Quotable Friday: from Necessary Errors

“Everyday life continues during a love affair, though it loses any power to be menacing. One sees it as if from the other side of the room. It can’t issue verdicts or decide meanings and becomes for the interim no more than something to appreciate or humor, as the case may be, unless the lovers on a whim choose to bring a moment of it inside the boundary, invisible to others, that has been drawn around them.”

Necessary Errors by Caleb Crain

Book Review: The Last Girlfriend on Earth by Simon Rich

Book Review: The Last Girlfriend on Earth by Simon RichTHE LAST GIRLFRIEND ON EARTH
by Simon Rich

Fiction: Short Stories
Reagan Arthur Books; Jan. 22, 2013
Ebook; 213 pages
Source: Purchased

The Last Girlfriend on Earth is a collection of short stories that explore the classic themes of boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl — but in hilarious, unexpected ways. There’s a story made up of missed connections ads written by dogs, a repair shop that fixes grumpy girlfriends, and a program for “high-risk” youths in danger of long-term relationships.

These stories are the funniest things I have read in quite a while. It’s clear Rich is really enjoying playing with the tropes of nagging girlfriends, men afraid of commitments, the silly rituals of dating, and the way love (or the search for love) makes people act in crazy, irrational ways. Continue reading

Book Review: Tampa by Alissa Nutting

Book Review: Tampa by Alissa Nutting
TAMPA
by Alissa Nutting

Fiction
Ecco; July 2, 2013
Hardcover; 272 pages
Source: The Relentless Reader

It’s the night before her first day teaching seventh grade, and all of Celeste’s dreams are about to come true. The sexy 26-year-old has worked for years to become a teacher because, as many teachers say, she loves kids. Celeste is a little different, though. Her love of kids is less “they are the future” and more “I am obsessed with their undeveloped pubescent bodies.”

Celeste has become a middle school teacher with the aim of seducing her male students. Ever since losing her virginity at 14, she has been attracted only to boys of that age — and her attraction is all-consuming. Continue reading

August Reads

Color Run

I did The Color Run!

August was a month full of changes! In the first week of the month I moved from my parents’ house back to my college town of Buffalo, where I finally moved into an apartment with Tom and started my first grown-up job! I’m still adjusting to my new schedule — after two weeks of training, I just started working my regular Saturday through Tuesday week — so my blogging has been a bit sporadic. I’ll get into the rhythm soon! The 10-hour work days are kind of rough, but I love having a three-day weekend — even if it’s during the middle of the week! I’m so happy to be back in Buffalo; it’s great to see Tom every day after more than a year of long-distance, and it’s nice to be near my friends again! I feel like everything has finally fallen into place, and it’s wonderful. Continue reading

Book Review: Necessary Errors by Caleb Crain

Book Review: necessary Errors by Caleb CrainNECESSARY ERRORS
by Caleb Crain

Fiction
Penguin; Aug. 6, 2013
Paperback; 472 pages
Source: Publisher

It’s the fall of 1990, and Jacob is a young American expat who has arrived in Prague on a quest for self discovery. Although he is a year too late to witness the revolution, he hopes to catch the spirit of change and to observe the transition from communism to capitalism. He begins teaching at a language school, where he falls in with a group of fellow expat English teachers.

Necessary Errors is a long, meandering novel about Jacob’s experiences in Prague… his struggles in love (made more complicated because he is gay, and Czechoslovakia is less open than America), his growing friendships, and his observations of the transitioning country. It’s an everyday epic; although nothing terribly major happens, it chronicles the incidents and reflections that make a life. Continue reading

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

Bout of Books Read-a-ThonThe Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week-long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 8.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Hello lovelies! This will be my first time participating in the Bout of Books read-a-thon, and I’m super excited! I’m still settling into life in my new apartment and my new job — I’m finally going to start my weird Mon, Tues, Sat, Sun work schedule this week — so my reading has been a little sporadic lately. I’m looking forward to making a concentrated effort to sit down and spend more time reading! Continue reading

“I Don’t Understand People Who Don’t Read,” and Other Nonesense

A few months ago, when I was working on my Best Bookish Tumblrs post, I spent a lot of time reading through one particular blog, Bookfessions. A lot of the “confessions” are relatable things like, “I’ve had to limit my reading on public transportation. I’ve missed my stop more than once,” and cute stories like, “When I was 6, I used to call my dad and if he didn’t answer, I would read to him on his voice mail. If I ran out of time, I’d call him again to finish the story.” But quite a few of them really disturbed me with the posters’ level of obsession with reading and their judgement of people who don’t share their passion for books.

Confessions like:

Bookfessions

Bookfessions

Bookfessions

I mean, narrow-minded, much? This idea that people who don’t love reading are less intelligent or interesting than bookworms is so ridiculous. They just have different interests. And that should be fine. Everyone is different, and that is what makes them great. Life would actually be pretty boring if EVERYONE spent most of their free time with their noses in books. Continue reading

Book Review: The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara

Book Review: The People in the Trees by Hanya YanagiharaTHE PEOPLE IN THE TREES
by Hanya Yanagihara

Fiction
Doubleday; Aug. 13, 2013
Hardcover; 384 pages
Source: Publisher

In 1950, young doctor Norton Perina agrees to join an anthropological expedition to Ivu ‘ivu, a Micronesian island nearly untouched by Western society. With the help of an islander, the team is able to find the mysterious “lost tribe” they wish to study — but this discovery leads to an even more important one.

Norton and company happen upon a group of exiles from the village — a group of people who are impossibly old, if the testimony of the villagers is to be believed. But immortality has a price; although “the dreamers” appear to have stopped aging at 60, they suffer extreme senility. Continue reading

Late Lights: Giveaway Winner

Hello my beautiful tulips! Big thanks to everyone who entered to win a copy of Late Lights by Kara Weiss last week. I’m pleased to announce that the winner is the lovely Rebecca of Love at First Book! She has a delightful blog, and you should all check it out (if you haven’t already). Get at me with your address, lady 🙂

Parks & Rec Andy confetti

On a different note, sorry I’ve been a bit quiet both on the blog and commenting on your blogs lately; Tom and I moved into our apartment a week ago today, and things have been hectic! We’re finally (mostly) settled in, although we almost burned down the building with an apparently faulty microwave this morning. I love the apartment and our neighborhood, and being back in Buffalo is wonderful! The job is going well so far, but I’m still getting used to the schedule. I hope to get back in the blogging swing of things next week!

Quotable Friday: from The Dharma Bums

“Just in my swim shorts, barefooted, wild-haired, in the red fire dark, singing, swigging wine, spitting, jumping, running — that’s the way to live. All alone and free in the soft sands of the beach by the sigh of the sea out there, with the Ma-Wink fallopian virgin warm stars reflecting on the outer channel fluid belly waters.”

— The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac