Let's Talk About Books Baby!

December



Books Bought:
Paris in Love by Nichole Robertson
Chasers of the Light- poems from the typewriter series by Tyler Knott Gregson
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
The Kingmaker's Daughter by Philippa Gregory
All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings & Queens who made England by Dan Jones
Books Read:
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
Collected Poems by Jack Kerouac
City of Rivers by Zubair Ahmed
Emmaus by Alessandro Baricco
Imagined London: A Tour of the World's Greatest Fictional City by Anna Quindlen
The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

Ok... so first let me explain two things here: 

1.  It looks like I spent all my money this month on books.  So not true.  I took it upon myself to return two volumes of the Complete Annotated Sherlock Holmes that had never been opened that I bought years ago.  I realized I was never going to read those books.  Luckily for me, they took them back.  So I had a massive in store credit, hence the last 4 books bought.  The first two were just me being selfish.  I found this guy on Instagram who bought a typewriter and fell in love with the idea that you couldn't edit yourself, he just started writing poems one day and there you have it, voila, he had a book on his hands.  Far be it from me to deny this young handsome gent my dollars in the name of poetry!  Who doesn't love a young handsome gent who types poems on a vintage typewriter?!?  Hubba hubba!

And while we are on that note, one can never go wrong with Nichole Robertson's Paris photography.  This book will be in heavy use on my coffee table leading up to Valentine's Day!  Yes, it's December and I'm already talking about the big V-Day.  And I'm single. Imagine that.

Now for books read... I know it looks like a lot, but it's really not.  A few of these books were quite thin, one I had been working on FOREVER, and one was a quick poetry book.

Let's start at the top.  Gone Girl... Goodness Gracious!  What a crazy read!  I'm like the last person on the earth to see the movie (as soon as it comes to Red Box)... but golly this book was nuts!  I liked it, it was entertaining, but it's not great literature... and by the end I felt like it went a bit too far.  I actually think I liked Dark Places a little more.  In that book there was more character development.  Not just, "hi, here are some crazies!  Have fun!"

I know I'm like a few years late in finally reading The Silver Linings Playbook, this is one of those rare occasions where I've actually seen the movie prior to reading the book and in this book's case I've seen the movie several times.  I love both.  I love how it shows that things can happen to us where our mind just literally breaks.  I love the way football is something that ties all these characters together.  Overall, entertaining.... not a favorite, but I liked it more than your average book.

Jack Kerouac... I have now read every word of poetry you have ever written... and I am so indifferent.  How can I love your stories so much and not really get your poetry?  I know, I know, it's supposed to be  like jazz.  All over the place.  Sporadic. Exciting.  I just couldn't follow most of it.  I know we're supposed to take our time with poetry.  And I'll let you decide whether a year was an appropriate amount of time for this behemoth of a collection.  I feel like to completely understand I'd have to give a lifetime, and I feel like I already wasted enough time with a year! 

City of Rivers... Here's what NPR had to say about you:

The knife-edge balance between suffering and song, and the figure of exile, drive Zubair Ahmed's dazzling book, "City of Rivers." Born in 1988, Ahmed was raised in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He finished high school in Duncanville, Texas, before attending Stanford. As it happens, Ahmed's visceral poems are themselves magnificently rigged machines that sharpen around one or two images, many of them from the homeland he left, some of them from life in Texas. His lines turn breathtaking corners. Here's the poem "Concession," in its entirety:

"I could sit here all night and chances are, I will. The moon lights the ocean on fire. I watch the waves repeat themselves until they become a house with soft lights and no furniture. I begin to sleep. My body is music. I will never have a home."

I remember thinking I was going to LOVE this poetry collection, turns out it was far better than Kerouac, but not something I would ever revisit again.  And that to me is what poetry should be... it should be lines you want to remember forever, words that inspire you, promises that you make to your most loved ones.  Maybe I'm just too dang romantic.  This must be a phase.  :-) 

Emmaus: I feel like all the things that I normally would love were just "eh" in this month!  McSweeney's as usual you kept my interest piqued, but again, I did not love this book. This story was about a group of boys and a girl that they are obsessed with.  In more ways than one their obsession leads them all to adulthood.  It's always fun to be exposed to different styles, and foreign authors, I'm glad McSweeney's does this so often.  But I guess I was just picking all wrong books for the mood I was in.

Imagined London- this book is about London (duh) and all the stories that are based there.  I thought I would curl up with a cup of tea and be swept away.  But this book was actually very boring and filled with loads of information which made it feel like more of a book for school.  Thankfully, it was short.

Lastly, every Christmas season I pack up my bags and head to my parents, and lately the tradition seems to be.... I bring some huge War of the Roses or Tudor historical fiction novel with me.  Why I think Christmas, and then think war and beheadings I have no idea.  But... I do like the romance of it all.  And these books always feel a little indulgent.  Sure they are based on real historical people and real historical events... but they are just a huge soap opera or romance novel in disguise.  I should probably hate them.  But they are a way for me to read something that has to do with powerful men ripping off bodices, and not feel too dumb downed!  Goodness... I can't believe I just admitted this.  Oh well, we all have our thing.  I just think I will never forget my sister walking into the bedroom and saying, "What are you reading?" In that judgmental tone as she looked at my library book, with an enchanting woman in a gown looking like she's coming up from some river! Oh well.  I can honestly say I learned a lot about the earlier years of The Cousins' War.

That's it.  Here's to another year of reading!  May we all find some books that shake us to our core (and maybe some men too)! :-)