Friday, May 31, 2013

Armchair BEA Non-Fiction

killer stuff and tons of money cover

Today's topic for Armchair BEA is non-fiction (also ethics, but to quote Lawrence Block, "I’m not sure there’s any good sense in imposing questions of ethics upon a profession which has muddled along for centuries without any." He was talking about writers, obvs, but bloggers are writers, right???)

I actually read a lot of non-fiction, even though this isn't necessarily reflected on my blog. That's because I don't react to non-fiction the way I do to fiction. With fiction, I pretty much always have something to say; but with non-fiction, I'm usually just reading it to garner specific information, so I only write about it on my blog when I think it's a book that would appeal to a broad range of people or when it's a book I really, really, REALLY think is a piece of caca. Mainly I read books about art and history, because that's my background, but there are so many non-fiction books out there. If you think fiction is overwhelming, look at non-fiction some time.

That being said, there is one--yes, ONE--non-fiction book I think everyone should read, and that's Killer Stuff and Tons of Money by Maureen Stanton. I thought this book wasn't just a portrait of antiques dealing, but of the American dream; and it's one of the VERY few non-fiction books I've read from cover to cover and been entranced all the way through.

For bloggers, I would highly recommend The Blogger Abides by Chris Higgins. Chris Higgins is a professional blogger at Mental Floss, but I think his advice on blogging is useful both for people who look at blogging as a hobby AND for those who want to go professional. Another book I'd recommend for anyone who's interested in writing is Telling Lies for Fun and Profit by Lawrence Block, because 1. it's hilarious; and 2. it gives some really good advice. It might be one be one of my favorite books on writing of all time.

I approach non-fiction books very differently from how I approach fiction books. With novels, I start at the beginning and go through to the end. I obey, aside from prologues (which I refuse to read) the order the author dictates. With non-fiction books, thanks in part to years in grad school, I jump around from introduction to conclusion to footnotes to different chapters. A non-fiction book that keeps me engaged from start to finish is very rare indeed. Nevertheless, I love nonfiction because sometimes it elevates information to an art form.

Discus this post with me on Twitter, FaceBook, Google+ or in the comments below.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

THE RIVER OF NO RETURN by Bee Ridgway, Armchair BEA Giveaway

bee ridgway the river of no return cover

Nicholas is in the midst (literally) of fighting in the Napoleonic Wars when he's suddenly transported to the 21st century. He's immediately inducted into The Guild, and told only four things: there is no return, there is no return, tell no one, and uphold the rules. Then Nick finds out you CAN actually return to your own time and place. What else has The Guild been lying to him about?

The Washington Post said The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway has the feel of an instant classic, and while I might not agree with such lofty claims--the novel does have its issues--I will say it's an effing good story and unputdownable. I'm talking do-not-start-it-on-a-night-before-you-have-to-go-to-work unputdownable.

I already gave The River of No Return a "buy" vote on Book Riot, but if you need any more convincing: time travel, a lovely romance, and a lot to think about. One of the things I loved about this book was that there were Ideas behind it. Such as, how has the Enlightenment affected our world? Nick spends a lot of time in this novel trying to figure what he believes and how he will act, regardless of what society, religion and the government tells him he SHOULD do. Also, how has war and money shaped our civilization? Is it all worth it?

One last thing: I ADORED the romance in this book. It's actually a small part of the novel, but it's totally organic and compelling. Julia is a great character--as are all the other female characters, now that I think about it--and while the way her and Nick's relationship developed was a little anachronistic, it IS a time travel novel.

Anywhooooose, the publisher sent me two copies of The River of No Return for some reason, so I'm offering the copy I didn't read as part of Armchair BEA's blogger giveaways. Just fill out the form below or click here to enter. This is definitely a book you want to read!

Discus this post with me on Twitter, FaceBook, Google+ or in the comments below.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Armchair BEA Mystère et l'Amour!

armchair bea button
Design credit: Emily of Emily's Reading Room

The bookish focus for today's Armchair BEA is our favorite genre fiction. First of all, before I get into the topic, I just want to say how pleased I am that Armchair BEA is addressing genre fiction this year specifically. I do feel like genre fiction is marginalized in the book blogging community, especially in big events like Armchair BEA, so I'm glad the organizers decided to focus on genre this year.

