Miscellanea, Personal, Reviews

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts: Halloween Edition

As usual, blame Christine as Bookishly Boisterous for whatever amount of time you are about to waste (it’ll be a pleasant waste, I promise). I have the best of intentions (which pave the road to hell).

1. You know that vlog I talked about doing? Well, I did it and this week’s mostly bookish thoughts can be found in there. It confirmed some of my worst fears about myself. I ramble. I’m a little awkward (adorably so, hopefully, because I sound like a little kid). My annunciation and pronunciation need some work. I’ll (thankfully) never pursue a career that requires listening to myself speak. And for the love of all that’s holy, I need to script myself (because no one cares that Mark Danielewski’s sister is Poe). I should learn to sit on my hands a little and get a chair that doesn’t creak. Also, note to self, it would be helpful if you actually gave the title of the book. That being said, it was sort of refreshing to challenge myself in a new way. It was so far outside of my comfort zone that my comfort zone was not even visible. If you watch it, you deserve a prize. If you don’t (or can’t), here’s what you’re missing: A rather glorious discussion of my favorite books to read during October. The video includes:

‘The Terror’ by Dan Simmons

‘The Stand’ by Stephen King

‘Bag of Bones’ by Stephen King

‘Communion: A True Story’ by Whitley Strieber

‘The Wasp Factory’ by Iain Banks

‘House of Leaves’ by Mark Danielewski

The non-bookish stuff includes maritime history, my relationship with The X-Files, why some horror movies don’t work for me, how I choose my profession, the song Hey Pretty, the possibility of Ben Affleck directing the remake of The Stand, and why casting Pierce Brosnan to play a 30-something blond American was a shit choice. Also, there is no good place to record a video in my house, there are too many windows (30, to be precise).

For more traditional bookish and not so bookish thoughts:

2. Way to go America. Way. To. Go. (The US maternity policy probably irritates me the most. Give women a break. I don’t like to throw this out there, but if men were the ones to give birth I strongly suspect there would be paid leave.)

3. Which state are you (based on attitude)? I’m Montana, what’s up with that? I’ve been to Montana, there are no similarites.

4. Famous last words: Author edition.

5. Neil Gaiman on Lou Reed: ‘His songs were the soundtrack of my life’. “…I don’t know how to explain why a songwriter is responsible for so much of the way I view the world.”

Due to the sheer length of the vlog, I’ve cut back on other bookish thoughts. So…you’re welcome? Of course, you are welcome to provide feedback on my vlog. No need to tell me to maybe make it a little shorter – that I already know. And as you sit through 13 (unedited) minutes of me, please remember you were the ones who encouraged me to do so. Sincerely though, thanks for watching and thanks to Andi at Estella’s Revenge for the encouragement (and inspiration).

Bookish and not so bookish thoughts for the week are always encouraged. Do tell.

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  • http://readinginbeddotcom.wordpress.com lauratfrey

    Rory!! You’re gorgeous and I am super jealous of your hair.

    You *may* have convinced me to try the vlog thing. I dunno when, because like you, I would have to be in a stellar mood to even try and even then I’d probably just go “ugh” and delete the thing…

    I’ve read none of these books, can you believe it? House of Leaves is on my list but I’m intimidated for obvious reasons. And I know that I need to read some Stephen King one day (nope, never read any.)

    Major props for mentioning a fantastic 90s movie and soundtrack. I try to work a 90s reference into all my blog posts, no matter how irrelevant 🙂

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      Aw, thanks!

      Obviously if I did it, I think you should to. It took me a while to work up the nerve. It wasn’t so bad (if you don’t count the number of times I said “um…”). I tried not to, but I cringed every time I heard myself say it. I’ve only been able to watch it through once and I nearly gave up the first time I heard myself misuse a word (resemblance).

      No Stephen King?!? Seriously, you’ve read Dragon Bound, but never picked up a King novel? Priorities.

