Sunday, April 25, 2010

My New Favorite iPhone Game App - The Impossible Test

Yes, I have an iPhone - as if you didn't already know if you're following me on Facebook or Twitter. My app selections usually fall into a few categories:

Social Apps (FB, Twitter, HootSuite, Four Square, etc.)
Korean Learning Apps (WordPower, KC101, LingoPal, etc.)
Games (DoodleJump, Sheep Launcher, Flags Fun, Unblock Me, etc.)
Travel: (Zipcar, Expedia)
Randoms: (Currency Converter, All Recipes, Shazam, eBay)

And now I have a new "must have" to write about for the Games category. Last week I bought "Impossible Test" which is a free* app made by Pixel Cube. This game is addictive, short and definitely a brain teaser. There are about 40 - 50 (you lose count after a while) quiz screens. Nothing is inherently hard, but it makes you think through and actually read and digest every little thing that you see. The goal, once you finally make it through all the quizzes, is to try to get the fastest time. My fastest time so far has been 235 seconds. ^_^
*incidentally it looks like there's a charge for the game on the actual website - so non Apple product holders may have to pay to check out this game...

If you have an iPhone, iTouch or iPad (although I don't know if it's free on the iPad), I highly recommend you get it! Especially since it's free, you have nothing to lose by downloading it!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Is It Just Me Or Is This a Marketing Ploy?

A random rant...

Okay so I've seen this commercial for the Lysol "No Touch Hand Soap System" a number of times, but the more I see it, the more I feel like it doesn't make sense.

The premise is that, with all the dirty/germy things that you can touch in a day, your hand soap pump can get really germy from multiple touches in a day. To fix this problem, they've created a touchless dispenser that is motion activated - to keep you from getting any more germs on yourself or on the soap pump. Okay, what's confusing me is, if you have antibacterial soap anyway, then it really doesn't matter if you touch the germy soap pump.

This feels more like a marketing ploy than a common sense idea. In theory, it sounds awesome - have a touchless soap dispenser so that you don't continue to contaminate surfaces. But come on, if the motion sensor in that dispenser is as "accurate" as a number of the motion sensory based dispensers in public restrooms around the country, then I can imagine myself standing there waving my hand like a moron trying to get a bit of soap to come out. ^_^

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My New Favorite Korean Learning Guide

Okay....unless you've been living under a rock and don't follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know that I'm studying Korean. This time last year, everyone was scratching their heads trying to understand why I would even try to learn a language where I had no real reason to (as opposed to say Japanese - or enhancing my passable Spanish skills). Fast forward to 2010 and now I do business with Korean entertainment firms - so apparently it wasn't such a bad idea for me to learn the language! Haha! ^_^

Anyway, the Korean learning curve has been a rocky one. At first my work schedule made it tiresome for me to make time for tutoring lessons or to study when I got home. Then my first tutor moved home to South Korea before returning to the States to go to school at the University of Minnesota. Then my 2nd tutor got too busy with classes at Columbia University's Business School to meet up with me anymore. And finally the third one was somewhat of a bust as we only met twice and he's going back to South Korea in May.

Finally I realized that much like learning to run my own business, if I wanted to learn to speak Korean, I was going to have to take it upon myself. So, I stumbled upon (no not through using a website that was developed by a (I'm assuming former) guy who used to work with If you're familiar with KC101 then you probably either really love it or are ambivilant to it. I'm ambivilant to the website but do like the iPhone apps!

Well the new website I found is called "" and is entirely different than KC101. First all the lessons are accessible without needing a membership and each one comes with a pdf and podcast that clearly outline what is being learned and how to apply it to regular conversation. And even better, they have these workbooks which help you to quiz yourself on how much you learned from the step by step lessons. I highly recommend this site if you're trying to ease into Korean. :) addition to that, I've also been spending a lot of time watching Korean TV to help my listening comprehension skills. My last tutor gave me a great site - which offers streams of all the popular Korean TV shows and movie trailers. I'm partial to the modern day dramas or "novellas" as I like to call them - for those of us familiar with the Spanish versions of soap operas. I'm partial to 검사 프린세스 ( which in Korean means "Kamsa Princess" or "Prosecuting Attorney Princess") which is the story of a well to do woman who (through her father's connections I'm guessing) lands a job working for the State as a prosecutor. Originally she's bratty and doesn't take her job seriously but as the show continues, she begins to mature. But the predictable soap opera-ish plot line is that she has a choice between two men - the silent/stern but well meaning co-worker who she has a crush on (who is a hottie) and her childhood friend who likes her but she doesn't like "in that way".

