Thursday, 20 December 2012

JPod - Douglas Coupland

Finally, is what I said upon reading this. I'm a West Coast Canadian reader girl and I had never read JPod. Not even one time. Despite its immense popularity, despite the home-province setting, despite my brother trying to break into the video game industry. But NO MORE am I out of this particular loop.

JPod is the story of six lowly employees (programmers, artists, and probably also other things I don't remember) at a video game developing company in Vancouver, BC. It's EA, really, I mean come on. Our protagonist is Ethan, a programmer, and we focus on him and the whackadoo events of his life. That's really all you need to know. No complex plot or characters, here. Just some solid day-in-the-life comedy.

I liked JPod. I liked the randomness of it. We'd go from the politics between marketers and developers during game-making, to thoughts on autism and technology, to crack mcdrugscenes, to PAGES and pages of coding or spam samples or the first 100,000 digits of pi. These things are a bit. Coupland is riffing, and I like it.

What I didn't like was Coupland. Relatively early in the novel, he inserts himself as a character. These scenes are full of self-deprecating humour (administrated by Ethan) in which Character Coupland is a pompous douche canoe, and yes, I get that it's a joke, but oh man if I didn't find those scenes spectacularly annoying. It's like that thing that people say, how a joke is 90% truth (I don't agree with this all the time but it works for my point here so just go with me dudes). Character Coupland is so self involved that of course he would make himself a character, making sure the readers remember him. But of course that is the function that is actually performed. Those scenes were just pages of I wrote this! I'm the AUTHOR! But I'm also a CHARACTER! Aren't I meta and hilarious?


But I've talked to other people who've read JPod, and Character Coupland doesn't bother all of them. And even if it does sound like something that would bother you, if you like absurd, day-in-the-life comedy, JPod is entirely worth a read. If only to check that yes, there really are 41 pages of pi.

Friday, 14 December 2012

On Nick Hornby and how he is awesome.

Nick Hornby is awesome.

So I just finished Gone Girl and Let's Pretend This Never Happened and those are some hard acts to follow. After them, I couldn't bear to read anything that wasn't Harry Potter because I am SO EXCITED FOR READING RAMBO'S READALONG HOLY CRAP HAVE YOU SIGNED UP YET. Fortunately, I eventually stopped vibrating with excitement enough to remember I had recently purchased Juliet, Naked

I'm halfway through, and man, it's great. It's light and funny and I like the characters and the focus on music and messed up relationships. It's Hornby: Classic.

My first first dance with Hornby  like many of us, I'd imagine  came with High Fidelity, and it was love at first top 5 list. Lists! Music! Britishness! 

My most gleeful of jams.

Then About a Boy happened and with it came tears and late-bloomed Nirvana enthusiasm. Slam was fine and A Long Way Down was freaking genius (I feel like Hornby must have written it on a bet. Make suicide funny?

It will be my greatest triumph to date.)

The only Hornby I haven't liked, How to be Good, deserves a reread, because it was my encounter with a protagonist that I actively wanted to slap. I couldn't handle it when I first read it, and I think my reaction might have been greater than what I was reacting to.

So, Hornby's no Harry, but he'll do. FOR NOW.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Let's Pretend This Never Happened - Jenny Lawson

I will catch up with you yet, internet favourites of 2012.

This has to be one of the books that encouraged the most anxiety among book bloggers (well, my type of book bloggers) this year. Written by the ever hilarious and eternally popular Bloggess, there's the feeling that, if you don't like this book, you'll be kicked out of the tribe. And we all loooooove this tribe. As someone who recently graduated from lurker to sometimes blogger, I was feeling that anxiety. What if I didn't think this was funny? What if I proved myself an outsider to this glorious club of outsiders? WHAT THE HELL THEN?!

This caps lock key is not big enough for my feels.

But never fear, fellow tribe members who've yet to read this. If you like the Bloggess' blog, you'll like this book. That's it. Her voice is there, her rambley, tangential narrative style is there. It's the Bloggess, y'all. It's all going to be OK. (Also, can we acknowledge how it's impossible not to say "y'all" after reading this book? It's impossible.) (Also also, you'd never be kicked out of this tribe for not liking this or any book. Because this is the best of tribes. With killer subtribes such as the epicly fabulous Cult of Wilkie. BUT I DIGRESS.)

