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Newsday Tuesday

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  • boobs beach: Are they searching for beaches where they can be top-free or are they just searching for boobs on a beach? Because someone should send this person a sand mermaid.
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  • how to use power point and make a project a cat come to the bowel and than cursior click tail of cat and than cat was go back: Yea, this person definitely meant to get my blog.
  • i have an idea that my guardian angel often looks like this fb meme: Your search has been answered.

Meme from quickmemes.com…Are memes under fair use?

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Meta Meta Meta Meta Meta | Metaphor For Identity

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The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt

This book review should really be titled: When the world doesn’t know how to categorize something, they pull out the “meta” and the “feminist” and slide the remote into their back pockets to watch it all unfold.

This might be the weirdest book I’ve ever read.  On reading reviews, it’s been toted as the newest in “feminist literature,” and has been compared to Woolf’s A Room Of One’s Own.  On the other hand, it’s a philosophical diatribe on the underground philosophies of intellectuals hidden because of their own strokes of identity.  That’s what I think this book is about at its core.  Identity.  How we use it to function in everyday society and how we remove it to function with ourselves.  Many bloggers have claimed that this is a work of “meta-fiction” with the novel acting as a work of art that is spoken about within the text.

While I love deep thinking and all that bullshit, is this where fiction is going? I love a layered novel where it takes some critical analysis to really tap in, but I don’t want to dig to China to be able to read something that is supposed to be for pleasure.  I think there is an elite class of fiction readers that will find this book utterly breath-taking.  I was quite taken with it in the beginning, I read almost one-hundred pages in one sitting because I couldn’t sleep one night.  I was fascinated by the cutoff meandering of the novel, there were connections between characters, but then each had their own brief story in Burden’s life.  It sometimes made me wonder how those people on the public transport change your life in the blip of their turning conversation towards you and opening their jacket to pull out a harmonica. (Our free buses are a bit odd in Raleigh and my nephew likes to have deep bus conversation with the army fatigues to his right).

Amazing illustrations by Jari Di Benedetto @ Tumblr

The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt is not a book that you can just read for pleasure.  It’s a book that wants to constantly educate you as you read. Not only is it told from the perspective of too many voices including the journals of the main female character, Harriet Burden, but it’s almost a collection of the odd sorts in society thrown together to solve a mystery.  Harriet Burden is a NY Artist who was married to an art collector (that had a gaggle of men and women on the side even though “it has nothing to do with his love for her) and she’s never really achieved any sort of recognition for her art.  She decides to take in the fringe society to a studio hotel that she’s created and make certain men into little puppets in her game.  There are three different men, with three different art shows that are supposedly Harry’s art, but their face.  It’s this idea that women cannot get coverage in the sophisticated and prejudice art world of NYC, so Harry Burden must pull the wolves over the eyes of the high society and show her art under the veil of strange men.

The first man is Anton Tish.  He’s a waif. Completely useless as a character other than being completely unknown to himself.  Harry uses him like a dish rag to dust off the good china.  Then, there’s my personal favorite, Phineus Q. Eldridge.  She finds him in an obscure newspaper when his show is critiqued by the staff.  He performs a one man autobiographical comedy act where he plays both the white man and the black man, one side of him is woman, one man, one side black, one white, and basically blurs the lines of any sort of boundary line that this American society has created.  He’s got the most interesting voice, but unfortunately the reader doesn’t get to spend much time on his interview because we’re always being wisked away by other diaries, other questions, other answers that don’t truly need answering, when the most interesting story is a young boy who cowers under the thrown spiral of a football released from his father’s hands.

Amazing illustrations by Jari Di Benedetto @ Tumblr

Sometimes, I just wish a book could be a book.  We wouldn’t have to go through all this education mumbo jumbo, chutzpah, or shenanigans that make books “great works of literature.”

It’s clear through the many stories, and fictional (yet factual) footnotes, the author wanted to prove how educated she can be.  With a PhD on Dickens (because how uncommon is that) she goes on to write a book that takes an FBI super agent filled to the brim with literary and humanity decor to uncover the true heart of it.  I like to think I’m a pretty smart girl, but there were moments in this book when I just didn’t care enough to go on.  There was no connection to these characters and everything is kept at a safe arm’s length.  I’m sure this is going to be one of those books that is reviewed by the New York Times as avant-garde and brilliant, a sly form of new age literature for the literary feminists, but I just don’t get it.

Great literature causes great empathy.  With this book, all I had was a great headache.

The other problem with this book is that the publishers didn’t care enough to fix their ebook formatting errors before releasing the book for advanced reader’s copies.  There were numbers EVERYWHERE on the page.  They would be placed in the middle of words, in the middle of important sentences, even occasionally where another number should be and the reader is thinking she meant at the age of six, but then the next word is nineteen and we suddenly realize that was a mistaken six.  They always started over at forty and maintained pace throughout the entire novel.  Do you know how hard it is to actively try to skip over numbers that aren’t meant to be there.  I’m FUCKING disappointed in that. If your ebook isn’t legible, don’t put it on the market until it is because you have readers like me that actually want to invest some sort of body part into these novels in order to understand their value.

