Category Archives: Introspection

Burning

This post is not about Harry Potter.  I do, on occasion, think of other things.  We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled HP fest shortly.

The story of Setalle Anan breaks my heart.  LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT SETALLE ANAN.

Setalle Anan was an Aes Sedai who was burned out.  That means she lost her ability to channel the One Power, probably due to drawing too much upon herself or while studying ter’angreal.  Understand this – being burned out (or stilled, or gentled, or whatever you want to call it) is the WORST POSSIBLE THING that can happen to a channeler in this universe.  Multiple characters who have the ability consider the fact that they’d rather die than lose their ability.  Several characters vomit at the suggestion that it could happen to them, or upon seeing it happen to one of their associates.  IT’S A TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE FATE.  And when it happened to Setalle, the White Tower simply put her out and expected her to crawl into a corner and die quietly.

The White Tower is an organization that is well known for meddling and manipulation.  It’s mentioned by a few characters through the series that once a woman has ties to the White Tower, it isn’t through with her until she’s used up. It’s generally understood that once you become attached to the Tower, it’s for life.   No backsies, homie.  So that’s what makes it such a GROSS BETRAYAL how they handle women who are burned out.  Just…thrown out the door.  Bye.  Go die somewhere.  But the existence of Setalle Anan suggests that they DON’T (always) just go die – they go and forge lives for themselves and try to forget that they were once among the most powerful women in the world.  They just try to be…normal again, after having been extraordinary.

It makes me so incredibly sad to think of the dozens – hundreds? – of women who had dedicated their lives to this organization, were INJURED in its service, and then tossed aside like worthless garbage because they were lacking the ability they once had.  Their brains were the same; their memories intact – but they were simply tossed aside like so much refuse because of what they no longer had.  Breaks my heart.

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World Wide Conspiracy

This has nothing to do with this post, but man I miss RoL

This has nothing to do with this post, but man I miss RoL

So, at first I thought I was craving a book, but now I’m thinking maybe that isn’t it.  See, a craving usually comes from within – it may be triggered by something outside, like a song or a picture, but the sustained craving comes from your body (or mind!) telling you you want it.  This, this is different.  I feel like every time I turn around, the universe is SHOVING Fear and Loathing at me as if reminding me that it’s been an unacceptable length of time since the last time I read it.  First a random Florence + the Machine song triggerd it (literally, she just like mentioned a rabbit and my brain went rabbit–>Alice in Wonderland–>White Rabbit–>Jefferson Airplane–>Fear and Loathing).  Then a signed copy of the book was featured in an episode of Pawn Stars (I think that’s the one?  With the old man who looks Asian but is really just sleepy all the time and the young guys who’s name is like Chum?  Why are there so many shows about pawn shops?).  Then White Rabbit ACTUALLY came on Pandora on my way to work yesterday.  There were a few other, smaller things, but they’ve all blended into the sleep deprivation that is my life lately to leave me with a VERY STRONG feeling that I should reread Fear and Loathing.  Also, maybe Fear & Loathing in America, a book of letters of Thompson’s during the 60s that I bought accidentally once that is seriously entertaining.

So, despite currently being AWFUL at finishing anything I’m reading, or really finding time to read anything at all – and, in all honesty, not being 100% sure where my copy actually IS – I’m considering reading Fear and Loathing.  I can finish it in a day or so, right?

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..The Right Words, They Will Be Simple