Like her blog, Lawson's memoir is balanced between snorty, ugly-laughing hilarity, shockingly sad moments turned to uplifting "Depression Lies" defiance, and general WTFery. I haven't read ALL of her blog, but she goes into more detail about her childhood than she has in her posts since I've been reading (about a year and a half?). Like, for example, how her dad leaned a little Gaston in his style choices.

He used antlers in all of his DEHHHcoraaating, is what I'm saying.

Which explains her penchant for ethically taxidermied animals, like Hamlet von Schnitzel, who is featured on the cover of her book, and my personal favourite, Juanita Weasel, featured in this glorious piece of internet from the Bloggess' blog:

Posted nearly a year ago and I'm still laughing. Go to the original post because I'm only just stopping myself from reposting all the memes.

Anyway, the takeaway from this is read the book and the blog. Join us.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

Alright, so, you know how a few weeks ago I was all ranty about not liking books where the characters are unlikeable? I'M A COMPLETE LIAR.

Turns out I like them just fine thankyouverymuch, if the author is Gillian Flynn. And, to be fair, the character(s) I'm thinking of did have bits that made me like them, if not bits that redeemed them, you know, morally. 

I've seen this book all over the place. From what I can see, it is one of the most hyped/successful novels of 2012. But in case you don't look at the same corners of the internet that I do, lemme tell you about this Girl that is Gone.

Newlyweds Amy and Nick Dunne move to Lonesome Tumble Weed, Missouri (south of Nowheresville) after losing their glamorous jobs in NYC. As one can imagine with this kind of change, their marriage has hit a bit of a rough patch, and then  dunne dunne duuuuuuuunne (GET IT?!) Amy goes missing. As the evidence stacks up, it all seems to point to her husband. This is a thriller/mystery that alternates between Nick's and Amy's perspective really effectively to create seat-squirming tension.


I loved this book.

I read it in about a minute and a half. There were twists that I feel like I maybe should have seen coming but I TOTALLY DIDN'T. My approach was to Guess All the Things, so even if I did land on something like the truth, I always changed my mind a paragraph later. And the ending, you guys. I can not even.

This face. This was the face.

It's a mystery, so there's not a lot I can talk about here, and that plus loving each sociopathic page makes for a short review. All I can say is I would highly suggest getting your crime-solving hands on this before they turn it into a movie starring whomever the 30-year-old version of Gwyneth Paltrow is.

Final piece of advice: do not skip to the end of the book to see how many pages there are or to fulfill your Harry Burns urges. You will ruin it.


Saturday, 24 November 2012

Pattern Recognition - William Gibson

Pattern Recognition was one of my top 5 books as teenager, largely because of its style. For example, the opening:

Pattern Recognition: Five hours' New York jet lag and Cayce Pollard wakes up in Camden Town to the dire and ever-circling wolves of disrupted circadian rhythm.
It is that flat and spectral non-hour, awash in limbic tides, brainstem stirring fitfully, flashing inappropriate reptilian demands for sex, food, sedation, all of the above, and none really an option right now.

16-Year-Old Me: Ah man, I am about to be soooo cool!

It's the rhythm of Gibson's language that really got me as a 16 year old, and still grabs me today. Reading this now felt like finding a band you loved as a kid, listening to them again and discovering that they are not, in fact, embarrassing, but still awesome. It's a good feel, you guys.

Celebratory panda gif.

So what's this nostalgia-inducing gem about, then?

Cayce (pronounced "Case") Pollard is an advertising consultant, a coolhunter. She's keenly aware of the hottest trends and can tell at a glance whether a product or brand will sell. An anxiety disorder that is triggered by brands helps her in her work, but makes living in our commercial world, oh, a tad difficult. Now, the No Logo thing reads like the Original Hipster,

Presenting: The Hipsteriest Gif on Tumblr

but Cayce can pull it off. She's endearing. She has flaws and obsessions. She is weird, and I like her.

