Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Freud's Mistress, by Karen Mack and Donna Kaufman, was a very much fun read, especially if one is a psychology fan.  Read this recently, though am now taking a nonfiction break. 

Have been realizing that I should totally check the publication date on stuff, though also realizing that sometimes this doesn't matter so much.  Can you trust anything in this world at any given time, any way?  I wish that I were not so suspicious of everything, but at the same time, am glad to be so.

Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution by Francis Fukuyama, is the nonfiction dating from 2002 that I'm reading currently.  I grabbed it from the book return box, so was not actually led to the work from any personal intellectual pursuit.  Really, I just love thinking of the future.  I hope it all turns out okay.

My foray into the infidelity of the late nineteenth century has made my nonfiction find even more exciting and thought provoking.  I hope that the future will be tolerable and that there will continue to be great books to read. I still don't agree that men should keep mistresses, though, even if it does make for a fun read on a lazy weekend.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sorry not to have updated in so long.  My extra time has been taken up by reading!  I read two books recently, that brought attention to passing time and to changing romance morality.

Night and Day, by Virginia Woolf, was a delight to read, especially with a fondness for the time from which the novel dates.  There were several characters involved in a very, very long and drawn out pursuit of marriage.  This was charming to read, though somewhat agonizing from the perspective of this day and age.  Actually Woolf's presentation of the inward and external turmoils of love did not really deviate from any modern agony, because that is the nature of love, you know.

The other book that I read was a more contemporary novel, On Beauty, by Zadie Smith.  In this novel there is a more established love relationship, and a long lasting marriage is described.  While there is not so much anxiety concerning who will marry, the morality of maintaining a marriage is explored in an agonizing episode of inward and external turmoil. 

While I did enjoy both books for different reasons, I must say that it was refreshing to consider the uprightness of Woolf's characters, especially when contrasted with the events of the modern day romance.  The question of what exactly is love, of course, is an enduring human struggle, for which all of the characters were beautifully described by both authors. Because those presented with the problem of love were so tenderly portrayed in both novels, I have to say that I fell in love a little bit with both books, even if it was strange to read these two particular novels in immediate succession, because of the changing social mores of the times.

One particularly naughty bit in Smith's novel almost made me decide that I did not enjoy the book, but because I was already so drawn into those particularly dear characters, I decided to forgive the novel.  I also forgave Woolf for making me feel as anxious for her characters as she did.  In both instances, I felt as if they had just asked my mother what to do, she would have set them straight. :)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sorry not to have posted recently, I've been so busy reading.  Was entirely caught up in MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood, which so excellently concludes her brilliant trilogy begun with Oryx and Crake and continued in The Year of the Flood.  I think that everyone should read these books, especially my brother and his wife. :)  I have a brilliant older lady crush on Margaret Atwood now, and am soon to read Surfacing because I just can't get enough.

I've also picked up On Beauty, by Zadie Smith, that I'm reading at lunch break.  This I'm enjoying, and am finding to be quite interesting with its memorable characters and pleasing settings.  It helps that my brother's wife approves, since she is my literary hero.  It's so funny that I had been thinking of the book, and she mentioned that she had liked it, so I started reading it and have been enjoying.  I especially like the overlap of the settings of London and New England.

However, the most exciting thing that I'm reading right now is Night and Day, by Virginia Woolf.  It is of just enough age as to be written with such lovely care, so that I am ever so slowly and delightfully enjoying it.  It's kind of a relief to be certain of women's suffrage while reading it, and this makes the future seem much less bleak with all of its troubles that Atwood so tenderly observes in her books.  At least I know that women do get the vote while reading Woolf, which gives me hope for the healing of social issues.

What has made all of these books so nice is the promise of love, that always improves everything.  Maybe this is the enduring quality of human writers, after all.  Love and hope.  Yeah, so I hope that there won't be any unseemly endings to the novels I have not yet finished, but I think I'll be okay because all of these books are so beautifully written, and maybe that's the thrill of the journey.  And that ever present cup of tea!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Finished The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud.  I did enjoy it, but see how it might just address the particular audience of childless women who like to make art, particularly if the artistic output is frustrated by living life, or not living life as had been hoped.  The relationships described in the story could be a little creepy, but not half as bad as much current literature or celebrity news.  Might try the author again, but

Just finished yesterday, The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud.  I did enjoy it, though probably this book appeals only to a particular audience, that of the childless female not-working-as-an-artist type.  At least there wasn't some awful killing at the end, or such madness.

