Sunday, February 28, 2010

Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough, Lori Gottlieb

I read Lori Gottlieb's article in The Atlantic and was intrigued/horrified enough to want to read her book now that its out. And even though I found stretches of it really depressing and sad I agree with her. She's a great writer and has a good sense of humor about herself which I appreciated as well.

The hardest part for me about her theories is that as an LDS singleton I'm not now (and have never been in the position) of turning down potential dates for frivolous reasons. I have not been on a date since college and I graduated 6 years ago. Why? There are literally no LDS guys in my area/age range/etc. It's not me being picky. Its just the reality of the wasteland of the LDS singles scene.

"Somehow, post-Jane Austen, it's become shameful for a woman to admit how lonely she is and how strongly she wants to be part of a traditional family. What kind of educated, sophisticated, modern woman with an active social life has time to be lonely?
You're lonely? Get a life! Get a promotion! Get a hobby! Get a hair cut! You go girl!" p.56

That quote was one that resonated so much with me. I feel like even admitting you want to be married and have children is some kind of shameful secret. It's like admitting that you aren't just perfectly happy & independent, fulfilling all your own needs. I hate that.

Depressing stuff ahead:

"It seemed reasonable to think that the longer I searched, the better the guy I'd end up with. But it's faulty logic... the longer you wait, the less likely you are to find someone better than you've already met." (p.75)

"Hey, you know all those [guys] you weren't attracted to or interested in back in your twenties? Well, guess what- they're still available and some are divorced and you should be more open minded?" (p.76)

"I still hadn't come to terms with the realities of being single and never married at my age. I wasn't ready, on some visceral level, to let go of the idea of being somebody's first and only spouse, of being somebody's The One and having the exclusivity of our own family unit." (p.90)

"Clampitt matches people like this: "Number one," she said, "I look at whether the two people have common relationship goals. Number two, I look at values. Things like independence, family, religion, loyalty. Number three, what are the key qualities this person needs? You get no more than five. Things like, he has to be very intelligent. Number four, I look at shared interests. Interests are great because its bonding and stimulating and fun to share those, but the other things are more important for the long-term. I put shared interests last for that reason." (p.99)

"Marriage is about small acts of kindness that bond you over a lifetime. It's quietly romantic. He makes her tea. She goes to the doctor appointment with him. They listen to each other's daily trivia. They put up with each other's quirks. They're there for each other." (p.228)

I dogeared so many pages of this book. I'm just tired of typing out quotes I liked. I like the message to be more realistic in your dating. But in my own situation I'm still stuck with no one to be realistic about & I'm not sure what the answer is for that. I did like the hopeful tone though, of being able to change your behavior. I liked that the old stand by "definition of insanity= doing the same thing over & over expecting different results" was brought out.

A good book but a depressing one all the same.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Reading Slump

I've been having a hard time getting into any books lately for some reason. Knock'em Dead was a cute, though crass at times, mystery. It was an interesting story and the characters were well done. Even though I wasn't in love with it I would definitely read another Rhonda Pollero book sometime. On the other end, there is Tempest Rising with its horrific cover art. I had read some really good reviews and the fact that the main character is a mermaid made me willing to overlook the cover. Apparently I will go against my better judgment for the promise of a good mermaid story. And I tried really hard to like the story but just couldn't. It was really painful reading & I just wasn't into it. So I need to get out of my slump somehow, especially if I'm going to reach my goal of 365 books this year.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Blue Girl, Charles De Lint

When Imogene, her mother, and her brother move to Newford, she decides to reinvent herself-this time she won't go looking for trouble. She quickly gets to know two very different people. Maxine is a "good girl," following a strict life plan. Imogene helps Maxine loosen up and break a few rules, and in turn Maxine keeps her on the straight and narrow. Imogene's other new friend is a little more unusual. His name is Adrian. He is a ghost. Adrian was killed when he jumped off the high school roof in 1998, and hasn't left since. He has a huge crush on her--so much so that he wants her to see the fairies that also haunt the school. The fairies invade Imogene's dreams, blurring the line between the unreal and the real. When her imaginary childhood friend Pelly actually manifests, Imogene knows something is terribly wrong. With Maxine, Adrian, and Pelly's help, Imogene challenges the dark forces of Faery. This compelling novel from Charles de Lint, the acknowledged founder of the "urban fantasy" genre, is set in the city of Newford, home to some of his best stories. After reading it, you will want to live in Newford, too.

