Monday, March 30, 2009

Purple Hibiscus - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

purple hibiscus
chimamanda ngozi adichie
c. 2003
307 pages
completed 3/27/2009

read for: themed reading challenge, orbis terrarum challenge

*may contain spoilers*

I am forever indebted to this book for pulling me out of my reading slump AND for letting me say I actually did read something all the way through in the month of March. Yea me!

Purple Hibiscus is the story of Kambili and Jaja, two Nigerian teenagers who live with their fanatical Catholic parents. After spending time away from their parents on vacation with their aunt and cousins, Kambili and Jaja realize that life should be different. They learn to think for themselves and make their own decisions about life, love, family, and religion. And so, upon their return home, trouble ensues.

I have to say that while I did enjoy this book, I liked Adichie's other novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, better. This story has been told before. And while the Nigerian culture and politics made it seem fresh, a lot of the novel was predictable. That being said, I am definitely looking forward to more by Adichie.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Decisions, decisions...

Okay. So for real real, March has just been a craptastic reading month for me. I have not completed a single thing. And yes, I still have a week of March left to go, but I don't really see me changing that statement by then. So. I'm reading The Toss of a Lemon by Padma Viswanathan right now. I'm not reading it for any challenge, just because it's been on my TBR list. I like it, but I can't seem to really get into it. So I'm just going to stop. I'll put it back on my list and come back to it someday, but for now I'm just going to stop and move on. Maybe this will help get some momentum back.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Let's be for real real...

Okay, as much as it pains me to say it...I am pretty sure I will not be completing the Well Seasoned Reader Challenge. Which is sad, considering I only had to read three books. But I let time get away from me. And so I'm pretty sure I will not finish the two books I have to finish before the end of the month. That's okay, I'm not going to stress about it. I'm still going to read the books, since I have them as choices for other challenges, but I'm not going to just try and plow through them to get them finished. I'd rather enjoy them.

That being said, I feel SUPER behind in my reading and so am posting a list of the books in all my challenges that I should have completed by the end of April. This will definitely probably not actually happen, but it's still good to set the goal.

To Be Read by the End of April
The Toss of a Lemon - Padma Viswanathan
Royal Escape - Georgette Heyer 
The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein

Purple Hibiscus - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Graham
Haroun and the Sea of Stories - Salmon Rushdie
The Crimson Petal and the White - Michel Faber
Gods Behaving Badly - Marie Phillips
Phantom of the Opera - Gaston Leroux
The Tsarina's Daughter - Carolly Erikson
Agnes Grey - Anne Bronte
Possession - AS Byatt
The Year of Living Biblically - AJ Jacobs

Okay. This goal is supremely laughable.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Just a chain reaction...

Saw RENT last night. With the original Mark and Roger. Yea me! RENT = awesome. I was especially fond of the interpretive homeless dancing. And the salmon/lime/grey striped pants Roger wears in the first half of the first act. I think I would wear pants like that. And would look especially stylish.

There are always, sadly, a few minor annoyances with going to the theater. Seeing as they are not putting on a private performance for just me. First, when did nice theaters start allowing people to bring drinks and food into the actual theater? Not just drinks and food, but wine and beer ( and RENT...haha)? I really thought the girl behind me was going to spill her tiny eight dollar glass of wine on me. Mostly because she kept talking about accidentally spilling her tiny eight dollar glass of wine on me. And then during the funeral scene, she did, in fact, knock over her tiny wine glass. Thankfully she had already drunk all of her wine. Also, on the serving of alcohol at the theater, when you're allowed refills and bringing it into the theater, well...there were some drunk people coming out of the theater. Way to stay classy, San Diego.

It has been brought to my attention within the last year, that when I watch movies, or TV, or theater or whatever...I am a very minimal reactionist. I don't laugh when things are funny. Something that seems to freak out Girlfriend on occasion. I don't sob when things are sad. I used to sit stony faced through every movie I ever saw (with the exception of The Fox and the Hound and Deep Impact, though don't ask me why). I think things are funny or sad, I just don't outwardly express that very well. In recent years, I have become a bit of a cryer, though I maintain that my movie crying is mostly silent. I have to say...people like us get a bit of the short end of the stick. It is hard to find a performance moving and emotional when you're constantly worried that the girl behind you will, in the end, lose the battle with the pint of snot that is threatening to shoot out of her nose as she sobs and hiccups into aforementioned wine glass.

But let's be for real. Complaining aside, I love this show and was so happy to be there to enjoy it. I don't think it could ever get old.

Friday, March 13, 2009

As of 2009...

100 Greatest Novels: 16 out of 100 (16%)
1001 Books to Read Before You Die: 31 out of 1001 (3%)
Entertainment Weekly's New Classics: 10 out of 100 (10%)
Penguin Classics: 42 out of 695 (6%)

Down in the slumps...

I am having a serious reading slump. I can't seem to pick up a book and be interested. I am in the middle of reading two, two that I am very interested in reading, but I can't seem to read more than four pages of either of them at a time without checking ahead to see how many pages I have to go until I get to the end of the chapter/section so I can stop (I don't like to stop reading in the middle of the chapter unless there's a page break). I have other books out from the library, but I look at them and my nose wrinkles. I have other books waiting to be read on my bookshelf, but I can't bother myself to head to that far corner of the apartment (and by far corner I mean the bookshelf that's right behind the chair I usually occupy in the living room). So. Reading slump. And therefore, blog slump. What's the deal, yo?

Monday, March 2, 2009

To be read...

The Glassblower of Murano - Marina Fiorato
The Lady Chapel - Cadace Robb
The Seance - John Harwood
Mistress Shakespeare - Karen Harper
The Help - Kathryn Stockett
The Reader - Bernhard Schlink
Moll Flanders - Daniel Defoe
A Dangerous Affair - Caro Peacock (2nd in a series)
Silent on the Moor - Deanna Raybourn (3rd in a series)
Maisie Dobbs mystery novels - Jacqueline Winspear

Not too many this month. 7 new books and 3 new series...