follow me on Twitter
  • I read a lot, and I have a lot of opinions, so I can't believe I haven't made a list like this before. If you are even a little bit like me or you want to get a peek into my psyche (you probs don't), these are the books to read.
on Amazon.com
 
 
 

Archive for April, 2010

Miracle Grow

Posted on April 26th, 2010 by annakjarzab

So, back in January when I got this insane idea to fix my second book by chopping it in half and throwing the second half in the garbage (figuratively speaking), I convinced myself it was a good idea by reminding myself that the plot wasn’t really changing all that much. While I couldn’t use the second half word for word anymore, I could extract almost all of the plot beats and just wrap a new skin around them. Which is still working, for the most part, by the way. But I recently realized something–the book-altering change that happens now at the middle of the novel required me to add some stuff. A lot of stuff. I’m starting to think it’s, um, fifty pages of stuff overall. Because I’m at about 290 pages in my manuscript, and I’ve got about a fourth of the book still left to write. So what began as a 280-something page manuscript will probably end up being closer to 350 pages, give or take. And since AUT was a 352 page book and a 310-ish page manuscript, that means that this book will end up being close to 400 pages. NO WONDER I FEEL LIKE I’VE BEEN WRITING IT FOREVER.

It’s possible that things will get cut in revisions (I’m not even pretending this is a revision–this is basically a redraft). In fact, it’s probable. What makes me nervous is that there are new scenes I feel like I need to include that provide emotional succor to the story, but which I haven’t written yet because I haven’t quite decided where they’ll go. So that’s even more pages I hadn’t counted on. Apropos of nothing, I also think there’s one argument that might graduate to a fist fight–I don’t know, I just feel like this book needs more hand-to-hand combat. Just kidding! But seriously, fist fight. It’s going to have to happen.

So, like, on the one hand I’m feeling very accomplished about this book, which I am slowly but surely and methodically completing inch by painful inch. On the other hand, it feels as though every time I get near the finish line, it gets moved back twenty feet. And the whole time I’ve been a little bit unsure about how everyone’s going to react to this new change. It’s sort of terrifying to rewrite a book without any idea of whether or not your editor is going to like it, because the idea of having to rewrite it again is so crushing. But I’m trying not to focus on that! Although I do feel like I’m on my way to getting it right, even if I haven’t quite gotten it right yet. This book is like a misbehaving middle child. It’s being difficult because it wants more attention. Okay, so maybe anthropomorphizing my novels isn’t the best way to present myself as wholly sane, but whatever, you know what I mean. This book needs a little bit of TLC. I just have to spend the next few weeks giving it my love, and not being distracted by shiny new books, which of course don’t look so shiny and new when I put the partials on my Kindle–they just look limp and tired.

Obviously, I need a vacation. And I’m taking one. At the end of this week I’m going to New Orleans with my parents for our family reunion and I couldn’t be more pumped!! I’m excited to spend some quality time with my parents, whose company I appreciate so much now that I’m an adult, and I’m also excited to LEAVE MY LAPTOP AT HOME. Seriously. I’ll be bringing along my notebook, so if I get any bursts of inspiration I can scribble them down somewhere, but otherwise I’m not writing from Wednesday night to Sunday night. I’m hoping this gets my mind grapes working again and gives me some much needed R&R. Maybe my manuscript will have magically shrunk to normal size in my absence?

