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

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Books are the Life

Working at a library has been one of the best life choices I have made so far.  I could not be happier with my line of work.  However, there is a slight snag.  The books.

Now, I know what you're thinking....But, Em, you love books!  What's the problem?  This should make you happy!  And it does.  It really does.  But, books are starting to take over my life, like they did back in high school.  And I'm totally okay with this.  Sometimes, however, I wonder if that's a problem.

There's hardly a day that goes by where I don't bring a new library book home.  They follow me there like lost puppies or feral children.  And I don't have time to read them all.  Also, did I mention that I have another library I go to?  And I find more books there.  PLUS, used book stores.  And my library sells used books, so I'm always dipping my dollars into the register, after promising myself that I'm only "just browsing."

In case you were wondering, I'm currently rereading Dracula.  Yeah, I read it back in high school, but I thought I would give it another shot, and I'm enjoying it considerably more now.

I have a few more books stacked up and waiting in the wings.  Perhaps I'll talk about those sometime soon, too.  I have a couple Jeanette Winterson novels, plus The Good Earth (a birthday present from Kitsune), and a couple tidbits I picked up at a book sale: Confederacy of Dunces and some Nabokov, among others.

Monday, November 4, 2013

I Remember You

Marceline, is it just you and me in the wreckage of the world?
That must be so confusing for a little girl.
And I know you're going to need me here with you.
But, I'm losing myself, and I'm afraid you're going to lose me, too.

This magic keeps me alive, but it's making me crazy,
and I need to save you, but who's going to save me?
Please forgive me for whatever I do,
when I don't remember you.

Marceline, I can feel myself slipping away.
I can't remember what it made me say.
But, I remember that I saw you frown.
I swear it wasn't me, it was the crown.

This magic keeps me alive, but it's making me crazy,
and I need to save you, but who's going to save me?
Please forgive me for whatever I do,
when I don't remember you.

Adventure Time
Episode 103: "I Remember You"

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Parched Plant

One of the unofficial parts of my job is to water the big plant out front.  Yesterday, however, my supervisor brought another plant to me, one that had been sitting unloved and unattended in the corner by the back window, and that was so parched and so sad that I'm not sure it's going to make it (and I'll be honest, none of us seemed to know it was there!).  But, I'm going to make this other plant my new project, and make sure to keep it well-watered and well-loved.  Wish me luck on nursing this little baby back to health!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Anna Karenina (2013)

So, I finally got around to watching the most recent film incarnation of Anna Karenina, the 2013 version starring Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadeyn, and Jude Law.  And I must say, with a cast like that, and a screenplay written by Tom Stoppard, I'm more confused why I didn't see it sooner (like, in theaters).

I was supposed to have read the book back in high school, for my AP World Literature class.  And I sort of read it.  It was a summer reading assignment, and as I'm sure most of you are aware, when it comes to summer reading, I read a lot of different things, but rarely what I'm supposed to read.  So, I got through about a fourth of it, went to class, and bull-shitted my way through weeks of discussion and a silly video where I had to play Anna's immature, lying, cheating, but terribly amusing brother Stiva.

I had also watched older versions of the film, but found them, like the book, to be trivial and trite.  I guess my issue was not so much with the presentation of the story, but with the story itself.  I found Anna to be drippy, self-absorbed, and irritating.

Perhaps, at this point, I should give you a bit of the plot?  Anna Karenina is, at it's heart, essentially the story of a virtuous married woman who falls in love with an officer, and finds herself in a landslide to social suicide, ruining the lives and relationships of those around her.  I know it's over-simplifying things, but think soap opera in book form.


So, I guess onward to the review, eh?

I think what I liked most about this movie was the setup.  For the most part, with a few exceptions, the entire movie takes place in a theater, on the stage, in the audience, the wings, even the catwalks above the stage.  It was very cool.  And it gave the whole performance the feeling of a tightly knit drama.  It felt close, and intimate.  And perhaps that's what director Joe Wright, and writer Tom Stoppard were going for.  After all, this is certainly a drama.  And a tragedy at that.  And putting it on a stage, in a theater, makes a spectacle of things.  Anna's affair is there for everyone to see.  And society is watching and judging.

Reconnecting with the story five years after I first experienced it (and last experienced it, as well), I have to say that not much of my personal feelings toward the characters have changed.  I still think Stiva is hilarious.  I feel perhaps, a bit more kindly towards Levin and Dolly, and I don't see Kitty as quite such a silly, ridiculous little girl.  In these three characters, I see the smashed dreams of a damaged romance.  Love has not been kind.  And I see, too, a bit more to Levin than I did five years ago.  Perhaps it was this interpretation of him, but I don't think he's quite so foolish as he came across before.  Now, I see him as someone who is shy, and nervous, and introverted like myself, and who is looking for love and a simple life.  I think I finally "get" him.

And on that note, I think I'm starting to come around to Karenin a bit more.  Before, I saw him as boring, and snobbish.  He seemed demanding and cold, but now, I see that he is perhaps, a bit serious, but at the same time, he's kind and concerned, even though he's a bit less emotional.

And it really amazes me just how different a story can be depending when in your life you first experienced it.  And I never understand people who say that they'll only read a book once.  Every time you read it, you're coming to it from a different perspective.  And if it is truly an enduring work of art, every time you read it, you'll see something new of it.  And I'm more encouraged than ever to reread Anna Karenina, if only to help me see it from a different perspective than I did when I was younger.  I mean, I was 17, had gone to Catholic school all my life, and didn't date.  I didn't really even have any male friends.  And I could not understand the motivations of most of the characters.

The one thing I disliked the most about the film was the tendency to get a bit too up-close and personal for certain scenes.  I'm not at all against a bit of romance, but all the same, I don't want to see a close-up of tongues lolling around between mouths and that sort of thing.  Of course, I know that's how people kiss, but that doesn't mean I want to see it.  After reading Gulp by Mary Roach, I know how digestion works, and I understand that it is perfectly commonplace.  But, that doesn't mean I want to watch you chew.

