Warning: this is a mouth-watering post and a rapid need of a snack while reading may appear.
Have a look at 10 cakes inspired by books. Read BookLikers' reviews, grab a book and plan your next literary cake. We'd love to try out some new recipes :)
Books, Dogs, and Other Blogs: The audiobook was great, and had several different narrators, and it was really quite engaging, even for me. I've seen the movie as well, and the book is a little bit different, but they pretty much follow the same story line... read more
Gone With the Wind
The Armchair Librarian: Oh, Gone with the Wind - how you do go on. Seriously, though, this was one of the most difficult books I've read in about five years. Not just because of the length (1,000 pages!), but also because of the subject matter; the main character is so repulsive that you just want to slap some sense of her... read more
The Realist: Who is the monster? And who is the man? A question that could be answered either way depending on your perspective of things. When I first went into this book, I wasn't expecting much. Considering that I haven't had much experience reading the horror genre, I decided that I couldn't go wrong with a Gothic horror. And I didn't... read more
Kate Says: "Reading Is Fun!": This was a favorite book of mine when I was much younger. I used to beg my grandma to read it to me whenever she came over. There's just something about the wonderful artwork, the hands on quality of the book, and of course the story itself of the cute little caterpillar that eats and eats and eats some more until he feels sick and goes into his cacoon to hide and comes out a beautiful butterfly... read more
The Book-Addled Brain: Whoa, this series has certainly taken a turn down a very dark and twisted path! I absolutely loved it, but I've been considering reading this series aloud with my 6 1/2 year old daughter, and if I thought the incident with the unicorn in the first book would upset her, then there's no way I'm unleashing the soul-sucking dementors on her just yet... read more
Water for Elephants
Mallory Kellogg, Cat Lady and Author (in that order): Boy, was I surprised! It was wonderful! Usually, the popular books everyone loves I tend to hate. But this was so beautiful. The romance, the imagery, the time period. I knew nothing of circus life, but this was as informative as it was whimsical... read more
Kindle Gal: Knowing I eventually wanted to read this series, I tried to stay away from spoilers and kept myself in a bubble about the movie so I could truly experience it "fresh." But, in the end, it was the movie trailer that got my butt in gear to finally pick up the book. (Hello, Theo James!) I also know about "the big bad thing that happens in Book 3," because the internet doesn't ever shut up... read more
kerry: What can I say about this chilling masterpiece? Well, I can add that I'm pretty sure most of my generation is afraid of clowns, because of this book/movie. Although, I do remember going to the circus at a very young age and experiencing an old, drunk clown that scared me a bit, but I also saw the movie rather young (that and Killer Klowns from Outer Space)... read more
Dantastic Book Reviews: In 1958, seven kids took it upon themselves to rid the town of Derry of a child killer that took the form of a killer clown. In 1985, the clown is back and the kids return to Derry to finish what they started... Yeah, I'm a couple decades late to the party on this one. So what? Some friends were doing a group read and I decided it was time to tackle this kitten squisher... read more
pic source via
I have more than a hundred new followers again. Do those nasty spam accounts create new ones every month or something? Bitched about it again (and send emails to support until I get tired of it) and I've said something at http://booklikes.com/thread/477/how-to-report-bad-behavior- if anyone wants to add their voice.
I don't want to spend the time patrolling, evaluating and removing Westhill and other creepy spam accounts. I hate having to open their *@£€^##<! page to see if real person or spam. Granted it has gotten me to memorize the assholes' I will forever boycott ad wordings but that's no help for me to search out those phrases via search engine "phrase site:booklikes.com" because I cannot block unless they follow me to start with.
I'm at the point I want booklikes to allow us to set if we want to be able to refuse/accept requests to be a follower. Why doesn't an account with no books, only following people and with only one post containing Westhill, consulting, real estate, group, etc. raise a red flag automatically to booklikes instead of me having to individually open each ad and then email it to booklikes? Don't even get me started on how annoying it is on a tablet to get the little block symbol to appear so I can click it.
I'm flipping serious that I'm leaving booklikes if there's no book database (I get that that might be a priority) next month and the same damn wording is around for ad accounts lurking to take advantage of increased membership and any new features useful to them.
Not sure if because it creeps me out that much or because it annoys me that much to spend that much time blocking and emailing, Why should I waste my time to be their marketing target?
This is an update to my post about the recent revelation that two notable YouTube personalities (Tom Milsom and Alex Day), had been accused of and admitted to sexually abusing women (one of which was an underage fan).
