Escaping books!

The books are trying to make an escape! Just found this in the bin in my bedroom…😳  The absolute horror on my face could not be descriAmber Walsh's photo.bed. While myself and Mr. Pound had a love/hate relationship during my time spent as a postmodern student in third year at university I would still rather that this quite expensive edition which has my frustrated underlining and notes etched inside did not end up in the refuse if I can help it! There was a stack of poetry books next to my bedroom bin waiting for our first day back at school – I like to show students that poetry, drama and novels exist in forms outside of their textbooks to bring life and variety to the introductory (and sometime proceeding classes – look at me! You’d swear I’d been teaching for years!) – However I think it may be time to add that stack of books back into the book shelf for safe keeping!

Bookish jewellery!

I have to share these little gems I got as a belated christmas gift from my mom and nan in recent days. I fell with a bespoke jewellery shop based out of wales through their facebook page and though their prices are great, I hate the exchange rate between sterling and euro so rarely treat myself to the english products I love. However there was one design that had caught my eye and I very unusually for me thought it would be beautiful not as the item it was made in (a pendant and keyring) but a ring. They accommodate requests so I promised myself I would get the ring in this design for my graduation in October. It never happened because I lost track of the date and had a lot of in the run up to graduation. So when I was talking to my nan she mentioned she wanted to get me a christmas gift and wasn’t sure what I’d like so I thought of the ring. Then mom being mom said she wanted to get in on this little deal and offered to get me the pendant with the same design. Again because we’re awful I missed the last shipping date for Ireland from the UK (I promise I’m not this disorganised in college or when teaching!). So it only arrived on the 4th January just in time for me to regale my learners with how much I loooove books again and harass them about their reading contracts…god I’m such a teacher and I love it! haha

I corresponded with a Nicola and she could not have been more helpful. Even when I changed something after payment she accommodated me and reflected it by refunding which I felt was very professional and something I’m not sure a larger company would be able or willing to do. It was a very human rather than cold exchange.

I would say if you are ordering a ring to go down a size as the band is very thin and is a bit loose so I will have to wear it on my middle finger which is unfortunate as I don’t usually wear it like that but isn’t a big deal. The pendant is also very large and while beautiful I will have to wear it a little more sparingly than I had anticipated. I plan to wear it on a very long chain due to its size as I’m quite petite and am not sure it would look as good on the 18inch necklace it came with. I’m working from home as I write this so will report back if my opinion changes when I’m wearing more professional clothing. All in all the design is still something I’m in love with.

Here is the website url for the company: http://www.scribbelicious.com/

bookish jewellery

Procrastination

This is a confession of sorts because I feel perhaps it only applies to me. Reading has become for me, guilt ridden. For years I have used and fueled my love of reading by studying it in school and then later college but the pressure this put on my reading, the manner in which I was told to read and the time frame I was given to do it meant that certain books now hold a reputation they do not deserve and others were thrown to the side because there. Simply. Was. Not. Time. I have not used the last 5 years to read widely and greatly, I’ve used it to keep afloat. This blog is a testament to that. It should be filled with theories and analysis because that’s what I love to do but each time I go to pick up a book or write, a voice in my head says “uh uh, shouldn’t you be doing somehing for credit?“. I’ve decided recently to become a teacher, to go back to the basics of what I love and teach people to love them naturally to warn young enthusiasts to guard their love and passion for their interests and do not let the world take and abuse them in the name of grades and credit. I sound more bitter than I am, I sound as bitter as I should  be. But I’m too stuck within the system, I have literally bought into it and it drives my thought process with guilt and pressure. Come May 7th I will have finished my undergraduate career. It has been a dream but in many ways not in the way it could have been in terms of English. History has, of course, outdone itself. But then I went into college with a vision of the amazing things my new English department would offer me, I didn’t with History (guess which one disappointed me).

Decisions

There is nothing in this world more difficult than a decision which will decide the course of your life from this moment forth. If that sounds a little dramatic, I’ll append that sentence with the disclaimer that of course in future years this decision may not seem as important or complicated as it did in the moment, but it is the moment we are now discussing.

I’m going to speak from experience because the position I find myself in life is a position that many people will/have/do find themselves in. Yes ladies and gentlemen that all important decision of what will I do with my life. What will make me happy and excited to get up in the morning. I’m fortunate that I have this choice, of this I am aware. I have had the opportunity to go to a good university for three years and complete (nearly there) an Arts degree in English and History. `But now as post grad deadlines loom I am asked by society to choose. Chose a path, choose a life, choose a career. Believe me I know it’s about bloody time I get my act together and give back to society but the context in which I want to do this is a blur to me.

