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Love Poems by Pablo Neruda

Love Poems - Pablo Neruda

Only lovers can accept the pink cover
And gold, curvy lettering
And accept them as non-hyperbolic,
As a necessity,
As the color and script of the island
Where the wind gallops like a horse
And where not even night can separate them.

Singletons will like the slender shape,
The back pocket worthiness
Of the hand sized rectangles
Of downed trees.
They will compliment the translation,
Or else,
They will scoff at the color of sunset
And discard this volume for one that is more
Economical with its words-
Perhaps Emily Dickenson.

But lovers...
Lovers will tear out a favored page and
Smudge it with many transports
From pocket to folder to another pair of hands and
Celebrate it's return with a freshly fondled read,
Feeling the paper with eyes and fingertips.

Singletons will quote.
Lovers have no need.

(Ta-da! I shall now take a bow. Thank you, thank you. Thank you very much)

How NOT to RV

How NOT to RV - Jennifer Flower Cute, funny account of mistakes made while living in an RV. You might learn some basics, like always let the tanks fill up before dumping, but otherwise, it's just a cute account of misadventures.

Took about an hour to complete.

The Bag Lady Papers: The Priceless Experience of Losing It All

The Bag Lady Papers: The Priceless Experience of Losing It All - Alexandra Penney I started off being appalled by this book. The author loses a bunch of money.....yet, she just cannot part with the accoutrements of her wealthy life. She won't part with her Manhattan apartment or Hermes bags.

But actually, what I got out of this book is the confirmation of something I have suspected for a long time: everything is relative,and everyone is the same. Ok, so the author has to sell her vacation house. To her, that feels as bad -in the moment- as someone like me having to sell my car. It won't drastically change my life, but goshdarnit, I like my car! Everyone feels loss, everyone feels betrayal, everyone feels scared. Just because we like to compare ourselves to each other, and we have tendencies to play the I'm-worse-off-than-you game, doesn't mean we don't all know what these bad feelings feel like.

Anyway, I didn't much like the author, but her writing was light & easy to read, and her unintentional message made me feel alright with the world and alright with my life.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Book 1)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré Harry Potter is like [b:Fifty Shades of Grey|10818853|Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)|E.L. James|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1372516342s/10818853.jpg|15732562] in the following ways:

1. The hype about the books is what sold the books. The books themselves suck.
2. The writing styles are horrific.
3. The plots are flimsy and meandering.
4. The characters are one-dimensional and simplistic.

Both books are a testament to the overwhelming power of the insinuous, insidious, and saturatousness (I just made up a word - fuck you) marketing machines in the US (and UK).

They are shining examples of the marketers telling us what we should like, and us believing them without questioning why we should care about a girl with no self-respect, why we should not be insulted the assumption that us girls will swoon merely by a billionaire taking off his shirt, why we are going to tolerate a meandering tale of a wizardlet who plays pseudo-soccer, then births a dragon, then finds a unicorn, then..all the million other side-stories Harry Potter stumbles through.

What else would explain our collective lack of insistence of a cohesive story that does not rely solely on deus ex machina to move a plot forward (you know - invisibility cloaks introduced 3/4 of the way through), our acceptance of cardboard cutout characters named after their personalities (I'm talking to you, Draco Malfoy and Mr. Grey).

I demand more from my taste-makers. I expect The Story of O, I demand [b:The Wonderful Wizard of Oz|236093|The Wonderful Wizard of Oz|L. Frank Baum|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327894516s/236093.jpg|1993810], I insist on [b:The Princess Bride|21787|The Princess Bride |William Goldman|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327903636s/21787.jpg|992628]. The fact that I am not only spoon-fed this shit, but expected to like it is beyond annoying. I don't like being treated like I'm stupid. I don't like being coerced into books that clearly exist in order to make me see the movie version, then buy the outfit, and the Barbie editions and the comic book renditions.

I just don't like either of these books.

Now, [b:Twilight|41865|Twilight (Twilight, #1)|Stephenie Meyer|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1361039443s/41865.jpg|3212258] on the other hand.... that's a book I can bite into (harhar).

