This book is so far out of my comfort zone. I mean like it’s the Andromeda to my Milky Way. Granted, in space terms that’s not so far, but it is a merThis book is so far out of my comfort zone. I mean like it’s the Andromeda to my Milky Way. Granted, in space terms that’s not so far, but it is a mere speck to me. Here is your chance to judge: I don’t read books that deal with or written in areas between Europe and Australia I know, it’s a vast area and there are AMAZING stories out there and I HAVE tried (Cutting for Stone, The Kite Runner, Dance Dance Dance) but on the whole.. I avoid the middle east/Africa/Japan area. Go ahead and judge because when I finally admitted that to myself and to my book clubbers, I totally judged me. Am I some sort of racist? What about this whole scene is it that keeps me away? I have run through it a hundred times. I could give you a hundred reasons, excuses and I’m still not redeemed. It’s my fault, my loss, my burden to carry. It just doesn’t interest me. And that shows me how truly self-centered I am. So, with that, I will tell you what I thought of this book. Continue to judge. I thought Amanda Lindhout was a bratty, self centered, braggy little girl. Granted, she wasn’t born privileged and didn’t do the whole early 20s backpacking the way that hipsters do, but she was still annoying to me. I don’t know how much of the responsibility lies with her co-writer, but reading this story did not give me a sense of whatever it is I should have had a sense of. So, I’m a bitch. I know this because really? Amanda Lindhout went through HELL. Like 9th circle type hell. So, why was I thinking that this was sort of her own fault? (Again, I am an ignorant bitch, I am not arguing with you so please refrain from posting some horrible comment) 1. She is white. 2. She is female. 3. She went to Somalia. WTF? She mentions how many times she was warned not to go there. So many people told her that she was pretty much a beacon for kidnappers, that her head ALONE would be worth a million. She even talked about kidnappings that she had heard about, beheadings that made it on the news. Situations that we over here in privilege land only hear snippets about between Kardashian feuds. Why did she go? Was it really because she wanted to experience the suffering for herself or was it so that she could brag that she went to Somalia and took photos and saw the plight of the country? Because that is what was going through my cynical bitchy head. Did she not see Black Hawk Down? They don’t fuck around down there. I saw her journey there as a reason for profit and it was hard to snap out of that mindset. Then again… There are passages where she herself condemns her self indulgence so that made me warm up a bit to it. God, I seriously sound like the biggest bitch. I am sorry. I just can’t relate to this. A 25 year old white woman freely goes into Somalia? Then, I get even more cynical with the book. She wrote a book about it. She got famous because of this. If you google her name her very pretty face is EVERYWHERE. Again, argue with me that she is just trying to make the story public of how terrifying life in Somalia is and to bring the humane part out. I appreciate that. I do, and starting a foundation that helps educate Somalians is awesome. Until those schoolgirls are kidnapped and sold to prove some fundamentalist idea that women should not be educated. Maybe… maybe we shouldn’t interfere if we can’t make the promises that we can protect them? I really hate myself for writing this. I sound like a horrible person. I AM a horrible person. Of course the humane thing to do is help. We, privileged folk, we try to help all the time and yes, by buying Toms and applauding these courageous people who spend their lives doing this humanitarian work we feel that we are helping… and I don’t know of a solution and would never feign to but I think that sometimes by helping we are hurting these people even more. We are cocky and we are forcing our ways onto them and they are resentful and who wouldn’t blame them? It’s like what we did to Hawaii… what we try to do in Iran, Iraq. Our way is better… but is it? Ok, that rant was off topic. I cannot imagine the hell that Amanda Lindhout went through. Even after reading 400 pages of it. It still doesn’t feel real. I can’t imagine how she sleeps at night. Richard Phillips lives like 2 towns over and I can’t fathom how he can even function. This is some serious serious shit. And Amanda is right to feel for her torturers because what if, what if life had given them a different path. What if they didn’t have to watch their families be murdered or always fear mortar attacks. Would they not have had to resort to extortion? I am glad that she acknowledged this. I hope that she is well and I hope the same for Nigel and for their captors (some of them) and for Somalia, I wish it peace and I feel guilty for everything that I have. I truly do. But words don’t make a difference. Not in this case. ...more
Kit’s Wilderness I wonder how many times I’ve seen this title and assumed it was an American Girl book. Truly a shame… This has been out for 15 years… Kit’s Wilderness I wonder how many times I’ve seen this title and assumed it was an American Girl book. Truly a shame… This has been out for 15 years… 15 years that I could have carried Kit and his story with me.
It almost eluded me once again, when I noticed the author, David Almond, I knew that name. A sudden surge, like a warm fuzzie or a premenopausal hot flash overcame me. Skellig. Yes. Now, I remember.
David Almond has this incredible talent. His voice. He rambles, he doesn’t use paragraphs, his dialogues runs into each other, he’s got that British slang thing and he must say “Eh? Eh?” a hundred times which just reminds me of Eh? Eh!. Then I lose my train of thought and some random facebook picture of one of Eh’s dinners pop up and then I’m hungry and I have to focus focus focus.
His voice. It’s gentle, it lulls you.
“This is our world, he used to say. “Aye, there’s more than enough of darkness in it. But over everthing there’s all this joy, Kit. There’s all this lovely lovely light.”
The story is of two boys, Kit and John, aged thirteen. Living in Stoneygate, built over an old mine that holds a power of the boys, the ghosts of children who perished down there, the fascination with death, the escape of grandfathers suffering from dementia or drunk abusive fathers… something draws them together, a story that they need to tell in order to heal.
Or something like that.
