Sunday, January 30, 2011

My friend posted this article on facebook. I think it's really interesting and as a person of mixed backgrounds, I could really relate to a lot of what was said.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I just finished The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. I don't really know what to say other than it was AMAZING. Maybe with more reflection I'll have something more substantial to say.

In other news, I'm trying to make enough sales to get a trip to NYC, so I need all the help I can get. Go to and buy some of the amazing mark. products. You get great stuff and I get a little closer to NY!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

On we go

I finished Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead the other day. It was a good, fairly short read. I was familiar with it before, but this was my first time actually reading it.

I really did enjoy this. I tend to enjoy Stoppard whenever I get the chance to read him, but that isn't all that often. Anyway, not only did I get a fun, enjoyable read, I also get to cross one more book off of my challenge list!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I finished Robin Black's If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This the other day. It's a collection of short stories, and unlike other collections I've read in the past, this feel much more cohesive. The stories do not connect in any way, but they have the common quality of feeling incredibly real.

Some stories captured my attention more than others, but that is not incredibly unusual. All are great and well-written. If you're looking for a quickish, but interesting read, I highly recommend it.

I have fallen deeper into my hole of literary ADD. I am now reading so many books. I don't mind, it's kind of my way, but considering I'm back at school and have real work to do, it's a bit unfortunate. Oh well. Life moves on.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Courtesy of one of my friend's posts on facebook.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sharing is caring (or lazy)

I got this link from another blog or site somewhere, but I can't remember exactly where or from whom. In any case, this book sounds great and I'd like to review it myself at some point. Meanwhile, you can read the New York Times Sunday Book Review:

It's a book by Lane Smith.


School has started again and thus I am failing in the whole reading and having a life thing. As one of my friends said, "junk breeds." It's true. I came back to a messy room and quickly made it much messier. Then in my attempts to clean it just got worse. It is a truly terrifying cycle.

In any case, before returning to the Mawr, I managed to finish All Points North by Shelby R. Lee III. It was one of the books sent to me for review and I finally got to it.

[From the back of the book]

Sometimes comical, always moving, and often starkly painful, the stories in this unique collection share one overriding similarity: an extraordinary ability to reveal the deep psychological complexities of the human experience. In All Points North, author Shelby Lee targets the unseen mental landscape that informs our daily lives. Here are 13 short stories that trace the roots of grief, anger, psychological torment and sorrow, and shine in a much needed light on our seemingly unexplainable behavior and attitudes.

So here we go:

This book did not live up to my expectations. Yes, these stories incorporate some aspect of psychological complexity, but in hackneyed and downright trite ways. This collection felt repetitive — as if it were a novel that kept forgetting its own plot, but remembered the key phrases. Narratives were rambling and seemed to lead nowhere. I'm willing to be confused for parts of a story, but there needs to be a pay-off at some point, and All Points North fails to deliver.
Maybe I'm harsh, but I expected much more from this book. There were bright moments — moments of clarity and poetic insight, but overall I am left perplexed and dissatisfied.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

School is about to start. I am not ready, to say the least. Originally I planned to leave today. That is clearly not happening. I'm still working on finishing my laundry and packing and all that annoyingness.

I also have a lot of reading I still want to do and I know most of it won't happen once classes start. Alas. What's a bibliophile to do?

Between packing and reading, I'm trying to work on more thesis research since that pretty much didn't happen over break, and start my grad school application. The more I hear, the more it seems like grad school is definitely not necessary, but this program is one year and would give me the chance to live overseas (as an actual adult).

I don't know. There's way too much going through my head right now. I shall report back when I am more coherent.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

There is something wrong with me. When I see a mixed review or interesting criticism of a book, I feel the need to read it. I think that may have been one of the factors that led to me reading the Twilight Saga (time I will never get back. Smeyer owes me a week).

I'm often less interested in reading the books with the rave reviews than I am in reading the books that are more controversial. Go figure.

Off to bed and books. Or books and bed. Whichever.

Friday, January 14, 2011

This break I've been spending quite a bit of time on Goodreads. As a result, I've added tons of books to my to be read and wish lists. It's a bit of a problem. The site is nothing if not enabling. It has also introduced me to what may very well become my most-visited site:

Judge all you want, but it's spectacular.

MuhMuhMuhMuhMuhMuhMotivate Me

Motivation is a tricky thing. When you have it, it's great, but when you don't, it feels like life can leave you in the dust.

Lately I haven't been feeling very motivated. There is a lot I need to do and even more that I want to do, but I can't seem to get myself together long enough to get anything done.

I should be doing thesis research. That's the main one. I want to take dance classes and go to yoga (I actually am doing that one tomorrow). I want to hang out with my friends. I want to exercise. I want to bake or cook more (though I did make latkes last week and they were quite good if I do say so myself... and I do). I even want to read more, though I'm already doing a fair amount of that.

I don't know what to do about this whole motivation thing. I guess I'll just have to work through the lack of it and hope that something will spur me into action.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The first step is admitting you have a problem...

In addition to being the book addict that you know and love, I also have a severe case of literary ADD. For some reason, I am incapable of reading only one book at a time. I am currently reading Infinite Jest, The Master and Margarita, and The Eyre Affair. I was sent a book for review quite some time ago, but this is the first chance I've had to really sit down and read it, so now I'm reading All Points North as well. Catching Fire is just waiting for me on my nook right now. I don't know how long I'll be able to resist.

