The Bookworms: Which Literary Figure Would You Vote For For President?

To check out how the Bookworms work, click on The Bookworms page tab at the top of the page. ___________________________________________________________________________

This week’s category for The Bookworms Award:  Literary figure that you would elect to public office.

The nominations put together an interesting series of people.  Each has shortcomings, but also, perhaps, the makings of a national leader.

If you would like to include a nomination, it is not too late!  Put it in the comments and I will add to the poll. 

Take this poll to have input into who our next literary president should  be!

Advertisements

The Art of Racing in the Rain (AKA More Dogs Should Write Novels)

Rating: Green Leaf

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life’s ordeals.

On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through: the sacrifices Denny has made to succeed professionally; the unexpected loss of Eve, Denny’s wife; the three-year battle over their daughter, Zoë, whose maternal grandparents pulled every string to gain custody. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that Denny will become a racing champion with Zoë at his side.

**********************************************************************************************************************************

As a small child, every time that Christmas rolled on by, I would dutifully sit on Santa’s lap and ask him for the deepest, darkest desire of my heart.

“Santa, I want a puppy.”

Since my family is, for the most part, very allergic to dogs, my parents hoped that this was a wish that would fade.  Unfortunately for them, not only did this need fade, but it has become stronger over the years.  I am adult enough to recognize that attempting to raise the kind of dog I want (Black lab!) in my apartment would be cruel and unusual, but I know that the moment I have a house with a yard, my eyes will start actively looking for my dog.

In fact, I am so fixated on this that I already know the name of my first dog.  His name will be Fiyero, named after the character from Gregory Maguire’s Wicked.

After having read The Art of Racing in the Rainby Garth Stein, I now know the name of dog #2, should I ever move past dog #1:  Enzo.  I also know what I will make for him and me as a treat (recipe found below):

Continue reading

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (AKA Eggs That Are Bigger Than You Cannot Be Good)

Rating: Strawberry

As I sat on the plane, flying home from Paris, I had a real problem.  I had 8 hours on a plane.  I had finished all of the reading material I brought with me. They ran out of newspapers to hand out.  I do not sleep well miles above the ground.  At one point, I came to the conclusion, “Well, I guess I could do work so I don’t have as much to do when I get home.”

That is when I knew that I hit rock bottom.  This could not be.  Rushing into self-preservation mode, I frantically looked around for something, anything, to do to avoid facing the real life that was awaiting me.

My eyes eventually came to rest on the blank screen in front me.  My own private TV.  Aha! 

You see, I watch TV and movies so rarely, that I don’t generally take advantage of the free ones at our disposal.  This flight, I made up for it.

Along with blankly gazing at several episodes of random TV shows (and coming to the conclusion that I’m not missing much), I flipped to Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.

This was wayyyyy better than the TV shows, thank goodness!

Basically, it covers the makeshift herd (the wooly mammoths, the saber-tooth tiger, and the sloth) at a time of great change in their lives.  The wooly mammoths are having a baby and each of their friends react differently. 

The saber-toothed tiger wants to head out for a life of great adventure, leaving his herd. 

The sloth decides to become a mother himself, finding giant eggs and stealing them.

Note to self:  When encountering eggs that are as big as me, do not seek to nourish or nurture them.  Tiptoe away until they are out of sight and then run.  far. away.

Continue reading

My Favorite Things: Part 1

I find joy in many aspects of life, most of which are rather tiny.  Sure, my main sources of happiness derive from family, friends, job,etc., but the tiny pinpricks of true, unexpected delight excite me the most.

Every weekend, I am going to highlight for you something (or several somethings) from the past week that has given my life a small but mighty burst of sunlight.

Favorite Thing # 1:  Breakfasts in Paris

Yes, I spent the last week in Paris and my life was a whirlwind of trying to remember my French, going everywhere I haven’t already been, spending time with my mom and an awesome friend, and…well…eating.

Continue reading

And the Most Overrated Classic Award Goes to….**drumroll please**

To check out how the Bookworms work, click on The Bookworms page tab at the top of the page. Check below for the next category!

___________________________________________________________________________

Ernest Hemingway!

As I put the poll out last week, I held my breath, waiting for someone to click on the option for The Tale of Two Cities, only one of my favorite books in existence.

