Sunday, June 28, 2009

Speaking of Swish

I got some Swish Bulky yarn from Knit Picks. It truly is lovely. Plump and squishy, super-soft! I am going to make a pinwheel blanket for a baby due in Boston in October. First, I just need to turn the hanks into center pull balls.

The cord to my camera remains At Large. Too bad, as I have knocked a couple more dishcloths out of the park. Who wouldn't want to see my first mitered squares? Who?

I think I'm about stocked on sugar and cream for a lifetime. There has been some 'stash enhancement' thanks to a sale at Michaels-- $1 a ball! There was also a printable coupon for Hobby Lobby, 40% off one of those giant afghan kits. So I've added (Holy Shit, I just did the math) 5.8 POUNDS of cotton to my stash. Again I say "Holy Shit."

Book 24: Swish

I reserved Swish from the library so that I could read it, pick my favorite part, and thus gain access to the author's Super Secret Blog. So I went to the OPL website and put it on hold. Reader, I was not first in line! I had to wait.

As I read Swish, I keep thinking 'This is my favorite part.' And then 'Oh, THIS is my favorite part.' "No wait, it's this part.' Plus, I'm learning all sorts of things about sex that I've wondered about for years. And by sex, I mean gay sex. (I know about the straight type, more or less.)

The cover has been changed and a forward added by Sir! Elton! John! I may need to buy it so I can read that. The cover I picked up from the library elicited some eye widening from the librarian. Sorry, Ms. Jones.

I am still not sure what was my favorite part. The themes of longing and belonging are in every chapter and the contrast of those two feelings is what made it speak to me. I'd recommend the chapters "On Camp Camp" and "On Musical Theater". The former for the description of the final promenade at Camp. The later for discussion of Asah and Bara, the two words for Creation in Hebrew.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Book 23: Lord of Scoundrels

Now that I've admitted I like Romance Novels I will probably review more of them. Which means I will have a chance at whipping through the 52 books in 52 weeks thing. I tend to read them pretty quickly.

I selected this one because the Smart Bitches recommend Loretta Chase very highly. I haven't been reading as much romance as usual, and I was kinda jonesing for something escapist that didn't have vampires or zombies in it. This book exceeded my expectations. I will say that my favorite part (outside of the sheets) was when the heroine SHOT the hero. She Shot Him! He sort of had it coming, and it certainly helped adjust his attitude. And I do not recommend this as a method of bring men around to appropriate behavior in real life. Mostly.

The heroine, Jessica, is independent and capable without crossing over into the sort of goofy recklessness that often leads the heroines of historicals to do one of 2 things. The first is Don Trousers and Try to Pass as a Man Which Just Makes the Hero Wonder If He Is Gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that. And frankly, it's one of the plot devices I can't get enough of. It's like finding out Santa Claus is real, and that he delivers massive orgasms to naughty, naughty girls. The second is Rush Into Something Dangerous Without A Pistol and Get Kidnapped and Then Rescued. Not such a fan of that.

Jess not only does not get kidnapped, she beats the crap out of a guy. And the hero, Sebastian, has to pull her off of him! So awesome. Again, I do not endorse people beating the crap out of home intruders. But since I am about the size of The Lollipop Guild, I live vicariously. I like an ass kicking heroine.

There were a couple of minor plot lines in this that were sort of dropped and hastily resumed. The ending felt a little rushed on account of that.

Maybe if I hadn't been rushing myself, I would not have dropped it into the bathtub. Oh yes, I read in the tub and my proclivity for accidentally dropping books into the drink is the strongest argument I know against the kindle. If I dropped a kindle in the tub, I would lose my mind I'd be so enraged with myself.

Book 22: Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches Guide to Romance Novels

I say it loud "I'm a bitch and I'm proud." Typically I don't shout from the rooftops the same way when discussing my reading materials. I read romance novels, bunches and bunches of them. I am particularly fond of Regency Romances. I like the contemporary romances only if they are funny. So there, now it's out here for the whole internet to know. Well, my librarians at Benson Branch know.

