Weekend Read: 1984 and Ship It

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Friday page 92.

 It reminds me of Soylent Green and Fahrenheit 451. I love classic dystopian, as it’s so much darker than modern ones. The hope, the rebellion is more desperate. I like it when it’s the upper class, rather than the poorer masses that get the idea to rebel. It’s not realistic, as most real uprisings start with the masses. More’s at stake when the society benefits you, when people you don’t know and are trained to think of as inferior will get the most rewards.

 I think he’ll either find a group of rebels, escape Oceania into Eurasia, or get caught by the thought police. O’Brien seems too obvious to be a real rebel; I think he’s a spy for Big Brother looking for the Brotherhood. I mean, could be the other way round, and he’s from the Brotherhood to spy on the Party. 

Saturday page 136 (spoilers)

It took a disappointing turn. The rebellious act I was expecting turned out to be sex. Not graphic, thankfully, but it still seems pointless, even though logically I know it’s a metaphor for giving into the desires society says it’s shameful to have.

 It’s misogynistic. When the woman is first introduced she’s an object of vile; someone Winton wants to kill. When they get together, he tells her so, and she laughs it off! Kisses him anyway! Da F*@!!!

You had so much promise…

Sunday

1984 page 168 Ship It page 29

 Long, meandering expanses of boredom, and now a flashback and a sudden visit. With no transition! It’s not surprising, what’s happening, but give me some kind of transition! 

 I desperately needed a contemporary at this point, and went to the library. The first contemporary I’m reading to offset this is Ship It, a MG/lower YA that seems to be a fanfic of the Supernatural family. It’s a little lower on the age spectrum as I was lead to believe, but it’s fun to read. Unlike 1984.

Monday/Tuesday

1984 page 192 Ship It page 52 Merlin episode 3

I’m sad to announce that I DNF’d 1984. The plotless, meandering treatise turned into a literal textbook. I had high hopes, as I loved Animal Farm, and 1984, is, well, famous. But 1984 is so bloody boring! I can’t take anymore!

 I’ll be focusing on Ship It for the next few days. And Merlin. Ship It, like most fangirly books, has a comic-con bit. I personally am terrified of comic-con. All those people. I’d love to attend panels and meet Jensen Ackles, but the reality of it- people and people, people. And standing for hours at at time, I’d almost certainly faint. I’ve been to parades. I know that I’d faint. 

 I love the idea of comic-con. People gathering to Nerd. Cosplay, panels, signing, etc. But I get that from the internet. Sure I’d love to inhabit an IRL fandom space, but between my disposition and the costs, the only scenario where I’d go is if I wrote something worthy of being invited as a creator. 

 Merlin. I ship Merlin and Arthur. But the strange thing is, I was told to ship Merlin/Arthur before I watched it, as with Destiel. But I watched Sherlock before I became invested in pinterest, and I’ve never seen Johnlock. It’s a legitimate ship, but if Sherlock were to become romantically involved, it’d be with Molly. I don’t think he would because of how asexual he is. It might just be a coincidence that pinterest told me about the ships, which I now vehemently ship, but I genuinely see what kind of chemistry they have. Sherlock and John are close best friends. Cass and Dean are closeted gay lovers. Merlin and Arthur… I’m pretty sure they started having sex off camera during the first episode. That’s how same sex couples handled it in medieval times. I watch Game Of Thrones.

 I had an unproductive weekend. I originally intended it to be a record of my thoughts on 1984 as I read it, but I hate it. Let me know if you’d like to see this format again with a book I actually like.

 

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Stepdaddy’s Blood: Looking For Betas!

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 Her stepdad died the year she was born. Her mum doesn’t make sense as she tells the story, and Allan begins to suspect that she’s not the White Ass’ bastard child. She recruits her spanish teacher, Pireto and her best friend Johanna to find D.N.A. to test. But they find a suicide that might have been a murder.  

 I’m at a standstill with Stepdaddy’s Blood. My regular beta readers don’t know that I’m queer and I’m afraid some recent changes will give it away.