Cayce is in London to consult on a new logo designed by the advertising company Blue Ant. While there, she's offered another assignment. Obscure segments of film footage have been surfacing on the web, and they've developed a frenzied underground following, which Cayce counts herself among. Now, she's been asked to find the maker. 

The book follows Cayce in her international search for the footage's creator. There's intrigue and suspense and shifty characters, and in the background are Cayce's ever-present thoughts of her father, who was last seen in New York City on September 11, 2001. 

I love this book. The first half of the story stayed fresh in my brain from my many teenage reads, and the first half is what I enjoyed most this time around. As the mystery unraveled and the thriller peaked, I became less invested. But still, one of my favourites.

AND, my Dad has kindly informed me that Gibson wrote two follow-ups to Pattern Recognition: Spook Country and Zero History. You can bet those have rocketed to the top of my TBR list. 

This is getting problematic.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

White is for Witching - Helen Oyeyemi

I have decided that, for my November resolution (it's a thing), I will HENCEFORTH post at least once a week here at the Enthusiast. There. It's written on the internet, and so must be true.

H'OKAY. This was the only book of my R.I.P. choices that I had to stop reading by 8 pm, lest that dark corner of my bedroom spawn ghosties. This is a proper haunted house story, where the House itself is as disturbing as the women in its walls. 

Set in a sprawling manor-turned-B&B on the cliffs of Dover, White is for Witching is told through the voices of Miranda; her twin brother, Eliot; her girlfriend, Ore; and the House. The story revolves around Miranda and her disappearance, and so her section is told in third person, while the others are in first. The number of perspective switches and weird, unsettling details make this a book that I will absolutely be rereading, if only to try to understand all of what really happened.  

I love the way Oyeyemi used a kind of slow accumulation of creepy to get to the terrifying and disorienting climax. She combines a pile of acceptably unusual things twin relationship dynamics; Miranda's pica (pronounced pie-kah), an eating disorder that causes the urge to eat things with no nutritional value, like chalk  with supernatural unusual things best discovered on your own to create this sense of unease and confusion. Reading it felt like slowing going crazy and then having one spectacular break. 

Nah, it's cool. Just some guy with some dolls.

OK, I think I might be in trouble.

I really liked this book, and the further away I get from reading it, the more I like it. In with the crazy narrative and the Distinct Style are some really great bits of writing. The internet says Oyeyemi's writing is dark and lyrical, and dark and lyrical it is. 

Also, to my Cult of Wilkie internet buds, there are lesbians AND a Wilkie Collins reference. 

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

October? More like DNF-tober. YEAH.

October wasn't the greatest reading month for me. I finished a reread of William Gibson's Pattern Recognition and DNF'd We Need to Talk About Kevin and Grapes of Wrath. Now, let me tell you why:

They bummed me the hell out.

Or, OK, the long version:

When it comes to Grapes, after 200-or-whatever pages of bleakity bleak from Steinbeck, I had to perform an emergency evacuation of myself from 1939 California. It was affecting my life, you guys. As for We Need to Talk About Kevin, it was sooooer overdue. I think it was coming at Grapes directly from Kevin that killed it. I can only take so much focus on characters I find fundamentally unlikeable (remind me to review Adam Davies' The Frog King for you guys sometime. Shuh-heesh). 

You are not as great as you think you are, characters.

In Kevin, as much of the internet has rightly pointed out, it's the mom. She is gratingly Proud and uses outrageously pretentious language and I will talk more about this when I've finished the book and can write a proper post. In Grapes, sure, it's the land owners, it's the Californian police, it's the pesky tractors, but most of all, it's Steinbeck. I'm having a hard time picking the book back up because I know he's just going to yell at me. He gives his call to action legs by making the reader feel terrible (whether it's class rage [which I think he'd prefer], or guilt [which he would take happily, thank you], or general The-World-is-Awful melancholy), and so, presumably, want to Make Change. This is a legitimate way to get things done, but it is also my least favourite. Give me rousing speeches and Hope for the Future any day.

I will eventually finish both of these problem children, Kevin and Grapes. Kevin obviously because I've gots to know what happened and whether my urge to punch the mom in the face ever lets up. Grapes, really, I'll finish because you've got to finish your vegetables. The book is Important, and I would like to have read it, if not to read it. I just need to distance myself from it for a bit so I'm not so annoyed with Steinbeck that I miss the parts that are beautifully written, despite the shouting.

