Tag Archives: oh life its bigger

Hereinafter referred to as TGBP2013

Whereas I have been sorting through my embarrassingly large collection of books; and 

Whereas some of those books are being kept while considerably more books are discarded; and

Whereas I felt the need to both share the sorting/discarding, and to name this event The Great Book Purge of 2013; and

Whereas typing “The Great Book Purge of 2013” seems to be a problem when I’m posting in a rush or on a mobile device:

Now therefore know all men by these presents that the same activity may be abbreviated as TGBP2013 hereafter.  At my discretion.  (Translation: when I’m feeling lazy.)

 

Today’s discards are books dating to the chick lit fad of the mid 2000s.  I’ve never read Candace Bushnell, and I DNF’d the first Bridget Jones book; other big names of that period like Emily Giffin and Sophie Kinsella left me cold.  But there were a few books that I liked enough to keep.  But upon re-read, eh, not so much.

Pushing 30 by Whitney Gaskell.  I remember liking this because it managed to check the chicklit boxes while being slightly different:  set in DC rather than NYC; not-broke heroine; professionally competent heroine in a non-fashion/advertising industry; older hero.  I still like some of those elements, but felt a lot less patient with the heroine’s refusal to stand up for herself or respond in any way to criticism or adversity.

True Love (and Other Lies) by Whitney Gaskell.  I can’t remember why I liked this book; the central conflict really bothers me now.  I tried a couple other books by Gaskell after liking Pushing 30 but LibraryThing reminds me that I didn’t not particularly care for them.  Must not have since she’d fallen off my radar until TGBP2013.

If Andy Warhol Had A Girlfriend by Alison Pace.  I can’t remember what I liked about this book other than the cover art.  It seems like an okay read but I can’t really remember the plot and don’t care enough after skimming random sections to go back and do a full re-read.