Anyway...I definitely recommend (especially since there are no subtitles like on and because it clearly explains everything!


Monday, April 19, 2010

A Thought Provoking Post...

Ok...I know, it's almost 4AM on Monday morning, but every once in a while I get inspired. This is a repost of a comment I made on an ezine article...but it was so interesting and the responses to the article were so varied that I thought it deserved to be re-posted.

So, I follow Clutch Magazine (@clutchmagazine) on Twitter and they had an article that I came across called "Where Are Black Men's Voices in Single Black Woman Commentary?"

In case you don't read the article, it's basically highlighting the fact that recently, mainstream media has been focusing on the fact that there is an influx of marrying age SBF's (single black females) who aren't finding their black male counterparts. But these SBF's can be classified as middle class - gainfully employed, college educated, etc. etc. So, the columnist was essentially irritated with the mainstream focus on it - making SBF's sound like an endangered species. And, she wanted to hear the black man's perspective on it - rather than just the mainstream media's sound bites on it.

And this is where it got interesting...

People commented quite a bit - and the opinions were highly varied; some condemning black men for the current status of black on black relationships, and many saying don't just limit yourself to dating black men. Now, this is where it got me thinking...why in 2010 when our president is bi-racial are we (collective we - not personally) as black women still fixated on "The Black Man". We're in a post Loving vs. the State of VA world - where we're not forced to stick to our own. Even though it's been proven time and again through history, we're allowed to love whoever we want. So, why do we as black women only fixate on a black man and worse still become embittered when we see a black man with someone from another race - even when we know for a fact that we wouldn't want that man if he was available and interested in us?!

Having said that, this was my comment, please feel free to weigh in...

"I put this article/argument right along with the statistical evidence that people who come from single parent homes are neither as well adjusted or successful as their two parent family counterparts. If you’re looking for data to support a negative spin, it’s very easy to find it. 

In additional to the overwhelming gender bashing (both obvious and subversive) that I read in this thread I also see an obnoxious sense of entitlement coming from both genders. As a black woman, I just have to put this out there: Black men don’t “owe” you a relationship just because they fulfill a few “must haves” on your list (educated, gainfully employed, etc.) and you made it through college & are upwardly mobile. And likewise, black women aren’t required to play the “submissive Christie doll” routine just because you’re a black man. Respect, loyalty and dedication are earned. Being from the same racial make up as me guarantees you nothing except that we’re both sharing common ancestry.

When it comes to finding an appropriate mate (whether same race or from a different race) you get what you give. If you walk around with a complex saying “I went to college and I have a good job and I’m attractive – black men should just WANT me – but said black man must come with XYZ” then you’re going to end up with shallow jerk offs who wouldn’t support you if you lost it all tomorrow. Likewise, the time you waste worrying about why the random guy you saw in the store was with a white/asian/latin woman is time you’re wasting not meeting the guy you really want. Why waste your time worrying about something that you can’t change? I find many of my black female friends complaining about seeing a black man with a woman of another race. And then, when I ask them if they’re even mildly attracted to the man – 9 times out of 10 they wouldn’t want him if he was single. If the man approached them in the club they would be making a stank face. So, stop complaining. Regardless of whether or not a black man is dating a woman of another race because he really loves her or for status – it doesn’t change the fact that you’re not with him – so stop worrying about him.

We (as a culture) continue to help perpetuate these stereotypes and drama by focusing on things that we can’t change. We write books about it, bring it up in movies (all written by African Americans male & female) and even in comedy skits. Yet, somehow we’re upset when “mainstream” media picks up the soundbite and runs with it. Much like the N word debate and the “bitch” word debate – if you keep making a platform for it, it’s only a matter of time until the people outside of your own community decide to start shedding light on it.