I had a whole list of notes jotted down on the back of a library receipt, but looking at them now, I feel like they were either just silly jottings, or they went a bit too much into detail.  Comments like those would be better suited for a discussion, not a blog post, so I'm going to hold back on those.  But, if you would like to have a discussion on the film, you know how to reach me.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Reading in the Cold

I love to sit outside and read.  It's one of the highlights of my day (not including crawling between the covers to read right before bed).  But, the days have been getting shorter and colder, so by the time I get home from work and eat dinner, there's not much time to sit outside before it gets too dark to see.  And it's so cold, I can feel my toes freezing in my flipflops.  But, even though I was shivering in my polar-fleece sweatshirt, I stuck it out for a good forty-five minutes.

Sitting inside now, but my feet are still cold.  Even though I love Fall, I'm starting to wish that it was summer again.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Too Many Books

The air-conditioner was off in the break room at the library, and it's hot enough out there to melt the car tires (okay, I exaggerate), but there was no way I was going to spend my break in a stifling hot room, so I decided to wander the stacks.  I intended to find one or two books, and I left with a lot more than that.  Damn.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Summer Reading Wrap-up Review #2 (Getting Graphic)

So, this is the first of a few "Multiple Book Updates" that I'll be using to catch up on all my Summer Reading posts for this year.  Even though I didn't read too many of my school books, I did get to read some fun graphic novels.

First, I touched on the Lupin III manga series.  I've been interested in Lupin for a few months now, mostly watching the anime and the movies.  And it's a lot of fun.  So, after a few hours of animated excitement, I started to wonder why I hadn't read any of the graphic novels.
Jigen & Lupin III from Castle of Cagliostro
 Unfortunately, my library doesn't have ANY of the Lupin III books.  They have the Castle of Cagliostro movie, but no anime TV series, and no books.  One Inter-Library Loan later, and I got my first Lupin III graphic novel.  But, it was not Book 1.  No....It was Book 3 (despite my requesting book 1)!!

Luckily for me, the stories are all sort of disjointed and stand-alone.  So, starting with Book 3 didn't leave me with too many questions.  Sure, I did have questions, but I would have been just as confused even if I had read Books 1-2 beforehand.

I will say, however that despite being a fairly decent series, I was disappointed to discover that the Lupin III graphic manga is just not as good as the anime.  Sure, it was fun.  But, it lacked the same appeal of the anime.  On Goodreads, I gave it a 3 out of 5 stars.  Not bad, but not great either.  Honestly, I wouldn't mind reading the rest of the books, but I don't want to deal with the frustration of trying to track them all down via Inter-Library Loan.

Next up is a hilariously bizarre collection called Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton.  This collection was quirky, and pretty strange, to be honest.  But, it was funny, and appealed to my strange sense of humor.  Which is, of course, why it earned 5 of 5 stars on Goodreads.

The topics cover literature, history, and just the random squibblings of Miss Beaton's mind.  This can (and proves to be) very funny, but at times, produces the strangest comments and plots imaginable.  As a future librarian, I loved the literature references, especially Sherlock Holmes, E.A. Poe, and the Bronte sisters.

I suppose posting about this sort of gives a window into what I think is funny.  And that may or may not be a good thing.  I guess I'll leave that up to you guys to decide, haha.

While I'm on the topic, I also want to mention that Kate Beaton also has a website full of even more strange and funny comics.  You can find a link to it HERE.  Enjoy!

My third and final graphic novel is a bit more highbrow, I suppose you could say.  It's called Oishinbo, and it's all about food.  The series follows the staff at a Japanese newspaper, as they attempt to put together the Ultimate Menu, of the greatest foods that truly represent Japan.  In the installment I read, The Joy of Rice, author Tetsu Kariya takes us on a journey into all the finer points of eating rice.  I learned about preparation, toppings and fillings, rice balls, and how to physically go about eating the rice.  There 
was even a recipe in the front (or back, depending how you look at it, since manga traditionally reads right to left) for making scallop rice.  I don't really even like seafood, but I have to admit that it did look pretty delicious.

Excerpt from Oishinbo.  Remember to read right to left ;)
All in all, I was pretty pleased with my collection of graphic novels this summer.  And with Oishinbo earning 4 of 5 stars, that means my graphic novels earned a 3, 4, and perfect 5 out of 5.  Not too bad, I'd say.

Continuing on into the fall, I would love to see if Kate Beaton has made any more books.  And of course, I want to read the rest of the Oishinbo series.  As for Lupin III, I'm not sure.  Of course, I love the anime, so I'll be watching quite a bit more.  But, I'm just not sure if the manga is really for me. 

Keep on the lookout for more of these big themed posts while I sum up my summer reading.  I'm expecting to have even more fun stuff to talk about come fall.  I promise I'll try to post more often.  Thanks, guys ^_^

Summer Reading Wrap-up Review #1

So, I know I've been pretty terrible about posting book reviews this summer....I've been posting on Goodreads, but when it comes to blogging, I've been such a lazy bum.  So, to make up for it, I'm going to try and make a few BIGGER posts, containing the highlights of the summer's reading selection over here in the wonderful world of Emmy.

First, I thought I'd dredge up those books that fit into my Summer Reading Theme of "Summer School".  And well, that list is going to be painfully short.  How short, Emmy?  I can hear you asking.  Well....one.  I read ONE book for my summer reading theme.  In total, though, I did read a healthy 29 books, and I'm still working on my 30th (I'm ending "summer" at Labor Day, so I have until Monday to finish with 30 books.  That means that about 3% of my summer reading actually fit in with my theme.  And that is pretty sad.  Not that I'm beating myself up over it.  I mean, I had a great time reading those 28 other books.

