Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hey, Boo.

On today's episode of "Books You Should Read"

The Color Purple - Alice Walker

Celie's dialect is a challenge, at times. But don't let that stop you from reading this book. I can honestly say that I got more insight into spirituality, religion and the enormous differences between them from this book than something designed to be "inspirational" like The Shack. Alice Walker is a fantastic writer, and she made me think about things that I had never considered before, that make absolute, perfect sense. For example: Jesus was black. That had never occurred to me because we are so bombarded by this ridiculous image of Jesus the Surfer Dude. But of course, this white man with flowing brown locks out of a shampoo commercial is completely inaccurate. This book really made me think hard about spirituality, and I think I could deal with that. It's religion that I think the world could do without.

To Kill and Mockingbird- Harper Lee

I LOVE this book. I read it in 8th grade and loved it, and I just recently read it again, and got SO MUCH more out of it. It's one of the best books ever written, hands down. It's a heartbreakingly beautiful portrait of the injustice of racial prejudice and prejudice in general- how we fear that which we don't understand- in the pre-Civil Rights time period. And it's told through the eyes of the totally innocent, which just makes it that much more profound.
If you don't read any other the books I'm suggesting, read this one.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's episode, in which we'll talk banned children's lit.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Banned Books Part Two

Today I'm going to give you a couple of short reviews of banned books because I'm suddenly very tired, and I need to catch that wave of tired now or I will be up all night.

1) Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging - Louise Rennison
I started with this book, the first in the series, when I was probably fifteen. Yes, they're YA. As a general rule, I don't like YA unless it does something radically different to the genre, because in my opinion every YA book ever written (except the small handful of good ones) is exactly the same. Boooooring.
These have the BEST narrator ever, and the fact that they are British is another stack of brownie points for them- funny as hell. read them, for serious. You will laugh. I just recently bought the seventh book in the series and laughed my butt off.

2) Slaughterhouse-Five- Kurt Vonnegut
I had to read this last semester for a Lit of War war book, ever. Read it. In fact, read as much Vonnegut as you can get your hands on, the man was a crazy genius and also funny as hell. I HIGHLY recommend God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian.

Finally, there are several Toni Morrison books on that list, and I'm not going to talk about them individually, I'm just going to tell you to read Toni Morrison. She is absolutely brilliant. Brilliant.

Go forth and read.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wilson! Wiiiillsooooonnn!

I promise this blog will not be about how you should watch Castaway. You shouldn't; it's mad boring.

You ought to, however, read the first in my Banned Book Series: coming in at number 8 on the American Library Association's list of the top 100 Banned Classics of the 20th Century...

William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

This is the most recent banned book that I've read, and one that I always said "Oh, I should read that."
Finally did. And now I'm saying YOU should read that.

I must have really thought that it was going to be like Castaway, and that's why I never got around to it until now. I figured it was something that I would like better if I was a boy, because there's not a single female character in the whole thing...unless you count the Sow, and she didn't really come to a great end.

Ultimately, I was very pleasantly surprised. The book was incredibly engaging, and Golding writes in a very reader-friendly style, which is not something that can be said of all contemporary classics.
The most interesting part of it is, of course, how very quickly a group of "civilized" human beings, can return to their savage roots. We're not so very different from those apes that we evolved from, and this book does a beautiful job of showing that.

MUCH better than Castaway. Much better than Survivor.
So, read the book. I'm not going to give you plot summary, that would ruin it. Find yourself a copy and find out what happens to a group of boys stranded on an island who give in to their true animal nature.

Believe me, it's not pretty.

Monday, September 27, 2010

I Don't Wanna Work

...I want to play with my yarn all day.

In the interest of getting more than six hours of sleep before I sit in class all day tomorrow, this post will be short.

I finished a new project today! My first pair of crocheted earrings- obviously the actual piece that hangs from your ear wasn't crocheted, that would be kind of yucky. But the flower that's attached is. Check out the picture to the left- that's them.

This is also the motif that I'm going to use for my next commissioned project- a tablecloth! Woot! It's something that I've never done before; I hope it comes out all right.

One last small rant before I sign off for today. Why is it apparently impossible for a pharmacy to fill a prescription as it's written? Something has to go wrong with the generic brand in order for them to give you the stuff that was prescribed for you in the first place. I'm not going to go into the whole story again, but doesn't that seem silly? Or is it just me? Right. It's silly.

Coming up! This week is banned book week! I hope, for the rest of the week to blog about a different banned book each day, and bombard you with reasons why you should read banned books or, well, any books really.

But that will have to wait until tomorrow as I need to sleep now.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Very Good Place to Start the beginning, yes? Well, Julie Andrews said so, so it must be true.

I already have a blog. I'll add some linkage to that if I can figure out how. It's a blog devoted to my primary passion- books. Books are basically what I want to do with my life. I want to write them, I want to edit them, I want to create them. Actual, physical books. None of that e-book nonsense, but that is another story, and really, the point of that other blog. Also, reviews, of the books that I read.

This blog, because I've been inspired to blog by a friend's blog is a blog for everyday blogging. (Yes, by the end of that ridiculous sentence I was trying to use the b-word as many times as possible). As the sub-title states, it is viewpoints from the land of books and yarn. Which, I'm sure you've guessed, is my land. I've already established the book thing- I'm also addicted to crocheting.

For example! My latest project is an amigurumi Frog King. This is my first attempt at amigurumi, and also my first attempt at adding a picture, so we'll see how this goes.
Oh, look! It worked! That's him, up there. The pattern can be found on the Michael's website, although it may be under the title of "Frog Prince." Which is inaccurate. In the original German story, he was a Frog King.

And now, for the drumroll...when I click the "publish" button and see if I've actually managed to make this work. The next task will be managing to write regularly, which is the long term goal. I've always thought that it would be fun to write a column for a newspaper, but then I realized that it would probably be incredibly hard. Anyway, wish me luck and we'll see how long I can keep this up.