I have a new obsession (Book #36 for 2006)

and it is Pride and Prejudice.  I read all day Saturday and Sunday.  And I finished it.  And now I'm sad because all books pale in comparison.  I'm reading one, Sleep, Pale Sister, but I hear Lizzy and Mr. Darcy beckoning me back to Pemberley.  Sigh.  I'm lovesick.  I can't get into another book.  I want to reread P&P (and will probably have to before it's all over with).  I have already watched the Pride & Prejudice with Keira Knightley, which I adored.  Keira is so lovely.  And Matthew whatshisname was great as Darcy. And not too bad on the eyes either 😉 I am positively DYING to see the one with Colin Firth, so much so that I will submit to the temptation to drive all the way to Target (all of 10 minutes haha) on my lunch hour, praying that they have it.  

I find it especially amazing that, in a day and age when nothing is shocking anymore, that the slight, deft hand Austen uses to seduce the reader is SO effective.  This book was SO romantic and none of the typical tricks writers use today where there.  No nudity.  No kissing.  But God Almighty was it sexual charged.  The looks.  The brief glances.  The small touches.  Ye gods it sets you on fire!  Oh how I wish I wish that there was someone, anyone, who lived near me and shared my readerly obsessions.  I want to read this with someone.  I want to watch the movies with someone.  I want to dissect it into the ground and tear it apart limb from limb and then put it all back together again with someone.  Oh how I miss college.  WHY oh WHY did none of my teachers make me read this in school???? 

Sigh.  I guess I'll read it again and again and love it alone. 


I…may…have gone a little crazy yesterday.  First, A took me to Barnes & Noble, since sweet little me let him go to EB Games. (No ulterior motives there, at all! *snigger*)  Then, we went to see the abysmal movie X-Men 3 (Avoid at all costs!) with the abysmal writing and horrible story.  THEN, my sweet love took me to my favorite USB.  Now, given that I spent all of $40 on 9 books and 2 magazines…I think I did okay.  And I weeded out 3 bags of books so…all in all…really I did okay.  I got:

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (for rereading purposes, LOVED this book)
Tess of the D'Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy (adored this in high school, wanting a reread)
If on a winter's night a traveler by Italo Calvino (wanted to read this since Amanda did)
Just An Ordinary Day by Shirley Jackson (short stories)
Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh (another thanks to Amanda)
The Wild Wood by Charles De Lint (have wanted this for a LONG time)
a vegetable cookbook for my would-be vegetarian baby


Northanger Abbey and Emma by Jane Austen because I'm feeling a Austen orgy coming on.  Am now totally in love with her.  In love y'all, in luuuurrrrve.

Oh, I also got Bookmarks and Pages magazines which will certainly add to my mammoth Want to by list.  I'm in book heaven.

Booking Through Thursday

Better late than never!

Booking Through Thursday

1. What are the last five books that you finished reading?

a) Persepolis I by Marjane Satrapi
b) Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal
c) Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
d) Shelf Life by Suzanne Strempek Shea
e) The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig

2. How long did it take you to read them?

a) 1 day
b) 2 days
c) 5 days
d) 4 days (I think)
e) 4 days

3. Did you enjoy reading these books? Why or why not?

a) Yes, very much.  Was fascinating.
b) Yes and no.  Too much brain power required, but had some lovely parts.  And some grotesque ones.
c) Yes, very much. Great adventure!
e) It was meh.  Year in the life of a writer working in a bookstore.  Just meh.
f) Yes.  was what I was looking for at the time, fluff. With a little history added for spice. 

Book #35 for 2006


by Marjane Satrapi

Rated 10/10

Published by Pantheon

160 pages

Amazing.  Simply amazing.  The writing is amazing.  The message is amazing (and very timely).  The drawing, while simple, is amazing and amazing in it's simplicity.  This autobiography told in comic book form, tells the story of Marjane or Marji, from the age of 10 to 14 and what is was like growing up in Iran during the Islamic revolution and the Iran-Iraq war.  Told with an open honesty that is to be admired, Satrapi combines the normal rebelliousness and, at times, closemindedness of a teenager with the horrors of war.  I feel ashamed to realize that the things she and her country where going through were something I was all by oblivious too, which I blame on my school and my families desire to shield me from such things.  I feel all the more enriched by meeting Marjane and learning things everyone should know in this day and age, what will all the things going on in the Middle East.  "This is a graphic novel of immense power and importance for Westerners of all ages.*" Can't wait to read Perseplis II.

