Bibliophile:

 

“The world is changing, but I am not changing with it. There is no e-reader or Kindle in my future. My philosophy is simple: Certain things are perfect the way they are. The sky, the Pacific Ocean, procreation and the Goldberg Variations all fit this bill, and so do books. Books are sublimely visceral, emotionally evocative objects that constitute a perfect delivery system.”

~Joe Queenan

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Green Dreams:

 

Our Bradbury, who art in heaven,
All Hallows be thy name:

 

“I was talking to a friend. And I said, “Are these stories familiar to you?” I told him all the words I knew, the ones about the monsters coming home to the house with the human child in it, the ones about the lightning salesman and the wicked carnival that followed him, and the Martians and their fallen glass cities and their perfect canals. I told him all the words, and he said he hadn’t heard of them. That they didn’t exist.

And I worry.

I worry I was keeping them alive.

 

I miss reading Bradbury to my students.
Maybe we should all dress up as Tall they were and Golden-Eyed this Halloween.

I Really Love My Friends:

 

From my friend Tam, regarding King’s Dark Tower series,
and my reading of them:

 

“I thought you meant you wouldn’t be able to stomach them.
I have no doubt you can read ten books at once while fireman carrying
Ben down a 40 story building.
In heels.”

 

I love that girl.

Thingity Thing Things:

 
 

Seriously, why is this not lounging on my desk as we speak?

GLURG.

 

(I am also planning on whipping up a fresh mint sweet tea rum spiked drink of de-li-ci-ousness this week.)
 
(you know, because I can.)

 

I survived the Los Angeles Salsa Congress…
by the thin suede of my dance shoes,
but still,
I survived.

There may have been a very teary and slightly hysterical phone call to The Boyo
regarding the verysmallandhardlynoticeable mistake that
happened during our routine, because I?

Am a perfectionist.

Never thought I was.

But I TOTALLY AM.

I would post a video for all y’all,
but alas,
the folks running the Congress are also a bit money-grubby,
and wouldn’t allow filming in order to force attendees
to buy *their* video of the event.

BOO.

 

I also finished a couple of books this week–
nothing near my normal rate of reading whilst-being-unemployed,
but it was nice to dig myself into good books,
even for five minutes at a time.

I still have mixed feelings for this book...

I picked up “House of Sand and Fog” at the wickedly fabulous
Altadena Library Book Sale because one of my favorite professors loves the film.

The book is modeled on the Greek tragedy–
events that occur happen because of tragic flaws
within each of the main characters,
and Col. Behrani certainly fits the mold of a great person experiencing a reversal of fortune.

Additionally,
the events of the novel build up slowly,
inexorably,
and as the reader,
I felt absolutely helpless in the face of it all.

Not a comfortable read, by any means,
but a beautiful one.

 

I was very surprised to realize that I *hadn’t* read this book.
It reminded me a great deal of “Brave New World”,
but it has a far more hopeful ending–
which I sincerely appreciate in a dystopian novel.

I loved the entire conceit of a world built without cultural memory or emotion,
and I especially loved that the world had no color–
only The Receiver could see color, hear music, and remember events long past.

The obvious twist probably isn’t so obvious when reading
this at 10 or 12 years old–alas for reading YA lit as an adult!–
but it did not affect my enjoyment of the novel.

 

It’s been a wild last couple of months, y’all.
I’m glad to be done with Lack of Weekends.

It’s time to get back on that Lazy Saturday Train…
maybe this Saturday will involve a walk in the sunshine.
Or reading at the beach.
Or hiking with the Corgi and The Boyo.
Or lounging about,
sipping some of that Sangria Slushied goodness.

It is good to be done.

What I’m Reading:

 

Courtesy of the Fug Girls and Atlantic Monthly:

Fantastic Journalism

 
 
(The first piece about hospital suppliers will probably make your head fall off, by the by)

ly ly ly ly

 

 
“My bad.”

Does anyone actually think that “disagreeance” is a word?

Because I might have to stab you with a spork.

More Bookity Books:

But probably without blurbs.
Because it is late.
And I am le tired.

Finished:

Julian, Gore Vidal

Bor.ing. I need to find out why Vidal chose to write this way,
instead of in the far more interesting and engrossing fashion of “I, Claudius”,
or most other historical narratives.
I mean, if Julian was that much of a dull turd of a Roman Emperor,
…maybe Vidal was a stickler for authenticity?

Atonement, Ian McEwan

Got considerably better in the second half of the novel.
I found the actual atoning to be both satisfying and poignant.
It’s still a rather detached story in many ways,
but I’m okay with that as a style when it comes to books set in a time of war
(Corelli’s Mandolin, for example, also does this at certain points)–
it’s accurate.

Master & Commander, Patrick O’Brian

Still needed that naval dictionary.
But loved the book overall, in spite of that.
O’Brian manages to make his readers feel like they are a part
of the sea, sky, ropes, flying jib, watches in the night,
even if they don’t know a belaying pin from a poop deck.
Jack Aubrey is a great character–
so flawed, so wonderful.
I wanted him to succeed, even though he is a rake and a scoundrel–
takes a good writer to do that.

Stardust, Neil Gaiman

One of my favorites of his.

Perfume, Patrick Süskind

Creepy–and so very Germanic.

The story centers around a man named Jean Baptiste Grenouille,
who is born without any smell.
Not any sense of smell–
but no smell, period.
Süskind paints Grenouille as an unnatural being;
one who is brought up without love,
and grows up without a moral compass.
He also has a preternatural sense of smell,
and becomes obsessed with making the perfect perfume–
for which he will commit any crime to form.

I love scents, and I love the art of perfume,
so I had an interest in this book from the outset,
which helps, I think.
There are several gross events,
particularly towards the conclusion
(which I felt failed to forward the narrative),
so reader beware.

The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett

Solid, grim, noir.
Good story, good prose.
If you’ve just seen the Bogart film,
give the book a read–
particularly if you can read it on a rainy day
in an old coffee shop.

Currently Reading:

Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary Wollenstonecraft Shelley

Hugo Award Winners Short Story Collection, ed. Isaac Asimov

The Known World, Edward P. Jones

White Teeth, Zadie Smith

Thematic Essays from The Metropolitan Museum of Art on Art History, Various
ed: Knew I’d forget one!

The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje

 

I am totally this girl. ...Well. Except for the shy thing. And the enormous Anime boobs.

(26 27 books and counting for 2011, kids!)