Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo  by Alexandre Dumas
Weight: 8.8 oz
Method of Disposal: Leaving Somewhere

I bought and read this book when I was in high school, and I loved it.  I remember that I picked it up and did not put it down until it was over.  I felt like I was in prison with Edmond Dantes  and rejoiced in his escape.  Shit was good.  

I opened it up one last time, to smell it, skim it, say goodbye to it and three items fell out.  One was a business card for Natural Wonders, a store that use to be in Gwinnett Place Mall that I loved as a child.  It was completely animal focused and you could “adopt” tigers, whales, and wolves.  The money went to the WWF, and you received photographs of your new animal.  They had rain sticks and shiny stones.  

The next thing to come out was a picture of a girl I never liked.  Why did I have it?  Why is it in my book?  We imagine we are both totally different people now, but I still had an aversion after all this time.  The last thing was a picture of myself, Noelle, and a guy named Jeff hanging out in my bedroom.  Noelle is hanging off my shoulder, I am spitting on myself (?), and Jeff is wearing my bra and acting like he is going to lick my cheek.  There are Garbage posters in the background, along with numerous photos of a scantily clad Gillian Anderson and a shooting silhouette from the range.  I think I will keep the last picture, but the other items are going to remain with the book until it finds its new owner.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Story of Growl

The Story of Growl  by Judy Horacek
Weight: ½ lb
Method of Disposal: Left in a parking lot in East Atlanta, along with an empty journal

My father has reminded me over the years about a time we went to Florida together as a family.  My brother was social and made new friends on the day we arrived.  He always did it really.  It did not matter what time we got in or where we went.  My brother always surrounded himself with new people right away.  At that time, I did not have a lot of friends.  At home, it wasn’t for a lack of trying.  I was always socially awkward.  At the beach, though, it was because I did not see the point.  One day, he asked me why I did not talk to any of the kids my own age.  I immediately responded with something along the lines of “Why would I want to get attached to any of them if I will never see them again?”  I spared myself the heartache.  That is how I have always been.  I do not want to develop friendships that are not meaningful and long-lasting.  It is really an unfortunate disposition, and it does not spare you from hurt.  It probably just makes it worse.  

I expect to grow “older and wiser,” but I am surprised to find that I never completely ousted the child.  I am still her.  Why make the investment if the return is not worth it?  The pain of loneliness is nothing compared to the pain of loss.  Loneliness even has perks.  Lots of them, really.  Maybe I missed some key life lessons or chose not to listen to them.

I am getting rid of The Story of Growl, which I enjoyed a lot when it was given to me, in recognition of the missed lessons.  It is an adorable children’s book about a monster that loves to growl but is no longer allowed to.  Eventually, she has to growl at an intruder and the people realize the value of growling and so she is allowed to revel in her passion.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The X-Files

The X-Files: Empathy by Ellen Steiber 1997
The X-Files: Eve by Ellen Steiber 1997
The X-Files: Ground Zero by Kevin J. Anderson 1995
The X-Files: Ruins by Kevin J. Anderson 1996
The X-Fiels: Voltage by Easton Royce 1996
The Unofficial X-Files Companion by N. E. Genge 1995
Weight: 3 lbs
Method of Disposal: Put in Better World Books Bin

I found more X-files books, despite what I said in my previous blog about Gillian Anderson (;postID=4546920244121391682).  It is not surprising because it was an obsession, and it was quite intense.  I cannot imagine feeling that way about anything now.  I cannot even think about what it was like to be in that mindset.  I should not admit this in public but I just, last month, got rid of my X-Files magazines and tv guides I had boxed up.  I collected them in the 90s and still lugged them around even though I never looked through them, was not all that proud of them, did not need them in anyway.  I just could not recycle all that Gillian Anderson, I guess.  I finally did it and, as you might have guessed, it was painless.  I am just not in a place (and probably will never be again) where I want to waste my time reading books based on television or lust after inaccessible people.  O.k. o.k.  I may still lust after her when I see her in movies, but I don’t need magazines to remind me.  Besides, I am not getting rid of my X-Files DVDs.  I am really not THERE yet.

