You’re not gonna want me when I look like a grandmother.”) “I don’t want you now.”

(“I don’t believe that.”) “‘I unt meree dat.’ If someone’s paying you to act in a movie, the least you can do is not mumble your lines.”

(“I love you.” “Love you.”) “Wow, say it like you don’t mean it, Edward.”

“He switched from the gay little pea coat to stupid blazers that don’t fit for this movie.”

(“We have to leave Forks.” “Why?”) “Because of your face.”

“Line…”

(“Just myself and my family.”) “And Kitty Fantastico.” “They don’t have a cat.”

(Frank laughs when Edward says not to do anything reckless.) “First thing she’s gonna do is go drunk driving.”

(“It’s not about your soul.”) “White people don’t have no soul anyway.”

“Haha. He abandons her in the woods so she won’t be able to find her way back.” “Yeah, and they’re standing right by her house when he leaves, and she still manages to get lost.”

“I don’t want you to come to any harm, so I’m abandoning you in the woods.”

“Squirrel! Have you seen Edward?”

(We laugh many times during Bella’s lost-in-the-woods scene.)

“Ooh. Wake up for that, Bella. You’re missing some fabulous pecs.” (that was me, if you’re wondering)

“Found the girl. Now can we look for my shirt?”

“She is not very nice to her ‘friends.’”

“Hey, you know who it’d be great for you to live with? Your mother.” (And then we laugh 30 seconds later when Charlie tells Bella she’s going to live with her mother.)

(“You hate shopping.”) “You also hate Jessica.”

“Charlie’s cop mustache is pleased.”

(re: Jessica) “I hope a vampire kills her soon.”

“Where are you GOING?” (reference to Twilight RiffTrax)

“She is stupid.” “Duh. She’s Bella.”

(“I brought you something. It’s a little crazy.”) “It’s scissors. For your hair.”

(“Of course it’s stupid and reckless. When do we start?”) “We’re talking about having sex, right?”

“No, a white man killed all our girls.”

(“You’ve gotta learn to love what’s good for you.”) “Like fiber.” “Like my mustache. It won’t stop growing, so…”

(re: Sam staring at Jacob, waiting for him to join his gang) “Maybe he’s staring at your long hair, waiting for you to cut it.”

“Closeup of Sam’s abs! Good cameraman!” (me)

“Shouting ‘whoa’ does not make it go slower. It’s not a horse.”

“Hahahaha. She has to find a rock.”

(“You’re apologizing for bleeding?”) “For living, in general.”

(re: Face Punch) “I mean, that’s the best action movie title they can come up with?” “I’d watch it.”

“That movie actually sounds interesting.”

“Wow. She’s got the sissiest friends.”

(“I’m not like a car that you can fix up.”) “Cars have value.”

“Bad dog! Down, boy!”

(“Jacob, I need you.”) “Yeah, I’ve got these abandonment issues, where people abandon me…”

(“You cut your hair off? And got a tattoo?”) “That’s so gay!”

(“How about those filthy bloodsuckers you love? The Cullens.”) “Oh, I’m glad you clarified which bloodsuckers you meant. I thought you meant mosquitoes.”

(“You’ve lied to everyone. Charlie…”) “I can’t name anyone else. You don’t talk enough to your friends to lie to them.”

(“I can’t be your friend anymore.”) “Because of your pale face.”

(“I used to be a good kid. Not anymore.”) “I’ve taken up with childhood obesity.”

“She doesn’t have anyone to stare at right now, so they show clips of her staring from the last movie.”

(“Lie.”) “I’d have to think to lie.”

“Why isn’t he sparkling?” “It’s not sunny. It’s overcast. Or maybe only white vampires sparkle.”

(“Don’t be afraid. I’m doing you a kindness.”) “You’re doing the whole world a kindness, Laurent.”

“Snausages!”

“He looks like he’s skateboarding.”

(“I saw them in the woods.”) “What are woods?”

“You know, Jacob, you could text me that you’re outside. You don’t have to throw rocks at my window and scare the crap out of me.”

(“Bella!”) “Oh. I was looking for Bela Lugosi. I hate vampires!”

(Jacob climbs into Bella’s room.) “Parkour!”

(“I hate what they’ve done to you!”) “Now you’re no longer asexual and non-threatening.”

(“You remember when we walked on the beach at La Push?”) “Oh, you caught that, did you?”

(“No, I’m in it for life.”) “What, you joined the Crips?”

“I can’t just run away from it. I’m a Native American, not a Native Frenchman.”

“I know the truth, Jacob. You’re a zombie.”

“She put 2 and 2 together when she saw a wolf in a wheelchair.”

(Sam’s pack starts laughing at Bella.) “Just thinking of the Simpsons episode I saw last night.”

“Be careful not to get too near the wolves, Bella. If you get their blood on you, you might get a computer virus.”