Eaaaasy, Steinbeck.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Grapes of Wrath Readalong 2: Grapes of AW, C'MON, REALLY?!

This post is part of a readalong, and it's getting a might spoilery. Check out Devouring Texts to see the other postsalongs.

Well, now I'm upset. 

I have not finished the assigned section, dudes. I was happily trucking along, reading on Wednesday with plenty o' time to finish, and then BAM. Steinbeck kills the dog. 

How could you?

Granted, the dog was nameless, and not a particularly central character, but MAN. It's just, it's the most manipulative kind of literary device, dog-killing. (Totally a literary device. That handout you get in high school goes 1. Simile, 2. Metonymy, 3. Dog-Killing.) I hate that crap. And then, I get over the dog (and myself, a little bit) and start reading again and BAM. Steinbeck kills Grampa. This is getting George RR Martin-y, and it's making me nervous. 

Grampa dying is the saddest. He didn't even want to go to California, in the end.

He's not even supposed to be here today.

But Casy was right - Grampa died the minute he left their land. UGH, Steinbeck.

Now, I'm on Chapter 15 and I've had to take a break because he's started listing cars again.

But hey, I'll catch up. It's just, it's the rainy season now in my neck of the woods and dark early + raining all the time + Grapes of freaking Wrath = sad all the livelong day.

In conclusion, dust bowl gif.

Next day pre-post update: Now I'm at the part where Tom Joad Jr. just suggested he and Casy stay behind and fix the truck while everyone else goes on ahead. Really? Split up? It's like he's never even seen a horror movie.

This will end badly.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Grapes of Wrath Readalong 1: The Land Before Grapes

Well, I've neither cried nor frothed with rage yet. But there's been a lot of sympathetic head-shaking.

The Dude will not abide these home-wrecking tractors.

The book is broken up into chapters of plot and chapters of atmosphere. Atmosphere-wise, we've been introduced to the hard, dust bowl land of Oklahoma in the 1930s.

Dust, stahp.

Things are not going well for farmers. Everyone's broke. No one's land is their own anymore. Chapter 5, the atmosphere chapter describing land owners sending their agents to give their tenants eviction notice, got me right in the gut. Steinbeck's writing is so fantastic in these chapters. He makes the story so much bigger than the Joads. He uses these chapters to get some Ideas out there on the page, too. Like, also in chapter 5, when he says "the monster that built the tractor, the monster that sent the tractor out, had somehow got into the driver's hands, into his brain, and muscle, had goggled him and muzzled him — goggled his mind, muzzled his speech, goggled his perception, muzzled his protest." Dude. That's good. So I'm liking these atmosphere chapters. Except for chapter 7, on the used car lot. That was a skimmer.

It was all the "Used Cars. Good Used Cars," "Buicks, Nashes, De Sotos," "If I could get a hundred jalopies," et freaking cetera.

In the plot chapters, we've been introduced to the Joad family. Tom Jr., who just got paroled from jail, is looking like our protagonist. I am REALLY liking Ma Joad, so far. We can imagine, and it's spelled out pretty blatantly early on in an atmosphere chapter, that women are wholly dependent on their men at this time. But Ma Joad is the integral Jenga piece in her family. "She seemed to know, to accept, to welcome her position, the citadel of the family, the strong place that could not be taken. [...] She seemed to know that if she swayed the whole family shook, and if she ever deeply wavered or despaired the family would fall, the family will to function would be gone." She is quietly dignified, and I am liking her face.

What else? Muley breaks my heart, wandering around like a graveyard ghos'. Characters are working the idea of communism around like the truck driver who picked up Tommy Joad worked that piece of gum. One of the more flat-out-saying-it instances is in chapter 8, when Rev. Casy is saying grace over the Joads' breakfast and says, "But when they're all workin' together, not one fella for another fella, but one fella kind of harnessed to the whole shebang — that's right, that's holy." The Joad clan + Casy have just piled into the truck and left for California, Grampa against his will. We know Tom Jr.'s going to run into trouble for breaking his parole and leaving the state. But what else will they find in California? Will there really be work? Will there really be so many grapes? What is up with the name "Rose of Sharon," or, to her friends, "Rosasharn"? So many questions, you guys. 

