Relateable Me

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The Bell Jar August 29, 2009

Filed under: books,Uncategorized — relateableme @ 9:44 pm

I’ve decided to start reading one of the hundreds of books I actually own, instead of always running to the library. Novel idea I know, but after packing up more boxes of books that anything else I own (even china, which is another vice) I thought it was time for me to read them. I decided to grab The Bell Jar and head to bed. As an English major I’ve of course heard of Plath, but never read her. It was not at all the time period that I expected, but I LOVE IT!!! There is a similar sense of waywardness that reminds me a lot of Salinger, but the female perspective makes it far more relateable. I instantly felt I understood her plight.

There was one paragraph that stood out to me. Although I’m settled in my life now, I completely related to it as a 20 something and there are parts that still ring true in my heart:

I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.

I read it over and over, at peace that someone else out there understood my heart. When I finished school I had so many opportunites before me and in fear of missing out on one, I attempted to grab all. Instead of them all dying though, I’d try one for a bit and then think the one on the other branch looked so much better, etc… Life is full of so many choices and I need to learn to be content in the ones I make. Now, that I’m “eating my fig,” I need to reach out to the other closest to me and closest to my heart and not fret about the ones on the higher, presently unattainable branches. This I guess is an addendum to my last post.

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Ongoing Book List April 19, 2009

Filed under: On-Going Book List — relateableme @ 5:11 am

I’m compiling an ongoing list of books I’ve recently read:

Like Water for Chocolate

The Awakening

Out of Africa (Isak Dinesen is my favorite author. love her short stories best)

A Moveable Feast(don’t enjoy Hemmingway’s novels, but this autobiographical glimpse into his years in Paris was moving)

Oh! Pioneers

The Shack

Wuthering Heights (Ugh! )

entire Twilight series (2X)

The Host

A Thousand Splendid Suns (women should read it – very eye-opening)

picking at It Was Good; Making Art to the Glory of  God, Naked Conversations (blogging) and How Children Learn

Little House in the Big Woods (reading it to my daughter)

Christian Unschooling – so enlightening. I first heard of the concept about 2 months ago and love it. We are heading in this direction as a family.

The Unschooling Handbook

Bridget Jones’ Diary – She’s not as big an idiot in the book – actually very normal, which made it even funnier.

Harry Potter: The Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter: The Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter: The Prisoner of Azkerban

Harry Potter: The Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter: The Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows (Cried my way through the last two chapters)

People of the Book

AValley in Japan

The Prodigal God (kicked my butt – spiritually)

The Bell Jar (LOVED IT!!!!)

Girl With the Pearl Earring

 

Books, an addiction

Filed under: books — relateableme @ 4:59 am

I know this is not new, but I’ve recently been reminded about how amazing reading is. I used to read all the time as a kid. Ok, I was a chubby dork, but still, I loved to read. About 6 months ago I picked up an old book as reread Like Water For Chocolate (rated-R – I do not recommend this for young girls, so don’t tell you mom I did). It was so amazing to have a part of me reopened, like lifting the latch on a musty attic. I hadn’t realised how long it had been since my creative emotions were stirred and in turn how that had lead to my lack of writing inspiration for about 5 years.

I think I can pinpoint my lack of reading to just about the time my daughter was born. Even at the time of her birth, I was participating in a distance learning program trying to finally earn my BA (my mother likes to joke that I’m trying to cram 4 years of education into 20 years!) OK mom, I get it. Anyway, as an English major with an emphasis in creative writing, being a new mom gave me zero time to read or write. I can remember the last story I wrote and suddenly my muse disappeared, scared off by lack of sleep and my eye lids couldn’t stay open to read another novel. Motherhood is great, but seriously, if you’re a creative person, it all but sucks you dry the first few years – it did me at least.

