Archive for the 'Books' Category

My subconscious is messed up.

I dreamt that I met Ayn Rand.

The version of “me” in the dream was very excited upon learning that the famous novelist/philosopher was in our home. I told her I owned one of her books–The Fountainhead, centennial edition–and that my dad was a big fan who had ancient copies of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, as well as two books about her life and works.  I told her she had to sign my book; it would be an honor and the book would be my most valued possession from this day forward.

Then I said, “I haven’t actually finished reading your book… I will, soon, though.” I was a bit ashamed. The first writer I ever met and I hadn’t even finished her book.

She never talked in my dream. Just sort of stared at me in wonder. Her short white hair, and kind eyes were all I remembered.

I didn’t get her to sign my book. I’d left it on the corner of a table, and for some reason I was suddenly busy. When I saw it again she’d already left. I felt crushed.

Children’s book series I love.

A few days ago Time compiled a wonderful  list of old book series for kids. Lately the online magazine and I haven’t been on the same wavelength with regard to their lists, but this I found interesting. (See the full list here) I found that I’d read at least one book for six out of ten series they enumerated (The Boxcar Children! The BSC! What fine memories.:)). What I had not read were Little House, Biggles, The Hardy Boys, and, I’m embarrassed to say, Nancy Drew (me wonders what Jessica Zafra, a huge fan, would say about this).

It’s not like I’d never heard of these series before (Oh, wait, that’s with the exception of Biggles. What is that about?). I’m pretty sure I saw copies of Little House and The Hardy Boys at our grade school’s book shelf, but I always thought The Hardy Boys was for guys and Little House was one of those books I always saved for later–to the point that I never got to read it. As for Nancy Drew, I guess I just never got acquainted with the series because I was too busy enjoying others (like Ramona and Sweet Valley). That’s a bit sad, but it’s not such a great loss. After all, if not for two of the series on Time’s list (aforementioned), I would never have become a writer.

***

If you got the hint, the two series are Ramona and Sweet Valley.

I think I started reading Ramona in second grade, when we started ordering a lot of books from Scholastic, Inc. I can’t remember if my mom picked it out or I did (I wish I knew), but I love every book I ever read. (My favorite is Ramona and Her Father:)) I believe Beverly Cleary’s books are what encouraged me to write. I remember thinking in my little girl’s head back then, someday, I’m gonna write books for children just like Beverly, so I can make others happy the way she made me happy. I credit her with my passion.

In the latter part of my cringeworthy elementary school experience, I progressed from Ramona to Elizabeth and Jessica in Francine Pascal’s SVH, which had bigger vocabulary words and catered to those undergoing puberty. The impact of the series on my bashful, naive self was strong since I could relate to Elizabeth’s woes. I found her to be more appealing than Jessica, who was considerably shallow, because of our blinding similarities: the seriousness. the academic perseverance. the passion for writing.. Years later I realize I seem to be following in her footsteps, what with the decision to major in journalism… However, we were also different in some ways, like how she always has an admirer (I envy.. Kidding.), and how she can be so driven by her dreams.. But more than these little things that bound me to the series, what I treasure about it is how it made me write again. Don’t get me wrong, I never stopped writing since the day I got my first diary (around the same time I began reading Ramona), but some time in sixth grade, trivial girlhood adventures distracted me and when trials came, I was dumbfounded and I forgot about my foolproof way of relieving my stress. Enter SVH (SVH Senior Year was more influential than the standard SVH series), and voila, my relationship with pen and paper blossomed once again. I credit the writers of SVH (because I think there are a lot of writers of SVH, is that correct?) with refueling my desire to write–with keeping me on the write track (citation: onthewritetrack is an acquaintance’s blog).

I guess I’m just overcome with memories. Thank you Time. You always have something interesting for subscribers like me.

My dear Scarlett.

Last night my dad was cleaning out some stuff, and he found an old copy of Scarlett, a sequel to Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind.

