Sunday, 1 May 2011

I forgot to remember to forget...

I REALLY like Amelia Pontes blog. Its cool because the nice thing about blogging and social networking is that you read blogs, maybe exchange a few tweets with a random person, and all of a sudden, you can imagine that if you ever met them, they'd be so cool that you would end up being best friends immediately - but this is certainly the deal here - I like Amelia's straight talking. She posted about this really cool screen capture from author and novelist Cormac McCarthy's 'The Road' [which is also being made into a film with Kristen Stewart] So, I especially like this little quote here which sums things up nicely;
"This isn't a real picture, but a screen grab from book, The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. It's the story of a man and son traveling down the disaster stricken roads looking for food and hoping for survival. Early in the book I came upon the words above and they struck my gut with truth. Memory is taught to us as being this thing that just happens outside of our control, but the older I get I see how we control what we remember. We hold onto the hurtful past to soothe our fears and insecurities in the present."
- Amelia Pontes

Just thought I would give you a little bit of an insight into what I'm loving book-wise this year so far.

1. Currently on my table is....

The Beauty Myth - [Naomi Wolf] - An insight into why the beauty industry today seems so fucked up when representing what is and what isn't beautiful - the problem is that images of perfection have slowly been whittled down to strict and uniformed images of unrealistic proportions that, at one point or another, has managed to leave all of us wondering 'WTF!' and eating a gallon of Ben and Jerry's ice cream in the wake of discovering we'll never aspire to looking like a supermodel. What is hard to realize, however, or at least for me, that upon seeing pages upon pages of these images EVERYWHERE through the mediums of the mass media, especially magazines and billboards, is that these images are manipulated 95% and do not represent what that person actually looks like. This book helps you to change your perspective on how you think about the beauty industry, and more importantly, will help you rediscover how you feel about yourself.

2. Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro - I'm re-reading this book just because of the beauty of it and the way the story is strung together. What strikes me most is just how deep Ishiguro delves into each individual character, making sure their voice is heard, developed and evolved at the end of the book whilst making for a truly engaging and heartfelt read.

3. Eating Animals - Jonathan Safran Foer - Actresses and Vegans Natalie Portman, Olivia Wilde and Alicia Silverstone have all sworn by reading this book and what this book represents. It's not a book that advocates vegetarianism or veganism - it doesn't at all, but what it manages to do is to present strong, factual evidence and up to date news about the meat industry, what this means, and then weighing this up against a vegetarian lifestyle. What attracted me to the book even more was how candid Foer is when talking - he doesn't start the book as part of a diet fad, but on hearing his wife was pregnant, he wanted to see if there was a better way he could re-educate himself and educate his son about the ways of eating and what it means to eat meat in today's society.

4. Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen - For some, it may feel like I re-read the same books when looking back at this blog. If you think so, you're right. I do - I have this childish habit of re-reading a particular book, especially when it's been made into a film and is coming out soon. This is one such case. The film features Oscar winners Christoph Waltz and Reese Witherspoon as August and Marlena, the successful ringmaster and his star attraction of a wife, the difficult relationship they have, and a suddenly orphaned veterinarian named Jacob Jankowski, played by Robert Pattinson. The trailer looks amazing.

Here's a few things I'm Loving.....

The Help - Kathryn Stockett

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women--mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends--view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.

Nancy Mitford - The Pursuit of Love

I bought this book in Waterstones a few months back, and regrettably it's still on my bookshelf, waiting patiently to be read.... but never fear, I will get to it eventually. I first came across this book in ELLE Magazine [Yes, they have one page dedicated to a 'culture' section] when Sophie Dahl recommended it as one of her favourite books, and it encapsulates the same mindset I hope to have when reading it...

"The book is so romantic and frivolous; I don't know a young woman who has read this without imagining being Linda, sitting weeping on her suitcase, or being rescued by a Frenchman. Reading her books is like drinking hot chocolate."
- Sophie Dahl

Love In The Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

There have been many love stories by many great authors. Shakespeare with Romeo & Juliet, Sparks with Noah and Allie, etc. But sometimes there are just certain lines that bind you to a certain book, willing you to read it just for that one line, no matter what the summary, no matter what the plot, no matter how long the book is in quantity or what it may lack in quality. Love In The Time of Cholera is known by many to be a book that has captured many hearts so I'm looking forward to reading it.

Other books I'm eager to read are the following:

1. Bodies - Susie Orbach
2. The End of the Affair - Graham Greene
3. The Corrections - Jonathan Frantzen
4. Birds of America - Lorrie Moore
5. Both Ways is the only way I want it - Maile Meloy
6. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
7. The Razor's Edge - W Somerset Maugham
8. Beware of Pity - Stefan Zweig
9. The Spy who came in from the Cold - John Le Carre
10. Tender is the Night - F Scott Fitzgerald
11. Blow by Blow - the story of Isabella Blow - Detmar Blow & Tom Sykes

Things making me smile... [Book inspiration - Topic: Different ways to explore L.O.V.E.?

1. Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, and Steve Carell in Crazy Stupid Love

Emma Stone is my [current] girl crush. Ryan Gosling has always been one of my [many] man crushes for being one of those rare actors that I literally feel like he can play each and every role he's been given perfectly, and so far in his career, he's never misjudged any of his choices so far. This time around, he's taking a break from the slightly intense [Blue Valentine], the slightly weird but moving [Lars and the Real Girl] and the incredibly loving [The Notebook] to play a good looking player helping a friend out with marriage trouble before falling in love with the one girl he can't get. What do you think?

2. Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, Eva Mendes, and Guillaume Canet in Last Night

Last Night is a film that explores what love and fidelity really means. Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington play a young married couple who are both faced with the prospect of being tempted by a sudden chance meeting with an ex-boyfriend and trying to resist the temptations of a fellow co-worker and the tangled webs they weave in trying to figure it out.