Friday, 1 December 2017

Things I Read In November

IT IS DECEMBER AKA THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR! (I'm a little bit into Christmas, can you tell?) Before delving into December and Christmas wonder though, let's talk about November! November was a mixture of a whole load of hard work, very very necessarily lazy weekends and then a much needed holiday spent basically sitting and knitting and buying Christmas things. The last two days of the month, however, I've been off work sick because URGH stuffed up head and sore throat and I just cannot. I haven't been reading much because urgh head but I have watched a whole load of Gilmore Girls and I'm finally watching The OA (IT IS SO COULD, how have I not watched this earlier, I love Brit Marling!)

Anyway. It hasn't been a super eventful month, and evidently not much blogging has happened, but that's ok, I was just preparing myself for CHRISTMAS MONTH. Let's see what I read in the meantime.

Fat Is A Feminist Issue by Susie Orbach
I went into this expecting a feminist text, and instead I got... Not that. I don't really know how to feel about this book, because it seems like in the 70s/80s, it was probably revolutionary to people that emotions affect your eating (the book mostly looks at solving compulsive eating) but now it really just... isn't. This book also suffers from age, in the sense that self acceptance is such a thing now that the feminist issue IS this book, rather than the way the book approaches the topic. I also only read the first part of the book, as the second part is more of a self help guide to overeaters, which I didn't really feel the need for, personally. For me, fat absolutely is a feminist issue, but not in the way Orbach identifies it, and dammit I want to read the ACTUAL way in which fat is a feminist issue. Someone write THAT book, please.

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
This book is not A Visit From The Goon Squad, nor, I think, should it be expected to be. This book is, however, the only Egan book other than Goon Squad that I could actually see myself reading again at some point. This is very strange because it's a work of historical fiction (!!!) but it is also the story of a young woman who becomes the first female diver during WWII as well as so many other interlinking, awesome things. I was so enthusiastic about this 400+ page hardback that I carried it around with me and actually missed a bus stop once because I was so busy being absorbed by the world of the story. That is pretty much the reason I read, so yeah, you could say that I liked this book.

Bright Lights Big City by Jay McInerney
This book has a great title, but unfortunately that's pretty much the best thing about it. Firstly, it's written in the second person (EYEROLL). Secondly, the 'you' that you're supposed to be is a whiny, entitled (I assume) white man who has a pretty good job that he just can't get his shit together to actually do. I found it really hard to empathise with his self-pitying, self-sabotaging bullshit, and even though there's a pretext for all of his behaviour that you discover at the end, it was too little too late for me to actually care.

The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence
I was surprised by The Universe Versus Alex Woods, because I wasn't that into it until about 60% through when things took a turn for the assisted suicide and I remembered how much I support that and how emotional old men make me and yeah, it's kind of good, I guess. It's narrated by the titular Alex Woods, who I didn't really like as a character (he's described at some point as being older than his years in intelligence and younger emotionally/in life skills which is pretty much it but I found it annoying because... why?) but I enjoyed his friendships and relationships and generally being in his world. It's not a book I'm going to keep and cherish forever, but I liked it a whole bunch.

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
I have had Maya Angelou's 6 part biography for the longest time, but have only ever read this, the first book of the collection. I started reading this because, after starting My Struggle by Karl Ove Knaussgard, I feel as though I shouldn't be reading the 'struggles' of a middle class white man before I read about the actual struggles of an African-American woman. Maya has too much grit and class to describe her life as a struggle, though, and even though her childhood was filled with the unimaginable, there is always a sense of positivity to her writing that probably buoyed her through her life. This is one of the last books I read before starting blogging, and it's just as good as I remember- so honest and heartbreaking and the writing is just so good. It's in required reading territory, so if you haven't read it yet, I don't know what you're waiting for.

