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

Friday, July 29, 2011

Abducted by Blog Hop 7.29

Well, I for one am exhausted today!

I stayed up until 3 in the morning last night, sadly not a record for me, in order to finish up some homework for another site I take part in called We just finished up our month long reviews of Harry Potter and are now diving into reviews for Cate Blanchet! I'm excited because I love her!

Anyways, I stayed up late and now am at work ready to pass out! I figured the longer I put off doing any actual work, the more likely that eventually my caffeine will kick in. So I thought I would take part in this weeks Blog Hop hosted by crazy for books.

This weeks request was:

Highlight one book you have received this week (for review, from the library, purchased at the store, etc.) that you can't wait to dig into!"

I actually had to think about this one for a moment because I have recently spent an obscene amount of money on books. Our local Borders has just closed and they were having their "Going Out Of Business" Sale and I got a little carried away. I'm not proud of it. In fact I've been beating myself up for it this entire week.

But what is done is done.

Anyway, I had a lot of books to choose from and to be honest there are quite a few that I can't wait to dig into. But there is one imparticular that stands out and it is...

I can't wait to dig into this one for two reasons.

One being that it is really short and I am shockingly behind in my reading for the year, so short books are my friends right now!

The other reasons is that I am so in awe of the idea behind this book. 

Basically it is set up like a dictionary with one entry, per letter, ranging from A to Z. Some entries are only a word, while others are longer then a page. From what I understand the entries are abstract, tender, humorous, poignant, and endearing.

I have heard nothing but rave refuse for this book but at the same time I remain skeptical.

How? How can he possibly be able to tell a true love story within such a limited structure? 

It isn't possible! Is it?

If there was ever an author that could pull it off, I can see it being David Levithan. So I am very intrigued by the idea behind this story and very excited to see what Levithan does with it.

Now, on a side note!

I am going to issue myself a challenge.

Starting tomorrow, July 30th, and running through September 3rd, I am going to read and review 25 books!

I have to! I simply have to! It is the only way I am going to get back on track for my reading schedule this year. I signed on to read111 books and I fully intend to read 111 books IF IT'S THE LAST THING I DO!

Now, this wont be easy! In fact, it is completely crazy to even think it is possible, but I just have to do it. And by challenging myself to review each book I've read, my trusty followers will be able to hold me accountable through out this next month!

5 WEEKS : 35 DAYS : 25 BOOKS

here goes nothing......

Monday, July 18, 2011

Abducted by Monday Memories 7.18.2011

Sorry I haven't posted this week, but I've been crazy busy!

Went and saw Harry Potter with my book club. It was awesome!!!

Then I went and agreed to dog sit for TWO different friends of mine! What was I thinking?

Also I've been working really hard with my friends Andrea and Jeremy to put up some great Harry Potter posts over at our reviewsin5 website.

But I am back today to post another Monday Memory hosted by Annette!

July is a very important month for me because, as far as I am concerned, it marks the beginning of the real baseball season!

In July players from all the different teams come together to play in the All Star Games. Now, I am a huge Red Sox fan! I mean HUGE!!! And I have watched them go into the All Star Break leading their league only to come back and loose their fire. At the same time I have seen them go into the All Star Break getting beat and yet when they come back they are unstoppable! That is why over the years I have learned to never trust the standings until after the Break.

Well the Break was last week and as of the standings this morning the Red Sox are leading their division by 1.5 games to the yankees.


Since I'm so thrilled that we can finally get excited about baseball again I thought today would be a great day to share the memory of my favorite book about baseball.

I first read Shoeless Joe back in 2004 so about seven years ago. I remember reading it on my lunch break at work. I would get it out of my locker and immediately start reading it while I was walking to the break room.

This is the book that the movie Field of Dreams was based on. There are some changes to the characters and a lot is left out of the movie, but Field of Dreams does a fantastic job of capturing the essence of the book.

2004 was also the year the Red Sox finally won the World Series, I read this book shortly after that win so I was still on a pretty big high. I remember gushing over all the baseball comments in the book. Personally, I feel that in the movie Field of Dreams, Ray Kinsella merely appreciates baseball, where as in the book he is a baseball FANATIC! I think that is why I connected so much to the book at that time, because I was on such a high I could really enjoy reading a book about someone who loved baseball as much as me.

