May 27th, 2006
Earlier today I posted an entry in my own LJ about a book I'm reading and mrflagg suggested I crosspost to this community, so here it is!
As I recently wrote in this LJ, I’m reading a book called “Hey Nostradamus” by Douglas Coupland. The book is living up to its accolades. The following is an excerpt from the book and my reflections on it. Though I’d enjoy people’s input and comments, please remember these are just my personal thoughts and reflections, so don’t get all uppity.
"In homeroom i sat at my desk and wrote over and over again on my pale blue binder the words GOD IS NOWHERE/ GOD IS NOWHERE/ GOD IS NOWHERE GOD IS NOWHERE. When this binder with these words was found, caked in my evaporated blood, people made a big fuss about it, and when my body is shortly lowered down into the planet, these same words will be felt-penned all over the surface of my white coffin. But all I was doing was trying to clear out my head and think of nothing, to generate enough silence to make time stand still."
How telling is this short excerpt from this book.
Coupland chose his Words carefully to reflect the reality and horror the act, yet also illustrates how the perpetrators and victims had commonalities. Like the kids who walked into this highschool and shot their classmates (much like at Columbine), this girl's actions were ultimately misunderstood. People saw the writings on her binder as a 'message from the grave', of sorts, that served to highlight the evil and horror of the perpetrators actions, when in reality it was simply the ramblings of a young teenage girl struggling with the all too common and familiar pains of adolescence.
As far as I know, none of the family and friends of the victims of Columbine shootings displayed their grief and sorrow in such a poetic manner as to write "God is nowhere" all over one of the coffins of a victim. It's kind of said in passing in the book (as you can see from the excerpt), but I found it very illustrative.
Though I have just started reading this book I suspect the reasons behind the perpetrators actions will be very similar to the real-life killers at Columbine. These kids were tormented everyday by their peers, for transgressions that were all too minor, such as not conforming to 'the norm' or 'not fitting in'. As much as we all hate to admit it, we've all been picked on at some point during our elementary and/or highschool years and know what it feels like. It is also something I have had to study for my professional degree - bullying-. It is something that doesn't have to be physical, and indeed the non-physical kind, typically seen in young girls, is much more deadly. The difference between the kids at Colombine and the rest of kids who are absolutely shattered by this type of abuse is that most commit suicide - turning the violence inward - as opposed to against their abusers. Is abuse too strong a word? I think not. Psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists have deemed this same behaviour within families as 'emotional and verbal abuse'. The kids at Colombine, just as the classmates that drove them to it, dolled out a punishment that was far too harsh for their fellow classmates' actions. The killings at Columbine were obviously unjustifiable and there should be consequences for anyone who does this, but kids who tormented and abused their classmates should also have been punished, so that it was no left in the hands of their victims.
Current Mood: pensive
April 5th, 2006
|angelaine||03:23 pm - Discussion about Reading Lolita in Tehran|
So.. is anyone up for discussing the book (Reading Lolita in Tehran)? - here, real life.. doesn't matter.
I know freading is 'dead' so to speak, but I'd just like to discuss this book with someone. I made my way through it (finally) - someone talk about it with me!
I know, sounds like a sad plea.
I talked about it briefly with a supervisor of mine at work and we both expected more out of the book. At times I felt the book was more like a book report.. rather than a story? But then again, I guess it does say on the front that it is a 'memoir through books'. It does make me want to pick up the few books she mentions and read them - I've only read The Great Gatsby out of her selections.
March 28th, 2006
Well, the death of freading is a damn crying shame. I don't mean this as a criticism in any way, but perhaps two books in is a little early to pull the plug? Something about how long it took to build Rome... For example, I was out of the country when the poll for "Reading Lolita in Tehran" came up, and I STILL haven't received my order, (stupid freakin' frackin' fruckin' Amazon.ca! HATE YOU!) so for some, it may be a question of timing rather than a lack of interest.
I'll share my current reading for those that may be interested. Last night, I finished Atonement by Ian McEwan. I tend to read novels in the summer, with a cold beer in hand while making sure I don't get any sunscreen on the pages. In the fall/winter, I read biographies, historical accounts, business profiles. Why? I don't know. Maybe my brain is still used to book-learnin' during the months I was in school. Because while being a hired gun for the Evil Empire is lucrative, it's not so much intellectually stimulating.
