My only political rant for 2012 (taken from my Twitter from last night): Can I just say, and I am guilty, that all of these hate tweets about both sides is bullying. It’s okay to disagree. But respect everyone.
Mean or vicious statements about a candidate’s race or their family is hateful. It’s okay to like a candidate or to dislike a candidate. It is okay to have an opinion on what candidates
stand for. But it is not okay to maliciously attack someone because you feel you have a platform to do so. I was so disheartened to see many people on both my FB and Twitter feed, for whom I have a deep respect, say some of the ugliest things and then discuss how bullying affects people in their next statement.
Our failure to recognize that our words have the power to build but also destroy is one of the biggest downfalls of humanity and the influence of social media has emboldened many to say what they wish without having any repercussions. So please, take time to think about what you say and know that many people are reading/watching/listening and if you wish to be the change in which we see in the world, set forth a good example. Teach your children and peers that disagreeing about things is perfectly okay but to do so in a manner that is respectful to all.
I was never a popular girl. I hung out with the popular pretty girls and I became friends with people by proxy. But on weekends? Never got phone calls to hang out. Never had a date unless I solicited it myself or had a friend arrange it. I was a wallflower. Not pretty enough for rampant attention but not ugly enough to be sent into the Out Crowd. I was the smart girl who loved reading and obscure music and no one knew what to do with me.
Fast forward a few years and not much changed except I was now the funny girl. I made a few friends of my own but usually they were just extensions of friendships with others or relatives of boyfriends. Never a friendship that I just was like, “Hey…we have a lot in common.”
That has damaged me from making friends as an adult. I’m not popular because popularity means you have to be skinny and rich…oh wait, like high school. I’m not completely in the out crowd because I keep treading the pool of slight friendships with others. But yet, here I am again. Just like high school.
No one gets my jokes and I come off too strong when someone starts paying attention to me because I am so starved for friendship attention that I become a leech. I am aware. I know how desperate I look. I’m no fool.
No one likes me. It’s high school all over again. The people I have things in common with aren’t really hanging out people and the ones that are…I either scare away or I’m not good enough for.
And friendships with girls? Girls think I am weird. I make crass jokes, I act too tomboyish, not girly enough.
Guys? I’m married. Can’t have guy friends. It’s too odd.
My close sister friend? Hundreds of miles away and I’m all alone.
It gets better? Not hardly. It gets worse. Being a wallflower makes you feel completely alone.
“You should date a girl who reads.
Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.
Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.
She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.
Buy her another cup of coffee.
Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.
It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.
She has to give it a shot somehow.
Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.
Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.
Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.
If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.
You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.
You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.
Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.
Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”
— Rosemarie Urquico
Last night, as many of you well know, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore produced by Brandon Oldenberg and William Joyce of Moonbot Studios in Shreveport, Louisiana, won the Oscar Award for Best Animated Short.
I’ve watched this 15 minute film several times, and each time I watch it, I cry big tears of happiness because this short encompasses why I do what I do.
Mr. Morris Lessmore is in New Orleans when a hurricane comes and destroys everything. As he is walking around, taking all the devastation in, a woman floats by, suspended by flying books on ribbons. A book drops down on the fence, Humpty Dumpty, and begins to bring Mr. Lessmore on a journey to a magical place where he takes care of the books. Where he gives them audience, compliments them on their work, mends them carefully, and then passes them along to others so that they can find joy in the pages all while creating his own story. In the end, he walks off into the great unknown and another keeper of the books is left in his place.
Why does this film move me so? One of the best parts of the film is the change that overcomes the reader when they read a book. They are completely black and white and gray, void of any color, however, when they open a book and read, their color vividly appears and a smile crosses their face and the book has accomplished what it set out to acheive.
My goal in life is to be a Mr. Morris Lessmore. To add color to an everyday person’s life and bring smiles to one’s face as they discover new worlds, new adventures, and find friends in the book. Watching him tend to the books, to put their jackets on so lovingly, to mend the older book and give it new life, these are all things that I do in my work day, everyday, and to see it so beautifully brought to life on film moves me so deeply.
For all of the authors, who write to tell their story, to all of the agents who push for the story to be told, to all of the publishers who distribute the story far and wide to places unheard of, to all of the librarians and booksellers who find an audience for the story, and for all of the readers, who give the books life…thank you. Thank you for continuing to create a beautiful world full of words that spark the internal fire of happiness. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to share those books, who are my friends, to the world. Thank you for allowing us light up the world, one story at a time.
(Source: buffy-screencaps, via bethrevis)
Thank you, YourVeryFavoriteLibrarian! You ARE my fave librarian!
Book reference: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Ryan Gosling Reads Young Adult Literature is an example of a thing that would not exist with tumblr.
