After the obligatory early morning driving of my mother to work and spat of errands that were connected with that, I came home to find my sisters engrossed in a VH1 TOP 20 countdown. When I say engrossed, I mean they were studying it with a level of intensity one would normally only reserve for deciphering ancient texts found of fragments of papyrus in Egypt. You'd think it was a lost gospel, instead it's a bunch of women running around and asking, "Don't cha wish your girlfriend was me?" (And furthermore, that song is just -- there so very much about it that makes me stare, open mouthed that it's really happening on my screen.) Now Shakira is doing something where she's covered in motor oil -- this is entirely strange to me. I feel like I'm in an alien culture.
And no matter how many times I fake choking to death on my water, they won't let go of the remote control so that I can find something else to watch, perhaps one of the five million Law & Order syndicate shows (and honestly, what's next in that franchise? Law & Order: DISPATCHERS AND SECRETARIES ??)
Now is the time on sprockets when I make myself poptarts, and then I'm going to regroup and attack the remote again. This Top 20 countdown will not stand. I'm drawing a line in the sand.
Across that line, there are no fifteen year olds singing torch songs about being spoiled. There is no Shakira in motor oil. Over here, there is only the music I choose, and certainly no smarmy, heavy eyebrowed jerk callling himself a VJ when in reality he's the obvious product of nepotism of some kind because he certainly has no talent and he's really really weird looking so unless he's related to someone or slept with someone there is no explaining his career. I rather like it here, on my side of the line in the sand.
1. How many books do you own?
This is a trickier question than one might originally have thought. At school, I have -- probably a hundred odd books with me. At home, I have far more than that. My parents both have rooms lined with books, and at both of their houses, this is true of my room. I read really fast, and spent most of the time between turning five and leaving for college with my nose in a book, so even after many cullings I have an overflowing amount of them.
2. The last book you bought?
Gould's Book of Fish by Richard Flanagan.
3. The last book you read?
I just about ten minutes ago finished one of the romance novels that litter my mother's house, though I find this an embarrasing answer because I read it in like three hours and it was horrible. Anyway, it was Scandal's Bride by Stephanie Laurens.
But the last real book I read was Sweet Violence by Terry Eagleton, which I highly reccomend.
4. 5 Books that mean a lot to you:
The Ground Beneath Her Feet by Salman Rushdie. This is my favorite book, hands down. It's amazing, and Rushdie's prose explodes off the page, it pops and crackles. He draws you into this world of his and you're entirely entranced. Everyone should read this book.
The Life of God as Told By Himself by Franco Ferruci. I read this book when I was going through an intensely conflicted period about God and religion, etc. And it just -- I don't know. The tenderness of the God Ferucci writes really struck a chord with me and made me chill out to a degree about my Catholic freak out. But beyond the sentimental reasons for why it means so much to me, there's the fact that this book is an incredibly fragile and beautiful read.
The Writing Life by Annie Dillard. Essentially, she's a genius and I worship at her altar and this book is like...you read it, and just by virtue of reading it, your writing improves. I swear to God.
Absalom! Absalom! by William Faulkner. Oh, Billy boy. I could have done this entire list of Faulkner novels, but this is hands down his best, in my opinion. And okay, maybe it's just me, but if you're looking to read Faulkner, the way you should do it is like this: short stories first ("Spotted Horses" would by my suggestion for a very first read, and then "The Bear"), then you read As I Lay Dying and you marvel at his technical mastery of tone etc. etc. but you also get used to how very...Faulkner he is, and then you read Absalom! Absalom! which really draws you into his writing and teaches you about the nature of history and gives you all of Faulkner's issues on a plate ("Would you like some incest canapes? No, please, just the miscegenation and racism pate, thanks.").
Then, and really in my opinion only then, should you read The Sound and the Fury. And you definitely should read it, because it's amazing, but you have to have the background you get in Absalom! Absalom!
Anyway, on it's own merits, Absalom! Absalom! is just an amazing read. It's gorgeous from the first sentence, and the story in it is entirely engrossing, and it has the quality of absorbing you in this crazy Southern gothic way. God. I could write on and on about it, but I won't.
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Oh, come on. What do you want from me? I grew up wanting to be Scarlett O'Hara, y'all. I watched that movie over and over, mimicking facial expressions, turns of phrase, accent until I was like...13. Besides, Rhett Butler is terminally hot, and even hotter in the book than the movie. Gah. Rhett Butler.
ETA: Funny how I'm a total tool and do lj-cuts wrong. Funny, indeed,