Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Book Talk and Signing with Nalini Singh

Sarah from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books interviews Nalini last night at the East Brunswick Barnes and Nobel's store.

They talked mostly about the Psy/Changling series. Some things she shared:
  • We'll get pup/cubs in the next book.
  • The next book will probably be a big family style books with all the characters we've met over the last 13 books.
  • Amara won't be getting her own book, but we will see her growth as a background character.
  • Nakita probably won't be getting a book, her story is too complex, but we'll see it unfold during this next arc.
Then she did a book signing. I hate having my picture taken so I just like to take a picture of the author signing my book.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Take Your Poet to Work Day - Sara Teasdale

Tomorrow (7/15) is Take Your Poet to Work Day. I'm bring Sara Teasdale with me to work on Wednesday.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Book Review: How to get Dressed by Alison Freer

How to Get Dressed: A Costume Designer's Secrets for Making Your Clothes Look, Fit, and Feel AmazingHow to Get Dressed: A Costume Designer's Secrets for Making Your Clothes Look, Fit, and Feel Amazing by Alison Freer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I thought this book was very informative but not very practical for me or other everyday women. Things like finding a good tailor, most of the ones in my area are connected to dry cleaners or are way out of my price range.  However, the guide on what to get altered and what not to get altered is useful and I know I'll refer to the list in the future.

I probably will never use the vintage shopping guide, but the chapter that debunks the fashion rules was great. I always worry if I can pull off wearing black and blue or brown and black. How about mixing metals or patterns? Freer says they are dumb and gives tips to help pull the look off. A lot of times it's a personal choice and being honest about what works for your body type.

I wish there had been more about how to dress different body types. I felt as if this book was directed towards only one type of woman and spent time pulling out information that I could use from most of the sections. Things like paying attention to fit, the condition of clothes, and how to properly care for your garments.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Book Review: As If!: The Oral History of Clueless as told by Amy Heckerling and the Cast and Crew by Jen Chaney

On July 19th, Clueless will turn 20. Over the weekend, I finished reading As If!: The Oral History of Clueless as told by Amy Heckerling and the Cast and Crew by Jen Chaney

Acclaimed pop culture journalist Jen Chaney shares an oral history of the cult classic film Clueless in the ultimate written resource about one of the most influential, revered, and enduring movies of the 1990s—in celebration of its twentieth anniversary. Will we ever get tired of watching Cher navigate Beverly Hills high school and discover true love in the movie Clueless? As if! Written by Amy Heckerling and starring Alicia Silverstone, Clueless is an enduring comedy classic that remains one of the most streamed movies on Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes even twenty years after its release. Inspired by Jane Austen’s Emma, Clueless is an everlasting pop culture staple.

In the first book of its kind, Jen Chaney has compiled an oral history of the making of this iconic film using recollections and insights collected from key cast and crew members involved in the making of this endlessly quotable, ahead-of-its-time production. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how Emma influenced Heckerling to write the script, how the stars were cast into each of their roles, what was involved in creating the costumes, sets, and soundtrack, and much more.

This wonderful twentieth anniversary commemoration includes never-before-seen photos, original call sheets, casting notes, and production diary extracts. With supplemental critical insights by the author and other notable movie experts about why Clueless continues to impact pop culture, As If! will leave fans new and old totally buggin’ as they understand why this beloved film is timeless.

Some of the highlights from the book are:
-When Emma Met Cher
In this section they talk about Austen adaptations, specially in 1995 and how Clueless stood out among the other films.  Some of those interviewed for this section are

  • Dr. Inger S.B. Brodey, professor of comparative literature at UNC-Chapel Hill and the co-organizer of UNC's annual Jane Austen Summer Program
  • Dr. Devony Looser, professor of English at Arizona State University and former member of JASNA board of directors
  • Dr. Juliette Wells, associate professor of English at Maryland's Goucher College and current member of the JASNA board of directors.

I really liked the inclusion of these women, who are not only Austen fans but also scholars.

-Casting Clueless
This section was great because they talked about all the names that were thrown around or actors who auditioned for the rolls. It would have been a much different movie if the cast wasn't the cast we know (and love).

-The Fashion and Beauty of Clueless
The fashion is basically a character in the movie. I was a bit too young to fully embrace the fashion influenced by the movie, (not to mention it's not all my style) but I do remember that I had a few things that could have been influenced by Tai's style.

There is also a section that breaks down the Classic Clueless scenes,  and the third section of the book talks about the impact of the movie.  It also discusses how it reaches all generations. Not to mention that soundtrack which was one of the first CDs I owned and I still listen to the soundtrack all the time It talks to the cast who are all still related to the movie and how Paul Rudd seems to have never aged since 1995.

The book comes out today (July 7) and if you are a Clueless fan I highly suggest picking it up and enjoying the flashback.