The Pillars of the Earth

The Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett I really enjoyed this book. I was fascinated by the details of life in the time period, and I loved the stories. The bad thing about this book, though, is that it didn't know when to quit. It goes on and on and on. The church burns down, gets rebuilt, the roof falls in, they rebuild, and on and on. But I got to know and like the characters, and I cared about the fate of the cathedral.

Puppy Chow is Better Than Prozac: The True Story of a Man and the Dog Who Saved His Life

Puppy Chow is Better Than Prozac: The True Story of a Man and the Dog Who Saved His Life - Bruce Goldstein This is a very touching story about a dog saving his master from himself....except it was told in a much more self-aware and honest way in [b:Dog Years|106241|Dog Years|Mark Doty|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1347457335s/106241.jpg|1701440]. While [a:Mark Doty|61509|Mark Doty|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1200335729p2/61509.jpg] brought you with him in his descriptions of staring at the Hudson River, contemplating suicide and while you felt the blackness of depression descend over you and the author both, in [b:Puppy Chow is Better Than Prozac: The True Story of a Man and the Dog Who Saved His Life|2002857|Puppy Chow is Better Than Prozac The True Story of a Man and the Dog Who Saved His Life|Bruce Goldstein|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348064888s/2002857.jpg|2006731], the author weighs down his story with cliches and focuses way too much on coming up with snappy metaphors. To be honest, the snappy one-liners in the book are too tiresome for me to go back and find some as examples, but suffice it to say, they are along the lines of "my puppy is as jittery as a coke-head on coke".

I like stories like this, I really do. I myself am a pet owner, and can say from first-hand knowledge that there are some episodes in a human life that are made bare-able only by having a best friend by you who won't disagree with your point of view and will love you reagrdless of your hard times and regardless of how much of your hard times are self-inflicted. However, knowing the sentiment and reading the experience are two different things, and [a:Bruce Goldstein|909933|Bruce Goldstein|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1212391957p2/909933.jpg] just doesn't write the story very well. Good enough - I finished the book - but while I have handed out [b:Dog Years|106241|Dog Years|Mark Doty|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1347457335s/106241.jpg|1701440] to at least a handful of my friends when they've gone through hard times (those with and without pets), I know I won't even mention this particular book to even those friends that are of the die-hard my-dog-is-my-child camp.

A Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino de Santiago: St. Jean, Roncesvalles, Santiago

A Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino de Santiago: St. Jean * Roncesvalles * Santiago - John Brierley The path maps, terrain maps, and other essential information like distances and town names are excellent in this book. The lists of accommodations and cafes were surprisingly accurate. I especially appreciated the price listings for the accommodations, and the street maps for the bigger towns/cities.

I agree with some other reviewers that the author's commentary and 'spiritual guide' portions were sometimes intrusive and patronizing, however well-intended.

I personally ditched every page not dealing with the route, and discarded the route pages I had completed as I went along.

I also found that by NOT following the stages as the author laid them out, I had a better chance of finding accommodation. When I followed the stages, I was often turned away at full albergues, although I am a very slow walker and finished my stages closer to 5PM.

Excellent guide, excellent resource, excellent souvenir (the covers, I mean....since I discarded as I went!)

The Standard & Poor's Guide to Selecting Stocks: Finding the Winners & Weeding Out the Losers

The Standard & Poor's Guide to Selecting Stocks: Finding the Winners and Weeding Out the Losers - Michael Kaye Let me be clear: this book was NOT written by a writer.The writing is awkward, choppy, and patently unlyrical.

But I'm giving it 4 stars. The informational is short, clear, and broken down into informational units that I found perfectly suited for my purposes. In fact, i found my library copy so useful that I've added the book to my Amazon wishlist.

My financial moods shift according to my life phase, as you would expect. At the moment I am obsessing with early retirement - i have zero intention of working my crappy stressful job past 50. That gives me 9 years to figure out how to replace my paycheck. This book's chapters on dividend stock screening and the chapter on bond evaluation were to the point and exactly what I was looking for. I took many index card notes.

Other investing books are either too basic - what's a stock, what's a bond, what should your asset allocation be - or too technical, geared for MBAs. This book seemed more like a cheat sheet than a book - a glossary with screening examples.

Good book. I recommend it for anyone that already has a basic knowledge of financial products and investing and is ready to move beyond CDs, savings bonds, and mutual funds.

