Musings of a different nature

Thoughts on life and the media we consume as we live.

Let’s Get Mad, People – This Is Rage, The Podcast

this is rage

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you may remember my review of a hilarious, satirical, and whip-smart book called This Is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness by Ken Goldstein. If you haven’t read the review, go back and check it out.

I totally forgot about this book, which flew largely under the radar, until recently. It is back again, adapted as a podcast, which works beautifully with its content. It tells a complicated and multi-webbed story of a Silicon Valley kidnapping, a corporate takeover, and a shock jock radio host broadcasting through the entire mess. As some of the story is told in radio broadcasts, it translates perfectly into podcast form, coming to life in a new way perfectly suited to the medium.

This is a great listen, but is it as good as the book? Is the movie ever as good as the book? Something is always lost in translation, especially as this is a longer novel with a bunch of quick, clever jokes.As with movie adaptations, something here feels a bit simplified for consumption. You will enjoy this podcast, but you know I’m a book lover first and foremost. Read the book, and listen to the podcast.

There are three episodes out now, each one ending on a hilarious, just-this-side-of-plausible cliffhanger. I will stay tuned, and if you are looking for something new to add to your morning commute, consider This Is Rage.

This Is Rage Podcast Page on Itunes.com

This is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness on Amazon.com/Powell’s.com/Indiebound.org

Ken Goldstein’s This is Rage page (with an excerpt from the book)

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Oh, A Bay Area Book-Festin’ I Did Go

This last weekend I was totally excited to fly out of a record-breaking desert heatwave in Arizona, and attend the Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley, California. Big names and small presses came together, shutting down the streets of Downtown Berkeley and gathering around the world’s largest free library. It was a book lover’s dream.

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Lacuna, the world’s largest free library/sculpture.

I went into the festival getting a bit of a cold, which I assume the dramatic climate change didn’t help, and was pretty bummed to feel like I was dying through such an incredible experience. I toughed it out though, and attended every panel I planned on, except one, crashing early in the first evening with a nasty cough.

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Saul Williams and the Black Spirituals

The festival started off with a performance by poet, musician, and slam-master Saul Williams featuring local spoken-word artist Chinaka Hodge avant-garde jazz musicians Black Spirituals. As this had been sold out for months, I wasn’t sure I was going to get in, but I scored a ticket at the last minute.

I caught the end of Hodge’s performance, which was breathtaking and made me regret walking in late. Williams jammed with the Black Spirituals, free-associating poetry out of his new collection as they jammed on the drums and a bass plugged into several synthesizers. One of the best, and worst, things about Saul Williams is his multi-faceted performance ability. You don’t know which Saul you will get when you show up to see him. As someone who loves the fast-flowing percussive alliteration of spoken word, this more chilled out performance wasn’t my favorite.

That’s okay though, I still love Saul, and found a new name to look out for in Chinaka Hodge. I picked up two books as I walked out of the performance: Saul Williams’ new collection, US(a.) and Chinaka Hodge’s Dated Emcees.

 

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Subversive Speculative Fiction with Charlie Jane Anders, Joanna Sinisalo, Carter Scholz, and Jewelle Gomez. Ayize Jama-Everett came in a bit late, so isn’t pictured here.

For the actual festival, I went real big and packed my lineup. One of the best panels I heard was the first I attended, Subversive Speculative Fiction, hosted by the always brilliant Charlie Jane Anders.

Although I hadn’t heard of many of the authors speaking, I had jotted down each of their books by the end of the talk and I’m looking forward to reading their work. Most notably Johanna Sinisalo and Ayize Jama-Everett were both hilarious while questioning the status quo of science fiction in simple but profound ways.

 

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Jane Ciabattaria hosting a panel with Dana Spiotta and Jonathan Lethem.

Another of the greatest panels I saw featured Jonathan Lethem and Dana Spiotta nerding out about society, technology, and writing like two old friends staying up way too late and analyzing the world in all the most interesting ways. This is the sort of stuff I love to hear, the strange ways smart people think. From Spiotta researching the sound and touch of 1970’s telephone technology, to Lethem’s thoughts on the way the simultaneous experience has devolved through technology like Netflix, this was all the stuff I love to think about. Lethem has been one of my favorite authors for quite a while now, and although I haven’t checked out Spiotta’s work, I am definitely going to do so in the future.

