1177 Initiates
49 The Order

Mallory Kellogg, Chubbygirlreads

"The only important thing in a book is the meaning that it has for you."

Reading progress update: I've read 148 out of 268 pages.

The Most Dangerous Place on Earth: A Novel - Lindsey Lee Johnson

I do not ever remember high school being this damn dramatic. And I was bullied like no tomorrow. But this? This is ridiculous. 


I am glad Molly was mortified by Ellison's manuscript, though. Good God, the little excerpt we were given was a lesson in misogyny. Not to mention it wasn't even a veiled attempt to write about himself as the main character. He just did, right down to the belt he wore. That's bad writing 101: never make the main character you. They can have a couple of your traits, but never make them you. It's sloppy and boring. Ellison was a creep anyway so it figures he would be egotistical enough to write himself like that. What a dick.


This book is better than All at Sea but about on par with The Mothers so far. Meh.

All At Sea

All at Sea: A Memoir - Decca Aitkenhead

This book is a step-by-step in how not to behave like an adult. This woman did nothing a rational grown up would, and so I had no ability to connect with her. She left her marriage, which is fine, but she left it for a coke dealing crack smoker. And then she wants you to believe that being a dealer is boring and not all that dangerous. They play house, have 2 children and never marry (because marriage is only a piece of paper). And then it turns out he's still married to another woman. When he dies, she seems genuinely shocked she has a nightmare of logistics on her hands. Yes, honey, that's what happens when you don't marry a man but instead just intertwine your lives. His will left everything to his legal wife.


Plus, most of this book was just circling the drain of her constant sorrow. With pretty words. Lots and lots of pretty words. Over 200 pages, and there wasn't much substance. Just "my love died and my life is over and my kids are out of control". She had a down-her-nose view of anyone of faith, she wouldn't let the kids call her Mum, and she epitomized the idea you can be educated and still be dumb.


I'm proud of myself for finishing this.

Reading progress update: I've read 175 out of 225 pages.

All at Sea: A Memoir - Decca Aitkenhead

This isn't "haunting", as I was told it would be. Nope. It's mostly lots of superfluous words and talking in circles. While I feel terrible this woman lost her husband  (I would crumble without mine), I am just not connecting with Decca. Her entire relationship with Tony was built on not-so-up-and-up behavior, and I cannot quite feel for a woman that supported living with a cocaine dealing crack addict. 

Reading progress update: I've read 46 out of 225 pages.

All at Sea: A Memoir - Decca Aitkenhead

The moral ambiguity of her husband Tony is leaving me feeling unsure of this book. 

Book of the Month Winter Catch-up

The Mothers: A Novel - Brit Bennett All at Sea: A Memoir - Decca Aitkenhead Swing Time - Zadie Smith The Most Dangerous Place on Earth: A Novel - Lindsey Lee Johnson Exit West - Mohsin Hamid American War - Omar El Akkad Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI - David Grann

Usually, in November I do Nonfiction November. But since It ran long and I have been neglecting my Book of the Month selections, I'm skipping the November reads and going right into my December pile. December is dedicated to catching up on what selections I didn't get around to reading through the year. Well, I still have some from 2016, let alone 2017. Yeah.... I need to get that stack down. Let's see how many of these I can knock out. I can' even remember what some of these are about.


It - Stephen King



Reading progress update: I've read 881 out of 1138 pages.

It - Stephen King

I'm going to finish this before the end of tomorrow. I have made that deadline. While the hubby and his buddies are having their board game day in the dining room, I'm wearing ear plugs, snuggled in my recliner, plowing thru the last few hundred pages. I will get done!

Reading progress update: I've read 717 out of 1138 pages.

It - Stephen King


Omg, this is getting so fucking good.


I can't stand it.

Reading progress update: I've read 455 out of 1138 pages.

It - Stephen King

Thought about buying the audio book to help me get thru this for when I'm too put of it on pain pills to read. But then I saw they want $35 for it. You crazy. I already spent $20 on a vintage copy of this book. I am not spending another fortune on an audio book I will use once. And I don't use audios enough to worry with Audible so eh. I'm going to push on. 

Official WINTER CHILLS 2017 Book Swap: Open


What's this? What's this? There's reading everywhere! What's this? There's pages in the air!

Welcome to the official Winter Chills book swap! The super, duper Halloween-themed, horror-filled winter book swap for all us that just can't let go of October. 

