Tag Archives: book review

Monday Morning Comedy Hour

I recently started reading Sarah Silverman’s memoir, The Bedwetter.

It’s pretty amazing.

I had never read any books written by stand up comics before. I’ve read a ton of humor authors, including finally Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neckso people can stop shaming me about never having read any Nora Ephron. Challenge accepted.

I love listening to Sarah’s story. She’s brutally honest about the things she dealt with as a kid and how they shaped her sense of humor. True to the title, Sarah was, in fact, a bedwetter long into elementary school. She saw numerous doctors and spent years with a hypnotist, but still had to wait it out until she, and mostly her bladder, grew.

As a young comic, Sarah took risks. She’s known for telling vulgar jokes that often involve bowel movements or racism. But she’s also a hard working comedian. She spent hours at open mic nights whether she was slated to go on or not, just on the off chance someone else didn’t show and she could step in. She worked in comedy clubs, where she met some of her heroes and was able to network and be inspired.

And when she did make it big, she didn’t lose her childish enthusiasm for the work she gets to do. She reminds her peers and staff that they get to be a part of something creative.

Sarah inspired me to enjoy some stand up comedy this weekend. Here are some of my favorite bits to help kick off your monday!

Early Sarah Silverman Stand-up:

Maria Bamford on Coworker Feuds

The Fabulous Tig Notaro (who I get to see speak at BlogHer!!!) – No Moleste!

Sneak Peek from Jim Gaffigan’s new show, Obsessed – Seafood

Eddie Gossling – I Am Not a Rocket Scientist

and finally…my college friend, Joann Schinderle, who is doing in stand-up in Portland, OR!

What made you laugh this weekend?

 

 

 

 

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That’s Anne with an E: Who Are Your Book Idols?

I grew up watching all the Anne of the Green Gables movies.

I wanted to be Anne of Green Gables.

I kind of dressed like her.

Anne of Green Gables Look

If I’d have had access to a dory, you would’ve seen my Lady of Shalott corpse impersonation floating down the Rock River.

So can you believe I had never actually read the book?!

I know. I chastised myself.

So for this year’s To Be Read Pile Challenge I picked up the beautifully illustrated, hardcover edition my mother had purchased for me many years ago.

I can’t even find this edition on Amazon now.

It felt wonderful to get sucked back into the world of Anne Shirley, a redheaded little girl whose imagination rivals my own.

The whole book, to me, feels like it’s written in Anne’s flowery way of speaking. I was often laughing out loud. I love when she is asked to introduce herself and she says, “Won’t you call me Cordelia?” At this, everyone always questions her, for they’ve been told her name is Anne. Plain and simple, Anne Shirley.

Admitting defeat, she adds, “But if you must call me Anne, please spell it Anne with an ‘E’. It sounds so much nicer, don’t you think? I can always tell when someone spells it just A-N-N and it’s positively dreadful!”

Even the Chapter titles are fantastic.

Reading Anne of Green GablesChapter 9: Mrs. Rachel Lynde is Properly Horrified

At its heart, the story of Anne of Green Gables is about finding one’s home. Anne starts out as an orphan, and with her imagination creates a home with family and friends she dreams of every night. Then through a fortunate accident, she finds herself in a new, real home with people who love her and push her to be her best more than any dream she could have imagined. She is definitely a perseverance expert! Some might say, “a kindred spirit.”

Who are the characters in books you loved growing up?
Why did they inspire you?

Is there a classic still on your list you’ve been meaning to read?

Love and Green Gables,

Cordelia

Jess

The Night Circus: An Example Where World Building Works

The circus arrives without warning.

So begins Erin Morgenstern’s book The Night CircusIt’s a short, simple line, but I was intrigued.

Well that, and we know I have a soft spot (read: scar) for circuses.  😉

The Night Circus is the story of two illusionists who must compete to the death inside an arena of circus tents. But neither of them knows that. All they know is that they’ve been raised to perfect their skills for a competition they know nothing about, and that they’re falling madly in love with each other.

The book can be classified as magical realism, which is a growing genre trend that involves magic, but in a way where it is unmentionable. To clarify, for example with this story, both of the main characters have the ability to create things and distort reality with their illusions, but it’s never said outright that they are magic. The setting is considered normal world. And it’s believable.

