A Brief Complaint of Church Architecture

So, the first book I’ve decided to read for this book blog is Willa Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop.
I just want to start off by saying this may, or may not have been, a bad choice.
Do not get me wrong here people, I loves me some Willa. O Pioneers!? My Antonia? Those both equal LOVE in my heart. I mean, after My Antonia I thought about having a child, praying it was a girl, and naming her Antonia [those crazy ideas have since passed though, thank goodness]. And O Pioneers! O how awesome a read it was! I won’t really spoil it for anyone but when there was a death in the book, it was so tragically awful and beautiful that I cried. I cried like a baby.
But now, here I am reading Death Comes for the Archbishop, and I am finding myself unmoved. I am halfway through it, so good things could be coming around the corner, but for now I am ho-humming my way through the pages. Here is basically what the book is all about thus far: So there is a Bishop, who is given territory for his ministry in New Mexico after the United States acquires it in the 19th century. In the very beginning he gets lost, he finds a tiny town, he finds his way to Santa Fe, he rides a horse. He rides a horse some more. Then there is more horse riding to be had. I mean really, that’s basically all I’ve read about - how this Bishop Latour and his right hand man, Father Valliant, ride around the countryside visiting different priests in different towns. There is a lot of talk about Indians [aka Native Americans], and the Bishop becomes semi-friends with this Indian Boy who guides him around.
Not too much of a plot yet, right? And I’m already halfway in.
But, I might have a reason for being a little apprehensive about Ms. Cather’s work. This book - about a Bishop who is wandering around talking about cloisters and archways, and all sorts of stupid church related architecture - is making me have flashbacks to Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, which I just finished a couple of weeks ago. Have you SEEN the size of that book? I’m ok with big books. They don’t scare me. But when 95% of the story is about cloisters and archways and pillars… it gets old. So now I am in the world of Bishops, and wandering around, and churches again.
My. Brain. Can’t. Take. It.
This is why I say perhaps Death Comes for the Archbishop may have been a bad choice. I am still captivated by Cather’s ability to so poetically describe the landscape, giving it a life of its own – as if it is also a character in the book. The only thing I am missing so far in this novel, compared to the other works I have read by Cather, is a compassionate feeling. So far, Father Latour and his horse could fall over in a ditch in New Mexico, and I probably wouldn’t care.
I’m hoping something is going to change, draw me in a little more… but only time will tell.
So, on to reading!


The List [and ramblings about tea]

Mmm. Tea. Delicious Tea.
Actually, I am just trying to convince myself that the tea I am drinking right now is awesome – because what I really really really want is a good cup of coffee with lots of creamer. I love creamer. Probably more than I love coffee. I woke up this morning and lo and behold, there was no creamer. Silly me for forgetting to pick some up. Plus this tea is decaf… what’s that going to do for me?

Here are the books I have lying around my house right now. Some of these I have been sitting, starring at, thinking “Hey, I spent good money on you books. Why are you just sitting there?” Dust collectors, I guess. But good news, now that I have started this bloggity blog, and have taken this picture, it’s like I have to read them – right? As you can tell [or maybe you can’t, it’s not the best picture… I never said I had an awesome camera folks... there will be better ones, promise.], there is a lot of Richard Brautigan [whom I love], there is a Stephen King book that I was told that I should read [so I bought it for like, a whole two bucks, at a used book store], I’ve got some books that I’ve seen on some of those “You Must Read This Before You Die” lists, and then I just have some books that I flat out want to read. 
Speaking of those Best-Books-Ever-That-You-Have-to-Read-Or-You-Aren’t-Cool lists, I am going to make my own [because, I mean really, if EVERYONE is reading the same books from all the same lists... no one is reading anything really 'new']. Entertainment Weekly in 2008 came out with a list of "New Classics" – or rather – books they view as classics written between 1983-2008. Then there is Modern Library’s list of 100 books that the Board recommends, and 100 books that Readers recommend.
So, lets combine and make my own list of however many. I won’t include books that I have already read [although, I may read them again, just for fun].

