Hunting Lonely Hearts

 It’s been a while since I actually read The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. I put it down and then forgot to write about it… which I don’t know exactly what it says about the book. It was OK, a little long and not really looking like it was going to get to any sort of point at times, but it was good. 

Bleak, but good. 

Basically The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is about a man named John Singer, a deaf mute in Georgia during the 1930s. He and his friend Antonopoulos, another deaf mute, live in a tiny little apartment together and have a quaint little life until Antonopoulos begins to go insane and is taken to a mental hospital in another town. Singer moves into a sort of boarding house owned by the Kelly’s. Enter Mick Kelly, a rambunctious tomboy of a girl who has a deep devotion to all things music related. The book follows Mick as she basically grows up. I have a hard time thinking that Mick is the main character, because the whole book revolves around John Singer, but most of the book is from Mick’s point of view, so it’s a little hard to determine.

Singer attracts a whole slew of misfits in the book, all who find solace in his quiet demeanor and his ability to listen to them ramble for hours (although he is deaf, he can read lips – and carries around a little card that explains so, along with “Please don’t shout”, which made me laugh). The oddball characters that seek out Singer are; Mick Kelly, Biff Brannon – local store owner, Jake Blount – a socialistic drunk carnival worker, and Dr. Copeland – an African American doctor who feels a lot of anger towards the injustices of his race. All of these characters are somehow alienated from society, or their families. They are all very similar, yet none of them are in any way connected except through Singer.

I just couldn’t help but feel bad for Singer the most. This guy, all he really wanted was to be able to talk with his old friend Antonopoulos again, to be able to tell about all of the things that were going on in his life. And then there are all of these people just badgering him day and night, talking his deaf little ears off, and never asking him any questions about how he is doing or anything like that. They were all just selfishly leaching some form of comfort out of him. My least favorite character was Blount. I wanted to stuff a sock in his rambling mouth.

The fact that McCullers wrote this at twenty-three is really outstanding. I mean, kudos to her for sure, but I just wasn’t enraptured by the book. It was good, but not the most amazing thing I’ve ever read. If I wanted to read a book about common everyday characters in the 1930s, I would probably just pick up a Steinbeck and go with that. If you haven’t read it, I would. It’s not a waste of time really, it just takes a little extra effort to get through it (at least for me it did). I hate to judge authors on one particular book (especially their first one), so I will probably try to read another by Miss McCullers. At some point.

On to reading!


Planning a Trip.

Planning a trip leads to less reading, apparently.
I've been reading a lot of guide books for Ireland, but I doubt you'd like to hear my reviews on those.

So, instead I will tell you about all of the cool things I am planning:

There were some criteria that we knew we'd have to meet in Ireland.
1) Stay in/tour a castle.
2) Drink a Guinness
3) Do something Irish literature related
4) See some sweet cliffs

Thus, we came up with this.

We are staying in this castle!

We are going to tour the Guinness factory and drink a pint (or two, or three...)

We are going to Trinity College where I can see The Book of Kells.

And we are taking a slight detour in our trip to go see these beautiful cliffs.

Those are just the criteria we had to fulfill, the rest is going to be added fun... such as the fact we will be there for St Patrick's Day... oh, and the fact that it's Ireland!

As you can tell, I'm getting very excited.

But here's my question for all of you. I want to read an Irish author before I get over there. Naturally, I want to either read Oscar Wilde or James Joyce.
For Joyce it would be:

For Wilde probably:
Or really anything by Wilde, I enjoy him.
Suggestions? Have you read one or the other (or both?), and if so, which do you recommend?

Have a great Monday!
On to reading (more travel guides)!


Happy Thursday!

Happy Thursday little bloggity readers! Hope your day is full of fun.

Reading any good books lately?

I'm still in the middle of Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, it's good, but I'm finding myself easily distracted from it.

On another note, here is something I want to make:

It's an old book that has been turned into a clutch. Awesome....
Found it here, along with a bunch of other cute DIY projects!

Have a great day!


Still Life.

 From the back cover: “Still Life with Woodpecker is a sort of a love story that takes place inside a pack of Camel cigarettes.”

Why wouldn’t you want to read about that?