I did an exercise at the writers conference I just attended for a class on setting. We took the idea of ‘home’ and wrote a scene that was detailed both in the senses and feelings. The activity was captivating. Everyone who attended the class was talking about it the whole weekend, because as we shared examples the scenes were so varied yet we each created a picture of a place and an emotion that emanated there. Where Morgenstern succeeds in this novel is that the world of the circus is very astutely described.

I have a confession. Place has never drawn me into a book. When I read Wuthering Heights, I skimmed over the moors. When I read The Thorn Birds, I flipped the pages right past Drogheda. But the Night Circus?

I wanted to know more.

Amazing fan art created by deviantART’s viveie, featured in the Huffington Post’s Book Club discussion

My Favorite Setting Stand Outs in The Night Circus:

  • Colors – Everything in the circus is decorated in black and white. The tents, the walls, the costumes. They are only ever black and white. So, when you have a scene where a character very deliberately changes her gown from emerald green to black to green again – the visual becomes more intense. The color stands out a little brighter. The “Revers” (meaning ‘dreamers’, AKA: circus folk) all wear red scarves so they know one another. In a crowd of black and white, the red pops.
  • Clocks – A fascinating side character is a clock maker who works closely with Celia, the female illusionist. The main clock over the circus tent is described as transforming from day to night as the hours pass with dancing scenes floating by like the most elaborately created cuckoo clock your imagination could describe.
  • Circus Tents – Of course the circus itself is described in great detail. There are rooms of mirrors in which you only see yourself, but when glancing over your shoulder, there is a crowd behind you. Another room is all white – floors, walls, and ceiling – and it snows there, but there is a great bonfire inside.

If you haven’t read The Night Circus, I highly recommend it.
Its world and its stor
y are rich. A very good read indeed.

Have you read it? What did you think?
What’s your favorite book that highlights a place – fictional or not?

 

How Did You Get This Number? A Humorous Book Review

I adore Sloane Crosley. She’s been recognized as the female David Sedaris, which is high praise for comedy writers. I read her first memoir, I Was Told There’d Be Cake, last summer and LOVED it. Ms. Crosley and I share quite a bit of humorous childhood experiences and her essays – particularly the one about the atlas moth – had me laughing out loud. You see, I do not do bugs.

Working on a humorous non-fiction book myself, I’ve been guzzling down comedy books to get a sense of voice and see what works and what doesn’t. I was ready to check out more Sloane Crosley!

For Christmas, I added her next book, How Did You Get This Number, to my wish list and my sister obliged.

In this book, Sloane shares a love story, one of New York City and her own as well. Every gory detail about her relationship with the place she lives is there – from desiring to live in a haunted apartment complex that used to be a brothel to buying high class furniture that “fell off the back of a truck” from a guy named Doug. Along the way, this new adult finds a place for herself amidst the moments that shaped her life.

Frequently writing for The New York Times and GQ magazines, Sloane Crosley has a quick wit that burns off the page. She has a style of writing like your having a conversation with your bestie over coffee, and yet the comparisons she makes about life are so biting and enjoyable.

Travel buffs will also get a kick out of this read for her descriptions of things like hailing a New York taxi cab, getting lost in the streets of Turkey, bonding with fellow bridesmaids in the wilderness of Alaska, and trying to smuggle an antique thermometer out of France.

I read this book as part of my To Be Read Pile Challenge for 2014. I am now 2 books into the challenge, with 10 more to go. You can see my full reading list here.

What books are on your must read list this year?
How’s your reading going so far?
Got any recommendations for me?

She Got Up Off the Couch: A Seriously Funny Read

I just finished reading Haven Kimmel’s book, She Got Up Off the Couch, which was part of my To Be Read Pile Challenge list.

I was first introduced to Haven Kimmel’s books by a local librarian at a book club discussion about memoirs. I immediately read her bestselling memoir, A Girl Named Zippy, and it’s quite possibly one of my favorite books ever.

Ever.

In one of my FAVORITE parts, Haven (Zippy) believes her family when they tell her she was born in a gypsy tribe and found abandoned in a wagon. Also, she had a tail. For weeks, she rides around town on her bike believing she is the renegade daughter of nomadic gypsies and that her adoptive family had her tail surgically removed.

This is just genius.

In She Got Up Off the Couch, Haven’s story continues, growing up in the small town of Mooreland, Indiana. The person who gets up off the couch, is her mother, Delonda Jarvis. Haven is pretty open about the fact that her family was a bit broken, though she didn’t know it at the time. Her mother spent all hours on the couch reading books or talking on the phone, until one day, she decided to go to college.

