Tuesday, October 10, 2017

It's Kind of a Funny Story: Then and Now

I am horrified that I never posted a review of It's Kind of a Funny Story here. I name check it often in other reviews and on Twitter when I'm recommending books, but I never migrated my review from Goodreads to this locale. Shame.

Then I started wondering how 2017 me would read this book as opposed to 2011 me. Aside from being less decrepit and cynical, how did 2011 me differ in the way she looked at books? Quite a bit, actually. I need to reread this, which I've been avoiding ever since Vizzini's death, since that hit me quite hard. When I do, I'll update this even further. But for now, my original review follows, with commentary by snarky, bitter 2017 Pam in blue.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at my ignorance in this review. It was six years ago. But it's still embarrassing, you know? When you try to be outraged but just end up sounding sheltered.

One final note: books about mental illness are highly specific in their appeal and helpfulness. What one person finds comforting may be extremely triggering to someone else. This is the book that made me feel less alone in my depression and anxiety, but it might not be a good choice for you.

TW: suicide, depression, anxiety

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Update: NYCC and more!

Hi everyone! I will be at NYCC Friday afternoon and Saturday. Yikes! If you see me there and I don't say anything, it's probably because of sensory overload. Say hi, though!

I've been spending a lot of time learning new skills for the cosplay I created (not that it's very good! It could be a lot better), but learning to sew and pattern and distress fabric is time consuming. I've been doing that after work instead of reading and reviewing.

Additionally, I've been hit with a strange and distressing reading affliction: nothing sounds interesting. I've started at least ten books that I should be chomping at the bit to finish, but I'm not. Yay depression (not really. Depression can go die a thousand fiery deaths).

So I'm quiet right now.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Throwback review: North and South

I wrote this review six (!!!) years ago, and I always admit that my opinions might have changed as my maturity level increased. However, I have a distinctly negative memory of reading this book, and I don't think I'd repeat it. Read Cranford instead--it's simply delightful.


I can't think of a clever way to begin this review, so I'll start by stating how I felt about the book in a very blunt manner: Out of all of the characters in this book, there are perhaps two who are likable. The rest are insufferable--disgustingly proud, never learning from their mistakes, and totally slap-worthy (i.e. I wanted to slap them while reading).

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

DNF: When I Cast Your Shadow

The small potion of this book that I did make it through gave me some very strong sensations, namely, disgust and confusion. And not the general confusion that I feel everyday when I wake up and stumble around my apartment, pre-caffeine intake. It was the kind of confusion that complex mathematical word problems engender in my brain. I found myself wondering whether the confusion was intentional or an organic result of how the story was written.

But aside from any critiques of style, plotting, characterization, or even logic, there is the very simple fact that this is a very creepy book about incest.


Seriously though, I feel anxious just writing about thinking about reading this.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding

Ahh, New England. Home of cute little hamlets under an autumn sky, aristo families tracing their roots back to the Mayflower, and the most hateful football team on this earth. Seriously. I do not think I would apply the word hate to many institutions, but I unequivocally hate the New England Patriots. But I digress. What I'm trying to get at is that there is a cultural shorthand when we talk about New England. I usually think fall and spooky stories and cider. I think about Nathanael Hawthorne and Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft (minus all the racist stuff). The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding takes the best of all of those things and makes that delicious concoction even funnier, scarier, and smarter.