'Books support us in our solitude...

by tosca on Monday, November 1, 2010

...and keep us from being a burden to ourselves.'
~ Jeremy Collier

Well, actually, books keep me from being a burden to everyone else :) It's true! If I didn't have books I'd be in your space annoying you ten times as much as I usually do. So put *that* in your pipe and choke on it (no, I do mean choke on it, not smoke it). Boy howdy! It's been an age and a half since I last blogged. Not because I haven't wanted to, but more because I haven't had a chance to. In the last few months we have closed up mum & dad's place (they're living in the wilds of Taipa for some reason that totally eludes me), I temporarily moved in with a sibling for 3 months while looking for a place and then moved again. This time permanently. So mother krunkin' glad to have left the hood behind. Remy the Pooh grows exponentially. I kid you not - the kids rolls have rolls for crying out loud. See pic. What'd I tell you?

This post is my unusual Monday: On the shelf - what I'm reading post but I'm warning you now - don't expect to be stunned by my list of titles. I took a month long sabbatical from reading and frittered it away catching up on all my favourite tv shows in a series of marathons. I'm not kidding you. It was touch and go there for a moment with my sanity (more if I'm honest). I would spend 3 or 4 days frantically watching an entire season of Supernatural (I heart Dean - still, yes, even though Gamble/Kripe have written weird shit into season 6), reflect on it for a half a day and then dive in to another season. I remember one particular day when Logan and Sonny came to visit and I was camped out on the couch complete with duvet, crazy hair, wild eyes and unbrushed teeeth. Needless to say they backed out of there pretty smart ;)

Aaaaanyway, back to the topic. Books. In particular, what I'm reading. I've decided to expand it slightly (because, hey, it's my party and I'll cry if I want to, right?) and add in a dvd title. Or two. Ok, two. Max. I swear. So here's my Top 5 List of Books/DVDs I'm Reading/Watching at the Moment. Speaking of, I should probably update our work Top 5 blog, too, but it's been full on madness with the interim library site and that's all I'm going to say about that. Seriously. It is. The list!

5. Riding on instinct by Jaci Burton. "Department of Justice agent Shadoe Grayson is out to prove she's no rookie, and eagerly accepts her first undercover assignment at a strip club in New Orleans. Working with the Wild Riders, a government agency of bad-boy bikers, her goal is to expose a corrupt DEA agent. Standing in her way is arrogant and smoking-hot Spencer King, her new partner and one of the Wild Riders. Spence thinks she looks more like a schoolteacher than a stripper, and doubts her ability to do the job. But when he teasingly challenges Shadoe to strip just for him, he finds out there's more to the surprisingly sexy agent than by-the-book rules and Government Issue pantsuits." -- Publisher description.

My summation? Sex. Seriously, lots of sex. And motorbikes. You do the math. In fact, one colleague (who shall remain nameless) nicked my copy of this off the hold shelf and read it out of curiosity and then promptly emailed me with something like 'OMG what do you read? I learnt things I never knew before.'

4. Louis Theroux [DVD videorecording] : the collection directed, produced and filmed by Stuart Cabb ; script by Louis Theoux. In this compilation, Louis Theroux has chosen an assortment of his favourite episodes from his television show. He covers profiles of celebrities, documentaries on American subcultures and some satirical segments from his earliest film-making attempts. Includes clips from 'Weird weekends', 'When Louis met' and 'Louis and". This assemblage of humour lays bare the cult of crass, light and vain people taking themselves seriously.

My summation? I heart Louis but I have to admit to being too faint hearted to get right through the entire collection. Why? Not because he sucks, because he so plainly doesn't, but because he was so brutally honest in some of his questions that I kept waiting for someone to punch him in the face. Like the adult film industry? Where he's asking the cute blonde guy who was 'gay for pay' about what he does out loud in the sunlight, it seemed so, I dunno, baldfaced. And you could see the guy was totally uncomfortable with it. I havered between mortification and amusement. Eep. Meh it's my total discomfort that leads to this being at #4 and for that I apologise. But it's not moving so don't bother taking me to task for it.

3. The help by Kathryn Stockett. Limited and persecuted by racial divides in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, three women, including an African-American maid, her sassy and chronically unemployed friend, and a recently graduated white woman, team up for a clandestine project.

My summation? This synopsis is shit. Seriously, it doesn't even begin to talk up how really good this book is - and it's Stockett's debut. Read this for bookclub (the first rule of bookclub...) and it's the first book in roughly a year since we formed that I hadn't read before the rest of the group. And it was well worth it. Makes you laugh, makes you mad, makes you sad although not one of those 'sads' where you end up feeling polarised about racial issues which was a change for me. Often I read books about racial divides and get so enraged and it has nowhere to go. I remember walking through the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee (the former Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated) and crying my way through the entire exhibit and coming away from there thinking, 'Where to from here?' Where to indeed.

2. The book of idle pleasures edited by Dan Kieran and Tom Hodkinson. Reflects on 75 simple pastimes and proves that the best things in life really are free: lighting fires, skimming stones, catching falling leaves, whittling, staring out of the window, dreaming, doodling or taking a nap.

My summation? This book reminds me of the things I did with my parents/grandparents before the madness of the interwebs and tv show marathons took over my life, things like: falling asleep in my clothes, singing, 'just looking' instead of 'browsing,' throwing a caper, writing a letter and lots of other simple activities *sigh* Where did those days go? And who will teach them to my nephews? Now I'm nostalgic ;)

1. Stephen Fry in America [DVD videorecording]. Britain's best-loved comic genius Stephen Fry turns his celebrated wit and insight to unearthing the real America as he travels across the continent in his black taxicab. His journey across the vast country takes himn to a whiskey distillery in Kentucky, lava fields in Hawaii, an Amish community in Wisconsin and a brothel in Nevada, as well as hunting in New York State, sailing on an America's Cup boat in Rhode Island, basket weaving with Navajo Indians and meeting environmental activists in Oregon.

My summation? I HEART STEPHEN FRY :) What more is there to say? I missed the tv series first time around, read the book (while making a list of like-places I wanted to visit when in the US next) and then requested the DVDs when we got them. Sitting here blogging and re-watching this - hilarious, insightful and thoughtful. Speaking of Fry, have you seen his episode of Who Do You Think You Are? UK Series 2? You've *got* to - but have tissues handy. It's sad but lovely sad. I was sobbing by the end of it (probably because he was, too, and I'm a sympathy crier) but I loved it. The UK ones are real tearjerkers.

So, that's me. And I'm back in the saddle. So to speak. The word 'saddle' makes me think of horses which, you know, makes me think of cowboys. And that makes me want to yell, 'Save a horse...ride a cowboy!' o_O

Leave your comment

Kia ora! Have a comment or suggestion to make? Then speak now or forever hold your peace.