Lost in Libraries

Lost in Libraries

Book reviews and bookish discussions

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I've changed my wordpress from honestnightmare to lostinlibraries.

Fansites are awful

I read the new JD Robb book, Echoes in Death, (review coming soon), and it made me think of fansite I joined years ago, indeath.net. So I went back on it since I was bored and I regret it so much.

 

I forgot how much the users on there kiss Roberts' ass. Which by all rights shouldn't surprise me because, hey, it's a fansite for her, but still. I was looking at a few threads and they completely jump down the throat of anyone who dares to say anything negative about Roberts' writing. While still being all nice and polite about it. If it's someone pointing out a naming inconsistency or chronological inconsistency they're usually fine but the second you question why a character did this or that, they flip out. Not screaming or raging but, as I said, just putting you down as much as they can while still being polite. Like Umbridge from Harry Potter.

 

I don't know why I was surprised to find the website to be a huge circle jerk after being on it for years. Isn't that the point of fansites anyway? I stopped being a fan of Roberts a few years ago so I guess the rose-tinted glasses came off and I could see the site for real.

The website also gave me a negative view of Roberts herself due to her view on fanfiction. I knew she didn't like fanfiction of her works before I joined because when you upload fic on fanfiction.net, at the top it says "these authors have asked us to not to allow fic of their works" and Roberts is on that list. Indeath.net had a fanfiction section anyway. But this week I found that Roberts basically issued a takedown notice in 2014 (shows how long I haven't been paying attention) to indeath saying that she no longer had time to monitor indeath's fanfiction section and there had too many fanfics that offended her so she wanted the site no longer allow fic at all. Of course they said okay. That notice from Roberts really reminded me of Ye Olde Fandom days when authors threatened to sue fanfic writers (many of whom were minors) because the authors got all twisted up over people daring to write something different from their canon. As if fanfiction insinuated their canon was not enough and that was allegedly some huge insult. That's why you see "disclaimers" on old fic on ff.net or livejournal. I guess Roberts is still in that mindframe. Whatever.

But what grinds my gears THE MOST is a post from one of the admins a bit prior to the takedown was a reminder of the guidelines. I'd never seen the guidelines before as I had zero interest in writing fic for the In Death series so I only just saw it for the first time this week and this part:

 

"It means that, for example, Roarke isn't gay. Now, don't be horrified....nobody has ever written a "Roarke is Gay" fan fic, and I hope to never see one."

 

Is so goddamn infuriating. Like holy frigging f*ck. "Horrified"? "Hope to never see one."? That sentence goes way beyond "canon is the holy bible, don't you dare have any imagination" and goes straight (haha, *not*) into "I'm a huge flaming homophobe." This person didn't even use this language to chastise fics where the main characters are raped.  It really reinforces the fact that Roberts' characters are all white or straight. Maybe once in a blue moon you'll get a supprting character who is not white. Or in the case of the In Death universe, you might get a suspect or victim who is queer. None of the main or supporting characters in ID are queer. And in this day and age I have zero patience for stories with little to no diversity. Haven't got the time, haven't the patience. Especially when I myself am queer and am goddamned tired of white straight stories. Roberts will never get a penny from me. And it doesn't need saying I won't be going back to indeath.net.

Review
4 Stars
The Sherlockian - Graham Moore

Moore’s debut novel tells two stories: one of Harold White, a modern day man who is a fervent fan of the great detective Sherlock Holmes, and another about Holmes’ creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The narrative switches back and forth between White in 2010 and Conan Doyle in 1900.

 

White is suddenly thrown into a hunt for a missing diary written by Conan Doyle that was supposed to cover the time period from October to December 1900. Not even the most dedicated Sherlock fan, Sherlockians as most of them call themselves, had been able to find the diary in the years since Conan Doyles’ passing and could only speculate as what was inside. Accompanied by the mysterious Sarah, White does his best to find the diary, not knowing who to trust and trying to stay alive. For his part, Conan Doyle has Bram Stoker for a companion. The events of his life covered in the missing diary turn out to be quite intriguing and suspenseful.

 

The book was an enjoyable read with how Moore brought Conan Doyle, Stoker, and 1900 London to life. White and the modern day chapters were actually the least interesting part of the book for me. The final reaction to the diary were quite confusing to me. But that was only a small wrinkle in a good book.