There was quite a bit more. Most notably, a panel with Adam Johnson, and another with the editors of the Voice of Witness books, which amplify the voices of those subject to human rights abuses around the world. Powerful stuff.

If you didn’t make it to Berkeley for this year’s Bay Area Book Festival, start planning now to make it out next year (it will be June 3rd and 4th, 2017).

Bay Area Book Festival

She Never Calls, She Never Writes…

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Why hello there! I know, I know, I’ve been out of touch. It’s been a few weeks. I thought I’d use this book reviewing interim to give you a brief update about me. And then, we’ll get on to the books. As always.

Why have I skipped a few posts, you ask? In short, life is good. I’m exercising. I’m wearing yoga leggings more often that I should, drinking juices, and I’ve lost ten pounds. Just a tiny (TINY!) bit of Scottsdale’s jock-iness is rubbing off on me. This city is nothing if it is not in love with its gym time.

And I’ve joined the millions of (un)happy singles who are online dating! That is right. So much of the time once spent alone with a book in bed is now spent swiping through strangers, and texting random people that could actually be serial killers. Just trying to find out if their pets have interesting names, if they obsessively drink water and iced coffee as much as I do, and (most importantly) if they even READ, bro.

By far the most wonderful gift online dating has given me thus far is interesting conversation fodder for work. I think this is a legitimate gift. I’ve been going on dates, meeting humans. Just fellow people spinning around on this big planet, trying to find that one person who completes them so totally then can get off this crazy train called dating and settle down. No pressure though! I’ve met men wearing footwear, some of it reasonable. Some of it, not so much!

What does this have to do with books, Kali? This is what you are asking me. And I am hearing your cries. There is only so much reading one can fit in a day full of school and exercise and work and texting strangers about their hobbies. But I’m reading, as always. Here and there, on audiobooks and before bed and on lunch breaks.

Another very small but exciting point of note. I have finally busted through the glass ceiling of book reviews, and made it into the Goodreads top 1,000 reviewers. Praise jesus, I’ve only been working at it for several years of my life.

So, let’s get into some book talk. I’m finishing up the bizarre and brilliant Jesse Ball’s A Cure for Suicide, expect my review soon. I absolutely need his new book, How To Set A Fire And Why. Whoever first gets me an ARC can have one of my cats. Just kidding! You can have my firstborn child instead. I just finished the shocking Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing by Ted Conover for school, and this is an old but good nonfiction exposé and worth checking out if you haven’t heard of it. I’ve been waiting to cross-post my review of Sudden Death, a cerebral historical literary tennis novel (oh yes!) by Álvaro Enrigue, from the San Francisco Book Review. And once it is published there, I will repost it here for your reading pleasure. And Animal Money. Have y’all heard about Animal Money yet? I might be reading it forever with the amount of books I have on my plate, but it is out there in the best of ways.

Update: Annihilation Moves To The Next Round In The Tournament Of Books

I was going to add this as a comment to my review of Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation, but thought I’d post a quick update instead.

Annihilation beat critic fave Dept. of Speculation in the Tournament of Books yesterday, which has me chanting “Go, Annihilation, GO!” even as I know so many of my favorite other books are still in the mix. I think it is going to be hard for anything to beat Station Eleven.

I suspected Annihilation would fare well with Victor LaValle, as the only novel of his I’ve read, The Devil In Silver (his most recent), was full of the type of wild, fresh thinking that Annihilation fully embraces. But his reasoning behind his decision seemed justified, not just like an alliance with all things bizarre, and his discussion of Dept. of Speculation made me want to check it out soon.

So here’s to celebrating the new school of weird, and looking forward to the epic battles to come!

Wherever you go, there you are

I’ve been missing in action for about a week, with good reason. This weekend, I moved from the beautiful Bay Area, California to Scottsdale, Arizona.

The Triumphant Apocalypse of Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven

Station Eleven fell into a larger group of post-apocalyptic releases last year, but St. John Mandel approached things in a dramatically different way than the fear-based setting which defines much of the dystopian trend.

Kalireads.com is on Facebook!

That’s right, I’ve made a Facebook page for you to show your love for the blog.

