“Phillip Dick’s effects fascinate me even more than the social discontent pulsing through the neon tube in front of the wrinkled mirror suspended by t “Phillip Dick’s effects fascinate me even more than the social discontent pulsing through the neon tube in front of the wrinkled mirror suspended by the piano wire from the windmill of his mind."
Wow. That is a great sentence. I would like someone someday to describe me this way. I would like Roger Zelazny to write an introduction for me, even if I’ve never heard of him.
This left me really excited to read Do androids dream of electric sheep? Other props: The title. How cool is that? Blade Runner. Yummy Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer hair that I would have promised my first child for back in the day. (Sorry, Em)
So. What can I say? Meh. Okay, Meh +. I liked it. It was ok. They probably shouldn’t have talked him up like that in the introduction. Maybe hype played a role here; maybe I’m just not smart enough to appreciate PKD. Whatever the reason, I can now state that I have read this and move on. ...more
“Soon enough the days will close over their lives, the grass will grow over their graves, until their story is just an unvisited headstone.”
This is my “Soon enough the days will close over their lives, the grass will grow over their graves, until their story is just an unvisited headstone.”
This is my worst fear. I got goosebumps when I read it. To be forgotten… erased from memory. But, I don’t think that is what this book is about. (I just liked that quote). I think this book is about love and choices and damned be all who judges.
This is not a book I would have read on my own. I will start with that. But, I am glad that I did. I’m not sure I was changed by it, but the quick time that I spent in Janus with Tom and Isabel and Lucy.. well, it was precious.
I’ve always wanted to live in a lighthouse. Who doesn’t? I pity the landlocked. The sound of the ocean, the breaks in the water, the tidal pools… I miss it. You see, I have become one of the landlocked. Yes, I have a large lake, but it’s not the same. Not by far.
This is the lighthouse I want to live in.
I have since I was eight years old on vacation with my family. I love the pulley system, I love the little house, it’s close to land, but it’s not. I spent a lot of my teens here, I still visit at least yearly and I still want to live there.
In 1874 President Rutherford B. Hayes appropriated the sum of $15,000 to build a lighthouse on this “Nub” of land. On July 1, 1879 construction was completed on what, at the time, was known as the Knubble Lighthouse with a 4th order light began to protect our men and women on the sea. The men and women serving in the Lighthouse Service were the first guardians who provided great care for the light and its surrounding buildings… Eventually this service became short of resources and funding to care for our majestic beacons.Because of this in part, as well as the growing development of technology, the Lighthouses became automated. Nubble Light was automated in July, 1987
The lighthouse in this book is nothing like Nubble Light.
It’s its own little world and just as beautiful and just as important a character as anyone else. This is where Tom Sherbourne feels the safest. He’s been through WWI and likes the rules, the continuity, the sameness. He is a thoughtful man, one that holds the horrors of what he’s seen close to him. He meets Isabel who is light, quick to laugh, fierce in her love. I truly enjoyed these characters.
The life on the lighthouse seems to suit them and soon they become pregnant. Good people, who have much to offer, much love to share… and what happens? Life is a bitch. It is cruel and cold and unfair. Dammit.
But, what do they do? They persevere. They suffer through 3 miscarriages until the ocean brings them a gift. A baby in a dinghy (oh and her dead dad). What would you do? 100 miles from land with little contact with the outside world, just having buried your third child? I don’t blame them… they are good people.
“When it comes to their kids, parents are all just instinct and hope. And fear. Rules and laws fly straight out the window.”
Yep. This is the one thing in this book that is familiar to me. This and that life is a bitch. I don’t fault them their happiness and if it wasn’t for that damn onus. That stupid (view spoiler)[rattle. (hide spoiler)] I knew it was their downfall… they would have been FINE.
Well, except for the whole guilt feeling. That can get to some people and I truly wonder if I were in their place, would it bother me. Sad to say, I think not. Not after the life they were dealt.
“Perhaps when it comes to it, no one is just the worst thing they ever did.”
Word. I don’t believe that these actions cause these people to be bad. I understand that it left a hole in someone else’s life and yeah, that makes me sad, but really… the aftermath seems much worse.
Maybe I am going to hell. Maybe I am a rotten person.
“You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day.”
If only it were that easy for me.
This book is a tug of war of contradictions for me. I would do that and I would do that, but not that. I would feel guilt but I wouldn’t change.
Lately, a lot of what I’ve read has led me to these self doubts. Judging my own character against these fictional ones. Is this a book nerd’s midlife crisis?