(“Alice, is it possible that all the myths are true?”) A leprechaun should just come out of nowhere and say, “Oh, everything’s alright, milady.”

(“We can hear each other’s thoughts.”) “That’s what we learned about wolves on the Discovery Channel.”

(“We’re faster than vampires.”) “And hairier and less pale.”

“What are you doing wearing a shirt?”

(“So you’re a werewolf?”) “We prefer to be called Native Canines.”

(“It’s not a lifestyle choice, Bella. I was born this way.”) “And I’m also a werewolf.”

(“Your lack of confidence in us is a little insulting.”) “So’s your face.”

“What is it with Native Americans and lying?”

“Bury my heart at Wounded Knee!”

“Being a vampire looks like fun. She’s just flipping around, doing swan dives…”

(Victoria is coming at Bella in the water, Bella hits her head.) “And then Victoria just decided Bella was too pathetic to kill.”

“Usually a human body’s buoyant, but she must have had a couple of burritos or something.”

“No mixed signals there. Leaning in for a kiss and then stopping. You’re not a tease at all, Bella.”

(“I’m not gonna let him kill himself out of guilt.”) “Yeah, I don’t care if he kills himself out of guilt.”

“Now he’s gonna provoke them. ‘You’re doody heads!’ ‘We’ll kill you!’”

(“He’s gonna show himself to the humans.”) “And they’ll be like, ‘Wow! He’s glittering! He must be a vampire!’” (all said in hick accent, which he probably thinks is an Italian accent)

“This is just so contrived. ‘Oh no! Annoying girl who always looks like she’s gassy is dead! I’m gonna kill myself!’”

“Look at her coppin’ a feel on everybody.”

“They both like to jump to conclusions and commit suicide. They’re perfect for each other.”

(“I just couldn’t live in a world where you don’t exist.”) “I could.”

(“And you believed me so easily.”) “Because you’re stupid.”

“Um, Alice? Leave the shoulder pads in the ’80s where they belong.”

“Seriously, Edward needs some iron or B-12 or something.”

(“How can you stand to be so close to her?” “It’s not without difficulty.”) “The whole world shares your sentiments.”

(Aro takes Bella’s hand to read her thoughts.) “We are now vampire married.”

(“I see nothing.”) “She’s never had a single thought in her life.”

“I caught a bumblebee!”

“Um, why is Edward getting his butt kicked? He can’t read Felix’s thoughts and predict his moves like he does in Eclipse?”

“Man, this is the best part of the movie. It’s what we’ve all wanted to do to him.”

(“Kill me! Not him!”) “Oh, I’ll kill you both.”

(“You’d give your life for one of our kind?”) “Not you, douchebag.”

“You’re in Italy! Speak English!”

(Marcus: “Let us be done with this.”) “American Idol will be on soon.”

(Caius says something.) “And tell me if I’m a boy or a girl.”

(“Last time you said that, you took off, and I didn’t see you for three days.”) “Best three days of my life.”

(“It would be nice to not want to kill you all the time.”) “Maybe if you’d succeeded before, it would already be resolved, you failure.”

I want to go to there

Under 200 book reviews: Vampire Academy

It took me a good part of the book to figure out if the two main girls were lesbians. Other than the confusion and the distraction it caused, it was a lot of fun, and I’m halfway through the second one now. I like the premise–the Moroi, Strigoi, dhampirs, the magic stuff. And I loooove Dimitri. Hubba.

Under 200 book reviews: Eclipse

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

It’s at least my 2nd favorite of the Twilights and possibly my favorite. I like getting the backstories of the background characters, especially Rosalie and Jasper. I love Jasper training everyone to fight. I love the scene where Edward gives Bella his mom’s ring. I hate the Quileute legend part–booooooorrrrrrrring–and I hate how Bella decides to be a martyr. I like my martyrs to be less emo, thanks. Blaze of glory and all that. I hate that Stephenie gave Victoria a ridiculous Minnie Mouse voice, and I’m glad the movies didn’t follow that part of the book. I despise Jacob in Eclipse. Whiny, manipulative dog. And this is when I truly started to hate Bella (I’m too forgiving, I know).

Under 200 book reviews: The Babysitter’s Code

The Babysitter’s Code by Laura Lippman (short story)

This one vexed me. What a waste. First, I didn’t realize it was a short story until a few pages in when I noticed I was already at 12%. Second, it had the makings of a good story, and I was drawn in, waiting for the conclusion. Then it just ended. Like. Um. That’s the whole point of the story? Girl steals a gun? Nothing happened. It was stupid. Glad it was a free Kindle download, not glad I took advantage of the freebie.

