BOOK OF THE YEAR: v.s. naipaul – „a bend in the river”
BY GENRE : DEFINITELY A NON-FICTION YEAR : so many awesome books.patrick french’s naipaul biography – „the world is what it is”. steven king – „on writing’. lynn crosbie’s anthology „clicks” (women talking about the moment when they became feminists). robert kaplan – „balkan ghosts”(do not get me started! history/cultural politics, a big chunk on romania in there, woot)
SHORT STORIES: murakami – „blind woman, weeping willow”. lynn coady – „play the monster blind”. nam le – „the boat”. anthologies, too many (a great one, from ’96 i think – called „sudden fiction international” – with v. short shorts)
NOVELS: mmm this is harder this year. except for naipaul: curtis sittenfeld – „american wife” (i love her and i’m not ashamed). heather o’neill – „lullabies for little criminals”. tibor fischer – „under the frog” . bernard schlink – „the reader”.
BOOKS THAT I DO NOT GET, AT ALL, AT ALL, ALL: brace yourselves; it was a year of petty irritations. or maybe of…patience? someone else should call it.
-don delillo – „falling man” – awesome style, pointless…pointless…
-j coetzee – „slow man” – i honestly think he just wanted to punk the readers. there is no other possible…
– anne michaels -„fugitive pieces”. she should’ve sold it as poetry. either that or i’m missing something. (such as, the plot. but whatever.)
– zoe whithall – „holding still…” – my rant about this book would deserve its own post. i wanted to like this book so much. my heart is broken in tiny non-gendered pieces. on the floor. WHHHHHYYYYYYYYY
SURPRISE: or not? i kinda liked m. laurence’s „the diviners”. blah, i know it was because i identified w the main character to the point of eye-rolling, but also: i felt somehow…tender about its dated-ness. weird.
THINGS I KNEW I’D LIKE, THEREFORE NO BIGGIE: zz packer’s stories, nick hornby – „high fidelity”…dave eggers…mmm carol shields, basically anything…
I HAVEN’T MANAGED TO READ: david foster wallace (i know!), cormac mccarthy (yea yea), ??
I WANT: linda svendsen -„marine life”, rawi hage -„cockroach”.
and noooowww, for the , perhaps, real point of this post. i have just finished the first 2 books of „the sisterhood of the traveling pants”. i read them in my bed at night, through my last working week this year. and i cried buckets, and i felt warm and happy accordingly. and what i’m saying is, it’s a good ending and a fitting wrap-up for such a sucky year reading-wise. the laundry room of my building provides me with great insights. right now i’m trying to skim a book by dr. phil – for real. it’s…distracting.
because what should be said, and should never be forgotten, ever, about me in 2009 is: this was in fact a fan fiction year.
forget the ‘oh i graduated the MFA, i wrote a sort-of-a-novel’ crap. this year i was stuck in front of the computer for at least 5 hrs a day (at most…20? i guess. not often tho), F5-ing, as my virtual co-obsessed ppl would say, for new drabbles and one-shots and chaptered stories about how real people have imaginary gay sex with each other. it was lots of fun. i don’t even know how to describe this fun i had. because, after reading so many, it becomes apparent that i actually have no idea how to use words. now seriously, some of this prose is good, some of the things – esp the longer ones (i mean, whoever can maintain an alternative universe over 25K…) are well structured. and, surprise-surprise: the fact that the reader (me) is already so invested in the well-being of the real-life characters makes it so easy. the purpose is there. sometimes we want to believe fan fiction is magic.
1. it’s not cold at all.
i’ve started freaking out re: montreal a bit, small things that come and go,such as: will the money be enough (yes- for one month); how much of a chance do i stand to find a job (yeah that’s the toughest one), to find a place for me alone and in an ok area…how do i travel (i.e. do i fly or take the bus, which, bus journey would be epic, but do i want to complicate things?)…how do i pack all the shit
these are all good things. it’s a bit of a safe madness, worrying about things i know i’ll have to get done.
2. i am not depressed.
just a bit desensitized. i don’t care enough about things and people, and i worry that i should be caring. i used to care. i used to make presents and send sappy messages on birthdays. i used to do meaningful things – and now i can’t even be bothered to go out to a party where i don’t want to be, because a friend asked me to? etc etc etc
it’s all mixed up because i haven’t finished dealing with ‘back there’ yet, so by the point i get to dealing with vancouver, all will be just a big shrug. did i not know i’d only be here for 2 ys? i knew.
3. [i erased about 4 paras here :))] life is potentially interesting, okay. as long as i believe that, all is fine. there are gonna be days when i’m going to try harder than today. be more grateful, show it more, be more involved, hopefully helpful. basically, the dark days should be way bind me.
and, oh. re: „i know you love me” – if people i love know that i love them, i must be doing something right. i hope they do.
this is a collection of youtubes for my favourite adam lambert songs off his album. just because i think it’s fair to not mix this into my separate „music of 2009” post. i am bad at defending…whatever, whatever, ok, here goes:
1. broken open (yeah i know what he said about not wanting to be political, but once you put it out there i’m sorry for you if you think you can stop this from happening. well not really.)
2. master plan (which totally shouldn’t have been a b-side dammit)
3. sleepwalker (ear.worm.sappy.ear.worm. and, some of the video i actually liked ngl)
4. sure fire winners (if i actually did power walks or morning workout)
5. fever (i love lady gaga more than i hate bad french okay)