I am blessed to have some amazing friends. One such friend sent me two mysterious boxes over Christmas!! I opened them up, and gasped. They were full of books!!
Deep inside my Asian self, I said, "Shut.up."
(Translation: Wooohoooo! Yay!)
I've been pretty stoked about this, and these books couldn't have come at a better time.
Recently, I canceled my Netflix subscription. Yup, it was difficult to do, particularly since there are so many great films and tv shows to watch on that service. It didn't help that they invited me to come back and pay a slightly lower rate than I did before.
Nonetheless, I stuck to my guns. Why, pray tell, did I cancel my subscription? It's the same reason why I do not have cable tv.
The answer is simple. It's all about a matter of time and what the best way is for me to spend it. I have nothing against tv and entertainment in general, it's just that I value reading books and being creative so much more.
Back in the day, I was a writer and a reader. Plain and simple. Now as I get older, I've arrived at a place where I appreciate the roots from which my life has grown.
So, this year more than ever, I will read, and I will read all of the books that came in these boxes. Less TV. Fewer movies.
Here is the list of the books and their respective authors:
Promise Not To Tell by Jennifer McMahon
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
The Lake Shore Limited by Sue Miller
Look At Me by Jennifer Egan
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Little Bee by Chris Cleave
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
The Senator's Wife by Sue Miller
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Middle Age by Joyce Carol Oates
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
As you can see, I have a lot of reading ahead of me.
Oh and in addition to all of the books listed, my dear sweet wonderful friend also sent me these . . .
These are books on Taoism along with 50 beautifully illustrated cards that are so pretty!!
Before I start on these new books, there are a couple of other ones I want to read first.
Currently, there's this . . .
It is a collection of essays about the life and work of one of my personal heroes, Albert Einstein. This man revolutionized the way we looked at the universe and derived ingenious ways to understand it out of doing so. This is a bit of a tough read. Anything related to Einstein's work needs to be approached in more of a dimensional and conceptual way. ( I kind of geek out on theoretical physics.) Einstein, in his personal life, certainly was not perfect, but he was a driven intellectual. He was imaginative and took many risks. Even as diminutive and somewhat slovenly as he was in his appearance, he was a giant among men. Aren't appearances always deceiving? It's all relative, I suppose.
And then, there's this . . .
This book was BD's suggestion. There are some who say that this is THE "Great American Novel". Regarded as John Steinbeck's defining work, The Grapes of Wrath is a sweeping look at a country in transition, rising reluctantly out of it's own blistering bowl of wind-swept dust.
It's a doozy /beast/monster (!!!!!) of a book, and BD was kind enough to lend me both his hard copy and the book on CD. Not sure yet which of the two I will utilize most. We'll see.
So there you have it!!! Goodness gracious that's a lot to read!! If any of you have read one or all of these books let me know what you thought of them in the comments below.
There will be an ongoing segment here on WPR entitled "Reading Will Save the World" that will serve up a small review of each book as I get done reading them.
Special thanks and tiny Asian hugs many many times over to my dear sweet wonderful friend for these fantastic books!!!!
So, what are you reading?
I've just added another page to this blog site. THE READING ROOM!!! Since 1991, I have kept a record of all the books I have read. I've decided to share this list with all the world. As time permits, I'll be adding more information to this page. I'll be listing the following tidbits: 1. Book Name 2. Author Name 3. Number of Pages 4. Thoughts/Reviews There will also be a rating system by way of "G's".GGGGG: OutstandingGGGG: GoodGGG: FairGG: PoorG: Don’t Bother To see this new page, just click HERE. (It is a work in progress.) Reading is the most empowering practice I have ever taken on. In high school, it is the very thing that constantly nourished my spirit. I was a bit of a loner in school and lived on a small island in the middle of the South Pacific ocean. Reading books informed me and gave me a much larger perspective of the world beyond my little island paradise and limited human interaction. To this day, I champion all of the benefits that come with reading books and encourage any and all of my friends to read!! Here are five of my all-time favorite books. In my life, these books changed me in some vital and powerful way. I am who I am now due to the grace and beauty found in the pages of these books: [caption id="attachment_872" align="aligncenter" width="290" caption="The Pearl by John Steinbeck"][/caption] This book was actually a reading assignment for my English class. Being that I lived on an island with a strong native culture, I related to this book's story immediately. Reading this book was one of the first times I can remember a book making me feel so impossibly sad and heartbroken. It tells a simple fable of a man and a family who find and own a pearl. It is a colossal tale in the most understated and delicate of ways. This book is a masterpiece. [caption id="attachment_874" align="aligncenter" width="235" caption="Les Miserable by Victor Hugo"][/caption] Much has been said about this story both in its written and musical/stage form. There is a reason that numerous film versions of it have been made. It is a compelling narrative of the human struggle. At times gut-wrenching, poignant, and all too tender, Jean's unbreakable connection to Cossette in this story is a thing of beauty. I love this book. [caption id="attachment_875" align="aligncenter" width="140" caption="The God In Flight by Laura Argiri"][/caption] This is probably the most obscure of my all-time favorite books, but it is no less amazing. As a debut novel, it is a formidable force of literature. Set in the 1800's at Yale University, it tells the story of two unlikely lovers--a brilliant young student and his volatile male Greek art professor. Yes, that's right. This is a story about two men who fall in love and the tide of struggles that befall them. While this premise might be enough to turn off most readers, I have to say that in addition to being such a unique period piece of a story, it is remarkably well written. I don't think I'd be out of line if I said that, in the greatest likelihood, even the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen herself would praise this book. It took Argiri 20 years to write this book and is a testament to her skill and power as a writer. [caption id="attachment_876" align="aligncenter" width="182" caption="Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte"][/caption] Speaking of the Bronte sisters, I have a soft spot in my heart for Charlotte Bronte simply because of her timeless classic "Jane Eyre". This is essentially the story of an orphan who finds her own way through a difficult set of circumstances. She becomes self-empowered, and she finds love in a man who is truly worthy of her. Some people have Superman, while others have Frodo, or heck, even Buffy, for that matter. As a teenager, I had Jane Eyre. She was as good of a hero for me as any. It was my Junior year of high school. My pre-calculus teacher was sitting next to me at our basketball court. Maybe he could tell that I was pretending to be interested in the game that was going on because he asked me if I have ever read this book. He said that he thought I would really appreciate it. We only ever talked about math, and I thought it was strange that he would mention this book to me. A couple of weeks later, I managed to find a copy of it, and I read it. It was unlike any book I had ever read before. Certainly not terribly formal but actually quite intimate in its own way. I liked it and found myself thinking about it often. It somehow put to words the sense of listlessness and confinement that I felt back in those days. I didn't have my own words for how I was feeling at the time, but this book was eloquent enough. In its few pages, it speaks volumes of truth. Feel free to visit my new Reading Room any time. First off, I have the arduous task of updating it all the way through to this year, and then, I will keep adding to the list as I read more books. Please leave a comment on the Reading Room page if you can and share your thoughts. I welcome them all. More to come. By all means, read something. You might discover something you never thought you would. -g
By the title of the post, you might think this about to be some amazingly woven story of how restricting my calories helped me build talent and thus get married. Nope. It's just a post about a few really good books I've read recently.
Good Calories, Bad Calories
Good Calories, Bad Calories, by Gary Taubes is a pro-meat book which covers dietary "history" since the 1950s. What I liked most about it was that it covered three angles simultaneously, the political angle (which, unfortunately, seems to have as much of an impact on our nation's diet as any other angle), the research angle, and the biological angle.