I was considering doing a post about the best and worst of my summer reading, but I think, since most of the books I read were fours and fives, I'm NOT going to write about the best.  (Unless you really want me to).  But, I think I might do a post about the worst.  Sort of like a cautionary tale.  "Don't read this shit" kinda thing.  Not sure yet.  I'm just sort of making this up as I go.

I guess I'd say just expect some more summer reading posts from me in the next few days.  And come this fall, perhaps we can come up with a sort of schedule for my book reviews, or something like that?  If you have any suggestions (like a big post at the end of each week, or post as I read, or whatever, just let me know).

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat (Hal Herzog)

First, I would like to start off my first book review in a good, long while by saying I really like Hal Herzog.  And by that, I don't mean I liked his book, per se.  I mean, I really like him as a person.  Like, I would be perfectly happy to sit down and have dinner with this guy, talking about his next book, his family, his cats, etc.  I just think he seems like a really cool guy.

That being said, while I did enjoy his book, it certainly is not something I would read again.  It's nothing against Hal.  Not at all.  As I said before, he seems like a really cool person.  It's just that the topic of Anthrozoology (animal/human relations) are not really my top interest priority.  My human/animal relations involve swatting bugs, chasing cats, and shouting over the fence for the neighbor's dog to stop barking at a leaf while I'm trying to read.

Honestly, this is a book I totally judged by it's cover.  I mean, look at it: it's bright yellow and blue and has cute animal silhouettes.  Who wouldn't want to read a book like that?  And also, the title piqued my interest.  I even found myself falling comfortably into the prose as soon as I started reading.

All in all, it was a good book.  But, honestly, not a topic I really have a particular interest in, or one I plan on pursuing further.  I guess it was what it was: something enjoyable to read, and nothing more.  Seriously, though, I'm really tired right now, and I think Imma end this post at that.  If you have questions, post them in the comments, and I can ramble on about them when I'm a bit less sleep-deprived.

[But seriously, if Hal Herzog wanted to grab lunch sometime, to talk about his kids, his wife, or his newest book, I would jump at the chance.]

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What's That You're Reading?

Hello, readers!  Sorry it's been so long since I've last posted.  I've been reading and working and hanging out with people and reading and reading and reading....Yeah, so I've been reading a lot.  And so, I thought I would just give you a quick run down of things, since I haven't been posting on the blog at all (of course, those of you who follow me on Goodreads are totally up to date on my shit).

So, what have I been reading?  Well, I've been paging through tomes of everything from whaling expeditions, to two-dimensional worlds, to how science uses dead bodies.  Currently, I'm reading about the processes of eating, and all those fun little ads in the back of vintage comic books, such as "Dr. Hypno's x-ray glasses".

The best part of working in a library (and also the worst) is that I check in so many books all the time, and I always find something cool.  Which means I have to ask my co-workers to check them out to me (I'm not allowed to access the subtle nuances of my account from behind the scenes for fear of being accused of "funny business").  And it also means I have a pile of books in my room ranging from Stephen King's The Shining to a cookbook about muffins and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Of course, I'm still open to book suggestions, but I'm really looking forward to trekking through my current reading lists.  The one on Goodreads is over 600 books long!

And the music!  I love being able to have access to all my favorite bands right at work, and check out all kinds of CDs for groups I might not be familiar with.  Currently listening to Alice Cooper, but I also have Men without Hats, Tegan and Sara, and They Might Be Giants.  Jumping back to Alice for just one brief moment, I have to say that I am FREAKISHLY impressed with Welcome 2 My Nightmare.  SUCH a good album!  I'm including one of my favorite songs here...just in case you wanted to hear the awesome.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers, uncles, and grandfathers out there; especially to my own Dad, my two grandpas, and my godfather.

Last, but certainly not least, I want to wish a very Happy Father's Day to a man who has been something of a father figure to me during my time on this blog.  I know we never got to meet in person, and I know I have a bit of trouble putting these things into words, but I want to take a few moments to honor a dear friend of mine, who has sadly passed away back in September.  Happy Father's Day, Richard.  I've been thinking about you all day; sending you good thoughts and lots of prayers and love.


Your blogging granddaughter,

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

2-Headed Shark Attack

So, the other day, my brother and I saw a movie that was literally about a giant two-headed shark attacking a bunch of co-eds during a semester at sea.  It was pretty much one of the crummiest movies I've ever seen.  I don't even know how someone would come up with a storyline like this.  Like, giant shark is not good enough....so let's give the damn thing two heads, yes?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A New Job, Summer Reading, and a Great White Whale of a Book

May I just take a moment to talk about how THRILLED I am with my new job?  I absolutely love it!  The people are awesome, the work is fun, and the time simply flies by!  (Plus, I got my first paycheck today, and was rather pleased with what I saw).  And did I mention that I work in a library?  Yes?  No?  Well, I work in a library and I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!

So, yeah.  Life after college isn't looking too bad.  True, I miss my college friends, but I am so happy with where I am right now...I feel as though God has some really good things in store for me, and I can't wait to see what He has planned.  Life.  Is.  Good :)

I'll be posting some more book reviews real soon.  Currently reading a few books at once, so hopefully one of these should finish up in the next couple of days.  Sarah and I are still reading Moby-Dick, which is surprisingly good, but very strange.  Also, I'm attempting to tackle my LXG Reading Challenge this summer, starting with King Solomon's MinesMoby-Dick, meanwhile, will count towards my Summer School summer reading theme.

Speaking of summer reading, did I mention that the summer reading program is starting up at my library in a few days?  I'm really excited.  You all should see if your local libraries are hosting summer reading programs.  They're a fun way to earn some cool prizes, and read a lot of good books :)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Their Eyes Were Watching God (Zora Neale Hurston)

Class: African American Literature
Reason for Not Reading: I found the phonetic spelling for the dialogue tedious

Their Eyes Were Watching God tells the story of Janie Crawford, a light-skinned woman of color who refuses to let life's continuous trials and tribulations keep her down, throughout her life with her grandmother and three marriages to vastly different men.  At the heart of this novel is a feminist masterwork of wonder and inspiration.