Under 200 book reviews: Wuthering Heights

This one left me unfulfilled. I was interested the entire time I read it, which means it was a good read, at least held my attention. And then I got to the end and was completely let down. Only the narrators were good people. Cathy Jr. and Hareton turned out okay, I guess. But Cathy and Heathcliff. Their love doesn’t make me long for love—it only makes me want to punch someone in the face. Poor Edgar. Poor Isabella. Poor reader.

My opinion on Amazon’s hissy fit UPDATED 2x

I hate it when I go out of my way to defend a product or a company and then regret it within a few days.

Y’all know I’m a huge fan of Amazon. Frank and I each get an allowance, and we both spend most of our allowance at Amazon. We buy Kindle books, real books, music, movies, TV shows on DVD, gluten-free groceries, coconut oil, Christmas gifts (toys, etc), jewelry, housewares, etc. If it can be bought on Amazon, we buy it on Amazon. We welcome Amazon gift certificates, because those suckers are like cash. We’re prime members–we pay $79 a year to get free 2-day shipping and cheap 1-day shipping. And UPS is at our house at least once a week with our Amazon purchases.

When the iPad [worst product name EVER] came out last week, I kept chiding people to stop comparing it to Kindle and Nook as a superior e-reader, because the iPad doesn’t have the e-ink display, which I think is the best thing about the Kindle. I don’t care if the iPad makes it easier to flip pages or buy books. Clicking a button is NOT harder than swiping your finger across a screen, especially when you rest your thumb on the “next page” button like I do. And buying books through Amazon for my Kindle is plenty easy. With the Whispernet and 3G wireless, I can download a book most anywhere within a minute. Or I can browse the store online, buy books there, and download them next time I turn on my Kindle wireless. And don’t forget the text-to-speech, which allows me to “read” when I’m cleaning or jogging–I would never spend the money on an audiobook, so that feature means I buy more books than I would normally. The iPad may be prettier, but in my world it doesn’t compare as an e-reader.

But we (Frank and I) both have a big problem with the hissy fit Amazon’s throwing over book publishers who want a better deal on Kindle books. We noticed it before we ever read anything about it, because we went to buy some Joseph Finder books in paperback as a gift yesterday, and neither of us could find any of his books available new and with Prime shipping. Then I looked in the Kindle store, and none of his books are available for Kindle anymore either. I have 3 of his books on my Kindle.

So not only is Amazon pulling Macmillan’s books from its Kindle store because Macmillan wants Amazon to pay more per book (meaning charge customers more per book, sell fewer Kindles because this would do away with the $9.99 new release price) because they’re able to get a much better deal from Apple for e-books sold through their store, but they’ve also pulled all physical Macmillan-published books. These books are now only available from outside sellers, without Prime shipping and in most cases used.

Joseph Finder tweeted this morning:

Amazon is bullying authors/publishers to accept lower prices on e-bks so they can sell more Kindles.

Yep, seems that way.

(Go here for John Sargent’s, Macmillan’s CEO, response and here for John Scalzi’s take.)

You know who does have the books I’m looking for? Barnes & Noble. So they will get my business for the above-mentioned purchase. No doubt this move hurts Macmillan, but it isn’t helping Amazon either.

And for the first time ever, I’m considering ditching the Kindle for the Nook. I’ll wait and see how this whole war with publishers plays out, but as fewer Kindle titles and paper books become available from Amazon, I’ll go with the e-ink e-reader that gives me the biggest selection of titles.

This is what I sent to Amazon this afternoon:

I’m very upset about your decision to ban Macmillan from Amazon–I understand if you don’t accept the e-book pay structure they want, but you’re only angering customers and sending us to Barnes & Noble by pulling paperbacks as well. I was going to order books as a gift today, but I’m a Prime member, so I should be able to buy NEW books with FREE shipping. Forget the used books, I’m hitting the bookstore. I’m also considering buying a Nook now, since your hissy fit will keep me from buying e-books by some of my favorite authors. I really hope you get over yourselves soon.

I’m cranky. Haven’t had lunch. Anyway, maybe they’ll listen if they hear from enough people. My history with Amazon is that they really want to keep their customers happy and go out of their way to do so. I get that they’re trying to keep their customers happy by pulling this negotiating stunt, but if it means I have to go somewhere less convenient to buy my books when I need them (today), they’re having the opposite effect of what they intended.

UPDATE: Amazon caves. Good for them, even if they get all “they’re a monopoly, so they’re bad!” in their statement. (Oh, and LOL at that, Amazon. As if you don’t have a monopoly on the online superstore biz.) And since this all happened over the weekend, people who aren’t online all weekend don’t have to get all upset over the inconvenience.

And yes, if you’re wondering, I take full credit for Amazon’s capitulation.

UPDATE 2: Amazon’s response to my email:

We are working with the publisher to make their titles available as soon as possible and at the lowest possible prices for our customers. We will e-mail you when these titles are available, which we hope will be soon.

Also, I have passed your message to the concerned department. We’ll consider your feedback as we plan further improvements.