Image @ Tumblr

I would love to tout this book as something that inspired that fisted feminist that hangs out between my rib cage and just below my throat but other than the plot, nothing in this novel screamed feminist.  The author was obviously well-read, she wears the signature black turtleneck of someone trying to look profound, but also look like they could step into a dark bar and crouch into the fetal position on stage only to bloom into some sort of slam poet.  In these ways, this is feminist literature.  In the way that Harry is shut down until the faces of her art are young men of strangeness. Also, in the way that the final man, Rune, finds ways to squash any chance that she created the art and he was only the basket in which it came in.  He claims she has mental disturbances which we all know is the sure way to put your wife away so she can die in a mysterious fire. (Oops, too Fitzgerald for a second).  This is the claim that men have been making for centuries though, seriously? Here we have Joan of Arc burned at the stake, the Salem Witch Trials – that amusement park of hangings, Sylvia Plath sticking her head in the oven, and women who have served their lives in “rest homes” because their husbands were overburdened with the idea that women can do more than vacuum with heels on.  I understand all of this and where Hustvedt is going with her novel.  I’m just not sure the hyper intellect she put into it really works.

Other Reviews (because I’m always one of the few haterzzzz):

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This book is getting a lot of hype.  Have you heard anything? Are you planning on reading it?  Read any good feminist literature lately – I want your recommendations so bad, I’m willing to walk into the ocean with my pockets full of rocks. (Too early, still)?

 


Newsday Tuesday

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  • bowel movements like brownie batter: I get all kinds of weird bowel movement search terms.  This one has taken the cake (pun intended).  How could you ever eat brownies again?
  • i hate it when people are like do you have a bathroom: This person just hates dinner parties.
  • pacific crest trail nude: Cheryl Strayed inspired this one, no doubt.

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Newsday Tuesday

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  • i’ve always imagined heaven to be a kind of library: You and me both, googler.
  • burying book in the wall ai weiwei: This is a history lesson I must google to get…now.
  • johnny depp high school girlfriend: Yep, you got my blog.  OW OW! It’s filled with useless facts like this.

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Newsday Tuesday

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“After Words”

The Night Bookmobile – Audrey Niffenegger

If there was a place that roamed the roads of the West and held every book I’ve ever read, it would definitely be a bus. It would blast Backstreet Boys and that song by Brandy and Monica when they fought over a boy, can ya’ here me, “The Boy’s Mine.”  I would find it when I was lying in the middle of the road at two in the morning waiting for a light to change because that was the way I listened to music in my room as a teenager.  I would be splayed out, disco light ringing its spheres of color, my view the bubble ceiling and spinning CDs made into rainbow fish from Vacation Bible School at church.  That was the beginning of my personal reading life.  I had read books with my parents before that, but I first wrote thoughts in a book in fifth grade, The BFG.

“Don’t gobblefunk around with words.” 
― Roald Dahl, The BFG

Night Bookmobile @ The Guardian

The shelves of the bus would be lined with unfinished diaries, notebooks with the metal spiral coming loose like a sprig of hair.  Dried flowers and autumn leaves in the cracks of spines.  Petals from prom corsages, bookmarks with notes to remind myself to wash the dishes, write down a certain quote, the price of something I wanted.  Fingerprints of olive oil.  Nail polish and its remover.  Notes about how sexy Edward Cullen is, probably the word “swoon” every time he romanticizes Bella Swan.  Folded corners.  Cat hair. Receipts, ripped envelopes, five dollar bills.  It would be a bus full of words and memorabilia from a really bad concert sung by myself.  Honestly though, there would be some really rad costume changes of 80s outfits from high school (I went to high school in the 90s though, I was just really into highlighter colors) and polka dotted platform shoes.  At one point in my life, I really believed I was cursed with curly hair so that I couldn’t be a pinup girl.  This. is. the. struggle.

The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger was speaking to me throughout the first part of the image collection.  A woman finds herself under a streetlight across from a mobile that looked like a rutabaga.  She hears its loud speakers on blast at four a.m. and decides to walk in.  Now, let’s be honest, the librarian of the Night Bookmobile was not complimentary to librarians everywhere.  He had a monk haircut and unfortunate facial expressions throughout the text.  No one has a smile that can move both up and down at the same time, we are not made up of manipulation, we are made of fine, curved parts.  The illustrations weren’t my favorite of the graphic novels that I’ve read.   I was flowing through the pages, thinking Niffenegger really understands me, she understands the deep pits of the bookish, our flyaway forehead hair, our seven different types of sighs, our frustration at the sticking page and long chapters, don’t even get me started.

Image @ The Night Bookmobile

You can’t read an e-reader in the tub people.  Plus, we don’t all look like Barbies, did she not give us our feminine parts because this is technically placed in the “Young Adult” section in most local libraries.  These are questions I have about these strange illustrations. Plus, no one sits at the dining room table to read a book, we lounge, Niffenegger.  The words in this book, however, were to perfection.  I felt like she reached into my open heart and bled those veins a little onto the page.  I was so for this woman who went as far as getting her library science degree just to be able to work on her own Night Bookmobile.

