Book Playlist: The Revenant by Michael Punke

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The year is 1823, and the trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company live a brutal frontier life. Trapping beaver, they contend daily with the threat of Indian tribes turned warlike over the white men’s encroachment on their land, and other prairie foes—like the unforgiving landscape and its creatures. Hugh Glass is among the Company’s finest men, an experienced frontiersman and an expert tracker. But when a scouting mission puts him face-to-face with a grizzly bear, he is viciously mauled and not expected to survive.

The Company’s captain dispatches two of his men to stay behind and tend to Glass before he dies, and to give him the respect of a proper burial. When the two men abandon him instead, taking his only means of protecting himself—including his precious gun and hatchet— with them, Glass is driven to survive by one desire: revenge.

With shocking grit and determination, Glass sets out crawling inch by inch across more than three thousand miles of uncharted American frontier, negotiating predators both human and not, the threat of starvation, and the agony of his horrific wounds. In Michael Punke’s hauntingly spare and gripping prose, The Revenant is a remarkable tale of obsession, the human will stretched to its limits, and the lengths that one man will go to for retribution.

~ Playlist ~

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Top Ten Tuesday: Valentine’s Day Edition

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday – hosted by The Broke and the Bookish – is all about romance! Obviously….with Valentine’s Day this was a must. Everyone is thinking about love and romance (or lack thereof).

Now, everyone knows a couple that isn’t going to last. Maybe one, the other, or both individuals involved are immature; or maybe the circumstances aren’t right; or maybe they just aren’t well suited for each other; or maybe their family and friends are against the relationship….or countless other reasons. It’s just clear that the romance is doomed to fail.

There are a lot of these romances in literature too….so here are my top ten “doomed to fail” literary romances.

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Reading Globally

I know I just recently shared another infograph about world literature, but it’s an area of literature I haven’t read nearly enough into and I am finding a lot of interesting, engaging reads from these and want to share the works. The best way to combat isolationist mentality is to empathetically and thoughtfully engage with people who are different from us, and of course I think the best way to do this is through reading! As usual the link to the list is in the image! 

“Dispossessed of its objects, space was swarming”

A Forest Tale | by Gabriel Isak:

“A Forest Tale” by Gabriel Isak

I woke with a start. Cliche I know. But that’s what happened. My room was dark, of course, what had I expected? The silence spread out, blanketing the darkness with peace and sleep.

But I was not asleep, and something roiled in my stomach – the silence was not covering my mind. It did not encourage me to slide back into sleep. Instead the tightness of my stomach forced the peaceful silence away; turned the darkness into an ominous suffocating entity.

After a few minutes of silent desperation I sat up. I was being illogical.

“Men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore Socrates is mortal.” I shattered the silence with my basic, philosophy one-o-one, syllogism.

“Being afraid of the dark is only the continued fear from primordial time, an evolutionary impulse meant to keep us safe, continuing into the present through millennia of superstition and myth.” I spoke out, my words restoring logic and order.

What had forced me into this state of wakefulness at….two in the morning?

A dream probably….one I could not recall. I had spent too much time orienting myself.

A light breath escaped my mouth, the muscles through my neck and shoulders released, and my eyes fluttered shut. I could return to sleep now.

To die, to sleep–
To sleep–perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil (1)

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Book Playlist: Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov

Lolita When it was published in 1955, Lolita immediately became a cause célèbre because of the freedom and sophistication with which it handled the unusual erotic predilections of its protagonist. But Vladimir Nabokov’s wise, ironic, elegant masterpiece owes its stature as one of the twentieth century’s novels of record not to the controversy its material aroused but to its author’s use of that material to tell a love story almost shocking in its beauty and tenderness.

Awe and exhilaration–along with heartbreak and mordant wit–abound in this account of the aging Humbert Humbert’s obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America, but most of all, it is a meditation on love–love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation

 

~Playlist~

Intro – UNKLE

From Eden – Hozier

My Type – Saint Motel

Moon – Little People

Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) – Florence + The Machine

Paper Girl – July Talk

Lolita – Lana Del Rey

Line of Fire – Sucre

Guts – Alex Winston

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books that Pair Well With Vivaldi

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week has a new theme and you can participate however often you choose!

This week’s topic was a freebie, so I decided to have some fun with it! As you all know by now, I love books and music, so what could be better than to putting them together?

So without further ado — ten books that pair well with Vivaldi ( ♡) (Click the cover to open the youtube link with the Vivaldi piece!)

Seraphina (Seraphina, #1)The Thief (The Queen's Thief, #1)Revolution

 

Song of the SparrowA Company of SwansA Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1)Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely, #1)

 

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)The Night CircusA Man for All Seasons

 

 

Musings on Being Well Read

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It’s January (in case you were unaware) and that means it is once again time for New Year’s Resolutions. And for those of us who love to read that means book resolutions.

The interesting thing about January book resolutions is how it generates discussions not just about how many book a person wants to read but also about what kind of books that are going to be read in the coming year. Which centers around a quality question – what sort of books ought we to read? What book are qualitatively good? What books are important? What books are necessary to make one “well read.”

These questions are not so easy to answer. Susie Rodarme muses this question at length in her BookRiot post, “How to be Well Read”. I highly suggest reading this article, she deconstructs typical notions of being “well read” quite clearly and articulately, concluding that:

I know, that answer isn’t as easy as going through a list and ticking off boxes, though there are lists out there, if “well-read in this list of books” is what you want to tackle for your own well-read-ness (can I direct you to our Read Harder challenge for a start?). The main reason I wanted to put this maybe-unhelpful answer to this question out there is that I’ve hung around a lot of book spaces in the past where people use “well-read” as a way to keep other readers down and make themselves artificially elite. I’ve seen the term “well-read” used to keep the voices of people of color and women sidelined because they were of little interest to those striving to be traditionally well-read. I’ve seen those who think they have attained “well-read” status become stagnant and stop growing and seeking out new reading. I don’t think that it’s always necessarily a positive thing, to be “well-read” by someone else’s standards.

I think the underlying desires in wanting to be well-read are wanting to be accomplished and knowledgeable, so go out there and set some reading goals and accomplish them! You’ll pick up the knowledge along the way.

 

 

As much as I love her analysis and deconstruction of the “Literary Establishment” and its tendency to favor Western (esp. British/American) white, male authors, I still want to fight back a little bit.

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