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….
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.)
Find running shoes: start couch to 5k.
Decide on and put a payment on a wedding band from Tiffany’s.
Hike to the West Coast, take pictures as proof. Start garden.
Celebrate last birthday as a “single” lady. Go to SanFran with BFF.[Amended to “Seattle w TF”]
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.
Paint a picture. I chose to garden instead…also I still haven’t unpacked therefore can’t find my easel.
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
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!
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.
“Let’s talk crazy book titles! Highlight one or two (or as many as you like!) titles in your personal collection that have the most interesting titles! If you can’t find any, feel free to find one on the internet!”
I’m going to give you the story that led up to how I obtained my craziest titled book. I feel the whole experience is tied to the book so completely that it’s impossible for me to separate them. Enjoy my own personal twilight zone experience.
First week of August, 2010 – TBF and I do a quick trip to Powel River and back to pick up some required helicopter parts. To get there we need to take a ferry, not just any ferry either, the world’s oldest and therefore most dangerous ferry. This fact is discovered when much to our dismay the traffic controller person tells us we are in fact not allowed to stay below on the car deck to catch up on some much needed sleep, we must go up to the passenger deck. Why? Because this is a single hulled vessel, and in the event that an iceberg were to pop up outta no where, we would sink.
I slammed my door shut and trudged up the stairwell onto a highly populated late ferry. There were at least four teen sport groups, a bunch of hun-gover adults, no open kitchen, and you had to sit beside a stranger if you wanted to sit at all. I was disgruntled, TBF was awesome. He was more than gracious about my terrible mood, and told me he’d buy me a book from the gift shop. [I love him.] We skirted around smelly tired people and squeezed into the tiny little excuse for a gift shop. There was a poor and predictable selection of the top 100 best sellers, some local authors, and one strange looking book that was shoved upside down and backwards onto a shelf; I grabbed it.
The book had a totally white cover; I turned it over in my hands and discovered its title was on the front and the back but flipped upside down like a choose-your-own-adventure. I leafed through the pages before realizing it wasn’t, and this was some strange perhaps arty statement that was over my head? I told TBF I wanted it, I had to have it, in fact this was already mine. He shouldered his way through the people to the front desk with me hanging onto his jacket so I didn’t get left behind and swallowed by the humanity packed into the shop. The lady rang in his chocolate bar, bottle of water, and motorcycle magazine; she tried to scan my mystery book but couldn’t. She searched her inventory sheet and shrugged her shoulders before passing it to me directly.
“It’s not in my system, someone probably left it; looks like it’s yours kid.”
I judge a book by three important factors before committing to buy:
2) Opening Sentence
In the event that they pass the initial tests I move onto the slightly less important checks; reading the synopsis, reading the first paragraph, checking my bank balance – those kinds of tests. The book I had picked up had completely intrigued me with its strange and un-conventional cover, it’s opening sentence was good, “I’m Jared, a ghost.” and its title? Girlfriend in a Coma, by Douglas Coupland. SOLD.
The series of events that led up to my procurement of Girlfriend in a Coma have caused it to be a very special book in my library. I read the whole thing that night, (it was a long trip), and I enjoyed it; I re-read it slowly over the next week – it was a strange read. The scenery and descriptions of the world post-whatever it was that happened have stuck in my mind, but it wasn’t the best piece of literature I’ve ever read. It’s not even one of my favorite reads from last year. This book has remained special simply because of my three tests: Cover, Line, Title, and the strange and uncomfortable circumstances that led to me owning it.
Girlfriend in a Coma almost scares me. It’s a book that seemed to pick me instead of the other way around. I’m always sort of drawn to apocalypse type stories any way, but this one went out of its way to find me. I can’t shake this book no matter how hard I try; I’ve googled the cover art for the novel many times and haven’t found anything like my copy. Was it an ARC? Was it a mistake? Was it Destiny?
“there are three things we cry for in life: things that are lost, things that are found, and things that are magnificent.”
“Young Mr. Turveydrop’s name is Prince;
I wish it wasn’t, because it sounds like a dog, but of course he
didn’t christen himself.”
Bleak House is quite a fun novel to listen to. There are beautiful descriptions that paint quite vivid pictures of the scenery and characters. Caddy Jellyby is by far my favorite character.
Esther is predictably lovely, Richard and Ada a bit too sweet, and John Jarndyce is a kind, blustering, eccentric. Caddy is exceptional. Her ‘bleak’ look on the world and her role are blunt, self-pitying, and amusing.
Usually teenaged girls drive me crazy with their over-dramatic look on the world and how it’s ruining their lives. I’ve decided it’s much easier to just laugh at the whole thing and watch them grow, hopefully into strong women. (Most of the girls at the coffee shop are teenagers; it’s been fun.) So I’m glad I’ve had this newish outlook before listening to this book, I get so much more out of it.
Dicken’s somehow got right into the brain of teenaged girls. Caddy’s voice is exceptionally realistic. All of her dialogue could be coming out of the mouth of a similarly situated girl today, (with mild changes for the century changes). Finding out she is to be married off Caddy’s complaint is her soon to be husband’s name. He sounds like a dog. Awesome.
(or) WHY THE THREE MUSKETEERS IS A BOOK FOR TEENAGED BOYS
You! you spat on the ground I had previously walked on, en guard!