Night Bookmobile Illustrations

The place where I was completely lost *SPOILER* was when Alexandra pops pills and slits her wrists only to get her wish of running a Night Bookmobile for another young girl who just finished her first book on her own.  I’m not even sure the commentary that this gives.  Is she saying that all extreme readers have words that float in sadness in their bellies.  I’m just not even sure.  Just because I’m a bookish, and nerdy person, doesn’t mean I’m a member of the Confessional Poets league and I plan to stick my head in an oven.  Sorry, Sylvia Plath, I love you, but you were Night Bookmobile sad.  I prefer books with woe, of course, I think the deeper the heartache, the more transformative the work.  That doesn’t mean I have very little outer life, just because I believe in having an extensive inner life.  I know that writers and readers end up spending a lot of time alone, but we’re not all lonely.  Just because we prefer aloneness, or periods where we need to just be by ourselves, doesn’t mean that we are on the verge of suicide over a bathroom sink.  I’m just beyond disappointed that this is where she chose to take her character.

The Night Bookmobile Illustrations

I’m even more disappointed that in her suicide, this women got her “heaven” wish, which was the Chicago Public Library of the heavens.  Of course I believe that I will be able to read every book I missed while living, in the afterlife, but I can’t fathom that through suicide, through this awful escape from a world that wasn’t her enemy is the only way for her to succeed in running her own tour bus of books.  What does that say about our world.  It’s almost glorifying those that choose to remove themselves from the life they’ve been given.  I have this weird view of the afterlife, that I won’t get into here, but even if this isn’t our only life, how the hell are you going to reward someone with an expansive Alexander the Great library when they’ve slit their wrists out of escape from a lack of outer life.  I didn’t see Alexandra getting progressively more dejected, I just saw a woman that wanted to live among books.  It’s just wrong that through her purposeful death, she got to live in a world she felt at home.

This Goodreads reader said it the best:

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The Night Bookmobile Illustrations

Just another note, I HATE, loathe, feel quite fiery about the fact that Niffenegger states in her “After Words” that she wrote this book because she was frequently dying in her own dreams from silly things like touching a doorknob or sneezing.  At one point, while she’s dead in a dream, she stumbles on a library/piano room, I guess a library if you’re a Vanderbilt or a Biltmore, no sad bookish girls like me have a grand piano in my room of book piles.  Niffenegger says, “When I woke up I understood that I had seen a form of heaven.”  All the girls who want you to date a reader are excited at this prospect.  Of course I want the pearly gates to be opened and I enter into the sun room of an antebellum dollhouse and there are books on shelves just below the windows.  In fact, the whole house is made of books and I’m the Gretel for the reading witch.  This is the desire for all of us out there who read to live in other worlds, but I cannot at all justify killing a bookish character just because you died in a dream and you thought heaven would be a library.  Alexandra couldn’t die from natural causes, she had to rest her hands in a warm pool of red drift.

I’m practicing my third sigh right now, the sigh of unexpected washout.


Newsday Tuesday

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  • summer page breaks: As opposed to winter page breaks?
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Newsday Tuesday (Memorial Day Weekend Lateness)

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  • how would you describe amy gerstler’s poem “hymn to the neck”: A poem of opposites about that luxurious lump of body shaped like a cylinder but evolved from an ostrich, how we wish we were peacocks.
  • wwjd bracelet rainbow: They don’t sell these anymore.  I know this because I broke mine and it was my “Gay Pride WWJD” and I guess the Family Christian Store chain decided they also knew it was prideful and took it off the market.  LAMESAUCE.
  • tommy mcglaun: I know Tommy googled this while he wore hipster glasses and put on Asheville hipster hiking-shoes.

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Newsday Tuesday

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  • why is there a comma after 84, in 84, charing cross road?: Someones been hiding their inner grammarian.
  • pictures of bowel movements and what they mean: Is this like those websites that tell you what your dreams mean?  I’d rather just read my horoscope at Onion.  (Nobody really understands you like your husband does, except maybe for every single American who’s ever read a copy of Atlas Shrugged).  If I was married, it would be more than true.  Check yours out here.
  • pacific crest trail and sexy woman: I wonder if someone who met Cheryl Strayed on the trail is using the google machine.
  • tattoo kafka: Please tell me it’s a giant beetle.

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Newsday Tue Days Late

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  • parody rhyming book about shoe laces and velcro and library books: My nephew totally needs a book to teach him how to tie his shoes. YES.
  • booksandbowelmovements.com+book-review: I just adore when people have googled my blog for a book review.  I have to do a slow clap for myself real quick.
  • library stack bowel movement: Usually I get REALLY WEIRD bowel movement searches, but this one just made me laugh.
  • “emma bolden” -emmabolden.com: People google you, lady.  People are googling YOU.
  • minecraft instructionals: ERMAHGERD MINECRAFT!

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