I started off really excited to read this book.  After all, my professor really pumped it up.  It was supposed to be one of the greatest works of African American literature, perhaps of American literature in general.  And certainly one of the greatest female voices of the twentieth century.  But, I got about three chapters in, and I was just not impressed.  Mostly, I was frustrated, because all the characters spoke in thick dialects which were very difficult to read and actually understand.  So, I put the book aside and relied on class discussion to pass the test.

Reading it again, I found myself falling into the same problems.  And at first, I found it really difficult to connect with the protagonist, Janie Crawford.  I just didn't see the female empowerment aspects of the text.  As I started getting into it more, I found myself having a bit of fun with the book, reluctantly at first, and soon with more and more vim and vigor.  By the end, I was actually rather enjoying myself.  That being said, I still didn't quite see what the big deal was.  I thought it was a good book, but not this GRAND MASTERWORK which everyone else claimed it was.

A few things I liked:   First, I really enjoyed the use of language.  The descriptions are really poetic at times.  Some scenes were quite simply just beautiful to read.  And I really enjoyed them.  And even by the end, I found myself enjoying the phonetic dialogue.  It made the story come alive a bit more, since the characters had an added level of realism to them.  And I even liked the message the book brought to the table, namely that Janie doesn't need to be ruled by anyone (her husbands, her grandmother, the town, etc.); she just needs to find her own path and work toward that.

I think the worst part of this book was simply that I didn't pick up on the great message that everyone always seems to talk about in this book.  I just didn't see it.  And that was disappointing.  I think all the positive reviews, set my expectations a bit high.  But, I mean, they are pretty lofty.  This one from Alice Walker was printed on the front cover of my copy: "There is no book more important to me than this one."  I mean, you have to admit, that is some seriously high praise.  And I just couldn't agree.

Certainly not a bad book.  I gave it a 3 of 5 stars on Goodreads (which means "I liked it"), and I wouldn't mind picking it up again in a few years.  (In some freak twist of fate, I actually have TWO copies of this book....One with the correct pagination for the class, and one with a prettier cover.  So, I guess that means I kinda have to read it again, doesn't it?)

I'm a College Graduate...Who Let That Happen?

So, yesterday, I graduated from college.  Emmy Hart, BA in English.  I have no idea how that happened.  And I don't really think it's hit me yet.  I mean, I don't think it's going to really going to hit me until The Brother goes back to campus in August.  Then, when I'm sitting here, all by myself, or preparing to go to my JOB...then I'll start freaking out about how college is over and stuff.  Right now, I think I'm in denial.  But, the ceremony was nice (even though I got pretty sunburned).

So, that being said, this is officially SUMMER!  And summer means Summer Reading!  I know I posted about this on my blog about a week ago, and I got a few comments, both via the blogosphere and in person.  And although it was really close (literally 2 to 1), it looks like my theme this year is going to be "Summer School: Books I Didn't Read For Class, But Was Supposed To."  I'll be posting later tonight, seeing as I've almost finished my first book of the summer.

Just a quick rundown for Summer Reading this year....I'll be including a page, just like I always do for this season.  Summer starts today, and goes until my little brother returns to college (ie., sometime in August).  I'll be reviewing books here, and on Goodreads, so be sure to check out my reviews there, as well!  For the "Summer School" books, I'll make sure to include not only a review, but also the class the book was for, and the reason I didn't actually read it.  I hope this is a lot of fun :)

If you guys have any book suggestions, remember: I work in a library, so I'll be able to pick up your suggestions as soon as possible.  Just let me know!

Although, I'll be honest, I do have a few books already lined up in the que: Dresden Files 3: Grave Peril (Jim Butcher), Three Bags Full (Leonie Swann), and The Psychopath Test (Jon Ronson).

Have a great summer, y'all!

(I still can't believe I've graduated......)

Sunday, May 19, 2013


I graduate in a couple of hours.

*Hides under the bed*

Saturday, May 18, 2013


I graduate tomorrow.

*Takes a deep breath*


*Runs away in a panic*

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Finding My Mentor

I finally had the chance to meet with my poetry mentor today.  And we discussed poetry, publishing, etc.  And he told me he liked my writing.  And he wants to keep in contact, and help me in my career.  He even wants to get me a copy of his latest book, when it comes out in September!  I'm very excited :)
I know I still have a long way to go, but with his assistance and guidance, I have a feeling I'll be able to make it in the poetry world someday.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Summer Reading Prep 2013

My graduation from college is less than a week away.  And I'm already thinking about my summer reading challenge for the year. (Are you surprised??  I'm an English major who is going to be working in a library!)  So, that being said, it's time to start thinking about what I want my summer reading theme to be.  And also, how to establish the boundaries of what summer is for me (since I won't be going back to school for a little while).

To start: summer boundaries.  For summer 2013, summer starts after I graduate and will end with my brother returning to college in the fall (which is basically where my summer would end if I was going back as well.)  I'm going to hopefully start a graduate program in the spring.  So, Summer 2014 will be bookended by my graduate classes.  For now, that's all the summer I'm going to try and figure out.

And right now, my biggest question is what my reading theme will be for the summer.  Here are a few of my ideas.  Please feel free to tell me what you think of these/add your own.  Since I've started this blog, I've had three summers worth of reading themes.  Just to refresh your memory, they were:

2010: Gothic Novels
2011: Scary Stories/Mythical Monsters
2012: A Summer in Middle Earth
2013: ????