Here are the official guidelines! Budget is $20, per the usual. Sign-ups are open from November 2nd to November 21st. Packages will be due to ship by December 5th. I hope that's enough time for everyone. If not, just hit me up and we can work out something. We're all friends here, and with it being the (numerous) holidays, we all understand being stretched a little thin. Delays can be made, budgets can be changed. I just want you guys to have a great time!

What to include:

1. Books, of course. However many you want, as long as they are spooky/creepy/horror or whatever else your buddy wants.

2. A treat. Something yummy to eat or drink. 

3. Something to wear. Socks, pins, a hat, anything. Make it fun!

4. Something that smells nice. 

5. A note, of course. Talk to your partner about why you gave what you gave.


As always, bargain hunt. Target Dollar Spot, Hollar app, Dollar Tree. Used books are fine as long as they are in decent shape. We haven't ever run into a bad giver yet, so let's try to keep it up! :) Also, since some of us don't celebrate Christmas, let's be conscious of that when picking items. That's why this is not a "Christmas" swap, but a "winter" one. Let's try to keep this rather secular and just enjoy the gift of books!

Emails with partners will be sent out on November 22nd. Shipping form will be posted up then, too, so I can track who gets what. 

I love you guys! Let's get this thing rolling! 

I can't believe my eyes! What's this?!


Late update on Winter Chills Swap

Hi guys! I'm sorry about this. Yesterday I was supposed to post the Winter Chills Book swap. Well, Booklikes did what it does and went down, at least my region did. I was locked out for more than 24 hours. And with no email notifications, I couldn't even reset my password. But now that it looks like things are okay again (whew) I will get the swap up by this afternoon! I am so sorry for the delay! Sometimes this site, man. I swear.



Also, guys, if some of you wouldn't mind DMing me your emails in case this happens again. I was completely cut off from the community and I could really use some outside emails to make sure this isn't just our router being stupid. Thanks!

So this was my weekend doodle. I'm pretty pleased with it. The lyrics are from "Walking the Wire" by Imagine Dragons.


Anyway, just wanted to let you guys know the Winter Chills swap will open on Wednesday. Stay tuned!!!


And have a safe Halloween. 

Reading progress update: I've read 321 out of 1138 pages.

It - Stephen King

1) Bill describes what writing is like exactly how I have to my husband. My head gets so full of my story that everything else is just shoved to the back. I am consumed and I must get it out. All I can focus on is getting back to my computer to finish writing. I will simply turn into the story if I do not get it down. Bill said this nearly word for word and I felt euphoric. I couldn't believe Stephen King was able to put into words my feelings to well, like he plucked the thoughts right out of me.


2) Bill also feels just like I do, that not all damn stories have to be metaphorical or political. They don't have to be picked apart, analyzed and studied. They can simply be enjoyed as tales being told. Why does the world think everything has a hidden meaning? I don't write hidden anything into my stories. They're multi-dimensional, but they aren't metaphors for anything. And I don't think most authors do that either. It's the readers and book snobs trying to be overly smart and high on themselves, finding meaning where there is none.

Hello, all. I am Danny, and I am being a loud asshole. 


But everyone still loves me.

Update on Chubbyness

So I haven't been very active lately. At anything. Instagram or Booklikes. I'm stalling at reading again because I'm back on pain killers, much to my dismay. When you're high as a kite, it's really hard to focus on words. They literally look like they're flying around the page. Sigh. So, this whole year has been really bad for me. But thank God, I have a super husband. He's more than I ever could have asked for. Who would have guessed when I was 11 and we sat next to one another in English class, picking on one another and flirting, that one day he'd be my whole life? I don't know what I would do if I didn't have him here with me.




I'm back to limping, not from my back, but from my bad hip. It's called an SI joint and it's acting up again. I had a pain shot last week but it did nothing. So I saw my neurosurgeon today, thinking he would recommend the surgery to put pins in and be done with it. No, apparently that only works IF THE SHOTS STILL WORK. Instead, I'm going to try physical therapy for a while and pray for the best. I am literally unable to take my son to school in the morning because getting into the car fucking hurts. Walking hurts. What hurts most is the act of standing or sitting. So I tend to just stay in one place and never move. I've become a miserable 80-year-old trapped in a 33-year-old body.


I wave my cane. I'm cranky. I have cats. Yeah.....


Anyway, so I don't see myself finishing IT this month at all, but I am going to get that book done! It's good! Just long. And don't worry! The Winter Chills Book Swap is still on. You know me well enough. That shit will happen. I've bought a lot of cute stuff for it already, so whoever I get will be a happy camper. 


