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Last week, I rather unexpectedly adopted a cat. Back in January, my beloved Shiksa died of a heart attack. I thought to myself, Two cats is enough. But Vincent and Theodore have been rather lost without a third -- without an alpha female bossing them around. And one of my close friends found a post about a DC-area alpha female who needed a home.

Just a few days later, I'd adopted her.

I named her Queen Esther, but have ended up calling her Hadassah all the time. (I have had to explain to a lot of people why Queen Esther and Hadassah are interchangeable names to my mind. Even Jewish people. ngl, that is very surprising.)

Here are some pictures:

She is tiny -- she weighs about 7 lbs. To give you a sense of scale, Vincent weighs 19. Shiksa weighed 26.

...Now. Book log.

I am still struggling with Ancillary Justice. It is just really not for me.

Last night I read the new Tana French - The Secret Place. I thought she did an amazing job with the voices of the teenage girls, but I did not understand at all what the hell the paranormal elements were doing in there.

The mystery was okaaaaay but I am tired of books narrated by dudes that are books about women. The book would have been plenty interesting if it had been narrated by the woman who was the lead detective investigating the case. I didn't have any empathy or interest in the male narrator observing all the women who he continually reminded us he could never understand because he's a man. Tedious.


May. 7th, 2013 04:57 pm
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For a long time, I have thought that I was seriously the only person alive who hated The Great Gatsby. I hated it when I read it, and I hate it even more now that I've read most of a biography of Zelda (more on that in a sec). So this morning, when I read this piece on why the author of it (Kathryn Schulz) hates The Great Gatsby, with way better explanations than what I could ever give, I felt great.

I also felt a little sad, because it reminded me of the biography of Zelda I tried to read. It was Zelda: A Biography by Nancy Milford. I got about 2/3 through before I had to give up on it. Her life was really depressing. Reading it also reminded me of why I gave up reading biographies: people are assholes.

Books I have read and mostly enjoyed in the last few weeks are Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg (highly recommended) and both A Drink Before the War and Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane. I liked both of the Lehane books quite a bit, although I'll admit to skimming the boring parts of the latter.

I'm currently working my way through Broken Harbor by Tana French.

(But, frankly, I have not enjoyed any book this past month as much as I have enjoyed listening to the new Fall Out Boy album, Save Rock and Roll; my favorite track is "Death Valley," I think, or maybe "Young Volcanoes," but I love the whole album sooooooooo much. It's everything I wanted from a FOB album in 2013.)
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It was good I did the meme early yesterday, since I ended up going out for supper with a bunch of interesting people, and then to a poetry reading, and didn't get home until almost 10 PM! The Frick was great, by the way -- I recommend taking an hour to stop there if you're ever touring NY museums. There are a few really great Whistlers, and a couple of excellent Vermeers. And, of course, the clocks!

(Be careful in the room with the fountain, though -- if they don't like the way you're sitting on the benches, they ask you to move!)

I should have done this early today, too, but I left the house before 8 am and only just got back! Now I'm doing this while the onion for tonight's mushroom pasta (mmmm) softens in butter and olive oil on the stove...

Day 03 - The best book you've read in the last 12 months

This is a tough one. I can answer this a couple of ways -- there's the best book editorially, the one with the strongest plot and best characters that I'd've bought myself, were I acquiring; there's the best book in terms of how much I enjoyed reading it, which is not necessarily the same as what I'd acquire and publish.

I did really love Tana French's The Likeness. It's such a strong book, so well put together, and quite enjoyable. It's probably the most engrossed I've been in a book since Heartsick by Chelsea Cain!

Then, of course, there's Lessons from the Fat-o-sphere: Quit Dieting and Declare a Truce with Your Body by Kate Harding and Marianne Kirby -- even though it wasn't any new information for me, I still really enjoyed reading it, and now that I've finished reading it, I'm enjoying lending my copy to people who want more information about size acceptance and the Health at Every Size movement.

Oh, and you know what? Just yesterday I read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. There were a lot of things I really liked about it, and a lot of things I absolutely hated -- but I definitely enjoyed myself and didn't want to put it down when it was time to get off the subway. And I'm looking forward to reading the second and third books in the trilogy! (Also, now my mom's weird gold "mockinjay" pin makes a lot more sense!) I think I'd've enjoyed this book more if I'd read it at age nine or so, instead of now, so for reading the second and third books, I'm going to try to get myself back into that place, that headspace of when things were new and cool instead of cliche. I'll let you know how that goes!

And now it's your turn! I know I am the worst at commenting on other people's blogs, but I am really enjoying reading your meme answers -- keep them coming! 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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Hi! Today I'm meeting up with my friend Garret at the Frick -- I am pretty excited to see the clocks. Well, and to see Garret. :)

I thought that before I left, I would do day #2 of the book meme very quickly. I'm so happy that it's catching on, and that so many of you are participating. (It's also very cool that some of you are adjusting the meme to be more in line with what you want to talk about!)

So: Day 02 - A book or series you wish more people were reading and talking about

Tana French!!! Oh, seriously, people, Tana French is amazing. I don't remember why [personal profile] dianafox recommended her to me in the first place, but she loaned me In the Woods and I loved it. I loved it so much that I went right out and bought her second book, The Likeness. I haven't bought the third book (Faithful Place) yet, but I plan to soon.

I'm not sure most people would technically consider these books a series. They are connected by all being about murder police in Ireland; each book is about a different character and a different time. The first book is about a whiny, self-absorbed, entitled dude investigating a murder he's trying to hide his involvement in (that is not a spoiler; it's in, like, the first chapter). The second book is about the female detective in the first book, but a year later -- she's investigating a murder, yeah, but the scenario is totally different now. And the third book, from what I can tell (carefully reading select parts of reviews whilst trying not to be spoiled!) is about the mentor of the woman from the second book having to confront his past and solve a murder.

The second book also has the benefit of having the woman going undercover, which I am a sucker for -- and I think the third book has the undercover thing as well. I love when people go undercover! I love the way, if it's done well, the people going undercover learn a lot about their own selves as well as managing to solve the mystery or whatnot.

Tana French's writing is amazing. You know how I was complaining about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo the other day? Well, everything that book gets wrong, Tana French gets right. The characters ring true. The scenarios are bizarre, but not outlandish or unbelievable. No one is magically attractive to every single person they meet. The problems the characters grapple with are realistic and interesting. Even the character I describe as "whiny, self-absorbed, entitled" is interesting and sympathetic.

I'm not saying that there are no flaws; sometimes things are clumsily executed, or a little predictable -- but I don't mind! I don't mind because I enjoyed the rest of the book, and the second book is tighter and better than the first, so I think French will continue to just get better and better. I know she's a bestseller already, and there's a lot of great press about her, but I still wish more people were reading her books, because they're dark and fabulous and enjoyable.

...okay, now you!! I'm really enjoying reading all the blog entries y'all linked in the last post. I hope you're all reading each other's too. So, as with last time, 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

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