A Discovery of Witches: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy)

A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness Yeah. Vampires doing yoga.


Seriously, I don't have time for this shit.

They need to post a picture of this book on a billboard behind an Absolut bottle with the caption "Absolut Crap"


===4/26 UPDATE===
I was sooo disappointed in this book. I really like world building and mythology within a book-built world. For example, I really loved [b:The Vampire Lestat|43814|The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles, #2)|Anne Rice|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347515742s/43814.jpg|3241580] and some of [a:Stephen King|3389|Stephen King|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1362814142p2/3389.jpg]'s work, so I felt like this should have been a richly built, character driven book. I got excited at first with the explanations of the 4 types of beings, and the enchanted book.

But then the whole thing collapsed into ridiculousness.

My first tingle of trouble was with the banal description of Diana's family history - a tactic that I always find amateurish - why dedicated whole pages to a description of a back-story when you can weave it in? But I was willing to give that a pass; sometimes an author just wants to get it out of the way.

My next tremble of unease was with the first description Diana's rowing after the description of her jog. I thought it was a little much - I mean pages of this crap just to explain that Diana is antsy and needs to blow off steam. But, again, I gave it a pass; maybe now that the author has described the overwhelming ants-in-her-pants feeling Diana experienced, the author would think we got the picture and we could all move on.

THEN, I literally LOL'd when the author sprung the yoga class on me. First of all, the notion is funny, which I don't think the author intended seeing how sincere she was in her (very detailed) descriptions of downward facing dogs. I knew there was something seriously wrong at this point - when you laugh at an artist's sincerity..well....it can't get much worse than that.

But my tipping point was the pages and pages and pages and pages and pages and pages of food and wine and tea and wine and smelling the wine and pondering the wine and swirling the wine and choosing the wine and buying the wine and ... AAAAH! I just wanted to shove a pencil in my eye socket to put myself out of my misery. Instead, I snapped the book shut and huffed over to my laptop to tell the world (Goodreads) what absolut crap this book is. (It did help, btw, to write it for the world to see. I feel much better now!)

Oh! And the other thing that really pissed me off was that the book is marketed as Paranormal Fantasy. It isn't. It's Paranormal Romance. False marketing, totally. I don't like being duped.

====ANOTHER THOUGHT (yes, this book pissed me off this much)====

You know, so many people got all lathered up in their hatred of [b:Fifty Shades of Grey|10818853|Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)|E.L. James|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1358266215s/10818853.jpg|15732562]. I've read scathing reviews of that book that go on and on about how it's misogynistic, it's bad writing, it's bad for feminists. I mean, these reviews are sincere and passionate and detailed - some of them were dissertations, some of them were rants, all of them were serious.

I never 'got' how upset people could get over that book. That book was never meant to be serious. It was never meant to be a statement on femininity or relationships or on culture or anything else - it wasn't meant to be a statement at all. It's a sexual fantasy - period. The writing was beside the point - it didn't have to be good, it just had to be titillating. The thing I find funny about these oh-so-sincere reviews is that those readers read the book from a sincere standpoint when the book was not trying to be anything but lady porn. Those reviews of that book are the equivalent of film majors critiquing Debbie Does Dallas - it's just irrelevant.

I'm saying all of this not because I liked the book (I didn't), but because the passionate responses full of hatred is an enigma to me.

But this book...well. This book was trying to be sincere. This book took itself seriously. This book wanted to be well-written and well-researched. AND this book is a fraud. This book dupes lovers of the fantasy genre into cracking open its covers when where this book really belongs is in a drugstore next to (much shorter) paperbacks with titles like [b:One Secret Night|16000924|One Secret Night|Yvonne Lindsay|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1354847636s/16000924.jpg|21762362] and [b:Beauty And The Reclusive Prince|7697929|Beauty And The Reclusive Prince (Harlequin Romance)|Raye Morgan|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348544314s/7697929.jpg|10383751].

I wanted witches and daemons and vampires. What i got was a sexless Ana Steele with staticky hair. Diana was just as powerless, wimpy, and, yes, stupid as Ana. She SAYS she resents Matthews trying to protect her, and then she CALLS HIM TO PROTECT HER! She insists on opening her own car door and then she cooks for him. She even mirrors Ana's infuriating false modesty - she can't help it, she was born that way: beautiful/powerful/smart, blah blah blah. And I dare anyone to say Matthew isn't Christian Grey/Edward Cullen.

Goddamit, if I wanted to read a romance novel, I damn well would have picked one up. If this book were advertised as romance, I still would have made fun of it, but I wouldn't be feel so goddam ripped off. THIS book deserves passionate, sincere, and scathing reviews.

Rabbit, Run

Rabbit, Run - John Updike Dangit, I was all ready to write a scathing review, full of loathing and disgust. I was actually looking forward to it - there are so many things that pissed me off, boredom not withstanding. Lo, the book turned in the last minute and wrested a grudging respect from me. Gosh, i hate it when that happens.

First things first: all the religion debate dated this book for me right away. Nowadays, the only relevant religion debate is whether to follow one or not. To religion or not to religion is more relevant than a critique of The Religion (for those born after 1990, Im referring here to Christianity). The Church is such a non-influencer in secular life (unless personally invited) that any critique of its methods or validity is so unbelievably irrelevant as to be annoying when taken on as a serious American Topic. These days, anyone taking this on as a serious topic of debate is just looking for a quick win and being an asshole. So, whatever.

Next, the portrayal of women is disgusting. Not one of the women was portrayed favorably, or were even treated with respect from the author. Instead of women as madonnas or whores, the portrayal was a choice between washed up old hags or whores, no saints allowed. The women were either desireable or not, period, and no more to them, except maybe a little breastfeeding ability. Even the ministers wife does not escape this indictment. Rabbit runs around town either rubbing up on his wife/mistress/ministers wife, or he's noticing the hair on their legs, their varicose veins, their back fat or their masculinity. He takes advise and comfort from none of them.

But the thing that pisses me off about this is that Updike doesnt seem to be doing this as commentary; it seems that it really hasnt occurred to him to see women in any other way. The reason I say this is because i can tell when hes trying to write about women seriously - he tries to sympathize with Janice and explain why she feels isolated and drinks to self-medicate, but even these explanations focus entirely too much on why she doesnt want to have sex with Rabbit.

Which brings me to: Rabbit is an asshole. He runs around escaping anything that could weigh him down with no self awareness or reflection. I can handle this kind of character in a book, and even relish in them.....when there is a reaction in the character to his own actions. I would expect that while Rabbit is running, he would be bothered by his own actions, or elated, or hell, even reflect on his lack of feelings about it. But Rabbit doesnt do that. Instead, he just runs with no reaction, no commentary, no insight. He just runs. I get that this is what rabbits do - they act on instinct, but Rabbit is not a real rabbit,and as a human, he has to think something about his actions. Without this layer, Rabbits thoughts are just one long run-on sentence....

And finally when you have a jumble of thoughts like this the way maybe rabbits do in the wild and you just keep thinking and thinking with no pause and then your thoughts jump around oh listen to that song on the radio isnt that funny its about a town in Pennsylvania i live in Pennsylvania i'll turn left no right I think i think i think Virginia Woolf was a jackass...

See how annoying that is? Sorry, Ginny, but stream of conscious writing is bullshit.

Anywho, my opinion turned in the last few pages - the only parts that justified the long run up to explain why Rabbit would run yet again makes sense and I felt I would run were I Rabbit too. The reluctant reunion with Janice, the accepting of responsibility for his son, the death if his daughter, all being too much, he's back to Ruth. And then when Ruth reveals her pregnancy (the jackass jackrabbit couldnt tell before????) ...well... I might have run too.

Listen up, Updike. I'm throwing you a bone with this third star.....against my instincts ;)

Paris to the Pyrenees: A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of Saint James

Paris to the Pyrenees: A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of Saint James - David Downie This was a quick, delightful read of a partial journey on the Camino de Santiago. The author and his girl walk from Paris to SJPP, and along the way enjoy the history, architecture, and a few eureka moments. Of particular interest to me, the author concludes that the appeal of the Camino to pilgrims is not necessarily an anticipation of divinity upon reachingSantiago, but that its the journey that draws them. It certainly is whats drawing me.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore - Robin Sloan In the end, it's about love.

