Books | Reading

literary wall o’ shame, pt 2

Yesterday got me thinking, based on the books of shame that haven’t been read. And I figured in stead of a bright and shiny post today. I thought I would pose a question (based on two people (Dawn & my PT, Lauren) asking me this):

What are the 5 books that you are most ashamed to admit you’ve read?

Mine?

  1. Twilight/New Moon/Eclipse/Breaking Dawn. Though each should be it’s own unique number of shame.
  2. Nora Roberts. Shame fills me typing that, but dear wonderful world, sometimes I need mindless fluff.
  3. Every Princess Diaries Book. (finished in college, oops).
  4. Gilbert Morris. For anyone that grew up reading Christian Fiction, you will understand what I mean by that. Morris is by far the most formulaic writer on the planet. Every book has the same formula, and I read 25 of them. Shame.
  5. Eat, Pray, Love. I got caught up in the hype and read it. I felt like I lost 4 hours of my life that I will never get back. (Did I mention I’m a speed-reader). It was self-serving and well, if you want to know how I really feel, kind of selfish. If you want a feel good memoir, may I recommend The Sharper the Knife the Less You Cry.

So what I really want to know is, what books have really maybe you cringe (and maybe hide two deep on your bookshelf)?

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Books | Reading

thursday book day.

Publishers Weekly has a blog. (Though who doesn’t in the world these days).

Yesterday there was a post dedicated to the Literary Wall O’ Shame. I personally thought this was going to be aout everything you’ve read that you’re ashamed of, I have lots of those, but it wasn’t.

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The best and worst thing about books is that there are too many of them. According to Bowker, there were 288,355 titles published in 2009 in the U.S. alone. What that means is you have a whole lot of options, but that also means there are over 288,000 books every year that you haven’t read (unless you have nine eyes and more than 365 days, in which case you’re a time-traveling mutant and are readying plans to take over Earth). I’m not very good at math, but if you multiplied 288,000 and 100, I’d imagine you’d get a number with roughly 70 zeroes. This number would represent, give or take a few digits, the number of books in the last hundred years you haven’t read.

Instead, it was about the books you are ashamed to admit you haven’t read. So the thinking started (especially as I’ve seen all these weddings with great book themes and thing, wow I totally haven’t read any of those).

So I put my thinking cap on and came up with my own mini book wall of shame:

  1. Most of Steinbeck. I read Grapes of Wrath, I couldn’t stand Grapes of Wrath so I read nothing else. It seems petty now, but at the time (re: high-school), I felt super validated in my opinion.
  2. Wuthering Heights. I have started it, I’ve read the ending….the middle through. Oops.
  3. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. It has been on my nightstand for about a year. Still there, with the receipt holding the last page I read….page 11.
  4. The Russians. Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. Two words: very long. That being said I did force my way through Anna Karenina, but after that, I couldn’t do it. That being said Crime and Punishment is on the “to read” shelf, where it has been since college.
  5. Anything George Eliot. I would love to like the works, but my grandmother gave my mom and I a VHS tape with the PBS version on the Mill on the Floss recorded on it. Let me ruin the end, death. Two and a half to three hours of the most painful PBS drama every…and death. After that, there was to be no Silas Marner, Mill on the Floss or Middlemarch on my bookshelf.

Anything on your Literary Wall of Shame?

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Books | Reading, Life

Fantastic Evening

I expected today to be awash. Pretty much I had no plans, I wasn’t sure I wanted plans, and I was confidents that is plans actually arose I would shoot them down. And then I climbed out of my bed. Oh how quickly my resolve faded.

It began with breakfast/lunch. The British Friend wanted pancakes and we were both pretty confident that our go to pancake place would be packed. So, I pulled out the random box of Bisquick (Lord only knows in what moment of desperation that appeared in my kitchen) and I went to work pancake making. A shot time later, pancakes…fresh strawberries and syrup graces my beautiful square dishes. It was great, I mean not as great as the buttermilk pancakes, but tasty all the same.

Then it was off to E’s where the party was in full swing to finish off yesterday’s keg. It was crazy. It was amazing. I don’t think I have laughed so hard in a long time.

But then came my favorite part of the day.