*Susan H. Woodcock, Fairfax County Public Library, Chantilly, VA via Amazon.com

Book #34 for 2006

Too Loud a Solitude

by Bohumil Hrabal

Rated 5/10

Published by Harvest/HBJ Book

98 Pages

What to say about this book….what to say…hmmm….  

Well, if you look in my previous post, you will see the little nuggets of beautiful language enclosed in those 98 pages.   

However, and this could be just me, I found most of this little story exceedingly…strange.  But this is not exactly a bad thing.  Or a good thing.  Too me, this is one of those books that is celebrated for it's originality, it's message, it's writing, it's brilliance…and I just don't get it.  I admit it, I just don't get it.  Equal parts beautiful and nauseating, the writing is repetitive to the point of being annoying.  He repeats things many many times, a remarkable feat considering the 98 page length.  I realize it's a comment on the world's culture and allegorical and all that but, like I said, I just didn't get it.  I feel this would be best read in a college class with a professor equipted to guide.  I gave it a 5 because I did come away with some beautiful language and the desire to perhaps read again to see if I get more out of it.  I can best say it left me feeling kind of meh about the whole thing.  Not great, not horrible, just meh.

Pride and Prejudice

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."

And so it begins my friends, my first reading of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  I know, I know, how did I get to be 28 years old and never read ANY Austen?  And I majored in English in college.  I know!  I'm trying to remedy that though.  So far, 8 chapters in, so good!

Must share

These quotes from my latest read; Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal. 

"I am a jug filled with water both magic and plain; I have only to lean over and a stream of beautiful thoughts flows out of me."

"Because when I read, I don't really read; I pop a beautiful sentence into my mouth and suck it like a fruit drop, or I sip it like a liqeuer until the thought dissolves in me like alcohol, infusing brain and heart and coursing on through the veins to the root of each blood vessel."

"And I huddle in the lee of my paper mountain like Adam in the bushes and pick up a book, and my eyes open panic-stricken on a world other than my own, because when I start reading I'm somewhere completely different, I'm in the text, it's amazing, I have to admit I've been dreaming in a land of great beauty, I've been in the heart of truth."

So short a book, so beautiful the writing. 

Book #33 for 2006

Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
Rated 8/10
Started May 17, 2006
Finished May 21, 2006
Pub. by Putnam Adult
515 Pages

This weekend was all about reading. Labyrinth, by Kate Mosse, was the book, which was due on Thursday, May 18, but I was barely 150 pages in. I couldn’t bear to take it back and wind up 100th in line again, so I kept it. At 50 cents a day, it was expensive ($2.00!), but worth it! Saturday morning dawned and I decided I was going to finish the 300+ pages I had left by Sunday. And I did it. I hunkered down with the book while Ellie had her naps, in the car on the way to town to shop, on my MIL’s couch while everyone was outside playing with the kids, and even in the bathtub (which is no surprise, it’s the best place to read in my house).

What a rollercoaster this book was. I don’t know if it is because I read it so fast, or if it really IS that fast, but this sure was some kind of page turner. Labyrinth is being called a “woman’s adventure story” which I totally agree with. The main two female leads are exceptionally well written. Mosse calls it “commercial fiction” and it is definitely that too. Many are saying it’s like The DaVinci Code. I do not totally agree with that comparison, as I found it to be much better written and has a completely different twist on the grail legend, while every bit as enjoyable. The historical elements were wonderful; doesn’t hurt that I’m somewhat of a history buff; geez I minored in it in college.

Sure, it had it’s problems…I’m still not totally 100% sure what exactly happened during some parts…but that could be because I read it so fast. I can see me doing a reread sometime soon just to understand it. There are a few cliches, the use of the femme fatale being one that comes to mind.

I can totally see this being a movie. This could totally be a beach book. It’s great fun! And I think I’ve managed to learn how to spell Labyrinth! Yay!

