Obviously, I'm in a somewhat better mood now than I was last time I blog'd. I blame the hormones (being female is a pain in the arse sometimes) and my self-induced sugar withdrawal. Oh, and jackasses failing to stock cream cheese the right way. (We have identified the culprit(s), by the way, and have told them the error of their ways. "We" being myself and my manager.)
The game plan tomorrow (after losing said hour of sleep) is to go to brunch with Mom, bring a coffee cake (instead of cookies, because I had no time) to the police station as a Thank You to the two officers who got my spare tire on for me, watch Videodrome for my horror movie comm (and cross it off my list), write a review for Shutter Island, and then go to the newly reinstated Book Club at work. The reason we went on haitus in the first place is because the last book that got picked was A) boring, B) too long, and C) picked over the winter holidays when no one (except me, who read at least six more in its place) has any time to read stuff anyway. Long story short, no one finished it. SO we're starting again from scratch, this time asking everyone to just bring one book they're interested in, and we'll take a vote from there. (I'm bringing The Black Dahlia.)
Speaking of books and things, my must-read list has . . . grown somewhat since last time. It's gotten so I have to break these things up into categories so I can get my head around them easier. There's stuff friends recommended to me (Dust of Wonderland, Unwind); stuff I'm reading for research on my YA sci-fi series (The Hunger Games, Interworld); movies I seen and need to read the books for (City of Ember, Inkheart, Dreamcatcher); movies I'm curious about and want to read the books first (The Lovely Bones, The Ruins, The Black Dahlia); author support for various folks I met either here or at Absolute Write (A Local Habitation, Timothy and the Dragon's Gate, Evernight); and stuff I just need to read sometime before I die (Dune, The Canterbury Tales, Treasure Island).
And nope, that's not all of it. *gulp* I'll make it a summer project. Maybe.
Nightfall, Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg
I mentioned this one last time, but in the interest of keeping things tidy, I'll give you the plotline again: On the planet of Kalgash, there are six suns, and because of the way they rotate, they don't ever set at the same time. The planet is always bathed in light, and nighttime and darkness are unheard of. Except for once every two thousand years.
( I forgot how bloody depressing speculative science fiction can be. )
Guilty Pleasures, Laurell K. Hamilton
I posted a review on Read and Watch for this when I initially read it, so I'm going to keep this one short and sweet.
( So this is why Hamilton is always under Horror rather that Romance. )
1001 Nights of Snowfall, Bill Willingham
One of the Fables graphic novel series from Vertigo Comics. Not the first, but the first I've read. Which means that I'm breaking one of my own rules by picking it up, that being "Thou shalt not read a series out of order." However, with comics, unless it's a shorter series with a more fully defined single story arc, like Sandman, then I reckon you just have to pick it up wherever you come in and hope for the best. (I'm working on X-Men as well.) Either way, it's a damn good place to start, because it's more a collection of short stories told from the POV of a single, central character than an episodic snapshot of a larger saga.
( Still, I'm not sure Scheherazade would appreciate this. )
Alex and the Ironic Gentleman, Adrienne Kress
This is one of the Absolute Write author books that I endeavored to pick up at some point--and I'm almost sorry I read this first, because I'm about 98% sure that everything else will pale in comparison. It's easily one of the best books I've read all year (and I'm talking about 2009 here), let alone for this book report. Kress isn't a close acquaintance of mine on the forums, but we have chatted a bit (she's a Middle Grade/YA writer; I do supernatural horror; the threads don't always intersect) and I sent her a message to let her know how much I enjoyed this. I just wish the darn thing had been easier to find!
( My sixth grade teacher wasn't nearly that cool. )
( Started, got bored, gave up: )
( Here, have a synopsis. )
Anyways, I did get a few good reads in, and here they are. Full reviews and book covers under the cuts, like always.
The Weight of Silence, Heather Gudenkauf
One hot morning in Iowa, two seven-year-old girls go missing, along with the father of one of them--the town drunk and an all-around bad guy. Everyone has suspicions over whether this man had anything to do with these disappearances, but things aren't always what they seem. (Except when they are, because everyone but me figured this out from the word "Go.") A particular coworker of mine likes to add books to the book club that invite discussion. Meaning, we get to rant on and on about how the characters in them are so stupid we'd like to collectively smack them upside their thick heads. This is one such book.
( It was every parent's worst nightmare. )
The 19th Wife, by David Ebershoff
Two parallel families, one living in turn-of-the-century Utah with Brigham Young and company, the other living in modern day Utah somewhere between the real world and the bizarre microcasm of Fundamentalist Mormonism, struggle with the issue of polygamy and how it affects self-worth, child-rearing, and faith. Did I mention this particular coworker likes to incite discussion? This is the one that gave me nightmares, y'all.
( Everything you never wanted to know about Mormons. )
Strange Candy, by Laurell K. Hamilton
I know what you're thinking. I really don't need yet another pseudo-romantic vampire series to get hooked on. And you're right--I don't. But as this is a short story collection, and my muse is HELL BENT on making me write a paranormal romance myself, we agreed to check this out as research and see where it went. So, guess what happened? I went and bought the first Anita Blake book, Guilty Pleasures, and may be getting hooked on yet another pseudo-romantic vampire series. Yeah--thanks a lot, muse.
( Death is a very serious matter, Mrs. Fiske. )
Nightfall, by Robert Silverberg and Isaac Asimov
Started, haven't finished, setting it aside temporarily. A planet with six suns is about to experience total darkness for the first time. Pack a lunch, kids--it's Apocalypse Time!