I feel a little guilty because I offered to beta read before and didn’t read all the way through. But if you’re reading this, you’re here, so here’s the opening:

 She reckoned the trunk was the natural place for roaches to die. Emma Allan Packyard has to convince the landlord that the bugs all died, but they weren’t just dead; they were gone. She opens the old trunk.

For obvious reasons, I don’t want to post it all here. I’ve posted about it:

 Stepdaddy’s Blood: A WIP

Stepdaddy’s Blood/ WIP Update #2

Stepdaddy’s Blood/ WIP #3, In Tweets

 My ideal beta reader is 16-24 years old (Allan is an 18 year old senior in high school.) Knows some spanish and can give specifics about why or why not things work. Allan is exploring her biromantic asexuality, but you don’t have to be queer, just open to reading about queer people.

 If you’re really interested, you don’t have to fit any of these! As long as I’ve seen you online and I know you can be serious, please email me at brittainagof@gmail.com. Please include a link to your blog and/or twitter and goodreads.

 My idea is to send 1 chapter of around 1,000 words per week in a google doc you can comment on. In return, I can feature your underrated blog posts in a monthly wrap-up. If you have a better idea, please let me know. I have no money, but I have brains and time.

 Let me know if you’d like to see monthly updates on Stepdaddy’s Blood here. And I promise next week will have real book discussions. 

When To Call It Quits: A Supernatural Rant

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Six Middle Earth movies. Seven Harry Potters. 13 seasons of Supernatural. 14 Doctors in the TARDIS. Spongebob is almost 20.

Yes, only one of those is a book series, with a movie franchise that still continues. 

Have you heard of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency? It’s a Douglas Adams duology, with an unfinished third book. In 2016 BBC America made two seasons of it, ending it on a cliffhanger. 

Four seasons of Sherlock, each three episodes.

Or Firefly. If you don’t know Firefly, you’re dead to  me.

I love all of these fandoms. But there’s a huge gap in what stays on for years and what gets canceled. I’m tired out by half of them and mourning the other half. LOTR and The Hobbit could’ve been shorter, either by making two movies for each or simply not making them so bloody long. 

Harry Potter peaked in Prisoner Of Azkaban (some say Half-Blood Prince, but meh.) And did it really need two movies for Deathly Hallows? Not to mention The Heck is Crimes Of Grindelwald? I loved Fantastic Beasts, but What Was The Point Of Grindelwald?

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Season 13 of Supernatural was boring. The one rewatchable episode was Tombstone. I love that episode. The only way I could love it more is if Destiel came out. But the rest of it was just. 

OK, Scoobynatural. But that felt like an earlier episode. It wasn’t in tune with the rest of the season.

The only reason I’m writing this is that I just finished season 13 and i’m frustrated. I know they will be all right. And they were all right for most of the year! And why is it that the only one that is a real Dad to Jack is Sam? There could’ve been real development with his relationship to Dean and Cass was supposed to be his Dad in the first place and just

Arrrgggh. 

The Harry Potter books are brilliant. My personal favourite is Prisoner Of Azkaban, but I did not want it to end there. They were only 13, barely better at magic than Muggles. (Not Hermione) They’re brilliant, because as they get older, the books become darker and more relevant to the wizarding world at large. They matured at the right pace, at the natural pace.

 Do you know how mature Supernatural has gotten? Destiel still haven’t come out yet. Sam pales in comparison to Dean, and people that should be long gone come back. What have they learned in 13 years of killing monsters? How to get comfortable with certain supernatural beings. One angel. One demon. One witch. Two werewolves, one of them a former hunting partner.

 I mean, come on!

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I’m the man you’re looking for.

Maybe I’ve been watching too much of it lately. I know them well. I know their catchphrases, how they move, I feel uncomfortable when someone says Dean and Sam, not Sam and Dean. I love their 51 year old car that produce several billion metric tons of CO2 and shouldn’t logically run anymore. 

I know them so well that I know they haven’t developed since getting comfortable with Crowley around season 7, if not earlier. There have been plenty of chances to develop, when Dean was gone, Sam could’ve stepped up and become whatever he wanted, but no, he had to find a girlfriend. Ok, then bloody stay with her! Cut down on the hunting, live your life, and occasionally help Destiel out. What was the bloody point of that? 

