Monthly Archives: June 2015

Lucky I’ve read enough

So far in 2015 I have read a total number of 28 books. Thank god this week’s Top Ten Tuesday By the Broke and the Bookish: Top Ten books I’ve read so far in 2015, was this year and not any other year before when I would have only read 10 books so far. Seriously how do serious readers get anything done?

So here is the top ten books I’ve read this year that you should all get on board with if you haven’t already.

  1. Daughter of Smoke and Bonedaughter of smoke and bone

If ever there was a book as well deserving on the number one spot it is this. Northern Lights meets

This book catapulted up my list of favourite books of all time within the first few chapters. Excellently written, intrigue for day, and characters of absolute greatness. Please oh please never be made into a movie. However I lved the whole series – which is three books. Therefore 1-3 of this list is taken up by Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight, and Dreams of Gods and Monsters. Hey it’s not like I have a big list to play with here.

  1. Night CircusNight Circus

It’s like someone captured Tim Burton and put him in literature. The imagery and mystery in the book was so beautifully uncanny that I had to revaluate my life. I didn’t know who I was until I read this book. Now I still don’t but I have a weird obsession with monochrome.

  1. The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets

The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets came highly recommended on WordPress. So I was meaning to get around to it for a while. It’s really rare to come across a period piece set in the 50’s (weird year), but holy shit am I glad they did. Drama and class come to a head.

  1. Wintergirlswintergirls

You only have to read this book to understand the meaning of an unreliable narrator. Laurie Halse Anderson wrote from the perspective of a girl with anorexia, and did an impressive job of insight. Give the lady an award. And a burger.

  1. Fangirl

Fangirl was a delicious insight into the mind of a girl who most readers can relate to. A girl who wouldfangirl (2) rather live inside a good book. It was spectacularly told, and I was excited for her imaginary success the whole time. I almost wish the story was real just so I could follow her blog purely out of readerly support.

  1. Masquerade

Masquerade caught me a bit by surprise. I read most of it with a ‘feel-good’ mood that cute little stories often provide. Then Bam. Shock ending that confuses everyone and leaves all the strings loose. Just rude. But still a great story.

  1. The Bone seasonthe bone season

The Bone Season was a particularly epic science fiction that I didn’t think I was going to get into. I don’t know why but I always feel that way about books that are given to me for free. I really ought to know better.  I read the Bone season, and the sequel ‘The Mime Order’ in quick succession and I probably won’t get to read the next one until I’m old enough to have forgotten what the first two were about. First world problems.

  1. The Ruby Circle

It was a sign from the heavens when Ruby circle came out on my birthday. To misquote Phil Dunphy, It’s like God and [Richelle Mead] got together to say, “we love you [Amy]”.  I mean  it all ended a little too rosily, but at least no one died. You hear that Rowling?! She would have kept Fred!

Now I’m going to have a stalk through all of your TTT’s to get the list of books I’ll read for the next half of the year. Any suggestions?

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6 Rebuttals of Insanity, OR, Why I am Not Going Crazy

When you work in an office, there are some things that people will say on a daily basis that sounds a little crazy.

How was your weekend?  I went to the – oh you’re not listening are you? Alright just tell me about yours.

Is that a new jacket? I wore this yesterday.

Ooooh pasta again? A moment on the lips forever on the hips.  Shut up Karen, go ‘enjoy’ your salad.

Then there’s what I call: The 3:30 snide remark. For me that remark is “Are you talking to yourself again?” <Insert some cliché about going crazy>. And maybe I am. Every time I walk into the office I feel like its groundhog day. That’s the one where he gets caught in a time loop right? Repeating the exact same day over and over. And no one else but you seems to be aware of it. My response is usually: “Ha ha ha, I am!”  (muttering quietly) “I’ll kill you one day.” I don’t know why most people insist on getting their medical knowledge of psychopathic’s from 1950’s stereotypes.  So maybe I do odd things at 3:30pm. Maybe there’s a reason. Maybe…there are 6 reasons.

1.Talking to yourself is the first sign you’re going crazy

Rebuttal: Talking to yourself is the first sign that you need an expert opinion but are surrounded by idiots people whom are not experts.

  1. Hearing Things

Rebuttal: Different from hearing voices because sometimes you hear people calling your name, or the phone ringing, or someone saying: “is that a new jacket”. Guess what it’s called an echo. A mental echo.

