wishfulclicking: books flying with pale blue background (books: flying)
(I want to apologize for the lateness of this post. I'm sick and this is the clearest my head has been recently.)

This is a post for the book club some people on my circle run every year. It's very fun and lowkey; and I've found some good books to read. The theme is changed every year.

A True Novel by Minae Mizumura was originally written in Japanese and translated to English. It was very successful in Japan, winning its prestigious Yomiuri Literature Prize.

This novel is a retelling of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, a book that was pretty popular in English courses in the United States (at least when I was in high school) and often misidentified as a love story because the central characters of Heathcliff and Cathy take up so much space throughout the tale.

In short: I do recommend this book, with a note that it is quite long. This post will focus on the first part ‘On Long Island’ in Volume I.

Read more... )
wishfulclicking: books flying with pale blue background (books: flying)
Another year, another failure to fill my desired challenge, but there’s always this year (she said, as she looks at the list of the past 3 years she also fell short)

My top rated books this year: (all the fives on my goodreads account, which you should totally follow so we could be friends on the site)

Fun Home, The Bees, Stiff, Prelude to a Bruise, Ms. Marvel vol 2 )

Now for WOMP * WOMP Negativity

Are We There Yet? and Sleeping Giants )

Not highest rated but wanted to talk about:

Carry On and Queen of the Night )

For 2017 I want to read more nonfiction, international authors not from Britain, poetry, plays.
wishfulclicking: (gen: mia w in red/black)
This post is solely based on the first chapter with me not having read the rest of the book. I wanted to make this post untainted by later events so I can maybe make some (wrong) predictions. Though this post is focused on the first chapter, I have finished the book, so feel free to comment on events beyond the first chapter.

discussion of the first chapter of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House, that I continually call The House on Haunted Hill for reasons beyond me )
wishfulclicking: man in black and white pulling back a curtain to show moving sky (Default)
I've barely posted this year, but I did want to at least make this post to look back on what I've consumed this year.

TV & books )

Film watched in 2015 )
wishfulclicking: man in black and white pulling back a curtain to show moving sky (Default)
This is a post for a summer book club hosted by skuf.

Left Hand of Darkness discussion )
wishfulclicking: stack of books (books)

I fell down on reading full books this year. Not counting poetry journals and lit mags, I only finished 36 books this year which is not my lowest point, but it is not where I wanted to end up this year. I like to at least do 50 complete books a year, preferably with a range of nonfiction and fiction, across different genres. Oh, well, here’s to next year.

lowest, highest, some extra books; feel free to talk about any of them with me )
wishfulclicking: (bey has a clue)
The Books They Gave Me - a tumblr dedicated to books given to people by loved ones. I've just read the first page, and can vouch that the entries aren't full of bitterness and feel bittersweet more than often and enjoyable; and they aren't just all ex romantic relationships.

The Film Experience is one of my favorite sites, not just film sites, but favorite; when I'm not scrolling through dreamwidth, I'm often there. I check the site daily, Nathaniel is absolutely charming and presents his pov well and he applauds different kinds of film. Recently, the site has posted an Oscar Symposium with a roundtable of film bloggers and the discussion has been great to read. Part one focuses on elevating a film beyond itself, critical wars, The Artist, and Moneyball. Part two discusses what makes a good supporting actor and movies that are self-congratulatory (ex, Drive, TGWTDT). I'm missing some topics but each entry has been so worthwhile.

The New Inquiry - a literary/culture tumblr I need to peruse but does look interesting

The Millions made a post compiling a host of literary tumblrs and I'm still going through them.
wishfulclicking: (skins: mini in glasses)
These are the rest of the books I've finished in 2011:

The Blood Chamber - fairy tale retellings with a gothic, feminist bent. This book is short but the language is lush and thick in some parts, making it feel longer than it is. I did not love every story in it but the ones I did, really were some of my favorite things read this year.

The Pushcart Book of Poetry - I find that reading anthologies of poetry help me find new authors/poets to read. It was from this book that I found Adrienne Rich and Szymborska.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake - Magical realism, protagonist I liked following, the idea was followed through well enough though towards the end the brother stuff made me pause and squint. I do want to read this one again though.

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting - I really didn't like this book though I appreciated how it was written.

