Why 100?

Last year I set out to read 100 books, but I ran out of time and only read 75. So this year, I will read one hundred books. And you're my witness :) The only thing stopping me this year is 9 seasons' worth of Seinfeld episodes- wish me luck!

Friday, July 23, 2010

i like to read blue books (but not write in them)

im exhausted.  why am i up at 3:22 in the morning then? you ask... who knows.  watching a peaceful sleeper only seems to make the insomnia worse too.  look how cozy and comfortable and utterly sound asleep that person is.  and me?  i am awake.  typing to the sweet sounds of gentle snoring.  (which is actually kind of cute).  i haven't finished a book yet to be typing about that.... i am in the middle of 'quiet your mind' by john selby, 'a thousand acres' by jane smiley, and 'the satanic verses' by rushdie.  interestingly enough, both covers of the first two listed are blue.  as are about half of the other covers of the books from previous blog entries.  i wonder if this is purely coincidence?  or do publishers realize that these newer novels should  be blue in order to boost sales as blue is a calming color that makes you put down your guard and spend money??  or am i drawn to the books with blue on the spine- thinking maybe a little blue will soothe me and kick depression into a tailspin.  who knows?  anywho, i'm going to go enojy a few pages of a thousand acres and hopefully get back to you soon with a detailed report on why or why not i agree or disagree with the critics' choice to award it a pulitzer.  du du duuuuhhhhh til next week* m

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

45. finally! a satisfying chick lit/mystery novel!

Goodnight Nobody, Jennifer Weiner
I will be the first to admit that i hated Jennifer Weiner's novel, Good in Bed.  I thought it sucked, but perhaps the content matter just wasn't for me.  she reminds me a lot of emily giffin, in fact, this book mirrored love the one you're with in a lot of ways, but kicked its ass, quality-wise.  in fact, i almost couldn't put this one down.  well, i could, but i was having a little personal drama that was keeping my mind racing and occupied, so i could only focus on a novel for so long before i went into hysterics over-analyzing my own situation.  but that is all sorted out now thank goodness, and i was able to finish this book in the peace and sanctity of a (cold! a breeze!) bedroom :)  and it was a satisfying read.  i had no idea who it would be or why or ????? as much as i like out-smarting the heroes in mystery novels, i really enjoy being lead on til the very end.  these sorts of novels remind me of how exhilarating a good Nancy Drew book used to be when I was younger.  i read all of the newer, paperback, modern Nancy Drews and most of the old hardcovers (my mom used to buy me those 4 packs of the old Nancy Drews that they sold all wrapped in plastic in the book section of Costco when I'd been especially good- i remember ripping into that plastic and cracking the hard plastic/cardboard spine and just knowing it would be a really good night filled with old windmills and adventures with Bess and dreamy Ned.  oh those were the good ol days).  now, nothing will ever replace the thrill and excitement of classic nancy drew literature, but this wasn't too bad..... a great birthday present from my sister-in-law, and i wish it hadn't took me so long to get to it.

44. some secrets stay secret, but are they still lost?

i'm really not sure where to start explaining sheridan hay's novel, The Secret of Lost Things.  I definitely reccomend it, though.  it's kind of sad and strangely intriguing.  it made me want to read melville.... i'm not quite sure if i'm ready to tackle moby dick, though.  it just seems like such an innappropriate title.  eh well.  i don't really want to say too much about this novel because i know i will not do it justice.  it deals with loss and coveting and lust and greed..... and a very unrecognized world of book collectors.  where are these people with shelves and shelves of classics in first edition?  can you be a serious book collector without having autographed, first printings that are in literary cannons in high schools and colleges the world over?  is a librarian a book collector?  am i a book collector simply for reading them?  when it comes down to it, this, like any other thing, cannot be defined by any one person or thing, it is defined by those who need to define it.  did that make any sense at all??