The thing is, Delonda didn’t know how to drive. So she bummed rides to the neighboring town for awhile before buying a cheap, rundown Volkswagon and learned to drive it. She graduated with a degree in English and went on to become a teacher. But the story of how she got there and how this shift in the routine impacted the Jarvis family is a page turner.

Here’s a quote about her mother:

“She had done all these things and she was going to graduate summa cum laude, which meant Good But Loud, from the Honors College, and she had done it all in twenty-three months. It takes some people more time to hang a curtain.” She Got Up Off the Couch

While the title of Haven’s book refers to her mother, it is just as much Haven’s story too. She grew up in a Quaker home, and went on to attend Seminary School, where she ended up writing her first memoir, Zippy. In this second glimpse, we meet Haven when she’s entering her early teen years. Her older siblings have moved out of the house, leaving her and her estranged parents to deal with another.

Her natural curiosity makes her a loveable character. Haven is a girl who never wears shoes, or skirts, and occasionally puts rocks in her mouth – cause she likes the way they taste. Her father is a charismatic factory worker who doesn’t work in a factory, and her mother is about to turn their worlds upside down. This is a coming of age story for all three family members, and right or wrong, each is going to make drastic changes and question everything they knew to be true before.

Author Haven Kimmel

Looking for something to read? Definitely pick up one of Haven Kimmel’s books. I’ve purchased multiple copies of A Girl Named Zippy as gifts for friends and family. It is that good.

Happy reading!
What book(s) have you recently finished that you loved?

Dinosaur Erotica? All in the Name of Research

There’s been a surge out there of Facebook and blog posts with the theme “You Know You’re a Writer if…” It’s considered perfectly normal for thriller writers to have a google search history containing things like: household items used in explosives, where to buy crack in Shipshewana, Indiana, and letters from death row inmates.

I, however, am not a thriller writer. I write humorous nonfiction. So what I do for research?

I read dino porn.

Let me explain.

Do you all follow Jenny Hansen? Because yes, I’m blaming her for this post. Jenny has a FABULOUS blog called More Cowbell, and one of her reoccurring blog series is about crazy book titles. Behold…Crazy Books, Part 9: Dinosaur Erotica.

Dinosaur Erotica Exists and It's Just as Amazing as You'd Imagine

image from Jezebel.com

*stands bashfully in the corner*

I don’t know if you guys knew this about me, but um…I love dinosaurs.

This 3-D flick is gonna rock y'all!

This 3-D flick is gonna rock y’all!

So after reading Jenny’s post, I thought I’d read one of these dino-porno-saurus texts. Ok.

I went with a classic. Taken by the T-Rex. And it’s only 19 pages!

Here is what I learned:

  • I do not, in fact, love dinosaurs.
  • I believe I like them an average amount. Meaning, I dig them in Spielberg films.
  • I am going to have nightmares from reading this book.
  • P.S. There was no plot. NO PLOT!

Let me tell you a little about the authors. Yep, plural. Because it takes two…to write less than 20 pages with no plot in something they define as the “monster sex” genre.

Meet Christie Sims!

Image of Christie SimsHi! I’m just a plain old, everyday Midwestern girl that lives a normal life. However, while my outward tastes are relatively simple, my inner thoughts are filled with lusty thoughts of big, strong, powerful monsters having their way with beautiful maidens.

Midwestern girl? I’m pretty freakin sure this isn’t a photo shot from Lake Michigan!

Meet Alara Branwen!

Image of Alara BranwenAlara Branwen is your typical college student by day, but by night she is a crafter of sexy, hot, sensuous, “monster” fantasy erotic fiction. All of her stories are based on her own desires, or from personal experiences.

The co-author is a dragon?! That’s why the book is co-written. Alara must be the cultural liaison for reptilian hard ons!

If you’re interested in learning more about this raptor-ous book series, (because there are many, many more), you can go on Amazon and look them up.

As for me? One and done!

I’m off to have nightmares now! Ta ta!

What do you think? I have to know!

 

Twentysomethings: The Defining Decade?

*This post was originally published through the Life List Club Blog on April 27, 2012.  Thought it was time for another discussion.

