Friday, February 19, 2010

Thoughts and Comments on Life

As a young adult who is trying to gracefully enter adulthood there are a lot of things that I have noticed in my life that I am trying to correct or more accurately change positively. I know that corrections are not always positive and definitely don’t have a positive undertone. The things that I am working on changing are very personal, and though I doubt anyone actually reads my blog I am willing to share my thoughts with the hope that someone will stumble across this and find it helpful. Earlier I posted about things to help you improve your life; I am going to narrow it down to what I think is most important on the list. I am not including my comments on why I chose them to be important.
Right now I am at a very flexible time in my life for lack of a better term, I am flexible in the sense that I don’t have any concrete plans about where I will be this time next year, that isn’t to say that I am not planning about things that could potentially happen, I am just saying that I don’t really know for sure. So right now my focus is to live my life with energy, enthusiasm, and empathy. It can be more difficult to live these three qualities when you are unsure of what is going to happen. It is a matter of learning to bloom where you are planted which can be difficult. It is also important to do things like reading and playing games, because those can be lighthearted and can help decrease stress and frustration. I am not nearly close enough to the point of reading more than I did in 2009, but I have lofty ambitions, and more time than I did in Korea. Which is ironic, but good. This year I am in the process of finding a church, I know that it won’t be a church that is my home forever but rather a rest spot if you will; A place for me to grow, learn, and become rejuvenated in my faith and my relationship with Jesus Christ.
A way for me to live life with energy is to ensure that I get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. If I don’t get said hours I become very ornery and illogical (if you ask my boyfriend). It also important for me to realize what I will be able to accomplish in the set amount of hours that I have in a day opposed to trying to constantly over schedule myself. I do have this tendency, and it is something that I am working on. I am also working on being more positive which can be easier said than done, but I am noticing progress on this front. There is a line from this email that I truly appreciate, and it is so true because we don’t know what their journey is all about nor do we know what the end result of their journey is suppose to be. It is also a way for me to be more content and appreciative of what my journey is. That isn’t to say that I won’t think that it sucks sometimes. In the spirit of being content I also have kept in mind “Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.” I do have everything I need, and lately I have been reminding myself that getting something new isn’t truly necessary because there isn’t really any place to put it… though I should think about getting a couple pairs of new jeans, because I have managed to wear a few pairs out at work.
I feel like I am finally getting to a point in my life again where I can laugh and smile more, and it can be a genuine expression of how I am feeling. After all of the death that I have experienced starting in August continuing into January I feel like my “new normal” is coming into play and I am feeling less lost.
Something else that I am working on, which has had varied levels of success is “get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful, or joyful.” I am in the process of sorting through 24 years worth of stuff and it can be slightly overwhelming. It is coming along slowly but surely.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

243 books to go!!!

WOOHOO! I just finished reading The Giver which means I have successfully completed a book. I really enjoyed it, and was glad that it was on my list.

It was a story about Jonas becoming an adult and having to make some very important choices. He is chosen to be the receiver of memories. It is this assignment within his community, that brings about change. When he receives his assignment or his job as an adult there are a list of rules for him to follow. There are two rules about his job that take him by suprise. One rule is that it is ok if he is rude, and the second rule is that it is ok for him to lie. It is this second rule that takes him by suprise and catapaults him into adulthood, because he realize that everything he thought was true, isn't and there are new realities that he has to face. This is a very big part of becoming an adult. Your faith in humanity is shaken and there are new realities that you have to face. This is true for everyone, even for me... at 24 I am having to rearrange what I believed to be reality. Especially, after the death of two of my grandparents. It is a very tough reality for me to face some days, but overall everyday gets a little better.

I did find the books use of color fascinating... I am not going to say anymore because you should read the book.

I think the next book I am going to tackle is The Bell Jar by Slyvia Plath

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Startling Discovery

So I made the discovery that Brave New World is not on my list of books to read, and so I am going to move onto something that is on my list, because it really just isn't going well. There are of course other books that I want to read that are not on the list...

I should maybe mention this: My reading list is not the end all and be all of reading materials. I can definitely read other books, this is merely a starting point for my reading, a diving board if you will. You never know what kind of books you are going to find and so I just made a list of things that I have been wanting to read or reread for awhile as well as new books that have been on New York Time's bestseller list. "New classics" as they were referred to on several different lists.

