An apology, and some thirst

Good morrow, my nicely toasted crumpets! How goes it with this thing we call life? I’m currently camped out in the eye of a personal tornado of ADVANCEMENTS, UPHEAVALS, and GENERAL STURM UND DRANG. Mum’s the word for the moment, moppets, but I will tantalize you with a riddle hinting at things to come: Where is the last place on this vast and marvellous planet that a girl who despises sun and spiders and surfers would go? (I am the girl, and I am indeed going to the last place on this blue dot that I would ever go, BECAUSE REASONS.)

 And so, sorrynotsorry for the lack of posts recently. The life tornado, you see. Also I’ve been reading a lot of smut and what is there to say about smut, really? “Five out of five Apollo’s Belts, this book made me think deliciously naughty thoughts, CENSORED etc.” Boring, and also ew.

 On a less, ahem, salacious note, I have also been silent on the blog front because I am currently knee-deep in Susanna Clarke’s colossal Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrel, which I’m enjoying so much that I’m not even going to spellcheck this post so I can get back to it, #rebel.

There will be a review, but I’m only 357 pages in… which leaves 649 pages more for me to savor like a fine Lake-town wine. (Great Odin’s ravens, don’t you guys just love big books?)

 Before I rejoin Jonathan Strange in the Peninsula, permit me to share something that has been occupying a great deal of my mind: #ChildermassThirst. In case you haven’t read the book or watched the recent BBC adaptation, Childermass is the servant/right-hand man of Mr. Norrell, and guys, he is BAE. Like, hot. HAWT, even. Observe:

 

Damn.

 

DAMN.

 

DAYUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

(You only get the finest intellectual discourse with me, guys. GET ON MY LEVEL.)

 Oh, hey, Titus. ‘Sup?

You didn’t tell them about the Childermass fanfiction, did you? Oh, book-wrangler, how heavily you edit your personal mythos–

 PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE CAT WITH THE QUIZZICAL BROW. ADIEU! 

To me, fair friend, you never can be old

Happy maybe-Birthday, Shakespeare!

Bring on the cakes and ale

Yes, today is the day we traditionally celebrate the birth of the greatest English writer, William Shakespeare – the Bard of Avon, “not of an age, but for all time.” Happy 451st, Will!

Do you have a favourite play, or a favourite quotation? I love “Boldness be my friend! / Arm me, Audacity, from head to foot!” from Cymbeline (I, vi), but I think my most beloved lines come from Sonnet 29, “When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes”:

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate

I don’t know what it says about the state of my life that I often find myself muttering those words to myself without even realizing it.

¯_(ツ)_/¯

ANYWAY.

As you all probably know by now, our favourite Book Cat is named after one of ole Shakey’s characters, one horrifically creative and rightfully vengeful Roman general, Titus Andronicus (seen below planning to serve his enemy a pie made of her own sons).

To honour the great Bard and celebrate this monumental day in literary history, me and my boy T are spending the evening curled up in matching chicken suits (DON’T ASK) to eat some none-people-containing pie and watch the amazing film adaptation of Titus, with intermittent bouts of competitive recitations. He’ll probably win, the furry little nerd.

You know I love you, you foolish human. As Miranda says to Ferdinand, "I would not wish / Any companion in the world but you." Even when you dress me up in  a chicken suit.

You know I love you, you foolish human. As Miranda says to Ferdinand, “I would not wish / Any companion in the world but you.”
Even when you dress me up in a chicken suit.

TITUS! YOU ADORABLE CURMUDGEON! I KNEW YOU CARED!

To Shakespeare – thanks for all the words! Enjoy your cakes and ale, you poor players –

[Exit, pursued by a bear]

Damn you, Mercury!

Ugh, guys. I am in such a rut. Not my usual sort of rut (creative, romantic, professional, existential, homicidal, etc etc) but the absolute WORST kind of rut known to man… the loathed and dreaded reading rut. I’m blaming stupid, seeming-to-move-backward Mercury, which is retrograde right now. Stupid tiny, fast, extreme-weather-having, heavily-cratered planet.

