What’s around the corner

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

Bear with me. Mr. Oddbooks and I have been trading the same illness back and forth and now my version is a sinus infection. Some people can work when they are sick but I am not one of them. I’ve been reading lots of insane crap online as I wallow in my illness (insane crap online? the hell you say) and will definitely be sharing some of that in the future. Hopefully I will be back with some discussions at the end of the week.


I have some good stuff planned for the near future so short periods of silence may also be attributed to getting things together on my end.

April 8-12 I am hosting another Bizarro Week, along with book giveaways. More on that next week, but stay tuned.

April 22-26 will be ANSWER Me! week. I also am going to give away some Jim Goad books, though not any of the ANSWER Me! books, unfortunately, as they are out of print and I can’t find any decent, affordable copies online (when I rule the world, all the book drop-shippers on Amazon will be beaten naked through the streets, but that’s a rant for another day). This discussion has taken far longer than I anticipated and I appreciate everyone bearing with me as I hash this out. I wanted to make sure that when the inevitable arguments of what specific sacred feminists did say or did not say begin, I will have all my ducks in a row, text-wise.

At any rate, as I wait for the pressure in my skull to abate, I’ve got some good things planned. BRB when I have antibiotics and some ginger ale.

ETA: Clearly everything has been pushed back but IROB will be up and racing out of the gate very soon. Stay tuned.

A funny thing happened…

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

…on the way to check my post office box last night.

I let it lapse. I hadn’t checked it since mid-January because I am a near-shut-in and pretty content with being a hermit. Sadly, my renewal came up at the end of February and my key no longer worked.

I am not the most organized person but I evidently am endearing in person. I showed up today, prayed I would land on the pleasant older woman and not the surly dude who hates everyone but me most of all. My prayers were answered. The older lady remembers me fondly, specifically from the time one of you weirdos sent me a ‘zine so disturbing that the postal workers at my branch interpreted it as a potential threat and made me go get it at the counter just to make sure I was okay with receiving content like that in the mail.

It may seem like I made the above up, but I promise you it’s all true. So in a way, it’s good that unlikely things get sent to me because it meant she remembered me specifically as the girl who gets weird stuff. I don’t know if she bent the rules for me or if I slid in under the wire, but I was able to get my box back. It wouldn’t open because it had been “plugged,” not because the lock had been changed.

I was not prepared for the sheer number of books waiting for me. Most were review copies, and I cannot wait to read them.

But I also received books from my Amazon wish list from a reader with the initials ECA. I tried to look you up, ECA, so I could send you a personal e-mail to tell you how touching and humbling it was that you sent me these books, but I hit an e-brick wall. Sorry.  If you’ve left a comment here before, I apologize for not recognizing you.  Please know this female, animal-loving, cat/dog/anything with scales-rescuing, skeptical, atheist, liberal, writer and book lover really appreciated the gesture and will be discussing half the books here and half on my new skeptic site when it launches sometime in the next ten years or so. Maybe less if I start to use some sort of online calendar and organize myself to some degree.

I am not a person who handles praise well and I sort teared up when I saw that someone had spent their hard-earned money buying me books because they connected with something I wrote, or were entertained in some manner.  It really is very humbling.  This site can at times be a mild pain in the ass but for the most part, this site brings me so much happiness and has allowed me to meet so many interesting people. Thank heavens I followed through that night when I was all, “I should totally start a blog devoted to weird books.”

Amazon Gift Card Winners

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

I assigned everyone who commented on my contest entry a number and used the random number generator over at random.org to get the winners.  Congratulations to:

Hillary for winning the $100 Amazon gift certificate

Ben A. for winning the $50  Amazon gift certificate

Heidi and V. Weathers for winning the $25 Amazon gift certificates

I will send the cards to you all later tonight.  I am heading out to enjoy my anniversary with Mr. Oddbooks.  I hope you all had a wonderful Solstice and a fabulous Mayan End of the World!

