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Virago77

Bookish Blerd

I'm a book buying junkie who buys books faster than I can read them. But what better way is there to live than surrounded by books?! I read as much as I can and I do my best to give good reviews.

Currently reading

The Jungle Book
Rudyard Kipling
It: A Novel
Stephen King
Twice Bitten
Crystal Green, Erica Orloff
Master and Commander (Aubrey/Maturin, #1)
Patrick O'Brian

Banned Books Week

 

It's that time again.  The last few years I've tried to make a point of participating, this year I hope to do better than before.  I don't understand why some people believe that banning books is helpful, when in fact it is detrimental.  Censorship is wrong and we all need to exercise our right to intellectual freedom!

 

 

 

 

 

  1. 1) This One Summer written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
    Reasons: challenged because it includes LGBT characters, drug use and profanity, and it was considered sexually explicit with mature themes
  2. 2) Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
    Reasons: challenged because it includes LGBT characters, was deemed sexually explicit, and was considered to have an offensive political viewpoint
  3. 3) George written by Alex Gino
    Reasons: challenged because it includes a transgender child, and the “sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels”
  4. 4) I Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
    Reasons: challenged because it portrays a transgender child and because of language, sex education, and offensive viewpoints
  5. 5) Two Boys Kissing written by David Levithan
    Reasons: challenged because its cover has an image of two boys kissing, and it was considered to include sexually explicit LGBT content
  6. 6) Looking for Alaska written by John Green
    Reasons: challenged for a sexually explicit scene that may lead a student to “sexual experimentation”
  7. 7) Big Hard Sex Criminals written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky
    Reason: challenged because it was considered sexually explicit
  8. 8) Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread written by Chuck Palahniuk
    Reasons: challenged for profanity, sexual explicitness, and being “disgusting and all around offensive”
  9. 9) Little Bill (series) written by Bill Cosby and and illustrated by Varnette P. Honeywood
    Reason: challenged because of criminal sexual allegations against the author
  10. 10) Eleanor & Park written by Rainbow Rowell
    Reason: challenged for offensive language

 

I'm going to try to get to Two Boys Kissing, Make Something Up and Eleanor & Park this week.

Review: This Book Is Full Of Spiders

This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It (Trade Paperback) - David Wong

I. Hate. This. Book.

 

Okay, not really, but the ending, which I won't spoil, was upsetting.

 

So let me tell you, this book was well and truly full of spiders.  Gross.  It made me shudder just reading about them!!!!  This sequel was all together creepier, and more serious than it's predecessor.  John Dies At The End, while creepy, and it had it's sad parts, was a lot lighter and more humorous.  Things in this book escalated quickly.  Stuff got serious within the first chapter or two.

 

It doesn't take away from the book at all.  This was equally good, and it was evident that things clearly had to get worse this time around.  John and Dave are thrown into save-the-world situations, again, only this time they get separated and have to work toward the same goals while apart.  It definitely made for some anxious moments and the reader routing for them to make their way back together.  

 

There was still humor, and John and Dave's shenanigans will probably always be epic.  I am very much looking forward to the next installment!

Wordery Shenanigans Update

So after my scathing email with bullet points clearly detailing their incomeptence, they emailed me again.  They claim that my account--which they kept insisting I didn't have--and the payment method had different email adresses.  Now this is true; however, never in the history of ever has this been an issue with any other place I've ordered from.  I have a go-to email adress for when I create an account or sign-up for things, but my paypal account email adress is different.  They've never been confused or mistaken during the ordering process.  And I do a lot of my shopping online.  Anytime I can use paypal,  I do.

 

So what really happened was, they weren't actually reading my emails and when I threatened to give bad reviews AND report them, it set off some read flags and they finally decided to pay attention.  They claimed the remail corresponsence had gotten confused and blah, blah. But they've changed the email address for the order and FINALLY emailed me an order confirmation.  Which is funny because I never got confirmation to either address!  And then to add insult to injury, they offered me a 10% coupon code.  Depending on the book I used it for it would equate to maybe $1.00 plus change.  I told them to keep it because clearly, they needed it more than me.  I promised, after my book was received, that I would delete the account they kept telling me I didn't have and that they'd never get my money again.