Edit: FADED SPINSTER YELLS AT MERCURY

So the sad fact is that I am without a book to review for you this week. A string of DNFs (it means ‘did not finish,’ Mom) have left me feeling rather disheartened. I kind of just want to burn the TBR pile (‘to be read’ pile, Mom, jeezus) and hurl myself into Tolkien for a self-indulgent re-read. My Goodreads challenge will suffer. The looming biblio-Big Brother already judges me for my multitude of reading sins – book adultery, DNFs, way too much smut – so what the hell, might as well add indulgent re-reads to the list, right? TO THE TOLKIEN!

aragorn yolo

I know you want to know. Should I tell you? Hmmm, maybe I shouldn’t. It’s not really professional… OKAY FINE you twisted my arm, I’ll dish the dirt. The books I DID NOT FINISH were: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, and The Magicians by Lev Grossman. Why? The first was unoriginal, the second I wasn’t interested in (seriously, you guys, THIS was what you were all freaking out about?) and the last I hated hated HATED. So bloody slow. So joyless. So studied and tedious and careful. I don’t want to see how hard you’re trying, mate. I’m not talking about difficult books – some of the best books are difficult books, aren’t they (cough TOLSTOY cough). I’m talking about the actual writing, the construction and word choice and hundreds of other things, nameable and otherwise, that all fit together in that amazing, magical puzzle to create the Book. Your writing should always seem like it took as much effort as blinking, even if you slaved over a single sentence for 32.5 hours before deciding to change one word and then scrapping the whole thing and writing something else and then going back to that first one after all. Writing should seem easy. If it doesn’t, no one will want to read it. Or at least, this lady won’t.

Ugh. I *hate* not finishing a book. I hardly ever do it, since I’m as stubborn as stone, but when I actually dread picking up a book because I find it formulaic or boring or outright repulsive, I have to remind myself that there aren’t any Reading Police lurking in the shadow of my bookshelf, waiting to haul me in for the crime of Failure to Finish a Well-Reviewed Book. Everyone knows there’s no such thing as Book Police.

Only Library Cops.

Mr. Bookman. Hero.

Until next week, you freaky cats. I hope you like hobbits because that’s what I’ll be Tolkien about.

PS: Happy Russian Christmas!

С Рождеством!

Join me in stuffing my gob with pierogis, cabbage rolls, and borscht while I ogle this fine, silver-foxy Dane playing a Russian gangster:

eastern promises gif 10

Yum.

eastern promises gif 9

Double yum.

eastern promises gif 8So wise. And so sexy.

eastern promises gif 7

Jealous of a cigarette, dammit.

eastern promises gif 6

So Russia. Much sexy.

eastern promises gif 4

Smoking is bad for you AND SO AM I, BABY.

eastern promises gif 5

Hngh.

eastern promises gif 2

WHY IS THIS SO ATTRACTIVE???

eastern promises gif 3

DYING. DEAD. RISES FROM GROUND AS ZOMBIE. GROANS “SEXYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY.”

eastern promises gif

Schwing.

Ahem.

Well, anyway… Here is another attractive fellow masquerading as a Slavic Sex God.

book cat russian hat

You do realize how creepy it is to call “your” cat a sex god, right?

Oh, Titus!

Cheers, everyone – Будем здоровы!

Also, shameless self-promotion here: do please follow me on twitter and tumblr if you want more of my brand of crazy weird craziness.

Book Cat is Famous Once Again!

Emergency post!!!

I hope all of you subscribe to PBS’s Idea Channel on YouTube, because not only is it awesome and insightful and brain-embiggening… but this week it featured Book cat in a Russian Hat!!! Yay! Yet another victory in Titus’s ongoing campaign to rule the world! Pause at 1:04 to witness the momentous occurrence.

AHHHHH! Kermit arm flail!

kermit flail

You guys remember the post, right? It was a filler post for when I was rereading Anna Karenina.

Well. Congratulations all around. I don’t know why but I’m in a good mood. Fun times, y’all.

Book Cat, aren’t you excited?

Excited, Librarian? No. Did not Longfellow once say, "Fame comes only when deserved, and then is as inevitable as destiny, for it is destiny"? 'Twas destiny that brought me to these lofty heights, and destiny that shall raise me ever higher, until all the world knows the name of Titus Ignatius Andronicus, Book Cat and Supreme Ruler of the World!

Excited, Librarian? No. Did not Longfellow once say, “Fame comes only when deserved, and then is as inevitable as destiny, for it is destiny”? ‘Twas destiny that brought me to these lofty heights, and destiny that shall raise me ever higher, until all the world knows the name of Titus Ignatius Andronicus, once called Book Cat. All shall tremble and know my mightiness!

O…kay…