According to Wikipedia, the book was released in 1991 and picks up exactly where GWTW left off. It was also a huge commercial success despite a number of critics saying it lacked the literary quality of GWTW. That last statement is sad, because GWTW was written so well. Nevertheless I still plan on reading the book, which, it turns out, is owned by my mother, who bought it from a garage sale back in Ames.

Lucky. How extremely lucky I am.

[Never] [Let] [Me] [Go].

I am so excited for the movie adaptation of Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. The actors and actresses look great and the trailer is haunting. I’ve been wanting to write a review on the book, but I’m scared I won’t do it justice. The movie, I think, comes out in January. 🙂

Something’s Got a Hold of Me.

Listening to Dashboard Confessional’s Don’t Wait is appropriate. I feel afraid. The paranoia in The Final Destination must have rubbed off of me, as my throat feels constricted and all my senses are alert.

A memory did this. A memory of a friend’s progress in something, which only reminded me of my own… lack of progress.

I can’t do this. I can’t sit around, reading books and watching TV shows. I can’t spend my day doing errands and burning time at the mall. It’s wrong; it’s unwise. What is wrong with me? Someone help me understand.

At a computer shop.

For some twisted reason, the Internet connection is fucking slow today. If only I were at home, then I could listen to my songs with ease (my iPod died a couple weeks ago) and I could lie down on my bed and sleep until 4, my next class, or finish A Tale of Two Cities once and for all.

I’m brain-dead by the way. The reason I’m so tired and dysfunctional is because I stayed up the whole night studying for an exam in one of the most challenging subjects I’ve ever had.

I just realized this blog’s theme looks different on Firefox. I use Google Chrome, so I didn’t know until now, now that I’m forced to use Mozilla.

Darn, I got somewhere to be.

But all I want to do is sleep.

What a mess this post is.

———–

Currently listening to Everything Will Be Alright by The Killers

Of books and reading books.

I’m a book lover; I have been ever since I laid hands on one. There’s just something about books that makes me feel great, something about the words, and the scenes that come into my head. It’s addictive. If I have a vice, it’s reading.

Lately, I haven’t been much of a reader. Much of the time I have is either spent on boring college classes or the Internet. But through my Internet surfing, I recently discovered Readernaut.com (see my profile here), which is kind of like Last.fm, except it’s about the books you’ve read, books you are currently reading, books that you plan to read, etc. I think it’s pretty smart and all, to have a site like that, so my hat goes off to whoever made it.

This weekend I bought two books: the first by one of my favorite authors of all time, and the second by an author I don’t quite know.

This isn't the cover of the one I bought (I'm too lazy to take a photo of it) but for the sake of having a picture, this'll do.

A Tale of Two Cities, the first book, is required reading for my sociology elective on Collective Behavior this semester. I’ve read only about two pages and I can say that it’ll probably be a serious read. But then again, of course it is, because it’s about the French Revolution. My professor wants us to understand the things that propelled the people to revolt and the things they did in the revolution. All the reasons why I never read or bought the book before. However, I love Charles Dickens [A Christmas Carol is the only complete and unabridged novel of his I ever read, but I read abridged versions of David Copperfield (my first Dickens), Great Expectations (who can forget Estella and Miss Havisham?), and Oliver Twist (“Please sir, I want some more.”) all throughout elementary and high school.] so I’m gonna give this hugely popular book of his a chance.

This is exactly the cover of the one I bought.

The second book I bought is Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. I was planning on getting The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, which I have an ebook of, but I couldn’t find it at the bookstore so I got this instead. Actually, it was a toss-up between this and The Kite Runner, but the synopsis at the back of this thin but slightly more expensive book captured me. Lately, I’ve been missing people who aren’t really part of my life anymore, so reading about someone who reconnects with people from her past might be fun. I don’t know when I’ll start reading it. Truth be told, I want to begin right now, but a part of me feels like I should focus on A Tale of Two Cities first, since, by circumstances, it’s much more important. Also, I think that if I read this book first, I’ll lose free time to read A Tale of Two Cities. Not that these books are particularly thick, but it’s August already and I have a thousand things to do. I haven’t removed the plastic cover yet so I won’t be tempted. But whatever. I feel like I’ll give in to temptation anyway.


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