Tuesday Quotes

Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.

Anne Lamott

Top Ten Tuesday: Classics I Should Have Read By Now

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

We return to Top Ten Tuesday to confess just how awful we are at reading classic books.

1. Anna Karenina. I am seriously procrastinating on my Russian literature.

2. Bleak House. I’ve seen the BBC miniseries, which totally counts, right? After reading “The Three Musketeers,” I’m not sure I like reading the serial style, so I may never get to this one.

3. Dracula. This one I actually started and then abandoned about halfway through. I’m not really sure why, but comic books were probably involved.

4. My Antonia. I loved “O Pioneers” when I read it in college, but despite purchasing this book, I still haven’t read it.

5. The Color Purple. I missed out on several books in high school when I took a class that divided the students into groups and assigned each group a different book, in order for them to teach that book to the rest of the class. I think we read “The Things We Carried,” which is very good, but I’d already read it and “The Color Purple” is just one of those things people ought to read.

6. Gone with the Wind. I didn’t even make it through the whole movie, so I’m afraid to start the book. Scarlett irritated me! And I’m sure there’s character development – there must be, since so many people seem to idolize her – but wow, in a book that size, it must be a long slog to get there.

7. 1984. I know, I know. I actually got most of the way through this one, but when it became a book-within-a-book, I lost interest.

8. The Jungle Book. I have a few Kipling books that I’ve never gotten to, but I’m interested in how they hold up story-wise and also what they look like through the postcolonial perspective that I did a lot of college reading in.

9. The Catcher In the Rye. This is on pretty much every must-read list, but the premise never appealed to me.

10. The Grapes of Wrath. I’m almost afraid to read this one since I liked “East of Eden” so much. I can’t win: either it will disappoint me, or I’ll love it and it will displace “East of Eden.”

Are there any of these that I should absolutely read right away? Any I can skip? What isn’t on this list that should be?

Top Ten Tuesday: In My Beach Bag

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

My ideal summer vacation needs to include a lot of time for lying around somewhere warm, reading. These are the books I’m hoping to get through:

1. “The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer. Some people have their Jane Austen; some people have Nora Roberts; some people have crime thrillers. My go-to beach book is this one, always and forever.

2. “Mission to Paris” by Alan Furst. Reading these books is like living inside “Casablanca” for a little bit. I haven’t read this one yet, but I’ll probably try to re-read my favorite (#3), “The Foreign Correspondent,” too.

4. “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand” by Helen Simonson. This summer, I promise, I swear, I’m finally going to read this.

5. “The Namesake” by Jhumpa Lahiri. I haven’t read this since college. It’s time!

6. “Redshirts” by John Scalzi. It’s about time I read some pace that, and this one has been waiting patiently on my shelf.

7. “The Red Tent” by Anita Diamant. This book is nearly 20 years old and it’s been on my radar for about half that time, but I finally purchased it a couple months ago and I’m looking forward to reading it.

8. “The Other Boleyn Girl” by Philippa Gregory. Judge away – this is my one of my favorite historical fiction books.

9. “Little Century” by Anna Keesey. It’s a little dark for beach reading, but then the Oregon coast in summer is often dark itself. It has an impressive heroine and a sweet ending, and everyone knows the happy ending is most important criterion of beach reading.

10. “Neuromancer” by William Gibson. I finally read my first cyberpunk this year (“Snow Crash“) and now I’m interested in reading the book that started it all.

Bonus: whenever enough of my friends go somewhere together, we take an hour or so to do a dramatic reading of a romance novel. Whatever book that is, it’s my favorite summer read.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Teammates for the Apocalypse

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

Today, we’re making our lists of ten characters who ___ – for example, piss me off, are the popular kids, are bookish, would be my bff, that stole my heart, etc.

So let’s pretend the zombie apocalypse has happened. I need to assemble a team to travel the world, looking for survivors and killing lots and lots of zombies. This is who I bring:

1. Sabriel from the Abhorsen trilogy. Who better for sending the undead back to actual death?

2. Aragorn from LOTR. He’d be a great team leader, giving all those heroic speeches. Plus he’s a great survivalist and can use just about every weapon.