End of the year thanks and reader celebration

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

So this has been a strange year for us all at Chez Oddbooks. Not bad, not good, just strange. One terrible thing happened, then a wonderful thing followed, then another horrible thing happened, then something fabulous ensued. It really was a bizarre year in that we spent a majority of it reeling from one thing to the next.

So I read fewer books this year than I have any other year in my life and I find myself at a loss to create the “end of the year” list that I generally post. I could come up with only 7 books remarkable enough to note and I have not discussed a single one of them yet. In fact, I have yet to discuss some of the books I mentioned in my end of the year list for 2011.

I wrote far less this year than I intended and there are multiple reasons for this, much of them stemming from neurosis and launching a couple of other projects (need cat toys? I got you covered). Yet, despite having written so much less this year than I had wanted, I somehow managed to gain some new readers and most of my “older” readers stuck around. I find that amazing. I really do.

Continuing in the strange vein of fate punching us in the gut and following it up with a rose bouquet, Mr Oddbooks and I had an unexpected windfall and I decided that since I can’t really prepare a proper end of year list, I’m going to ask you guys to do it for me and share some of my good luck with you.

Tell me the best book you read this year. Or maybe the worst. Or maybe tell me about the best movie you’ve seen this year. I want to hear about the media that affected you, positively or negatively. Starting now, the first comment you leave to this entry telling me about your book/music/film experiences this year will enter you to win one of the following prizes:

A $100 Amazon Gift Certificate
A $50 Amazon Gift Certificate
One of two $25 Amazon Gift Certificates

You can only enter once, though I do hope this entry sparks some lively conversation and you comment often. I will announce the winners during the end of the world, December 21, 2012, which is also my wedding anniversary. I will announce the winners at 6:00 pm, just before Mr Oddbooks and I set out to celebrate the date of our nuptials and, one presumes, the impending Armageddon.

When you comment, please do so with an e-mail address that can receive the gift certificate, as I will be sending them out via e-mail. Please note: I do hope some of my more paranoid readers enter this as well because your e-mail address can be a random free-mail or Hushmail address that in no way betrays your identity to me. If you win the contest and the e-mail with your gift certificate bounces or is rejected, I will run the number generator again and award a new winner.

I will announce this giveaway twice on Twitter, my LJ and my Facebook, but other than those six announcements, I will not be publicizing this. I am not doing this to gain new readers, though if that happens, welcome and stay a while! I am doing this to say thanks for sticking around and reading during my very strange year.

So until 6:00 pm CST, 12/21/12, tell me some things about the media you consumed in 2012. I hope your year wraps up in a pleasant manner and that 2013 holds nothing but amazing things. Much love to you all.

Happy Halloween!

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

Hello, dear readers. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I hope you all have a fabulous night and that any creepy experiences you have are the creepy experiences you want.

I’ve mentioned in the past that I had a paranormal experience that was pleasant and comforting. Not really scary but it’s all I got where actual Halloween-y experiences are concerned. We called the experience “The Mom Ghost” and if you have any interest in that sort of thing, you can read about it here.

Pretty Polly Pussycat (who turned out to be a dude and I really want to change his name to “Lola” but am meeting resistance with Mr. Oddbooks so for now he’s Pretty Paulie Pussycat) wishes you a fun, safe Halloween!

Whining over (for now)

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

I think I should mention that it is sort of strange to complain about receiving free books. Actually, it’s ridiculous. But sometimes things get the better of me.

I must reiterate, if you have sent me a book before my recent cut-off for review requests, you should not have internalized any of my earlier entry.

I more or less figured out what happened. It was just a confluence of some popular websites discussing IROB and my failure to have long ago implemented a reasonable approach to review requests. It just happened really fast and unexpectedly and I am, at best, unorganized in such matters.

At any rate, back to book discussions as I really am going to power through as many books as I can before the end of the year. I suspect I will not be able to cut back on my verbosity in such discussions but that should come as a surprise to no one.

