meghan rose allen

June 2017

Posted by in this month I ...

Yes, we are over a week into July. Yes, I am slow.

I read:

Thoughts:

The Comic Book Story of Video Games by Jonathan Hennessey and Jack Mcgowan: Review to come closer to publication date.

The End We Start From by Megan Hunter: Even with her incorrect spelling of Meghan, review to come closer to publication date.

Tokyo Decadence by Ryu Murakami: Reviewed earlier this month.

All The Birds In the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders: Why do I read books that are so much better in theory than in practice?

Why by Mario Livio: Review to come closer to publication date.

I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid: Fifteen, twenty years ago, I would have thought this book was clever. Now, I am less enamoured of literary tricks and think it dumb.

By Fire by Tahar Ben Jelloun: Reviewed earlier this month.

Favourite book:



Most promising book on my wishlist:



I watched:



I wrote:

Some new story. A few poems.

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May 2017

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I read:

Thoughts:

His Whole Life by Elizabeth Hay: Reviewed earlier this month.

Tremulous Hinge by Adam Gianelli: Reviewed earlier this month.

The Things We Thought We Knew by Mahsuda Snaith: Review to come.

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo: Review to come.

Chemistry by Weike Wang: Review to come.

Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight: Review to come.

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel: Review to come.

The Song and the Silence by Yvette Johnson: Review to come.

Basically, I read a lot of ARC books off my kobo this month.

Favourite book:



Most promising book on my wishlist:



I watched:

I visited somewhere with cable.



I wrote:

A possible novella-length Canadian response to The Nest.

Faerie-story fiddling. Three rejections now!

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April 2017

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I read:

Thoughts:

The Flintstones Volume 1 by Mark Russell: Reviewed earlier this month.

The March of the Crabs by Arthur de Pins: Reviewed earlier this month.

Meet Me In The In-Between by Bella Pollen: Review to come closer to publication date.

The Ghost Road by Pat Barker: Strange that this one won the Booker when its the weakest in the series.

The Lucky Ones by Julianne Pachico: Beware the sentient bunny rabbits.

Favourite book:

Ha! Bucking the previous months' Pat Barker trend.



Most promising book on my wishlist:

I put zero books on my wishlist for me this month. Reading and I are at an impasse.



I watched:

brooklyn 99



I wrote:

Nonsense. Reading and I are at an impasse. Writing and I are at an impasse. Today it is dark and rainy in metaphor and real life. Blah.

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March 2017

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I read:

Thoughts:

All the Places I've Ever Lived by David Gaffney: Review posted earlier.

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah: Review posted earlier.

Are You There Krishna? It's Me, Reshma. Or Rachel. Or Whatever. by Rachel Khona: Review posted earlier.

The Universe is a Machine by James Michel Hughes: Review posted earlier.

I feel I'm slowing down on reading. I don't know why. So little makes me want to read, but then I crave reading constantly, so I think it's just standard meghan brain nonsense.

Favourite book:

We've all heard the hard sudoku comment (if not, in a creative writing class, another student said reading what I wrote was like doing a hard sudoku puzzle, and no one wants to do a hard sudoku puzzle because it's too hard. Of course, I only do hard sudoku puzzles if I'm going to be doing a sudoku puzzle, so the comment was demonstrably wrong, but I kept my trap shut). Pat Barker is hard sudoku. I'm not even sure I know what she's talking about half the time, but I love it anyway.



Most promising book on my wishlist:



I watched:



I wrote:

Faerie story is done. Just writing random scenes since then. Trying to get my new-writing groove back.

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February 2017

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I read:

Thoughts:

Regeneration by Pat Barker: I read this book in high school I think. Not for high school. Maybe the first year of university, but I think high school. I read it then and realized that people still wrote literature. Like it hadn't occurred to me at eighteen that there were books other than mystery novels and Stephen King coming out now that could be affecting.

So I read it again. I don't think I could have told you one thing that happened from memory. My whole memory of that book was a feeling.

The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui: Review to come closer to the publication date.

Manga Classics: Jane Eyre: Reviewed earlier this month.

