For the Love of Karaoke! Turn Around Bright Eyes: The Rituals of Love and Karaoke by Rob Sheffield

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Turn Around Bright Eyes: The Rituals of Love and Karaoke

By Rob Sheffield

Published August, 2013 by !t An imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Genre: Memoir, Music

288 Pages

Advanced copy courtesy of BEA

Three Stars

Meet Rob Sheffield, lover of all things music. Growing up, I used to love VH1’s I Love series. In five days, they would do countdowns of the top 100 best moments of the decades. Rob Sheffield was often a contributor, and a funny one from what I remember. It has been a long time since they have been on and since I watched him. He is still a writer at Rolling Stone, but within the last six years he has gone to be a published author, Turn Around Bright Eyes his third memoir. I read his first memoir about his love of music and the role it had in his first marriage. Called Love is a Mixtape, he talks about every mix him and his now deceased wife made;he lists each song on the tape at the start of each section. I remember loving the book when it came out. As a big music fan, and a bigger fan of making mixes for the ones I love and random playlists constantly, the way he presented the significance and role the songs had in his life and marriage was nicely written. I have wanted to read his second memoir, Talking to Girls About Duran Duran, but never had the chance. I was very excited about his third book because it is an nontraditional sequel to Love is a Mixtape instead of another memoir.

Turn Around Bright Eyes takes place three years after his wife died suddenly. He is in New York now, living in a new city with no memories of his dead wife. He now has a new start, but still he struggles. He stays in his apartment; watches Lifetime movie after Lifetime movie. It isn’t until his first night out late, singing karaoke for the first time, that he remembers how to live, stay up late; and he never wants to forget it again. He writes “There are times when we have to remember what they are. If we get lucky, something reminds us to move.”  I am definitely guilty of getting stuck (not watching Lifetime movies, but close). Sometimes a reminder, a simple remembrance of what it feels like to do something you used to do. Make sense? It’s just a quote I really connect to.

And, that is what the book really has done for me–connect me. It isn’t four stars worthy, but it is definitely a good, fun read. I loved a lot of aspects of the novel, especially the introspective ones. The book is well written, funny where it should be, and touching and sweet. It makes me really want to sing karaoke now. And the place is not too far from me. It was fun to read. The chapters were nicely divided with titles of songs and a time (which I am thinking is when he wrote it? not too sure).  What my nit picky thing is how the chapters jump around constantly. Sometimes he brings it all together. Other times (like when he want to Rock n Roll camp) don’t seem to fit with the narrative. It doesn’t mean the chapter or chapters were bad, but if the whole point was to show how he has grown and found his now wife through, because of music and karaoke, why were there chapters that didn’t truly focus on that? Yes, too much loveydovey would be bad. It does work, what he does. But, not completely.

It is a good book. I love the music references. The feelings songs have on him. I love the title, since I like the song eclipse of the heart (and the band bright eyes where the song lyrics inspired the name).  As Sheffield said,

“If all music did was bring the past alive, that would be fine. You can hide away in music and let it recapture memories of things that used to be. But music is greedy and it wants more of your heart than that. It demands the future, your future. Music wants the rest of your life…at any moment, a song can come out of nowhere to shake you up, jump-start your emotions, ruin your life….But, ultimately, that’s what karaoke is there to remind us. It’s never too late to let a song ruin your life.” And, it isn’t. Rob Sheffield, I bow down to your music-Buddhist sage advice.

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Get Your Favorite Novel On A T-Shirt!

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A great site full of wonderful literary products from posters to bags to t-shirts that have 75,000 words printed of your favorite classics that look like silhouettes. I have a poster from them that I love. You can now wear your favorite book, tote it around, and stare out the gorgeousness that is a litograph.

101 Books

This takes book geek to a whole new level.

So is the fact that I think it’s super cool make me an enormous book geek? Don’t answer that question.

For $34, you can get a t-shirt with 75,000 words of a classic novel printed on it. Obviously, the text is tiny, but it also is written in a way that forms some type of unique design based on the book.

Enough of me trying to explain this. I can’t. Just look at a several of these t-shirts.

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The 10 Booky Commandments

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I smiled reading this; I hope you bibliophiles do, too. Found on myfeatherquill.wordpress.com.

 

The 10 Booky Commandments.

 

Two worlds to every story; The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (audio)Book Review

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City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

By Cassandra Clare Read by Ari Graynor

Published in 2007 by Simon and Schuester

15 Hours (485 Pages)

Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal

Three Stars

(Now a major Motion Picture)

Fifteen year old Clary (Clarissa) Fray was your typical teenager. She lived with her single, artist, mother in Brooklyn, NY. Her best friend from childhood, Simon, was a musician as they often tend to be. She was a moody teen aged girl, until one night at her favorite goth club Pandemonium, she witnesses a murder no one else can see. And, I mean really see. Simon cannot see the three strange people their age with weird markings on their bodies and weirder weapons kill a guy that turns into a not so human remain. Angry, Clary tries to take these people on, but knowing it will all be for naught. Reeling, Clary never thought she would see these people again; especially the boy who did the killing. The boy who intrigued her the most. But, as it often goes, of course she does. Because, as much as she doesn’t understand them, she needs them more than any of them realize. Why, because her ordinary mother gets kidnapped by not so ordinary captors, but by strong demonic forces. Clary, now a motherless girl who fought off something a mundane, as she later gets called-a human that can’t see there are other world beings out there like the demon she saw the three people kill and the thing that tried to kill her; there is not one world now she must try to navigate, but two. The down world where the downworlders try to live in the human world: Vampires, Demons, Werewolves, and the shadow hunters who are after them to protect the human race (the mundanes they say condescendingly. Oh, we owe you so much! Thanks for being rude about it).