So, last year I picked up an amazing book and let the emotions roam musty corners. Since then, it’s been one book after another. I’m spending all my extra time (that means curling up on the sofa next to husband while he watches Dodgers games every evening) reading. I stay up late reading. I read while my kids are in the bath. And the most amazing part – my kids are falling in love with books. We are at the library once or twice a week and they are earning free burgers from In-n-Out through library programs. This Monday, my daughter is going to join a library program reading to companion dogs. Ok, I thought that was weird too – a dog – but they need learn to be quiet companions and my daughter wants to become a better reader – so great combination. My son will actually sit and listen to me read a few books before grabbing a toy car and running over the pages, interrupting me. After all, he’s still working on being a little boy – important stuff.

So, I did finally finish The Host– rough first 250 pages, but good – not Twilight good, but good. I’m just finishing up A Thousand Splendid Suns (historical fiction) about two women and their lives in Afghanistan. It’s amazing and painful – I have cried so much reading it. The life of the younger women parallels my birth year to the present and it is eye opening to see what she endured compared to what I have lived. Very humbling.  

So if you are not, you need to open a book and read. It takes you on a journey both elsewhere and into the inner workings of your heart.

 

Wuthering Heights February 10, 2009

Filed under: books — relateableme @ 9:39 am
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It happens a couple times a month, but tonight is really bad. I can’t sleep at all. I tried reading one of the worst books in history, Wuthuring Heights, and not even that sent me sleeping. I used to adore classics, but as I skim through my very full shelves lately, I’ve been very disappointed. I’ve always wanted to read WH, finally did it and I’m having a hard time understanding why it’s a classic for any good reason. The characterization is actually remarkable, but  imaginingthat anyone so foul as Heathcliff actually existed, is just sad. I realise that I am rather sheltered, but he is a foul fiend. But as far as the book, storyline. etc goes, it is not enjoyable. So much took place within the first 100 pages with more main character deaths than a Shakespearean play, I find it amazing there are still hundreds of pages left. How many more tongue lashings can someone take before plunging a knife into Heathcliff. I am tempted.

I do however find it amusing that Gypsies find their way into the dark pages of so many novels. In my rather extensive relationship with Gypsies, I have never found one remotely hateful. But, perhaps Heathcliff would never have seemed believeable as a pale-faced English chap.

Anyway, I plow through on sleepless, rainy nights such as tonight, solely so I can have the gratification of completing it and having the excuse of returning to a favorite such as Like Water For Chocolate .

 

The Shack December 29, 2008

Filed under: books — relateableme @ 6:59 am

I’m reading The Shack, like millions of other people. Really like it – didn’t expect to though. In fact I hated the first 70 pages. The writing was terrible and I felt like the author didn’t even like what he was writing. But…as soon as God shows up, it gets great. It’s like a completely different author. I may start a rumor that two people wrote it, but I’m too tired to do that right now.
Anyway, I have no problem with God the Father being depicted as an afro-American woman. Anyone who does 1. has no poetic bone in their body 2. missed the point. The issue is even brought up by the main character and is simple answered: God can choose to reveal Himself to us any way He wants according, to our needs. Migth I add that He was a blinding light to Paul and a burning bush to Moses.
Beautiful book, rich, real, deep and has helped me approach the persons of the Trinity with greater understanding. I’d like to read it again as soon as I’m finished – skipping the first 70 pages!

 

A Moveable Feast November 8, 2008

Filed under: books — relateableme @ 5:55 am

I honestly have never been much of a Hemingway fan – is that ok for an English major to say? After hearing it mention in “City of Angels” back in the late 90’s, I ran across his book A Moveable Feast at a used bookstore. It sat on my shelf for years until about a month ago when I picked it up.

It is a collection of autobiographical accounts regarding his early years in Paris. It is amazing. Having lived in Europe during my 20’s (and having completely left my heart there) it was so relateable and came to life. He really draws you into the simplicity he lived in while newlywed, writing and happy. It’s an amazing collection that takes you on a journey, meeting writing legends, Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein and tasting wines and cafe drinks. He exposes the mockery of fame in these individuals, unaware of the similar path he will take,  ending in a regrettable mistake that seemingly haunts him for the remainder of his years.

It was beautiful.  

After reading it, I decided to give his other works a second chance. Not the same; they were all tainted with the poison of regret and steeped in cyclical depression. He had lost his innocence and zeal for all things pure and while he is known for these works, the beauty of his writing, I believe, is in this early piece.