Since my post went up Hank Green posted this video explaining the sizable steps the Nerdfighter community and Vlogbrother's channel will be making to help the community deal with the situation, and take steps to prevent abuse in the future.
Author Maureen Johnson wrote a post on her tumblr, in an attempt to lend a female voice to the discussion. She shared her personal experience with sexual abuse/assault.
While the Nerdfighter, and Youtube community is still reeling more accusations keep coming in. Tumblr user mellowblueness has posted a round of up of information confirming that a total of NINE people with tangible connections "to nerdfighteria have been called out as sexual abusers."
See list below (Click the name to read the accusations against them):
The NerdfightersNotAlone Tumblr has been created to help survivors and/or a nerdfighters, by providing a support network and various resources.
The Daily Dot posted another article about the scandal, this time focusing on Alex Day and the "dangers of YouTube celebrity culture."
I would like to point out that this situations is not isolated to YouTube, or even Nerdfighteria communities. Sexual abuse and exploitation is very common in any community where certain individuals have more authority/power than others. I've witnessed similar situations through out my more than twenty years in various communities and fandoms. I've seen perpetrators and victim of every gender and sexual orientation.
People with popularity/authority in a any community also have a responsibility to not exploit that power. Part of that responsibility involves educating peers, and holding them accountable for their actions. It looks like the Nerdfighter community is working toward this goal. I hope it will prevent these situations from happening in the future.
Additional note [credit to Rose]: Tumblr user nephiesworld's account of her own disturbing encounter with Alex Day ends with an interesting bit of information.
"John Green’s been warning girls after they have been in videos with Alex about him for the past few years."
If Green had been aware that Alex's behavior was a problem why did he only bother to warn girls, rather than do something about the actual problem?
I want to pause for a moment and talk about sexual abuse and exploitation and gendered perspectives.
As many of you know - but as I must explain every time I post one of these posts because it provides so much insight into how my perspective is informed - I am a sexual abuse prosecutor. For 18 years, I've spent the bulk of my career prosecuting men for sexually abusing and sexually assaulting women. There are all kinds of ways in which this manifests, and it is true that there are women offenders, but they are few and far between.
Most of my colleagues - the people who do the exact same job I do - are men. And I'm saying this not because they are bad at it, or they don't understand, or because I feel I am "better" at it in a way that they can never match. I'm saying this because it is important to the rest of this story.
One of the things that we do, as colleagues, is staff cases to discuss plea offers and sentencing recommendations. I don't want to go too deep into boring prosecutor stuff. However, it is important in any jurisdiction that similarly situated offenders are treated similarly. This is related to a concept of even-handedness in treatment. In order for a system to have credibility, wildly disparate results based upon who the assigned prosecutor is are problematic.This is pretty obvious, right?
So, we staff cases. And I'm going to talk about a specific thing that happened when we were staffing cases. It was a group of about five men - all of whom are very tuned in to things like rape culture, and sexual assault, and the ways that sexual assault occurs - and three women. I was one of the women, along with another couple of female colleagues.
The talk turned to something called "frottage" which is, essentially, what offenders do when they have sexual contact with a victim who doesn't necessarily realize that they are being sexually offended. The best example is when a victim - typically a woman - is standing on crowded public transit, and an offender - typically a man - uses some part of her body for his sexual gratification. Ladies, when a man rubs his junk on your ass on the subway, that's frottage.
And we were talking because frottage is considered by sex offender therapists to be a specific kind of warning sign for offenders who will engage in predatory offending. It's similar to public indecency, but is one step forward because it isn't a hands-off offense. It is a contact offense.
In the conversation, I made a comment that probably every single woman above the age of about twenty-five had at one point or another been subjected to frottage. They looked at me like I was insane. I told him about the more than one time when I was younger that it had happened to me (Seattle and Rome, in my case). They were completely astounded. I turned to the other two women in the room, and they both nodded, and proceeded to explain their experiences.
This is the unbridgeable gap, ladies. Because women don't talk openly about their experiences of being offended because we have been socially programmed to believe that being victims says something about who we are, not who our offenders are. These, again, are men who are tuned in. And they were astonished that all of their female colleagues have been sexually assaulted, at least to a relatively minor degree (when I say minor, I mean legally minor, as this is misdemeanor level offense. I make no assessments of the impact that such contact can have on its victims, which can vary widely depending upon the vulnerability of the person who is the victim).