The List:
  1. Aldous Huxley, A Brave New World
  2. Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon
  3. Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
  4. Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead
  5. Anne Patchett, Bel Canto
  6. Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible
  7. Charles Bukowski [Anything I can find]
  8. Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
  9. Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
  10. Chuck Klosterman, Sex, Drugs, And Cocoa Puffs
  11. D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers
  12. Denise Lehane, Mystic River
  13. Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
  14. David Sedaris, Naked
  15. Evelyn Waugh, A Handful of Dust
  16. Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises
  17. Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence
  18. E.M. Forster, A Room With a View
  19. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night
  20. Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood
  21. Frank McCourt, Angela’s Ashes
  22. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera
  23. Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer
  24. John Stewart, America
  25. Joyce Carol Oates, Black Water
  26. John Irving, The World According to Garp
  27. John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany
  28. James M. Cain, The Postman Always Rings Twice
  29. Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim
  30. John Steinbeck, The Pearl
  31. James Joyce, Finnegans Wake
  32. Jack Kerouac, On the Road
  33. James Baldwin, Go Tell It on the Mountain
  34. James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  35. James Joyce, Ulysses
  36. Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughter House 5
  37. Ken Kesey, Sometimes a Great Notion
  38. Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis
  39. Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
  40. Mary Karr, The Liars Club
  1. Norman Mailer, The Naked and the Dead
  2. Nevil Shute, A Town Like Alice
  3. Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game
  4. Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes
  5. Robert Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
  6. Rudyard Kipling, Kim
  7. Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
  8. Robert Graves, I, Claudius
  9. Richard Brautigan, A Confederate General from Big Sur
  10. Richard Brautigan, The Abortion: An Historical Romance 1966
  11. Richard Brautigan, The Hawkline Monster: A Gothic Western
  12. Richard Brautigan, Revenge of the Lawn
  13. Richard Brautigan, The Pill Versus The Springhill Mine Disaster
  14. Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh
  15. Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children
  16. Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House
  17. Stephen King, IT
  18. Stephen King, Duma Key
  19. Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses
  20. Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street
  21. Theodore Dreiser, An American Tragedy
  22. Toni Morrison, Beloved
  23. Thomas Pynchon, V.
  24. Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried
  25. Tom Robbins, Another Roadside Attraction
  26. Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
  27. Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
  28. William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury
  29. William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying
  30. Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop
  31. Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark
  32. William Styron, Sophie’s Choice
  33. William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!
  34. W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage
  35. Walker Percy, The Moviegoer
  36. William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch
  37. William Gibson, Neuromancer

So, on to reading! What to choose… what to choose…


Getting to Work

Dearest Whomever -

Thank you for happening upon this blog of incessant book ramblings I plan to do. I’ve never had any experience with a blog before so, needless to say, this could get very interesting for all of us. I guess I should tell you who I am, and what my point is with this book blog.
I am a graduate in English Literature with a Writing Emphasis. So basically [or what I tell people at least] I graduated in Reading and Writing. It may or may not be the most useful degree in the entire world… seeing as I did nothing to get me involved with teaching, or anything of that sort, but I must tell you it was a very enjoyable 4 years of my life. Not only because college can just be flat out fun, and stressful, and time consuming as all get out… but because I was able to read an unruly amount of books in, get this, a very short time. Not that I love to race through books or anything. Some books I like to take my time on. Like the seventh Dark Tower book by Stephen King. It has taken me forever. For-eh-ver. But, I am in no way ashamed of that. Like I said, some books take a long time [and a lot of motivation] to get through.
So, I guess what I am getting at, is that this is my book blog. This is going to be my way of keeping myself in the literary world for as long as possible… because lets be honest… I never want to grow up, and reading is like my Never Never Land.
Books make me happy, and that’s what life is all about – being happy.
There are a plethora of books I have come across in my literary life, but there is  an overabundance of literary works I have yet to even crack open. So, this is my chance to get to all of those books I never came across - or always wanted to and just… didn’t.
So, lets get to work - one broken binding at a time.

That 'tis me, in front of my "library", in my nerdy craft room, with a copy of Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan (one of my favorite books)