Sunday, July 31, 2011

Abducted by Challenge Day 1

The first day of my challenge and I am off to a really good start!

I explained in my last post that I am challenging myself to read 25 books by September 3rd in an effort to get back on track towards my overall goal of 111 books in a year.

So here is what I accomplished so far...




I finally finished a collection of poems by C.S. Lewis. I have been working on this book since April, which is surprising because it really isn't that long! I love Lewis's writing and I am really excited that I can finally add this book to the collection I have for him. Below I am including my favorite poem that I found in this book.




As the Ruin Falls

All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you.
I never had a selfless thought since I was born.
I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through:
I want God, you, all friends, merely to serve my turn.

Peace, re-assurance, pleasure, are the goals I seek,
I cannot crawl one inch outside my  proper skin:
I talk of love - a scholar's parrot may talk Greek -
But, self-imprisoned, always end where I begin.

Only that now you have taught me (but how late) my lack.
I see the chasm. And everything you are was making
My heart into a bridge by which I might get back
From exile, and grow man. And now the bridge is breaking.

For this I bless you as the ruin falls. The pains
You give me are more precious than all other gains.




I mentioned in my last post that I was looking forward to finally reading The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan. Well I started it when I came home from work today and was finished in just over 2 hours. It is fast paced and a quick read but the story does not fail to be compelling and satisfying...that is, until the end. I may be the only one that will feel this way but I really didn't like the way he ended the story. But please don't let that sway you to not read the book because it really is unbelievably surprising! 

Oh, also, on a side note, I said in my last post that this book was a dictionary that had one entry per letter, and I was wrong. Some letters did only have one but other letters offered up a lot more. Just wanted to clarify that! 

Here is the entry that I think best describes the book. It is the entry is for "ineffable" -great word.

"These words will ultimately end up being the barest of reflections, devoid of the sensations words cannot convey. Trying to write about love is ultimately like trying to have a dictionary represent life. No matter how many words there are, there will never be enough."





And lastly, I finally finished 1984 which was my book club book for July. We actually discussed this book last weekend but I still had 25 pages left to read so I only just now finished it!

I flipped through it to find a part to quote on here as my favorite and there was one part that we discussed a lot when we met at book club. It is this section when they talk about how Big Brother has come up with this new, simplified, language and we were comparing it to how people use "text" language in actual, vocal, conversations nowadays. 

So here is a compilation of the key points made in 1984 regarding language:

"We're destroying words - scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We're cutting the language down to the bone...It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words...Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron - they'll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually changed into something contradictory of what they used to be." 

So after the first day of my challenge, this is what I have left...

22 more books : 34 more days

3 comments:

fakesteph said...

You're totally gonna do it!!! They are offering the White Cat audio book for free this month if you're interested: http://www.randomhouse.com/audio/features/boston-summer2011/downloads.php

I'll have to pick up that David Levitahn. I've only read Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List and Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I've been meaning to read something he's written independently for a while now.

I've never read 1984, but it's been on my shelf for a while (well, technically, right now it's in a box). :)

Kate said...

You go, Bittner!

I'm trying to read a bunch while I'm here on vacation, but my family tends to interfere a bit with those plans. Still reading lots and I look forward to your challenge updates! :)

Holly said...

Challenge Cheer O'the Day:

Bittner! Bittner!
Reading Challenge Big Hitter.
She'll read 25
Because she's no quitter!

YAY!!

(Forgive me)

 
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