 

(originally posted on my wordpress)

Why is the text box so glitchy? While doing the reading habits thing, the line of text I was typing would randomly delete itself and the text cursor would jump up two lines. It happened so frequently I got pissed off and answered the questions in Notepad then copy and pasted it over.

Reading Habits

1. Do you have a certain place in your home for reading?

 

My bed.

 

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

 

Depends which one is closer.

 

3. Can you  just stop reading or do you have to stop read after a chapter / certain number of pages?

 

I can stop reading wherever.

 

4. Do you eat or drink while read?

 

Drink but no eating.

 

5. Multitasking: music or TV while reading?

 

No.

 

6. One book at a time or several at once?

 

One at a time unless I have several library books then I read multiple at once.

 

7. Reading at home or everywhere?

 

At home. The last time I took a book outside my house, it was damaged by coffee.

 

8. Reading out loud or silently in your head?

 

Silently.

 

9. Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

 

It depends. If I'm bored and just want to know the ending, I'll skip pages. Some authors spend too much time describing a thing or a person instead of progressing the plot so I skip that too.

 

10. Barking the spine or keeping it like new?

 

Keeping it like new.

 

11. Do you write in your books?

 

Nope.

January Plans

I have two books I plan to read and review this month.

 

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher (RIP)

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

 

I also plan on reading and reviewing a book I requested (or whatever the proper term is) on Netgalley last year, When Paris Sizzled, but I never got around to it. 

Three out of five books returned unfinished. Bleh. I give up on reading. Haven't been able to finish anything in months.

I've got to read and return 5 library books in 2 weeks. Yikes. That's a lot of reading. Especially when I've already had the books for a while and haven't started reading them.

I don't understand why my mother hates books and reading so much. She's been angry for years about the number of books I own and how much space it takes up (even though all of my books have been in my room for the past 21 years and only recently did I move two of my smaller shelves into another room of the house). I half-jokingly suggested I could just buy a Kindle instead (even though I dislike e-books, hence joke) and then she got angry because apparently she doesn't want me reading at all because she thinks I'm going to go blind. My eyesight is bad, I admit, but she acts like I should never look at a screen ever again but then I take naps to rest my eyes and she gets mad at me for doing nothing. What the hell does she want me to do? She gets mad when I use my laptop or my phone, she gets mad when I read books, she gets mad when I take naps, she won't let me go anywhere without her, what the hell. Does she just want me to do nothing but clean the house? But when I do clean, she criticizes my dish-washing skills and doesn't believe me when I vacuumed even though she can hear the vacuum cleaner. 

 

I 100% honestly feel like I won't be able to be an adult and live my life until she dies. 

 

And of course my brother gets to do whatever he wants. 

!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
3.5 Stars
Apprentice in Death - J.D. Robb

I found the book to be pretty average for an In Death book. Not very memorable, due to violence I've been exposed to in shows like Law & Order, Criminal Minds, etc, and in real life. I read the teaser a while ago and immediately thought of the Beltway snipers. I suppose it was meant to be "shocking" or a "plot twist" for Will to be a psychopath but I wasn't surprised. When people like Mary Bell, Robert Thompson, and Jon Venables exist in real life, people like Will existing in fiction isn't much of a stretch.

 

Nothing significant happened, just another high profile case. Eve works herself to the ground, Roarke inserts himself into the investigation and worries about her, Peabody won't shut up about her shoes or coat, Eve is forced to deal with Nadine and the media, Roarke forces her to rest and eat, they have sex sometimes, Eve has take a few hours off to do something personal like attend a party, Eve gets mildly injured. Same old, same old. The In Death series is a good series for people who like consistency and an overall lack of change.

 

I genuinely thought Robb would use this case as an opportunity to add some real angst to the plot by having Eve hit by a laser strike or have her walk around in public places as bait. But the most Eve got was a knife wound on her hand and a black eye. She hasn't been badly injured so far in the series, as I recall the worst that's ever happened to her was when she got nailed in the back by a kid on an airboard in Reunion in Death. She was kidnapped in Creation in Death but she was more effected by the drugs than any physical injury. I think it would be interesting to see how the characters would react if Eve were to be injured badly enough to need surgery. Would Peabody for once shut up about her boots and coat and her boyfriend long enough to hunt the person who attack her partner? What about Roarke? How far would he go? How would he react in the hospitals, with the doctors while his wife is in surgery? Or, how about if Eve is injured just like Susann was killed? Just one actual plot twist in one book would help the series.

