Bookpeople

Bookpeople is providing my internet access right now. My parents bought Jared a gift certificate as a birthday present, so I am currently camped out in the cafe while he attempts to spend his money on as many books as possible. I like this place, although at times they have questionable book store music. Just a moment ago, I was listening to ABBA’s “SOS.” Then I heard some crazy disco tune. Now it’s an amazing 70’s era love song duet. I don’t know–I think I’d rather have music that’s a bit more soothing played a little lower on the volume scale. Man, I sound boring, don’t I?

I don’t know if you followed that link, but if you did, you’d see a picture of the display for Stephen Colbert’s I Am American (And So Can You!). The display does indeed contain a bear. I think the presence of the bear in the Colbert display forces me to forgive the louder-than-I’d-like music.

Hope everyone’s had a good first weekend in November.

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Proxy handshake

Short post for today:

Today is Jared’s birthday, and to celebrate, we made our way downtown to the Texas Book Festival. We first saw Sherman Alexie speak, which was really more like stand-up than the traditional ‘book reading.’ At the book signing tent, I told Sherman that it was Jared’s birthday, which of course sparked a nice little conversation with him. Turns out Sherman Alexie is a Libra.

We then saw George Saunders, who was very funny and, dare I say, a bit enlightening. When we got to meet him at the signing, I shook his hand and was very impressed by how genuinely happy he seemed to be there talking to people. After I told him about Jared’s birthday, they started talking a bit and Jared ended up making a joke that seemed to hit George in just the right way.

Later, as we were walking back to our car, I mentioned how cool it is that we shook hands with someone who shook hands with Stephen Colbert. Which means that, by proxy, we have now shaken hands with Mr. Colbert. Which, while it doesn’t outshine the great day we had, is a wonderful thing.

NaBloPoMo & some cholera

So today’s the beginning of NaBloPoMo, aka National Blog Posting Month. Cooler participants have little buttons on their sidebars, but WordPress won’t let me just embed one onto the page, and they don’t allow that sort of tomfoolery in their widgets. That’s really the only thing I don’t like about WordPress, the fact that I can’t see the inner workings of my blog. If I could, I’d embed, change, or destroy anything I want. How frightening.

Regardless, today is the first day of the rest of my month-long obsession with posting every day. “Did I post yet? I need to post today, or I won’t win a prize! I must WIN A PRIZE!!!” Yeah, it’s just like that.

So, for the first post, I’ll tell you that I finished Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Yes, it had love. And yes, there was some cholera. But the cholera was used only as a backdrop, to give one a sense of the time that the love was set in. Wait, that’s the title, isn’t it?

The story telling is unique and interesting. I felt like I was listening to someone tell a story they were having to remember as they were going along. As in, they started with one person, then said, “No, I need to tell you about this person now, let’s go farther back in time.” Then a little later, “Wait, now you need to know about this person and what they’ve done.” Normally this would get confusing, but Marquez orchestrates the events with such fluidity that I never felt frustrated or left behind.

As it is a love story, the characters did make me think, “You’re really going to wait outside of her house every day?” or “Seriously, it’s that important that you have to get so angry?” Of course the world we live in today gives rise to those feelings. I mean, this story just wouldn’t happen now. We don’t write letters anymore. We’re not sentimental enough to hold onto things for our entire lives. We can’t be bothered with living our lives for someone or something that isn’t going to reciprocate the dedication and love. (Generalizations, of course.)

The book didn’t leave me with a sense of wanting to live a life like those painted in the story, but that doesn’t bother me much. It’s refreshing to walk away from something appreciating what it had to say, but not necessarily agreeing with it–does that make sense?

I’d recommend it. I’m excited at the thought of reading more Marquez in the near future.

I’m alive

I’ve got a lot to say about this past weekend, but I’m at work right now and all of my pictures are at home. So that post will have to wait.

In lieu, I’ll copy and paste something two of my friends did.

Instructions:

Look at the list of books below. Bold the ones you’ve read. Italicize the ones you want to read. Leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in. (I’ve also added comments in parenthesis.)

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) (Ugh. Movie’s worse, if you can believe it. And I only saw 30 minutes of it.)
2. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
3. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
4. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
5. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
8. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
9. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
10. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
11. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
12. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25 . Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks) (Ugh again)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible (I’ve read as much as one does for Sunday school and confirmation, but not much more)
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck) (isn’t this one of those classics everyone should read?)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky) (never gonna happen)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving) (seen the movie–does that count?)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)(can’t remember for the life of me if I’ve actually read this or just seen the old movie too many times)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

I probably won’t read another book until after the wedding, and after that I will have seemingly thousands of books at my disposal (Jared reads a lot, as do most MFA students).

And we’re off!

Started reading the new Harry Potter last night. I took Elizabeth’s advice and went to Target to buy it for pretty much half-price. The only problem was there there was one (ONE!) copy left, and there were two Harry Potter fans standing in front of it. My friend saw it first, so she got dibs. But when she discovered that the sleeve was torn on the front, she was a little heartbroken. Me being the ‘book sleeves are nonsense’ person that I am, I quickly struck a deal: She buys the torn one (she had a gift card, plus I thought she’d read it first and faster) and I buy a pretty one later…then we trade.

“Ok!” she says. It is only later that I discover she is still finishing up her re-read of the sixth book. Which means that the seventh would just have to wait until she was done. So OF COURSE I started reading it. I mean, come on!! The answers are all right there in front of me!! All I need do is read!!

I can’t say anything about the book. Not a thing. I can’t even say if I like it or not. This is because I have friends who haven’t read it and want to know NOTHING until they are able to see the words with their own eyes. Which is cool.

I’m just glad to know that there are certain people who have read it and finished it, so that when I’m done I can have someone to “OMG can you believe this happened and that happened?!” with.

Anybody done…

…with Harry Potter and want to let me borrow it? 🙂