Wonder Woman Volume 1: The Lies (Rebirth) by Greg Rucka and Liam Sharp: PAMSCAF reviewed earlier this month.

Bullies by Alex Abramovich: Not the story I thought it would be; not that this is bad, but it wasn't what I thought I'd be reading.

The Red Ripper by Peter Conradi: Reviewed earlier this month.

Favourite book:



Most promising book on my wishlist:



I watched:



I wrote: The only thing left for me to polish up in my faerie story is the Epilogue! Yay me!

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January 2017

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I read:

Thoughts:

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster: I know I read this not so long ago to Tesfa, but this time in reading it, I was really surprised by how pedantic some of the explanations are. I guess they're supposed to be punny but they seem so smug that I am repulsed.

Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris: Book with a twist. Guessed said-twist early on. Read to end to be vindicated in my sleuthing it out and dot dot dot my intuition was correct!

Dead Girls by Nancy Lee: I didn't realize that I'd read one of the stories in this collection before and it is my most hated story -- not because, of course, it is a bad story but because I didn't write it first and now it's out there and I can't really claim it as my own. *Sulk*

How To Survive a Plague by David France: Reviewed earlier this month.

Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden: I got this out of the library right before the whole frouforah went down. I read the book anyway but I can't help but feel now that it's a white dude is profiting off the struggles of POC (although, really, in that case I should have massive problems with my entire existence since I'm a white non-dude whose got to my place in life through benign and not-so-benign whiteness helping me along. Plus my Ukrainian ancestors, some of them owned serfs, and that's really bad and I can't untangle my life from all the suffering it has profited from. But then to write about it like this makes it seem like I'm the victim here and I'm not and now I'm even more tangled and that sounds even more self-pitying and I'm going to stop.)

In any case, The Orenda was better.

Asylum by Moriz Scheyer: One: I love the z in Moriz. Not relevant at all considering this is a fleeing from the Holocaust memoir. But I do love that z. Two: Reviewed earlier this month.

A Fortunate Universe by Geraint F. Lewis and Luke A. Barnes: Reviewed earlier this month.

Everything Reminds You of Something Else by Elana Wolff: Review to come closer to the publication date.



Favourite book:

Feels like a cheat, but I wasn't enamored with much I read this month. Besides, my faerie story takes some lessons from The End so I owe The End that at least.



Most promising book on my wishlist:

New Laurent Binet (of HHhH fame)! Requested it on Netgalley but when they likely reject me because I don't live in the UK, I will buy it.



I watched:

It's almost embarrassing how happy ASoUE makes me. Like giddily embarrassing.



I wrote:

Faeries.

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December 2016

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I read:

Thoughts:

The Nigger of the Narcissus by Joseph Conrad: Got to love how on the cover they emphasize the "Narcissus" as if that's the main point of the story. Also, contains one of my favourite expressions: avoir garder les cochons ensemble, although translated into English.

Wonderland by Tommy Kovac: All the little details in the comics (like the drawing of mome raths in the grass by the sun dial) made this book for me.

Inspired! by Maria Bukhonina: Reviewed earlier this month.

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris: It made me sick. Well, actually, gastro virus made me sick, but was it coincidence that I threw up right after getting to the story where there's a picture of vomit? Hmm....

In the Light of What We Know by Zia Haider Rahman: It was like reading Tolstoy, all the depth murked-up with pontificating and then I am sleepy and just say what you mean all you damn characters, I want to go to sleep, even though I know that you are an Important novel.

Bossypants by Tina Fey: Needs more Amy Poehler stories, although I suppose that could be said for every book ever written.

The Green Road by Anne Enright: Read at the end of my gastro-bug week and I can't for the life of me remember how it ends.

Our Cats Are More Famous Than Us by Ananth Hirsh and Yuko Ota: To be reviewed closer to the publication date.

Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror by Chris Priestley: Reviewed earlier this month.

the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace: To be reviewed closer to the publication date.

Big Happy Mush Lump by Sarah Andersen: To be reviewed closer to the publication date.

Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor by Gabriel García Márquez: Reading this and then later seeing Moana, I have shipwrecks on my brain.

