Book Hangover

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?):

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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.

On A Roll… Kinda

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.

A Good Place To Do Some Reading

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 Quit

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.

Oops!… I Did It Again

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.

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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”.

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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.)image

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.

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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.

I Broke The Sacred Oath

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

Books I Own But Have Not Yet Found/Made Time To Read

  1. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  2. How To Abduct A Highland Lord by Karen Hawkins
  3. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
  4. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  5. Chocolat by Joanne Harris
  6. Staying Fat For Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
  7. A Wizard Of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
  8. How To Be An American Houswife by Margaret Dilloway
  9. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
  10. Love In The Time Of Cholera by Gaeriel Garcia Marquez
  11. The Complete Plays Of Sophocles by Sophocles
  12. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brian
  13. Just One Day by Gayle Forman
  14. Recipe For Adventure: Paris! by Giada De Laurentiis
  15. Hero by Alethea Kontis
  16. Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
  17. The Taming Of The Shrew by William Shakespeare
  18. Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
  19. Hairstyles Of The Damned by Joe Meno
  20. Sense And Sensibility And Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters.
  21. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  22. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa
  23. Beijing Doll by Chun Sue
  24. The Elegance Of The Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
  25. Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith
  26. White Oleander by Janet Fitch
  27. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey
  28. Maneater by Gigi Levangie Grazer
  29. Once Upon A Castle by Jill Gregory, Ruth Ryan Langan and Marianne Willman
  30. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  31. Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  32. The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank
  33. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  34. Lord Of The Flies by William Golding
  35. The Pearl by John Steinbeck
  36. The Devil’s Advocate by Morris L. West
  37. The Sleeping Beauty by Adrienne Sharp
  38. Patty Jane’s House of Curl by Lorna Landvik
  39. Daughter Of The Blood by Anne Bishop
  40. Heir to the Shadows by Anne Bishop
  41. His Secret Duchess by Gayle Wilson
  42. Duets: If The Shoe Fits and Designs On Jake by Samantha Connolly and Dorien Kelly
  43. Companions Of The Night by Vivian Vande Velde
  44. The Unique World Of Women by Eugenia Price
  45. Voice Of The Eagle by Linda Lay Shuler
  46. Tender Rebel by Johanna Lindsey
  47. Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder
  48. Lola And The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
  49. Unnatural Creature (stories selected) by Neil Gaiman
  50. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  51. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  52. Fire by Kristin Cashore
  53. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
  54. The Elite by Kiera Cass
  55. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
  56. Firecracker by David Iserson
  57. Falling For Hamlet by Michelle Ray
  58. The Night Before The Wedding by Debra Mullins
  59. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  60. The Old Man And The Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  61. Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern
  62. The French Gardener by Santa Montefiore
  63. Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
  64. Writing Dangerously by Carol Brightman
  65. Candide by Voltaire
  66. N.P. by Banana Yoshimoto
  67. This Side Of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  68. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
  69. The Kitchen God’s Wife by Amy Tan
  70. Jemima J by Jane Green
  71. The Birth Of Venus by Sarah Dunant
  72. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  73. The Monster Of Florence by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi
  74. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  75. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
  76. Snow White, Blood Red (edited) by Ellen Datlow &Terri Windling
  77. The Spitfire by Beatrice Small
  78. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
  79. Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld
  80. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
  81. The Black Pearl by Scott O’dell
  82. Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia by Marya Hornbacher
  83. The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl
  84. Snow Flower and The Secret Fan by Lisa See
  85. The Idiot Girls’ Action and Adventure Club by Laurie Notaro
  86. Jay’s Journal by Anonymous
  87. The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
  88. The Girls’ Guide To Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank
  89. Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen
  90. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
  91. The Maze Runner by James Dasher
  92. The Scorch Trials by James Dasher
  93. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  94. Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro
  95. Victoria Victorious by Jean Plaidy
  96. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman
  97. Vinyl Junkies by Brett Milano
  98. Smashed by Koren Zailckas
  99. Reading Lolita In Tehran by Azar Nafisi
  100. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
  101. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  102. Bridget Jone’s Diary by Helen Fielding
  103. Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
  104. Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  105. Seduction of a Proper Gentleman by Victoria Alexander
  106. Japanese Fairy Tales by Yei Theodora Ozaki
  107. Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure by Samira Kawash
  108. Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders by Neil Gaiman
  109. Love, Loss, and What I Wore by Ilene Becherman
  110. Customize Your Clothes by Rain Blanken
  111. The Drunken Botanist by Amt Stewart
  112. The Candy Darlings by Christine Walde
  113. City Of Masks by Mary Hoffman
  114. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowwell
  115. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
  116. The One by Kiera Cass
  117. Looking For Alaska by John Green
  118. Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss
  119. Solanin by Inio Asano
  120. Ink by Amanda Sun
  121. The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand by Gregory Galloway
  122. The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black
  123. The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey

Lia & Char

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?"