Clary, shaken and confused, turns out to be one of the three teenagers, a shadow hunter. Her mother, one of the most skilled her left that life violently behind until it caught up to her. Clary has too much on her plate already, so why not throw in a love triangle (or two while Cassandra Clare is at it?)

Meet the three strangers: the most gorgeous boy alive (of course) Jace and brother and sister duo Alec and Isabelle. They are some badass shadow hunters that Clary never wanted to meet. Oh, but she did. As did she meet the silent brothers, mutilating shadow hunters who can read minds and travel through them all while talking INSIDE your mind. Yes, inside, because they sewed their mothers shut. Their eyes, gone. They are some cold, strange people that constantly wear hoods and travel in glamorized carriages. Yup, I said glamorized. Jace, Isabelle, Alec, all these people glamour themselves to hide what really goes on. Hello True Blood and fantasy books I don’t really read. You all sound so familiar.

I listened to this book on audio, so maybe it is a different experience reading the book. Maybe the hidden worlds read better than being listened to (even though Ari Graynor was a great narrator). I just couldn’t stand Clary. I won’t say the novel was totally predictable, but as I have discovered with a lot of YA Fantasy/paranormal books there is a formula of sorts. Not entirely a bad thing. Just not really a good thing either. True Blood and witches are really all that I go for. But, the trailer to the movie looked so good. Now, after reading the book, I am turned off by the movie. The casting = epic fail in my book. Jace is not attractive in the movie, in my opinion.  Isabelle doesn’t look as hot or tough as in the book. If the guy who plays Alec in the movie was blond, he might be a better Jace.

                                                                                                              THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS CITY OF BONES Final Poster

                                (Lily Collins (Clary), Jamie Campbell Bower (Jace),  Kevin Zegers (Alec) Jemima West (Isabelle), and Robert Sheehan as Simon)

Just seems all wrong to me. The special features, though still look good and up to par with my visions so I will still try to check it out.

I am going to rate this book three stars because there were many aspects I enjoyed. Clary’s whining, not so much. The love triangle between Clary, Jace, and Simon got a little pathetic mostly because of the master of drooling and possible unrequited love, Simon. He was a little much, in a whiny love scorned way. (You are only FIFTEEN, Simon. Relax). I know there are always love interests. I am still a sucker for it. YA authors, though, please. Most of your characters, if real, would not end up together twenty or even five years down the line. So, stop throwing it at us. Oh, he is the one. My only. You are too young! OK, I may be a little cynical after reading soo many of these soul mate novels. I still love YA novels, though. I do. Don’t ever change! (maybe a little).

And, Cassandra Clare, I liked your novel. It was good. Not without its faults. Not every book is a five star worthy book. Three stars is a good rating. If I based it on the characters alone, it might have been two to two and a half stars. I liked the adventure aspect, and the shocker at the end. The BIG shocker of an ending. That pushed your book forward, Clare. However, even with an average B rating, I will not read the other five books in the series. Nor, the two spin-off series (why stop with one successful series and beat it to death with multiple spin-offs with similar action taking place in different years/locations?). I may read or listen to book number four. I won’t spoil it with the reason why. And, yes, I may have wikipedia-ed the other books to know I am set, pretty much, to not read the lengthy sequels.

I would recommend this book to those of you that like YA paranormal books, but know as much action, and deception there is, and how badly I wanted the mom rescued so Clary would stop throwing a pity party for herself (I would, too, though. Maybe not as whiny though) love, true love, takes center stage at would be, should be, big moments. Take your chance on this, but don’t put it on top of your shelf. Maybe number 5-10 or so. Still read it, if it’s your thing. Isn’t really mine, yet I did like it.

Happy Reading!

-indiereadergirl

I’m back.

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Hello my fellow book lovers.

Sorry I have been missing for a bit. I had issues with my laptop. Don’t worry, I managed to get some reading done.

I will be posting three reviews today, trying to make up for lost time.

Happy reading!

-indiereadergirl

It’s Monday! What are YOU Reading?

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                                      3

 

This week was a little busy. And, disappointing. I was able to read The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider in very fast. It was a great coming of age/first love story that wasn’t very traditional and overdone, making it one of the best books I have read so far. 

My review is here https://indiewritergirl0329.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/not-your-love-at-first-sight-ya-book-the-beginning-of-everything-by-robyn-schneider/

It isn’t out, yet, but when it comes out you should check it out, at least. And, for you goodreads.com lovers, here’s the link

 http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13522285-the-beginning-of-everything

 

I tried reading How to Paint a Dead Man by Sarah Hall I bought for cheap on my nook. I am only on page 30, maybe. It is just very slow. So, I tried to read another book, but that turned out to be a Christian novel. I am listening to The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, and narrated by Ari Graynor, one of my favorite indie actresses. 

This week will hopefully be more productive in regards to reading. I have a few posts lined up.

Happy Monday, and happy reading!

-Indie 

 

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