A walk in the park

Posted on April 19th, 2010 by annakjarzab

I had a pretty productive weekend, I must admit. Slowly but surely I’m building Untitled Book 2 back up to its original length; I’ve got over 270 pages now (remember how I cut 150 pages from the manuscript and started the second half completely fresh? Well you do now!), and I’m thinking the manuscript will clock in somewhere around 315-320 pages. That would make it just around the same length as AUT (which is 352 pages printed, but I think the final manuscript for that sucker was somewhere around 310 pages), maybe a little longer. I find that surprising. I thought it’d come in around 300 pages, but now, thirty pages from the end, I’m nowhere near ready to really tie up the mystery–I need some more space for that. I always thought of Untitled Book 2 as less complex than AUT, not to mention funnier, lighter, more romantic, but I don’t think it’s going to be. When I cut those last 150 pages and made a real shift in the story, it darkened the book up a lot. The book got angrier and more slippery. I’ve been having a bit of a rough time nailing down the emotional trajectory of the second half, and for a long time I was angry at myself for that–I always had a very clear idea of the emotional trajectory of AUT, what was I doing wrong this time?–but I’m starting to see that such slipperiness is innate in the character who’s telling the story. He’s not really sure what’s going on, what he wants or needs or feels at any given moment, and his memory is unreliable, which upsets him. I’m still struggling to get a firmer grasp on him, but I understand that he as a character is tough to get to know because he doesn’t know who he is at any given moment, necessarily.

I also got out of my house and away from my computer this weekend, surprisingly. On Saturday night, I went out for my friend Eric’s birthday, which was the best time I’ve had in a while because I got to see a lot of old friends I don’t hang out with as often any more. See, Eric (he who designed this website) and I used to work at the same company, and then I left to work for another company last August. Which is all well and good, but I’d worked at the old company for almost two years and because it was so small and we all sat in one big bull pen, we talked all the time and got really, really close as a group the way you can’t if you’re all sequestered in offices (not that I don’t love having my own office, because I do, I’m just saying). So while Eric is one of my best friends, everyone else we worked with are people I love and enjoy spending time with and miss. And lots of them came to the party! I literally knew everyone there, which is fun.

On Sunday I took a walk down Riverside Drive in an attempt to get some exercise and see some new things. And boy did I. Here are some pictures I snapped with my iPhone while I was walking:

tumblr_l13w3vwvfp1qz837po1_500

tumblr_l13wdjq14p1qz837po1_500

tumblr_l13wgcg53m1qz837po1_500

img_0275

Riverside is full of interesting architecture and lovely sculptures and monuments and things. It’s given me plenty of inspiration for a book I hope to be writing three years from now. These are indeed phone pictures, but I made them look way cooler with this photo app I downloaded, Camera Bag. It is paid, but it’s worth it–and this coming from someone who basically never pays for apps ever. The Photoshop app is free (I think) and allows you to make photo effects also, but the PS app has a lot of options, and I do better with less options. Camera Bag is just simpler, and I highly recommend it. I can’t wait to take some pictures in New Orleans and jazz them up with Camera Bag, also. Did I tell you I’m going to New Orleans in two weeks? I’m so excited!

I can’t stop this Glee-ling any longer

Posted on April 14th, 2010 by annakjarzab

Whoa! What a terrible pun you guys! I’m losing my touch (I never had a touch, who am I kidding). But you get where I’m going with this–Glee came back last night. And lo, it was good. This blog post will contain spoilers, so if you can’t take the heat, get out of my kitchen (for now! But you can totally come back soon! I love you!).

First, I’m going to start with the things I would do if I was in charge of Glee:

1.) Make the show more like a musical, less like a show about a glee club. Because let’s face it, the ridiculous maneuvering they use each week to force upon us a certain theme (this episode’s theme, “Hello”, was particularly nonsensical–but fun!) or integrate music into the plot is silly and unnecessary. I’d rather most of the songs in the show play like Diana Agron’s “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”, where it’s the character singing their feelings and internal monologue, instead of presenting us with five new set songs each week–like they’re really going to perform all of that stuff at regionals.

2.) Draw out story lines longer. Like the Rachel/Puck hookup from last season. It was hilarious, and it happen for five seconds. This is something Gossip Girl does ALL THE TIME, and now it’s the third season and the show is patently stupid 95% of the time. Don’t waste what you have, show! Rachel and Puck are going to start dating? Great! Give us three episodes of that. The quicker things change, the faster you run out of options.