      And thanks. I love a lot of ’90s and ’80s movies. My go-to references are usually Clueless and 10 Things I Hate About You, but the Great Expectations soundtrack was really good so it earned a mention. As for the movie, it irritated me that they changed Ethan Hawke’s name to Finn, but it did look very pretty.

  • http://readinginbeddotcom.wordpress.com lauratfrey

    Oh and regarding the famous last words article – is it just me, or is Chekhov kind of hot?

    • http://btweenthecovers.com/ Heather

      It is not just you. Heh.

      • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

        I’m not one for beards, but Chekhov’s not bad.

  • http://btweenthecovers.com/ Heather

    That quiz said I should be in Georgia.


    No offense to my friends and other lovely people who live in Georgia, but you couldn’t pay me enough to put up with the politics in the South. No way.

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      I feel the same way about Montana. It’s the rural land of God, guns, and conservatives. That would never, ever happen. Not ever. I get a little antsy when I get outside of the liberal city I live in now.

    • http://healingbywriting.com Sherrey Meyer

      Heather, the quiz also sent me to Georgia, which I refused to accept. Having grown up in Tennessee and endured the south, its politics and narrow mindedness (forgive me if any southerners are reading this), I won’t ever live in the south again!

  • http://btweenthecovers.com/ Heather

    I think you did very well with your first video. I was also thinking of attempting a bit of vlogging, but I think I have myself mostly talked out of it. It’s hard. You did well.

    SEMEN JOKES. The best.

    I also LOVE The X-Files. I really need to re-watch it.

    The movie adaptation of IT scared the crap out of me. For about two weeks (at least) afterward, I had a small panic attack every time I had to pee, take a shower, brush my teeth, or be near any kind of drain for any reason. Fucking Pennywise. I will be reading the book very soon (November?), and I’m honestly very nervous about it. Sigh.

    And I had no idea that Danielewski’s sister is Poe, so I think that is a good piece of trivia. I also need to look up that song.

    • http://btweenthecovers.com/ Heather

      Oh, and yes, I love House of Leaves but parts of it begin to irritate me, too.

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      Thanks. It was very odd to talk without any sort of prompt, I didn’t exactly enjoy it, but it was a little bit fun. I think you should attempt one, if you hate it you don’t have to post it. There is something interesting in hearing someone talk, how they sound, etc. I don’t know where I’m going with this.

      And thank you, I take this as quite a compliment from a person who gave her dryer blue balls.

      X-Files. Who doesn’t love The X-Files? Scully was my hero for a long time.

      The drain scene. That’s a good one. The single scene that scared me the most is when Ben is walking alone through town being stalked by Pennywise – it scared the shit out of me, even when I reread it as an adult.

      It’s creepy, it’s on youtube if you want to listen to it.

  • http://booksaremyfavouriteandbest.wordpress.com booksaremyfavouriteandbest

    Totally, totally loved your vlog. And don’t sit on your hands because then we can’t see your nail polish!

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      I’m glad! I realized after I took the video which, upon pain of death, you might not have been able to get me to redo, that I still had hot pink nail polish on (Color: Essie – Cute as a Button – probably subconsciously trying to channel that sentiment).

  • http://julzreads.wordpress.com Julie Merilatt

    Excellent job, you are SO cute! I’m definitely going to have to prioritize The Wasp Factory. And the only book The Hubs ever contributed to my collection is The Stand and it’s still on my TBR pile. One of these days, I promise :).

    Thanks for keeping me company on my train ride. You rock my friend!!!

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      Thanks (and you’re welcome, I do what I can)! The Wasp Factory is good and very short. It’s one you could easily knock out in an afternoon. The Stand is worth it, it’s just takes effort because no matter how easy it is to read, 1200 pages is 1200 pages.

  • http://www.lovelybookshelf.com Monika

    I love the vlog! I thought you were very well spoken, and any rambling was still very interesting! 🙂 can’t wait to see others!