Also, I'm just going to say how disappointed I am in Booklikes for their latest blog post. For obvious reasons. Geez, BL, really? That was shameless. You fell for that jerk's bullshit. I would never go to the admin here and ask them to plug my book. That's terrible. It damages our community and our trust. 


Finally, fellow Americans, especially females and/or LGBTQ, we're going to have to be stronger than ever. This country is a Dumpster fire.



P.S. I bought this used. And it turns out it's an 80s Book of the Month edition! Lol I'm a current member. Small world, huh? Also, it's signed from a father to his son. And I can only imagine to me it would be like "here, son. Love you. Have a big bowl of nightmares!"

Transformers: The Last Knight (spoilers)

Okay, I don't usually write out my thoughts on movies. I just rant to anyone that listens. But omg, here we go. 


I loved the first Bay-formers because it held so much nostalgia and classic Transformers for me. The second was actually pretty good. The third, they killed Ironhide, my fav. And so the franchise could kiss my ass. It really went out the window when they brought in Wahlberg and had Prime riding Grimlock. Like, Bay just threw out all canon stories and gave us fans the finger.


Now, movie 5, which I watched last night:


1. Always having a rotating cast of characters. Stop it. At least we kept Drift and Crosshairs, but every movie seems to bring in new side characters and drop old ones without explanation. 


2. Why is Josh Duhamel such a dick? He was their friend!


3. Can somebody explain to me why we have gone the way of Merlin and Arthur in a robot opera? It seems a fucking stretch, even for a science fiction action movie. Also... Merlin was Stanley Gucci, who was also in Age of Extinction. C'mon. Like we wouldn't notice.


4. Random Transformers just being made up. There are dozens of good ones left to use. Why you gotta just make up shitty nothing characters? We still haven't ever seen Ultra Magnus. No, we get Mohawk and Nitro Zues. 


5. Where did Bumblebee get Sentinel Prime's hammer? Am I the only one that questioned the random hammer weapon he was waving at one point for no reason? And then it just disappeared after that one scene?


6. Wtf happened to Grimlock? He just sort of disappears about halfway thru the movie. Or did I blink and miss his death. Not even my husband saw him die. So either it was a piss poor death scene or Bay literally forgot a character.


7. The baby dinobots. They were adorable. But they were ABANDONED. Nobody thought to take them along on the escape? No? Oh well. Sorry, Terry and little Grim and Snarl. You're screwed.


8. Bumblebee voice ex machina. He can just speak whenever the times get tough enough, huh? I see. And it's powerful enough to bring Prime back from the brink. Dude. Bad writing.


9. Nemesis Prime. I haven't read the graphic novels yet, although I own them. But as far as I have ever understood, Optimus Prime is the epitome of good. Not always likable but good. What they did to him here was a fucking treasonous mess. Not to mention the name. Yuck. Could you be anymore cliche? And the bad thing lasted all of a blink. Thanks to Bumblebee voice ex machina. 


10. CB-7? Okay, if you read the prequel book to the original movie there just doesn't seem any way for Bumblebee to have done that? Or am I totally off? Even my husband agrees. Major plot hole. Bay gives us the finger again. B has a twin. They could have easily just used Cliffjumper, because, again, there's a character we could use. But no... 


11. Final battle graphics.  Yuck. Some of the cybertron falling out of the sky stuff looked like grade school early 2000s CGI. You're better than this, Paramount.


12. Let's just not acknowledge the millions of deaths that occured. Because the moon being destroyed and Cybertron crashing partially into Earth is going to kill people, even if you stop the worst of the destruction. But, hey, Optimus Prime is back! Yay!


13. Can we NOT make people that believe in science look like idiots? We already have an administration that doesn't believe in science. Can we NOT make the final battle revolve around a scientist being proven WRONG when what he said seemed totally logical and REASONABLE? 


I'm sure there's more. Little things. Like why all the sudden Wahlberg and Duhamel teamed up when they had been bitter enemies up until seconds before, or how nobody ever seems to break bones. Or that amulet thing just showing up from space without explanation. Nothing about this plot made sense. The staff controlled the dragon but the dragon did whatever it wanted. So it was pointless. And the little girl was just an obnoxious burden. God, Bay, you are murdering my childhood just like you did Ironhide.


PS 14. Hot Rod's French accent. Late edit: just remembered this terrible detail. Why?! Why give him a French accent!!!