SO. My favorite genres are mystery and romance. My first love was actually mystery. When I was an itty bitty, I read TONS of mysteries of the MG variety. The first book I ever read on my own was Bunnicula by James Howe, and after that I was a big fan of Barbara Michaels, Mary Stewart, the ghost mystery books by Bruce Coville, and any other mystery I could get my hands on. I even wrote a mystery when I was in the 3rd grade!

Then, as a teen, I switched to romance. I admit before then I was a bit snooty about romance. But I was at my grandparents' house one day and I was super-bored and I'd just finished a book... So I decided to pick up Stranger in My Arms by Lisa Kleypas, which was lying on the table next to my grandfather's chair (my grandfather is a huge romance fan, by the way). I was immediately sucked into the story. At the end of the day, my grandfather was like, "Fine, you have this book, but I want it back," and after finishing that novel I was 100,000% a romance fan. I threw myself into the genre and read everything that sounded even vaguely interesting.

Romance is still my favorite genre, but right now I'm not feeling a lot of romance novels. I think my tastes have just changed. Not that I don't still love romance! I do, but I'm not a fan of series or urban fantasy, and most of the contemporary and historical romances I read these days seem too same-y. Look, I know people read books for different reasons: some read for beautiful writing, some for great characters, some for deep meaning, and that's all fine. But I read mainly for a great story. That's what attracted me to romance in the first place, but nowadays I feel like story is last is on the long list of Important Things to Put in Romance Novels. And that gives me the Rage and the Sadness.

Right now, I love books that combine my two favorite genres: mystery and romance. Honestly, I feel like these two genres are related because they're both about questions: Who will I fall in love in with? Who committed the murder? Is that guy who he seems (probably not)? Questions are what drive novels narratives, and I feel as though these two genres do their best at telling stories and focusing on questions we all care about.

So what's your favorite genre?

Discus this post with me on Twitter, FaceBook, Google+ or in the comments below.

Armchair BEA: Classics

armchair bea button
Design credit: Sarah of Puss Reboots

This year for Armchair BEA we're being asked to write about genre fiction for our daily topics, and today we're addressing the issue of classics.

I used to avoid classics, especially after high school, because I was forced to read a lot of classics I didn't like and I thought they were hoity-toity and boring (except for the few I LOVED, of course, like Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, and The Great Gatsby). Nowadays, I read so many classics I started a my own classics blog, The Project Gutenburg Project! So what changed? Basically, thanks in large part to Project Gutenberg, Librivox, and Redeeming Qualities, I realized that there were all these entertaining, fun classic novels out there, waiting to be rediscovered.

If you have a favorite genre, chances are you can find that genre as a classic. I've been exploring classic mysteries from Edgar Allan Poe's Inspector Dupin stories (considered the first mysteries), to Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie, and it's been soooo much fun. Or romance! Ivanhoe, Vera, or an Emilie Loring novel will hit the spot. How about adventure? You can't go wrong with Rafael Sabatini, The Three Musketeers, or The Thirty-Nine Steps. Sci-fi fan? Try Robert E. Howard or Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Second of all, classics are curious. There are a lot of similarities to modern literature and some differences that are just bizarre. And I LOVE the bizarre books most of all. A few years ago I couldn't stop reading romances, and now I can't stop reading classics. It's like a sickness.

Anyway, if you want some recommendations for classics, just ask me in the comments and I'll try my best to think of something. Or check out the recommendation flow chart I made up (and need to update).

And if you have a favorite classic you think I'd like please let me know!

Discus this post with me on Twitter, FaceBook, Google+ or in the comments below.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Armchair BEA: Introductions

armchair BEA button
Design credit: Emily of Emily's Reading Room

It's that time of year again, time for Armchair BEA. While some go to Book Expo Amurika in NYC, others stay at home and join Armchair BEA! I've never been to the RL BEA, but I always have fun during Armchair BEA.

