What Made (Makes) the Literary Hoarders Unhappy

sad-face-wallpapers_13395_1280x960-u32suyYesterday, our friends over at Typographical Era called our attention to a major news announcement made by Goodreads. You can see that announcement here in full.

While Goodreads may be celebrating, over here at Literary Hoarders we are not. ūüė¶

What we enjoyed most about Goodreads was their independence and autonomy from the giant corporations that dictate where, what and how you make your purchases, what you read and what is promoted or catalogued. It was an excellent book cataloguing system but also a tremendous way to independently share your thoughts and reviews about books that you loved, you wished to read, and the ones that you found didn’t float your boat. Also, it was a wonderful discovery tool to find that next great read, and it connected us to wonderful other bookish people and groups. To say that the Hoarders depended greatly on Goodreads is an understatement.

Unfortunately, with their major news announcement on now being¬†wholly owned by Amazon, it has caused quite the kerfuffle here at Literary Hoarders. ¬†It has caused us to run around and seek out alternative, independent online book catalogues, or at least haul ass and remove anything the LH’s have to do with Goodreads. Now, whatever we (and you!) post will be owned by Amazon. Your reviews and your friends and your information will be available to exploit by Amazon in any manner they see fit. No thank you.

Will Amazon have access to all of the Goodreads users’ data?
¬†‚ÄúGoodreads is or will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon, so on one level, yes. Are things going to happen in the background without customers understanding it? I think the answer to that is no‚Ķ.We‚Äôll make it very easy for someone to say, ‚ÄėYeah, I‚Äôd love it if you could import all of my Amazon or Kindle purchases into my Goodreads shelf.‚Äô We‚Äôll make it very easy for people to do, but they‚Äôll be aware of what‚Äôs happening.‚ÄĚ
Users already have the ability to export their data from Goodreads, and they’ll continue to be able to do so.

None of us read on the Amazon-owned Kindle and none of us are interested in having Kindle-only books pushed at us. Amazon has Shelfari. They sucked at it. We fear they will now slowly drain and suck the life out of all that was great and wonderful with Goodreads. How unfortunate that the lure of the almighty dollar has enticed them to allowing for their being swallowed whole by a monster corporation. We simply fear that what made Goodreads so great will vanish in the coming months. What’s funny to note is that Goodreads was exclaiming from the rooftops around December 2012 about how much their membership increased. We could only stack that against the fact that they took on Amazon with this whole “book cover” debacle and maintained their independence. Thumbing their nose at Amazon be it as it may. I’m sure membership increased due to the fact that they were an independently run site. Now, they are jumping in to bed with Amazon. Tsk. Tsk. Like us, I’m certain there are many others that will now flee the sheets and find some new bed to snuggle in to.

You will notice that we have removed each of our Goodreads Reading Challenge over to your right. We have also gone in to our Goodreads profiles and removed anything with the Literary Hoarders stamp on it. We will no longer post our reviews on to Goodreads, linking you back to here. Why? Because what we write here at the Literary Hoarders is indeed that. It is what WE‘ve written, not Amazon. You’ll find, for now, that when we’ve completed the book and given it our 1-5 star ranking, we’ll post that information, but that’s about it.

We certainly hope you stay tuned to the Literary Hoarders site for reviews – we do love you – we just don’t love handing over our thoughts and words to someone else.

In the coming months, the Literary Hoarders will also unveil their own, independent website. We are incredibly excited about it and can’t wait to unveil a bold new look for us. We hope you stay tuned!


The Literary Hoarders: Elizabeth, Penny and Jackie. 