Saturday, July 10, 2010

43. not so smitten with this reading

it's hard to be smitten with life when you feel like you are losing the love of your life.  luckily i finished this book last night, before the storm blew through, otherwise i might not have been able to handle the "difficulties" that lizbeth and matt faced in getting together in Janet Evanovich's Smitten.  she can't handle their chemistry and the fact that he is perfect with her children, has money, protects her, and pleases her immensely in bed.  poor lizbeth. some of us actually have real relationship problems and it is eating away at my insides.  how do you deal if one person can't handle something and wants to step away while the other one is still hanging on?  it's one of those questions that pops up in many people's lives, and in many fictional situations, but it isn't ever really dealt with.  either one person remembers why they love the other one who is holding on so dearly or the other has to forge through their feelings and move on when they are not ready to.  i know everything happens for a reason, but it's hard to believe that such pain happens for a reason.  that's the problem with relationships- they are so SO good when everything is fine between the two people, but when any glitches happen, it can be the worst feeling in the world.  how can someone expect to live their life if they keep getting hurt by people they trust?  what if everything else is so great, except for one tiny detail that is hard?  it's worth it to stay, right?  or is the trust and love broken forever?  can i do anything to gain it back? 
i wish i could just disappear in one of my novels and become one of the characters who loves comes to so easily and eagerly sometimes.  is that why i read so much?  but my life is so good when its good.  and it was until this morning and now i can't even focus on the next book i'm reading because i can't stop thinking about how much it hurts and how much more it might hurt if..... i ccan't even say it.  i hope and pray for anyone out there in my predicament and i hope i can make it- no, i hope WE can make it through....

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

42. the queen of blah blah blah (a.k.a. the queen of predictability)

meg cabot, author of the famed princess diary series, wrote the queen of babble, which was apparently made for boring holiday weekends where you need something to flip through quickly..... i know, that's a little harsh, but i'm sorry, i cannot read any more books where the protagonist antagonizes over EVERY LITTLE DETAIL.... over and over and over again.  i had had enough of this from my last emily giffin experience (see: #41), but at least that was life changing stuff like adultery and resentment and dead mothers..... this queen of babble, lizzie, is convinced she's in love with a boy she hung out with for one night and e-mailed for a few months so she goes to live with him in england for the summer.  um, excuse me?  when did girls become so stupid?  oh, right, i went through that phase in 7th GRADE!  come on, get real ms. cabot!  yes, girls are silly sometimes about matters of the heart, but not stupid enough to move after one night of making out in a dorm room.  and her "silly" antics where she can't keep her "big fat mouth shut" are unbearable.  give me a break!  (break me off a piece of that kit-kat-bar! ha ha)  now that i have gotten all of that out of my system, this book wasn't all bad.  the plot line was kind of fun and it is always nice to see the clueless, down on her luck (supposedly), happy go lucky girl get what she wants.  and i did enjoy her passion for fashion that comes out in the writing.  that is always refreshing to see someone who knows a lot about their passions.  but i think in the future, i will just pretend i'm a teenager again and go back to the princess diaries.  at least that unreality is realistic.  wait, what?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

41. love the one you're with.... because you are with them?

Now, I normally love Emily Giffin's work, which is why I read Love the One You're With, her fourth novel, with enthusiasm this last week.  Unfortunately Ellen, her main character in this one, wouldn't stop bitching and overanalyzing her perfect little life with an amazing husband and family and job yada yada yada.  she is so full of resentment for i don't even know what that it was a real pain in the ass to read.  especially when she turns that resentment and boredom into a possible affair with an ex-lover who everybody knows is a jerk..... i couldn't stand it.  if you don't let go of past loves, do you block the possibility of full love for your future?  or do you open up different places in your heart for those new loves?  most people will probably sympathize with giffin's main character's holding a flame for a past love, but her bitching and whining and then sort of blurring the lines on what she can and can't do with this flame?  not so much.  suck it up, yeah? 
that being said, this book made me feel that there is another layer to love that we don't understand until it is tested and really thought about- commitment.  time commitments are one thing.  commiting to love somebody through the difficult parts of life and the great parts?  something else entirely.  it's a boring aspect of love to ponder when you consider all of the wonderful, swept off-your-feet lovey stuff, but it's something that makes real love real.  i suppose that's why the wedding ceremony is such and important and vital part of love- it's making that solid commitment in front of people (with witnesses-ha ha-) to hold on to your love and cherish it and ride it through the hard parts and the joy rides.  yet another reason why i love LOVE.   there are so many parts that pop up and swirl together and mix up to make the most perfect and most difficult emotions that a human can face.  heartbreak sucks, but when its all said and done, being in love with someone who you are committed to and learning everything about that love is worth any past pain and hardship with any other sub-par love.  awwww love is so sweet*