And likewise, I agree with many other women on here who have said that you shouldn’t be limiting your dating pool by just race alone. I’ve been in a healthy, supportive and HAPPY relationship with a hispanic man for the last 5 years – not because I only date Spanish men (although I have dated men of all races) – but because we actually click and connected in ways that I’ve never been able to do with anyone else – regardless of race. We’ve both supported each other in starting our own businesses and have grown as individuals and as a couple. Somehow, I’ve always found that it’s silly to only allow myself to date people based on something as superficial as skin color – especially if my hopes/goals/dreams are more aligned with someone who is from a different race. And especially with the responses I’m seeing from a lot of the women on here – if you REALLY feel black men are so villainous/overbearing/looking for someone who will kowtow to them, then it’s even more of a reason why you should be expanding your horizons, not just sitting there with sand in your mouth.

In other words – if you’re not happy with the results you’re getting, then it’s up to you to make the change. Sitting around complaining about the state of black on black relationships isn’t going to make things any better and isn’t going to get you any closer to a happy & healthy relationship."

Friday, April 16, 2010

Another Multi Post Day? Possibly...

Well...since I'm relegated to sitting home & watching the Food Network on account of me not feeling 100%, I've been doing what I sometimes do best - BSing my time away online.

I'm sure everyone has trivial guilty pleasures, but one of mine was the "Single in the Suburbs" weekly blog/webisode that just finished its last installment this week on MSN's Lifestyle channel. Maybe the reason I liked it so much was because it centered on someone from Indiana (woo-hoo, we Hoosiers don't get a lot of love from the rest of the country, so when we make it into the cyber sphere...I have to take notice) or maybe it was just a nice read. Anyway, the storyline centered around a recently divorced woman who had to leave the idyllic "wife stays home & hubby makes huge money" scenario, move out of her perfect home, and endure being a single parent mom who also works.

For almost 2 and a 1/2 years, I followed poor "Sara's" (the main character) relationship troubles as this Baby Boomer woman tried to emerge into a dating world that had greatly changed since she had first dated before her marriage. Each week there were weekly installments every Thursday to buoy me through my work week and to entertain me even when I left the world of walking stiffs and started my own company. Alas, this week was the final installment. The ending was a bit contrived & too perfect, but I guess it was to be expected considering that MSN only gave a month's notice before winding down the series.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Part 2: Oh How I Love eBay!

My love for all things bargain-y continues. So, as many of you know, I LOVE eBay. There's practically nothing that you can't get on there, and for me the best part are the Asian stores. I can always be sure of finding awesome accessories, shoes & clothes that I usually won't see here in NYC - which is definitely a feat considering that we're talking about NYC, the fashion capital of the world!

Anyway, I bought a light gray purse about a few weeks ago and it just came in today! Love love love it! Pics below:

It's nice and large, comes with an additional shoulder handle and is sooo soft with this awesome "leathery" smell. No, it's not real leather, but for $40 it's very competitive to something you could buy at Leila Rowe without the gross pvc smell! And don't get me wrong...I love Leila Rowe, but sometimes their selection is limited or - considering what you purchased & the price - the item doesn't last. I definitely remember buying a black patent leather purse from them last year that ended up being a money pit since the zipper broke not long after I bought it. -_-

A Multi Post Day! Part 1: Yorkie Email Scam Update

So, last week I created a post talking about a scam email I received offering a Teacup Yorkie from Africa that was available "for free". Of course, it was a scam. After posting my angry rant, I did a quick Google search and found that:

1. It's not new - they've been doing this for a while
2. It's called the "Cameroon Puppy Scam".

Unfortunately, much like those scammy emails asking people to cash checks or accept wire transfers from Iraq War soldiers or some deceased person in a war torn country, this scam preys on the gullible person who throws caution to the wind even when an offer seems too good to be true.

Anywho, this update is because I didn't realize how much of a response that I would get from posting my reaction to the scam! I'm glad that there are people out there willing to do a little research and not accept something at face value. Apparently, quite a few Internet savvy people also received the scammy email - some who are active PetSmart users and others who aren't. As long as we continue to speak out and inform others about fraudulent activity like this, we ensure that one less person becomes the victim of a scam like the Teacup Yorkie/Cameroon Puppy Scam.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Putting Douchebags on Blast...

