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November, 2010

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Thankfully Reading Wrap

Monday, November 29th, 2010

I’m just going to post a brief wrap-up, as I’m deeply into my third book of the weekend and want to get back to it :) So, Here are the prompts from Jenn (thank you for hosting!!!) and my responses:

  • Did you read as much as you hoped? Not even remotely, but family obligations come first.
  • How many books did you finish and what were the titles? Two: The Weird Sisters, and The Alchemist
  • For how many hours did you manage to escape into your books? I’ve honestly no idea; maybe ten, if you include the Tuesday/Wednesday hours?
  • Did anyone else in your family take time to read? I managed to get Joshua to read…. an issue of Sports Illustrated. Le sigh.
  • What was the winner for the weekend? Definitely The Alchemist – I truly feel as though I was meant to read this exactly now, given recent and upcoming changes I am working to process and must prepare to face in my life. I know this will be a regular re-read for me.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by this weekend; it was great to make some new connections! I hope you all enjoyed the reading, and I’m very much looking forward to next year :)

Thankfully Reading mini-challenge #3

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

The third mini-challenge of the Thankfully Reading weekend asks what reading community we’re most thankful for. I imagine this might be an oft-repeated response, but Twitter really has become my bookish go-to. From book bloggers and reviewers to up-to-the-minute book-related news, everything I care to know about the bookish world finds its way to my Twitter feed.

How about you, what community feeds you the most book-related goodness?

Thankfully Reading mini-challenge #2

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Part of my unemployment/winter hibernation checklist includes mounting my wall shelves and (finally) performing the Great Library Organization, which will consist of not only shelving the books, but parsing out which ones I still own after the book division with my former partner, and making sure my LibraryThing catalog is up to date. So for this challenge, I corralled my TBR boxes and unloaded one of them to give you something more attractive to view than just cardboard:

And a close-up of the titles:

I know I own The Eyre Affair, and may dig through the boxes to find it now that I’ve also picked up Lost in a Good Book. Otherwise I’ll likely try Story Time, or maybe finally tackle Jonathan Strange. Opinions?

Thankfully Reading mini-challenge #1

Friday, November 26th, 2010

The first mini-challenge of the Thankfully Reading readathon asks what book we’re most thankful for, and why.
I’ve read so many influential books in my life, but the first one that came to mind was Les Feinberg’s Stone Butch Blues. It was my inauguration into the world in which I am now deeply and lovingly ensconced, the world I didn’t know was mine until I discovered it within the pages of this book. Every time I read it, I find myself relating to it in new and different ways, learning more about my community of friends, my relationships with my lovers, my own innermost self.

What book are you most grateful for?

Thankfully Reading 2010

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Thanks to Jenn for hosting Thankfully Reading, a readathon designed to get the most bookish goodness out of the post-Thanksgiving weekend.

My Thankfully Reading weekend has had a bit of a twist thrown in, as extenuating circumstances required that I bring my little brother home with me from Thanksgiving dinner, and he’ll be hanging with me until Sunday night. While I could just read and let him play video games and watch TV and movies all weekend (which would make us both happy!), I’m trying to be the responsible kid here. So, it means cooking real meals instead of typical readathon snackish fare, playing some games together, and making at least one extremely badly timed but necessary trip out into the retail world for some musts for the lil man. Once he wakes up, I may try to find some titles in my children’s/YA collection that would appeal to him and see if he’d be interested in doing the readathon with me – maybe let him set up his own blog or Tumblr account for it, make it a bro-sis bonding thing. We shall see how it works out.

So, on to the actual reading bit! I’m nearly through my ARC of Eleanor Brown’s The Weird Sisters, and it’s very difficult to withhold any commentary. The book isn’t scheduled for release until January, however, and I’d rather wait until we’re a bit closer and I can add my teasers to the hype I’m sure this book will get.

Additionally, I’m in the middle of Sarah Waters’s Tipping the Velvet, a book club re-read, and JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I don’t know that I’ll return to either of these this weekend, as I prefer dedicated group reading time to consist of new-to-me titles. I think Paul Coelho’s The Alchemist might be next on the list. What are you reading this weekend?

Extra, Extra!

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

As many of you probably know, and have known for some time, LibraryThing is hiring. I have been squeeing about this for almost a month, and have been working on a bit of a photo campaign over on Facebook. The latest submission is kinda hard to read (the main idea was just to get the article on the front page, which looks AWESOME – thanks, JC!!!), but as the full text has been requested, here it is for your reading pleasure. Clicking the image below will bring you to the full front page view. Happy holiday/long weekend to all!

Eyeshadow and kittens.