Am I the only person out there who finds there to be a distinct difference between how I feel while actually reading a book versus thinking about or remembering the story itself?  I feel like I’m weird in that some books, which hold the nearest and dearest places in my heart – Lord of the Rings leaps to mind, and The Silmarillion, which I’m currently reading and is the inspiration for this musing – were sort of a mental slog for me.  I found it very difficult, whether due to the writing style or something more ethereal – to be drawn into and captivated by much of it. Maybe my reading time was just too choppy, not allowing enough time for me to sink into the LOTR mindset.  Whatever it was, the physical act of reading often felt like something I’m forcing myself to get through, sometimes just to say I have. But when I’m not actively reading, I’m obsessed.  The story captivates me and the world makes me want to live there and meet the characters.  Even The Silmarillion, with its multitude of similarly named characters that are incredibly difficult to keep straight, can set me to daydreaming for hours in the back of my mind.  It’s happened a few times before – that actually reading a book makes me want to tear my hair out but then all I want to do when I’m done is go back and read it again – mostly with classics like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights (children’s classics I loved even as a child – I could read The Secret Garden over and over and over and never get tired of it).  Am I that lazy of a reader, that I only want simple and easy books that hand their plot and excitement over on a silver platter, and these authors are skilled enough to thwart my laziness?  Or is it a matter or aesthetics – that I want the beauty handed to me, and these authors make me search for it – after all, Wilde and Fitzgerald and Kerouac are some of my favorites and I never have trouble reading them.  Or is this simply something many readers go though, a sense that when you’ve worked for something, it’s even sweeter than when it’s just handed to you?  I desperately hope it’s the latter, but based on my experience with other authors, I’m pretty sure it’s one of the former.

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So I made a Resolution after all…

Image

Love this quote

I said I was going to go through the list, and I have.  Through Pinterest, I found this website, which purports to list every book Rory Gilmore is seen reading or talks about reading through the entirety of the Gilmore Girls series.  I’m not a huge fan of the show, but holy shit this list is fabulous. There are 343 books on the list (unless I can’t count, which is entirely possible, given that I’m a woman), and I’ve only read 66 of them (plus five I’ve started and not completed)!! That is a disgrace.  I know I said I’m not doing resolutions this year because I don’t want to disappoint myself, but holy hell I’ve got to get to over 100.  That’s quite a tall order, since A Memory of Light came out this month, which means I need to re read the entire Wheel of Time series, and I’m reading the Inheritance Cycle, and I’m about to finish LOTR for the second time, but I think I can do it.  There’s a few on here that look like they’d be quick reads, and many many more that have been on my  to-be-read list for a while, so hopefully when I repost the list at the end of the year I’ll be much closer to my goal.  Wish me luck!