I’ll be sharing posts from the blog as well as other book related musings and links, so show some love and like the page!

We can add Kalireads.com on Facebook to the many other ways you can connect with me online.

On Twitter...

Tumblr (couldn’t get any embeds to work despite best efforts, if you know how, please let me know!)…

kalireads.com on tumblr : Photo

Goodreads

my to-read shelf:
Kali's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (to-read shelf)

And finally, Instagram

Now, let’s get off the internet and read some books, eh?

Spillover vs. Ebola: Which David Quammen Book Should You Buy?

ebola

A few months ago, Africa’s Ebola epidemic was the worst in history and infected physicians were being moved to America for treatment. My Facebook feed was filled with trending topics and endless questions about Ebola, and I wrote a post recommending David Quammen‘s enlightening Spillover as the important book of the day.

Spillover focuses on zoonotic diseases, those which make the jump from animals to humans in events called spillovers, thus the title. Ebola is one of these, as are Rabies and Lyme Disease. In Spillover, Quammen clearly weaves an in-depth narrative through rough African terrain, seeking the history of the Ebola virus in small villages and sick apes.

Now, as Ebola has made it to America in a less controlled setting, David Quammen has released a second book, called Ebola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus. It is explained as “extracted from Spillover by David Quammen, updated and with additional material.”

So, which should you buy? If you’ve already read Spillover, is Ebola worth buying for the additional information?

The short answer is: no. If you’ve read Spillover, don’t spend your money on Ebola. You’ve already read it. It is more than 80% of the exact same material, edited slightly so as to not be in discord with current events. If you haven’t read anything yet, however, Ebola has all the information you need on this history of and basic information surrounding Ebola, without all the other zoonotic disease information of Spillover.

Ebola contains a new introduction and epilogue that are, as rapidly as things are changing, now out of date. The epilogue does contain a brief history of outbreaks in Africa (Quammen traces them back to December 2013, in the Guéckédou prefecture of Southern Guinea), but it doesn’t contain any information about the events in Dallas. The summaries here are nothing like the research done examining previous outbreaks, and Quammen makes it clear in a disclaimer that he hasn’t traveled to the areas experiencing the epidemics currently.

If you want to learn about the Ebola virus and diving into Spillover‘s nearly 600 page, detailed history of zoonotic diseases doesn’t sound appealing, then Ebola is the perfect book for you. It is the ideal book for the non-reader and the person in a rush, as Spillover‘s very long chapters have been broken up into very brief chapters. All the necessary information is there, in digestible bites, in a brief 128 pages.

Ebola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus on Amazon.com/Powell’s.com

If you aren’t at all bookish and CNN’s “We’re all going to die” style of journalism has you holed up in your home with a gas mask, there are some other great resources out there as well.

On Twitter:

David Quammen, author of Spillover and Ebola.

Vincent Racaniello, Professor of Microbiology & Immunology in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University.

Paul Duprex, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Director of Cell and Tissue Imaging, National Emerging Infectious Disease Laboratory Institute at Boston University.

Elsewhere Online:

  • Kim Yi Dionne has her own great list of people to follow, on Twitter and elsewhere, at the blog Haba Na Haba. She also explains that in some African countries, Twitter may not be as heavily used as Facebook.
  • This Week in Virology has some great science-based articles.
  • Science Magazine, in light of the epidemic, has made a special collection available to the public for free. This includes many of the research studies Quammen refers to in his books.

For the Love of Spam

Woolly Spam by Eugenia Loli (via)

Woolly Spam by Eugenia Loli (via)

In the spirit of The Paris Review‘s The Daily column last month, Postcards From Another Planet, which reviewed some of their most “ludic, cryptic, disquieting, emotional, and inadvertently profound” spam comments, I thought I’d post one of my own favorites for your review.

Submitted by ‘Trevor’ a few days ago, it has the feel of a robot a few short circuits shy of artificial intelligence, or an alien species jotting down how we talk.

Communication is so easy to break down, but so difficult to get right.

