The Top 10 Worst Things About Reading

I love to read, and will read anything, anywhere, anytime. But there’s a dark side to it too, that no one talks about…

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My overflow “bookshelf”

  1. So many books, so little time. If I read all day every day, (In my dream world), I still wouldn’t be able to read every book I want to.
  2. Every second away from a book I love is TORTURE. Okay, so you know how sometimes you read a book, and it’s good, but you’re okay when you have to put it down? But then sometimes you read a book, and you resent every single second doing everything else, because adulting? Yeah, that.
  3. Not being able to meet the characters in real life. I mean, I guess it’s okay when we’re talking about Hannibal Lecter, but I really wish I could meet Wavy from All the Ugly and Wonderful things, or Anita Blake from the Laurell K. Hamilton books.
  4. Not knowing how I’ll feel about a book prior to reading it. Sometimes, I read a book and I don’t connect, but it’s not terrible enough to put down. And then I’m done, and it never got better, and I’ve just wasted all those hours. Or worse, having stuff to do, but picking up a book knowing I only have a half hour to read, and then falling in love with it and not accomplishing anything because I HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK. It would be nice if I knew ahead of time so I could plan my life accordingly.
  5. Book hangover. I was in this wonderful world, and I was living there and hanging out with my new best friends, and life was amazing. And then… real life. Ugh.
  6. Not having the book in multiple formats. I now love audiobooks. But I “read” audiobooks much slower than physical books. And when I really love an audiobook, I wish I had a physical copy too, so I could just race through and finish. Conversely, I’m reading a wonderful physical book, and I have to run errands or something or clean up or whatever. Why can’t I just plug my headphones in?
  7. Eyestrain. Seriously. There are some nights when I go to bed that my eyes feel like they’re on fire. On the recommendation of my eye doctor, I now use drops every night before bed. It’s helping. You’re welcome.
  8. When authors get information wrong. There is nothing that drives me crazier than bad information in the middle of an otherwise good novel. I get that sometimes authors take artistic license, and that’s fine. Dandy. A-ok. But when I can tell that the author just didn’t do his or her homework, it makes me want to call them up and say, “Have you heard of this thing called Google? No, avoid Wikipedia. Avoid news outlets too. Yeah, that website’s good. Excellent. Now please check all your references with me before you write anything else. Glad we understand one another.”
  9. People don’t talk about books the way they do about TV. I got my haircut recently, and the lovely stylist wanted to talk about TV shows, asking for my recommendations. And while I said I love The Walking Dead and Big Bang Theory, I would much rather have discussed The Female of the Species, by Mindy McGinnis (so good!) or The Couple Next Door, by Shari Lapena (Meh… overrated). I want to talk and gossip about characters like they’re real people.
  10. The TBR is never-ending. I’m finally reading Holding Up the Universe, by Jennifer Niven (so good!) and in it, she mentions Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived In The Castle. It’s been on my TBR forever. Now I’m going to have to bump it up in the queue. And other books will now be neglected for a little while longer. (sad trombone noise)

What are your “worst” things about reading?

Related posts:

Can I really say I “read” an audiobook?

My Reading Habits

 

 

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A is for Anita Blake

Hello, and welcome to Blogging A to Z 2017! Thanks for stopping by.

My theme this month is 26 of the Best Characters in Fiction. So let’s get to it, shall we?

IMG_8298I first met Anita Blake when I was a teenager, in the first Laurell K. Hamilton book in this series, Guilty Pleasures. Anita was my first encounter with a female character who was strong in this particular way. She was the best at what she did, and could keep up to the men in her life, yet she was still essentially female.

In so many books, if a woman is (excuse my language) kick ass, then she’s also basically a man in her attitude and her dress. Her femininity is stripped away. Anita Blake wasn’t like that. She was still insecure, looking for love, with nurturing tendencies. But she also wouldn’t hesitate to kill a vampire (or other monster). She didn’t back down if someone tried to intimidate her.

As the series progressed, Anita’s beliefs about vampires began to change, and it was interesting to see the evolution of her belief system in the face of new evidence. I loved that she wasn’t so stuck in what she believed to be right that she couldn’t change.

If you haven’t read it, the first 10 books in the series are wonderful. They’re books I own and re-read occasionally. There are currently 27 books, and I got less enthused about them as time went on. I think I’ve only read through about book 17. As with friends, sometimes as time goes on, you just grow apart. That’s what happened with this series.

It’s nothing personal; it’s just life, right?

I’ll always be grateful for the lessons she taught me, that it’s okay to both be tough and a girl. And to wear your scars with pride.

