Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 30: "O Captain, My Captain!"

This is one of my favorite poems, written by Walt Whitman. I thought it was fitting since it's Memorial Day.

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart! 5
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills; 10
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck, 15
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won; 20
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

I hope your Memorial Day has been good, that you enjoy some sun, some camping, or just holiday stuff! I'm watching "All the President's Men" with Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman about the Watergate controversy--so good!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Day 29: "The Quest" from Man of La Mancha

This song always gives me hope, and since I am at a place in my life where I need lots of it, and strength to continue on in spite of hardship, I decided (since it has been in my head for the last little while as well) to give this to you as my reading for the day. My favorite rendition of this song is done by Brian Stokes Mitchell, a man among men...:) He can sing like an angel, and with POWER! If you ever want to look it up, just go to a search engine and type "The Impossible Dream" is so good, and it will give you what you need to carry on in this chaotic thing called life. The musical is about Don Quixote and his quest for Dulcinea, then, according to my dad, he gets taken off to be executed for being insane...that is not like the book at all, and I definitely need to see the musical to make sure (I definitely want to see it anyway!). The book Don Quixote is also amazing--do not be deterred by the fact that it's a thousand pages long (and I am not kidding!). It was an amazing experience to read it, and I seriously would suggest it to anyone.

The Impossible Dream

Lyrics by Joe Darion
Music by Mitch Leigh

To dream the impossible dream,
to fight the unbeatable foe,
to bear with unbearable sorrow,
to run where the brave dare not go.

To right the unrightable wrong,
to love pure and chaste from afar,
to try when your arms are too weary,
to reach the unreachable star.

This is my quest,
to follow that star --
no matter how hopeless,
no matter how far.

To fight for the right
without question or pause,
to be willing to march into hell for a
heavenly cause.

And I know if I'll only be true to this
glorious quest
that my heart will be peaceful and calm
when I'm laid to my rest.

And the world will be better for this,
that one man scorned and covered with scars
still strove with his last ounce of courage.
To reach the unreachable stars.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Day 28: The Reluctant Dragon & Kill the Wabbit

You must forgive me, but I have fallen ill, and so I will not be able to give you a reader's opinion on a book specifically. I have, however, for your entertainment and pleasure, some poetry and opera in the form of cartoons. These still are literary, just in a different form than normal. If these links end up no longer working after a while, I will give you the titles so that you can look them up on Google or Youtube. The first link is to The Reluctant Dragon, a really funny Disney cartoon (1941) about a dragon who is a poet and doesn't want to fight.
This next link is a Looney Tunes cartoon set to "Ride of the Valkyries"....a funny cartoon and, for the "elite set", a way for them to get their dose of art. It's officially called "What's Opera, Doc?"--a classic battle between Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny set to classical music. Sweet.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Day 27: The Song of Hiawatha: Hiawatha's Childhood and Hiawatha's Departure

My dad has recited pieces of this for a long time, ever since I was young, and so I decided to read it--or parts of it. The poem is gigantor...each section has several stanzas, and I think there's 15-20 parts....long poem. Anyway, I decided to read Hiawatha's childhood, which was good. Nakomis takes care of him, and like all children, he asks what the sounds of the night are, like owls, crickets and things, and she patiently answers him. I liked this section because it's so like kids--whatever age, whatever place you live in, kids are just as curious about everything...Longfellow was right on the money. Hiawatha's Departure, the next section I read, is really interesting, because Hiawatha receives the white man's religion with gladness and peace. I'm not against that, but I wonder if it's actually true...If Hiawatha was a real chief (which he probably isn't), all he would have received from the white man is disease and possibly religion, but not so easily as they make it sound, especially in Longfellow's times. But it's nice to think that they were well received; the explorers, on the other hand, were nightmares--they just wiped out everybody searching for gold and land, since they were sponsored by the royalty of various rich countries to discover the rest of the world. I'm not saying doubt the good relations between Hiawatha and the white man, but don't forget that our real history also holds some dark marks on us--disease, genocides, and greed.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Day 26: Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader

Ok, this book is awesome! It's a book about how a reader who is an author thinks--really. This lady even proofreads like I do; she reads everything and looks so closely that she even edits menus. I totally do that! I didn't know that other people do it, but I'm glad that it's not just me. There's another chapter about merging libraries and inscriptions...I love the inscriptions chapter, because she explains how important personal inscriptions are, and it makes you wonder about the history of the people included in the inscription...At least I've always wanted to find out. I've never found a book with an inscription yet that I've bought, but if I ever buy an old book, I will be searching for inscriptions and marginalia. That reminds me of a time that I wrote a ton of marginalia in a copy of The Odyssey when I was a Freshman in college at BYU--It included movie quotes and quotes from an all-nighter, soon followed up by another all-nighter and Parsifal. Quotes like "She's a witch, burn her!" in the margins where Circe tricks Odysseus on her island...this was like four in the morning, and I sold it back to the BYU bookstore. Whoever has the book now probably either thinks I was on something or gets a good laugh out of it...hopefully the latter. I love notes like that from other people in books. It gives you insight into another person's life--someone who could be your friend through the book. Anyway, anyone who wants to understand a writer's mind should read this book! Huzzah!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day 25: The Story of Ferdinand

A quarter of the way there! Wow....and I had a really good day, too. I went to the Bainbridge Ferry and the Frye Museum in Washington with my friend's mom Krista Lee. It was really fun and different, and I live in a landlocked place, so I'm not near a sea or ocean like Washington State. It was awesome! I saw lots of art, modern and classic, and saw Seattle from a distance....The Space Needle, where I will be going sometime this week, was always in the movies but I never saw it up close until now. So cool! And to top it off I read the story of Ferdinand, which makes me smile. I had never read the book, but I saw the Disney cartoon of it when I was a kid, and I always enjoyed that. It's pretty close to the book, and it was Disney....Who doesn't love Disney? The illustrations are great too, and although I had read many books as a child, I for some reason never saw this one until now (and in The Blindside, when Sandra Bullock reads it to her kids) other than the cartoon, which was done in the late 1930's I think. The cartoon belonged with a series, which included "Lambert the Sheepish Lion" and "Willy the Whale"....which are all great, kid-friendly cartoons unlike the stuff we see now. But that is just my soapbox on cartoons...don't worry about it, but if you're curious, read this book and watch the cartoons on Youtube....along with "The Reluctant Dragon", another old (and funny) Disney cartoon.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Day 24: The Scarlet Pimpernel

They seek him here,
they seek him there;
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in heaven?--Or is he in hell
That demmed elusive Pimpernel.

This is a book for anyone who loves action, heroism, adventure and, of course, romance. The scarlet pimpernel itself is a "humble wayside flower" but the hero that bares the name is a man of cunning, strength and charity which blesses the people of France in 1792, the Reign of Terror with Madame la guillotine. There are also several movie versions, the best of which I think is The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982) starring Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour, and Ian McKellen. This movie does not follow the original book too much, but that's because it takes two of the books (There are actually thirteen, but only the first one is still in print...:) ) and mixes them together. It is sooo good! There is also the musical of The Scarlet Pimpernel, which has great music and great dialogue. The Scarlet Pimpernel is all around awesome....and to think it was rejected by several publishers before it was received by the general public. Food for thought.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Day 23: Ligeia & The Oval Portrait

These are two Edgar Allan Poe stories that I never got the chance to read-all I've got to say is, creepy as all get out. Good, but creepy. It made me wonder if he himself was an opium fiend, like most of his protagonists (He probably was-I'm also pretty sure he was an alcoholic). He was orphaned at a young age and taken in by the Allan family. Poe also had a marriage to his thirteen year old cousin(Just don't think about it...). She died before him...No wonder he did so well--he had lots of material for his work. I like Poe, especially when I'm in a macabre mood (Or it's Halloween), but sometimes I forget just how crazy and terrible they can be. He especially likes to describe the body....hands, skin....the eyes. That was something that was all over Ligeia, the description of the eyes, and how they bored into the soul. He was poor in spite of his work (He was a writer and a literary critic who was very prolific indeed). Interesting cat, Poe. No one really knows what he died from--the greatest mystery of all. We only imagine what death must be like, but we don't know until we get there what it's really like. I hope mine is peaceful. I would hope I don't die from rabies, tuberculosis, cholera etc...(These are just a few of the possibilities for Poe's death).