Candy and Sarah can be found blogging here. They have a vast array of reviews, spanning all the subgenres of romance, searchable by grade. That isn't really the point of this particular book. It is not the romance version of Nancy Pearl's Book Lust. This book is funnier, for starters. Oh Lord, is it funny. If you were here, I would read you passages until you gasped with laughter. That's what I did to my husband the day after I started reading it. However, if you were here, I'd have to wear pants. In discussing different trends and customs of the genre, they do provide great examples of books that illustrate what they're talking about. You can get some good recommendations but nothing like the bonanza of the website.

They also break things down by Old Skool and New Skool romance. In a nutshell-- the chicks are feistier and the men are less brutal in the new skool. They have an erudite examination of the loathsome trend wherein the hero rapes the heroine in romances in the old skool and they still get the HAE. I dislike old skool romance because of that very thing. I would have to say that my fondness for the genre developed in around 1990, when the old skool was fading away, still there were a few authors who were big then that I never could like because of that very thing.

They have a few tidy responses to the accusation that Romance is Formulaic. Ever read a mystery novel where the bad guy gets away with it and no one cares? Yeah, not very many of those. There is also some discussion of the online community comprised of authors and fans. Really interesting.

I will say that the layout was a bit confusing, with blurblets interspersed with the actual text but not clearly delineated. And there are some very silly games in here. Not the Romance Mad Libs-- those are awesome.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Like The Bee

I am busy, busy, busy. Like the Bee. But not that annoying one in the allergy commercial. More Like This One. God, how I love Bessie. She's AWSHUM!!

I should get badges in general hausfrauery, overtime, and knitting dishrags. I've knitted up 3 more of them. I think I learned a lot from my mistakes in these. Well, I also learned that I am really bad at counting. I need to dig up the camera and take pictures. I am almost done with a keyhole scarf as well.

In the realm of books, I am part way into 2 right now and nearing completion on them. Still behind in the challenge. Sigh. Soon though it will be too hot to run around as much and reading should pick back up for a couple months.

Work is work is work is work. The only things I can count on there is overload, training contractors (which I'm not great at).

In other news, I get to drive My Husband's Subaru this week! My car is parked at his shop while he is out of town this week. He figured if one car has to be poised for theft, it should be mine-- it's worth less and has more equity. I sincerely doubt someone is going to steal Desmond the Bratmobile. It's domestic, stick shift, 4 door, with 2 car seats in it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Book 21: Which Brings Me To You

Another Epistolary! Jane and John meet at a wedding, get naked, and decide to put the brakes on that and get to know each other with letters. I was dismayed that the letters were restricted to confessions about their mishaps in love. I am not a big fan of confession of that nature. (All for the Papist Version!)

There is so much more to a person's life and history than just the love stuff. Also, in the words of Adam Corolla and Dr. Drew: More Mystery, Less History.

The letters though are quite funny. There were a few episodes of snorting, which invariably lead to my husband requesting I read to him what just happened, which he has no reference for, so it's not that funny to him. It takes the whole book to appreciate some of the humor in this. Just as it takes my whole history to appreciate some of the humor in me.

Some of the confessional letters are so real that they are cringeworthy. And some of the confessions are the kinds of things you don't confess! JUST REPRESS. Jesus, when I say "You need to filter" that is a bad, bad sign.

I found the ending somewhat lacking. I finished the book on Saturday and here I am writing the review Tuesday night. I can't put my finger on it. I do think that the two crazy kids in here got a bit too worked up and overthought themselves. (Overthinking, underacting-- classic Hamlet Syndrome) It wasn't that the ending wasn't real. It was just. . . unsatisfying. There was a lot of stuff crammed in there, stuff that would have maybe played out well on film but not so well on the page.

I do recommend this based just on the hotness of the opening not-quite-sex-scene. Plus the time John's Cock Wrote The Letter.