Book Review: 2012 Longlisted: Will Self’s Umbrella

The journey that was Umbrella…

On page 50. Not sure but I am pretty sure that I have figured out that the main characters are called Audrey and Busner. Not sure what year. Not sure if Busner¬†is the psychiatrist¬†or the patient. Audrey seems to be from a cockney-type family because of all of the¬†phonetic writing. And she has a relative called Rothschild Death because he wears a rich looking coat. Lots and LOTS of italics being used. No quotation marks, lots of … and sentences that end abruptly. Oh and someone is an ape-man. Not sure what chapter I am on. Aaron says to stick with it Penny says not to…

Another 50 pages and MAYBE it is becoming more cohesive. Busner is the psych, Audrey is the patient. He doesn’t think she is crazy. Lots of big words to look up, some even don’t show in the dictionary but have to be researched on-line. I’m finding it a lot¬†easier to read on the iPad than I¬†did the nook– still no punctuation or paragraphs tho– awfully annoying phonetic Cockney spelling that I HATE. Looking forward to getting to the next chapter (YES! there are chapters– but only 5. All are called Umbrella).

Surprisingly, I¬†put it down because I have to not because I want to. Busner is trying to find out how Audrey got in the institution. He thinks it might be Parkinson’s? Not Parkinson’s– untreated encephalitis. There’s a drug for that! Is that what this is about?¬†This could get interesting.

Page 155– Nope! Lost again. Bustner was talking to an old psyche (Marcus) about Audrey and it got pretty interesting. Then it jumped to his homosexual Jewish uncle who has catalogued every penis and arsehole he ever encountered (they found a ledger of wieners after he died). And just when that got interesting it jumped back to Or-dree and some Enigmarelle? Man of Steel? What? And now Stanley and Albert= yawn! Their last name is Death. Derth? De’Ath? She went with her father to a brothel? Huh?? Are they making a fricken robot? I am soooooo confused! (Oh! I looked it up– Enigmarelle is some early vaudevillian robot that is creepy.)

When will this book f**ing end??? Only halfway done– WTF. I am tired of looking up words– most of which don’t even show up in the dictionary so you need to go on-line. I cannot even imagine reading this one in paper. I mustn’t be intelligent enough to get this!! Why does he need to make it so difficult?? It will probably win just because it is sooooo f**king “different”.

Sean read a page of this book and said– WTF is this? There is not a coherent sentence on the page. Yes, yes, it is true! taken right from the page:

Busner hopes his abruptness conveys his own spiritual inclinations:¬†holy speed, in mens sano, shit off a shovel¬†. . .¬†‚ÄstOkay, good. Thank you, he says again, backing away towards the day-room. ‚ÄĒ At the hastily convened press conference Mimi and Miriam are placed centre stage in drag of dull suit with clip-on sideburns ‚Äď Whitcomb with them,¬†the eggheaded Professor who wears an explosive string vest. Phallic microphones probe at their unyielding mouths as they announce the mainland bombing campaign, but¬†the real supremo, the diabolic mastermind, sits to one side lost in a donkey jacket too large for him, his small head shrunken still more beneath that ice bag of a tweed cap.

Rushing! Rushing to get it done!! I really want to STOP READING THIS HORRIBLE BOOK but for the sake of the project I will finish! This is like a homework assignment from your worse teacher EVER!

Ok– that was IT?????? That was the most effort I have ever had to put into a read– and there was ABSOLUTELY no reward!!! I PRAY (and I am not religious) for the sake of my fellow BookerMarkers that this does not make the short list so they do not have to go through the TORTURE of reading this “book”! 1 star. Sorry Penny– should have listened!!! I want my hours back!!!

This review was posted simultaneously on BookerMarks by Jackie.

Book Review: 2012 Longlisted: Will Self’s Umbrella

Rating: 1
A Novel by Will Self
2012 / 416 Pages

The synopsis of the novel was provided in an earlier BookerMarks review, which can be found here. In my opinion, it is not worthy of repeating it, for I say Save Yourselves and Do Not Bother!!!!!!

There is no way and I refuse to waste any more of my time putting further effort in to reading this “novel”, an extremely loose usage of the word at that.

