I won't be living at home this fall. *Score!* We've talked about it and as long as I have a job, it's financially feasible for me to move in this house with five other girlfriends. The two jobs I'm going to apply for both fit my major, English, so that's awesome. And I get to sing some more with a songwriter I know - she's heading up this night of songs inspired by the Psalms at the church coffeehouse. I'm singing three of her pieces, which we started work on today. All so good.
I can't think of much more to say, beyond the fact that my new main icon inspires me to say a little about books I've read in class that I recommend: Bloodchild and Other Stories
by Octavia Butler (Seven Stories Press)
Okay, so I only had to read the first story, "Bloodchild." But once you understand what is going on in this story, you're gripped by what the narrator ultimately decides. It's rather graphic in parts, but I'd argue that those sections are crucial for understanding the choice involved in the story.
Very unusual science-fiction, I think, and an able and powerful author.
First sentence: "My last night of childhood began with my visit home."
A collection of short stories by the fabuous Sherman Alexie (Atlantic Monthly Press).
All of these stories are quality. The place you start out at in one of his stories is never close to where you are when the story ends. And Alexie has a gift for character, I think. The book flap claims that in this collection "we meet the kind of Indians we rarely see in literature." Nobody's a caricature; everyone has the quirks and unexpectedness that a real person has.
Some stories, particularly my favorite, "The Sin-Eaters," have a kind of dreamy or surreal feel to them, woven into Indian tradition, which is all beautifully done.
by this man, I don't care what! Probably everything is about this level of quality.
First sentence: "Regarding love, marriage, and sex, both Shakespeare and Sitting Bull knew the only truth: treaties get broken." Kim
by Rudyard Kipling (Barnes & Noble Classics)
I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book, but Kipling shows himself to be a master of prose. His depiction of India rings true. It's not an easy read - many people in class disliked it - but it's meant to be a long story, slowly taken in.
Also you'll want to follow the characters, youthful Kim, the aging lama, or spiritual leader. I have a feeling I need to re-read it; the book is dense with information and ideas.
First sentence: "He sat, in defiance of municipal orders, astride the gun Zam-Zammah on her brick platform opposite the old Ajaib-Gher - the Wonder House, as the natives call the Lahore Museum."
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale
Oh, this is sooo good. I love me some dystopian novels, and this one's right up there. The narrator is practically a female slave and we never learn her "real," or former name; she is called Offred - "of Fred," and is used basically as a vessel for pregnancy, producing children.
Quiet though she may be, Offred is blazingly intelligent, and beneath her restrictive clothing she muses on her captors, the world around them and what it would take to be free, or simply survive. Once read, I assure you this book isn't easily forgotten.
First sentence: "We slept in what had once been the gymnasium."
That's all for now.