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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Book Behavior Babble

Not my pic - "borrowed" from the internet
A few days ago my calendar (on my phone) notified me I had a couple books coming up due at the library.

I LOVE the library. So quiet and peaceful. I could stay there ALL day.

Logging into my account online, I saw that I currently have 40 items checked out from the library.

40!

That's insane!

Those 40 items consist of audiobooks, graphic novels and "adult" fiction (as opposed to young adult, etc). Most of the audiobooks I sought out on purpose - did a search for Jim Dale and reserved all the books read by him I could find. He's one of my favorite readers, I find him not only enjoyable but comforting to listen to. (Just finished his narration of the musical presentation of the The Shoe Bird, and am currently listening to him read A Christmas Carol.)

My first experience with any library was as a child when they let you only check out two books each visit, and if you were lucky, you got to stamp your class's checkouts at the end of the visit. (I did that once. I thought it was pretty cool.)

Taking that with me growing up, I never realized that you could check out more than two books at a time at the public library, so when I created my own account at the local library near where I used to lived, I remember asking the lady behind the counter how many books I can check out at one time. She said as many as I could carry. Hearing that made me so happy. From that moment on, I started bringing one of my shopping bags with me each visit.

Problem is... I always get too many things. (I'm not saying there's such a thing as too many books, but you're dealing with a limited borrowing system, it can become an issue.) There's a phrase that comes to mind - about your eyes being bigger than your stomach when it comes to food. I'm sort of like that with books. Every time I hit the library, I usually go in with a plan - I'm there to pick up a book I have on hold or look for a title for my book group or something to entertain me for a road trip, etc. But then I see one thing... and then another... and another - before you know it, my bag runneth over with literature!

Recently I reviewed all the books I had checked out (since there are some titles/authors that take priority over others). I knew I wasn't going to get to all of them before their due dates and library rules. I went back to the library to return some items (after making a note of all the titles for later checkouts, of course). They were a combination of finished items and items I would get later on.

At the library by my new apartment, the new fiction and young adult stuff are on the bottom floor. Fiction (genre and otherwise) as well as the graphic novels are on the second floor. That's usually where I spend most of my time.

In the Facebook Book Group I moderate (it's a loose moderation - a very casual gathering of friends that read), we had just voted "The Halloween Tree" by Ray Bradbury as our October read, but then I saw that this week (Sept 27 - Oct 3) is BANNED BOOK WEEK. So I made a post about it to the group and said "So if you feel so inclined, read something you're not supposed to." I posted links to the Top 10 Most Banned/Challenged Books as well as the Top 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books*.  Earlier this week after - Tuesday I think - I went to the library to pick up a Banned Book and our October book. I was surprised not to find a lot of them since the list was so long, but then again, I reasoned perhaps other people were doing the same thing I was doing. There was a small display, but I searched the shelves and found one book then grabbed three more from the display (as well as radio play copy of one of my favorite plays "'night, Mother". So good! I want to do the play, and be Jessie.)

There were some titles that I wanted as first choice - Lolita by Vladimir Nabakov or Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut - but I ended up getting Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, All The King's Men by Robert Penn Warren , In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, and For Whom The Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway.

I had seen the film versions of "Clockwork" and "In Cold Blood" but had never read them. And anyone who knows me knows how I feel about Hemingway, but my only taste of his work was the novella "Old Man and the Sea" which I didn't particularly care for. Still, it's one book of many he wrote so I've always entertained the notion of trying something else from him. Didn't even realize he was on the banned list. A few of his titles were in fact, but I could only find "Tolls".

And while I'm in the process of literary confessions - Hi. My name is Rae, and I'm a bookaholic! - I will state here and now that yes - I have read all three "Fifty Shades" books as well as the new novel "Grey" (written from Christian's point of view). I had first seen the books in various stores and had absolutely NO idea what they were since I'm usually in the genre fiction section. But then I kept hearing about these books EVERYWHERE, and it became a WTFrak! Let me see what the hell these people (mostly older women) were talking about kind of thing. I remember thinking after reading the blurb "Okay, it's about BDSM stuff. Got it." Then like with all things that are popular in the eyes of pop culture/society and my own random (and sometimes morbid) curiosity, I said "Why not?" and got the audiobook from the library near my old place.

