Monday, March 29, 2010

A Good Mail Day...

Marcus and I have been married for 6.5 years and since the very beginning the mail was an anticipated event (because we're huge dorks). We are usually disappointed because, well why wouldn't we be it's mostly junk mail with some bills interspersed. Yet, we continue to be dorks and we both love going to get the mail each day.

Today was a particularly exciting day for me (and when I tell you why my dorky-ness will be further exemplified).  Today in the mail I received three books and they were all FREE! The absolute best combination.

I recently discovered paperback swap and I finally found an out of print book that I've been searching for.

 Dark Testament and Other Poems by Pauli Murray. I read Pauli Murray's autobiography last year for a class and she's an incredible woman. After checking out her book of poems from the library I wanted my own copy only to learn it was no longer being published and the copies I found were selling for $89 + dollars which was a no go. I'm beyond ecstatic to have found a copy and the fact that it was free through paperback swap is an amazing added bonus.

I also found Mockingbird, which is a book about Harper Lee (The author of To Kill a Mockingbird). This is also from paperback swap.

And finally...
I won Old Notebooks book from Good reads through their first reads program, and as an added bonus it's signed by the author.

I was having a pretty awful day for a lot of reasons, but three free books in the mail did a lot to lift my mood.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Notebooks by Tennessee Williams, early thoughts...

I currently reading the Notebooks of Tennessee Williams which to at least one of my friends is a random selection but ever since learning about him in an undergraduate literature class and reading and then watching his play,  "A Street Car Named Desire" I've been interested in who Tennessee Williams was.

This book is a compilation of all of the private journals he kept during his life and at 822 pages it's no small or quick read. I'm only about 100 pages into it but already I find him such an interesting man. For one he is a total hypochondriac. Every day he makes a note about how he's feeling, any small twinge, pain, headache etc. is mentioned and he seems to have a flair for the dramatic. One example from October 1936 he writes:

I have a periodically painful tooth -- that worries me. It is surprising that all of us don't go mad in this world. Problems, problems, problems-- somebody must have lost the answer book (61).'
In November he writes:
I am a bit alarmed about sudden, jolting pains that I have in the back of my head... (63). 
Literally ever single day he mentions something along these lines. He also has a delightfully sarcastic and witty nature to him which comes through in his journals and I find him incredibly amusing (even though I'm not sure that's his intention). One of my favorite lines thus far is:
Possibly each individual at the party waas -- taken individually a fairly decent person -- but put together they become absolute asses and make me despise them (69).
How hysterically honest. I sometimes wonder if we are losing some of that honesty with blogging. I know that many times I censor or omit certain feelings or emotions because of the potential for someone to come across my blog. I think journal keeping in the way Tennessee Williams did for years and years may become a bit of a lost art. There are so many times when I have a desire to blog about a certain thing because it's important to me, and part of my story, but I stop myself for fear of being misunderstood or offending someone else and also the fear that I don't know exactly who is reading.

Just a few random thoughts sparked by my endeavor to read this massive work and my need to distract myself from school work. One last thought Tennessee Williams offers:
... [journal keeping] has certain things to recommend it, it keeps a recorded continuity between his past and present selves, it gives him the comforting reassurance that shocks, defeats, disappointments are all snowed under by pages and pages of new experience that still keep flaking down on him as he continues through time, and promises that this comforting snowfall of obliteration will go right on as long as he himself keeps going.
Good night (I hope).

Monday, March 1, 2010

What I read in February...

1.) Birthing the Sermon: Women Preachers on the Creative Process by Jana Childers (4/5)
2.) One and the Same: My Life as an Identical Twin and What I've Learned About Everyone's Struggle to Be Singular by Abigail Pogrebin (5/5)
3.) Growth in Partnership by Letty Russell (4/5)
4.) From Pieces to Weight: Once Upon a Time in Southside Queens by 50 Cent (4/5)
5.) Dear John by Nicholas Sparks (2/5)
6.) Forrest Gump by Winston Groom (3/5)
7.) Dreamland by Sarah Dessen (4/5)
8.) The Things We Do For Love by Kristin Hannah (4/5)
9.) Pauli Murray and Caroline Ware; 40 years of Letters in Black and White by Anne Firor Scott (4/5)
10.) Little Bee by Chris Cleave (4/5)