Yes...this is a rant...

Okay so I was out on the town tonight when I got this random email. Someone had a Yorkie available for adoption - a teacup - but a Yorkie none the less. Now, if you know me, you already know that I have a Yorkie - but my furbaby is breed standard and pedigreed. He's a 6.3lb bundle of energy who loves to jump and play and who hasn't had more than a minor bruise or bump here and there from stepping on something suspect when going on walks - but more on that later.

Anywho, the reason this email goes into the "Put douchebags on blast" file (as I was told to do earlier this week lol) is because this email which I've posted below reads more like those obnoxious "Kind Madame please accept my wire transfer from the Ivory Coast for $15 Million USD and keep 10%" scams. What's really insulting is that this fictitious person is banking on the high demand for Yorkies to keep this scam going. But...let's see the email shall we? And yes, I included the email address so that if anyone else is contacted by this fraud, they can be forewarned:

From email address: Jacqueline Jones

To email address:

Subject: Little Yorkie for Adoption... Respond


How are you today? I hope this e-mail reaches you in a good mood. My name is
Jacqueline Jones and I am a consultant gynecologist surgeon and oncologist
doctor, I work for different prominent hospital and me and my husband are giving
out this little puppy for free (Adoption), This little girl weighs 1.3Lbs at 9
weeks old & should be 3Lbs when full grown only. She is very friendly with
children she fit in both Palm of your hands. She is AKC/CERF registered puppy
.Adorable and sociable with great Personalities and very good bloodlines.

She is vet-checked, up to date on shots and deforming, and her health is
guaranteed. She was recently checked by a licensed Vet Doctor for heart, knees,
skin, correct bite, and eyes problems and there no sign of any problem. Bottom
and straight sides are tender, she is A.K.C and CERF registered and shots are
given up to date.

She will come along with Travel crate, AKC/CERF Registered Papers, Toys and Food
with her Birth Certificate, I used to reside in California with my husband but
after my son's death, I and my husband moved to Africa due to our work and we
have the puppy right here with us. The Yorkie is for free. You have to promise
me that you will take good care of her as she will be a New family member,
please if you are not going to take good care of the puppy, do not reply but if
you are going to take good care of her kindly reply for more details about her.
I await your urgent Response.

Thanks And God Bless

Jacqueline Jones.
Ok...the reason I posted this is - clearly this piece of crap email is a scam. Why? Well let's go through the red bold portions:

1. Undisclosed recipients: I don't know a Jacqueline Jones, so the fact that is sending a mass email is really suspect. I purchased my Yorkie from a reputable breeder I found on the AKC website. They would never just "give" a puppy to someone without properly screening them.

2. Different Prominent Hospital: Don't you know where you work?! Even if it's in the most remote location in Africa, all hospitals have names, even if it's just the name of a town. Plus the grammar is off in this email and the only reason it's so noticeable is because this writer tries too hard to come across with a formal tone - which only calls out the grammatical errors that much more.

3. AKC/Cerf Registered Puppy: By default Teacups are not breed standard and therefore frowned upon by most Yorkshire Terrier clubs (breed standard groups not meetup groups!). Teacups - as lovable as they may seem - are considered genetic anomalies, and aren't something that people should be trying to replicate as they tend to have more health issues than your "breed standard Yorkie". And breed standard Yorkie is 6lbs...if that's too big of a dog for you then you really don't need a Yorkie at all.

4. Shots & Deforming: it's "deworming" you least get the language down correctly

5. Guaranteed health: Let's be realistic, even if a puppy at the first vet visit appears 100% healthy, there's never a guarantee that as the pup ages that their health will always be 100% tip-top. A responsible breeder would use language saying that they've had the dog checked out by a vet and to the best of their knowledge, the puppy is healthy and more importantly that the puppy was bred from healthy parents with good blood lines. It might be semantics, but putting a guarantee on something that is so clearly impossible to guarantee is a red flag IMO.