Since today is the first day, we're asked to introduce ourselves with a series of questions. Voila:

1. Where in the world are you blogging from? Tell a random fact or something special about your current location. Feel free to share pictures.
I live in Colorado. My hometown is called the Home of Heroes because more people have won the Congressional Medal of Honor per capita here than anywhere else in the US. Once, when I was high school, one Medal of Honor recipient spoke at each high school in town on Memorial Day. It was actually pretty awesome--it almost made up for the fact that we didn't have the day off. :p

2. Have you previously participated in Armchair BEA? What brought you back for another year? If you have not previously participated, what drew you to the event?
I have! I was on the commenting committee last year and it was sooo much fun. I didn't join the commenting committee this year because I wasn't sure I would have time, but I still wanted to join in. I'm trying to answer different questions this year from last year.

3. Which is your favorite post that you have written that you want everyone to read?
Hm, I think my favorite post is on Snape and his relationship to Harry Potter, but I also really like the post I wrote on New Moon because I hear a lot of criticism about the Twilight series being anti-feminist, and I think that post does a good job of explaining why I don't agree.

3. If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?
I would really love to have dinner with Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters because she is SUCH a big part of my childhood. One of my earliest memories is of studying her books on my mom's bookshelf and wondering what stories they contained (this was before I could read, obviously). I would ask her so many questions about her books and what it's like to be a writer and why she decided not to go into Egyptology after getting her PhD!

4. What is your favorite part about the book blogging community?
I think just the people and how I'm always surprised and inspired by them. I love discussing books and book bloggers certainly aren't afraid to express their opinion--which is a good thing.

5. Is there anything that you would like to see change in the coming years?
In Armchair BEA or the world in general, or...? Having local or state blogging chapters during Armchair BEA might be interesting.

And that's it! Are you participating in Armchair BEA or going to BEA this year?

Discus this post with me on Twitter, FaceBook, Google+ or in the comments below.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Classics Club Spin 2

Vasilly from 1330v has convinced me to participate in the Classic Club's Spin Challenge this year. Basically you list 20 classics you want to read and whatever random number they announce, you have to read it by July 1st.

My to-read list is really random, you guys. Actually I don't have a to-read list because that would require being organized. But here's what I have on my iPod and Kindle currently:

  1. Moll Flanders
  2. Gulliver's Travels
  3. The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  4. The Sheik by EM Hull
  5. Daddy Long Legs Jean Webster
  6. Graustark by George Barr McCutcheon
  7. A Witch Shall be Born by Robert E Howard
  8. Brideshead Revisited
  9. Casino Royal
  10. Joseph Vance by William de Morgan
  11. When Ghost Meets Ghost by Wm de Morgan
  12. Galusha the Magnificent by Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  13. Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
  14. Aucassin and Nicolette
  15. A Desert Drama by Arthur Conan Doyle
  16. The Faerie Queene Book 2
  17. The House of the Vampyre by George Sylvester Viereck
  18. The Virginian by Owen Wister
  19. Shadows in Zamboula by Robert E. Howard
  20. Red Nails by Robert E. Howard
I really hope they pick The Sheik because that book sounds awesome.

Edited to add: The number that was picked was 6, so I'll be reading Graustark by George Barr McCutcheon.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Book Rant: LOVE, IRRESISTIBLY by Julie James

love irresistibly cover

Two beautiful people with awesome jobs meet and fall in love. But will they be able to juggle both their awesome jobs, gorgeous apartments, and awesome selves when they have Intimacy Issues???

I hesitate to call this a review. It's more of a rant. I will say, first of all, that Love, Irresistibly is better than Julie James' previous book, About That Night, because it does have a plot. -Ish. It doesn't take full advantage of said plot, but it does have one. So that's an improvement!

However, I still had some major issues with it. For example...

