Archive | February 2011

Recents reads – Meg Cabot’s Avalon High

I spy with my bookish eye a whole lot of stuff to read on a daily basis.

So, I’ve been indulging and trying, too, to read more speedily which I’m convinced won’t take away from the joy of it, but may help. No need to dilly-dally when you’re reading for pleasure, anyway.

My best time so far may be one weekend reading Avalon High by Meg Cabot. Started yesterday, finished this evening. Such a light read, a teen fantasy/romance, but it took me that long since I tend often to hem and haw. Still.

Was it on Goodreads that I found out about Avalon High? I’m on so many sites so often I never can tell, and I find potential reads e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e, which is nice, but my mind is not the Random Access Memory device it was when I was a child. Remember those days? Before we needed day-timers? Over.

So A.H. is a fun King Arthur-inspired ride that I enjoyed. But I was disappointed that the sequels appear to be manga. I prefer diving into text, even if it’s really simple text, sometimes especially.

Meg Cabot has surprised me, by the way. She’s a lot of fun. (Her blog, too.) Once upon a time, I thought, Oh, her characters all sound alike;oh, how can she think of so many books? Well, because her characters all sound alike. And it’s kind of blah, really Now, I just think Well, her characters do kind of have a common sound, but so far Insatiable and Avalon High have been fun romps; bring on Overbite.That’s her new book in the Insatiable series; it comes out this year. Yay!

Really, I don’t know how she manages all her pop culture knowledge. I’d go crazy paying attention to television and fads. As a co-worker said some time ago when glancing through People magazine, I don’t even know who any of these people are anymore. And I, for one, am absolutely okay with that. Thankfully, Meg Cabot seems to enjoy this stuff and can parlay it into entertaining writing. And, so we get fun stuff to read.

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Love of love – ’tis the season

Love is my religion – I could die for it.
– John Keats

How can you resist this quote?

While I’m always worried that a quotation has been wrongly credited to someone (Read The New Yorker Middlemarch article by Rebecca Mead yet? – link to abstract here), my worry is not a reason to live in doubt of every quote I find.

Honestly, I don’t know if this was a line in Keats work or letters or what. I don’t care terribly, right now. “Love is my religion – I could die for it,” is such a beautiful thought. Not that I advise martyrdom. But the hyperbole tells you a lot. Apparently, he was big on love. It’s a good thing to be big on.

Jesus was big on it. Hallmark seems big on it if it gets you to buy its cards. Virginia is, apparently, big on it, at least according to the bumper stickers. The chocolate industry is realllly big on it this time of year.

So, when I was looking for a quote to post, and I spotted this one in my commonplace book– I would advise everyone to start a commonplace book- SO much fun – I thought hmmm, how could I tie this in to anything? Then, I realized Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Perfection.

Of course, Keats’s quote is much more beautiful when not limited to romantic love. (But, by all means, including it. 🙂 Make no mistake.) The shear passion for goodwill in this quote and the vow to commit to it in the second sentence….you can just hear a young idealist willing to go to his end to live up to his principles.

Now, of course, I’m feeling mighty ignorant as I don’t know if Keats was a great idealist, but you get the picture of what comes through for me in this quotation. It’s lovely. It reminds me of that phase so many people go through as young adults in social activism. But, certainly, that’s not all of it.

Speaking for myself, I think I could do a better job of letting my own occasional meanness die when I’m tired or grumpy from a bad day. That thing you do when you try to remember that everyone’s stressed and you don’t know what’s going on in their lives, so you’re kind and bite your tongue? I should probably do that more often.

If any of this makes you want to spend a bit more time this Valentine’s Day thinking about love and its broader implications, I would recommend David Foster Wallace’s This is Water. Not stricly about love, really, but pertinent nonetheless.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Life’s not fair: Tiger Mom has kids;Marilyn Monroe never did.

I found this one on Good Reads. It’s attributed to Marilyn Monroe. She was a smart woman.

“All little girls should be told they are pretty, even if they aren’t.”

I doubt that Monroe would’ve wanted parents to brainwash plain Jane kids into thinking they were destined to be America’s next cover girl. She wouldn’t have wished for hearts to be broken. But, a reasonable amount of positive reinforcemnet is important.

I do wish, however, that the childless Marilyn Monroe were here to give some pointers in mothering to Amy Chua.