3.) Can we make Mr. Schuester less of a creeper? I don’t think it’s intentional, which is the most discomforting part. I think the show thinks he’s charming, but actually he’s sort of smug and…predatory? It might just be a Matthew Morrison problem (I mean, what can you do with a guy who humbly refers to his upcoming solo album as “a cross between Justin Timberlake and Michael Buble”?), but can we try to fix it somehow?

4.) More Puck! He had exactly one line in this episode. What’s up with that? There might be better singers on the show (and, okay, I don’t watch for the story, mostly just the music), but he’s easily the funniest actor. He needs more time on screen! And, hi, we all swooned for his “Sweet Caroline,” so it’s not like the boy can’t perform.

lea-michele-jonathan-groffAll of my problems with this week’s episode come from those suggestions above. No Puck (no Quinn for that matter, or Artie or Tina), creepy Mr. Schu, ridiculous finagling of songs into glee club situations instead of just singing them because they express how the characters feel (explain to me how it’s possible that the glee club is always on the edge of disbanding due to funding/space allocation, but they always have a full band/orchestra around to provide backup for everyday rehearsal–would TOTALLY BE BELIEVABLE if the singing was entirely in the character’s head), and my sneaking suspicion that we’ll be seeing the back of Jesse St. James just as we grow to adore him. Of course, I already adore him, because I’m pretty sure he’s going to try to screw with New Directions by screwing with Rachel’s head, only to really fall for her and have a CRISIS OF CONSCIENCE! at which time we’ll be really rooting for them to work it out. Plus, I think Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele still have that Spring Awakening chemistry, and I’m looking forward to their romantic scenes.

Spring in New York

Posted on April 9th, 2010 by annakjarzab

I’ve never been much of a romantic about New York. I don’t refer to it as my boyfriend, or get weak in the knees when I see the Empire State Building or anything like that. But there are times in this city where you just cannot deny how lovely something is, and how glad you are to be here at that moment. Like last night, for example. It was hot during the day, like in the 80s, which is crazy because it’s the first week of April THANK YOU GLOBAL WARMING. Anyway, Joanna is in town and we had dinner plans with our friend Abby, so I was walked from work to the West Village (maybe that sounds like it was a long walk? It isn’t. I work just over the Houston border in SoHo), veering off Hudson at Barrow and promptly getting lost because everything in this city is like a grid–above 14th Street. After that, things can get wonky at times. Which is ultimately fine, because I was early and happy to wander down side streets, past exquisite brownstones, the sun bathing the streets with a golden glow, the heat settling softly on my shoulders like a light sweater. I snapped this iPhone shot:

onmywaytodinner1

The street was so serene and pretty. What you can’t see is the small blossoms being shaken from the trees by a stiff wind and wafting down around me. Quite picturesque, if you ask me, as was the adorable, delicious little restaurant where we ate dinner.

whereweate1

The Little Owl is a restaurant that I’d never been to before, but which had been recommended to me several times in the past. It’s a bit wee inside, so if you’ve got a large party I wouldn’t exactly recommend it, but otherwise, if you’re just a couple of people looking for a delicious meal from a place with perfect service, friendly staff, and a lovely location, look no further.

Comments FAIL

Posted on April 8th, 2010 by annakjarzab

Oh, some of you might be wondering why every time you try to comment on a post here it doesn’t show up. Well, it turns out that my comment tool thinks you’re all spammers–REAL NICE, GUYS. Just kidding. I’ve approved everything, even the re-sends and Eric’s test comments, so it looks a little cray-cray in the comments right now, but Eric’s going to fix it and soon we should have no more problems. In the meantime I’ll keep my eye on the spam box. Definitely keep commenting!

