Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Probably not in my lifetime.

Wide Awake
David Levithan
8.99 List price
8.99 Amazon price

" "I can't believe there's going to be a gay Jewish president." As my mother said this, she looked at my father, who was still staring at the screen. They were shocked, barely comprehending. Me? I sat there and beamed"

Duncan, his boy friend and his friends re at the edge of a great moment in history- the election of a gay Jewish president. But the results in Kansas are called into question and the kids lives are altered in the course of the fight for the state.

This is a quick, delicious read, and i don't even consider myself a political person. This book was glued to my side for two days. I read it at home, on the train, between calls on the switchboard, everywhere I could steal a few minutes. I especially enjoyed the scenes where old timers were talking, I could tell by the cultural references that these were people of my generation in the future. A great feature of this book is the "Jesus Revolution" which happened after the "greater great depression" and  "the war to end all wars" and religious themes within, proving that not all liberals are atheists. The "Great Community" plaform does kind of sound like LBJ's "Great Society" initiatives. This was my third re read, and I know I will come back for a fourth helping.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Republican party needs more Meghan McCain.

America, You Sexy Bitch
Michael Ian Black and Meghan McCain
26.00 List price
5.88 Amazon price


"Republicans believe in free speech unless the language being spoken is Spanish. Also, I think they want to give guns to fetuses, - Michael Ian Black

"I'm still a red state girl at heart and I like my men to eat red meat and love god." - Meghan McCain

I am a Democrat, but I spent the last 10 years as a Republican. I switched parties because i don't identify with the right wing and it's goals anymore. But as the title of this post says, the Republican party definitely needs more people like Meghan McCain. She is a conservative who fires guns, loves Jesus, believes in gay marriage and is not above taking a toke now and then. I wonder if the majority of the party is more like her and it's just a minority of the whackjobs screaming loudest that we can hear. Michael Ian Black is hilarious in his own right too, though often I wasn't sure if he was kidding or not.

America, You Sexy Bitch is the story of what happens when you put a leftist comedian ans a right wing commentator/ senator's daughter in an RV and send them across the nation. I laughed out loud at many points and I was thrilled when they didn't kill each other. Ms. McCain is a lot more moderate than I thought she would be. Several times they agreed on issues, but often they did not, but they were quite civil about it. I particularly loved the duo's trip to Branson, MO. Meghan totally having an existential crisis at a Yakov Smirnov comedy show is worth the read. I will probably re read this one multiple times.

Edited because I am a bit dull at state abbreviations.

Monday, October 15, 2012

It's like a village full of Dursleys!

The Casual Vacancy
J.K. Rowling
512 pp.
35.00 list price
20.90 Amazon price

*** 1/2
(1/2 star awarded for knocking Fifty Shades of Grey from the top of the New York Times bestseller list, though it only retained the spot for one week.)

Bevin: Did you get it from the library yet?
Ari: I pick it up tonight.

Bevin: I love it and I hate it. I wonder what her thought process is in writing this! Not a single likeable character!
Ari: I know, and so trashy too.
Heather: Sticks her fingers in her ears to keep from being spoilered.
Ari: I expect ***** to die of a giant coronary and that poor ***** girl who cuts to kill herself.

Bevin: I am waiting for something good to happen. Where are you?
Ari: 391
Bevin: Way ahead of me. No spoilers.
Ari: Stares at Bevin all afternoon conspiratorially.
Bevin: Stop Looking at me!

Ari: I'm finished.
Bevin: That was fast. No Spoilers!
Ari: All heck breaks loose.

I was extremely apprehensive upon hearing that an adult book was about to be published by J.K. Rowling. I felt that a J.K. book without magic was like birthday cake with no icing. Well, I read it, and I gutted through it, and I am glad for the experience. I found the book acceptable but trashy. In the wake of Barry Fairbrother's death all heck breaks loose politically in the tiny town of Pagford. I did not find any of the adults likable and the teenagers are absolutely atrocious. The behavior of adults and teens alike within the book is appalling. You have every one of the seven deadly sins in here, plus rape, neglect, drug abuse, self harm, bullying....I am pretty sure I have not named all the atrocities within.

"Shaven vulvas, pink labia pulled wide to show darkly gaping slits; Spread buttocks revealing the puckered buttons of of anuses; Thickly lipsticked mouths, dripping semen."

"A great apron of stomach fell so far down in front of his thighs that most people thought instantly of his penis when they first clapped eyes on him, wondering when he had last seen it, how he washed it, how he managed to perform any of the acts for which a penis is designed"

Ms. Rowling's first novel for grownups is peppered with passages such as the ones above, these make  the reader feel as if J.K. is trying way too hard to write for adults. You don't need to have utter filth in a book for grownups. It is like a few Amazon reviewers have said, "It's like the squeaky clean child star who grows up to make a sex tape". Despite all the books shortcomings, it is still a satisfying read, a multi layered story that only Jo could write, but I will not be re reading this one.

If you want to save yourself the cash and a few weeks waitlist at the library, check out this spoilerific article at The Huffington Post. The New York Times review was brutal.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hello, My name is AriSparkles...

...And I am a libraryholic.

I remember my first library card when I was six, I got it through my school. It was a bright red Brooklyn Public Library card. I remember the cards changing over time. My personal favorite was the dark green one that featured Brooklyn authors' signatures. Today's card is a plain green one with a space for your signature in the front.

I have several favorite libraries. The Shaw neighborhood library in DC, the Kingsway branch in Brooklyn and the main library in Manhattan.

This blog is about books and libraries. I will be reviewing every library book I take out. I will also be reviewing libraries themselves, lamenting the loss of things past, speaking to library folk and speaking about library issues.

Now don't forget to open your books to the back cover and pull out that card-checkout commencing in 3,2,1...