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      I don’t know if I’ll make others, I would have to come up with a topic….

      And thank you. I tend to talk to fast when I’m nervous, so I had to keep reminding myself to slow down.

  • Bonnie @ For the Love of Words

    Awww I applaud your bravery. I doubtfully will ever Vlog. The camera is so frightening.
    I have The Terror on audio but haven’t listened… yet. Oooh! Bag of Bones is narrated by King? Will definitely go the audio route then. 🙂
    I totally blame the X-Files for my fear my aliens too.
    The formatting of House of Leaves seemed super interesting when I first picked it up at first but yes, quickly got irritating. That book scared the crap out of me. Read it late one Friday night when I was home alone. Dumb idea.

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      I hate the camera. I hate the way I look on camera and above all I hate the way I sound on camera – I’m practically squeaky. I’m still amazed I posted it and haven’t taken it down.

      The Bag of Bones audio is amazing, you get to hear the accent exactly as it’s supposed to sound.

      The X-Files. I love it, but the Peacock family still gives me nightmares.

      House of Leaves. Not a lot to say about that one. When I first got it, I picked it up and flipped through it and it was like “what…?”. “I found the stairs” still haunts me.

  • http://wordsforworms.wordpress.com Words for Worms

    Okay, I love this so, so, so much. First! I also have the sense of humor of a 13 year old boy. Bravo. Second- Who thought it would be a good idea to have Molly Ringwald play Fran?! Third, 14 schools?! I want to hug you. Fourth- I care that the House of Leaves guy is Poe’s brother! I LOVE POE! I bought Hello at a used CD store when I was like 13 and still bust that bad boy out. Also, the Great Expectations soundtrack is perhaps the greatest soundtrack ever produced. I will probably read House of Leaves now, even though I’m a big chicken, just because of Poe. So thank you, my dear. You were wonderful!

    • http://wordsforworms.wordpress.com Words for Worms

      On a side note, Great Expectations the movie starring Ethan Hawk was pretty much the worst thing ever. WTF with changing Pip to Finn?!

      • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

        Apparently they named “Finn” after Ethan Hawke’s dog. Why they changed it, I have no idea. The only good thing about the movie is the soundtrack and visually it’s very pretty.

        Boyish humor is underrated. I’m a fully functional mature grown-up and I say it’s funny, so it must be so.

        I moved around A LOT, but I am very good at meeting new people. The trouble I still run into is that while I meet a lot of people, I rarely get close to anyone. (That’s a little deep this early in the morning.)

        This is what I love about the bookish world. In the general population no one knows or cares who Poe is – she is just an obscure singer-songwriter that’s never been particularly popular. I mention it on a book blog and everyone knows who she is. It’s very satisfying.

        (And thank you, I do have the irrational fear that once people realize how boring I can be they’ll run away!)

  • http://whimsical-nature.org Wattle

    Your vlog is great 🙂 I haven’t read any of Stephen King’s horror novels (I have read the first Dark Tower novel…and found it difficult, which is why I’ve held off on reading anything else). Thank you for the novel recommendations, I think I’ll have to check out House of Leaves and The Wasp Factory…just because.

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      Thank you (and thanks for watching).

      I think Stephen King is great, of course. Bag of Bones is only a little scary, Pet Semetary is very scary, both are excellent. The Wasp Factory isn’t scary, it’s just really disturbing (and very well written).

  • http://loveatfirstbook.com RebeccaScaglione – Love at First Book

    Rory, you are such a cutie! Fabulous job on the vlog!! I have done 1 big one, 1 quickie, and am going to try to vlog once a month!

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      Aw, thanks. I don’t know if I could do another one, I would have to think of something I’m qually as passionate about as Halloween.

  • http://sarahsaysread.com Sarah Says Read

    Yay, VLOG! You need some room-darkening curtains, girl. Actually, it’s not SO bad… it was probably worse for you with glare on the screen while you’re trying to record.

