Funky Fresh

 Honestly - I think this would be the easiest bookcase in the world to make. Paint it funky fun colors - cover it in some crazy awesome wallpaper, and TAH DAH!

For those of us who have a bigger TBR pile than a Read pile... 

Oh trees! How cool are these two? Perfect for a funky nursery or an eco-friendly couple.

Wacky! I'm more or less positive that this photo has just been altered (see how curvy the books are?), but how cool would this be if someone really made it?

 Yes, those are CDs, but imagine books. Beautiful books.

Perfect for medical books? I think so.

 Oh how I wish this photo wasn't kind of blurry. I want this. Like... now. I may be crazy, but I feel as though this wouldn't be too hard to do on your own. Obvs I wouldn't go with purple, but you know.
I have the boyfriend thinking of different ways he could make something like this for me. I want.


Lookey Lookey I got a Bookey

Yes! More books!


So, in the event that Borders was closing down, and I wanted to get in there and scrape up some good deals, I bought these two little books:

Small though they may be, I have always wanted them, and they were relatively cheap.

Then, a few days later, after I had FINALLY summoned up the courage to buy my first Kurt Vonnegut book, my book nerd friend goes yard sale-ing and finds these little gems:

A whole stack of Vonnegut books for something like cents a piece!
He got me Slaughterhouse Five too, but since I had JUST purchased it, we gifted it to our other book nerd friend.

THEN, on a completely random road trip with my boo, we decided to hit up Barnes & Noble (because there was nothing else besides a Buffalo Wild Wings to take up our wasted time). I caved and bought these because I've been eyeing them for quite some time.

The Odyssey & The Iliad because I know I can convince my non-reading boyfriend to get into it (he is a freak for mythology)...

and H.P. Lovecraft because I had just done a bloggity post not too long ago about how I needed to get into his stuff.

Glory in it's beauty.

I've just cracked open Beloved by Toni Morrison right now, and so far finding it pretty interesting (as well as a little confusing - probably just need to get into a little further).

On to reading!


The Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, is set in St Louis in 1937. The action is drawn from the memories of the narrator, Tom Wingfield. Tom is a warehouse worker, aspiring to one day be a poet. Amanda, Tom’s mother, was born a Southern Belle - she regales tales of her youth and the droves of gentleman callers that pursued her. Laura, Tom’s sister, is a painfully shy young woman who wears a brace on her leg from a birth defect. The play revolves around Amanda’s quest to find gentleman callers for Laura.

Tom, after Amanda begs of him to find suitors at the warehouse, asks that his old high school friend Jim come to dinner one night. As it turns out, Jim was Laura’s crush in high school and, because of her shyness, she feigns illness throughout the entire dinner. As dinner is ending, the lights are cut off due to an unpaid electric bill, and the characters must converse by candlelight. Amanda asks that Jim keep Laura company while she and Tom clean up from dinner.

Jim and Laura talk of high school, of Laura’s awkward shyness and uniqueness, of Laura’s glass menagerie. Overcoming her shyness, they dance an awkward waltz, and Jim kisses Laura. Jim draws back and explains that he actually is going steady with another girl and that he just got caught up in the moment. Jim hastily leaves, and the family falls into an argument. Amanda blames Tom for not telling them of Jim’s engagement, of which he had no idea, and Laura’s feelings are crushed.

Tom leaves and watches the two women from the fire escape, he explains that not long after Jim’s visit he was fired from the warehouse for writing poetry on a shoe box, and he quickly leaves Amanda and Laura behind to pursue his own adventures. Years later, in his adventures, Tom finds that he is incapable of leaving behind guilty memories of Laura.

Basically everyone is stuck in their own imaginary worlds:

Amanda – Faded Southern belle – Idyllic youth.
Laura – Her glass menagerie – beautiful and fragile.
Tom – Living adventure through the movies. Not being tied down. Dreamer.
Jim – Getting into television. Making a name for himself. Living up to his high school glory.

One important aspect of Williams’ stage directions is the onstage screen – a screen that displays images or phrases that are important to certain scenes in the play. I’ve read that most directors do without it but Tennessee Williams put it in his Production Notes because he felt that it would “give accent to certain values in each scene.” 
I personally liked the screen idea while I was reading the play. In my minds eye I warped The Glass Menagerie - it wasn’t so much in the 30’s as it was maybe the 60’s or 70’s. I imagined a projector on stage playing flickering old home movies with cross-processed colors (think The Wonder Years intro). Flashing images of Amanda’s gleeful youth, stop action film of a tinted blue rose slowly budding and opening, etc. Personally I think it added a very interesting emphasis to important parts of the play. 

All in all, it was a very quick read and a very interesting play. I’d love to see it played out live.
On to reading!


