I bought a new book today. Actually, I bought five new books but I just finished the first one. It’s a manga called Solanin by Inio Asano. The illustrations are lovely I love his style and I’m going to be looking up some more of his work. This one has brought me to tears. Here, look at it (it’s pretty, right?):
My friend Lindsey Jo just called me a minute after I finished it and she freaked out thinking something horrible happened cause I was coming down so to speak and i had snot dripping out of my nose and I was struggling finishing my sentences and doing that breathing thing one does when they have sort of finished crying but not really. But it wasn’t horrible at all. It was bittersweet and it touches at the feelings of uncertainty and confusion and the fear of being mediocre for the rest of your life. I think about that sometimes and it depresses me so I try to ignore it and live day to day in a blissfully oblivious state but if I’m ever going to escape it I have to do the opposite and, well, it’s easier to read a book or daydream life away. That’s what this book is making me think about after I read it a certain uneasiness has settled but it isn’t unpleasant. It makes me want to go out and do something.
Every once in a while a book like this one comes along. There is this feeling people get after reading a book for the first time, not everyone has it for the same books because everyone is different, obviously, but it’s a feeling that echos some thing inside of you and it sits with you and you can’t get rid of it and- and I don’t know what’s with these run on sentences today. I guess what I’m getting at is I have a serious hangover from this one. I loved it and I would, and already have, suggest it to a friend.
Just finished Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. I don’t care if you hate on me for my love of young adult novels, cause I love them in the same way my sister loves her momdals, a bit embarrass, starting with a defensive explanation for her love and ending in a “I don’t give a fuck what you think even if I kind of do.”
It was super cute, with bundles of splendidly ridiculous outfits, old characters brought back with their epic cuteness, foreshadowing for the third book and handfuls to spare of secondhand embarrassment. My favorite. Not sure what I’ll read next. I’ll have to dig through my piles.
Oh! Greatest news every today: I’m inheriting my sister’s old book shelf at the end of the month. She’s going on a road trip to California and then flying out to South Korea from there. I’ll miss her but it will be awesome to visit.
I went Up North with my family to our cottage for the fourth and that was fun. It’s not very large, there are three bedrooms, and there were fifteen of us we had to get a bit creative with sleeping arrangements. My cousins had the right idea and pitched a tent in the yard so they didn’t have to fight for a bed.
I didn’t actually do mush reading when we were there, I had started The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman a day or so before so I was halfway through it but during the ride Up and then back home I completed it. I adore all Neil Gaiman’s books, the ones I’ve read anyhow. His writing is magical and sort of faerie tale-ish. He makes stories and characters that stay in my head even after I’ve read the last line. I’d write more but I don’t want to.
I cannot finish reading Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. I have been trying for some time now and it is just not going to happen for me. Though I was really excited about this book when I bought it and started reading it, I find it incredibly difficult to read. Not that it was particularly challenging to read, twas not, but it was trying to mesh a cult of book lovers with modern day technology and it didn’t work. I’m not saying the two can’t coincide, just that they didn’t coincide in this book. Everything was just too convenient for the characters, easy access to all the resources of Google, a millionaire friend, everyone being so helpful, etc, etc. It takes away the conflict and I don’t feel any shade of suspense. My favorite thing about the book was the title and the cover. It just goes to show you the old cliche about book covers rings true.
On a brighter note as soon as I stopped trying so hard to force things with Penumbra I picked up another book in my stacks and I finished that in a day. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher had been floating around in my peripheral for sometime now and I happen to have a copy in my possession for a while and it was certainly more than I thought it would be. It asks some serious questions and gives a few answers but mostly makes you think about things yourself. It brings up accountability which I struggle with sometimes, more often then I would like. Any which way I really enjoyed it and I’m glad I’m out of my rut.
I bought more books. Five more. It’s a problem.
And I still haven’t finished Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. It’s not that I am not enjoying it but lately I haven’t been in the mood to sit down and read it. It’s so weird, less than six months ago I was reading so much, as I have been for years but recently I haven’t really had the desire. Which is terrifying. I love books. I love reading. WHY AM I HAVING THIS MENTAL ROADBLOCK?!!!
I hope its just an unpleasant phase. Perhaps there is something else I have to do and once I do it, or at the very least start it, this weirdness will pass and I will be one with reading again. One can only hope.
So my new books were acquired at a garage sale sort of thing. The woman selling them was a distributor and the merchandise was overstock or something like that. I didn’t really catch the whole thing. Any which way my new books are as follows:
The first two are cookbooks, I love cookbooks especially for desserts.
Chocolate: 100 Essential Recipes & Les Petits Macarons by Kathryn Gordon and Anne E. McBride
My BFFL Lindsey Jo and I have been wanting to try making macarons since we spent a week at my cottage passing books set in Paris back and forth including but not limited to Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins and The Chocolate Kiss by Laura Florand. (Those two were the most memorable. I also had her read Enchanted by Alethea Kontis but that wasn’t about Paris or chocolate. I mention it because it’s a lovely book and the different fairy tales are woven together beautifully.)
Next is a book about “the perils and pleasures of the natural world”.
I had seen this book a few times and had just mentioned it to my aunt earlier that day so I took it as a sign. The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart explores the plants that have transformed into our most beloved alcoholic drinks for centuries.
I know all my post so far have been about books but I do have other interests, such as music and food and, of course, clothes. (Also culture, history, current events, film, etc. but lets focus on the clothes aspect for now.)
Customize Your Clothes by Rain Blanken breaks down embellishments, screen printing, clothes dyeing and bleaching among a plethora of other fun ideas you may have seen and wanted to try but couldn’t figure out how to actually do it. My sister and I have been planning on dyeing some of our clothes but we’re not good on the follow through with one another, and by that I mean she keeps blowing me off. (Yeah, it’s all her fault. That’s what sisters, all siblings really, are there for, taking all the blame.)
