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Book Review: We Eat Our Own by Kea Wilson

Note: I received a copy of this book from Scribner (via Netgalley) for review purposes, which did not affect the content of my review in any way.

Reasons to stay alive

Reality and fiction shade into one another in We Eat Our Own—but not in the way you expect. Told through rotating viewpoints and interspersed with court testimony, Kea Wilson’s debut novel is the story of a kitschy Italian horror movie being shot in the Amazon rainforest. The story within a story? A news crew bent on tracking down a pair of anthropologists and their daughter, who have not-so-mysteriously vanished while studying a cannibalistic tribe. This kitschy movie has two twists, though: a found footage framing device, and a disappeared trio of lead actors whose on-screen murders might have been a little too realistic. Surrounding all this is a real-life backdrop equally saturated with violence, this time in the form of drug cartels and political instability. Continue reading

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Book Review(ish): Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Reasons to stay alive

This isn’t a book review in the usual sense. It can’t be—the subject matter is just too personal. I’m an emotional reader anyway—the kind who projects herself into books and uses books to understand herself—but I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything where the identification was so immediate. This wasn’t reading a story I could empathize with; this was reading my own story. Continue reading

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Top Ten Tuesdays: Top Ten Film Adaptations

This week’s “freebie” Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, gave me the perfect excuse to do a post I’ve been mulling over for a while—a list of my favorite film adaptations. I couldn’t quite stick to ten, and I’m sure I’ll want to revise this list tomorrow to include something I forgot, but whatever.

Two or three notes before we get started, though. I picked movies that are my favorites, not necessarily the best films ever made, because there are a number of adaptations that succeed aesthetically but take their material from works I just don’t especially like, for one reason or another (Gone With the Wind comes to mind). I’m also drawing the line at “real” adaptations rather than loose, inspired-by ventures, to make things a little more manageable (although it pained me greatly to leave off The Lion King, which is—depending on who’s talking—either a light(er)hearted, kid’s version of Hamlet or out-and-out plagiarism of a Japanese series). And difficult as it was, I’m also limiting myself to theatrical releases rather than TV productions (but seriously, everyone, go watch the 2005 BBC version of Bleak House).

Based on my selections, you’ll also likely notice that despite my occasional snarkiness, I’m basically a squishy idealist at heart, so fair warning. In no particular order: Continue reading

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Penny Dreadful: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Roughly)

Please Note: The following contains spoilers for much of the first season of Penny Dreadful, because I just don’t care.

Every so often, I start to feel vaguely and irrationally guilty about my inability to stay on top of all the TV shows that sound promising. Guilt quickly progresses to something like anxiety, and I feel an absurd but pressing need to play catch-up right away. So I really ought to have known better than to follow a link to an article entitled “The 17 Best New Shows of 2014”—the only thing that could come of that was stress.

I also should probably know better than to take life advice from Buzzfeed. But since I apparently don’t, I have to admit that I was intrigued by their synopsis of Penny Dreadful, which they describe as “an existential thriller that is far more cerebral than it appears from the outside, posing philosophical questions about the nature of life and death, transgression and absolution, power and responsibility.” I guess I was still riding the high of finally discovering why everyone raves about Sarah Waters, because I was all set for Penny Dreadful to be a truly ingenious riff on classic Victorian literature. Continue reading

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Friday Finds

Despite having recently said that I don’t participate in a lot of memes, I’m making (another) exception. Last week there was a slight mishap involving my laptop and my cat, and the cat definitely emerged victorious from the encounter. The upshot of this was that my computer had to be checked over and cleaned at the shop, and since I am horribly negligent when it comes to backing up my files, I temporarily lost access to several posts I had begun drafting and got a little behind. Fortunately, Bookshelf Fantasies has a really handy meme directory that is particularly useful when it comes to finding last-minute inspiration. Continue reading

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters You Wish Would Get Their Own Book

I don’t tend to participate in a lot of literary memes, but as a reader who’s constantly longing for more insight into her favorite characters, I just couldn’t resist this one, brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish. It will probably surprise no one that there’s a feminist slant to many of these (“imagine x novel, but from the woman’s perspective!”), but I have tried to think outside my most familiar box, with the following results (in no particular order): Continue reading

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Lord of the Rings Skirt (and Texas in Autumn)

As promised, a few pictures (in the sun and out) of the Tolkien-themed skirt I recently bought:

20140928_161227 Continue reading

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Taking Stock

In honor of the Tolkien-inspired skirt I recently ordered (pictures soon to follow) I decided to tally up the various and sundry literary objects I’ve accumulated. The results:

20140909_150356 Continue reading

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