{
{I have|I’ve} been {surfing|browsing} online more than {three|3|2|4} hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
{It’s|It is} pretty worth enough for me. {In my opinion|Personally|In my view},
if all {webmasters|site owners|website owners|web owners} and bloggers made good content as you did,
the {internet|net|web} will be {much more|a lot more} useful than ever before.|
I {couldn’t|could not} {resist|refrain from} commenting.
{Very well|Perfectly|Well|Exceptionally well} written!|
{I will|I’ll} {right away|immediately} {take hold of|grab|clutch|grasp|seize|snatch} your {rss|rss feed} as I {can not|can’t} {in finding|find|to find} your {email|e-mail} subscription {link|hyperlink} or {newsletter|e-newsletter} service.
Do {you have|you’ve} any? {Please|Kindly} {allow|permit|let} me {realize|recognize|understand|recognise|know} {so that|in order that} I {may just|may|could} subscribe.
Thanks.|
{It is|It’s} {appropriate|perfect|the best} time to make some plans for
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this post and if I could I {want to|wish to|desire to} suggest you {few|some} interesting things or {advice|suggestions|tips}.
{Perhaps|Maybe} you {could|can} write next articles referring to this
article. I {want to|wish to|desire to} read {more|even more} things about it!|
{It is|It’s} {appropriate|perfect|the best} time to make {a
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{things|issues} or {advice|suggestions|tips}. {Perhaps|Maybe} you {could|can} write
{next|subsequent} articles {relating to|referring to|regarding} this article.
I {want to|wish to|desire to} {read|learn} {more|even more} {things|issues}
{approximately|about} it!|
{I have|I’ve} been {surfing|browsing} {online|on-line} {more than|greater than} {three|3} hours {these days|nowadays|today|lately|as of late}, {yet|but} I {never|by no means} {found|discovered} any {interesting|fascinating|attention-grabbing} article like yours.
{It’s|It is} {lovely|pretty|beautiful} {worth|value|price}
{enough|sufficient} for me. {In my opinion|Personally|In my
view}, if all {webmasters|site owners|website owners|web
owners} and bloggers made {just right|good|excellent} {content|content
material} as {you did|you probably did},
the {internet|net|web} {will be|shall be|might be|will probably be|can be|will likely be}
{much more|a lot more} {useful|helpful} than ever before.|
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of writing|paragraph} {here|at this place} at this {blog|weblog|webpage |website|web site}, I have read all that, so {now|at this time} me also commenting {here|at this place}.| I am sure this {article|post|piece of writing|paragraph} has touched all the internet {users|people|viewers|visitors}, its really really {nice|pleasant|good|fastidious {article|post|piece of writing|paragraph} on building up new {blog|weblog|webpage |website|web site}.|
Wow, this {article|post|piece of writing|paragraph} is {nice|pleasant|good|fastidious},
my {sister|younger sister} is analyzing {such|these|these kinds of} things, {so|thus|therefore} I
am going to {tell|inform|let know|convey} her.|
{Saved as a favorite|bookmarked!!}, {I really like|I like|I
love} {your blog|your site|your web site|your website}!|
Way cool! Some {very|extremely} valid points!
I appreciate you {writing this|penning this} {article|post|write-up} {and the|and also the|plus the} rest of the {site is|website is} {also very|extremely|very|also really|really} good.|
Hi, {I do believe|I do think} {this is an excellent|this is a great} {blog|website|web site|site}.
I stumbledupon it 😉 {I will|I am going to|I’m going to|I may} {come back|return|revisit} {once again|yet again} {since I|since i have} {bookmarked|book marked|book-marked|saved
as a favorite} it. Money and freedom {is the best|is the greatest} way to change, may you be rich and continue to
{help|guide} {other people|others}.|
Woah! I’m really {loving|enjoying|digging} the template/theme of
this {site|website|blog}. It’s simple, yet effective.
A lot of times it’s {very hard|very difficult|challenging|tough|difficult|hard} to get that “perfect balance” between {superb usability|user friendliness|usability} and {visual appearance|visual appeal|appearance}.