Now I'm possibly reading Virginia Woolf, Night and Day, if I do get a chance.  Have been enjoying the sentence construction, though have not gotten very far yet.  My return to reading has been populated with more contemporary stuff, so I'm not used to the lovely writing as much.  I think I will start reading older stuff for while.

In any case, Messud's book did make me recognize and realize that I ought to at least try making some art.  I'm so lazy, though, and overcome with housecleaning.  Actually, I have faith that I'll make at least one Christmas present.  It's only October!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Just finished Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.  I can't stop thinking about it.  It is so unnerving because of its speculative future society, because in many ways it is like existing life on earth.  We've got to be so careful about this world!

Previously I had read The Year of the Flood, out of sequence, and unfortunately it was long enough ago that my memory fails me a little.  Nonetheless, I cannot wait to read MaddAddam, which concludes the trilogy.  I'm thinking that the Internet can help me to fill in any gaps.  It was nice that one could read The Year of the Flood withut having read the first book and still follow the amazingly well-developed story.  The events of the two novels occur concurrently, which makes for an interesting experience traveling in the unfortunate world that Atwood describes.

In any case, reading these dystopian novels makes me want to clean up my act, recycle, go to church, and be good and kind.  Really, I want the world to be a good place, so I aim to do my part.  Fortunately there is the medium of speculative fiction, as we all need to heed these cautionary tales, and thankfully there is Margaret Atwood to visualize where we might be going if we don't shape up.

Please shape up!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

On a lighter note, I've been reading many awesome self-help books, particularly those associated with Louise Hay.  All is Well and You Can Create an Exceptional Life.  The first is written with Dr. Mona Lisa Schulz, and is awesome because the M.D. adds science to the notion of positive thinking and affirmations.  The second is written with Cheryl Richardson, and even though I have not yet finished reading it, I'm eager to begin making my affirmations.

I think I'm going to become even more of a positive thinker, and to promote good things as happening in my life.  My mother will be so proud.

Seriously!  If I can just maintain the positive thinking, my plants will stay healthy, I'll feed my cat, and my husband will give me kisses!  Woo hoo!

Also am reading a book by Joanna Trollope called Girl from the South.  It's a great read because it's centered in Charleston and soon London.  How fantastic are British writers anyway, and Lord knows the English know the English language very well.

Have a flash drive loaded up with photos, so who knows what comes next.  I'll keep reading and reporting, positively.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

So I finished reading Loving Frank and was not prepared for the tragic ending from real life.  I wish that I had heeded my initial peek at Wikipedia for the actual real events, but I got so caught up in the characters that I actually finished the book and read the afterword by Nancy Horan, only to remember that it was a dreadful conclusion.

Although, I'm glad that I read the book that had been so well written and engaging, despite my initial objections to the apparent immorality.  Actually the questions of true love and women's independence kind of trumped the initial chagrin, and I found myself agreeing  with the author about the significance of Mamah Borthwick's story.

In any case, the events of the story led me to believe that celebrity is a silly idea, and that people should never be so up in other people's business.  I still believe that Frank Lloyd Wright did great work, and now I'm just so sorry to hear of the tragedy in his sphere.

In light of ensuring that everyone stays comfortable, the purpose of this post is to remind everyone to check out the true events of this novel first, or to at least proceed with caution.  I think that if I had assimilated the words on the back flap appropriately, I never would have been so shocked.  Or heeded the wisdom of the Wikipedia.   In any case, I'm truly a rube, and maybe this is why folks should not drop out of architecture school prematurely, and maybe we all should just do our homework.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

So, yeah, really enjoyed The Art Forger, as would anyone who loves to think about making art, or just reading books about it.

What was even more exciting was Angelopolis, the follow-up to Angelology, both by Danielle Trussoni.  Fantastic, yet fascinatingly sound.  What interesting characters, and of course, angelic events.  I don't want to give it away by trying to explain it!

I'm also behind the times reading Loving Frank, by Nancy Horan.  Actually I'm usually behind the times with my reading selections, if that hasn't been noticed.  What is so irritating about Loving Frank is the marital infidelity, so I haven't just finished the book, and am drawing it out unnecessarily because of my morals.  Yet I can't deny being curious about the outcome of these characters, despite my bitterness over not becoming an architect my own self.