Mostly, I'm worried about the grape thing. 

You have crushed ENOUGH souls, Willy Wonka.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Grapes of Wrath Readalong: Intro Grape


Well, hello again, readalongkins! It's time for Laura's Grapes of Wrath readalong!

That's right: another month of gifs, exclamation points, and turning ALL the characters gay. It's what we do, and it's glorious. 

Now, intro post. I've never read any Steinbeck. Yet another factor that makes it unbelievable that I graduated with an English degree. I don't even actually have my copy of Grapes yet. DO NOT LET THIS CAST DOUBT ON MY RESOLVE. I am excited, and I will get the book before next Tuesday, certainly.

Seeing as I have no knowledge of Steinbeck from my formal education, I will turn to the informal font: Wikipedia. 

Serious face is serious.

Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962, and Grapes won the Pulitzer. Other important and literary things. I am late for my first day back at work after getting part of my face (wisdom teeth) removed, and so I'll have to leave it at that. We shall converse further in the comments. 


Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Let the Right One In - John Ajvide Lindqvist

Let the Right One In is the story of Oskar, a lonely, bullied 12-year-old boy who lives in Stockholm. One day, Oskar notices a girl of about his age hanging around his apartment complex's playground. They become fast friends; and, as is evident from her perching on the jungle gym — RIGHT-SIDE-UP-BAT-LIKE  she is a vaaaampire. The story focuses on Oskar's struggles at school and his friendship with Eli, evolving as it does when he discovers that she is a vampire, with secondary plot lines and characters that are affected by Eli and Oskar.

This book alternates between calm, regular-type fiction and AAH, HOLY CRAP moments. 

A veritable roller coaster of emotions.

While there were scary scenes, it didn't crawl under my skin and keep me up nights. (Although creepy young girls are the creeeepiest, 

You remember these bitches.

which I did appreciate.)

There are fun, vampire-fact tidbits that I enjoyed. For example, Eli can put her mouth over Oskar's and transmit a memory to him, so that Oskar relives this memory as if he were Eli. These memories made for the eeriest parts of the book, for me. 

I enjoyed reading this, but I kept my socks on. (Because they were not knocked off, you see.) Still, a fun one for R.I.P., and refreshingly devoid of the emo-sexy vampire with his stupid hair and his ruining Cedric Diggory ... None of that, here.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Room - Emma Donoghue

Well that wasn't as bad as I though it was going to be. 

This book sets itself up to be one of those "why did I do this to myself?" books. The kind that are so upsetting that every now and then they still keep you up at night with their ickiness (I'm looking at you, Fall on Your Knees). The problem is that those books can also be amazing. The nice thing about Room is that it didn't get into that part of my brain, but it was still fairly excellent. (To be clear, though, Fall on Your Knees, with all its awfulness,

 is h'way better than Room, but it will take part of your soul as payment.)

Told from the perspective of a five-year-old boy named Jack, Room is the story of a Mom and her kid. Seven years ago, a man abducted Ma and locked her in a highly secure, 11-by-11-foot room. Five years ago, she had his child. For Jack, Room is the whole world: nothing exists beyond its walls. His perspective is so unique (thank God), and watching its development is captivating. Donoghue goes into great detail about the Room and Jack's relationship to the objects in it. How Jack sees the world, the significance of the games that he and his Ma play, these kept me turning the pages even more than the action.

This book holds back from exploiting its readers emotions, even though it would have been so easy to up the Awful Factor to unbearable levels. As it stands, it keeps it to terrible freaking subject matter, written up as a thriller. One scene actually had me drenched in sweat. I got very invested in Jack and I felt strongly about his well-being. (Also, it gets hot in this apartment.) SO. A good read, a quick read, and recommended. 

This books is a good suspense/thriller. 

