Friday, 30 August 2013

Cephalopod Coffeehouse bookclub & Goal update (LMG revisions)

Today it's the monthly Cephalopod Coffeehouse book club meeting, hosted by the very groovy Armchair Squid. I'm sharing some medium-sized book reviews.

 Bitter Like Orange Peel - Jessica Bell :: Jessica Bell's latest offering is the story of a messed-up family riddled with secrets and lies. Over the course of the book, the great blanket of lies begins to unravel, with that saying "the truth will out" being constantly proven. Honestly, I sometimes wondered if this family would ever get its poo together. And I'm not really sure they did, even by the book's end. At least I can say they made progress. Jessica Bell is a beautiful writer with a knack for writing "difficult", complicated characters. Most of the characters in this book I wanted to slap really hard a lot of the time. The end of the book didn't feel like much of an end - more like there was a clean slate and the family finally had a chance to start fresh. Without lies, this time. I feel like I need to wish them good luck!

True Grit - Charles Portis :: Quite a few years ago, one of my aunties told me I should read this book. Now that I finally have, I can see what she meant when she told me, "It's fantastic!" I loved it to bits. The character of Mattie Ross is truly loveable and admirable, and as one review in a famous magazine said, she sure knows what it means to have "true grit". There were other characters to get a kick out of, too, a colourful cast of people with really cool names like "Rooster" Cogburn, La Boeuf, and Lucky Ned Pepper. Tom Chaney was a good name for an "outlaw" too, I suppose. But Rooster was a great character who really did have the "true grit" Mattie was seeking in others all through the book. I can definitely see myself re-reading this book in future. And I'll have to check out the movie, even if I'm not convinced it can do the book justice.

My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult :: I finally read this, many years after it was first "hot", and can say that it's a great book. I wasn't expecting the  ending, and I hear they changed it in the movie - I can imagine how they might've done so, but I'd have to watch it to find out. Which I will do, someday. In this book, characters do things I totally did not agree with, but I could still see their reasons, and understand their predicaments. Jodi Picoult writes family pain and characters in crisis so well, and makes you hurt along with them. Sometimes I did feel that I was being manipulated (like with at least one scene narrated by Anna that just verged on a bit too dramatic), but I guess these characters had the right to some dramatic flair!

Sister - Rosamund Lupton :: I remember reading about this book on somebody's blog and thinking I would have to read it. I've done so now, and I really enjoyed the read, even if I found it quite a strange experience. The story was gripping, and for the most part well written, but I found Lupton's use of commas really odd. And yet her book was generally written in a beautiful, poetic style. The story itself? Very gripping, and with a gasp-worthy, haunting twist at the end. In the back of the copy I read, there's an interview with the author where she is asked a question about the twist - did that really happen? She answers that she feels it did, but that it's up to the individual reader to make up their own mind. I'm the sort of person who can't really believe something's real unless there is 100% blatant "yes, it is real and here is all the proof" confirmation. So I'm not really sure what I believe. But I'm sure as heck still wondering. So, if you like crime/thriller from an amateur sleuth perspective, I definitely recommend this read.

Also today is the Do You Have A Goal? (DYHAG for short, or so I'm referring to it) monthly bloghop, which is hosted by Misha Gericke.

The goal I chose was to:

So, how have I done with this goal since I signed up for Misha's hop?

Tomorrow is the last day of August. I have so far sent chapters 1-4 of LMG to a CP and got feedback. I have since sent chapters 5-6 off, and doubt I'll get feedback before August ends. There are twenty chapters in this novella. So, I guess you could say I didn't achieve my goal. And you want to know why? I'm a slacker. That is the sole reason for it. I should have read through the whole thing by now and polished it up, fleshed it out where it needs fleshing, etc.. But instead I have watched the entire series of Gilmore Girls.

And it's been awesome.

So, yeah, I totally blame myself for not meeting my goal. But luckily I'm not that miserable about it. I'm content to just keep on plugging away at this thing. Because it's true that I really should just work on one writing project at a time. When I try to do bits of everything, I do nothing.


  1. I love the title of Jessica's book, I definitely need to add that one to my list.

    And now I need to join another hop because I didn't know about Misha's! LOL maybe a goal hop will help me get my butt in gear.

  2. Hahahaha well, at least you enjoyed the Gilmore Girls. ;-)

    Will you be sending in a new goal?

  3. First, sorry you didn't meet your goal (I've been down that road a few times). Second, I don't care for characters I feel I need to slap around just to get them to do the right thing in a story. Ha! Plus, I'm not a big Picoult fan, so I don't know if I'd be tempted to pick up My Sister's Keeper. But hey, thanks for sharing all of these!

  4. I'm so hard on myself when I miss a goal! Good for you for rolling with it. Set a new goal. I want ot see you back next month!

  5. Nice variety of books; I often trap myself into reading the same kind of books over and over again.

  6. I've seen the movie, True Grit. The book is that good, huh? I'll have to check it out.

    I love the Gilmore Girls. I watch it over and over and over on TV. Miss it. Want to hear you making progress on that novel next month, though. :)

  7. I agree: True Grit was fantastic. We watched the movie after I read the book and I quite liked it, but my son cried during the horse scene near the end. So just a warning! (But you already know how harrowing that scene is from the book.) I agree on the Jodi Picoult, too. Although after two Picoults, I was really done with her.

    Great reviews — so many for the price of one!

  8. Having already seen the movie, I wonder if I have it in me to read the book. Maybe? You've given it a rave review! So yeah, I might.
    Jodi Picault's plot stuck with me forever after reading My Sister's Keeper. It was a good read, but I couldn't face reading any of her books again.
    Amateur sleuth books are pretty fun, but I HATE it when somebody repeatedly screws up commas!

  9. Keep on chugging and you'll get things done. Nice variety of books, haven't read any of them though.

  10. Bitter like orange peel definitely interests me. Gonna have to check that one out.

  11. Sounds like True Grit was the clear winner. I figure any book you can imagine re-reading is good.

    I love that you took Lupton to task over her use of commas. I haven't read the book but I totally get that complaint!

  12. I'd like to read Jessica's book.

    Sometimes I'm okay with missing a goal. I do have non-writing things I enjoy.

  13. Hi Trisha .. I've Jess' book here and must read it - it does sound very interesting ...

    I haven't read any of the others .. though you mentioned Chocolat in the last post and that was a great read.

    Goals ... don't set them, work towards the end and get the project done! Cheers Hilary


Thanks for your words, me hearties! and don't forget to leave a link to your blog somewhere I can find it!