Thankfully!  This book has made me realize the limits of my ego, which obviously needs constant stoking, despite my dismay over the questionable morals of a real live genius.  Since I'm clearly not an amazing artistic genius my own self, I'm thankfully free to keep up a silly blog with not outstanding graphics.  Yay!

What I have learned from all of this recent reading is that the most important thing to me right now is to  keep on reading and to maintain a positive attitude.  Seriously!  Really what else is there to do but to smile and to make sure that everybody's comfortable, also with a good book in hand.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Very much enjoyed The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer recently.  She really captured some very endearing characters, that were...interesting.

Now I'm reading The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro.  Not very far into it yet, but you know I like to think about art and imagine canvases (rather than paint on my own, sadly.)  So far it's a pretty good novel, though the characters are not as well, interesting, as in the last book I enjoyed.  Maybe it'll get more intriguing as the adventure heats up.

What to read next?  Am thinking that I really need to pick up some good science fiction.  Though would it be better for my brain to read an actual science book?  We'll see what happens, I suppose.

This is just a quick post.  Didn't want to leave anyone hanging, or thinking that I've given up on the novel adventure of reading.

Why are there so many books and so little time?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Just  finished The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.  I wish that I had read it all in one sitting, and I almost had, because once I had time to read, I could only put it down for dinner.  It reminds me of an archaic myth that I could only shudder to understand.  In a good way!  It made me think about love, in a very good, innocent way. 

This was a fine transition from the book that I had just finished, that I was grandly deciding was about sex and death, until finished, and then realized that it was so much more.  This was Lost in the Forest by Sue Miller.  It has really amazing characterization that makes the story entirely separate from self, while at the same time it resonates with all the confusion of growing up (that makes novel reading so much fun.)

Maybe both of these books touch upon the mystery of moving from innocence to experience, that I guess is not new to literature.  I want to read more from both authors, though will certainly take my time.  I think tomorrow that I'll check the shelves for Mr. Gaiman, though first of all moving back to nonfiction for a time.

Wow, I just realized how my recent selections sound so much like fairy tales, but I guess that's what interests me.  Maybe that's about all there is.  After the nonfiction, time for imagining space travel or something. 


Monday, July 8, 2013

"It is a terrible thing to have loved ones, people to whom you are shackled by whatever bonds make their pain yours."

Debra Dean, The Madonnas of Leningrad, p.148.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

A good book

Today I completed a very good book that I enjoyed.  This is The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean.  What I enjoyed the most about this work was thinking of art and religion or not religion, and most of all of what is lastingly beautiful.

Now I'm somewhat bookless, so hopefully tomorrow something good will come up.
I don't know why I don't always read the current popular thrillers, so maybe I'll try one.  Either that or there shall be something reliably old and popular.

In any case, I hope to make sense of this rainy weather that we have been having through the discovery of what I hope will be an excellent book.  Again this blog is probably way too frivolous, but maybe I'll tell some more people about it. It does help me to keep a record of what I've read recently.  It is so good to read, and I'm thankful both for my eyesight and  for my good friends who are readers, too.

There is a fine quote in the novel mentioned above.  Hopefully I'll find it again in the future.  Actually there were several lovely sentences that made me glad to be reading this book. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Lazy Susan

Sometimes an animated bit of writing is what one needs to read for peace of mind.  I just finished recently Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley, and it was so good, with the best recipes!  What I really enjoyed was her thoughtful story and great appreciation for nourishment,  Her drawings are so excellent!  So, if one needs to just feel better about humanity, a little animated book might just bring peace of mind.

Am also reading another book that is not necessarily the happiest, but written quite well.  I'll keep you all posted on this one that I won't name quite yet.  Am changing my label for this blog, because I'm truly lazy even though I'm enjoying the holiday, so it's allowable.

Secretly I wish that I had the artistic chops to make an animated book.  Maybe some day, if I can overcome the laziness? 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Read another southern-type book, which was Backseat Saints, by Joshilyn Jackson.  This was pretty good, though a little bit violent, considering the fact that it chronicles domestic abuse in the main character's life.  Although it was sort of a heavy read, I was glad to have experienced this book and this memorable character, who does get saved at the end.  I might read another book by the same author.

I also read Pattern Recognition, by William Gibson.  Although it was probably just a tad longer than it needed to be,  I really enjoyed the conclusion that was entertaining and well, thought provoking.  It does make you question modernity as it currently has been manifesting,  though in a somewhat heartwarming way by the end of the novel.  I would say that I liked the book.

