Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oh Yeah...

Horace Walpole said, "Life is a comedy to those who think and a tragedy to those who feel."

The picture also reminded me...I haven't yet told my blogging friends that I am going on the European Humanities Tour for BYU-I!!!!! Yay for me! I leave in April and come back the end of May. Our itinerary includes (but is not limited to): London, Canterbury, Paris (check out #5 from my 100 things about me post...hello Louvre!), Rome (I have always wanted to see the Sistine Chapel!), Venice, Verona (scene of Romeo and Juliet...I LOVE Shakespeare!), Florence (check out #52 from my 100 things about me post...Michelangelo and I will be best friends by the end of Florence), Vienna (I love Sound of Music), Salzburg, and Munich.
I'm just a little excited.
I also have to start selling my body at the plasma center (as well as continue working at two jobs) in order for me to be able to eat and go to Europe...If that gets to be a problem I can happily give up eating for a while...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Book List

This week in Neighbor Jane's (aka Mom's) newsletter was this list of questions about books...since I am at school right now (and an English Education major) I thought it only appropriate I post this. Sorry I get a little wordy.

1. If you could host a party with 7 literary characters who would they be and why?
*In no particular order.

a) Holden Caulfield from A Catcher in the Rye. Possibly one of the most complex characters in the literary world and to get to observe him close up…I wouldn’t call it a party, but definitely interesting.
b) Albus Dumbledore, Sirius Black (but only if he came with Snape), or Fred and George from Harry Potter. I think Dumbledore is really entertaining, I love Sirius Black and Snape’s Interactions, and who doesn’t love Fred and George Weasley?
c) Fezzik from Morgenstern’s The Princess Bride. Not only does he rhyme he takes such good care of Inigo.
d) Death or Rudy from The Book Thief. Who wouldn’t want Death personified at a party? He would be the most interesting person there! And I think Rudy is one of the most charming characters I’ve ever read about.
e) Ishmael from Moby Dick. He is one of my all-time favorite characters. With the great opening line of “Call me Ishmael,” and being the only one to survive their whaling trip, and see everything for what it was, I idolize him a little.
f) Sunny from A Series of Unfortunate Events. I think she is hilarious.
g) Peter Pan from J.B. Barrie’s Peter Pan. I think I secretly have a crush on Peter Pan.

2. Who is your literary role model?

Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird

3. Which literary house would you like most to live in?

I would live with the Weasley’s. I love the descriptions of it in Harry Potter and think it sounds like the most comfortable yet crazy house. I think I would love it. That and the garden gnomes.

4. Which literary couple would you like most for parents?

I’ve noticed that in most literature there are no parents. But from the few there are…
I would want the dad, Hans, from Marcus Zusak’s The Book Thief and the mom from Don and Audrey Wood’s children book, Heggedy Peg.
I love the dad Hans. He sold his already rationed cigarettes to buy a book for his adopted daughter and played the accordion for her after she had nightmares.
I think the mom from Heggedy Peg is so clever, unselfish, and knows her kids so well.

5. Pick 3 literary characters you would like to have as siblings.

Jim Hawkins from Treasure Island
Gavroshe from Les Misearbles
Almonzo from the Little House series

6. Who is your favorite literary villain?

Fernand Mondago from The Count of Monte Cristo is someone I love to hate. Also, Voldemort genuinely scares me.

7. Name a character that most people dislike, but that you do not. Why do you like them?

I like Scarlet O’Hara from Gone With the Wind. I think she is a tragically misunderstood character. Yes she is selfish, yes she wanted another woman’s husband, but I think really her greatest desire was to belong, to not have to fight, and to keep the O’Hara plantation and no one (except maybe Millie) understood that everything she did was because of those reasons. I think I admire her a little because she was so bold and authoritative. And she does figure it out in the end. I personally can’t name too many real people who actually “figure it out” in the end.
Plus I love her philosophy of “thinking about it tomorrow.”