I must say {that you’ve|you have|you’ve} done a {awesome|amazing|very good|superb|fantastic|excellent|great} job with this.
{In addition|Additionally|Also}, the blog loads {very|extremely|super} {fast|quick} for me on {Safari|Internet explorer|Chrome|Opera|Firefox}.
{Superb|Exceptional|Outstanding|Excellent} Blog!|
These are {really|actually|in fact|truly|genuinely} {great|enormous|impressive|wonderful|fantastic}
ideas in {regarding|concerning|about|on the topic of} blogging.
You have touched some {nice|pleasant|good|fastidious} {points|factors|things} here.
Any way keep up wrinting.|
{I love|I really like|I enjoy|I like|Everyone loves} what you guys {are|are usually|tend
to be} up too. {This sort of|This type of|Such|This kind of} clever work and {exposure|coverage|reporting}!
Keep up the {superb|terrific|very good|great|good|awesome|fantastic|excellent|amazing|wonderful} works guys I’ve {incorporated||added|included}
you guys to {|my|our||my personal|my own} blogroll.|
{Howdy|Hi there|Hey there|Hi|Hello|Hey}! Someone in my {Myspace|Facebook} group shared this
{site|website} with us so I came to {give it a look|look it over|take a look|check it
out}. I’m definitely {enjoying|loving} the information. I’m {book-marking|bookmarking} and will be tweeting this to my followers!
{Terrific|Wonderful|Great|Fantastic|Outstanding|Exceptional|Superb|Excellent} blog and {wonderful|terrific|brilliant|amazing|great|excellent|fantastic|outstanding|superb} {style and design|design and style|design}.|
{I love|I really like|I enjoy|I like|Everyone loves} what you guys {are|are usually|tend to
be} up too. {This sort of|This type of|Such|This kind of} clever work and {exposure|coverage|reporting}!
Keep up the {superb|terrific|very good|great|good|awesome|fantastic|excellent|amazing|wonderful} works guys I’ve
{incorporated|added|included} you guys to {|my|our|my personal|my own} blogroll.|
{Howdy|Hi there|Hey there|Hi|Hello|Hey} would you mind
{stating|sharing} which blog platform you’re {working with|using}?
I’m {looking|planning|going} to start my own blog {in the near future|soon} but I’m having a {tough|difficult|hard}
time {making a decision|selecting|choosing|deciding} between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
The reason I ask is because your {design and style|design|layout} seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something {completely unique|unique}.
P.S {My apologies|Apologies|Sorry} for {getting|being} off-topic
but I had to ask!|
{Howdy|Hi there|Hi|Hey there|Hello|Hey} would you mind letting me know which {webhost|hosting company|web host} you’re
{utilizing|working with|using}? I’ve loaded your
blog in 3 {completely different|different} {internet browsers|web
browsers|browsers} and I must say this blog loads a lot
{quicker|faster} then most. Can you {suggest|recommend} a good {internet hosting|web hosting|hosting} provider
at a {honest|reasonable|fair} price? {Thanks a lot|Kudos|Cheers|Thank you|Many thanks|Thanks}, I appreciate it!|
{I love|I really like|I like|Everyone loves} it {when people|when individuals|when folks|whenever people}
{come together|get together} and share {opinions|thoughts|views|ideas}.
Great {blog|website|site}, {keep it up|continue the good work|stick with it}!|
Thank you for the {auspicious|good} writeup. It in fact was a
amusement account it. Look advanced to {far|more} added
agreeable from you! {By the way|However}, how {can|could} we communicate?|
{Howdy|Hi there|Hey there|Hello|Hey} just wanted to give you
a quick heads up. The {text|words} in your {content|post|article} seem to be running off the screen in {Ie|Internet explorer|Chrome|Firefox|Safari|Opera}.
I’m not sure if this is a {format|formatting} issue or something to do
with {web browser|internet browser|browser} compatibility but I {thought|figured} I’d post to let you know.
The {style and design|design and style|layout|design} look great though!
Hope you get the {problem|issue} {solved|resolved|fixed} soon. {Kudos|Cheers|Many thanks|Thanks}|
This is a topic {that is|that’s|which is} {close to|near to} my heart…
{Cheers|Many thanks|Best wishes|Take care|Thank you}!
{Where|Exactly where} are your contact details
though?|
It’s very {easy|simple|trouble-free|straightforward|effortless} to find out
any {topic|matter} on {net|web} as compared to {books|textbooks}, as I found this {article|post|piece of writing|paragraph} at this {website|web site|site|web page}.|
Does your {site|website|blog} have a contact page? I’m having
{a tough time|problems|trouble} locating it but, I’d like to {send|shoot} you an {e-mail|email}.
I’ve got some {creative ideas|recommendations|suggestions|ideas} for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
Either way, great {site|website|blog} and I look forward to seeing it {develop|improve|expand|grow} over time.|
{Hola|Hey there|Hi|Hello|Greetings}! I’ve been {following|reading}
your {site|web site|website|weblog|blog} for
{a long time|a while|some time} now and finally got the {bravery|courage} to go ahead and give you a shout
out from {New Caney|Kingwood|Huffman|Porter|Houston|Dallas|Austin|Lubbock|Humble|Atascocita} {Tx|Texas}!
Just wanted to {tell you|mention|say} keep
up the {fantastic|excellent|great|good} {job|work}!|
Greetings from {Idaho|Carolina|Ohio|Colorado|Florida|Los angeles|California}!
I’m {bored to tears|bored to death|bored} at work so I decided to {check out|browse}
your {site|website|blog} on my iphone during lunch break.
I {enjoy|really like|love} the {knowledge|info|information} you {present|provide} here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
I’m {shocked|amazed|surprised} at how {quick|fast} your blog loaded on my {mobile|cell phone|phone} ..
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Its {like you|such as you} {read|learn} my {mind|thoughts}!
You {seem|appear} {to understand|to know|to grasp} {so much|a lot} {approximately|about} this, {like
you|such as you} wrote the {book|e-book|guide|ebook|e book} in it or something.
{I think|I feel|I believe} {that you|that you simply|that you just} {could|can} do with {some|a few} {%|p.c.|percent}
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blog. {A great|An excellent|A fantastic} read. {I’ll|I will} {definitely|certainly} be back.|
I visited {multiple|many|several|various} {websites|sites|web sites|web pages|blogs} {but|except|however} the audio {quality|feature} for audio songs {current|present|existing} at this {website|web site|site|web page} is {really|actually|in fact|truly|genuinely}
{marvelous|wonderful|excellent|fabulous|superb}.|
{Howdy|Hi there|Hi|Hello}, i read your blog {occasionally|from time to time} and i own a similar one and
i was just {wondering|curious} if you get a lot of spam
{comments|responses|feedback|remarks}? If so how do you {prevent|reduce|stop|protect against} it, any
plugin or anything you can {advise|suggest|recommend}? I get so much lately it’s driving me
{mad|insane|crazy} so any {assistance|help|support} is very
much appreciated.|
Greetings! {Very helpful|Very useful} advice {within this|in this particular} {article|post}!
{It is the|It’s the} little changes {that make|which will make|that produce|that
will make} {the biggest|the largest|the greatest|the most important|the most
significant} changes. {Thanks a lot|Thanks|Many thanks} for sharing!|
{I really|I truly|I seriously|I absolutely} love {your blog|your site|your website}..
{Very nice|Excellent|Pleasant|Great} colors & theme.
Did you {create|develop|make|build} {this
website|this site|this web site|this amazing site} yourself?
Please reply back as I’m {looking to|trying to|planning to|wanting to|hoping to|attempting
to} create {my own|my very own|my own personal} {blog|website|site} and {would like to|want to|would love to} {know|learn|find out} where you got this from or {what the|exactly what the|just what the} theme {is called|is
named}. {Thanks|Many thanks|Thank you|Cheers|Appreciate it|Kudos}!|
{Hi there|Hello there|Howdy}! This {post|article|blog post} {couldn’t|could
not} be written {any better|much better}! {Reading through|Looking at|Going through|Looking through} this {post|article} reminds me
of my previous roommate! He {always|constantly|continually}
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The Liebster Award