"Quite simply, I love this book. I love the characters. I love the lore." ~Melissa Marr

I had a strange time reading this book. I loved the beginning but at some point in the middle I just got sick of reading it. I was determined to finish and picked it back up again last night after a 3 week hiatus. Fortunately the last part of the book is completely awesome so I am glad I read it. I actually really enjoyed the overall book. I think I just got bogged down in the middle with all the build up. I loved the characters in this book. Imogene & Maxine's friendship was the best part of this book. I loved Pelly, Adrian honestly made me tear up a little (especially at the end), Jared & Thomas were the perfect supportive brother and boyfriend characters respectively, and, and, and... there is just so much to love about this book. I am interested to see how my opinion of this book might change upon rereading. Now that I know how much I love the ending I think it might color my opinion of the middle chunk of the book for the better.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse — Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon, a mystery unfolds and together with his friends — one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena — Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

This was a cute, fast paced story. Nora has been harassing me to read this so we can go see the movie and be properly prepared. Because otherwise we clearly wouldn't be able to follow the plot! I liked this a lot though and plan to read the other books in the series.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Changeover, Margaret Mahy

"Laura and Sorry, Margaret Mahy's The Changeover. The best YA romance I have ever read, possibly the best YA I have ever read, and I will explain why. For this post was meant to be a no-holds-barred recommendation for The Changeover before I got carried away.

Laura Chant is a Maori-appearing girl in New Zealand with a blond mother and brother and an absent father. (The Maori-appearingness is a cool detail Mahy never goes into. I wish she did! But I find it awesome that it's there.) Sorensen Carlisle is a blond witch guy, which came as a bit of a shock to his all-female witch family.

Laura's on a mission to save her little brother. (UM. Apparently, I got the idea that was an awesome mission to be on from somewhere. Sorry, Margaret Mahy, that was unconscious. I can only blame how OVERPOWERINGLY AWESOME you are.) He's having the life sucked out of him by the creepiest toy shop owner in the world, and when Laura goes to Sorry for help, he thinks she's arrived because they have a ROMANTIC CONNECTION. Awkward!

Also turns out, only Laura herself can save her brother. Luckily, Laura is really awesome. In other news, Sorry is the least smooth operator in the history of time."
-Sarah Rees Brennan

I loved Sarah Rees Brennan's post on her favorite literary couples. I had read most of the books she mentioned and was intrigued by her description of The Changeover. The hilarious summaries she wrote for each story also helped.

I really enjoyed reading The Changeover but I didn't fall in love with it as I had been anticipating. Sometimes I think the mood/frame of mind/life situation I'm currently in completely colors how I feel about a book. If I had read this book at a different time I might feel more strongly about it. As it is I really liked it. Margaret Mahy is a great writer and the relationships, especially between Laura & her brother, were well done. I definitely want to read some more of her books.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

He Loves Lucy, Susan Donovan

Lucy Cunningham is a smart-mouthed couch potato hooked on Milk Duds. Theo Redmond is a hottie personal trainer to the stars. When they team up for a makeover publicity stunt that could make them both rich, they learn that nobody's perfect, beauty is more than skin deep, and true loves lies somewhere between pizza and Pilates.
This book was adorable and probably an incredibly cliched book for a singleton in a funk about life and weight loss to post about on Valentine's Day. But it is one of the best romance novels I've ever read. The characters were real and likable. Nobody was having 1o page smutathons. The chubby main character's life problems were not all solved by losing weight. They might have been all solved by finding a man but I won't argue with that one today. All in all this was an excellent impulse buy from my week of self pity book shopping.

Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels Series

“Treat yourself to a splendid new urban fantasy… I am looking forward to the next book in the series, or anything else Ilona Andrews writes.”

Patricia Briggs, USA Today bestselling author of Blood Bound.

That quote and this review at Angieville are what made me want to read this series. And I'm glad I did. The Kate Daniels stories are entertaining, suspenseful, romantic, funny, & fluffy all rolled into one. My feelings on this series comes nowhere near how much I adore the Mercy Thompson series but these books are solid entertainment.

And they were about all I could handle in the last few weeks. I've been in a bit of a funk which has infected my reading life as well as my real life. I haven't felt like doing much of anything which has left me dreadfully behind on my reading list. I had wanted to be at 45 books by today instead of 33 but I have been slacking. I am hoping to tough love myself out of this in terms of reading and life. Maybe I'll have more to say about Kate when the 4th book comes out in a bit.


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