The Reading Corner is a place where books of all genres are examined and reviewed. Comments, questions and disagreement are welcomed. Grab some coffee and a comfy chair and make yourself at home.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The living dead

I'm a big fan of the show True Blood. I don't have HBO at my house, sadly, so I have to watch grainy videos of it online the day after each episode comes out. Yes I'm that dedicated, shut up. I'm not missing that much of the season just because I don't get the right channel! It's a fun show -by which I mean it's nasty, snarky and full of violence and blood -and not a little sex. The characters are good, the acting is better than what I expect and it's just a nice mindless way to spend an hour every week.

The books the show is based on are not that great; I'll be honest. I like them a lot, but as far as literature goes? They're trashy. They're trashy, low-brow, simply written, easily read little books. And that is what makes them great. They're just good enough to merit being read for pleasure. And unlike some books, they don't pretend to be the next big thing in literary history. They're just there for fun, sort of like that one friend who always wants to go out and party -fun for a while. It's the coffeeshop books you go to for substance (real, capital L Literary books like Jane Eyre or Rebecca), and it's these books you go to when you need a mental break and something light to read.

Thus, today's review: Living Dead in Dallas (aka season 2 of True Blood). Awesome. Get on it.

It's been a slow couple of weeks for me, reading-wise. The library's shittiness is finally catching up with me, and I seem to have run out of steam. I'm still reading Zadie Smith's book White Teeth (slowly but surely) and I have a few other things out...but on the whole, I think I need a bit of a breather. I'm trying to build up a log of reviews for when I go back to school and yet here I sit with something akin to writer's block. It's very frustrating. Like someone has cut off my arm, or denied me coffee. I know the best solution to writer's block is just to write, so I have been -every day, writing something. But none of it is really breaking through the review block I seem to have developed.

I have a book on curing writer's block (which is sort of a funny thing when you think about it -the idea of writing a book about how to be able to write when you can't. I don't know. I'm amused), but it's largely geared toward fiction writing, which I do...but which doesn't offer much help in writing reviews. I don't need to create believable characters with human depths and flaws in them to write a review, I just need to write about the characters other people have already created. Normally that's not a problem. The problem is that I'm not reading as much, as fast or with as much pleasure.

And for that I blame the library. I have 4 new books coming in the mail from Amazon; hopefully they'll be here within the next week. That will give me some motivation to read/write again, so there's definitely a light at the end of this particular tunnel. For the time being, I'm just going to keep plugging through the same stale offerings at my public library and attempting to find some sparks there.


  1. Ok, I have to say something about writer's block and reading... we all know good readers make good writers and vise-versa. (we ALL? Who am I talking to here?) Ok, between you and me and the interwebs, it's common knowledge that good readers=good authors.
    Anyway, as a *ahem* writer, and I use that term loosely, let's just say -someone who writes a lot- (notice I didn't say "good")
    I don't think that the library is to blame for your bump in the writing road.
    The lack of good reading isn't always the reason we can't produce. Sometimes we just need a break. More often than not...we do. Especially those of us with hermit personalities and reading and writing addictions...we get so caught up in the word world that we get stuck in the intricate web of putting words together, trying to make the next thing we write better than the last.
    I know our library isn't top notch but it's really pretty good. You should give them another chance to get things in for you from other locations.
    And my best advice. Get outside. Get some exercise (besides kicking everyone's butt at Wii tennis and boxing) Let's go for another canoe ride, we both need it. Breathe.
    Oh, yeah, and eat some chocolate. :)

  2. I still blame the library for having shit books. ;)

  3. Ummm..... for the True Blood, try BitTorrent. Also, take a break. Get outside. Don't read/write for a day. Sunshine is amazing. Well, that's all really. Also, I'm about to start reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I see you just reviewed it.