Busy Bookworm: Carlin Crazy

I have been just absorbed by books this week. Four books and two audiobooks in one week! Somehow my bookworm side was tired of being ignored and would no longer take it.

Napalm and Silly Putty by George Carlin More Napalm and Silly Putty by George Carlin
Napalm and Silly Putty, More Napalm and Silly Putty by George Carlin
These two audiobooks are wonderful. They’re mostly bits of his from his shows and albums, but this time he reads them with a calmer voice and as more of the thinker that he is. I love them!

The Jungle Book by Rudyard KiplingThe Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
It was really nice to reread The Jungle Book after many, many years. I was first given the book at Christmas when I was in the 6th grade, and I loved it then. My favorite story of both books, not just this one, is “Rikki Tikki Tavi”. I can’t put my finger on exactly why, but it was and remains my favorite story.

I do find it amusing to read it and see how much Disney sugar-coated Mowgli’s story. I think this was the first time in my life I had that realization. Now I know, Disney makes a movie, know that it’s covered in layers of sugar.
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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
This book is sadly a case of watching the movie and noticing in the credits that it was based off the book. Yet again, I have to say that The Book Was Better. There are certain aspects of the book that I can understand being left out. But there was so much more that was conveyed better by the book than the film. It was an amazing film. It is one that I will still be able to fully enjoy after reading the book because it was adapted well, but I do wish I had read the book first. The ending of the book was much better than the movie, in my honest opinion. I’d say more, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. Go and read it and watch the movie for yourself!
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Babe in Boyland by Jody GehrmanBabe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman
“I need to come up with the most amazing article ever. I know! I’ll become a boy for a week and go to the local boys academy.” That is the premise for this whole book. And you know what, it’s great! This is a great book for all teenagers, boys and girls. Although I can see more girls reading this than guys. But it’s a great book that gives you a good perspective on the opposite gender, no matter what your gender is. I’m almost 30 and it reminded me to simply be myself and not let the expectations of my gender determine who I am. It is a wonderful read.
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The Red Tent by Anita DiamanatThe Red Tent by Anita Diamanat
I loved this book from the moment the audiobook began. This is my first time actually reading the book. It is just as wonderful. It gives you a whole new way of looking at the Old Testament and gives you a better context to put it in.

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Finished! Mistress

Mistress by Leda SwannSynopsis from Goodreads:

She knew she was playing with fire . . . and was eager to burn.

The very thought of an innocent young woman—a teacher at a fusty finishing school—modeling for a series of titillating photographs to be sold at London’s bookstalls is scandalous. But orphaned Emily Clemens’s destitute circumstances have left her little choice. It is all part of her plan to capture the attention of some well-heeled roué who will then make her his pampered mistress. So the untouched beauty sheds her outer garments—and her inhibitions—to strike provocative poses before the lens of handsome photographer Eric Twyford.

But each seductive attitude she assumes is stoking a fire within that Emily never knew existed—and the heat is spurring her on to ever-greater heights of sensuous abandon. Still, the devilishly desirable Eric, a consummate professional, remains unmoved by her erotic display. If Emily cannot arouse a man in the flesh, what hope does she have as a black-and-white postcard?

She has already gone far beyond the boundaries of propriety. Now Emily’s brazenly determined to go even farther—to seduce Eric, letting him take her to intoxicating places she has never been. But once she has reached ecstasy, will she ever be able to leave?

Review:
That wasn’t a bad book. Not great, but not bad. Really good for a light read. But there was so much potential there. To much fluff and sex. I’m going to keep it for when I need something fluffy like that.
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Mistress by Leda Swann
Rating: 3 stars
SuBC: Read a book chosen based on its cover.