So, back to the housecleaning.  For now.  Who actually reads this ridiculous blog anyway?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Just finished Bound South by Susan Rebecca Wright.  This was recommended to me, and I did enjoy it, especially the fine ending.

Of course, it did make me think of the experience of living in the South, the book specifically referring to residents of Atlanta, of which I'm not technically a part.  The closeness of my relatives to Atlanta, though, enabled me to find qualities of the story that were familiar.

So living in the South can be a curious thing, but I do enjoy it.  Fortunately I've never once said "Co Cola"   not in jest, which I suppose makes me less Southern than  some. The characters so tenderly depicted were not annoying, and the three person narratives were interesting, to say the least.  The recommendation to read this book was a good one, prompted by a shared appreciaton of Looking for Salvation at Dairy Queen by Susan Gregg Gilmore.  These were both natural and very good, especially if the one reading is a Southern resident and happily reading about familiar turf.

Y'all should try these two books. :)

Well, read a few books.  The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck was really nice for a faith-based visit to wedding land.  I enjoyed this one very much.  Also read The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes, which was quite good, but not necessarily faith-based reading.  It was actually somewhat confusing, with the feeling of needing to read it over again immediately after finishing it.

Am losing interest in this blog again, and find my attention to reading already strengthened enough to let it go.  I guess if I told some folks about the blog, it might be more entertaining, and maybe there would be comments.  Actually very happily told one library patron about it, so maybe she's checking it out, in which case I would recommend the first book mentioned today.

Am still wrestling with The Sense of an Ending, and would like to read other books by the same author, just to understand this one.  Don't get me wrong, it was good, but dreadfully tragic, with much attention to the concept of remorse.  Reading so much lately only makes me want to read more books, though the housecleaning is important, too!  Wishing anybody reading this a happy weekend!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Just finished a book that I ended up devouring once I got into it.  The Breakdown Lane, by Jacquelyn Mitchard, is a very thoughtful and sensitive portrayal of a lady going through a hard time along with her MS diagnosis.  The characters are endearing, like in every book that I like, and I think maybe books written for women are more my speed than crime fiction.

What particularly drew me into this book was the fact that the protagonist got very sick, but then got very much better.  It's funny how the world works that way, in good faith.  The book was favorably enhanced by naming scripture verses before specific chapters, that upon looking up added to the engaging story.

Probably chick lit is better for me since there are usually very happy endings.

Next I'm reading This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz.  Very excited because of the satisfactory book length and attractive cover and author.  Hopefully after this I'll finally read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

Visiting the public library is the best.  My heart goes out to all of the books on the shelves.   I can't read every book, but I can, at least, carry a bunch around with me.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Finished How It All Began by Penelope Lively today.  What a lovely book.  I certainly did enjoy it, and was satisfied by the moral resolutions of the stories contained within.

After attending a used book sale this morning, I'm eager to peruse my new additions.  Didn't buy any fiction, though.  I think I'll either read a religous book or self-help.  Thankfully I collected some art books that will be enjoyable.

Really, I fell in love with Penelope Lively's book of action and consequence.   I really can't explain what made her characters so endearing, but I was very concerned as I read, slowly but surely.  It was excellent for lunchtime reading, though today I sat down and finished it, happily.

In appreciation of the season, I will pick up the religious book.  I hope that it is good.

I'm thankful for my favorite and devoted reader!  Happy positive attitude, everybody!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

I just read a sweet little book! The Bird Sisters by Rebecca Rasmussen caught my eye, both for the cover art and for the appeal of the title.  It turned out to be quite beautifully written, with a tender and heart filling plot.  It made me so happy that so much was contained in such a well-tended space, and it held the appeal to me as of a singularly good album of music.

Frankly, I take very seriously the album barometer test, and this book passed so worthily that I wished it had a soundtrack.  But how to describe its sweetness?
Maybe that's just it.  The book was just so sweet and tender and lovely, that I daresay it had a melody.

So what to pick up now?  I grabbed a book by Penelope Lively called, "How it All Began."  I've never read this author, but it seems charming from, you guessed it, the cover art and the compelling title.  The title gives me hope that this book just might bring me understanding of the world at large.  I'll keep you posted.