I was driving home one night listening to my guilty pleasure, Wisconsin Public Radio, and the topic for the evening really stunned me.  The radio host, Joy Cardin, was speaking with Dr. Meg Jay, a clinical psychologist who specializes in adult development especially twentysomethings.

Dr. Jay is the author of The Defining Decade:  Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now.  Dr. Jay works as an assistant clinical professor at the University of Virginia and keeps a private practice as well.  Interacting with so many college students and recent graduates, she noticed the hits and misses my generation was making time and time again.

When asked why she wrote the book, Dr. Jay said she’s trying to make an impact on the 50 million twentysomethings who are looking for guidance in their lives while still being treated like an adult.

So why are the twenties so defining? 

  • 80% of life’s most defining moments take place before the age of 35.
  • 70% of lifetime wage growth happens in the first 10 years of a career.
  • More than half of us are married or living with our longterm partners.
  • Our fertility rates peak in our twenties.
  • And our brains do their last growth spurt in our twenties.

If you had the same reaction I did, you’re probably thinking, “Sweet God, it’s all over!  I may as well start digging my grave, drop down in it, along with my unfinished book, my birth control pills, and any other unfulfilled dreams while we’re funeralizing!”

*****

Fear not!  Dr. Jay says Never Give Up. 

She does emphasize that my generation is in the midst of some crucial crossroads and the decisions we make now CAN AND DO impact the rest of our lives.

She talks about “identity capital” which she defines as the collateral you build up so when you go in for an interview the person looks at your resume and says “Oh that’s interesting, tell me more about that!” We know we’re in an economic crisis right now.  The job market is not ideal.  The Veteran Generation is staying employed longer in need of more stability, and yet year after year more college graduates are flooding the market.  We’ve got all four generations competing and cohabiting the workforce.  Ages 20 – 70+.

Many of us twentysomethings opted for an alternative route.  I’m sure all of you know someone who decided to take time off, travel the world, date around, etc.  Dr. Jay’s concern with some of these routes is that for those individuals they’re having a harder time trying to get back on track whether it’s the job field or family planning.  Employers start to look at your resume and think “hmm, you really haven’t done too much” and the person that stands out is the twentysomething who jumped right in and planned their career path just like an adult, setting goals or achieving higher degrees, whatever it might be.

In regards to family planning, she wants twentysomethings to be aware of fertility information.  Women’s fertility peaks at 28.  What she tends to hear from the twentysomethings she counsels, is so many of them spend time in cohabitation with a partner or spouse for 4-5 years before they realize that maybe that relationship should have only lasted a year.

Now, I will totally say that family planning is a personal choice!  And Dr. Jay agreed.  What she wants is for us to have the facts about fertility so we are thoughtful in planning who our partners are as well as when we want to start having children because the health risks are increased the later into the 30′s you are.

That being said, I may have ran in from the car, found Joe, and screamed something like, “We have to start having babies now, my fertility is peaking!!! What are we doing with our lives??!”

So then he said, “You’re not allowed to listen to the radio anymore…”

Our generation is at its peak for adaptation.  If there is something you are unhappy about in life, or you’re wanting to make changes, then do it!  We have the capability to transform and rise to the occasion.

When I graduated from college, I started having anxiety attacks.  I panicked about “what I wanted to do with the rest of my life!”  I fell in suit and took the first full time job that came my way.  I worked all the time, and was too exhausted to pursue my writing or hang out with friends.  You know what, I got really sad and really bored real fast!  It’s been an ongoing process to change.  While I’ve done well for myself career-wise, I quickly learned that what makes me happy is writing and travel, and if I was going to get that back in my life that meant change!

So, three years ago I started blogging!  And I met amazing writers and readers online!  Through them, I got involved with some writing contests and critique groups.  I also saved up my money and used my vacation time to attend writing conferences and travel around the world.

There is hope!  And it’s never too late!  All of us can define the decade we’re living in!

So what are you waiting for?!  What’s on your life list?

What do you think about Dr. Jay’s theory and your 20′s being the Defining Decade?  Are you currently in your 20′s?  Would you do anything differently if you could go back?  What advice do you have for a new adult in their 20’s, or for parents raising a 20-somthing?

When Reading Becomes Magic

It’s Guilty Pleasures Friday and I think it’s about time we talked books again here on the Happiness Project!  I’ve been a bit slower with my reading progress this year, and feeling underwhelmed by some of the books I’ve started.

Therefore, it was a delightful change of heart when I finished reading Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins the other day.

