Monday, August 29, 2011

Moving to a New Blog

I'm closing down this blog (after a looooong and totally indefensible absence) and starting up a new one that will take a more professional approach to both reviewing and talking about my views on teaching literature. I'm still a BookFlirt, but I'm hoping to dress it up a bit :)
Anybody who stumbles across this old thing can find my new blog here

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Emily Dickinson and Elvis Presley in Heaven

I found this while search for websites about Dead Celebrity Sightings (long story...) and absolutely fell in love with it. I knew I had to post it someplace, so even though I haven't been on this blog in AGES I hope somebody sees it and giggles the way I did...

"Emily Dickinson and Elvis Presley in Heaven"

By Hans Ostrom

They call each other E. Elvis picks
wildflowers near the river and brings
them to Emily. She explains half-rhymes to him.
In heaven Emily wears her hair long, sports
Levis and western blouses with rhinestones.
Elvis is lean again, wears baggy trousers
and T-shirts, a letterman's jacket from Tupelo High.
They take long walks and often hold hands.
She prefers they remain just friends. Forever.
Emily's poems now contain naugahyde, Cadillacs,
electricity, jets, TV, Little Richard and Richard Nixon.
The rock-a-billy rhythm makes her smile.
Elvis likes himself with style. This afternoon
he will play guitar and sing "I Taste a Liquor
Never Brewed" to the tune of "Love Me Tender."
Emily will clap and harmonize. Alone
in their cabins later, they'll listen to the river
and nap. They will not think of Amherst
or Las Vegas. They know why God made them roommates.
It's because America was their hometown.
It's because God is a thing without feathers.
It's because God wears blue suede shoes.

Copyright 2000 by Hans Ostrom

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Distracted from my reading by Sheery's Tile Word Scramble Mini Challenge. Apparently my brain is completely scrambled at this point because reading/unscrambling the puzzles felt waaay too easy. Maybe my normal reading would be easier if I mixed all the letters together...

1. Firefly Lane
2. Seat of Need
3. Water for Elephants
4. To Kill a Mockingbird
5. The Great Gatsby
6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
7. The Art of Racing in the Rain
8. The Time Travelers Wife
9. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
10. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
11. The Polar Express
12. Love Walked In
13. Where the Wild Things Are
14. The Shining
15. Goodnight Moon
16. Interview with a Vampire
17. The Secret Life of Bees
18. The Search
19. The Help

And now... a Wordle activity run by Reading Through Life!

Wordle: 24hrrat

Read-a-Thon Post 3

7 hours into my Read-a-Thon and I've just finished up my second book, Nadine Gordimer's The House Gun. It's funny, I read this book a couple years ago and had a very different response to it-- but perhaps I wasn't ready to understand how complicated and fraught 'loving' relationships can be? I don't know...

Anyway! I'm off to do a bit of 'real life' work and then I'll FINALLY start reading Hunger Games. I'm told that I ought to be ashamed of myself for not having read this series already. Hopefully by the end of the Read-a-thon I'll have made up for that horrible lapse of bibliophile etiquette!

Time reading (and or interwebbing!) 7 hours
Books read: 2 (The House of Mirth and The House Gun)
Pages read: 644
Mini-Challenges: Love to Hate, Back in the Day Children's Books

Oooph! It's 1:15 in the morning and I'm getting verrrry sleepy! I was hoping to read through the night, but somehow I don't think that's going to happen. I may just finish the last half of Hunger Games and call it a night. I honestly didn't think I was going to get all that into this book, but it's definitely engaging and well developed. I'm already a major Peeta fan!

3am Update

I was hoping to read through the night but I'm crashing hardcore right now.. Just finished Hunger Games so it feels like a good place to stop.

On the day..
Hours read: 10
Books read: 3
Pages: 1028

8am FINAL update!