Any Anita Blake fans out there?

 

Confessions of a Vampire Lover

Look closely and you can see a big spider...  Creepy!

Look closely and you can see a big spider… Creepy!

I’m a little ashamed to admit that I’ve never read Dracula.  I read Frankenstein, so at least I don’t have to be completely ashamed, but… how did I miss that?

I’m reading It Started with Dracula: The Count, My Mother & Me by Jane Congdon.  It’s a memoir written by a woman who has always been a Dracula fan since she saw her first Dracula movie, starring Christopher Lee.  She explains that she had always wanted to see Romania, but that it took her until her 60s to get there.  Once in Romania, she started resolving some of her childhood issues.

She explains that she had read about travel being a transformative experience, but that she didn’t expect to actually experience any transformation or changes.

I’m not very far into the book, but so far, I’m really enjoying it.  She talks about vampires, and I realized that it’s been a long time since I’ve read anything with a “real” vampire in it.  I think the last one must have been ‘Salem’s Lot, by Stephen King.

Recent books with vampires have romanticized them, with books like Twilight, the Anita Blake books and The Vampire Diaries.  Vampires just aren’t scary anymore.  They’re sexy and rich, and can be tamed like puppies.  What made Dracula so scary was that he was sexy and evil.  He couldn’t be tamed.  Vampires of yesterday treated humans like food or vermin.

Here’s a list of 55 best vampire books per Goodreads.  I think my next mission is to work through this list.  What’s the best vampire book you’ve ever read?

Books That Influenced Me

SsScMUrJDZI-n72NIHYBrwE-mediumI’ve always loved reading, and loved the power of a good story.  My grandmother used to tell me stories to my heart’s content.  She used to tell me the story of “Snow White and Rose Red,” which was different from the Grimm’s Fairy Tale version.  My parents read Cinderella to me more times than they care to remember.  There are some stories and some books that stick with you forever, and here are mine.

1.  Orange Oliver, The Kitten Who Wore Glasses, by Robert Lasson- I remember this book appealed to me because Orange Oliver couldn’t see anything, and others made fun of him just for that.  I always championed the underdog… cat… 🙂

2.  The One in The Middle is the Green Kangaroo, by Judy Blume- I only remember this one because it was the last “kid’s” book I read.  I was home sick from school, and my mom brought it home for me.  When I got through it in pretty much no time at all, my mom told me that she wasn’t buying me any more kid’s books.  It was adult books from there on out.  Which brings me to…

3.  Watchers, by Dean Koontz-  My favorite Koontz book and ironically the first one I ever read.  I picked it because it had a picture of a dog on the front, but I was hooked.  This book is probably the reason I fell in love so much with horror and suspense.  After Koontz, I started reading Stephen King and John Saul.

4.  Watership Down by Richard Adams- I was on the waiting list for a book in 6th grade, and I really don’t remember what the book was about.  The librarian handed me this book instead and thought I might like it, even though she thought it might be a little big for me.  It wasn’t.

5.  Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K Hamilton-  A friend of mine bought me this book, and then I never read it.  Years later, I picked it up at a flea market (not realizing I already owned it) and loved it.  This is the book that introduced me to the alternate universe idea, because in her universe, vampires and shapeshifters are just part of every day life.  No explanation.  It’s just business as usual.  At the time I read this, it was a revolutionary idea for me.

I’m sure there are more I’m not thinking about, but these were the 5 off the top of my head.  What books most influenced you?

Two Great Young Adult Novels

imagesI recently read two really good young adult novels.  Cinder (2012) by Marissa Meyer is a must read. It’s a retelling of Cinderella, but in this version, Cinderella is a cyborg. The story stays true to the flavor of the original fairy tale, and I couldn’t put it down.  The only problem with it is that its a 4 part series with the second book (Scarlet) due out this month.  I can’t wait.

images-1Sweep by Cate Tiernan isn’t a new series, though this is my first time reading it.  I’ve had the first book sitting on my shelf for a year or two and was just never motivated to pick it up.  It goes that way with me sometimes.  Well, I recently started it, and read it in one day.  It’s not a long book or a hard read.  Morgan is just an ordinary girl with a beautiful best friend.  When Cal starts at their school, she’s pretty convinced that he’ll never look at her.  He invites her and others to a “party,” where she learns that he’s a witch, and maybe she is too.  This series is 15 books long, and I’m looking forward to starting the next 14.

That’ll have to wait though, since I decided to revisit an old favorite series of mine… the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton…