Category Archives: Book Club

forty one.

2012Books

In 2012, I set a goal to read 50 books. In the end, I pretty much gave up. I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish seven books in the month of December. Between a new full time job, going back to school full time and wedding planning, the book goal just took a back burner. I still read all I can, but there just isn’t enough time. In 2013, I plan on reading as much as possible. I’ll still set my goal at 50, as I’ve reached every milestone lower than that, but I won’t put as much weight on it as I have in the past. And that will be okay. Instead, I hope to write a small review type thing for each book that I do complete.

Here’s what I read in 2012.

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The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

P.S. I Love You by Cecilia Ahern

Crossed by Ally Condie

Fever by Lauren DeStefano

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Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

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Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James

Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris

Hana by Lauren Oliver

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Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Club Dead by Charlaine Harris

Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris

Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris

Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris

All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris

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From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris

A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris

Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris

Death’s Excellent Vacation by Charlaine Harris

Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris

Pulse by Kailin Gow

Life’s Blood by Kailin Gow

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Blood Burned by Kailin Gow

Blue Blood by Kailin Gow

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Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling

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Shit My Dad Says by Justin Halpern

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Drown by Junot Diaz

Fifty Shades of Alice in Wonderland by Melinda DuChamp

Fifty Shades of Alice Through The Looking Glass by Melinda DuChamp

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Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien

Prized by Caragh M. O’Brien

Tortured by Caragh M. O’Brien

 

What did you read in 2012? Anything you think I’d like based on my choices so far? Wanna borrow a book? LET ME KNOW, I’VE GOT YOU COVERED!

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What I’ve been reading: 2011

This year, I made it my goal to read 30 books. It’s actually been a goal on my life list for some time. I started with 20, and when I completed that I pushed the goal up to 30. That was what I was working toward in 2010, but I missed it by 4. I read 26 books in 2010, so I had to start all over in 2011.

This year, I completed my goal and read TWELVE books on top of that for a total of 42 books read in 2011! 

My Horizontal Life by Chelsea Handler
The Girl Who Played With Fire by Steig Larsson

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest by Steig Larsson
Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Atonement by Ian McEwan
Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult 
Faithful Place by Tara French
The Vampire Diaries: Stefan’s Diaries: Origins by L.J. Smith

The Vampire Diaries: Stefan’s Diaries: Bloodlust  by L.J. Smith
Looking For Alaska by John Green
Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang by Chelsea Handler
The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Shadow Souls by L.J. Smith
The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Midnight by L.J. Smith
Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen

[I spent July reading the 1200 page book that is Infinite Jest]

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace 
Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler
Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me by Chelsea Handler
Divergent by Veronica Roth

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Matched by Ally Condie
The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis
The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis
The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane by Suzanne Collins
Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods by Suzanne Collins
Gregor and the Marks of Secret by Suzanne Collins
Gregor and the Code of Claw by Suzanne Collins

Bumped by Megan McCafferty
The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard 


If I Stay by Gayle Forman 
Where she Went by Gayle Forman
Love The One You’re With by Emily Giffin 

Now It’s time to set a goal for 2012. I clearly already made the goal I should have been setting for myself next year. If I read 30 this year, I’d be aiming for 40 in 2012. But since I actually read 40 in 2011, I’m gonna have to up the ante to 50 books in 2012.

That’s my official goal. I put it out there, universe. There’s no take-backs. Here’s to reading my butt off in 2012!

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Two Thousand Eleven: A Year in Review

In previous years, I’ve done a recap of my year in posts. I even wrote about the past decade of my life in 2010. This is my first one on this blog, but I’m excited to share my year with you!

 

 

 

 

I stepped away from my past and started this blog. I was ending a chapter and I needed a change. I couldn’t handle all the weight of my past relationships anymore. Because I couldn’t handle it, I didn’t write. It became a chore for me to even post. So I walked away. And then I came to a new place. A better place.

I talked about my two great loves, and compared them to Dawson’s Creek and Sex and the City. This is still one of my favorite life theories.

I made the last steps in getting over The Ex.

I ran a series about my five favorite things on a number of subjects called 5ives.

 

 

 

 

I went back to school to finish my transfer credits.

I had a naughty dream.

I ran a series on the Seven Deadly Sins. Pride, Envy, Wrath, Sloth, GreedGluttony, & Lust.

I showed you my California accent.

For some reason, I kept feeling things about the Ex. So I wrote about them.

And then I fell in love with SC.

 

 

 

I listened to some music and had a dream. It must have been uneventful. Either that or I spent all month having sex. Probably the latter.

 

 

 

 

SC turned 24 & his nephew was born.

I started participating in Ten on Tuesdays.

My dog ate a used condom.

My unconscious self worked on getting over The Ex.

I dreamt I was on a Bachelor spin-off show.

 

 

 

I became a Clever Girl.

That led me to post my very first giveaway! (And across an item off my Life List!)

I ranted about 5 fabulous ladies.

I went to Bloggers in Sin City 2011. There were sponsors. And swag bags. And I still can’t believe I wrote FIVE freaking posts about #BiSC.

 

 

 

I started reading Infinite Jest and a part of the Infinite Summer program that @writetoreach Ashley mapped out for us. Did you ever finish, Ashley?

I went majorly mushy.

The Ex Texts were really starting to cause problems.

I wrote about what turns me on to life.

I rehashed some old flings.

I cut my hair off!

I fell in love with all things post-apocalyptic. This obsession hasn’t ended. I’m on episode 5 of The Walking Dead, counting down the days until The Hunger Games comes out in March, and I’m still reading tons of books about the collapse of society.

 

 

 

 

At this point, I was still reading Infinite Jest. But I’m pretty sure I was behind. And completely positive that I was frustrated.

And then I dreamt the dream that inspired the most popular post I’ve ever written.It’s called “He was eye-fucking me during the whole performance.” Can you tell why it gets the most traffic?

SC broke his collar bone. Kaiser sucks ass.

 

 

 

 

I hardly blogged during the month of August because  was way too fucking busy recording vlogs every day for VEDA.

I did manage to post a sponsored giveaway for Sprayology.

SC and I vlogged together, It’s really adorbz. You’ll probably puke. There’s also an entire blooper reel dedicated to this shoot.

I finished Infinite Jest and I did it on time. (sidenote: I hated that book.)

 

 

 

 

Jenny Blake inspired me and I got overwhelmed.

I continued to post VEDA videos from the previous month because I was completely burnt out on the internet.

 

 

I turned 23 and SC got a new job and moved in and we went to Disneyland and I got a job at Michael’s and WHEW!

Nico, Hung, Ashley, SC and I had a VEDA meetup in Pasadena while Hung was visiting from Canada, eh?

 

 

The VEDA-ers put out a call for a time capsule themed video, and I responded.

My sister visited from MA and we made a huge tent out of sheets and clothespins and chairs and christmas lights and it was amazing. We also went to the L.A. Zoo and learned to shoot with a bow and arrows at the archery range in town (SC is basically Robin Hood).

I switched cell phone service providers (from AT&T a.k.a. the worst service ever to Verizon where I have not had a single dropped call in almost three months thankyouverymuch) and I got an iPhone 4.

I joined the #twookclub. We read The Scent of Rain and Lightning.

 

 

 

I baked a lot. Cherry Cobbler, TONS of cookies, and I made Cowboy Cookies in a jar as Christmas presents.

My sisters and I started a youtube channel called The Bert’s Bees.

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Boys Go to Jupiter to Get More Stupider

  • I’ve been horrible at writing lately. I’m not apologizing, just recognizing that I’ve been absent. Moving on.
  • Since I posted about the Ex, I tried blocking his number via AT&T but they wanted to charge me 5 bucks a month. So I left it for a while until I switched to Verizon. And when I made the switch I inquired what it would take to block a number. And they took care of it right there, free of charge. I am loving Verizon. Not a single dropped call no matter where I am. It’s a little more expensive, but at least I’m getting what I’m paying for.
  • SC refinanced his truck a few months back, right before he moved in. And now my transmission is shot. It’s grinding and it’s going to give out. So we’ve got to get that replaced.
  • My sister came to visit and we crossed something off of my life list. We made a fort in my living room! It was the best fort. And the password was even better: “Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider!” And yes, you had to say it in the rhyme.
  • While my sister was here we also went to the L.A. Zoo. I came up with the genius idea of playing Pokemon Snap, Zoo Edition. We were both talking ALL THE PICTURES of ALL THE ANIMALS trying to get the best shots. Ashley’s phone died so I’m pretty sure that means I won by default. (I also stayed up until 5am to beat the game for us last christmas when I went to visit. I’m dedicated.)
  • Another thing. SC does archery and since Ashley just finished reading The Hunger Games, she heard this and immediately begged us to take her. She wanted to learn to shoot like Katniss. So we went. And I think she hit the target once. Baby steps. (I’m a master, basically. In case you were wondering.)
  • Coming up we’ve got the holidays. So those should be loads of fun. I’m not going anywhere this Christmas because of my seasonal job. I don’t want to risk not getting hired on after December.
  • Also, I’m reading the #twookclub book The Scent of Rain and Lightning. I started super late so I’m not sure if I’ll meet the deadline (when even IS the deadline?) this month, but I had to start somewhere. If I don’t, I’ll definitely write about it here when I finish. I’m really liking it so far, about 40% into it, some people have been giving a little bit of negative feedback so I don’t know. It’s not at all like what I’ve been reading lately, but that’s not really a bad thing.

Until then, amigos.

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VEDA: BOOKS!

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Infinite Jest: The End

I’m basically writing this post to say: Suck it, DFW. I did not enjoy reading Infinite Jest. Nothing came together like I thought it should have , or was expecting. Maybe that was Wallace’s point. But I can’t appreciate that. I read for a story, to get lost in someone else’s life, to find a new world. I don’t read to be bombarded by an author’s commentary on an addicted society’s breakdown of communication.

