i’m going back

Well friends, it looks as if I’m going back to France.

I’ve been accepted into a masters program at a university in Paris, to start in the spring semester.

I’m excited and nervous and happy and sad and mostly just feeling ready.

This past week has been an absolute whirlwind as I prepare to move back to Texas for the interim so I can work and save every penny instead of using the money for rent or something equally silly (thanks mom and dad!).

France. Paris. The language. The food. The atmosphere.

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I’m going back, y’all!

The Weird Sisters

Oh friends. I like this book. I like it very much. It’s funny though, because I bought it about a year ago while I was living with my aunt and uncle in Odessa and working at a job I did not enjoy very much, and the first time I read it I didn’t think anything of it. Not that I didn’t like it, more just that I finished it and set it aside in order to make room for the next book. I also remember my lovely aunt Di (featured in this post) asking me about it and I don’t even remember what I told her.

This time was different, y’all.  And I’m not the only one who likes this book, look at all the nice things written on the cover. I like that cover. That’s a nice cover. I’m pretty sure I bought this book because of the Shakespeare connection. My degree in Theatre Performance comes with a requisite interest in anything minutely related to Shakespeare. Sort of. That’s a lie, really, I’ve never been that into Shakespeare.

sorry hot stuff. we’re just not meant to be.

Whether you’re into ol’ Shaky or not, this is a good’un. The tale of three sisters who come together supposedly because of their mother’s illness but really because of the crumbling nature of their own lives is breathtakingly relatable. Or at least it is to this gal who’s own life has an irritatingly crumbly nature. In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, I’m in love with books and characters and stories that feel human. This doesn’t mean it has to be a book like this one, about lives that are realistic and a world that is our own (albeit with many more references to Shakespeare than most people can claim), just that I want to see a character and find myself. I think this is an inherent reason why storytelling in all it’s forms exist. Good storytelling allows us to take a break from our own lives while still finding ourselves in the other. This is just one reason why I think representation in all forms is very important. I’ m also just seriously in love with Eleanor Brown’s prose. I’ve never read a book before told in first person by three different people (at the same time) and I have no idea what to call it. Nevermind, that’s lazy of me so I looked it up and with the help of a quote on the back of the book and this article from the Guardian I think it’s called first person plural narrative. I don’t know how I’ll feel if/when I come across this type of narrative voice again, but it worked so very well in this book. On the very unlikely chance the author should ever happen across this post, let me just say brava. What a beautifully written book. For example, one of many of my favored passages:

 “Oh, our Rose. Her hair up like a Gibson girl, her skin stained pretty pink from the blushing, face bare of makeup, one of those flowing outfits that hid her curves, beauty and honor in her are so mingled…but would he see it? Would he see, beneath her self-consciousness, the way she could clean that stain off his tie with only club soda and the edge of her shirt, catch spiders we would be too afraid to touch, marshal our forces to pack the car for a trip so everything would fit and nothing was forgotten, pick the perfect fresh flowers to make the breakfast table seem like a celebration, hold us a after a nightmare, put herself aside to make sure we were happy? Would he see why we loved her so? We held our breath. “Would you like to go to lunch?” has asked. He saw it.”

So good. I don’t have sisters, I have one baby brother and our relationship is a veritable roller coaster of I-don’t-have-any-actual-way-to-classify-it. Still, I can understand these sisters. It feels like I’ve sat on the couch listening to them before, arguing with them, and supporting them. Read this book friends. It’s definitely worth it. Feel like following my advice? Would you buy the book from Amazon anyway? Well click-a on this little link here and it won’t cost a pretty penny more, but it will help me out!

(in case it’s not clear, the picture of the book is the link)

for next week:

CATFISH ALLEY

by Lynne Bryant

World War Z

I have a secret for you guys:

 

I LOVE zombie books. The majority of my zombie stories are on ebook, so I won’t get around to reviewing them for a while, but I love ’em. Pretty much anything zombie – movies, tv shows, books – I’m into it. I don’t know why, and truly it’s a fairly recent acquisition. I read a set of books that I absolutely love and that’s what really got me started. A short while after they began to make The Walking Dead, and I think that is what truly cemented my love affair with the zombie story.

ANYWAY: World War Z. I admit it, I read this book because of the hype. Even before the movie it was one of the more well known zombie books (at least insofar as the general reading public goes), so I figured I oughta try it! Let me tell you, it’s whole different ride from the movie. I let my dad and cousin borrow the book to read after they had both seen the movie, and let’s just say they were more than a little surprised by what they got. It’s still totally worth reading though, I just think that if you’ve seen the movie you should come at the book as a mostly unrelated creature.