Customer feedback like yours really helps us continue to improve our store and provide better service to our customers. Thanks for taking time to offer us your thoughts.

We hope to see you again soon.

Under 200 book reviews: New Moon

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

This is my least favorite of the Twilight novels. Edward’s a total jerk, Bella’s even more emo than in the first one (I know, hard to believe), and the novel drags on and on while Edward’s gone. After Alice comes back, though, I love it. Team Edward.

Under 200 book reviews: Paranoia

Paranoia by Joseph Finder

Now this is the kind of free Kindle download I like. The kind where you discover a new author you’d never read before, he tells a good story, keeps you hooked, and makes you want to read all of his other books when you’re done. It was also nice to find that he tweets and interacts with his followers. And for buying his latest, Vanished, in pre-sale, he sent me an autographed paperback (I haven’t read it yet) in which he wrote (per my request, of course), “Thanks for being my favorite Twitter follower.” I was so pleased when he actually did it! He also sent me an unsolicited Christmas card. The dude knows how to create reader loyalty. Great writer, great guy, love him. Re: the book. Very twisty, fun read. I did figure out the big twist before it was revealed, but I didn’t mind. If you like thrillers, I recommend this book.

Under 200 book reviews: I Heart Bloomberg

I Heart Bloomberg by Melody Carlson

This book couldn’t end fast enough for me, and frankly I’m surprised I finished it. I don’t read a lot of Christian fiction, because Christian authors are usually so careful to pretend that Christians are the only people in the world, there are no external influences, and Christians hardly ever mess up or succumb to temptation. That’s the big one. If your characters can’t mess up, then 1) they’re not realistic enough to pull me into your world and 2) the conflict is stupid. I kept waiting for the big conflict in this one, but seriously–the conflict was all about one girl not having the right attitude and annoying the other girls. Most of the rest of the book was about the Christian girl renovating the inside of an old house. Snooooooooorre. Sometimes those free Kindle downloads make you wish you were illiterate.

Under 200 book reviews: Twilight

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

I obviously don’t need to tell y’all how I feel about this book. But I will! Compelling story, atrocious grammar, lackluster writing style, moany pissant heroine, but EDWARD. I adore the entire series, even watched the crappy movie obsessively. They hit my obsession button, and I never looked back. I don’t apologize. But I will say this: the sparkling thing is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read. If not for the sparkling vampires, she’d probably sell twice as many books, and there wouldn’t be nearly as many “Edward is gay” memes going around. I really think it was idiotic and should have been killed in editing. But the grammatical errors weren’t even killed in editing, so there you go.

Under 200 book reviews

I was writing up a big post about the books I read in 2009 (copying Sheila‘s tradition), and I started rambling on about all of the books on the list, so I decided to start a new series, in which I review books in 200 words or fewer. I’ll start with all the books I read last year, and as I finish new books, I’ll post those reviews too. I hope you enjoy…

Books I’m currently reading

You know, when I’m not blogging at Snark Raving Mad or Viral Footage. Or writing my novel, which I’m finally working on again. So when I’m not doing any of that or cleaning the house or slowly redoing the inside of this place or tweeting, this is what I’m reading:

*Vampire Academy. Enjoying so far.
*Pride and Prejudice. No real opinion on this so far.
*Boring medical book.
*Jane Eyre. No real opinion on this one either.
*The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus. Interesting, easy-to-read non-fiction, and I don’t read non-fic easily.
*Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Some of these may not have been touched since last summer when I retired. This is one of those, because I had Kindle reading it to me while I worked.
*Bartimaeus: The Amulet of Sakarand. Interesting so far.
*The Historian. I think I started this last February or March, not long after I got my Kindle. I was interested and read it a lot, very compelling, very good, and then after about the 4000th page, I got bored. I’m 70% of the way through this. I love the plot and concept, but it could have been pared down about 1000 pages.
*Anna Karenina. 22% in, and I’m hoping this doesn’t turn out to be as awful as Wuthering Heights. There’s one semi-likable character in the book so far, and I hate the title character. I hope she gets what’s coming to her.
*The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride book 1). I started this and got about a chapter in. Boring. Don’t know when I’ll ever go back to it.
*Joshua. Love.
*Acts. Love.

Ah, so 12 of them. Have y’all read any of these? Opinions?

New Moon tomorrow night! Ahhhhhhhh!

Contains spoilers.

Hot centenarians. Nothing wrong with that.

From tWits. [It's New Moon week, so I can think of nothing but vampires.]

Every time I tell my husband that I don’t have time to chit-chat or make his dinner or have sex because I’m reading about sexy vampires or watching the Cullen boys play sparkly baseball, he tries to tell me that vampires are creepy. Not because of the fangs or the blood-drinking—he’s a guy, so that stuff probably makes them cool—but because they’re hundreds of years old and pursuing teenage girls.