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 22: May 2009 Ensign: LDS General Conference Addresses

I finished a magazine called the Ensign-a religious magazine for all who want to know about worldwide topics from an LDS perspective...This one was specific to the LDS General Conference. Every six months, the members gather to hear from their leaders. The Conference can be heard and seen through satellite and computer technologies and is shown also on TV and is live in Salt Lake City in the Conference Center that houses thousands of people. The Conference is not exclusive to members-anyone who wishes to see it can see the general sessions live if they have tickets, or they can watch it on TV in the first week of April and the first week of October...There are four general sessions (that means they're for everyone) one session for men only, and included in the Ensign is the women's session, but that one is usually the week or so before the big Conference. The May and November magazines have the all talks given from the previous month. So, really, this is an up to date forecast for things we need to know now; issues and obstacles that are prevalent in the present day will be addressed by these leaders. They have a very large and long reaching responsibility-They guide us on how to deal with the issues of the here and now. If you want to know more, let me know-I would be glad to be of service.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Day 21: "Giants in the Sky" from Into the Woods

If you haven't guessed by now, I like fact, I really like them, and this song has been in my head off and on all weekend. It's when Jack is talking about climbing the beanstalk and what he finds there. He seeks adventure, but when it turns sour he remembers home and looks to home to find safety. I think this song has been in my head because I also am starting off on a new adventure-a whole new part of my life...I am going to Washington State to see some of my FAVORITE friends and to also visit my aunt, all of whom I love. But this is to help me figure out my life-to move on from the old into the new, though right now I don't really have a clear vision of what the "new" is...I'm just going to help it happen. So hopefully I'm not too strange and you can see the connection between starting a new adventure and these lyrics.
There are Giants in the sky!
There are big tall terrible Giants
in the sky!

When you're way up high
And you look below
At the world you left
And the things you know,
Little more than a glance
Is enough to show
You just how small you are.

When you're way up high
And you're own your own
In a world like none
That you've ever known,
Where the sky is lead
And the earth is stone,

You're free, to do
Whatever pleases you,
Exploring things you'd never dare
'Cause you don't care,
When suddenly there's

A big tall terrible Giant at the door,
A big tall terrible lady Giant
sweeping the floor.
And she gives you food
And she gives you rest
And she draws you close
To her Giant breast,
And you know things now
that you never knew before,
Not till the sky.

Only just when you've made
A friend and all,
And you know she's big
But you don't feel small,
Someone bigger than her
Comes along the hall
To swallow you for lunch.

And you heart is lead
And your stomach stone
And you're really scared
Being all alone...

And it's then that you miss
All the things you've known
And the world you've left
And the little you own-

The fun is done.
You steal what you can and run.
And you scramble down
And you look below,
And the world you know
Begins to grow:

The roof, the house, and your Mother at the door.
The roof, the house and the world you never thought to explore.
And you think of all of the things you've seen,
And you wish that you could live in between,
And you're back again,
Only different than before,
After the sky.

There are Giants in the sky!
There are big tall terrible awesome scary wonderful
Giants in the sky!
Cool, eh? Anyway, if you don't get the connection that's ok....but I would definitely suggest seeing this musical or hearing the music to anyone who enjoys musicals-this is a good one

Friday, May 21, 2010

Day 20: Positive and Negative Affect, Forgivness and Relationship Quality

Sounds really scientific? Well, it's a paper I edited for a friend-her honor's thesis for Marriage and Family Therapy. Yes, I am an editor, in case that is news to you...I have been so unofficially since junior year in high school. If you need a paper edited, just let me know and as long as I know what the subject matter is and what you want from this paper, I can figure it out and hopefully make it better. I enjoy editing a lot in fact--I could spend hours doing it if I know the deadline and it's not too impossible. My favorite type of editing, I have to admit, is editing stories and novels...oh, what I wouldn't give to do that! If you have any creative writing especially, that would be AMAZING, but I don't ever mind editing other things as well. I just have an editor's mind, and it is a passion and a labor of love. If you ever find me up late at night, that's probably what I'm doing--writing, editing, or reading. Now you know one of my great weaknesses, and if you want to indulge me you are more than welcome. I have never asked for money before, and I don't really plan to, but all that I ask is that you don't abuse me....If we come to some sort of agreement, that's great too (I had someone agree to take me to dinner once for my editing work), but if we do that, I will hold you to it. Anyway, so I love editing and that's what I read today. The life of a literati becomes so interesting with what you read and how you end up getting your reading material....:)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day 19: The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Yes...I know I sound really obsessive and I have already done two of the Sherlock books, but this book. and how I found it, is a very interesting story indeed. It was actually written by Doyle, the original author, and I can't pass this up! I didn't even know this book existed until about two weeks ago when I went to the Provo Library and, trying to get my friend Alyssa into the Sherlock books, picked up a giant compilation and found it in there. I was surprised, because I thought I knew about them all--at least all of the original books (I know there are others written by other people-I'll deal with those later. I am definitely a die hard for originals...). Anyway, so two weeks later I happen into a bookshop at the Provo Towne Center Mall called Eborn Books, and what do I find there but this book. I bought it at once, knowing that I would probably never happen upon this chance again. So now I only have two left to own--The Sign of the Four and His Last Bow. I can't wait for the day when I'll own the entire collection!
There are some great stories in here, particularly "The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax", "The Adventure of the Devil's Foot" and "The Adventure of the Dying Detective". Arthur Conan Doyle is a genius...that's all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 18: "Hold On" from The Secret Garden, The Musical

