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AltLivia

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  1. Finished Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell and it was the worst book I've read this year. It's fiction. Two kidnapped girls are returned unharmed. As an adult, one writes a book about it under a pseudonym. The other is an actress who goes on, bizarrely, to star in the book's film adaptation. It's just empty, badly written and predictable. Half of the thing is the character's "novel" and her struggle to produce a sequel while dealing with a laughably villainous student obsessed with the case.
  2. AltLivia

    What Are We Currently Reading?

    Just finished Lisa Jewell's The Girls In The Garden. The writing was decent, but "sheltered kids can be evil too!" is such a tired premise. Currently reading: Stepford Wives by Ira Levin. Peeked at the film years back, but have no memory of it. Loved Rosemary's Baby.
  3. AltLivia

    What Are We Currently Reading?

    Finished Silence of the Lambs (Thomas Harris) and loved it. I've never seen the film. Started the third in the series, Hannibal and don't know how to feel about it. Thoughts, guys? How does Red Dragon rate, in your opinion? Also on tap is Night Film by Marisha Pessl. I've had it for a year, will pick it up and read obsessively, then put it down when I get distracted and forget it completely. I hear mixed reviews on it.
  4. AltLivia

    What Are We Currently Reading?

    Just finished : The Circle by Dave Eggers. Liked some of it, but then the book nosedived into preachy (and worse, predictable) garbage. Technology is evil, it makes people self-congratulatory while not actually making real change or communicating. Meh. The characters were so flat that when they became intolerable, I didn't feel a thing. But the fact that I forced my way through it just for...that, makes me angry. I always have three books going at the same time, so here goes. Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris, The Astronaut Wives Club - Lily Koppel and because my book club is again obsessed with YA, If I Was Your Girl -Meredith Russo. If I Was Your Girl is a cool choice, given its discussion of transgender identity, but it's incredibly eye-roll inducing otherwise. Of course, everyone at school instantly believes that the protagonist is hot. Of course, her boyfriend turns out to be a candidate for sainthood, supporting his impoverished family. Of course, she is immediately absorbed by the popular crowd, who are (surprise!) majorly religious
  5. I started listening to a podcast called Up and Vanished, which is two seasons of 6 episodes. The first season has to do with the disappearance of beauty queen Tara Grinstead. If you've seen Disappeared on the I.D. Network, you're probably familiar with the case. History teacher (and former beauty queen) missing, glove found in yard. It's not bad. The guy hosting the podcast is able to do an amount of investigating that feels startlingly unprofessional for a civilian to be doing (like testing soil for blood). I finished one, called The Aftermath about a college student murdered in 1979, and found in her apartment. It's produced by a local paper, I believe, in Ohio where the murder took place. The hostess deals a lot with local officials, and an independent group of former investigators called VDOC, I believe. They're famous, and they get pretty mansplain-y with her, in my opinion. But all in all, the podcast is worth a listen. In the minority, but I love My Favorite Murder. They never fail to entertain me, and I don't mind the quality of the research. They're just armchair murder fans like the rest of us. I feel like I'm among (hilarious) friends, listening to them. I did some free research for a couple sweet ladies on The Insight Podcast. Ali's from Australia and Charlie's in the States, so you get a good mix of international crimes/missing persons. They're always thoughtful, respectful, researched and they put forth solid theories. I still listen to Thinking Sideways but they tend to cover weird anomalies now , which I don't really care for. And the older host, (whose name I forget) tends to talk over the two younger hosts, for absolutely no reason.
  6. AltLivia

    What Are We Currently Reading?

    For book club, I'm tasked to read Mr. Owlita's Guide To Gardening (it has a ridiculously long description tacked on). It's a memoir. In brief, this empty-nester has survived cancer. She is burdened with caring for her elderly parents. Her yard fell into disrepair. She meets a Kenyan immigrant who helps her...garden and learn about life? Y'all, this book is uncomfortable. From the woman's repeated assurances that she's not racist*, her shock that immigrants can hold more than one job, defending the title character from what she perceives as racism, her fascination with his customs and "quaint" speech. Help me through this, if you've read it. *She's racist.
  7. AltLivia

    What Are We Currently Reading?

    Just finished Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil by John Berendt. My girlfriend chose it for me (it's a favorite of hers). Additionally, I remember my mom reading it, when I was a kid. Tiny me asked about it then, because the cover was pretty. My mother assured me that I was much too young, at 10, to read it. Oh my god, was it ever fantastic! Some truly great accounts and descriptions of the folks involved. My girl also recommended that I try Girl With The Dragon Tattoo again, so that's where we are, currently. I'm 206 pages in and while I enjoy Lisbeth as a character, I'm not wrapped up in the Harriet mystery. I feel like there are too many characters involved. I know that's deliberate, but I'm just like, "Which one are you, again?" The writing is rich, but I feel like something big ought to have happened by now. Girlfriend assured me that the rest of the books in series are better paced. Posters who dug it, should I continue?
  8. AltLivia

