I also just finished Undead and Unworthy.
I have 2 other books that I'm working on. Also went to the bookstore Friday night and got the first book in a series. The book in Tainted by Julie Kenner. It's the first book in the Blood Lily Chronicles. I really like this author so I'm hoping this book is really good.
My new mantra: Argue Your Limitations.
Anyway, the Indian people are not as emamored of her movie as we are. Here is a review by Sandip Roy which I find amusing and spot on.
For the longest time, I thought the 2006 bestseller “Eat, Pray, Love” was a sequel to the 2004 bestseller about punctuation “Eats, Shoots and Leaves.”
Now I am enlightened. One is about the search for the meaning of life. The other is about the meaning of a comma.
I confess I never read Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestseller except for browsing through a few pages in a copy sitting by a friend’s bedside. I enjoyed the writing. The story of picking yourself up after losing your way has universal appeal even if we all can’t afford to recharge under the Tuscan sun.
It’s not Gilbert’s fault, but as someone who comes from India, I have an instinctive reflex reaction to books about white people discovering themselves in brown places. I want to gag, shoot and leave.
The story is so self-involved, its movie version should’ve been called, “Watch Me Eat, Pray and Love.” In a way I almost prefer the old colonials in their pith helmets trampling over the Empire’s far-flung outposts. At least they were somewhat honest in their dealings. They wanted the gold, the cotton, and laborers for their sugar plantations. And they wanted to bring Western civilization, afternoon tea and anti-sodomy laws to godforsaken places riddled with malaria and Beriberi.
The new breed is more sensitive, less overt. They want to spend a year in a faraway place on a “journey.” But the journey is all about what they can get. Not gold, cotton or spices anymore. They want to eat, shoot films (or write books), emote and leave. They want the food, the spirituality, the romance.
Now, I don’t want to deny Gilbert her “journey.” She is herself honest, edifying and moving. I don’t want to deny her Italian carbs, her Indian Om’s or her Bali Hai beach romance. We all need that sabbatical from the rut of our lives.
But as her character complained that she had “no passion, no spark, no faith” and needed to go away for one year, I couldn’t help wondering where do people in Indonesia and India go away to when they lose their passion, spark and faith? I don’t think they come to Manhattan. Usually third-worlders come to America to find education, jobs and to save enough money to send for their families to join them, not work out their kinks.
This is not to say “Eat, Pray, Love”– now a major movie in a theater near you - just exists in a self-centered air-conditioned meditation cave and has no heart. But it requires more than the normal suspension of disbelief when Julia Roberts announces she will eat that whole pizza and buy the “big girl jeans.” We see her trying to squeeze her Julia Roberts body into her jeans, struggling with the zipper and we know this is a fine, brave actor at work.
She tries not to be the foreign tourist but she does spend an awful lot of time with the expats whether it’s the Swede in Italy, the Texan in India or the Brazilian in Bali. The natives mostly have clearly assigned roles. Language teacher. Hangover healer. Dispenser of fortune-cookie-style wisdom. Knowledge, it seems, is never so meaningful as when it comes in broken English, served up with puckish grins, and an idyllic backdrop. The expats have messy histories, but the natives’ lives, other than that teenaged arranged marriage in India, are not very complicated. They are there as the means to her self discovery. After that is done, it’s time to book the next flight.
But all through the film this is what I was wondering. Why was she drawn to those three countries? Why Italy, India and Indonesia?
Is it because they all start with I?
I, I, and I.
Not inappropriate for a film that is ultimately about Me, Myself, and I. I travel therefore I am.
Nothing drove that home better than what happened after the screening ended. I went down in an elevator crammed with radiant women, all discussing when they teared up during the film, and how much they related to it, and its message of opening yourself up to the world. There was one woman in a wheelchair in the elevator. After we reached the lobby, the women, still chattering, marched out into the chilly San Francisco night. The woman in the wheelchair remained stranded behind the heavy doors.
[This message edited by positively4thst at 10:48 AM, August 29th (Sunday)]
Still have to say that I would love to escape my present life for a few months alone. But I'm not a writer and I'm sure what I would gain would not be a best seller, but definitely an improvement on my present life.
As I said, it is MY reaction to her situation based upon my situation. I didn't choose it, I had a child to think about, I didn't have $ and didn't know how I was going to survive. "Finding myself" was not on my to do list at the time.
To me, it's "Hollywood does divorce" but it's not how the rest of us do it in middle America!!
I just read The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot.
I'm now about a fourth of the way through The Roayl Treatment by Mary Janice Davidson.
Just read "the wizard heir" it was ok, a teen book. WOn;t buy the next 2 new but if I see them used I may pick them up.
Also read "infamous" by Suzanne Brockman, that was decent. I like her, though,
If this isn't what I consider soulmate crap, I don't know what is.
I'm into quick reads right now.
I just finished A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander series) and I'm trying to wait before I read the next in the series, An Echo in the Bone.
I'm currently reading The Imperfectionists. Very interesting styling. It is a separate chapter for each of a bunch of people who work in a newspaper based in Rome. It is supposed to tie together at the end nicely. I'll see.
I have at least 15 free or inexpensive books lined up on my Kindle, so I may let them distract me from Outlander a bit.
I just finished True Lies of a Drama Queen By Lee Nichols. It was better than I thought it would be.
Now starting Six Reasons To Stay a Virgin by Louise Harwood.
Now I am reading the second book in the trilogy, The Girl Who Played With Fire and will be set to read the third as well.
The Help was a great book too.
It is *lovely*, people. Highly recommend. Alt history/fantasy, Napoleonic Wars with dragons. Comes off as Aubrey-Maturin, with Maturin played by a dragon.
It does something I really value in a long series: makes me complicit. I like to see the characters and their perspective on the world (and perhaps the world itself) change and grow. Along with that, I like to change and grow as the reader. So when book 1 makes me unquestioningly complicit in something because the POV character is, and then brings me along as their POV changes and makes me realize I was *exactly like the POV character*, it's so valuable. That's what the reading experience is about for me, those moments when you discover a narrator was unreliable, and that you as a reader would be just as unreliable, because you didn't think to question, either.
[This message edited by ladyvorkosigan at 4:55 AM, September 4th (Saturday)]
Also reading The Junior Officers' Reading Club by Patrick Hennessey. V interesting.
"The term “mistake” infers a level of ignorance, innocence and naivety. And a lack of intent and planning." - Craig Harper
It's an eye-opening look at the fishing and fish farming industries. And it challenges us to "reevaluate whether fish are at their root expendable seafood or wildlife desperately in need of our compassion".
Just finished The Road, absolute garbage. Had no discernible message other than people can be good or bad, and the setting was so awful it destroyed suspension of disbelief. If I was going to read a book trying to talk about a moral compass in an allegorical setting I'd read Great Divorce again, and I didn't even think that was all that hot. At least you knew what Lewis was trying to say. The Road was like a David Lynch movie put into type and thrown through the copy editors at the NY Times.
Halfway through the first book in the Looking Glass Wars. It's not just awesome but it's fun as sci-fi goes. Have Catching Fire and Mockingjay lined up to read at some point.
Both page turners in their own way.