Migraines, Books, and Poppets

I detest migraines. I can’t wait until my next neurologist appointment so that I can see about trying some new meds. The ones I’m on now are just not working. I’m still getting migraines every 4-5 days and they’re just plain annoying. I’m very unpleasant to be around when I have one and am known to snap at people and not answer my cell phone while my head is throbbing. Sorry Jroy. I need something to make these go away. My meds work, but they take about an hour and a half to kick in. So for now, I’ll just blog away and then crash in bed until it goes away so that I can read. Reading is impossible with a migraine. They take away my only true love 😦

Speaking of reading…After my oh so long 3 hour work shift tonight, I decided to go to Barnes and Noble and peruse the aisles while having a coffee. I ended up buying the rest of my challenge books. All except Grendel because I couldn’t remember who wrote it. Now that I am home, I see that it is in fact John Gardner who wrote it. Grendel is a retelling of Beowulf through the monster’s eyes from what I understand. I’ve never read Beowulf, but am hoping that I can make it through this one without doing so. I would like to read Beowulf eventually though since I know there is a screenplay written by Neil Gaiman that is currently being made into a movie.

So for the banned books challenge, I bought 3 of the 4 remaining books: Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, and The Best of John Bellairs which contains The Figure in the Shadows. The Figure in the Shadows is the second in a three book series and this book just happened to have the whole series for $9.99. So I’ll likely be reading that whole series for the challenge. The reason I picked this book is because there are plenty of Edward Gorey illustrations in the book. Edward Gorey makes anything good 🙂

And I also bought a copy of Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Once Upon a Time challenge. There were about 100 versions of this book at B&N, but this one looked best to me. I was surprised that I didn’t already own a copy of this, but alas, I did not. It will be nice to reread this one.

Thank God for the Barnes and Noble member program! I only saved about $5 tonight, but those $5 savings definitely add up.My two little red poppets wanted to send greetings to Elaine’s little red poppets in the UK, so I allowed them to and took their photograph with all of my new books. They say “allo!”

We planted a vegetable garden recently which makes me very happy. I love growing veggies. I’ll take some pictures when they start growing veggies. We also got a Bougainvillea vine that can weave throughout the patio covering. Looking forward to that as well.


Feeling Good on a Friday and Web Wanderings

So in yesterday’s post, I vented about sexual abuse because of a patient at the hospital right now. Well, this morning, I’m looking through the paper and see that the guy who did this to my patient was arrested on 3 counts of child sexual abuse! I was so happy to see that this man will be behind bars, but still wish I could take all of that pain away from my patient. For some things, there is no true justice, but at least this is something.

So that was a good thing and so was going to the gym. I finally made it back. But come to think of it, it really wasn’t that long since I’ve been….just 2 days. I like to be hard on myself about things though.

On to web wanderings!

Quixotical has posted a wonderful review of Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman. This book has been waiting patiently on my shelf to be read. It’s being neglected by challenges, though in hindsight it would have fit perfectly into the fantasy challenge. Quixotical has been posting these wonderful little pictures of poppets with books for the fantasy challenge and I hope that the pictures continue throughout.

Up next is my favorite Friday Favorites of Carl V.’s yet. It’s focus is Charles Vess, that wonderful, magical artist. Vess has done work on Gaiman’s Sandman and Stardust, Clarke’s The Ladies of Grace Aldieu, many comics and graphic novels, and the list just goes on and on. I like Carl’s comparison, he’s very much today’s Arthur Rackham. Like Rackham, Vess is able to perfectly capture magic at it’s purest in every painting or drawing he does. Thanks to Carl, I discovered that Vess has a comprehensive artbook coming out in August that I’m totally psyched about!

The Friends of English Magic blog has a wonderful interview with Jane Goldman all about the Stardust movie. It silenced many of my fears but confirmed one of them. Some fears are silenced because she said that everything we as fans loved about the book, the whole feeling of the book, is still there. What made me upset is that she said Yvaine had to be introduced really early in the movie unlike the book. I’m scared that this confirms that no time is spent setting up who Tristran is and where he comes from. Please be in there! She also mentions a “making of Stardust” book that will be released around the time of the movie as well as a visual companion book. Boy am I going to be poor come August!

Finally, their are two new editions to the blogroll. The first is Bookfoolery and Babble. This blog is fantastic! The author takes amazing photographs which are all over her blog and she has great taste in books and offers wonderful reviews. I enjoy her blog very much and hope that others can as well. The second addition is Colleen Gleason’s blog. Colleen is an author who wrote The Rest Falls Away, a book that has had so many rave reviews and one that I must get around to reading. In fact, she’s giving away 15 copies in a raffle of sorts through her blog. She touches on all sorts of subjects on her blog and her posts are always fun to read.

Being a Bum

Today was quite a mentally exhausting day. Working at a psychiatric hospital, you eventually learn not to take the problems home with you. And overall, I’ve done a pretty good job of leaving work at work. However, there are certain days that are just hard not to take home with you. One of the most upsetting things about working with children is seeing the amount of sexual abuse that goes on. I was shocked at how often this happens when I started over there, and even more shocked to find how hard it is to prosecute offenders. When they do get prosecuted, they’re only in jail for a year or two, then they’re back on the streets. Sexual trauma has such a huge effect on children. In my opinion, people who do this to kids should be locked up with the key thrown away. While they are satisfying their addictions, they are ruining the lives of these kids, or at least making their lives alot more challenging than they need to be.

So after all of that, I had decided that I was going to go to the gym again to work off some steam. But I made the mistake of laying down in bed first and now I’m in my pajamas going nowhere.

