Monday, November 25, 2019

A Few Thoughts While Recovering From a Head Cold

Okay, I wasn't going to post this because I hate N+7 (you'll see why in a moment), but I've changed my mind. I own a little book called Creative Writer's Notebook: 20 Great Authors and 70 Writing Exercises by John Gillard (Metro Books, 2015). One of the great authors is Georges Perec (1936-1982), French avant-garde and existentialist author and member of the writing collective Oulipo. Oulipo is responsible for the writing exercise N+7. Gillard describes it thus:

"...whereby every noun in a sentence is replaced by the noun seven places forward in the dictionary."

Sounds like fun, right? Well, I rewrote my little Tumblr post in N+7, using the dictionary I inherited from my late grandmother, and it came out as this monstrosity:

"I've been sick in bedding with a cold feet most of the dayglow and sleeping, but in my dredges my whole family planning and I took several vaccinias to Croatia. (That Yugoslavia! Think again.) I managed to have an aficionado with Michael Jordan/Dennis Rodman tear Toni Kukoc. But it was a bitstock like having an aficionado with a baby girl, all legalism and axes."

Thanks, I hate it. For one thing, "vaccinias" is a synonym for "cow pox." Ew. Second, it sounds like I'm saying I had an affair with a baby girl, which I do not approve of in any way, shape, or form. Third, axes don't seem very safe for baby girls either. Additionally, as you can tell from my bit of verse, I really liked the mental imagery of the giraffe, which was lost. All of my beautiful nouns other than the proper nouns Croatia and Yugoslavia (which I believe weren't found in Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, 1977 edition - the dictionary is as old as I am) were lost. "Teammate" (positive) became "tear" (sad or painful, depending on which way you're pronouncing it).

That's why I didn't add the bit about the N+7 writing exercise until the date of this edit (March 1st, 2020).

So, if you want to sound like a cross between James Joyce on his shit again and a Freudian psychotherapist on their first week at work, by all means, use N+7. In my humble opinion, N+7 needs to be banished to the realm of Cthulhu.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

'Find Me' by André Aciman

Find Me
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I admit I didn't read Call Me By Your Name, but I did see the movie. When I heard it had a sequel, I had to find out what happened to Oliver and Elio, who fell in love in Italy when Elio was only 17 and Oliver was Elio's father's graduate student. The last Elio heard from Oliver, Oliver was getting married.

15 years have passed, and now Elio is a 32-year-old professional pianist. His father, Sami (Samuel), is taking the train to visit him. Divorced, lonely Sami meets single-but-it's-complicated Miranda. Miranda has daddy issues. Their complicated romance ensues.

Next we get a glimpse into Elio's life in Paris with his could-be second love, Michel. Michel is perhaps 15 to 20 years older than Elio, but not quite Sami's age. Elio has daddy issues, too. As does Michel, who suspects his late father's unspoken secret was an early-adulthood romance with a Jewish musician.

Oliver, too, is a father. He and wife Micol have two sons, but as they get ready to move the family from New York to New Hampshire, Oliver realizes his time with Micol is at its natural end. And then...well, I won't spoil it, but it's lovely.

I read this book in two sittings. It's full of vigils, mysteries, coincidences, and deja vu. The prose is lovely and the emotions are strong. It serves as a fitting ending to the story of Oliver and Elio.

I checked this hardcover book out from my local library and wasn't obligated in any way to review it.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Nonfiction: 'Trainwreck' by Sady Doyle

Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear... and WhyTrainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear... and Why by Sady Doyle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Doyle is somewhat preaching to the choir with me - I already love "difficult" women like Courtney Love despite their flaws (i.e. being human beings). Still, I was enthralled by this exploration of what happens when a woman in the public eye is judged to have become the wrong kind of woman in the public eye. It taught me more than I'd ever known before about Charlotte Bronte and Marie Antoinette - we're not good at teaching history and literature from the point of view of the women who experienced them. I highly recommend this book for anyone who participates in American popular culture on any level.

I borrowed this audio book from my local public library using the Libby app. I'm not obligated in any way to review it.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Currently Reading: 'Wayward Son' by Rainbow Rowell

Recently read:

PumpkinheadsPumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Happy Read a Book Day! My pick today was this adorable graphic novel about two friends working on their very last day at the pumpkin patch. I really loved the characters and the art. I'm not sure if I want to be Deja or if I want to date her.

I purchased this book from my local comic book store with my own funds and was not obligated in any way to review it.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

A Sample of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian GrayThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow! That was a great ending. I listened to the public domain audio book and was not required in any way to review this book.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Manga: Moteki - Love Strikes!

Moteki, 1: Love Strikes!Moteki, 1: Love Strikes! by Mitsurou Kubo

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked the art but I didn't love the story. It's about a man who's about to turn 30 who still hasn't found the love of his life. Frankly, with his personality, I'm not surprised that he doesn't have a woman who wants to be with him. He doesn't really treat women very well. And without a likable protagonist, it was really hard to care about his romantic adventures.

I received this book as part of the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a fair, honest review.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Comic Book Shop Haul: Rainbow Rowell's Pumpkinheads, Captain Marvel, Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling

This is an affiliate link:

League of Super Heroes: Rise of the Villain (#1) (Party Game Society Hit Party Game) by Celeste Ayers. $2.99 from
The League of Super Heroes HQ is under attack! A Super Hero went missing last night. Looks like someone is out for blood… someone is killing heroes… but who? Who amongst you has turned from Super Hero to Super Villain? It’s time to suit up and take control of this evil once and for all. The fate of the world is at stake. Will the good guys be victorious in sniffing out the tyrants?