My Kindergarten Bookshelf

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Alternative title: Picture Books to Raise a Child Like Me

When I was a young girl my bookshelf was an open night table with one shelf. It was painted a very Goodnight Moon-lurid red brown and it’s now used to house some of Mom’s textiles in the nursery-turned-‘sewing room’.
You know, I never really realized until now that I had a nursery. I moved out of a smaller bedroom into the room I’m currently in now because I was getting to big for the first one. I think that makes it a nursery? How weird.

I remember the books I liked best very well. Partly because I only recently managed to let go of them and partly because I’ve rebought some of my old favorites. Because you never know when you’re going to up and have a baby, and you never know when said baby will demand reading material. Continue reading “My Kindergarten Bookshelf”

Historical Fiction, A Way Back Book Obsession

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Despite writing and keeping this blog primarily for myself, as a way to keep writing casually and to share the things I’m brimming with excitement about… I can’t help but feel guilty when I ignore certain topics for what I feel is too long.

That’s why I didn’t post for two days- I’m distinctly aware that I owe books a day in the spotlight, but reading hasn’t been particularly satisfying for me recently. I only recently pulled out of the refraction period caused by Willa Cather’s The Song of the Lark. I read that over the fourth of July. Over a month ago.
The book that got me out is the one that I’m still very much in the middle of- Balzac’s Cousin Bette.

Because of this I feel like saying anything on the subject of what I’m reading right now is both premature and a bit too tenuous. I don’t want to do anything that might cause me to lose the reading momentum for another month. Especially because I need to know what happens to Cousin Bette and Steinbock and Hortense and Adeline.

So instead of talking about what i’m reading right now, I’d like to share one of my favorite middle school and high school genres: historical fiction.

Continue reading “Historical Fiction, A Way Back Book Obsession”

Friday Links 8/4

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As usual, here is my new desktop background for the month of August. As usual, it is tiled and I have no idea where it came from.

After a one week break from links, we here at list Mimsy (i.e., me) are back. Capisce?
Capisce. Continue reading “Friday Links 8/4”

Role Models: Literary Villainesses

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You may have noticed that I took the weekend off from posting, which was nice because I didn’t have anything I very much wanted to get out.

But today I’d like to talk about some of the women in literature I find to be very inspiring- the women who are pretty much the devil incarnate.

Putting aside issues of women’s representation in literature and other arts, and how it may or may not be more connected to men’s imagination than female actuality… some of my favorite characters are strong, selfish, and mean people.

I’m not sure why this is, especially because I’d like to think that I personally am nothing like that.  But it’s also not difficult to see why their drive, anger, and uncompromising attitudes are appealing.  After all, the world is a scary place and women are frequently expected to be easy victims of it. Continue reading “Role Models: Literary Villainesses”

Books Via Movies

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There’s a popular bit of wisdom that holds “the book is always better than the movie”- with which I must respectfully differ.  Many landmark films come from meh reading material (The Godfather, Jaws, Rear Window, Rosemary’s Baby, etc.)
Granted, if you are eagerly awaiting a movie franchise of a book series already beloved, you’re doomed to be disappointed.  It’s hard- if not impossible- to fall in love with someone else’s vision of something when you already have your own.

Many of the books I’ve sought out on the strength of a film have been disappointing.  Frankly, some stories are better suited to print and others seem made to be made into films.

But then there have also been times that I have felt very much rewarded in seeking out a movie’s source material. These books are generally a little different than my usual reading material (well-known and older novels)- in a way that makes them particularly suited to summer.  They’re generally shorter and quicker, a bit less thoughtful, a bit more action-driven.
My favorite books found via their movies are below, and arranged by genre: Continue reading “Books Via Movies”

Library Haul

Sometimes I run low on books and go overboard with hold requests the next time I’m on the library’s website.  This was one of those times.
But after the relative famine of lean book times, when three books in sequence weren’t what I wanted, searching for new material on the library is such a simple happiness.  There are so many options and then within a week you have a comparative feast, a two foot high pile of books on the desk in your room.

I’ve already finished the first of this hall- Diana Athill’s Somewhere Towards the End.  Very much recommended.

Obviously I won’t be going into details about these, because I haven’t read them yet! They’re still mysteries to me.  It’s always kind of exciting, every time you have a new book to read.  You never know when you’re going to find a new favorite, or an author you have to learn more about.

  • The Lady Vanishes, Ethel Lina White
  • Ripley Under Ground, Patricia Highsmith
  • The Day of the Jackal, Frederick Forsyth
  • The Unmade Bed, Francoise Sagan
  • Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West, Daniel Ladinsky
  • The Song of the Lark, Willa Cather
  • Innocents Abroad and Roughing It, Mark Twain
  • Books for Living, Will Schwalbe
  • The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, Tennessee Williams

That should hold me for a little while! ^.^