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Post 200, The Vlog!! House of Leaves – Mark Z. Danielewski

05 Nov

House_of_leavesAfter much promising and teasing, I have finally gotten around to doing my 200 post and as promised it is in the form of the vlog, below, which will give you a glimpse, not only into how I butcher the Queen’s English on a daily, if not hourly basis but also into how excitable I get when talking about books.

The blog has gotten off that particular track within the last 100 posts as I’ve spent more time exploring my own thoughts and experiences and on the odd occasion my own writing… not to mention the ongoing Doctor Who posts which will all be crammed in by November 23rd.

After that I will be stepping up the book reviews once again as well as keeping up with all the other things that make you guys come back.  As always any suggestions, comments and constructive criticisms are always welcome.

On one final note – if you haven’t already watched the video – you will notice that it is completely ad-libbed as that is the freeform style I usually use when crafting a post.  In reality you shall be experiencing the embryonic musings of my mind as I structure my thoughts for what would in usual circumstances be a written up (and more methodical) review.  Essentially you dear viewer, are cast in the roll of person I talk at, at the pub or coffee shop and just as those lucky people whom I soliloquized to in person discover, the first round is on you.5581002490_d4520ecd2c

Here is the overly complicated blurb that I would get mixed up with, so just imagine I have passed you the tome and am watching you closely as I can’t abide damage to books:

Johnny Truant wild and troubled sometime employee in a LA tattoo parlour, finds a notebook kept by Zampano, a reclusive old man found dead in a cluttered apartment. Herein is the heavily annotated story of the Navidson Report.

Will Navidson, a photojournalist, and his family move into a new house. What happens next is recorded on videotapes and in interviews. Now the Navidsons are household names. Zampano, writing on loose sheets, stained napkins, crammed notebooks, has compiled what must be the definitive work on the events on Ash Tree Lane.

But Johnny Truant has never heard of the Navidson Record. Nor has anyone else he knows. And the more he reads about Will Navidson’s house, the more frightened he becomes. Paranoia besets him. The worst part is that he can’t just dismiss the notebook as the ramblings of a crazy old man. He’s starting to notice things changing around him.

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61 Comments

Posted by on 05/11/2013 in Fiction, Vlog

 

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61 responses to “Post 200, The Vlog!! House of Leaves – Mark Z. Danielewski

  1. anna amundsen

    05/11/2013 at 09:39

    Well, that’s the book I can promise never to read.. From the blurb, to hearing your opinions, to its physical look, its – everything is just putting me off.. I got the feeling it was an exhausting read and you seem quite underwhelmed… “It does smell nice, though” knocked me off in a quiet laughter – perfect!
    Nice to see you, Ste.. and congratulations on your 200th post!

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      05/11/2013 at 18:50

      It is an interesting book, probably more of a coffee table conversation starter type book than one you would read twice, although if you did it would just be the documentary bit of the book. There are plenty more books that I shall review that will grab you more. So now you can put a voice (and moving features) to the face. The epic planning for post 300 shall commence soonish!

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      • anna amundsen

        10/11/2013 at 00:35

        Don’t tell me you are planning to jump out of the screen for Post No. 300?!
        Speaking of unusual books, have you seen this: http://bookpeopleblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/s-is-here-and-its-completely-unexpected/?
        I am sure it is not much of a literature but, still, I would so much like to hold it and read it and own it!

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        • Ste J

          10/11/2013 at 11:09

          Haha, if I could manage that…perhaps I could get every blogger to give me their address then draw one out of a hat and go around to their house all unexpectedly. That would certainly make for an interesting experience.

          I haven’t come across that book, I am wondering how much the style to substance ratio would be. I think you are right with it being easy reading, not much in the way of layers…not that I fall into the trap of judging a book by its over and insides.

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          • anna amundsen

            17/11/2013 at 01:32

            I, too, am not prone to giving a final judgement based only on the book-cover.. Still, sometimes, things are self-evident.
            Amazing how well the designers have reproduced the actual atmosphere of an old library book.. Beautiful..

            Unexpectedly! Boy, that would induce quite a few screams. haha

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            • Ste J

              17/11/2013 at 10:34

              Furthering this blog idea…i would give all entrants a few days forewarning that I would be travelling to someone and of course give vague clues out, like I’m on a plane etc, so I would narrow it down for some and all the others…well they would just have to wait and see if I polled up or not hehe. I like that idea and then doing a vlog with that person and having a natter. I’m nearly 10% of the way to post 300 already so I will definitely be doing it next year!