    Post-Election Fears & Anxieties

    As a disabled woman living in a rural area, I'm afraid. As a member of the LGBTQ community, I'm afraid. As a woman, I am afraid. People think that it's only folks like the elderly who need to fear losing the benefits Trump and Ryan threaten to slash - but it's not. People don't acknowledge the disabled as a minority, but we are. I live with the fact that Trump made fun of that reporter, and that people elected him despite it. That man had cerebral palsy, So do I. People condone that/ ignore it. As far as Mike Pence, I recently read a quote from Trump's right hand man that read: "I'm a Christian first, and a conservative, and a Republican. In that order." As an agnostic, this gives me the serious frights, especially in terms of a woman's reproductive rights. To say nothing of gay conversion therapy. My friends are posting on social media, touting : "We all need to get behind him, we're all in this together." But how are we all in this together if Trump only prioritizes himself and the Republican agenda? My only relief is that his ego is intensely, laughably and pathetically fragile. His denial of protest has all the pouting spirit of aplayground brat.
  9. AltLivia

    What Are We Currently Reading?

    For book club, reading Library of Souls in the Miss Peregrine's series. I've paged through earlier books in the series long before this was assigned to me. Possibly an unpopular opinion, but I don't much care for this novel. The writing is rich and visual, but for long stretches nothing actually happens. Some twists are really convenient. Jacob always seems to say "if I had the luxury of thinking about (insert concept here)" after he's meditated at length about the very concept. Aside those moments, at least in this novel, the characters have little depth to me. I just don't personally relate to YA in general and am trying to get my thoughts together so that I don't bum folks out.
  10. AltLivia

    General True Crime Shows

    I have Vanishing Women on my DVR and I've watched it, but my attention wandered.Two other women went missing/were killed before Tiffany Sayre, yet she was the one who ignited interest? Her family deserves to know her whereabouts and she deserves safety/justice, whatever the case may be. But I had to side eye the family when they said "oh, she was such a good mother" and "we were so worried for her children (when she went missing)." So not when she was using hard drugs and engaging in prostitution? "She met a man and we assumed she'd beat (the drugs) and clean herself up." So they didn't make an effort to bring it up to her? Her kids weren't a suitable incentive? I know you have to sober up for yourself and no one else, but Mr. Right would not place above my real responsibilities. I was also scoffing at the girl who was out with her that night. "(The men) know me now, and I'm scared." Well, you're on T.V. talking about it, so I don't know how scared you are, really. I'm interested in the Adnan Sayid profile on the 14th. I'm a fan of Serial so I probably won't learn anything new, but you never know.
  11. AltLivia

    General True Crime Shows

    I'm really liking Judgment Day: Prison or Parole. Surprising myself with how many of those profiled that I don't think deserve to be paroled. There was one profiled last night who conspired to rob an 85 year old woman and, when questioned, didn't remember his victim's name. Nor did he really take responsibility for his crimes. They paroled him, but he committed too many disciplinary infractions and got thrown back in. They paroled an older man who killed a woman in a really grisly way. He'd never apologized to his victim's family. Another guy paroled was arrested for domestic violence. Not only did he strike his girlfriend, but he struck his seven-month-old in the head several times.
  12. AltLivia

    What Are We Currently Reading?

    Recently finished The Magician's Land by Lev Grossman. While I loved the series and found it wholly satisfying, in the end, I loathed . The rant went on for a couple of chapters, scarcely interrupted. Never dreamed that I would come away liking Janet the most, of the cast. Her time in the desert, the cruel reaction to that, her ultimate triumph and overall savvy - had me crying on public transit. The Plum character, however, was really convenient, in terms of the endless Chatwin arc. I found her a complete snooze/ Cousin Oliver/Great-grandaughter Oliver. I understood and made my peace with the fact that she also showed the reader Quentin, from another character's perspective. But she bored me. I thought The Magician King was the series' strongest installment.
  13. AltLivia

    What Are We Currently Reading?

    Finished The Magicians, the first in the series. Lots of unexpected twists - if the show tackles most of the action, half the budget will be makeup and effects! It should be gory and intense. On the negative side, Now we have....Julia. I don't know if the Syfy installment's "magic as a drug" take mirrors the novel. But Julia is stilted in the worst way and Quentin's romanticizing of her "mysterious past" is obnoxious. I truly don't care for Julia, thus far, but I'm trying to be open as I read The Magician King.
  14. AltLivia

    What Are We Currently Reading?

    Finished Where'd You Go, Bernadette? Grew to hate it. Bee's father, secretary and neighbor richly deserved their upset. But by the end of it, I wish they'd all just decided they were better off without Bernadette. Currently reading, and loving, The Magicians by Lev Grossman. I know folks have strong opinions on this one, but I can't put it down. Though where I am in my read, Also reading non-fiction My Brain On Fire : My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan, which is fascinating and terrifying.
  15. AltLivia

    What Are We Currently Reading?

    Finished Wild. I cried. I truly enjoyed it. Now reading Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple. Enjoying it some, laughing a lot, but there are large sections about architecture (nothing that includes Bernadette herself or her own projects). Those sort of have me kind of zoning out.
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