Monday, January 21, 2013

Reading Adventures for 2013

I was overwhelmed by the sudden access to the most popular books which I didn’t have the liberty a few months ago. As a result, I start to regard reading books with less fervor, I think. Or maybe some books were just promoted to an exaggerated extent. I don’t know. But I do hope it’s the second reason.

So why am I telling this? Last year, I was able to read 19 books. So that’s 1.6 books in a month which is more than okay considering that year 2012 had been a busy one for me. That was the year we moved house (in February), the year I ventured with beaded watch crafts (from March to July, maybe), the year we got our visa granted (in July) so we had lots to prepare for, the year I took driving lessons (September). There’s a lot of changes if you get the point. So I managed to squeeze reading these books and that would have to be the travel time it took to go to the office and back to the house. Plus, when I arrived in Australia by myself, without the kids, I had plenty of time for leisure. And luckily, that was the time I found this liberty of access to the books I’ve always wanted to read.

As 2013 started, I had 3 books waiting to be read. Coraline and The Graveyard Book both by the author Neil Gaiman and Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James. The first one was a fast read and I would like to make a separate post for its review. The story was good although I’d say now and probably reiterate in my review, that the movie was a better version.

The Graveyard Book was a little more difficult to read and it was disappointing because I have high regard of it. Maybe because the theme was a little unacceptable to me, which was ghost fantasies and adventures. I do like fantasies but only those that are science related like Madeleine L’Engle’s time quintet. The Graveyard Book is different though so I decided to move on to Fifty Shades.

Now this last book is 50-50. I have read several reviews from bloggers alike about how much they hated the novel so I didn’t bother reading it. Still, I was curious because most of my friends, and friends whom I respected too, were thrilled about it. So when I chanced upon a copy in the library, it couldn’t hurt to try.

So here goes my opinion. Sorry fans but first off, I’m really not inclined to love stories so that’s probably why I wasn’t so thrilled although the fashion in which the novel was written was not totally difficult to endure. But personally, I did not develop a liking to the heroine who was Anastasia Steele. Although she was supposed to be “beautiful” and na├»ve about it, she didn’t strike me as such especially on her first meeting with her dream guy. Falling flat on your hands and knees isn’t exactly attractive. Plus, she always flush in different shades of crimson, red, scarlet, name it. I thought the book may also be fittingly entitled “Fifty Shades of Ana’s Face”. And then she has this vice of looking at her hands and biting her lip, the latter an act which Grey (Ana’s love interest) finds very seductive. Personally, I don’t understand how.

Other things I did not like about her was her frequent reference to her inner goddess who dances the meringue, salsa, samba etc. and her subconscious who seems to hate her and always smirks or shouts at her. Both of them recurrently taps their foot on her impatiently or whatsoever. Oh, and I almost forgot. Ana’s favorite expressions were “oh my,” “crap,” “holy cow,” and “holy shit.” So brace yourself for these words and you might as well keep a paper and pen for tallying just for the fun of it and see which of these were the most used throughout the book.

I could look beyond these annoying repetitive matters but some of the things about Grey made me really feel uncomfortable. Mostly these were his reactions such as his frequent gasps on such little things. It just doesn’t match with his purportedly hard core image. Or the way his mouth hangs open a lot. It made me think he’s stupid-looking. But the most annoying of all is his cocking of head to one side. I’m not sure if the problem is with me but I just don’t feel that this act is so masculine. Reading takes one to imagine, and every time I see him cock his head to one side, I wince. I try to imagine the husband doing the same and I cringe even more at the thought, I think I might divorce him when I see him do that (hehe just kidding, but the cringe was real). This made me really restless so I asked the husband outright what he thinks about a guy who cocks his head to one side and he says that’s not straight…
"But the most annoying of all is his cocking of head to one side"

When a person’s head tilt to one side, it means that an interest has been developed. Remember how a dog tilt his head when curious? It’s the same with humans too:)
This is a common gesture for women when they are interested in an attractive male.
(Source here)

"Don't I look better than Christian Grey?" Photo Source
Well anyway, this habit of Christian Grey annoyed me ultimately that I lost appetite to finishing the book. Plus, it appears as if half of the story was a description of their love making adventures but I was thinking I could skip those and just get to the point what’s so mysterious about Grey. But the cocking of head to one side got a bit irritating so I made a pact that if he had to do it again, I’d stop reading the book. Alas! Before chapter 10 ended, he cocked his head to one side again (the part where he was having lunch with Ana in a nice restaurant) and I got so pissed I closed the book altogether.

Okay, I admit it. I’m not really harsh. I still plan to finish both books, perhaps go back to Graveyard first before Grey. But one other reason why I wasn’t so patient with Grey was because I found another book called Clockwork by Philip Pullman and guess what? It was like I’ve found oasis after walking miles in the desert! The book was a lot more interesting but it was very short so I finished it in one day and it left me feeling a little regretful because such a great read came to an end so fast. I’ll definitely write a review about it perhaps after reading it a second time.

Anyway, I’ll try to refrain from borrowing books until I’ve finished the Graveyard and Grey first, the latter with a condition that I’ll give a limit of 10 more times for the cocking of the head, 15 for saying “oh my” and 20 for the dancing inner goddess. If anything exceeded the limits, whichever comes first, then ultimately, I’d put down the book and return the same unfinished.


  1. I didn't finish Fifty Shades... natamad ako and the "hype" I don't know if it discouraged or saturated me haha I might just watch the movie.

    1. I know my reply is a bit too late but yeah, I'm the type of person who goes against the "hype" most of the time but then again, it wasn't like that with Hunger Games. With this book, I don't know. It's the cocking of the head to one side... geeezzz it's so... gay... and he's supposed to be macho or something like that.


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