I have had a really hard time lately with lots of things. This song was first introduced to me by my friend Elisa-She put it on a mix for me ages ago....I think it was for my birthday. Anyway, on the mix is this song, and it has really helped me when I'm upset or down. It's from The Secret Garden: The Musical. I have never seen it, but I really like this song, and it helps.
When you see the storm is coming,
See the lightning part the skies,
It's too late to run-
There's terror in your eyes!
What you do then is remember
This old thing you heard me say:
"It's the storm, not you,
That's bound to blow away."

Hold on,
Hold on to someone standing by.
Hold on.
Don't even ask how long or why!
Child, hold on to what you know is true,
Hold on 'til you get through.
Child, oh child!
Hold on!

When you feel your heart is poundin',
Fear a devil's at your door.
There's no place to hide-
You're frozen to the floor!
What you do then is you force yourself
To wake up, and you say:
"It's this dream, not me,
that's bound to go away."

Hold on,
Hold on, the night will soon be by.
Hold on,
Until there's nothing left to try.
Child, hold on, There's angels on their way!
Hold on and hear them say,
"Child, oh child!"

And it doesn't even matter
If the danger and the doom
Come from up above or down below,
Or just come flying
At you from across the room!

When you see a man who's raging,
And he's jealous and he fears
That you've walked through walls
He's hid behind for years.
What you do then is you tell yourself to wait it out
And say it's this day, not me,
That's bound to go away.

Child, oh hold on.
It's this day, not you,
That's bound to go away!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day 17: Once Upon a Time: A Treasury of Fairy Tale Illustrations

I went to the bookstore today to run some errands in the Wilkinson Center (The BYU student hub) and found this book. I was surprised, because it got me thinking, "What would we do without illustrators?" My sister, who's an artist, can understand this question. She would probably say to me, "You can't do without them.", and she would be right. As I was looking through the book and reading the information on some of the artists, I recognized some of their styles from my own fairytale books when I was younger. What a bleak world it would be without art! There are so many types and styles, and if you know how to draw or paint (which I don't...) you can create worlds and give shape to the mind's eye of those who read books. What a responsibility, and what a great adventure! There were some artists who worked on magazines and printed editions, mostly of Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen tales, but there were some who worked for Disney in the 1930's and who worked on the more modern tales of Oscar Wilde...It's just all over the place, and lives as much as print does. We need art as much as we need the printed word, and putting them together is a treasure indeed. May we never forget the "behind the scenes" parts of a book...the authors, the illustrators, the publishers, the editors....If you find a book you like, remember all the people behind that good book.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Day 16: B is for Bookworm

I took a walk to the Provo Library to return my books, which was a really nice walk. While there, I picked up this book, because I figured "Why not? I'm here, and I am a bookworm". The book was informative, but definitely not for everyone, and I had a hard time keeping interested. On my way back, however, I found a botanical garden path near the SWKT (Spencer W. Kimball Tower on BYU campus) and a lilac bush near the Smith Fieldhouse. My mother loves lilacs....I almost plucked a stem off, but thought better of it....I'll probably tell her though. I also went job hunting and I'm trying to stay positive; hopefully I'll figure out what I need to do soon. Grad school, job here in Provo, job somewhere else...I'm trying to be in the right places for things to happen, you know? Anyway, so while the book wasn't necessarily that great, there were other things to be learned and enjoyed- C'est la vie!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Day 15: Handel's Messiah: Full Score

I chose a different method of reading today....I found the full text of Handel's Messiah on Google and read it with the music going on in the background (and yes-I have full score on my Ipod. I told you I was a geek...). It was really interesting to do it this way, and I definitely think Handel was inspired. In case you are not aware, the Messiah score comes from the Book of Isaiah, a messianic prophecy given to the people of Jerusalem. Legend tells us that Handel wrote the entire score in two weeks including oratorios, choral and the musical parts. If that actually is true, how great and wonderful is inspiration! Thousands, maybe millions, know the Messiah-we hear it every Christmas and Easter....If anything is to be said for the inspiration and edification of great art, I hope this would be in the Top 10. It is certainly high on my list, and no matter what faith you are a part of, the universal element of music is included in this great work. If you have not had the chance to look closely at this score, I would most definitely do it. I had heard Handel's Messiah for many years, but had never paid close attention to the lyrics, and Isaiah is one of the biggest books in the Bible, so I was wary of it.....:) But today, I have been enlightened.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Day 14: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstien

The Giving Tree is a wonderful book...It almost made me shed a tear. It was so touching, teaching about life change but in a way that is universal. I had heard about the book before, but had never read it, and I didn't know it was by Shel Silverstien. He's a genius.....The book is so simple and yet the theme is important to remember. I would suggest this to anyone who wants a book to teach their children or just wants it for themselves. Even cynics and people who say, "Oh, this is for children, not real adults"-for people like that I would say flat out "You're wrong." Everyone needs this book. I would urge you to buy it if you have the money or go to a library and read it if you don't. Embrace it's themes and simplicity....let it become a part of you.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Day 13: The Women of Pemberley

This book is really good, and yes-it is a sequel written by a Jane Austen fan. A continuation of Pride & Prejudice, and apparently a part of a Series called The Pemberley Chronicles. I didn't know until I got home from the library that this book is actually book 2 of the series...I have no idea what the first one is. But it's still interesting and I like it very much. If you are either a hopeless romantic or a Jane Austen fan, you will like this book. A shout out to hopeless romantics everywhere-Huzzah! Another thing-If you are one of this club, you will also like Letters to Juliet, a movie that just came out today...I saw it and shed a tear or two. Don't worry, it's not sad--it just reminds us what we all really want--love. So if your in the mood for some romance, history and social repartee, this is a great book to fulfill those needs. No matter what, if you have joined me on this journey, I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have so far. I will keep you updated, as always, and as my good friends and confidantes: Adieu, mais seul maintenant (Goodbye, but only for now!)!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Day 12: The Sandwich Swap & The Undone Fairytale

These are two different books, by the way...just so you don't get confused. Both of them are really good....
The first book, The Sandwich Swap, is about two girls who are best friends who think each other's sandwich is gross. They don't say anything until they get angry at each other and start a food fight....I won't tell you the rest, but it's actually a pretty cute book. The second book, The Undone Fairytale, is really the book progresses the illustrator is painting each page and you find him in the book. They keep telling you to stop but of course you don't and chaos ensues! This book is definitely a nod to fact, I was thinking of my sister Liz the entire time I was reading it...It's really fun and will make you smile. By the way, I keep wanting to say this-Just because a book is short doesn't mean it can't mean something important or bring you to some place better than you were. Just remember that as I'm doing this. I hope you all have a great day, and if your running the 100 with me, keep going....I'm right beside ya!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Day 11: As a Man Thinketh

There is a lot of wisdom in this book...I would suggest this to anyone who is looking for ways to live a happier life. This is what I learned:

-Our thoughts create our circumstances; if we think good thoughts we create good circumstances, and if we think bad thoughts, we create bad circumstances.
-Love, sacrifice and service are the ways to find peace and happiness, no matter the circumstances we may be in.
-Cherish your visions, cherish your dreams...If you want them bad enough and do all you can to achieve them, they will come to pass.
-Listen to music that inspires you.
-Thought precedes action, good or bad.
-Look for the beauty that surrounds you-in nature and in people.
-"Into your hands will be placed the results of your own thoughts..."
-"The calm man, knowing how to govern himself, knows how to adapt himself to others...The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater his success, his influence, his power for good."
-"Say unto your heart 'Peace, be still!' "

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 10: Tyrannosaurus was a Beast by Jack Prelutsky

Today has already been a really tough day for me....tough on the job hunt, I didn't get enough sleep last night, I want to burn a book I'm working on and I feel swindled...not robbed, swindled. Those are two very different things, by the way. Anyway, so to counter all this, I read this book that I loved when I was a kid...It was my brother's when we were little, but I went searching for it in the library and found it. It's a really funny book, and I think anyone who picks it up can't help but smile, no matter what kind of day you're having. My favorite poem in the book is "Iguanodon" and it goes like this:

Iguanodon, Iguanodon,
whatever made you fade,
you've traveled on, Iguanodon,
we wish you could have stayed.

Iguanodon, Iguanodon,
we've sought you everywhere
both here and yon, Iguanodon,
but failed to find you there.

