Thursday, 28 June 2012

I'm Reading: Imaginary Internet Friends

The writers of three of my favourite blogs have recently published books. Yay!

1. Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson of The

I gave this to Luke as his latest Challenge, and so I haven't finished it myself yet. I can't do a proper review of it, really, except to say that Jenny is hilarious. She seems funny and kind and she is capable of rallying the internet to any cause. I got to meet her at BlogHer08, where we hung out in a bathroom for a bit.

I read a review of this book which stated that it was better as a blog. Which ... yeah, I don't disagree, but I also think all memoirs are kind of blog-like. That's the whole point. But this is like bonus behind-the-blog-scenes material. So for people who would like a Bloggess blog to carry around with them, buy this book.

2. In Dreams by Jenn Sterling of

This was the first book that I have read on the Kindle app on my phone. I am catching trains a lot these days and I liked not having to bring a big heavy book along. This did mean that my reading of the book was quite broken up, but I think I got quite good at remembering where I was up to by reading the last page I'd read to. If I had a tablet now, I might read a lot more on the Kindle.

I have read Jennster for ages. Definitely before 2008, because I got to dance with her at BlogHer08 which was awesome. So when she decided to write a book (series) I was of course going to check it out. Who would have thought that real people could write books?

And since real people write books, it means that real people are going to read comments about them. I know that this book was criticised for the writing style, and that Jennster then put a lot of work into making it a better piece of writing. I deliberately didn't update my Kindle copy as I was halfway through reading it at the time, and was interested to see the 'first edition'. And yeah, shifting points of view from paragraph to paragraph was confusing, but once I realised that it was the style of the book, it didn't annoy me. But! Despite the fact that I (was forced to) put it down fairly regularly, I was always like "Oh yeah, that's what was happening. Yay" when I started reading again. Apart from the unpolished writing (which, I do actually like when a writer has a particular style so being distinctive is not necessarily a bad thing), the story was interesting and compelling (and full of hot guys!).

3. Messy by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan of

Sadly, the Fug Girls were not at BlogHer08 (or if they were, I missed them) or we could have made it a hat-trick.

Messy follows the Fug Girls' debut YA novel, Spoiled, which I forced the library I worked at at the time to purchase from overseas immediately, because it took a ridiculously long to be available in Australia. But now I work at a bookshop, and I have the buying power, so Messy was mine! The covers of both are awesome, although I could have done with a little splash of green on Messy's.

These books are just straight up fun. They are full of pop-culture references, absolutely chockers. Sometimes I felt like a reference was just put in to meet some kind of quota, but most of the time it was either fine or awesomely relatable.

There are also a bunch of things that feel like shout-outs to the readers of GFY, little jokes that have been standing themes on the blog for ages. This is awesome to have in a book, because it makes me feel like a special little reader who knows the secret words. PLUS, the girls reply when you tweet them how much you want to stalk them read their books. Famous people replied to me OMGawesome.

As I was reading, there were a bunch of lines that I wanted to remember, so I could tell you about how they had all these cool lines. I really should've had a bunch of post-its next to me, because I have now forgotten most of them. My favourite: "There is no such thing as a blog emergency." HAHAHA DISCONCUR.

So, in conclusion:

Blog writers becoming book writers is awesome.
I will support people I "know" by buying their books.
More blog-book authors need to include Australia on their book tours. Work on that for the next ones, thanks girls.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Challenge 12: 'Let's Pretend This Never Happened'

I'm not sure when I first started reading the Bloggess, but it was definitely before BlogHer08, because that was when I got to meet her and hang out in a bathroom with her and hear her read a hilarious post. I made Luke watch this when I got back, so this is not quite his first encounter with the Bloggess either.

Luke, your Challenge: read Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson aka The Bloggess.

PS: I went to order the book at the bookstore where I work, thinking I would add it to system and order some bonus copies for us to sell but guess what? We already had it in stock. Like, a lot. I was kind of insulted that I wasn't the sole person in Adelaide aware of the awesomeness of the Bloggess, but on the other hand YAY, Bloggess books for everyone!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Review 10: 'A is for Alibi'

This has always been one of those books that sat on my parents bookshelf and I thought to myself "At some point I might try that series." It just never happened. A is for Alibi is a Detective/Crime novel set in California (well, mostly) and revolves around Kinsey Millhone, a tough, gun-toting PI. For her first case in the "Alphabet Mysteries", Kinsey is hired by Nikki Fife, who has just been released from prison after doing 8 years for the murder of her husband, to find the real killer.

The first thing that stuck me about this book was how it was structured. It really manages to capture the way Kinsey thinks about the world, everything was dry and precise. Few books I have read, even in this genre, manage to capture the essence of the characters so fully. A is for Alibi also surprised me with how fast paced it was, Kinsey followed leads across the state, meeting contacts and gathering information almost nonstop, gradually bringing together the pieces of the puzzle. A number of times she arrives just to late, to find that a crucial witness murdered, or files missing, and you know someone is one step ahead (At this point I figured out whodunit, although I almost changed my mind later, good storytelling there).

While I did enjoy this book, I'm not sure if I would read more, for a number of reasons:
  1. While the writing style was novel, well executed, and even fitted the book well; it did at times irritate me, although I'm not entirely sure why. 
  2. There just weren't enough explosions. (Or any Magic)
  3. I don't like starting a series which I seriously doubt I'll ever [get to] finish. I've heard that the later books in the series aren't quite as good, and let alone that, I dont really want to read 24 books about a character with whom I have no real emotional attachment (Oh yeah, I found Kinsey hard to relate to).
 So yeah.. To sum up: A is for Alibi is a good book, written well; but isn't really my favourite type of read, so I probably wont come back to it in the near future.. later however, I may be running out of things to read.