Now, I’ve thought about it. I’m trying to be a supportive wife and see his point so he’ll drop the argument and just let me get back to my toothily-enhanced hotties, but I can’t do it—I can’t even see the merits in his argument. Because he’s wrong. And here’s why there’s nothing wrong with hot vampires dating much, much, much, much younger women.

READ THE REST AT TWITS…

The only thing worse than reading Wuthering Heights

was watching the movie.

I watched the one with Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche.

Books

Current reads (dang–long list):

Paranoia (Joseph Finder). This was a free Kindle download, timed with the release of Vanished. I’m halfway through, and after I realized it’s a corporate espionage thriller, I figured I wouldn’t like it (I’m a businesswoman, so I don’t come home and read business or watch The Apprentice). I am really enjoying it, to my pleasant surprise. Will buy more of his books unless the second half of this one sucks.

I realize I write in sentence fragments now. Blame Twitter.

The Historian (Elizabeth Kostova)–STILL. Stinking loooooong book. Enjoying.

The Dead Girls’ Dance (Rachel Caine). I’ve read the whole series and am working through it again. I like the Morganville Vampires books better than the Sookies.

Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte). I haven’t picked this up in a while. Not into it yet.

Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen). Cute so far. The hero and heroine haven’t yet met, so I’m not far.

I’m proud of myself. Only two of my current reads are vampire-related.

O noes!

I did NOT need another timewaster. Thanks, Amanda, for this! I will find a way to pay you back someday.

Meanwhile, there are many pictures of Jasper Cullen that need LOL captions. ON IT.

Guilty pleasure

SPOILERS! TRUE BLOOD AND SOOKIE BOOKS!

After reading the entire Twilight series four times (*cough* loser! *cough*), I decided I needed to move on. I’ve been reading Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian, and I’m still working on that, but I wanted some lighter vampire fare for most of my reading hours. Okay, let’s translate that: I wanted vampire romance, yo.

I kept hearing about Sookie Stackhouse. So I decided to give it a try, and I read the first book. And the second. And the third. And so on. Within nine days, I’d read all nine Sookies. Some of that was listening on the drive to and from Yellowstone. Because you know, beautiful scenery is much nicer when there are sexy Viking vampires involved. (I’m all about Eric and so over Bill.)

Naturally, once we got back from Yellowstone, I had to add the first season of True Blood, the HBO series based somewhat on the novels, to my Netflix queue. We watched both episodes on disc 1 last week, immediately mailed it back, and tonight we have disc 2. And naturally, I’m wishing the sloppy joes would cook themselves so I could just go ahead and pop in that disc. Grunt.

Diff: The series is trashier than the books. There have been times I’ve had to look away from the TV. But Dracula’s castle, I am already addicted.

Diff#2: Bill is supposed to be hawt. In season 1, he’s only barely yummy. Sam is not supposed to be hotter than him, but he so is in the series. But we did glimpse Eric in the season 2 premier (we’re catching up on season 1, but we had to watch the season 2 premier Sunday night, because I couldn’t just DVR it and wait until we were done with 1!), and yes, he’ll do. I will say that in the season 2 premier, Bill’s hotness totally increased when he said Sookie’s name the way he does and when he used the word “slattern.”

Diff#3: Tara. I love what they’ve done with Tara in the series.

Diff#4: Jason in the FOTS. That’s not out of the books, and I’m interested to see how they’re going to handle that when he becomes a werepanther. Or maybe he won’t, I don’t know.

Those are just some big differences off the top of my head. I’ve loved all the books (except 8, which was kind of meh), and so far I’m loving the series. Even Frank wants to watch it. Sunday night we watched a recap slash intro by Alan Ball, and after that, Frank was looking forward to season 2.

And we don’t have HBO, so I’m now trying to decide: spend my allowance on HBO for the next three months? Or wait for DVD. I have a feeling HBO is going to win. And then I’ll drop it until next season.

Kindle is good for my reading habits

My pal Spike has gotten me back on my obsessive reading track. Okay, I give Twilight and my SIL half the credit, but Spike gets the other half. I’ve read more books so far this year than in any recent year in memory. I get on series kicks and such, but the last few years, I haven’t been able to just throw myself into books at all.

I think part of why the Kindle 2 has kickstarted my reading engine again is the fact that I can listen to books at work. But I would never, in a hundred years, pay $30 for an audiobook, even if Kindle’s text-to-speech didn’t exist. I’d buy the book and it would sit there on the shelf, waiting for me to read it.

Of the thirty-two books I’ve read so far this year (and yes, some of those are re-reads), eleven were paper books: Let the Right One In, the Twilights (each read twice in paper form and twice on Kindle), Dracula, and The Host. The rest have been downloads.

I also have six currently in progress, and having the Kindle means that I don’t have to find my place every time (I always lose bookmarks), and my nightstand isn’t stacked shoulder-high with books!