Roo

Posted on April 8th, 2010 by annakjarzab

As I may or may not have mentioned, I moved a couple of months ago–different apartment, same roommate, same basic neighborhood except better. There are notable differences between our old place and our new place. We no longer live literally right next to (and I use the word “literally” here to in fact mean literally, I’m not abusing it for emphasis like some people) an elevated subway line, nor do we live directly behind a McDonald’s with a huge parking lot (for NYC standards) where people of all walks of life can congregate day or night. We only live two subway stops south of where we used to, but that makes a big difference for some reason. Our neighborhood is cuter and full of restaurants and convenience stores and bars and bookstores and banks and American Apparel and all those good things (actually, I couldn’t really care less about the American Apparel, but it is there). It feels safer, even if our old neighborhood was on the whole pretty safe even though it didn’t always look it. Also, I have a bigger bedroom (which means my poor roommate has a smaller one, which I feel guilty about every time I go in there except I did have the smaller room for two years so it’s probably karmically even), we have a huge bathroom with a washer/dryer (!!), a slightly bigger kitchen (such as it is) with a dishwasher, and cable television.

There are some down sides to the new place, too. Our old building was really secure and nice inside, even though our apartment, which had obviously been neglected for years during the rental boom times when landlords could basically put nothing into an apartment and then charge obscene amounts of money for them anyway, wasn’t really. It had an elevator and really nice mailboxes so that we could actually receive packages at home. The super lived in the building, and while he was a little strange and sometimes difficult, he was pretty attentive when we called him and it was nice to have him around during emergencies, like when I accidentally got stuck in the elevator at 2 PM (true story! for another time, though, I think).

Anyway, the one big thing that I miss about our old place is how quiet it was. It was a co-op building, so most of the people who lived there owned their apartments (we rented, but from a management company that owned eight of the units)–which meant that they were varying degrees of old, because this is New York, you guys. The only people who can afford to own their own apartments are Donald Trump and a grip of septuagenarians who’ve lived here their entire lives and bought their apartments in 1960 for fifty cents. That doesn’t mean it was quiet all the time–our strange but generally sweet neighbor, Jacob, had some sort of Victrola (I’m not making this up) that he liked to play what my roommate and I referred to as “Charleston music” because we don’t know a damn thing about old timey music and it sounded like something straight out of Bright Young Things. Sometimes he took the Victrola outside and played it on the stoop (?), but most of the time it was confined to his apartment–and, thanks to our ridiculously paper thin walls, ours as well. But my room was on the other side of the apartment from the one that abutted Jacob’s apartment, so I never heard it except when I was cooking or washing dishes or something. Also, occasionally there would be a loud argument or impromptu dance party in the McDonald’s parking lot, which would disturb my slumber, but otherwise, yeah, it was pretty quiet. And we lived–literally, may I remind you–right next to the elevated train line!

Such is not the case at our new apartment. It’s on a side street, not a main drag like the last one, so you would think it’d be quieter, and at street level it is. It’s just the people who are louder. For instance, the pair of young men who live next door really love to play techno music at extreme volume whilst also blasting a subwoofer of some kind right through my walls. The people downstairs play their high volume, high bass music so loud that my roommate and I called 311 a few weeks ago and made a noise complaint–it was 2 AM on a Monday! We had to be at work in a handful of hours! Who does such a thing? There is also a family living upstairs with two very young boys (something like one and three years old), who are super active and cooped up all the time. They run around like crazy–for a while we thought they were doing construction in that apartment, that’s how loud it is. I’ve learned to ignore and live with the little boy noise, it doesn’t really bother me, but my roommate hates it–she calls them “the cretins”, and while she has sympathy for the fact that they’re active toddlers and deserve to have a yard to run around and play in instead of a 700 sq foot apartment, she also values her sleep and they basically make noise from 7 AM to 11 PM EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

I could give more examples (like the woman across the “courtyard”–really sort of an alley, even though we don’t have alleys in NY, but the space between the apartment buildings in the back–who sings opera on her fire escape on the weekends), but I think you get the picture. Suffice it to say we’re both a little on edge when it comes to noise that might disturb our precious, hard-won, too infrequent opportunities for sleep. Last night, I was just drifting off when I heard bass. I remembered my roommate’s ominous words from a few days previously (“I think our neighbors got a karaoke machine”) and flew out of my room, eyes and hair wild. “DO YOU HEAR THAT?” I demanded of my roommate, who was sitting on the couch, probably watching American Idol. “No,” she said. “But you should know, you’re lookin’ real crazy.” And I was all, “OUR NEIGHBORS WTF” and she was all, “I KNOW, RIGHT?” and then it stopped.

