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100 book challenge - May edition - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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100 book challenge - May edition [May. 31st, 2007|11:49 pm]
Zoethe
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[Current Mood |sleepysleepy]

I did well in May. I begin to believe I might actually make it to 100 by my next birthday:

22 - Tim, by Colleen McCullough: I'd read The Thornbirds, which is one of those "epic and depressing" novels that Oprah types live for, so I went in to this a bit apprehensively. It's nothing like her Thornbirds. It is, instead, a sweet story about a rigid, isolated, middle-aged woman who befriends a 20-year-old retarded man - a man who is, in some ways, further handicapped by the fact that he is staggeringly handsome. We meet his family, and see their relationship enhance both their lives. The ending is flawed by a strange last chapter, but it was just a nice book.

23 - Godbody, by Theodore Sturgeon: This made me incredibly nostalgic. You see, every generation or so, Jesus gets reinvented. Right now he's portrayed as a rigid taskmaster, only kind to those who follow his rules. But back in the late 60s/early 70s, Jesus was a hippy, trippy dude who was all about the love. And there was a whole literary genre about Jesus making a reappearance, sort of this time-traveling Zen master: Paul Gallico's The Man Wno Was Magic, Richard Bach's Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah. Godbody is one of those books. Jesus just makes us feel warm and good all over, and sex is the language of his love. It was sweetly naive, and makes me miss those times. It's not much of a novel, really, but it is a classic example of the genre.

24 - Pagans and the Law, by Dana Eilers: Very basic look at some of the issues that religious nonconformists face.

25 - The Nightmare of a Victorian Bestseller - Martin Tupper's 'Proverbial Philosophy' by Brian Thompson: This is a little book we picked up in England, and it vividly illustrates the arc of a fad. Tupper wrote a book of proverbial sayings that was a runaway best seller in its time, but no one has ever heard of him now, and by the end of hs life he was a joke. Success in your lifetime does not always guarantee a Dickensian immortality.

26 - The Mistress of Spices, by Chitra Banjeree Divakaruni: This tale of a magical woman from India who settles in San Francisco reminded me very much of the everyday magic present in many Spanish novels. It is a very cinematic story, and i was not suprised to learn that Bollywood has made it into a movie. A quick, enjoyable read.

27 - Darcy and Elizabeth, by Linda Berdoll: This sequel to Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife may win the award as the most abysmally bad book I have ever read. I cannot even begin to describe how dreadful it was. Not only is it glorified fan fic, it's glorified fan fic based mostly on her first fan fic novel. I read the first 80 pages and was rewarded with a rehashing of the same bits of story over and over - as if Berdoll just couldn't let go of her own little creations. Nothing was happening. After that I started skimming. Sure enough, she continued to retell the same bits of story from slightly - only slightly - different angles. It completely lacked any of the ridiculous fun of the first book and I only slogged through because I was curious how she would deal with one specific character (usatisfactorily, of course). It was appalling.

28 - Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone
29 - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
30 - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
31 - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Yes, I'm rereading them in anticipation of the final book. Yes, I am still enjoying them very much. No, I'm not going to bother reviewing them.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: kid_lit_fan
2007-06-01 03:55 am (UTC)
But back in the late 60s/early 70s, Jesus was a hippy, trippy dude who was all about the love.

See, that's my Jesus, which explains why I don't do so well chatting with certain other Christians.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-06-01 11:34 am (UTC)
I liked him, too.
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[User Picture]From: weds
2007-06-01 02:41 pm (UTC)
What did you think of Second-Generation Nineties Romance Novel Jesus?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-06-01 03:04 pm (UTC)
I think I missed that one.

Whu???
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[User Picture]From: weds
2007-06-01 03:27 pm (UTC)
Lover Jesus made a resurgence in the nineties, but he'd lost the hippie attributes. Very sensitive, but more palatable to Midwestern housewives. More young businessman than Zen. Chaste chick-lit novel sort of thing. Very megachurch. He ran parallel with the emergence of (more) graphic Christian sex-within-marriage manuals and Internet porn addiction.

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-06-01 03:31 pm (UTC)
I totally missed those - and I'm not sad about it!
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[User Picture]From: jenk
2007-06-01 11:24 pm (UTC)
That Jesus still pops up occasionally...check out Joshua: A Parable For Today by Joseph F. Girzone... ;)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-06-01 11:38 pm (UTC)
Huh - never heard of it before - thanks!
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[User Picture]From: mariness
2007-06-01 04:10 am (UTC)
I had enough difficulty getting through Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife. I didn't dare approach the sequel.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-06-01 11:35 am (UTC)
Wise choice. Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife was high literature in comparison.
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[User Picture]From: ser_kai
2007-06-01 04:30 am (UTC)
Tim was made into a movie-- quite a good one.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-06-01 11:40 am (UTC)
I did not realize.

