Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What are You Reading?

Hey Readers,
Just thought I'd let you in on what I'm reading and anticipate reading:

Current Reads

The Mysteries of Pittsburg - Michael Chabon

Amusing and insightful tale of a post-grad's transition into adulthood.

All the Pretty Horses - Cormac McCarthy

The Road didn't excite me they way it excited everyone who told me to read it.  I finished it to get it over with.  But All the Pretty Horses is a coming of age tale in the wild west.  John Grady Cole's love of horses and the repeated imagery of ghostliness create beautiful mental images of life in the desert.

The Book of Psalms - Bible

Spanning so many experiences with poetry, I always find the Psalms inspiring as a reader and writer.

Christmas Gifts

Jane Austen Collection (!)

Called Out of Darkness - Anne Rice

Interview with the Vampire is my favorite book, so I'm interested to get into the mind of Anne Rice.  Her personal transition from when she wrote the book, to regarding life differently many years later, will defnintely be insightful for someone (me) who sees so much depth in Interview

What are YOU reading?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"...the feeling of verbal beauty..."




Just a passage from a book I picked up on a whim. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Poetic Memory

“...the brain appears to possess a special area which we might call poetic memory and which records everything that charms or touches us, that makes our lives beautiful."

-"The Unbearable Lightness of Being" via the Free People blog

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jenny and Johnny Forever


Jenny Lewis and Jonathan Rice are Having Fun Now, but, for the most part, we aren't.


*This is a very interesting album review.  You all know I'm a sucker for a good review.  I've highlighted my favorite line in my favorite color.

Indie lovebirds Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice ooze hipster couple cool: they drive retro station wagons, talk on antique rotary phones instead of Blackberrys and go on double dates with Zooey Deschanel and Ben Gibbard.

And now Lewis, who's the frontwoman of Rilo Kiley, and Scottish singer/songwriter Rice, who have been dating for five years, are teaming up in the recording studio as well, releasing their debut LP, I'm Having Fun Now, under the name Jenny & Johnny.

The pair share vocals and play with light harmonies on Fun, a late-summer burst of sunny indie pop that can't help but recall that other she-and-him duo, She & Him. Sometimes Lewis and Rice hit their own original stride, like on the lilting "Big Wave" and on catchy standout track "My Pet Snakes," which is buoyed by the sort of bluegrass spunk that sprinkled Lewis' two solo albums. At other times, they run into the same doldrums that burden any album of twee folk: monotonous love ballads and heavy, hookless choruses.


But lest you fear Fun to be an exercise in trading sappy sweet nothings, Rice and Lewis seem determined to counter any hint of tenderness stemming from their real-life romance with dark lyrics. Lines like "It makes me queasy when you smile" are spit out with (tongue-in-cheek?) intention; "I don't think that two heads are better than one," Lewis sniffs on another track. On the surface, the album feels like August, and at its core, like February. 
Yet, not all the sentiment is calculatingly covered up. When they coo about "sleeping in a golden cocoon with you" on the plaintive "New Yorker Cartoon," it's a gentle reminder that Jenny and Johnny are lovers instead of sparring partners. By the time "Slavedriver" trades the vitriol for bubbling strings and acoustic guitar, it's hard to even focus on what haunting lyrics might be lurking behind all the sun-soaked handclaps.

"All the best of luck with your career," Rice tosses out ironically at the end of "My Pet Snakes," as if reminding Lewis (and us) that she'll hopefully be back fronting Rilo Kiley after this musical detour. Fun might be a dark and mixed bag, but for now, Lewis and Rice are having too much of it to care.

written by Jessica Misener

(*This is how you describe multi-faceted music!)

Thoughts?

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Book By It's Cover




These images of beautiful old books are from The Selby.  I love old books, the care that went into their covers as well as the stories they hold.  The feel of a a hardback book with a cloth cover is so much more inviting than a modern hardcover book with a reflecitve surface.  Someday, I'd like to decorate with old books that have beatiful, precious covers.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fragile Times

Hello All!
My, my, my, it's been too long.  In this time, I've finished "Dreamhunter" by Laura Knox.  It is listed as a young adult book, but Laura Knox is mostly known for grown up fiction so it definitely reads beyond the years of a young teen.  The concept is about gifted individuals who have the ability to share their dreams with others while they sleep.  Some people even make a living off of dreaming for an audience in opera houses.  But many mysteries lie in the dream realm of course.....It was the kind of book that I could not stop reading!  I picked it up in a thrift store on a whime.  Now I'm on the look out for the sequel.

For my colloquium class on The American Dream, I am reading T.C. Boyle's "World's End" with the intention of making a presentation for November 16.  In the spring I'd read an article about Boyle.  He seemed more like a literary rock star, like Neil Gaiman.  When I saw on the reading list in class I knew I wanted to dive into it.  I raised my hand and said, "I'm taking Boyle," like it was going to be some great challenge or feat since I'd known nothing of his work.  This book is surely full, exciting, and keeps the reader on their toes.

For pleasure, since I read so much for my studies, I picked up Neil Gaiman's short story collection "Fragile Things."  I really enjoy reading a good short story inbetween studies.  There are many in this book to be disired, including a favorite that I read online months ago (also, a nominee for a Hugo Award), "How to Talk to Girls at Parties."

Happy reading to you all.  Please tell me what you are in the middle of these days.

-J.M.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Etsy, finally!


I have listed one pair of these earrings on Etsy (here).  I'll see if the sell well (soon) and then I'll decide if I want to list other things I've pictured here.  If your interested in seeing more on my Etsy site, please leave a comment!