  • Love, Irresistibly would not pass the Bechdel Test. To catch y'all up on the Bechdel Test if you haven't heard of it, it's when a book or movie has 1. a female character, who 2. talks with another female character about 3. something other than a man. It's meant measure how fully developed female characters are in media. Now, I will tell you the part that annoyed me about Love, Irresistibly: there is one female character, the heroine. She has friends but THEY ARE ALL MEN. Um, seriously? She is the only female who makes an appearance during the entire course of this book other than waitresses, secretaries, and the heroines from other books in the series who show up to underscore the fact that they're making babies like proper uterus-bearing human beings. I've read public domain books that did a better job of passing the Bechdel Test than this! Dear 21st century authors, if your novel novel is less feminist than something published before women were granted the right to vote, UR DOIN IT WRONG.
  • The characters open champagne bottles with a corkscrew. UGH WHY. And this happens multiple times, so it is NOT just a silly error. I can only conclude that the author, her editor, and every other person who looked at this manuscript between writing and publication has never opened a bottle of champagne, seen a bottle of champagne opened either in person or on TV, or even LOOKED at a bottle of champagne. Keep in mind this is from a woman who wrote a book about someone who sold wine!!! WHAT. THE. FUCK. If the axiom write what you know is true, it is glaringly obvious James knows shit about champagne. Perhaps she should have picked some other celebratory drink. Which is loosely related to my third point...
  • The writing is so lazy, you guys! Like there's no thought put into how best to tell the story. For example, when the hero and heroine first meet, we're infodumped with a lot of back story about the legal case the hero's working on, right before he meets with the heroine to tell her why he needs her help. So instead of telling us, through dialog, about what he's working on, we're instead treated to pages of boring exposition about it. Fun times, fun times.
  • Masculinity--I gave James some slack for how she treated masculinity in A Lot Like Love, but Love, Irresistibly is kind of worse. As in, the guys are always mentioning they have penises. As in, "I'm a guy, I don't do that." ORLLY? I wouldn't have noticed if it happened once but it's a constant throughout the book. At least A Lot Like Love questioned what masculinity was; Love, Irresistibly treats masculinity as an iconoclast notion of sports and father issues with no leeway to femininity or the influence of mothers, sister, girlfriends, or friends on the male characters' lives.
  • In addition to infodumping and exposition, the writing is repetitive repetitive (to quote Don't Make Fun of Renowned Author Dan Brown) and everything is explained multiple times, even the things anyone capable of reading should be able to figure out on their own. I got so annoyed at one point I said, "NO SHIT." Aloud. To a book. With no one else in the room.

If possible, this summary of Love, Irresistibly made me dislike it even more. Not to mention the title is like something that came from a publisher's grab bag of nouns and adverbs and has no bearing on the actual book. But you know, aside from all those things that really annoyed me, it wasn't an awful novel. I did finish it.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Great Gatsby Readalong Chapter 7-9

great gatsby video game

It's the final week of Becky's from One Literature Nut Readalong of The Great Gatsby. I want to thank Becky for hosting this readalong, because otherwise I probably wouldn't have made time to reread the book, and it's definitely one where you find something new on every read! I may have a few issues with it, but it's indisputable Fitzgerald wrote a great novel.

I also want to share this interview with Baz Luhrmann on the Colbert Report that kind of made me tear up.

Weirdest line of this section: "...the formidable stroke of thirty died away with the reassuring pressure of her hand." Hold up, is Jordan giving Nick a hand job with Tom right there in the car? Get a room you two!

And now for the discussion questions:

  • What do you think happened to Daisy after the "accident" with Myrtle? What conversation do you think happened between she and Tom? I think Tom told her, "Don't worry baby, I know it wasn't your fault. All we have to do is leave because people know that was Gatsby's car. And even if he wasn't driving he's killed people before, so it's not like he won't be getting what he's deserved." And then she made hemming hawing noises but they both knew she would agree because what other choice does she have? To do the honorable thing and confess? Pshaw.
  • Was the laser-point focus of Gatsby his own sick fault, or did he ever have a real chance with Daisy? Could they have ever had a life? I don't know, but I think that's the kind of question that would have tortured Gatsby if he'd lived. That DID torture him. That's the curse of imagination: you're always like, "What might have happened?"
  • What is it about the past that we somehow can never escape it or relive it? Or can we actually relive parts of it, and so that gives us some sick hope? In my experience, people do get the opportunity to relieve their pasts. Like after grad school I worked a series of temporary jobs that reminded me a lot of high school, only I was able to take more positive things from it. And I've heard that parents often feel like they relieve parts of their childhood through their children. In both those cases, though, I feel like it's more of a catharsis and not an opportunity to relive history. I think whenever you get into shoulda coulda woulda territory you're setting yourself up for disappointment, although I do believe in second chances. But you can't force them.
  • What most stood out to you in these final chapters? How freaking long the denouement was. WE GET IT, Gatsby was ALONE! Nobody loved him! Consider my head beaten with this fact.
  • What do you most look forward to seeing in the film? The parties!