Ahoy! Thou has placed thine eyes on the wench mine eyes are placed on, en guard!
Good sir! You belched and I smelled it, en guard!
Anyone want some wine? Oh, en guard!
You lookin’ at me? En GUARD!
Yo, I feel like hitting something, en guard!
After, or rather, between, all the fighting there is a very male-bondy type relationship with the four good friends. I loved reading about Athos being locked in the cellar of the Inn, and how he and his servant thought the best punishment to the Inn Keeper would be to eat and drink as much as possible until they were released. My kind of revenge, served up in calories.
The women featured in this book are neither too weak nor too strong. (More like fast and loose, cunning and passionate, and strong and opinionated.) There’s a fantastic lady-villan, Lady De Winter. She holds the best line of the whole novel for me.
Kitty: I thought your ladyship was ill. I wanted to help you.
Lady De Winter: I ill? Do you take me for a weak woman? When I am insulted I do not feel ill – I avenge myself. Do you hear?
I think that this is a book for teen boys because I think they would LOVE it. It has adventure, passionate feelings towards women – I don’t know if I love her, but I am mad for her! – and honor. Being an independent man, having friends willing to die for you, eating and drinking great stuff, and being famous for kicking ass. It’s sort of no brainer. I enjoyed it immensely, I just kept imagining what it must have been like for a young little whipper snapper to be gobbling it up under his covers with a flash light. Magic.
I always wondered at the title of this book as it is about four friends. Yes there are three Musketeers in the beginning, but D’Artagnan does (spoiler alert) become one making it four right? AND, no, wait. No that was it.
Finished The Three Musketeers, started A Suitable Boy. “Don’t add chillies to boiled potatoes.”
How long does it take to make and store the lightning?
Am knee-deep in Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. Knee-deep in the mud, and poverty, and revolution schemes. Knee-deep in the hope, the family unity, and wishes for better tomorrows. Inspiring stuff.
Check out www.librivox.org podcasts download right into your iTunes and are separated into chapters concurrent with the books. I’ve read a lot of people’s complaints about the many different readers; however, it is this blogger’s opinion that the many volunteers are wonderful. They provide a great service, and hey! it’s free. Who knows, when I get a computer with a good enough recording set up you could probably catch my boxed voice reading out some of my favorite public domain literature.
Take care people, and remember – Time and tide wait for no man.
I had never heard of this book before the list, therefore, I had no preconceptions on what it would be like. It’s like crazy man!
At first, this book was refreshing in its new (to then) take on the future. With all the genetically modified humans to fill the different casts/workstations, and the lack of age – yet not without consequence, it is a disturbing look at what may be. With each new chapter I was pleasantly surprised by the ‘out-of-this-world’ oddness of it all. This isn’t to say I was slightly uncomfortable with the bleak look into the not too distant tomorrow. I pretty much flew through it.
Then we meet ‘The Savage’. Now the book felt a little bit like Planet of the Apes. You know, the ‘oh this isn’t going to end well’ feeling. The, ‘why can’t we horrible humans just leave good enough alone!’ feeling. The ‘it’s inevitable, we’re going to F*%# up the whole universe’ feeling. And they do.
Poor Mr. Savage is introduced into a world of non-emotion, or pre-factored emotion. A world where death is made to be un-scary (wich of course makes it even more terrifying.) and something not to be sad about. He is gawked at, prodded, and almost poked. It doesn’t end well.
How many works of literature must be produced for us mindless sheep to consume before we actually get it? These are warnings! Read Animal Farm, 1984, A Brave New World, The Handmaid’s Tale, god even The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy! Tell me what is so ‘far fetched’ in them?
Are you really so secure in your life that you don’t think one day you could be castrated without your consent just to keep a handle on booming population rises? Oh wait, that happened already. Ever read A Fine Ballance? Look up India 1977 “compulsory Sterilization”. Or just read this and try not to freak out when you see Canada and America on the list.
Where is this rant going you’re wondering? What’s the point /end game? Be ready. Walk around with your eyes open. Be willing to stand up to injustices and speak out. I’m not really that paranoid, but I’m not blissfully ignorant either. Sometimes a bit of paranoia may just save your life.
“And that,” put in the Director sententiously, “that is the secret of happiness and virtue-liking what you’ve got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their inescapable social destiny.”
Doesn’t sound that far off, does it?
I love hearing this book. I want to write down everything! Oh I know, I’m either hot or I’m cold, so today I’m hot! This book rules. Dumas rocks my world. So what? So enjoy 🙂
My Favorite So Far…
▪ There is neither happiness nor unhappiness in this world; there is only the comparison of one state with another. Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss. It is necessary to have wished for death in order to know how good it is to live…. the sum of all human wisdom will be contained in these two words: Wait and Hope.
▪ …. I know the world is a drawing-room from which we must retire politely and honestly; that is, with a bow, and our debts of honor paid.
▪ “What a fool I was” said he, “not to tear my heart out on the day I resolved to avenge myself!”
▪ And all this — all this, because my heart, which I thought dead, was only sleeping; because it has awakened and has begun to beat again, because I have yielded to the pain of the emotion excited in my breast by a woman’s voice.
▪ Joy to hearts which have suffered long is like the dew on the ground after a long drought; both the heart and the ground absorb that beneficent moisture falling on them, and nothing is outwardly apparent.