Candlefox

Not ready to give up here yet, so it's just going to be where I catalog books I read and own.  Love/hate relationship with goodreads     

Getting Rid Of Bradley - Jennifer Crusie

Ugh!  The last time a book infuriated me this much was Gone Girl.  I hate that book for nearly the same reasons as this.  Characters are unlikable and ridiculous, Zach is a brat and Lucy is an obtuse naive idiot who somehow teaches physics.  The plot is a hot mess of sloppy amateur writing and completely absurd.  The ending is easily guessed eally early on.  I get that this is supposed to be a light read and it really is lowest common denominator light reading.  High school kids bullshitting their way through a creative writing class could write a better book than this.  Walter White in Breaking Bad was a believable high school chemistry teacher.  This airhead of a heroine isn't fit to teach day care.  Thankfully I picked up this book at a library bag book sale and spent less than 10 cents on it.  Others had told me that Jennifer Crusie is a fun fluff writer but after this abomination it's going to be a long time before I read another one of her books.

The Wishbones - Tom Perrotta

Well this was a total disappointment.  Tom Perotta is an author that I have heard good things about, but this was really disappointing.  First off the main character, Dave is a total bore.  He should have been a minor character and Buzzy should have been the focus.  Buzzy was one of two characters who kept me reading, albeit at a snail's pace while doing a major home remodel.  The book was so easy to put down and forget about and it also made hanging drywall seem way more interesting than the tedium that it really is.  Maybe it's because I was expecting something along the lines of Jonathan Tropper, or maybe because I married a musician and would never dream of asking him to quit the band.  When your choices are to be with someone safe and predictable who you wonder if you ever really loved or someone who makes you feel things you've never felt before and shares with you brand new experiences, you do not pick the safe choice and settle for mediocrity.  When you pick the artsy poet girl who lives in the city, life is never boring and sterile.  Picking the ball buster girl who you have been with on and off for 15 years, who tells you to quit the band because it doesn't fit into her stereotypical plan of moving to a suburban house with a white picket fence and golden retriever and 2.6 kids is just going to turn you into a mindless lump of a person.  Tom Perotta picked the wrong main character and really screwed up the ending.  Maybe his writing gets better?  

If there are any other Tom Perotta books that you guys really like, send those recommendations over.

Artemis Fowl - Eoin Colfer

After 50 pages I pulled the bookmark on this one.  The writing was too dry for my liking and none of the characters were interesting.  The Harry Potter series, Narnia chronicles, and The Lord of the Rings series all grabbed my attention from the beginning.  Artemis Fowl had me turning the pages saying meh.  Artemis was a boring, flat, cold character with only a hint of personality and I was hoping for more Dib from Invader Zim.  How this series is so popular is a mystery to me.  

The Doctor and the Diva - Adrienne McDonnell

Snoozefest.  I made it through 150 pages and pulled the bookmark.  None of the characters were interesting or likable and same goes for the plot.  Interesting idea for a book, just super boring writing. 

A Seduction at Christmas - Cathy Maxwell

If you have read one Cathy Maxwell book, you have read them all.  I gave this one 50 pages and it read just like His Christmas Pleasure which was a total snoozer.  

Pretty in Plaid: A Life, A Witch, and a Wardrobe, or, the Wonder Years Before the Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smart-Ass Phase - Jen Lancaster

This was not at all what I expected from Jen Lancaster.  Normally she's a 5 star author who makes me snort with laughter and this barely got a few chuckles.  This felt a little tamer than her other stories too which are anything but tame.  

Under the Wide and Starry Sky - Nancy Horan

Ugh, I give up.  The cover is so pretty, but the plot is painfully slow.  No less than a few dozen times have I put down this book to do something else.  Tried reading outside, and oooh squirrel!  Tried reading parts in a Scottish accent, and still was bored.  Tried again outside in a different spot and oooh little bunnies!  The littlest things distract me from this book, so I think it's time to stop.  Fanny is an unlikable character and I think the book might be too ambitious, plus the names were confusing...lots of Bobs.  It's either that or I just don't dig historical fiction from the 1800s.  Maybe her writing is just not my style.  It doesn't help that I know nothing about Robert Louis Stevenson or Fanny Osbourne.  The book is also an absolute lummox to carry around.  Maybe it gets better, but there are so many other books that are not a chore to finish, so it's one starred for now.

ETA - Silly me forgot to mention that this copy came from the good folks at Random House in exchange for a review. 

Stargirl

Stargirl - Jerry Spinelli

Stargirl is one of those books that is so pretty to read, you just want to underline stuff.  then you realize that if you started underlining stuff, you'd end up with the whole book underlined and a lot of dead pens. 