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Classiest Rick Roll Ever

For me, Mad Men is the greatest thing on television. I'm waiting with baited breath for season 6, but in the meantime, this is tiding me over:

Sunday, 2 September 2012

To declare my intentions

I have a love/hate relationship with scary things. I love them before I consume them and I hate them afterward, when they keep me up for months on end. That being said, it's time for R.I.P. VII!!! I never learn, is what I'm saying. This will be my first time participating, and I'm, you know, reasonably excited.

Reasonably excited dance.

ALL the creepy books! So far, after stealing Laura's reading list at Devouring Text (sorry, Laura), I've got Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist, The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, and We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver (been meaning to read that one forEVER) all on hold at the library. And now also Raych's White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi is on hold too because I don't know what to read until you people tell me. Also, LOOK AT THE COVER:

Tell me you spooky ways, pale one. And after Octavius "Damn Your Eyes" Guy, I know I'm going to be watching Young Frankenstein again soon. But, but what else? I'd love to know what movies and books you guys like this time of year. I like the psychologically creepy stuff, and demon stuff tends to get in my head too much, so I'd probably avoid it unless it was really, really highly recommended. Guide me, oh wise ones.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The Moonstone 4: THAT'S IT

This post is part of a readalong. In fact, it's the last post, so it will contain ALL the spoilers.

I am happy and also sad.

(My emotions are in such a state that I'm not going to adhere to any sort of structure in this post, opting instead to yell my reactions at you.)

We did it! We solved the Moonstone! And you know what? We were right from the START. (Not really, but let's take credit for it anyway, shall we? We shall.) Mother effing freaking GODFREY. You cannot trust a guy who's so chummy with all the Clacks in London. Something is up, there. The fact that Franklin literally handed him the diamond does not make him any less scoundrelly. I would really like to know more about his secret life, secret house, and secret layday.

The reveal scene where Sergeant Cuff rips off the dead man's wig etc is MASTERFUL. The fantastic Gooseberry acted as our faithful commentator, because Franklin, he is too fragile for that shit. Also I'm sure he was still hungover from the opium, and you don't want to be looking at corpses with an opium stomach. And then the double reveal with the name in the letter and AH. So good.

And hey, look at that, by the end of it all we found our Marian-equivalent in terms of sheer stupendousness and ninja-like qualities: Gooseberry! Or, as I shall call him henceforth, Gooseberrrrrrrry! I love him and his crazy eyes. He, like Marian, is stronger than you expect, and stronger than many a man in the same situation. I REALLY love how Sergeant Cuff foretells Gooseberry's future as a genius detective.

"The suspects name is ... Abby something ..."

HEY. I just realized something. Some of Wilkie's best characters, certainly the ones I get most attached to, have some physical feature that makes them abnormal: Marian (unfortunate face), Ezra Jennings (cray-cray hair and unpopular skin colour), Gooseberry (googly eyes) ... NEED I GO ON? I need not. I think Wilkie, having an extraordinary feature himself, gave comparable features to his really special characters. And having those features allowed for character development (in Marian and Ezra, at least) that couldn't have happened otherwise. Because when you're beautiful the world treats you differently. I don't know. Thoughts? 

Oh, my pudding pops, this post could go on for ages. The opium experiment. Franklin and Rachel getting back together. The death of poor Ezra *SOB*. The clear romance between Ezra and Mr. Candy ("Kiss me!"). Most importantly, Wilkie gave the Moonstone back to the Indians.

Classy move, Wilkie.

All in all, a romping good time. Moar readalongs, for future! What's next, bloggerkins?

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The Moonstone 3: I have no idea what's going on.

Yada yada yada, this post is part of a readalong, yada yada yada, mega-spoilers ahead.



So, OK. Franklin definitely took the diamond. Unless he was wearing one of those Mission Impossible masks. But! I just! Do we believe him, being all confused about it? Insisting he hasn't since hawked it?

Before that, though, Mr. Bruff. Like the lawyer in The Woman in White, he is the boringest (though I seem to recall liking the lawyer in WiW more. Oh, you know why? He had a scene with Mr. Fairlie. This is why). But he dumps some information and brings Mr. Murthwaite back to us, so I'll allow it. Bruff and Murthwaite bring us up to speed on what's going on with the three Indians. More of the Indians! They're so mysterious. I hope one of them gets a huge speech before the end of this.