And here are some possible themes for this summer:
Summer at Sea: Maritime novels and stories (ie. Moby Dick, Treasure Island, Typee)
Summer School: All those books I didn't read for class after all... (Lolita, The Sound and the Fury, Bleak House)
Summer of Psychos: Watching horror movies and reading the books which inspired them (The Exorcist, Psycho, The Shining)
A One-Author Summer: Choose to focus theme on the writings of just one person (John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, Jeanette Winterson)

So!  Just let me know which of these themes you like (or if you have another awesome one, please suggest it!  When you give me a theme, try to include a few book titles as well, so I have an idea of what sort of reading this would be!  I'll be posting a poll in the sidebar, and will announce my theme a week from today!)

Looking forward to hearing from you :)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Final Finals

This week is my last official finals week as an undergrad.  And I'll be honest, I'm not sure if it just hasn't hit me yet, or perhaps I'm finally starting to become comfortable with the fact I'm graduating, but honestly, it doesn't look like things are going to be too bad.
I completed my Detective Fiction final this afternoon, after a coffee date with a friend.  I have a paper due on Wednesday and a collection of creative writing due on Friday.  Other than that, I have another coffee date tomorrow, dinner with a couple of my professors on Wednesday, and I'm helping out a friend with her acting final on Thursday.  Time has finally slowed down just enough, and I'm preparing for summer.  This is really the first time since the semester started that I'm actually looking forward to school being over, for real.  I mean, I wish it would last forever, but at the same time, I need a bit of a break.
What will my summer consist of?  Books, mostly.  I'll be working at the local library, and participating in two book discussion groups (on top of my own personal reading schedule).  I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to start with, but I know for sure that Sarah and I were planning on reading Moby Dick together.  I was supposed to read it for class last semester, so I'm looking forward to reading it for real this time around.
Going off book recommendations, I've started a few new series that I'm really looking forward to completing.  The first is The Dresden Files.  This is a series about a detective wizard named Harry Dresden, who solves supernatural crimes (like rogue wizards, vampires, werewolves, hell-spawn; you get the idea).  Anyways, I'm on book two, Fool Moon (book one was Storm Front).  As you can probably guess from the title, this is a werewolf book.  Personally, I preferred the first one, but I heard that the series gets better and better, so I'm looking forward to reading onward.
Also, I've been reading the Space Odyssey books.  (You know, like 2001: A Space Odyssey, etc.)  And those have been really interesting.  I just finished book two last week (2010: Odyssey Two).  I've been told that the other books aren't really worth reading (I'm guessing like the last two books of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series), but even so, I'd like to read them just to say I did.
After I finish Fool Moon, I'm going to attempt to wrestle Cloud Atlas into literary submission....before finals are over.  Or whenever the library closes.  We have a week of senior activities coming up.  I hope that they don't mind if I keep the book during that time....
In other news, I've been drinking WAY too much coffee, so I'm super-hyper and my metabolism is racing.  That means I'm jittery and hungry.  And I'm at work.  Not a good combination, people!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Email Me Those Books, Godot!

There is nothing quite like the agonising feeling of waiting for a book to come in at the library, or waiting for someone to email you back, and no matter how long you wait, or how many times you check your email, that book and that response just aren't there............
I'm dealing with both of these right now....I have not one, not two, but THREE books on request from other libraries, and according to my account, have been IN TRANSIT for the past three days.  I'm dying to read them before I have to return everything to the library again for graduation.......
And of course, I'm waiting on email responses from several people regarding an event I was hoping to set up.  It's not like they NEED to get back to me right away, but I would really like a response regardless, and I'm terribly impatient.
Waiting for three books and about a dozen email responses is slowly eating away at what is left of my soul...............................
At this point, I feel as though I'm just waiting for Godot.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Reasons Why You'd Want Me on Your Team if the Zombie Apocalypse Starts

So....not gonna lie, but I've been thinking a bit about the zombie apocalyse recently.  Not seriously, of course.  Honestly, I think we have a better chance of being taken over by sentient super-computers than zombies, and even that is not very likely in my book.  Still, I've been thinking about zombies.

Now, everyone has their ideal "team" for the zombie apocalypse.  And a lot of these teams involve characters like Chuck Norris or that weird kid down the street with the guns.  And I confess, I haven't thought much of it.  But, I do have a few people I would put on my own list.  First would be that shady character I alluded to a few months back: the Weasel.  Personally, I'm not a fan of him, but the guy is ex-military, he likes me...a lot, and he's still a bit "off".  That means I'd have a crazy ex-solider with guns and knives who wants to protect me and would possibly do reckless things, such as jumping into a crowd of zombies, which would give the rest of us a chance to escape.  I'd also bring my brother, because he's athletic and smart and funny (so he could keep all our spirits up).  I'd also bring a priest friend of mine who happens to be a black belt in several types of martial arts (great for defense and religious support).  Finally, I'd bring my friend Sarah (super smart) and maybe one or two of the guys from Physics club.  Oh!  And this really ripped sophomore in my writing class.

The question here of course is "But, Em, why would all those people want you on their teams?"  And honestly, I can understand the confusion.  But, there are plenty of reasons why I'd be great on a zombie survival team....and here's why....

1. Bookworm.  So, this might not seem like a great survival tactic, but I'm really well-read.  This knowledge ranges to all sorts of topics, and makes me a useful well of information.  At first it might not be that important, but trust me, there will come a time where you wish you knew how to identify some poisonous plant or figure out if your symptoms are zombiism or something less fatal, and I'll be the person to come to.  My speed reading will also allow me to take in a lot of information very quickly.  In addition to that, I can tell plenty of stories from the books I've read, which will provide entertainment on those cold, dark, terrifying nights.

2. Writer.  Being a writer provides its benefits, too.  For starters, I pay a lot of attention to people.  Human nature is the bread and butter of the writer, and I spend an unhealthy amount of time observing the behavior of people around me.  Not sure if that guy is going to hurt or help us?  I might not be able to tell every time (especially if he's a good actor), but I could give you some pretty solid advice.  And of course, you'll need someone to chronicle our adventures and detail anything we've observed concerning the epidemic.  This, and the sense of deductive reasoning which comes with being a writer, will also help us in our travels.