Iguanodon, Iguanodon,
you were a gentle kind,
but now you're gone, Iguanodon,
and left your bones behind.

For children and adults alike, I definitely want to suggest this as one you want in your library. Hope all is well with you and I hope you can find some gladness wherever you are.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Day 9: The Bell Witch

I love all types of folklore, and so when I picked up this book from the library this afternoon, I was really excited. It is a poltergiest set around the town of Red River in Tennessee called "The Bell Witch" because it tormented a family named the Bells. The most interesting thing about this book is that it is actually a memoir, given to the author and prepared for publication. The facts are real, set down from letters and especially the account of Richard Powell, a man who actually lived and sent this account to his daughter to set before the world. The narrative and conclusion are so well built and shocking that I was riveted to the end trying to figure this one out...Definitely a Halloween type story, if you're into that sort of thing. As soon as I started reading this book, I immediately remembered a folklore class I took in college, but I feel this deserves more than just a nod because it is a memoir. I am sure that the story of the "Bell Witch" up until the time this book came out was swiftly transferred from truth to legend, as most folklore does, but then this remarkable story, and the truth behind it, came to light. How interesting the human condition, and what we do for protection of ourselves. our families, and our lives.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Day 8: The Tree House by Kathleen Jamie

This is a book I had never read before and found randomly on my shelf in Salt Lake. Apparently it's my mom's, who read it while in a Scottish reading group a while back. By the way, Happy Mother's day to every good woman who wants to make a difference in the world...this day is for you. Anyway, the book is a poetry collection from the British Isles. I don't know if it was the language gaps or cultural misunderstanding, but there are some poems that I didn't understand because I didn't understand the words she was using. They are, however, I am sure linguistically interesting, especially the origins. Therefore, for your education and pleasure, I provide some of the words, and a verse or two that I like.

Smirr-There is no dictionary definition available for this word, but the closest thing they could come up with was Smore...:)

Acequias-An irrigation ditch; a southwest Americanism derived from Spanish

Sluice- n: An artificial channel for conducting water, often fitted with a gate (sluice gate) at the upper end for regulating the flow.
v: to let out water by or as if by opening a sluice
It is of Latin origin, a part of Old French that mixed into Middle English, and has lingered on to this day.

Rock rose- Any plant of the genus Cistus or some allied genus

Pipistrelles- any of the numerous insectivorous bats of the genus Pipstrellus of Europe and Asia
It is of Italian origin pipistrello, then transferred to the French language.

Sphegnum- any soft moss of the genus Sphagnum, occurring chiefly in bogs, used for potting and packing plants, dressing wounds etc.
Originally from the Greek sphagnos, meaning moss

Souterrain- A subterranean passage or structure; grotto
Of the French origin meaning underground.

Brindled- adj: gray or tawny with darker streaks or spots
Alteration of brinded, meaning grizzled, speckled, etc.

And finally, a verse that I particularly liked from a poem called "The Bower":

And listing deep,
in the entailed estate,
sure only of its need
to annunciate.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Day 7: The Valley of Fear

Another Sherlock novel, this is one written much like A Study in Scarlet. where there is a second story, a past life that plays deeply into the present, and really Sherlock and Watson come in only when the present is written....Sherlock still definitely solves the case, but the past which he is not a part of has played an integral part. It is a really interesting way to write, but can be a little confusing at times, even for me. That's all except two that I have read of the Sherlock Holmes series, and I'm as big a fan as ever. I also heard that Brad Pitt was going to play the part of Professor Moriarty in the sequel to the movie of Sherlock Holmes-"WHAT?!" was my first reaction...still trying to wrap my head around that one. I never saw Brad Pitt as a maniachal math professor (and yes, that is EXACTLY what Moriarty is.), nor did I ever think of him as sinister enough....I guess we shall see. But at least for now know that I keep myself at bay for this one, and no matter what I will always be a fan of the original books. If you are a fan, this is a read for you.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Day 6: The Book of Enos

This book continues to remind me of the power of prayer-This man prayed all day to have his sins forgiven, and when he was sufficiently forgiven he immediately begins to pray for his brothers, those with or without the truth, and the future generations that will follow him. Who has that faith? Do I have that faith? That kind of faith that I know I can bless other people's lives just by getting on my knees.....It's just a really interesting concept. I challenge you, whoever you are. that the next time you feel like praying, do what Enos did-whatever faith or church you may be a part of, I challenge you to pray all the day long-then see what miracles you can bring about.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Day 5: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