The author, W.P. Kinsella, gives his novel a very lyrical and loving tone that flows into each page. And the story is one of redemption and forgiveness, as well as hope and contentment. And since it is only 272 pages, I bet I could read it again before the summer is over!

If you hate baseball, then I'm sorry to say, you may not like this book. Yes, the story is about so much more, but the author does praise the game pretty consistently throughout the story, and that may start to weigh on you after a while.

But if you love the film Field of Dreams, you should definitely give it a shot!

Have a great week everyone!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Abducted By Monday Memories 7.11.11

Before I get started I just want to send out a big...

to my little sister Lindsey and her husband Jason who are celebrating their 1 year wedding anniversary today!!!

I can't believe it has been a year already! I love and miss you guys! Don't forget that mom, Riley, and I are coming to visit on the 6th and 7th in August. Mom invited Stephanie to join us but she wasn't sure if she was going to be doing a church function that weekend or not. 

Now, down to business!

I don't know about you guys but I'm exhausted! Today I went outside in this scorching heat and cleaned my car. Cleaned out everything from inside it, cleaned the inside of all the windows, cleaned the dashboard, cleaned the upholstery, got all the dog hair out, and then took it to the car wash and washed the outside and fully vacuumed the inside. It didn't take that long, but damn, it is really hot outside!
Now I am inside, relaxing in my air conditioning watching Tin Man on Netflix (my old computer died before I could finish watching it) and working on my blog. 

And since I've been so aware of the heat today, I thought it would be a perfect source for my Monday Memory! 

One of my favorite authors is C.S. Lewis. 

I know, I know! Big surprise, right!?!

I started reading his book as part of an English project when I was a senior in high school ten years ago! I truly enjoyed his books but I was also really fascinated by him. We share a birthday so I guess I always felt a connection to his story. So much about his struggles and triumphs are easy for his fans to relate to and also there are parts to his story that are so beautiful you'd think they were written by Hollywood. 

For example, did you know that he first got to know his wife, Joy, through letters she would write to him? She started to write to him originally because her sons were huge fans of Lewis's Narnia series, but her letters stood out to him and he wrote back. It wasn't long before they began a constant stream of correspondence and before she was making trips to England to visit with him. 

Lewis agreed to marry Joy so that she could move to England with her children and have a green card. With this marriage, their friendship grew and before long they really were in love. Unfortunately, during this time she was diagnosed with bone caner in her legs. The cancer quickly became severe and the doctors told them that there was no hope. 

While Joy lay on her deathbed, Lewis invited Peter Bide, an Anglican Priest, to come to the hospital and marry them so that their marriage would be recognized by the Church. Lewis claimed it was Joy's dying wish. The priest came, consecrated the marriage, prayed for her healing, and a few days later Joy walked out of the hospital, the cancer completely in remission. 

The couple enjoyed three more years together, traveling the world, until Joy's cancer returned and claimed her life. Lewis died three years later.

How do I know all of this? Well, I've seen the movie Shadowlands with Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger for one thing. Also, I've read a ton of his books, numerous times, and have also read Douglas Gresham's (Joy's son who was adopted by Lewis) autobiography Lenten Lands (which was extremely good by the way).

As well as, The Magic Never Ends by John Ryan Duncan.

I know what you are thinking; "What does this have to do with a Monday Memory and/or the heat of summer?"

Well, I'll tell you.

I first read The Magic Never Ends about eight years ago. It was the middle of summer and my older sister Stephanie invited me to come with her to our local lake, Lake Thunderbird, for the day. The water there is filthy so of course we didn't go in, we just laid on the sand and...well, tanned I guess. I brought this book with me and I was laying on my stomach reading it and lost complete track of time. Before I knew it several hours had passed and I was sooooooooo sunburned!

Now, for those of you who don't know me, let me describe my looks in a word for you. That word be...


Needless to say, a sunburn for me is no ordinary sunburn. I went to the doctor and it turned out I had second degree burns all over my back and had to put this prescription cream all over them. Actually, I had to ask someone to put it on my back for me, which was really embarrassing. Also, I'm a pretty modest girl, but after that I was forced to wear spaghetti strapped tank tops with no bra on for weeks until the blisters healed. 
A year later when I went with my family to Hawaii, I took five different kinds of sunscreen with me, which I applied rigorously!

That's all for today folks! 

Have a great week and remember to drink lots of water...


Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the Winds of Change kit by NatashaNaSt Designs