I have a problem. I’m addicted to buying books. Not only that, but I buy them in bulk. I rarely leave the bookstore with less than four at a time. This wouldn’t be so very terrible if 1.) I was endlessly rich 2.) I actually read them all. I must confess that of all the books I have purchased in the last year or two, I may have read about half of them.
So I made a deal with myself. I was allowed one last buying frenzy, but now I have to read what I already have or finally get that library card. I have lived in this city for nearly two years and have neglected to do so. Oh dear…
I took this picture to give myself a tiny visual of a few of my most recent purchases that I needed to read. I took it about four days ago and since then I have finished White Oleander and made a good start on Ghost Orchid. It’s only a coincidence that they are both botanically titled. I think…
White Oleander was a book I could hardly put down. I used to watch the movie whenever it was on TV and although I never thought it was particularly good, there was something about it that made want to watch it over and over. The book is far better and broke my heart a little. It made me think about the human need to strive for beauty in the most horrendous of circumstances and how sometimes once it’s lost it can never be regained in quite the same way. Have you read it? What did you think?
What are you reading this summer?
I am thinking about joining my first ever book challenge! Details to be found here. I discovered this through a new Steam Spectre follower, Red Headed Book Child. I’m a little late (as with everything!) so hopefully I can still join in. The challenge involves reading books that fall into the category’s of fantasy, folklore, fairy tale and mythology. Sounds amazing right?
Do you have any book suggestions that would fit into this list? I could really use any and all suggestions!
You can also join me!
The banner art for the challenge was done by an AMAZING Etsy artist, Melissa Nucera. Here are just a few of my favorites from her shop.
I had a wonderful, but very busy weekend. It was a nice break from the “what do I do next?” job crisis. At the beginning of the weekend I had a wonderful surprise in the form of a lovely blog write up from Lisa at Lit and Life. Lisa has been a wonderful supporter and consistent commenter at Gypsea Tree and now Steam Spectre as well. Thank you Lisa! I’m sure all bloggers go through periods of feeling they are “blogging into a great void” and support like this is so very encouraging!
If you haven’t visited Lit and Life I highly recommend that you head over there next! Lisa reads and blogs about so many wonderful books and most recently I am intrigued by The Day the Falls Stood Still.
Both of my parents grew up in the Niagara Falls area and I have experienced the awesome wonder of that place a few times. My mom tells a story of when she was a little girl and they temporarily dammed and diverted the Niagara River away from the falls. Her uncle took her down to the dry river bed and she found some very old coins. Unfortunately, I don’t think she has them anymore. The mystery of discovering old hidden things lost to the water long ago fascinated me. This book is next on my list!
What are you reading right now?
Some of my favorite childhood memories involve going to the library and listening to my dad read aloud books to me and my little brother. My dad is a super reader and he was always quite patient about reading the same stories over and over. One of my very favorites was Mrs Gaddy and the Ghost. It’s out of print now, but I’m hoping to find a copy on ebay. I happened to think of it the other day and found a few images to share. It’s the story of a little old lady who lives alone and one day discovers a ghost in her kitchen. If I remember correctly he is sitting on top of her refrigerator and is crying because he is a sad ghost and rather lonely. Mrs Gaddy tries everything to get rid of him and nearly moves out of her house until she realizes that she and ghost can be friends and live happily together. My ghost obsession may have begun with Mrs Gaddy’s ghost. I was so sad that she didn’t like the poor fellow in the beginning! Did you ever read this book? What are some of your favorite childhood books?
The other day I started feeling a little melancholy. I think it was the return of the rain, or possibly the seeming end of summer, or perhaps just the general passing of time that late summer early fall always brings. Whatever it was, I felt the desire to collect some images of one my favorite literary characters, Ophelia. I have long been both fascinated and scornful of her. In a scornful period I wrote a paper for a lit class titled “Frailty, thy name is Ophelia!”. It’s rather dramatic to say, but this lady haunts me. There are so many reasons I could expound upon as to why this is, but instead I will offer some artwork…
Are you ever haunted by literary figures?
On Lisa’s blog Lit and Life she posted this wonderful list. I love lists and literature so I was compelled to fill it out myself!
Instructions: Copy the list. Look at the list and put an ‘x’ after those you have read.
1. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (-)
2. Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (-)
3. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper (-)
4. Moby Dick by Herman Melville (-)
5. The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (X)
6. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (X)
7. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin (X)
8. Dune by Frank Herbert (-)
9. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (-)
10. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (-)
11. Foundation by Isaac Asimov (-)
12. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (-)
13. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser (-)
14. O Pioneers! By Willa Cather (X)
15. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather (-)
16. My Antonia by Willa Cather (X)
17. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (-)
18. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway (-)
19. Little House on the Praire by Laura Ingalls Wilder (X)
20. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (-)
21. Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich (-)
22. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (X)
23. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (-)
24. The Road by Cormac McCarthy (-)
25. Main Street by Sinclair Lewis (-)
26. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (-)
27. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (-)
28. The Color Purple by Alice Walker (-)
29. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (X)
30. The Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (-)
31. Roots by Alex Haley (-)
32. The Secret Life of Bees (-)
33. Katherine by Anya Seton (-)
34. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (-)
35. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (X)
37. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (X)
38. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (-)
39. The Collected Stories of Katherine Ann Porter (-)
40. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (-)
41. The Stand by Stephen King (-)
42. Carrie by Stephen King (-)
43. Walden by Henry David Thoreau (X)
44. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (X)
45. Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (X)
46. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane (-)
47. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (-)
48. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (X)
49. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (X)
50. East of Eden by John Steinbeck (-)
51. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (-)
52. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (-)
53. Mystic River by Denis Lehane (-)
54. American Pastoral by Philip Roth (-)
55. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier (-)
56. Rabbit Run by John Updike (-)
57. Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates (-)
58. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty (-)
59. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan (X)
60. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (X)
61. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt (X)
62. Sandman by Neil Gaiman (-)
63. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (-)
64. World’s Fair by E.L. Doctorow (-)
65. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini (-)
66. Nickel & Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich (-)
67. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon (-)
68. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving (-)
69. Friday Night Lights, H.G. Bissinger (-)
70. Cathedral, Raymond Carver (X)
71. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley (-)
72. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown (-)
73. Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman (-)
74. Deep End of the Ocean by Jacqueline Mitchard (-)
75. John Adams by David McCullough (-)
76. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (-)
77. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Piccoult (-)
78. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (-)
79. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers (-)
80. Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut (-)
81. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (-)
82. Native Son by Richard Wright (-)
83. U.S.A. (trilogy) by John Dos Passos (-)
84. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson (-)
85. All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren (-)
86. The Bridge of the San Luis Ray by Thornton Wilder (-)
87. The Call of the Wild by Jack London (X)
88. The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington (-)
89. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (-)
90. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey (-)
91. The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy (-)
92. Something Wicked this Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (-)
93. Beloved by Toni Morrison (-)
94. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (-)
95. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (-)
96. So Big by Edna Ferber (-)
97. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter (-)
98. The Awakening by Kate Chopin (X)
99. The Ponder Heart by Eudora Welty (-)
100. A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Conner (X)
Interesting list… Of the books I havn’t read: some I would really like to read and some I’m not so interested in.
What do you think? Do you feel well read?
I’ve been on a bit of a book buying binge. I am a HUGE fan of Half Price Books. I highly recommend them if you have one in your area. I picked up this irresistible book the other day:
So far I have only had the chance to read one tale. Initially I was disappointed as it followed the predictable story of an innocent girl, a mean witch, and a boar that naturally ends up being a handsome young man. Nearly everyone ends up happily ever after, and just as I was about to roll my eyes and feel cheated by my purchase, the tale ended with this little line:
“And I deserve a pudding for telling thee this lie.”
I was charmed and expect to find some fine little tales after all!
I found these amazing pictures at the hilarious and provocatively titled post Red Hot and Filthy Library Smut. I had the supreme privilege to visit the library in the first photo. As I stepped through the entrance I literally froze in wonder. I may have stood there all day if the pesky tourists behind me hadn’t tapped my shoulder and grumpily informed me I was blocking the line…
This next one makes me wonder if these poor books are being held in a fabulous prison?
I just a adore this quirky little painting. It is titled Together We Will Elude Understanding. Something about those silly little owls swinging their spindly little feet makes me smile.
I have been trying to take the occasional break from exhaustive job hunting to do a little something that makes me revel in the absence of writing papers.
-I made this jalapeno cheddar cornbread recipe for a family gathering. (Should you decide to try I would cut the amount of butter by half. Far too greasy for my taste- and I love butter!)
-I also made a version of this healthy and light potato salad. It was wonderful and I would highly recommend it. I made some modifications, but I think it’s one of those “make-it-your-own” kind of dishes.
-I read The Red Tent which I bought ages ago. I didn’t start liking it till about 50 pages in. I did however thoroughly love it by the end. I love stories about strong courageous women. Have you read it? If so what did you think?
Next I’m planning to tackle The Odyssey and I will meet with an adviser next week to determine if I’m crazy enough to continue on to grad school. What are you doing with your summer days? Any new book suggestions?
I just love Shakespeare! I’m taking a class this quarter that mainly focuses on his comedies. A Midsummer Night’s Dream has long been my very favorite. I simply can’t resist a good faerie tale ! Much Ado About Nothing is a close second. It’s SO very funny and I love the witty Beatrice! I wish I could think as many clever things to say as often as she does! (Although the title quote is from Benedict) Do you love Shakespeare? What is your favorite play?
All of the above photos are the famous Cottingley Fairies. I’ve always felt a little sad that it wasn’t all true… Ahhhh, the days before photoshop… Have a lovely weekend!