The Stranger Beside Me

The Stranger Beside Me  by Ann Rule
Weight: 8.8 oz
Method of Disposal: Leaving somewhere

Another Ann Rule book is getting kicked out of the nest.  This is THE BOOK that really helped blow up Ann’s career as a true crime writer.  Ann Rule worked with and considered Ted Bundy a friend.  She had communication with him throughout his trials and was not convinced of his guilt right away.  The book is, obviously, eerie given the subject matter and the author’s insider information.  It is also, like all true crime books, sad and strange to read.  I could barely stand to think about the woman, killed in her own dorm room, so close to her friends.  I could barely stand to think about any of the women.  Again, I am not sure exactly what true crime offers us as readers.  Is it entertainment?  If so, is that okay given all the pain that rests within it?  Is it educational?  And to whom?  Is it a memorial?  Again, and to whom?  What do you all think about reading and/or watching true crime?  Fictional crime shows?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Apartheid of Sex

The Apartheid of Sex: A Manifesto on the Freedom of Gender
Weight: 8 oz
Method of Disposal: Left at a Mexican Restaurant in Oakhurst GA

I am lucky to have the experiences I have.  This book would have really impressed me so much more if I had not already read so many other books putting forth similar arguments and, in many cases, the same arguments.  I am completely on board with the notion that there are a multitude of sexes and sexualities.  I do believe that both sex and gender are on a continuum and are not actually binary systems, despite what we are socialized to believe.  I am lucky because nothing in this book was new to me.  I have had the privilege of accessing this information at home, being exposed to it in school, experiencing it in real life.  It is for this reason that I found myself bored so often while reading the book.  I wanted to get wrapped up in the revolutionary tone and the strength of the author’s voice.  I wanted to feel what the reviewers felt.  I have a lot of interest in the work of Anne Fausto-Sterling and was hopeful after seeing her comments on the back of the book.  I am going to leave this book somewhere in Decatur and hope that it finds a home with an open-minded individual who has never thought about questioning the sex, gender, sexuality binaries.  Good luck little ManifestO!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Einstein's Monsters

Einstein’s Monsters  by Martin Amis
Weight: 4.8 oz
Method of Disposal: Left at the MOJOs in Oakhurst GA

It was time to pick up a Martin Amis book again.  I was so surprised by how much I liked Night Train.  I had to see if any of the other books I had on my shelves were worth a damn.  The title got me too.  Martin Amis does have some great fucking titles.  I guess that is how I ended up with so many of his books in the first place. 
I read the preface and was impressed right away.  It is about living in a world with nuclear weapons.   To show how impossible the situation we have created is he writes:

                                What is the only provocation that could bring about the use of nuclear weapons?  Nuclear weapons.  What is the priority target for nuclear weapons?  Nuclear weapons.  What is the only established defense against nuclear weapons?  Nuclear weapons.  How do we prevent the use of nuclear weapons?  By threatening to use nuclear weapons.  And we can’t get rid of nuclear weapons, because of nuclear weapons.  The intransigence, it seems, is a function of the weapons themselves.

And to represent how ridiculous the world leaders are in dealing with this issue:

                                At the multiracial children’s tea party the guests have, perhaps, behaved slightly better since the Keepers were introduced.  Little Ivan has stopped pulling Fetnab’s hair, though he is still kicking her leg under the table.  Bobby has returned the slice of cake that rightfully belonged to tiny Conchita, though he has his eye on that sandwich and will probably make a lunge for it sooner or later.  Out on the lawn the Keepers maintain a kind of order, but standards of behavior are pretty well as troglodytic as they ever were.

Oh.  Nevermind.  You would have to read it.  The only problem with this book is that the preface is so good and the stories really are not.  I was not impressed by them at all. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

It's Not Easy Being Green

It’s Not Easy Being Green: And Other Things to Consider  by Jim Henson, the Muppets, and Friends
Weight: 5.6 oz
Method of Disposal: Left on a park bench in Oakhurst GA

This book was given to me.  I think it was a one of those hand downs I get.  “Oh, you like books.  Do you want this?  It is a book.”  I am not sure.  I know I wish I had timed this post to coincide with going to see the most recent Muppets movie, but it did not cross my mind back then.  In case you were wondering, it was surprisingly funny and enjoyable.  I did not know what would happen walking into it.  I have a lot of positive things to say about Jim Henson and the Muppets, but this is not my kind of book.  It is a coffee table read, and I don’t have that kind of house.  I hope someone else enjoys it in a way I could not.