Oh, and Dean, all those times someone called Cass your boyfriend? Maybe take that chance to develop. Call him your friggin’ husband. 

 Not to mention more of the same monsters. There’s more out there than ghosts, werewolves and vampires. Maybe look at mythology that Isn’t white? La llorona, Nyami Nyami, you’re missing out on some great stuff. 

 If you’re Eric Kripke and friends and you’re reading this, please contact me at brittainagof@gmail.com so I can step in and save your bloody show.

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Also, it’s my birthday. To make my life easier please donate to my ko-fi 

 

 

2019-Mystery TBR

One of the genres I mentioned in 2019 TBR! was mystery, the genre I tend to be unsatisfied with and the genere I happen to be writing in. Recently I read A Simple Favor, a domestic thriller, and My Sister, The Serial Killer, an I don’t know, but it’s related to crime. 

Neither of them are perfect. I didn’t epically love My Sister, The Serial Killer, and A Simple Favor, well, I already listed its’ problems. But they let me love the genre again.

Here’s 12 mystery books I need to read this year:

The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd: Blackmailed adulterers

This Splintered Silence: Space virus

The Stranger Diaries: Goth professor 

The Cuckoo’s Calling: Supermodel Suicide 

The Big Sleep: It’s famous

The Thirteenth Tale: Family books

Pandora’s Box: Met robbed

The Anatomist’s Wife: Corpse drawings 

Have you read these yet? What’d you think? 

 

 

 

2019 TBR!

Happy New Year!

2019. Year of the pig. Not that I believe in astrology anymore because it said 2018 would be good. Anyways I have a few bookish resolutions: 

Mystery It’s hard for me to find good mystery that I like. But since I am a mystery writer, I need to read more of it! I want to read at least 12 mystery books this year, starting with J.K. Rowling’s Cormoran Strike novels and The President Is Missing. 

Poetry I love the two Lorca poems I know from spanish class, but haven’t explored deeper. I want to look for collections that have the original spanish and an english translation side by side. English translations can be rough, but I’m not masterful enough to read it entirely in spanish.  I also would like to check out Milk & Honey, as well as The Princess Saves Herself In This one along with its’ sequels. 

Older books I want to read books that aren’t quite classics but still pretty old, like The Outsiders, the first YA novel. I run the risk of reading outdated stuff, but I find older books have a musty quality to them that I like; not polished and shiny like current books. Books that make you think about life pre-internet, but not ancient times.

Lesser Classics These are books by classic masters, but are overshadowed by more popular books. Lady Susan, Tale Of Two Cities, LOTR 2 &3, The Count Of Monte Cristo… Now that I’m typing it, it’s more about various classics that I just haven’t gotten to. Emma and Sense & Sensibility as well, but I saw their movies so they’re less of a priority. 

TBR I have a huge TBR, 275 books, according to Goodreads. To list a few: Amity, The Cruel Prince, Truly Devious, Daughter Of The Pirate king, The Dark Decent Of Elizabeth Frankenstein, Shadow & Bone, Renegades, Supervillain Of The Day…

Oh boy, there’s a lot.

If you know of any books that fit these categories, please let me know. If you’ve read these books, what did you think?

A Simple Favor, A Complex Book

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A Simple Favor, Darcy Bell, 10/12

People did not like this book. I loved it.

You know that person you love, the one that is mildly amusing and significantly dumber than you. Sometimes they amaze you. They’re beautiful and confusing. In the beginning, you weren’t sure about them. But you gradually fell in love and you realise that you’d kill/die/etc. for them.

 That’s the way I feel about this book, minus the kill/die/etc. I would argue strongly for you to read it, but I’m not invoking mortality. 

