Books, Booze & Bajingos: The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James

Last night was the monthly meet-up (via Ventrillo) of my book club, Books, Booze & Bajingos. Here is the run down.

This month’s book was The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James. This falls into the realm of historical fiction. Syrie James writes as though someone has found the journals of Jane Austen and imagines a life for her in which there are events in that greatly influence and inspire the novels that have become timeless.

Overall, the group had issues with this book. We were all pretty much in agreement so instead of breaking it down by who said what, here’s just an overall Pros and Cons:

CONS: This book felt like a fanfic. Someone who loved the novels of Jane Austen, took from her novels and worked them into a book about Jane Austen. Like, someone really wanted Mr. Darcy to be real, so the made up a person that Jane Austen would have based him on. Also, Maile put it best, but Jane Austen’s behavior at being “friend-zoned” at one part in the book was a bit (lot) much. Also, we all felt that the ending could have been different. The resolution, that we all knew had to happen in some form, could have been different and given more depth to Austen.

PROS: For me, personally, I hate reading Jane Austen. I LOVE the adaptations of her novels, but I find the books themselves to be tedious and boring (as I put it last night, they are all “someone goes in a room, looks around, and leaves” for the entire book). However, I feel that if Syrie James were to just write adaptions of Austen’s novels, I’d read them. This book was meant to be written as though Miss Austen wrote them, but I found Ms. James’ version of that style much more modern, but not in an off putting manner. We all agreed that she spent just the right amount of page space describing details of the day-to-day life and activities (unlike Austen, who would write a freakin’ chapter just about cross-stitching by the fire).

Overall, it’s not bad, and if you need an Austen-fix, this might do it for you, maybe. Jessie, who picked this book, didn’t even finish it. I came close to not finishing it, but did yesterday morning. I will say, it picks up in the last hundred pages.


For August, it is Laura’s turn to pick.

BBB-Laura

Her pick is:

I’ve already read this book, but the rest of the group hasn’t. It is one of my all-time favorite books, so I’m excited to hear what the group thinks of it.

Your Faves from July

 

Here is a round up of the top posts from July.

Too Soon?

Gus

I’m glad to see such a good response to my Sneak Peeks!

Felicia Day is an inspiration to us all (or The Birth of a Book Club)

Felicia Day is an inspiration to us all (or The Birth of a Book Club)

Follow me to the promised land

Follow me to the promised land

You are what you eat (image from Somewhat Simple)

Follow Friday: The Lonely D12


 

I didn’t get a chance to do any new game reviews for Part Time Monster in July. There will definitely be one in August! Want a hint? How about “Waterdeep.” 😉

 

 

Vaginal Fantasy Book Club

I spoke last week about how Felicia Day’s Vaginal Fantasy Book Club is the inspiration for the one I started with my friends. I wanted to talk more about Day’s book club this week.

Here’s a quick synopsis from the Vaginal Fantasy wiki page:

Started in January of 2012, The Vaginal Fantasy Book Club focuses on romantic fiction, usually with science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, or supernatural elements. The club centers around the monthly Google+ Hangout book discussion, the Goodreads group forums, and generous amounts of alcohol. In August of 2012, the Hangout moved from Felicia Day’s YouTube channel to its current home on Geek & Sundry.

Felicia Day coined the term “vaginal fantasy” when she first got a Kindle and could purchase “smutty” books without embarrassment. The name of the group was meant to be a tounge-in-cheek nod to the romance genre. By including the word “vaginal” in the name it was meant to demonstrate that the club would be unapologetically about female-centric novels in genres (sci-fi, fantasy, etc.) whose authors and central characters have been, until recently, overwhelmingly male.

Vaginal Fantasy strives to be intersectional and trans* inclusive, and as such wants to acknowledge that not all women have vaginas/not all who have vaginas are women. Everyone is welcome to participate. Please note, however, that due to the nature of the subject matter and sometimes graphic content, this book club is for mature audiences only.

I’ve been a subscriber to the Geek & Sundry YouTube channel for a long time now. Mr. LL and I love to watch Co-Optitude together, I used to watch The Guild (which is how I discovered Geek & Sundry), we of course LOVE Tabletop (I mean, have you seen my posts over at Part Time Monster?). I had seen the Vaginal Fantasy uploads, but they are over an hour long and I didn’t think Mr. LL would be into them (he gets a kick at listening to them as I watch and he plays Diablo 3). So, one day when Mr. LL wasn’t home and I had some time to kill, I watched one. I was hooked.

Up until this month, I’ve never read the current book. Mostly because I’ve been just watching old posts, so I didn’t even know what the current book was at any given time. However, this month, I decided to officially “join” the club. VFBC has two picks a month, a main pick and an alt pick. I only read the main pick.

They alternate between hosts to determine the books for each month. July’s books were picked by Bonnie Burton. The main pick, the one I read, was Greywalker by Kat Richardson.

