Category: Books

So It Goes

Anyone out there absolutely LOVE Vonnegut? And then simultaneously realize sometimes you just can’t handle him? Moi. Over here; right here. Ya. I think, was he for real? And then I remember how I felt the first time I read about Bokonists pressing one’s feet against another’s….

We will touch our feet, yes,
Yes, for all we’re worth,
And we will love each other, yes,
Yes, like we love our Mother Earth.
-Books of Bokonon

Whatever pilgrim! I didn’t come here to talk about the Kurt.
(I’ve been watching a lot of Family Guy. I’m seriously stuck on Peter’s John Wayne impersonations….Pilgrim.)

Remember this?

1.) Find running shoes: start couch to 5k.
2.) Decide on and put a payment on a wedding band from Tiffany’s. 
3.) Hike to the West Coast, take pictures as proof. Start garden. 
4.) Celebrate last birthday as a “single” lady. Go to SanFran with BFF.[Amended to “Seattle w TF”]
5.) Throw a kick ass, stress free party for all my friends so they can watch me get married. Live the moment; you only get married for the first time once. 
6.) Paint a picture.  I chose to garden instead…also I still haven’t unpacked therefore can’t find my easel.
7.) Read a book I’ve put off from the NYR/2011.
8.) Make a sour dough starter. Keep it alive forever. 
9.) Harvest. Cultivate. Enjoy. 
10.) Make epic costume. 
11.) Bake every weekend. Of just this month… maybe.
12.) Go to Sudbury for Christmas. 

Me either, however things are shaping up pretty darn awesome. Well this little update was basically just for books! I count books on tape iPhone as a book read. I just do, so get over it.

This last two months I have devoured five books and I’m on my sixth. I love Miriam Toews, so I read two of hers. A Boy of Good Breeding, funny and entertaining. Irma Voth, tragic and beautiful. I still count The Flying Troutmans as my favorite of her books. I really read those ones, with pages and everything.

I’ve listened to Crime and Punishment, Paradise Lost, and now I’m on Middlemarch. Here’s something I had to pull over to write down it got me so good.

“We mortals, men and women, devour many a disappointment between breakfast and dinner-time; keep back the tears and look a little pale about the lips and in answer to inquiries say, “Oh, nothing!” Pride helps; and pride is not a bad thing when it only urges us to hide our hurts — not to hurt others.”
End of chapter 6
Middlemarch
George Eliot

Advertisements

Goodkind? Not Really.

So I got married. I know, you’re sick of hearing about it but this is relevant. I swear. McHusband and I received some gift cards as presents, awesome. Two of them were pretty gender specific. He got the one to the local Marine shop, and I got the one to Chapters. God Bless you, whoever you are… I’m pretty sure Rebek wrote it all down and I’ll send you a thank you note soon.

Last Friday GermanG and I went down to Nanaimo, or as I also like to call it, civilization. I spent a beautiful time in Chapters all by myself while she had an ‘attack and destroy mission’ in Costco. I browsed books for at least two hours. I loved every minute of it… until I found this.

I’m pretty sure I raged about this book sometime last year, however let me repeate myself. WHY?!

Terry Goodkind wrote the Fantasy saga The Sword of Truth. I lived in this world from the age of 13 to the age of 23 when he brought a lovely and perfect conclusion to a riveting story line. Or so I thought.

You would think I’d be happy to dive back into those well-loved characters and a familiar world wouldn’t you. Well you’d be wrong. I live in a perpetual state of fear that an author will die, and leave his or her characters literally (heh geeky double entendre) hanging! George R. R. Martin is probably the worst offender, but Mr. Goodkind did take 10 years for me to read a series and I was pretty nervous the whole time.

Of course, I bought the book. I’m 15 chapters in and begrudgingly enjoying myself. The poor check out clerk named Tyler had to deal with an unexpected answer to his “Did you find everything you were looking for?” question. I gave him the whole rant and I think he was convinced that I was an insane sci-fi geek. He’d be right.

