Tuesday, April 28, 2009
  the books i'm keeping this semester
out of the MILLION (approximate) books i had to read this semester, i have just ruthlessly scoured them to decide which ones i want to keep. i thought i'd share it in case anyone needed a good book. i'm sending some of them to amanda, too, if she wants them.


j.m. coetzee - disgrace, soon to be a movie.
"Middle-aged professor David Lurie shuffles numbly through the shifting landscape of postapartheid South Africa. After he gets fired for sleeping with one of his students--and refusing to express remorse--Lurie finds shelter with his grown daughter and is exposed to a social reality that threatens more than his own sense of security. Winner of the Booker Prize, Coetzee's eighth novel employs spare, compelling prose to explore subtly the stuttering steps one man takes in a new world."

j.m. coetzee - elizabeth costello.
i'm saving it for the part of the book called "the lives of animals" (the part we read in class) which is thought-provoking to the point that i want to re-read it a couple of times.
"Billed as fiction, this puzzling book by the new Nobel laureate in literature is more nebulously a collection of essays, all but two previously published, embedded within the story of an aging novelist, Elizabeth Costello, as she goes on the lecture circuit. Costello first appeared in Coetzee's slender 1999 volume "The Lives of Animals," in which she delivered a college address on animal rights, and that text is reprised here as part of eight "lessons" that she must give or receive, ranging in subject from literary realism to the problem of evil. Coetzee's work has always been distinguished by cerebral rigor, which in his strongest novels propels narratives of claustrophobic and often savage intimacy. But here he seems to have lost faith in the power of storytelling; his heroine's journey takes place almost entirely in the realm of the mind, and the effect is that of exploring a cold, depopulated planet."

darwin: a norton critical edition. critical anthology about the impact of darwin's work on the world at large.
this is, um, not exciting... but i do actually want to get through it for my intellect's sake. we only had to read selections from it for class.

moby dick! i read this really reluctantly, but it turns out it was good. at the very least, i am super happy that i "get" moby dick references now. like the opening of the article on darwin a few months ago in national geographic that had the story's writer talking about how sometimes he longs to go to the sea... also, i find the scene with the mama whales and their calves.. memorable.


if you're interested in the holocaust, two books that stood out in my holocaust lit class were:

night by elie wiesel. you should know this one.

this way for the gas, ladies & gentlemen by tadeusz borowski. this was even more disturbing than night, if you could believe that.

oh, and maus, but i had read that a while back. it's seriously awesome.

this book was pretty good too, one of the few i really enjoyed in my asian american lit class:
stealing buddha's dinner. it's a story of a young vietname girl's assimilation into american culture as a child in the '80s. i found myself identifying a lot with the character, which doesn't happen particularly often.


i'm not big on poetry, but i loved:
to a mouse by robert burns
for my cat jeoffrey by christopher smart
and please, i implore you, if you have not read the rime of the ancient mariner by samuel taylor coleridge, READ IT! don't you wonder what all these cultural references to the albatross mean (and yes, they're out there)? what do they MEAN? read it (or listen to it) and find out! like i said, i ain't big on poetry, but i still have this audio file on my phone and listen to it on occasion.
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I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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