 Here’s my argument:

  1. Stephanie is stupid. Genuinely idiotic. She runs a ‘mommy blog’ as if she has great wisdom. She does not. She is a cartoon character. That’s the point. This is a satiric take on the suburban “Captain mom.” She is stupid and ridiculous because she is satire. Yes, it goes too far, but do not put the book down because of it.
  2. Emily might be a villain or a victim. She might be insane. All of this could be her drug induced dream. Most importantly, she is us. She is the one looking down and screaming at these people. She is brilliant. She is the only one that matters.
  3. Some of this, a tiny bit, is disgusting. A lot disgusting, the tiny bit. There is no graphic violence, and I don’t recall any swearing. It is repulsive to me because I am asexual, and there’s genuine disgust in store for even allosexuals, specifically in Stephanie’s choice in sexual partners. It is not graphic. but it is disgusting. It portrays something about Stephanie, how her past relationships affect the way she views people. It is insight into why Emily has such a hold on her. (A plationic, friendship hold.)
  4. Expanding on #3, it’s a little bit about how loneliness can drive people to make bad choices and lower their guard when people are friendly. This is basically the entire book; manipulation of a lonely woman to force her into a predetermined role for selfish reasons. And despite how clever you are, you cannot anticipate what loneliness will drive people to do. 

 This sounds bad, doesn’t it? In some ways, it is. It’s not a perfect book, but it is a brilliant one. I loved it. I’d read a few chapters, become terrified, put the book down for a few minutes, and repeat. 

 If I cannot convince you, let the beautiful Anna Kendrick convince you.

The Worst Of Times- 2018 Wrap Up

  In my personal life, this has literally been the worst year of my life thus far. I went insane, dropped out of college, went homeless, etc., etc., 

  But this was a good reading year! I read 59 books thus far, and have three books I might finish by New Year’s: An Unkindness Of Magicians, A Quiet Kind Of Thunder, and Muse Of Nightmares, which I picked up after DNF’ing because I couldn’t get Kora and Nova out of my mind. (Why Laini, Why?)

 

  I heavily read sci-fi/ fantasy and contemporary, 15 books each. My favourite sci-fi, Ready Player One, was read all the way back in April… This year was frickin’ long. I thought I read it in January. For contemporary… It’s a three way tie. Will Grayson, Will Grayson was amazing, The Sun Is Also A Star was unbelievably believable, and They Both Die At The End Was (echoing scream in the distance.) Honestly, They Both Die At The End was probably the Absolute Best, but since I read the other two when I was still in college, where fiction books are scarce, they’re ranked high.

 Weirdly, I read 9 nonfiction books, ranging from memoir to history to writing. The best one was In Other Words, by Jhumpa Lahiri and translated by Ann Goldstein. If you need to practice italian, spanish, and probably other related languages, it’s a beautiful way to do it. It’s Jhumpa’s diary/ love letter to the italian language. My edition had both english and italian, which to my surprise, was able to read a good deal of it because of my knowledge of spanish.

 Mystery/ thriller is at a shameful 7. I write mystery. I should read mystery. But I have a hard time finding good mystery! Which is probably why I write it. I loved I Am Not A Serial Killer, which I gave a disturbing review on Goodreads. Basically, if you love serial killers as much as I do, you need to read it. If you do, who’s your favourite serial killer? Not that I’m encouraging murder or anything…

 

  I read only… 5 manga/graphic novels. Well, to be fair, The Anonymous Noise is a series, and I tend to count manga as one book. The best was Hark! A Vagrant. I knew nothing about Canada before this. Now I know slightly more. But most of it’s value comes from being funny.

 I neglected classics this year, reading only Franny & Zooey. It was good, if a little dated. I’d say Sherlock Holmes, too, but that’s counted in mystery. I want to get to Lady Susan soon, which I know about because of a walk through the library. It’s another Austen. 

And lastly, one romance, The Bookshop On The Corner. It’s obvious why I read it because of the title. I liked the scottish setting, but it’s not really my kind of book.

But the best of the best, of the best of books?

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Did you really have to ask?

Thanks to Goodreads Year In Books It made this so easy.

Please contribute to my ko-fi if you can. Like I said, it’s been a hard year and I love you no matter how much you can donate. Each Ko-fi is 3$ each. Happy holidays!