To be polite, I will say that I did not... gel?... with the reader. The initial trilogy is from the female point of view, and the chic reading it was just... not for me. I found myself screaming at the stereo as I listened to her. At one point - about halfway through - I had to return it since it was on reserve for someone else, and I couldn't renew, but that little "need to finish what I started" thing in my DNA started to nag at me. So I checked it out again and finished the book. As the story went on, I remember having various Grey's Anatomy type moments repeatedly asking "Seriously?"

Needless to say, I am not the target audience for these books. But it's a series, and once I start a series, I feel the need to finish said series... even if it makes me less than happy or the story/writing is less than stellar.

I took myself to see the movie version and was actually quite pleased with it in comparison to the novel. (I mainly went to see Jamie Dornan whom I love, but also out of curiosity to see how they'd pull the novel as a film off.) I did this same thing with Twilight. I was very late to the game, but a good number of my friends were reading the book and talking about it around me. And when they found out I hadn't read them, they didn't pressure me with "What? You really need to read them." So I started with the first book (I think the fourth book was coming out as well as the movie). I was given a sample of the first novel at a convention previously and read it and it made my brain bleed. (Yeah, not really my writing style.) But then I saw the movie mainly to see how they were going to pull stuff off (and to be honest, I wasn't too terribly impressed.) "Fifty Shades" however - which is based off a Twilight fanfic - was better adapted for the big screen. No, it wasn't great, but it was much better than the novel.

Recently I thought "Why not?" and grabbed the second book from the library (since I wasn't going to listen to that girl read it again... ugh). I finished the book rather quickly, nabbed the third one and finished that one just as fast. Then I saw "Grey" in the new fiction section and nabbed that, finished it. Boom!

My opinion of Fifty Shades - I like origin stories, and right away we know Christian is frakked up, but I wanted to know why. You get to know that through the books, and that's pretty cool. We also get to see him face his demons and come out on the other side. There's a little give and take with Ana, and some of the sex scenes were okay, but overall, the writing hurt my brain, the choices both characters made hurt my brain, and while reading the second and third books in the series, I kept thinking "HOW THE FRAK ARE THEY GOING TO MAKE THESE INTO FILMS???" Oh the things I read in those books. (On a side note, Lailani B. told me that she'd read the author wasn't happy with how the first movie's script, etc, so they're going with another director. When I looked it up, I also saw articles about how fans were disappointed at the lack of sex scenes in the first film, and how there's a rumor that they're going to do more sex/nudity in the second film - possibly even having offered Dornan a lot of cash for some full frontal. Now yes, to cater to my hormones for a moment, he is a yummy piece of eye candy, and I wouldn't mind seeing that show at all, but really... is it necessary? And lack of sex? Seriously?)

So after all that, I've been curious about erotica (*sings* more literary confessions). There have been novels I've read that had love scenes, etc, in them, but I've never really read 'erotica'. I couldn't find anything at the library that they're computer catalog claimed they had (there was this sci-fi anthology that I searched for but they didn't have... that was the one I was most intrigued by). Then I did a search online and found some various comprised lists on Goodreads. Fifty Shades was on there, but I dunno, would you consider that erotica? I found a couple titles from the Goodreads list, but after I brought them home, I looked at them and thought "Are these really erotica or just romance novels with a twist?" I mean, what is really considered erotica?

One of the "erotica" books that I picked was "Beautiful Bastard" by Christina Lauren. The cover says "the perfect blend of sex, sass and charm" - and I agree. The book is told from both points of view in alternating chapters and was a rather quick read. I don't think it takes itself too seriously and has fun with it. (Not really sure what Fifty Shades is all about.) I'm contemplating on reading more of the series. Hey, it made me laugh, and funny wins!

I asked Kathy W who I knew had some erotica in the past for some suggestions. Since she stayed at my place recently, she left me with some books from her collection (which are currently sitting on my bookshelf). Maybe I'll start on those next month since I'm plotting to do BOOKTOBER this year. (More on that in a later post.)

I really need to work on my reading more. I used to consume books like air, but I seem to have slowed in my literary consumption, and I need to fix that. And now that I have some audiobooks on my phone... yeah. That should help some, especially when I (eventually) go back to the gym.

Okay, my eyes are starting to droop, and I need to get some sleep so I can run some errands before work tomorrow. (Hasta pasta people!)

Later my lovelies.

Have Goodness!
Rae

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