Sunday, March 31, 2013

Me and Jack Kerouac

 Welcome, my dear readers, to the Beat Generation.

So, I just finished reading the novel On The Road a second time, mainly because the film based on the book  was just released and I wanted to remember it as much as possible. The first time I read the book, I wanted to pack my bags and drive through the United States to see this country as a lonely yet excited traveler. The second time I read it, I got IT. The IT that Dean Moriarty speaks of during one of his many jazz-sex-drug-LIFE induced moments. Oh brother, did I ever get IT.

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, On The Road, written by Jack Kerouac, is a tale about a young author named Sal Paradise and his travels on the road with many friends of like minds, especially the infamous Dean Moriarty. Their lives are spilling over with jazz music, sex, drugs, books galore, intellectual conversations lasting till the next day, violence, dreams, spirit and a moment to be one with everyone and everything. This is a novel about knowing of dreams and doing whatever it takes to find those dreams and turn them into a reality. It is also about getting lost along the way and yet not caring because that is all part of the experience.

When I heard that the film was coming out soon, I was in awe and yet worried; could Hollywood do Jack's book right? Could they create the same feelings felt while reading the novel? The other night, I watched the film and WOW, it did not disappoint. Everyone who played their role in the film were not acting; they were the people Kerouac wrote about. I was most impressed with Viggo Mortensen as Old Bull Lee (William S. Burroughs), Sam Riley as Sal Paradise (Jack Kerouac) and Garrett Hedlund as Dean Moriarty (Neal Cassady) - they nailed their parts and made me believe that I was actually looking at the real people and not just actors.

So, while I place my copy of On The Road back on the shelf, I tell myself that I am not saying goodbye to him, merely I'll see you soon. After all, he did write other books that I have not read yet.

I wish I could have met you, Kerouac. The tales we could have told over endless cups of coffee . . .

And now, how about a little Slim Galliard?


Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Book Hunter - $1.00 SALE

Yes, you heard me - I am selling books for only $1.00!!!! I am about to send several bags of books to my library as a donation yet I felt that some of them would be better off in good homes! Most of the books are NOT in great condition and have seen better days.

So, if you are interested in the following books, please let me know which book you want in an e-mail to: and I will set it aside for you. Money details will come later.

The Great Victorian Cookbook by John Midgley

Two books of Guy De Maupassant

Tennyson's Idylls of the King

The Face is Familiar by Ogden Nash

Modern Prints and Drawings by Paul J. Sachs

Selected Poems and Idylls of the King by Tennyson

Herzog by Saul Bellow

Lowell's The Vision of Sir Launfal and Coleridge's Rimer of the Ancient Mariner

The Best Known Works of Oscar Wilde

1984 by George Orwell

That is all I have for now. If you guys would like to see more $1 book sales, let me know and I'll see what I can do.


Friday, March 29, 2013

The Book Hunter!

Sniff. Sniff.

I love the smell of books in the morning. . . .

Yes, The Book Hunter has struck! While enjoying my day off from work, I decided to explore several estate sales and take my chances in trying to locate books for my eBay/Amazon stores. What I found was quite interesting!

Estate Sale #1 -  The first sale hit literary pay dirt! Not only did I purchase copies of CDs by Echo and the Bunnymen, Otis Redding, Eagle-Eye Cherry and Kate Bush ( all for my collection, of course!), but I also located the following:

The Sea Wall by Marguerite Dumas
A Man Without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut
View With a Grain of Sand by Wislawa Szymborska
Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre
The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty
Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch
The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
Of Weeds and Views by Frances Utterback Crain
Choke by Chuck Palahniuk
50th Anniversary Edition of Animal Farm by George Orwell with illustrations by Ralph Steadman

Estate Sale # 2 - Nothing worth reporting, yet I would not be hindered. The Book Hunter still had another estate sale to visit!

Estate Sale # 3 - Found some lovely books; not as great as sale #1 yet still quite nice:

I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron
The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman
RODIN by Bernard Champigneulle
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

Feeling quite full from her excursions, The Book Hunter began making her way back home . . . until she realized that she would be driving by a GOODWILL bookstore. Hmmm.....

Of course, The Book Hunter had to stop! Here's what was "acquired":

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (movie tie in version)
Island by Aldous Huxley
A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh

The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty
A Happy Death by Albert Camus
The Plague by Albert Camus
Americans In Paris: Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation by Charles Glass
Stoner by John Williams

All of these books will soon be for sale in my used bookstore Viridianbooks - eBay and Amazon!

And now, The Book Hunter must rest (and put away all of these &*#&^! books) to gain strength for her next outing . . . .


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Welcome Spring!

It never fails; every time I attend CoastCon in Biloxi, MS, I get a lovely sample of Spring to come. So, in welcoming Spring to 2013, I decided to share some of my photos taken while down there. I love the gnarled and twisted trees, made that way due to hurricanes and other storms.

Spring means a chance to clear out what was collected during the Winter months and to make fresh; for me, it means a healthy dose of Spring cleaning through my home plus opening the windows to allow the still-cold-with-a-hint-of-warmth air through. Everything smells so green (yes, I do sniff the air!) and ready to bloom.
This day is also known as the Vernal Equinox, or Ostara, as well as the time when ancient Romans held a several day festival to honor the goddess Minvera's aspect as Goddess of the Arts. What a perfect time to get out there and express your creativity!
Welcome Spring 2013!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Random Thought - Estate Sales

Sunday night, 9:11pm:  Spent a good portion of my day at an estate sale. As much as I enjoy going to estate sales, they do make me kind of sad. Whenever I go to an estate sale, I always try to imagine the person who lived in that house: their hobbies, their dreams fulfilled and unfulfilled, and what they wanted to be when they grew up, if they ever did at all. Today's estate sale consisted of many art pieces from Saudi Arabia and Thailand; the deceased, I was told, lived in those countries for years. There were ornate wall hangings, Chinese prints of every day life, statues of various deities, MANY statues of Buddha and so on. I tried to touch every piece that I saw, just to possibly feel what they felt when they purchased that item. When I left the house, I kept asking myself if that person lived a happy life in their travels, if they truly learned anything while abroad, or if they were bored stiff and couldn't wait to return to the United States. I'll never know, yet I did purchase two pieces that will be wonderful additions to my own growing art collection:

I wish I could have been able to speak with the previous owner of these pieces; I would have loved to have heard the stories behind their purchases. I'm a sucker for a story-behind-that-item story. I love going to estate sales because you never know what you're going to find and make your own. So far, I have managed to purchase a full bottle of very expensive sake with cups, a green statue of a Trojan horse (I later broke the head but was able to put it back together, thanks to crazy glue), and too many books to name. They are now a part of my eccentric lifestyle and I am grateful for each of them.