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Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Some Stuff

I feel like writing but have nothing of much consequence to write about. Alas.

Let’s see. I have been reading a lot of graphic novels this year, namely Saga which is so freaking good. Go read it, it is great. Also Lucy Knisley’s book Relish which was fucking delightful of course. Along with the first big chunk of The Walking Dead which made me ill, so I am taking a large break before I try to tackle the second giant compendium.

I’ve also read JK Rowling’s first two mystery novels and it’s like she read my mind because mysteries and JK Rowling are two of my favorite things.

Been doing very little other than reading and watching movies and discussing feminism on tumblr, which I’m sure I spend “too much” time on, but who the hell cares any way?

Anywho, you can follow me here on goodreads and here on tumblr if you so wish.

Also – I’m working on making a giant post about why women supporting other women is so important and feminism, etc, but I have so many Feelings and Thoughts about things. I will work on it.

BBBYYYYYYEEEEEE

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There is a thing that has shown up on a few of my friends’ facebook statuses where they post a picture/list of their top 10 most influential books, so now I am doing the thing.

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Here is a garbage-y phone photo of some of my top influential books I’ve ever read. I’m gonna go ahead and list them and explain some of my reasoning here. Bottom up.

1. This is Who I Am –  Rosanne Olson
My mom gave me this book because she is fucking awesome. It is a coffee table photo book with naked women in it of all kinds of shapes and sizes and colors and it really went a long way toward affirming a belief I was trying to cultivate in myself about body positivity and loving all kinds of bodies including your own.

2. The Brendan Voyage – Tim Severin
I went to a private Christian college and I read this book shortly after I returned from studying abroad and it is such a deep reflection of my love of celtic monks and their constant search for isolation and how futile that search tends to be. It also reminds me that science and history are constantly in question and we should never take the things we are taught in school for granted as absolute truth. In Search of Sacred Places by Dan Taylor was also a huge influence in my life but I am trying to be representative of many interests. 🙂

3. The Various Haunts of Men – Susan Hill
This choice is a bit more representative of a style than a direct influence. I love mysteries and they are an enormous influence on my opinions and choices that I make in my life. This is the first book by Susan Hill I ever read and I bought it on a whim at a book sale.

4. The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
Though I may not always agree with Mr. Adams’ personal opinions as such, I love love love his books and his style of writing. They teach me every day that books can be absurd and bonkers and fun while still being intelligent and questioning your opinions and ideas.

5. The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman
The book that made me fall in love with Gaiman. All of his books are wonderful to me.

6. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathan Safran Foer
I read this book many years ago now and as I read it right about the same time that I read Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, it impacted me in a way that it might not have otherwise. It haunts me in the best possible way with its portrayal of grief and the way people work through the big horrible horrors that sometimes happen in a life.

7. Four Quartets – T.S. Eliot
The most dogearred, underlined, deeply felt of all. It is my life in four poems.

8. HP and the Philosopher’s Stone – J.K. Rowling
Representative of the entire Harry Potter series. My first online fandom and my first experience in seeing the ideals of a book carried over into real life philanthropy and community hell bent on making the world better and kinder. There are fans doing so much good in the name of a book. They are sending so much love into the universe. What higher aim can we possibly have?

9. Scott Pilgrim – Bryan Lee O’Malley
My first comic book I ever read or bought that gave me confidence that comics were for me, too, and I didn’t have to catch up on all the years of comics that went before. I can start where I want and read what I want. It also lead me to search for more and more online comics creators who I am now able to read in their own printed comics at the library!

10. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
I read it so that I could understand Lord of the Rings when I read it. I never looked back.

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I read a really frustrating article today written by a man who seemed to think that libraries are easily replaceable by the presence of the internet and as such are completely unnecessary in our current society. I disagree on a whole host of levels, but I’m just going to address the ones that immediately come to mind with a minimal amount of thinking.

Libraries are FREE to use. You don’t have to pay to be a member, you can check out as many books as you like, along with DVDs (movies and shows), Blu-ray, CDs, audio books (sometimes digital AND physical), ebooks, comic books, books in other languages, childrens books, books about gardening, cooking, coin collecting, books about goddamned anything! While it is true that there are several books available for free online, it is actually very few compared to the amount of free and available information that you can obtain at the library.