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              • anna amundsen

                19/11/2013 at 14:09

                That is an amazing idea! Now I can say I’m really, really looking forward your Post No. 300.. I wonder what fun will come out of the this enterprise and if the idea will develop further..

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                • Ste J

                  20/11/2013 at 09:19

                  I will try and get to 300 pretty sharpish then!

                  Like

                   
  2. Al

    05/11/2013 at 10:33

    Well done on reaching your 200th post. It’s good going, and well done on doing the VLOG. I don’t think I would have the guts to do that.

    What I do like about your review is that you did not pick up a book that you thought was the best thing since sliced bread. The book you picked is definitely not one that would interest me. Yes it is ingenious the way the author and the publisher have done it so that bits are backwards, sideways, upside down, Braille. It would throw me off with that as I like to get lost into a book and feel I am living it and not reading it. If you have to read footnotes and turn the book sideways and if you have to think “oh that’s good” then as you say, it pulls you out. That and it looks like it is a billion pages long lol. The right hand page on your photo looks like the sidebar is upside down.

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    • Ste J

      05/11/2013 at 18:58

      When I finished the vlog I did find myself shaking a bit, which was odd as I didn’t feel overly nervous speaking…until I lost my train of thought which I did a few times. Practise will help me get better with that though.

      I’m glad you thought that I had chosen wisely with my pick…I had the thought of showcasing one I wasn’t to enthused with for practise so when I do get confident with it and all passionate then that will shine through on future vlogs. At least that aspect of the post I am satisfied with now you’ve said that. Much appreciated!

      The sidebar is upside down, the whole book is very whimsical in its structuring like that. I think the book tried to do to many things, without the Johnny Truant real life section the book would have retained more of a mysterious aspect and probably would have been more immersive.

      It had me in mind of the first Hitchhiker’s book with its annoying footnotes. Just way more extreme.

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      • Al

        05/11/2013 at 20:38

        I did try reading Hitch-hikers Guide many years ago. Many many many years ago and after a few pages I tossed it aside as I couldn’t get on with it and picked up another James Herbert book lol.

        I think when you show a book that you really like, you’ll be bouncing all over the place hehe.

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        • Ste J

          05/11/2013 at 21:57

          I found the first book a challenge to get into as well…it gets better towards the end though and then all the mentalness really kicks in in book two! I am hoping to be a fairly regular vlogger in the near future so I shall see what happens!

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          • Al

            05/11/2013 at 21:58

            Excellent. More guts than I have

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  3. RoSy

    05/11/2013 at 19:15

    Oh my! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post!
    You just made my day with your vlog. I think you should have a spot on PBS (Public Broadcasting System) for your book reviews. I would definitely watch & maybe even pick up a book & read it one day.
    As for the book on this vlog – I would look at it & get lost in the size of it. It looks like it weighs more than me.

    More vlogs please 🙂

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      05/11/2013 at 19:22

      Haha, it is indeed a weighty tome but weighed against your awesomeness it is found wanting.

      I think once I get more confident that my vlogs – yes there will be more, my friend – will become more honed, to the point, thorough and I will probably even be able to relax a bit lol. I’m getting ace feedback and the encouragement to next time pick out something I love and can really enthuse and get passionate about. Then you will see excitable Ste and that is a whole different kettle of fish!

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  4. readingwithrhythm

    05/11/2013 at 21:36

    My! I loved watching you mess with that giant book! An excellent review. I tend to like those interactive kinds of books where you have to turn and twist the book, but I think the idea works much better with a picture book than a monster like you’ve got. And footnotes – phew! But I sure enjoyed the video!

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    • Ste J

      05/11/2013 at 22:02

      I like the tactile nature of the book and looking at what I’m discussing makes me feel connected and really was a bit like a comfort blanket for me lol. I Picture books would be so much more intriguing…putting all the info of House of leaves into graphic format would be a monumental job. I prefer Spot books still though hehe. Glad your first glimpse of Ste J was a pleasant one.

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  5. nancyrae4

    05/11/2013 at 23:09

    Well, the video wouldn’t play on my machine but the photo of the book fascinated me. I loved the weird layout. It had an artist’s sketch book feel to it, a peculiar graphical quality. Congrats on your 200th!