I MEANT to go to bed at 3 when I finished the first Hunger Games book... but I found myself so excited about the characters that I pulled out the second book (Catching Fire) before jumping into bed and ended up reading for another hour and a half! I woke up a few hours later and got back to it :)

Final Stats:
Hours read: 13
Books read: 4
Pages: 1463

Thanks for a great readathon everybody! I had a blast :D

Now, in less happy news, I'm off to help a friend hunt down her runaway dogs. Wish us luck...

Read-a-Thon Updates

12pm Update!

I'm about 2 and a half hours into the Read-a-thon and I'm having a HORRIBLE time staying focused! It's just too tempting to hang out on twitter or to flip through other blogs to see what everybody's up to! I may need to close down the computer and spend some more time reading outside...

As far as my actual READING is concerned-- I'm still working on House of Mirth. It has some dry spots, but I'm really enjoying the relationship (if you can call it that...) between Lily and Selden. They totally have the star-crossed lovers thing going on and I can't help hoping Lily will get her head screwed on straight before the end of the book... not sure that's going to happen though.

Pages read: 116
Book read- still on numero uno

Also-- Looks like UGA remembered how to play football... it's about time!! Let's go DAWGS!

3 pm Update:

Finished House of Mirth. I'll probably write a longer review on this later in the week, but I'm tentatively giving it 4 Smootches. I really enjoyed the characterizations (particularly Lily and Selden of course) and I was really broken up by the conclusion. It's not a terribly exciting read, but I found myself getting immersed in the story nonetheless (it felt kind of like slowly sinking into a pool of water).

Hours reading (while blogging/tweeting/interwebbing...): 4
Pages read:350
Books read: 1

Now off to grab some grub and pick out a new book!

5pm Update and "Love to Hate Mini-Challenge"

Well, I'm chugging away at my second Readathon pick- The House Gun by Nadine Gordimer. I read this book a couple of years ago, but I KNOW it's going to show up on my grad comps next month so I figured I'd refresh my memory!

I'm about 115 pages in and in dire need of a break... SO! I'm going to join in with the '5 Characters you Love to Hate" Mini-challenge hosted by Blkosiner's Book Blog

My picks:
1. Serverus Snape from the Harry Potter series. Cause he's fabulously semi-evil. Also, in the movies he's played by Alan Rickman...nuff said!
2. Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights. Crazy violent nutjob... but I can't help hoping he'll get the girl.
3.  Shiva of the Knees from Rushdie's Midnight's Children
4. Aunts Spiker and Sponge from James and The Giant Peach... they creep me out, but I love reading them :)
5. Rhea of the Coos from Stephen King's Wizard and Glass (of the Dark Tower series)


I've been away from the blogging world for almost two weeks due to extreme CRAZINESS in my 'real life.'  I woke up this morning planning to do nothing but laze around on the couch or watch football... but then I logged into my blog and realized that today was Dewey's Read-a-Thon!! I can't imagine a better way to spend my day off : D

Granted I'm joining the party a little bit late.. we'll just pretend that I'm operating on Cape Verde time!

Where are you reading from today?
- I'm going to start with Edith Warton's House of Mirth then probably move on to Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses.. we'll see where it goes from there.
3 facts about me …
1. I teach freshman composition at a State University. I tend to focus my classes on things like pirates, zombies, or Law and Order characters..
2. I've recently developed bit of a southern accent. I'm not thrilled about this development and try to compensate by dropping my Rs and tossing around "wicked" adjectives like a good Bostonian.
3. I'm using this Read-a-Thon in part to justify massive coffee consumption..

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?
- I didn't really have a specific TBR pile for the day until 20 minutes ago... I may have to make a library run mid-afternoon!
Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?
- I'd like to keep reading till the end. No napping!
If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time?
-1st timer!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Top Ten Literary Couples

And it's Tuesday again! Woot Woot! I've had an absolutely crazy week (grading 75 freshman essays, holding 2 Plagiarism hearings, writing 2 chapters of my thesis (under major professor duress!!) and spitting out a semi-decent conference paper...*dies*) and I have a ton of craziness still ahead of me. But NO WAY am I missing my Top Ten Tuesday Post!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme run by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week we get a new topic to ponder, list, and explore.