Side note: a mental echo is something I definitely made up, I have no actual knowledge of psychology.

  1. Staring into middle space

You know how in movies people pick up photographs of their family and descend into flashbacks? That doesn’t happen in real life. In real life if we want to think deeply about something, we don’t have to stare at anything and we can think. And do you know how hard it is to stare at nothing? It’s literally the space in between you and the thing that is away from you. It actually a talent so maybe you should be encouraging it.

  1. Deja Vu

You know what. I’m not telling you I’m experiencing Déjà vu because I am experiencing Déjà vu. I’m experiencing the same story or bullshit assignment that I received yesterday or last week, or sometime between the time we met and now. I am being passive aggressive. I’m holding back from aggressive aggressive.

  1. You can’t remember where you left things

I’m sorry, is it tied to my wrist!? Then chances are I can’t be 100% sure where it is. But I have a mental list of the top three places it will be. How about you go find your own stapler. Or the one you probably stole from my top drawer, or the shelf near the kettle, or the filing cabinet where I just was.

  1. Temporarily forgetting your name

*ring ring*

*pick up*

“Welcome to Worky-work-work, this is… Um. This is. Just give me a sec.” It happens to the best of us. And by the best of us – I mean me. God help me when 3:30pm comes around, I space. I don’t know where I am. I don’t know who I am. You should consider yourself lucky that I remembered what the ringing sound meant. I’m as good as a trained monkey at this point. Why don’t you just call back tomorrow at 10am when I’m coffee-refreshed, or maybe at 5:30pm when I’ll watch the phone ring for a bit, before leaving the office skipping gaily.

Also, while doing some research, my room mate, Angostura (code name obvs) pointed out this article to me. Good for a read.

Simply the Best Top Ten Tuesdays

While I most definitely have not been an active member of TTT or even WordPress for 5 years I have had a go, or rather, more than 10 goes at the phenomenon that is Top Ten Tuesday by the Broke and the Bookish.  While I’m not really a weekly contributor, if something catches my eye, and also coincides with me feeling like writing that day I will do up a post for it.

So I’ve written this week’s Top Ten Tuesday in excerpts from my favourite TTT’s. And only the excerpts with a high level of sass. Also these dates are in an Australian format. Only psychopaths go month-date-year…Jeez.

  1. Top Ten Literary Confessions (07.07.14)

Titled: My Literary Secrets. Or. Amy and the truth bomb that went off and hurt all the feelings

Excerpt: “Man do I dislike the beach. Sand gets in between the pages of my book, it’s like getting sand in my soul. Fuck off sand.”

  1. Top Ten Underrated Authors (09.09.14)

Titled: Keep it in your pants readers

Excerpt: “Patterson just slots new names into an old template and publishes these bad boys annually. Also… Alex Cross? Why don’t you just name him Jesus Christ and be done with it.”

  1. Top Ten Dislikes for Romance in Literature (10.02.15)

Titled: Romance is for saps. And other things I dislike about lit love.

Excerpt: “‘Creamy brown hair’? Now I feel like his hair is made of cream. I’m not attracted to this sensual-cream man. Is this a Cadbury ad?”

  1. Top Ten Characters I would want at my lunch table (02.09.14)

Titled: You can’t sit with us!

Excerpt: “Because I honestly feel like she would get along with everyone at the table. And you know what we don’t want at lunch time? ANARCHY!”

  1. Top Ten Books you recommend to first time readers (05.08.14)

Titled: I’ll make a reader of you yet

Excerpt: “But the only opinion I managed to get out of him was: “Ellie’s a bit of a slut.” Thanks Dad.”

  1. Top Ten Characters you would bring with you on a dessert island (22.07.14)

Titled: God forbid I get stuck on an island with book characters

Excerpt: “Does this man not ooze necessity? Still not convinced? How about you stare at this gif for the next hour until you are.

  1. Top Ten staple books from <insert genre here> that I haven’t read (02.07.15)

Titled: I’ll get to it when I get to it

Excerpt: “Besides the books look quite cute sitting next to each other on the bookshelf and if that isn’t a good enough reason, nothing is.”