So this book, much like all of Robbins’ work, is about forty different things all at once. To strip it down to the basics: the plot revolves around Princess Leigh-Cheri – an extremely sexually charged redheaded former princess who also happens to be an environmentalist. On a trip to Hawaii for the Care Fest – basically an environmental convention, she is chaperoned by her non-English speaking maid, Gulietta, and meets Bernard Mickey Wrangle on the airplane. Bernard has plans to blow up the Care Fest with a stack of dynamite he has strapped to his chest. They meet again after Bernard accidentally blows up a UFO conference instead of the Care Fest, and through a bottle of tequila they fall for one another. On returning to Seattle, Bernard is arrested for his past transgressions, and Princess Leigh-Cheri longs for him. She finds out what his cell looks like and decorates the attic of her home to match (black, one small window, a cot). All she has to entertain her is a pack of Camel cigarettes in which she fabricates a tale of great proportion (this tale involves you just reading the book because WAY too many things take place in it for me to even try to connect all the comparisons… basically it involves redheads, pyramids, the moon, the word CHOICE, etc.)

People begin to copy Leigh-Cheri’s isolation and see it as a fad. Bernard becomes disgusted with it and sends her a letter that ends their love affair. Heart broken, Leigh-Cheri leaves the attic and becomes engaged to a rich Arab suitor. 

Then lots of things happen… including the building of a giant pyramid, a diet of wedding cake and champagne, more bombing, and a hospital.

I think I’ve said this before, Tom Robbins is one of those guys that you can either really dig, or he isn’t. I think I’m still on the fence… which is weird because I now own almost every one of his books. He just has this way of making you love his writing style, and hate the long windedness at the exact same time. He can take something so small and blow it up into this crazy cool idea, but then you are like “What in the hell kind of drugs is this guy taking?” He is an anomaly in my reading repertoire for the main fact that I don’t know if I actually love him.

But there is something there, otherwise I wouldn’t waste my time reading his books. Obviously.

It's funny what people find so important that they want to tattoo it on their bodies... Literary tattoos are some of the coolest in my opinion.

All in all, I liked Still Life With Woodpecker. I really wish Tom Robbins would never refer to the female genitalia as a “peachfish” ever again though. It really grosses me out.

On to reading!


Wicked Cool.

Check out these rad book sculptures that a good friend of mine turned me onto today:

Pretty intense, huh?
I would love to have one of these in my home.

The artist: Guy Laramee


Have a great Friday!
On to reading!



Is it strange that I was expecting more from this? Everyone has always been like “Oh! Ayn Rand, she is a genius!”

But, well, I just didn’t get that from this book. Granted, this may not be her most famous, it’s Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead that you hear all the rave reviews about… but when I found this book for super cheap, I was all about it. I wanted to see the hype of Ms. Rand.

My first reaction when I picked the book up was that it was so tiny. You look at some of her other works and it makes you contemplate weight lifting before you pick them up. This one was more like a pamphlet in comparison.

So, let me just say that I’m a pretty big fan of Dystopian Novels. Books like The Giver, 1984, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, etc. They make me a happy camper. This one… it was just a little too one dimensional for me to even get into it. It took all of about two hours for me to get through it, and when I was done I just sort of set it down and was like, “Alright. On to the next one.”

Basically Anthem is about a society that has no individuals. They don’t know the word “I”, they don’t understand any concept but “We”. There are no names, there is no individuality. The story line is similar to a lot of dystopian novels… basically Equality 7-2521 begins to write down his thoughts (which is illegal) in a hidden tunnel he found one day (something from The Unmentionable Times), he falls in love with a girl named Liberty 5-3000 (which is illegal), he begins to discover things and think for himself (which is illegal), he tries to enlighten the rest of the people with his discoveries and is sentenced to be punished. He runs away. Liberty 5-3000 follows. Then they find a house and it has books (which are illegal) and they read, and their minds are expanded, and then they know the word “I”.

I don’t know. I probably will not read this one again. But, that doesn’t mean I won’t read Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead at some point.

On to reading!


Palm Leaves

Palm Leaves 
at exactly 12:00 midnight 
Los Angeles 
it began to rain on the 
palm leaves outside my window 
the horns and firecrackers 
went off 
and it thundered. 

I'd gone to bed at 9 p.m. 
turned out the lights 
pulled up the covers - 
their gaiety, their happiness, 
their screams, their paper hats, 
their automobiles, their women, 
their amateur drunks... 

New Year's Eve always terrifies 

life knows nothing of years. 

now the horns have stopped and 
the firecrackers and the thunder... 
it's all over in five minutes... 
all I hear is the rain 
on the palm leaves, 
and I think, 
I will never understand men, 
but I have lived 
it through.

I just finished "Burning in Water Drowning in Flame" by Charles 
Bukowski last night... Fittingly enough it ended with this poem 
about New Years. 
On to reading!