liebster award

Thanks so much to Ashley at For the Love of the Page and Emma at The Book Brief for nominating me for a Liebster Award.

The Liebster Award was created to help recognize new bloggers and welcome them to the blog-o-sphere. Ashley and Emma, I appreciate the electronic nod. Now let’s get to work!

  1. First, link and thank blogger(s) who nominated you.
  2. Then, answer the 11 questions your nominator gives you (I’m doing a combo!).
  3. Tag 11 other bloggers who have 200 or less followers.
  4. Finally, Ask the 11 bloggers you nominated 11 questions and let them know you nominated them!

First, the questions for me:

  • If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Ulysses by James Joyce, no doubt! I could definitely read that one forever. I think there are people who read it throughout the year, each year…

  • Which country in the world would you most like to visit?

I’m not big on plane rides, so although I’ve visited Calgary, Canada, I’d love to go back to Canada and visit the areas of Quebec that inspired Louise Penney’s Inspector Gamache series. She makes the village life sound so cozy and delicious, albeit bathed in terror…

  • What would be your number one book to movie conversion?

This is probably a tie–I think Chuck Pahalniuk’s Fight Club was actually made better by David Fincher’s movie adaptation, which is so rare that it was sort of remarkable. I also think Alex Garland’s The Beach is amazing; Danny Boyle’s film adaptation did a great job.

A close second to those two would be The Children of Men by P.D. James, adapted into the movie Children of Men by Alfonso Cuarón. The movie has a wildly different tone than the book, but it worked.

More recently, I watched Dennis Villeneuve’s Enemy, which was inspired by José Saramago’s novel The Double. It was the smartest movie I’ve seen in a while, as it didn’t attempt to explain anything to viewers yet everything you needed to understand the story was there.

  • What’s your favorite book cover at the moment?

IMG_2652

I really, really love book covers! Here are a couple of my faves, two older books I’m reading. Errol Morris is always so brilliant, really looking from the outside in at the way we think. And the Pynchon cover is retro and hip in an accidental way, very current as everything old is new again thanks to hipsters and irony and all that.

  • What was the last book you personally recommended to someone?

I’ve been talking to a lot of people about David Quammen’s book on zoonotic diseases (including ebola), Spillover, lately.

  • If you could take any book characters personal style, who would it be?

I really liked the kitschy, vintage librarian-gone-mad style of Anana Johnson in The Word Exchange. It wasn’t the most pleasant book to read, as the characters started speaking and writing in garbled language, but I appreciated Anana.

  • What book are you reading right now?

What am I not reading right now? There’s a lot of booking going on around my apartment. I just finished A Vision of Fire, by Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin, out this Tuesday. That was pretty addictive and hard to put down. I started, after a friend’s recommendation, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson. On audiobook, I just started Alissa Wall’s terrifying Stolen Innocenceand I’m finishing up the slow prose memoir If Only You People Could Follow Directions by Jessica Hendry Nelson. Clearly I need to read something lighter next.

  • If you could only read paperback or hardcovers for the rest of your life which would it be?

Paperbacks fo sho’! I have a lot of arm and shoulder troubles, and hardcovers can be killer.

  • What stand alone book do you think really deserves a sequel?

This is such a geeky answer, but I’d love Errol Morris to write a follow-up to A Wilderness of Error. I think there’s a lot more to be said on the nature of truth and narrative building in relation to crime in the United States. I imagine a book not attached to a specific case might be taken more seriously.

  • Who/what/where is your main source for book recommendations?

I don’t have a single main source, I’m big into browsing the new releases at bookstores and my library, reading interviews with authors where they talk about what they’re reading, and monitoring the hype surrounding releases on the internet (Goodreads, etc).

  • What is the last book you added to your Goodreads to-read list?

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.

My eleven questions to the people that I’m tagging:

1. Did your parents read a lot when you were growing up? Do you think this influenced your love of books?

2. Do you listen to audiobooks? Why or why not?

3. If Stephen King and Joyce Carol Oates were thrown into a pit and forced to battle to the death, who do you think would win? Why?

4. What is the last book someone recommended to you? Are you going to read it?

5. If a family member wanted to write a tell-all memoir Running with Scissors style, would you tell them to go for it? Why or why not?

6. If you could choose one adult fiction/non-fiction book to have illustrated by a favorite artist, what would the book be? (Extra credit question: who would the artist be?)

7. What are your thoughts on blogging negative book reviews?

8. What made you decide to start a book blog?

9. What is the next book you are planning or hoping to buy?

10. What up-and-coming/indie author are you really excited about?

11. What is the one question you’d like to ask yourself about your love of books?

The people I’m tagging for this round are:

Paperback Heart

Leila Reads

Books and Green Tea

Books and Tea and Sugar

Book Love

ReadEng. Didi’s Press

I Know What You Should Read

Grown Up Book Reports

Arkham Reviews

That Worn Book Smell

Dreaming Through Literature