A look back at September

September was a huge month. Not only did I do the best ever in any NBC challenge, but I got a lot read. Let me show you:

Life, the Universe, and Everything by Douglas Adams
Feed by Mira Grant
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 Vol 6: Retreat by Jane Espenson
The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
Sketches by Eric Walters
The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory
Mistress by Leda Swann
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 Vol 7: Twilight by Brad Meltzer
The Amazing Spider-Man: Crime and Punisher by Marc Guggenheim
The Amazing Spider-Man: Death and Dating by Mark Waid
The Amazing Spider-Man: Election Day by Marc Guggenheim
The Amazing Spider-Man: 24/7 by Fred Van Lente
The Amazing Spider-Man: American Son by Joe Kelley
Avengers: The Initiative, Vol. 3: Secret Invasion by Dan Slott
Avengers: The Initiative, Vol. 4: Disassembled by Dan Slott
Dark Avengers Vol. 1: Assemble by Brian Michael Bendis
Dark Reign: The Underside by Frank Tieri
Wolverine Origins: Dark Reign by Daniel Way
Batman: The Widening Gyre by Kevin Smith

19 books! 19 books in one month! And all those graphic novels were read in a week. What can I say, they’re good and quick reading.

I am actually taking the FBC off. I have a huge stack of graphic novels to work through and a few novels too. So there’s going to be a lot of graphic talk these next few months. And obviously I have a lot of posts to write. You won’t be short of reading material any time soon!

Finished! The Boleyn Inheritance

The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa GregorySynopsis from Goodreads:

The author of The Other Boleyn Girl (2002) returns to the executed queen’s doomed family in a historical novel that maps the sad demise of Henry VIII in a series of intimate personal testimonies.

Gregory’s tale of greed and revenge takes place against the short, unhappy tenures of Henry’s fourth and fifth wives. Jockeying for position close to the throne, three powerful, ambitious women collide. The author skillfully allows each character to tell her side of the story in her own words. The first voice we hear belongs to 30-year-old Jane Boleyn, widowed sister-in-law to Anne. Jane’s husband George was implicated in his sister’s alleged infidelities and went with her to the scaffold in 1533; his calculating wife moved to save her inheritance rather than her husband and six years later is still scheming. Next up is Anne of Cleves, soon to be Queen Number Four, a provincial, German-speaking Protestant princess chosen by Henry’s advisor, Thomas Cromwell, as a politically suitable alliance to keep Spain and France at bay. Badgered and bullied all her life by her brother and mother, 24-year-old Anne wants nothing more than to escape Cleves and have a meaningful life. The third voice belongs to Katherine Howard, a pretty, 15-year-old cousin of the dead Anne Boleyn and an incorrigible flirt who is brought to court as a lady-in-waiting by her conniving, powerful uncle, the Duke of Norfolk. Also summoned to court to attend the new queen, Jane begins plotting behind the scenes with Norfolk to assure Anne of Cleve’s hasty fall and Katherine’s quick ascent in Henry’s favor. Gregory’s knowledge of the period, combined with her novelistic skill, allows her to view this grim tale through the eyes of the three women: wily, experienced Jane; naive, sensible Anne; and vain, greedy young Kitty. Their first-person accounts are convincing and shockingly self-serving.

Review:
It is a really good book. Jane’s part is really interesting. The way she lovingly talks about George is a 180 from how she was portrayed in The Other Boleyn Girl. But, so far, she has my sympathies. So does Anne. Poor thing. She knew absolutely nothing about the court. It’s no wonder things were so cool between her and Henry. He really should have known better, though.
Catherine is the only one I can’t feel sorry for, yet. She’s so young and simple and naive. It’s almost annoying!

Spoilers! Highlight to read:
In the end, I feel badly for them all. Catherine more than the others. She was simply doing what her uncle and Jane told her. She was a simple little girl who wanted more. She fell in love. Or at least lust. But she of all people should have known that what she had done wouldn’t stay quiet and would at least cost her her marriage.
Jane should have known that nothing could prevent her death if Henry really wanted it. She shouldn’t have faked being mad. All she did was get her hopes up. Which made her ending that much more depressing.
Anne really had it the best. By not knowing what she was getting into, she survived. And by not fighting the king. Every time she spoke about being her own woman I wanted to cheer her on!

In the end, they all received the Boleyn inheritance: the whim of the king.

