Friday, May 28, 2010

What I've Been Doing While I Haven't Been Blogging

Forgive me Blog-gods, for I have sinned. It has been 25 days since my last posting.

The Fortune Cookie doesn’t count, it is a tacky attempt to remind people I am still alive whilst I have nothing important to say. I have been tempted to post one of those pieces which apologises and tells you all I am not posting because I have nothing to tell you. But thankfully, I have resisted and channeled what used to be boundless writing energy into other areas during my period of Blogger’s Block.

Mainly, reading. And not blogs (sorry). I have rediscovered the joy of books, something that had waned a little over a busy summer where I was distracted by warm nights, chilled wine, lazy barbecues and wretched hangovers. Not to mention builders (not quite finished-you will hear the WHOOP of joy from wherever you live when it is all done), teenagers (aren’t they old enough to move out yet? What? 15 is too young?), extended family (you’d think ruthlessly ignoring them would make them go away, wouldn’t you?), and a new kitten (he eats, he sleeps, he farts, he poops).

I was also writing blogs regularly and reading loads of them, and found if I had a half hour spare I would go to the pc for a fix of the written word instead of to the bookcase. I love your blogs, I really do, but something was missing. I felt like I was drowning in relentless blogwaves and I had to get some air. So for the last month I have reversed that habit and although I have missed keeping up to date with all your blogworld comings and goings, it has been refreshing, inspiring and something I desperately needed to do. I needed to turn a page. Literally and metaphorically.

I think I’m ready to dip the toes back into the bloggy waters and find the depth I’m comfortable with. A little writing, a splash of blog reading and a fair smattering of real-live-page-turning ought to have me floating again. Swimming laps even. (I have no idea where all these watery analogies are coming from, I’m not even really into watersports, I’m just going with the flow. Haha.)

To get the ball rolling (oooh, ballsports, now that’s more like it), I thought I’d share with you a few thoughts on the books I’ve been reading. A very mixed bunch, apparently I have eclectic tastes.

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson


Part II of Larsson’s Millennium trilogy was brilliant, possibly even better than the first. It certainly kept me spellbound, although he did lose me at times with endless descriptions of Lisbeth’s furniture purchases from IKEA. But hey, he was advertising a fellow Swedish export I guess.

Moral of the story: When next you find you have been shot three times and are buried alive, make sure you have a cigarette case with you.

Lucy Springer Gets Even by Lisa Heidke


Lucy is living through a renovation with two kids, a waning career, and an absconding husband. I really liked Lucy, would love to have a drink with her, even though I wanted to slap some sense into her at times. But mostly I just wanted to punch her husband fair and square in the scrotum. I related to the renovation nightmares and the complaining kids, but thankfully not to the missing husband (though sometimes I wish…. hah). Loved the writing style, really felt like I was secretly reading Lucy's diary. I found this book via finding Lisa on Twitter and I’m very glad I did. A wonderful read, very smart and funny indeed.

Moral of the story: Karma is good. As is drinking someone else’s Grange Hermitage.

Twitterature: The World’s Greatest Books Retold Through Twitter by Alexander Aciman & Emmett Rensin


Hilarious. Being a bit of a Twitter addict myself and understanding perfectly the language used there, this made me roar with laughter at times. If you’ve ever read the classics and wondered what on earth some of those authors were trying to say with their romantic lyricism, this will give you all the comprehension required, in tweets of 140 characters or less. For example…

From Hamlet: @OedipusGothplex: WTF is Polonius doing behind the curtain?

From Romeo and Juliet: @DefNotAHomeo: WTF is Mercutio talking about? Everyone knows fairies don’t exist! Whoa. Hot babe cometh near. Must try the uninvited grind.

From Emma: @DarcyLover1815 : Jane is coming to town! I hate that bitch. Unsure of the cause. I shall assume a kindly disposition. Still, I hate that skank.

Moral of the story: OMG, WTF? ROFL. BTW, STFU. LOL.

Beneath The Skin by Nicci French


This story is about 3 women who have nothing in common, except for the man who wants to kill them. I loved the way this was written, quite chilling at times, and it really drew me in. I did start to get scared and thought I may not like it at one stage, but that was just my fear of fear (yes, I’m a bit of a wuss), and I persisted through it. I’m pleased that I did as it was well worth pushing my scaredy-cat boundaries.

Moral of the story: If you live in London, some psycho has promised to kill you, and you are relying on the local detectives’ expertise, protection and powers of deduction to save your life, well………. it’s been nice knowing you.