6. The writer was in Cali and of course now lives in Africa with their husband: If nothing else in this email screams scam - this line should! How are we supposed to get said pup from Jacqueline? I would imagine it must be pretty expensive to ship a live animal from Africa to the US (or wherever). In fact, let's forget the fact that most commercial airlines won't let an animal on a flight that lasts longer than 12hrs (and it's definitely more than 12 hrs for a direct flight from NY to wherever in Africa).

This is where they'll hook some hapless person into paying for fictitious shipping fees only to find that "surprise!" there's no puppy and you're out the "shipping costs". In fact, I bet if you email Jacqueline, "she'll" very politely reply telling you that the puppy is on it's way as soon as you send them (via wire transfer/western union since there's no way to get money back once you send money that way) enough money to cover the cost of shipping.

Long story short - there's a sucker born every minute, but don't get caught by something this obvious. And don't hesitate to put these douchebags on blast. They're banking on society's high demand for Yorkies (Yorkies were the 3rd most popular dog breed in the US in 2009) as a way to exploit trusting people.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Yet Another Social Media Post...

Okay...I actually originally posted this as a response for a LinkedIn post that I wrote earlier today but I loved it so much I decided to make a blog post around it. ^_^ If you haven't figured out from my many posts, I am a social media marketer. I do entertainment content promotion & content aggregation & monetization via Internet, mobile & TV platforms. So suffice to say, I spend a lot of time online, and with my marketing background have seen campaigns fly like eagles & tank like rocks.

To put the below comment I made in context, someone posted a discussion article/question asking about whether or not social media was something that everyone should be doing and some "best practices" for it as well. So, I said:

Social media is neither new nor relevant for all industries. Some industries like say pharmaceuticals and tobacco should stay far from it since the marketing guidelines that they face are far more stringent than other industries. In my opinion, social media is really nothing more than word-of-mouth marketing done on a global & digital scale. Rather than me waiting for "Millie from Milwaukee" to send me a letter telling me how wonderful product XYZ is, I can go online and find thousands of Millie's who are either promoting or refuting a product, idea or service.

Likewise, much as others have said [there were a couple of comments above mine], "traditional" social media options (Twitter/Facebook, etc.) are nice additions to a strong marketing campaign but shouldn't be the only concentration. If Twitter and Facebook are having a hard time truly monetizing their platforms, that's usually a really good indicator that it's probably not a good idea to base the success/failure of your company on those platforms as well.

I believe the key to successful marketing via social media is transparency. If you create a Twitter handle or Facebook fan page for your company, please don't fall prey to the marketing fallacy that "the public is stupid". All it takes is a few quick seconds on Google to learn who is linked to who through social sites. Be upfront on who you are, so that when you do promote marketing oriented messages on these platforms, people will understand why they're receiving these messages and the backlash will be practically non-existent.

And finally, don't abuse FB/Twitter and only promote but never have a dialogue. The CEOs of Red Mango & Zappos are great examples of company owners who are truly embracing social media. Obviously these two firms are not relying solely on Facebook & Twitter to create revenue. But at the same time, I know that occasionally I can receive $1 off coupons for Red Mango smoothies and even learn when the CEO of Red Mango is having a birthday party or what the CEO of Zappos is randomly doing. Now more than ever, people want to know that they're connecting with real people, rather than with a faceless "PR Department" who is carefully crafting canned messages. Be authentic, be transparent & be realistic - those are key things to remember in social media.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Is Corporate Etiquette Dead?'s a pseudo rant:

So, apparently way back in '09 I sent an email to someone for booking services for an entertainment client of mine. Of course, as is the case if you find someone on Craigslist (yes I know, what was I thinking) you never hear back from them. No biggie right? Well, said "professional" sends me an email today...7 months later, asking me to ask the same entertainment client I referenced in my email to help promote their entertainment client. Said "professional" even had the nerve to include the original email I sent to them, with the time stamp on it.

Seriously?! It's amazing I'm even having this rant because this screams of extreme unprofessionalism. I'm a big believer in not contacting people for professional favors if I know for a fact that I ignored their email when they reached out to me - especially if more than 6 months has passed. There's something that just screams of opportunism & poor business etiquette to do so anyway. My issue with this offender is the following:

1. When I first emailed them, they never even emailed me back to say "thanks but no thanks". This is a must IMO because the offending party put an ad out on Craigslist looking for people to respond to them. So, at the very least (especially since they later came back to me looking for assistance) they are required to do that little bit of follow up.