Hex Hall is the story of Sophie, a teenager who cast a love spell gone wrong (hmm – I may have cast a few of those myself as a teen).  Endangering herself and all magic beings by showing her power in front of humans, Sophie is sentenced to Hecate Hall, or Hex Hall as the students call it.  A little bit Crime and Punishment, Hex Hall is the boarding school for misbehaving witches, faeries, shapeshifters, werewolves, and exactly one vampire – who just happens to be the most hated person at the school, and coincidentally, Sophie’s roommate.

Raised by a human mother, Sophie knows nothing of her magical family’s past, and with flying colors on her first day, manages to piss off the three snootiest teen witches she’ll ever meet.  For Sophie, this is going to be a long year.

I must say at the start of the book, I judged it to be easily “figured out,” and thought the book contained too many similarities to the recent book/film hit, Beautiful Creatures.

I was wrong.

About halfway through the book, I didn’t want to put it down!  Things started getting dangerous!  Students were mysteriously attacked, left with bite marks and no memory!  It seemed like Sophie’s crush, Archer, may be more than what he seems.  And the ghost who was randomly appearing to Sophie, was now giving private magic lessons in a graveyard!  I love cemeteries!

The hardest thing for me to do right now is not give away the amazing jaw dropping twist the end of the book reveals!  I’m dying to tell someone about it, but then why would you read it?

So you have to read it for yourself!

Sometimes, it’s fun to lose yourself in a story, even if it’s another YA paranormal read and you already have too many of those on your bookshelf!

Hex Hall was fun.  And best of all, it was surprising.  And I think more great things will come from the author, who’s completed the Hex Hall trilogy with the sequels, Demonglass and Spellbound.

Rachel Hawkins

Rachel Hawkins lives in Alabama and is working on another trilogy series currently.  She taught high school English for 3 years before leaving work to pursue her bigger passion – the book that became Hex Hall.

If you’re interested in learning more about her, I linked to her blog by clicking on her photo.

Give me a shout!  Have you read Hex Hall?  What did you think?  What other books have completely surprised you once you got into them?

And what’s next on your “To Read” list?

The To Be Read Pile’s Final Review: Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

Did you participate in a book challenge this year?  There are so many fun ones it’s hard to choose, but I completed my first year with the To Be Read Pile Challenge.  It’s a contest to complete 12 books that have been sitting on your shelf for over a year.  The prize for all those who complete their 12 books is a chance for a $50 gift card to Amazon or Book Depository.  Pretty awesome, right?

To learn more about the To Be Read Pile Challenge click the 2013 link above and sign up for next year’s contest!

Part of the qualifier for the contest is to write up a review of each of the 12 books you read.  It can be as elaborate or simple as you like.  Check out my 2012 book list and past reviews at any of these links:

My TBR Pile Challenge Books: 

  1. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  2. Little Bee by Chris Cleave
  3. Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
  4. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
  5. Blessings by Anna Quindlen
  6. The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  7. Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
  8. The Lace Reader by Bromonia Barry
  9. The Piano Teacher by Janice Y.K. Lee
  10. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
  11. The Preacher’s Bride by Jody Hedlund
  12. Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Ben H. Winters, Jane Austen

I have yet to do my final review of the last book, so I present…

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

(goodreads.com)

Geek Love is the story of the Binewski family, a bunch of circus freaks taking their act on the road.

That, and they actually create their act.  Al and Lil Binewski willingly subject themselves to various mixtures of drugs in hopes of birthing the most wonderful freaks and geeks for their family show!  There’s Arturo, the aqua boy.  Iphy and Elly the siamese twins.  Oly, the dwarf hunchback.  And their newest member, Chick, who’s the most special of all.

The story actually jumps around a bit between the family’s early years on the road and where they ended up down the line.

The shining glory of the story is in its bizarre, twisted writing.  It’s strange phrasing of words reminds me of my first encounter with A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess.

Sample the Writing:

Here’s a sample, one of my favorite descriptive paragraphs wherein the father is telling the children about his wife’s glory days in the ring as…the woman who bites heads off of chickens!