 

Parts like this

 

"She laughed when there was no joke. She danced when there was no music.
She had no friends, yet she was the friendliest person in school.  In her answers in class, she often spoke of sea horses and stars, but she did not know what a football was."

 

And this

 

“She was bendable light: she shone around every corner of my day.”

 

This too

 

“You’ll know her more by your questions than by her answers. Keep looking at her long enough. One day you might see someone you know.”

 

Everyone knows or knew a Stargirl.  Maybe you were Stargirl, maybe you are Stargirl.  The beauty of this book besides its prose is how real and timeless it feels and it was written by a man old enough to be my grandfather.   After reading the last page I closed the book and said wow and tried to gather the pieces of my heart that Jerry Spinelli shattered.  It's the kind of book where you hold your breath at the end and don't realize it until you turn the last page and gasp.      

 

Read it.  Love it.  Thank me later.

& Sons - David Gilbert

Gave up after a hundred something pages.  I tried, I really really tried to like this book.  The premise is great, a book about a book and it's reclusive author.  Add to that the story of a couple of dads and their sons.  It's an ambitious book and a bit lengthy and that's what I think failed.  David Gilbert can write well, but this really should have been a short story instead of a novel.  A lot of the filler could have been axed and we'd be left with a better read.  But that's just my 2 cents and clearly I'm in the minority. 

 

This book was on every must read list I've seen since the summer.  Everyone sang the book's praises comparing it to The Catcher in the Rye.  Kinda sorta, but no not really Salinger-esque.  Catcher was about half the length.  And it did not have any postcards and letters with teeny weeny cursive writing on them.  Cursive!!!  Who in the hell uses cursive writing anymore?!  

 

Maybe this is a guy's book.  It's a valid theory since there are passages that gave me a yucky feeling.  Passages with vivid descriptions of lady parts and how they taste sour like lemon drops.  I did not need to read that.  To me it was a confusing book about a bunch of self absorbed miserable people. 

 

Just yesterday a librarian validated my dislike for this book after hearing me make a comment in front of a big display of "must reads".  I probably said a little too loudly that I just don't see the appeal of a book where nothing really happens.  A sweet librarian who was shelving nearby said she thought the same thing.  That it's a whole lot of hype and little payout.  And it's a challenge figuring out who was who.  She even asked me who the narrator was supposed to be because even after finishing the book, she had no clue.  So take that all you hipsters who only read books because they were on some must list!

 

*ARC provided from the publisher for an honest review

Let's get this book through to the next round of the GR Choice Awards

Go here and download this little gem of a book.  It's free and the best nonfiction book I have read this year.  

 

If you haven't already read this book, you need to pick up a copy.  It's probably the best free book you will ever download.  Read it, skim it, whatever you want to do, just make sure you write a review and nominate it for the GR Choice Awards in the nonfiction and Debut GR Author categories.  Oh and vote for all the reviews too to make sure even more people see the book and vote for it. 

To shelve, or not to shelve

To shelve, or not to shelve, that is the question.  These badly behaving authors are like the Kardashians, they refuse to go away. 

 

I am so conflicted about shelving.  I don't know if I want to keep my will never ever read shelf.  Part of me wants to keep it just in case one of these nasty little books crosses my path.  Another part of me wants to get rid of it and not bring undeserved attention to those bad books.  Some are by authors who have a seriously flawed understanding of what bullying truly is; others are written by a sociopath disguised as a professional athlete and a cardiologist unclear on the nutritional benefits of whole grains.   

 

Part of me wants the book world to know which authors cannot properly interact with their readers.  Since these authors already have two sites as playgrounds, I don't think they deserve any space or attention here.  As a GR refugee, I feel safe here.  I feel like I can use this space as I see fit and not have to worry about some nobody author gathering up his/her other nobody author friends and stalking the bejeesus out of me.  But once they realize that all their prey has left GRamazon, they might come here looking for trouble.  And seeing shelves, even those as tamely named as will never ever ever read might strike a nerve and cause a meltdown.  

 

Thoughts on this anyone?  Bueller? 

Well shit, I feel like I just fell out of a Cheech and Chong bus. 

 

cheech and chong

 

 

This place is weird and confusing, but I like it.  I feel safe here.  I don't feel judged here like I did on LibraryThing when Amazon bought GR.  It's nice feeling like my shelves are safe from goodreads Big Brother.  Not that goodreads gives half a shit about what all us troublemakers think.  They're too busy googling passive aggressive literary quotes to post on twitter instead of *gasp* owning up to their total fuck up.  That and kissing asses in every thread but the important one.  And wondering what to do with all the Mein Kampf reviews that pop up like toast due to a badly behaving author. 