Anyway, I took a very long vacation last month, which included an inordinate amount of time traveling by plane, train, automobile, boat or camel caravan. (I didn't do any reading on the camel caravan.) And because "Atonement" was a birthday present from mrflagg, leaving it until summer would be just plain rude! The critics RAVED about it, which is usually a sure sign that I'll hate it. Also, very early on, there were allusions to the grand finale, which usually pisses me off to no end because it's a super-cheesy ploy to build suspense.
But in this case, the critics were RIGHT! It IS "a beautiful and majestic fictional panorama". It IS "compulsively readable". The characters are charmingly flawed, to a point where they were broken enough to be interesting, yet still likable. It is set around the time of WWII, but even when McEwan is putting the reader on the battle fields, it's about character development, rather than showing a lot of time spent at the library reading up on Normandy. The war was window dressing, not the focal point. It could have been set just about anywhere, but war-time Europe made perfect sense to give credence to the issues of class structure. There was a twist at the end that made me say "Awwwww", but upon reflection, seems right to give closure. In short, I liked it.
While on vacation, my friend and I took a trip to Salem, Mass. In the middle of their pioneer village, I found the COOLEST little bookstore. The books are piled up to the ceiling, and getting them out is like a life-sized Jenga game. Except instead of saying "Aw, crap!" when the stack falls, you'd be calling 911 and hoping the oxygen lasted long enough for the fire department to get you out! The owner is an interesting dude... I picked up 5 new books (dirt cheap!), one of which is The Cross and the Crescent: The Dramatic Story of the Earliest Encounters Between Christians and Muslims by Richard Fletcher. Fletcher is an award-winning historian, and I'm interested in his concise historical analysis. Yes, I am a history geek.
Current Mood: sniffly
Current Music: Baay Niasse - Youssou N'Dour
March 26th, 2006
Okay so I'm a day late posting regarding "Reading Lolita in Tehran" so please post your opinions of it if you'd like now.
As the actual amount of people who are reading the books seems to be so low, this will be the last book we will formally vote upon in this book club. I just don't see the point in trying to organize stuff if there isn't a demand. However, I will keep the community open as a general place to discuss books you are currently reading/have read before. If you're interested in checking a particular book out, please post so, and hopefully we'll get people also interested commenting and reading at their own pace. As well, you can post your reviews of books you have just completed, just please state the title and author with the rest behind a cut in case someone else doesn't want the ending given away and such.
So thank you to everyone for their interest, I wasn't able to make it work this time around, but hopefully you'll all still come here to post the books you are passionate about. I'm very open to reading just about anything so whatever someone posts I'll more than likely check it out.
Current Mood: contemplative
March 21st, 2006
Okay, I'm wondering when people are available to meet up after the 25th to discuss "Reading Lolita in Tehran". I'm thinking sometime in the evening during the week? Perhaps Monday the 27th or Wednesday the 29th?
Is everyone close to being done?
March 16th, 2006
|sck5000||05:17 pm - Reading Lolita in the Park Behind the Jr. High|
So I started Reading Lolita in Tehran yesterday and pretty much burned through the first 100 pages. I find it simultaneously enthralling and always kind of on the verge of -- heartbreaking.
I'll probably finish it in a couple of days. Does anyone else remember it's this month's selection?
March 5th, 2006
With 11 votes, Reading Lolita in Tehran - a memoir in books by Azar Nafisi will be March's book. The 25th will be the last day, and we will meet up sometime that week. What week night is best for everyone? Please make your suggestions in the comments.
March 4th, 2006
I humbly beg forgiveness for posting a new entry about Jitterbug Perfume, but since the other post is so old, I figured you've all already repressed its memory. And as much fun as self-important, masturbatory posts are... oh, wait.
( In which your friend Noxi wishy-washes about this book.Collapse )
Current Mood: chipper
Current Music: Steve is making guitar noises
March 2nd, 2006
|touch_my_skin||09:57 am - Book choices!|
Since we only had two nominations this should be relatively easy.
Which book would you like to read this month?
Reading Lolita in Tehran - a memoir in books" by Azar Nafisi
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Both books are available at the Toronto Public Library though the Nafisi book has more in stock.
Vote vote vote! Poll closes tomorrow.
Current Mood: chipper
February 28th, 2006
Related to one of our past book selections...
( Jonathan Ames presents a free restaging of his one-man off-off-Broadway show OedipussyCollapse )
As well, are there any more book nominations for this month? We have two so far and I would like to start the voting tomorrow.