Ender's Game - I need to make a post about this one later. Short one: I can see why it is a classic, and I did buy the sequel.

Among Others - I need to read this one again too to solidify my feelings on it.

The Dream of a Common Language - Loved it. Made me go out and find her other works (to my disappointment). Definitely plan to read again.

Delirium & Before I Fall - both of these are by the same author and I liked them both enough to follow her on goodreads and look for the rest of her work. I remember when reading her I thought these are books made to be movies, but that wasn't backhanded praise, just I could easily see things visually while reading them.

a list of the others to return to later )
wishfulclicking: (beyonce with book)
39) Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan. Fresh in a standard way I'm used to with these two; that sounds like backhanded praise but what I mean is that if you've read their other collaborations you will understand the tone set out in this novel. I still contend that the two of them are essentially writing the same story just with minor differences but I do enjoy reading this story so that is not a complaint.

38) Telephone Ringing in the Labyrinth by Adrienne Rich. Poetry collection I picked up because I was in love with the author's previous work, I probably should have just left it alone. There are some good poems in here but nothing that moved me the way The Dream of a Common Language

37) view with a grain of sand by Wislawa Szymborska (There's an accent mark missing here but I can't figure out how to insert it without pasting from elsewhere). This is probably one of my favorite books ever. I definitely plan on buying a physical copy of this one: Szymoborska just contains so many layers and weaves together these grand details...ugh, I still have to post some to the poetry comm.

36) Nemesis by Phillip Roth. Okay, I picked this up on a whim and on its small size. It was okay, the protagonist felt so distant and I pressed on because I was interested in the scenario surrounding the story but then there was this narrative switch at the end that felt like a copout that I can't get over. But I do plan to read something this author is noted for to get a better feel.

35) Anatomy of a Disappearance by Hisham Matar. Pleasant book, real clean prose that just moved along without notice; but this book hit on my issue of the double standard of Older women sleeping with teenage boys vs Older men sleeping with teenage girls. His stepmother was, I think, twelve years older than him and closer to his age than she was to his dead father, but still.

34) Tonight No Poetry Will Serve by Adrienne Rich. Paste what I said about #38.

33) Goliath by Scott Westerfeld. Nice cap to a rather good trilogy though I wish the romance part hadn't happened.

32) Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda. Lovely collection.

31) The Magician King by Lev Grossman. I did enjoy this one more than the first, mostly because the crew managed to mature a bit though I still couldn't stand the protagonist and I'm glad he sacrificed something for someone instead of the other way around, though I was hoping Alice would turn out alive. I am more interested in the third after reading the second than I was for the second after reading the first.

30) Crush by Richard Siken. After seeing parts of this poem all over my flist, lj, and on tumblr I had to track down the full thing and I wasn't disappointed. It's not often I can use visceral and not feel cheap.
wishfulclicking: stack of books (books)
Right. Skipped two days because I have a pattern of inconsistency to uphold, but on with going through the books of 2011:

44)The Marbury Lens. This book. One of my lowest rated ones of the year because it held such promise but really went nowhere and had some features that were awkward. sometimes the journey just ends up taking you no where )

43) The School Among the Ruins. Backtracking, early on I read The Dream of a Common Language and loved it so I thought why not pick up the rest of this poet's work, that didn't work out so well. This is the third collection I've read this year and it was better than the second but didn't really touch the first experience. Something I noted was the poems felt more distant from the subject and more energy seemed to be placed on spacing than creating standouts.

42) The Theory of Clouds I could create a stretched analogy comparing this book to the very nature of its subject but I'm way too tired. TToC follows people throughout time studying clouds. I like stories that follow different people with a loose theme connecting them so I did enjoy this. I'm reaching for an adjective to describe the feeling of realizing that it seems that the small sample of French literature I've read has employed much longer paragraphs than most American literary fiction I've read; but the flow is not harmed by that.

41) Arkham Asylum Madness Quick graphic novel featuring Arkham through the eyes of night nurse. Has an appearance by the Joker, Harley, and Ivy, and the Scarecrow but the story isn't that long or deep.

