Wonderful little poems composed on a typewriter. You can view some of them as posted by the author in Pinterest. I liked this audiobook because they aWonderful little poems composed on a typewriter. You can view some of them as posted by the author in Pinterest. I liked this audiobook because they are read by the poet, which is always my preference for poetry.
Here's a taste of one:
#1074 You walk like you were born with a soundtrack. I watch like I was born in an old movie theater. There is cinema in our kissing, and we've never bothered to follow the script.
Please see my previous review as my opinions haven't changed. I listened to this again for my book club, which meets in a virtual world. That made thePlease see my previous review as my opinions haven't changed. I listened to this again for my book club, which meets in a virtual world. That made the discussion pretty much perfect!
Cline imagines a few things that I wish were true about virtual worlds and a few I'm glad are not. ...more
Read this again because I will go see the author speak on Wednesday. Still really love the walking bits and get a little distracted in the other bits.Read this again because I will go see the author speak on Wednesday. Still really love the walking bits and get a little distracted in the other bits. Cole's writing about music is stunning as well. His writing is fluid, and I'm looking forward to what comes next. ...more
"Whom to marry, and when will it happen - these two questions define every woman's existence."
And with thI received a copy of this from the publisher.
"Whom to marry, and when will it happen - these two questions define every woman's existence."
And with that bold statement, Bolick is off examining the life of women who choose non-marriage. She uses the lens of five significant female figures in her own education - Edna St. Vincent Millay, Maeve Brennan, Neith Boyce, Edith Wharton, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
Bolick examines cultural assumptions, expectations of women, historical precedence for living alone, and the concept of alone vs. lonely.
"To set sail on the black unknown of sleep in a room that's been 'mine' nearly my entire life is one of the greatest luxuries I know. As Edna Millay once put it about an island she loved: 'There, thought unbraids itself, and the mind becomes single.'"
Bolick looks at the negative societal views of "spinsters" and tries to connect them to more recent generations:
"To further thwart self-knowledge, there's a theory that we as humans lack the imagination to 'remember' any further back than the generation or two that directly precedes us, limiting our historical memory to the eras of our parents and grandparents. This may be why the so-called 'golden years' of the 1950s and early 1960s loom so large in our contemporary consciousness, bullying many of us into believing that the institution of marriage was always thus, and will be evermore. We simply can't see through the dense hedge of norms and expectations to the decades that came before."
The concept of a woman's relationship with her own mother in how she develops a sense of self:
"When you're a daughter, your mother's face is your first mirror... odds are you'll unconsciously adopt her attitude of self-regard."
"How even I, 'a dutiful daughter,' .. was living a life so different from my mother's.... I was beginning to think that this habit of mind - constantly tracing myself back to my mother, to where she'd begun and left off - wasn't idiosyncratic, but something that many if not most women did, a feature of the female experience."
"Edna's generation came of age in a world poles apart from the one previous. As her own mother speculated in her diary in 1922, the year Edna turned thirty, 'I wonder if the real difference between us is that the added generation has given her a courage I never had, to be honest, even with myself."
The difference in perspective between married and single friends:
"Single women of my acquaintance were exceptionally alert to the people around them, generous in their attention, ready to engage in conversation or share a joke.... In the best instances, the result [of living alone] was an intricate lacework of friendships varying in intensity and closeness that could be, it seemed, just as sustaining as a nuclear family and possibly more appealing."
This book is well researched using texts that were unknown to me! I added a lot to my reading list (meaning this is the best kind of book.)
Like the following:
"[Men] are afraid that they will cease to be sultans in little monogamic harems. But the world doesn't want sultans. It wants men who can call their souls their own. And that is what feminism is going to do for men - give them back their souls, so that they can risk them fearlessly in the adventure of life." - Floyd Dell, "Feminism for Men," July 1914
This is a review of the audiobook, which I received in exchange for an honest review from Brilliance Audio.
I originally read the second book of the AlThis is a review of the audiobook, which I received in exchange for an honest review from Brilliance Audio.
I originally read the second book of the Alexandria Quartet in 2009, and stopped without finishing the quartet. My goal is to get through all four books this year, but it is definitely slower going since I'm using the audio version. Narrator Jack Klaff makes great efforts to distinguish between characters but sometimes that makes me really hate the time we spend with some of them. Scobie with his whistled "s" is just unbearable in the car, and has a considerably large section near the beginning.
What I love about this book is the way it fills in some of the details missing in Justine, and gives the reader an entirely new perspective on the characters and events. You find out why Justine marries Nessim, and it is not what you might expect. You learn more about the espionage side of things, which I of course enjoyed. But the author is also stepping back and reflecting on love and life, and Durrell writes so beautifully that hearing the passages again was like revisiting a favorite poem.
The other layer of interest in Balthazar that as far as I know is unique to this volume of the quartet is the inclusion of two additional texts referenced in different ways. The novel starts with Balthazar visiting the author, bringing a pile of marked up pages the author had written about Justine, hoping to tell him the facts and background he never knew. There is also a novelist named Pursewarden who has died, and while I don't particularly remember him being mentioned in Justine he is a key figure in this book.
