Books

Book 400: The Dante Club – Matthew Pearl

Pearl, Matthew - The Dante ClubAnd another TBR bites the dust! This book has been hanging out on my bookshelves since December of 2012 when I picked it up at one of my favorite used bookstores, Edward McKay, back in NC. More importantly, it is the 26th book from my TBR shelves this year. How awesome is that? That’s more than 1/3 of all the books I’ve read this year and I am incredibly happy and proud of that number.

I don’t know why I put off reading The Dante Club for so long. Maybe it was in some sort of effort to actually read all of Dante’s Divine Comedy before I read it, but that obviously hasn’t happened. The other thing that has left me wondering since I finished it , and honestly since I started it, is I can’t quite put my finger on why I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I feel I should have.

Continue reading “Book 400: The Dante Club – Matthew Pearl”

Advertisements
Books

Book 399: People of the Book – Geraldine Brooks

Brooks, Geraldine - People of the BookI’m finally starting to make a “dent” in my to-be-read shelves! YAY! On the downside, due to work events and the seasonal time change affecting me more than usual this book took two weeks to read, which is sad because it was so beautifully written.

I’m going to start by saying take my review with a grain of salt because this is a book about books and writing and conservation so of course I loved it. It also coincided with our visit to the 39th Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair (a blog post about it on The New Antiquarian as the BIABF’s website appears to be down), which was great because we saw many religious texts which reminded me that I needed to finish reading this wonderful book! I’ll talk more about the fair later in a special Culture Corner post, hopefully, or at the very least in my November recap in early December.

Continue reading “Book 399: People of the Book – Geraldine Brooks”

Books, The Classics Club

Book 390: The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

Plath, Sylvia - The Bell JarThis is one of those books that has so much umph in the cultural milieu that it’s a wonder I’ve never read it before. I squeezed it in just in time this month to get a podcast recorded to be released at the end of the month. If you’re in the Boston area and you want to record one let me know! 😀 But, more importantly than podcasting, this book counts as the 43 book of my Classics Club journey. (See, I told you I was still chipping away). I’m so far off target it’s not even funny, but I’m glad that I’m still occasionally reading from my list.

Let’s start with the big to-do about this novel. Maybe it’s not that much of a to-do, but it felt like one. I still don’t know how much of this novel to believe is fiction. It’s very clearly labeled as fiction and yet it is very clearly Plath’s own personal story. I mean her mom wrote a letter to the American publishers saying these are real people and real stories thinly veiled as characters! There is one point where I couldn’t help but laugh because Plath writes Esther, the main character, writing a novel about a character doing the same thing. HOW META CAN YOU GET?! This is the same story being told by three different people all of whom are telling/experiencing the same story.

Continue reading “Book 390: The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath”

Updates

August Recap 2015

2015 08-21 Packing to MoveI’m not sure about the rest of the world, but fall is definitely starting to arrive in New England. I’ve already seen Pumpkin Spice Lattes on people’s social media and Tim just bought Pumpkin Spice Coffeemate. It is a little weird though, last week was beautiful and temperate and then this week we’re back into the 90s (mid 30C’s) and it’s hella humid.

In case I wasn’t stressed enough with everything else I moved over the past few weeks. If you follow me on other social media this isn’t a surprise. I didn’t move far, less than eight miles driving, but I’d been living in the same place for FIVE YEARS. I was amazed at how much I managed to accumulate.

Click here to continue reading.

Random

A Book Reading and Obnoxious Readers

2015 03-09 Boyne and Vann at Harvard Book Store
David Vann, left, and John Boyne, at Harvard Book Store.

Monday night, I had the pleasure of attending a reading at Harvard Bookstore (Shop Local!) featuring John Boyne, of The Absolutist fame, and David Vann, whom I haven’t read yet! It was an enjoyable event and both novelists’ new works, A History of Loneliness and Aquarium respectively, sound fascinating! (I will definitely request them from my local library in the near future.) Boyne’s humility impressed me and I was glad to see him shift focus to Vann when everyone kept asking him questions.

While there, I took the chance to get my copy of The Absolutist signed (SWOON!) and that photo is at the end of this post. Did you know that it was his favorite as well? I nearly hyperventilated (and actually clapped out loud like an awkward lunatic) when he said that and immediately messaged Heather (who is getting a signed copy of a surprise book). When John, first name basis obviously, signed my book I told him how Heather and I are still getting a lot of traffic from our responses to The Absolutist and that I got a long email just last week about it. He commented that he was always fascinated about how long a story can continue to gain traction.

Click here to continue reading.

CRWMPodcast

CRWM #03: The Handmaid’s Tale

CRWM03Note: This episode is going live early due to the holidays, traveling and the potential delay with iTunes uploading.

Welcome to Episode 3 of Come Read With Me, where my friend Patrick and I dive into Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopia A Handmaid’s Tale. Patrick agreed to be on the podcast before he even knew what the podcast was about and when I called him he was ready. I gave him a really long list of books to choose from and he chose perfectly! (His original choice was Twilight but that was reserved and will be Episode 4). If you’ve never read it you should read it, really just read all Atwood as she’s amazing.

In addition to Atwood we spoke about a wide variety of authors and Patrick’s love of creating Twitter bots. Check Patrick out on Twitter @lightaesthetic and check out his website to see some of the awesome games he’s putting together in his spare time.

Click here to continue reading.

30x30, Personal Project

30 x 30: #3 – Take a hip-hop dance class/workshop

2014 11-29 The Dance Complex OutsideFourth one this week and I’m down to six on my 30×30 list! I’ll cross off another one on Monday (YAY NaNoWriMo being over) and maybe the bike ride too as the weather is supposed to be decent.

If there was one on my list I thought I might skip out on (aside from the tattoo), it was this one. I did some research and found The Dance Complex which wasn’t too far from where I live and wasn’t too expensive for a drop in class, but MOST importantly they had a Hip Hop Beginner Basic class. I clung to that basic because I was like okay so it’s even easier than Beginner right?

A few weeks ago my friend Caitrin and I tried to go to the class, but they were very strict about no street-shoes in the studios, so we went for breakfast instead. This time I showed up and no one said anything about shoes of any type! Maybe they just assumed I had shoes in my backpack or something, but not a word!

Click here to continue reading.