(I am trying to cheer myself up this morning, because today started out exceptionally poorly.)
you spelled tea wrong.
As this year is coming close to an end, I’m a bit bummed that I’m a few books shy of my goal of reading 100 books. I think I’ve read 96? I may can catch up but it’s family time over the holidays so I may fall short. But of those 96 I have 5 books that are not to be missed and that were excellent representations of masterpieces in my honest opinion. In no particular order, my favorites of 2011:
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Divergent was the real dystopian winner for me. Beatrice was an extremely strong character who reminded me so much of Katniss in THG, that I immediately was drawn to her. The only difference being that Beatrice was strong in that her emotions and character acted in the same way as any girl would, whereas Katniss was a little more tomboyish.
The four factions and the ceremony had all of the elements of suspense that I crave, Four was sexy from the beginning and I could not wait to learn more about him, and the family relationship drama was such a pivotal part of this book that I could not put it down. I am looking forward to the second book in this series and I hope that if Four is in a movie that they get a sexy beast to play him!!!
Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
When this book came out, I feared it would be a sleeper because of the cover art. I adored the cover art, but I am a bit more folksy that some of my YA readers so I was terrified BECAUSE this is an absolutely amazing book.
I have an undergrad degree in English so I have read my fair share of classics and coming-of-age stories. When I was younger, my favorite book was The Catcher in the Rye because Holden was so preoccupied with preserving the childhood innocence lost in adulthood.
Cullen Witter has that preservation in mind as well, but he wishes to preserve the integrity of his town, his family, and himself, all while struggling to find his place in the world. It’s the absolute epitome of the quintessential questions that all teenagers face: the who’s, what’s, when’s, where’s and why’s of their existence.
Along with Cullen’s attempts to answer these questions, his little brother goes missing, hoardes of people descend upon his small town in hopes of seeing a bird that was believed to have been extinct, and a second subplot of a missionary ties this novel up into a beautifully wrapped present of literary genius.
By the end of this book, I had tears freely flowing and I felt something inside of me click, as if for years there was something that just didn’t connect until I finished this book. High, high praise indeed.
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Maybe my love for this book has a lot to do with the fact that a co-worker and I completely Twitter stalked Maureen Johnson in New Orleans to get the ARC of this book…or maybe it’s because I do have a bit of an obsession with morbid things, like Jack the Ripper slayings BUT regardless, The Name of the Star was a fantastic supernatural/historical fiction read for me!
Rory, from south Louisiana (whoo for my Louisiana girls!), moves to London to attend a boarding school at the exact same time as a killer is committing murders in the same form as Jack the Ripper (same date, same style, etc.). She’s obviously freaked, like any normal girl, except she’s not a normal girl.
I didn’t know anything more about this book other than MJ, Louisiana character, and the title, so I was pleasantly surprised at the turn of events and even more thrilled that this was not a book that turned into a fluffy chick lit romance supernatural novel. It actually has character development, depth, and a touch of romance, which was PERFECT.
(MJ, thanks for letting us hunt you down in New Orleans…if you only knew the entire story…it’s awesome and you rocked our world that night!)
Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King
I received a copy of this ARC through a contest that A.S. King ran on her blog which thoroughly blew my mind and made me super-duper excited. When I first got it and read the back cover, I was super-duper confused.
I understood the concept, but I did not understand that A.S. King would do something that would tear my heart out, rebuild it, and pray that my son had the kind of character that Lucky develops in this story.
I call this my bully book because Lucky has been bullied and his parents have decided that summer away from the ‘bad guys’ will make things better for Lucky. So, he goes off to Arizona with his mother to stay with some crazy family. I mean cray-cray crazy.
Lucky has been ignored by his dad, bullied, and had his share of crappy experiences but he has these dreams in which he can visit with his grandfather, who was a POW (prisoner of war), that never returned home. These dream sequences were the best part of the book and when Lucky comes into himself and starts to take on his life as if it were his own, this book shines dramatically. A must read.
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Start a book with
strikeout sentences and jailtime and I’ll read it any day of the week. Shatter Me tells the story of a girl, Juliette, who cannot touch people, although you don’t know why for the first part of the book. Her touch is deadly but others view her touch as powerful. Powerful enough that the government wants to use Juliette as a WMD for a post-apocalyptic dictatorship that will make your skin crawl.
The selling point made by publisher’s or others reading was X-Men meets Hunger Games, which I feel is unfair to Mafi, because Juliette is a more developed character and the novel discusses HER as a PERSON moreso that her abilities. It is a nice selling point to make to teens but I still think it is an unfair comparison because Shatter Me stands alone as a perfect @$$-kicking heroine novel with a completely original concept. Kudos to Mafi and I cannot wait for book number two!!!!!
So, those are my favs….hope you read them and enjoy!