 

Since GR doesn't give a shit about any of the users who helped make the site so appealing that Amazon was drooling in lust, I don't give a shit what happens to GR.  I kind of hope that it becomes about as relevant and useful as myspace.  GR deserves to become a ghost town.  Or a playground for badly behaving authors with no clue as to what bullying really is.  When all that is left is a bunch of crybaby crazypants authors who don't have any more 1 star reviews to pick on, boredom should quickly ensue and then they'll start attacking each other.  

 

Where's Walter White when you need him to fix a situation?!  We could really use him to stand outside the GR office and shout "COWARD"!  Or we can all take turns yelling "YO KISS MY PINK ASS MAN" and "WELL HEIL HITLER BITCH".  

 

*wanders off to watch Breaking Bad on netflix for the millionth time*   

Mockingjay - Collins Suzanne

Merciful hell this series is finally over.  There's nothing all that new with Mockingjay that was missing from the first two books.  The sentences are painfully choppy, although this time Suzanne Collins treats us to multiple paragraphs where the longest sentence is 5 words...five freaking words!  The plot is predictable and the ending is given away within the first 50 pages of The Hunger Games.  Katniss is still a total puppet and wimp and really unlikable.  You know the book is bad when the most likable character is the cat named Buttercup and his presence is quite minor.  Oh and the story is still derivative as all get out.

After finishing this series, I take back anything I said about Stephenie Meyer being a bad writer.  Sure she's kinda lousy, but she's a million times better than Suzanne Collins.  The Twilight saga may be awful, but at least it's entertaining.  The Hunger Games trilogy is about as exciting as a plain and stale rice cake.

LOLcats did their version of the Twilight books, and I can only hope that Mad Magazine takes some more jabs at Catching Fire and Mockingjay.

Catching Fire - Suzanne  Collins

I still don't understand the hype.  Maybe because the first book was a colossal pile of crap, this seemed slightly less craptacular?  I still can't put my finger on what made this more tolerable.  Catching Fire didn't result in the epic tantrum that The Hunger Games caused.  The writing style is the same (lousy), and character names have only become more ridiculous (Gloss, Cashmere, Enobaria, Wiress, etc) or lack of names a la the Morphlings.  The plot twists were predictable and exactly what I had guessed.  Suzanne Collins still needs a thesaurus and an editor willing to stop swooning over her every word.  Part of me is convinced that she must have been out of her mind high on Percocet to have come up with this series.  It would certainly explain the choice of character names. And the ripping off of quite a few other books.  *Cough* Battle Royale, Blade Runner, Lord of the Flies *cough*.

And Panem backwards is Me Nap.  Coincidence, I think not.

Everyone needs a mindless read sometimes, and in the world of lousy YA lit, I much prefer the Twilight series and Stephenie Meyer.

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

There is a huge cloud of smug over Gone Girl.  This was such an unpleasant read that I started taking notes of all the ridiculous parts.  It also didn't help matters that I figured out the ending before page 100.

There are lots and lots of f-bombs and swearing which says a lot since I cuss like a sailor.  For me to pick up on that means it's excessive and adds nothing to the story. Then there's the issue with our characters.  The husband is Captain Douchebag and the wife is beyond batshit crazy.  The story of a missing wife gets so ridiculous and over the top that the ending could only be equally as absurd.

Things I absolutely loathed about the book:
using The Giving Tree as a verb
redneck stereotypes like catfish gigging with dry cat food
repeated mentions of having the emotional bends
repeated mentions of characters having a vaginal smell
page 67 where "Nick got home just after four, a bulb of beer and cigarettes and fried-egg odor attached to him, a placenta of stink."
the sister's name being Go
the book's smugness.

Had I not borrowed the book, I would have stabbed the shit out of it with scissors.

If you want to read a book about a miserable married couple, read Revolutionary Road. The writing is a million times better.

The Hunger Games  - Suzanne  Collins

So not worth the hype.  At 50 pages in I kept wondering when is this going to get good.   Maybe I'm missing something but this was not what I had expected.  It didn't help that co-workers who had seen the movie were shocked that I wasn't in love with the book.  Katniss as a strong female character...not a chance.  She's just as wimpy as Bella Swan.  The writing is as bad as the Twilight series too.  

I liken my reaction to the book with this GameFly commercial, although my tantrum was just knocking everything off my desk and dropping a few f-bombs.    

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1SMVB57-J8  

All that being said, I know I'll eventually read the other two books in the series but that's because I'm a glutton for punishment.  Plus I want to know if I have figured out how the series ends.

Currently reading

Andrew's Brain
E.L. Doctorow
Sicko, I Set You Free: A Treasury of Erotica for the Easily Amused
Soren Narnia