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Hey, does anyone want a Dreamwidth invite code? I have quite a few that I'm willing to give away to anyone who'd like one. I personally prefer Dreamwidth to LJ, although I know not everyone feels that way. If you want to give Dreamwidth a shot, just let me know. You can email me at annagenoese at gmail if you don't want to comment.

Day 24 - Best quote from a novel

"He was all for fusion or even sunshine, whatever warmed the heart." --Candas Jane Dorsey, A Paradigm of Earth

Here's a story about this quote. I loved it from the first moment I read it, and when in my 20s, I went often to bars that had writing on their bathroom walls -- usually stupid crap like, "ALISA LOVES GREG" or whatever. So, for many years, I wrote that quote on the walls of bar bathrooms.

Last year I was trying to look it up on the internet to find out what the proper punctuation of it was (because, honestly, the above punctuation is from the book, but were I the author or copyeditor or editor, I'd've punctuated that sentence much differently; that's just me, though). What I found was a BBS for finding lost poetry quotations where someone had asked what poem that quote was from.

I made a new "Found!" post, explaining that while Candas Jane Dorsey is indeed a poet, this particular quote is from a novel. I also private-messaged the original poster, just in case zie hadn't seen the new post. When zie PM'd me back, I ended up asking where zie'd seen the quote.

A friend of zie's found it on a bathroom wall in New York City and wrote it down, thinking zie would like it.

Zie added that since then, zie'd started writing lines from poetry on bathroom walls, too.


Here is a picture of me writing that quote on the wall of one of the bathrooms at my favorite bar, Angels & Kings, in January 2008.

Now you: what's your favorite quote from a novel? Why?

Other days of the book meme )
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My watermelon sorbet was terrible. The flavor was just completely wrong and more than a little off. I think a big part of that was the watermelon being way past ripe -- I should have ditched it and bought a fresh watermelon. Plus I used Rachael Ray's recipe, which included a half-cup of light corn syrup, and that was the dominant flavor (plus one cup of the watermelon had to be heated up, which definitely brought out very gross scents and flavors). Ugh. Next time I'm going to try the recipe that is just 5 cups of chunked watermelon, 1/4 - 1/2 cup of sugar to taste, and 2 tbsp of lime juice blended together and then frozen.

Day 17 - Favorite story or collection of stories (short stories, novellas, novelettes, etc.)

I am not really a short story kind of person. I find it really difficult to care about what's going on in a story that's under 10,000 words. That's one of the great things about fanfic for me -- I already care about the characters in the story, so 1,000 words is still satisfying. But it takes a really skilled writer to have brand new characters and a brand new word in a story and world build enough for me to be interested and give me enough character development to make me care and amidst all that actually tell a story.

(That's something I tend to really like about the short form romance stories -- they are usually at least 20,000 words, if not 25,000, so there's time to really get into the characters and their situations.)

I really enjoyed reading Tiptree's short fiction, although I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say that I liked it. Reading it from a perspective of knowing Tiptree's secret "real life" identity of Alice Sheldon (and I read most of it after I read her biography by Julie Phillips) definitely altered the way I read the stories, although I'm not sure I can put my finger on exactly how. That's my own personal perspective, though, and I know a lot of people who loved Tiptree before her "secret identity" came out.

I thought "The Screwfly Solution" (arguably her most famous story? Probably) was okay, and much preferred stories like "The Women Men Don't See" and "A Momentary Taste of Being"; all three of those are in Her Smoke Rose Up Forever, which is a good intro to her most famous work.

Candas Jane Dorsey has a bunch of short stories, most of which I really enjoyed reading.

Vanilla and Other Stories is worthwhile and intense, and Machine Sex and Other Stories is also great.

The best collection of short stories (etc.) I ever read, though, has got to be Ted Chiang's Stories of Your Life: and Others. It was originally published by Tor, so I read it when it was in proofs, and then bought copies for everyone I knew who'd love it (which was a bunch of people!). The stories are all really well written. I think most of them were originally published elsewhere, and then collected with one or two original stories for the book. Right now it's out of print, but Small Beer Press is releasing a new edition in October. (Or the older versions are cheap on alibris, if that's your thing.)

My favorite Chiang story is "Hell is the Absence of God" (that link is to fictionwise, where it's available by itself as e-text in various formats for $1.15). I tend to recommend this story to people who are into angels and people who are fans of seasons 4 and 5 of Supernatural -- even if neither of those things are what you're into, you might like this story, since it's awesome.