So in case I haven’t mentioned it a billion times, I love love love my Kindle.

Heh

wRitErsbLock saw a bumper sticker.

I’m going to hell

Why? Because I can’t stop laughing at this. I’m sorry. It’s funny. Thanks to David for the tip. David, plz link yourself in the comments, because I’m too lazy to go find the link. Kthx.

Reading list

I’m currently reading The Historian (enjoying that so far, about 25% through it) and Jane Eyre (too early to say, only 10% in). And now that I’m through with this waste of time, I’m trying to decide whether to start The Host next or start The Flight of the Romanovs: A Family Saga. I feel that I need non-fiction in my life. But I don’t love it like fiction. Also, from the reviews (I bought this off a discount rack many years ago), it sounds like there could be some bias… which kind of annoys me if I just want to know what actually happened. If I know me, I’ll go for The Host.

Now let me just say. Kindle DX? Why did they not have this when I was in college? Why, technology, why?

Book review: Let the Right One In

Ok, well, sort of a book review. Mostly just me griping about how much I hated it. In bullet point form. Here’s the message I sent to my friend who recommended the book (edited a little, with added bullet points!):

I finally finished the book last night. You want my thoughts? Ok, I give you them. WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS.

*First, thanks for recommending a vamp novel (this doesn’t apply to you, readers. I happily thank you for not recommending this cup of crap.). If this wasn’t a vamp novel, I wouldn’t have been able to finish it. Period. I would have quit somewhere in Part 2. At least the vamplore stuff gives me something to relate to. Second, I don’t blame you for how badly this book sucked (this *does* apply to you, readers). Had you read it first and then recommended it, I might have wanted to reevaluate our recently reprised friendship. (Again, not you.)

*It was about twice as long as my patience. I had to actually MAKE myself keep reading.

*I mean, I’m glad that a minor got to be the one to bludgeon Hakan to death but um, how, since he’s a vampire? I still don’t get how he’s dead.

*I wanted to bake Oskar a pie throughout the book. I don’t really even blame him for helping Eli against Lacke or Jocke, whichever one he was, at the end, because 1) Lacke was going to be miserable forever anyway and just needed to be put out of his misery and 2) it was out of love for Eli.

*The whole Eli-is-asexual-but-used-to-be-a-boy thing? I didn’t get the point of it. Why even bring it up? I really want to know the answer to this question, because it was pointless, really. It made me think a little of the Buffy/Satsu thing.

*I liked Mr. Avila very much. Also liked Virginia and Lacke (less than Mr. Avila). Alas.

*I liked how the unrelated storylines ended up together, but I thought that was done pretty poorly. It could have been done much better.

*And I hated that pretty much everyone in the novel was a loser. It was like Vampires Go to Loserville–Guess Who Wins! Everyone’s miserable. The whole book is miserable.

*At the end, after Eli has saved Oskar and beheaded the horrible teenagers (I was glad for that), I assume that’s Eli in Oskar’s trunk on the train? I would hope so.

*What was the point in even bringing up that the Russian sub had run aground? I waited all through the book for that to come into play, because the way it was presented was WHOA. THE RUSSIANS ARE HERE. WHAT THE HELL. BIG THINGS WILL HAPPEN! And then nothing. Just, oh, that’s why they stopped talking about the ritual killer, hoodehoo. Now we’ll stop talking about the submarine incident, hoodehoo.

*I take serious offense at the cover of the book. “Chilling,” “Sweden’s Stephen King.” Srsly? That rubbish? I don’t think so, scooter. I was not chilled, I was not scared. It didn’t keep me up nights. It had me wishing for a sleeping pill, but not because I didn’t want it invading my dreams. Only because staying awake would mean I’d have to read more crap.

*Anyway. Is the movie like the book? (You readers can answer this if you know, as my friend will take a while to respond.) I’m wondering how they can make that into a movie without serious redoing. I’m interested in seeing the movie just to see how they change it.

*I stand by my early assessment that the author is a total perv. Likes children kind of perv.

*I don’t recommend this book. But if you want to read it, here:

Better yet, send me postage money, and I’ll send you my copy. And that’s saying something–I have a strict rule about never getting rid of books (also guns).

Even better than watching Twilight with Frank

is watching Twilight with RiffTrax (think MST3K with your Twilight DVD). It’s worth so far above the $3.99 they charge.

You must watch Twilight this way. I beg you.

twilight screening with Frank

“Yeah, you’re right. He does steal every scene.” — re: Charlie, in a nondescript early scene.

“Is there any man other than Cop Mustache in this movie who isn’t effeminate?”

“I repeat, is there anyone other than Cop Mustache who isn’t effeminate?”

“We call him ‘Eyebrows.’”

“I hate teenagers. Especially twenty-somethings playing teenagers.”
“Actually, she was a minor when they started filming.”

