Gone Girl

What a well-written, absolutely horrible story. The plot was definitely exciting at times, but unless you enjoy reading about the most unhealthy marriage of all time I wouldn’t recommend this book. I think I could have dealt with it if the ending hadn’t been so beyond disappointing. It was also a little heavy on the swearing–which I don’t love. I’ll leave it at that in case you decide to pick it up against my wishes. (I also have a problem with any book where the Author makes their name bigger than the title.) ok I’m done.

With that said let’s end on a positive note:

Well-written, fun idea, inventive approach to narration.

Gone Girl

That’s all for now folks!

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Keeping up with the Literary Joneses

When I’m reading short stories for class or recreation I frequently read, enjoy, and quickly move on to the next. However, every once in a while I come across something that forces me to pause after I read the last line, set the book or magazine down in my lap, and exhale out a quiet and appreciative sigh for what I’ve just read. It’s a lovely moment when something someone else has written moves me enough to demand a pause in the rush of life.

Sometimes I feel so torn with all the different things I want to learn, read, and teach myself. There will never be enough time to keep up with all the literary magazines, articles, and the informational Twitter feeds! Regardless, when I do come across something truly brilliant I am reminded that I don’t need to be up to date on every literary website and author. Although it would be nice to know everything, I read and write because it is what I love; and as long as that’s still true then I am doing alright.

Remember that story that I mentioned up there–the one that made me pause and sigh? It is called “Final Dispositions” by Linda McCullough Moore , and it was published last year in The Sun Magazine.  It won a Pushcart Prize in 2011 and if you have a few minutes, don’t let this one pass under your radar. I absolutely adore it. Follow this URL and enjoy!

http://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/398/final_dispositions?page=1

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Among The Missing

I find Dan Chaon’s work beautifully disturbing. Although some of these stories were a little too dark for my taste, I found myself returning for more. On of the things I admired most about this collection was the interweaving, but not overbearing, connection between the stories. Each dealt with a form of absence and the consequent struggle to overcome the notions of what could have been. One of the edgier stories–and surprisingly my favorite–was “I Demand to Know Where You are Taking Me.” Although the subject matter was difficult, I was in awe at the delivery and the structure of this story. More than that, the horrific elements that drive the characters–as well as the reader–were so carefully placed and built upon. It gave me chills in the best and worst way. I probably won’t read it again because I don’t love being depressed (and I have too many books on my list!) but at the same time I am definitely glad I read it.

A Village Life

A Village Life

I love narrative poetry and Loise Gluck, so when I found out that one of her collections was composed entirely of narrative poems I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Although I loved the simplicity of her writing, I felt like some of it was a little too straight forward for my taste. Regardless, Gluck created a beautiful rhythm that connected one poem to the next, and it was definitely worth the time I spent reading it.

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A Girl Named Zippy

 I absolutely adore this book.

It’s a memoir of the author’s happy childhood in a small town and it had me smiling with every page. Although Haven Kimmel’s stories are simple, her characters are palpable and her descriptions through the eyes of a child are ingenious. I will definitely be giving it another go in a year or so..I have to if I want to learn how to write with as much flare as she does.

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{Try not to let the scary-looking child on the cover deter you–she’s hilarious!}

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birthday-stories

birthday-stories

Midterms are approaching over here and as a result all my reading time has been spent on Eastern-European political plays. Murder of Gonzago anyone? I could give a review on that…but then you might all fall asleep. On a more exciting note today is my birthday (The big 23) and I am going to treat myself to the anthology up there. There are some fabulous authors inside and I am excited to get a little piece from all of them. Also, I may or may not have gotten Gillian Flynn’s novel Gone Girl from my husband. I’m sooooo excited to get through that so look for it in a blog post near you. (Right here in a week or so.) Happy Birthday, everyone!

Midweek Read

The Complete Persepolis is a graphic novel, meaning it is formatted like a comic book. I have never read anything like this before and I was a little skeptical at first, but within the first few pages I knew it was going to be well worth my time. This book is a memoir of a girl growing up in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution…it was sad, enlightening, and surprisingly powerful. I say surprisingly because I never expected to be moved by simplistic pictures with captions/word bubbles. Try it out, you won’t regret it.

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Monday Links

I’ve come across a lot of really motivating blog posts lately. Here are a few of my favorites.

8 Rules for Successful Writing– Chuck Barrett

The Anatomy of a Best-Selling Novel–Structure Part One– Kristen Lamb

Pitching Your Potential– Rachel Gardner

 

Happy Monday everyone!

 

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Have You Heard?

I don’t even know where to begin….so here it goes.

Yesterday I came across this article from Salon about Naomi Wolf’s new feminist book, Vagina: A new Biography. Umm yeah, that got my attention too. Naturally, the critics ran with it. Of course I read the article, which led me to more critical articles–all of which caused me to laugh out loud. The titles alone are so perfectly satirical, so even if you don’t want to read about how Wolf thinks a woman’s parts gives her “a sense of connection to the world,” at least get a laugh out of the titles. I think her feminist approach backfired…Wolf basically says that the you-know-what body part is where a woman’s brain resides…thanks but no thanks.  As a woman, I resent that and enjoyed these witty articles. See them here and here.

Midweek Read

Let me start off by saying I almost cried at the end of this book because the ending was so beautiful. (Horses always get me emotional…) Unfortunately, by the time I got to that point my opinion of the first half had already settled in. I don’t want to scare you away, but it was mediocre…but that seems to work for a lot of readers these days. Now before you get all offended I’ll admit that I’ve read all the twilight books too…and those are sub par. Yet, we all enjoyed them! I guess the biggest problem here was it took me half of the book to find anything endearing about the characters. If I don’t love (or in some cases hate) or at least have some emotion towards the characters–something is wrong. If the characters/relationships aren’t captivating, then the story line better draw me in– and that’s not the case then the writing must be so captivating on its own that I don’t care…and that wasn’t happening either.

With that said I will admit that it picked up significantly half way through. The characters finally found their personality, the story got deeper, and I read the last 200 pages in two days…and don’t forget that image of me tearing up in my living room around midnight.

Midweek Read

So I guess what I’m trying to say is it is worth reading (especially the last half), but don’t expect a masterpiece.

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