Quick Book Review: The Writer’s Cut

The Writer's CutThe Writer’s Cut by Eric Idle

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Oh, Eric. I love you and will forever cherish you until the end of time. You’re one of my comedy Beatles.

This is the first novel of Idle’s I’ve experienced, and it’s fun, silly, madcap, naughty, and a very quick read. Television writer Stanley Hay is the main character, and he’s not too unlike the author. I honestly thought the beginning of the book was an introduction by Eric because it’s filled with his usual name dropping and descriptions of ladies’ body parts (go read his memoirs and tour diaries – he’s a hilarious celebrity-befriended dirty old man). But no, it’s Stanley, a dude who finds himself overpowered by the Tinseltown machine after promising to deliver a tell-all Hollywood expose, and getting so caught up in the hype, he doesn’t seem to find the time to actually write it.

I wanted to try this to see what Eric’s fiction is like, but now that I know, I’ll most likely stick to the autobiographical stuff. The Writer’s Cut is fun, but not something I’d ever go back to.

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Quick Book Review: Children of Virtue and Vengeance

Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orïsha, #2)Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Ah, the second book in a new series. What will happen? Will it live up to the hype of the first one? Will the characters become more evolved? It’s so exciting, and I feel bad for an author who feels the pressure to continue the magic (pun intended) of a beloved debut. That being said…….

Well, ummmmm, uh….. Children of Virtue And Vengeance is a bit of a letdown. Mostly because of the characters and their lack of progression. They all make dumb decisions at one point or another. Apart from poor Tzain, who just sort of hangs around. Don’t get me started on Amari. Zélie has the biggest challenges, now that she’s responsible for bringing the magic back to the land and gaining new powers in the process, but I only got the feeling she was up for it a few times (mainly when she’s teaching her fellow Reapers).

What I really enjoyed was the advancement of magic. That aspect really complicated the plot and kept me interested.

I will read future books in this series, but hopefully, they’ll have better arcs for the characters, and poor Zélie will be able to do stuff without experiencing pain. Boy, does Tomi know how to describe all kinds of pain.

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Quick Book Review: Oona Out Of Order

Oona Out of Order: A NovelOona Out of Order: A Novel by Margarita Montimore

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Time heals all. But what if time itself is the disease?”

That’s the quandary for Oona Lockhart, the title character of Margarita Montimore’s second novel. She’s not the average time traveler; on her 19th birthday, she begins leaping from year to year, not knowing if she’ll wake up as her 50-year-old self or her 25-year-old self. Oona must learn to enjoy life to its fullest and accept the ups and downs. Easier said than done, of course, and it’s quite a ride going through the leaps with her. I wanted more! Especially after the ending. No spoilers here. I do think this novel would be great as a series, and I would totally watch a television version! Not to take away from the book, however. I love Margarita’s writing style, her love of pop culture, and the way she peppers aspects of herself in her main characters (you need to read Asleep From Day, her debut!). I suppose I should say that I’ve known Margarita as an online friend since 2001. We’ve sadly never met in person (yet!), but let’s just say I’ve been a fan of her as a human (and fellow fangirl), and it’s been such fun reading her books and watching her dreams come true.

The only thing that bothered me about the story itself is WHY AND HOW DID THIS HAPPEN TO HER?! Part of my brain understands that this is supposed to be a fictional event and getting into the technical bits are not the point whatsoever, but being a pop culture nerd, the other part of my brain is dying to figure out if Oona is a Time Lord or if she is some sort of “chosen one” with the power to save the world (like Bill & Ted). Who knows, perhaps these questions will be answered in the future. Or past?

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Me On Two Podcasts? In This Economy?

I hope everyone’s hanging in there. If you’ve read this post, you know I was a part of an awesome podcast recording. Well, Belle & Dubs Season Two is now out! I was fortunate to be a part of Episodes Three, Five, and Six! Be sure to check out Belle And Dubs: Subscribe, listen, and laugh! I play Jan Malcolm, an enthusiastic paleontologist, in Episode Five, and a spirited suffragette named Rose in Episode Six. It was so joyful to participate in my friends’ hilarious project. I hope it brings you joy too!

 

Last weekend I got the chance to reunite with my friends from Mouthy Broadcast! I was a moron and forgot all about the recording session, so if I sound off and not very witty, it’s because I jumped on pretty hungover and unprepared. Nevertheless, it was a blast. Love those folks. Click here for Mouthy escapades!

 

Stay safe, my friends!