3. Emotional Support.  I might not be the easiest person to get to know but I do feel very deeply for people when they are suffering.  And in this ragtag group, I'd be the one to emotionally support each of our members.  Best friend turned and you had to shoot him?  I'll hold you until you stop crying.  And if you need to make a difficult decision, I'll be there to act as your sounding board.  Sometimes, that's all a person needs.

4. Convenient Zombie Snack.  Yes, as much as I hate to admit it, this last entry is also true.  I'm slow.  I'm unathletic.  So, if the zombies are chasing us and you need to get away, just shoot me in the leg or something and I'm down.  I have a high tolerance for pain, so hopefully I won't suffer too much, and you'll all be able to escape.  Plus, if I don't get eaten, but instead just turn, then I'll be a pretty slow and pathetic zombie.  I won't be able to get you without a lot of trouble.  So, at least at this point, you won't have to worry about killing me.  I'll just stumble after you for a little while, rotting and bleeding everywhere with my new-found zombie pals, and eventually starve to death.

What about you guys?  Any of you think you'd be valuable assets to a zombie apocalypse survival team?  And what about survival plans?  Or the zombie apocalypse even happening?  Tell me what you guys think in the comments!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Reason #1 Why I Can't Wait Until Summer

Summer will mean I'll have time to read!  Even if I'm working, chances are pretty high that I'll have more free time than I do right now.  There are a few jobs I'm looking at, but the most hours I'd be getting (as of right now) is 20.  That only averages out to about 3 hours a day, leaving plenty of time to do with as a please.  And that's going to be nice, especially after having a schedule that doesn't end for the day just because my classes did.  I'm really looking forward to that part of work when you come home and you don't have to do homework afterwards.  And of course, it'll be nice to get paid in addition to all that.

According to my Goodreads account, I have a whopping 503 books on my to-read list, in addition to all the titles listed in my little reading list notebook.  In short, I have a lot cut out for me, and while I'm looking forward to it, at the same time, I'm a bit overwhelmed by just how much I have to tackle.  Still, it should be fun.

The biggest issue is just going to be figuring out which books to start with.  But, then again, that's always a fun problem, not something too terribly painful ^^

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Bit Stressed.....

I just got back to campus after Easter Break, and already, I'm being pummelled with work!  And graduation is looming like the hound of the Baskervilles....I'm just a bit stressed out right now.  Ah well....at least I finished my homework for tomorrow, which leaves time for a beer and then bed.

Goodnight, all.

Monday, March 25, 2013

An Emmy Update

So....it's been about two weeks since I've last posted on here....and honestly, for me, that's not too bad.  I mean, it hasn't been like those terrible dry stretches where I go months without a single update, or all I post are mediocre book reviews (as opposed to the pretty bitchin' book reviews I also write).  Right now, my issue is that I have a lot going on, but not much that would be fun to read about.
For example, I am suffering majorly from the dreaded "senioritis".  And while my grades are doing just fine (no problems here at all), I'm having trouble keeping focused and really committing myself to projects and such.  Not saying I want to graduate and leave everything behind, but at the same time, I don't really want to stay here too much longer.  It is an awkward balance between running to graduation and hiding under the bed (and having to be drawn out from under there by my ankles).
All that being said, I have been getting some more leads on jobs, and (fingers crossed, knock on wood, spit in your hat, etc.) I'll (hopefully) be employed by the time I graduate (maybe).  If all goes well, I'll work for a few months, then start up an online grad school program for library science (while I'm still working) in the Spring (ie. January).  I'm afraid of waiting too long before going to grad school...I feel like if I let this pass me by NOW, I will never want to go back.  So, having a definite idea of what I want to do with things should help me keep on track.
That being said, not much is going on in my life.  I mean, I'm keeping up with classes, there has been some drama and shit, and I'm preparing to graduate in May.  As excited as I am, I still cannot believe that....I mean, seriously.  So, yeah....reading a bit, but not much, working on classes, looking for jobs...that pretty much sums up my life right now.
I wish I had more to say...and I wish that I had more to post about in general.  How is everything with you guys?  Do you have any questions for me?  I would love to hear from y'all!  But, anyways, for now: TTFN and I'll be in touch soon.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Daphne du Maurier totally describes me in this quote....I feel like she "gets" me :)
“But luxury has never appealed to me, I like simple things, books, being alone, or with somebody who understands.”

 -Daphne du Maurier

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Rainy Day

It's just one of those nasty, rainy afternoons, when everyone is in a piss-poor mood, and no one is around.  I was hanging out with some of the guys (and the one other gal) in Physics Club, and pretty much everyone disappeared as soon as the meeting was over (that is, of those who actually bothered to show up).  All I want right now is a good book (or perhaps a good movie) and a cute boy to cuddle with while we sit on the couch under a blanket.  I could also do without the boy (just substitute his presence for a cup of hot chocolate or maybe coffee).  Yeah, that would be just as nice....

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Kilt Song

This is totally NSFW (or for those who can't stomach swearing), but when my brother showed this to me, I knew I just had to pass it on.  The whole kilt theme reminded me of Old Fool, and I like to think he would have found it funny....

Monday, February 18, 2013

Letters from God

Sometimes, when I'm bored, I write people letters from God.  Yeah, that's right....God (or sometimes the ghosts of dead authors).  It's a thing that happens at my job a lot.  People log onto computer and forget to log off again.  Sometimes we do things like hack their Facebook accounts, but one of my friends devised an idea that turned out to be a lot more fun for everyone involved.  We started writing letters from God.
The letters are pretty simple.  Mostly: Hello [NAME], this is God.  I've missed you lately.  We really need to talk more.  I'll be waiting ;)  ~I AM WHO AM
And we've come to find that people really like these letters, so much so that they will purposely leave their computers unlocked, just so they can get one.  A friend of mine commented about that today, saying he left his computer open so that he could get a letter from God.  I had to pretend that I had no idea what he was talking about, but inside, I was doing a bit of a fist-pump with a big ol' grin on my face.  It was like a mini-victory for me.
I had to excuse myself, leave work, and wait until he was gone before nipping back in, jumping on his computer, and hastily typing out a letter to him.  I have no life, I know....but I just couldn't let the guy down....I mean, he left his computer on specifically expecting a letter from me God, and who was I to let him down?
Don't judge me...........