Bruff's narrative also confirms that Godfrey is, indeed, a scoundrel. He let Rachel out of their engagement so easily because, after perusing Lady Verinder's will, he saw that the measly yearly fortune they'd be receiving as income wouldn't be nearly enough to cover his scoundrelling needs.

And so on and so forth. STUFF STARTS A'HAPPENING: Franklin pulls Rosanna's hidden tin case out of the quicksand, all the while worrying that he'll pull Rosanna's dead body out with it. (But oh, you guys, things aren't looking good for Rosanna.


I worry she might really be dead. This is like [**Harry Potter spoiler, if such a thing is possible**] Sirius in Order of the Phoenix all over again. [I'm STILL upset he didn't pull a Gandalf.][**End of there's no way that's a spoiler.**) So Franklin pulls out the box (no Rosanna) and finds his incriminating nightgown as well as a letter that he promptly FORGETS ABOUT and puts in his pocket and I'm like READ THE FREAKING LETTER, FRANKLIN. We would have never had this problem with Betteredge. But he does read the letter eventually (with a little help from said Betteredge). I love that Rosanna thinks it's just Rachel's corset and confidence that makes her so appealing to these silly upper-class men. Anyway, poor Rosanna gets a bit rambley, but she does make it clear that she's certain Franklin took the diamond.

And then Rachel makes it EXCEEDINGLY clear that Franklin took the diamond. Amidst a great deal of talk about Franklin's "manhood" and the "unmanning" of said "manhood" (traditional manliness is very important to Franklin,

as it is to these gents)

Rachel describes the whole diamond-snatching scene.

Even though we supposedly know who took it, we're still no closer to solving the mystery of the Moonstone. And we've only got one week left!! Next week, next week we'll have answers. And Ezra Jennings will feature prominently in them, or I'll eat my hat. And I don't even HAVE a hat. 

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Attachments – Rainbow Rowell

This book, you guys. It's one to have at the ready for when your life is full of sads. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to reread it after I finish Room by Emma Donoghue, which I just started and is already really upsetting me. 

This review is a bit superfluous, seeing as Raych and Alice already HIGHLY recommended it and, really, what more do you need? But just in case, allow me to throw my frantic enthusiasm into the mix. Read this book, internets. It is full of happiness and unicorns. (Disclaimer: Contains no unicorns.)

Lincoln works at a newspaper as an Internet Security Officer. His job is to read employee emails that are flagged for inappropriate material, then send warnings to said naughty emailers. He comes across the emails of Beth and Jennifer, but they're so funny and so harmless that he can't bring himself to send them a warning. So the emails keep getting flagged, and Lincoln keeps reading them, even though he knows he's crossed that line from monitoring to creeping. I guess he forms ... attachments. 

But the nice thing is that Lincoln creeps in a very uncreepy way. And we want to keep reading Beth and Jennifer's emails anyway, so, creep on, Linc. 

I have a great deal of love for these ladies, and their friendship gives me the warm and fuzzies. This book, especially their emails, is full of underline worthy dialogue. My favourite:

<<Jennifer to Beth>> I was at the mall last night, walking around by myself, trying not to spend money, trying not to think about a delicious Cinnabon ... and I found myself walking by the Baby Gap. I've never been in a Baby Gap. So, I decided to duck in. On a lark.

<<Beth to Jennifer>> Right. On a lark. I'm familiar with those. So ...

<<Jennifer to Beth>> So ... I'm larking through the Baby Gap, looking at tiny capri pants and sweaters that cost more than ... I don't know, more than they should. And I get totally sucked in by this ridiculous, tiny fur coat. The kind of coat a baby might need to go to the ballet. In Moscow. In 1918. To match her tiny pearls.

And also, in a scene involving insufferable sorority girls refusing to eat bridal shower sandwiches painstakingly prepared by Beth:

<<Beth to Jennifer>> One of Kiley's bridesmaids actually said, "I never eat bread on the weekends. I save my carbs for partying."

<<Jennifer to Beth>> What kind of parties does she go to  cupcake parties?

<<Beth to Jennifer>> I think she meant beer.

<<Jennifer to Beth>> Oh, right.

All in all: