24 August 2014

+JMJ+

Blast from the Book Boyfriend Past!


Meet Shea Adler and other book boyfriends
@ Stuck in Books

While waiting for my copy of Oryx and Crake to get here (and yes, it may be a while yet), I decided to work on a few old drafts and get them published before the Dystopian theme that we're going to have soon means they'll have to wait a little longer. 

Please note that today's featured characters are over 150 years old, so there are going to be spoilers here. I hope that this post's being a "two-fer," just like the book that inspired it, will make up for that somewhat.

20 August 2014

+JMJ+

Talking to You about Karaoke!
(Part of my series on Rob Sheffield's Talking to Girls about Duran Duran)

Now that we're done with the Children's Programme "Fake" Band Smackdown and postponing the Oryx and Crake readalong indefinitely (I'm still so sorry), I guess it's the best time to resume blogging through Rob Sheffield's tribute to 80s music. And how can we do that without exploring some karaoke?

I never sang karaoke in the '80s, but I spend my karaoke time rehearsing those years, long after the audition ended. I go to karaoke to live those years out in ways that weren't possible at the time, technologically and emotionally. Now I can step into the stilettos of Sheena [Easton] or Chaka [Khan]. These are songs I used to sing alone in my room--now I have a microphone and a crowd.

Well, actually, we could have returned to the 80s with some Paul McCartney instead--but when I asked people to choose between Macca and karaoke, the only vote went to karaoke. LOL! And why not? If music is a universal language, then karaoke is Esperanto. But I do wonder what my provincial karaoke "accent" would reveal about me in an international gathering.

16 August 2014

+JMJ+

Character Connection 46


Hosted @ The Introverted Reader

I might as well admit it: I'm a bad planner. I really should have made sure that the local bookstores stocked Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake before giving it a chance to be a "Two or Three" Book Club pick. One branch did have a copy two weeks ago . . . but it was being reserved for someone else. I consoled myself by imagining that the person who wanted it is one of my lurkers. If you're reading this, silent friend, I want to congratulate you on getting there ahead of me. But you realise we're all stuck now, right? ;-P E-mail me if you want to write the first readalong post!

While waiting for another copy of Oryx and Crake to arrive by special order, I have been indulging in a random and unscheduled reread of Leigh Greenwood's Western Romances, one of which gives me something to blog about today.

07 August 2014

+JMJ+

Life as a Reading Challenge, Chapter 15

Have you read David Wong's 60 Second Guide to Learning the Awful Truth about Yourself? If his name sounds familiar, that's because he's the guy who got me to make CLOSE my word for 2013. I appreciate his newer article as well--and not just because it gives me a challenge I can adapt to one of my own posts. Here's a sixty-second exercise for you . . .

1) Write down the names of the five authors whom you own the most books by.
2) Write down the names of the five authors who are the greatest literary influences in your life.
3) Use your Secret Decoder Ring for the twist: understand that the five authors on the first list are the real greatest literary influences in your life.

You already know which authors would be on my first list. As for the second, it would have (in alphabetical order) Charlotte Bronte, G.K. Chesterton, Nick Joaquin, F. Sionil Jose, and Madeleine L'Engle. Of course, the one who made both lists is also the one whom I try to shrug off these days. =P Does this matter, though?

Well, yes. Wong's original challenge was to write down five things you did yesterday and then the five things you think are most important in life--and [Secret Decoder Rings again, please] to realise that the first things are your real priorities. And his point was that the amount of time that we spend doing something is an objective standard about how much we value it. If you spend eight to ten hours a day at a job you hate, well, that does say something awful about you. Such as that you've swallowed, hook, line and sinker, the idea that a centralised mass production economy run by wage-slavery is your destiny. It's not the only thing about you, of course, but neither is it something you can shrug off.

Speaking of economies, there are also the amounts of money that we spend . . .

04 August 2014

+JMJ+

"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 99

Once again, we have a winner! And what we will be reading for the next two months (give or take a few weeks!) is . . .

The Handmaid's Tale - 1 vote
Oryx and Crake - 3 votes

That's not the most popular turnout we've had, but how can a Nichtwählerin like myself complain? LOL! For what it's worth, I also know from experience that books with "niche" appeal are often more effective at sparking discussion than books with mass appeal. So this should be interesting! =)

Since there are fifteen chapters, I'm going "to break" the readalong into five meetings on three chapters each. I'll call the next "meeting" to order later this week.

Image Source: Oryx and Crake by Atwood