It's about the passion of unraveling the clues to clues to find truth in the end of The Da Vinci Code loves books. Romping, adventurous, wonderous books. He loves westerns, he loves science fiction, he loves mystery-thrillers and fantasies.

This is his ode to all those genres, all those books.

But this book isn't just a vehicle to give affectionate nods to all those books. It is a western/mystery/science fiction in and of itself. It's no literature, but it sure is a fun read. This book took me back to the days when I played hooky to finish [b:Gone with the Wind|18405|Gone with the Wind|Margaret Mitchell|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1328025229s/18405.jpg|3358283], when I kept reading [b:The Stand|149267|The Stand|Stephen King|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1213131305s/149267.jpg|1742269] instead of studying for midterms, when I took a 3 hour lunch at work to continue [b:Oryx and Crake|46756|Oryx and Crake|Margaret Atwood|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327896599s/46756.jpg|3143431]. This took me back to [b:Watership Down|76620|Watership Down|Richard Adams|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1353615493s/76620.jpg|1357456]. It's an I'll-call-you-back-later book, it's an I'll-clean-up-the-cat-puke-later book, it's a press-the-pause-button-on-life-because-I'm-reading-a-good-book book.

Yes, this book is about love.

And it is wonderful.

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald Click here for the soundtrack to this review.

The Great Gatsby makes me sad. It makes me sad in the way that the Police's "Every Breath You Take" makes me sad. It makes me sad in the way that thinking of all of my unfulfilled dreams makes me sad, the long list of things I will never do makes me sad, the way that being made fun of or bullied or rejected makes me sad.

Jay Gatsby could've been great. He's a decent sort of fellow, nice enough, and intelligent enough. He really could've been a great guy. Instead, his obsession with Daisy (who shines like money, wink-wink) makes him ironically "great". It makes him an outcast, a criminal, a poser, a loser. It makes him counterfeit (hehe, did you get that?) and "great" only by reputation.

He surrounds himself with people who don't know him and don't care about him, throws parties to appear popular, but the joke's on him:

"People were not invited - they went there...Once there they were introduced by somebody who knew Gatsby, and after that they conducted themselves according to the rules of behavior associated with an amusement park. Sometimes they came and went without having met Gatsby at all..."

and this makes me weep for him. He is so blinded by his obsession that he can no longer even see himself clearly.

What a waste of a man. What an indictment of money and the society that revers it. Shame, shame - shame on him, shame on us. Shame.

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements - Sam Kean This book is a fun romp through the history and contents of the periodic table.

In the beginning, the cute and amusing anecdotes flew as fast as an electron spins in its orbit around a nucleus. The author regales us with tales of the infant scientists stumbling their way through the discovery of the organize-ability of the elementsinto a periodic table, to the adolescent arrogance of the Manhattan Project, through the middle aged experience and skill of defining time that is not based on the inexact and inconsistent orbit of the Earth on its own axis. These stories are rife with murder, pride, love, and brilliance.

There is the story of the Jewish scientists who, during WWI, invented mustard gas, on purpose, based on...um...one of the elements. He was being patriotic. The Germans used this on the French and English soldiers who were literally burned alive - slowly. He fled the country just before WWII to England - compatriots of those soldiers his invention so badly burned, to escape the Nazis. His relatives were exterminated by a form of this gas. He invented the tool that would kill his own family.

There is the story of the patriotism that led an exiled Polish scientist (a woman - yay!) to honor her country by naming the element she discovered with the unfortunate name of polonium. (Polonius, anyone?)

There is the story of the Boy Scout kid who, while trying to earn a badge, almost succeeded in building a nuclear reactor in his backyard.

But as we get closer and closer to the present, as you would expect, the more complicated and obscure the stories become. For example, in trying to understand why the nuclei of certain "heavy" elements stay intact for a nano-second (or some measure of time) longer than an element that is one unit "lighter" than it, the author takes an entire chapter to explain how some nuclei have a different gravity or magnetic force than others. How? I have no fucking clue. No idea. None. I read it and still don't know.

Here's another example. This:
apparently proves that if you know a particle's postion, then you don't know it's speed and vice versa. This apparently is what cracked the nut to inveting laser eye surgery. How? Dunno. What does it mean? Dunno.