    I’m disappointed I didn’t get around to Bag of Bones… it’ll happen sometime, since I own it now. But Halloween really would’ve been the perfect time. Also, I think it’s awesome that you picked your career based on a book 🙂

    Apparently I’m Colorado. I have no idea if that’s accurate or not.

    Whaaaat, never vlogging again? You did great! It IS awkward, but so much fun. (I think we both need to learn how to edit videos though… mine were always like 10 minutes long and it’s annoying how often I catch myself overusing words – mostly “awesome” and “interesting”. I need a thesaurus installed in my head.)

    Happy Halloween 🙂

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      The lighting in my house is ridiculous. Believe or not, there are medium weight sailcloth panels covering the windows in the video. Behind the curtains, I have blackout shades (which I couldn’t use, of course, though I probably would’ve been more relaxed and funnier if I didn’t have to look at myself).

      Bag of Bones. Doesn’t matter when you read it, it will always be good. I was still a teenager when I graduated from college, so I had no idea what I wanted to do and no one would hire me for a serious job. So I figured I’d go to grad school and one character in Insomnia had her Information and Library Science degree – the rest is history.

      Colorado is a wicked awesome state (cold, but awesome). So it’s probably true.

      I may vlog again, but very rarely (I panic a bit when I’m on camera). Yep, I’m totally guilty of overusing “essentially” and “but”, they are my fall back words when I don’t know what to say.

  • http://www.livingawritinglife.blogspot.com Jennine G.

    Awesome! You’ve got guts! Do it again! I totally agree on the two mediums…I take books of many kinds very well, but could never view the movies of certain scary ones. It’s like my imagination limits itself. My brother bought me House of Leaves in 2006 and I’ve never read it…didn’t realize it was somewhat of a scary story! I pulled it off the shelf and will give it a try.

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      I found House of Leave to be near terrifying – I’d highly recommend it.

      In theory, movies are worse than the books, but something about seeing blood and guts and creepy music leading up to a scary scene – it messes with my head. When I read scary books, even when people die it’s usually neat and orderly, that is just what my imagination projects because that is what I prefer.

  • http://www.rivercityreading.com Shannon @ River City Reading

    SO cute. You had some of the same concerns about vlogging that I did, but you handled them so much better than I did. I hope you continue, I love this!

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      Thanks! I might again someday, I just need plenty of recovery time. I think if I did it again, I would still be as nervous. It took me about 20 minutes to work up the courage to turn on the camera.

  • http://www.acidfreepulp.com Acid Free Pulp

    Good job! I would be too nervous to do a vlog but it definitely is a good forum for recommending books. I have never read House of Leaves (honestly, it looks too infuriating) but any time I hear mention of it, I think how I was once a clown and hit on a guy working the front desk at a theological library. He was reading it as I walked up to him for book check-out. A fool! House of Leaves=lame dating fail.

    I rated as ‘South Carolina.’ I do not know what this means or how I should feel about that.

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      Thanks! House of Leaves is frustrating, but the story is pretty terrifying (though lessened by the sill layout). At the very least, you have a good story out of it. In my experience, books and dating don’t mix (although in theory they should). I’ve only ever dated one “reader” and I would get a tiny bit offended if he didn’t like the book I liked.

      And South Carolina…the food is really good in Charleston – so that’s something…(I imagine is means you rated as very polite and friendly?)

      • http://www.acidfreepulp.com Acid Free Pulp

        I’m not overly friendly or polite, I admit, so South Carolina was reach for me. My firsthand knowledge of South Carolina extends as far as stopping for beer at a biker bar while driving through it to a different state.

        Whenever I have a moment of free time, I’ll have to look over House of Leaves. I’m definitely willing to give it a chance.

