Nothing means anything to me. I don't like people. I don't like being near them. I don't trust them. I don't like the way they live or talk or the thiNothing means anything to me. I don't like people. I don't like being near them. I don't trust them. I don't like the way they live or talk or the things they believe, or the way they push each other around.
I first read this 10 years when I first moved to Fresno. At the time I remember loving it and I went on to read many other books by Saroyan. My husband grew up in Fresno and remembers seeing Saroyan riding his bike around town. After re-reading this, I wonder how much of what I loved about this book was rooted in wanting to love this book. I was a lot less enthusiastic about the book the second time around. It's pretty good, but far from great.
The book is set during WWII in the fictional Ithaca (although it is obviously Fresno as he references many streets and a few landmarks in Fresno). The message of the book is good, but fairly heavy-handed. It's a sweet story, but the characters are constantly teaching us in unrealistic monologues. I prefer a book that gets me to draw my own conclusions, not one that point-blank tells me what they should be....more
The Blood of Others was one of my favorite books in college. I read it many many times. I enjoyed re-reading it last year, but it was very different tThe Blood of Others was one of my favorite books in college. I read it many many times. I enjoyed re-reading it last year, but it was very different than I remembered it. The writing was self-indulgent and the characters kind of annoying. The ideas behind the plot were interesting, but the main character is almost paralyzed by his fear of interfering with someone else's life and it wasn't believable. Just get over yourself.
The idea of whose blood do you spill and whose do you save is an interesting and even powerful concept, and I found it thought-provoking in terms of war (it's placed in Paris before and during WWII), but in terms of relationships, it was crazy. You don't spend your life with someone out of pity, and you don't spurn someone to stay uninvolved. You love who you love. At least when you are young and unattached and deciding those things.
I thought it was interesting too, that her lead male character was so complex and her lead female character was so two-dimensional. I know the idea was that the girl grew and changed and became more than she was, but you don't really see it until she is on her deathbed (that's not a spoiler because she is on her deathbed on page 1 and the rest of the book is written in flashbacks)....more
I first read this in college and re-read it last year. I remember it as a quick and psychologically interesting read. It was interesting this time aroI first read this in college and re-read it last year. I remember it as a quick and psychologically interesting read. It was interesting this time around, but it was also painful, like a gruesome car wreck that you do not want to look at. Good, but I don't think I will re-read it again for awhile. ...more
Everybody thinks of changing humanity and nobody thinks of changing himself. Leo Tolstoy
I first read this book in 1996 and loved it. I re-read it in 20Everybody thinks of changing humanity and nobody thinks of changing himself. Leo Tolstoy
I first read this book in 1996 and loved it. I re-read it in 2005 and got even more out of it the second time. The book is inspiring and is a good reminder of the way I can have a more Christ-centered life through discipline.
Foster deals first with the inward disciplines: meditation, prayer, fasting, study. Then, he moves on to the outward disciplines: simplicity, solitude, submission, and service. The corporate disciplines: confession, worship, guidance, and celebration (these last two didn't resonate with me as much, but were still worthwhile).
What I love the most about the book is his reminder that the pursuit of a Christ-centered life is all about change and bringing ourselves closer to God. To pray is to change. To confess is to change. To worship is to change.
The idea is that daily scripture study and prayer is not to check off a to-do list, but actually change my life and who I am. The disciplines themselves are worthless without change.
I like the idea of incorporating meditation into my prayer time and allowing for more silence. I like the idea of emptying myself through meditation and then allowing myself to be filled with God's love. To let myself be open to God's will.
The chapter on simplicity was very interesting and just what I needed to hear. (Foster has an entire book dedicated to the subject of simplicity that I recommend, Freedom of Simplicity - if you're interested in a book that doesn't have a Christian point of view I recommend Voluntary Simplicity by Duane Elgin). Foster does a good job of inspiring change and encouraging you to start where you are at now....more
I loved this book in college. I re-read it last year and when I started it, I thought it was kind of annoying. It took a little bit for me to warm upI loved this book in college. I re-read it last year and when I started it, I thought it was kind of annoying. It took a little bit for me to warm up to the story, but I loved it again by the end....more
For the first time in several minutes, I glanced around at the tiny elderly man with the unlighted cigar. The delay didn't seem to affect him. His staFor the first time in several minutes, I glanced around at the tiny elderly man with the unlighted cigar. The delay didn't seem to affect him. His standard of comportment for sitting in the rear seat of cars - cars in motion, cars stationary, and even, one couldn't help imagining, cars that were driven off bridges into rivers - seemed to be fixed. It was wonderfully simple. You just sat very erect, maintaining a clearance of four or five inches between your top hat and the roof, and you stared ferociously ahead at the windshield.
I re-read this one last year just for fun. I remember during college reading this aloud with a friend and just laughing at the description of the little man.
This is great stuff. I love Salinger's straightforward way of writing. It is funny and sad. At the same time....more
I've read this book at least four times and love it every time for different reasons. I completely enjoyed it, but I felt differently about the characI've read this book at least four times and love it every time for different reasons. I completely enjoyed it, but I felt differently about the characters this last time around. I was never rooting for Brett and Jake to get together. The whole book came together for me more this time, seeing Brett with the right eyes. She was beautiful, but weak and selfish and the ending was right....more
Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimeters inside your skull.
I first read 1984 in 1984. I would have been 14 or 15, but I remember it vividNothing was your own except the few cubic centimeters inside your skull.
I first read 1984 in 1984. I would have been 14 or 15, but I remember it vividly. The smell of boiled cabbages in Winston's apartment building, hiding from the telescreen to write in his diary, Julia's sash, Winston and Julia watching a woman hang up clothes, and Room 101. I wanted to re-read it to see if it would have a different effect on me and if my memories of it were accurate.
I was surprised at how much of it I remembered. Reading it knowing the main twists and turns of the plot actually made me more aware of the foreshadowing in the book and made it that much more meaningful. There are a few parts that lag a bit and a few things that seemed somewhat contrived in order to teach the reader. But overall, I thought the writing was fantastic and the ideas the book threw at you were incredibly interesting. I was pulled into the story very quickly, which is always great.
The book is a psychological rollercoaster and it is an intense and amazing ride.