for those who are in or around sane

Tuesday, March 4

february books & etc

miracle of miracles, even with a shortened (or... lengthened?) month i was able to finish a bunch of really great books. i would have finished one more but i am enjoying it too much to rush through the ending. i also managed to finish up season 3 of entourage, keep up to date with project runway and become re-obsessed with lost. did i have a life in february? my check book says no... not only did i read a ton, brush up on current tv and work overtime, i also managed to save beaucoup bucks by hibernating during this frigid month.

since i was such a pill in february, i feel that it's necessary to pad my entry with "& stuff." first on the list is entourage. i got sucked into this little piece of hbo genius last summer by commandeering cable tv and plasma screen from the neighbors. basically, entourage is "sex & the city" for men. there is way more boobidge, way less emotional tug-of-war and WAY hotter people. oh, did i mention jeremy piven? i do so heart jeremy piven... sigh... so i watched the majority of season 4 without backstory. since my big move, i've played catch up using my sister's boyfriend's dvd box set. if you're looking for 26 mins of candy, please please please start this series from episode 1 - it's totally worth it.

"& stuff" #2 is project runway. this is a tv show i got sucked into unwillingly, but i'm grateful for it. this is probably the only reality tv show out there that focuses on quality rather than human antics. yes, antics exist, and depending on the season and the cast, you'll see more or less catfighting, but overall, this is a show about creativity and designer's abilities to create under extreme pressure. season finale tonite!!!! next week: top chef! woo!!

"& stuff" #3 could be lost, but well... arent we all informed on that one? i think everyone who reads my blog also watches lost anyway so... this is futile. suffice to say, i declare that sayid is HOT, locke is a jackass and i still really really want to go to hawaii.

onto books!!

1.) anne of ingleside by l.m. montgomery
yeah... another one... nothing happened in this book but an introduction to anne's children's personalities. seriously, i skimmed the whole thing. i'm beginning to regret my quest.

2.) nature girl by carl hiaasen
audiobook for february at the gym and in the car. i dont know why i havent read more of carl hiaasen's books by this point in my life. he's funny, clever, writes about unique situations in good simple, revealing sentences. ok, i know why - i'm afraid to like any more mass production writers. my weakness, as stated in previous entries, is christopher moore, but moore is no where near as widely published as hiaasen. if i find someone that has 25 books published, ill be tempted to read all 25 of those books, instead of opening myself up to other, different, more challenging writers. so, um... yeah... i really like carl hiaasen. and i must restrain myself from over-indulgence...

nature girl is a fluff book that follows a well-tangled adventure of a few classic nut-jobs around the islands in the everglades. characters include honey santana - loveable mother and certified schizophrenic. her son the well-grounded, loyal 14 year old. her ex-hubby the loyal, loving, former drug smuggler. sammy tigertail the half-seminole-turned-non-fugitive-fugitive. boyd shreave the unsuspecting fuck-moot and his world-weary "travel buddy" euginie fonda ("distant cousin" of the famous fondas). antics antics and more antics.... why i dont like reality tv is beyond me, b/c i sure enjoyed this one. sigh.

3.) disgrace by j.m. coetzee
on the more literary side of the spectrum lays coatzee's booker prize winning novel. actually, he's won 2 booker prizes (collected neither award) and the nobel prize in literature. i had not encountered his work before, but heard his name mentioned here and there. i ran across this book through a few wiki clicks (cant for the life of me remember the progression), and i'm glad i did.

david lurie's affair with one of his college students leaves him jobless, ruined and more-or-less run out of cape town. disgraced, he retreats to his daughter's house in the eastern cape. a tentative relationship at best, lurie's colors as an unsatisfied, carnal, emotionally removed middle-aged man become pronounced compared to his daughter's selfless, humble existence. halfway through the book, three african men attack him and his daughter, leaving them ruined, exposed and disgraced as white "invaders" (not victims) of the small town. lurie's behaviors before the attack were honest expressions of a white, middle-aged twice-divorced bachelor. after the attack, they appear as dirty and vile as the attackers' actions.

i am still thinking about this book and all of it's repercussions and relationships. i wish to read more on the politics and history of this place because it's obvious that coetzee expects his reader to know these things. the fact that i dont does not detract from the story, but it does make me feel shame-faced about my lack of world knowledge. this is a downer of a book, but it's beautifully written and incredibly insightful.

4.) gentlemen of the road by michael chabon
this novella jumped into my hands only because i saw it sitting on the "NEW" shelf at the library. i opened the cover to see what sort of ratings it got (the library is great - they put a piece of paper inside each book with a rating system on it - you put the date you read the book and your rating!) and i saw zero entries. i was in one of my more book-romantic moods (i had been browsing the shelves with a friend, waxing nostalgic for school daze) and became indignant that no one had checked out chabon's newest book. so i checked it out.

written during post-christ time in about the same setting, we follow two men through one of their implied many life adventures. we catch the two in middle age, world-wizened and ready for what comes. the task thrust upon them is to return a prince to the throne as king - a prince who ends up being a princess.

chabon's grasp of the english language is impeccable, but i have to say, i think he went overboard with this one. it's written with flowery, gorgeous words and turns of phrases that i know a few of us are guilty of indulging in occasionally (not to name names)... but chabon uses this language through the entire book. many times i had to re-read not for content but for simple grasp of sentence structure. i cannot imagine this as an audiobook - i'd have to rewind constantly. so, it's not chabon's best work, but it is clever and a great adventure story.

so, after this long entry, you wont see another one for at least 30 more days... until then, i wish you good reading!



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