[Back story: So yesterday evening I told the LP that in a new attempt to embrace my single me-ness I was going to take myself out, i.e. I find myself way too dependent and heaven help me I can't be the third wheel, or the fifth wheel. It's just too much to handle Thus, I said I was taking myself to the movies].

Back to present time.

There were about a million and one times during the day that I was just like, heck no an I going to the movies by myself. It seemed lame once I decided that I was doing it. Shockingly I followed though. At 7:10 pm I left what could only be describe as “Drunkfest ’09;” as the sober girl it was probably a good departure point.

At 7:30 I was happy as a clam in the theater watching UP. It was darling and wonderful and fantastic. I may have been the only person that wasn’t in a group, which was a little much in the beginning, but by the end it was totally fine. I walked out of the theater and was on the waterfront when the fireworks began and pretty much all I could think (after: ooh and ahh) was, wow I am a darn good date planner if I do say so myself. :)

Now it’s time to pack a box and then curl up with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (less the 15 days to make it through OotP and then Half-Blood Prince before the movie comes out). Fantastic end of an evening.

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Books | Reading, Food, Life, Politics

procrastination, in review

So like has been lamented time and time again, last week was bad and my focus was shot. Needless to say, my procrastination level went way, way up. And so, we will have procrastination in review…a time to tell of the amazing things on the internet that can only be founds through mindless surfing, facebook and gchat links.

1. “Are You A Christian Hipster:” I mean this one about made my day (although I will admit it’s been on the “to blog about list for almost 2 weeks).  It’s been all over the internet including a shout out on the “Daily Dish” from Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic. My favorite paragraph:

Christian hipsters love thinking and acting Catholic, even if they are thoroughly Protestant. They love the Pope, liturgy, incense, lectio divina, Lent, and timeless phrases like “Thanks be to God” or “Peace of Christ be with you.” They enjoy Eastern Orthodox churches and mysterious iconography, and they love the elaborate cathedrals of Europe (even if they are too museum-like for hipster tastes). Christian hipsters also love taking communion with real Port, and they don’t mind common cups. They love poetry readings, worshipping with candles, and smoking pipes while talking about God. Some of them like smoking a lot of different things.

Pretty much it’s hysterical and has been the office joke. Pretty much imagine a church staff ending every conversation with, “but is that a Christian hipster thing to do.” We also decided that a huge bulk of Christian hipsters work hard to cover up a homeschooling past, sad and yet so very very true.

2. The Wall Street Journal’s defense of Laura Bush: I mean I love the First Lady’s office and think a lot of good work can come from it. And yes, I understand that the current Adminstration is trying to set themselves apart from the past. However, get your facts straight before you knock Mrs. Bush; because yes Michelle Obama, you like military families but then so did your predecessor.

3. The Food Section of the NYTimes: Not the most conservative paper, however, there was a full article on Whoopie pies (or cakes) and it was really interesting. Made me want to both makes them and go on a road trip to sample them. Also, we should note that I love the New York Times.

4. More Food: So if anyone hasn’t seen the blog This is Why You’re Fat, well just imagine a lot of deep-fried fatty foods. And this should be a contestant there. So, the fouth position comes to us from Serious Eats (one of the only blogs that gets it’s own icon on my iPhone): “Bacon Hamburger Fatty Melt.” Yes, it may in fact clog your arteries just looking at the pictures; but you seriously should look, it pretty much is amazingly disgusting.

5. Political pundits, youth, and body fat: Enter Slate Magazine’s article on the cat fight pinning Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham against Meghan McCain (which may have started after McCain wrote a “I don’t get Ann Coutler” blog post). In any political debate that features Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham…I will always be on the opposite side, especially when that debate includes a high school girl moment of calling the size 8/10, Meghan McCain plus size. So a note to the scary women: “I mean seriously…get with the picture female, Republican pundits, we don’t respect you cause you’re witchy and I’m pretty sure you never eat. Your life must be sad, you must be hungry…see the above featured item, a Bacon Hanburger Fatty Melt could be awesome for you; or the below item, a sandwich could change your life.”

6. New Obsession: Scanwich. Yes, if you pull that name apart you get scan and (sand)wich. And yes, people are scanning their sandwiches. That simple. That awesome. I’m easily amused when I don’t feel well. Actually I’m pretty sure I’m always easily amused.