Fortunately for me, no one did, and I can live another week.

Instead The Old Man and the Sea took home the Bookworm Award for Most Overrated Classic.  Is this right?  Is this fair?

Apparently.

You see, I have never read this book.

Perhaps my teachers in school recognized that there are other books of greater value.  Or, maybe, deep down, I subconsciously veered away from it, aiming myself toward classics that were hyped up for the correct reason.

The only interest I ever took in this book was when I was creating a mock unit when I was in teacher school.  I thought that Hemingway would be a good author to teach the concept of “voice” to students and this happened to be a novel on the list of possible books.  My professor pulled me aside and quietly explained that while she completely loved the rest of my unit, this book would “bore the students to tears.”

That’s a hint to change something if I ever heard one so out it went and I inserted something else in there.  Perhaps if I had read the book, I would have stuck by it, claiming that classics are tough to read, but good for the heart, or something like that.  I didn’t though, so the old man, his sea, and Hemingway went out the window.

Because I haven’t yet read this book, I am adding it to the list.  I like Hemingway’s short stories; thus, I am giving the dude a break and waiting until I read it myself before I cast my vote against it.  It must have done something right to earn Classic status, even if it isn’t as profound as **coughcough** The Tale of Two Cities.

*************************************************************************************************************

Now that these nominations are in, here is the category for the next Bookworm award!

The Character You Would Vote For For President/Ruler/Dictator/etc. 

Nominate characters in the comments so that they can become a part of next week’s poll.

*************************************************************************************************************

PS.  Some of you may be wondering where I am.  Apparently,I am certainly not sitting at my computer screen posting!  In a few days, you will find out where and what I have been doing and I will be rewarding you with your incredible patience with some pretty exciting posts.

Here is a hint of where I disappeared to.  Any guesses?

The Bookworms Week 2: Most Overrated Classic

To check out how the Bookworms work, click on The Bookworms page tab at the top of the page. 

___________________________________________________________________________

A few weeks ago, I asked you to think about which book you would nominate for the category “Most Overrated Classic.”  I received only a smathering of responses, perhaps because you think that that all classics are amazing, or because there were so many overrated classics, you didn’t know where to begin.  From the responses, here are the nominees for “Most Overrated Classic.”  Take this poll so your vote can count when I determine the winner. 

Of course, if you have another nominee, put it in the comments!  I can always add to my poll. 

Mother Nature, I Forgive You

Dear Mother Nature,

I know that we have had our ups and downs. 

Since I live in the Northeast, you are not often kind to me.  Instead of dividing the seasons up into four equal parts, you like to freeze us for months on end.  If it were straight cold, I think I could take it.  My problem is how you toy with me. 

When the rest of the world seems to be relishing in Springtime, you promise me snow, ice and bitter winds.  When it seems like I can’t take another day of icy temperatures, you reward me with a day (or even a couple of days) of above freezing weather.  After these interminable winters, 40 degrees Fahrenheit seems downright balmy! 

But then you pull the switch.  Away goes the balmy weather and sleet returns.  The monotonous grey clouds obscure the sun and any blue sky that was with it. 

You use manipulation and torture techniques that would be labelled as war crimes in a civilized society.  You give the prisoner hope and take it away.  Again and Again.  To prove your power over that victim, you break her spirit…just because you can. 

In the midst of the blizzards and biting cold, I feel anger.  Anger at you, anger at myself, anger at the world that still continues to turn in spite of this weather that threatens to lock it in place.

But, now… now with the sun shining through the window and the cute little birds hopping from tree to tree outside my window, I am feeling a bigger emotion- forgiveness. 

I forgive you, Mother Nature, for putting us through this past Winter because, without that misery, I would not find so much joy in my beautiful surroundings right now.  I understand that it must be fun, with the amount of power you have, to play with our emotions.  Would any of us, given that same opportunity, do otherwise?

Perhaps the biggest reason that I forgive you is that you may put us through hell, but you reward us with, well, this.

Thanks Mother Nature.  I may say some pretty mean things to you come November, but know that I can’t hold a grudge when you make it up to me in so splendid a way.

Love,

The Very Hungry Bookworm

Continue for recipe

Continue reading