Gather Together In My Name by Maya Angelou
And so, for reals, I have a goal to finish all 6 parts of Angelou's life story before the end of the year. This is the second part of her life story, and it feels unflinchingly honest, even when it doesn't show Maya in the best possible light. She technically runs a whorehouse, and becomes a prostitute herself to 'save her man' (ick), so you see what I mean by unflinchingly honest. The only thing that is maybe surprising about this book is that Angelou doesn't really ascribe any judgment to some of her more questionable choices, but I guess it's not so surprising when you think of one of her most famous quotations: "I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.' Maybe judging her past seems pointless when it involves a teenager's decisions, and it's interesting to me in a sense that maybe we shouldn't judge ourselves and our pasts at all, but in fact we should all just 'do better'.

And that was November. I've been working pretty hard at trying to finish Little Women, but that's going to have to be a thing I read in December, along with, I hope, the rest of Angelou's biography. Other than that, I hope that Book Riot are going to have a brand new literary advent calendar for me to enjoy this year, and if not, I shall just have to read A Christmas Carol and watch Elf a whole load of times. What are your December plans, reading or otherwise?

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Things I Read In October

IT IS NOVEMBER how did this happen? I know, I know, time passes and life happens and yadayadayada. My October was bookended by the loveliness of seeing Les Mis with my best friend of 10 years (yes we had a friendiversary, what of it?) and going on the Harry Potter Studio Tour with my most excellent friend and most ardent Harry Potter admirer yesterday. The in-between parts have been mixed at best- I've felt a lot of work stress since I've lost half of my team but have the same amount of work, and my living situation has been confusing and mildly upsetting since I've been waiting for my boyfriend to properly move in which finally, finally happened this weekend.

So November is looking up! I finally have my honey here and I'm learning to treat work as the (underpaid) job it is and not as the end of the world. I have no winter reading plans yet which feels weeeeird, but I'm assuming at the moment that it'll involve the library books that I've paid money to reserve but obviously have not read yet (I'm a monster). My October reading, however, did involve a great deal of library books, so that's a contribution, right?! Right. See?
Bookies! Yay. Let's talk.

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur
So for reals, I never pre-order books because I feel too guilty about all of the books I still haven't read that live in my flat. I made a very clear exception for Rupi Kaur because Milk and Honey, her previous collection, was literally my everything when I read it in February. This was no different- I felt the feels and still have all the admiration for Kaur's writing. I can't get enough, and completely did not stop reading this until there wasn't a poem left. Read ittttttttt.

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
I can't really remember what motivated me to re-read Norwegian Wood, other than the desire to see exactly what it was about it that I loved so much. It's probably still a little indefinable, but I know that I still love and admire it, and how it captures both hopeless and hopeful love.

Black Hole by Charles Burns
I... Didn't like this so much. I got it out of the library because comics! Yay! but it turned out not to be as interesting as I wanted it to be. It's essentially the story of a (sexually transmitted) virus affecting teens that turns them into mutants, but less interesting than that sounds. I felt as though too much time was dedicated to telling the teens (kinda dull) individual stories, rather than talking about the virus as a larger and more widespread issue. Maybe I'm too old, or maybe it just wasn't that good, but for me there was definitely something missing from this.

Dark Tales by Shirley Jackson
Hey, I already reviewed this! But if full reviews are a bit too TL;DR for you then just rest assured that I LOVED this collection of short stories- I couldn't get enough of them, even more than the normal way I can't get enough of Jackson. THESE ARE SO GOOD AND HORRIBLE, ya know?

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
I enjoyed this book a lot, and would have reviewed it for RIP had I not run out of time (and totally read too many books for it already). It's about a woman who, for the past 24 years, has been living with the hellscape of the knowledge that her brother murdered her mother and two sisters. when this is thrown into doubt though, she really starts living, and examining what happened that night and whether or not her brother is actually innocent. I enjoyed this in a lot of ways- I love the tension that Flynn brings to her novels and with this being told in the past and present, it presented a lot of opportunities to guess what had happened which is always exciting. I also loved that our narrator and survivor of mass murder isn't entirely relatable or loveable- she's sharp and mean and very selfish, and it's refreshing that she's not presented as someone deserving of all our sympathy just because she's been through something terrible. It's very good stuff, and I think it might actually be my favourite of Flynn's (so far).

From Hell by Alan Moore
Oh hey, I've reviewed this too! This is genuinely amazing, and I had expected nothing less from Moore because I always find his work exceptional. It's SO MUCH BETTER than the film, and considering Johnny Depp's face isn't in it, that's saying something.

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters
I picked this up because I mistakenly believed it was a scary book, but this turned out to be one of the non-scary Water's books. It also turned out to be really good- it's told backwards which is really interesting, and it covers women's stories during WWII which is an area that I have pretty much read nothing about but am of course incredibly interested in. There's really everything in this book- lesbian relationships (of course), women risking their lives as paramedics during bombings, dangerous abortions, a gay man in prison... What isn't there?! Overall, though, the characters are so engaging and interesting and everything about this book was really just excellent.

Paper Girls Vol 1 by Brian Vaughan
I really didn't know very much about Paper Girls before getting it from the library, but that is the luxury of just grabbing free books. This turned out to be great though- it's literally about a group of paper girls who get dragged into a conflict they don't understand and that I didn't really understand except that I know I liked it? VERY engaging stuff, and I read it during the readathon which was perfect.

Paper Girls Vol 2 by Brian Vaughan
Not so surprisingly, I read the second volume straight away. Surprise! It was just as good as volume 1, if not better. There is time travel involved in these comics, and this is something I enjoy A LOT about a comic, so I am all over these really. Can someone get me volume 3, please?

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
I have mixed feelings about Mindy Kaling in that I usually think she's funny enough but sometimes I'm not too into it? This is why I haven't seen that much of the Mindy Project, and it's why I liked but didn't LOVE her other books. Nonetheless, I got this from the really out of the way library near my work (a nightmare because it's open for 3 days a week and I can never remember when they are/be bothered to take it back). THE POINT anyway is that I enjoyed this for the most part, and I can sidestep the parts I didn't because yeah, Mindy is pretty funny, I'm into it.

Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides
Jeffrey! I love Jeffrey! I feel like I knew a really long time ago that Eugenides' next book was going to be short stories, but I managed to forget it and thought I was getting a novel. I'm not sure if I was excited or disappointed when I realised I was actually getting short stories (because, for reals, I loooove short stories) but I can tell you that I wasn't disappointed by the stories themselves. I mean, what can I say? Eugenides can write and I don't even know how to be critical of him really because I love him too much. I found all of the stories in this book so well written and covering all sorts of different areas of life and the world (although a lot were from a white male perspective but whatcanyoudo?) Basically, you should obviously read this because Eugenides the end.

Um, so yeah. I read quite a lot this month, huh? Readathons and, still, lots of bus time will do that for you! Here's to some more excellent November reading.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

RIP Bonus Read: From Hell by Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell

I think (and hope) that we've all seen the Johnny Depp movie version of From Hell. The first of Alan Moore's comic books to be taken to the movies, it involves Johnny Depp as a opium addict widower Fred Abberline, hanging out with Mary Kelly herself and generally being rather handsome and detective-y. Oh, and Jack the Ripper is sort of there too. I guess. Alan Moore hates it (as he hates all adaptations of his work, I understand) and now that I've read the comic book, I kind of hate it too.

This comic, man. It's just so much... More. More than the movie, but also just more than most comic books*, which is really what I've come to expect from Alan Moore's work. This version of the Jack the Ripper story, if you're unfamiliar, involves a disturbing plot between a doctor and the crown, secrets and blackmail and a crochety old detective who is married and not addicted to opium, and who is definitely not Johnny Depp. But, you know what? That only makes it better.

I've picked up From Hell in bookshops about a bazillion times, but after the price, the main thing that has put me off from buying it was the drawing style. I found it a bit... I don't want to say scribbly, but yes I do. Having actually read it (I got it from the library, I'm not a millionaire) I now see that it's actually the perfect art style for the story. The pictures dissolve as the murders become more frenzied, and it's dark as hell but, you know, Jack the Ripper. It's supposed to be dark, or you don't really understand what happened.

It's just so comprehensive. All angles are covered, and even though nobody knows who Jack the Ripper was (obviously) I remain fully convinced that the version of events From Hell presents is the correct one. You're going to have to read it to find out exactly what that is, but I am so behind this theory I can't even. My excitement for this book was so intense that I found myself wanting to drop everything for it, leave work early and cancel all social engagements just so that I could read the damn amazing thing. All angles are covered, all tragedies explored, and there's even a glimpse of the future, for the man who brought the world into the twentieth century.