“Um, I think they heard you yelling,” she said.

“Oh well. G’nite!”

Rude. IT IS ALMOST ONE O’ CLOCK IN THE MORNING ON A THURSDAY. What is wrong with people? Don’t they have jobs? Don’t they like to sleep? I like to sleep. In fact, I like it a lot. I like it peaceful and quiet and dark. Is that too much to ask, at one in the morning on a Thursday? IS IT?

Names and the namers who name them

Posted on April 6th, 2010 by annakjarzab

I just read this post author Alex Flinn put up on her blog about choosing names for characters, which I thought was really interesting and got me thinking about why and how I name characters what I name them, so I thought I’d throw in my two cents.

I have owned the same baby name book for 10+ years (probably closer to twelve). It’s called The Last Word on First Names, which makes very little sense as the authors, Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosencrantz, went on to write several other books about baby names, so really it’s not the last word on first names. And it’s actually not the best baby name book in the world–I would really prefer if it told you what the meaning was behind all of the names, not just some of them. Mostly it’s just the authors’ commentary on the names, putting them in a contemporary context (although, you know, contemporary circa 1997, which is no longer contemporary), talking about popularity and literary/historical context, etc. It’s useful in many ways, and quite the crack up. The entry for Hortense just says “No,” which is still a big joke with my sister and I (who knows why).

One might ask why I purchased a baby names book (because I definitely purchased it with my own dollars) at age thirteen or fourteen–obviously, I was not considering having a child, and there were no siblings on the way. I bought it because I was a writer and needed a naming resource, considering the Internet, though it had been invented (thanks Al Gore!), wasn’t really the intense repository of information that it is today. I read that thing cover to cover like a novel, and it shows–its pages are ripped and creased and tea stained beyond what is normal. I used it for a really long time. Now I use the Internet, in the form of Behind the Name, which was actually a website my mother told me about (she’s very hip to the jive). It’s very useful, especially when I want to name peripheral characters–I usually go for names that were on the top 100 lists in the year that the characters were ostensibly born (usually about fourteen to eighteen years prior to the year in which I’m writing the book, which I guess now is about 1993/1994 or so), because they have them for every year post-1990 and for every decade before that until the late 1800s.

I tend to be attracted to classic names myself, especially for boys–saints names, basically. Your Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Michael (although even I have to admit that one’s pretty played out), James, Thomas, Christopher, Stephen, Joseph, Anthony, William, etc. With girls, I tend to be the same way. I like how old fashioned names are coming back into style–Ruby, Mary, Emma, etc.

But if you look at what I’ve written recently, you can tell that my personal preferences for actual human children living in the flesh and blood world (especially ones that might someday carry my genetic material) are a little different than the names I actually use in my books. The characters in All Unquiet Things have rather odd names, most of them. Neily’s name sort of comes from a teacher I had in high school, an English teacher that I really liked, and that was her last name, although spelled differently. If you look up the way she actually spells her name, Neely, it means “son of the poet” in Gaelic. I thought that was rather appropriate for Neily, actually. I don’t know why I changed the spelling, but I did decide that “Neily” was actually short for Neiland, which was his mother’s maiden name. I knew a girl in high school who shared her middle name with her brother, and it was their mother’s maiden name. I thought that was kind of interesting, but I took it one step further and Neily was born. I’ve thought about Neily’s name and what it means for him a lot. When my editor acquired my manuscript, she suggested changing his name, thinking it might be too effeminate, a criticism that I understood because I’d recently read The Valley of the Dolls and there was a main female character in that book named Neely. But in the end I was so attached I didn’t want to change it, and she was fine with that. The thing about Neily’s name being a little effeminate, and probably too young for him, is that that is a part of his story. When he was younger, he was sort of a shy, lonely kid that everyone treated like he was a baby. The diminutive form of his name shows just how small and besides the point he felt all the time growing up. He really should just go by Neil, and I think that if he thought he could get people to call him Neil he would, but he knows that would never happen. In the “sequel” I started writing post-AUT, just as a little diversion and a place to put my ideas for where the characters would be in six or seven years, Neily has changed his name to Neil–he’s gotten away from Empire Valley and everybody who knows him as “Neily” and he takes advantage of that to forge a new identity. Except then he goes back to Empire Valley and of course Neily resurrects, even though he tries to maintain his new Neil identity.