And the ending! I hate hate HATE books that don’t end. This one didn’t bring around any kind of resolution at all. In fact, it probably left more open-ended story lines and unanswered questions than the series finale of LOST. (Don’t get me started on that.)

Is Joelle (P.G.O.A.T) really disfigured, or is she pained by her beauty?
What made the Entertainment so damn addicting?
How did JOI make the film?
Did they find the Master Copy?
Did Don Gately live?
What else happened in the flashback?
And if he lived, did Don and Joelle ever get together?
Where did Pemulis go?
Did he get expelled?
Did the O.N.A.N.T.A. Drug Tester ever come back for Hal?
Did he injure himself before he could be tested?

Let me say this, I love Hal Incandenza. All the Incandenza children, really. Had they been in a different story, I’d have loved every minute of it. They are truly real characters. But then, had they been in another story, it wouldn’t have been a DFW story and so they wouldn’t be the Incandenzas.

I also love Michael Pemulis.

The fact is, yes, IJ changed me. It was like climbing a mountain I never really wanted to climb but I felt obligated because I’d committed to doing it. And when I got to the top? The view wasn’t spectacular. It was the same view I’d been piecing together for months, but now I got much more of the picture. I still couldn’t see around to the other side of the mountain though. And so I’m always going to be left wondering what the complete view really looked like.

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Infinite Jest: Week Four

Favorite story line right now: Hal and Orin’s conversations. Especially about the death of their dad. I also loved pages 172-175. Even though I could see the obvious sarcasm coming from Hal, I thought his narrative of Mario’s cartridge was actually inspirational. I love Mario Incandenza.

Worst story line right now: Helen steeply freaks me out. Anything to do with her is the worst. All I can think of any time she is mentioned is his/her cockeyed boobs pointing every which way. Creepy.

Where I’m at right now: I’m currently on page 332. In the middle of the Eschaton section. Please don’t tell me there’s more than one. I’m a little behind. I’m supposed to be on 343 by today. I know, it’s not too bad. But it’s so easy (especially with this long weekend coming up) to get behind by 50 pages or more just by missing 2/3 days of reading. So I’m trying to stay diligent, is what I’m saying.
I’m not hating most of it. I’m still hating The Marathe/Steeply dialogue. And the explanation of Eschaton. Basically anything that I can’t understand. That’s normal, right? Some things are coming together like I had hoped in week two. Story lines are linking up. Joelle (P.G.O.A.T) and the Incandenzas. Don Gately and, like, everyone. Hugh/Helen Steeply and Orin. And others.

What I’m hoping: I have to be honest. I peeked at a character map so I got a little bit of information I’m not technically supposed to know yet. I’m hoping to read more about the cartridge that incapacitated the medical attaché et. al.

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Infinite Jest: Week Two

 

Favorite story line right now: yrstruly, Poor Tony, & C. I loved the stream of consciousness narrative. It was easy for me to read and I think that’s so interesting because I read that a lot of IJ readers actually skip this and the Clenette section because of the syntax. After reading about two or three sentences, I was completely immersed in the flow of the story. It’s the first story line that I haven’t wanted to stop reading or skim at all. It sucked me in, I can’t explain it any better than that.

Worst story line right now: Marathe and Steeply. I just can’t get into it. I can’t follow all their bullshit coded language and is Marathe or isn’t Marathe actually a double/triple/quadruple agent and what the actual fuck is a quadruple agent, anyway? I don’t even want to get into the lopsided breasts. Jeeze.
Where I’m at right now: I’m on page 169. I’m pacing myself using Ashley‘s Pacekeeper, but I also added pages for every day and at spots that are somewhat easy to stop at. Here’s what that looks like. Aside from where I’m physically at, emotionally I’m not as bad off as I was in the beginning. I’m starting to not hate it. They say there’s a hump that you have to get over before you really start to not be able to put the book down, I’m not there yet. I can’t get lost in it, is my main issue. It’s so disconnected. And trying to figure out what the years actually are and how old Hal is at any given moment is driving me crazy!
What I’m hoping: I hope that some of these stories start overlapping soon. Do they overlap at all? I have no idea how this is going to go. I’m kind of walking around in the dark.

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Infinite Jest: The Beginning

Today I’m starting Infinite Jest.

About a month ago, Ashley posted a random tweet about reading this book. From there, it blossomed into a full on blogger book club. So, starting in June, we are reading Infinite Jest together. Here’s what I know about this book: It’s about 1000 pages long. It has a lot of footnotes. David Foster Wallace is dead. That’s about it.

I never read novels without knowing at least SOMETHING about the story. So I’m a bit nervous. But i’m jumping in. For those of you following along, and let me know who you are so I can track your progress as well, I found these little gems on google:

How to Read Infinite Jest

The Infinite Jest Wiki 

Infinite Summer

I’ll keep posting throughout the summer about my adventures in Jest-land so stay tuned!

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