2. To email me 7 months later, you don't have the right to come straight out and ask for a favor. You need to butter me up first.

3. If you're going to do a cold call approach like that, at least have the decency to delete the original message that I sent to you. If it was a normal interactive person where we had communicated back and forth occasionally, leaving my original message would make sense. It would help to remind me of why we were chatting and encourage me to want to help you. Unfortunately, since I saw the time stamp and noticed that I had emailed this offender in September only to receive silence until they needed something, I was quick to shut them down.

This just goes to show that everyone wants to be in business but not everyone is professional enough to deserve to be in business.

Monday, April 5, 2010

When Keeping it "Real" Goes Wrong - Spring Edition...

Ok...this isn't going to be like the angry rant I wrote after the Haiti earthquake...this one is more a funny inspection of how people get ahead of themselves...

So, it's finally getting warm in's not summer yet, but the mercury is going up and hemlines & clothing are getting shorter, thinner & scarcer. I'll admit, the warm weather does get to your head, making you want to bare all and enjoy it...but please make sure you're ready for it before you decide to "let it all hang out". I've seen a number of offenders over the past few days and I just had to comment and call attention to these fashion don'ts.

1. 60 degree weather doesn't equal traipsing around NYC in a t-shirt and shorts - with no jacket in sight:
I get it, it's beautiful out, and since you don't have to wear a parka, you want the whole world to know how happy you are that it's no longer arctic outside. But get's Spring...the weather is still fluctuating. So, you in a tank and shorts today means you'll be sneezing near me on the train getting other people sick because of your poor decision making skills.

2. Being so ashy that you could start a fire or be nicknamed "Ashy Larry":
If you don't know what ashy means then you need to check out Chapelle's Show. For those of us who do know...the fact is ash is no respecter of gender or race. Men, your skin gets dry - and fair skinned peeps...yes we can see the crust of ash on your heels...please...get thee to a Bath & Body Works. The point is you need to always be on point, dry skin is never in season. -_-

3. Feet that look like claws:
You knew when you put those flip-flops on that your feet were absolutely not ready to be shown off to the world - and yet you did it anyway. Shame on you. In the past week and a half, I've seen toes & heels that have seen better days. In a city like NY where there's at least 5 nail shops on every block, there is no excuse for this infraction. Maybe you can't afford a $50 mani-pedi at Bliss...or maybe you don't even want to get a cheapie mani-pedi at the local spot near your house. But the cost of buying a pumice stone, a cheap bottle of nail polish, a pair of nail clippers & cuticle nippers to do an at home pedicure shouldn't prevent you from getting your tootsies ready to hang out.

4. Wearing things that aren't complimentary to your shape:
Now that it's warmer out, there's no oversized coat to hide your dont's. Regardless of whether or not you choose to work out to stay in shape or not, don't let yourself be a Glamour black bar victim. Look in the mirror before you leave the house - if you pause or pull at the hem (or the waistline of your pants) it's a sign that you shouldn't be wearing whatever it is that you put on. And that's a dose of advise for people of all shapes and sizes. Fashion roadkill - much like ashy skin - is no respecter of gender or size.

Now go forth & enjoy the warm weather!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Books I Couldn't Finish!

I'm an avid reader...I love reading a book so much just because it's like being transported to an alternate world - something of a stay-cation of sorts. I'm the type who doesn't mind taking a chance on buying books - although I usually only buy them on sale at Borders (my bookstore of choice since I have a rewards card there). Of course, there are some books by specific authors that I don't want to wait for a sale - I buy them ASAP because I know that the author is that good of a writer.