Up next:  a bunch of YAs (Judy Blume, Cynthia Voight).  Possibly with a break to read non-TGBP material — American Savage by Dan Savage.

~~~

This isn’t book-related but it is related to editing and proof-reading.  I read menu boards as I walk through the neighborhood(s) nearby.  Just to see what today’s specials are.  After all, maybe I won’t want to cook after seeing what’s cooking.  And sometimes what’s written on the sidewalk menu board sends me fleeing rather than stopping for lunch or dinner.  Recent menu items that made me cringe:  “tomato bisk” as soup of the day and a “prefix dinner” menu.  Presumably the soup was a bisque and it was a prix fixe menu rather than language building block dinner menu?  Stuff like that makes my fingers itch to update the menu boards.

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Things I miss (or not)

In light of Beth’s recovery and first SBD in a while:

As the move and consequent Great Book Purge of 2013 have progressed, my reading behavior has shifted.  Is it for the good or the bad?  Who knows?

1.  I’m buying very few books.  That probably seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it?  If I want to pare my collection, don’t keep adding to the TBR pile.  But I did still buy ebooks occasionally — they weren’t taking space on a shelf and didn’t need to be dusted, skimmed, and then sorted into a keep or go pile. Now, though, I’m not even buying ebooks.  It could still take me years to get through the TBR, even if I don’t ever buy another book.  (That’s not going to happen — I’ve got two books pre-ordered for release later this month — but I’m expecting my book budget to be significantly diminished this year.)

2.  The book reviews in my feed reader are getting short shrift.  Even though there are several reviewers out there whose taste corresponds (more or less) with mine, I’m reading their new book reviews and moving on without bookmarking or checking out samples at the publishers’ websites.  It’s not that the reviews aren’t good — it’s that the “don’t bring anymore books into the house” mantra has finally sunk in, and bookmarking reviews can only lead to book buying that I don’t really need right now.

3.  My younger self had some questionable taste or was just unthinking in terms of the sexism and misogyny inherent in some books.  A fair few of the books I’ve discarded (read: ripped in half and tossed because they offended me) were books I loved at one point, but reading them 15-20  years later makes my brain hurt.

4.  I miss the days when I knew I was going to love the next In Death book, when I pre-ordered every new Linda Howard book, and when Sandra Brown, Barbara Delinsky, Lavyrle Spencer, Deborah Smith, and Catherine Coulter still wrote romance.  Spencer has retired while the others write either straight suspense or angsty women’s fiction now.  Linda Howard’s romantic suspense devolved into chemistry-less how-to survival guides, and the In Death series is utterly predictable.

5.  Reading through older books, I’m marveling at the editing.  It’s not perfect by any stretch and there are typos but the volume of them is incredibly low in comparison to the piss poor editing that seems to pass for professional work from both NY publishers and small presses and epublishers.

6.  Because I’m working mostly through print books right now, I’m reading very little m/m or gay fiction.  I don’t miss it at all, which is pretty telling.  I’d gotten to the point of needing a hiatus from the genre, and the break has been good for me.   I am looking forward to a new release from an auto-buy author though.

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People are mysteries

Two bags of books went to my mother’s house yesterday: some of the books she’ll keep, and the rest will be taken to the jury room.  [She doesn’t like genre romance, but she’ll try the mysteries and loves English village sagas.]  Apparently many potential jurors arrive for jury duty without reading material or anything to keep themselves occupied during the monotonous wait to be called.  I’ve donated maybe 100 books in the last couple of months; they all disappear pretty quickly, Mom says.

Three of the books in this bundle were Nora Roberts’ romantic suspense releases in hardback.  Mom took a look at them and said, “Oh, Harold will like those.”  And then she paused, and said, “Oh.  No.”  Because Harold, step-dad’s BFF, died in February after being diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer.  He was in his 70s, a retired electrician who gardened and carpentered for fun, and he fished and crabbed religiously.  I would never in a million years have guessed that he was a Nora Roberts fan, but apparently he loved her books.  I never knew that.  I wish I had.

 

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Ennui sounds so much better

Saying that I suffer from ennui sounds so much better than saying I’m bored. Bored by everything I’ve read lately, except the Billie Joe Armstrong interview in last week’s Rolling Stone.

I skimmed Calculated in Death. Meh. In need of proof reading. I guessed the why immediately and the who inside the firm and out. Also, real life interfered with some of the plot for me. And for some reason I thought Trueheart wasn’t a native New Yorker and his mom still lived wherever he’s from but that’s not so in this book. If I cared, I could dig through the boxes of books in the basement to doublecheck…but I don’t think I do care or at least not enough.

And Briggs’ Frost Burned felt poorly executed to me. And it included poor grammar, among other things.

I don’t know. Part of it is crankiness on my part: I’m busy with other things and thought they’d be reliable reads, and they turned out to be average at best.

I’m going to go spike my tea with bourbon and watch the Root/Hinds version of Persuasion, which will surely improve my mood.

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The end of an era

I just remembered that a new In Death book was released this week.  I didn’t pre-order a copy or skitter over to Amazon to download a copy.  

I feel like the end of an era has arrived.  Or something.  Since I started reading the series (early on, I think only 2 or 3 had been published when I tried the first one), I’ve never NOT pre-ordered a copy or hustled out to the bookstore on release day.

Eh.

 

On an unrelated note, the B&N at Union Station is closing.  It gets a lot of foot traffic, so I’m a little surprised.  But not hugely so, given the recent announcement of store closings.  Also, on a purely selfish note, their stock was not very impressive.

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The intellectual version of brain freeze?

LJ is down for maintenance; normally I would post this sort of thing there but…

~  I just took the final for Fraud & Fiduciary Duty, a class offered this fall. It had 27 questions (true/false and multiple choice) and the exam period was three hours.  I finished in 1:02, even after going back to three that I wibbled about. (I’m still wondering about the use of “guarantee” vs. make reasonable efforts in one of them. They have different meanings to me but I may be hairsplitting.)  Now I’m feeling a little worried about how badly I must have misinterpreted the questions in order to be finished that quickly.

+  Jury duty is done for the year.  On one hand, it was kind of a drag because who really wants to sit in an overheated courthouse next to a smoker with poor hygiene and trudge over to various courtrooms to participate in voir dire only to be sent back to the waiting room again?  Except it’s my civic duty and there’s a piece of me that likes Every Citizen Contributing to the Constitutional Process.  I was in the group of possible jurors for an armed robbery trial, expected to go two days but no later than Friday.  But I was excused by defense counsel…because I sat next to him in various classes for three years (based on alphabetical seating).  

–  Overheard in the jury room:  “I want Tebow to play.  He’s so nice.”  Which. Really?  No.  Just no.  That is not a reasonable measure for a quarterback’s playing time.

~  I’m vaguely entertained by this book title:  God’s Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis by Tom Hickman.

+  Now that my exam is over and holiday prep is mostly finished (not that there was THAT much of it), I have no excuse not to settle down and write my review of O Come All Ye Kinky.

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