Thursday, December 16, 2010

Home For The Holidays

Semester's over! I walked in to my house to discover cranberry sauce sitting in a dish on the counter and realized that life is good. My mama knows what I love. I have a freakishly unnatural love for cranberries. In any form. You know what else is great? The prospect of having hot showers at any hour of the day and not having to time the hot water. It is impossible to get a hot shower on Monday morning in my apartment. Yeah, I am really looking forward to my shower tomorrow morning. High standards of happiness. I haz them. 

[I am actually kind of happy that I have showers in any capacity at school because I forgot to pay the water bill on time last month (whoops). They billed me the payment again on this month's bill, so I had to call the water company, which, notice is called ILLINOIS AMERICAN WATER. So I call the service guy and he's like, "So, what state are you calling from, ma'am?" ...Illinois? After putting me on hold for two minutes: "Did you say you were from Missouri?" Just to be clear, I checked the website as I was typing this and Illinois American Water definitely only serves consumers in Illinois. Which would make sense.]

Enough about water. 

The real point: Books I want to read over break. I'm going to try and be ambitious, but let's face it, my family is going to San Diego/LA for a week, I have to study for those godforsaken LSATs, and I should probably get a start on those summer internship apps due in Feb. And I kind of want to write. That's maybe important a little bit somewhat.

1) HIS DARK MATERIALS YES I SWEAR I AM FINALLY GOING TO READ THEM (Philip Pullman). This is one of those series that everyone shames you over if you haven't read it. It's not as bad as say, not having read Harry Potter, but it's still pretty bad. It's like you say you haven't read them, and immediately, people get that look on their faces like, "Jebus, is this girl even literate?" I foraged around the multiple bookshelves in our house, and for some reason, we own The Subtle Knife but not the first book or the third book. Who buys the second book in a series, just the second book? No fucking clue. Us, I suppose. Anyway, I will power through The Golden Compass somehow. I will.

2) STARDUST (Neil Gaiman). I am a sucker for romantic adult fairy tales, it's true. And I am a sucker for Neil Gaiman. Why I have never read this, I have no idea. But I watched the movie recently (again), and it made me wonder where this book has been all my life. It's like tailor-made for me, you know? High fantasy that's romantic and almost Arthurian. I like, I like. 

[I am in a mood for high fantasy right now. Probably because I am really sick of all the vampires and werewolves and dark angels and [insert other dark, smouldering creature here]. I'm sick of "edgy" fantasy, okay, especially as I find stalkerish otherworldly beings completely unsexy. I want a noble hero, not a tortured one. Bring on the fairies and unicorns and princes. I am so there.]

The first piece of fiction I wrote was about a unicorn princess. I was about eight at the time. Yeah, I was a cool kid.

So those books are for sure reads. And then, I have some, want-to reads, but may or may not get to, depending on if I'm distracted by books on the front display at Borders.

3) THE RED QUEEN (Philippa Gregory). Margaret Beauford, mother of Henry VII. What more could a history major want? I do feel like the newer Gregory books are somewhat more one-dimensional. My two favorites from her are The Other Boleyn Girl (Mary and Anne Boleyn) and The Constant Princess (Catherine of Aragon, the greatest queen ever don't try to tell me otherwise), but I don't think Gregory has hit that level of compelling storytelling since.

4) ROOM (Emma Donoghue) is told from the perspective of a 5-year-old boy named Jack, who lives in captivity with his mother. Kind of like that abduction case in Austria a couple of years ago when that guy locked his daughter in his basement for 20-odd years and got her pregnant so by the time the police found her, the daughter had raised a family in captivity. I read a preview of it and was completely blown away by the voice of Jack. This is a situation so horrifying to imagine being in that I feel like it may be too emotionally disturbing for me to get through, but in the end, the payoff will probably be worth it.

Final holiday confession: A couple of years ago, I saw a high fantasy children's book (don't be deceived; this children's book was at least 200 pages long) that was about St. Nicholas as the king of a fantasy land and his daughter, the Christmas princess. I have no idea what it's called, but around the holidays, I always secretly want to find it and read it. /amridiculouslylame. 


  1. LOL, the Christmas fantasy sounds epic. Let me know what it is if you ever find it. :)

    I read the Golden Compass in 8th grade, but apparently, I didn't think it was interesting enough to continue because I haven't read the rest. I think I'd like it more now, so it might be time to give it another go.

    I LOVED the Stardust movie but also haven't read the book (even though I have it!). My friend tells me it's quite different. Still good, but different.

    I keep reading the YA dark brooding stuff, and it's true you start getting burned out. I'm keeping it together by throwing in some steampunk (Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan series is good!) and other stuff. I keep going back though because, not gonna lie, I really do love the angels schtick, but I'm not particularly taken with any of the ones I've read so far. Also not a fan of the creeper supernaturals (though I told Alz that I think it's sort of just in an angel's nature to be kinda stalkerish. XP )

    On that creepy note, you are going to be in my locale of the West Coast??? I hope when you get here, it's not raining.

  2. Yes, yes I am going to be on the West Coast. Your post reminded me, we should all bring umbrellas. But at least it will be warmer than here. The last couple of days, with wind chill, it was -11. It sucked, to say the least, especially when you have to walk to class on a big campus. So excited for Cal!