Like most of you I'm an avid reader. I'm hoping to re-connect with old friends, make new friends, and of course spread the love of reading and writing around to everyone!
These days I'm all about the magic with a little touch of realism, and this book delivered. It's a short but complex story, that had a great unnamed narrator. However, Lettie Hempstock, her mother, and grandmother were my favorites. I just loved how they warped reality and I think this is a skill I'd like to cultivate myself.
Also there were two quotes that really spoke to me, that I'd like to share:
"I saw the world I had walked since my birth and I understood how fragile it was, that the reality I knew was a thin layer of icing on a great dark birthday cake writhing with grubs and nightmares and hunger. I saw the world from above and below. I saw that there were patterns and gates and paths beyond the real. I saw all these things and understood them and they filed me, just as the waters of the ocean filled me". -p. 143
"I do not miss childhood, but I miss the way I took pleasure in small things, even as grater things crumbled. I could not control the world I was in, could not walk away from things or people or moments that hurt, but I found joy in the things that made me happy". -p. 149
P.S. I still believe in courage, kindness, and sometimes just a bit of magic!
Wow, all I can do is shake my head, at this book. I don't even know where to start on this one, so I'm just going to do bullets.
Lately, I feel as if I'm behind on everything. This was my book club's January pick and discussion, which we already had, and only now am I getting around to writing the review on here. *sigh*
Anyways, this book was thoroughly enjoyable. No words were minced and the author expects the reader to make the connections, which I absolutely loved. It was a fast read, once I got into the rhythm of the story. Also, a nice blending of reality and mythological fiction. Sometimes it was hard to differentiate the two, but this also made the book great. I was surprised that this is the author's first book, but what a debut. I'm totally excited to see what Tea Obreht will come up with next.
P.S. My parents had the opportunity to visit a few Balkan countries a few years ago in their travels, so I'm going to be sending this book their way, in hopes that they will enjoy it too, and maybe even recognize some of the locations, that I used my imagination on.
Amanda Palmer --- musician, artist, connector of dots, blogger, tweeter, writer, philosopher, speaker, wife, friend, and most importantly human --- really pulls back the curtain in this book, to show us what she does behind the scenes to make the final product (what we see when we buy her music, her book, or live concert) happen, and it's pretty awesome, in my humble opinion.
She says that we ALL can ask for help from everyone, and in the age of the internet we're meeting more people in a week, than we'd met in a lifetime, before. She says it's all about putting yourself out there, trusting that you will get what you need, and being open to receiving the blessings. It's about shouting down from your open Windows (both literally, and figuratively in the form of blog, twitter, Instagram, etc) and inviting people in.
It sounds easy, but for me, it's really hard. I didn't grow up in a family that asked for things. So, this is a grand challenge for me. However, I feel if I keep working on it a little bit at a time, it will become a habit, one that will hopefully change my life for the better. However, she says: 'there's no trust without risk, and there's always new trolls that will try to squat under the new bridge you are building; but if you never try, you'll never get anywhere, and that's scarier than anything.' I tend to agree.
So, my personal challenge will be to open up my Windows; open up my throat and heart, be empathetic, be authentically vulnerable, and ask for the things I need ---from myself, from my lover, from my friends, from my family, from my neighbors, from strangers --- and being open to the blessings in whatever form they may take, knowing that the asking is unconditional, no strings attached, and the person being asked is welcomed to say no, but just might say yes.
As I'm writing this, a song has popped into my head: 'What's looooove?..It's about us, it's about trust.' It's about tightening the net in some ways, and letting it out in others. It's about using your own set of gifts to make the world better. I'm excited to try, in order to see what happens :)
Thank you Amanda Palmer for writing this book, for being your own beautifilled self, for putting it out there and inviting us all in, to give it a try.
This is great advice from the narrator's Grandfather, after they witness together something unbelievable, yet beautiful, in the night.
---Taken from the book, but originally sourced from Theater Is Evil (2012)---
This pretty much sums up how I've been feeling lately. Thank you Amanda for putting feelings into words like these because it makes me realize that I am human after all, just trying to figure things out, like everyone else.
My favorite part from this lovely poem was:
And how many lives
Before take-off, before we find ourselves
Beyond ourselves, all glam-glow, all twinkle and gold?
I had never read a book by this author before this one, and out of all her titles, this one spoke to me, as books sometimes do.
This was a good story. I really liked Ophelia and Annie's relationship, and I can relate in a lot of ways to Annie's back story, since these last few years have been difficult for me as well, with lots of changes.