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk


Everyone knows the first rule of Fight Club. I knew it, even though I had never read the book nor seen the movie. I have described this book to different people as ‘weirdly gripping’, ‘strangely compelling’, and ‘disturbing, like nothing I’ve ever read’. But if you asked me the straightforward question “Did you like it?”, I’d probably stumble over my answer. Yes. No. I don’t know. Some of it. Most of it. Maybe. I think so. I couldn’t put it down, so I guess that’s a ….yes? Maybe I’ll look back one day, even read it again, and say it was fantastic. Something I have no hesitation in saying I loved was Chuck’s afterword, that was bloody brilliant. He had me laughing, and that surprised me.

Moral of the story: If a guy at the Remaining Men Together support group still has his testicles, there’s trouble ahead.

After The Fall by Kylie Ladd


This is another book I discovered after meeting the author on Twitter and I’m very happy that I did. Kylie ‘had me’ from the opening chapter and it was another case of “Go away, leave me alone, I can’t put this book down.” It’s the story of two couples who become friends, but have their worlds torn apart by an affair. I particularly enjoyed the fact that every major player in the story has their point of view represented. Clever. The insight Kylie shows, and the way she captures the feelings of the troubled characters is quite remarkable. I found myself nodding, sighing and crying. Truly loved it. I would call Kylie the Queen of Infidelity, but that would give you the wrong impression of her (hehe); go read her bio and you’ll see what I mean.

Moral of the story : Leaving your table at a trivia night to visit the rooftop can be dangerous…but HOT. Who knew?

I have started on part III of the Millennium trilogy, along with The Great Gatsby. See? Eclectic. And yes, sometimes I read two at once, perhaps I’m making up for lost time. So that’s what I’ve been doing while I haven’t been blogging.

Moral of the story: No more treading water, I’m back in the swim. You just knew I was going to end on another stupid water reference, didn’t you?



15 comments:

  1. I love this! I love your writing, I love yoour wit, I love your clevber water references... oh, who am I kidding? I love that you enjoyed my book. Seriously, thank you for buying, thank you for reading, thank you for letting me know that you truly loved it. I'm flattered and honoured... it's all an author ever dreams of- being got. xxx

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  2. Hey Cate,
    Loved your blog! Me? Biased? Not one bit!
    Funny, entertaining! - I might even try to stick with Stieg's books after reading such a glowing report!
    Re Lucy, we'd all love to have a drink with her! Her ex-husband has an amazing wine cellar!

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  3. As always Cate....The smile is on my face! Love to read your witty, entertaining blog!! Never have I left feeling Cheated!!! :)

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  4. OMG I have to get my hands on that Twitterature book - that sounds hilarious!

    Love the reviews.

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  5. I read down to "water sports" & lost track of everything else...but you know me. ANYWAY - I used to be such a good reader & I highly regard anyone who does read regularly, but it seems those days went right along with the hair on my head - Long gone & almost forgotten. Damn shame I know. None-the-less, keep up the good work! Tell you what - make you a deal...I'll READ your blogs & you keep me up to speed with the literary world. Mmm-kay? CHEERS !

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  6. That's a fair old list of books Cate... and one or two I shall be browsing Amazon for a little later.

    Still, disappointed 'Writing Therapy' didn't feature... ;)

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  7. Those sound like interesting books for sure - quite the eclectic group :)

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  8. Very funny reviews, love the moral of the story. Think I may avoid any book that results in a punch in the 'nads, although I may well try the Nicci French one, death is less painful.

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  9. Great to see you back. So glad you took some time to reimerse yourself in books - I love that too. Sometimes I tell myself - no blogging today, no FB today and no emails today. I think we all need to do that from time to time to stay sane. xxx Thanks also for the reviews.

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  10. Welcome back. I was beginning to get worried.

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  11. What great reviews and so wittily written! Loved your writing style too. I'll be back for a read of your next post.

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  12. wow, you have been reading. twitter lit book looks funny. been meaning to read chuck p.
    i understand why you took the break. it's possible to get way to consumed with this blogging business.

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  13. I think a bit of time out from blogging world is needed at times! Beneath the Skin has been lurking in my bookcase for yonks so might just have to give it a go x

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  14. Hmm... I think you're on to something, m'dear. Instead of blog-surfing while sipping wine (or vodka), one can read actual books while sipping wine (or vodka).

    Also, you read Twitterature? HAHAHAAA! It was LOL-funny in parts, but plain stupid in others. The few ROFL gems were worth the price, though. (Free was my price, since I won it in a blog contest.)

    Also, I loved the Fight Club movie. The book was good, but I thought the movie was killa.

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  15. Oh Man, I'd almost given up on you. I kept dropping by, but no one was home! And then I noticed you'd been by my joint and I was soooo relieved!! I was concerned you may have died or something. So pleased you are back .... and so pleased you gave us some great book reviews!
    Yay!!!

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