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    • Ste J

      06/11/2013 at 02:19

      Thanks! Shame the video didn’t work, hopefully the next ones will. It is very aesthetically pleasing and confuzzling to look at. The Raw Shark Texts is also a fun alternative to this book albeit with a more toned down look to it.

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  6. Elizabeth Melton Parsons

    05/11/2013 at 23:54

    Love the vlog….the book-not so much. Better you than me. I’m looking forward to more reviews by vlog. 🙂

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    • Ste J

      06/11/2013 at 02:21

      Thank you, I am hoping to star getting some stuff up fairly regularly, perhaps not just book reviews but other stuff as well, not that I have planned anything…in fact I just decided that last sentence as I wrote it.

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  7. thejerseygal®™

    06/11/2013 at 00:24

    Yay! You did it! And, well, the book, meh, doesn ‘t seem a worthwhile investment, but kiddo you ‘re adorable! And I, as an American, think you sound like The Royal Family does. I swear you could read utter nonsense and it would sound quite important. But beyond the accent, you are just a cute kid! This is my fav post of yours!

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    • Ste J

      06/11/2013 at 02:31

      It took me a while to get the nerve up but yup, I finally did it! I’m not a posh English type of guy, coming from the North and all that but I do sound better on video than I thought, although my voice is deeper, to my ears, in real life.

      As for being a cute kid, my almost 32 years make me feel otherwise lol. Still lots of time for me to jabber utter nonesense with my next post on whatever the heck I choose to talk about. Glad it lives up to the Joiseygal standard!

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      • thejerseygal®™

        06/11/2013 at 03:15

        I think your accent is awesome! Your pitch is perfect! Tone is spot-on.
        32? You look younger! Still a kid, though. I’m 44.
        Totally lives up to my “Joiseygal” standard. You are adorable!

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        • Ste J

          06/11/2013 at 10:57

          And to think I spent ages trying to look a bit older, a bit more befitting of my well readness or so I like to think, 44 is a wonderfully symmetrical age though. An anagram of adorable is ale board…this pleases Ste.

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          • thejerseygal®™

            06/11/2013 at 11:09

            Hahaha ale board. Don’t fret, you look great. Trust me. I’m certain the women on WP or in real life agree with me. 44 sucks. It crept up on me. I am lucky to be told I look younger. Good genes. But I won’t trade the wisdom I’ve gained for anything. I still make mistakes, but I deal with things in a much more methodic fashion. I’m gonna be awesome at 88! Haha
            Now you needn’t worry about looking the part for you well-readness. Americans just assume the British are born with a copy of Shakespeare in their infant hands. Lol!

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            • Ste J

              06/11/2013 at 11:15

              That’s the spirit! And 88 is another wonderfully symmetrical age so you have that going for you as well. It is nice to show you guys what I am like in real life, although at the pub I am more effusive on books and the need for another pint. WP women thinking I look great? My scepticism will always remain on that point as words are so contextually confusing at times.

              Mistakes keep us from getting complacent, although perhaps my thoughts are not so positive when I make them lol. It would be awesome if Shakespeare was inherent from birth…although that does sound a bit like cheesy sci-fi novel.

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              • thejerseygal®™

                06/11/2013 at 11:48

                I’d loooooove a vid if you while at the pub then! Haha
                Do I make myself clearer and not come off like I am hitting on you… Yes, I’ll try. I’m always up for boosting another’s self-esteem. You’ve got an interesting face. Thoughtful eyes. You look like you have an old soul while still appearing relatively young. Women like smart sophistication mingled with humor. Kid, you’ve got that. I may be older, but I know what women like. Yes, the bad boy attracts but the smart boy is the keeper. Besides, maybe there’s a lil bad boy in you, but you save that for someone special lol!
                Write that cheesy scu- fi novel! It could be turned into an awesome movie.

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                • Ste J

                  06/11/2013 at 11:54

                  I haven’t found a good traditional English style pub over here yet, although this is an encouragement to go out to more bars. Never a bad thing. I was never of the opinion you were ‘hitting one me’, very American phrase that, I feel so international, almost bilingual these days.

                  An old soul is a good description methinks. I must admit I did once put a book back in a shop but not in alphabetical order…so maybe I am that rebellious guy after all lol. I am always happy to have the oestrogen crew over at my site as well as the blokes too!