Discus this post with me on Twitter, FaceBook, Google+ or in the comments below.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Salon: A Continuing Investigation

spirit of the dead keep watch by paul gauguin
Paul Gauguin's Spirit of the Dead Watching shows his Tahitian wife, Tahura.

For several years, I've been following the activities of a cabal organization known as The Salon. It all started when I read the graphic novel The Salon, by Nick Bertozzi, which takes place in pre-War (World War I, that is) Paris and is about a group of people—Alice B. Toklas, Erik Satie, Picasso, Georges Braque, Guillaume Apollinaire, etc.—who drink a special absinthe that allows them to enter paintings. It's all fun and games until Paul Gauguin's fourteen-year-old Tahitian wife, Tehura, uses the absinthe to travel OUT of the paintings and into the real world, where she wreaks vengeance! against Gauguin and his asshole friends for sexually objectifying her. In response, The Salon develops Cubism, which relegates its subjects to two-dimensions.

I know you're probably thinking this is just fiction. That's what I thought, too, until a woman attacked Gauguin's painting Two Tahitian Women at the National Gallery, screaming, "This is evil!" and told police that Gauguin, "was evil and the painting should be burned," the exact method The Salon used to destroy the paintings with Tehura in them. Coincidence?! Add to that the fact that no one seemed to know who the woman was and the whole incident smacked definitively of The Salon.

grimm kiss of the muse
An artist's studio filled with portraits of the same woman.

Since then The Salon has been keeping a low profile, but last night on the TV show Grimm, they appeared again. The episode, titled "Kiss of the Muse," was about a woman who, because she's a magical Wesen creature (work with me here) naturally attracts artists. Only to drive them insane to the point that they start killing one another and themselves in order to be with her. It's revenge for objectification all over again.

But that's not all. During the episode we learn more about this Wesen creature, and it turns out SHE WAS THE REASON GAUGUIN AND VAN GOGH SPLIT UP AND VAN GOGH WENT CRAZY ZOO CRACKERS. You see, Van Gogh and Gauguin were hanging out in Arles, happy as one massively egotistical and narcissistic artist and one really sweet and sensitive artist could be, until Van Gogh saw this "musai," or muse, and started obsessively painting her. When Gauguin showed up, Van Gogh perceived him as a threat to his exclusive relationship with his muse and threatened Gauguin with a razor blade. After Gauguin left, Van Gogh's spiral continued, and he eventually cut off his own ear.

grimm kiss of the muse portrait
Massive portrait of the artist's muse. Crazy colors show he's on the edge!

I know what you're thinking—if that's true, where are the paintings of this muse of Van Gogh's? THE SALON DESTROYED THEM, obvs! The more interesting question is, why would The Salon reveal itself on a TV show like Grimm? Answer: I think The Salon is trying to tell us something. It wants us to beware of all representational art and sexual objectification, because muses are more dangerous than you think. Even with The Salon's promotion of abstract art, people still like to represent things.

Does The Salon know something we don't? Has another muse escaped her painting to cause death and destruction? I will post more details as they become available.

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Great Gatsby Readalong Chapters 5-6

How excited are you for The Great Gatsby movie on a scale of one to a bazillion? I swear Gatsby takes up 80% of my brain power right now. Anyway, as I mentioned last week, my friend Becky from One Literature Nut is hosting a readalong for The Great Gatsby in preparation for the upcoming film. This week, we're discussing chapters 5 and 6, wherein Daisy and Gatsby "reconnect." If the cottage is a-rockin' don't come a knockin'!


I'm reminded of a psychology lesson I once learned, that states that the person with the least interest in the relationship, controls it. Is that person Daisy? Is she so "secure" with Tom that Gatsby could be no more than a momentary diversion from her unhappiness? The person with the least interest in a relationship controls it? Was this psychology teacher a frat boy, perchance? One of the authors of The Rules? I think that's called playing hard to get. BUT ANYWAY—I definitely don't think Daisy's as hung up on Gatsby as he is on her. He's set her up to be the be all and end all of his happiness, which is a lot for a person to live up to. But I'm not sure she controls the relationship or even recognizes the power she has over Gatsby.

