Next Up For Review

Next Up For Review
The Center Cannot Hold, Elyn Saks

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Admit This

 Shame on you Goodreads!
I want to start off by saying that I am a contributing member on Goodreads (like every other person that has ever written or wanted to write a book). I use it to connect with readers & as another spot I can cross post blogs, promote my material & review what I read. This was a mutually satisfying relationship until yesterday. Now I think I might want to break up.
It appears that Goodreads is now a competition to see how fast you can read & review books. Every morning I open my inbox to the usual: NEW UPDATES FROM JOHN, KIM, SARAH, SUE, JIM BOB... and every other one of your thirteen hundred closest friends you've never met. Clicking on the link would reveal an even more disturbing trend. Each & every person bookmarked somewhere around 45 books in their to read pile--per day. Is there a hefty prize package I missed out on somewhere along the way? I think not. I think it's mostly ego based thinking. ie. If I can read a million books a year, I will somehow propel myself into stardom, or be considered a brainiac with a manifesto more viewed than Charlie Sheen. Or possibly these people don't sleep, eat, have jobs or sex. Not sure yet.
I would love to keep up with the lofty goals of the Goodreads crowd, but I'm just too darn tired.
Feeling rather sheepish, I delete each morning email & return to my healthy but meager one hour a day reading habit. 
However, this annoying habit is not the reason I'm considering a Dear John letter--oh no-- the plot has grown much more sinister than that my friends.
Today, while checking my email @ the unholy hour of five am I noticed a new notice. It read:
You have been reading Admit One: My Life in Film for nine days. Would you like to update your status?
The sad part is, I had been updating. This was merely cyber pressure & I for one am not happy with the new strong arm tactic.
Nine days? Is that too long to read a 216 page book? Keep in mind I work full time, write, work out, & am still in the throes of raising a few children that have late night last minute school projects. When did we set a time limit on how long book turnover should be? Is this the latest hurry up for no good reason created by the virtual world we live in? Egads. Gimmie a break. Sorry Goodreads. I will give you one more chance; but if you keep pressuring me--we're through.
Enough with my cranky pants complaining; time for my review (of the afore mentioned book. Which, I'll have you know, I finished later that day. Not because I felt like I had to, but because I wanted to). Here we go, off to the races...
Admit One? First, I have to admit this...
I'm a buffoon. I read the first eleven (that's right I said eleven) chapters of Emmett James's book  
Admit One: My Life in Film before I caught on to fact that the author is actually an actor (hence, the title). I got it right about the time he finished hunting down a well known director that was filming in England and headed off to America to make his way in life via the craft of actor.
Yep, I will repeat, I am a buffoon.
Up until that light bulb went off, I was enjoying the book, but not nearly as much. I thought it was about a writer that was writing his memoir & relating it to movies he'd seen. Sure, the name seemed familiar, but every writer tries to coin a name that reeks of best friend or someone famous comfort. I thought Emmett James was one of the lucky ones that came out with a great moniker or picked on up to sell his writing.
Wow, was I wrong. This guy was in Titanic, a porn & a soap opera that claims the love story of Luke & Laura. Not in that order of course, but you get the idea. He crashed Oscar parties pretending to be a director and  convinced James Cameron to keep him on the set long after his bit part wrapped. This guy is an evil genius.
In retrospect, I'm glad I didn't have the full back story. I actually think it was more fun that way. Plus, I believe my review is far less tainted than those that were star struck from page one.
I give the book four stars. I think if I were from England, it might have been a five star review (humor is just a little different over there). His antics in the quest for fame are unbelievable; and it carries a good message. To paraphrase: life's success is in the journey. Do what you love. A list status isn't the grand prize...that comes from following your passion & enjoying the ride.
The only issues I had were as follows: I felt that he isn't very fond of his mother at all. He seemed to prefer his father. He also clearly hates his brother. None of those things should have bothered me, but they did. I thought it came across as a tad bitter. But, then again, those are his feelings. Can't change that.
It's a good read; and as promised, right now it's FREE for your Kindle on!

Cheers! (that's British for until next time...I think)


  1. Wow - I have not gotten the GR emails about upddating my sttatus but I, too, read books a t a slow to moderate pace because I have a life! And often I feel left behind in the GR crowd because so many read so quickly!? Are they skimming? LOL! I will still stay on GR for all the reasons you mention; its a great place to network, meet friends, share books with others and learn about books I'd never have known about otherwise (that's prob my fave reason) and I too ignore the countless email updates - if I want to check on someone's status, I will but not because GR emails me their reading schedule everyday:) Great insight. Thanks for sharing!

  2. It is a great place to network. I just got a new short titled, "Three Days Without Grace, from a blog follower/author in Alaska! How cool is that? But I'm not a reading robot. I just do what I can.