Kingsolver's Bible

It has been years since I have read a Barbara Kingsolver book. I recall that I may have really liked The Bean Trees, as well as Animal Dreams (since those seem to be the Kingsolver books that everyone reads), so when I saw The Poisonwood Bible at a used book store for a good price, I was more than happy to pick it up.

I was not disappointed, but I wasn’t blown away either.

The Poisonwood Bible is about The Price family – mother, father and four young daughters, who move to the Belgian Congo in 1959 as Baptist missionaries. The book follows the family as they try to settle into the Congo. Small setbacks soon turn into large catastrophes and the family starts to fall apart.
I’d say that the book could have almost been divided into two. The first half was about the families hindrances and obstacles (mostly dealing with a violent, extremely troubled, evangelical father), and the second half revolved mostly around the political side of the Congo (Africa’s fight for independence from Belgium, the assassination of their first elected Prime Minister, secret CIA coups, etc.). Although I was very interested in where they would end up in the end of the book, I was somewhat bored by the political talk. To me, it almost became too preachy and less about the story.

I was very interested in reading the lives of these young women as they made names for themselves in the world – whether they did it well or not. The writing style that Kingsolver used allowed the reader to get very involved with each character. In the end, I liked Leah best (as I know Kingsolver was aiming for). I almost feel like I could have had less of the other girls and more of Leah - but we need the others to understand Leah fully, just as we couldn’t understand Rachel, Ruth May or Adah without her. Leah was the most rounded out character, and the least annoying to read.

Rachel. Dear lord. What a pitiful character. Not only because Kingsolver seemed to force her into such a vain, ignorant, self-absorbed character, but because she was such a vain, ignorant, self-absorbed character. I wanted to tell Kingsolver that I understood what she was trying to do, not every other sentence had to be about Rachel’s nails, or hair, or clothing. She was vain. I get it.

The entire time I was reading The Poisonwood Bible I was reminded of the year I spent working with Burundi refugees. It made me remember that we had to be very conscious about what we were teaching or asking them. For example, trying to teach the words “arm” or “leg” caused many to burst into tears because they had survived by hiding beneath body parts of their own family members during the war.

 This line especially stood out to me: 
“Why must some of us deliberate between brands of toothpaste, while others deliberate between damp dirt and bone dust to quiet the fire of an empty stomach lining?”

This book made me remember what is truly important in people’s lives. For some it is toothpaste and for others it is freedom.

Puts your life into perspective.

On to reading!



there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I'm not going
to let anybody see

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pur whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
in there.

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
you want to blow my book sales in

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody's asleep.
I say, I know that you're there,
so don't be
then I put him back,
but he's singing a little
in there, I haven't quite let him
and we sleep together like
with our
secret pact
and it's nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don't
weep, do
I think it was just one of those days where I need some Bukowski - but touching Bukowski poetry, not boozed up sexy-time Bukowski.

On to reading.


Between Books

Oh boy. Talk about an incredibly rough week. 10-16 hour days at work combined with a death in the family = one drained cookie.

So, sorry about the lack of posts dearest bloggity friends.

I don't exactly have anything great to post right now... I am in the middle of The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. It's about the Price family who travel into the Belgian Congo in 1959 to spread the word of God.

The Price family consists of:
Nathan Price - a bullying evangelical Baptist preacher.
Orleanna Price - the wife of Nathan, a woman beat down by her husband's mean words and actions.
Rachel Price - the eldest of the four Price daughters, she is sixteen and blonde as can be, and hates the fact that they are stuck in the Congo when she should be back in Georgia.
Leah and Adah Price - twins who are complete opposites of one another (or at least where I am at in the book, I'm sure plenty of these descriptions will change as the book continues). Leah is a tomboy who wants her father's praise more than anything. Adah, who barely talks to anyone and has no control of the left side of her body, reads fervently and is much smarter than most seem to understand.
The youngest Price daughter is Ruth May, a courageous and curious five year old little girl.

Each section is divided by different books of the bible (Genesis, Revelations, etc), and further broken down by the different girl's perspectives of what is going on in their lives and in the Congo. Each girl has a completely different voice within the piece, and it makes it very interesting to read.

So far I am enjoying it a lot. I just need to get back into the swing of reading. In fact, this month has been so messed up that I haven't gotten into 1book140 for August's beach read, Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips. Dang.

On another note, I was informed of a very interesting writing competition that Stylist Magazine is doing. From August 10 - August 16 they will post a picture on their site. You can write a 100 word story to accompany the photo, and they will judge daily to see who wrote the best microfiction story.

Anyway, on to reading!

(P.S. Hug and kiss and high five the ones you love as much as possible)