 

When I went about leaving bad reviews, I saw that MANY people had the same or similar isses as me.  I did see that some people had no issues, but they were in the minority.  I advise all buyers to beware of Wordery.com!

 

I'll let everyone know if/when I get my book. It's not due for release until October 3rd.

 

Thanks for going in this journey with me!

I Am Livid

I had calmed down, completely willing to give Wordery the benefit of the doubt. 

 

Today I recieved almost the exact same email as I recieved initially.  Blah, blah I don't have an account and NOTHING regarding my order.  I've just sent a scathing email with bullet points, clearly explaining everything to them.  This is their last chance.  I swear if I get one more email talking about my account status and never mentioning my actual order, my head just might explode.  And then I will file a complaint with Paypal.  Maybe that was my mistake, I should have gone paypal as soon as they pulled that, you don't have an account crap.

 

I will NEVER use that website again!  I will just bite the bullet and pay more $ at B&N.  It's not worth this frustration.  I mean, how hard is it to read an email and comprehend the words written?!

 

Ugh!

 

Going to contact paypal now.

 

Sorry, needed to vent. I'm so angry I want to scream.

Irritated

After reading about my reluctance at buying from Amazon, someone suggested Wordery.com to me.  So of course I immediately checked it out, created an account, and added a bunch of books to my wishlist.  And last week, I saw that the pre-order for the next book in the John Dies At The End Series is available for a very good price.  Of course I ordered it!  I didn't print my receipt because I'm used to every other vendor sending a confirmation email detailing my order.

 

I didn't think about it for a few days, and then realized that I never got an email.  I go back through my emails thinking I must have just missed it, but no.  So I log into my account.  No records of any orders.  So then I think, maybe I thought about purchasing, but never did; I've been known to do that from time to time.  Just to be thorough, I checked my paypal account.  Low and behold, there's a charge from Wordery.

 

So I contact customer service explaining my dilemma.  I just got a return email telling me that they could not find any account under the email address I contacted them from.  They claim that customers are so quick to order due to their great prices that they often just buy as a guest.  WTF?!  First off, I don't know of any place that allows you to have a wishlist without first signing up for an account.  And even if I didn't have an account, why the hell did I have to sign-in using my email and password to get to my non-existent order information?!

 

I am SOOOOOO aggravated.  This is my first time dealing with this place, and odds are, it's my last.  I'm going to give them the chance to resolve this, but if push comes to shove, I'll go through paypal to get my refund and then I'll find my book elsewhere.

 

I think what pisses me off the most is that even if I didn't have an account, in my email to customer service, I submitted an order number and they didn't so much as mention it, the order, or where the heck my money went.  All they cared to tell me, was that I didn't have an account, which was incorrect.

 

Sorry, I just needed to vent.  I don't have gads of money to waste so I get really hot under the collar when people mess with my money...and my books!!  Updates to follow.

Review: American Assassin [movie]

I'm a huge Dylan O'Brian and Michael Keaton fan, which is the main reason I wanted to see this in the theater.  There are very few movies I want to see in the theater, unless it's for family time--which this somehow turned into.  

 

This is my kind of movie.  I love spies, assassins, military, war, etc. in my movies.  I think it's a hold-over from the watching Mash with my daddy when I was little.  I love things like James Bond, Strike Back, Master And Commander, and so on.

 

Dylan and Michael (and all the cast) were phenomenal in this movie.  It's clearly the start lf a franchise, as it's based on a book series.  And like most first movies of a series, it starts a little slow and light on the action, but builds to a satisfying climax.  It had a familiar plot sevice with Mitch's (Dylan's) main motivation being revenge, but isn't that way so many people get involved in those types of situations?!  It's more about what his character does once he realizes it's all about so much more than his personal revenge.  I think (hope) if they decide to continue with the series, we'll get to see his character grow and mature.

 

This is more my feelings on the movie more so than a review. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who is planning to see it. I think it was a great start.   Dylan is such a natural talent and it was nice seeing him break out of teenager mode and show how much he's grown and matured as an actor since The High Road, and that show that shall not be named.