I did cry. I cried for Tom, for Isabel, for Lucy, for Hannah. I can’t say what is right and what is wrong, only what would make the most joy or cause the most grief. It’s a heavy scale. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I just don’t get it. For the better part of my life I feel that I’ve leaned towards the glass half full-look at the bright side-I’d like I don’t know.
I just don’t get it. For the better part of my life I feel that I’ve leaned towards the glass half full-look at the bright side-I’d like to teach the world to sing-make lemonade-happy happy joy joy side of things.
Reading this book made me feel doomed. I snorted and harrumphed and tsk’d a lot at her observations and her truths and it made me Unhappy. I don’t much care for books that do that. Okay, let’s back up. I wasn’t expecting a life changer here. I thought it would be anecdotal, humorous, like maybe Amy Sedaris-ish or at least kitschy Erma Bombeck-y… I thought I might find a like-minded soul.
I did not.
I will take the blame for this. High expectations and crap. I should know better. Plus, I really don’t do well with the self-helpy kind of books. They tend to read like ‘all or nothing’ and ‘I am the expert’. This book didn’t do that but it did feel a little preachy. However… and here is where I am not liking myself and feeling sort of hypocritical and Debbie downerish….I’m not sure that she quite… she doesn’t… It’s not…
1. She is kind of privileged. She lives in Manhattan with a sane, functioning, providing, husband and two gifted little girls and getting to ‘work’ from home (I use quotes because she gets to write and stuff all day and she loves that and I’m not downplaying people who achieve their work nirvana or anything, but I don’t think she thinks it’s work either)
2. She has this awesome support system and lots and lots of friends. She goes to parties. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a party. Certainly not as a grown up.
3. I kind of feel like she’s throwing it in my face.
I know, I own this. She is just trying to get a little appreciation and warm fuzzies out of her day to day life (which is already pretty toasty). I am a major proponent in finding your happy place. Your gleemonex (if you are a Kids in the Hall fan). I just don’t like the way she tells it because she makes it feel like so much work. Become clutter free, don’t expect retribution, exercise more, sleep more, meet new friends, write a novel in a month, indulge yourself (modestly), lighten up, be serious about play, aim higher, stop nagging, don’t gossip, find a spiritual master.
Wow. I have 18 marked pages of issues that I wanted to counteract. That’s not good. I shouldn’t be judging like that. But, scoring your virtues? And taking this cue from Benjamin Franklin? I don’t know. That seems sketchy to me.
Pg. 18. “Was it supremely self-centered to spend so much effort on my own happiness?”
Hell yes. I mean, I’m sure others benefited, but if you started talking about having a play date to clutter free my closet, I’m going to want to punch you in the face.
Pg. 153 “I tried to remember not to judge people harshly, especially on the first or second encounter. Their actions might not reveal their enduring character but instead reflect some situation they find themselves in. Forbearance is a form of generosity.”
Doesn’t that sound snotty? I’m not saying she’s wrong.. I guess I’m just pointing out that her little realizations made me annoyed. I don’t want to be THAT person.
Pg. 215: "It took me a long time to accept this perverse fact—many people don’t want to be happy or at least don’t want to seem happy (and if they act as if they’re not happy, they’re not going to feel happy).”
Ugh. She makes me feel like one of those people and I started this book thinking I’d find kin! Now I’m a frowning, furrowed, huffy, lip biter who sees the bad instead of the good.
Yes, it’s my bad. I said that already. Why does she have to make happiness sound so exhausting? I get it, we need to be more aware of our blessings or what have you. Gratitude journals are big right now, daily truths, calm blue oceans, yoga and colored skies and Meyers Briggs, and parachutes and all that.
I came across a site that offered Positive Affirmations! (for a price) ‘Reminder: You can still grab The Positive Affirmations for Life program (The Positive Affirmation for Life program is a 4-hour audio program, spanning 7 important life series (see below). Each series contains three 12-minute tracks in MP3 format to play virtually anywhere. Plus you get an instructional guide and the complete audio transcripts in PDF format. You get immediate access to the entire product upon purchase.) With more than 4 hours of audio affirmations for 7 life situations that impact your happiness and success the most. You can buy your very own positive affirmation with a 30 day money back guarantee.
See, I’m a cynic. I’m grumpy and I want to argue with all her observations. I want to keep butting in saying ‘but, what about’, ‘and if you aren’t able to…’, ‘really?’. Crud. I hate myself.
Things I did learn from this book:
3 second hugs release oxytocin or dopamine or something that induces calmness (I wish I were a better hugger).
Studies DO show that instant gratification is just that. Can you imagine a study where people went and put like coins in a pay phone for other people to find to make their day? Weird.
I can’t start my own happiness project because I will just make myself miserable. ...more