“I like standing in cars.”

“Wow, he really steals every scene.”
“Shut UP! He reminds me of my dad.”
“Why?”
“Because he doesn’t really like to express his feelings, but I know he loves me.”
“You mean, because he doesn’t emote like my dad?”

“He’s creepy.”

“Doesn’t it look like she just burped?”
“That’s called acting, sweetie.”

“They won the golden onion, see?”

“And see, now, he’s just trying not to kill her.”
“Why?”
“Because her scent… he’s never smelled anyone that makes him want human blood so bad.”
“Why doesn’t he just kill her? End the movie.”
“She’s like his own personal brand of heroin.”
“Yeah, I’ve heard that many times.”

“Yeah, let’s stand in the hallway, discuss being vampires. Because we only started doing this yesterday.”

“That was a trick of your eye. That was the moonlight reflecting off swamp gas.”

“Look at me, I’m a sissy. Could I do something like that? It might mess up my hair.”

“You don’t have any evidence!” This is what they always say in CSI when they’re guilty.

“Ok, I admit it. I’m really a hero. I prance around saving people.”

(Upon Mike asking Bella to prom) “No, your skin has too much color.”

(“Can you at least watch where you walk?”) “Stupid! Ugh!”

“Wow, they’d make some awesome white supremacists.”

“Something better happen soon.”

“I’m thinking about growing some mutton chops to go with my mustache.”

(“Let’s say for argument’s sake that I’m not smart.”) “I’ll argue that.”
“She’s really not smart. Bella’s an idiot.”

“Kryptonite takes away power, stupid.”

“I don’t wanna bring this relationship any further than me just staring at you.”

“Wow, if she wants Eric, she’s really scraping the bottom there.”

(“The Cullens don’t come here.”) “Neither do barbers.”

(“You caught that, huh?”) “I tend to pick up things that are said right in front of my face.”

“By the way, call me Pale Face again, and I’m scalping me an Injun.”

“You mean the other Pale Faces besides the Cullens? There are paler faces?”

“Now, that’s racist right there. He’s drunk, and he’s wearing an Irish t-shirt.”

“So can vampires not just shop at Sears and wear normal clothes? Do they have, like, an agreement?”

“The filming in this is like the first season of CSI: New York.”
“Right? With the blue?”

(“That’s disgusting.”) “Yeah, guys knocking on windows is disgusting.”

“It’d be cool if she found that Buffy book. Vampyre spelled with a Y.”

“This is where that upside-down kiss is.”

“Is that a hybrid?”
“Probably.”

“She should flash him.” (when he needs her to distract him)

“She has weird hair.”
“It’s like ’50s hair.”

“‘I’m allergic to wheat.’ ‘That’s creepy!’”

(“I don’t want to know what the square root of Pi is.” “You knew that?”) “There’s no way she knew that.”

“He’s really dumb at this whole concealing that he has magical powers thing.”

(“I can read every mind in this room, apart from yours.”) “Maybe she’s just not thinking.”

(“It’s very frustrating.”) “Yeah, you’re missing a lot there. Some complex thinking.”

“What are you doing hanging out with that mortal?”

“I don’t know where I’m gonna fit that in my purse with my gun!”
“Bella with a gun? She’s such a klutz. That would be unfortunate.”

“This is done so much better in the book. I mean, it’s almost like the screenwriter wanted to piss off every Twilight reader.”

“Wow, he looks even gayer.” (when Edward is in makeup, sucking Bella’s blood)

(“And sometimes you speak like you’re from a different time.”) “Like when you said ‘groovy’ the other day.”

“Now she’s creeping me out. Like she’s about to transform into a monster.”

“SAY IT! SAY IT!”

(“Are you afraid?” “No.”) “You’re just so effeminate.”

(“This is the skin of a killer, Bella.”) “I’m sparkly! I’m a killa! I kill things!”

(“I trust you.”) [laughing] “Her parents did not put sense into her.”

“I wonder if drug dealers use that now. ‘Get your own personal brand of heroin! See what Edward’s talking about!’”

(“You have to tell me what you’re thinking.”) “Personal space?”

“What exactly is his attraction with her?”
“First it’s because he’s meant to kill her because he wants her blood so bad. Then he becomes obsessed with the fact that he can’t read her mind. Then he just becomes stalkery. It’s very sexy.”
“Oh, that’s a great basis for a relationship. He wants her blood and can’t read her mind.”

“Any larger sunglasses would be novelty ones.”

“By the way, if you’ve got any spare blood that you’re not using…”

“She’s like a weatherman. So-so accuracy.”
“No, she’s way more accurate.”

“Ooh! He hates Injuns!”

“So how’d he end up in a wheelchair? Did the vampires cripple him because they thought it’d be funny? Because it would be kinda funny.”

(“I would never tell anybody anything.”) “Except my friends.”