 

I apologize for my rambling but I want more out of this series. Normally I'm very much not a fan of shows or books doing things for "shock value" but the series is now 54 books long and it's gotten to the point where I feel buying the books is a waste of money and instead turn to the library.

HP and Cursed Child rambling

One of the things I also hated about the book was the lengths Rowling went to try to make more people like Dumbledore or Snape. Like please, finding out that Snape wanted to fuck Lily Potter doesn't automatically make him a good person and redeem him of all the shit he did. And Harry saying "I love you" to the man who deliberately left him in an abusive home until he was legally an adult? Bullcrap. How on earth is his mother's love stronger than Hogwarts, which can literally fight back as shown in the last book? A world where Harry Potter is raised by the castle and people like McGonagall is so much more interesting.

 

Also Harry's kids' names are still stupid.

Review
2 Stars
Longer review
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - J.K. Rowling, John Kerr Tiffany, Jack Thorne

CONTAINS SPOILERS

 

-read more-
!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
2.5 Stars
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - J.K. Rowling, John Kerr Tiffany, Jack Thorne

Will write a fuller review tomorrow, after I sleep.

 

DO NOT READ IF YOU DON'T WANT SPOILERS!!!

-read more-
Wordpress

I created a Wordpress in case BookLikes goes down.

 

https://honestnightmare.wordpress.com/

The history of women at NASA

Yesterday the trailer for Hidden Figures was released. You can watch it here if you haven't yet (or if you want to rewatch). The movie is based on the book Hidden Figures written by Margot Lee Shetterly. It will be released on September 6, 2016. You can pre-order it here.

 

It is a nonfiction book about African American women who worked at NASA specifically Katherine Jackson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson. K. Jackson started working at NASA in 1953. She is still alive, currently 97 and her 98th birthday is in 11 days. Vaughan started working at NACA (pre-cursor to NASA) in 1943 but sadly she passed away in 2008. M. Jackson started working at NACA in 1950 but passed away in 2005. They were all incredibly smart women and were key parts of the Space Race and beyond.

 

I will definitely be buying the book when it comes out. Probably won't see the movies in theaters because I just absolutely hate movie theaters. I prefer watching movies alone at home.

 

The book I am currently reading, Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt is also about the history of women at NASA, just 99.99% about white women. Really. Despite covering the same time period as Hidden Figures, there is only one African American woman in the entire book and her name is Janez Lawson. 

!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
2.5 Stars
Postmortem - Patricia Cornwell

I was only made aware of Cornwell's existence sometime last year. But I didn't consider trying her books until this month when I was wandering through my local library trying to find a fiction book to check out. I'd already skimmed through her Twitter and noted she spent a lot of time getting hands on experience with the police for research (unlike other authors I know who just Google everything). A check in the pro column. I got lucky and found a large type edition of the first book of the ongoing Kay Scarpetta series.

 

I read it in two sittings - sort of. I got bored and skipped the last hundred pages and read the ending. The book being written in the first person was a huge mark in the con column. Page after page after page of Scarpetta talking about her feelings. Oh this makes her angry, that makes her scared, that makes her want to drink, this makes her feel bad about herself. So much rambling. Halfway through the book I just started skipping paragraphs that were just about Scarpetta's feelings. As much as I am thoroughly pleased to learn multi-dimensional female characters such as Scarpetta were being written by women in the '90s outside of the romance section, Cornwell's writing was just too much.

 

The case at the center of the book probably was horrifying or intriguing when first published but reading today, it just felt like a run of the mill Criminal Minds episode. Women were being raped and murdered in their homes and police had no leads. 

 

For those unaware, the Scarpetta series follows the life of a blonde Italian woman named Dr. Kay Scarpetta who, in the first book, is the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia. The series is ongoing, with the latest published last year. My library also has a copy of it but I won't be checking it out. A skim through Wikipedia and Amazon showed me that the series has only gotten weaker in time.