Friday, February 24, 2012

A visit with Brideshead Revisited

As is usual, I'm typing this blog entry one handed as Fuzzy nurses and Peabo plays around on the floor telling a story with some playsilks and Playmobil characters. So I have a lot going on. I read Brideshead Revisited in quick bursts. 5 minutes here, 5 minutes there. It wasn't a great way to read this story. I think I missed a lot of the nuances.

The story follows a young man and his interaction with a Catholic family in the early 1900s, just before the war. He first befriends his classmate, Sebastian, but then pretty much abandons him once Sebastian becomes an alcoholic. Later he remeets Sebastian's sister Julia and they are planning to get divorces and marry each other. It is a good story and an interesting commentary on the time and the Catholic faith. Each family member has his or her own level of belief and observance and I was interested to see how that weaved through the story. This was also a LONG book for some reason. Only 313 pages, but type was small and it just seemed long to me.

Time to go burp the baby!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Books 111-120

Here are the next 10 books on the list:

111. The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andric (1945)
112. Brighton Rock by Graham Greene (1938)
113. Broken April by Ismail Kadare (1980)
114. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1880)
115. The Buddah of Suburbia by Hanif Kurieshi (1990)
116. Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann (1901)
117. Bunner Sisters by Edith Wharton (1916)
118. Burger's Daughter by Nadine Gordimer (1979)
119. Burmese Days by George Orwell (1934)
120. The Busconductor Hines by James Kelman (1984)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Boobs, boobs everywhere.

Nursing a baby can take a while. When they are little, they aren't very efficient yet, so they often hang out at the breast and nurse for sometimes 30 minutes at a time. It's a good idea to be relaxed and read a good book or watch TV or just enjoy bonding with your new, snuggly infant.

That is how I got a lot of reading done in the early days of this blog. I had a baby that loved to hang out and snuggle and nurse. Now, with baby #2, I still have toddler #1 to look after, so it isn't as easy to curl up with the baby and a good book and nurseathon. I still do have some good chances to read, though.

The Breast was a very odd book. I know I'm totally missing the point. I found my own humor in the fact that I was primarily reading it while nursing.

So basically, this guy turns into a breast. I'm not sure if it was the time in which it was written (early 1970s, I think) or what, but the breast's essential function as a food source was quite diminished. Roth spends pages upon pages dealing with the sexual nature of the breast, the guy has his girlfriend come over and stroke his new form, etc. Only at the very end was there any discussion of the fact that breasts make milk and that this guy did not produce milk, and even then it was very brief.

Anyway, weird, weird, weird book and I definitely missed the theme of this one.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

9/11 fiction.

I knew that eventually there were going to be books about September 11th. The horror of it is imprinted on every American who was alive to remember it. Even 10 years out now, it seems too fresh to be fictionalized, though. Claire Messud does a nice job with The Emperor's Children of coming up with some likeable characters and an interesting story. So I did like reading the book, even though it is difficult and sad to read about such a horrible day. You can see how things are leading up to the events and you almost don't want to keep reading because you don't want these people to be affected by the terrorism. But you know the fictional characters will be affected, just like we all were.

The cultural references in the book are great - very 2001. It's amusing to look back at them now just 10 years later. The author really captured what 2001 was like in a very clever way. I'm glad I read this Best Book of 2006 for sure.