3-4. Hiro Protagonist/Y.T from “Snow Crash.” He has swords and hacking and surveillance skills. She has a physics-defying skateboard and an attitude, plus a spectacular array of self-defense gear. I’m assuming any cures or secret fortresses would require some hacking, so they’d be useful.

5. Lying Cat from “Saga.” He’d be able to tell if other survivors we encountered were being honest or not. Not sure how well he’d get along with #10, though.

6. Kingsley Shacklebolt from Harry Potter. I’d love to bring along someone like Sirius, but Shacklebolt made a career out of fighting evil and he has a proven track record of level-headedness and reliability. Plus he, y’know, survives stuff.

7. Vin from “Mistborn.” She has magical abilities that will work wherever there’s metal – which is to say just about everywhere.

8. Gran’ma Ben from Bone. She looks like a harmless old pie-baking farmer, but she’s fast and strong enough to outrun a stampede and fight bear-sized monsters – and then she’ll come right back and bake you a pie.

9. Shadow from “American Gods.” Every zombie-fighting outfit needs a brawler, and Shadow fits the bill since he doesn’t seem to be fazed by anything. After working for Norse gods and dealing with his own wife coming back from the dead, he’s probably the most psychologically equipped to deal with zombies.

10. Iorek from “His Dark Materials.” He’s a sentient polar bear warrior and an unparalleled blacksmith.  He is definitely coming along.

So who would you bring to help you through the zombie apocalypse?

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring 2014 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

These are things I hope to read this spring. Let’s aim for five books because – well, see my previous TTT posts or my Goodreads TBR list for an indication of how awesome I am at following through on these.

1. “Blue Like Jazz” by Donald Miller.  I am so late to this party. I think I got this from someone who was handing out copies on campus, which means I’ve had it on my shelf for at least five years.

2. “Jesus Feminist” by Sarah Bessey. When I was first tipped off to the Faith & Culture Writers Conference, I was not exactly thrilled about going – until I saw that book title associated with Bessey, one of the speakers.  There are enough people who consider themselves Christ-followers and feminists that there’s a book for them? A book that people have read? And the author is invited to speak at a conference? Yusss.

3. Wonder Woman books.  I have a list of graphic novels to check out so I can finally experience Wonder Woman beyond the Justice League cartoon.

4. “The Elegant Universe” by Brian Greene. At least until my head explodes.

5. “Neuromancer” by William Gibson. I read “Snow Crash” by Neal Stephenson recently. It was my first foray into cyberpunk, and now the part of my brain that’s a rabid but deprived science-fiction fan is rocking back and forth whispering “more, preciousss.

Yes, that seems doable. Let’s just ignore that I’ve been meaning to read “Blue Like Jazz” for about half a decade, shall we?

Top Ten Tuesday: 2014 Goals

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

New year, new goals! Here are mine:

Books

1. Read 30 books. Should be pretty easy.

2. Read more Steinbeck, Wharton, and Hemingway.  I could say “read more classics” but then I’d never get anything done.

3. Read more authors & characters of color. Octavia Butler, “Zoo City,” “In The Shadow of the Banyan,” “Mothership,” “Americanah,” Louise Erdrich, and (more) Isabel Allende are all on my list to eventually read. I’d like to explore several of them this year.

4. Read more classic science fiction. I finally read something not by Ray Bradbury last year (“Eye in the Sky” by Philip K. Dick), so this year I want to branch out more, preferably with more PKD, Asimov, and the copy of Gibson’s “Neuromancer” I found at a bookstore in Galveston.

5. Read the unread books I own. I think this is a goal I set every year and I still haven’t caught up.  “Captain Alatriste” for sure – I think that’s the oldest unread book on my shelves.