( Darkness, it isn't natural. It isn't anything that was meant to be. )
In all fairness, the book (The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff--chosen by our book club, not by me, in case you're wondering) is really good, and fascinating, but also it's freaking me out more than anything I've watched on my marathon so far.
See, this is why I wind up getting fangirl crushes on psychopathic fictional characters, like Alex DeLarge and Kazuo Kiriyama and, to a lesser extent, Lestat De Lioncourt. I want all the crazy out there where I can see it. At the very least, they're honest. Zombies? Vampires? Mad scientists? No problem. But come at with a free pamphlet and the words, "Have you been saved?" and I will run screaming in the other direction.
Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen
Another entry for the book club, this one chosen by one of my managers.
( Step right up, for the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth! )
Loop, Koji Suzuki
Once upon a time, a young girl with psychic ability was raped, brutally murdered, and left to rot in the bottom of a well. She created a haunted videotape that allowed her to kill whoever watched it after seven days, unleashing her revenge on not only the people who had wronged her, but the whole world. This is the conclusion of Koji Suzuki's infamous Ring trilogy. Think you know this story? Think again.
( Bring me to where you are. )
Rosemary and Rue, Seanan McGuire
I discovered this author in a roundabout way, through a regular commentor on Cleolinda's journal. Then I started following Ms. McGuire's journal, and decided I absolutely had to check out her book. I've never had this much fun in urban fantasy, and I'm looking forward to her zombie trilogy like Christmas.
( It all came down to blood and roses. )
In other news: applied to a webmaster position for a university library, haven't heard back yet, but I'll keep my fingers crossed. I do know someone in this field, so I'm hopeful, and the position doesn't start until January so I'm not figuring on them getting back to me for a while.
And apparently, my ex-boyfriend lost his job. Part of me is shocked, because I always thought he was good at his job, regardless of my personal distaste for him and his lying, cheating ass, and no one in our company seems to know what he did wrong to bring about sacking. The other part of me, however, is thinking, "Karma's a bitch, isn't it?" and feeling gleefully smug right about now. I know, I know, I'm going to hell.
I finished reading Water for Elephants, the first of two books for the October book club, this morning. Wonderful - just wonderful! I keep thinking how great it would be as a movie, and I'm somewhat pondering having a bash at a screenplay. Just to shake things up. Speaking of which, I have a friend elsewhere on the internet who's interested in bringing yet another vampire series (not saying which one, because I don't want to jinx it) to the small screen, and she wants me to do the writing for it. Not sure how I feel about that yet. It would be fuck-awesome if it actually works, and damned if it won't be fun to at least try, but good lord. This is a HUGE undertaking.
My next project: Battle Royale fanfiction. I'll keep you posted. (Although I'll probably wind up posting on FF.net rather than here. Just....stay tuned.)
The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
When the young, handsome Dorian Gray meets Lord Henry Wotton, he adopts a philosophy of constant pleasure and style, and a life of hedonism and excess. But he also makes a terrible oath involving a stunning portrait done by the painter Basil Hallward, an oath that costs him his humanity and ultimately his life. Before vampires arrived in popular culture to make immortal damnation sexy, there was Dorian Gray and his cursed portrait.
( So you think that it is only God who sees the soul, Basil? Draw that curtain back, and you will see mine. )
The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
Nobody Owens is orphaned as an infant, and the residents - meaning dead folks - of a nearby graveyard take him in and care for him. You've heard the phrase "it takes a village to raise a child" - in this story, it takes a graveyard. But of course, there's a reason that Nobody's family was killed, and the man who did the deed knows his work isn't finished yet. Now a Newbury Winner for children's literature.
( The dead should have charity. )
Battle Royale, Koushun Takami
Anyone who's been following my Halloween Candy comm lately knows the basic plot of this story: in the not-so-distant future in the Republic of Greater East Asia, a horrible rite of passage is placed on the nations youth: to be unwillingly taken to a remote island, armed to the teeth, and forced to kill each other over a period of 24 hours. If anyone tries to escape, that person dies. If they try to remove the electronic collars around their necks, they die. If there's more than one survivor after the 24 hours are up, they all die. Why? Read on to find out.
( We won't stop till we win. )
Hunted, P.C. and Kristin Cast
The fifth book in the House of Night series, Hunted is the one that finally reaches the real plot. It's easy to be hooked by the premise - a Vampyre finishing school that's part coven lair, part Hogwarts, and part ancient pagan community - but this is where the story really gets rolling. Neferet, the High Priestess and leader of the school, has turned to the dark side by summoning an ancient evil: the fallen angel Kalona, a demonic and enthralling being that was once held captive by a tribe of Native American wise women called the Ghigua. And now, not only is he back to start a reign of darkness with Neferet at his side, but he wants our narrator, Zoey Redbird, to join him as his consort. So it's up to Zoey and her talented friends to stop him.
( I'm seventeen! I can't save the world--I can't even parallel park! )
So! August kicked my ass, but September's been treating me okay. Well, more or less. I got back to work on my novel, and I think I'm rolling again. We had our book club meeting at work, everyone loved The Graveyard Book, but they didn't all get through Dorian Gray because it was, like, too hard. Sigh. Oh well. I tried. Next up: Water for Elephants. I also picked up a couple things that I've had on hold forever at the library: Hunted, the most recent installment of the House of Night Series; and Loop, the final part of Koji Suzuki's Ring cycle. I'm excited about having time to read again.
Over in the Halloween Candy comm, one of our users posted a challenge that I think looks really fun. I haven't quite finalized my list yet, but I am going share it once I do.
Also: the Vampocalypse Continues. I'm all over Cirque du Freak, because if John C. Reilly's in it, you know it's good. The other one? Not so much. (Well, at least True Blood's over. For now.)