On a totally different note, Subterranean Press released the cover for their version of Neil Gaiman’s M is for Magic, which I have already ordered and I was so disappointed. The cover is just horrible in my opinion. Yesterday’s blog post had the most anticipated cover, and this has to be the most disappointing cover. Oh well, at least it’s signed and numbered by one of my favorite authors.

One other thing I wanted to mention was that Endicott Studio had a post today about a new book on Charles Vess being released. It’s Modern Masters Volume 11 and it’s subject is Charles Vess and it looks amazing. It focuses mostly on his graphic novel and comic book work. Looking forward to this one!

Musings and Most Anticipated Cover of the year

Here it is folks – the cover for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has been released. I like it, very orange. This picture is the dustjacket laid out without the words on it. I just can’t wait for this book to come out!

Today was a fairly productive day. I sort of flew solo at the hospital today which felt good. I feel like I’ve become much more capable and competent in the counseling profession. I’ve found that counseling skills definitely grow over time. I know I have a lot further to grow, but at least I’m moving.

Went to the gym again today which felt great, though somewhat exhausting after the work day. The show Workout on Bravo! always brings out that urge in me to get to the gym. And that urge couldn’t come at a better time with the Mexico trip coming up soon. Great show by the way, very interesting people.

And finally, there’s been a new addition to the blogroll. It is Jenclair’s blog, A Garden Carried in the Pocket. Her’s is a blog that I’ve visited for awhile and realized that it deserves to be a regular. She always has wonderful things to say about books and just life in general…and she’s a fellow Louisianian! And spellcheck actually didn’t try to correct Louisianian. What can I say, I’m smart.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 is such a classic, and sadly, I had never read it. Now that I have, I can see why it’s a classic and can see why it will always remain one and remain relevant. This was a very powerful book. Picture a world engaged in war, a world full of censorship, a world where there is no speed limit, a world where people do not engage with each other, but rather engage with the walls. This is the world that Ray Bradbury has created in Fahrenheit 451.

451 is the number that the firemen wear on their uniforms. The jobs of the firemen are not to put out fires, but rather, start them. Books are banned in Bradbury’s world. Books are seen as not real, silly, impersonal, influential, propaganda and will not be tolerated by the government. So it is that the job of the firemen is to burn every book in existence and to imprison the owner of the books. Quite a scary thing. One of the firemen, Montag (the central character) has kept some books of his own. Upon reading them, he finds that books should exist, and you can see the dilemma that this could cause. That’s all I’ll say so as not to ruin the story for those who have never read this.

This is also my first Bradbury work, and I’m very happy that I’ve finally discovered him. He is Orson Scott Card’s favorite author, so I figured he had to be a pretty damn good writer…and he is! I look forward to reading more of his work. I have Something Wicked This Way Comes sitting on my shelf, so that’ll be the next Bradbury. I also have a short story by the name of The Homecoming illustrated by Dave McKean.

This was book 3 for me in the Banned Books Challenge. It’s very ironic that this book has been banned seeing as the book is about books being banned and censorship. My thoughts on why it may be banned is because of Montag’s challenge of authority. This is shown as a good thing in this book and he is the hero, and it’s generally not well taken in our society when one goes up against the government or any form of authority. I think it’s ridiculous to ban this book though. This book speaks volumes about power in the wrong hands, ignorance, and many other themes that I could go on forever about. Bottom line is that this is a wonderful book and although it has been banned in some places, I’m glad to see that it is required reading in so many other places.

I May Be Broke, But I’ve Got Peter Beagle

Thanks to Carl, I had to go spend money on a book today :p. It’s really not his fault though, it was my choosing. One of the books that I signed up for for the Once Upon A Time challenge was Peter Beagle’s The Last Unicorn. Now, I have all the other books that I’m reading for the challenge sitting on my shelf, but I just had to have this one first even though I had only $18.99 in my checking account (it’s called being a grad student). On the positive side of being a grad student, my stipend should be coming in in about 4 days, so I’ll manage.

I tend to do this alot with books. I have probably about 50 books sitting on my to be read shelf, including the other 4 books I’m reading for the challenge, but I still manage to always “need to buy” another book. That’s one thing I like about these challenges – I can commit to reading some of these that have been sitting on the shelf, lonely and abandoned for far too long. Unfortunately though, I don’t own the rest of the books that I signed up for for the Banned Books Challenge, so I’ll have to be buying those. It’s worth it though.

So now I just need to finish Fahrenheit 451 tonight for the banned books challenge and then I can start The Last Unicorn. Can’t wait!

Another great thing about these challenges is that I’m getting to meet all of these other great bloggers out there who have also signed up for the challenges. And with fantasy being my favorite genre, there are lots of new friends out there!

Once Upon A Time Challenge

Carl has officially posted the details for the Once Upon A Time Challenge, and I’m so excited about it! This challenge covers my favorite genre – fantasy, fairy tales, mythology, and folklore. I really hope that lots of people participate in this challenge. It’s a genre of literature that can appeal to anyone. You don’t have to be a fan of wizards and knights to enjoy fantasy, the genre branches off in so many directions. If there’s anyone out there that’s looking for something to read for this challenge, let me know what kind of stuff you like and I’d be more than happy to help you find a perfect fit.

My List:

1. The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle
2. Hart’s Hope by Orson Scott Card
3. Moonheart by Charles DeLint
4. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
5. The Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde

Bonus: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare (A perfect wrap up to the challenge)

Now hopefully, I can finish all of these by June 21st, Midsummer Night’s Eve, in addition to the Banned books challenge which ends in June as well.