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                  • thejerseygal®™

                    06/11/2013 at 12:37

                    I’m not going to walk you to a 12 step aa program either lol but maybe I shouldn’t nudge you to any bars either haha.
                    I’d hit on you if you were single. Haha

                    And that rebel in you is funny! You bad boy! That poor book, not with its alphabetical peers!

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                    • Ste J

                      06/11/2013 at 12:54

                      I have been sober for a while so my insides are liking me again lol.

                      I did feel bad about the book afterwards though for a while until I forgot most likely by alcohol.

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                    • thejerseygal®™

                      06/11/2013 at 13:00

                      Sober as in you’re on the wagon? Or sober as in just haven’t found the time to go grab a few cold ones? Or sober as in you’re trying to do some healthy stuff?
                      As the toys in the animated Toy Story, books come alive when nobody’s looking, right? Haha

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                    • Ste J

                      06/11/2013 at 13:09

                      Sober as in the middle one, I just haven’t really done any US drinking yet. I have had a couple though I think about it, with a couple of dinners but with the servings on offer, one pint is more than enough lol. Alive books, that reminds me of Matthew Skelton’s Endymion Spring which is worth a read although the ending is a bit anti climactic.

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                    • thejerseygal®™

                      06/11/2013 at 13:13

                      US drinking. You mean getting loaded, three sheets to the wind, tanked?
                      Someone wrote about books coming to life? I was kidding, but ok. Haha

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                    • Ste J

                      06/11/2013 at 13:15

                      I take things to literally sometimes I am told….

                      That would be your definition of the word yes, lol. It’s all very dramatic!

                      Like

                       
  8. Christina ~

    06/11/2013 at 12:48

    I’m with Rosy for sure #LOVE this…your first but not last (or so I politely demand) Vlog! PBS’s viewership would definitely increase with your learned and erudite and oh so very dashing ways…Charm and panache are the words of the day for you dearest sir!

    I am anticipatiously looking forward to reading this because I do love a good challenge…that and as it was so energetically described to me along with its fantastic aromatic beguiling…I couldn’t possibly refuse. Of course… I would never dream of cheating on my beloved Mr. Marquez so I must finish my time with him before embarking on the next literary adventure.

    I am very much looking forward to your next and all future posts…Vlogs…et al! It would seem…I am not alone in this desire so you mustn’t keep us waiting too long. Although… I do have the others at quite the disadvantage by getting to exclusively experience your charm and charisma in person during your stay with me. xxxxx

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      06/11/2013 at 13:01

      Ooo you flatterer! I love it when my ladies gang up on me and I will, of course, acquiesce to your demands.

      It is indeed a challenge but Márquez is so much more awesome and vorbose in his awesomeness. You love your ambrosial odours and this pleases me loads more loaves of bread. One book at a time is the key and I must get you reading.

      I will start working on more vlogs if I could trouble you to keep the dogs calm whilst I ramble then that would be wonderful. My charm is somewhat questionable when I keep passing out after either a large steak or the last episode of a classic Who post. You are so understanding! xxxxx

      Like

       
  9. Chelsea Brown19

    07/11/2013 at 10:20

    Hello,
    I have nominated you for the blog of the year award 2013.
    Check out the info in the link below.
    http://thejennymacbookblog.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/blog-of-the-year-2013/

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      08/11/2013 at 15:52

      Why thank you, I didn’t take part in this last year but shall do so this year I think. Much appreciated and of course always an honour. High fives coming atcha but not at to harsh a velocity.

      Like

       
      • Chelsea Brown19

        08/11/2013 at 16:31

        You’re very welcome high fives received, and enjoy your award. 🙂

        Like

         
  10. quirkybooks

    09/11/2013 at 01:34

    I thought it was great to see a video of you doing a book review. I found it interesting and funny – in a nice way. Very entertaining. It seems the book has a unique layout and style and that is appealing.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      10/11/2013 at 10:57

      The more I do the more eloquent I will become…freestyling my thoughts may be more difficult but I don’t want to have to consult notes when I talk. The book is…in a word…mental.

      Like

       
      • quirkybooks

        10/11/2013 at 14:46

        Mental – That is a great word. What about – An explosion of unrestricted creativity? Who published it?