She fluttered around like a dainty bird, and when she caught those ugly squawking hens you couldn’t believe she’d actually do anything.  When she went right ahead and geeked ’em that whole larruping crowd went bonzo wild.  There never was such a snap and twist of the wrist, such a vampire flick of the jaws over a neck or such a champagne approach to the blood.  She’d shake her star-white hair and the bitten-off chicken head would skew off into the corner while she dug her rosy little fingernails in and lifted the flopping, jittering carcass like a golden goblet, and sipped!  Absolutely sipped at the wriggling guts!  She was magnificent, a princess, a Cleopatra, an elfin queen!  That was your mama in the geek pit.

It’s quite entrancing really.  I loved the writing.  But, the story did wane a bit for me.  I would’ve been perfectly content reading more stories about them on the road together as youngsters.  As the story unfolded to their later years, and the subsequent demise of the Binewski circle I began to hate many of these characters.

I do think this book would make for a fascinating movie.  And if I were a make up artist/creature creator I’d so want in on the production! Visually, I love the book.

I am a big Goodreads fan and check out other reader reviews on there often.  It seemed most readers were really divided.  Cumulatively, Geek Love holds a solid 4.0 rating out of 5 stars, which is pretty dang high.  But reader response was quite split between full on love and then other 2.0 ratings like myself where it was a lot of I really liked it, but… statements.

Don’t take my word for it, read it yourself!  It’s certainly an interesting premise!  

And 2013 is almost here!  Sign up for the To Be Read Pile Challenge at Roof Beam Reader.  See you there! 

What Do You Do When the Book Doesn’t Live Up to its Hype?

We’re in the final two months of the To Be Read Pile Challenge, a year long contest where many of us are trying to read through 12 months of books that have been lingering on our bookshelves too long.  Over the course of this year, I’ve already acquired the titles for 2013’s list!  Haven’t you? 

The rules of the contest allow us to have two alternatives, in case one of the titles doesn’t keep our interest, we can can “opt out” so to speak and pick a different book.  Here’s my list for 2012.

My TBR Pile Challenge Books: 

  1. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  2. Little Bee by Chris Cleave
  3. Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
  4. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
  5. Blessings by Anna Quindlen
  6. The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  7. Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
  8. The Lace Reader by Bromonia Barry
  9. The Piano Teacher by Janice Y.K. Lee
  10. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
  11. The Preacher’s Bride by Jody Hedlund
  12. Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Ben H. Winters, Jane Austen

Recently, I finished reading Little Bee by Chris Cleave.  Little Bee is a book with a 3.63 rating out of 5 on Goodreads.  And yet this book received so much praise upon its release!  So many of my friends have read it and loved it!  I was left feeling a little underwhelmed.  Here’s the review I left on Goodreads:

Little Bee is an exceptionally well written book with great characters. I bought this book while on vacation after the sales clerk told me she couldn’t tell me what the book was about; I was just supposed to read it.

She said it all very excited. You read the book. You love it. And you tell your friends to read it. But…you tell them nothing of the story.

It wasn’t what I was expecting, but I think I get why this book is being marketed as such. To discuss the story, would dilute the story. The magic of this book is that it forces you to think about a wealth of issues that you weren’t expecting it to. And a really good reader will place themselves in the book either as a character or right alongside them. And so I asked myself, what would I do in this situation…?

I can’t say anything bad about the book, it is a good one. And yet, I don’t know if I’m haunted by the story or left wanting to know more. And that’s the sign of a good book isn’t it? I enjoyed Little Bee. I’m glad I read it. It didn’t make me as excited as that sales clerk though. *shrug*

I kept reading the reviews from everyone, and there were a lot of interesting theories.  Some believed the book was outstanding, and that the detriment to its rank came from the over-abundance of praise, spoiling the book for its readers and not letting its worth stand on its own.  I also learned that there had been a title change from the European release to its American one!

Which title grabs your attention more:  Little Bee or The Other Hand?

I did finish reading Little Bee, and I liked it.  But it’s not going on my “Titles of the Year” list.  And after completing Little Bee, I’m down to just one more title on my TBR Pile.  It’s looming there…

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn.  I began reading this one in the summer, was loving it immensely, and it sort of fizzled halfway through.

So, fellow readers, my dilemna:

Should I finish reading Geek Love and hope it picks back up?  Or, do I move on to one of my alternative titles?  

What do you do when a book doesn’t live up to its hype?

Oooh, and please suggest a title for my 2013 TBR Pile Challenge!  If you leave one for me, I’ll give you one back!  The only rule is it has to be at least a year old, so  published in 2011 or before.  Thanks, readers!

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