Book Meme

Amanda asked “What about you?” so I’m answering.

Reading Memories

20 Years Ago: (age 8 )
Ahhh, the year my daddy died.  And Laura Ingalls Wilder and Judy Blume saved my life.  I devoured both and lots and lots more in my vain effort to just not think about who was missing and how much I missed him.

10 Years Ago: (age 18)
I had just started dating Aaron.  Don’t remember much about what I was reading; except school work.  I do remember it was this year I was introduced to The Education of Little Tree, Of Mice and Men, and Tess of the D’Ubervilles, which remain favorites.  I really should reread Tess.

5 Years Ago: (age 23)
Well into my first year of marriage and my first year of 40-hour-a-week working life, I was struggling to learn how to balance reading and married life.  I succeeded because I read over 70 books that near.  I read Chocolat and Blackberry Wine (my favorite by far, by Harris) for the first time, as well as The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay which I LOVED.  Also met Alice Munroe for the first time. And most important was introduced to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, probably my favorite book ever (Behind the Princess Bride, of course). I also joined my first online book club, of which I am still a member. 

3 Years ago: (age 25)
Ahhhh, I wasn’t reading much this year.  I spent the majority of it pregnant and then had a new born to contend with.  I read 31 books this year.  BUT, I read some good ones.  Highlights include Silk by Alessandro Baricco, The Time Traveler’s Wife, The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons by Brown, and the hugest book I’ve yet encountered The Autobiography of Henry VIII with notes by his fool, Will Somers by Margaret George.  I clearly remember sitting in my living room, breastfeeding my girl and propping a book up with the other arm…usually across her belly.  She didn’t seem to mind.

Last Year: (age 27)
Was a hard year.  My grandmother died in October, which was a very hard blow.  The woman who raised me, clothed me, fed me, and taught me how to read was taken, unexpectedly and I reeled.  My mother, who didn’t raise me and very little to do with me for most of my life and come back into my life, with terminal cancer. She would later pass away in January of this year.  I read voraciously in response to all the stress, reading 10 books in practically one month.  And most of them weren’t small.  Notable books; The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (Amanda, saw this is going to be made into a movie!!!), my first Joyce Carol Oates – The Falls, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (my current favorite YA book), and Blackbird House, a delicious book by Alice Hoffman.  I also reached my personal goal of reading 52 books in the year.

This Month: (age 28)
Has been okay.  Was forced to reexamine the loss of my mothers when celebrating Mother’s Day, but it was okay.  My reading has also significantly slowed down, finally, as I knew it would eventually.  I’ve read 3 books and am well into my 4th, with Labrynith taking up a lot of my time. Which is great, because I am totally loving it.  It’s late going back to the library, but I can’t stop.  At $50 a day, it’s costly, but well worth it.

Booking some more

3 Favorite Reading Locations:
On porch.

3 Reading habits:
Can not put a book down open.  I HATE bended spines.Have to remove all the tape from the cover (my library tapes your name to your holds and they never get all the tape off. Drives me insane!!!!)
Frequently hug books.  Not sure why. 

3 Things that distract me:
Stupid hubby questions
Little else.  I am very good at tuning out everything.  Hubby frequently has to call my name at least 3 times to get my attention.  I can read with the TV on.  I can read with music on.   

3 Characters I’d love to be:
Francie from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Meggie from Inkheart
Jenny from Harry Potter

3 Three Characters I despise:
Capricorn from Inkheart
Voldemort from Harry Potter

3 Favorite Book Beverages:
Caramel Mochachino from B&N
Dr. Pepper
Hot chocolate mixed with regular coffee

3 Favorite bookmarks:
The beautiful one Ellie made me for Mother’s Day at church.  Awwwwww.
A postcard Andi sent me of a book with wings, it’s so beautiful
A card Amanda sent me with my birthday present.  I want to get it laminated. It is so cool.

3 Dead Writers I’d love to meet:
Flannery O’Connor
Eudora Welty
Angela Carter

3 Alive Writers I’d love to meet:
JK Rowling so I can tell her off for…oops, read the books!  And pick her brain for the ending as well
Joyce Carol Oates
William Goldman

So…now…what about YOU?