I really think that it doesn’t rain nearly enough around here . . . not. The only good thing about all of the rain here is listening to it at night as it falls on the tin roof.
Anyway, sorry no post yesterday. I could think of nothing to say. Corey spent the day in bed as it’s his turn to be sick. Honestly, I wonder how long we’ll swap this bug, whatever it is. He’s better today, but he was also better earlier in the week, so who knows . . .
I’m fairly certain that the header quote is a take on Marshall McLuhan’s quote, “All through his life, he swung between the ridiculous and the sublime,” which comes from his famous 1964 book, The Medium is the Message.
(Just an aside here: I cannot believe how many people online think that the word is massage, not message . . . We really need to go back to spelling tests in grade school.)
Pretty good collection today, so enjoy.
More later. Peace.
Michigan ghost apples caused by extremely cold temperatures (found here):
This reminded me of how my old dogs used to try to get on the hammock with me . . .
A little late in getting this post up. Corey has so generously shared his cold with me. He’s getting better, and I, if things go true to form, seem to be on my way to bronchitis. The only good thing is that I actually have a doctor’s appointment next week, just for a check-in, but if my chest goes the way it tends to go, I should be good and wheezy by the time I get to my appointment.
No. I’m not willing it into existence, but seriously . . . I know my body’s response by now. As I sit here in my pajamas trying to will enough energy to bathe, sweat is running down my brow, and it’s not because it’s hot in here.
Just a few minutes ago, I poured my ginger tea into my soda water glass instead of the tea cup, and it took me a minute to realize what was wrong. It’s pathetic, actually. Thank god I don’t need to interact with real people.
I mean really . . . it would just be embarrassing. Anyway, I like my collection for today. I hope you enjoy.
More later. Peace.
I love this. I wonder if Corey would notice if I started flapping a handkerchief at him:
But I love this more:
I never did solve mine:
This is kind of like the guy who invented soft serve ice cream by mistake when the ice cream in his truck began to melt:
And then there’s this accident:
I have a real abhorrence of canned vegetables, except for corn. Weird, huh?
Just a straightforward leftovers post. Spent too much time trying to find the perfect present for Corey, and now my back hurts. My life is so weird……..
The four horsemen of the apocalypse from memesdaily
From Ultrafacts: Perhaps a lesson here?
For youngest son who spent years Rick Rolling everyone in sight:
Also from Ultrafacts:
Today’s poem was written by UK Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy for the centenary of Armistice Day, November 18, 2018 (I know that I’m late). This day is very important to Europeans, but somehow, 45 couldn’t go out in the rain to pay tribute to the fallen. The background on this sonnet can be found here.
The Wound In Time
It is the wound in Time. The century’s tides,
chanting their bitter psalms, cannot heal it.
Not the war to end all wars; death’s birthing place;
the earth nursing its ticking metal eggs, hatching
new carnage. But how could you know, brave
as belief as you boarded the boats, singing?
The end of God in the poisonous, shrapneled air.
Poetry gargling its own blood. We sense it was love
you gave your world for; the town squares silent,
awaiting their cenotaphs. What happened next?
War. And after that? War. And now? War. War.
History might as well be water, chastising this shore;
for we learn nothing from your endless sacrifice.
Your faces drowning in the pages of the sea.
“Unsurprisingly, several children’s books appear in the top 20 on the list; as Adamic and Patel point out, we tend to read these books at a very impressionable age. Favorite books from those early years are likely to lodge themselves deeply in our memories.” ~ Claire Fallon, from “‘Harry Potter’ Tops Facebook’s ’10 Books That Stayed With You’ Meme And No One Is Surprised” (Huffington Post)
Thursday afternoon. Sunny with climbing temperatures, 87 degrees.
My goal is to clean today . . . but first . . . not.
Ah, to meme or not to meme . . .
The above graphic (click for larger) is taken from an article in The Atlantic based on a recent meme making the rounds on Facebook in which people have been asked to “List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way . . . Don’t take more than a few minutes, and don’t think too hard. They do not have to be the ‘right’ books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way.”
Another article (have forgotten writer, sorry), glibly stated that the addition of Harry Potter to so many lists proves that adults don’t really read books. Um, what? I read all of the Harry Potter books as a bona fide adult. At first, I had wanted to see what all of the commotion was about, the naysayers saying that it was demonic, and the supporters saying that it was a wonderful series. Of course, I agreed with the latter. Reading the series with my kids became a family rite of passage that I wouldn’t trade for anything, and truthfully, I miss the anticipation of the next release date, getting in the car with Brett early on a Saturday morning, hitting Krispy Kreme for hot donuts, and then making our way to the almost pristine cube of books placed immediately in the entrance. Good, good times.
“Indeed, if there is a backlash, I imagine it will be fuelled by accusations of elitism. Weirdly, reading is seen as a middle-class practice . . . This is one meme that has nothing to do with showing off. It’s a place to be honest about what brings you personal delight” ~ Daisy Buchanan, from “Facebook’s ‘Share 10 books’ meme shows that social media doesn’t have to be vicious or bullying” (The Telegraph)
I’ve been reading snarky comments from different people about how people are padding their lists, how most people haven’t read the things they claim to have read. Well . . . maybe. Who knows, but more importantly, who cares?
My point is (and yes, I have one) this: Does it really matter which books have stayed with people? Does it matter if they’ve padded their lists? Does it matter if childrens’ books and YA books appear frequently on peoples’ lists? No. These lists are proof of several key things:
People read. People of all ages read all kinds of things. How can that be perceived in any negative light?