Monday, February 11, 2013

Barmy in Wonderland (PG Wodehouse)

As I'm sure most of you already know, I'm a huge fan of PG Wodehouse!  So, I had a spot of free time this past week, and I snuck into the library to look for a bit of pleasure reading.  And, well, I've started Barmy in Wonderland twice in the past three years (this was the third attempt) without ever getting past the first few chapters.  Nothing against the book...I mean, it's hilarious.  Classic Wodehouse.  But, I just had too much going on in the past to really settle down with it.  I convinced myself this time that if I checked out this book, I HAD to finish it.

I think what first attracted me to this particular Wodehouse book (my campus library has a healthy selection of his works) was the fact that it was about Barmy Fotheringay-Phipps (pronounced "Fungy" Phipps), who happened to be a favorite of mine from the Jeeves and Wooster TV series.  He was just so endearing (and highly clueless), and I really enjoyed the character.  The thought of spending just shy of 200 pages with him seemed quite delightful.

Anyways, so that's how it started.  And, now, I'm thrilled to say that I've finally made it through the book!  So, perhaps a quick plot summary is in order?

Englishman (and Drones Club member) Barmy Fotheringay-Phipps has come to America, and has been for some time working as a desk clerk in JG Anderson's Washington Hotel.  And their current guest, a Mr. Mervyn Potter (American actor of both the stage and screen, and notorious alcoholic) is causing more than his share of trouble, such as encouraging Barmy to get drunk and put a frog in his employer's bed in the early hours of the morning, or the like.  And when Barmy comes into a small fortune, which Anderson says should be invested in something safe, such as purchasing the Washington (a highly profitable hotel) so that Anderson can retire to Florida, Potter quickly misdirects him into backing the Broadway musical flop he's soon to be starring in.  To top it all off, Barmy runs into the girl of his dreams: Eileen "Dinty" Moore, and things just get more and more entangled.

The thing I love so much about Wodehouse is that he's always good for a laugh.  His situations are ridiculous, the characters completely original, and the dialogue always has me busting a gut.  I've heard it said that it's impossible to be sad when reading Wodehouse, and I'm sure that this holds true for Barmy in Wonderland in particular.  Another thing I love about these books is the suspense.  And to be sure, this book (especially the last few chapters) is packed with page-turning, nail-biting suspense.  Exciting and enjoyable.   This is a book which I would totally read again, and 100% recommend.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Trouble in River City

I've had this song stuck in my head for the past day or so....I think I need to get my hands on a copy of The Music Man.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Men in the Sun (Ghassan Kanafani)

So!  I'm finally getting around to writing book reviews again!  My problem lately has just been that I've had too much to do (and ironically too much to read), meaning that I haven't had the time to actually finish anything.  Luckily, one of my professors assigned this collection (weighing in at a plucky 115 pages).  For the class, we only had to read two of the stories, but I thought it might be interesting to read the rest of the collection, especially since I had pretty much read 60% of it as it was.

So, I don't pretend to know much about Palestinian culture or literature.  All I know is what I have been taught through the media and my Palestinian and Israeli Literature class.  That being said, I had a spot of trouble with some aspects of this text, mostly because I could not fully understand the mentality of the characters, or the cultural significance of their actions or the plot.

Over all, the collection was not too bad.  But, at the same time, it didn't really "wow" me.  And I guess that's a bit harsh.  I mean, not every book has to completely knock my socks off in order to be good.  But, this one didn't really hold my attention.  As my Goodreads rating shows, it was just "okay".  As far as short story collections go, I thought it was nicely varied.  Yes, all the stories were about Palestinians struggling after the War of 1948, but each story was individualized enough to keep the reader from moaning "Gees....not ANOTHER story about the same damn thing!"  And each story was raw, emotional, and stark.  I didn't feel as though Kanafani was attempting to hide anything from the reader.  It is what it is.  Sadly, I was just having trouble connecting.  I wanted to like this book.  I did.  But, I didn't like it.  So, I guess this is one of those situations where we just say "It's not you; it's me.  And we move on with our lives.

If you're interested in Palestinian literature, or the historical events of 1948 in Palestine, you might enjoy this book.  And if nothing else, it's a very quick read, so why not give it a try?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Reading Update

A lot of surprising things have happened to me in the past few days....most of them not too pleasant.  However, one of the nicer surprises was the realization that not only am I enjoying Finnegan's Wake, but I'm also really enjoying Bleak House.  And that's pretty big coming from the girl who attempted to read David Copperfield one summer and started school late that August proclaiming she hated Dickens.  I'm not saying I'm going to be a Dickens fan, per se, but I'm finding the book surprisingly tolerable.  In fact, I'm actually excited to read more!

And Finnegan's Wake??  Well, it's still the most convoluted, confusing piece I have ever read (and I read a ton of metafiction!), but I'm really enjoying the lyrical power of the piece, and that jolt of excitement every time I find a small tidbit of a joke or a literary device or a language trick in the vast expansive ether that surrounds the text.