I technically listened to this book. I got the audio book so I could listen to it at work and in the car, and not have it cut into my reading time for this month’s BB&B pick. I caught myself staying in my car for an extra 5-10 minutes just to keep listening. I couldn’t wait to get my headphones in at work and find out what happened next. I LOVED this book. You can check it out on GoodReads for a full description and reviews, but if you like mystery/detective stories that feature ghosts, witches, vampires (and I suspect a werewolf) then you should definitely pick up this book. VFBC is for romance genre books, and I didn’t find a whole lot of romance in this book. However, it is the first in a series so I suspect sexy times may happen in later books.

Also, I had an a bit of fan-girl moment on Twitter. I was talking about how much I loved the book and thanking Bonnie Burton for picking it and this happened:

Twitter

How cool is that?! I was so pumped about this interaction; and from what I’ve seen on the videos, all the lovely ladies in the VFBC are really good about interacting with the fans and folks who comment on the forums and ask questions during the Google+ Hangouts. So, in other words, they are awesome people.

I’ll be sharing their monthly picks as well as BB&B’s. I’ll also link to their videos when they post. I hope you enjoy them and will read along with me!

Felicia Day is an inspiration to us all

Book Club

The alternate title for this post was The Birth of a Book Club. I promised last week that I would give you all the story of how Books, Booze & Bajingos came to be. So, here we go.

Back in May, you may recall, I took a week off from work and the blog for a little vaca. Most of that week was actually spent cleaning our apartment, and during that time I finally got around to watching the hour+ long Vaginal Fantasy Book Club videos that Felicia Day puts out on her Geek & Sundry YouTube channel. The Vaginal Fantasy Book Club is hosted by Felicia Day, Veronica Belmont, Kiala Kazebee and Bonnie Burton, and each month they read a romance novel. Well, I say that, but when I watched some of the first videos, it didn’t start that way. However, over time, they seem to lean towards romance. It’s not always bodice rippers, but they all have a female protagonist who falls in love. The episodes are deeply entertaining and I highly recommend you go check them out. (I’m going to do a post about Day’s book club next week.)

As I watched them, I thought to myself “I have a group of lady friends I don’t get to see that often and we all love to read and we are ALL hilarious…we should do this!” So I sent out texts to the ladies in my WoW guild, The Collective (though not all of us currently play, like myself, the whole guild keeps in touch), and everyone was totally down for this experiment. The only “rule” we have is that the book-picks should be fictional and have a female lead character. Genres are up to the picker. We also have an unofficial rule to not pick books that are later in a series. A couple of us, like me, are OCD about series and HAVE to read them in order.

The ladies of The Collective

At first I was just calling us The Collective Vaginal Fantasy Book Club, but that was merely a place holder till we came up with our own name. Here is a list of names that came up as possibilities:

  • Bajingo Book Club
  • Literary Vajayjays
  • The Literate Uterus
  • Ovarian Reads
  • Boobs & Bibliophiles
  • Clitoral Critiques Book Club

(Most of these are courtesy of Maile)

Maile happened to be reading a book that fit our requirement, and we agreed to read that book for June. It was already late into May, so we made it the June book just so no one felt rushed. We read Cinder by Marissa Meyer, a fun YA fiction that is a re-imagining of the Cinderella fairy tale. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it, myself included, and have either continued to read the series or plan to in the future.

The Collective uses Vent to hangout a lot, and so it was natural to just create our own channel to have our book club meetings. Currently, we’ve agreed to meet up the last Monday of the month, but schedules always change. Unfortunately, for our very first meeting, Laura had to be absent due to a last minute work schedule change. Such is life, and I’m sure it won’t be the last time it has to happen. Those who could make it had a good time though. I felt confident at that point that this was something that could be kept up and that I really wanted to blog about it.

And that is the story about how Books, Booze & Bajingos came to be.

Last week I mentioned that I may use our book club meetings to share with you how Books, Booze & Bajingos felt about that month’s pick. I wanted to clear it with the ladies first and they gave me the green light! So, to close out this post, I am going to introduce you to the members of the club!

She picked our first book, Cinder and also came up with the name!

She picked our first book, Cinder and also came up with the name!

She picked our current book.

She picked our current book.

BBB-Laura

BBB-Annie

And me!

And me!

Things are going to be a little different

Book Club

Reading is Sexy is getting a makeover. I want to try out something new because this is the one part of my blog that hasn’t really changed much since I started this segment.

Some friends of mine and I started a book club, Books, Booze & Bajingos. So each month, I’m going to share what we are reading as well some other posts ;). I may/may not do a recap of our get togethers at the end of the month, just have to see how it works out. I’m developing this new system as I go.

If you are interested, this month’s pick is The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James.

 

Starting in August, the Reading is Sexy will be, roughly, as follows:

  • New book for the month
  • Progress update on the new book
  • What else I’ve been reading
  • Possible recap of the book club meeting/what we thought of the book.

Next week, I’m going to go more in depth about the creation of Books, Booze & Bajingos and other interesting book-club related things. 🙂

Let me know in the comments what you think. Do you like this change? Are you interested in seeing how it works out? Or, did you like how things were and don’t want Reading is Sexy to change?