Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Five Books Meme

Ok, so the plan originally was to be on the road to Hometown at this time today. But, in what is a holiday tradition for Crazy, she has postponed her travels because she procrastinated too much (enabled by physical discomfort that may be psychosomatic in nature) and so cannot travel according to plan. (Other "holiday traditions" of Crazy: Spending twice as much money on herself as on others; "ruining Christmas" in any number of ways, but which usually involve at least in part spending time with friends instead of devoting myself entirely to my mother; spending New Year's Eve drinking a bottle of champagne by herself, determining resolutions, and talking on the phone to long-distance friends who also don't have New Year's plans because at a certain point NYE becomes a holiday that is only for couples or for 22 year olds, and it's just less depressing to get drunk alone, to make plans to try to make the new year better than the old, and to have done with it. I'm sure there are more, but I digress.)

So somebody tagged me for the five books meme. And because Crazy sucks, and because she's been a lame blogger, she doesn't remember who. So, if you tagged me, well, then you should remind me of that and I can then link back to you. But at any rate, I was tagged (on friday maybe?) and so now here I am.

People have either been listing the books that they've read without much commentary or they've been talking a bit about them. Because I'm in the middle of packing and procrastinating, I think I shall include a quotation that I particularly liked from each of the books. My only criteria for the books I've chosen is that they are not books that I read only for work but rather that there was some corollary pleasure (at least) involved in choosing to read them.

1. Shikasta by Doris Lessing.

"They look at the sun as if they want to pull it down to them, they linger under a moon which is much father away than I remember it - and they hunger, they yearn, holding up their arms to the sun, and wanting to bathe in moonrays or to drink them. The gleam of light on a tree, or on water, the brief heartbreaking beauty of their young, these things torture them, without knowing why, or they half know, and make songs and tales, always with the hunger behind, a hunger not one of them could define. Yet their little lives are ruled by it, they are the subjects of an invisible king, a kingdom, even while they court Shammat, who feeds their hungers with illusions" (104).

2. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

"Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't, you will leak away your innate contentment. It's easy enough to pray when you're in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments" (260).

3. Limbo by Alfred Lubrano.

"Mobility means discomfort, because so much has to change; one can't allow for the satisfactions of stasis: You prick yourself and move, digging spurs into your own hide to get going, forcing yourself to forget the comforts of the barn. In this country, we speak grandly of this metamorphosis, never stopping to consider that for many class travelers with passports stamped with new territory, the trip is nothing less than a bridge burning" (48).

4. The His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman.

"She had never dreamed of what it would feel like to love someone so much; of all the things that had astonished her in her adventures, that was what astonished her most. She thought the tenderness it left in her heart was like a bruise that would never go away, but she would cherish it forever" (The Amber Spyglass 463-464).

5. The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood.

"Lots of work. She worked at school and also at home; she worked nights and weekends. She got pitying looks from her colleagues, because gossip travels through universities at the speed of influenza and they all knew about West, but she didn't care. She skipped regular meals and snacked on cheese food and crackers" (187).

5 comments:

timna said...

I've read all of your books except Limbo. wow.
now I must go and grade again.

Maude Lebowski said...

hey dr. crazy. it was little ole' me, maude, who tagged you. but you don't need to link back. and you're not lame for not remembering either. hello! you've got a shit ton of stuff going on and a lot to do in the next week, so it's cool. no worries girl.

niobe said...

I haven't read her book, but Elizabeth Gilbert's comment strikes me as the musing of someone who has never truly had anything bad happen to her. Sometimes life snatches all joy from you and you can't get it back no matter how great an effort you make.

But perhaps that's why she's happy and I'm not.

marciano said...

Would you consider works in translation: Here's one that I've just read and reviewed:

Garcia Marquez, Of Love and Other Demons

marciano said...

BTW, I have about fifty reviews for anyone to read:
writenovels.blogspot.com