1984 by George Orwell
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy – started not finished!
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Archidamian War by Donald Kagan
The Art of Fiction by Henry James
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Atonement by Ian McEwan – started not finished!
Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Babe by Dick King-Smith
Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney – I’m counting this although I don’t know if I read the exact translation referenced here.  I read Beowulf damnit!
The Bhagava Gita
The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews by Peter Duffy
Bitch in Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel
A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays by Mary McCarthy
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Brick Lane by Monica Ali
Bridgadoon by Alan Jay Lerner
Candide by Voltaire
The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
Carrie by Stephen King
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman
Christine by Stephen King
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse
The Collected Short Stories by Eudora Welty
The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty by Eudora Welty
A Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
Complete Novels by Dawn Powell
The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton
Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père
Cousin Bette by Honor’e de Balzac
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Cujo by Stephen King
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Daisy Miller by Henry James
Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
David and Lisa by Dr Theodore Issac Rubin M.D
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The Da Vinci -Code by Dan Brown
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
Demons by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Deenie by Judy Blume
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx
The Divine Comedy by Dante
The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
Don Quijote by Cervantes
Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhrv
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
Eleanor Roosevelt by Blanche Wiesen Cook
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
Eloise by Kay Thompson
Emily the Strange by Roger Reger
Emma by Jane Austen
Empire Falls by Richard Russo
Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
Ethics by Spinoza
Europe through the Back Door, 2003 by Rick Steves
Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
Extravagance by Gary Krist
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore
The Fall of the Athenian Empire by Donald Kagan
Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
The Fellowship of the Ring: Book 1 of The Lord of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce
Fletch by Gregory McDonald
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
George W. Bushism: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President by Jacob Weisberg
Gidget by Fredrick Kohner
Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
The Godfather: Book 1 by Mario Puzo
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Alvin Granowsky
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford
The Gospel According to Judy Bloom
The Graduate by Charles Webb
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Group by Mary McCarthy
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
Henry IV, part I by William Shakespeare
Henry IV, part II by William Shakespeare
Henry V by William Shakespeare
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
Holidays on Ice: Stories by David Sedaris
The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton
House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
How the Light Gets in by M. J. Hyland
Howl by Allen Gingsburg
The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
The Iliad by Homer
I’m with the Band by Pamela des Barres
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
Iron Weed by William J. Kennedy
It Takes a Village by Hillary Clinton
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
The Jumping Frog by Mark Twain
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito
The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Lady Chatterleys’ Lover by D. H. Lawrence
The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000 by Gore Vidal
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield
Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
The Little Locksmith by Katharine Butler Hathaway
The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Lottery: And Other Stories by Shirley Jackson – I’ve read the Lottery but not the rest
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Love Story by Erich Segal
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
The Manticore by Robertson Davies
Marathon Man by William Goldman
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir
Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman by William Tecumseh Sherman
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer
Mencken’s Chrestomathy by H. R. Mencken
The Merry Wives of Windsro by William Shakespeare
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Miracle Worker by William Gibson
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion by Jim Irvin
Moliere: A Biography by Hobart Chatfield Taylor
A Monetary History of the United States by Milton Friedman
Monsieur Proust by Celeste Albaret
A Month Of Sundays: Searching For The Spirit And My Sister by Julie Mars
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and It’s Aftermath by Seymour M. Hersh
My Life as Author and Editor by H. R. Mencken
My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
Nervous System: Or, Losing My Mind in Literature by Jan Lars Jensen
New Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson
The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay
Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
Night by Elie Wiesel
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism by William E. Cain, Laurie A. Finke, Barbara E. Johnson, John P. McGowan
Novels 1930-1942: Dance Night/Come Back to Sorrento, Turn, Magic Wheel/Angels on Toast/A Time to be Born by Dawn Powell
Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Old School by Tobias Wolff
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life by Amy Tan
Oracle Night by Paul Auster
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Othello by Shakespeare
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan
Out of Africa by Isac Dineson
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition by Donald Kagan
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Pigs at the Trough by Arianna Huffington
Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
The Portable Nietzche by Fredrich Nietzche
The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill by Ron Suskind
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Property by Valerie Martin
Pushkin: A Biography by T. J. Binyon
Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
Quattrocento by James Mckean
A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall
Rapunzel by Grimm Brothers
The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Rescuing Patty Hearst: Memories From a Decade Gone Mad by Virginia Holman
The Return of the King: The Lord of the Rings Book 3 by J. R. R. Tolkien
R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
Rita Hayworth by Stephen King
Robert’s Rules of Order by Henry Robert
Roman Fever by Edith Wharton
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi
Sanctuary by William Faulkner
Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford
The Scarecrow of Oz by Frank L. Baum
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman
Selected Letters of Dawn Powell: 1913-1965 by Dawn Powell
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Several Biographies of Winston Churchill
Sexus by Henry Miller
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Shane by Jack Shaefer
The Shining by Stephen King
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
S Is for Silence by Sue Grafton
Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Small Island by Andrea Levy
Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
Snow White and Rose Red by Grimm Brothers
Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World by Barrington Moore
The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht
Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos by Julia de Burgos
The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker
Songbook by Nick Hornby
The Sonnets by William Shakespeare – I certainly haven’t read them all but I’ve read some
Sonnets from the Portuegese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
A Streetcar Named Desiree by Tennessee Williams
Stuart Little by E. B. White
Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals by Anne Collett
Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Term of Endearment by Larry McMurtry
Time and Again by Jack Finney
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Tragedy of Richard III by William Shakespeare
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The Trial by Franz Kafka
The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson
Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Ulysses by James Joyce
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962 by Sylvia Plath
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Unless by Carol Shields
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
The Vanishing Newspaper by Philip Meyers
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground and Nico (Thirty Three and a Third series) by Joe Harvard
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
Walden by Henry David Thoreau – started and never finished
Walt Disney’s Bambi by Felix Salten
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
We Owe You Nothing – Punk Planet: The Collected Interviews edited by Daniel Sinker
What Colour is Your Parachute? 2005 by Richard Nelson Bolles
What Happened to Baby Jane by Henry Farrell
When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
Who Moved My Cheese? Spencer Johnson
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

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January 15, 2013 · 7:42 pm

Confessions

Every once in a while I feel the need to spill my guts.  I hate having secrets.  I truly do. So, when I first started hunkering down for Hurricane Sandy, I started writing down my five biggest reading and writing confessions to share with the interwebs.  Of course, then my power went out like five hours before the storm hit and stayed out for a week and a half, so I was a nomad, traveling with my dog first to my aunt and uncles house, then to my mom and dad’s, in search of heat, hot water, and cooked food (EVERYTHING in my apartment is electric, damnit!).  But we came through unscathed, thank the light, and many many people around me can’t say any such thing, so I’m thrilled.  With no further ado, since I’m terrible at ado’s, here are my five biggest reading confessions.

