Saturday, September 13, 2014

Popular Books vs. "Literature"

There's another one of those endless, obnoxious Facebook memes making the rounds. List 10 of the books that have changed your life, greatly influenced you, were most memorable for you, yadda yadda yadda.

Nearly everyone I saw listed books they probably haven't read since they were in high school. I'll admit I was guilty of doing that. I listed "Siddhartha", "The Catcher In The Rye", "The Bible", and "The Art Of War". Your friends read your list and talk about how much you have in common because you've read some of the same books. Yup, you and your Facebook friend both read "Crime and Punishment" because Mrs. Naugahyde or Sister Mary Dogface ordered you to read it for English Lit. class. Your Facebook friend feels your pain. Then you bond and sing "Kumbaya".

Alexis Kleinman saw those lists and cried "bullshit"! She wrote "This exercise is just one humblebrag after another. "I'm just trying to keep up with my friends! This is what everyone's doing!" you say as you look up a the top 100 best novels of all time and write down the ones from that list that you've read. You're just trying to make yourself feel smarter and make everyone else feel dumb."

I don't agree with her last statement. I think it's more the case that you don't want your Facebook friends to learn the last book you read and loved was "The Davinci Code".

Here is Alexis's list of books that people are reading in Real Life:

1. Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone
2. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets
3. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban
4. The Phantom Tollbooth
5. The Hunger Games
6. Fifty Shades Of Grey
7. Gossip Girl
8. A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One
9. The Lord Of The Rings
10. Where The Sidewalk Ends

There's nothing wrong with liking popular books even if some think they "dumb down" the world. I've read plenty of them and they taste delicious.

In light of this article, I've changed my list of books that have greatly influenced me. Here is my REAL list:
1. Everyone Poops

2. Snape/Mary Sue fanfic (all of it)

3. A Sale Of Two Titties
4. Harry Potter and the Amazing, Wonderful Royalty Check
5. How To Write Good
6. Fancy Coffins To Make Yourself

7. Every Dad Is A Good Lover 

8. Scouts In Bondage

9. The Beginners Guide To Sex In The Afterlife

10. Why Cats Paint

(The first and the last five are real books.)

Oh, and just so you know, the book I'm currently reading is George R. R. Martin's "A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One". And I'm loving every second of it.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Food and Drink Cravings From Books and Movies

I recently finished binge watching the American remake of "House Of Cards", and I absolutely loved it. For anyone who hasn't seen it, it's about political corruption and it's very entertaining. The main lead is played by Kevin Spacey. Television isn't the actor's graveyard it used to be. Now, major stars head very good TV shows. Kevin Spacey is a case in point. I'll watch anything he does.

One scene that repeats quite a bit in the show is how Spacey, as Democratic Majority Whip Frank Underwood, frequents a BBQ rib joint in a rather sketchy part of Washington, D. C. This guys ribs are amazing, and it's one of D. C.'s best kept secrets – including the fact that a major politician sneaks there to get his ribs fix. Watching him rave about the food while he scarfs it down has made my mouth water so much I begged my husband to make ribs for us.

We ate them Sunday night, and they were delicious.

Movies, TV, and books have influenced my eating and drinking habits. Here are a few examples:

Multiple cozy mysteries – Grand Marnier
"The Avengers" (Starring Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg) – Champagne. It's my preferred alcoholic drink to this day.
"Like Water For Chocolate" – Quail in rose petal sauce. One of these days I will make it. Until then, I will simply serve roasted quail.
"Twister" – Steak, mashed potatoes, and gravy.
"Downton Abbey" – Water out of an antique water carafe, specifically this one:

The Harry Potter books – Jelly Belly jelly beans and chocolate bars.
"Rebecca" – Ravioli. It's frozen, but it'll do. It's not goose liver ravioli, though. When I crave goose liver, I blow $30.00 on a pound of fois gras at a local gourmet shop, but I don't do that very often.
"Tom Jones" – Raw oysters and red wine.
"The Shining" – Bourbon, although I loathe the stuff. That said, I'm going to the Stanley Hotel in October for a writer's retreat. Stephen King stayed in the Stanley Hotel, and his stay provided direct influence for his book "The Shining", so I have to drink at least one glass of bourbon during my stay, since it was Jack Torrance's drink of choice.

Those are a few choice examples of how my reading and TV/movie viewing influence my choices in food and drink. What about you? Has a book, TV show, or movie ever made you crave foods or drinks?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Ne Me Quitte Pas - Edith Piaf

I like this version better than the Jacques Brel. I've always loved Edith Piaf's voice.

Ne Me Quitte Pas - Jacques Brel

I heard this one on "The Leftovers".

Where Are The Readers?

A writer friend of mine recently contacted me to wonder about a Yahoo group that rejected her post. It was a group for erotic romance so she didn't understand why she was rejected. Turns out the post had been in moderation status for 14 days, which is the maximum period of time for a group moderator to validate a post. The moderator didn't do that for whatever reason and her post didn't make it to the group.

I moderate two groups on Yahoo groups, or at least I used to since I don't use Yahoo groups anymore. Ever since Yahoo changed its format for posting my posts no longer go through. I tried to post during a scheduled posting day in Love Romances Café's group but none of my three posts went up. Maybe Yahoo doesn't like Safari. Doesn't matter. I gave up on Yahoo groups.

Does anyone out there still use Yahoo groups? I don't think there are any readers there anymore. Nothing but authors spamming the groups with promo posts. What a waste of time! Where have the readers gone? My guesses are as follows:

Book blogs

What do you think? Where are the readers?


Here's where to find me on the web:

Elizabeth Black - Facebook

Elizabeth Black - Twitter

Elizabeth Black - Amazon Author Page