Another moment of reading synergy I happened to have was reading The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman's Journey to Love and Islam by G. Willow Wilson in the middle of listening to this novel. Wilson details her conversion to Islam in the first few years of the 21st century, as well as a cultural shift (she marries an Egyptian.) Durrell is describing Egypt, focusing on Alexandria, as its own character, right as colonial rule is diminishing and a shift in power is on the horizon; Wilson describes a much more modern (and much more Islam-dominant) Egypt. But between 1958 and 2010, there remain some elements that are Egyptian cultural practices. I actually felt I understood Durrell's Alexandria better after reading Wilson's account, particularly on approaches to love and the many definitions of marriage. Durrell wanted to write about "modern" love but the characters in Balthazar that aren't British are seeing it from a completely different perspective that even he may not have completely understood.
I was surprised my original review contained no quotations so I will include some of them here.
"It is not enough, perhaps, to respect a man's genius - one must love him a little, no?"
"Are we then nourished only by fictions, by lies?"
"We live by selected fictions."
"At first" writes Pursewarden, "we seek to supplement the emptiness of our individuality through love, and for a brief moment enjoy the illusion of completeness. But it is only an illusion. For this strange creature, which we thought would join us to the body of the world, succeeds at last in separating us most thoroughly from it. Love joins and then divides. How else would we be growing?" ...more
Just not what I was expecting - these were two-page transcriptions of very brief interview type stories, not overly polished. I would have liked longeJust not what I was expecting - these were two-page transcriptions of very brief interview type stories, not overly polished. I would have liked longer better-written stories, but this is an enjoyable light read. Got a copy through Edelweiss....more
I had a copy from Edelweiss but waited too long to get into it, and my download expired. I wasn't sure I would finish anyway. I started out assuming iI had a copy from Edelweiss but waited too long to get into it, and my download expired. I wasn't sure I would finish anyway. I started out assuming it would be a lot like Divergent, and it is similar in that people can get tested and placed into an affinity group. But not everyone tests into one, and not everyone gets tested. Affinity groups seem to be an evolution in the family unit, replacing it, but it is fairly new in society. By the place I reached in the story, one group had received information that they had the potential to change the world, and were starting out to do so (likely with some significant push back.)
Kind of utopian, and as many utopias go, looked bound for dystopia....more
This is such a great read for National Poetry Month, but it will have to be for next year since it isn't coming out until June. I happily read it earlThis is such a great read for National Poetry Month, but it will have to be for next year since it isn't coming out until June. I happily read it early through a review copy from the publisher.
This is a 60 year overview of the poetry published by City Lights, which really was put on the map by its 4th year of poetry - Howl by Allen Ginsburg. This book contains three poems from every annual volume from City Lights, ranging from beat poets to translations, from revolutionaries to activists. If poetry can capture an era, these poems are time capsules.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti - 25 "The world is a beautiful place to be born into if you don't mind some people dying all the time or maybe only starving some of the time which isn't half so bad if it isn't you"
Rafael Alberti - Homecoming of Love Amongst Illustrious Ruins "Naked light, love, shine on us always. And when the day comes when we are no more than stones, After we too, my love, are only ruins, Let us lie like these stones singing in the sun, Leading others to love along our vanished ways."
Bob Kaufman - Heavy Water Blues "i shall refuse to go to the moon, unless i'm inoculated, against the dangers of indiscriminate love"
I thought I was done reading books set in New Guinea but when I was flying home the only book that sounded interesting on my iP(Really more 3.5 stars)
I thought I was done reading books set in New Guinea but when I was flying home the only book that sounded interesting on my iPad was this story about a plane that crashes into the Baliem Valley of New Guinea during World War 2.
I know the Baliem Valley because that is where the Dani people live, and I have read multiple books about them. They are the group Michael Rockefeller photographed before traipsing into the jungle for art, that Peter Mattheiessen wrote about in the 1960s, that Robert Gardner made a documentary of, that Jared Diamond continues to study to this day (and were a featured element of The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?. I have been immersed in it!
The first time one of the WW2 pilots stationed in the South Pacific caught sight of the Baliem Valley, they thought they had found Shangri-La. (They also thought they had "discovered" it despite seeing natives as they flew over). They took an outing one day to show it to more people, including 9 WACs members. Only three people survived the crash, and this book is an account of how they were rescued and the story up to that time. It is well-researched and (sometimes overly) detailed but I had the sense that it would have been better as a magazine-length article than a book. It is much more a story of military problem-solving than New Guinea, but at least the author gives a wide range of perspectives including his own interviews of people living there 60 years later, journals he was allowed to see, government records available through the Freedom of Information Act, and news published at the time. One of the survivors kept a copious journal in shorthand on any scrap of paper she could find, while almost losing her legs to incredible burns and gangrene. ...more
This is really more like 3.5 stars. The ideas are fun but there are too many for the length. I would have loved a full novel to explore more of it forThis is really more like 3.5 stars. The ideas are fun but there are too many for the length. I would have loved a full novel to explore more of it for longer. I suppose this is a reflection of the crowd-funded process when something is written outside the normal method (you know, with editing!)
But virtual worlds... near-future San Francisco... quantum computers... detective stories... falafel... if you like those things you are likely to enjoy it....more
My review is the same of the print as it was of the audiobook when I listened to a few years ago, same favorites even! But I re-read this because I goMy review is the same of the print as it was of the audiobook when I listened to a few years ago, same favorites even! But I re-read this because I got to see the author speak at an author series at the University of South Carolina.