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The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory
Rating: 4 stars
SuBC: Read a historical fiction novel.

A look back at August

August ended up being a slower month. I only got these finished:

Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
For Love of Mother-Not by Alan Dean Foster
The Red Tent by Anita Diamanta

When I finished For Love of Mother-Not, I started The Omnivore’s Dilemma. I just finished it. I love it, but it’s non-fiction, which always takes me longer to read. Especially in the last part of the book.

I am really glad my hubby recommended For Love of Mother-Not. It’s helped me look at sci-fi books in whole new way. A new way that has me wanting to read more! Yay!

Finished! The Red Tent

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable contribution in modern fiction: a new perspective of female life in biblical society. It is a vast and stirring work described as what the Bible might have been had it been written by God’s daughters instead of sons.

Far beyond the traditional women-of-the-Bible sagas in both impact and vigor, The Red Tent is based upon a mention in Genesis of Jacob’s only female offspring–his daughter, Dinah.

Author Anita Diamant, in the voice of Dinah, gives an insider’s look at the details of women’s lives in biblical times and a chronicle of their earthy stories and long-ignored histories. The red tent of the title is the place where women were sequestered during their cycles of birthing, menses, and illness. It is here that Dinah hears the whispered stories of her four mothers–Jacob’s wives Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah–and tells their tales to us in remarkable and thought-provoking oratories. Familiar passages from the Bible take on new life as Dinah fills in what the Bible has left out–the lives of women. Dinah tells us of her initiation into the religious and sexual practices of the tribe; Jacob’s courtship with Rachel and Leah; the ancient world of caravans, farmers, midwives, and slaves; her ill-fated sojourn in the city of Sechem; her years in Canaan; and her half-brother Joseph’s rise in Egypt.

Skillfully interweaving biblical tales with characters of her own invention, the author re-creates the life of Dinah providing an illuminating portrait of a courageous woman and the life she might have lived. A new view of the panorama of life in biblical times emerges from the female perspective, and the red tent itself becomes a symbol of womanly strength, love, and wisdom.

The Red Tent is one of those extremely rare publishing phenomenons–a little promoted, but dynamically successful book (over 250,000 copies sold) that owes its success to enthusiastic word-of-mouth endorsements. Now, for the first time, this sweeping saga, which has struck a chord with so many modern-day women, comes to life as a much-anticipated audiobook.

Review:
This book is amazing! I was hooked within chapters. I’m never going to look at a lot of the Old Testament the same way again! I loved how she told the story of her mothers which set everything up for her story. I never thought their lives were so different from the men’s. I had assumed that they worshiped the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The term ‘faith of our fathers’ has a whole new meaning now.
Dinah lived an amazing life. Being the only daughter of Jacob must have been interesting. Also having four mothers to care for her, share wisdom with, and just be there. She actually got to be with who she fell in love with.
When her son was describing his boss, (spoilers, highlight to read) I knew it was Joseph. I thought it was fun how they didn’t know each other. That reminds me. Her mother-in-law was a bitch! Taking her son away like that! Forbidding her to speak of her husband. I felt so sorry for Dinah.
Despite all of that, the only time I teared up was near the end. Judah giving her the ring was so sweet! She couldn’t blame them for not recognizing her. She hung back with the servants and made no effort to talk with them. Thank God for Judah. That one gesture from their mother was what she needed.

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The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Rating: 5 stars
SuBC: Read a book from Rory’s book list

Wow it’s been a while

Getting everything ready for, going to, and recovering from Dragon*Con was a bit distracting. But I have been reading! Right now I’ve actually got three books going at once and a post I really need to write up.

I’ve finished The Red Tent and love it. Hopefully tomorrow or Saturday I’ll get that one up.

I’ve been working on The Omnivore’s Dilemma. It’s taking a while to read, not because it’s boring, but because non-fiction always takes me longer.

Because I was close-ish to being done with it, and because it felt like it would fit in with the D*C weekend better, I took Feed. It is really hard to put that book down. I’ve been reading it for about a week when I can and I’m almost halfway through it.