Reader and fellow odd book lover, Ben A, said, quite astutely, that perhaps this site was becoming a job for me. While initially that seemed horrible, after contemplation, it isn’t that bad. I think I need to rethink my ideas where monetizing this site are concerned. Perhaps if I approached this as a serious endeavor that paid in some manner via advertising that rewarded endeavor and stopped treating IROB as something I just do when I’m not cleaning up cat vomit, it would not be a shock to my system when I get so many requests for reviews. Who knows? If I loathe finding audiences for my own fiction, I wonder if I will be able to make myself figure out how one uses ads sensibly on a website.

But it sort of doesn’t matter at the moment as I am finished lamenting all my many travails. So back in the saddle tomorrow with a bizarro discussion, followed by a long look at a horror writer who has disappointed me for the last time this year, and possibly next year as well if I can sustain my righteous disgust for longer than a couple of weeks. Then on to Goad and then on to writing as many discussions as I can between vacuuming the stairs and cleaning up various cat messes.

When labors of love become labors of meh

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

I’ve neglected this site and I am not entirely sure why. I think it’s partly because I’ve had another project in the wings but that’s not entirely it. And it’s been an uneven year but 2009-2010 were near catastrophic years and I wrote plenty then.

I think part of it is that I have always loathed reading what I must read as opposed to what I want to read. It’s childish, but there you are. The sheer bulk of review requests I receive is shocking. When I began this site, a writer I know from teh LiveJournal who also writes reviews, told me he had only ever received a couple of review requests and advanced reader copies throughout his tenure as a reviewer. I get three to four a week.

And that is all the more problematic because I myself am a failed fiction writer (failed as in I no longer write because I loathe finding an audience for my writing) and have in me an enthusiastic desire to read new writers and support their attempts to build a writing career. So I never say no, but failing to say no has put me in a position of reading books I must read as opposed to reading what I want. Not to say the books aren’t great -most are. But October is coming up and I want to read ghost stories and books about demons but feel all the review requests breathing down my neck, making it impossible to wallow in the season. I don’t like it when it reading becomes an obligation, so I procrastinate. Again, this is all very childish but I am who I am, you know.

(And for the love of your sanity and mine, if you have sent me a copy of something to read, do not have any mixed or odd feelings about this entry. People asking me to read their works is no the problem. My innate softness is, and my gooey nature is not your problem.)

I feel like the only way out of this mess I have gotten myself into is to hunker down, read like a demon and discuss as much as I can before the end of the year. Which sucks beyond the obvious because I like to go on at length about books I read. I give authors the discussions I wanted to read about my own works back when I still wrote fiction, and a full-onslaught to get my review copies read and discussed will mean a shorter word count.

But if I don’t just crap out content until I am caught up, I fear I will just stop writing all together and this site will die off.

So I am putting a moratorium on taking new review requests that I will likely lift at the beginning of 2013. Those I have accepted already will be read and if you have contacted me before today, yes, I will be reading your books, even if I have not responded to your e-mail yet. The only exception are those from the New Bizarro Authors Series. I will always accept books from those writers and that series.

I have a couple of regular reviews to finish, then in October I will finally get the Jim Goad, “Rape” zine discussion online. And from then it will be a full-bore writing assault to get caught up so I can begin January with an empty or near empty slate and hopefully this will put an end to my avoidance.

So much about to happen

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

Seriously, I have got some awesome stuff in the pipeline.   Look for the following in the very near future:

–Two books from Raw Dog Screaming Press, both very interesting reads;

–A new Bizarro Week in July, with the book giveaways that always accompany one of my themed weeks (it has been over a year since I had a themed week – why you people continue to read here is beyond me and I thank you for sticking around);

–Two comics from Glenn Danzig’s imprint, one he wrote himself, both very adult and very gory.  There is much blood and boobs, which I sense is pretty much what one would expect from Glenn Fucking Danzig.  Did you guys know he had branched out into comics, like, at least a decade ago?  Even Mr. Oddbooks knew.   It’s like the whole world knows stuff I don’t and I really wish the bunch of you would share;

