Sunday, May 27, 2012

I am excited to learn about and be participating in Armchair BEA, the online opportunity for book bloggers to experience the Book Expo America and Book Blogger Convention, starting June 4th in New York City (June 4 - 8, 2012).  As I've wanted to attend this annual book event for a while now, it is the perfect chance to do so from the comfort of, well, from the comfort of my armchair.  There will be daily blogging, discussions, and giveaways to look forward to.  Hopefully, I will learn a bit from more experienced bloggers on improving my own blog.  If you can't attend the actual events, Armchair BEA is the place to be for your virtual connection!  I will share some of my newbie thoughts of this adventure when it begins.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Unexpected Find

I read this book in a bookstore yesterday, never intending to read it, but my son's girlfriend picked it up and started reading it out loud. Before I knew it, we were both reading it out loud and laughing. In fact, we laughed at every page, at the witty wording, at the concept of the pole searching for its purpose, at the just plain fun silliness, and at the well done illustrations. It was in short, and it is a very short book, a delightful surprise shared with one of my favorite people in one of my favorite places. No one was more shocked than I that I loved this crazy little book.  Of course, I'm a sucker for the playfulness of language, which this book has in spades.  Again, I never expected to like such a book by Colbert, but I must give credit where credit is due, and Colbert is due much credit for providing a welcome relief to the seriousness of life and the world.  As Maurice Sendak's blurb states at the top of the book, "The sad thing is, I like it!"   No, I didn't buy the book, but I know that I will end up doing so. Serendipity defined!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Back to Sookie and Bon Temps

Well, it's May and that means time for another Sookie Stackhouse adventure from Charlaine Harris.  There has been some dissatisfaction with the series the last year or so by fans of the books, and I admit to being one of those less than satisfied fans.  However, reviews are good for this latest offering, so I have started reading it with hope in my heart.  I am a fourth of the way in, and I think I'm beginning to feel that old flavor of the series making its way back into the story.  These books are so much fun, and Sookie is such a favorite character of mine with her witty thoughts, both spoken and not.  I am delighted that Harris is back to form.  The vamps, fairies, weres, shape shifters, demons and more creatures of these stories provide a wild thrill for those of us who love our paranormal served with a side of humor.  Now, back to my reading chair to finish this delicious reading experience!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Fifty Shades of Oh So Hot!

I am slowly returning to the real world after four days spent ensconced in the world of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.  I'm not returning of my own free will, as I would gladly stay in that world for a long, long time.  However, the world is insisting that I snap out of it, so I suppose I must.  If I'm dismissed as a fan fiction reader because I was so caught up in this highly hyped series, then, so be it.  I suggest one read the series, though, before passing judgement.  Reading is meant to take you to places you've never been before, and I believe this criteria was met and then some.  I'm going to post the reviews, which may be edited a bit later, to trace my journey through these intensely erotic and, dare I say, fulfilling novels.  The content is on the brief side, as I was eager to get to the next book and then, at the end, was fairly exhausted.  Now on to the fun of deciding which actor best embodies the looks and demeanor of Christian Grey for the movie.  Many delicious possibilities! 


Book #1, Fifty Shades of Grey
What do I say about a book that kept me up until 3 in the morning? Well, it was hot, definitely hot! I'm wondering if it doesn't deserve a 5 star rating just on the addictive aspect of it. After all, I believe that a 5 rating indicates its place in its genre as much as anything. But, for now, it will remain a 4, with a huge leaning to 4 1/2. Christian and Ana sizzle off the page. While some readers may be uncomfortable with Christian's predilection for BDSM, it certainly offers some interesting insight as to the realtionship between pleasure and pain, acceptable and forbidden. The book is an exploration of boundaries for both Ana and Christian, and, if truth be told, it enables the reader to explore, also. With everyone around me, personally and nation-wide, reading and discussing this series, I'm so glad to have finally read the first book. I would talk more about it, but the second book, Fifty Shades Darker, is waiting for me. Oh, baby, this crack is good stuff!

Book #2, Fifty Shades Darker
Just keeps getting better and better.  Hmm, it seems to building.  I think I'm way too ensconced in the language of this series.  Did I mention that I just can't get enough of it?  Oh, that Christian Grey is definitely under my skin!  Rating increased to five stars, as James' writing becomes more carefully edited in terms of repetitive language and character development is deepened. 

Book #3, Fifty Shades Freed
In keeping with the spirit of the series, I am just spent.  Crazy, wild read that I will probably crave again.  In fact, after finishing Fifty Shades Freed last night, I immediately picked up the first one, Fifty Shades of Grey, to go back to how it all began.  So addictive!  You'll need a cigarette, whether you smoke or not, after these!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Maurice Sendak Departs

I am re-posting a link to the New York Times story on the death of Maurice Sendak.   His books entertained my children and me many times over.  His imagination was second to none.  I hope he is dancing with the Wild Things now and having the time of his death!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

"The Book," or What We All Are/Aren't Talking About

I usually pride myself on being ahead of the masses in finding and reading books before they become wildly popular (was reading Harry Potter to my son before it exploded into mass hysteria), but I have dropped the ball on this one.  Perhaps, I can redeem myself in some small measure by noting that I have been aware of "The Book" for a while, but, alas, I haven't read it or its sequels yet.  I am, of course, talking about Fifty Shades of Grey, which is now being promoted and referred to as "The Book."  I have encountered this book in places as incongruous as a funeral home visitation line to as familiar as my daughter's avid absorption of  it.  What is absolute in every encounter is the hushed tones with which the title is mentioned.  There is a pause and then a whispered, exaggerated lip movement revealing the name of this it-that-will-not-be-mentioned book.  I suppose that the pseudo appellation "The Book" is a direct result of readers of it in their confessional approach to admitting their reading and enjoyment of it.  Yesterday in a cafe, while eating out with my daughter (confessed reader and lover of said book), I spied a solitary woman eating and intently reading her Kindle.  I just can't help myself.  I asked her if she minded telling me what she was reading, to which she looked at me and whispered, "The Book."  Ah, another one.  LOL!  We then engaged in a secret society discussion with my daughter on the need to read it and see what all the hoopla was about.  "Erotic" is a word used to describe the category of this romance novel (there, I said the words "romance novel" and wasn't struck dead by the literature gods) into which Shades of Grey falls, and for some conventional mores reason, serious readers or "women and men of good standing (yes, I'm laughing)" don't want to openly discuss their involvement with anything labeled "erotic."  In fact, one friend of mine stated that she didn't want to read it if it contained a lot of "stuff" like that.  Of course, I replied in my rebellious, can't-censor-me way that I might read it just for that reason.  Whatever your reasons for reading Fifty Shades of Grey and the other two novels in the series, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, you will become a part of a phenomena sweeping the nation.  Did I mention that I had to run out and buy all three books yesterday?  I will have to delay my reading of them until next week, as I am finishing up the young adult Sally Lockhart series by Philip Pullman, but I have been assured by those who have gobbled up the Grey books that I am in store for a fun and fascinating ride.  To be continued . . .