This week's theme is "Favorite Couples in Literature."  I'm so excited to see what everybody else writes for this. The best literary relationships (in my mind) are the ones that sweep us off our feet and make us really feel the passion and the struggle. I think the types of relationships a reader 'falls in love with' say a lot about that reader, their dreams, and their image of 'the perfect couple.'

My Favorite Love-Bugs (in no particular order)

1. Jo and Laurie from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. I know they don't end up together... but they SHOULD HAVE!!! I love their playful, sweet relationship and absolutely hate that that little whippersnapper Amy messed things up.

2. Elizabeth and Darcy- Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice I have a thing for witty, independent, strong minded heroines falling for the complicated, silent, brooding, misunderstood leading man. Lizzy and Darcy are kind of the poster children for this.

3. Daine and Numair from Tamara Pierce's The Immortals Series Now normally I find the teacher/student thing kind of creepy, but I could not have imagined Daine ending up with anybody else. Numair's funny, brilliant, protective, curious, and (sometimes) humble. He's kind of my perfect nerd-guy.

4. Beatrice and Benedick from Wm. Shakespeare's As You Like It  Much Ado (Thanks for catching my brain-fart Allie!). Beatrice is one of my favorite literary characters of all-time and I would have been pissed if Shakespeare had married her off to some fluffy, air-brained twit. Benedick has just as much spunk and sass as Beatrice-- I'm sure their married life was chaotic (and probably involved a lot of chucking of crockery and witty repartee) but they totally deserve one another.

5. Lucy Snowe and M. Paul Emanuel from Charlotte Bronte's Villette Lucy hides her heart beneath a thick layer of calm self-control; M. Paul wears his heart on his sleeve (or pinned to his forehead, or on the tip of his tongue... wherever it will be most obvious). She's cool and collected, he's fiery, passionate and unpredictable.  I did not see this relationship coming (neither did Lucy), but absolutely adored it while it lasted.

6. Sayuri and Nobu-san from Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha I know most people think the Sayuri-Chairman thing is more romantic and more 'epic,' but I always loved Nobu's dedication to Sayuri, his willingness to be honest with her (especially when no one else would tell her what was what), and his desire to teach her to be practical and to stand on her own two feet. Sayuri was awful to him a number of times throughout the book (ungrateful little grrrr)... but I think she underestimated what she had.

7. Leah and Anatole from Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible Leah and Anatole come from wildly different backgrounds and have different views of the world and their place within it... but they find a way to make love work through these challenges (and many many many more struggles). Their relationship is never easy or uncomplicated and they may never be able to fully see eye-to-eye but they're willing to sacrifice everything for love.

8. Vivaldo and Ida from James Baldwin's Another Country This is another one of those "When Worlds Collide" relationships. Vivaldo and Ida never seem to agree on anything, and they constantly struggle (particularly Vivaldo) to figure out what the other one is thinking and why they do what they do. Their relationship is bound up in racial, class and gender tensions but even with all that working against them they continually fight to 'keep love alive'.

9. Kambili and Fr. Amadi from Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie's Purple Hibiscus This almost doesn't count as a relationship.. you know that Kambili and Amadi love eachother deeply and that they see the other as their link to a better understanding of beauty and joy in the world, but circumstances and self-less ambitions force them apart. Part of Amadi lives with Kambili forever though...

10. Cal and Abra from John Steinbeck's East of Eden I'm fascinated by Cal's character in this book. I hate him and love/pity him periodically throughout the story. He's a smart, emotional guy who has been royally messed up by his upbringing and his competitive relationship with his brother (Cal and Aron are based on Cain and Abel.. fyi). Abra is really one of the first people who can reach Cal and help him get over his anger and fear. It's a beautiful, incredibly painful and heart-wrenching story. You're never fully cheering for him, but your heart goes out to him anyway.