Reading in Purple

Reading. One of my life's greatest passions, alongside travel, photography, cats, and purple things. This is where I'll write about what I'm reading.


I should also use this area to note the potential and probable use of strong language. You have been warned.

Reading Habits, Riding Habits, Good Habits, Bad Habits

The Booklikes folk asked what our reading habits are on their blog recently, so I thought I'd answer their questions! Read on!


Do you have a certain place in your home for reading? Nope! But I do usually read on the couch or, sometimes, in bed. There's not really a lot of other options, unfortunately, as my tiny NYC apartment doesn't have a bathtub big enough for me to enjoy a nice hot bubble bath and a good book.


Bookmark or random piece of paper? Bookmarks, unless I can't find one or I start a book away from home and don't have one handy. A number of the stores I go to or buy from online send free bookmarks, so I tend to use those.


Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop read after a chapter / certain number of pages? Technically, I can just stop reading wherever, so long as I've finished a paragraph. I have a strong preference for ending at a chapter break, though. I try to do that when I'm stopping for the night.


Do you eat or drink while read? All the time, especially drinking. I'll usually have water or sometimes tea with me. If I'm snacking, it's usually just something small and/or easy to grab. I can't do greasy snacks while I read, of course, because that would mess up my books' pages.


Multitasking: music or TV while reading? Depends. Wordless music, like soundtracks from movies or classical music, is ok, as is chill, trance-like music. TV/Movies have to be ones I've seen so many times they are literally just background noise. There are some days when I can't focus at all if there's noise, so those days I either have to turn everything off or disappear into the bedroom if I can't turn stuff off.


One book at a time or several at once? I've usually got several going at once. I have a limited attention span, so unless I get really sucked in by the book I'm reading, I find myself jumping around a lot.


Reading at home or everywhere? If I can bring a book, I will. I read on the train, I've read at work (after finishing my work, guys), I read before appointments, at my boyfriends' mom's house (when it's quiet enough). My favorite place ever to read is on the balcony of my cabin on a cruise ship. I've taken two cruises and nothing compares to reading as I listen to the ocean crashing around against the ship while I head for an island far away from the smelly hell that is New York City.


Reading out loud or silently in your head? Silently in my head, usually, unless I really need it to sink in or I'm feeling quirky. When I first started reading Pride & Prejudice, I read the first two or three chapters out loud in the worst British accent imaginable, just because I could. 


Do you read ahead or even skip pages? Nope, although I was recently tempted to by the plethora of unwanted, poorly written sex scenes in Breath of Fire. Fortunately, the author got over it and I was able to resist that temptation.


Barking the spine or keeping it like new? I try to preserve my spines so I can make the books last longer. I read mostly mass market paperbacks when I can, and those don't last quite as long, so it's important to me that the books not get destroyed the first time I ever read them. It's nearly impossible with the longer books, of course.


Do you write in your books? Not normally. Non-fiction is more likely to get a few notes written in here and there or passages highlighted if there's something I want to go back and reference.

Remind me why people read stuff like this...

Behind Closed Doors - B.A. Paris

It's not fun. It's not relaxing. In fact, it kept me up until 5 am after reading about Molly's fate (I saw it coming, but that doesn't change how much I hated it) and I kind of wanted to throw up most of the time while I was reading this book. I'm fine with pushing boundaries in literature, even pushing multiple boundaries at once, but this one pretty much was it. Animal neglect and abuse, domestic abuse (verbal, mental, and sexual mostly), and threatened abuse towards a very sweet, very bright mentally disabled person? Nope. Not what I want in my fiction


The ending is all that's keeping me from giving this book a solid two stars, as it worked out well in the end. I also really loved Esther, as she was extremely intelligent and knew from the start that something was very, very wrong with the perfect picture she was being shown.


While I normally keep the books I acquire, I don't intend to keep this one. I also doubt I'll ever bother with reading another book by B. A. Paris again, as her ability to come up with stuff like this scares me. She's an excellent writer, don't get me wrong, but if she's going to write about this much abuse and torture, I don't want in on it.

My boyfriend was concerned for my sanity

How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You - Matthew Inman, The Oatmeal

And I'm not kidding, either. I read the second half as he was sitting at his computer a few feet away and I kept snorting and laughing, causing him to look back at me with a very "what the fuck are you on?" look on his face.


I adore The Oatmeal and think it's rather hilarious. I also adore cats and think they're adorable, furry little satans running around, ruling our lives, plotting our eventual demise.


Be nice to the cats, guys. They'll eventually be our overlords.

Breath of Reallybadsexscenes (or Fire)

Breath of Fire - Amanda Bouchet

Warning: Language. Lots of it, and I'm not apologizing.


Holy. Sweet. Mother. of God. Please stop it with the bad sex scenes, Bouchet. They were numerous, and in the first few chapters of the book they were saddled with mental and even a little physical abuse. HOW is this supposed to make me believe Cat and Griffin have found mutual love and respect?


And the Griffin refusing to acknowledge that Cat can fend for herself? Nope. Not working for me. She saved his life multiple times, as well as that of the rest of the team, and that was in the FIRST BOOK ALONE. Yes, asshat, she can fight. Get over yourself.


Suffice it to say, I hate Griffin. At the end of the book, with the attempt at explaining why he acted that way (by the way, how in hell would he be able to tell? I'm definitely not convinced by any of it), I still hated him and thought he was a total prick. I'll be reading the third, though, partially because the author eventually figured out that fade-to-black is a thing which she will hopefully continue to employ and partially because when it's not bogged down with craptastic sex scenes the plot itself is pretty good, if unevenly paced at times.


There is one plot hole that's bugging the hell out of me, though: how the fuck did Kato and Cat get up that damn cliff by the lake?


I guess this is why I'm not meant to read romance, like, ever.

Incredibly Fun, but with its Flaws

A Promise of Fire - Amanda Bouchet

A Promise of Fire, Amanda Bouchet's 2016 debut, was an incredibly fun paranormal romance, if you can call it that, with a base in mythology. Catalia, while a bit annoying, was overall fairly strong and enjoyable to read. Griffin, however, was much more flawed, as he decided the best start to a relationship was to kidnap Cat.


Well, no. That's not romantic at all, but I read the book eagerly with hopes that it would improve. With hopes that the action would be more common than anything else. While I found myself jerked out of the storyline a couple of times with the "oh my god he's so hot" nonsense, it wasn't too often or too terrible. Cat was simply a very stream-of-consciousness thinker throughout and by the end I was okay with that.


Overall, I thought it was an impressive debut, with a few things that pulled me out here and there, but not enough to really harm it in my eyes.

Currently reading

The Complete Shorter Fiction of Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf, Susan Dick
Progress: 33/343 pages
Church of the Divine Duck
Mark Lages
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Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond
Sonia Shah
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The Baskerville Tales (Short Stories): The Adventure of the Wollaston Ritual, The Strange and Alarming Courtship of Miss Imogen Roth, The Steamspinner Mutiny (The Baskerville Affair)
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The Speed of Dark
Elizabeth Moon
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George Orwell, Erich Fromm
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