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’ve been feeling a little under the weather lately. Not only in the sickly sense, but I’ve fallen into a pretty downhearted state. I had to call in sick on Friday which has only left me racked with guilt. It was a necessary action, but somehow the three day-turned four day weekend feels rather tarnished. I feel better today, but I’ve been a little depressed. My boy is away for the weekend and I’ve stayed pretty hermited away in my apartment. With the wedding and all it’s surrounding celebrations behind me, I realize it’s a little difficult to face the mundane humdrum of everyday life. I’m grateful to have a job, but it’s far from my ideal profession and I’m feeling quite uninspired.
However, I really dislike feeling this way so I try to make lists and remind myself of the things that do inspire me and spur creativity. My first step was getting out the apartment and spending some time at the bookstore. This was definitely a big help. I picked up Lucy Gayheart because I adore Willa Cather. I also bought A Passage to India because I want to go there very much and because E.M. Forster also penned another great favorite of mine, Howard’s End. Last, but not least, I purchased Under the Tuscan Sun which I have yet to read and thought might serve for some much needed escapism.
I’m also watching one of my favorite movies, A Series of Unfortunate Events. No matter how many times I see it, I am captivated every time…
One of my favorite parts of the film: the animated sequence during the closing credits. Delightfully Gorey-ish.
What kinds of things pull you out of a gloomy mood and inspire you?
After a long week of the new job I am now working a 12 hour shift at my old one. I would much rather spend my weekend lounging in this space and reading all weekend long! Doesn’t that sound lovely? Right now I am reading Virginia Woolf’s Orlando. Have you ever read it? It’s quite unusual, but still very interesting. What are you reading?
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 have been mentally composing a “book post” for the past week and was reminded to actually write it by this lovely blog. I think I have mentioned before that I am taking a writing class this quarter and part of it involves reading a lot of modern short fiction. I have to admit, I don’t believe I’m a big fan of modern writing… However it has renewed my interest in the short story. For my “recreational reading” I have really been enjoying a collection of stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. She is best known for “The Yellow Wallpaper” which is a brilliantly creepy, turn-of-the-century era story. If you haven’t read it, you can find it here! Over spring break I also plan to read some more work by Kate Chopin. The Awakening is one of my favorite “short-ish” stories and it moves me every time I read it. I feel such a strong sense of gratitude to these women who had the courage to write about heroines who didn’t conform to the normal expectations of the time. These women have helped to make so many of the everyday opportunities I enjoy possible!
Another non-short favorite of mine is Willa Cather’s My Antonia. This is a book that touches me deeply and I find myself reading it over and over. So many of my favorite passages in all of literature are contained in this book. Cather used a male pen name at the beginning of her career in order to get her work published and often cross-dressed to be taken seriously.
I have always wanted to join a book club, but since I have taken so many literature and writing classes the last year and a half, it just hasn’t fit in yet. Until then I will continue to long for my perfect dream library…