–And finally, the discussion I sense many of you are waiting for.  I sense this because I keep getting e-mails about it.  I will finally be discussing Jim Goad’s ANSWER Me! collection, which includes issues 1-3.  Also, I will be discussing issue 4, the infamous “Rape” edition, which Goad was kind enough to send me to me.  Actually, the bulk of the discussion will be about the rape ‘zine and, believe me, if I manage to pull this off without bringing the entire extreme left-wing, feminist blogosphere down on me, I will kiss the ground and praise Dog.  I seriously have a bad feeling in my gut about the potential reaction to this one, but the stuff that worries me the most are generally the articles people like the best, so fuck my nausea.

So that’s what’s pending.  If anything as awesome as a Glenn Danzig comic book imprint has come across your radar, please share in comments.  It can also be less awesome as long as it’s horrible, strange or odd.  Or interesting.  Or anything really.  I’m easy like that.

If you are reading this, you probably need to get a shot

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

I thought I had flu. Turns out I really had strep throat and a sinus infection.

Down side is that having strep and a sinus infection blows colon. Up side is that they both respond pretty well to antibiotics. So you know, hurrah for modern medicine.

Despite falling ill, I kept trying to work and was going to post an entry about a book dealing with writings from mentally ill people. I worked on it as I was sickening, but glancing over it, it reads pretty much the way one would expect from a person with a high fever and a tendency toward verbosity. So I will work on it and come back here Monday, free of snot and chills, and hopefully post an entry that boasts some level of coherence.

If the antibiotic horse pills knock some of this out and I am safe to be around others, I may go to Domy Books to see a presentation from Process Books. You can read all about it here, and if you are in or near Austin, come. I would really like to meet Isis Aquarian, as well as Adam Parfrey. If you see a short, fat, dazed woman on the arm of a man with an interesting goatee preventing her from wandering into traffic in a fever-haze and you’ll know it’s me.

Otherwise, see you back here Monday. Get hand sanitizer and curse anyone who sneezes in your presence.

Stay tuned…

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

I am working on my take on the Norway killer’s manifesto, 2083: A European Declaration of Independence. Even though I am dividing my discussion into three parts, it’s still going to be long. Very long. Probably heinously long. I found it fascinating, tiresome, and infuriating.

But since it may be Friday at the earliest, more likely Monday, before I post the first installment, let me share a few, minor interesting things I have discovered as I read and researched this disjointed, rambling, narcissistic, unorganized mindfuck:

1) Fjordman, real name Peder Jensen, is an asshole and yet I pity him even as I take meticulous joy in mocking his ideas.

2) Little Green Footballs, a site I had not visited in years, no longer appears to be one of the Worst Sites on the Internet. There were moments in 2007 when it was like Stormfront Lite. So good for them, not catering to race haters anymore.

3) Anders Behring Breivik has received praise in parts of the Internet, and I was a much happier person before I knew Pamela Geller and Debbie Schlussel existed. I almost shouldn’t mention them lest knowing they exist impact the quality of your lives, as well.

4) Anders Behring Breivik, on the basis of my armchair psychiatry, has an interesting mix of personality disorders. Most interesting to me is that he seems so narcissistic that he appears a caricature of self-involved, metrosexuals. All decent people should from this day on never again wear Lacoste clothing just out of the sheer shame that ABB has brought onto the brand.

5) I find it really quite irritating when people use my favorite writers and poets to support twisted ideas that are in direct defiance to purpose behind the literature. Stupid Fjordman…

Anyway, this may be book-length by the time it is over, but once started I have to finish. If anyone has any questions that they have about the manifesto, ask now and I will try to address them where appropriate. I cannot imagine my lovely, sane readers (or even my lovely, less-than-sane readers) would want to slog through this mess so since I’ve already taken the hit for you all, so to speak, I’m happy to address any questions anyone may have about the text.

So hang around just a wee bit longer. I will have far too many words at your disposal in the very near future.