BBT ~ Evolving Tastes in Books

June 5, 2008 at 2:08 pm | Posted in Books, Gothic Fiction, Guilty Pleasure, Historical Fiction, LIfe, My Life with Books, Reading | 15 Comments
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Have your book-tastes changed over the years? More fiction? Less? Books that are darker and more serious? Lighter and more frivolous? Challenging? Easy? How-to books over novels? Mysteries over Romance?

Since I started this blog at the beginning of 2007, the biggest change I’ve noticed in my taste has been my almost glutenous love for historical fiction. That discovery has really taken me by surprise. Barnes and Noble featured Philippa Gregory and The Boleyn Inheritence in their book club. On a whim, I ordered the The Other Boleyn Girl and the rest is history (pun only intended if it doesn’t offend). Thinking back on that, I can’t believe that I didn’t look into that earlier on my own. I’ve always loved history and Gone with the Wind is my favorite novel. It would be a no brainer if I had known that there was a historical fiction category.

In general, I’ve always preferred to read books that challenge me and those tend to be on the more serious side. For example, I read Crime and Punishment on my own in college after finding out, much to my disappointment, that it wasn’t a requirement in my college curriculum. Still, I’ve discovered that I enjoy reading memoirs and have come to enjoy reading books I would catergorize as guilty pleasures. I’ve definitely grown in my ability to admit to those guilty pleasures. Sometimes you need to just let your mind play and Janet Evanovich comes in quite handy in that regard.

One thing that hasn’t changed is how much I enjoy Gothic fiction. I might not read it all of the time or have the same compulsion to read it as I do with Historical Fiction, but I immediately feel at home when reading Edgar Allen Poe, Daphne du Maurier, Charlotte Bronte, and Patrick McGrath. When I get the bug to actually write on my own, I find my work to fit in that category. I’ve never been able to write anything else. If I ever do write that novel, I could only hope that my work would be compared to any of those authors.

The great thing about reading is that you are free to evolve in any way your fancy takes you. Where else in your life do you have that freedom?

Right Up LiterateHousewife’s …

February 15, 2008 at 11:42 am | Posted in Guilty Pleasure, Henry VIII | Leave a comment
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I am forever be indebted to Betty Jackson for this design for her showing at London Fashion Week:

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I now have all the motivation I will ever need to get in shape.  I so want to squeeze myself into a pair of Henry VIII hot pants!   I only wish I could wear them to the opening of The Other Boleyn Girl later this month…

#40 ~ Jonathan’s Story; Finale

September 28, 2007 at 4:44 pm | Posted in Books, Guiding Light, Guilty Pleasure, Jonathan's Story, Jonathon's Story, LIfe, Reading, Reva, Secrets and Lies | 2 Comments
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I finished Jonathan’s Story last night and it felt somewhat like watching (or, in my case, listening) to a Friday episode and immediately being able to watch the Monday episode. A murder is committed, but it isn’t nearly as wanton as I had hoped. That being said, it was deserved from a vigilante justice perspective. I just wish the characters had more fun in the process (the fiction reader in me is evil, don’t you think?). The ending also answered the question I had about how well Reva and Alan were getting along after Alan found out that Sarah and Jonathan are alive and that Reva had been keeping that from him. So, that’s all good.

The last third of the book had scenes were Tammy appears to Jonathan and Sarah. Similarly to the way in which she appears to Cassie on the show, Tammy has words of encouragement and wisdom for Jonathan that he finds hard to accept. I did find Tammy’s first “appearance” to Aubrey somewhat hokie, but this is a book about my guilty pleasure, so why not? One thing that legitimately got in the way of book for me did deal with this specifically. As I mentioned in Part 2, there were a couple of instances where the name of the baby got mixed up in the prose. At the very end of the book, not knowing if the character was the baby or Tammy confused me and, therefore, the very end didn’t flow as beautifully as it could have.

I was somewhat disappointed in how quickly the ending came for the plotline encompassed within the book. I know that part of the purpose of the book was to develop Jonathan and Aubrey’s relationship. That was good. I genuinely like Aubrey and I think that Jonathan needed to move on from Tammy. However, there was the potential for some really juicy action at the end involving Reva and Alan showing up in Tourmaline and the murder. It all happened so fast and at such an accelerated pace from the rest of the book. To me, it felt as if it was rushed just to complete the book on time to coincide with the show.

All criticism aside, I enjoyed the book and I’m glad to have read it. I don’t feel like it wasted my time in the least. It was a quick read and now I’m ahead of the game – assuming watching Guiding Light is a game with other people who watch Guiding Light. (nana nana boo boo! ;P ).

