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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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Day 17 - Favorite mini series

Easy! Anne of Green Gables!! I love the Anne books by Lucy Maud Montgomery, and always have. When the CBC miniseries aired on PBS in the 80s, my grandpa taped it and gave it to me, and I watched it over and over and over again.

This is one of the only movie adaptations of a book that I've seen that really gets it right. It doesn't try to be a page-by-page, shot-by-shot reproduction of the book, but it also doesn't deviate in any major way from the characterization, plot, or story. The miniseries also gets the feel of the books right, the wonderful dreamy quality that Anne's whimiscal and melodramatic narration gave the story.

I recently recommended this miniseries to a friend of mine, actually, because the female friendships in the books are so well reproduced that they are probably some of the best female friendships I've ever seen on TV. Anne and Diana! (Bosom friends!) Anne and Miss Stacy! Anne and Marilla! Marilla and Rachel! Anne and Aunt Josephine! (She used up all her imagination on her house!) Oh, and Anne and Katherine!!

(Most of the Anne fans I know love Anne's relationship with Gilbert -- and yeah, it is great. It's great in the books, and even better in the miniseries. But I didn't buy it when I was a kid, and I don't buy it now; I think Anne's heart will always belong to Diana -- and maybe one or two of her other lady friends. No one will ever convince me differently, not even if Lucy Maud Montgomery herself rose from her grave to wag the finger of authorial intent at me.)

Anne is not for everyone. She is totally melodramatic and uses (especially in the books) an awful lot of italics. She's way more tolerable for me as an adult in the miniseries, because Megan Follows tempers her delightfully in the performance, and makes her melodrama and flights of fancy seem much more organic. I still read and love the books, but with the distance that a six year old can't have, I get how Anne is a total pain in the ass for a lot of the people around her -- not to mention that, you know, she is beautiful, has a wonderful imagination, is a fantastic writer, even her enemies grow to love her, most things go her way, and she usually gets what she wants in the end.

At the same time that I can recognize how silly that is, as a kid for whom lots of things went wrong, it was pretty comforting to read about someone with whom I could so strongly relate who, in the end, had it pretty good. And she got to live on Prince Edward Island.

Uh, I'm pretty sure these books, and this miniseries, is what kicked off my obsession with Canada, by the way.

If you never sit down and watch the entirety of the movie, perhaps you'll be interested in these two scenes. This first one is the beginning, in which Anne is wandering through the woods, reading Tennyson to herself, reciting "The Lady of Shalott":

(Later in the movie, Anne floats in a boat, pretending to be the Lady of Shalott -- until her boat sinks! The clip cuts off before she is saved by the charming Gilbert, and rowed to shore.)

And here, the second scene, is Anne reciting "The Highwayman" at a gathering, in a terrible dress with awful hair. Megan Follows is pretty amazing, and I remember watching this for the first time at age seven, totally riveted, suddenly understanding how it was that people could bear to read poetry.

Other days )


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anna genoese

November 2015

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