I sincerely apologize to my fellow BookerMarks members if this appears in poor sport, but there is simply no justification that can be made to make me continue reading this title. It is one thing to allow a novel to cross the editor’s desk without a glance and move forward to publication of something so extremely unedited but it is another for it to be chosen for a prestigious award, in this case, the Man Booker Prize. I find it appalling and distressing¬†that this inane pile of text was considered long-list worthy over the hundreds of far superior books that offer a reader the quality of writing anticipated for such a nomination. To me, this is an absolute insult, a slap to my face and I will give this book no more of my time.

Aaron provided a far too kind rating and review in my opinion (you can find that review here). Although he does say to you that Umbrella offers a “challenge” to its readers, I prefer to say to you that I found Umbrella to be an insult to readers (I think I’ve said that already haven’t¬†I?).¬†An absolute insult as¬†the reader is¬†expected to decipher a single chapter, meandering and painfully¬†unedited piece of tripe and gibberish.¬†The premise may seem enticing, and Aaron’s review¬†does makes it sound appealing, but for myself, I cannot endure it, will endure no more of¬†it and will move on to worthier titles in the pile.¬† If this should make the short-list, then I can only think I will have to chew on a piece of tripe, for this is what I feel this title to consist of (and I cannot bear the thought of eating tripe). 1 star from this BookerMarks reviewer.

Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

Really? REALLY???? This is what is making all of the non-readers pick up a book and read?? PUH-LEASE! I haven’t read anything quite so horrifyingly cheesy in a long, long¬†time (still trying to erase that¬†one and only Jackie Collins novel I was stuck reading back when I was 19 years old)!

Summary in the words of Derek Zoolander: Christian Grey is really, REALLY, ridiculously good-looking. He is also rich, fashionable and a well-known business man. He must work out, I mean look at him, he is beautiful, like, really, really beautiful. But his beauty is a mask– he has a past and it has made him messed up, so very, very messed up! By chance he happens to meet the young, beautiful, Anastasia Steele (wow! that sounds like a model’s name)! She knows nothing about fashion and nothing about¬†his world. I mean, she has never¬†even felt attracted to any man. But, when¬†you meet Christian Grey, there¬†is chemistry, not like the kind of chemical you use for a facial peel, but the sexy kind.¬†Ms. Steele¬†is¬†like a piece of cloth, waiting to be made into a billowy robe, ready for the cat-walk. From virgin to porn queen in 2 days time– that is what Eau de Christian Grey can do for you too! *whispers* Grey is the essence of sex! Sex is the essence of porn.

It’s a walk-off!

Christian: You are MINE.
Anastasia: My inner goddess is doing back flips! 
Christian: Here, have a computer. 
Anastasia:  Holy Moses! 
Christian: You are making my palm twitch. Anastasia: He cupped my sex. 
Christian: You have has six orgasms and all of them belong to me. 
Anastasia: He smells divineРlike a sexy Christian-and-spiced-musky body wash. 
Christian: What are your hard limits? 
Anastasia: He is my very own Christian Grey flavoured Popsicle.
Christian: I am 50 shades of f**ked up. 
Anastasia: My inner goddess is doing the meringue with some salsa moves.
Christian: Welcome to my Red Room of Pain! 
Anastasia: I touched him there.
Christian: I will spank you now! 
Anastasia: Holy crap!
Christian: You must listen to my every command! 
Anastasia: Oh f**k!
Christian: Any objection to a butt plug? 
Anastasia: Oh please!
Christian: Stop biting your lip or I will bite it off! 
Anastasia: Oh Crapola!
Christian: What is it about elevators? 
Anastasia: I got an A in B.J. class yesterday.
Christian: Come here baby I am going to f**k you now.
Anastasia: Control freak!

Ok– it was just bad but (again)¬†I¬†must admit this isn’t my normal style of book.¬†It was a TOTAL romance novel with some erotica (read PORN) stuck in. Not to say the sex wasn’t… interesting… but you had to get thru too much of the hum drum, he loves me, he loves me not, poorly written drivel to get to the hot spots. And even then the cheesocity of the dialogue and occasional tampon throwing was a turn off. Don’t buy into the hype– E. L. James¬†is already making a million dollars a week. Pop in a porn and skip this one!! No sequels for me! 1 star.