Wednesday, November 30, 2016

This Year's Firsts! (NaBloPoMo)

Ok! Final day of NaBloPoMo!! Whooo hooo!!! I’ve decided to make my final post about FIRSTS in honor of the #BHPChat last night. Congrats to BHPChat for the chattaversary!!

Here are the questions and my answers from the chat. HOWEVER!! You can’t understand the fun of twitter chats based on this watered down, dumb regurgitation of the questions!! You gotta get your chat on! There are plenty of bookish chats, though BHPCHats is probably one of the more active ones lately. Check out Emily’s calendar here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

November Might as Well Be Over - Book Outbox Post

I might get to read one more book before the month is out. Maybe. I have every intention of starting Crooked Kingdom and once I start I have the feeling I will finish it quickly, but I just haven’t been sitting in one place long enough to even get started.

So, here is a possibly premature Outbox post for November.

It’s been a super lame-ass reading month. But I did attend Book Riot Live, having been chauffeuring my kids around, and have been focusing more on blogging for NaBloPoMo.  As a result, I have posted 20 blog posts but have only read a measly 6 books. Oh! And my head phones are on the fritz so my audiobook game has been nonexistent. I really need to do something about that.

Here are the books I read. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Why I Don't Have Money for Christmas

Shows I’ve seen in 2016 so far.

Not counting the several youth/ kid productions (and RAPA’s production of My Son Pinnochio was definitely a high light). Plus, Broadway Con wasn't a show but a CON! Duh. Also, full discloser: the Rocky Horror and Charlotte’s Web picture represents shows I was actually in… so I guess, technically, I didn’t really see them.

Planned shows for the end of 2016 (Tis the season and all that junk.) 
A Christmas Carol at Geva
Youth production of Elf at RAPA (My kid is the stage manager.)

Related Posts:

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Book Tag: Mulan

I WAS FINALLY ACTUALLY TAGGED IN A BOOK TAG AND ALMOST FORGOT!! This is the tragedy of my life, y’all. It’s only 6 prompts so even I can do that… probably. Here’s the original book tag post from Kirsty and the Cat Read

The Rules:
·         Mention the creator (Kirsty and the Cat Read)
·         Thank/mention the person who tagged you
·         Match books or characters to the questions below
·         tag as many people as you like

1. Reflection “When will my reflection show who I am inside” – An inaccurate book cover that doesn’t really reflect what the book is about.

This is a super hard one. I scrolled through the covers of all 1104 books on my Goodreads read shelf and I apparently mostly read very transparent books! I’ll go with something that just has words on the cover. Lame, I know.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Broadway to Books: Something Rotten

Broadway to Books is a (possibly) unique feature that I do that I originated as a guest post that was way too involved. I have pared it down so that I could make it a regular thing.

It was just recently announced that Something Rotten is going on tour…

…oh. I fainted from excitement!! Yes, yall! One of my favorite musicals is going on tour! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!! Thusly and therefore, I changed my mind about doing a Broadway to Books post because I have been obsessively listening to the soundtrack since the announcement. 

I feel like I have to make a confession… I haven’t really seen THAT many musicals. I mean, I’ve probably seen more than the average person because average people don’t seem to understand the magic of musicals, but it’s not like I’m a Broadway critic or anything, who gets into theaters for free. IF you can hook me up with tickets to just about anything, let me know ASAP.

I saw Something Rotten this year on a family trip into the city to see Aladdin. Yes. So, what!? The musical is about the Bottom brothers, two playwrights who are attempting to come up with The Next Big Thing to compete with that rascally writer, Shakespeare, who has become an overnight playwright sensation. The eldest brother seeks the services of a Seer to predict what the next great play will be and ridiculous doth ensue.

Book Recommendations:

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Book Review: The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

I read The Female of the Species because I wanted to. I liked the cover and its eye catching color but it was just any other book I picked up at the library that I was pretty sure I had heard something about, but I didn’t know what.

(Part of ) The Goodreads Summary [click here to go there]:

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.

But Jack Fisher sees her. So does Peekay.

Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.

My five cent review:

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Reviewing Across the Age Range (Discussion and Question)

Here’s the beginning of a post that I will likely come back to sometime with more thoughts and edits, etc. Feel free to comment below.
I read a range of books. I love middle grade books, YA, and adult fiction. But I find it difficult to rate these books using the same criteria (like a star system) and/ or add different things to my Must Reads list because I really have different expectations for books, pending their audience.

For books written for younger audiences, I expect a fun story and likable characters. I don’t really care if there are a few plot holes and sometimes I don’t even care if the writing seems a little less polished.

However, as the anticipated audience gets older, I expect more from the book…

 Does anyone else find it hard to group books together and/or rate them similarly based on your different expectations of the book?


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Clear A Shelf Challenge Two: Sign Up Post

In August, I challenged myself to read books that I already owned. I called the challenge ClearAShelf (ingenious, right?) and invited tweeps to join me.

Here’s the wrap up post from last time, which shows my meager success and includes how the others did, as well. 

I have decided to do it all again for December! Actually… Lorryn asked me if I was planning to do it again and said she was interested and why the hell not!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Where I Am Right Now Instead of Writing a Real Blog Post

Attending the Rochester LGBT Giving Circle tonight on behalf of Rochester Association ofPerforming Arts. Tiny food. Great company (my table- mates were board members from The Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival) and an honor to accept grant to support RAPA’s production of The Wild Party next summer!


Related Posts:

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

My Heartbreak, Today.

The unread books I had to return to the library. Booooo!!

Related Posts (or, at least, posts with more words) :

Monday, November 14, 2016

What the Hell is a Food Memoir? #ReadHarder 2016

Yesterday at Book Riot Live, I went to the Read Harder IRL panel to talk about the books that people are reading for their challenges. Here’s the link to the challenge if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, I never officially do Read Harder because, really, let’s be honest. I don’t like to read things that I don’t want to read and each year there are two or three categories that I am just WAY not into (here's my post about 2015, if you don't believe me).

