Monday, December 21, 2009

Tell me, tell me, tell me, tell me!

I became aware of this play with the rest of the world, when Daniel Radcliffe played Aaron on Broadway. And yes, of course I saw the pics of him and will never look at Harry Potter the same way again.

Equus is a play about a young man who idolized horses to the extreme and ended up blinding six of them with a metal spike. He was subsequently institutionalized. His sessions with his therapist attempt to uncover the reasons why he would do such a thing.

Like reading any play, I'd love to see it to get the whole experience. I'm not too wild about it, but the characters are very interesting. One of my college professors mentioned that this play doesn't age well, that it made much more sense in context of the times than it does now. I can see how the jingles sung at the beginning are pretty meaningless now; I didn't even know what half of the products were. But I think that the idea of passionately connecting with an ideal and destroying that passion is still relevant.

My inner teen girl cringed the whole time; I was so worried about the horses. Not a thing to read if you are looking for something uplifting, but worth a look for sure. Also, I love the cover of my edition. Old paperbacks are where it's at.

Friday, December 18, 2009

And so live ever - or else swoon to death

I really want to see this movie and picked up this book even though I'm sure I've got all of Keats' poems in another book somewhere.

I am hopelessly smitten by love letters. I wish that we could read the letters Fanny wrote to Keats, but I also love that he was buried with them. They were young and in love, yet because Keats was so poor and ill they were unable to get married.

This book contains the letters that Keats wrote to Fanny and his love poems. The poems are beautiful, as expected, and the letters are very sweet. This is a good book to have just to pick up every now and then and read a letter or poem and then put down again. Especially if you're reading something a little dense.

"Who now, with greedy looks, eats up my feast?
What stare outfaces now my silver moon?
Ah! keep that hand unravished at the least;
Let, let, the amorous burn-
But, prithee, do not turn
The current of your heart from me so soon.
O save, in charity,
The quickest pulse for me!"

~from "To Fanny"

Thursday, December 17, 2009

the Humbling

This little book was on the new in fiction shelf at my local library. I have never read Philip Roth before, but he's one of those authors that I look at in bookstores and think that I should probably read someday.

The Humbling is about an older actor who suddenly loses his ability to act. Simon Axler was an amazing performer and is devastated when, for no reason he can see, he is unable to act at all. His wife leaves him and he mopes around his farmhouse before checking himself into a mental institution before starting a new relationship with a woman from his past.

This is a short book but it is pretty dense and some of it was hard to read. The lady that he meets at the mental institution has such a heartbreaking story. And Roth is pretty graphic while describing Axler's sexual relationship.

I thought this book was interesting, but I don't think I would read it again or tell anyone else they have to read it. Maybe this just isn't the best Roth book to start out with. The man can write, that's for sure, I might have to see which of his is the best to read next.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Against the Lore

We had our big employee shopping day at work last weekend and I grabbed a lot of good things. Most of them were Christmas gifts for my family, but I had to buy some things for me. I got Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett, This is Not a Book by Keri Smith (click for her awesome blog), and the next two volumes of Y:the Last Man.

After reading the first two Discworld books, The Color of Magic and the Light Fantastic, I knew I'd pick up the rest sooner or later. Equal Rites is about a dying wizard trying to pass on his powers to an eighth son of an eighth son, who turns out to be a woman. Since there has never been a woman wizard before, she has a pretty hard time.

I thought this book was very well done. It was funny, interesting and smart. Esk and Granny Weatherwax were great characters to read about. Esk is so confidant and fearless that it's very easy to root for her. Simon is another character I liked and I hope he and Esk pop up in another one of Pratchett's books. Esk's wizard staff acts a great deal like Twoflower's luggage from the first two books, causing trouble for anyone who's got it out for its owner.

"She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don't apply to you."

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's the whole world

How could you not pick this book up?

I bought this book without realizing that I'd actually already read a short story by Miranda July. I knew nothing about her but grabbed the book and read the first few pages in the bookstore. The first short story "The Shared Patio" is at once interesting and relatable.

I felt that this collection of short stories had a really great flow. There weren't any that I wished hadn't been included. When I started "Something That Needs Nothing" I had the feeling that I had heard the story before and realized I had read it in the New Yorker while sitting in my college library. I loved the story then and still do.

While I would recommend this book to anyone, I do think that it would appeal more to women than men. I think it is just easy to relate to July's voice as a woman.

"I wondered if I would spend the rest of my life inventing complicated ways to depress myself, now that I had finished my book and gone to meet the man who said I had promise a year ago but wasn't home today." - from "Making Love in 2003"

"Some people need a red carpet rolled out for them in order to walk forward into friendship. They can't see the tiny outstretched hands all around them, everywhere, like leaves on trees." - from "Ten True Things"

Also, I checked out Miranda July's website and it is pretty snazzy. Check it out!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy Hunger Games

After reading and loving the Hunger Games, I quickly checked out Catching Fire from work and tore through it. We continue following Katniss during the aftermath of the Hunger Games and see the repercussions of her act against the Capital. Most of the book takes place in District 13, but we do get to see the next year's Hunger Games, although it is a great deal shorter than the last book. We do get more political activism in this book I think, at least from Katniss's part.

I could not put this book down. I cannot wait for the third one, which supposedly is coming out next summer. I am really not sure how Collins is going to end everything with just one more book though. Highly, highly suggest these books to anyone.

"I really can't think about kissing when I've got a rebellion to incite."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

hello there December

Ok guys, down to the last month of the year. I'm going to be spending the next three days trying to finish all the books I'm currently reading so I can devote the rest of the month to reading something new. Any suggestions on what the last few books I should read this year should be? Right now I'm leaning towards the third Wheel of Time book and Special Topics in Calamity Physics.

Also, I am super excited because B&N's employee appreciation week starts this Friday. Normally we get 30% off of books but this week it is upped to 40%. I am pretty pumped. I am trying to buy mostly holiday gifts, but I know I'm going to end up with a lot just for myself. Anything you think I must buy?