  • http://www.caffeinatedlife.net/blog Lianne @ caffeinatedlife.net

    Looking forward to watching you vlog (haven’t yet, trying to catch up with stuff at the moment)! Now that you’ve done one though, would you think about doing it more often/every now and then?

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      I laughed a little, you’ll have to watch it to see why. I’m not entirely opposed to doing another one, maybe someday…

  • http://foundbetweenthecovers.wordpress.com Sherrey Meyer

    You did very well with your first vlog, something I haven’t tried and probably won’t. I’m not nearly as lovely and youthful as you or many others on vlogs. I did enjoy your bookish thoughts and references to other things we’ve all come across this last week/month, like the quiz that is sending each of us to places we don’t want to be. Rebecca at Love at First Book posted your vlog on Facebook, and that’s how I found you. Will be watching to see what you’re brave enough to do next!

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      Thanks! I like the challenge of it and that it makes me uncomfortable in a good way. Next time I’m going to spend a good deal of time thinking about what I want to say, rather than wing it.

      And I still can’t believe it sent me to Montana, I feel like I should’ve been Vermont or Washington.

  • http://gilmoreguidetobooks.com Catherine

    You’re just adorable! Specifics: LOVE the nail polish and your voice is fine- no accent or anything. I’m with you on watching or listening to myself- I’m not sure I’ll ever have the guts to do it but am so impressed you did. Plus, you made me laugh- in a good way.

    So, we’re in agreement on House of Leaves (creative but got irritating at times) but we can never watch a horror movie together. Case in point- happened to channel surf by Saw III tonight during the autopsy scene and almost threw up. Cannot do blood or gore in any form but love mind games.

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      Thanks! Nothing says professional like hot pink nail polish. 😉

      I’ve worked hard to make sure I have no real accent. When I watched it, I could actually hear the words I usually struggle with (i.e. idea, it took extra effort to get that out correctly). I love mind game books, but the movies scare the pants of me – so I guess they are effective. I don’t like gory ones either, but they don’t scare me. I just think they’re gross. We’ll have to go with something safe, like a romantic comedy.

  • http://www.bookishlyboisterous.blogspot.com Christine @ BookishlyB

    “Seamen are swallowed and…” HA HA HA. Sorry 😉

    I’m so happy you did the vlog. I love connecting faces with voices- this is such a great way to add extra personality to your blog. I’d love to do one, but I’m total chicken-shit (and I think my husband would make fun of me for DAYS!).

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      If you have an entire novel that is literally about seaman being swallowed…how could I pass up that particular opportunity?!?

      I’m chicken too (still am) and I’m so soft spoken that I hate hearing myself talk.

  • http://ofbooks.org Alice

    I’m New Mexico, I don’t know what that means.

    So glad you vlogged, I don’t think you rambled too much, you sound WAY better than when I testing myself vlogging. Seriously, your verbosity is fantastic.

    The X-Files is some of the best TV I have ever watched.

    The Wasp Factory is one of my favourite contemporary novels as well, such a good book!

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      I’m so having that put on my grave “And her verbosity was fantastic”. Love it, thanks!

      The X-Files! It still throws me that some people hate that show.

      • http://ofbooks.org Alice

        Ha! You are most welcome 🙂

  • http://www.thebookwheelblog.com Allison @ The Book Wheel

    LOVE IT! I just recently read that the way a human hears other people’s voices is indirectly through their nasal passages and, since that’s now how it works when you are hearing yourself normally, you think you sound more nasally. It’s actually much more scientific then that but that’s all I really remember. The book is Compelling People if you’re compelled to learn more 🙂

  • http://gilmoreguidetobooks.com Catherine

    I’m back! I got so side tracked by the vlog that I forgot to take the test. I’m Tennessee- go figure. And might I add- I lived in Utah for ten years and the only reason they appear the least neurotic and agreeable is they have the nation’s highest per capita usage of Prozac! True story.

    Loved this post! (Not even going to comment on men and pregnancy- you’re right and then some).

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