Take care my lovelies.

Moi xoxo

To do’s post I do’s

 

Well, it’s officially here – marriage.

Things that have immediately changed:
– Status from “Spinster” to “Married”. True story, look carefully while signing your marriage registrar. (AKA Ms. to Mrs.)
– Weird yet simultaniously awesome “Married” feeling.
– Place of residence.
– Gas bills ++$$. Drive to work from home is now 65 km instead of 6km.
– Number of rings now on ring finger, (2).
– Email address, and online username.
– Pictures of wedding up on FB.
– Dress size, +1. I’m sure it’s the bliss of married life, I need to get over it.

Things in the process of changing:
– actual and legal name changing; SIN card, Care card, VISA card, Drivers Licence, Passport, Library card.
– Garden. I have a house now, time to spruce it up.
– Professional photos being worked over.
– Many “Welcome to our happy home” dinners. 1 down, 99 to go.
– Dress size, -2. Time to get scared again.
– Signature; I’m working on it.

Now just because this is still a book blog… sort of;
– I have read 1-15 of The Walking Dead volumes – zomberific!

 

Mrs. Moi
xoxo

My Achy Breaky Heart

This is one of my favorite book blog follow alongs to participate in. They usually have really provoking questions, and I’ve been racking my brains, and shedding a few tears coming up with this weeks list.

Question:  Top 10 books that broke my heart.
Answer: I am only going to include books that made me cry, which is a rarity.

1.My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult
We’re talking sobbing, gut wrenching slobbery, red-faced, snotty nose sobbing. Oh and I was on a plane, and the adorable little old lady beside me kept patting me on the arm and offering me a tissue. I’m not even exaggerating.

2. The Street Lawyer – John Grisham
I can’t explain why, or how it happened. It was in the first couple chapters and I just broke down. I saw humanity and all its evils, I decided I wanted to help the homeless, and I did for a while.

3. Beatrice & Virgil – Yan Martel
I just finished this book about a week ago. I’m going to do a post on it when I’ve finally calmed down. I was un-prepared for my reaction to “Games for Gustav”. It was unbearably sad, but this is the most beautiful book I have read in over a year.

4. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irvine
I loved him, and he was so smart and funny and brave. I cried at the end.

5. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
They say unrequited love is the most painful thing on earth. He loved best.

6. A Fine Ballance – Rohniton Mistry
This book was an ache that lasted a long time after I closed the back cover. How can mankind treat itself that way? How can goodness and simple happiness survive?

7. 1984 – George Orwell
You know when you’re so angry, and you’re trying to make a valid point, and explain your reasoning/view/why you’re right, and all you can do is feel your face grow redder, and hotter, and your vocal cords squeeze tight and you feel hot, angry, shameful tears leak out of your eyes? Ya. This book.

8. The Shack – William P. Young
I can’t even get into it.

9. The Subtle Knife – Phillip Pullman
*SPOILER*
I don’t think I have ever cried quite so hard at the death of a character ever, (except maybe in number 1.) than at the death of Hester. I still tear up, sniff, (no joke), when I think about it. Then I get mad. I’m not a weepy person!

10. The Crucible – Arthur Miller
Angry tears, sad tears, defeated tears, and hopeful triumphant tears. All in one play.
_____________________________________________________________

I almost forgot! The REAL number 1. The ULTIMATE book that caused me to cry, and feel loss even to today is…..

A book I have already talked about and will likely talk about again.

Fool’s Fate – Robin Hobb
The ultimate love story, the ultimate character development. You really have to read the whole 9 books to understand why this is as great as I say it is. Or trust me.
“Home is people. Not a place. If you go back there after the people are gone, then all you can see is what is not there any more.”

Hey! It’s Friday, and I got featured!

