Tag Archives: Blue is the Warmest Color

On Reading 100 Books (Actually, more like 50)

On January 21, 2014, I shared this picture on social media with the accompanying caption positing that I would attempt to read one hundred books during the year.

mw&c

I’m so artsty it makes me sick.

Almost as soon as my fingers pounded out the goal, I realized that reading one hundred books was out of the question; it was already practically February.  So instead I said that reading fifty would be more likely.  I don’t have a calculator in front of me, but that’s like one every week or something.

As of writing this, I’ve read fifty-one books and am on my way toward finishing number fifty-two.

Now, I realize that this isn’t a great accomplishment by any means.  Still, I was impressed with myself for setting a goal and achieving it.  While I’ve always enjoyed reading–I do work at a public library after all–there was something almost stifling about knowing that I had to finish this goal.  In fact, almost as soon as I posted the picture, one of my friends commented that it’s better to keep the goals that you set to yourself because announcing the goals tricks your mind into thinking they have already been completed.

There were many times when I started reading a book and just couldn’t get into it, and wanted to stop.  For instance, I started reading The King in Yellow after watching True Detective over the summer, but I didn’t finish it until early December.  That’s outrageous! The book is only 256 pages.  I should have been able to knock that out in a weekend.  So I set it aside and read other books.  All the while I had this nagging feeling in the back of my head that the time I put into reading those hundred or so pages would be worthless unless I finished the book in its entirety.

So I pressed on toward my goal’s end.  I knew I had to, but it wasn’t just because I’d already put it out there on the Internet. I had to do it because if I don’t finish a book, I feel like I’m disrespecting the author.

When I first take a book in my hands, open the cover and feel the paper, crisp and dry between my fingers, I’m entering into an agreement with that author and into a relationship with that book.  For however many pages, I belong to that book and it belongs to me. When I put it down, even for a few days, I feel like we’ve abandoned each other. By not being interesting or not grabbing my attention, the book has recanted its agreement with me.

A recent study showed that putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, such as when you read fiction, improves your ability to show compassion.  Maybe that’s why I have trouble abandoning those books—because I know inside those pages, I’m someone else, maybe even someone better, if only for 300 or so pages.

Please save your psychoanalyses until the end, thankyouverymuch.

I’ve listed the fifty-one books on the next three pages, broken into three categories:  Good, Godawful and Great (because I like alliteration. If I liked assonance, I’d call them All Right, Awful and Amazing).  I briefly thought about ranking them, but then I realized that my rankings would do nothing to sway you if you’d already read a particular book and loved it and vice versa.  All I can say is that I highly recommend all the ones that I’ve put in the Great category.

13 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Things That Have Made Me Cry (Lately)

Me and Sarah McLachlan. Bringing you down.

Me and Sarah McLachlan. Bringing you down like a champ.

I cry over everything. Or as my best friend put it so eloquently, “I feel all the feels.” If you live in Pittsburgh you may know that the sun hasn’t come out in like eleventy months. The whole city of Pittsburgh (including me) has looked like this forever:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We have a city-wide depression going on. Everyone I know is miserable. When it started snowing again Monday night, I burst into tears.  All I want to do is sleep and eat potatoes. I am longing for Spring and bike rides and reading outside and swimming and sunshine and fresh vegetables

1385299_10201404587510888_87358515_n

Hah! None for you.

But since that’s a million years away and I enjoy going from one extreme to another, let’s talk about things that have made me cry lately (besides everything).

118700851. This insanely quotable book: The Fault in Our Stars, John Green

You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.

Angsty, funny teenagers. Cancer. Dream trip to Amsterdam to find the author of a favorite book. First love. Friendship. Death. Grieving. Coming out in movie form (filmed in Pittsburgh!) on June 6. See the trailer here. See a ton of librarians watch it en masse and cry together. See me cry if someone says “okay” in a certain tone of voice. 

MV5BMTQ5NTg5ODk4OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODc4MTMzMDE@._V1_SX214_2. This movie: Blue is the Warmest Color

But I have infinite tenderness for you. I always will. All my life long.

Blue is the Warmest Color was awarded the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. In an unprecedented move, the award was granted to not only the director (Adbellatif Kechiche), but also the to the lead actresses, Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux. Based off of the graphic novel by Julie Maroh,  and showing at the Hollywood TheaterBlue follows the life and love of two young lesbians. It beautifully captures that obsession you feel when you first fall in love, when you can’t stop thinking about it and your world revolves around them. And then. There is also a break-up scene that is harrowing in its realism and flat-out pain and fury. Did I mention I saw this on Valentine’s Day?

3. This song: Say Something by A Great Big World

Say something, I’m giving up on you. I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you.

I know, I know. Don’t judge. I’m not the only one. Oh the tears! Other songs making me cry recently include: Song for Zula by Phosphorescent, All I Need by Radiohead and Love Out of Lust by Lykke Li. I dare you to listen to any of these and not want to get under the covers until April.

4. This photo of Otis smiling:

I don't know why this makes me teary-eyed. I'm fragile.

I don’t know why this makes me teary-eyed. I’m fragile. He’s cute.

5. This text from my best friend:

I love u and ur awesome!!

Because we all need to know we are loved and awesome.

Here’s to spring flowers and blah, blah, blah-

suzy, the saddest librarian

15 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized