Friday, May 30, 2008
3. I like fill-ins because they're fun and a great source for procrastination.
4. In nature I like looking at everything!.
5. Obama should win the US elections.
6. The last time I laughed with all my belly was when Maya was making some very silly faces in reaction to my husband's antics.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to catching up on my blogroll, tomorrow my plans include going to the farmer's market and Sunday, I want to go to a festival!
Thursday, May 29, 2008
"All our labors were in service of beauty, but sometimes it seemed as if every thread in a carpet had been dipped in the blood of flowers." (p.351)
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
"As we walked into the square, I noticed that most of the buildings were tiled in the purest colors of sun and sky. The dome of the Friday mosque looked all turquoise from afar, but up closer I could see it was enlivened with swirling vines in yellow and white. Garlands of white turquoise blossomed on the dome of the Shah's lemon-colored mosque. The arched gateways to the mosques sprouted a profusion of tiled white flowers that looked like stars sparkling in the blue of twilight. Every surface of every building glittered with ornament. It was as if a master goldsmith had selected the most flawless turquoise, the rarest of blue sapphires, the brightest yellow topaz, and the purest of diamonds, and arranged them into an infinity of shimmering patterns that radiated color and light." (p. 35)
There were thousands of shops in the bazaar to answer every desire, whether for carpets, gold jewelry, silk and cotton cloth, embroidery, shoes, perfume, trappings for horses, leather goods, books, or paper, and on normal days, all kinds of foodstuffs. (p.55)
- Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, reviewed by Callista at SMS Book Reviews
- Ending Slavery: How we Free Today's Slaves by Kevin Bales, mentioned by Eva at A Striped Armchair
- Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford, reviewed at Lotus Reads
- The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton, reviewed by alisonwonderland at So Many Books, So Little Time
Thursday, May 22, 2008
3. I love little babies and big hugs.
4. This summer I want to go to the beach as much as possible, since we will be living fairly close to the coast.
5. Reading other book review blogs and thinking, 'That would be a fun thing to do!' made me start my blog.
6. Red gala apples and orange julius are both yummy, but not together.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to hopefully watching Juno, tomorrow my plans include packing and Sunday, I want to pack some more!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Title: The Sea, The Sea
Author: Iris Murdoch
Rating: 5 out of 5
First sentence: The sea which lies before me as I write glows rather than sparkles in the bland May sunshine.
The Sea, the Sea starts out in the form of a journal, written by Charles Arrowby, a newly retired playwright/actor/director, who has adjourned to an old house outside a small village on the English coastline. He has decided to leave the London scene for good, and spends his time cooking simple meals--poached eggs on nettles, spring cabbage cooked slowly with dill, porridge with brown sugar and cream, and vegetarian stew--and diving into the sea for daily swims.
The beginning of the book sets this scene, describing his meals, daily activities, and his new home in an impromptu, journalistic style. Then, about 50 pages in, two things change. First, we see Charles for the first time from an outside perspective, through the letter he receives from Lizzie, an old flame. Second, Charles spots his long-lost childhood love, Hartley, in the local village. As the book shifts focus to Charles somewhat bizarre quest to destroy Hartley's marriage and re-claim her for himself, Murdoch shifts to a more straightforward narrative technique.
The opening scenes of Charles' adjusting to a life of retirement helped me as a reader to retain a semblance of sympathy for a character that becomes quite despicable. Although I detested his actions (he seems to make the wrong decision at every turn, and succeeds in lashing out at everyone around him), I could see the unacknowledged hurt and suffering that spurred him to take those actions. I really loved the gothic undertones; there were parts of the story that sent shivers down my spine and were very unnerving, in a way that most modern horror stories fail to achieve.
At one point, Charles' cousin asks him "What is the truth anyway?" And, I spent much of the novel trying to figure that out. I never did quite succeed, but I believe that is part of Iris' point. I also loved that the sea is a character itself, and we see its many emotions: cruel, gentle, and playful, amongst others, through the course of the novel. The story was very much a page turner, and I would definitely recommend it to others!
"Jealousy is perhaps the most involuntary of all strong emotions. It steals consciousness, it lies deeper than thought. It is always there, like a blackness in the eye, it discolours the world." (p.84)
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
1. There is absolutely NO way you can get me to bungee jump!
2. A rise in the barometer reminds me that summer is almost here!
3. I cannot live without my underwear.
4. Hang gliding and horse-back riding are two things I'd like to try.
5. When life hands you lemons, squirt them on your grilled fish.
6. Lazy summer days are my favorite childhood memory.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to reading more of The Sea, the Sea, tomorrow my plans include walking down the street to watch the Preakness horse race (we live 1/4 mile from the racetrack) and Sunday, I want to start packing!
1. There is absolutely NO way you can get me to bungee jump!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Well, we have finally moved the computer out of our bedroom, where Maya also sleeps. Which means I can now update my blog and browse the internet after 7pm, which is usually the only point in the day I have the time! I have a back log of 1000+ posts to visit, at least everyone else has been busy blogging!
Links - Nuruddin Farah (Somalia) (Finished 08 Jan 2008)
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan - Lisa See (Finished 27 April 2008)
3. Hispanic/Latin American
The Motorcycle Diaries - Che Guevera (Finished 20 April 2008)
4. Indian/Indian-American - DNF
5. Middle Eastern (Iran, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Turkey...)
Gate of the Sun - Elias Khoury (Lebanon) (finished 28 March 2008)
6. Native Peoples
The Birchbark House - Louise Erdrich (finished 7 April 2008)
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Thursday, May 1, 2008
2004 Adam Zagajewski (Poland)
2002 Alvaro Mutis (Colombia)
2000 David Malouf (Australia)
1998 Nuruddin Farah (Somalia)
1996 Assia Djebar (Algeria)
1994 Kamau Brathwaite (Barbados)
1992 João Cabral de Melo Neto (Brazil)
1990 Tomas Tranströmer (Sweden)
1988 Raja Rao (India)
1986 Max Frisch (Switzerland)
1984 Paavo Haavikko (Finland)
1982 Octavio Paz (Mexico)
1980 Josef Škvorecky (Czechoslovakia/Canada)
1978 Czeslaw Milosz (Poland)
1976 Elizabeth Bishop (USA)
1974 Francis Ponge (France)
1972 Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia)