Monthly Archives: May 2011

Bibliophilia Update: May

This month I have read Pride and Prejudice, Animal Farm, The Life of Pi, The Blind Assassin, The Graduate, and Great Expectations.

Mini Reviews:

Animal Farm had many of the same themes as 1984.  I saw the pigs turning into men from a mile away.  I enjoyed how the pigs manipulated and changed the rules of the farm-yard as it best fit their needs, however the story seemed to follow precisely the path I thought it would.  I don’t know if that makes me a good predictor or the story predictable.

The Blind Assassin took awhile for me to get into.  I felt like the three storylines were not integrated until late in the book, which was, I am sure, Margaret Atwood’s intention.  It was sad and lovely and heartbreaking, especially knowing how Iris ends up alone, giving her triumphs and trials all to Laura, even in death.  It took me about 1/3 of the book to get into it, but once I was in the story was a lovely adventure.

Great Expectations is my second Dickens work, and the second that I have liked more than I anticipated.  I fell in love with Pip and his little world in the first half of the book.  I found the comeuppance of both Pip and Estella to be fairly perfect as they had to come to terms with their avarice and poor behavior.

The Life of Pi was an allegory for the stories that people tell through humans, animals, and even plants.  The religious undertones that permeated his narration took a view of life that contrasted with the views of adults in his life and the conventions of society.  While I understood the nature of the story’s big picture, I found the book itself grim.  The animals devouring each other and taking advantage of their small space for predation was difficult to read for  me.

Pride and Prejudice is a portrait of the Victorian world it was written in.  Only after reading a bit of literary criticism was I able to discern some of the components of the book lost on my modern mind.  Elizabeth’s ridiculous mother and thoughtless sister Lydia provide Elizabeth with people on whom she can utilize her razor-sharp wit along with her love struck sister, and the proud Mr. Darcy.  I still didn’t love it, but it was worth the read.

The Graduate was a whim that I started late in the month.  It is a coming of age story for a man who has just finished college and is looking for his path in life.  This book takes place in the 60s and perhaps I am jaded as someone who came of age during a recession, but he is just whiny.  He gets these great opportunities for funded graduate school and throws them away in favor of beer, a pool, and an affair.  He eventually finds true love with Mrs. Robinson’s daughter, Elaine and scales mountains to get to her.  I found the writing a bit perfunctory, but that was probably a stylistic choice more than anything else.

Queued Up:

Dracula – Bram Stoker, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, and Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Total: 51/1294 

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Dream Analysis

I had a dream I was at a choir concert standing next to a boy I hated from high school, and he was mocking me.  I was also on a really slippery piece of flooring sliding back and forth.  Then, a syrupy sweet girl from elementary school told me that I should really be trying harder to stand still.

I think I’m having a wee bit of anxiety about the new job starting. 

I also fell off my chair at the temporary Library location today because of the slippery tile floor.  Good.

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Dailylit.com

I am a reader, which is clear from my ridiculous book list goal.  That said, I am limited by my ability to read EVERY book in big swaths of time.  I will read many books, even ones that I don’t necessarily love, but I have run into one that I find a bit beyond my ability to read in chunks.  The Metamorphoses of Ovid are translated from Latin, I own the book in paper form, but I have been unable to ever actually read them.  I know lots of the myths, thank you Latin minor, so the stories aren’t new and they feel a bit insurmountable in book form with all the foot notes and explanations of the translations.  Thanks to a librarian friend, I have stumbled on dailylit.com to help combat this issue.

Dailylit is a website that will email you a piece of a classic, out of copyright book, or some in copyright books for a fee every day at a designated time.  With this tool, I am finally reading the Metamorphoses of Ovid.  I get a section of the whole thing that is one of 147 sections (the books are broken up into different numbers of sections based on length.)  Then, I read a section or two in a day.  It is more manageable, more organized, and although it will take awhile, I should still get through this book in the calendar year, which isn’t too bad considering I tried to read it about 40 times before I was successful.  Dailylit.com.  Go explore it.

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The Davenport

As I am sure you have missed me terribly, I can only apologize for my inability to blog regularly, but not feel worse about it.  I’ve been busy.  Not only have I finished graduate school, been offered a grown up job, accepted this grown up job to begin next month, and signed a lease on a new, 300 square feet bigger, 40 years newer condo with H, but  we have purchased a davenport.  This davenport or couch, (ignore the ugly pillows) will officially be moving into our new apartment shortly after we do and before we ever dream of having people over.

I don’t know why the purchase of a couch is such a big deal, but it is.  Maybe it is because only grown ups go into furniture stores and buy things other than futons for dorm rooms, but I am feeling really adult about this whole couch ownership process.  I was feeling so inspired, that I actually purchased two pieces.  To go with our sage green couch that will match our existing furniture quite well, we purchased a sage green ottoman.  It is double wide so we can both put our feet or food or extra visitors on it, but it is also a storage ottoman.  No more will our unsightly blankets have to be exposed for the cruel eyes of the world to see, but will be tucked away, safe from prying eyes.

My mom suggested that I take a series of before and after pictures of our living quarters to commemorate this change.  She got slightly sentimental and said, “Soon your first apartment will only be a memory.”  It’s an odd thing to be attached to an apartment complex built in the 60s that will be bull dozed next year (no, I’m really not kidding about that), but it is the place where we have spent the first year and a half of our married life,  playing, arguing, and doing laundry.  Who knows if I will ever miss this place one we’ve moved out, but I know that there will be a few pictures to commemorate all 620 square feet of our first apartment.

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