40) ABC of Reading by Ezra Pound. If Pound were writing today he'd probably be on Tumblr utilizing italics and CAPS to make his point about current literature needing to be news and calling people dumb in very long sentences and accusing them of bringing down the nation's conscience. Though this book was about poetry, and Pound favors a style of poetry that I don't, it was fun to read his ideas about reading and writing; the book contains a lot of truths and I saved a fair amount of quotes.
wishfulclicking: stack of books (books)
I just signed up for inkingitout on DW with a goal of 100,000 words. Ugh, I approach these with a certain level of trepidation though I can only look at myself for consistently failing these sort of things.

Moving to an attained goal for 2011, I did say I wanted to do some wrap up posts so here are my thoughts on books 45-50:

50) The Stranger by Albert Camus. This was a reread and I took it in better this time around than when I was in high school and just burning through books because they were classics, no it did not make me want to go through my existentialist phase again but I could appreciate the sparseness of the prose and how clean everything was. No drama was around really any part of it until the protagonist was shaken out of himself by his predicament.

49) Ariel by Sylvia Plath. Another reread but, wow, did I actually feel everything more this time when I'm in my midtwenties and am dealing with depression and just life. I'm just thinking about how I read so much Plath when I was younger because the darkness of it attracted me and her life story was like some sort of magnet for my teenage self but now with some years between my first reading, this second one made me feel so different. She'll cut her throat at ten if she's mad at two.

48) Indian Ink by Tom Stoppard. Just fine. Quick play to read. I already own it and this reading didn't make me want to give it away but it didn't make me want to keep it either.

47) Mule: a novel of moving weight by Tony D'Souza. Very enjoyable fast read about a dude falling into drug trafficking (marijuana) when the recession hits. Varied characters, the protagonist was one of the weaker characters but his situation was intriguing enough for me to speed through the novel. I could definitely see this being a film

46) Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan. I saw this twist coming early on but that's not much to brag about considering this book's intended audience; but while this was a quick read and the idea was interesting, I am not continuing with the series because I really didn't care about the main character at all. Now I just need to see the film.

45) The Invention of Love by Tom Stoppard. Lovely. Hurtful. Makes a point without beating me over the face with it. I've owned this book for years (bought it during a phase I wasn't exactly proud of but did end up with me owning some great books so it wasn't all that bad). Unrequited love blows. I couldn't even work up a righteous fury because Mo wasn't even that horrible, just obtuse, and considering the time period very good about it all. Housman restricting himself and his views of Wilde made me sad too. It was this book that made me pick up Indian Ink because I figured if I loved TIOL I'd love his other play, not so much. I really have to stop picking up an author's work I loved because it has most often led to disappointment.
wishfulclicking: dianna and naya (glee: dianna naya)
Magical Realism bookclub via tumblr. I have never actually participated in an online bookclub before, though I did go through two books with a local one that finally made me read David Sedaris and introduced me to Water for Elephants; but I am a fan of magical realism so I may give this a shot.

I have watched the finale of SOA and I have thoughts but not right now, maybe later. Quickly though: there has been many valid complaints about this season and the finale but, while last night was many things, it was not an actual reset--it may have just felt like one. Also, someone with more time and dedication needs to do a Hamlet meets SOA tumblr or something.

Speaking of needing time to digest something, Glee sectionals aired and I did a new thing of skipping majority of the show attempting plot, tuned in for some musical numbers, caught the last ten minutes and just followed reaction via tumblr and reviews and everything felt better. Right now the chances of me going through next week's Christmas episode are very low.

I'm terribly behind in fanfction reading (damn you delicious) but maybe I'll get some things read tonight during my 30 minute block after Happy Endings and before American Horror Story.
wishfulclicking: (beyonce with book)

The United States, the rising world power (...), seemed the least harmonious culture of all. He could already sense that what would triumph in the world was a civilization---rigid, formidably efficient, spiritually demented, militaristic, and mercantile---which had extracted analogies to the Universe from two thousand years of thought, in order to select those laws that would prove useful for making nature subservient, and for serving Progress.

-Stéphane Audeguy
wishfulclicking: man in black and white pulling back a curtain to show moving sky (skins: jal sad)

Sometimes they rose up inside her, these moments of fierce happiness, kindling out of their own substance like a spark igniting a mound of grass. It was a joy to be alive, a strange and save joy, and she stood there in the warmth and destruction of knowing it could not last.

That it was too big for her to contain.

That it would ebb as quickly as it had risen.

