"Take no heed of her...She reads a lot of books."
~Jasper Fforde

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Lost Books of the Odyseey (Zachary Mason)

Ever since I was a child, the adventures of Odysseus have been some of my favorite stories. To me, Odysseus has been the perfect hero--brave, not always strong, but clever to a fault. And up to this point, that's all he was. But, after reading The Lost Books of the Odyssey, I discovered something else which could be added to that list: Odysseus is also profoundly human. And story after story confirms this, all while keeping his heroic status.

This is not a book you can read expecting one, long, continuous story. In fact, each chapter of this book is its own, separate, disjointed tale of Odysseus. And they have very little to do with each other. Some suggest that Achilles is the son of a god, some that he is a gollem made of clay. Either way, the story is amazing.

I wavered between a three out of five or a four of five for the final score of this piece. See, in the final quarter of the book, the stories start to really slow down. Tales which I tore through at the start start to labor and drag. No, they're not boring per se, but they are certainly not of the same caliber of the first stories. However, it was the final few tales which redeemed the collection, hence the higher score. The final story in particular, "Last Islands," while incredibly bittersweet, was a personal favorite of mine, and really tied up the collection well.

If you have an interest in Classical mythology, especially Odysseus's adventures in The Odyssey, then I recommend this book rather highly. For me, it was a magical transport back to the adventures I spent with my childhood friend. And I feel that I understood him on a deeper level this time around. It was a powerful and wonderful experience.

As I'm sure many of you know, Odysseus is perhaps my favorite literary figure.  I know a few weeks ago, I had given this title to Mr. Arthur "Boo" Radley, but after reading more adventures of my dear friend Odysseus, I have finally remembered who my favorite really was.  Ever since I was  child, Odysseus has been a faithful companion to my adventures.  I've had to read about him for three separate classes in addition to all the stories I had picked up from collections of Greco-Roman mythology...I nicknamed a previous love interest after him (I'm sure some of my older bloggers remember my "Odysseus" poetry?)  I don't know what it is...I just really like Odysseus.

When I first picked up this collection, I'm not gonna lie, I was a bit concerned that it would not stand up to how I remembered things to be.  But, in fact, it was much better than I thought.  My hero leaped out of the pages, took me by the hand, and continued his old adventures just as I had always hoped he would.  I was so happy.  While it is not the best book I've ever read, I still have to say that it's a wonderful adaptation, and one which I would highly recommend :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Let the Reviews Begin!

I'm so glad to be home from college for a whole month...if nothing else, just to start reading for fun again!  That means I'll have more time to compose reviews as well....so be on the lookout for my commentaries on various works.  I'm currently reading The Lost Books of the Odyssey (halfway there), so a review should hopefully be here by Festivus (Dec. 23).  In the meantime, I'll be busy reading, reading, reading :)

I just finished To Kill a Mockingbird for the nth time the other day.  And I just have to say that this book just gets better and better every time I read it!  I always find something new and beautiful in the text, which is something I certainly can't say about every book I read.

I wasn't really planning on writing a review for To Kill a Mockingbird, but if any of you are supremely disappointed as a result, just let me know and I'll see what I can whip up.  In the meantime, I just wanted to give a heads up as to my reading selections and the excited gusto in which I hope to tear through these texts!

On an unrelated note, the end of the year is coming.  And that means that my reading challenge for Goodreads will either be met, or it will not.  And so far, I've read 48 out of 50 books.  I have just over a week to read two more books.  I'm really hoping I reach my goal!  Next year's goal will be dependant on what I read this year.  If I make 50, then next year will be 50, too.  If I only make 48, then it'll be 48, and if I go beyond 50, then that will be the goal.  I guess you could say I'm just trying to beat my high score, haha.

Next semester is my final semester of college.  Then, I'll be taking a year off before going on to grad school for Library Science.  I'll be sure to post my book list before the end of the year so you guys can check out the cool stuff I'll be reading.  It should be a lot of fun :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Back on Speaking Terms

Boo and I are talking again.  In fact, he's become almost chatty on Facebook (a big thing for him.  He is not a talkative person, even online) and today, when I ran into him, I was just going to say "hi," and keep walking, giving him the space it seemed he really needed.  Instead, he stopped me and wanted to talk.  I was shocked.  I think our relationship is going to be just fine.

He posted this song on Facebook, and I just fell in love with it.  Enjoy!