I never said I wouldn't do children's books....I didn't. And in fact, this one helped me today because I was doing major amounts of research and ended up with a whopper of a headache, which is better now...but anyway, back to the book. So this book was very different from the movie, and I saw the movie first. Now I know that someone at this point is probably wanting to get into the classic "Which is better book or movie" argument with me, but honestly I can say that I'm not sure which is better because they are so different from each other. The book doesn't explain how the crazy weather came to the town, but the movie has lots of side characters that are integral only to the movie script....Sigh. I will say though, that I love the protagonist in the movie: Flint Lockwood. He's really funny and kind of crazy, which I enjoyed immensely. There is no Flint Lockwood in the book. Maybe what you should do, if you haven't read the book or seen the movie, is read the book and see the movie in the same night-then you can form your own opinions. Let the sun shine, and may your dinners be scrumptious!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Day 4: 501 Pearls of Wisdom

When I explained this blog to a friend last night, she asked me, "So is that what you do? Read all day?" The answer is, "No, not at all. I look for jobs and have social engagements like everyone else, but reading for me is a lot better than whiling away the hours staring at the ceiling when I have time to spare." So, it is in that spirit that I write this next blog. It was a quote book given to me by my roommate before she left for London on study abroad, in case you're curious as to why a flood of quotes will follow....

"Humility does not mean weakness. It does not mean timidity. It does not mean fear. A man can be humble and fearless. A man can be humble and courageous."
-Ezra Taft Benson
"Nobody stands taller than those willing to stand corrected."
-William Safire
"The call to discipleship is a call to continue. To carry on. To persist. To endure. To finish. The Lord needs finishers, those who make the commitment and then walk the road-no matter the difficulty or challenge-to the very end."
-Robert L. Millet
"As long as we exercise love, patience and understanding, even when no progress is apparent, we are not failing. We must keep trying."
-Marvin J. Ashton
"Reverence is like a symphony. Reverence is profound respect, mingled with love and awe, as for a holy being, or place, or an exalted thing."
-Harold B. Lee
"Patience is not to be mistaken for indifference. It is to care very much, but to be willing, nevertheless, to submit both to the Lord and to what the scriptures call "the process of time."
-Neal A. Maxwell
"God has planted in our hearts an instinctive desire to worship, to seek salvation, to love and to serve a power or being greater than ourselves. Worship is implicit in existence itself."
-Bruce R. McConkie
"Great trials lie ahead. All of the sorrows and perils of the past are but a foretaste of what is yet to be. And we must prepare ourselves temporally and spiritually."
-Bruce R. McConkie
"Be liberal in your giving, that you yourselves may grow."
-Marion G. Romney
"Ideals are stars to steer by; they are not sticks to beat ourselves with."
-Barbra B. Smith
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more."
-Melodie Beattie
"The test of our soul's greatness is rather to be sought in our ability to comfort and console, our ability to help others, rather than our ability to help ourselves and crowd others down in the struggle of life."
-Joseph F. Smith
"Perhaps the most essential godlike quality is that of compassion and love-compassion shown forth in service to others, unselfishness, that ultimate expression of concern for others which we call love."
-Spencer W. Kimball
*"A man filled with the love of God is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race."
-Joseph Smith
"No matter what your past has been, you have a spotless future."
-Hugh B. Brown
"Love is the most divine attribute of the human soul, and if you accept the immortality of the soul...then you must believe that love also lives."
-David O. McKay
"If my life is of no value to my friends it is of none to myself."
-Joseph Smith
"Forget yourself and find someone who needs your service, and you will discover the secret to the happy, fulfilled life."
-Ezra Taft Benson
"We must remember that those mortals we meet in parking lots, offices, elevators and elsewhere are the portion of mankind God has given us to love and to serve."
-Spencer W. Kimball
"Music is truly the universal language, and when it is excellently expressed, how deeply it moves our souls."
-David O. McKay
"We each do the best we can. My best may not be as good as your best, but it's my best."
-Marjorie Pay Hinckley
"The spirit of the gospel is optimistic; it trusts in God and looks on the bright side of things."
-Orson F. Whitney
"On every hand we can find opportunity for the use of the talents our Father has blessed us with."
-George Albert Smith
"When a man works by faith he works by mental exertion instead of by physical force."
-Joseph Smith
*"It is not a call to a special office that opens the windows of revelation to a truth seeker. Rather it is personal righteousness."
-Bruce R. McConkie
"A temple is a place where the divine spark in man, or the infinite in man, can seek the infinite in God."
-Franklin D. Richards
"Any man can go into the highest degree of the celestial kingdom of God when his actions have been such that he can feel at home there."
-James E. Talmage
"Great love is built on great sacrifice, and the home where the principle of sacrifice for the welfare of each other is daily expressed is that home where abides great love."
-Harold B. Lee
"History rests on the shoulders of those who accepted the challenges of difficulties and drove through to victory in spite of everything."
-Hugh B. Brown
"No matter how serious the trial, how deep the distress, how great the affliction. God will never desert us. He never has, and he never will. He cannot do it. It is not his character."
-George Q. Cannon
"When trials and tribulations come, we can just hang tight and keep doing our best and things will eventually get better."
-Marjorie Pay Hinckley
"It is difficult to make a man miserable when he feels he is worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him."
-Abraham Lincoln
"There will always be plenty of miracles if we have eyes to see and ears to hear."
-Howard W. Hunter
"The successful general is one under whose leadership the staff, as well as the rank and file, will work and die with enthusiasm."
-Walter Gifford
*"Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
-Marjorie Pay Hinckley

