Monthly Archives: January 2013

In Books, January 2013

I seem to be behaving, thus far, this 2013, when it comes to amassing books. Fine, that’s still quite a number up there—and I have obviously rediscovered my fanaticism for good ol’ Steve—but they all came from the trusty, national secondhand bookstore that is Booksale. That is: The consolation is, my wallet didn’t burn as brightly. Because, you know, we really need less wallet-burning around these here parts. Yeah. Anyway, here’s a quick rundown of what I bought, and the respective feeble rationalizations for each purchase. [Continue reading.]

Light reading

I started this draft right after I read the book—which was amazing and fun and full of useless information, exactly the sort of thing I like spending my time with, and also full of deeply human things, like the life one can lead when one is surrounded by ridiculously intelligent and go-getter people and also when one very badly wants babies to impart all that useless information to, and wee! And I’ve kept trying to go back to the draft above, but then Real Life has always had this pesky tendency to kick all your well-meaning plans to up your self-worth right in the balls. Okay. That’s the explanation I’m going with. Toodles. [Continue reading.]

“She had read no further.”

I wanted to feel like there was something at stake. That way, I could commit to the text. I could commit to the story Salter has been at pains to tell me; I could actually know these people I’m reading about. I could actually read as though every page wasn’t a test of my intelligence, of my due appreciation of the art and craft of writing. Basically: I wanted a book. And Light Years hardly ever felt that way for me. [Continue reading.]

01282013: With Davis and King

Hello, kids; it seems I have survived Monday and all the blues that naturally come with it, and then some. But I soldier on, and I’ll read on—because that’s what one needs to do. I’ll read on until the next amazing weekend, until Real Life calls and promises that it will be awesome—until, dare I say, I’m closer to what idea of the Dark Tower I have, until I make good with a smidgen of what I obsessively think’s gone hokey with Real Life.

[Continue reading.]

Of doe-eyed women

This is a great volume to have in a romance-reader’s shelf, in an art-lover’s stack of coffee table books. But I wanted it to be an invaluable book—and a little more effort, a lot more digging through the stacks, a lot more reading of the actual books featured, would have made it thus. [Continue reading.]

King and his ka-tet

This book just dares sprawl in a way that the first two couldn’t—this one is so far removed from a dusty trail in the middle of nowhere, this book has left that long stretch of beach. There is purpose and tangible goals. The links between the world of the Gunslinger and the world-as-we-know-it get more defined, we begin to make sense of what exactly this Dark Tower is, we know more and more about how Roland’s world works or (more precisely) doesn’t. Chillingly enough, we get more insight into that oft-repeated phrase: “Once there was a world we knew, but that world has moved on.” [Continue reading.]

In Steve We Trust

Last November, in an attempt to make her proud, I told my mother—the woman who read us Stephen King for bedtime, the woman who made sure that no shelf would be found wanting of a tattered, secondhand King paperback—that I’d begun reading The Gunslinger. And she promptly set down her tea and gasped: “Why haven’t you read—? Oh my god, you haven’t read The Dark Tower series.” [The subtext, of course, went along the lines of: “You are no daughter of mine.] And then we proceeded to gush over Roland of Gilead, because that’s the only way to react to Roland of Gilead. [Continue reading.]

Alpha heroine, anyone?

Last year, I started reading Mary Balogh reissues, which promptly hooked me. It was a welcome change of pace, romance novels where prose, for one, mattered more than the hijinks the hero and the heroine commit themselves to on the trail to True Love. [I keep saying it, and I’ll do so again: Balogh’s prose is graceful.] It’s almost quaint, these renderings of the love story; and though they were rarely intense reading for me, they could aspire for the quietly romantic at their best moments. The archetypes—nearly institutions, really—are as vivid as they’ll ever be, and the Baloghs of the 80s and 90s are perfect examples of how the formulae of the genres work: Here’s the virtuous daughter, the brooding peer, the naïve but refreshing country lass, the flamboyant lord. And on and on we go, with tropes galore. [Continue reading.]

What to do with du Maurier?

I’ve mentioned the wtfuckery that abounds in Daphne du Maurier’s collection of “lost” short stories, The Doll. I’m only halfway-ish through the book—that’s six stories down—and each one of those stories has a half-baked feel I can’t shake off, and majority simply has me scratching my poor head. That is: None of these is the du Maurier short fiction I’ve come to know. Though her always-to-die-for prose is present, all of the stories—with the [begrudging] exception of the title story—simply feels like du Maurier had an idea, picked up some loose leaf, and ran with it. If I were a snide little gremlin, I’d say something like: Oh, is it a wonder these stories were lost? [Currently reading.]

01142013: A book pile to cleanse the palate

I picked up The Drawing of the Three, the second book in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, because I wanted something hefty that would take me away from the bad juju flying around today. And so when Ronald wakes up at the beach (where The Gunslinger, first book, ended) and starts being eaten by the scariest, most ridiculous demon lobster in literary history—the man gets two fingers and a toe eaten, for fuck’s sake—I was thankful for someone to sympathize with, someone who made me think, “Well, he’s more fucked than you are, girl.” See, after being all, “I see serious problems ahead,” at page twenty, Ronald goes, “I jerk off left-handed, at least that’s something.” Yeah, let the Gunslinger remind you look for the bright side, Sasha. [Continue reading.]