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Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

I recently decided that I’m a coward when it comes to reading. I’m not adventurous, or brave, or intrepid in any way at all. Instead, I often stick to the same genres, same authors, same series, etc. I am one of those people who read the same book over and over and over, but (to quote from You’ve Got Mail) do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave?

In my book marketing class the other day, we were discussing the efficacy of book blurbs on the back cover…do we buy books based on the description? I answered yes, of course, but the truth is that I buy books based on whether I’ve heard of the author, read another book by that author or in that series, and whether I like the genre of that book.

I honestly don’t often venture into the Fiction section of the bookstore or the library. I stick to the areas I know: fantasy and science fiction, YA, cooking, mystery, etc. I like these sections, but I think it’s more because I am overwhelmed by the number of books and authors I don’t know in the fiction section. I’ve been reading the other books for so long that I’m familiar with many of them, and I feel comfortable there.

I don’t know why I’m so reluctant to venture forth from my tidy little hobbit hole of reading habits. One of my favorite things about the library is that I can bring a book home, read five pages, and then return the book if I dislike it. Part of it, I think, is that I started reading very young and read several books that I shouldn’t have read until I was older. I read The Color Purple, for example, when I was in fifth grade – way too young to be reading about the subjects covered in that book – and so now I have this fear of somehow reading something that will traumatize me.

Which is just silly for a grown woman. I read a fantasy book recently where the main character has a very vivid nightmare about being raped, and I stopped reading. Apparently I’m one of those people who cannot handle the harsh realities of literature. Fiction is too “real” for me.

But I’m going to try harder to venture out of my comfort zone, to try and read books by authors unknown on subjects as yet unexplored. I owe it to myself, and to the authors, and to the art of writing – books aren’t always meant to be cozy and happy. Sometimes we all need to read something unfamiliar and uncomfortable, and it’s those kinds of books that help us most to grow. I don’t remember a lot of the books I read in childhood, unless the plot disturbed me in some way, and I think I remember those books because they taught me something or made me think. Which isn’t a bad thing at all…so why have I been avoiding it?

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In Wales, all road signs must be in both Welsh and English.

The English is clear enough to lorry drivers – but the Welsh reads:

“I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated.”

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As an undergad, I took a Brit Lit class and one of our best assignments was to take a section of one of the pieces we read and make it into another type of writing. For example, a scene could become a poem, a poem could become a rap song, and, in my case, a chapter of Mrs. Dalloway became a screenplay (which I should find and post because it was AMAZING!)

Now, Galleycat is apparently doing the same thing – except with film. Basically, each participant will get a very short segment of a book to film however they want. See the full description of the “World’s Longest Literary Remix” here.

And they included an example on their site, from a Star Wars version, which I was FORCED (pun intended) to link to this blog – because Star Wars is awesome! Now, if only I could get someone to play Star Wars trivial pursuit with me 😛

Anyway, like book trailers, this is a fun way to get people talking about BOOKS. And it’s creative and can be pretty cheap. I’d probably make one myself if I knew diddly-squat about film.

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Sometimes we all have mental blocks against certain words. It took me forever to figure out that “a lot” is two words. By forever, I mean I think I was in HIGH SCHOOl despite using the word on practically a daily basis: “I ate alot,” “I loved that movie alot,” “Jessie bugs me alot,” etc.

A LOT. A LOT. A LOT. A LOT.

A Great Picture, just one sample of the cartoons on the Hyperbole and a Half Blog (thanks Allie!)

So, when my friend sent me a link to this blog, I was amused, excited, and totally embarrassed all at the same time: The Alot is Better Than You at Everything.

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I may not like the iPad very much, but I love cats…..

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Growing up, I read in bed every night. This wouldn’t have been a problem except that I always fell asleep mid-read. Meaning: my glasses didn’t come off, but would hang lopsided from my face, my light wouldn’t turn off, but would continue to shine above my head, and my dad couldn’t just go to sleep, but had to get up and turn off my light and put my glasses on the bedside table. Thanks Daddy.

Now, I still do the same thing. On nights my boyfriend goes out, I often read on the couch of oursmall apartment, coffee in one hand and blanket secured around my legs. Luckily, I seem to drift off after I’ve finished the coffee. Then, my boyfriend comes home and gently picks my book off the floor from where’s it’s fallen out of my hands, and, like my dad, turns out the lights so I can continue to sleep the sleep of the well-read.

This is just an introduction to the actual purpose of this blog posting: I just found a site called Flashlight Worthy. As a huge advocate for reading until falling asleep, whether under the covers with a flashlight or not, I think this is a great site. It’s actually a very appropriate find because I just posted a couple reading lists myself yesterday. And that’s the main purpose of Flashlight Worthy: to give readers lists of similar books.

Here’s three intriguing lists I found that I now plan to incorporate into my almost daily HOLDS ritual on the Multnomah County Library website:

1) A Practical Fiction List for Surviving After the Apocalypse
2) Creepy Houses That Must Be Explored
3
) The Most Romantic Young Adult Books of All Time

Anyway, GREAT site, great lists – and I’ll probably post more lists as I discover them. If you’ve read any of the books on these lists, be sure to let me know. 🙂

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First, I just want to say that I approve of the trend lately of making 3-d movies. Coraline was amazing, and one of the few original movies I have seen in a long time.

How to Train Your Dragon wasn’t very original at all – it was actually a very predictable tale of how a bright outcast makes friends and eventually gains the respect and trust of both his father and his community. I think kids like these outcast to hero tales because we all feel a little out of place sometimes – like no one respects us and no one cares. But the animation of this movie, and the amazingly diverse characteristics of the dragons really made the movie.

And I’m actually amazed how many kids movies have a romantic theme – when I was that young, I wasn’t thinking of getting a boyfriend, I was more worried about my soccer team. So the romance between the main characters, Hiccup and Astrid, comes across as a little forced – more for parents than for kids.

But the Vikings’ island and their gruff personalities are appealing, and the dragons’ dilemma is exciting for kids. I actually want to read the book now, because I’m sure the book is better than the movie (per usual). So, all in all, this movie is worth seeing – plus, the 3-d effects of the dragons flying around and above the audience = AWESOME!

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