I also liked the concept of a memory house and only keeping things that speak to you personally. As well as, listening to them in order to get the story of the object. This was where the magical realism took place, and reminded me a bit of Sarah Addison Allen, another author who's books I have enjoyed as well.
What I didn't like so much was the preachy tone it sometimes took on. It seemed to me as if something happened and then the next paragraph was an explanation of what just happened. This is one of my major pet peeves in modern literature, as I can figure out the connections on my own and draw my own connections, thank you very much.
After I finished this story, I realized that this is a series, and I could see myself reading the next story, in a little bit, after I read some other things.
All in all, a decent read by an interesting author.
Just to let you know, I joined the author's ARC club, and the e-book of this title was given to me, in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you and happy reading!
I bought each of these titles in e-book format for $0.99 a piece which was a great deal.
While I enjoyed the story the comics have told thus far; I really enjoyed the commentary and essays in the back, even more.
This series is still going on, but I have enjoyed these issues enough, that I am willing to follow the comics to the very end, wherever that may be.
Kam and Penny are just awesome and true to themselves, which in a complaint imprisoned not too distant future, is the biggest threat of all.
CASE: Babalu Clayton Maya Patterson (Talba's friend, healer, and poet) is murdered and most of the story takes place in Clayton, Louisiana which is very different than New Orleans.
FIRST: You get Talba's side of the story from her unique perspective.
SECOND: You get Eddie's in his no nonsense way.
THIRD: Talba and Eddie come together to solve the case and things go a bit wrong before they go right. So this was where the humor comes in and was the most exciting part of the story.
SIDE STORY: Talba uses her P.I. powers to locate her sister Janessa, who turns out to be very different than both Talba and her mom. Talba tries to get her to open up to her.
I hope the next story in this series takes us back to New Orleans and Talba as her Baroness Poet self gets to know Janessa for real. I hope Talba and Eddie get to work together because when they get together to solve a case, it's pretty hilarious and fun. Looking forward to seeing what the next story will bring.
Thanks Mom and Dad for giving me a year long subscription to The Smithsonian Magazine. I can't wait to see what other treasures await!
This year I've decided not to be too harsh on myself, so I'm only setting one simple bookish goal for 2016 and it is the following:
To read everything that I have downloaded. I have 50 titles that I haven't read yet, so I want to finish them this year.
I have a tendency to get distracted easily, so this year my goal is to have direction, maintain focus, and reach a level of clarity. If I can do this with literature, I feel I will be able to apply this habit to life as well.
I was looking for a quick read today and this one delivered.
I liked the narrator and the ending was not what I expected.
While I tend to enjoy Flynn's longer novels more, this one was well executed, and moved more seamlessly than her shorter works in the past.
A must read if you like Flynn's writing style.
Or a great place to start if you haven't read anything from her previously.
Every year towards the end, I try to take some time and reflect on the year that has passed, as well as, make some plans for the following year. So here it is:
This year was tough, I'm not going to lie. Reading, writing, art and music saved me from myself. I'm proud of myself for taking the time to heal---my mind, body, and spirit. (I danced, read, traveled, and learned meditation techniques that have helped with my anxiety and depression) Reconnection was the theme of this year and I feel more whole and productive at years end then at the beginning, so that is good, and I want to keep that going in 2016.
I also made an executive life decision, and am leaving two out of my three jobs at the end of this year. I'm hoping by making room, something more positive can find it's way in; something I care and feel passionate about.
I've also been getting over my fear of driving, by getting behind the wheel again. It still gives me anxiety, I'm not going to lie, but if I want to be able to get out on my own, I have to find the courage to conquer this lingering fear. However, I have noticed that more and more drivers are distracted, which scares the crap out of me. Whatever you're doing isn't important and can wait until you get to your destination. I feel like an old lady behind the wheel, mean mugging my way to my destination, with my hands at three and six. I'm hoping I will get better and more relaxed with practice.
The theme of this coming year is 'Care-er' which means to me to keep practicing self-care and take the time to find a career that fits my talents and personality as a carer. It also means that I need to take the time to declutter myself of habits that don't work for me any more and create new habits that suit me better.
I have no illusions that 2016 will be another difficult year, but I'm hoping to emerge better than before.
Wishing you all a very happy holiday season and nothing but health and happiness in 2016!
I read this right after Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man and both are important reads in my opinion. Both are a bit difficult to read at times, but they both speak their truths in punch you in the gut prose, which I appreciated. A must read because we have so much more to do.