Audrey’s name is simple; it’s my grandmother’s (father’s mother’s) name. But it’s a little old fashioned, although I personally think it’s really beautiful. However, I was not as plugged in to the YA community as I am now, and if I’d known how big of a resurgence Audrey was going to have in mainstream fiction, I’d probably have thought about changing it (and then I probably would’ve decided not to change it, because I like things the way I like them and I’m stubborn like that). That’s really the most thought I ever gave to the name Audrey, but it  means “noble strength”, which I like a lot and think describes my Audrey pretty well.

Carly…I don’t really remember how she got that name. She’s had it so long it’s all receded into the mists of antiquity. I do know that I went to school with a lot of Carlys/Karlys when I was a kid, mostly popular girls who didn’t like me. It’s not actually a name I particularly like all that much, it just seemed to fit her and I cannot imagine her being named anything else. It’s hard to pin down what Carly actually means; according to Behind the Name, it’s the feminine form of Carl, which is the Germanic form of Charles, which means either “man” or “army, warrior.” But according to BabyNames.com, it’s the diminutive form of Carlotta, which means “free.” I think both of those meanings are interesting when reflecting on the way Carly behaves in the novel and what her ultimate resting state is, emotionally speaking. It’s interesting to think about, but not my main intention when naming her that.

Wow, are those names so ingrained in my head. I’m moving on, though, to other books and other characters. My three main characters in Untitled Book 2 are Will, Jacie and Robbie. I really like the name William; apparently it means “strong willed warrior,” which Will is…not, really, although he is decidedly persistent, which you have to give him credit for. Jacie is a name I’m surprised I picked, honestly–it feels trendy and slightly made up to me, and I’m not into the trendiness. But her full name just sort of popped into my head all at once: Jacie Fisher. I didn’t even consider a different spelling (Jacey, which I guess is the accepted spelling, would be one option). Baby Names says it’s a shortened form of Jacinda, which means “hyacinth”, but I never for a moment considered that her name might be Jacinda. Her family is not the type to name a daughter Jacinda. Usually I’m very, very against naming children nicknames instead of full names, but it definitely would not have fit for Jacie to have any other given name than exactly that. Rob/Robbie is named after Robbie Turner from Atonement. They don’t have, like, a ton in common, but there are similarities. I’m pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve ever named a fictional character after another fictional character. And it’s not like Robbie’s mother named him after Robbie Turner from Atonement–I did. Because of my love for James McAvoy, OBVS.

2007_atonment_006

And now that I have another WIP in the works (that’s kind of redundant, huh?), I have a slew of new names, especially since what I’m working on has a lot of characters. I have some old school names, some nickname-y names, some nice normal names, and a name I just pretty much made up. For this one, I just started pulling names I liked or from people I knew/had met. The fun thing about being a writer is that your characters tell you who they are. Would I ever have named my daughter Jacie? No. It’s a perfectly lovely name, but I would never pick it for a child of mine–it’s not my aesthetic. But Jacie is totally a Jacie, no two ways about it. Neily is most definitely a Neily. In a way they choose their own names.

Bieber or Die

Posted on April 5th, 2010 by annakjarzab

Just for fun, you know. Don’t worry, it’s awesome, you’re going to love it.