LASTLY we have the cutest book ever.
Love, Loss, and What I Wore by Ilene Beckerman is a fabulous ode to her childhood and young adulthoodin a time of such incredible fashion. Though there aren’t many words throughout, each has a sketch of the outfit she or a family member or friend wore at a particular significant moment and it does a better job of conveying what was going on in their lives than a number of novels I’ve read ever could throughout hundreds of pages.
The Oath is pretty broken at this point so I’ve revised it a bit. Every time I buy a new book I have to get rid of an old one. Since I have eight new additions I must send eight away. We’ll see how this goes.
A Little Bit Later: I have decided to get rid of In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner, Duncan’s Bride by Linda Howard, The Book of Scandal by Julia London, The Swan Maiden by Susan King, Lady In Red by Karen Hawkins, The Highlander by Heather Grothaus, and four cookbooks I haven’t used much or at all.
So yesterday I went to the DIA with my sister and father, there was this fabulous exhibition Samurai: Beyond the Sword. I love Japanese culture so I’ve been dying to go for sometime, and I was woken up and told to put some clothes on, we’re going to the DIA. I followed these instructions in an only partially awake stupor and found my way into the kitchen, where a few minutes prior my dad and sister had discovered they coordinated in blue and I was sent to change. It took two more tries before I was deemed appropriately attired. They are seriously ridiculous.
That’s not really relevant though in the grand scheme of things. We then got a membership to the DIA and we went our way. As it happens it was double discount day for members in both the main shop and the exhibition shop and I there was this book of Japanese fairy tales and I just had to have it. I love fairy tales and as I mentioned I love Japanese culture and I don’t know a lot of their fairy tales so this book will remedy that.
This wouldn’t be so bad in and of itself. My sister was with me and she didn’t object but I just bought two more within the last hour and I haven’t even been reading a lot of the books in my stacks and it’s a problem. It makes it a little better because I have a Barnes & Noble membership and I’ve just been sitting on two coupons for an additional 20% off and I don’t like letting those expire. I’m going to also mention I didn’t just wonder in there with no purpose or try to delude myself into thinking I was just browsing. I was getting The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil for her birthday which I am allowed to do under the rules of The Oath. I had honorable intentions I simply struggled with the follow through. Oops.
So here are my new additions.
I already started Candy: A Century Of Panic and Pleasure by Samira Kawash and it’s pretty good. I don’t always love nonfiction but Ms. Kawash’s writing is a pleasure to read, and of course there is the fact that I love candy.
I’m sort of struggling with the reading at the moment. I am doing it but I’m all over the place. I’m reading Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore which is intriguing, I’m incredibly curious as to what’s in the books of the Waybacklist. I also started reading Worm, and online serial novel by Wildbow(?), it’s fantastic and I lose days at a time reading it. I just started Candy as I said above and I reread The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye since my BFF found her lost copy which didn’t take more than a day but still it took time. I need to seriously straighten out my reading agenda.
Moral of the story: NO BUYING ANYMORE BOOKS
Act II Scene I: It had always irked Lia that Dr. Wells didn’t keep a clock in her office. From a therapist’s standpoint she could understand that to someone who didn’t particularly want to be there, such as Lia herself, or a person who was anticipating an event taking place after their weekly appointment, which Lia was, a clock could be quite a distraction. Though she could understand this, it still irked her.
"You look like you’re in more of a hurry than usual to get out of here. Have you started a really good book?" Dr. Wells inquired. "Tell me about it."
Silly sorceress, Lia thought to herself, you may have bewitched my mother into believing you have good intentions by using your magic on me, but your spells will not work. I use my own magic to protect myself from such trickery.
She didn’t say that though, instead she answered in her nearly inaudible whisper, “N-n-no. I, uh, um, j-, I, uh.” She closed her eyes and swallowed, took a deep breathe, then another. “I’m not reading anything at the moment.” She opened her eyes and peeked at the woman who sat a few feet from her. She was writing something down.
"Why don’t we try a small exercise." Dr. Wells suggested after a extended silence. "I’m going to ask you some questions, nothing personal, but I want you to try to keep your eyes open."
Lia sharply inhaled. This did not sound pleasant at all to her. She shook her head.
"Please give it a try before you turn me down. It may be easier than you think."
If it was that easy I wouldn’t need a therapist, would I? Lia thought. It will be good practice for later though. If I am to succeed on my quest I must be able to communicate with The Boy. She closed her eyes and took a deep breathe. “Doihavetolookatyou?” She asked. Looking at her will make it impossible to hold up my defenses against her magic.
"No. You can look where ever you want." Lia opened her eyes and nodded for the doctor to begin. Dr. Wells smiled to herself and asked her first question. "What is your name?"
My name? I can easily see though plotting. She wants my name so she can control me. I mustn’t let have it. ”L-Lia.”
"What was that?"
If I only give her part of my name she wont have any power over me. “Lia.”
"I can see you moving your lips but I can’t hear you. Please try to speak a little louder."
"Lia." Lia whispered a little louder. Her face was red as lunar eclipse and she was sweating through her t-shirt. This is awful. She felt like crying. I’m a failure as a human being. I can’t even say my name without making a complete fool of myself. I’m going straight home after this. No quest for me. I’m never going to leave my house again. I can never, ever come here again. I’m such a fool.
"That was good. You kept your eye open while you answered." Dr. Wells could see her beginning to spiral downwards and tried to sooth her. "Do you think we could try another?"