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bethorne

readitsomewhere

Turn of the Screw. Jamie Fraser. David Foster Wallace. Shakespeare. Well-constructed sentences. Leonard Cohen. Captain Wentworth. Neruda. Hemingway. Chapter 21 of Jane Eyre. Clive Staples. Tolkien. Melina Marchetta. Big, fat Russian novels. New words. And honey in my tea.

Currently reading

The Brides of Rollrock Island
Margo Lanagan
The Dream Thieves
Maggie Stiefvater
The New World (Chaos Walking, #0.5)
Patrick Ness

Here's our Boozy Book Club video all about (well mostly about) Night Film.

Unteachable

Unteachable - Leah Raeder I skimmed this book from front to back. Read probably 40% of it. It was essentially indigestible. I didn't root for the characters, I didn't care for the plot, I wasn't impressed with the prose.

Two Boys Kissing

Two Boys Kissing - David Levithan 4.5 stars of unputdownable love words

Joyland (Hard Case Crime)

Joyland - Stephen King Super nostalgic, a little sad, a lot coming of age... But mostly a great whodunit. If you're worried about it being carny-terrifying, trust me that the scariest part of it is the description of wearing the fur.
Flora - Gail Godwin 3.5 stars for all kinds of introspective feelings and a perfectly wonderful Finn.

Edenbrooke

Edenbrooke - Julianne Donaldson Ok, if you were unfortunate enough to be online and see my updating every 5 seconds late last night as I read this book, I apologize. And obviously, based on my first impressions, I hated this book. But I *did* stay up until 1 am to finish it, and I got lazy about updates ... so it improved. But not enough to really overcome the issues I had with it from page one. *Book Club Girls: Look away.*Essentially, this book has all the trappings of a regency romance (plucky heroine, annoying suitor, ill-intentioned rake, handsome friend-to-more) without the tight, witty or smart language and dialogue of Austen. There is cliche after cliche after cliche (hero is constantly smirking and grinning with amusement at heroine, random female family member encourages her he loves her, maidservant is a gossiping busy body, the bumbling suitor, the LIBRARY reveal, the presumptuous rake, the eavesdropped conversation that gets misconstrued). It's just all so very common. Which wouldn't be that horrible if the main character were even half as interesting as the characters she's based on (that would be Anne Elliot and Elizabeth Bennett), but instead she's a simpering, navel-gazing Mary Sue. Let's just take a look at Marianne Daventry for a moment: she thinks she's not as beautiful, talented, desirable or elegant as HER TWIN SISTER. Again. HER TWIN. When they were little she refused to even TOUCH a doll they were intended to share because she's so very noble that she didn't want her sister to realize she had competition for pretty things. Oh, she just loves to twirl in the sun and that's so unladylike. She loves being outdoors and wants a beautiful country home and a horse to ride, but not like money or title or anything (because Those Things don't matter, just the country estate, the land and the horses). She NEVER ONCE understands or believes that a man could be interested in her. She blushes HOTLY a gazillion times. She finds kissing men at balls to be reprehensible, but she'll dine alone and joke with someone who refuses to tell him her name. She's epically clumsy, falling into a brook not once but TWICE in front of the hero. She's not just self-deprecating, she suffers from CHRONIC self-degradation. She misses completely obvious and unsubtle hints about the hero, his feelings, his NAME. MAJOR EPIC EYEROLL to all of this. Then there is the really badly veiled nods to all things Austenian (nothing bookish though. It's almost as if the author wanted to pay homage to Austen, but her only experience with her was on film). Mr Whittles (which sounds like a character from Sesame Street) is so obviously a Mr. Collins knock off, it's unseemly. But we never get to SEE him be disgusting or ridiculous or improper. She just tells us he is. There's the "Rose and Crown" inn ... TWO DIFFERENT Rose and Crown inns. Lamdon, Kent, Bath, Surrey. "What a charming prospect!"The moment that Marianne comes up on Edenbrooke for the first time, she orders the carriage to stop so she can take a good look and breathe in the Edenbrooke atmosphere. Where have we seen that before? That being said, it does improve in some respects. There is some letter writing that is pretty swoony. (I love me some letters). And her relationship with her sister doesn't devolve the way I expected it to. So that was nice. And while it was certainly easy to read, it had no nuance, no subtlety. If I can find something to mock (like!All!Those!Exclamation!Points! and a ton of repitition a ton of repitition I mean a ton of verbatim repitition) on just about every page, then my enjoyment level is going to suffer.

Fangirl

Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell Perfect book.

The Mistress

The Mistress - Tiffany Reisz 3.5 stars
Chocolates for Breakfast - Pamela Moore 3.5 stars

Making it Last (Novella)

Making It Last - Ruthie Knox Romance in a 10-year marriage with 3 kids? Yeah.

Losing It (Losing It, #1)

Losing It - Cora Carmack meh

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls - Anton DiSclafani 3.5 stars

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel - Neil Gaiman How is it that Neil Gaiman is capable of writing stories that you remember? It's 2013 and I'm 33 years old, but somehow I recall these things. Or at the very least, these feelings.

An Instance of the Fingerpost

An Instance of the Fingerpost - Iain Pears Four dubious narrators tell their own version of the same events. All with different conclusions and different levels of unreliability. Keeping up with the major players isn't difficult, but remembering my British history enough to feel like I was treading water was. Thanks, google. There's a glorious sense of comeuppance when this book concludes. All I can think is: these men may not even know that they got theirs in the end, but they did. AW YEAH.

Tampa

Tampa - Alissa Nutting This is one of those books that's almost impossible to rate. What kind of rating do you give to a book with the most despicable of narrators, most unsettling descriptions of sex, but with the sharpest satirical descriptions, the most darkly humorous observations and a strangely engaging narrative? I was horrified and captivated by Celeste. I mean, read the summary. She's a beautiful 26 year old middle school teacher who systematically, almost psychopathically, sets out to seduce 14 year old boys. She's unapologetic about her proclivities, and it's flat out gross being in her head. But the writing is beyond compelling. I "really like" books that make me think and are crazy well-written, but I don't want to give this one a four star rating and admit I "really liked" a book about pedophilia. Granted, [b:Lolita|7604|Lolita|Vladimir Nabokov|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327871906s/7604.jpg|1268631] is one of my all time favorite books, but it's more about compulsion and obsessive love than about systematic grooming and stalking and sexual fetishizing of a certain type of child. Give Humbert Humbert the personality, wit and satirical worldview of Amy from [b:Gone Girl|8442457|Gone Girl|Gillian Flynn|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1339602131s/8442457.jpg|13306276] and you have Celeste Price. She's diabolical, disgusting and kind of completely intriguing. This book gets you directly into the head of a sexual predator, which I can't imagine anyone WANTING to be. She holds nothing back: not her darkest fantasies, not her most debauched hobbies, not her deepest compulsions. If you don't find the book offensive, then you are either not being honest, or not quite right in the head. I think even the author would say you are meant to be disturbed. I think being horrified by Celeste is a psychological boon. A self-edifying "Hey, I'm so glad I don't think like that." But this book is about things that really happen. Beautiful people often get away with murder (or in this case, sexual battery). Women are sometimes the predator and not the prey. What our society means by consent is murky when it comes to gender and age and reputation and attractiveness. So I'm glad I read it, though I might wish I could forget it.

Written In Red: A Novel of the Others

Written in Red - Anne Bishop 3.5 stars ... Review later