--Kevin Brockmeier
wishfulclicking: stack of books (books)
Since 2011 I've read twelve books, a rundown (in reverse chronological order):

Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan
Nation by Terry Pratchett
The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula LeGuin
Before I Fall and Delirium by Lauren Oliver
The Dream of a Common Language by Adrienne Rich
Among Others by Jo Walton
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
The Pushcart Book of Poetry
The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

expansion on the books )

wishfulclicking: (beyonce with book)
After my recent book buying spree thanks to my library sale and hitting up thrift shops, I decided to put my library card to use for once (and maybe this time not incur any library fees).

If on a Winter's night a traveler by Italo Calvino. I've wanted to read this since last year's Yuletide fic and I've started it three times and never finish it. It's not that it bores me--the opposite actually, I like it so much I really just want to sit down and read it all in one go and then read it again a week after. My problem is I start too late and other things block me from uninterrupted reading time.

Sunset Park by Paul Auster. Sure I was hesitant because I didn't exactly love Man in the Dark but the opening sentence won me over and it has multiple povs (something that is a siren call for me).

The Essential Tales of Chekhov. I've only read maybe three Chekhov short stories. It was time to change that.

Among Others by Jo Walton. Okay, this one has had a lot of hype among blogs I follow, so I'm already going in with lowered expectations. I'm sure it's a good book but I doubt it'll live up to all the praise it's been getting. Maybe it'll prove me wrong like The Book Thief.

Spirit Gate by Kate Elliott. I wanted to try some sci-fi/fantasy and my library has the entire trilogy. Just giving this a shot.

Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint. The cover and the tag line 'Myth, music, and magic, and dreams underfoot...' pulled me in.
wishfulclicking: stack of books (books)
I started 2010 with the goal to read 50 books. I fell short by 7 but I'm not stressing over it. Considering I went through a three month spell where I barely read anything, and other health issues popped up, I'm okay with what I managed to get done. Enough about the books I didn't read and now time to discuss the ones I did read.

Breakdown: 43 books total, 15 Young Adult, 2 books of poetry, 3 Graphic Novels, 2 nonfiction works, the rest majority Literary Fiction and some other mainstream fiction.

expanding on what I read )

Plans for 2011

Following some challenges from this post. Specifically the Shakespeare, Chunkster (books over 450 pages but I am including ebooks with this one), Quirky Brown. I have no plans in officially signing up for all of these (maybe Quirky Brown and Chunkster) but I do plan to unofficially lurk. Also, make some headway on all the books I own but have yet to read and maybe some rereads. More poetry and more nonfiction. Fill in some cultural holes perhaps. 50 books again for this year.

wishfulclicking: stack of books (books)
The good thing is that I have actually been reading, the bad thing is that I have been consistently failing to post about the books here. So I am going to try and do better but here are some standouts I've read recently.

The Lady Matador's Hotel by Cristina Garcia was a short book I picked mostly based off its cover. Sensuous is how I would describe this book, and not just because of one very hot sex scene involving the titular character; but just in how everything is described, the pictures were vivid and the story felt like something living behind my eyes as I read. After some reflection, I'm leaning towards thinking this book really dealt with the different ways people experienced and worked through grief and longing.

World War Z was everything I've heard others say it was and it did not disappoint me, even though I went in with the full amount of hesitance and cynicism that reading hyped books give me. Its scope is vast and it actually works, there's actual diversity and the scenario of a zombie plague is actually thought out and is displayed without mercy. This did make me wonder if the zombie thing is popular in other cultures.

Currently at 36/50. Still behind but the goal is still in reach.
wishfulclicking: man in black and white pulling back a curtain to show moving sky (how it ends)
The trick is balancing the measurable known against the vast chaos that defines everything else.

--Cristina Garcia
wishfulclicking: moving gaga clip from Telephone (gaga AOK)
Fringe continued its strong streak so far. Fringe Spoilers )

NYRB Classics and Oxford World Classics. I love lists and growing to-be-read piles so I'm going to tackle these two over an extended period of time.

Piece discussing the need for female music critics. Slowly I've been reading on criticism and fleshing out my thoughts on it. Someday I'll make a post on it all, but for now I'll share the link.

So excited for the code push on Sunday! Definitely changing the layout and playing with the new features.


wishfulclicking: man in black and white pulling back a curtain to show moving sky (Default)
needs to up my sock game

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