Spoiler Warning

Book reviews and discussions may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk!

Friday, October 31, 2008

In defense of Grand Sophy....

Well ladies (and Markie), I should have come back after my meetin' last night, 'cuz ya'll were still here. Whodafiggered? And yes, I read ALL 406 comments.

I'm not nominating The Grand Sophy for the next book because, frankly, it's hard to find. The paperback is out of print, even used ones on Amazon are expensive, Amazon lists the hard bound at $32 and last I checked they were out of stock. So you'd probably have to go the library route. And since some of us have an irrational fear of library books, that would be bad. So unless Markie wants to send his copy around with a pair of rubber gloves and a promise that he hadn't read it in the can....it would be tough.

That said, I found it in the library and Sam and I read it on our last road trip. We LOVED it. It's entertaining, the story is complex and fun, lots of laugh-out-loud moments. Her characters are very Jane Austenish. You do need a dictionary, however. Just about once a chapter or so, the author will use a word that makes you go "hmmmmmm????????, what?????". Wish I could remember any of them, I'd give you a demo....but I'm old and have a short memory, and it's been a whole two weeks since I read it.

I'd go into more detail, but I still don't have Meghan's Halloween costume done and I have to make chili for the ward party chili competition. It could be that it will taste remarkably like Dennisons.

Anyway, if you don't have libraryphobia, go look it up and give it a try.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Reality TV: Uncensored (The Hunger Games discussion)

If reality TV didn’t all of a sudden become beyond lamerz so nobody watched it anymore, this is exactly where it was headed, people. Pretty soon it wasn’t going to be enough for someone to eat a live rat on TV or practically starve on a beach somewhere while camera crews hovered near by. No, Mark Burnett would have eventually come up with this. Throw 24 people into a ginormous arena (after they signed consent forms and waivers and stuff) and have them fight to the death. And Jeff Probst would have hosted & made Katniss shine in her interview. And people would have bet on who was going to win. And it would have gotten HUGE ratings! If only it weren’t for the murder part of it. Dangitalltoheck!

Things I LOVED:
• The writing. Unlike somebody else (pointing at SMeyer), Suzanne wastes no words. Every back story she tells, every description of scenery, every freaking sentence means something. LOVE that.
• Peeta. He had me at “blonde hair across his forehead,” continued with getting beat by his mother to give Katniss some bread and finalized it with his sense of humor & devotion to Kat.
• The social commentaries. The one I can think of right now is when she’s describing the people of the Capital and how they do surgeries to look younger and thinner. Then she says “In District 12, looking old is something of an achievement since so many people die early. You see and elderly person you want to congratulate them on their longevity, ask the secret of survival. A plump person is envied because they aren’t scraping by like the majority of us. But here it is different. Wrinkles aren’t desirable. A round belly isn’t a sign of success.”
• Katniss. She is a girl who will do what has to be done. That’s it and that’s all. She killed that friendly lynx at the beginning of the story because it was scaring off her prey. She took over as head of her household at 11 years old because it was do that or starve to death. She volunteered to take Prim’s place (I literally bawled when the crowd refused to clap, btw). Even though she despises the Capital, she played right to the Capital audience because that is what it took to get her home. My absolute favorite part is when she is up in the tree & overhears the Careers and Peeta talking. She then jumps down out of the tree after they have left and knows how excited the “audience at home” is going to be after they realize she had been in the tree that whole time & heard everything. Then she goes “So as I slide out of the foliage and into the dawn light, I pause a second, giving the cameras time to lock on me. Then I cock my head slightly to the side and give a knowing smile. There! Let them figure out what that means!” Srsly, I lollerzed.
• The terms used for things: mockingjays, tracker jackers, nightlock berries…. All very good descriptive names for things.
• Cinna. The classy homosexual stylist we all want to be our BFF.
• Favorite scenes that stood out: Peeta shaking his head a little so Kat wouldn’t go after the bow & arrows at the Cornucopia (that place is whack, yo!).The tracker jacker attack on the Careers. Genius I tell ya. Her alliance with Rue/decorating Rue’s body as a way to rebel. District 11 sending Kat the loaf of bread. Finding Peeta in the stream all camoflauged. My heart fluttered a bit when he said “Come to finish me off, sweetheart?” The berries killing Foxface deaderz. The ingenious plan of pretending to eat the berries so they could both win.

Things I Didn’t Like:
• The Muttations. Srsly. Creepy. Yucky. Me no likey.
• Kat’s inability to see that anyone could love her. It was quite Bella-ish. I was screaming in my head the whole time “Pull yer head out Kat! Geesh!” But then again, if she had effortlessly fallen in love with Peeta then what kind of a story would this be? I know. But still. Pull it out.

I realize I can’t cover everything in this book. I hope more will come out in the comments.

Bottom line, I loved it. Loved it. And then loved it some more.

Some things to ponder:

What will happen with Kat & Gale now?

How awful would it be to be a mentor or stylist for one of the tributes who was killed?

How gross is it to think about eating rabbit?

Why was there no mention of how & when Kat sealed the deal?

Why do I, a happily married woman, want Peeta to frost my cake?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How It's Gonna Work...

(In case you missed it, the post below announced our meeting date and time)

Here's how our book club will work:
  • Each month, I'll pick someone to host the book club discussion on this blog.
  • The Host will be responsible for writing a detailed review (including any author info), providing questions and topics that will result in stimulating conversation, guiding the discussion, and holding still while an alien inserts itself into their body.
Gosh that sounds so serious. Our book club is growing up you gize. But it's supposed to be 90% fun, 10% serious, so don't be intimidated, MmKay?
  • The Host will post their review at a specified meeting date and time, and we will have our discussion in the comments of that review (just keep refreshing your screen).
  • Anyone who read the book and wants to write their own review (I probably will cuz I can't keep my mouth shut), can post their review on their own blog on the day of the book club meeting, and direct all comments to the Smart Remarks book club blog at the actual meeting time, so we can keep the discussion all in one place. Feel free to invite any of your gizes peps to join our discussion, cuz it's nonexclusive and the more the merrier, but I totally believe in censorship so no funny business. My hand will be hoovering over the delete button.
So, who's The Host this month?

Landeelu Landerson

Landee nominated The Hunger Games, so I thought she would be an excellent host for this months discussion, and she graciously agreed to do it you gize.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mark your calenders you gize...

Meeting date and time for The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins:

Thursday, October 30th
8pm (pacific) 9pm (mountain)

I srsly hope you gize have finished reading this book by now, but if not, hurry up!

I'll post info on how it will work tomorrow...

In case you gize are confused, the only thing The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins has in common with Oliver Twist is the lack of food.

BTW, of course you don't have to be a contributor to join in on the discussion, but there are six people who asked to be added and never accepting the invitation. If that's you, send me your current email address... I might have the wrong address or it might have ended up in your junk mail. (a j esplin @ msn dot com)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Have you started...

Don't worry. No spoilers here.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Checking in...