1) I beat the shit out of my books.

Seriously, if you saw the state of my books, you’d think I had something against the written word.  I always dogear my pages, because I’m too irresponsible to have bookmarks on me – EVER.  I’m always underlining and notetaking in them, too, especially when I’ve been drinking (which is usually).  And quite a few of them are missing covers or falling out of their spines, either from purse mishaps (like the time I took one to  a Yankees game and it rained) or I’ve simply read it so many times.  What can I say, I’m like a kid with toys.  The more beat up it is, the more I loved it.

2) I’d rather reread series than attack my To Be Read Pile.

As much as I’d like to blame my financial situation, I already own most of the books I want to read (and most of the rest are available free on my Kindle).   Between the two, it should be enough to keep me busy for, oh, forever.  But I’d rather relax into a world I already know, so I have trouble diving into anything new.  I’ve already discussed this, so I won’t go into too much detail here, but it gives me a lot of guilty anxiety, so it bears repeating.  Although, go me!  Just downloaded and started Anna Karenina!

3) My books are a mess.

Intentionally, that is.  As much as I love organization and neatness in other areas of my life, a perfectly organized bookshelf makes me suspicious faster than a straight man seriously discussing RuPaul’s Drag Race with me (Raja fo life!).  How do you keep your books so neat if you’re constantly cycling them out to read/reference/reread favorite passages?  Hmmm?  Anyway, to save what’s left of my sanity, I prefer my books to be all mixed up without regard for color or size or genre or author.  Does it make it harder for me to find what I’m looking for at any given moment?   YES.  That, my dear, is the point.  I enjoy being “forced” to scan my entire collection – or close to it – every time I’m looking for a particular book.  It makes me happy. Plus I just think a messier bookshelf looks friendlier than a super organized one.

4) I read all four Twilight books.

Some of you might think this isn’t something that requires a confession, as you yourselves read them and liked them.  To you, I suggest you jump ahead to #5.  I fucking hated them.  They were terrible.  Stephanie Meyer is an average author at best, and Bella Swan made the feminist in me scream and tear my hear in frustration.  I only read the books so I can speak with authority on how terrible they are, and now I feel dirty all the time for having given them my time.  That is all.  We can move on now.

5) I kind of love that BB doesn’t read.

That’s right.  My boyfriend – the love of my life – does not read.  He can, obviously – he’s not Mowgli  for chrissakes – and he skims fight & gaming magazines fairly regularly, and even reads fighter’s biographies every now and again.  But the life-consuming, obsessive, multi-series-at-a-time, rereading that is my favorite hobby and would take over my life if I would let it?  No thank you, he’ll  play a video game or watch some YouTube thankyouverymuch.  And I’m OK with that.  Sure, sometimes I wish he would read the series I do just so when I’m feeling particularly obsessive (I swear I have addictive personality and books are my drug) I have someone to talk to, but honestly and truly?  I think I would get aggravated and bored if we were both into the same things.  And the last time I had a boyfriend who read as much as me he made me feel really, really stupid all the time (not on purpose – he’s a great guy and we’re still friendly!  But, you know, truth).  So I smile and nod as though I agree when my other bookish friends chat about how a boy who doesn’t read is a total dealbreaker, but in reality, it works for me.

So there you have it.  My five biggest reading confessions.  I hope you had fun commiseration with me if you saw yourself in any of them, or judging me if you don’t.  Feel free to put your own confessions in the comments – it feels good to get them all out!  And check out my writing confessions too, to get a fuller picture of  my terribleness.  ❤

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I Hate Perfection

I realize that this post is going to be at least partially based on bitterness, because I try to hard to be perfect–the girl with the perfect nails whose apartment is always clean and welcoming, even when you drop by unexpectedly; the perfect girlfriend who gets her boyfriend amazing gifts and blows his mind every night.  Obviously, I fail hard.  My nails are not only chipped constantly, but I chew on my cuticles and the sides of my nails so they’re pretty gross.  My apartment, on the other hand, isn’t gross by any means, but I live with boys and we both work part time, so it’s not perfect by a long shot.  It’s certianly not worth a photo blog of how wonderfully I’ve decorated it.  As for the boyfriend…lets discuss that another time, over wine.

All this is simply to set up why I hate Ayla so goddamn much.  Everything she does is so unbelievably perfect.  Even when she does something so clearly hurtful to those around her–like going off with Ranec when Jondalar is waiting for her–isn’t out of spite, but ignorance to the ways of her new people.  She simply assumes that she has to be sexually available to everyone, all the time–it has nothing to do with her relationship with Jondalar!  As a writer, I have to admire Auel’s ability to create a woman who manages to be open to all men and not come across as a huge whore to our 21st-century Puritan-based values.  That doesn’t mean I can’t still hate her, however.  I can barely keep myself awake when my boyfriend gets to bed, much less wake myself up every time he gropes me throughout the night, or be sexually available to whomever wants me, whenever he wants me.

This brings me to the second, slightly less bitter, issue that I have with Ayla.  She is such a contradiction to the feminist side of me (the right 3/4s, if you were curious).  On one hand, she is obviously strong–physically and mentally–and self sufficient, and doesn’t need a man around her.  She lived alone for 3 years, for chrissakes.  But as soon as a man shows up, she goes back to being diffident and subservient.  As I said eyarlier, I kind of admire Auel’s ability to make Ayla this anti-feminist in such a natural way–it was how she was raised, after all–but that doesn’t make it less uncomfortable for me.  She somehow manages to be a misogynists wet dream–subservient, sexually available, unbelievably beautiful, and committed to quietly fulfilling the every need of the men in her life.

So, there you have it.  The reasons–both blatantly biter and honestly feminist–that I hate Ayla so much.  I actually really like her in Clan of the Cave Bear, and blatantly adore her through Valley of the Horses, but as I get deeper and deeper into The Mammouth Hunters, I find it more and more difficult to enjoy her as a character.

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Filed under Feminism, Introspection

Oh, Hello There

Well, I  broke my computer and so have been relatively silent lately.  My boyfriend is allowing me to borrow his netbook but he sort of takes it and leaves it as he pleases so I never know when I’ll have the alone time to write; generally when he’s left it either I’ve gotten no alone time or simply haven’t been in the mood.

On the plus side, naturally, this (combined with my job’s sudden, inexplicable mania for giving me my breaks) has given me plenty of time to read.  I finished LOTR (aaammmaaazzziiinnggg), am nearly finished with The Mammoth Hunters, have been reading The Picture of Dorian Gray while on the elliptical, and have restarted The Wheel of Time.  And you thought I was joking when I said I read as many books as I can fit into my life at one time.

Reading as many things as I am right now, however, I’m noticing a difference in how I respond to the writing styles.  In particular, between The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Great Hunt (which is book two in WOT, for those of you with lives).  While reading Dorian Gray, I find myself drinking in the words, almost losing the thread of the story in my joy at how beautiful the writing is.  I’ll read the same sentence several times over simply to have the visceral joy of the sound of the words in my head again.  Half the time I’m unsure of what’s going on in the plot, and need to go back and reread pages upon pages to catch myself up.  The Great Hunt, on the other hand, I barely remember reading at all.  I was simply watching a film Jordan somehow managed to beam directly into my brain.  I don’t even register turning the pages until one of them gets stuck, much less the beauty of the words. I still get a bit lost on the various plotlines (give me a break, there’s like 13 700+ page books and something around 10 main characters and 1500 minor), but not because I’m so caught up in the verbiage; because I’m so caught up in the other storylines.

I found it interesting that I was reading two books at once that reflect the two opposing ends of my love for reading–my joy in beautiful words and my love for a well crafted universe.  Reading them at the same time seems fitting to me, the way reading a book about vanity while working out to stay skinny seems fitting to me.  Thoughts?

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Filed under Introspection