Even if they haven’t read what’s on the list, they are thinking about things they want to read or things they think they should read. There’s nothing wrong with that.
The fact that childrens’ book show up on these lists is wonderful. Study after study show that children who are introduced to reading from very young ages will continue to read on their own. A groundbreaking study found that “having as few as 20 books in the home still has a significant impact on propelling a child to a higher level of education, and the more books you add, the greater the benefit” (from The National Literacy Trust).
The people who participated in this meme are proud of their reading, and they should be. So who cares what they read? Bear in mind that unfortunately, access to books, or the lack thereof, directly ties to a person’s success. According to The National Commission on Reading, “The single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school.”
I could go on and on as I am wont to do, but you get the point. All of those naysayers out there who are making fun of the lists need to shut it. Instead of criticizing, donate some books to a school, or donate some money to First Book, a wonderful organization that helps to connect books with children who don’t have any.
And my final point is this: In this society that places people on pedestals simply for being famous or for having a pretty face or for dunking a basketball or whatever, this meme is a refreshing change. Instead of reading about bullying on Facebook, or hearing about a group of teens who posted directions on how to kill someone (yes, this is true), we are being treated to something real in people’s lives, something that matters, something that adds to the world in which we live: Reading.
“But passionate readers believe books are for all people. Many of us have grown up feeling obscure and alone. Books were our friends when we had no human ones . . . the best literature educates by stealth. Books are there to make us more empathetic and kinder—and in times of emotional turmoil, they can comfort.” ~ Daisy Buchanan, from “Facebook’s ‘Share 10 books’ meme shows that social media doesn’t have to be vicious or bullying” (The Telegraph)
Listen, books saved me—not just once but time and again. Being an only child is lonely. I found friends among the pages. And when I hit my teens and began to suffer from clinical depression, books helped me to understand what was wrong, and they helped to comfort me. And when I lost my beautiful baby girl, books (not self-help books) helped me to escape from the pain.
I can go several weeks without reading a book, and then I can read six books in four days. It doesn’t matter. My to read stack has tripled in size this year, and I know that is mostly as a result of Corey’s new schedule.
Hey, I don’t need to go to bars or hang out with people who aren’t really my friends. I have my one true love, my kids, my dogs, and my books. It may not work for some people, but it works for me.
So even though I don’t do Facebook, I do do bookish memes, so here’s mine, off the top of my head, without any second thoughts, and I know that my list is longer than proposed, and I know that I have two lists, but whatever. So in no particular order, here are the books that have stayed with me, and by that I mean the books I have read over and over, the books from which I can quote, even the books that just thinking about make me pause and smile:
The English Patient, by Michael Ondaatje
The Harry Potter Series, by JK Rowling (I’m cheating in counting these as one, so sue me)
Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit, by JRR Tolkien (same here)
The Little Prince, byAntoine de Saint-Exupéry
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë
Tender is the Night, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Angela’s Ashes, by Frank McCourt
Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden
Rich in Love, by Josephine Humphries
The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Eugenides
The Things they Carried, by Tim O’Brien
The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood
Sherlock Holmes (all the collected works), by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Fault in our Stars, by John Green
The Alchemist, by Paul Coehlo
Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman
Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Richard III/Henry V, by William Shakespeare
Hunt is a Lonely Hunter, by Carson McCullers
The Shining, by Stephen King
The Weight of Water, by Anita Shreve
Silence of the Lambs, by Thomas Harris
A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle
Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf
Shogun, by James Clavell
The Book Thief, by Marcus Zusak
Children of Men, P. D. James
” . . . reading novels as a child — implying literary engagement with life’s social, cultural and psychological complexities — can have a positive impact on personality development and social skills. A study published last year in Science found that reading literary fiction, as opposed to popular fiction or nonfiction, results in keener social perception and increased empathy” ~ Bret Stetka, from “Why Everyone Should Read Harry Potter” (Scientific American)
Here are my runners up. I will admit that I cheated for this list; I went to my Goodreads list of books and did a quick scan and was surprised by the titles I had forgotten. So again, in no particular order:
Reflections in a Golden Eye, by Carson McCullers
Cover her Face, by P. D. James
Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer
The Bone Collector, by Jeffrey Deaver
Dr. Faustus, by Christopher Marlowe
Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton
Dune, by Frank Herbert
The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey
The Duchess of Malfi, by John Webster
1984, by George Orwell
Song of Ice and Fire, by George R. R. Martin
Murder Must Advertise (Lord Peter Wimsey), by Dorothy L. Sayers
Mystic River, by Dennis LeHane
A Child Called It, by Dave Peltzer
Darkness Visible, by William Styron
The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
Heart of Darkness, by James Conrad
Dubliners, by James Joyce
The Hours, by Michael Cunningham
The Velvet Room, ZK Snyder (has stayed with me since 7th grade)
The Cellist of Sarajevo, by Steven Galloway
In the Woods, Tana French
Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scott O’Dell (has stayed with me since 6th grade)
Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger (wish I could find my copy of this)
And yes, I have read all of these, even James Joyce.
More later. Peace.
Music by Zedd, featuring Foxes, “Clarity”
The Pleasures of Reading
On his deathbed my father is reading
The memoirs of Casanova.
I’m watching the night fall,
A few windows being lit across the street.
In one of them a young woman is reading
Close to the glass.
She hasn’t looked up in a long while,
Even with the darkness coming.
While there’s still a bit of light,
I want her to lift her head,
So I can see her face
Which I have already imagined,
But her book must be full of suspense.
And besides, it’s so quiet,
Every time she turns a page,
I can hear my father turn one too,
As if they are reading the same book.