Ms Marvel No Normal by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona: I am not a super-hero comic book person I am thinking.



Favourite book:

This book made me so happy. So so so so so so happy. Lumps of the world -- unite!



Most promising book on my wishlist:

There is a new Lara Jean book coming out next year! YAYAYAYAY!



I watched:

Thoughts:

Odd Squad: I'm pretty obsessed with Odd Squad. If we go anywhere with cable, I'm like First things first, search PBS/TVO schedules to find out when we can watch Odd Squad.



I wrote:

I got past a tricky-rewrite place in my faerie story! Hurray! And I thought a lot about a new story, but wrote down nothing.

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November 2016

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I read:

Thoughts:

C21st Gods #1 by David Tallerman and Anthony Summey: Reviewed earlier this month.

The Hoboken Chicken Emergency by D. Manus Pinkwater: My grade three teacher Mrs McCaggerty, who was my favourite teacher ever, read this book to our grade three class. Tesfa is in grade three. So I read it to her, although I got some sort of odd-Canadianized version of the story where everything was in metric rather than imperial and so all these New Yorkers in the 1970s are running around telling me how much the chicken weighs in kilograms and all that just seems wrong.

The Inkblots by Damion Searles: Review to come closer to the publication date.

I Love Dick by Chris Krause: Geoff: You always bring the strangest sounding books home from the library.

Avalanche by Julia Leigh: Reviewed earlier this month.

The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency: The Case of the Missing Moonstone by Jordan Stratford: I wanted to love this book. I cannot stress how much I wanted to have this book by Ah-May-Zzzzing, because I want another Lemony Snicket-esque series that I enjoy reading as much as Tesfa. But it was very much one of those kids books that are for kids, which is fine, but I'm not a kid, so I was not happy.

The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne: One of those books where you just want to slap each and every one of the characters to get them to stop acting like morons.

Bright Air Black by David Vann: Review to come closer to the publication date.

The Jolly Regina by Kara LaReau: Review to come closer to the publication date.



Favourite book:

Not that likely you had to ask. I think about this book in the back of my head as I go about my day ever since I finished it. Zadie Smith, come be my friend please. I can see everything in your stories so perfectly, the images in my head must be real, must be what you see too.



Most promising book on my wishlist:



I watched:



I wrote:

Faeries faeries getting 'er done.

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October 2016

Posted by in this month I ...

I read:

Thoughts:

The Origins of Everything in 100 Pages (More or Less) by David Bercovici: Review to come closer to publication date.

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer: I was really enjoying it, wondering why it didn't get the same buzz as The Goldfinch, since they are thematically similar, but then I noticed I was taking forever to read it, and thus realized that maybe I wasn't really enjoying it that much after all. Plus it just ends. Plus rape, see comment below.

The Complete Masters of the Poster: Reviewed earlier this month.

The North Water by Ian McGuire: I'm tired of rape in fiction as shorthand for bad guy/vulnerable victim. I am on fictional-rape-overload. It's unnecessarily lurid and whatever happened to eating kittens as a way to show the reader the person in question is monstrous? I want some kitten-eating villains. I don't want rape to be used as plot points. Rape is not something that should be cheapened in that way.

Rendez-vous in Phoenix by Tony Sandoval: Full review coming closer to the publication date.

The Complete Bone by Jeff Smith: It was all right. I don't understand the overwhelming love for it, but I think that might just be with my not-loving-graphic-novels-feelings as much as other people. It would have been nice if the main character had fallen in love with the girl after getting to know her, rather than knee-jerk she's so pretty --> now I'm in love. Imagine actually writing women as real characters before the shapeless blobs of male protagonists decide they want her -- oh, how fun that would be.

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque: I really struggled until the hospital part. I feel horrible that a book on the horrors of war bored me a little. I try to justify it that at the time, a book about the sheer misery of war was more groundbreaking than now, as there's a whole lexicon of horror-of-war books, but that doesn't change that something inside me just couldn't connect and I feel awful about that.

Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner? by Katrine Marçal: An article writ long. Many fragments. Of sentences. Included therein. Muddled thesis and forgettable when I had hoped it would be great. Need to stop being excited to read books. Always a disappointment. Was going to be present for my father for Christmas. No more.