*Note: The quotes with asterisks are words I live by....If I can help you in any way, shape or form, I will certainly do it....Please let me know how I might be able to serve you and be a good friend.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Day 3: Limitations by Scott Turow

More about the law than I ever wanted to know, which is probably why it was so epically confusing at first. I also figured out who the culprit was before the end, which is definitely new for me...I enjoyed that. :) It was not necessarily an action-packed page turner, like most mysteries seem to become, but truly a methodical vision of what goes on behind closed doors concerning the law. An interesting read, but watch out-there is certainly some colorful language, if I do say so myself. There are some particular quotes I just can't get over, though, and I must share them.

"George Mason has known Cassandra Oakey all of her life. He held her no more than a month after she was born, and retains a clear memory of playing Go Fish with her an entire afternoon when she was seven and had come to the office with Harrison on a school holiday while George was in the life-suspended state that always set in when he was waiting for a jury."

"When you sin, you always go back to your roots."

If any of you plan to become a lawyer or a judge, this book is for you....and don't think that I'm giving everything away by giving you the quotes-I'm not. You'll just have to read it and find out for yourself...:)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Day 2: A Study in Scarlet/The Country of Saints

I will admit that I had read the first half of this book, A Study in Scarlet, before; but I had never read the second half. Although they are written separately, and they come in two parts, I discovered, when I read this book completely this time, that they ARE actually connected. I decided to go backward on this one, considering that I had not read The Country of the Saints before. That's how I discovered these two were connected-Even if you had read them in the proper order, not very many would realize it 'til the end. Besides, I didn't mind reading A Study in Scarlet again-I think it's hilarious! It's the first story that has Sherlock Holmes in it, and the one, of course, where Watson and Sherlock meet. They don't know anything about each other, and Watson's first impressions are half the fun.

By the way, Mormonism does not equal evil despotism. Poligamy is no longer a part of the Mormon religion. In fact, it was ended from revelation given by Wilford Woodruff in 1890. The prophet today is not a despot or a tyrant, nor have they ever been, but a religious leader who is a conduit to the will of the Lord. The reason why I say this is because if you read The Country of Saints, you will get a misconstrued perception of Mormons, probably that they are wicked and tyrannical....but it is not so. If you are curious to find out more, let me know and I will do my best to help you understand.

Another thing....this morning, before I started reading, I went job hunting. In my wanderings, I dropped off only two applications, but discovered something else....a life-size cardboard cutout of Jesus, and an intimate observation of downtown Provo. The amount of things you miss when you aren't going slowly is quite a lot....indeed, a place that I have lived in for five years held quite a few surprises for me today. Perhaps this summer is for those intimate observations, rather than for anything of a material nature....we shall see.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Day 1: The Book of Job

Ch. 4: 17: "Shall mortal man be more just than God? Shall a man be more pure than his maker?"

Ch. 13: 2: "What ye know, the same do I know also: I am not inferior unto you."

15-16: "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him...He also shall be my salvation."

Ch. 27: 5: "Till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me."

Ch. 42: 2: "I know thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee."

Saturday, May 1, 2010

100 Books, 100 Days

My roommates and I came up with my goal: Read 100 books in 100 days....It is not impossible. I will also write an entry about each book I read-and they will be all types of books, from Sci-fi to Youth fiction, to non-fiction, plays....who knows? But hopefully I will learn, and take you along for the ride! Get set, 'cause tomorrow's gonna be a brand new day full of "Words, words, words..."!