Once we got back I started listening to Life, the Universe, and Everything in the car. It’s only 5 discs long and I’m on disc 3. My only complaint so far is that Zaphod sounds like he’s from Brooklyn. For someone who’s listened to the radio shows as much as I have, that just doesn’t sit well.

So hopefully within a week, or two at the most, I’ll have plenty of posts going up. Now if I can just get the rest of these books read!

Finished! The Other Boleyn Girl

The Other Boleyn Girl coverI listened to The Other Boleyn Girl last year and wanted to sit down and read it since. This is such a great book! it makes me want to learn more about the time. The way she writes the two of them reminds me of my younger sister and myself sometimes. Except that Anne acts more like the younger and Mary the elder.

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The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
Rating: 4 stars
SBC: Read a popular book: a book that has at least 15,000 ratings (not reviews) on Goodreads

Finished! The Constant Princess

The Constant Princess coverThis book follows the early years of Katherine of Aragon, born Catalina, Infanta of Sapin. Beginning in Spain at the conquest of Alhambra, the five-year-old Infanta of Spain and Princess of Wales watches as her mother and her father leading the troops, discussing tactics, and working as equals. Then she is sent to England to marry her betrothed, Prince Arthur, son of King Henry VII. It is another world. She goes from the dry, warm days and nights of Spain to a damp dark life in England. She is looked at strangely for wanting to bathe daily and thinks they are so far behind because they have to fill a tub for her instead of drawing a bath.

When she first meets her future husband, there is a lot of tension and awkwardness between them. He is shy and unsure of what to do, even how to talk to her. It wasn’t until she almost froze on the way to Wales that he realizes how he has been treating her. Those days in Wales were days of love and romance and planning the future of England.

But the mysterious sweating sickness claims Arthur before they can conceive an heir and her status in England becomes unknown. Arthur wanted her to marry Henry, his younger brother, so that she could still become queen and carry out their plans for England. From here life becomes quite complicated and calculated.

This book sucked me in very quickly. Much of the book is told by the narrator, but there are sections, sometimes long, that are told from Catalina’s, later Katherine’s, point of view. It really gives you an insight into how different life was in England than in much of Europe. I also have much more respect and awe for her as well. Her parents raised her to be a strong woman, and she would not simply be a wife who was submissive to her husband. Her ability to strategize is probably what kept her at the king’s side for so long. One thing I really liked about her was how she slowly realized that her parents were wrong in so many ways. She was really ahead of her time.
It also helps to put Henry into perspective. I didn’t know how spoiled he was as a child. I also didn’t know what his father had done to become king. That explains so much. He would be very determined to have a legitimate son and heir.
It gives you a different way of thinking when you read the rest of the books. This should definitely be the first book anyone reads in this series!

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The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory
Rating: 5 stars
SBC: Read a book about royalty or a royal character

Finished! Affinity

Affinity is the second of Sarah Waters Victorian era books. It was also her second book, after Tipping the Velvet.

The book alternates between the journals of Margaret Prior, a ‘Lady Visitor’ at Millbank Prison, and Selina Dawes, a spirit medium. Margaret’s story includes meeting Selina while she is in Millbank prison. As she gets to know her more, she also does some work finding out more about her past and why she is in the prison. Selina’s story takes place in the couple of years leading up to the event that led to her imprisonment. Their lives intertwine and as they grow closer, interesting things start to happen.

SPOILERS!!!!!!!

Seriously, don’t keep reading if you don’t want things spoiled.

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OMG. I was not expecting that! She did an amazing job of drawing you in. I felt just as anxious as Margaret, waiting for Selina to come. I thought either she didn’t make it out or died trying to get there. Vigers. The entire time! One of the best twists I’ve ever read.
It makes me wonder what was real and what she was faking. It seemed that she may have had a connection to the spirit world. But who knows now.
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Affinity by Sarah Waters
Rating: 5 stars
SBC: Read a book set somewhere you’d like to go.