Personally, it was nice to take a break from some of the headier and involved books I’ve been reading recently as well. I’m in the homestretch of my 52 books goal and I’m getting just a wee bit tired of the pace I’ve needed to keep up. There is a time and place in this life for guilty pleasures. I think I might have thought of counting this book as cheating earlier in the year. The truth is that in any way that you challenge yourself you have to take a rest period of sorts. Your body/mind/spirit needs it. Even God rested on the seventh day.

#40 ~ Jonathan’s Story; Part 2

September 26, 2007 at 10:28 pm | Posted in Books, Guiding Light, Guilty Pleasure, Reading, Reva, Secrets and Lies | 2 Comments

I’ve now read through chapter 23 and there is a new lead in the “Who did Reva and Alan kill” mystery: Keith. Yay! Wouldn’t it be nice to live vicariously through Reva for that one? 😉

Okay. I know that this book is a guilty pleasure and not much more “literary” than a dime romance. Still, obvious errors that should have been caught by a content editor stick out to me like a sore thumb. Thus far, there have been three:

  1. Aubrey leaves her job at the daycare to get the staff pizza because her co-workers couldn’t stomach another club sandwich. Within a matter of pages, Aubrey actually purchases club sandwiches for them. Hmm… I would have been pretty pissed off if I were Noelle or Nancy.
  2. One of Aubrey’s days off begins by a violent confrontation with her father. He ends up pinning her by her throat to the wall. Although Aubrey doesn’t think it will bruise, she covers her neck with a scarf just before she leaves for work. Apparently days off in Tourmaline don’t last very long.
  3. Jonathan (J.B.) tells everyone in Tourmaline that his daughter’s name is Tammy. In one scene Aubrey calls her Sarah. I was waiting for the big “How the hell did you know?” scene, but it never came. Aubrey next calls the baby Tammy.

I should finish the book tonight or tomorrow. I have to say that while this book has been a fast read, it’s taking forever for Jonathan and Aubrey to get together. Maybe the time frame of the story told should have been longer so that we could see more of the two together. As it is, there’s only about 90 pages left and Reva and Alan haven’t even found out Jonathan is in California. I hope this doesn’t end quickly after a draggy-ish middle.

#40 ~ Jonathan’s Story; Part 1

September 25, 2007 at 10:21 pm | Posted in Books, Guiding Light, Guilty Pleasure, Jonathan's Story, Jonathon's Story, Reading, Secrets and Lies | 2 Comments
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Jonathan’s Story by Julia London with Alina Adams

* Spoiler Alert: If you are not caught up to last week Friday’s episode of Guiding Light,
this post touches on plot lines. *

I was able to catch up on my backlog of Guiding Light episodes over the course of the work day yesterday. By the time I turned my mp3 player off, I was extremely excited to start reading Jonathan’s Story. I could not believe my ears when I heard Reva talking to Alan about the MURDER they committed while they were away from Springfield. Murder? Who? Alright!* Reva and Alan teaming up as assassins is really something I could dig my chops into and I knew the answers to my questions were in the small hardcover book I had waiting in my purse.

The book begins with a Prologue that tells the story of the day that Jonathan and Sarah “died” in a car crash. Although I am very familiar with this episode, reading about it brought the images back in mind very well. Although I have to admit that it seemed funny to be reading about Reva instead of watching her or listening to her, I think that author did a great job of capturing her essence in a few short pages.

I was able to read through Chapter Seven. I have really enjoyed it so far. I can hear Tom Pelphrey’s voice and see the character of Jonathan very clearly as I read. What is happening is credible. We’re also introduced to Aubrey Cross, a young woman just about Jonathan’s age and type. She is the daughter of Tourmaline, CA’s sheriff named Zeke. Zeke is well revered in his community, but Aubrey knows him to be a vile, hateful man. I believe we have our first candidate for assassination here. 🙂

Jonathan reaches Tourmaline and finds it to be a small town in which he can settle down and start a life with his daughter. He and Aubrey have had a few sexually charged meetings that confuse them both. Jonathan, bless his troubled heart, feels guilty being attracted to a woman other than his dearly departed Tammy. As much as he loves Tammy, I don’t see his guilt standing in his way that much longer.

As we enter Chapter Eight, Aubrey has a confrontation with Keith Stanley, her ex-boyfriend. Keith and Zeke get along famously and Aubrey is pretty sure that the two men have worked together to murder at least one other person. I find some personal satisfaction from this. I have a Keith in my past who did me wrong. I loved reading the in Chapter Seven where Aubrey “cuts him off at the knees” publicly. I would love to have that experience myself.