There are also a few categories that I push myself into and really enjoy. But, it is time to figure out how many categories I have read already and see if I’m willing to let myself complete the challenge this year.

What the hell is a food memoir?

And, I'm perfectly embarrassed to admit this, but I'm not totally sure where SouthEast Asia is, either. I know. I'm an asshole. But the whole point of the challenge is to read beyond your usual and learn a few things. 

So, overwhelmingly, a common theme for the categories that give me "trouble" is non-fiction, my arch- nemesis. I'm going to spend a little time with this and see how it goes... 

Update! I just found out that The Jungle Book won an Audie. BOOM!! (So did Furiously Happy!)

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Book Riot Live 2016

This is a little cheat-y post for NaBloPoMo while I'm in NYC for Book Riot Live. 

Here's a pic from the Book Riot Live Mingle event in the Rare Book Room at The Strand Book Store.

Other pics from this year's Book Riot Live are on Tumblr:

Related Posts:


Friday, November 11, 2016

Book Review: The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta

This is the second book by Tom Perotta that I have read. I don’t remember anything about The Abstinence teacher except being vaguely bored. I gave it 3 of 5 stars. But I do remember liking the writing style, so when The Leftovers came up as available on Overdrive, I figured it was worth a shot.

Apparently there are sex-specific versions of the cover. I have the sense that you could read either one and be ok.
Here’s a bit of the Goodreads (go to the GR page):
What if — whoosh, right now, with no explanation — a number of us simply vanished? Would some of us collapse? Would others of us go on, one foot in front of the other, as we did before the world turned upside down? That's what the bewildered citizens of Mapleton, who lost many of their neighbors, friends and lovers in the event known as the Sudden Departure, have to figure out. Because nothing has been the same since it happened — not marriages, not friendships, not even the relationships between parents and children.

With heart, intelligence and a rare ability to illuminate the struggles inherent in ordinary lives, Tom Perrotta has written a startling, thought-provoking novel about love, connection and loss.

My two cents:

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Sometimes Your Opinions Are Wrong. (NaBloPoMo)

Dispair! Horror! Woes!!

I missed posting yesterday and have thusly and therefore forgone perfection for NaBloPoMo.  But alas, one must put on one’s big girls panties and soldier on.

I hear there’s been an election result that might actually throw humanity back into the stone ages. So, on the plus side, at least I’m not responsible for that, right?

Which brings me to my rare blog rant. I don’t use this blog for non-book rants very often (although see here for a word related one and check this one out about mental illness in books).

This rant is about opinions and ideas.

In grade school, elementary school teachers often tell children that opinions are things that can’t be wrong, can’t be proven. They say that all opinions are valid and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. This is a safe thing to do with elementary school children because they don’t really know anything at all, AND because what they are fighting over is whether strawberry ice cream is better than chocolate ice cream. It is, by the way. So, then as children we put the words "I think" in front of things so we can say "that's my opinion, all opinions are valid!" in order to win an argument.

What teachers really mean is not that all opinions are valid, but that usually, people should be allowed to have their own PREFERENCES. Unless they have made a pact with Satan and think that avocados are edible. They clearly are not.

However! As humans get older, they are actually supposed to learn things. With this increased knowledge and ability to reason, their opinions start to be informed by actual facts and information. And because of access to information and the amount of time different people spend gathering that information, some people’s opinions are actually better formed than other peoples. This is why we go to doctors when there is a weird pain in our chests. Because when they say “I think it might be your heart” it means something different than when your 20 year old high at 2pm nephew says it.

Ok. What does this have to do with anything, you wonder? Well. Multiple things.

We know a lot about humanity and how people interact with one another. We know a shit ton about the different systems that people are in and how these systems (education, family, political, legal, justice, etc.) impact people both individually as well as on a grand scale. We know about global warming, police brutality, and gender as a social construct.

For a random person to say “I DON’T THINK” in front of “THERE IS GLOBAL WARMING” doesn’t make that a valid opinion. It makes that person wrong. For an environmental expert to say it, it might mean that they have a different way of looking at the data, but that they are an expert suggests that they actually know what that data is. You, as a regular person with regular people knowledge of land, sea, air and fracking, can still think that, but your opinion is not as valid as other people who actually know the science.

If you say “I THINK BLACK PEOPLE ARE INCARCERATED MORE THAN OTHER RACES BECAUSE THEY ARE BIOLOGICALLY PREDISPOSED TO BE MORE CRIMINAL,” you are wrong. It’s actually counter to the data we have on people across races from biological, social, psychological, and even justice systems. You can still think that, but your opinion is probably not based in the facts. It’s also racist but that’s a whole other thing to rant about.

To say “I THINK THAT SPANKING CHILDREN WITH WHIPS IS UNLIKELY TO CAUSE THEM PSYCHOLOGICAL DAMAGE LATER IN LIFE” is wrong. You can still beat your kids (likely illegally in most states). But your understanding of the data is wrong. You might have been beaten as a child and turned out fine. That doesn't actually change what we know about the increased risk of problems associated with spanking.

And finally, you can say that you think “words are just words” and that it “doesn’t matter what people say” and that “representation doesn’t matter” and that “my feelings are the most important thing to consider in making a decision” but those things are just not supported by the actual evidence or the state of the world. I know this whole thing flies in the face of your early childhood thinking. But, I bet you can also think of times when you looked back on an opinion you held, after getting new information or trying something out, and thought "wow, I was wrong about that." At least, I hope you have. That's the shit I'm talking about!

Feel free to drop your thoughts and feelings below.