If you’ve ever read Dracula, the style of this book is similar in that the story comes to pass through reading the tales of a variety of different people dealing with a very large subject matter. It is, of course, vastly different that Dracula, I just remember when I first read it I was reminded of that particular book. Now, to my understanding this is what bothered my Dad. So be aware that you are not really reading a linear storyline told by one character but rather piecing together the happenings of an immense story through the bits and pieces given up.

I like this book. I think it’s a good story and it’s an interesting way to read it. I also like the movie, even though I don’t really think the two are comparable. The book is intriguing and also extremely human, because the people who relate these stories to the reader have gone through and survived horrible things. It’s definitely different than, you know, reading about the zombies attacking as it happens or whatnot, but I think it makes something strange and unreal (like the zombie apocalypse) and makes it something the reader could relate to. Or at least understand.

I like the movie for different reasons. Mostly zombies, and also Brad Pitt. Both things have their place, and that place is on any screen I might happen to watch.

Try this book! Even if the idea of reading a book about zombies sounds weird, this is a good book. And you never know, you might find a new type of story you like to read!

Are you interested? Thinking about purchasing this book? Well, if you like buying from Amazon follow this handy link:

It’ll provide me with points, which will allow me to buy more books and continue these reviews!

for next week:

THE WEIRD SISTERS

by Eleanor Brown

radio silence

I got lucky with the past two Mondays because of my new books. I’m facing down this Monday, and I’ve got nothing.

I’m still waiting. Hopefully the thing I’m waiting on will magically appear before Friday, and my life won’t be as directionless as it has been for the last month.

Until then, I’m just floating. I’m working, but less. At one point I was facing down the idea of having four or five jobs at once, and that was awful. I turned down a job, I quit a job (I am the worst telemarketer in the world, even if I am selling subscriptions for regional theatres). I have one job that may or may not start in time for it to be of use to me. I’m reading. I’m writing (1000 words a day, it’s hard but so worth it). And in the meantime, there’s just not much to show for it. Which is hard, because the world we live in now is all about showing the bounty of our day to day lives. I’ve never been particularly good at it, but it’s especially awkward when I feel like I can’t move. The decision I have to make can’t be made until I have all of the information.

So send good thoughts that the information appears before Friday, like it’s supposed to. I’ll give you a hint though, I’m dealing with a country well known for the loops the bureaucracy makes you jump through, so I won’t be too surprised if it doesn’t show. If it doesn’t, my dad has already given permission for me to make a long distance phone call to get answers for myself (I should specify that my wonderful parents are still paying my phone bills, so him giving me permission is a very nice thing to do, not a weird control thing!).

I did get to see my little brother and eat queso this past weekend, so that’s always nice. some people think we look alike.

Sorry for the boring update, but that’s my life at the moment. It should be changing soon. So keep your little peepers open and maybe you’ll hear about something super exciting, or super mundane. Regardless, you’ll hear something.

 

A Great and Terrible Beauty

I’ve had this book for a long time. Long enough for me to swing from not liking to really liking to being confused by it to forgetting about it to here I am now.

I’m just not really sure how I feel about this book. Everything seems to happen really fast. I’m a huge fan of world building, so I don’t really like to be told “also there’s magic but shhhhh you won’t understand it.” Also the cover looks like a romance novel to me 

and I’m a million percent positive I got this book back in middle school, so I’m not sure how this one slipped past my mom. It’s a not a romance novel, though, mom. So don’t worry.

I really feel like I should read the rest of the series, because it’s an intriguing enough story. Gemma is an extremely human protagonist, and what I mean by this is that I’m sure as a teenager I really felt like I could relate to her. She is dealing with all these otherworldly things and yet she still has to deal with regular life and regular parts of life. She does seem to be a little too old hat with all the otherworldly-ness though.

I think maybe that’s where I’ve always fallen short of really liking this book. Magic is introduced and everyone’s reaction is just, “oh, that’s cool. can I play?”

Which, I mean, really? No way would that be how it would happen. I don’t like that the story opens and just jumps right into the fact that there is this other place of magic, and everyone is totally fine and not at all weirded out by it. Not once does anyone stop to think, “wait, is it possible I’m insane?”

I understand though. That’s a lot of extra baggage to give a book like this. I’ve always read way above my level, which is maybe why I never could really get into it. I do think this would be a great choice for people of a certain age who like this sort of story. So if you know young to mid age teenager who is sort of angst-y and likes books about England and the late 19th century and magic and possibly dangerous boys, go ahead and purchase this book as a gift. Otherwise, I think you’ll be okay without it.

Are you interested in purchasing this book? If so, and if you like Amazon and also like me maybe you’ll buy it from here!

for next week:

WORLD WAR Z

by Max Brooks