In this Lenten season, I might be switching churches and outlook, but hopefully I'll keep reading and reporting on this silly blog.  Why do I do this, except for the love of typing and no current paper writing. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Just finished The Casual Vacancy, by J. K. Rowling, and must say that I did find it to be quite good.  It's so very not fantasy, yet the grim reality is so tenderly portrayed that
I just wanted to give J.K. Rowling a hug.   Because the novel is so intertwined with individual stories, I cannot say much more than that about it, because it is part of the adventure of reading the book to unravel all of the fine threads of change of heart.

Okay, so I'm no J. K. Rowling, and I dropped out of college once, but it's a good book.  I'm glad that I have read it, and am left with the expression of a hug.  One of those hugs that life is so serious, but there's no having it any other way. No less significant at least.

Next up, who knows.  I think I'll read some books about yoga and exercise for awhile, with hopefully some good workouts inbetween.  Also, Rowling really does draw up memorable characters, does she not?  I wonder if she likes to exercise.

Also, because of the time of year, I might like to do some devotional reading as well.  That's for my quiet time rather than for my audacious blog.

The homework assignment now is to find and distribute a genuine hug.  With a full heart. :)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

I finished the last book that I mentioned, and it was pretty good, but not exactly my cup of tea.  I may not be as enamored of crime fiction as I may have suggested.

Right now it's The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling.  This involves a death by natural causes, which is easier to comprehend.

This is a thick book, but hopefully I'm up to the task.  Deactivated my Facebook account, so maybe this blog will get more attention.  Eventually I'm going to have to start making art again, much like my exercise habit.  There's just so much to do, and so little time!

Of course, I should probably tell some folks to look at this silly blog.  I think my audience is very limited, but I do love my 2 readers. :)  Hopefully they'll overlook my lack of posting.

My current cat is my new favorite.  I'll bet she wants some breakfast...

Monday, January 28, 2013

OK, so I gave up on a book.  I shall not mention any names.  It was pretty good, just fine, but I got self righteous or something.  I might give it a try again later.  Remembered that I was on page 96.  Not even a fully fledged try.

Now I'm reading The Abyssinian Proof by Jenny White.  Only on the third chapter, but thankfully, my new affinity for crime novels assures me that I might finish it.

Of course there are other books being followed, but I'll stick to the fiction.  When more books get finished, then I might mention them.  If you're lucky.

I've decided that I like Facebook again, so this blog might get ignored.  Oh, to comment, Kat, all one has to do is select a communication type, you know, like gmail or whatever.  Please forgive that I don't have the language for computer savviness.  It reminds me of Dr. Seuss, when he writes, "I don't know, go ask your Dad."

May everyone enjoy a lovely week, with kindness and excellent teas.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sweet Tooth was actually really great according to my own self, and I really thought that it was fascinating, even with a certain uncertain ending.  I hope that more people that I know read it, so that we can talk about it.

Sorry for the lack of images today, just wanted to quickly update the status of the recent novel.  Must go now watch puppy movies, for good measure.

Please keep reading and being true to your school!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

My husband and I on our honeymoon, lifted from the Internet.

Am currently reading Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan.  It's really good. 

Now that everybody knows that my husband and I are cats who like to read, I should probably mention our pet, Pepper, who is also a cat.  She is a cutie, so look forward to images of her!

Read one story by Alice Monro that I did enjoy, though have not pursued further stories because of getting caught up in the novel.  In any case, it is clear to me that there are so many stories but so little time!

The present moment awareness is going pretty well, especially when I take my anti-depressant.  Seriously, I was in a funk this morning when not having it, but ended up happy shortly after I actually did.  My message to humanity must be, just take your meds carefully.  My mood also may have been influenced by my husband, whose arrival home after work bolstered my spirits.

Promise to figure out posting images.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Well, finished Wife 22 and thought that it was cute, though the surprise ending was great, even though I could kick myself for not figuring that one out.

The holidays were a blast, and I was very, very happy, just to be happy.  One good miracle of chronic depression is that of life being very, very much alright when it is alright.  Hopefully my current good feelings will last.  I think that these are God's promises, and that just might be the miracle, eh?

Must go read currently, because now I've got short stories by Alice Monro, in the collection, Dear Life.  This sounds about my speed, especially currently.  I hate to say that I'm not the best novel reader, but probably that's okay and I'm still good enough and smart enough.  The folks who read one million novels all of the time are my heroes, but I also like short stories and not series books.  One album at a time, one painting in a view, that's about my current speed.

Happy year round, present moment holidays for the coffee drinkers. :)