Jane Green is insane, and I don’t hate her for it. She’s written approximately one million novels, and I admire that kind of creative output. She also seems well meaning, and I bet she’d be fun to get margarita drunk with. Unfortunately, while I’m sure she’d be lots of fun and very polite, I can’t imagine her coming over to my tiny house in my tiny town, or sitting on my sofa from Goodwill. While I delight in my clever thriftiness, I don’t think Jane could handle it. No, Jane Green seems like she might be fancy, and that’s why I read her books the way some people devour Us Weekly. Pure rubbernecking.
I swear that this time my lack of updates isn’t because I forgot I have a blog. It’s because I’ve had writers’ block for the last year or so, and I’ve had a hard time focusing my attention and energy directly onto any one project for more than a few weeks at a time. It’s been fun to wallow around in dramatic, emotional, existential gloom, but all good things must come to an end. Last week I realized in a panic that NaNoWriMo is about to start again, and I haven’t missed a year since my first successful novel writing in 2013. “Better get started, then, with that research and outlining!” I thought to myself upon waking last week. So I immediately did what any writer does: I logged into Overdrive and downloaded an audiobook. My first rule of NaNoWriMo is always procrastination.
I’m not sure if it’s that my brother is now working for the company that services the Ohio Digital Library’s e-book app and is screwing with my account, or if the makers of OverDrive use some kind of crazy psychic algorithm for book recommendations, but for some reason I’m being presented with an assortment of crazy ass novels every time I log in to choose a new ebook or audiobook. On one occasion I logged in to see two books recommended to me, one was “What’s Going on Down There” and had some youths on the cover looking down towards their crotch areas, and the other was “The Chocolate Wars.” Given that this recommendation popped up on the first day of my period I was understandably spooked, and also a little crampy and hungry for chocolate.
For those of you who live in Ohio, we have a wonderful lending tool called the “Ohio Digital Library.” It’s linked to your local library, and if you have an active account, you can rent digital media through their app. It is wonderful, and although they don’t have every book in the library in electronic format, it’s still a great resource for those of us who need to always be reading, but who are too lazy busy to go to a physical library.
“You must imagine your life,” Alexandra confided to the younger woman. “And then it happens.” – The Witches of Eastwick, by John Updike
The full title of this book, according to Kindle, is “The Witches of Eastwick: a Novel.” What the hell else would it be, a pony, amiright? I was a much younger woman when I first read The Witches of Eastwick, and I decided to revisit it after reading an article on the internet wherein the author claims that John Updike was brilliant and that every word he ever wrote was pure gold.
Every so often I’ll start a blog, and I’ll say something confident and positive, like “I’m going to update this once a week, and it’s going to be dynamic and people will like me!” Then I’ll forget I have a blog, and I’ll leave it alone for approximately three years, at which point someone will ask what happened to my blog. “Oh yeah!” I’ll exclaim, scratching at myself like a simpleton. “I have a blog! I’ll get right on that!” This is exactly what’s happened here. No apologies, my failure to blog is just a character flaw in this digital age. If you think this blog is a random, scattered failure, you should see my Facebook page as well as the rest of my personal life. Anyway….
I generally do my reading on my phone, using the Kindle app and from books rented from the Ohio Digital Library, but I bought this book from a United Way book sale at work. I paid $1, and I feel like I got a pretty good bargain. Actually, the book sale was supposed to be from 2014, and my boss just forgot to donate the remaining books. They’ve been sitting in an empty office for a year. So we collectively decided to reopen the sale, and discount the books. This book was discounted from $3, but even if I’d paid full price, I’d have been happy with my purchase.
I’ve mentioned before in this blog that I’ve been reading Carola Dunn’s Daisy Dalrymple series out of order, and that continues to be the case. (Side note: does anyone else see the name “Carola” as “Crayola”? Just me then? OK.) Today’s book is set in the days before Daisy and Alec get married, when Daisy is just Miss Dalrymple, and when she’s just Aunt Daisy to her soon-to-be step daughter, Belinda. This book features dinosaurs, dethroned nobles, jewel theft, and a murder, all of which just thrilled my inner hipster to little bacon-scented pieces.
jPod was not my first Douglas Coupland novel, but it is my favorite. I’m a child of the 90s and I was a teenager when I first discovered Coupland’s zeitgeisty writing style. His books are very stylized, and are better in paper than electronically. Generally a story is framed by pages of pop culture bits of internet lore, such as fake ads, and bits of what look like quotes from message boards. It’s both fun and annoying, and the way it dates the story is both helpful and irritating. I find the references nostalgic, but I suspect that if I were any younger I wouldn’t be so charmed.
I’ve been reading Carola Dunn’s Daisy Dalrymple mystery series for a year or so, and because I get the books from the Ohio Digital Library, I have not been able to read them in any sort of order. I believe I read the first two or three the way they were intended, then jumped around a bit in the middle. Read more