I'll be sure to post more soon!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Adventure Time Rant

Are any of you Adventure Time fans?  If you are, please let me know....I just started watching a few months back, and I really want to rant about the last episode I watched....So many feelings right now!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Reading "The Hobbit"

I was surprised to hear that many people who consider themselves to be Lord of the Rings fans have not read The Hobbit.  And of course, I've had other people tell me that they have not seen the new movie (which I'm guessing is out of theatres by now) because they haven't read the book yet.  Well, I have a treat for you guys!  Over this past Christmas break, while working on a Tolkien-themed project, I found an awesome, full PDF file of The Hobbit, with bookmarked links that take you directly to the start of each chapter.  So, if any of you are interested in checking out this amazing novel, then you can follow the link here and read it for free (at work, or on your iPad or iPhone, etc.--although for the record, I still hate e-readers).  Also, I'll be including a link on the Hobbit Hole page for easy access in the future :)  Have fun!

Hobbit Hole

As some of you might already know, I've been nerding-out to Tolkien stuff since January 1st, when I saw the new Hobbit movie in theatres.  I've always been something of a Tolkien fan previous to this, but I've been more and more interested in his work as of late.  That being said, I'm including a new "tab" on my blog (in addition to my LXG Reading Challenge, Weekly Wodehouse, and Wilde Wednesdays).  This tab, entitled "Hobbit Hole" will be full of different links to Tolkien related things, such as videos, song parodies, articles, and perhaps other blogs, etc.  I hope you guys will find this to be fun and interesting :) And if anyone has a link they would like to suggest for the page, just let me know in the comments and I'll be sure to check it out!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Finnegan's Wake

I am determined to read this entire text cover to cover.  Even if it kills me.  I will read it.

Wish me luck, or try and talk me out of it.  I'm not sure which would be better.

Anyone interested in reading along with me is more than welcome to do so.  We could have a lot of fun discussing the text....or perhaps we'll just rant and rave and ramble....Either way, it's sure to be interesting.

Monday, January 14, 2013

My Last First Day of Class

It's official, dear friends...today marks the first day of my last semester of college.  And I can't figure out just where all the time went!  I'm not freaking out yet.  Right now, I'm still trying to readjust to being back on my own time and my own schedule.  At home, things run rather differently, as I try to adjust to the schedule of the three other people in the house.

I'm officially not going to grad school...at least not yet, so that means I'll be getting a job once I come back home.  Been working on applications and trying to find places that will hire me NOW, and let me start working in a couple of months.

It's been a while since I've had to bother being up for a 10 o'clock class, and while it's late enough that I can't really complain, I'll admit it would be nicer to just sleep in a few hours longer.  Still, I think today promises to be interesting and fun (three English Literature classes today!!!).

Hope all of you are well!  Updates to come in soon (I hope!)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Authorized Adaptation Graphic Novel (Douglas Adams/John Carnell)

Cover of Book 2 of 3

I have loved the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series from the moment I started the first book.  After having polished off all five in the inaccurately named trilogy, I started to look for other sources of Douglas Adams hilarity and fun.  And that's when I stumbled upon this little gem, back in my freshman year of high school.

One of the biggest complaints about this book is that it's so abridged.  That's of course, to be expected, seeing as any adaptation usually loses a little of the meat from the original piece.  Still, what we are left with is a full and funny story, although, it does not hurt to be more than a little familiar with the original book before starting to read this version.  And if one does start with this version, it shouldn't the the only Hitchhiker's  experience you have.  There are so many hilarious jokes and blunders left out (not enough room or not conducive for the medium), and it would be a shame to miss out on all of them!

While it might not be the most accurate, I still cannot help but have a great time whenever I read this collection.  Instead of one full book, I had to purchase mine in the three installments in comic book form.  Still worthwhile reading, of course, but it's a bit more time consuming when you have to track down all three comic books and take them out of their plastic sleeves to read them (wow....that sounds really lazy, haha!)

If you're a fan of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, I would recommend checking this book out.  If you haven't read the original series yet, I cannot recommend the books more highly.  Go check those out and them come back to read this one.  You'll be glad you did :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The House at Pooh Corner (A.A.Milne)

When someone says "Winnie The Pooh," the first reaction is usually thoughts of cutesy stories for children. However, as an adult rereading these stories, I have to say that these stories are just as delightful, if not funnier to read NOW!

I grew up enjoying the adventures of Pooh, Piglet, Owl, Eeyore, Christopher Robin, Tigger, Roo, Rabbit, and Kanga. These characters were some of my favorite childhood companions. My youthful afternoons were spent watching all sorts of VHS tapes with stories of their adventures. As I got older, the idea of reading the Winnie the Pooh books suddenly became something interesting to me, and I checked out all the stories at the library. Eventually, I bought myself a copy of The House at Pooh Corner. I've read it cover to cover multiple times since then.

The beauty of Milne is that his books can be read again and again, and the story only gets better. As a child, these tales become funnier and funnier. The wry wit and humor starts to leak out. You pick up on small jokes that didn't make sense as a child. Like a classic family movie, these stories work for both parents (or childless adults) and kids. I know reading these stories again, I was quite enthralled by the stories, the humor, and the idealistic bubble of happiness that filled these tales.

During these grey January days and nights, this would be a great book to choose, bringing the reader out of the dark and gloom of the winter with the warmth of friendship and adventure.

Reading Challenge 2013

Happy New Year, guys!

Just a quick update....last year, my reading goal was to complete 50 books.  I managed to get through 51.  This year, I want to top that, so I plan on tackling 52 books in the next 12 months.  I'd love for you guys to read along with me, so I'm going to make a genuine effort to actually post the things I'm reading and include reviews and such for all of you to follow.  I'll also be posting reviews on Goodreads, and will be including the Goodreads Reading Challenge widget on the sidebar, just like I did last year.  Hopefully this one will be better about updating things (the last one seems to have frozen around 17 books).

I'm also hoping to try and put a bit more of a dent into my LXG Reading Challenge, too!

If you have any books you'd really like to suggest, please let me know :)  If not, I'd be happy to suggest some to you guys, too!

Any fun New Years resolutions or goals?

Looking forward to hearing from y'all :)