 

And Keaton... remeber when people scoffed at him being Batman in the 90s and his portrayal knocked everone on their collective asses?!  Well, he's at it again.  I don't know that I've ever seen him in a role quite like this and he pulled it off  spectacularly!

 

It get's top marks from me.  I'm still undecided as to whether or not I'll check out the books, but I'm definitelt down for a movie sequel.

Reading progress update: I've read 346 out of 450 pages.

This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It (Trade Paperback) - David Wong

Technically this book is only 406 pages; the rest is a excerpt from another book.  So I am soooo close to the end!  It's so good, but I'm so tired.  I need to nap before I can continue.  It's sad getting to the end, because there will be no more John and Dave shenanigans until the next book...which isn't out until October.  *sigh*

 

 

Silly Hubby...

left me to my own devices in a store that sold, among other things, books.  I went on a road trip with hubby (he's a trucker), and I'm not allowed to go inside some of the refineries.  Usually he drops me at the truck stop where I sit and read.  This time it was a shopping center, and after having some coffee and reading for a bit, I decided to hit the Target.  It was early morning and the store hadn't been open for very long.  The staff was still stocking shelves.  It was the perfect set up.  Time to kill and lots of quiet.  And of course the first aisle I came upon was the books.  And I found this: 

It's been on my wishlist since it was pre-order.  Of course I had to get it.

 

When we came home from our trip, this had come in the mail:

Jawsome!  I won it in a giveaway.  Good book week!

Reading progress update: I've read 260 out of 450 pages.

This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It (Trade Paperback) - David Wong

*shudder* So. Many. Spiders.

Review: John Dies At The End

John Dies at the End  - David Wong, Stephen R. Thorne

This book was an exercise in insanity!  This is not the first time I've said this about a book, and considering there are two sequels to this, it won't be the last!

 

Sometimes I'm not sure if I'm too generous with my book ratings, or if I just have superb taste and amazing luck at picking great ones. I'd like to believe it's the latter...so I will.

 

My hubby and I, on a late night Netflix binge, saw this movie and were intrigued by the title--hello, spoilers!  So we watched knowing it would be my kind of flick.   It was bizarre and yet good.  Bizarrely good.  Horror/comedy with a bit of camp.  Everything you need to make a future cult classic.  And of course the moment I found out it was based on a book, it went on my wishlist.   And let me tell you, it is surprisingly hard to get a used copy of this book!  (I was on a budget and trying not to give Amazon any more of my money.)

 

And after I finally got a copy, I didn't read it right away.  Big mistake! Huge!  If I could kick my own butt for waiting so long, I would.

 

The whole thing is told from David Wong's point of view (yes the author is also a character).  I normally hate first person stories, but this was great.  It's about David and John and their ridiculous shenanigans.  It's like they get into the kind of situations that you just can't make up.  I had a friend like that once. She would get into the craziest stuff, and I was there half the time, so I know she wasn't making it up.

 

In the story there's this drug called 'soy sauce' and it's pretty much a gateway to hell--or so Dave and John think.  Crazy things happen when you're on the sauce, a whole new part of your mind is opened up to you.  And once it's opened, there's no closing it!

 

John takes it on purpose, and Dave is accidentially stabbed by the needle he confiscated from John.  Now they are seeing things they would have never wanted in a million years, ever wanted to see.  And they're able to do things--almost supernatural type things.  They get caught up in some serious mess all because of this 'soy sauce', and no matter how hard Dave tries to pull them out, John keeps dragging them in deeper.  It's almost like their [undisclosed] town is situated on a hellmouth!  And John and Dave are the 'slayers' poised to save the world.

 

Everything in this book is just insane. It's the right amount of dark, creepy, crazy and funny.  It's like Evil Dead with two good Ashes.  I loved every minute of it.  And now I'm about to dive into the sequel as soon as I post this.

 

...Why does it always have to be spiders?!

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 306 out of 466 pages.

— feeling love
John Dies at the End  - David Wong, Stephen R. Thorne

So much insanity!  The movie was pretty on the nose, but this book is soooo much more. 

Reading progress update: I've read 145 out of 466 pages.