* Literatehousewife does not in any way condone committing murder in real life. That being said, she loves a good murder in her fiction.

Ray of Light

September 24, 2007 at 9:42 pm | Posted in Amazing Narrator, Guiding Light, Guilty Pleasure, Historical Fiction, Jonathan's Story, LIfe, My Life with Books, Reading, Reva | Leave a comment
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Today I’ve been catching up on my Guiding Light episodes so that I don’t get hit broadsided while reading Jonathan’s Story.  It was while listening to Marina whining about loving Cyrus but being unable to stop being the straight-laced Cooper that she is that I had a mini-personal revelation.  I love Reva for the same reasons I love Scarlett O’Hara and Elizabeth Winthrop – they move mountains to be the person they want to be.  Sure, Reva doesn’t have quite the strict societal norms with which Scarlett and Elizabeth had to contend, but that doesn’t make her any less her own woman.  I like Marina Cooper and I love Melanie Wilkes, but they are not the reasons why I read or listen to soap operas.  I want to experience all that it out there in this world.  I’m sorry, but you just can’t do that through people who are as thoroughly kind and self-deprecating.

What does this say about me?  Well, I guess it says that I define “making the most out of life” as experiencing all (well, most) of what this world has to offer.  I do not find that through reading the lives of saints (either secular or otherwise).  Good people are the backbone of this world. There’s no doubt about it.  However, the individuals who push and question and scandalize that have a greater impact on where society heads.  I suffer from too much guilt and anxiety to do as I damn well please and to hell with everyone else.  As I get older this is less problematic, but I don’t see myself as a woman who will change the world.  Instead, I will champion those women and men (let’s not forget them) who have done what I might have liked to do by reading about their lives and reporting to my readers here.

I hope this doesn’t make me sort of voyeur or a purveyor of personality pornography…  Strike that.  So what if it is?  Reva, Scarlett, or Elizabeth wouldn’t feel guilty about it – at least not for long.

Jonathan’s Story ~ An Update

September 19, 2007 at 9:09 pm | Posted in Books, Guiding Light, Guilty Pleasure, Jonathan's Story, Jonathon's Story, LIfe | Leave a comment

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You want a piece of me?

 As much as I try to not think about Jonathan’s Story, I knew the second that I woke up yesterday morning that today was “the” day.   The book is in the book stores.  I checked the reviews, and I could only find two on Amazon.com.  One liked it one didn’t.  Hmmm…  So, I bought it last night.  Apparently, my dismay over having to pay to find out what has happened off-screen on my soap opera was just a little tantrum.

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Who could pass up a book that includes the “Slut of Springfield?”

I’ll keep giving updates as I read.  I’m not up-to-date with the show from the Reva and Alan leaving Springfield perspective, so I’ll work on that as well.

Another fun thing I found was a contest to win a copy of the book signed by Kim Zimmer.  Would giving you the link ruin my chances because of increased entries, or increase my chances because of good karma????

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Sorry, Alan…  You’re signature isn’t part of the contest.

#06 ~ One for the Money

February 7, 2007 at 10:03 pm | Posted in Books, Guilty Pleasure, Reading | 2 Comments
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One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

A co-worker of mine asked me if I’ve ever read any of Janet Evanovich’s books. I told her that I hadn’t. She went on and on about how hilarious her books were. The next day, she dropped a huge Barnes & Noble’s bag full of Janet Evanovich’s books at my desk. I really had no intention of reading those books.

This all happened before I started reading Life of Pi. As wonderful as that book was, I didn’t feel like jumping back into anything heavy. “What the heck,” I thought, “It wouldn’t kill me to give it a try.” I don’t typically read detective/mystery books, but after skimming through a few pages I decided that at worst it would be a quick read. I can honestly say that I’m glad that I did.

Stephanie Plum begins working as a bounty hunter because she had been out of work for six months and didn’t have enough left to hawk to make her bills. Stephanie is a sum of Dog the Bounty Hunter and Charles Chaplin. She constantly bumbles but manages to get the guy every time. I was ready to pick up the second book in the series the second I finished.

This book is not insightful or thought provoking. It’s just damn fun. I got interested in the main characters and couldn’t pull myself away from the last few chapters. Still, I don’t feel that these books are books that I have to physically read (if that makes any sense). This book was like a paper equivalent to Guiding Light. A new “guilty” pleasure. One that I can easily enjoy listening to in mp3 format while I’m at work or in the car.

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