Weekend fun

Posted on April 5th, 2010 by annakjarzab

I had such a great weekend, I don’t even mind being a big bragger and telling you about it. Kim drove out from the LI and picked us up so that we could go to New Jersey for Red Robin and Target (many “Did you bring your passport?” and “Did you get your shots?” jokes were made, but you know we heart New Jersey–it reminds us of home in a way, you see). Red Robin was okay, but it wasn’t like going to the one in Pleasanton, you know? Or even the one in Lincolnshire. Plus I couldn’t have Diet Coke because I’d given it up for Lent, so I ordered an Oreo milkshake like a little kid, but it wasn’t very good and I didn’t have very much of it. Eh, you win some, you lose some.

Target, obviously, was as wonderful as always. I spent way too much money there, somehow acquiring a new pair of shoes (shoe buying is a total nightmare for me; I never know what I want or what I like and nothing is ever perfect, like you can never just find a nice simple pair of black ballet flats to save your LIFE, and I get overwhelmed by all the not-perfect choices that I usually throw up my hands and continue wearing the same shoes I’ve had for three years that have holes in the soles) AND New Moon on DVD. The essentials, you know.

Today after Easter brunch we (me, Kim, Cambria and Nikki) did our traditional Easter basket exchange, then sat on the roof for hours in the new lawn chairs Cambria purchased at Target and had book club. This months’ book was A Room With a View, which I loved, and now love more after having talked about it in book club, which is the best thing about book club. I thought George was such a delightful weirdo, nothing like the stoic, silent Mr. Darcy (I don’t know why, but in my head A Room With a View and Pride and Prejudice are comparable; the fact that they were written 100 years apart and have almost nothing on common notwithstanding)–just the type I’m in to, honestly–and I felt like I really got Lucy. I’m so glad we read it; I’d been wanting to for a long time, and it was fun to talk about it with the girls. The movie is really weird, though (I’m talking the 1985 version with Helena Bonham Carter). The guy who plays George basically makes him seem insane, which he’s not. Bad mojo.

I read a lot this weekend, too. You know, I realized something. Books matter to me pretty much more than any other thing on the planet except people and one dog (Val). I read for a lot of reasons; to broaden my horizons and educate myself, to feel things, to indulge a strange obsessive compulsion that demands I be reading something at all times. But I don’t very often read for fun. Which seems stupid, and useless, because what’s the point if you’re not having fun? This is why I steer towards serious books–dark, sad novels and tragic memoirs and dense classics. I’m such a joyless reader sometimes.

This weekend was all about fun books. First of all, I DEVOURED Soulless by Gail Carriger, which is pretty much the most fun book I’ve read in a long, long time. It was hilarious and compulsively readable and, dare I say it, sexy. Yes, it was damn sexy. Plus, the covers kick ass. I bought the squeakquel, Changeless, on my way home this evening, and have been testifying amongst my circle of friends as to what a great read it is. I also finished Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti, which was a sweet and adorable romance. Susane and I got to talk recently about fate and the universe and we basically believe all of the same things. Finishing Something Like Fate gave me a really fuzzy feeling inside, which has carried over to the book I’m reading now, For Keeps by Natasha Friend. Another light book, perfect for summer, reminiscent of Gilmore Girls and quite sassy. I actually love the main character in For Keeps, Josie–I love the way she protects herself by refusing to make concessions so that a boy will like her. It’s very realistic and pretty much exactly the way I deal with stuff.

After For Keeps will come Changeless, because, like I’m not going to read that right away. I had such a great weekend. It was such a beautiful day today, my hair smells like sun, my skin smells like sunscreen. I am perfectly content.

Reminder!

Posted on April 1st, 2010 by annakjarzab

Hi all! Just a little reminder that I’m going to be at Best Bargain Books in Centerreach, NY tonight, reading from All Unquiet Things (I was advised to go with something funny, so expect snarky Neily/Audrey dialogue!) and answering questions and signing, I think. I don’t know! I’ve never done one of these before, so it should be interesting.