I received an ebook review copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Daily Themes: July 2, 2015

Tell this story

I hold his sword and wonder if he was a good man. 

"My lady?" I hear the voice, but all I can manage is a shake of my head. The last thing I want to do is address these men who stand before me. They failed and because they failed I have lost him. I know I can't stay quite much longer, I can already hear the rumblings of the impatient men.

"My lady?" the voice is closer now, barely a whisper. I know he would save me from all this if he could. He's the only person I trust. He holds my father's sword. I look up and he hands it to me.

I hold the sword and wonder if he was a good man. I know he was a good warrior, a good leader, but I don't know what kind of man he was outside of those roles. As the leader, he wasn't never a father in the ways I hear about and see in the village. Yet, he is my only example, my only role model for what is to come next in my life.

"Was he a good man?" my voice barely above a whisper.

"My lady?"

"Was my father a good man?"

There is no reply. I raise my eyes and meet his, I can see he was waiting for this before he says, "The best my lady."

I slowly stand, holding the hilt of my father's sword in my hand. I test the weight, knowing the blade will have to be balanced for me. I give it a twirl bringing the point down hard on the ground, something my father always did the sound bringing all to attention.

I am my father's daughter.

Daily Themes: July 1, 2015

"How long have you been standing there?" 

"Longer than you'd like." 

Carrie and her friends had just finished an impromptu dance party when a snicker startled them. Carrie spun around to find her brother watching them. “How long have you been standing there?”

He held up his smartphone and with a sinister chuckle said, “Longer than you’d like.”

Carrie yelled “MOM!” as her brother ran laughing.

TBR Pile Challenge - Three books crossed off!

I have been feeling like I've been lagging behind, it was June and I had only read three books off my list.  I had read an ARC of another Alex Beecroft book and really enjoyed it so I went back and downloaded these three onto my Nook.  Then they sat there and sat there, and I kind of forgot about them until I put together my list for last year. I never got to them so I made sure they were on this year's list.  I feel like I caught up after reading these three in one month!

Alex Beecroft writes male/male romance set during the Age of Sail. Her books are set during the 1700s. They all involve sailors and life on these ships. At the time any sexual relations between men was punishable by death, most commonly hanging. These men all live in fear of being discovered and facing an end at the gallows.

(some spoilers)

Blessed IsleBlessed Isle by Alex Beecroft
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This novella is told through the perspective of both Captain Harry Thompson and First Lieutenant Garrett Littleton.  At the time of the writing, they are living together and are recapping the horrible voyage that brought them together.

Harry has worked hard to become Captain of a ship. He comes from a working-class family and he is determined to make his first trip as Captain of a prisoner transport ship a successful journey.  However, they are faced with sickness, horrible weather and rioting prisoners. Harry and Garrett and marooned on an island and left alone, without the fear of being discovered they let their lust turn into romance.

Once they are rescued from the island, the fear of being caught could rip them apart.  The dual perspectives of this novella show how the strengths of each man plays off the weaknesses of the other in their relationship. I really enjoyed this story and the journey these two went on to find happiness.

By Honor BetrayedBy Honor Betrayed by Alex Beecroft
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In this novella, Lieutenant Conrad Herriot and Seaman Tom Cotton are friends as well as master and servant. They are extremely close and for most of the last 10 years have hidden the lust they feel towards each other until Tom is injured and Conrad rushes to his side.  The captain then separates the two putting everything they feel to the forefront and putting them at risk.

As in the last book,  this book also toes the line of class relations. Conrad is not only torn about risking his neck, he worries about the fact that Tom is of a much lower class. The author does a wonderful job writing about his torn feelings, but this story just left me wanting something that I couldn't put my finger on. I think Conrad just protested against it all a bit too much. In the end he does realize that love is more important that class.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Unlike the other two on my list, this was more of a novel than a novella. There is so much more detail in this book and a lot of it, the sub story lines and focus on secondary characters really pulled me out of the main story arc.

Joshua is barely hiding his secret from his ruthless captain and it gets even harder when extremely handsome Peter Kenyon comes aboard the ship and they are forced to share a room.  The two men are polite and kind of friendly with one another while secretly watching and admiring the other.  In order to keep suspicion off himself, Peter tries to court the daughter of the man the ship is taking to Bermuda. During the crossing, the extremely stern captain pushes the men too far and just before the men can overthrow him they come across pirates attacking a merchant ship.

Once in Bermuda, Joshua and Peter try to keep a low profile. Peter keeps courting the young lady who has an interest in the captain of the merchant ship they saved. This is where the story started to lose me. There was just so much going on and then Joshua and Peter go on a mission and Josh's ship goes down and he's rescued by Native Americans who are totally okay with male relationships. Josh wants to stay, but he also wants Peter so he goes back to Bermuda. While this is all going on Peter is taken hostage, and then he gets traded back so once in Bermuda he and the old captain have a duel. AND through it all it all works out in the end.