Oct 11, 2008

Booking Through Thursday - Book Meme Via Saturday

What was the last book you bought?
A Single Shard

Name a book you have read MORE than once
I tend not to re-read books. There are just many more out there that need to be read it seems like a waste to keep reading the same ones. I always say that I don't re-read books and then in the middle of the night I remember that one book that I HAVE re-read, but of course I currently have no idea what it is.

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?
Not that I can recall. Not that it hasn't happened, or maybe it has just happened SO MANY TIMES! There are always times when you your life through the lens of the book you are reading.

How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews?
The cover and recognition of the author's name combined with the price is the biggest factor when I am book buying. Sometimes the title just grabs my attention too. I buy 90% of all my books from the used market. I am always scanning for authors I recently heard about or topics that are currently interesting me. And I generally don't pay over $3 for a book unless it is something really special.

Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
I definitely prefer fiction, but I do enjoy essays and creative non-fiction as well. Informational non-fiction is great too, I love to learn, but it doesn't have the same quality of relaxation that fiction provides me.

What’s more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?
I prefer writing over plot and I think I always will. Of course plot is important, but a story can go nowhere and have amazing writing and still get me.

Most loved/memorable character (character/book)
This seems particularly difficult to me. The only thing I can come up with is Bridget Jones. She is coming to mind right now so that makes her memorable.

Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
My bed is built into the wall. Half of it is surrounded by "nightstand" or a small shelf. I have about 60 books on there right now. Some of them I do actually intend to read. Saint Maybe is currently sitting under my reading lamp. Just under that a short story collection called You've Got To Read This!

What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?
The last book I finished was The Green Book.
The last book I picked up and read was A Girl Named Disaster.

Have you ever given up on a book half way in?
Yes! Lots of them. I keep on thinking I am going to finish them.
Lord of the Rings will likely never be finished.
American Psycho and Wonder Boys I hope to finish some time fairly soon.

I seem to struggle with books that have since been made into movies. If I have seen the movie first, I resent how the book is different.

Oct 9, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - 13 Excuses


Thirteen reasons
I haven't blogged this week.

1. New poetry blog

2. Story time at the library.
Best book read:

Fall Is Not Easy

3. 5 year old got her own
library card
. We have been
making good use of it


4. Too many post ideas but not
the
time or the inclination to
complete
them. They are just
floating there,
in my head.

5. I have mostly only been
reading
picture books and
poetry.


6.

After getting A Bad Case of
Stripes
as a reading book from
school, 5 year old decided it
was the BEST BOOK EVER! It
needs to be read at least 3
times daily, and there are a lot
of words on each page.

7. My 5 year old locked me/us
out of my bedroom and I do not
have access to my current book
selections. I had to sleep in
the basement on the spare bed,
instead of in my own last night.

8.


9. Too much house cleaning that
should be getting done and
despite
my lack of blogging,
still isn't.


10. Meals to cook. The horrid
life of
being mommy!

11. archive.org
Searching for interesting
audio.
Especially regarding
poetry.


12. The Writer's Almanac


MusicPlaylist
Music Playlist
at MixPod.com

13. General existence of kids.
They
tend to be a constant
distraction and
interruption.

What accomplishments did you
postpone this week?


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



Oct 5, 2008

The Sunday Salon - The Other Tiger

The Sunday Salon.comThe past few days have felt like an endless void. I have not been reading, I have not had the desire to read. I pushed through a little bit of The Girl Who Loved Tome Gordon and Prayer for Owen Meany, but it felt more like an exercise in futility than anything resembling enjoyment. I know in part I am just not reading the type of books that are speaking to me. What do you do when you don't feel like reading?

I have also been reading a little bit of poetry to help with my current endeavor of writing a poem a day for the next 30 days. Today is day 5 and I have not written my poem yet. Do you like poetry? Do you like to write it, read it, or listen to it? Of the three I think I like to listen to it the best. I love to listen to Garrison Keillor read a poem every day on The Writer's Almanac.

On Tuesday I wrote about a book I was reading and the connection it had to William Blake's poem "The Tyger". When I came across the following poem shortly after, it really interested me.

And the craft that createth a semblance
—Morris, "Sigurd the Volsung" (1876)

I think about a tiger. Twilight exalts
The vast and never-resting library
And seems to make the shelves of books recede;
Powerful, innocent, new-made, stained with blood,
He will move through his rainforest and morning,
Will leave his spoor upon the muddy bank
Of a river whose name must be unknown to him.
(In his world there are neither names nor past
Nor future, only an eternal present.)
And he will cover inhuman distances
And sniff out in the winding labyrinth
Of odors the true odor of the dawn
And the delectable odor of a deer.
Among the bamboo's sunstripes I make out
The sway of his stripes and I have a sense
Of bone beneath the dazzle of rippling hide.
In vain the swelling seas, the mountain ranges,
The deserts of the planet come between us.
From this house in a somnolent, remote
South American port, I seek you, dreaming,
Oh tiger of the far banks of the Ganges.
Evening spreads in my soul and I reflect
That the apostrophized tiger of my poem
Is a tiger made of symbols and of shadows,
An endless string of literary tropes
And things remembered from encyclopedias,
And not the fatal tiger, the dread jewel
Who goes on under the sun or changeful moon
Completing in Sumatra or Bengal
His round of love and indolence and death.
Against this tiger of symbol I have opposed
The actual tiger, tiger of hot blood,
The one who decimates the buffalo tribe,
And today, 3 August 1959,
See, lengthening on the grassland afternoon,
A stationary shadow, but already
The fact of having given it a name
And dreaming up its habits and surroundings
Makes it a fiction, not a living creature
Among the living creatures of the earth.

It is a third tiger we are seeking.
Just like the others this will be a shape
Out of my dreams, a system of human words
And not the tiger himself, the vertebrate tiger
Who treads the earth, far beyond the reach
Of our mythologies. I know all this,
Yet something sends me on this open-ended
Ancient adventure, and I persevere
In hunting through the hours of afternoon
The other tiger, the one not in the poem.

after Borges


Robert Mezey
Ploughshares
Spring 2008
Bibliophile Exploring Dystopia | Speculative Fiction