John Dies at the End  - David Wong, Stephen R. Thorne

This books is as bizarrely hilarious as the movie! I'm loving it!  I'm back and forth between reading, and listening to the audiobook when I can't hold the book.  I'm loving it.

Review: Go Ask Alice

Go Ask Alice - Beatrice Sparks, Anonymous

I don't know what to say about this book.

 

I don't know how I feel about this book. 

 

This book was haunting. It was horrifying.  It was sad. It was heartbreaking.

 

This is basically a handbook for what not to do when you're a teenager.  This poor girl.  I can't even pretend to imagine what it was like to walk in her shoes.  To think that her addiction began with so-called friends drugging her.  And once the cycle began she couldn't pull herself out for very long.

 

And she tried.  I believe she tried and desperately wanted to get clean and stay that way.  And the way people treated her while she was trying to fly straight... It doesn't surprise me that people could do the things to her they did.  People of all ages can be so horrible.

 

And I'll forever wonder if she slipped, or if someone, once again, pushed her off the wagon without her consent.

 

I will never truly understand addiction because I have never been--unless you count Pepsi Throwbacks because man was I ever hooked on them!  The difference is, when I quit them, I didn't have people trying to force me back into my dependence on them.

 

This was beautifully sad and I don't thnk I'll ever be able to read it again. It was that kind of novel.

Review: The Joy Luck Club

The Joy Luck Club - Amy Tan

So, I hate when I keep books on my 'TBR' list for so long that I regret waiting so long to read them.  I loved the movie, so I knew the book would be even better.  After having read the book, it is better (of course), but doesn't take away from the movie.

 

This is a book about mothers and daughters.  About the generation gap, cultural gap, and language gap between the Chinese born mothers and their American born daughters.

 

It's sad in some ways because it seems as their their relationships are base on obligation more so than love.  The mother's wanted so badly for their daughters to be worth something and to have nice things  and better opportunities in America, that they waited to long to instill their Chinese beliefs/wisdom in them.  Which was very much to the detriment of the daughters.  The girls (for a time) only care about being American and fitting it with their American peers.  And it wasn't until later in all of their lives that they realized what they had missed out on.

 

The mother's obviously loved their daughters very much; however, the way the showed it was so foreign to the girls that they really had no clue; all they saw was harassment, disappointment, embarrassment...  Their stories, which were life lessons, seemed like nothing but fairy stories from the "old country".  The two generations were battling a language gap, not because the daughters spoke English where their mothers spoke Mandarin or Cantonese, but because they spoke the languages of two separate generations from two different countries.  

 

The mothers clung so much to the old ways, except where raising their daughter's were concerned and by the time they realized what they had done (or not done) it was too late.  And the daughters never paid attention to the lessons that they were taught.  And by the time they realized that they were lessons, it was too late.

 

The mothers and daughters spoke to one another, but it all seemed to get lost in translation.  As was said in the book, the daughters would hear less than what their mothers had said, and the mother's would always hear much more than what their daughters had actually said.

 

They were all broken, emotionally injured in some way or another, and because none of them had learned to communicate with each other, it was near in possible to help.  It was beautiful and so very sad, especially for me as a mother of two daughters.  I hope that I have learned to not only speak clearly, but hear what my daughters say.

Crazy Cat Lady

 

I'm a crazy cat lady.  My family takes care of three strays out front of my house and one in the back.  We made them a shelter for the colder/wetter weather.  I was just cleaning the front cat house in preparation for the colder weather, when a  HUGE EFFING SPIDER jumped out and tried to kill me!!! Thank goodness for EucoClean! Sprayed it like crazy then called for hubby like a maniac. He gets pissed because he thought I cut my finger off while cutting up the insulation mats. 

 

...Although, I did threaten to cut off a digit to get people to leave me alone, so maybe his displeasure was valid.

 

Anywho, spiders have been defeated (until next summer), and the cat house has been cleaned and has new insulation and a fresh bed of straw.

 

Random Thoughts While Reading

Am I the only weirdo that misses seeing things like this in the back of books?

 

 Am I really that old that I remember nearly very  book I read in the 80s and part of the 90s having these?!