Sunday, September 30, 2007

Iris Murdoch

I discovered Iris Murdoch quite by accident but I feel now that the accident was one of purpose. She is one of those authors who can seduce you into a story, thinking yourself to be right there with the characters, as they live out their chaotic and often hilarious lives within the pages of the book.

The first book I ever read by her was The Sea The Sea: a retired drama director spends his now free time at a cottage by an ocean shore in England but soon realizes that his lives actually thrives on chaos and drama. His one lost love returns in his life and he succumbs to an almost obsessive passion in trying to win her back. Along the way are frequent visits from people from his past and present as well as some truly black humour moments that will even cause the most discerning reader to chuckle.
As of now, I am reading another of her books entitled The Message to the Planet and once again, I am enthralled by her words. Here is the gist of the novel:

A man named Patrick lies dying in a bed in a friend's home and no one in the group of friends seems to know a cure until an estranged (and possibly insane) member of their group named Marcus cures him by way of a miracle (it was thought that Patrick was so afflicted by a curse laid on him by the one who later cured him). Marcus, now risen to almost Messiah-like status, moves to a mental institution in the British countryside to relax and rest while the rest of the group constantly visit him, giving rise to constant annoyance. Patrick, now back to his old Irish poetic self, becomes a servant for his saviour and lives with him in the mental institution. Another friend named Ludens, sees matters quite differently: he seems to have a deep love for his friend and wants nothing more than to take him out of the mental facility and into a quiet home where he can look after him. Ludens also develops a passionate love for Marcus' wild and eccentric daughter, Irina, who may or may not reciprocate his feelings. To make matters even more interesting, another member of the group named Jack is currently married to one woman (Franca) and yet decides to have a mistress as well(Allison), thereby trying to set up a lifetime menage a trois that he actually thinks will work.

In this day and age when fewer and fewer people are reading, I find it to be my duty to read more and more, simply for the sake that I can do such a task. To discover new authors is like opening a gift from a dear friend; it is a cherished moment and hopefully one that will last a long time.
Sadly, Iris Murdoch is dead but her works live on for those who can appreciate them, gifts that are treasured and held dear to one's heart.

Thank you, Iris.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Steampunk: The Wave of The Past

It's true, I am a strange woman, prone to falling in love with strange ideas, concepts, ways of life. For the longest time, I have always loved the Victorian period of history, with more focus surrounding England. However, I never knew waht to call it, so I just told people that I loved history.
Well, recently, I have discovered a whole new way of life, a way of life that I can truly appreciate.
I am talking about Steampunk / Neo-Victorian. Suddenly, my senses are all on fire due to the information I have discovered about these people who loved this particular part of history as much as I, even going so far as to change modern technology to fit their own steampunk standards. If you have read: 20,00 Leagues Under the Sea, The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, Dracula, Frankenstein, anything by China Mieville, or watched the movies: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Sleepy Hollow, From Hell, and many others, congratulations: you have been exposed to the steampunk life.

I have dived into this new way of life with full gusto; one of my friends is now sick of me speaking to him as if I was an English lord, ending all of my sentences with "old boy". I also purchased my first monocle this morning and you better believe I will be wearing it everywhere!!

I have never liked normal; normal, as a friend of mine told me today, is a setting on a dryer. So true, so true.

LONG LIVE STEAMPUNK!!

I will follow up with more posts regarding this subculture, so stay tuned!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Random Thought

While I am typing out this post, my mind wants to go back to bed and sleep for another 15 minutes. However, the rest of me would never allow that, considering that once I am up, I am up. A new day with new possibilities.

Why do we, as humans, crave touch? Why are we so afraid to touch people we don't know and yet we still desire it at the same time? Are we afraid of connecting with others, afraid to show our weakness that yes, we can cry, laugh, or even smile?

While on the elevator to work yesterday, I noticed that yours truly tried to position my body so that I would not touch anyone else in the claustrophobic space. Once everyone got off on their own floors, I found myself missing them, a thought that quickly left me when my own floor arrived.

I do not like crowds; for me, sitting in a quiet spot with a book and endless cups of coffee and tea is enough for me. And yet, I like talking to people, getting up enough courage to see what others are thinking and why they think they way they do.

So, there you have it.

Me

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Book of the Week: DISCIPLINE

Hello everyone!

Let me tell you about a book that will simply make you want to drop EVERYTHING and do nothing but read: the book is entitled Discipline and the author's name is Paco Ahlgren. Like many others, I try to search for new books by new authors; fresh blood in a field that can be quite saturating with the same ideas and concepts. Not so with this one. This book will challenge the very essence of your thought process, making you want only more and more.

At the center of it all is a man named Douglas Cole, a man who has yet to realize his own importance in the world....both this one and the one in the future.

Do you ever feel that sometimes, the world is not what it should be? That somehow, we, as humans, are seeing what someone else wants us to see? That is how Douglas feels through a good portion of his life. But the kicker is this: he is right.

After reading only 33 pages, I felt compelled to send the author an e-mail, letting him know just how much I loved his book after 33 bloody pages. I figured I was not going to hear back from him, because honestly, many authors have better things to do than just read gushing letters from fans that put them on pedestals.

Not so with Mr. Ahlgren. When I got home from work, I noticed that he did respond back:

Kimberly, receiving your email was a thrill I can’t describe. Thank you so much for your kind words…



I have forwarded your request to my publicists, as well as the distribution and marketing department at Greenleaf. I’m sure everyone would love to create a relationship with you; I know I would!



Thanks again, and please let me know if there’s anything I can do to facilitate this.



Paco



I will be adding copies of his book to my own catalogue in the near (OK, very near future) because this is a book that every bibliophile must read.

Take care!

First Entry

Well, hello everyone! For those of you who have been with me from the beginning, welcome to my new blogspot!!! Although I will still have the journal on VF, this will be the main blog connected to my bookstore.

This blog will be for book reviews, author encounters, and just plain anything of a literary nature.

What are the passions of a Viridian Girl? Books, books, and more books!!

Welcome!