8. Which minor character deserves a book all to themselves, in your opinion?

The Giver in Lois Lowry’s The Giver.

9. Which character do you identify most with in literature?

I have thought about this question for three days now and can’t think of a good answer. If anyone has a suggestion…feel free to give it!

10. If you could go into a novel, which one would it be and why?

I would go into Harry Potter. Hands down. Don’t worry, I’m rolling my eyes too, but I still would go there…most likely by floo powder.

11. Name 3 books that you rarely see on people’s favorite book lists that are on your own.

Dark Angel by Robert Kirby
These is My Words by Nancy Turner
Roots by Alex Haley

12. Which is your least favorite book of those that are considered classics?

I’m not a huge fan of The Great Gatsby. I think it has some really beautiful moments and I love the theme but I hate most of the characters.

13. What are your favorite literary names?

Rhett from Gone With the Wind
Mercedes from The Count of Monte Cristo
Lorena from Lonesome Dove
Cosette from Les Miserables

14. What is a book that changed your life?

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

15. What is a book that you’ve read more than once?

I read most books more than once.

16. What is a book that you’d want on a desert island?

I would want all of the Harry Potter books. I find them so entertaining.

I just had a horrifying thought…I sound like Dwight Shrute from that episode of The Office when he says if he were stranded on a desert island he would take Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

17. What is a book that made you laugh?

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain
Dark Angel by Robert Kirby

18. What is a book that made you cry?

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
These is my Words by Nancy Turner

19. What is that made you think?

The Life of Pie by Yann Martel. I finally have that book figured out. It’s the animal story, and I will happily argue my side.
Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. I’m still not completely sure what this book is about. I have to think really hard in order to wrap my head around Holden Caulfield.
Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card. I still think about this book and I read it years and years ago. It has a really interesting concept about the people who shape our lives.

20. What is a book that you don’t enjoy?

I tried reading Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West but couldn’t ever really get into it. It was too political and sexual. I’ll just watch the musical instead; I’ve heard its better anyway.

I can’t get into Jane Austen really either. Is that awful or what? I love the stories (I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be female if I didn’t) but, and I hate to admit it, I always end up watching the movies instead.

21. What is a book that you are currently reading?

William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying

22. What is a book you’ve been meaning to read?

Earnest Hemmingway’s A Farewell to Arms
Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer
Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible
Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning

23. What is a book you remember as a real page-turner?

Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card.

24. What is a non-fiction book that you have enjoyed?

Truthfully I don’t read a lot of non-fiction. I really want to read
A Distant Prayer by Joseph Banks and Berry Borrowman.

I usually don't like to talk about my favorite books because I'm always afraid people will judge me from that...so you, my blog friends, should feel honored.

Friday, November 14, 2008

As I Lay Dying

In my American Literature class we are reading William Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying.” Wow. That is mostly what I have to say about that book. Intelligent review right?

One of the chapters in this book (which, by the way, is told from 15 different viewpoints…brilliant) is told from the perspective of a dead woman. In it she says, “words are no good; words don’t ever fit what they are trying to say at.” She then goes on to say that motherhood, fear, sin, and love were all words created by people who had never experienced those things because if they had, they wouldn’t have made a word for it, knowing those emotions couldn’t be contained by merely one word. In class we were talking about what it meant to be alive and dead (soul, not body) and how the narrator of this section of the book was saying words eventually lead to death and actions lead to life. We drew this diagram from a quote in the book:
Words are on one plane while actions are on another and you can’t straddle both lines.

In other words once emotions become merely words, they are dead. We used the example of love. It takes action to give meaning to words. The same with sin or goodness. What are they more than words?

That really makes me think. My poor brain is being wrapped up in knots and then thrown back at me and I’m not really sure what to do with it…


I’ve been running stairs for the last year or so…but I’ve been doing them in the auditorium and the flights of stairs are shorter (and easier). Lately I’ve decided its time for me to be a big girl and start running stairs in the stadium.
I now know why Rocky got so excited when he got to the top. It hurts.