I-Love-You-GIF-for-Him-and-Her

Quick Book Review: Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1)Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh boy, I was starving for a good fantasy escape, with amazing world-building, interesting characters, and most importantly, a solid story. Thankfully this delivered. Zélie is a badass heroine from the get-go. Her journey isn’t unique in this genre (think Luke Skywalker or Harry Potter or Katniss Everdeen), but the way the author incorporates themes from the Black Lives Matter movement and African mythology give it an emotional, weighty punch. She aids the fugitive princess who escapes evil King Saran, and thanks to a mysterious scroll, Zélie unlocks her magical powers. This leads to a mission to return magic to the world and restore her oppressed fellow diviners to the Maji they were born to be. Really good stuff. The novel ends on a cliffhanger too, so I shall be diving into the sequel, Children of Virtue and Vengeance, very very soon.

P.S. The inhabitants of Orïsha ride big cats. BIG CATS!!!!

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Jellicles Come To The Jellicle Ball

This isn’t going to be a long post, but something happened during this current quarantine we find ourselves in. I watched the Cats movie.

It was terrible! I mean, you’ve seen the clips, right?

Disturbing on a million levels. No one needs to see a handsome gentleman such as Idris Elba, naked apart from creepy CGI brown fur! I mean, if that’s your thing, more power to you, but it poisoned my retinas. The entire film did. Some musicals can be cinematic and it’s fine to adapt them with movie stars and on-location performances. A stage production about kitties, starring human beings, dressed up as kitties? NO.

Which brings me to the Andrew Lloyd Webber thing.

I saw a production of this when I was a kid. I don’t remember much about it, apart from cast members prancing down the aisles of the theater, doing their cat stuff before the first song. I thought that was cool. It’s such an 80’s thing, right? The legwarmers and Jane Fonda workout leotards that basically make up the feline costumes (just add furry material!). The coked-up crazy dance numbers! I’m sure I enjoyed the experience. I’d enjoy it now if I saw it as an adult, but I’d also think it was pretty dated and…. odd. Apart from Memory, most of the songs are just descriptions of these damn Jellicle Cats!

Jellicle Cats. Jellicle Cats. I think the whole reason for my fascination for this horrid film and bizarre musical stage production revolving around my favorite kind of pet is the source material! T.S. Eliot’s collection of poems, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. The whimsical wordplay, zippy narration of all those kooky kitties, and the names themselves. They’re fun to say! Rumpleteazer, Skimbleshanks, and Growltiger, oh my!

I was today years old when I found out Edward Gorey illustrated a version of this anthology and I’m OBSESSED:

This concludes my random musings about the enchanting and unsettling world of Jellicle Cats. If you need me I’ll be stuck in the house, looking at Youtube tutorials on making top hats and tuxedos for felines.

Recurring Dreams, I Has Them

I woke up 30 minutes ago, from the wildest dream. I’ll probably be thinking about it throughout the day. This has been happening frequently since the Coronavirus has forced me into a homebound lady, and I’m not the only one. I’m getting the greatest hits from my staple of recurring dream themes, with all kinds of extra bizarreness thrown in. As I sat down with my cup of coffee today, I thought I’d list some of those motifs that have been reappearing in my dreams for as long as I can remember…..

 

Yelling at family members or past/present partner. I’ll find myself in a helpless situation, unable to convince anyone to listen to me or show concern for my plight. No matter how loud I scream, throw things, or shove them, I’m completely ignored. Last night’s dream had elements of this; I was so maddened by my mother not defending me from a bunch of bullies throwing my suitcases, I was hollering in her face like a drill sergeant. Suitcases. This brings me to another theme…

Being late for a flight. I know there’s an urgent trip to the airport in my near future, but moving quickly, getting everything packed, gassing the car, gathering my travel companions, or putting clothes on is impossible. It’s all in slow motion. I know I’m going to be late and it’s driving me insane. I’m getting irritated right now, thinking about it.

Gross or kooky bathrooms. Lordy, this one shows up A LOT. Often in conjunction with being late for the flight. The toilet is filthy and I have to find a way to squat over it. The bathroom is nightmarishly shaped and I can’t seem to fit myself into the shower. I have no space to put my toiletries/clothes, except for a slimy floor. YUCK.

Spiders. Enough said.

Going back to my receptionist job at the veterinarian clinic. Ugh, this one’s never fun. The office never looks the same, and the coworkers are always different, but this dream never fails to feature my awful boss standing over me. Sometimes I have to speak to her, but mostly she’s just THERE. I usually have to go back to the clinic area too. It’s consistently maze-like and unfamiliar, and I’m tasked to find a pet for a client. There’s a line of other clients waiting in the receptionist area on top of being stuck in a The Shining style maze of dog kennels and exam tables. With the awful boss THERE.

Working retail and not knowing how to use the cash register. Like the previous theme, there’s usually a long line of customers, getting angrier by the minute. Regardless of what button I push, I am incapable of entering a price or dollar amount.

It would be sweet if I had dreams of vacationing with Tom Hiddleston pop up in my brain on the regular, but sadly, I am not so fortunate. Dreams riddled with anxiety, fear, and frustration are for me! How about you? What do you dream about persistently? Have your dreamscapes been super vivid lately? Leave me some comments!

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