  1. Top Ten Places books have made you want to visit (15.10.14)

Titled: Top Ten T-Oh fuck it’s Wednesday

Excerpt: “Nothing ruins a Tuesday feature post quite like realising it was yesterday.”

  1. Top Ten Character Driven Novels (07.10.14)

Titled: Characters behind the wheel

Excerpt: “Which sounds exactly like my sigh of annoyance when Bran’s chapter comes along. Seriously (SPOILER) is he learning to become a tree? You can imagine how great this isn’t.”

  1. Top Ten Books you aren’t sure you want to read (12.08.14)

Titled: I dunno you guys…

Excerpt: “Honestly no other author has sounded so much like a super-villain in the history of the world.”

How to quit your job

In this life, we may occasionally find ourselves in a position that is wanting. Certain qualities that we believe, or have been led to believe are necessary to ultimate happiness and success. Maybe it is money or power. Maybe its fear-based respect, competency-based respect, benefits, location, proximity to adequate coffee, whatever. In the instance we discover a lacking of something we perceive as important for a ‘good job’ we almost simultaneously feel the need to move on. A change in the wind, if you will.

However you come about the desire to quit, however you come about the means to financially support yourself post-resigning, there is a moment of quiet reflection on how you should really go about it.

The following three modes of resignation are outlined below.

The: ‘I may need this reference/position again in a month’ quit

Otherwise known as, the respectful resign. This quit is only really ever done if you are remaining in the same industry, or you have a few reservations about moving into the new job.

How to do it.

  1. Apologise profusely.
  2. Make it clear you are only doing it because you are offered something greater than what you are currently receiving. Hard facts are your only option here. More benefits, better pay, closer to home, etc.
  3. Buy your own ‘going away’ cake and make sure its chocolate so that everyone likes it, and remembers you fondly.

Note: you will still be forgotten in a month.

The ‘Fuck this shit. I’m out’ quit

Otherwise known as, the breaking point. Maybe this has been a long time coming. Maybe it’s out of the blue. But some idiot has taken it too far and you need to get out, get anywhere, get all the way to the NYC.  Immediately.

How to do it:

  1. Walk into upper management office with current work pile. If your work is computer based – print off a few emails and spreadsheets for effect. This will substitute as a symbolic ‘work pile’.
  2. Set fire to paperwork and throw on desk, into the air, or hand to a passer-by.
  3. Walk out backwards giving him/her/them the finger. You will get a better effect if you can do this with both hands.

Note: falling or stumbling will ruin the entire show so if you are inherently clumsy, a strongly worded email will suffice.

The ‘I don’t like confrontation’ quit

You don’t want to work there anymore and you don’t want to talk about it. But they have your contact details so when you don’t show up to work on Monday they could call or get the police to stop by your house to make sure you haven’t had your face eaten off by the neighbour cats.

How to do it:

  1. Best done over the phone, email, or by telling your buddy at the office to pass along a pink or lime green post-it note to the boss when he/she is on lunch break or has gone home for the day.
  2. Create a ridiculous reason for leaving: you want to join the circus, you must eat-love-pray in India (or wherever), or you have been informed by your doctor that you are allergic to answering phones. This way your boss will think he/she is well rid of you because you’re clearly crazy.

Note: Make sure you don’t have anything you want to keep at your desk because craziness cannot be premeditated.

‘Fangirl’ by Rainbow Rowell

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I’m glad I didn’t give up on Rainbow Rowell. But I still think it’s a stupid name. Some of you may remember my absolute horror at reading ‘Landline’ earlier this year. This was Rowell’s first attempt (and I use that word with heavy sarcasm) at writing adult fiction. It won Goodreads book of 2014. I read only good reviews. I read it. Hated it. Boring, adulty, nonsense. GOD ADULTS ARE BORING. And I am one myself. Mostly.

Then I read ‘Fangirl’, and the Rainbow Rowell fanclub made a lot more sense. Rowell has captured the epic reader’s life in 460 pages. In my version of the book anyway. In a nutshell: life is just something that happens around books. Sometimes it can appear to be dull and grey and frankly messy. But life in your perfect little book is just that. Perfect. I have never related to a character so perfectly as I did with Cather and Wren. The utter obsession with a book, the desire to live in it’s pages, the disdain for people who like the Great Outside.