Marçal did have fantastic red lipstick in author photo. For book purportedly about feminism, sad that what I remember most is awesome makeup. (But the feminism in the book is pretty subtle anyway and not as overt as I wanted.)

Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera: *Looks all around to make sure no one is watching*

Shhhhh. I liked the movie better.

Better Living Through Plastic Explosives by Zsuzsi Gartner: Like taking a toddler and putting it in book format: dizzyingly high but at the same time, so exhausting. The book wore my brain out.



Favourite book:

My proto-friend wrote it. She signed it for me, but spelled my name wrong and I was too timid to correct her. That has nothing to do, however, with the poems inside, which are nice in a sunny, calm day sort of way. People don't like the word nice. I had a high school English teacher ban the word, but some things are just nice and that's the word I want to use and I mean it in as nice a way as possible. If you don't like nice then replace it with genuine I suppose.



Most promising book on my wishlist:

Since I only put one book on my wishlist in October, it's pretty much a given what it's going to be.



I watched:

Thoughts:

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Even since Danny turned out to be a jerk and Mindy had to break-up with him (I can't even watch The Mindy Project anymore since my heart hurts too much), this is my new TV obsession.



I wrote:

FAERIES! I think I've gotten over my five-page hump. I also changed the chapter breaks to do busy work on one of the days I didn't want to do any work at all.

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September 2016

Posted by in this month I ...

I read:

Thoughts:

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh: Reviewed earlier this month.

The Japanese Lover by Isabelle Allende: This was my non-reading book club book club's pick. See how few books I read this month compared to other months? That was, in part, due to the sheer tediousness of The Japanese Lover putting me off reading. A mish-mash of every horror of the twentieth century (Holocaust, Japanese internment, sex trafficking, AIDS, etc.) stuffed into a maudlin, bloated carcass of people talking at each other in nonsensical situations.

That being said, the few who did read it for book club and who weren't me thought it was ah-maaaaz-ing. But they are wrong. I am right. It put me off reading for most of the month.

The Inferno by Dante Aligheri: Reviewed earlier this month. Another one of the books that I struggled to get through this month.

The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante: I even had the latest Elena Ferrante and didn't feel much like reading this month. That's how off reading I was. And then, because September was that sort of month, I didn't even love The Story of the Lost Child as much as the other Neapolitan novels. Still, I couldn't give it less than five stars, so it got five stars.

The Accident by Chris Pavone: A good reminder that not every sentence needs an adjective. Book Three of my books-that-aren't-for-me September trio.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith: I think if I had first read this book aged eleven, it would have been my favourite. But I first read this book at age thirty-six and so I'm too jaded for it to be my favourite.

The Scholl Case by Anja Reich-Osang: A review will be posted closer to the publication date.

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler: Over on LibraryThing, they have recommendations for me. So I've decided to try and read some recommendations, of which A Spool of Blue Thread was one. It was fine. American so had that American-ess to it. Made me think of light-hearted Jane-Austen-type of novel, but modern. I'm sure there's a name for that (social comedy? comedy of manners? I knew what I wanted to say last week when I was reading the book but now I can't remember. Also, I need to learn how to correctly punctuate parenthetical remarks. I think the period goes at the end of this sentence, not outside the close bracket.)

Best American Poetry 2016 edited by Edward Hirsch: Hopefully I'll get the review up by tomorrow.



Favourite book:

Obvs, since I had little else to choose from.



Most promising book on my wishlist:



I watched:

Luther: Man, I forgive so much from this show because everyone has British accents, because if this was an American show, I'd likely decide it was a piece of trash and stop watching it, but nope. British accents make everything awesome. I miss my British accent.

The Good Place: Pretty much my main issue with The Good Place is that it's not Parks and Recreation and since I no longer have access to US Netflix, I cannot watch Parks and Recreation and I really really really want to.



I wrote:

You haven't written much on your blog lately Geoff says.

Because I am working on proofreading my faerie story. All day. Every day I answer.

I am out of writing ideas, so I work on fixing up the ideas I've already had.

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