I eventually did drop the remaining handful of chapters as the stories became harder to understand, but all in all, the bulk of the book is about human natue....albeit the kind of humans that wear taped, horn-rimmed glasses and say "Did I do that?" in a nasally voice.

Fun book. I recommend this for wannabe nerds who never wanted to take a science class but still look up at the skies and wonder if there is life out there. Apparently the periodic table is going to help us answer that question....eventually.

Delirium (Delirium (Quality))

Delirium - Lauren Oliver A lot of reviews have compared this book to other YA dystopia books like [b:The Hunger Games|2767052|The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)|Suzanne Collins|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1358275334s/2767052.jpg|2792775]. But while this is a dystopia-society book, I didn't really think there's a fair comparison to [b:The Hunger Games|2767052|The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)|Suzanne Collins|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1358275334s/2767052.jpg|2792775].

In [b:The Hunger Games|2767052|The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)|Suzanne Collins|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1358275334s/2767052.jpg|2792775], Katniss was an active heroine, almost like a comic book superhero, albeit one of those female ones with barely a hint of a superpower, like the Black Widow. She throws herself into the combat-to-the-death arena, making herself the sacrificial lamb in place of her sister, she kills her enemies with wit and aplomb, she is the knightess that saves her boy-friend in distress.

In this book, though, Lena is, for the most, part passive - growing into consciousness, but still just sort of along for whatever ride someone is taking her on. Had Katniss been the heroine of this book, Hana would've been introduced to raves, she would've thrown Alex onto the back of her motorcycle in their escape (probably one-handed, and while going 40 mph), AND she would've taken Gracie with her. The greatest act Lena takes, on the other hand, is to drop hints to her best friend while tied up by her family to - get this - leave a note for her boyfriend...to come save her. Well, that's about as far from [b:The Hunger Games|2767052|The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)|Suzanne Collins|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1358275334s/2767052.jpg|2792775] as you can get.

That's not to say I didn't like the book. It was fun, it had intrigue, it had love: all good stuff.

In particular, I enjoyed the succinct world-building mechanism of starting each chapter with quotes and snippets from the books that exist in Lena's world that give us a pretty good understanding of the propaganda she has been subjected to her whole life, and explains why she is the way she is at the beginning.

I respected the ending. Alex's sacrifice of his life for hers made this a decidedly less sappy book, and highlighted not only the power of love and lengths that humans will go for what they believe in, but also underscored the warnings of the government: love'll kill ya! I would've liked an ending where they both kill themselves, though. THAT would've been poignant.

I think the book said what it needed to say in one book, and I don't particularly see the need for 2 more, other than a twinkle in the author's eye of a potential 3 movie blockbuster deal somewhere in her future. Of course, what would really be cool is if in the next book Katniss shows up in the Wilds, pats Lena on the back, and says "Buck up, girlie. I'll show you how to handle a bow & arrow, and let's go kick some regulator ass."

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green I have a confession to make. Don't tell anyone, though; it's pretty embarrassing.

I love the reality show The Bachelor.

I love it best when I queue up the entire previous season and do a weekend-long marathon. That's bad, right?

Now I'll tell you something even worse:
In almost every show, the producers find something, anything, to make a melodramatic moment. Every show has one of the would-be girlfriends staring into the camera with tear-laden eyes, the tears quivering just at the edge of her lower lashes, while she confesses...well, anything. Sometimes the confessions are so contrived that the producers have the poor girls whimpering over failing a test, missing her friend, and sometimes, real tragedies, like dead parents.

And then they'll make these girls talk about these melodramatic pseudo-tragedies over and over and over again, show after show.

And I can't help laughing.

These moments are so fake, so staged, so obviously meant to pull my heart-strings that my only reaction is to laugh. It gets to a point with this show that even truly sad stories, like the dead parents, make me laugh. It's just so manipulative.

That's what this book is like.

Some of it was cool. I liked the young falling in love story. I liked the heroine's obsession of a particular book. It was good, I enjoyed this book.

But, yeah. I spent a lot of time laughing at all the wrong moments. I can't help it. I guess you just can't take me anywhere ;)