And then...there are books that I take a chance on that just fall flat. I'm pretty open minded in what I read (except for sci-fi or fantasy fiction), but sometimes...the book is so boring or so obnoxious that I can't even force myself to read the whole thing. Usually if the book can't hook me by page 100, then it's officially a bomb in my opinion. So...I felt like since I love to write about my fave was time to write about the books I couldn't stand - and why:

Alexander Dumas' "The Man In the Iron Mask":
Yes, I know, it's a classic. And unfortunately I saw the movie first. However, I only made it to page 68 before I couldn't take it anymore. Don't get me wrong, I've read many a weighty classic novel where the author spends far too much time being descriptive...but this book was pretty excessive in it - maybe 2nd only to "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" (a novel I was actually forced to read in my high school English Lit course...a serious yawn IMO). And if it wasn't the excessive descriptions, it was the odd back and forth dialogue between the condemned man and one of the Musketeers. I'm a quick study but it was hard to follow...

Ian McEwan's "Atonement":
I DID NOT watch the movie first, and still haven't to this day. I got to about page 125 before I lost total interest in it. Once again...the action took so long (and actually even by chapter 9 the action still hasn't picked up momentum) to get to the point that I decided that I had lost interest in both the book and movie version. At some point, I'll pick this read up again, but it was a plod - and I've been known to read a 500 page book in a week if I like it.

Charles Dickens' "Bleak House":
I have to admit, I'm not a huge Dickens fan, but I bought this book when I was on a classics kick. I had just finished reading "Anna Karenina" and a ton of Jane Austin novels and was excited to delve into the social commentary that makes Charles Dickens so amazing. Plus, I remembered how much I loved "A Tale of Two Cities" in high school. Sadly, poor Charles couldn't keep my attention past page 160. It was well written but just terribly boring...I remember reading this book on my morning commute when I used to work a 9-5 and falling asleep on the train because it was that slow...& dry.

Richard Yates' "Revolutionary Road":
I originally avoided watching the movie and just bought the book to attempt to read it first. I got up to about 10 pages and gave up. Then I watched the movie and actually found the movie interesting so I decided to give the book another try. Personally, I'm glad I watched the movie first, just so I could get an idea of where the book was trying to go - and to be honest the movie is equally slow with a "where are they taking this plot" kind of feel. Most of the action in the book happens in everyone's minds since "Revolutionary Road" is more of a social commentary on the whole "idealized vs. reality" of the 1950s era in the US. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if there's very little real interaction between can make for a tortuously slow and painful read. Such is the case with "Revolutionary Road". After trying again to read the book, I made it about halfway to page 236 before becoming too bored to finish it.

Alyssa Brooks' "Hard to Get":
Normally, I love romance novels - historical or otherwise. Of course I love classics and "thinking" books, but there are times when nothing is better than a mindless read with handsomely perfect male characters & damsel in distress leading ladies. And I love romance novels with awesome love scenes in them. If you read my book "Mind Games" you would know this is true! However, this novel bordered on cheap tawdry porn style dialogue, descriptions and sex scenes. I can't even see the last page I dog eared in this book because I'm pretty sure I gave up after chapter 1 (which couldn't have taken me far past pg 10). The plot even for a romance novel was pretty thin from what I remember and the lead character acted more like a man than anything else...grabbing guys in their crotches and just being entirely unappealing IMO.

Elizabeth Brundage's "The Doctor's Wife":
There's something about taking too long to get to the point of a novel that irritates me. And once again, this was the cause of my ditching this novel for something more appealing. I almost made it to page 85 before I decided that the good doctor and his wife were too obnoxious for me to even want to care enough to finish reading their story.

Umberto Eco's "The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana"
This one was really my fault! I should have avoided buying a novel that's cover looked like a comic strip. I'm not into graphic novels at all, and although this novel is nothing of that was just too much to keep reading. All I remember of it before I did a giant eye roll and shoved it back onto my bookshelf was that the lead character had lost his memory and I was being forced along a roller coaster of BS with him as he tried to regain it. Once again, around page 55, I gave up.

Seriously I have a bookshelf that is overflowing with these few ones that didn't make the grade doesn't even equal 1% of all the books that I've read for pleasure. For the most part, slow or no action was the culprit in draining my interest. But even though I didn't like these novels, it doesn't take away from the author. And ultimately, I'm just glad that I buy most of my books for a bargain...I can't be upset if I only spent up to $10 at the most for a book that ended up being a dud.