February 17, 2009

Two for One

I've been feeling  super lazy lately.  I waste all of my time on the Internet looking at clothes and blogs and apartments and other drivel that simply clouds my mind and makes me itch for all types of things I cannot afford.  And even though I LOVE browsing the Internet, and think there's a lot of valuable information and such, somehow I simply can't justify spending my time that way.  I always feel guilty.  I think it's because it's so easy to get lost in the bowels of the Internet.  The fact that one blog inevitably leads you to another to another to another... in an endless stream of blogginess that traps you and simply WILL NOT SET YOU FREE.

I feel much better reading a book.  Or watching a movie.  Or pretty much anything that involves a set end point.  Because that way I have something to show for my time.  I can say "I just spent X hours doing this.  And now I am done."  I have recently come to this revolutionary realization - that I REALLY like tasks with visible end results.  I think that's one of the reasons I had so much trouble with my PR job - I was continually working on ongoing campaigns and never actually felt like I was accomplishing anything because, at the end of the day, I had nothing to show for myself.

SO.  Case in point.  I'm trying to cut back my Internet time.  

(I have currently been on the Internet for 2 hours so, clearly, my plan is working oh so well so far!)

ANYWAY.  My point is, I have been so busy browsing for nonsense that I have been remiss in my little book commentary.  And so I will just give you a very brief glimpse of what I've been spending my non-Internet time on lately.

The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields won the Pulitzer in 1995, and rightly so.  The organization of book itself is very interesting - it's presented as the fictionalized autobiography of Daisy Goodwill Flett.  It paints a very accurate portrayal of a middle-class woman's journey through childhood, love, motherhood, and old age.  So accurate that at times it verges on depressing - sometimes the realism hits a little too close to home.  But Shields' command of the language is absolutely gorgeous (I kind of went on a quoting binge), and the plot is so intricately woven that it makes for a really interesting read.  If you want to get inside a woman's head, to watch her watch her own life from start to finish, this is the way to do it.  And the beautiful diction doesn't hurt.

A bunch of months ago I read Jeanette Winterson's Written on the Body, which I was relatively unimpressed by.  But Lighthousekeeping?  AMAZING.  The story itself is kind of bizarre, and seems impossible to accurately describe, so I won't bother.  But honestly, if you're into unique books and an absolutely incredible envy-inspiring use of language, you should read it immediately.  Again, I apologize (kind of) for the quote binge that ensued as a result of this book.  I wanted to quote the entire thing.  Winterson has a very simple, pared down style, and yet every single adjective, pronoun and preposition is so carefully chosen that it results in great things.  Really fabulous.  I can't wait to get my hands on another one of her books.

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