Your turn! As always, you are welcome to post your answers or a link to your own blog post in the comments, even if you are not answering the other prompts in the meme.

Other days of the book meme )
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Last night I wrote emails to Target and Best Buy, explaining why I won't be shopping at their stores anymore. It didn't even make me feel better, though, since I know no one except an unpaid intern is going to even look at them. But what else to do? I mean, besides actually not shop at their stores anymore.

I joked yesterday that eventually I'd have to learn how to make my own everything, because there won't be a place left for me to shop -- I'll be boycotting everywhere. It feels pretty true lately, I've got to say.

Something less unhappy: book meme!

Day 16 - Favorite poem or collection of poetry

I talked about my favorite poetry collections last time, actually! I love Candas Jane Dorsey's poetry, and Neruda. Most recently, I am working my way through the three published books by Maya Stein. That first link goes to her page where you can buy her books and pay via PayPal, and the second link goes to her blog, where she posts poems fairly regularly.

I found her because someone whose journal I read posted "alliance" and I thought it was amazing. I experience poetry that I like as a great and painful whack to the back of the head, or sometimes the bottom falling out of my stomach, like riding on an amazing roller coaster.

Alliance by Maya Stein )

...and, of course, we all remember when I went out and got three lines from one of Candas Jane Dorsey's poems tattooed on my arm. Here's that poem, too.

untitled, from page 19 of Leaving marks by Candas Jane Dorsey )

...Now you. Tell me about your favorite poets!

Other days of the book meme )
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Book meme, you make me so happy. I love reading everyone's answers to these prompts.

Related (to books, anyway): did you all see this NPR article about how Barnes & Noble is up for sale? Someone please buy it for me -- my smart, clever, knowledgeable friends and I would do such a good job running that company!

Day 12 - A book or series of books you’ve read more than five times

Oooh, where to begin? As a kid, I was really into The Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew, Cherry Ames, and, of course, the Anne books. I've read all of the books in those series multiple times -- way more than five.

I've read both of Candas Jane Dorsey's, plus all her books of poetry, more than five times. All of Linda Howard's early single titles, a few Nora Roberts single titles from the 90s -- Montana Sky, Genuine Lies, Public Secrets, and, of course, the first Nora Roberts book I ever read: Honest Illusions.

I also used to reread the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder all the time, and Little Men and Jo's Boys, both of which I liked a whole lot more than I ever liked Little Women -- although my ultimate favorite Alcott book is An Old-Fashioned Girl, which I'd read way more than five times before I ever bothered to pick up Little Women.

[Those Alcott links all go to Project Gutenberg, where you can download those books in various formats for free.]

I will also totally admit to loving several Star Trek tie in novels -- number one on my list of loved Star Trek books is Federation by Judith Reeves-Stevens and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, which I have read a bunch of times. And, of course, one of my favorite books when I was a teenager obsessed with Troi and Riker: Imzadi by Peter David! I keep meaning to go back and reread it, but I'm pretty dubious that it has stood the test of time (unlike Federation, which I just reread a few years ago and loved just as much).

And, finally, I was ten or so, my mom got a copy of Catering to Nobody by Diane Mott Davidson, which I loved, and read several times. Another book (series!) I got from my mother when I was eight or nine was the Mrs. Pollifax series, about a gardening grandmother who gets a job working for the C.I.A., starting with The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax. Oh, how I loved Mrs. Pollifax!

How about you folks? Talk about books you reread often!

Other days of the book meme )
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Yesterday's busy day involved family, shopping, and New Jersey. Oh, and getting a haircut. I went to my mom's hairdresser, who she's been going to for at least fifteen years at this point. I just needed a trim, to get rid of some terrible split ends, but she also thinned my hair and gave me a couple of layers. This is awesome, because it means I can pull my hair back into a ponytail without having to worry about the heaviness of it giving me a headache. Layers and thinning also means that my curls are back! Yay curls! Here's a picture.

Of course, being out all day yesterday and the day before means that I am working all day today and tomorrow! Today's an editing day, and tomorrow's a writing day.

Day 04 - Your favorite book or series ever

Well, my favorite book has been, for a long time, A Paradigm of Earth by Candas Jane Dorsey. (Which is not to say that it is not flawed -- for some people those flaws would be unforgivable, but not me. Not this time.)

