White Teeth; Zadie Smith

I just finished reading White Teeth for my class on Narrative Structure. Goodreads is full of mixed reviews. There are those who find it brilliant, and those who find it boring. I am the former. I underlined and circled and notated so much. I was reading four books at the time, (White Teeth, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams, and Bird by Bird) but kept coming back to this one.

Here is my favorite passage:

“A neutral place. The chances of finding one these days are slim… The sheer quantity of shit that must be wiped off the slate if we are to start again as new. Race. Land. Ownership. Faith. Theft. Blood. And more blood. And more. And not only must the place be neutral, but the messenger who takes you to the place, and the messenger who sends the messenger. There are no people or places left like that in North London” (378).

I know that this place might be impossible to find. I know that might even be the point of this passage – that such neutrality is beyond our grasp. But I like to work towards the future I envision. I don’t know what I’m trying to say except for this book spoke to me, and made me think, and comforted me, and hurt me, and I know I am late to the Zadie Smith show, but I’m glad I tuned in.

an invitation

INVITATION by Shel Silverstein

If you are a dreamer, come in
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er. a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…
If you’re a pretender, come sit by the fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!

I am a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer and a pretender. Because I am a writer. I was born a writer, I will die a writer. I am also a person who likes deadlines, and to-do lists, and unambiguity. So I have given myself a deadline for my first essay collection (I have eight possible essay collections, five retellings, eleven original novels, some short fiction, children’s stories, three spec scripts, and many ideas that have not fully formed yet planned…)which I will self-publish on kindle. And I will be attempting to chronicle my journey along the way while I finish my Master’s,  and finish the essay collection, and there will be more posting about the personal on this blog as well. My writerly journey is personal, but I am excited to share it with you. If you would like to tell me what you want to know more about, I will be happy to share with you. Please email kil1thewaitress@hotmail.com with any suggestions, comments, questions, concerns.

 

Things that might come up –

Bookseller musings, Writer musings, reader musings, my coffee recipe, francophilia (both james franco and france), smoker musings, team jess musings, art musings, sexuality, yoga, portland…. and anything you suggest that i truly feel i can write about.

 

 

The Dead Girls Society – Michelle Krys

This is more of a mini review, PSA, to say that I read The Dead Girl’s Society this past Friday night in about 3-4 hours, with taking breaks, so it was less than that. Michelle Krys kept me on the edge of my seat and in the end I was completely surprised by the key to the mystery. I would definitely recommend this novel to keep your mind occupied on something else than our political climate, or just a fun, creepy, lazy read. If you’re a fan of Pretty Little Liars, this is perfect for you. If you’re not a PLL fan, this is still perfect for you! Please check it out of your local library (or buy it!) ASAP! 

we are okay – nina lacour

we were miraculous
we were beach creatures
we had treasures in our pockets and each other on our skin

p 113 we are okay

Ever since I read The Disenchantments, I have loved Nina Lacour for her honest and vivid depictions of young girls in love, and in friendship. I love her so much that I cannot pick a favorite Nina book, because they are all unique and beautiful in their own way, even from each other. The first few pages of We Are Okay did not grip me, but once I got into the flow – I am glad I stuck around because We Are Okay is no exception to my previous statements.

I could not put this book down. As the story of Marin and her grandfather, (and Marin and Mabel) unfolded, I was heartbroken and hopeful all at once. The plot centers around Marin and Mabel as they reunite in Marin’s desolate dorm after the heart shattering death of her grandfather.

When Lacour writes about Mabel’s family, she brings them to life. They are not merely characters on a page, especially Ana, who was my favorite character. She is a mother and artist who Nina gives life to through vivid descriptions of art – Ana’s own black canvases with silk waves, tattered butterfly photographs, and Frieda Kahlo’s work described intermittently in high detail, perhaps this was my favorite…

If you have ever wanted to read Nina’s work, or if you have, but not all of it, then pick up a book today, get some chocolate and your favorite beverage, and curl up on the couch in your sweatpants. You’re about to begin an amazing night in.

modern poetry

Poetry is becoming less of an art and more about skipping a line while mid-sentence. A customer once told me if it doesn’t rhyme, it isn’t poetry. I disagree. However, i do think there is a thin line between what constitutes as poetry and what is really just writing what you feel is an insightful paragraph or sentence and breaking it up with space.

