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review 2018-09-18 01:24
Topper - Thorne Smith 
Topper; Classic American Humor Fiction - Thorne Smith

It is, by this time, a cliche: boring business dude meets a manic pixie dreamgirl who shakes up his days, keeps him up all night, teaches him about love, and then passes into the great beyond. What makes this book still feel marvelously fresh is that the MPDG isn't all that wacky, she's married, and she's already dead at the start of the book. Other than drinking mind-bending Prohibition-era quantities of booze, the adventures themselves are amazingly simple. Topper and his ghost companions enjoy several good meals, but otherwise they spend the summer mostly sleeping rough, swimming in rivers and the Atlantic, canoeing, reading [book:Ulysses|338798] aloud, and just digging the beauty of nature. There is singing and dancing, even a little brawling, but it's so charmingly bucolic. After all, if Topper gets up to 25 MPH in his car it feels fast and dangerous, and it no doubt was since roads were iffy and there were still a lot of farmers with horses about.<br/><br/>I was worried about Topper's wife. Needlessly. Smith is a writer who can produce the banter of Coward, and also spend a lot of time telling us how Topper feels about his cat. I knew it was going to have a happy ending, but I didn't know the ending would be so perfect. The overall effect is charming, but never twee. Highly recommended.

 

 

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review 2018-09-17 17:43
I Have So Many Comments
Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest - Jen Doll

This was a nope for me. I needed something to read to break up my Halloween reads and I was promised a hilarious send up of being a single girl/woman serial wedding guest. As someone who is that single friend at weddings I was ready for it. Weddings have been on my mind lately (you guys hear about that plantation wedding thing? Sigh) so I thought this would be a nice read in between horror. Too bad this book was not good.

 

Jen Doll's book bounces all over the place, but I can honestly say she sounds like a pain in the ass as awedding guest, girlfriend, and friend. You don't need enemies with her around. I have unfortunately met this type of girl at weddings before. It's like a bat signal goes up. You can always tell the one that is going to drink too much, get nasty, and or mad if people are not paying her any attention. I hard cringed reading this book.

 

Jen provides readers with details/memories of significant weddings in her life. She even goes into her parents (she wasn't present) and while providing details on the wedding, will intersperse that with details about the bride, groom, and wedding guests. I pretty much only liked hearing about her parents and was curious about her childhood since she mentions her family moving around a lot. I was also doubly curious about her growing up in the south.

 

She wrote for a lot of well known magazines like The Atlantic, Cosmopolitan, The Village Voice, and others. So she can definitely write. That's not the problem.

 

I think the problem is that she made herself the anti-hero in her own story. You will probably come away with not liking her very much and or thinking she may have a problem with alcohol. She even gets into a fight with an ex-friend's husband at a wedding and he goes of course Jen is drinking again which to me shows that a lot of people think she drinks a lot. 

 

I think most of these stories center around Jen and how the weddings and people made her feel. I just don't know if she got or understood that unless you are the bride, you don't make a wedding about you. She revisits one awful wedding where she got drunk and hit friends of hers that were trying to take her back to her hotel room. I just cringed inside while reading. She claims to have blocked things out because she doesn't want to remember, but yeah I bet she does. God knows I remember every dumb ass thing I have done too. When you think she has finally learned her lesson, she goes to a wedding with a guy who sounds interesting/shows promise, and then flips out because he's not paying enough attention to her. I would have cursed her out and went about my day.

 

My rules for attending weddings:

 

1. Are you the bride? No. Then shut up and be helpful and make sure you don't cause drama. 


As someone who has been a maid of honor at a destination wedding (what a pain the ass that was) and was also in my brother's wedding I can tell you that I was thrilled when my last two friends who got married did not ask me to be a bridesmaid. I don't get hurt by it, and don't give two craps. That means I can chill all day til the ceremony, then make sure I bring something to snack on in the car on the way to the reception. And then I will smile, toast, take pictures, be helpful (once was in the bathroom for an hour untangling a friend's long ass train) and go back to my room and sleep away til the next day. 


I think without realizing it, that Jen's inability to put her friend's first caused some of them to not turn away from her, but towards the end of the book, she was just a guest and not in the wedding parties for some of the girls who were in wedding parties with her before. Frankly, I don't blame the brides, who wants that headache? 

 

The sections that made me die the most inside though was Jen going into her friend's Ginny's marriage and being mad that Ginny wouldn't leave her husband cause Jen didn't like him. It didn't sound abusive, it just sounded like the guy was kind of a dick. I just don't know why she was so overly involved in it. It just sounded like drama and she was feeding on it. Ginny gets brought up throughout this book, so you don't know what happened at first, but we eventually get there. And even after the friendship is broken, Jen can't help poking at it like a scab. I can see why the mutual friends were tired of it. 


I was hoping for more of a girl power book (being happy being single and attending weddings solo) and having some funny remembrances that occurred at weddings. This book was totally not what I though it was going to be. 

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text 2018-09-17 13:19
Can our intrepid friends save the world?
The Last Coven - Rick Gualtieri

 

Maybe.

 

The last battle to prevent the first vampire? mage?  from controlling the world is upon us. 

And if she's defeated, Alexander the Great wants the job.  (asshole)

If they take out him, Ghenghis Kahns granddaughter (?) is ready to step in and fullfil her perceived destiny.  (little psycho whack job)

 

At least ass kissing smarmy Colin gets what's coming to him.

 

Some royal ass kicking (everyone gets to participate), some sadness, a nice interpretation of the origin of the vampire myth, and a nice creepy WTF! Ah shit!  at the end.

 

 

Spent some time agonizing where to put this one.  I decided on Spellbound because of the whole origin thing.

 

 

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text 2018-09-13 23:50
Deadlands
The Wicked Dead - Rick Gualtieri

 

Bill and his his friends are sent on a suicide mission because Alexander the Great is an egotistical  megalomaniacal asshole.

 

Bill, however, is finally growing up.  Sorta.

 

 

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text 2018-09-10 13:42
Still bumbling and mostly clueless
Goddamned Freaky Monsters - Rick Gualtieri

 

Bill inadvertently resurrects a 2,000 year old barbarian cultish vampire warrior by dropping his dessicated head of with his friend Dave because he knows Dave will get a kick out of it and maybe stop trying to use Bill for experiments.  Nice going.

 

No one knows exactly what happened to Ed, but he can no longer be 'turned'.

 

Bit of a cliffhanger with this one. Who's in the box!  (I feel like Brad Pitt at the end of Seven)

 

I don't know why I read this one as I didn't have slotted for a square, except that it was on my Kindle, and it was fun, so I'm going to use it for Genre: Horror since I don't have anything specific chosen for that square.

 

 

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