Contrary to what the writer of this particular article seems to think, the internet is by no means free. Whether you pay through data on your phone or with a router at home, you are paying for the internet. Even if you go to a cafe or restaurant and use their “free” wifi you are paying in a number of ways. You are either using a laptop that cost money, paying for food/coffee (many cafes out there will only provide the password to paying customers) or if you are able to find an internet cafe, you are paying per use. And hard as it is for some to believe (apparently), not everyone can afford a computer in the first place. Nearly all libraries have computers that you can use, get this, FOR FREE. This was invaluable when I was traveling aboad and computers available to use for cheap or free were hard to come by. Every single library we approached allowed us to use their computers for free.

Another resource that I think people tend not to think of is that many libraries have a NOTARY on staff. When I got married and later bought a house I had to have several documents notarized for legal reasons. Whether it was a letter regarding a property I had lived at or when I was trying to change my name on my out of state bank account, having a notary that I could utilize for FREE was a life saver both in terms of time and convenience and above all money.

That’s just the free stuff that I can think of off the top of my head, not to mention services such as printing, copying, and faxing (these often cost a nominal fee).

The library is such an amazing resource and it makes me feel so sad and frustrated for the people who are missing out on so much just because they “don’t read”. The library is so much more than that

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It’s been a couple of years dear non-existent readers. It just seems like a good time to come back to this sadly neglected blog and let’s face it – talk about nothing in particular and really just get some practice into easing back into writing.

Made some zucchini crust pizza and salsa this weekend. The veg garden is going quite nicely, though looking a bit too crowded. Have discovered a previously unknown affinity for making fruit pies, though have been waylaid by an overabundance of tomatoes. Still married (anniversary number two in one month!). General feelings of being an Adult, stress, depression, anxiety, worry, etc.

Have several projects in varying states of Not Being Worked On at the moment. Mostly been reading voraciously, (add me on goodreads!) and as always watching lots of youtube (lots of sprinkleofchatter, danisnotonfireamazingphil, alli, and of course thebrainscoop) and also an absurd amount of time on tumblr which I highly recommend if you would like your life to spiral into a dark vortex of internet memes, ships, and OTPs that you only partly understand.

Would be nice if I never had to go to work again but also had unlimited money so that I could just spend all my time on cooking, gardening and craft projects. Alas.

Overall life is lovely, just looking for motivation for DOING.

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So it’s been obsenely long since I blogged about anything, and today seemed as good a day as any.

I am currently sitting in my room listening to Julia Nunes, who by the way is a fantastic musician who you should listen to as soon as possible. In fact, I’ll even make it easier for the lazy people:

Anyway, I’m sitting in my room, but I’m about to leave and go to the grocery store, in the RAIN, just because I can. I’ve been kind of in a funk lately, but after an impromtu trip up to the cities to retrieve the last of the pottery that I made my last semester, and the fact that the weather has turned distintly fall-ish, has drastically improved my mood.

In other news, I moved to Des Moines, IA about a month ago to look for jobs. Things are still pretty up in the air, but I’m hoping to get a job in a bookstore soon.

Well I better get to the grocery store. If anyone is interested, I’ve tried to fill out my book reviews a bit, and I just posted one for A Farewell to Arms. I’m fairly doubtful that I’ll be able to make my goal of getting to 100 books before the New Year, but I’ll keep going on the list until I do get to 100, just to see how long it takes me.

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Neil Gaiman’s Bookshelves

Someday I will have a library like Neil Gaiman’s. So it is written, so it shall be.

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Curious.

I think I’ve been getting more hits since I haven’t had time to blog than when I was posting regularly. I’m not sure whether that is an insult or not. Maybe I should just shrug and be happy about it.

I’ve been adding to my 2009 booklist, and I will add mini-reviews post-graduation when I’m not writing two major papers and taking tests. The latest one is The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. You can hear Neil reading the whole book here, though I would also recommend buying it as it is a quite wonderful bit of writing.

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