I recently made a decision that, for myself, has been something that I have struggled with greatly in the past. It doesn’t seem like it’s that big of a deal, but in general, I felt like sucking it up and seeing it through was the only option, until now: I stopped reading a book I wasn’t enjoying.
“When art sets racism in the past, no matter how good it is, it allows white people in the audience (and others) to say to themselves “Wow! That racism sure was bad way back then!” It’s what happens when people go see 12 Years a Slave. My response is always, “Yeah, you wanna know another time when racism was bad? Earlier today.”
About this time last year I heard about W. Kamau Bell for the first time. He was announced as the opening speaker for the American Library Association’s Mid-Winter Meeting. Although I wasn’t going to be attending the conference, I decided to look up more information about Bell since I was unfamiliar with his work. I’m glad that I did.
“Music, uniquely among the arts, is both completely abstract and profoundly emotional. It has no power to represent anything particular or external, but it has a unique power to express inner states or feelings. Music can pierce the heart directly; it needs no mediation.”
With my new commute and interest in audiobooks, I decided to try something a little different from what I usually read. I have always heard praise for Oliver Sacks and music is something that I have very little knowledge of, although I enjoy it myself. I checked out Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks and gave it a shot.
“A philosophical question: if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? And if a woman who’s wholly alone occasionally talks to a pot plant, is she certifiable?”
Eleanore Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman was a book that caught me completely unawares. I am no book mogul, but I do try to stay up-to-date with new releases and book buzz. Since we moved I’ve been looking for a new book store to make my own and the staff at the lovely Read It Again Books recommended Eleanor Oliphant to me. I had never heard of it! Or the author! The staff member said that if I liked The Rosie Project and A Man Called Ove (both of which I absolutely loved), then I would probably enjoy this one as well.
“I’m pretty sure that she—like most of us—would be shocked to hear that there are
trillions more of her cells growing in laboratories now than there ever were in her body.”
Like many of the other books I have recently read, I listened to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks as an audiobook. From the onset of the preface, I was hooked. Reading a book about science or medicine can be a taxing chore at times – the information going back and forth between being arduous and incredibly interesting. This book, however, is not that kind of book.
“I valued that half-dream state of being lost in a book so much that I limited the number of pages I let myself read each day in order to put off the inevitable end, my banishment from that world.”
I cannot believe I started the draft for this post 21 days ago. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of buying a house, starting a new job, and getting used to a much longer commute (about an hour in the car versus the 5 minute walk to my previous job). However taxing a commute may be, it has enabled me to be able to read, or listen rather, to a couple of really incredible audiobooks in the last few weeks – The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett being one of them.
“Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. Don’t let the bastards grind you down.”
It’s been about a month since I finished reading The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood but I still can’t get the story out of my head.
I have been way too busy to write a full blog post so to hold you over until I have some dedicated time to put some things on paper, here is the last few weeks summed up in GIFs.
Exciting news coming at the end of all the madness! Thanks for sticking with me blog people.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
On the drive down to Florida for our vacation, I listened to Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Matt had some work to finish up so I thought an audiobook would be a good way to pass the time since I didn’t want to bother him while he was working. It turned on to be a fantastic decision.
“It takes years to build trust. It can be lost in an instant.”
It’s Just Pot is the story of Lynda, a mother who discovers her teenage son is smoking pot after he is picked up by the police for being out after curfew. Lynda goes through a whirlwind week as she decides how to handle her son’s disobedience and struggles to come to terms with the consequences of him growing up.