And yet. As much as I loved the book itself, I loved the extra part of this comic, right at the back, even more. This is probably just because I'm a bit of a history nerd, but this extra comic explores the history of Jack the Ripper theories. It talks about, and debunks, quite a few of the theories of who Jack was, about why Moore chose this one specifically (VERY CONVINCING) and in general, about how pointless it is to believe you can actually solve the mystery, but how very tempting it is to try. I'm pretty happy that Moore tried, and you will be too if you give this comic a read.


*Or just books, really!

Friday, 27 October 2017

RIP XII Book the Fourth: Dark Tales by Shirley Jackson

I loved this book so much I want to bounce a whole lot just at the thought of it. I think I've practically read a Shirley Jackson book a year since RIP became a thing in my life, and whilst I've had some mixed results (in summary- her short stories > her longer works) I still loooove her more than almost anyone. I didn't think I could love her even more but THEN I read this book.

THIS. BOOK. As the title suggests, this is a short story collection of, you know, dark tales and MY GOD are they dark (and quite literally perfect). My best best best thing about Shirley Jackson is that she finds the darkness in the everyday, or rather takes the everyday and makes it, well, terrifying. So, with this book, you have the woman who is just hanging out with her husband one evening when she has the sudden and irresistible urge to smash him over the head with an ashtray. I won't tell you how that one ends, but Jackson brings settings that we could all easily see ourselves in, and adds thoughts or ideas that we don't want to think we're capable of, but that we probably are.

That's maybe why it's so unsettling.

This book is really all killer and no filler though. I mean for reals, I don't think I've ever ever read a short story collection where I loved every story, but Jackson has finally won that prize. Whilst I don't think that any of the stories have beaten The Lottery as my favourite (THE LOTTERY IS SO GOOD)  it's a collection that The Lottery could easily slot into because they're all so equally... nasty. But nasty in the FABULOUS sense, in that their characters are us, and they are nasty because, you know, humanity.

It's been a few weeks now since I finished the book, so whilst I can't remember all the stories exactly (me, a fine and respected blogger, take notes? What is this madness you speak of?!) I CAN remember more than I would if the collection had only been half as good. Jackson's stories tend to linger, making you feel uncomfortable and uncertain for longer than you care to admit. There is a very short story about a woman, just a normal woman, who one night has the urge to smash her husband's head in with an ashtray, and one about a 'respected townswoman' who is stirring up trouble in all of the townspeople's lives with her poisonous letters. There's one about a mysterious honeymooning couple, and one about a girl who runs away, only to find out that she really can't go home again. It's a very specific kind of horror, very rarely supernatural, but scarier than that because you know that this could really happen. Hell, it already has.

With this book, Jackson has just really surpassed everything else I've read by her. I know I have quite a limited amount of her work left to read which makes me really sad, but I'm also so happy to have discovered her, too. I read The Lottery every year (at least once a year, tbh) in the autumn, and I think this book might have to join it too. IT IS JUST SO GOOD YOU SHOULD READ IT TOO.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

RIP XII Book the Third: Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Firstly, as always, a quick and teensy history of me and these authors. I have never ever read a Terry Pratchett book (I know), and whilst I love The Sandman beyond all measure, I have struggled to finish a Neil Gaiman novel. I have told people this a lot, and you know what they always say? 'Read Good Omens! You'll love it! It's a good introduction to both! You'll be able to finish that!'

Well, godfuckingdammit, you all were right. I hate it when that happens.

Good Omens, for the uninformed, is an epic battle between good and evil, only in a super English way. I spent the first, I'm not even kidding, about 300 pages, believing that the movie Dogma was based on this book until I realised it almost definitely wasn't and actually looked it up. It isn't! And from that moment I could actually read this book for itself and stop trying to work out why it wasn't following the plot of Dogma properly (where tf was Alan Rickman, you dig?)

Anyway! Digressions aside, Good Omens is really actually very good. There's a good angel and a bad angel, only sometimes its difficult to tell the difference, and I'd tell you they were the main characters only there's a giant cast of other characters who are all equally as excellent and so freaking eccentric I can't even. There's a descendent of a prophetess, a witch hunter, the four horsemen of the apocalypse (for reals), and ok it's been a long time now since I read it so I can't remember but let's just say- all the characters are so good.

And so English! Like I almost can't believe this book even sells in other countries because there are so many injokes and so many things that I think of as quintessentially English. I feel like this would normally annoy me (maybe it's why I can't read Gaiman books!) but, once I'd gotten into the story (which, I will admit, took me longer than usual, but once I was there, I was really there, you know?) I was all about identifying with this INSANE cast of characters because, for all their eccentricities, they're also my fellow countryfolk, and I just kind of get them. It felt pretty good.

And so. Believe the hype! Good Omens is a gateway drug into Pratchett and Gaiman (I may even read my first Pratchett soon!) and it's one that I'm pretty sure I'm going to read again in the not too distant future, because hey, I know what's going on in the first bit now! Huzzah! You're totally allowed to read it too, just so you know.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon!!!!!!!!!!!

Greetings, intrepid readathoners! It's today, it's today, it's today! I first readathoned 6 (!!!) years ago which makes me a partial veteran but nowhere near as much as some of todays participants. That readathon was my best effort (I think I got maybe 4 hours sleep?) and won't be beaten by today, but I do plan to spend The. Whole. Day. (from 1pm) reading which, honestly, is good enough for me!

I'll update on this post for ease of life, and, well, let's begin!

THE STACK!

Hour One

OPENING MEME!

1. What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
Surrey, England. I used to be able to say London but I moved in September and I'm really sad about having to say I live in Surrey again (but, that's the only part of my living situation that makes me sad, which is good!)

2. Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
It's probably Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides even though it's one of the bigger books in my stack... Because, NEW EUGENIDES WHAT EVEN IS THIS LIFE?!

3. Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Ok so I never have good snacks, but today I am actually prepared so I have ALL THE PARTY FOOD. I am maybe most looking forward to Quality Street because Christmas feels, but also there are veggie sausage rolls so it's all good. 

4. Tell us a little something about yourself.
Ummm, let's see. I'm a feminist, vegetarian reading nightmare and also super awesome and cool? Or something like that, I don't know I'm pretty tired already.

5. If you participated in the last readathon, what's one thing you'll do different today?
Not the last readathon, but previous ones, and I think I've already mentioned it- BETTER AND MORE SNACKKKKKS!

I'm off now to (finish) reading The Night Watch by Sarah Waters, brb YAY READATHON

Hour 6

Oh heyyyyy I'm here and I am not dead! Yes! I've been reading but maybe not as much as I had anticipated cause my boyfriend has the weekend off which almost never happens so obviously he needs like... 20% of my attention? Maybe less, if he's being annoying.

ANYWAY. I haven't finished a book yet but I've had fun spending the majority of my afternoon reading, so what more can I ask for? Exactly.

Books Finished: 0
Pages Read: 182 (SHOCKING I KNOW)
Snacks consumed: I ate a lot of crisps, basically for my lunch, but my favourite snack has been a cupcake THAT MY BOYFRIEND MADE UNSUPERVISED. I'm pretty proud, I can't lie.
Communication: Basically none with the internet... Sadface. I think I'm having a bit of a quiet readathon this time, chicks and dudes.

Hour 9

I FINISHED A BOOK and then two more because comic books are magical and I have had Paper Girls 1 & 2 out of the library for too long. I have decided to do the 10 books in 10 years thingy, not just because the prize is excellent, but just because it's fun choosing books and stuff. I basically never read books in the year they are published, so it will be genuinely interesting to me to see what books go with each year (relying heavily on google for this) and which one from each year I like the best! So:

2007: Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill
2008: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
2009: Columbine by Dave Cullen
2010: A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
2011: 11/22/63 by Stephen King
2012: Tell The Wolves I'm Home by Carla Rifka Brunt (honourable mention to Wild THIS WAS A GOOD YEAR)
2013: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
2014: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
2015: Finders Keepers by Stephen King
2016: The Fireman by Joe Hill
2017: Gwendy's Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar

Ok so fully half of this list was formed of the King family, but what can I say, they write good books? Also as I suspected, there were years where I struggled to find a book I had actually read (and I didn't want to go through the ENTIRE Goodreads list...) so ehhhh what can you do? Also, this was fun! Now howsabout some stats?

Books Finished: 3! What a turnaround!
Pages Read: 504
Snacks consumed: veggie sausage rolls, southern fried 'chicken' bites, mozzarella sticks and really nasty mini onion rings. There is nothing like health going on in my flat today.
Communication: I did two instagram posts and I posted my last update on twitter. That counts as communicating, right?

Hour 10

What is this? Two updates in two hours? As far as I'm concerned, that can only mean one thing- I'm going to beddddddd! No longer the hardcore readathoner, I do actually get all the sleeps now during the readathon, but since I've just started reading Jeffrey! Eugenides! Short! Stories! I will for sure be back in the morning. All the UK people reading through the night- shine on you crazy diamonds, and all you Americans/Canadians/South Americans etc for whom it is now daytime, damn you are lucky, and keep keep going! I'll catch you in 8 hours (loljk I don't sleep that long basically ever)

Books Finished: 3
Pages Read: 540
Snacks consumed: Nah, it's just too late. Or too near bedtime, I should say.
Communication: Nah, and even my fella's asleep now. Definitely time to sleep, ya know?

Friday, 20 October 2017

RIP XII Book The Second: The Fireman by Joe Hill


Ah, Joe Hill. I've been enjoying his books for quite a while now, but I feel like for the very first time, The Fireman has made me stop thinking of Joe Hill as 'Stephen King's son', and just as Joe Hill. I don't think I've been unfair in such a judgement, but whereas in his other books I've been casually looking out for Stephen King similarities, The Fireman is so good that I was too busy being excited about it to care even the tiniest bit about its author, or, I guess, its author's familial relationships.

This book though. OMG. Full disclosure: I started this book ages and ages and ages ago (honestly its so long ago I can't even remember when) and, because I have it on kindle and am an idiot, I stopped reading and just didn't start again. This, as I'm sure you can tell, was a big mistake, but also means that I only have the vaguest memories of the very early chapters of the book so don't ask me any questions please. Let's all pretend I am the fountain of all knowledge here, yeah?

So. The Fireman is sort of an end of the world book, except that it's more of an 'the end of the world doesn't have to be the end of the world' book. A disturbing disease called Dragonscale is running wild, and people are bursting into flames all over the (country? World? I think world) and it's all very upsetting. Our very very very excellent heroine is Harper, a former school nurse who is now a special Dragonscale nurse who finds out she is both pregnant and infected with Dragonscale at about the same time (like I say, very hazy beginnings...) We basically follow Harper through this scared new world and into a disturbing and AMAZING and tense story and omg it's so good.

As always, I never know how much to share and how much information turns interesting stuff into spoilers. Here's what I do know:

  • There are set pieces in this book that are too perfect for words. I'm talking setting up scenes and tension, executing plans, things going wrong and weird and bad but sometimes good, but also keeping the thread of what's happening better than this sentence is. There's a part where Hill practically apologises because the following description isn't going to be adequate enough, and the following description turns out to be so much more than adequate. This kid's got talent, ya know?
  • HARPER IS THE BEST. There's some really interesting stuff between Harper and her husband and kind of dormant violence against women and what that can turn into when given the opportunity, but Harper by herself is strong and capable and *whispers* exactly the kind of heroine that King is sometimes lacking. I LOVE HER and yes.
  • The ending! It was so unexpected (to me, anyway) and obviously I'm not going to tell you about it but OMG that ending. I just... Yes. Yes. So much yes.
And look! A whole review where I've revealed literally nothing about the book. As always. There's almost nothing I didn't like about the book, except for a romantic storyline that did pretty much nothing for me, but hey, I still wanted it to be there? Regardless, this book is incredibly thrilling, shocking, and so well crafted that I can't even with it. I give you my full and complete permission to read it, do it, do it nowwwww!