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An ode to the books I Did Not Finish

WARNING:  This post is NSFW (Not Safe For Work)

In the past eight years, I've reviewed plenty of amazing books, less-than-amazing books, really-kind-of-terrible books, and just-plain-meh books.  The reading experience has been a mixed bag of awesomeness and problems, but there was always something in each book that kept me going, whether it was the likable-enough characters, the plot that hooked me, or the world-building that made me want to stay in that setting just a little while longer.

But an inevitable part of any reader's life is the DNF pile -- the books they simply Did Not Finish.  The books that were so ridiculous, or so problematic, or so put-down-able, that you simply can't stubborn your way through them.  Normally, I don't give those books a second thought after I've returned them to the library or sold them back to Half Price, but you know what?  It's time to give a shout out to my DNF pile -- at least the most recent/memorable ones from the adult …
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David Bowie Made Me Gay: 100 Years of LGBT Music

Of course this title caught my eye when I saw it on the library's New Books shelf.



It's not only a tribute to the late Ziggy Stardust, but a history of LGBT music throughout the 20th and early 21st centuries, from jazz and blues to disco to country to punk rock to hip hop.  It's mostly U.S. and U.K. artists, but sprinkled throughout are stories of singers and bands from other parts of the world.  It's a blend of music industry history and social and political history, and author Darryl W. Bullock often sprinkles in his own opinions of the artists and movements he discusses.

My only criticism is that it's also sprinkled with proofreading errors, but the fascinating stories and information kept my attention anyway.

Some interesting facts I hadn't known before:


Brigham Morris Young, the son of the Mormon leader Brigham Young, was a well-known "female impersonator," performing as "Madam Pattirini" in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.Berli…

What fairy tales teach us about sex

WARNING:  This post is NSFW (Not Safe For Work) Another post resurrected from Insatiable Booksluts, this one a collaboration between Tess Burton of Tesscatiful and myself, a snark-tastic look at the lessons our favorite tales have taught us about sex.  Once upon a hubba hubba! .  .  .  .  . Originally posted at Insatiable Booksluts on April 26, 2014 How are y’all enjoying Sex Month, fellow Booksluts?  Can I get a “Hubba-hubba!”?  Tess and I (Nerija) decided to team up for today’s post, since we’re both into fairy tales.  So without further ado…

~*~*~TESS~*~*~ Long before Disney lovingly bastardized a handful of classic fairy stories, turning them into the PG versions we refer to today, fairy tales were quite literally another story. Dark, weird and intended for adults, these stories were supposed to warn adults of the ‘dangers of life’. Interestingly, people were expected to listen to the stories and decide for themselves what the lesson was. There was no wrong answer, the life lesson yo…

Sexy poetry: Rapunzel, by Anne Sexton

WARNING:  This post is NSFW (Not Safe For Work) Back in 2013-2014, I was a contributor to the Insatiable Booksluts blog, which specialized in small-press literature reviews, Reading Rages™, and other fun and snark-tastic book-related business (I never did master Susie’s particularly awesome brand of snark myself).  It’s one of the most fun projects I’ve taken part in, and I’m really going to miss working with Susie, sj, and the rest of the IB team. Unfortunately, the site has since been retired, but I’ve decided, with Susie’s permission, to resurrect some of my posts here and at Postcards. .  .  .  .  .

Originally posted at Insatiable Booksluts on April 9, 2014 One of the first Anne Sexton poems I ever read was “Cinderella,” her adaptation of the Grimms’ tale, during my freshman year of college.  I didn’t know at the time that she’d written sixteen other fairy tale verse adaptations.  But a few weeks ago, while looking for a way to fuse Sex Month, Poetry Month, and fairy tales, I found …

Old video games

Originally posted at LiveJournal on Dec 29, 2011

I'm watching a Modern Marvels episode on 70's technology, and the segment on video games reminds me of my very first TV video game:  SOCRATES!




My older cousin handed it down to my brother and me when I was nine or ten, and it was the coolest. thing. ever. Check out this amazing boot-up sequence! I remember playing a dress-up-doll-type game where you created an outfit for a little girl and then chose an environment for her to stand in (or was it the other way around?) - downtown, out in the country, in a TV studio... Oh! Oh!  And my first hand-held video game - the Tiger LCD Little Mermaid game I begged my mom to buy from Toys 'R Us.  I used to bring it to school to play at recess.  It looked something like this:


image from Etsy
 Except it was purple, and the game had to do with finding those mer-babies from that one TV episode.  And sometimes the bad-guy would trap Ariel in a bubble, and she'd have to call for Sebas…

New favorite song

Originally posted at LiveJournal on Nov 11, 2013

I have a new favorite song.

I found these guys while looking for good versions of the Last Unicorn theme, since apparently the version from the movie isn't available for Amazon download.  Nor is the complete soundtrack -- unless you want it in German.  For $44.99 used.  Or $176.27 new.

This is a very pretty case, though.
Well, I remembered I used to love listening to the Kenny Loggins version in the car, from my mom's Return to Pooh Corner cassette, so I figured that was good enough.  It really is a lovely version, with just the right mood -- deep and melancholy, but also hopeful, and those few bursts of joy.  And I like the way his tone rises in "when the future is past," instead of following the usual pattern.  It's a small thing, but for some reason it makes a difference.

Anyway, I also saw that there was a "Gregorian" version, and of course I was curious about how that would sound, thinking it was an actu…

Oscars and Azar Nafisi

Originally posted at LiveJournal on Mar 2, 2011

Yes, I realize one wouldn't usually expect to see those two topics lumped into one post -- one is a fun, sparkly, creatively orchestrated, but ultimately frivolous tradition, while the other is a fantastic author who's described the hazards of being a dedicated, open-minded female professor in Iran.

But here I go. 
First, hooray to Colin Firth and The King's Speech for getting Best Actor and Best Picture.  And hooray to Toy Story 3 for their Best Picture nomination!  It would've been awesome if an animated movie won that category, and TS3 is one of my favorite Pixar movies ever...but seriously, The King's Speech deserved it more.  I can't comment on how it compares with any of the other nominees, because I haven't seen any of them.  I've heard True Grit is amazing, and would've made a great Best Picture.

Second, Anne Hathaway is one of my favorite Oscars hosts so far (I still bow down to Billy Crystal, not…