In my case, I was also sexually assaulted in my junior high school, when a boy shoved me up against the wall of the darkroom (in the pre-digital photography days) and proceeded to grope me from breast to groin, while whispering that he knew I wanted it. I didn't. It was deeply humiliating, and I never told anyone. He knew I wouldn't, and he was right. I still won't post his name, because so much time has passed, and I feel it would be unfair. But yes, I remember it. And I will remember it until I die.
The gap is only unbridgeable as long as women remain silent. When we remain silent on the bus or train or subway because we are humiliated that we are being victimized, the offender wins. And when we remain silent until we are 47 about being sexually assaulted in our teens, rape culture wins.
There are great men out there. Most of them, in fact. But fundamentally, they simply do not understand that sexual abuse and sexual exploitation and sexual assault are a near universal experience for women. We need to tell them, so that they do understand that it is their sisters, their wives, their daughters, who have these experiences. It is impossible to blame the victim, when the victim is almost certainly more than 50% of the population who has been subjected to unwanted sexual contact at one point or another.
Since you seem to find my activity interesting, and the fact that authors--not you in particular, so you should really quit patting yourselves on the back--have driven me to tears to be something worth celebrating/discussing, allow me to clear some things up for you.
First, let's talk about something with which you play fast and loose: the truth. If a reader is telling lies about you, you have a right to be upset (more on how to express it later). Here's the thing though: you don't seem to know what a lie is. When a reader says "this author came on my review and attacked me for not liking her book", and there is a screenshot of your comment attacking the reviewer for not liking your book, then that's not a lie. You don't get to say it is. When you do, the only one lying is you. Similarly, when an author claims that a review is a personal attack, and the only thing the review does is list a bunch of reasons why the book was bad, that author is also lying.
I know you don't get this. You clearly don't get this, because almost everything you post is a lie. Did nobody ever tell you that lying was wrong? Did nobody ever tell you that the truth always comes out, and then things are worse than they would have been if you'd just told the truth in the beginning? Or are you seriously this confused as to what is actually happening around you?
The truth is not something you get to rewrite the way you mold the world in your novels.
Second, being an author is your job. Criticism is part of the job description. Dealing with it professionally and responsibly is part of the job requirements. If you can't deal with the requirements of your job, then you should not be in the business. If you choose to continue to stay in the business, then yes, you need to grow a thicker skin. You need to get over that bad review. You need to suck it up when people don't like your work. And if you still feel upset, then you need to deal with it outside the public eye.
Writing reviews and talking about books, on the other hand, is my hobby. There is no part of the description of my hobby that says I will have authors telling lies about me (or other readers) if I don't like their book. It's not a hobby requirement. There's no such thing as a hobby requirement! If, then, I've had enough of author tantrums, and author lies, and author attacks; if I have, in fact, decided to stop writing reviews and fighting a fight that no reader should ever have been forced to fight in the first place, nobody has a right to tell me to suck it up. Because this is a hobby. It's something I do for fun, not for pay or fame. If it's not fun anymore, then a sane person should stop doing it.
The fact that you don't seem to understand the difference between a job and a hobby is just another reason you can't make a living writing books. You not only have trouble with the truth, you have a disconnect from reality, and you don't understand simple things like what words mean.
Bottom line: a reader in tears because of author harassment should never be a mark of triumph for anyone who wants to be an author. It's a mark of shame.
And it's really telling that you lot are wearing it with such pride.
I'm thinking about this because I've gotten a bit of amusement today that goodreads attributed their quote of the day to the wrong author, only off by a couple of millennia and then over on facebook author Barb Hendee asked her followers if they had a favorite quote. I actually like a lot of quotes—a ton by Robert A. Heinlein, Einstein, Ghandi, Jim C. Hines and others depending on the situation or mood at hand. Probably my all time go to's are:
from John Lautner (Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice):
"You’re wasting your time if you don’t know how to hold up the roof!"
From Science Fiction author Robert Heinlein
"I have spent too much of my life opening doors for cats—I once calculated that, since the dawn of civilization, nine hundred and seventy-eight man-centuries have been used up that way. I could show you figures."
from George Takei's page a quote from Albert Einstein:
"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid."
from author Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire) in Feed:
“I’m also fascinated by the difference between terror and fear. Fear says, “Do not actually put your hand in the alligator,” while terror says, “Avoid Florida entirely because alligators exist.”
From David Ritchie's eulogy:
"... why it's essential to keep those people who know a thing can't be done from bothering the people who are doing it."