Non-Books

6. Finish my trilogy for real.

7. Fix my tendonitis! I’m willing to resort to acupuncture!

8. But find ways to be in front of screens less.  The tendonitis came about from too much computer usage, but I catch myself on my phone or defaulting to Netflix way more often than I should.  I should set some reading goals or something…

9. More vegetables, fewer carbs.

10. Journal more. I kept a steady journal almost all the way through college but forgot after a while.  It’ll help me slow down and appreciate what’s going on in my day-to-day life.

What are you hoping to accomplish this year?

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Of 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

I read 32 books this year!  Most of them were pretty good.  A couple were dumb.  Several were out of my comfort zone and others were just plain boring.

That said, here are the gems:

1. “The Second Duchess” by Elizabeth Loupas. I was expecting a standard historical fiction novel, but this turned out to be an enthralling murder mystery with a dash of the supernatural.

2. “The Tiger’s Wife” by Tea Obreht. This was just a straight-up beautiful book.

3. “The Book of Fires” by Jane Borodale. Another beautiful book, this one a little harder to stomach. I had never read any historical fiction set in late 18th century England, so that in particular was very interesting to me.

4. “The Time In Between” by Maria Duenas. I love me my WWII historical fiction, but this was a viewpoint I had never really read about: the perspective of a Spanish woman in Morocco.

5. “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg. I haven’t read a lot of nonfiction, nor a lot of self-help, but I found this one really approachable and helpful.

6. “Mistborn” by Brandon Sanderson. This wasn’t quite such a trope-buster as I had been led to believe, but I still enjoyed the unique system of magic.

7. Johnny Wander. I love these comics, even if they make me want to drop everything and move with four friends into a tiny cruddy urban apartment.

8. “Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil” by John Berendt. I guess this one counts as nonfiction? It had a crazy cast of characters and a fun blend of murder mystery and travelogue.

9. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan.  I’m not totally head over heels for Saga, but I do love its themes and the incredible blend of fantasy and science fiction that it’s cooked up.

10.  The Pioneer Woman cookbooks.  Do cookbooks count? Because I am really loving these books so far.  The recipes are uncomplicated and they use everyday ingredients, plus they have step-by-step photos.  Why cookbooks don’t have photos sometimes is beyond me.  Plus they’re sprinkled with anecdotes about ranch life and her personal history.

What were your favorite reads of 2013?

Top Ten Tuesday: Winter TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

On today’s episode: what ten books are on our winter to-be-read lists?

1. “Shogun” by James Clavell. It’s Kevin’s favorite book and I think it’s about time I read it.

2. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  Seeing (the extremely good) “Catching Fire” made me want to read the books again!

3. “Trickster’s Choice” by Tamora Pierce. Got this at the library so I can finally read a YA book I ought to have read twelve years ago.

4. “The Angel’s Game” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.  After the disappointment that was the re-read of “Shadow of the Wind,” I’m looking forward to a new adventure.

5. “Saga.” A couple of my friends absolutely love this graphic novel, so the last time I was at the library, I snagged a copy. I’m not quite sure what I think yet. Considering my response to the Goodreads page was “WHAT DO YOU MEAN THERE ARE ONLY TWO VOLUMES,” I guess I’m enjoying it more than I thought.

Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Gratitude

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

Happy week-of-Thanksgiving!  This week, we’re sharing things we’re thankful for.

1. My wrists are feeling better!  I still can’t go completely back to my old habits, which is probably for the better in many ways, but I’m definitely making progress.

2. I’m having my first “friendsgiving” this year. It’ll be weird to not be with family, but I’m looking forward to eating a whole lot of food with our friends. We’re going to potluck and we may also watch “Sharknado” after dinner. What are the holidays for, right?

3. Kevin. He’s great. He compliments everything I cook, he’s kind and supportive to both me and our friends, and we can talk about everything from the ethics of private security companies to theology to the finer points of Star Wars canon. And he looks great in a suit.

4. River has made incredible progress over the last eight months and she makes our lives so much more fun.  Kevin is officially the favorite now, but I’m okay with that because he grew up with dogs and wanted to get one for a long time.

5. My mom continues to be loving and supportive and full of advice, even though we’re at that weird point when sometimes I’m the one who’s supposed to give advice.  That’s weird.

Continue reading