Skip to main content

Reading in 2013: Building Better Blueprints & Losing Everything

A couple weeks ago, I stopped in the library just to pass ten minutes time before an appointment nearby...and I walked out with three books. Of course. I've already told you about Ru (read it - short, concise, lovely) and now on to the two other books.

Blueprints for Building Better Girls - a collection of short stories by Elissa Schappell, I was intrigued by the title.Very intrigued. And the framework - interconnected short stories - is one of my favourites. So I picked it up. And it was good. Realistic, gritty, sometimes awkward stories of a variety of relationships, mostly romantic, over several decades. I wanted more stories about multiple characters, which is a definite positive. Nothing wow-ed me in a profound way, but it was decent literature. Something a bit darker than your average vacation read, but not much work to get through.

Life is About Losing Everything by Lynn Crosbie. Again, the title drew me in. As did the cover design. And the back cover, which described this as part memoir and part fantastical fiction. Oh reeeeeeeeeeeally. The excerpt on the back was lovely and poignant and I wanted more. But I was underwhelmed by the first seventy-five pages. The life vignettes were certainly raw and at times fantastical, and I liked the non-linear structure. However, I didn't feel much of a draw towards the narrator, and the vignette format made it difficult to dive into a plot. Basically, there is a depressed woman, and a lot of men, and some drugs. I wanted to persevere, and I wanted things to get better for her, but the book was due back at the library, and I decided renewing it would be too much effort. I'm a big disappointed, mostly because it looks like quality Can Lit. And maybe it is.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What About Travis!?

I just watched Hope Floats, the second movie in my I-really-need-to-vegetate night. Now that we have more than three channels, there are so many quality programs on TV! Like movies in the middle of the week. I enjoyed many of the lines in this movie, including:

"I went home and told my mama you had a seizure in my mouth."
(referring to her first french-kissing experience)

"Dancing's just a conversation between two people. Talk to me."
(the conversation in our living room then went,
Girl 1: Only Harry Connick Jr. could say that line without it being incredibly cheezy.
Boy: Without it being cheezy? That's all I heard. Cheez, cheez, cheez.
Girl 2: Yeah, but it was sexy, sexy cheez...sigh.)
"Better do what she says, Travis. Grandma stuffs little dogs."

Bernice: At home we had a pet skunk. Mama used to call it Justin Matisse. Do you think that's just a coincidence? All day long she would scream, "You stink Justin Matisse!" Then one day she just…

Fostering FAQ: What's Her (Mom's) Story?

This is probably the second most common question I hear about the baby currently in our care, right after, "Will you keep her?"

It comes in many forms:

"So, what's her story?"
"Is her mom in the picture?"
"How did she end up in your home?
"Is her mom a drug addict?"
"How could a mom not love such a cute baby!"

I get it. It's natural curiousity, and I know I've asked similar questions of my friends who are adoptive parents.


But here's what I'm learning: a child's story is their own. And equally as important, the parent's story is their own.

Imagine how it might feel to hear that for the foreseeable future, you are not allowed to care for your child. On top of whatever difficult circumstances you are already in - perhaps poverty, social isolation, lack of adequate housing, domestic violence, intergenerational trauma, drug or alcohol dependency, low cognitive functioning, or a myriad of other complex strug…

Simone Weil: On "Forms of the Implicit Love of God"

Simone Weil time again! One of the essays in Waiting for God is entitled "Forms of the Implicit Love of God." Her main argument is that before a soul has "direct contact" with God, there are three types of love that are implicitly the love of God, though they seem to have a different explicit object. That is, in loving X, you are really loving Y. (in this case, Y = God). As for the X of the equation, she lists:

Love of neighbor Love of the beauty of the world Love of religious practices and a special sidebar to Friendship
“Each has the virtue of a sacrament,” she writes. Each of these loves is something to be respected, honoured, and understood both symbolically and concretely. On each page of this essay, I found myself underlining profound, challenging, and thought-provoking words. There's so much to consider that I've gone back several times, mulling it over and wondering how my life would look if I truly believed even half of these things...

Here are a few …