for those who are in or around sane

Wednesday, October 3

September Books

no, i didnt over-do the reading in september... i just had a lot of short books that i was able to plow through. it was a good month though!

the namesake - jhumpa lahiri
lahiri's first book interpreter of maladies caught my attention years ago. it contains short stories filled with the stories of indian men and women surviving their lives. whether in california or calcutta, lahiri's characters are teased to life through small happenstances or situational ires. the reader finds warmth and encouragement in each character's flaw, falling point, rejoicing moment.

the namesake is lahiri's first full novel. it follows the ganguli family through a generation of regular life. the stream flows, in turn, from calcutta: ashoke's life as a scholar to ashima's sheltered familial home. the couple arrives together in boston where ashoke's life as student and professor link with ashima's hope to raise happy family despite being away from her own. they raise a son, gogol and a daughter and we watch gogol grow up - struggling to be an american while steeped in indian culture. gogol carries the remaining story of love, loss, acceptance and the desire to find peace in oneself.

nothing overtly interesting happens to the ganguli family, but nothing truely mundane does either. the namesake is more of a flushed out short story than it is a full novel. i definitely finished wanting more of her writing, but knowing that i was done with the gangulis - they were no more than a sweet lingering memory i'd carry with me after the book ended.

i'm recommending this one. i'll probably read it again. in fact - i did already read it once. a few years back, i regularly read the new yorker's fiction pieces. in september i read the first few chapters of the namesake with the horrible sensation that i'd already read the book (even though i knew i hadn't). so i glance at the credit page: sure enough, "portions of this story have appeared in slightly different format in the new yorker." hah. go figure.
4/5 stars

do androids dream of electric sheep - philip k. dick
this was the bookclub blog book of the month. i definitely enjoyed it. visit our blog and find out more about our pontifications!
4/5 stars

the devil wears prada - lauren weisberger
yeah yeah... i've read it already. dont knock me.

justification: i wanted to feel better about my job. since my promotion, i've been hella busy. b makes fun of my "real life" schedule, but i must say, i chose an office job for a reason. i like 9-5. i like flex time even more! but now that i'm into 50 hour work weeks (in a normal week - heavy weeks are a lot more) on a salaried pay scale, i'm not as happy as i'd like.

so i like reading about andy's hair-raising boss from hell and her ridiculous errands and perks. it's a bizarre form of comfort to end your day at 7pm and pop in the audiobook and laugh b/c you dont have a job that's nearly that bad (most days...).
2.5/5 stars (i dont like the character inconsistencies)

anne of the island - l.m. montgomery
ahhh, my monthly anne book. i do so love the sweet, eternal optimist. this is a really good one in the series. anne's at redmond for her ba in english. she's got a great group of friends, a bunch of matches to make and true love to find! i did miss some of the green gables "hum-drum" that was in the previous books, but overall, this is my 2nd fav thus far (the first being anne of green gables).
4/5 stars

so, that's it. if you havent noticed already, i'm keeping my "books on deck" on my shelfari below. check it out!

did you read anything worth recommending?


Tuesday, October 2

reasons NOT to become distracted while checking your email before bed

as many of my readers (oh, you're all my friends? damn... that means all of you...) know, i'm reluctant to open an account on facebook or myspace. i have my reasons, but one big one is the time-waster factor. if you have a site that lets you browse around, with endless links, a lot of time tends to pass.

well, i inadvertently found one of those sites today. wikihow is a wikipedia segment with "how to's" listed. at the bottom of each article is a list of other articles you "may be interested in"... of course i'm interested.

i'm definitely interested to know how to survive a fall from a great height, or how to levitate someone or how to be an urban ninja. and just to really kick my new habit up a notch, there's even an article on how to quit facebook.

i do so love to learn.