Monday, December 3, 2012


I had been hanging out with Boo a little while before work (my lungs are now choked with cigarette smoke, and I have a smokey lump in my throat).  It all started when he posted online about how he had to come up to campus early for a meeting with a professor, and now he's lonely.  I texted him, said if he wanted company to let me know, and he texted back almost instantly, alerting me to his location.  So, I went and found him smoking a pack of cigarettes ("I'm quitting smoking after this pack.  Although, I said that after the last pack and then I went out to buy this, so we'll see."), and we fell to talking for a while.
He confided things in me.  I have no idea why he tells me stuff.  But, he told me things and we talked and had fun, but I'll be honest, the more we talked, the more I realize that we could never be more than friends.  We're just too different in the areas where it's important to be similar.
He made a comment about people keeping their distance, and that most everyone will do it eventually.  I made a comment in response that I thought he was pretty cool, and had nothing to worry about.  And as the conversation continued, he said something to the effect of "I have two mirrors, you know.  One even sits at the edge of my bed.  I'm well aware of things."  And his tone clearly implied that he did not see just how handsome he actually was; in fact, I'm pretty sure he thought he looked like shit.  When I first saw him, when he was about 100 pounds heavier, I told myself that he was the most handsome man in the room, and that I just had to go out with him.  He's one of the most handsome men I know.
Now, here's the Ctrl+Z moment.  I told him.  I said "Not to make things awkward, but I don't believe your mirror comment.  I think you're incredibly handsome, and it's a pity you don't see it."  He started to get agitated and dismissed it.  He said he only looks somewhat decent now because he's lost weight, and he knows how to dress.  And I told him that he looked good even before, when he was much heavier and wearing sweatpants.  He remained agitated until we parted ways.
I don't think I offended him, and I certainly hope I didn't make things weird between the two of us.  But, I'm afraid I might have shown a part of my hand which I was not really ready to show.  I really like Boo, but I don't think we're a good match until he works through some shit.  And I need to figure out myself, first.  But, I do think I made him think.  And I think it scared him that someone might actually be interested in him; that someone might actually find him attractive or interesting, or worth their time.  I think that terrified him.
If someone finds the keyboard of life, could they just hit Ctrl+Z for me?  It would make my life so much easier. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Gatsby Party Update

I simply had a wonderful time at the party last night!  It was so much fun.  I went out shopping with the Roomie and Rachel that afternoon, stressed majorly over what to wear, and ended up with a cute black top with white polka dots and ruffles, and a cute set of black tights with faux diamond sparkles on the calves.  I tied that in with a skirt and shoes which I already owned, and voila!  I was ready to go.

A few of us started off the night with a dress-up party and some wine.  The roomie did my hair and makeup.  Then, we just hung out, laughing and talking, giving ourselves a chance to get there fashionably late.  We certainly didn't want to be the first people there!

Boo didn't come until we had been there for about half an hour; maybe forty-five minutes.  And when he did.....God, he was so handsome!  I have never seen him look quite so fine!  And he was completely hammered.  He was practically pickled.  And strangely enough, being shit-faced doesn't make him act like an idiot, but it makes him talk in really big, fancy words.  When I first started talking to him, you would have thought he was Gatsby, the way he was carrying on.  For all his fancy talk, however, you could see that it was taking longer for the gears to work.  His language might have been fancy, but his brain was running real slow.  It was not long before he disappeared into the corner with just the friends he had come with.  I had asked him to dance before that point, but he protested a series of injuries, scars, and physical therapy made it impossible for him to dance.  So, I was a bit disappointed.  I've chalked it up to his being drunk, though, because usually, he's a bit more friendly with me.

After a point, I began to get frustrated.  I wanted to dance with a cute blond, so I decided that was just what I was going to do.  And if that cute blond was not Boo, then I'd just have to find another.  I spotted a familiar face in the crowd, and asked him to dance.  He's a freshman and I'm a senior; there is no romantic feeling there at all, but he's a wonderful dancer.  And we accidentally got caught in a slow dance, but that was fun, too.  All in all, I think that one dance was the highlight of my night.  And I kinda hope that Boo wasn't watching, but part of me hopes he was.  I also got to dance with one of the people who put the party together.  He made a comment that the host must dance with everyone, and I jokingly asked if he was Gatsby.  With a wink he said "maybe".  I called him mysterious, and he told me that was his middle name, "Jay Mysterious Gatsby," haha!

At the end of the party, once the dancing was over and the band was packing up, I slipped upstairs to the second floor to say goodbye to Boo.  On the way there, I found a bunch of playing cards scattered all over the steps.  And on the top step, just staring at me, was the Five of Hearts; my lucky card.  There is a whole story behind it, and it would take at least another post to explain, but for me, it really hit me hard.  It reminded me of things and of people.  And after little details that I noticed during the night (again, I'd need to explain so much background context first), I felt as though this might be a sign of something, although I don't know what.  I left the card, went up to the second floor, said goodbye to some people, and then came up to Boo.  He didn't see me, so I placed a hand on his arm, and said goodbye.  He was starting to sober up, and his response sounded so much more like his old self.  On the way back down the stairs, I grabbed the card.

The night was finished off with Princess Bride and more wine.  My feet were killing me, and I was incredibly tired, but it was a wonderful evening, Boo or not.  I was so glad that I went!