music monday

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what i've been reading

a tale for the time being by ruth ozeki

i heard ruth ozeki on npr and found her delightful and immediately put this book on my library hold list. that was months ago. it was worth the wait. the book shifts back and forth between the diary of noa, a japanese teenager, and ruth, a novelist who found noa's diary on the beach in british columbia locked inside a hello kitty lunchbox wrapped in barnacle covered ziplock bags. noa wants to document her great grandmother's life in her journal but noa is bullied, her father is suicidal and while she does write about her great grandmother, jiko, a zen buddhist monk, she spends far more time telling her own story. ruth reads noa's diary and gets more and more sucked into noa's world and finds she's actually concerned for the girl's future. i loved this book. a lot. so much that when i fell asleep 30 pages from the end last night and woke up at 1:00 AM, i stayed up and finished it. it was awesome. 

the weight of blood by laura mchugh

i started this book at 2:00 AM last night when i finished tale for the time being. its a thing i do. i always pick up the next book in the pile and read the first chapter before going to sleep. i don't know when or why i started doing this but i do. and i did. then, i finished the entire book today. 

i don't know who recommended this to me. i think they both know me very well and hate me. you see, this is a book about sex trafficking and rape culture in the ozarks. it was horrifying and fantastic. i could not put it down.

lucy's friend, cheri, vanishes and is then found murdered a year later. lucy's mom disappeared when lucy was a baby. lucy doesn't understand why more people aren't trying to figure out what happened to her friend or why no one talks to her about what happened to her mother. she tries to solve both mysteries and quickly finds out that you might not want to ask questions that you may not really want the answers to. 

i loved this book and hate that i loved this book. it was gut wrenching. some recommendation, huh?

one more thing by bj novak

ryan from the office wrote a book of short stories and it's real, real good. plus he's bff with mindy kaling. what's not to like?

alena by rachel pastan

i didn't love this. it was good, really good. but, by the time we find out where alena, the title character, has disappeared to, i found i didn't care all that much. maybe it was just my mood but i was pretty meh about the end of this book, even though i'd enjoyed it overall. its a retelling of rebecca by daphne du maurier, a book i loved. if you liked rebecca, its definitely worth the fairly quick read.

 

you should have know by jean hanff korelitz

i have a problem. i loved reading gone girl so much that i've been chasing that book dragon for two years now. i've read any number of crappy books that were reviewed as "gone girl-esque" or "this summer's gone girl." none of them have lived up to that promise. until this book. it was twisty and topsy tuvy and oh so fucked up. i enjoyed it, kind of a lot. 

one the to be read pile:

no one else can have you by kathleen hale

respect yourself: stax records and the soul explosion by robert gordon

threats by amelia grey

shopping, seduction and mr. selfridge by lindy woodhead

and a few things i've read online lately that are worth the time:

grand unified theory of female pain

west wing uncensored

amy schumer and gabourey sidibe's speeches at this year's ms. foundation gala. FUCKING AWESOME.

questlove's series on vulture

how to be prolific: guidelines for getting it done by joss whedon

so, what are you reading?

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word of the week

wabi sabi. an ancient aesthetic philosophy rooted in deliberate imperfection.

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music monday

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word of the week

ambivalence. the state of having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone.

ugh. feelings.

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music monday

we've been learning a dance to this is tap class. its fast and challenging and really cute. 

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word of the week

procrastination.  putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention; what i was doing when i made this.

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word of the week

hanafubuki. a cherry blossom blizzard; a petal storm.

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magical

i first read a very old man with enormous wings by gabriel garcia marquez in high school. it was in a short story textbook that my english class was using. it wasn't an assigned story but i read it one night anyway and asked my teacher about it the next day in class. it had honestly turned my world a little upside down. i had read science fiction. this story was different and i loved it. my teacher excitedly gave me a quick lecture on magical realism. he was my favorite teacher and within a month, i had a new favorite writer. 

he's still in my top ten, even though it'd been awhile since i've read anything of his. i can recite long passages from one hundred years of solitude because i reread them so many times when writing my longest (and best) college paper on the book. when i read of love and other demons, which he wrote when he was 17, i was in love. and furious. no one should be allowed to write that beautifully at seventeen. but of course he could and did. because he was magical.

i'd been running all day on thursday after a late night. i hadn't spent much time on the internet but had seen his name pop up in a few places. it never occur to me that he'd died. i was saddened to learn that he had.

since thursday, i've been wanting to reread a very old man with enormous wings. it showed up in my blog reader today and i clicked without thinking. its shorter than i remember but just as sad and lovely and yes, magical. if you've never read it, you should. if you have, read it again. 

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word of the week

shiny. radiating light; bright; having a sheen from being rubbed or worn smooth; to be good, in a state of being good, to be having a good time.

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