Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 1 - Whatcha reading?

As an avid reader, it is exactly IMPOSSIBLE for me to name an all-time favorite book. Even narrowing it down to one is an absolutely daunting task. I love to read, I do it often, and my home office is filled with shelves and shelves of books (I can't seem to get rid of any of them... even after reading certain ones two or three times). I will give ANYTHING 100 pages to grasp my interest, and I adore finding new things to read. One of my favorite solitary outings is a trip to the Clearance Bin at Half Price Books. Finding little literary gems for anywhere from $1.00-5.00 makes me do a little happy dance. When I read this challenge, I tried going through my mental catalog to find the books that speak to me most, but really there are just too many! So, I have decided on 2 that I have read several times and I think everyone should read at least once in their lives.

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
I have posted this on Facebook before, so some of you may recognize it. It is such an amazing book about a boy and his journey to become a man. It's a little dark and scary with a touch of fairy tale whimsy. A must read for, well, just about anyone! Below is a synopsis taken from and one of my favorite excerpts from the novel.

'Everything You Can Imagine is Real' 

High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the loss of his mother. He is angry and he is alone, with only the
books on his shelf for company. 
But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness, and as he takes refuge in the myths and fairytales so beloved of his dead mother he finds that the real world and the fantasy world have begun to meld. The Crooked Man has come, with his mocking smile and his enigmatic words: 'Welcome, your majesty. All hail the new king.' 

And as war rages across Europe, David is violently propelled into a land that is both a construct of his imagination yet frighteningly real, a strange reflection of his own world composed of myths and stories, populated by wolves and worse-than-wolves, and ruled over by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a legendary book . . .       The Book of Lost Things. 

 "Before she became ill, David's mother would often tell him that stories were alive. They weren't alive in the way that people were alive, or even dogs or cats. People were alive whether you chose to notice them or not, while dogs tended to make you notice them if they decided that you weren't paying them enough attention. Cats, meanwhile, were very good at pretending people didn't exist at all, but that was another matter entirely.
     Stories were different, though: they came alive in the telling. Without a human voice to read them aloud, or a pair of wide eyes following them by flashlight beneath a blanket, they had no real existence in our world. They were like seeds in the beak of a bird, waiting to fall to earth, or the notes of a song laid out on a sheet, yearning for an instrument to bring their music into being. They lay dormant, hoping for the chance to emerge. They could take root in the imagination, and transform the reader. Stories wanted to be read, David's mother would whisper. They needed it. It was the reason they forced themselves from their world into ours. They wanted us to give them life."

Another "must-read" on my favorites list is Tom Robbins' Still Life with Woodpecker. My personal copy of this book has my annotations all over the margins from the many, many times I have read it over the years. A good friend, Chris, suggested this one to me my freshman year in high school and I just couldn't get enough of it! Here is the blurb from the back of the book and some of my favorite quotes:
"Still Life with Woodpecker is sort of a love story that takes place inside a pack of Camel cigarettes. It reveals the purpose of the moon, explains the difference between criminals and outlaws, examines the conflict between social activism and romantic individualism, and paints a portrait of contemporary society that includes powerful Arabs, exiled royalty, and pregnant cheerleaders. It also deals with the problem of redheads."
"The bottom line is that (a) people are never perfect, but love can be, (b) that is the one and only way that the mediocre and the vile can be transformed, and (c) doing that makes it that. Loving makes love. Loving makes itself. We waste time looking for the perfect lover instead of creating the perfect love. Wouldn't that be the way to make love stay?"
"(Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won't adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words "make" and "stay" become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.) Leigh-Cheri went out in the blackberries and wept. "I'll follow him to the ends of the earth," she sobbed. Yes, darling. But the earth doesn't have any ends. Columbus fixed that."
"Tunnel vision is a disease in which perception is restricted by ignorance and distorted by vested interest. Tunnel vision is caused by an optic fungus that multiplies when the brain is less energetic than the ego."
"It's not men who limit women, it's not straights who limit gays, it's not whites who limit blacks. What limits people is lack of character. What limits people is that they don't have the fucking nerve or imagination to star in their own movie, let alone direct it. Yuk."

I should stop there before I end up transcribing the whole book into my blog! Really, both of these books are absolutely worth your time and sooo easy to fall in love with!



I wish I had time to read non-college materials. Other than blogs. Because I make time for those. Perhaps too much time.

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Your comments make me smile. :D Plus, it's nice to know someone reads my ramblings. ;)

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