“I’ve got one rule. Don’t touch my stuff.”

“Stop watching the puppy. Watch the movie.”

“Wow, I can stare creepily at you all day.”

(“I can’t dance.”) “Well then, you’re no friend of mine.”

“You moved! Bad girlfriend!”

“At least they spare us from the conversation. ‘Because I like shoes that are pink!’”
“No, that’s something Alice would say.”

“Rip her head off! It’ll be funny!”

“If you make it all the way through the movie, you’re totally getting lucky.”
“I better be getting lucky.”

“Alice had to actually learn to pitch, and all the vampires had to learn to hit.”
“Yeah, because none of them would have known how to play sports before.”
“Actually, Jackson Rathbone who plays Jasper already knew how to play baseball. You can tell by the way he handles his bat. Plus, the way the director said so on the commentary.”

“We’re about to shoot a Calvin Klein ad here!”

“Everything James does is so sexual. Every face he makes.”
“Which one’s James?”
“The blond one.”
“Which blond one?”
“The nomad. The evil one.”

“Everything James does is sexual? He looks more like a confused dog to me.”

(“What am I gonna say to him? I can’t hurt him.”) “I can. We’ll break his arms and legs and throw him in a ditch. He’ll be safe there.”

“My cop mustache is tingling. I can tell something’s up.”

“You’re stupid, and you smell, and no one likes you.”

“Aww, that’s like the scene from Harry and the Hendersons. ‘Go away, you big ape.’”

(“Why don’t you let me drive?”) “You’re a woman. And you know a woman, if you’re driving away from an evil vampire, she’ll be trying to do her makeup.”

“Wow, everyone here’s so creepy. It’ll be nice to get away.”

(“Tell him how much it hurts!”) “Well, on the hospital pain charts, it’s about a 7!”

“Your girlfriend’s annoying. Shut her up.”

“That’s him singing here. I love him.”
“He sounds like a goat.”
“No he doesn’t! Shut UP! I LOVE him!”

(“The worst part was I didn’t think I was gonna be able to stop.” “Well, you did stop.”) “Yeah, well, you didn’t taste as good as I thought you would.”

“No! No! Bad vampire!”

“I really like the taste of your blood. I can’t stand to hear you talk. It’s a bad combination.”

“And in your dreams, you can still feel me, staring at you creepily.”

“Run, Forrest, run!”

“Ugh, I hate Jacob. He can go die. Actually, I like him in the fourth book, but I hate him in the second one.”
“I can’t even consider liking him until he gets a freakin’ haircut.”

(“Guess I’ll see you around, Bella.”) “Paleface!”

“If I had to spend a hundred years hanging out with teenagers, that’d be my hell.”
“I know, right?”

“Ow, my freakin’ foot! You’re such a clumsy oaf!”

“Hey, you made it all the way through! You’re gonna get lucky.”

obsessive

Kindle update

I finally had to charge my Kindle Saturday, so it was ten days from the first charge to the second, with quite a bit of wireless usage. Of course, after I charged it yesterday, I put some reading music on there, and I’ve used half the battery since then, because obviously playing mp3s uses much more power than flipping pages. But whatevs, it’s nice to need only one device.

Yesterday, I worked out with my Kindle. I put on the reading music and got on my elliptical, on which I can still only do roughly five minutes per session due to my absent stamina. It was cool; it only took me a minute or so to get used to reading while moving closer to and farther from the page.

I downloaded a Bible onto the Kindle (a free ESV one), and this morning I didn’t carry my Bible to church, I just took the Kindle. It actually works pretty well! I’ve taken it to Bible study a couple of times, and I don’t need a concordance–I just search the whole book for the word I want, and it brings up links, in context, to every instance. Then I move to the link I want, and it takes me there. And then I have to page back to see what book, chapter, and verse I’m in–okay, maybe that’s a slight drawback. But it’s very handy. I can highlight, make notes, etc. But I do want them to do the Thompson Chain Reference for Kindle. That would be awesome.

I love that while I’m reading Dracula, which is full of words of which I do not know the meaning, I can just move to the word, and up pops the definition. This is especially handy with the archaic words. Stertorous, anyone? Also, I can just start typing in a note, and there it is, and it’s saved. I find phrases that I love and want very much to steal for my own novel, and I just make a note. “Steal that!” or “Great phrase!”

As to his name… my favorites from before have to be the vampire ones. All of your suggestions were great–y’all are so much more creative than I am! But I have to go with the vamps. I mean, it *is* my current obsession, and Dracula *is* the first book I’m reading on it. (I’ve also downloaded Twilight and New Moon in case I need a good Edward fix.) I am, of course, torn. Spike v. Carlisle v. Cullen. I’m close to deciding on Spike Carlisle. Or Carlisle the Bloody. Ack! I don’t know. Maybe Toothy.