The Reading List

My 2010 reading list
It is (mostly) alphabetical by author's last name

1) A Death in the Family by James Agee
2) Eva Luna, Isabel Allende (1988)
3) Money, Martin Amis (1985
4) Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
5) I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
6) And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
7) Days of Grace by Arthur Ashe and Arnold Rampersad
8) Case Histories, Kate Atkinson
9) The Living Planet: A Portrait of the Earth by David Attenborough
10) The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood

11) Growing Up by Russell Baker
12) Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin
13) The Ghost Road, Pat Barker (1996)
14) Lilies of the Field by William Barrett
15) Fun Home, Alison Bechdel (2006)
16) Friday Night Lights, H.G. Bissinger (1990)
17) Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
18) Looking Backward: 2000-1987 by Edward Bellamy
19) Sieze the Day by Saul Bellow
20) The World Must Know: The History of the Holocaust as told in the United States by Michael Berenbaum
21) Drop City, TC Boyle (2003)
22) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
23) Parting the Waters, Taylor Branch (1988)
24) Selected Poems by Gwendolyn Brooks
25) Mother Courage and Her Children by Bertolt Brecht
26) The Ascent of Man by Jacob Bronowski
27) Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
28) The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown (2003)
29) The Predators' Ball, Connie Bruck (1988)
30) Possession, A.S. Byatt (1990)

31) The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell
32) Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
33) Cathedral, Raymond Carver (1983)
34) My Antonia by Willa Cather
35) O Pioneers by Willa Cather
36) The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon (2000)
37) The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov
38) The Awakening by Kate Chopin
39) The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros (1984)
40) Earthquake Nation: The Cultural Politics of Japanese Seismicity, 1868-1930 by Gregory Clancey
41) Alistar Cooke’s America by Alistar Cooke
42) The Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
43) The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
44) The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
45) I Heard the Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven
46) To Destroy You Is No Loss: The Odyssey of a Cambodian Family by Jan D. Criddle and Teeda Butt Mam
47) Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog and Richard Erdoes
48) Complete Poems, 1904-1962 by E.E. Cummings
49) Madame Curie by Eve Curie

50) Krik? Krak! Edwidge Danticat (1995)
51) The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
52) Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years by Sara and A. Elizabeth Delany with Amy Hill Hearth
53) Underworld, Don DeLillo (1997)
54) The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz (2007)
55) The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson
56) The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion (2005)
57) World's Fair, E.L. Doctorow (1985)
58) The Complete Poetry of John Donne by John Donne
59) A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris

60) A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers (2000)
61) Nickel & Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich (2001)
62) Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
63) “The Waste Land” by T.S. Eliot
64) Friendly Shakespeare: A Thoroughly Painless Guide to the Best of the Bard. by Norrie Epstein

65) The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Ann Fadiman (1997)
66) Backlash, Susan Faludi (1991)
67) As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
68) Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! By Richard Feynman
69) Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding (1998)
70) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
71) The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
72) The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
73) The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen (2001
74) Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier (1997)
75) The Poetry of Robert Frost by Robert Frost
76) Sandman, Neil Gaiman (1988-1996)
77) The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Earnest Gaines
78) Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (1986-87)
79) Neuromancer, William Gibson (1984)
80) Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert (2006)
81) Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg
82) My House by Nikki Giovanni
83) The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell (2000)
84) Kaaterskill Falls, Allegra Goodman (1998)
85) Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History by Stephen Jay Gould
86) Praying for Sheetrock, Melissa Fay Greene (1991)
87) Last Train To Memphis, Peter Guralnick (1994)

88) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon (2003)
89) Mythology by Edith Hamilton
90) A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes by Stephen Hawking
91) The Scarlet LetterThe Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
92) Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
93) A Farwell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
94) Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
95) Hiroshima by John Hersey
96) Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman (1995)
97) The Line of Beauty, Alan Hollinghurst (2004)
98) High Fidelity, Nick Hornby (1995)
99) The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini (2003)
100) Selected Poems by Langston Hughes
101) Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

102) A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen
103) A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving (1989)
104) The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)

105) Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson (1992)

106) The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England by Carol Karlsen
107) The Liars' Club, Mary Karr (1995)
108) Complete Poems by John Keats
109) The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
110) Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy
111) One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
112) A Testament of Hope: The Essenstial Writings of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Martin Luther King, Jr.
113) On Writing, Stephen King (2000)
114) The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (1998)
115) Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid
116) There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in Urban America by Alex Kotlowitz
117) Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools by Jonathan Kozol
118) Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer (1997)

119) Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri (2000)
120) To Kill a Mockingbird byHarper Lee
121) Random Family, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
122) The Night Manager, John le Carré (1993)
123) Mystic River, Dennis Lehane (2001)
124) LaBrava, Elmore Leonard (1983)
125) A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There by Aldo Leopold
126) Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
127) Call of the Wild by Jack London
128) The Poetical Works of Longfellow Includes "The Song of Hiawatha" and "The Courtship of Miles Standish." By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
129) The Giver, Lois Lowry (1993)