There was a very long time when my favorite author was Linda Howard. I had all of her books, and when she started coming out in hardcover, I started buying her in hardcover. Not anymore -- she's not writing the same type of book she was writing then. I loved Now You See Her, and Dream Man, and Kill and Tell, and All the Queen's Men, and After the Night. And who can forget the totally epic Son of the Morning? Not me!

A lot of people make fun of Shades of Twilight -- and, yeah, it's a really ridiculous book on a lot of levels. But I read it when I was seventeen (honestly, I would've sworn it came out much much earlier -- like, 1996 -- but Amazon says September 1997), and it was the first time I'd ever read a book -- much less a book geared toward adults -- in which the protagonist was anorexic. Deep, instant kinship. That was actually the first Linda Howard single title (for you non-romance people, a "single title" in romance is a book that is not published in a Harlequin series -- which refers not to a series of books, but to Harlequin's imprints, like Nocturne, Intrigue, or Superromance) I ever read, and it started my obsession with Linda Howard.

But nowadays? Nowadays I don't even know. I went back and read all the Laura Ingalls Wilder "Little House" books in order, and was a little taken aback by all the racism in them that had gone right over my head as a little kid -- and now I can't even think about them without getting pretty riled up about it. Trying to reread C. S. Lewis or Madeleine L'Engle is a lost cause -- the religious overtones that didn't bother me as a kid irk me quite a bit now. And even though I still love the Kay Scarpetta books -- and L. Frank Baum's Oz books -- they were never my favorites.

I guess I have to go with the Anne books. I have probably read the first four Anne books more than any other books I own. Each. Anne of Green Gables is a total comfort book for me. Anne of Avonlea is hilarious. Anne of the Island is captivating. And Anne of Windy Poplars is another comfort book for me. I've actually read it more than the others -- for a while, I carried it around with me so I could read it whenever I wanted, and then for a long time I kept it in the bathroom.

Laugh if you want, but some people are bathroom readers and some are not! My family has always had mini-libraries in our bathrooms; when I lived in north Brooklyn, I had an actual bookcase in the bathroom, with five shelves all packed full of books. Most of which had been dropped into the bathtub a time or two -- I'd like to see you do that with a Kindle!

The first three Anne books are available at Project Gutenberg, along with a bunch of L.M. Montgomery's other work, although I should probably admit that I have three hardcopies of Anne of Green Gables in my bedroom right now. Two old paperbacks, and one a glossy, beautiful hardcover of The Annotated Anne of Green Gables, which is awesome.

As usual, if you're doing the book meme (or you just want to talk about your favorite book or series!), free to either comment on this entry with your answers, or link to a post you make to your own blog/journal.

Other days of the book meme )
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Day 01 - A book series you wish had gone on longer OR a book series you wish would just freaking end already (or both!)

I can't think of a series I wish had gone on longer -- I've read a lot of series that lasted past their prime. Here I'm thinking of Pern, which I read and loved when I was, you know, 12. I'm thinking of Anita Blake, which should have ended after book eight (Obsidian Butterfly, which I thought was a pretty good book -- but most of the others are not). I'm thinking of the Bones books by Reichs, which I enjoy, but lately I'm not feeling it -- the newer books are much less engaging than the older ones.

And, you know, I love the Anne of Green Gables books -- but even House of Dreams was a little too much. I want more Anne and more Anne and more Anne, but Anne of Ingleside? Rainbow Valley? The Blythes Are Quoted???!! Enough already! (I do admit to dearly loving Anne of Windy Poplars, written around the same time as the others listed above, but still.) On the other hand, I am sure L.M. Montgomery made enough money from these books to live a comfortable life, which I would never begrudge her, even if I loathe where she took the canon. So!

(I read somewhere, when I was younger, that Montgomery ended up really hating the Anne books, but her publisher and audience demanded them, which is why she wrote so many more, and about Anne's children, and the short story collections. I can't find a citation for that, though... but it's never far from my mind when I think about the Anne books.)

There are a lot of books that aren't in series that I want more of -- I want to know what happens next. For, like, fifteen years already, I've been wondering what happens after Dream Man by Linda Howard -- I think if it had been written nowadays, it would probably spin off into a series of psychic crime-solving novels! I've also always wanted to know what happened after A Paradigm of Earth by Candas Jane Dorsey -- not from the human perspective, but from the alien perspective!

Okay, now you! Feel free to either comment on this entry with your answers, or link to a post you make to your own blog/journal.

Other days of the book meme )


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anna genoese

November 2015

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