...

Oh, hey. With Mel Gibson and Piper Laurie.

...

Not available from Netflix, though. Bummer!
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[User Picture]From: butterandjelly
2007-06-02 01:43 am (UTC)
I have it on video!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-06-02 11:43 am (UTC)
Ooo! Can we do a hostage exchange - HP for Mel - on Friday?
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[User Picture]From: butterandjelly
2007-06-02 12:16 pm (UTC)
but of course! I was actually going to suggest watching it on Friday if the group wants to...but if not, you are welcome to take it. I'll warn you that it's not the greatest quality (sound goes in and out) but that's not my tape, that's the film itself. Still a great film. Of course, how does one go wrong with Mel Gibson in short shorts?!?!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-06-02 01:03 pm (UTC)
Coolness!

And...yeah.
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[User Picture]From: axolotl9
2007-06-01 04:38 am (UTC)

hey wait

isn't "Godbody" by Theodore Sturgeon? (Who was, after all, the inspiration for Kilgore Trout... but still, not Vonnegut.)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-06-01 11:42 am (UTC)

Re: hey wait

Wow, that's what I get for writing late at night. My bad. Will edit.

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[User Picture]From: dakiwiboid
2007-06-01 04:39 am (UTC)

I'll trade you the Berdoll for the Vonnegut

I tried with Vonnegut, I really did. I think I read six or seven of his books, and I can't think of a single one that didn't disappoint me. Every one of them would take me off on some interesting little tangent and get me excited over something, and then he'd drop the tangent, and I'd get bored with his character or his writing. I just stopped getting him.

I enjoyed both the Berdoll books, though. As for the Dana Eilers book, it was more useful and groundbreaking four years ago when it first came out. It's rather old-hat now. Dana should do a new edition.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-06-01 11:45 am (UTC)

Re: I'll trade you the Berdoll for the Vonnegut

I don't think the Eilers book was bad, just very basic - particularly for someone who has just done law school. It was a refresher course. "Not worth reviewing" sounds worse than I meant - I should learn not to write at night!
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[User Picture]From: morgi
2007-06-01 10:00 am (UTC)
I barely managed to slog through Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife. It was the most boring trashy book I've ever read.

Does Wickham get what's coming to him in the next one?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-06-01 11:51 am (UTC)
Sort of and not really. Unsatisfying. I can give you a run-down if you really want.
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[User Picture]From: soldiergrrrl
2007-06-01 12:14 pm (UTC)
You might enjoy _The Ladies of Missalonghi_ by McCullough.

It's a great deal of fun and a quick read, to boot.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-06-01 12:15 pm (UTC)
I'll look for it when I am next at the library. Thanks!
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[User Picture]From: soldiergrrrl
2007-06-01 12:20 pm (UTC)
You're welcome. :-) It was the first McCullough that I read and it was a fun little romp.
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[User Picture]From: suzieboz
2007-06-01 02:23 pm (UTC)
Ferrett and I were discussing this yesterday. I am so ashamed that it took me a little under 3 weeks to finish a PAPERBACK. A regular sized paperback! This has not happened since I learned how to read!

I told him I need to find a therapist or something because this is completely abnormal for me!

And what do I do to combat it? I have 10+ books on my side of the bed to read. So I go to B/N with my handy dandy gift cards and buy more.

However, alas it seems I can not bring the JFK tome on the plane because Ferrett told me it needs its own ticket. Crap.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-06-01 02:32 pm (UTC)
Girl, you would not want to carry it on the plane. It's a boat anchor!

And, gee, maybe a recently-mobile baby and an active pre-schooler have a wee bit to do with your slowed reading! Give yourself a break!
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[User Picture]From: metachaos
2007-06-01 02:33 pm (UTC)
It's about time for me to start re-reading the HP series. And I have to share, my best friend has finally given in, and she's reading the series, too. =)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-06-01 02:35 pm (UTC)
I'm up to Order of the Phoenix now. The end of this book made me so mad that I'm really not looking forward to rereading it. I'm hoping for a pleasant surprise.
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[User Picture]From: metachaos
2007-06-01 03:22 pm (UTC)
The last time I re-read the series, I skipped over Order of the Phoenix because I didn't want to go through it again. I was so frustrated with Harry through most of it. I'm going to have to read it again, though, I think. I hope it is better the second time around. Perhaps I was just reading too much into the waangst.
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[User Picture]From: fortuna_juvat
2007-06-01 02:49 pm (UTC)
Don't bother with the movie version of Mistress of Spices, it's horrid. And that's coming from someone who loves Bollywood and likes Aishwarya Rai. She's the reason I picked it up off the shelf, but an actrress can only do so much for a movie.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2007-06-01 03:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, bummer! I was curious about it.
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