What I know is that Mr. Almond was able to lure me into a story of two pubescent boys living in a bleak town in England and hold me there, tightly, until he decided he was done with me. Cast me off into the tunnels below Stoneygate. And now I feel hollow and I’m meandering, trying to catch Silky’s eye. (You have to be in the know) ...more
The worst thing in the world would be to pretend t know the people whose lives I step through. They cannot be homes to me. They must be hotel rooms.
LeThe worst thing in the world would be to pretend t know the people whose lives I step through. They cannot be homes to me. They must be hotel rooms.
Levithan is revisiting A, the character he introduced us to in Every Day. I suppose this is a prequel that needs to be read as a sequel so you understand A, you can see, be, the six different people that A has chosen you to glimpse.
Again, such beauty. One day does not ever seem enough and to stay detached, to try to not disrupt, to always have to be thinking of the person you are squatting in and not yourself... I don't envy A.
"It's the secret smile you get from knowing that, somewhere, there is someone who is yours. Not in the sense that you own her, or control her. She is yours because you can say anything to her."
Too often we realize this too late.
"The desire to be heard is as deepply seeded as the desire to be loved. So much of the technology we spend our time on is geared toward this. For some people, it doesn't matter who's on the other end."
I want to hug David Levithan. I have since I met A, Nick, Nora... and now I want to meet all of his creations. I may even go back and find which Baby Sitter's Club books he wrote.
I'm a geek.. I'm nerd... I have no life.. but if not living means I can throw myself in a Levithan world, then I'm okay with that. I feel lighter after one of his reads.
I hate this book. I hate it with..with…HATE. It’s visceral, I mean literally VISCERAL, like affecting me internally. My arms are humming and my legs a I hate this book. I hate it with..with…HATE. It’s visceral, I mean literally VISCERAL, like affecting me internally. My arms are humming and my legs are pounding and my throat has closed and my fingers shake and such hate from the bowels of depth or depth of bowels or whatever you think is right because I can’t think I’m so filled with….
Want. Need. Loss. Despair.
This is a love story. It’s a story of two young people falling in love.
“Romeo and Juliet are just two rich kids who’ve always gotten every little thing they want. And now, they think they want each other.” “They’re in love..” Mr. Stessman said, clutching his heart. “They don’t even know each other,” she said. “It was love at first sight.” “It was ‘Oh my God, he’s so cute’ at first sight. If Shakespeare wanted you to believe they were in love, he wouldn’t tell you in almost the very first scene that Romeo was hung up on Rosaline… It’s Shakespeare making fun of love.” She said. “They why has it survived?”….”Tell us, why has Romeo and Julie survived four hundred years?” Park hated talking in class. Eleanor frowned at him, then looked away. He felt himself blush. “Because…” he said quietly, looking at his desk, “Because people want to remember what it’s like to be young? And in love?”
See? Rainbow Rowell is making fun of us. We should all be storming her door with torches and yard rakes.
It’s not like books haven’t done this to me before, but maybe just maybe I’m wiser now.. maybe I’ve gained some distance from that ‘When he touched Eleanor’s hand, he recognized her. He knew. Eleanor: Disintegrated. ….. If you’ve ever wondered what that feels like, it’s a lot like melting—but more violent.”
Or maybe not.
Because this isn’t REAL. It doesn’t LAST. You can’t NEED a person like that forever. It FADES, it withers and dies and if it doesn’t outwardly die, it limps along begrudgingly muttering bits of snarkyness under its halitosis laden breath.
And that is why I hate it so much, it stirred up all that stale oxytocin that is mixing with my gastric juices and flung it around right back into circulation... visceral and made me feel weak, made me cry. Made me wish for that.
But, it only happens in books. I have to keep reminding myself of that. The good never lasts. And it’s never the big dramatic orchestra laden climax that does it. It’s just life. And the memories are there and they sting and a glimmer of hope of having that again rises up until you put down the book and know that there really isn’t an Eleanor or a Park and it’s the end of Say Anything all over again when Lloyd and Diane are on the plane and they look at each and you know… you just know that they’re not going to last.
Maybe you cry for that old self. Or maybe you let the bitterness eat at you. All’s Fair..
This is my first Wally Lamb. I kind of feel bad giving it 3 stars but I kind of can't justify 4. I'm not a fan of first person narrative. I suppose itThis is my first Wally Lamb. I kind of feel bad giving it 3 stars but I kind of can't justify 4. I'm not a fan of first person narrative. I suppose it's because I'm really not sure who the character is talking to. Is it us? Are they just reminiscing and we are the intruders? I spent the first part of this book thinking "Is Annie just hanging around her Soho apartment telling all these things to herself? What is the point?
Then I started to doubt myself as a reader. How many books have I read that are like this and why hadn't I questioned this before? Is this how books are written? Why am I so focused on this? Whenever they come back to the present after some long retelling, it seems like it's only been like five minutes their time. Is this just zoning out? Do I do this?
Yeah. Lots of confusion.
Then I started to actually care about the characters, and boy, can Wally do character development. whoa. How long is this book anyway? So, yeah... I started to like them, Orion mostly, because he's the kind of guy that you want but when you get you sort of resent because he wants to be the protector and the teacher and who is he to think that you need to be taught? It's one of those stupid girl burdens... it looks good on paper but once we have it we treat it like shit. I also liked the back story, the 1950s/60s flashbacks. I wish we had more of Josephus Jones... because he does feel like the thread through all of this and his paintings seem to show a story that really needs telling. It's a shame that he wasn't more developed. So, I really don't have much more to say about this. It was good. I've got a Wally Lamb under my belt. I enjoyed the story even though I didn't know where it was going for the first three parts.
Oh wait.. I thought of something else. Another reason for the detachment. I never had adult relationships with parents so this really is fiction for me. I always tend to remove myself from that because it is so foreign. So, there's that. ...more