Book 40: The Devil and Miss Prym (And On the Seventh Day #3) – Paulo Coelho

Coelho, Paulo - The Devil and Miss Prym (And on the Seventh Day #3)Of the three books in the On the Seventh Day trilogy, this was my favorite. It has been almost two years since I read By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept and Veronika Decides to Die was too institutional for me, but this novel was great and approaches the simplicity and beauty of The Alchemist, but kept the idea of an external catalyst which Veronika Decides to Die had.

As with the last novel it’s difficult to go into this one without revealing too many details. A stranger visits the unchanging village of Viscos and creates an ethical/spiritual dilemma that the entire village must agree or disagree to participate in, all or nothing. As with Coelho’s other novels this novel focuses on very few people, but they are ordinary. He said it best in the author’s introduction, Click here to continue reading.

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June Recap 2014

I can’t believe we’ve already been in 2014 for six months and June is gone. It was another busy month. I crossed four things off my 30 x 30 list: spend a week in NYC with Tara, visit the de Cordova sculpture Park and Museum, spend a day at the beach and take a day hike. There was a fifth I really wanted to do, but I just couldn’t quite get to it, oh well I’m mostly on track, but will need to pick up the pace if I want to finish everything by December 21st!

Books and Bookish
2014 06-03 Quarterly Book RiotIt was a VERY bookish month. I got my very first Book Riot Quarterly (right). I was impressed with what all I got, but was a bit overwhelmed with the books. I’m not so sure the four books was necessary, but I loved the smaller book related gifts like the literary playing cards (below) and the library card pencil pouch! Mostly I was peeved that one of the books we received was the start of a series. I’m all for series, but don’t send one book in a series regardless of if the author provides it, it smacks of “buy the rest of my books,” and just irks me. If it ends up being a great book I’ll gladly eat my words. Regardless, as everyone else has previously noted I got much more than what I paid for in the box.

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Book 39: Veronika Decides to Die (And On the Seventh Day #2) – Paulo Coelho

Coelho, Paulo - Veronika Decides to DieI had a copy of The Devil and Miss Prym and planned to read it, but when I pulled it off the shelf I found out it was the part of the And On the Seventh Day trilogy after By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, which I’d read already, and Veronika Decides to Die. This is hilarious, because I definitely wrote about the trilogy in December of 2012, but either way I picked this up from the library earlier this week.

As I said last time, and I will probably say again, it’s been far too long since I last read anything by Coelho. I somehow let myself forget how beautiful his writing is and I can’t help but wonder how beautiful it must be in the original Portuguese! These are the same thoughts I think whenever I read Murakami, just imagine how beautiful it must be in the original language and credit clearly is clearly due to the translators! I can’t remember what author said it, but someone said that a work of translation is a different work and is just as artistic and I truly believe it with these two authors.

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30×30: #2 – Take a day hike

2014 06-28 Start of the HikeIf you want to find out how in or out of shape you are, go for a hike. Seriously, I knew I’d been lazy recently, but holy hell! I was hoping to cross four things off my list this week but only got to three, but YAY! Nine out of thirty (30%) done.

I’m still not sure that the sign was right, because our trackers definitely said longer than 2.5 miles, but I’m glad I did it! My friend Peter hiked a bunch of mountains last year and asked me a bunch of times and I always said no. When I was making my list I knew I needed to add it to the list and I did, but sheesh it was freaking exhausting. It was about a two-hour drive up and we hiked Mt. Tecumseh, 4003 ft/1,220m in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and it took a little under four hours (up and down).

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Book 38: The Rise of Endymion (Hyperion Cantos #4) – Dan Simmons

Simmons, Dan - The Rise of EndymionI’m exhausted. This series has spanned 2.200+ pages and more than 10 centuries! It covers lifetimes of characters, many lived over and over and a few lived once throughout the entire story! (20 years shy of 1000 years old, one character!) The story was convoluted and continuously changed which ultimately worked for and against the series.

As the concluding novel in this epic story, it felt a little hollow. There were definitely moments of amazement and creativity and Simmons intelligence once again comes across unquestionably, but for some reason it just felt a little hollow and most definitely rushed at the end. Even though I hadn’t fully thought through the end of the novel when I got there I was not surprised at the ending. It did feel a little deus ex machina, but with a “machine” like the Shrike, how could it be any other way?

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30×30: #7 – Spend a day at the beach

IMG_0958Yesterday, as part of my random three-day stay-cation I drove down to Cape Cod to spend the day at the beach. For those of you keeping track, that’s 8 of 30. I know a few friends have plans for the fourth to go, but I wanted a day by myself and to get out of Boston if only for a few hours. I couldn’t have asked for a better day!

Growing up roughly two hours inland in North Carolina we went to the beach EVERY summer growing up. Whether it was a day trip like I did yesterday or a week-long house rental with all my aunts and uncles, we went. I even worked at a summer camp on a very large saltwater pond in Rhode Island. Basically, I’m just trying to say I really like the beach. It’s been years since I last went to the beach just to go to the beach.

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Culture Corner – June 2014

2014 06-15 Finding Viviane MaierAlthough I skipped last month, this month’s culture explorations definitely make up for it. From my NYC trip which I wrote about last week and you’ll see a lot of pictures of below to my deCordova trip earlier this week and more I have planned over the next few days/weeks.

I’m not going to write much about the photo sets other than where they’re from and first impressions of the museums/experiences. I probably should’ve written this last week when it was all still fresh, but oh well. This first picture is of the postcard and ticket stub from the documentary Finding Vivian Maier. I’ve wanted to see this film for AGES and was very glad that the IFC was still showing it. It was worth every penny and made me even more excited about her as an artist. If you don’t know her story or her photographs I definitely recommend reading more about her above or at the Wikipedia page.

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