I have thought about this in the past. I haven’t just waited until the deadlines came to panic and rant at the void. But maybe I’ve changed my mind slightly or let enough doubt into my decision that I am not comfortable with it being set in stone anymore. I’m not sure and I don’t know quite what to do about that, as I always thought I would one day have an epiphany and land on the job I wanted. But to no avail this has not come. I thought it had twice in the last three years of undergraduate bliss. Both were different jobs. The latest would lead me to a life of uncertainty for the rest of my days. Blagging from one job to the next or immigrating which many people do and I have in the past (for a short time, knew I was coming back though) but I frankly don’t have the cahonas for it anymore. Shoot me I like my mother’s company.

It’s not a question either of being good at something. Anyone can trick the system. I get good grades, for me that doesn’t mean that I’m cut out for a career. It should, but it doesn’t. Trust issues with myself – great, add it to the list. Regret is my biggest fear in life…I think. I don’t want to deny myself an opportunity to be excited, do something new, inspire myself and others. Which path should I take however? What if I don’t know? Because I don’t think I do.

Hi 2014

It’s 2014! Not that this will have escaped anyone’s notice 🙂 and given that it is a new year I find myself surprisingly inspired to get proactive again about the things that I’m most passionate about. Now taking that the most neglected endeavor in my life to date is probably this blog (wasted piano lessons as a child ranks a close second!), you would think that books probably ain’t one of those things, but sadly they are; which makes the lack of posting on this blog even worse. So my resolution is not to blog regularly this year, but it is to blog. One of the worst things a person can do is to ignore their own urge to create something and I’ve been guilty of that where this blog is concerned. I do often get inspired to write something or think of witty (witty to me anyway) or interesting things to say about a passage or book that I’m reading. Even more often I’d love somewhere to write all the ideas and thoughts about the material I study in college (I’m taking English) that are largely disregarded because they just don’t contribute to the overall direction that the lecturer is taking the module/course. So in the next few days I’m going to post a TBR list for 2014 or at least a partial one (since I don’t like the idea of being completely tied down) to the blog and create a corresponding self on Goodreads. I have set a challenge of reading 40 books this year on that website; it’s not a lot when I look at some other goals that people have set themselves ranging into the hundreds but it’s doable for me since most of the books I read need to be analysed extensively for college (not to mention I take a joint degree in history as well) so there you have it. I have a feeling that I will exceed this goal just because I read 36 books last year (according to Goodreads) and that was while living and working in New York for three months and ploughing through the Game of Thrones series, neither of which were conducive to flying through books (though the commute into Manhattan was pretty handy for getting some reading done I have to say). Anyway Happy New Year to those who catch this post hope you have great years ahead!

The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers

books

Click picture to view at Goodreads

Why I have it: Technically I read this for college but I thought as the first book I read in 2013 (I’m still not used to the change in year…) and a pretty good book in it’s own right, it deserved to be the first book to be reviewed for the blogs relaunch of sorts.

Main review:

The Member of the Wedding is a character driven novel centred around 12 year old Frankie Addams. It follows the development of Frankie’s naïve often absurd adolescent mind as she fantasises about her brother’s upcoming wedding. It is this wedding which appears to hold Frankie’s fragile psyche together. She immerses herself in its preparations in an effort to run from the fact that she does not feel as if she belong anywhere. She takes the adolescent cliché of, “Nobody understands me” to new, often shocking, heights. While Frankie should be an entirely unlikable character with her often cruel heedless remarks and quite selfish acts, an audience can feel sympathy for her plight. It is possible that the appeal of the novel and the sympathy we can feel for Frankie, grows with how much we are willing to examine ourselves while reading it. This is because in Frankie lies a little bit of everyone, an insecurity that is inbuilt in our society driven species; a desperate need to feel as if we belong.

The plot of ‘The member of the wedding’ is not entirely important. It is what we learn as we explore what it is to belong and the consequences of isolation that make this book worth reading. It is a compelling read in that it has the capacity to set up a mirror to its audience and show in an unapologetically, the fragility of the human psyche and the necessity for social interaction. While reading a novel with an uncertain, undefined, main character such as Frankie is often uncomfortable even off-putting it is the same element that draws you back to this book. In crafting her McCullers succeeded in creating a deeply turbulent protagonist (antagonist? It’s that kind of novel…) whose complexity rewards rereading.

Rating: 4/5 (though to fully deserve this rating I’d have to read it again with a more critical and appreciative eye)

What I’m reading now: I’m reading a lot of books for college at the moment but I’m also quickly learning the necessity  to keep reading for pleasure. So with that in mind I’ve made a list of books that having been lying around my house for years begging to be read and I’m going to read them in 2013. There are way more than the 26 that made the list but with college work set to increase,  I know I can at least get these read and reviewed. At the moment I’ve just finished The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and expect to have it reviewed soon and am browsing the shelves for my next adventure…:D