        Like

         
        • Ste J

          12/11/2013 at 09:11

          Doubleday published it. I think it is mental in terms of not knowing how to tackle whatever is overleaf as ikt could come o you in any form…it is a challenge though.

          Like

           
  11. christopoops

    09/11/2013 at 03:34

    SteJ has finally started doing video reviews? Oh God, where are my tissues…

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      10/11/2013 at 10:56

      It is an emotional time for all…

      Like

       
  12. LuAnn

    09/11/2013 at 22:30

    First off, congratulations on your 200th post Ste J! I look forward to the next 200 and hopefully, many more vlogs. I was so thrilled when I began this post and realized that I was going to hear your voice. Perhaps we should all give this vlogging a try as it definitely adds another dimension to the person behind the blog. Love that British accent but probably will not be reading this book, even if it does smell good lol! 🙂

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      10/11/2013 at 11:04

      Vlog wish granted…soon. I have found a potential place in which vlogging may be good to do. So hopefully within the next week I will have two already recorded, that will be ready to go whenever I choose. It would be awesome to see more of the bloggers out there and I would definitely encourage it in all. Dimensions are good, like 3D blogging! I am not much a fan of my accent but have lived with it all my life so perhaps it is the novelty of it that draws you in. The smell test, as I am learning with C. is the highest test of a book, hehe.

      Like

       
      • LuAnn

        10/11/2013 at 11:07

        I love it! On another topic, I see a vlogging duet in the future. Could it be?! 🙂

        Like

         
        • Ste J

          10/11/2013 at 11:11

          There was a brief chat about that but then it got out of hand, lol. It could well be on the cards if my duetee is up for it and not to shy!

          Like

           
  13. Claire 'Word by Word'

    10/11/2013 at 11:01

    Bravo You! First VLog and your 200th post, I’m nearly there but doubt I’ll be celebrating by becoming a presenter 🙂 Looks like a big, challenging book and thankful to be hearing about it rather than having to read it.

    Your ad-libbing is perfect, just like a conversation, much better not to be scripted! Nice copy of Murakami’s 1Q84 behind you.

    Another blogger I follow has become a BookTuber and I find the videos addictive, some of the best are when she talks about a pile of books rather than a review, like my book haul from Paris. I think you could a fabulous vlog on your book haul from the US and thoughts on those bookshops and what they offer compared to your own locals.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      10/11/2013 at 11:20

      I thought you maybe one of the book shelf readers…1Q84 was a recent purchase…and on your recommendation as well. Discussing which of our big pile of books we should actually buy I did reference your review to Christina who immediately placed it on the really high to buy pile. Poor wallet!

      I thought a conversation style would be more intimate, when I get a book that I can’t praise highly enough you will see the real book loving me, but probably understand me less as I talk fast but that is the trade off.

      I like these ideas, I have been thinking of doing a vlog a week, starting sometime in the future and doing lots of different things so all ideas are greatly received. As soon as I get confident I will be trying to push the boundaries and trying to do lots of different visual things. If it encourages you to also think about a future vlog then I will be immensely happy….hint, hint.

      Like

       
  14. Chatty Owl

    16/11/2013 at 03:26

    Oh wow, you are so witty. I’m genuinely impressed and sitting here with a massive smile on my face.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      16/11/2013 at 09:13

      For a debut it was okay lol, although the cringe factor is starting to set in already. I shall script some proper wittery fro the future though.

      Like

       
      • Chatty Owl

        16/11/2013 at 09:16

        Oh dont! Being natural as you are is charming!

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        • Ste J

          16/11/2013 at 09:19

          Then I shall continue to be me. I am learning as each one goes by so should be getting better at the quality as time goes by.

          Like

           
          • Chatty Owl

            16/11/2013 at 11:07

            Oh of course, that’s with everything. Things come with practice. But as I said, you are doing a terrific job anyway.

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  15. readinpleasure

    20/11/2013 at 02:50

    You are brave and beautiful for doing this, Ste J. 🙂 Congrats on the 200th post. By the way, are you back from |Christina and Penny’s?

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      20/11/2013 at 09:19

      Why thank you! It was a bit nerve racking but I’m used to it now so am ready to do more…at some point soon. I’ve still got two months over in the US with the family (although I don’t mean that in a Mafia way). Everyone is well here.

      Like

       

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