It's not that these books aren't interesting. It's just that sometimes I'm in a different mood and want to read something different. More books = more options. I'd also like to reread Middlemarch, Portrait of a Lady, and The Red and the Black. I might skim Anna Karenina and War and Peace again as well. A co-worker also lent me The Dante Club, so I might start working on that one also.

Yea... I have a problem.

I suppose there are worse things to be addicted to. I'm not sure that any other addictions are that much more expensive than a hard-core book addiction, but I really have no basis for comparison. Oh well. I'd like to think this addiction is beneficial.

Back to tea and reading...

Monday, January 10, 2011


I had an interesting day yesterday. It started by waking up before noon. On a Sunday. That's really impressive for me, just saying.

So after picking up my friend Julia, we headed to Perry's in Adams Morgan for it's Sunday Drag Brunch. Yes. Drag. As in drag queens. There was a brunch buffet (delicious) and a bunch of drag queens as entertainment. It really was a lot of fun. A little out of my price range as a broke college student, but a fun adventure for every once in a while.

After brunch we went to see True Grit. I'd wanted to see it, but it wasn't really like what I expected. I liked it much more than I thought I would. It was a touching story, but it's also really fun at times. I'd recommend it as long as you're OK with violence.

Speaking of movies, I saw The King's Speech today with my mom and aunt. It was phenomenal. I don't even know what to say beyond that. Basically, just go watch it. Now.

Still reading. I'll update once anything actually happens...

Saturday, January 8, 2011


I don't know how I managed not to mention this way sooner, but I got a nook for my birthday. I didn't get many chances to use it while in school, but this break has given me a chance. I actually read Northanger Abbey on it, and now I have Catching Fire waiting for me. I absolutely love it.

Ever since I started thinking about e-readers, I've felt conflicted. I love books. I love their solidity and smell and the feel of the pages... *dreamy sigh* The problem is that I'm often carrying multiple books. And that can get heavy, which really isn't good for me. Just ask the chiropractor I'm seeing twice a week...

In the end I buckled because, let's face it, girls like toys too! I started researching and decided to get a nook once I got paid for my summer editing (got the check today. oy), but my parents beat me to it.

I really do like reading on it. Even with the e-ink screen, there is sometimes a bit of a glare, but it doesn't hurt my eyes like reading on my computer does. Depending on the book, one page might be two or three on the nook. That isn't a huge issue though. It shows your progress on the bottom of the screen, but I will say that I think I prefer going by the feel of the book, rather than the actual number.

One of my favorite features of the nook is the dictionary. When I read books and come to a word I don't know, I'm usually too lazy to go look it up in a dictionary. With the nook, I can just scroll to the word and click 'look up' and it takes me to the dictionary entry. It's expanding my vocabulary, and I think it's just plain cool!

Family brunch tomorrow, I think it might be time for bed...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Forward March!

My goodreads reading challenge is going pretty well. Only three days into it and I've finished Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen and The Giver by Lois Lowry. I don't usually read that quickly, so I'm impressed with myself that I read Northanger Abbey that quickly. For some reason I absolutely sped through The Giver. I started it at 10 PM last night and finished it a few hours ago. It probably would have been sooner if sleep and work and such weren't necessary.

I enjoyed Northanger Abbey, but I don't think it's my favorite Austen. Call me cliche, but I think my favorite still is (and always will be) Pride and Prejudice. Persuasion and Emma might be tied. Then Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey. I still haven't read Mansfield Park, so I guess I'll have to re-assess my list afterwards. I'd also like to re-read Emma. It's been a while.

Northanger Abbey was interesting, but I found the characters vapid and just plain annoying at times. Overall, I still like Austen, but this novel didn't thrill me. I don't feel the same need to re-read it as I do with Pride and Prejudice.

The Giver was amazing. I don't know how I managed not to read this before. I'm truly ashamed.

Anyway, I've read it now and I really enjoyed it. I never would have expected the whole utopian/dystopian thing to work in YA, but somehow it does. Considering I'm not always thrilled with YA in general, my enthusiasm for this book really shocked me. Seriously though, it's really good. I think I will be buying my own copy in the near future so that I don't have to keep taking it out of the library. In fact, I'm almost certain we have a copy somewhere in my house, but since searching through all the books is a ridiculous undertaking and it isn't in any of the usual places I would look, I think I'm just going to break down and buy another one.

That's it for now. Off to continue my challenge reading.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Surprise?

Less than half an hour into 2011 and it has already been eventful. After toasting the new year with my parents and watching part of Far East Movement's performance after the ball dropped, I was heading up to continue watching Dr. Who when I saw my cat with something in her mouth. Last time I checked, we didn't have any cat toys lying about (the dog would probably eat them...), so I was a bit confused. But then she dropped it and it tried to run... So yea, a mouse. It managed to get away from the cat in the basement, so now it's presumably still hiding behind the desk or something. It was really cute though. If it were not so incredibly clear that they would not all just get along, I might try to keep it as a pet. Oh well. I really hope the little mousey doesn't die on new year's...

Now I get to start my books!