Dear Easter Bunny, please put one of these in my Easter basket. For your shopping convenience, here is the link to The National Museum of the Royal Navy website where it is sold: Chocolate Grenade
See details at http://www.jimchines.com/2013/01/group-cover-pose-reveal/ and echoed on the participating author blogs.
(Let Petra X know, not me, Sandi. ;-)).
I did Xanga for years. There was a big circle of us who blogged regularly and got to know each other. I had some really interesting friends there. One, a very well-off young woman traveller from Brunei Darussalam, another a dog trainer at the highest level in Australia and an American from North Carolina, ex-drug dealer, ex-Christian fundamentalist, ex-Messianic Jew turned charity fundraiser and photographer. They wrote fascinating blogs about their lives. Then there was Facebook.
And the minutae of people's lives, "the woman in the next cubicle is always....", "I made chocolate chip cookies from a new recipe," and 'X is in Starbucks', made considerably less fascinating reading. It just bored me, I couldn't do it. But I found Goodreads!
I couldn't blog on Goodreads for true, but it was all about books and friends again. Until Otis got more about money than members. Over the years I tried various blogging sites as well, but I could never find community. Then there was Booklikes, books and blogging, and best of all, community. That's why I love it here.
If there are any Xanga people here I'd love to hear from you.
"One minute I was a visitor just like any other, and the next minute I was welcomed in to this huge, historic community of writers and expatriates," said Molly Dektar, a Brooklyn College MFA student who lived at Shakespeare and Company in Paris as one of the store's legendary "Tumbleweeds" in January and June 2013.
Young writers are invited to stay at the legendary bookshop "without any form of payment, as long as they work in the bookstore for a couple of hours every day and commit to reading and writing every single day," Buzzfeed noted. They are also asked to write a one-page autobiography, including a photo.
"I spent many happy hours reading these pieces, some overblown or silly, some heartbreakingly poignant," Dektar said. "There are maybe ten thousand.... Because it's such a rare and lucky experience, the shop brings out everyone's best side--people are creative and selfless and fascinating. But more than that, there's this feeling that things are better when they are shared.... I think every Tumbleweed ends up with a more optimistic sense of human nature."
(E. here. I originally posted this on my main blog, but wanted to share here as well because it mentions one of my favorite Booklikers.)
I know I’ve neglected this blog. My apologies. This platform has been many things, but the constant theme has been my honest view of the world. I decided a while ago that I would only post here if I had something important to say. That time has come.
Recently, a member of Booklikes who goes by the handle Amaranth commented, positively, on a relationship between two male characters that pops up in episode three of my ongoing serial, Cruelty. Amaranth went on to say that she wasn’t expecting the scene, but, being a fan of M/M fiction, she enjoyed it. That got me thinking. And what is Ruminating On if not my thought processes spilled out on the internet.
Here’s what I have to say on the matter:
To combat ignorance and stereotypes, creative media, such as film, literature, music and video games, must make homosexual relationships commonplace. The worst thing a creative person can do is treat homosexuality as taboo. By doing that, they are perpetuating the myth that a sexual preference for one’s same sex is something alien and strange, and risk ostracizing gay fans, or worse, cause them to feel alone and different, as if there’s something wrong with them. Creators of entertainment media should not only showcase and highlight these relationships, but sprinkle them in here and there, like they would “traditional” relationships that are based on mutual affection, as if there’s nothing wrong with two men loving one another or two women wanting to share vows, because there isn’t anything wrong with a person needing/wanting/loving another human being, no matter the gender.
LGBT characters should not be treated like carnival attractions. Same with members of the homosexual community in our everyday lives. Whatever hang ups you have with gay people is your problem, not theirs. Although, I would like you to try and imagine how odd your “normal” sexuality is to them. Think about what you would do if someone treated your child, gay or not, as different. Stop and ruminate on what you are doing, what kind of mindset you’re promoting with the entertainment you provide. We need more gay leads and supporting characters, yes we do, but, moreover, we need to make this something that doesn’t stand out. Because humans are creatures of habit that only pay attention to the out-of-place, the unexpected, while things they see day in and day out merge with their view of the world and become mundane. That’s right: The topic of homosexuality needs to be boring. As with race, these invisible lines need to disappear. We’re all screwed up and weird and broken in our own ways. We also all share the capability to love one another.
Less than a century ago, my marriage would have been illegal (I’m white, my wife’s black), and I’ll be damned if I won’t do everything in my power with the tools provided to me to promote equality in every possible way. Will you join me?
Take care of each other.