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agony [25 Apr 2005|02:16pm]

surrealkitten
[ mood | close the window! ]

The Agony of the Leaves by Helen Dunmore is about tea. The tea in the life of the official tea-buyer at Chez Panisse.

I've had this book for two weeks and read it at least five times. It's not a big book, mind. I can't stop thinking about it. I can't decide if I like it or not.

It's beautiful and it's about beautiful things. But in Dunmore's brand of beauty is a pretention and a hautiness that strangles me.

"Yes? Some Motorloaf?"
"...due to a high proportion of dark meat to light, and a light touch with the mayo..."
"I have decreased the sugar, since the gumdrops pack such a wallop."
"So convenient for one."

this last quote drives me particularly up the wall. She's not saying "one" as in 'one person' but rather, "One is always pleased to hear that the Pope's water is running clear."
I know people talk this way. I'm thrilled that they do. But somehow, when Helen Dunmore writes it down, my craw starts to itch.

Does anyone else have a book like this? Obsessed and love-hate ish?

break through in grey room

art journal [07 Oct 2004|06:38pm]

stitchedupmouth
Spilling Open by Sabrina Ward Harrison is more art than words but it's a good book to curl up with when you're lonely.
Quirky, vibrant, easy to warm up to the author. Doesn't take long to get through.
The Girls Guide To Hunting And Fishing is entertaining. Worth the three or so hours it requires to get through, main character like Bridget Jones but with brains.
break through in grey room

The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester [11 Sep 2004|04:12pm]

surrealkitten
this is my new favorite book, after Kurlansky's Salt: A World History. It is written snappily and with love for the dozens of great minds who pioneered the creation of the most beautiful and comprehensive dictionary in any language. interlaced with the story is a tale of english itself, by far the world's most prolific language.

...We can somehow understand that the gloomy antecedents of Ibsen would have given to English the likes of awkward, birth, dirt, fog,... gap, ill, mire, muggy, tansack, root, rotten, rugged, scant, scowl, and wrong.
break through in grey room

Love Me by Garrison Keillor [14 Jul 2004|03:30pm]

surrealkitten
[ mood | loved ]

i've never experienced anything that keillor had his hand in that wasn't sweet and easy and reassuring, and beautifully constructed. this book is also a little tragic in its plot, which deals with infidelity and a man losing his sense of self. the descriptions of life at the new yorker, with the goofy william shawn and cranky granpa Calvin Trillin made me so jealous i wanted to spit.

break through in grey room

[14 Jun 2004|01:56am]

raiseyrvoice
[ mood | awake ]

summer reading assignments for a.p. european lit. are REALLY lame.
i HATE dickens.

break through in grey room

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