Tumblr is an amazing website that I love to waste time on. I go on there for hours (hours I could be spending reading, writing, or cleaning, or sleeping, but that’s a whole other issue I plan to address with myself!) and reblog (share), like, and scroll. Many popular poets of the 2010’s got their start on Tumblr, and have gotten book deals for their poems. I spoke in one of my previous posts about how instead of complaining “I could do that….” I would start actually doing “that.” The thing is, I did do this, we all did, when we were in middle school. It is time to grow up. If you’re a poet, show it. Study poetry, and show that there is more to poetry than fake insight and blank space on the page.

A poet I think is really killing it out there is Clementine Von Radics. She is one of the aforementioned Tumblr famous poets, but she also founded her own press, Where Are You Press. I would really love to be friends with her because she writes openly and honestly about her life as a woman, a former teen girl, and a girl with real struggles. Not just blank space, but substance. Check her out if you are into poetry and want to try something modern.

Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Becky Albertalli’s debut novel, Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, gave me “all of the feels.” I had been mildly interested in reading this book (as I am mildly interested in reading most YA books, and actually most books!), but it was the August selection for Forever Young Adult Bookclub. I read this book in one night, one sitting. Just a few hours of my time for a delightful, emotional non-cliched story about Simon, a mysterious penpal, and Simon’s real-life non-internet friends.

What I really liked about this book was Albertalli’s pacing and her ability to switch between light and serious matter non-abruptly. This novel revolves so much around the ups and downs of friendships in your teens. And yes, the novel is about being true to yourself. But Simon doesn’t try to be anyone he’s not. The hurdle is telling his friends he is gay, but he doesn’t have to break any hearts to do so. And when he finds out who he’s truly been conversing with online, there is the best meet-cute ever, followed by Albertalli describing Simon and Blue’s relationship as I imagine she would write about a straight relationship. Nothing seemed forced or over-compensated for.

I would definitely read this book again.

reading schedule for the rest of the summer

June:

  1. The Catcher in the Rye – Salinger – reread – in anticipation of Pretty Little Liars season 7
  2. Bad Feminist – Gay – new read
  3. Everything I Never Told You – Ng – new read
  4. Radio Silence – Oseman – new read

    July

  5. Carry On – Rainbow Rowell – book club read for Forever Young Adult Book Club
  6. Quidditch Through the Ages – reread
  7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – reread – in anticipation of The Cursed Child
  8. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets- reread – in anticipation of The Cursed Child
  9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – reread – in anticipation of The Cursed Child
  10. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – reread – in anticipation of the Fantastic Beasts movie
  11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – reread – in anticipation of The Cursed Child
  12. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix -reread – in anticipation of The Cursed Child
  13. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince -reread – in anticipation of The Cursed Child
  14. The Tales of Beedle the Bard – reread – in anticipation of The Cursed Child
  15. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – reread – in anticipation of The Cursed Child
  16. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child!!!!!!!!

    August

  17. Simon vs. the HomoSapiens Agenda – Albertalli – FYA book club
  18. Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – new read
  19. Jane Eyre – Bronte – New Read
  20. The Nest- D’Aprix Sweeney – new read
  21. Wide Sargosso Sea – Rhys – new read
  22. The House on Mango Street – reread – research
  23. Jazz – Toni Morrison – reread of the first half, new read of the second – research
  24. The Bell Jar – Plath – reread – research
  25. The Virgin Suicides – reread – research
  26. M Train – Smith

    September

  27. Every Breath – Marney – FYA book club
  28. Smashed – Zailckas – reread – research
  29. Fury – Zailckas – reread – research
  30. Throne of Glass – Maas
  31. Illuminae – Kauffman – FYA book club