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

In lieu of contributing to the drama llama that is taking over the interwebz re: Amazon, I took the advice of the lovely Marianne Kirby of The Rotund infamy, and am posting about eyeshadow and kittens. So there.

I had to snap the picture pretty damned quickly, because Iliena’s typical response to eyeshadows is to knock them off of whatever surface they’re on – including this chair. I also tried to get Xander and Iliena in on the shot together, but as soon as I started positioning the pigments around Xander’s comfy nest on the bed, he scattered. This is to be expected.

What does this have to do with books, you may ask? …..

Nothing. Deal with it. :D

I love my body, and you should, too.

Monday, November 8th, 2010

And why not love yours while you’re at it? ;)

A new friend of mine posted this brief but poignant article on The Bilerico Project this evening: Loving myself gay, loving myself fat. I met (Rev. Emily) Heath last month, and found her to be intelligent, kind-hearted, funny, and handsome. Having lived through more than twenty years of torment (from others, and myself) about my weight, I knew that she’d likely faced the same, and her bravery in sharing it with all of us is to be applauded.

Being shamed for my size has probably had more influence on me than anything else in my life. My earliest memories of this are from when I was seven or eight years old, both from schoolmates and neighborhood parents. More recently, long after I learned of the size acceptance movement, becoming active in groups like Fatshionista on LiveJournal and following blogs like The Rotund, I found myself trying to explain to one of my best friends why I felt like I wasn’t “good enough” for my¬† then-crush, who later became my partner. I came to the conclusion that the only reason was my weight. That was it. But it was enough to instill me with doubt and fear and intense feelings of inadequacy that leaked into everything I thought about myself, preventing me from trusting that she really wanted me. It was one hell of an epiphany, and I only wish I could say that it changed everything. Matter of fact, the end of that relationship drove the point deeper still: you weren’t good enough, and you know why. No, I don’t really believe that, but it’s hard to silence a voice that’s been whispering the same poison in your mind for over two decades. Even though my partner built my confidence through actions and words so that when we were together, I felt sexier and sassier than I ever had in my life, I couldn’t accept that my body wasn’t at least part of the problem when the relationship ended.

What does all of this have to do with books, you ask? Let me tell you about a book I can’t recommend enough to anyone who can relate to Heath’s experience, or my experience, or that of someone with an eating disorder, or who loses their modeling career over putting on five pounds. (Yes, the body acceptance movement is for thin and “average” sized people, too. If you have a body, chances are you’ve felt it was too something, or not something enough.)

Lessons from the Fat-o-sphere: Quit Dieting and Declare a Truce with Your Body, co-authored by Kate Harding and Marianne Kirby, is an incredible book. The link will lead you to my review on LibraryThing, where you can also find recommendations for other works about body acceptance, fat activism, and finding peace in the body you have right now, today. Heath’s article was the reminder I needed about how the book made me feel to read it, and how badly I could use that right now. I’m off to read a bit of it before bed, which I intend to do every night, even if it means reading it two or three times over, until I rediscover that sense of pride I once had in this body that does so much for me every single day. It’s a strong, healthy, sexy body, and it deserves a lil appreciation, most of all from me.

Literary ADD

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

Even when I’m reading a book I love, whether it’s an old favorite or a new book that has me engrossed, I occasionally find myself sidetracked and longing to read something different. Sometimes a glowing review, a gushing recommendation, or a movie tie-in or other multi-media reference will find me wanting to “cheat on” my primary read. Once upon a time, I’d have four or five books going at a time and think nothing of it, but of late, my reading time has been drastically cut, and so I’ve tried to keep it down to one or two.

How do you decide what to read when you’re pulled in multiple directions? Do you assign them various locations (I’ll read you at home, you on the commute, you before bed)? Do you soldier on through a single book at a time and make yourself wait to pick up the one that’s calling to you because of an impulse?

Free-Form Friday

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

it’s still technically Friday because I’m still awake, right?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how different my life would be if I were a parent. What I couldn’t do that I can right now; what I would do but don’t think to now; what I’d want to do to make sure that I was giving a kid the best life possible. Part of me feels like every minute should be spent in some kind of interaction, some supervised productive activity, some way to engage. But that’s just not realistic. Sometimes kids have to do their own thing. And it’s not always going to be edifying, or educating, or enlightening. Sometimes they just get to be kids. And that’s okay. No, it’s not okay to sit in front of a screen of some sort every waking minute. No, it’s not okay to refuse to ingest anything with any kind of nutritional value. But it is okay to have different preferences and tastes.

The trick is, finding ways to bring the two extremes together. Video games aren’t all violent, and movies aren’t all mind-numbing. Books aren’t all masterpieces, and good-for-you foods sometimes tastes like shit.

I’m learning.