Our protagonist Cather, is an antisocial fanfic writer. She’s a nobody in the real world, but online? Bitch is famous. I can’t imagine the pressure of having thousands of people read your posts every day. When I make a spelling mistake, chances are no one mean enough to point out my spelling mistake is going to tell me before I get the chance to fix it myself. And even I sweat it out seeing the little “beep beep boop” that says your post is live. Still isn’t enough to make me read over what I’ve written before I post it though. Such effort am I right?

I stopped reading for about a month and sunk into the depressive state of: real job – five days a week, eat, sleep, bang head against a wall, repeat. It happens often. It happens when I stop reading. Then, on an accidental burst of internet through my crappy phone, I discovered I was two whole weeks behind schedule of my 50 books a year goal. And I had read in advance just in case! Enter the panicked Amy reading five books in two weeks. I read and I read and I didn’t blog because INTERNET, also because CBF M8.

I wandered aimlessly around Dymocks trying to catch a title that would pique my interest. It’s sort of hard when you have no internet and no subsequent internet friends to rely on for reviews. Current-boyfriend-Peychaud was no help with advice – handing me ‘One Direction’ colouring books and Japanese phrase books. Then I thought: I’m just going to have to read Fangirl and be fucking done with it aren’t I. If it doesn’t work out, at least I have Japanese for Dummies to fall back on.

Thank god. Because Fangirl did what the other books (even some seriously great ones) couldn’t. It spurred me to write again. Mostly out of the necessity to reassure Rainbow that she wasn’t a total waste of space. I know it’s been keeping her up at night.

Despite your stupid name…Rainbow, I think you’re alright. Now go and get some rest. Four months of thinking some nameless internet-hoe (that’s me) doesn’t like you, has got to be exhausting. And I’ll post this as soon as I get even a fraction of internet. I promise.

So thanks to all the internet-humans out there for making me read Fangirl. I guess I’ll give Eleanor and Park a go now.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

You’re missing the world… It’s pretty ordinary

If there is one thing that having no internet for a solid month has taught me, it’s that you feel mighty stupid writing blog posts and then saving them into a folder instead of sharing them with the world. I’m pretty much just writing a diary at the moment. Hopefully my internet will be connected soon and then I won’t feel like such a loser. Either that or I should go out and buy some smiley face stickers and doodle love hearts on my computer screen and really commit.

Dear Diary.

You are an inanimate object with no regards or knowledge to the fact that I am writing in you.

No wonder people don’t often do this.

A-wol. (That’s my hood name)

 

Calm down Amy, this is a diary – no room for street cred here.

See this is why you can’t have a diary. You know you’re just talking to yourself.

I’m out.

There is also a secondary teaching in having no internet and that is my having been forced to interact with the outside world. And by that I purely mean having coffee outside and glaring at everyone who walks past. I normally don’t notice people judging my short skirt if my nose is in my phone. I normally don’t have to watch people bicker in public when I can easily go to the comments section of any viral post to witness a decent (occasionally well-structured) argument. Does anyone else notice how bright it is out here? I think my skin is hyperventilating from the large amounts of Vitamin D it’s sucking up. I also think our O-zone layer is definitely thinning because I don’t remember it being so bright outside in my childhood.

What I’m trying to say is… What’s so wrong living through the rose coloured glass of a laptop screen?  The internet loves me more than the real world anyway!

I don’t like to think how much people become addicted to the internet and branding themselves to the world at large but it becomes glaringly obvious when you have to witness people doing the day to do day things. Instagram is filled with glammed girls and boys who look nothing like my friends Facebook is filled with these life events – look how in love we are, look how fancy vodka-lime-soda’s make me look, check out my selfie of the day that comes with the literary quote of a book I’ve clearly never read.

We got obsessed fast and accepted it like it was cute. Nope, this is the generation of narcissists – and while I may not be the selfie queen like some of my peers – I do essentially write a diary and put it on the internet like it’s everybody’s business. You tend to forget there is a whole world continuing on out there that isn’t going to change because another hundred people think you got cute since high school.

So I guess it doesn’t really matter if you participate in the world, because it’s only going to end up twisted in the archives for future generations. The official records for nearly everything is just a load of makeup and filters on an otherwise plain corporation.

I love this time for the sake of Netflix, literature, and really excellent red wine jus. But the state of social standing is a bit of a laugh. And we all know it. But we will still do it.