And lastly, which doens’t even get a number, Time Magazine’s article on romance. Pretty much it’s over a year old, and was part of the Jan 2008 Science of Romance issue. It’s pretty fascinating and totally supports my moodiness with love and romance, cause there apparently is a science and it’s not something that can be controlled. My annoyance was totally validated. :)

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Books | Reading, Life

White people and Kitchen Aid Mixers

So for work, one of my self-assigned tasks it to reach out to pop culture blogs and create partnerships. And the one that I cared about most was Stuff White People Like, I mean…I’m kind of in love with the blog. (In a clearly I know I can’t marry a blog sort of way, of course).

But, Christian Lander, the creator of the blog, emailed me back (and yes, for all of you that paused in shock…that was a real name written there). And I may have run around the office with a happy dance, jump and smile (one of the interns claims I did I happy clog and not a happy dance). All in all though, I got to meet him tonight. It’s like the life goal I forgot about. I mean meeting Christian is right up there with me wanting to meet Deb of smittenkitchen, it just needs to happen.

But he signed my book, took a photo with me and my coworkers, and is going to work with my office. The happy dance I’m doing is never-ending and possibly all internal now as I sit and yawn on my couch.

SOOOOOOOOO HAPPY!!! And if you’re wondering why a Kitchen-Aid is mentioned in the title…it’s cause I self-identify with #54 on the Stuff White People Like List, kitchen gadgets, mostly these three paragraphs:

But, in order for them to truly enter into whitedom, they need to own the holy grail of white kitchens – the kitchen aid stand mixer. They will match this mixer to their kitchen’s color scheme and it will make up the focal point. And much like many religious artifacts, it will remain untouched for months and even years, sitting on the counter to be admired as a testament to their lifestyle.

Kitchen Gadgets also serve as one of the main reasons why white people get married. Look at their registry and you will find gadgets for any possible task in the kitchen. If you end up buying one of these for a white person, your card should make reference to them using a lot to make beautiful food that you hope you can eat one day. This kind of stuff goes over like gang busters.

…you should just throw out a combination of these words: “le Creuset, Calphalon, All Clad, Williams Sonoma, and Sur Le Table.” White people go so nuts when they hear these words, you won’t even have to finish your sentence.

However, to this all I have to say is….my lemongrass green Kitchen-Aid mixer is the center point of my small kitchen, purchased at Williams Sonoma, and I didn’t have to get married and register for it…I just had to graduate from college (cause that is how ridiculous I am).

**Follow-up: I know I’m not white. But people, just let me go on this one. I’ll come back to my usual confused multi-cultural, bi-racial self after the euphoric buzz wears off.

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Books | Reading, Life

We Paid $160,000 to Have This Convo

 So, all I have to say is this is what you get when you combine a girl with a slow job and an ear infection(me!), one procrastinating masters student (H) and Gchat (the invention of the gods (Greek ones of course)).

H: So I have 3 dots under my chin, like I got bit by a 3 toothed vampire
Me: What?
H: Like 3 tiny dots/bumps all in a row
Me: I only get birthmarks in 3’s on my face in a triangle pattern, since we’re sharing randomness
Me: Yours, however, can be taken care of if you stop making out with vampires
H: Yea, I guess I made out w a vampire w/o knowing about it
Me: My mom used to joke I was marked with a sign
H: hahaha
Me: Cause I have one triangle lower cheek and I have one to the side of one eye
and a third set popped up one day and my mom was like…is something going on. She thought I had drawn it on to mess with her
H: haha…amazing
Me: But no
H: You should look in a book of “signs”and see what it means
Me: Always 3. Always a triangle. It’s weird, I tried not to think about it for a while cause people would point it out and then someone was like, I have something that can lighten those…and I got protective of them and embraced them
H: haha, nice. We should make up a story of what they symbolize
Me: I think I may blog about them
H: Like how many children you will have
Me: Ummm, that would be 9…no
H: or
H: Something relating to the trinity
Me: I’m the kingdom of God….and my face portrays the trinity, I think not
H: You will be a subject of the next Dan Brown book
Me: No words

 **note, my thesis adviser would have freaked out at the Dan Brown line…she hates him, every fiber of his being. Like forbade his name in class with threats of docking people’s grades if they mentioned him ever. So someone always made sure to bring him up once a class session…it was cruel, but I loved her reaction every time**

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