Well imagine my surprise, when my little blog jumped from a 21 visit average to 92 in one day. I was flabbergasted! (I love that I get to use that word in context, never give up the right to go all vocab when you can.) So today is feature friday! Hosted by Parajunkee over here and I am the featured book blogger!  This weeks question:

Q: Define what characteristics your favorite books share. Do they all have a kick ass heroine or is the hot love interest the Alpha Male?

Most of my books are wildly different from each other. However, the ones that I get lost in most easily all have a varied and rich universe. It may sound confusing but shouldn’t be. Think Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia… and before you think I’m just a fantasy lover this also pertains to the awesome universes of John Grisham and Dick Francis novels. Basically when an author “creates” their worlds with passion and detail I can’t help but escape into them time and time again. Stories aren’t just about characters for me, the more real the world, the easier to get lost in it.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by! Feel free to look around, it’s not all books here as I recently got engaged, and can’t stop blabbing about it. Books are one of the most constant things I turn to, so there’s a lot on them, but there’s also Life The Universe and Everything… which you should know, comes from a book 😉

Peace out and Happy Friday!

Moi

xo

 

Quick! Quick! Like a Bunny!


Another book finally made it’s way to me from the good ol’ library. Took six months to get here, (no exagerations necessary), and now they only let me keep it for 14 days! Don’t they know I’m in the middle of three books right now? Don’t they care? The nerve! Well, I’m off to read a thrilling journey of four children on a boat, beach, and battling amazons!
Have a fantastic Christmas week!
xoxo
Jessica “Soon-to-be M.”

Far From The Hardy Usual

Last night I picked up Far From The Madding Crowd. I sighed as I trudged to my bedroom holding what I knew would be a sad, dark, broody Hardy novel. He can’t help it, he’s just a depressing kind of guy. I battled through Tess of Dubervilles with prozac and red wine just to stay sane. The day I finished that book I actually celebrated with champagne… I think I had developed a small dependence issue but I’m over it now.

As I climbed into bed I decided to delay the actual reading of the book by reading about it instead, on the back. Far From The Madding Crowd has possibly the best back summary ever! If the novel is anything like the back cover promises I may be alright. Today I leave you with these words of hope that promise to bouy me through the novel this Christmas season.

Far From The Madding Crowd is the book that made Tomas Hardy Famous, and is the sunniest and least brooding of his great novels. Bathsheba Everdene and the three men who love her move through a beautifully realized late nineteenth-century argarian landscape, still almost untouched by the industrial revolution and the encroachment of modern life. Hardy presents the hopes and disappointments of Bathsheba and the three men after her affections: one, a poor sheep farmer, another a respectable farm owner, and the third an army sergeant. Grounded in Victorian romanticism yet paving a path towards realistic literature, Far From The Madding Crowd rightly remains one of the most popular of Hardy’s Novels.

Now if that wasn’t enough to convince you, check out this killer first sentance:

          When Farmer Oak smiled, the corners of his mouth spread till they were within an unimportant distance of his ears, his eyes were reduced to chinks, and diverging wrinkles appeared round them, extending upon his countenance like the rays in a rudimentary sketch of the rising sun.

I’m looking forward to this one!

Moi

xoxo

 

10 Books I Have Read This Year That Are Outside Of My Comfort Zone

I got the idea for this list from The Broke and the Bookish. Their blog hosts a weekly meme called “Top Ten Tuesdays”; and on November 8th this was their theme. I don’t actually follow the blog as closely as I should, and I have yet to officially participate in a TTT, but I loved this question, and I love lists, so I thought I’d answer it.

I am chosing only books that I have read this year due to the NYR/11; therefore the answer as to why I have read them is going to be the same for each book. I’ll simply state how I had pre-judged the book, if applicable, and how I felt about the read. Please note SPOILERS, don’t read past the title if you don’t want me to give away my *gasp* moments.

