Tuesday, June 28, 2011

White House Sex

People Weekly Yearbook: The Year in Review 1999
Weight: 1.9 lbs
Method of Disposal: Donate to AKF

This was a time capsule that I did not need. I am fairly certain I bought it for the shallow reason that it had Geri Halliwell and Tori Amos pictures inside of it. It also featured the Matt Shepherd story. Those things should never stand side by side…

So, here is a breakdown for you. They rated the 25 most intriguing people of 1998. The list included Hilary Clinton, Lauryn Hill, Calista Flockhart, Alan Grenspan, Chris Rock, and The World War II soldier? Quite a list… The 50 most beautiful people included Erykah Badu, Halle Berry, Tony Blair, Leonardo Dicaprio, Angelina Jolie, and Chris Carter. In my list of their list, I agree on the women, but I am a little shocked by the selection of men—not that I don’t love me some Chris Carter cause I do.
Here are your headlines:

• “White House Sex, Lies and Videotape” (you remember the Clintin bizniz, right?)
• “A Convoluted Family Drama” This one starts with this opening sentence, “This is a 1998 story that encompasses many of the problems bedeviling our society—divorce, illegitimacy, highway death, bureaucratic breakdown.” Enough said.
• Sonny Bono die, and his wife “secures his House seat.”
• A school shooting in Arkansas
• Northern Ireland gives “peace a chance.”
• Jesse “the Body” Ventura becomes Governor
• Hurricane Mitch
• Mary Kay Letourneau has her second child with her former student
• So on and so forth

Titanic wins an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. Please note that The X-Files also won a Golden Globe for best drama series. The book soon becomes a tribute to people like Tom Bradley, Lloyd Bridges, Florence Griffith Joyner, and so on.

A blast from the past…how was it for you?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

"He said you're really an ugly girl, but I like the way you play. And I died. But I thanked him. Can you believe that?"

Tori Amos Collectibles by Paul Campbell
Weight: 2 lbs
Method of Disposal: Donate to AKF

I wish I did not know what possessed me to buy this book from a used book store called “Books for Less.” Unfortunately, I do. Luckily, I have no idea why I have lugged its 2 lbs around with me all over the great state of Georgia. I initially bought it on one of those awful (and wonderful) used book binges. You walk into a store and start a little stack of books you absolutely want to buy. Before you know it, you are holding onto some maybes and some good deals. Soon, you are in over your head or, at least, your bank account. That is what happened when I picked up this particular book.

I had an addiction to books and an extreme fascination with Tori Amos. Did I realize it was a book about collectibles?! When I spent $11.98 on it? I hope not, but I get this gurgley feeling in my belly that says I probably was fully aware. I never intended to have a Tori Amos collection so this book was useless to me. I just wanted to revel in her music. If I “collected” anything it was all of her cds, which I promptly played to death. I hope the next owner of this book is a collector. Too bad the book isn’t in mint condition.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God By Zora Neale Hurston
Weight: 7.2 oz
Method of Disposal: Donate to AKF

I am embarrassed to admit that I did not read this book until this year. Having been an English and Women’s Studies major, this is somewhat inappropriate. I remember being involved in lengthy discussions about Zora Neale Hurston and her popular novel. And by “being involved,” I mean finding ways to escape adding or taking away anything from what seemed to be very fascinating conversations. And while I have always been the first to admit that I do not know something and need clarification, this was not the case with Their Eyes Were Watching God. I do not know why. It all seems so ridiculous now.

So, I finally read it! I will never have to hide again. I enjoyed it too. I should not that I purchased it around 6 years ago, and it took me this long…
All of Hurston’s characters had unique qualities that enriched their character developments. They were not strictly good or bad people, of course they wouldn’t be in any good book, but it was still a triumph in that the main character has 3 husbands in 193 pages. I could sympathize with them, despise them, and understand her through the husband’s interactions with her.

This book is written in dialect, which most people either love or hate. It generally takes me awhile to get into the mood, but in the end it is well worth it and does add to the story. I also appreciated that white people were only in the periphery of this book. It wasn’t about them, but it did not shy away from recognizing their oppressive control either. I am not going to tell you anymore about the book, but I do recommend it if you are looking for something to read.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall by Kazuo Ishiguro
Weight: 1 lb
Method of Disposal: Giving Away/Donating

I had never read anything by Kazuo Ishiguro—at least nothing bound in bound up in a book form. I am not sure how I let him slip under my radar since he is obviously quite renowned. My grandmother called him “the most popular” English author right now. According to Wikipedia, he received “four Man Booker Prize nominations, including winning the 1989 prize for his novel The Remains of the Day. In 2008, The Times ranked Ishiguro 32nd on their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945."

All of that being said, I get it. This was not one of my favorite books of all time, but it almost could have been. Even if the plot of a story wasn’t piquing my interest the writing was drawing me forward. This isn’t even one of his most acclaimed books. The writing was just beautiful and simple and easy to read. The stories were about loneliness (amongst other things), which I never tire of.

My grandmother on my mother’s side held onto this book and gave it to me the last time I visited. She said it was really weird, and she thought I would like it. She is an avid reader too, and she is usually spot on. I really appreciate her willingness to share her books and thoughts.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Battle of the Sun

Gut Symmetries (1998)—1 of 3 copies
Oranges are not the Only Fruit (1997)—1 of 2 copies
Tanglewreck (2006)
By Jeanette Winterson
Weight: 2 lbs and 10 oz
Method of Disposal: Two adult books have been given to my friend, Tracy, and Tanglewreck will be donated.

I just finished reading Jeanette Winterson’s The Battle of the sun. It was her second young adult novel. The main character from Tanglewreck also stars in this book. It was okay, but I do miss her adult novels so much. I think that is where she thrives, where she does her best. In young adult books she seems just inches away from all the magic. She has wonderful ideas and great characters, but she cannot fully bring them to life. It seems like there is a lot of action packed into one book, but the moments of action are so rushed and brief that we can hardly believe or buy into them.

I do love me some Winterson though. It is going to be a long while before I can let go of her books. I am just not ready yet. Hence the reason I am only getting rid of copies here and Tanglewreck, which is obviously not my favorite. Luckily, even though she has not published a book for us older kids in a minute, she does have a well-kept website. www.jeanettewinterson.com. Maybe I will just go spend some time there.