130) The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
131) The Journalist and the Murderer, Janet Malcom (1990)
132) Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
133) Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez (1988)
134) Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth's Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa by Mark Mathabane
135) Millenium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World by David Maybury-Lewis
136) The Road by Cormac McCarthy (2006)
137) Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt (1996)
138) The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCuller
139) Atonement, Ian McEwan (2002)
140) Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney (1984)
141) Waiting to Exhale, Terry McMillan (1992)
142) Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry (1985)
143) Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era by James McPherson
144) Moby Dick by Herman Melville
145) This Little Light of Mine: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer by Kay Mills
146) Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
147) Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell (2004)
148) Borrowed Time, Paul Monette (1988)
149) Birds of America, Lorrie Moore (1998)
150) Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987)
151) Sula by Toni Morrison
152) The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami (1997)
153) Selected Stories, Alice Munro (1996)


154) Black Water, Joyce Carol Oates (1992)
155) The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien (1990)
156) A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’ Connor
157) Long Day's Journey Into Night by Eugene O’Neill
158) Animal Farm by George Orwell

159) The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks
160) Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
161) Bel Canto, Anne Patchett (2001)
162) Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
163) The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
164) The Republic by Plato
165) Great Tales and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
166) The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
167) The Chosen by Chaim Potok
168) Clockers, Richard Price (1992)
169) Close Range, Annie Proulx (1999)


170) Comfort Me With Apples, Ruth Reichl (2001)
171) All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
172) A Sight for Sore Eyes, Ruth Rendell (1998)
173) A Light In The Forest by Conrad Richter
174) Gilead, Marilynne Robinson (2004)
175) Invisible Men: Life in Baseball's Negro Leagues by Donn Rogosin
176) American Pastoral, Philip Roth (1997)
177) Goodbye, Columbus by Phillip Roth
178) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling (2000)

179) Holes, Louis Sachar (1998)
180) The Catcher in the Rye by J.D.Salinger
181) Complete Poems by Carl Sandburg
182) Clover by Dori Sanders
183) Blindness, José Saramago (1998)
184) Pastoralia, George Saunders (2000)
185) No Exit by Jean Paul Sarte
186) Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi (2003)
187) Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser (2001)
188) Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
189) The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold (2002)
190) Naked, David Sedaris (1997)
191) William Shakespeare
192) Man and Superman, Saint Joan, Pygmalion by Bernard Shaw
193) Frakenstein by Mary W. Shelley
194) Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time by Michael Shermer
195) And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts (1987)
196) The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
197) A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley (1991)
198) The Ruins, Scott Smith (2006)
199) On Beauty, Zadie Smith (2005)
200) Oedipus Rex by Sophocoles
201) Maus, Art Spiegelman (1986/1991)
202) The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields (1994)
203) The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
204) The Pearl by John Steinbeck
205) The Red Pony by John Steinbeck
206) America (the Book), Jon Stewart/Daily Show (2004)
207) The Cuckoo’s Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage by Cliff Stoll
208) Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
209) One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksander Solzhenitsyn
210) Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

211) The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
212) Secret History, Donna Tartt (1992)
213) Race: How Blacks and Whites Think and Feel About the American Obsession by Studs Terkel
214) Poems of Dylan Thomas by Dylan Thomas
215) Walden by Henry David Thoreau
216) Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville
217) Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
218) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
219) A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century by Barbara Tuchman
220) Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow (1987)

221) Rabbit at Rest, John Updike (1990)
222) Slaughterhouse- Five by Kurt Vonnegut

223) Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors by Nicholas Wade
224) The Color Purple by Alice Walker
225) A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, David Foster Wallace (1997)
226) The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls (2006)
227) Jimmy Corrigan, Chris Ware (2000)
228) The Double Helix by James Watson
229) Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain by Maryanne Wolf, with illustrations by Catherine Stoodley
230) The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
231) Thirteen Stories by EudoraWelty
232) Night by Elie Weisel
233) Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-65 by Juan Williams
234) Selected Poems by William Carlos Williams
235) The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
236) Our Town by Thornton Wilder
237) A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
238) The Piano Lesson by August Wilson
239) Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe
240) The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe (1987)
241) Poems by William Wordsworth
242) Native Son by Richard Wright



243) The Poems by William Butler Yeats
244) Favorite Folktales From Around the World by Jane Yolen



I am trying to recall why I enjoyed Brave New World at the age of 17, and nothing really is coming to mind. I am truly disgusted with the world that is London and the world during this futuristic time period. Bernard Marx so far is my favorite character because he realizes that something is wrong with this society though he is not sure how to change it. I will keep reading, though I think the next book, is going to have to be something different. I should actually post my reading list and maybe you could help me pick something.

Keep on reading,
Miss Bookworm