  1. His Dark Materials – Phillip Pullman; I am 27 and am so over YA. I was a bit snobbish thinking this was just one more fantasy type book series I could do without. I cried like a baby over Hester and Lee, I enjoyed the whole story.
  2. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carrol; I learned in my socials 11 class that this was a satire aimed at old rich folks in London, I was never interested in reading it as I thought it would probably be lost on me and I would be annoyed. I was right.
  3. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy; All I knew was he had written War and Peace, and I wasn’t particularly interested in Russia or its history. Big, old, and boring was my pre-judgments. Amazing, engrossing, and beautifully descriptive with an awesome redemptive story line was my end feelings. This book is currently the top of my favorite reads of all time.
  4. Moby Dick – Herman Melville; This is going to sound bad, I thought it was a men’s book and I wasn’t interested. Reading it I decided it’s definitely a mens book, the beginning was funny, and I really didn’t need to know that much about whales or the killing of them.
  5. 1984 – George Orwell; I knew it would make me mad. It did. I knew everyone would either die or sell out. They did.
  6. Tess of D’ubervilles – Thomas Hardy; I’m not all too interested with Hardy so I wasn’t overly keen to read this. I find him overly wordy, flowery and somewhat depressing. Seems this is exactly how I felt about Tess.
  7. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood; I was worried it was going to be overly preachy, feminist propaganda. It was actually a great read, if not a quick one. I have a lasting impression of the main character, and I find myself referring to the book in many of my political discussions with people.
  8. A Tale of Two Cities – Dickens; I thought I knew all about it because I knew the first twelve words; I was bored with it before I picked it up. This is an amazing book, I shouldn’t even have to tell you it’s the best Dickens novel out there, and the characters are so real it hurts.
  9. A Brave New World – Aldus Huxley; I knew nothing about this book. If I had I would have stayed away as it’s so far away from anything I normally read. It was interesting, and it was stretching. I felt un-comfortable the whole time as it was so weird to me, but I am glad I read it.
  10. The Inferno – Dante; I’m not into epic poems. As amazing as the imagery is in the Inferno, it’s still a long, epic poem. Beautiful and terrifying, and long.

Ciao

Go read something that scares you.

Moi xoxo

 

Lastly, on Birdsong.

     As she made coffee in the kitchen and tried to spoon the frozen ice cream from its carton without snapping the shaft of the spoon, Elizabeth was struck, not for the first time, by the thought that her life was entirely frivolous.

     It was a rush and slither of trivial crises; of uncertain cash flow, small triumphs, occasional sex, too many cigarettes; of missed deadlines that turned out not to matter; of arguments, new clothes, bursts of altruism, and sincere resolutions to address the important things. Of all these and the other experiences that made up her life, the most significant aspect was the one that suggested by the words “tuned out not to matter”. Although she was happy enough with what she had become, it was this continued sense of the easy, the inessential nature of what she did, that most irritated her.

Birdsong

It was completely by mistake that I started reading Birdsong right before Veterans Day, and I am very happy it happened. It’s sad to report that I didn’t even know what this novel was about, I simply had it on order from my library, and it showed up. This novel is beautiful, horrific, and incredibly sensual.

While the majority of the book makes sense, time-line wise; I was surprised to be wrenched out of the war in 1914 to England in 1978. Elizabeth, a relative of one of the soldiers in 1914 is a well written character, and has some disturbing similarities to myself.

     She liked living alone, she liked being alone. She ate what she wanted, not proper meals but plates of mushrooms and baked potatoes, grapes, peaches, or soups she made herself. She filled glasses with ice cubes and lemon slices, then poured gin over them, hearing the explosion of the ice, leaving hardly any room for the tonic water. She had plastic tops that kept the wine drinkable from one day to the next.

The scene that has struck me the most is when Elizabeth visits a war monument with thousands of names carved onto it. When she inquires about whether this is to all the fallen, the currator informs her that the names represent only the ones they never found. Elizabeth’s response is heartbreaking, and all to relevent to today; “My God, no one ever told me.”