Did you have any lines that jumped out at you in these chapters? The line that made me laugh was this one:
Gatsby, pale as death, with his hands plunged like weights in his coat pockets, was standing in a puddle of water glaring tragically into my eyes.
With his hands still in his coat pockets he stalked by me into the hall, turned sharply as if he were on a wire, and disappeared into the living-room. It wasn’t a bit funny.
Sorry, Nick, but that sounds hilarious. Gatsby is so funny.
Another line that stood out to me was when Nick tells Gatsby, "I wouldn't ask too much of her, you can't repeat the past." Someone's talking but Gatsby ain't listening to youuuuuuuu.

How has your opinion of Gatsby and Daisy changed now that they have finally met again? Hm, I don't know. On one hand, Gatsby is so vulnerable in certain scenes, like the one I quoted from above, that it's hard not to feel for the guy. But on the other hand I don't think Daisy necessarily brings out the best in him; he seems obsessed with appearances and material possessions after they hook up. As for Daisy, who knows? I don't know what to think about a woman who cries over shirts. These two might be better on their own than together.

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Friday, May 3, 2013

Review: MISSION TO PARIS by Alan Furst

mission to paris cover

An Austrian-born Hollywood star named Frederic Stahl is traded to a movie studio in Paris to make a film called Après le Guerre. This proves to be ironic, seeing as how it's 1938 and a second World War is clearly on the horizon and a-comin' this way. Since he's famous (Nazis love movies, as we all know from Inglourious Basterds) and Austria is now officially part of Nazi Germany, Frederic is courted by several Nazis in Paris, becoming gradually more annoyed with their bullying tactics until he decides to help the American embassy spy on them. When the Nazis find out, they go from intimidation to outright threats. Will Frederic and his German émigré girlfriend get out of Europe alive AND manage to finish filming their movie? Either way, the show must go on!

I picked up Mission to Paris after several people recommended Alan Furst to me in my post about spy novels that have romantic subplots. The novel really has everything: Paris. Hollywood glamor. Movie-making. Spies. Kristallnacht. Snow-bound European castles with doughty, eccentric counts. Romance. And let's not forget those insensitive Nazis!

So how could I not like it, right? And I did like it. As a historical novel, Mission to Paris is 100% awesome. I really felt like I was in pre-War Paris: dining at Maxim's, noshing on Lebanese food, living in a relatively constant state of paranoia while everyone carries on with their daily business. I actually learned quite a bit about World War Two and how the Nazis overthrew the French government, and I was not expecting this novel to be historically illuminating in the least, so that was neat. I also loved the details Furst included about the process of getting a movie made and how precarious and drawn-out production is.

I also loved Stahl, who manages to embody Old Hollywood Glamor and the practical side of acting and being well-known all at the same time. He's living the life, but he doesn't let it inflate his ego. I might have found this a bit unbelievable, actually, but he is the hero of the novel.

Furst's writing style is worth a mention, as well—I found it to be quite stylized and at first difficult to get into. But that quickly passed and I appreciated how his writing style helped to make Mission to Paris a world unto itself.

So yes, I liked Mission to Paris and I think it's a good book. But I didn't love it, and I had trouble connecting with it on any level except intellectually. First of all, the story is very steady and the climaxes aren't moments of super-high tension, more like: And then this happened. Secondly, this is a very male-centric book. It would not pass the Bechdel Test. And even though I liked the central male character, I was BOTHERED. I admit I loved the romance when it first showed up about halfway through the book, but it was difficult to maintain an emotional engagement with that part of the story when woman z didn't seem to be appreciably different from casual sex partners x and y.

Still, I think I enjoyed this book more than my prejudice against novels where the male lead casually thinks, "He wanted to fuck her," will allow me to admit to myself (I'm looking at you, Casino Royale). I do plan on reading more books by Furst in the future—I would love to check out Spies of Warsaw, which was adapted into a mini-series with David Tenant and which I also found very one-note until I rewatched it out of boredom and was suddenly like "BEST SHOW EVER SO INTO." So maybe I should just reread Mission to Paris and see if I don't appreciate it more on the second go-around.

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