365 days. That’s a long time. A lot can happen in 365 days. A new leaf can be turned over. A good friend can get married or divorced. You can transplant yourself in new surroundings. You can break-up, hook-up, fuck-up and even get knocked-up. (God I love a good phrasal verb.)You can seek new adventures and find new allies.
But this is not to say that a lot does happen in a year. A year can bring, for some, the consistency to which they have become accustomed. No changes. No new quests or discoveries. A year can simply pass you by without even the slightest wink, or nod that you exist. The year can look at you and wonder why you sat at your desk letting it stroll by and not grab it by the tail and thrash it about or take it for a ride. The year can mock you.
My year, my 365 days begun last October when I boarded a plan bound for London, then to Prague. I didn’t know what was in store for me. I only knew that I had to go. Now? Well, I am not going to sit here and recount every last detail for you, you can read this blog for a blow by blow. No. I am going to show you my year in books. I have kept track of every book I have read since I arrived here a year ago. So…I thought it might give you a neat reading list as well as a little insight as to what it is like to live in Prague without TV or Internet. Lovely.
I didn’t have much time for reading during my month in TEFL, so this little list is short. I give you “Dance, Dance, Dance” by Murakami. He is one of my favorite writers and this book did not disappoint. Like all of his books it was full of sex, Wimsey and creativity. His writing simply dances.
Cold! I was unhappy with my roommates, and broke. I read a lot. A couple of the books I read this month were 1000+ pages. Yep. I had a lot of free time.
“The Other Boleyn Girl” – historical romance that was well written. It let me escape my little life and see romance…something that was oh so missing back then.
“Until I Find You” – Ah, John Irving. I LOVED this book. It’s about love and loss and Tattoos. It’s about the faith that you have to have to survive love. It’s amazing.
“The World to Come” – A cute little book about a Jewish man who steals a famous painting. WW2 and Nazi’s and some beautiful stories are hidden inside.
“The Accidental” – It was alright. Kinda weird, but the writing was fresh and I liked the style. It has gotten a lot of acclaim.
“Bittersweet” – Picture a lesbian/cross-dress version of Little House on the Prairie”
“Under the Skin” – OK. I like horror and stuff, but this book was creepy. The island of Dr. Morro meets a coming of age tail meets Gingersnaps. Uh huh.
“King Dork” by the awesome Frank Portman – the lead singer of the Mr. T Experience. If you like music, have ever been forced to read “Catcher in the Rye” or been a teenager (or are one) readthis book. It rocks ass.
Some book written by women in prison – Um…it was GB’s and I read it. eh.
“The Distant Land of my Father” – My mom sent it to me. It takes place in Pasadena, China and Vroman’s Bookstore. Cool.
“Potatoes Not Prozac” – OK…it sounds goofy, but it totally works. No alcohol, no sugar and some spuds. Love it. (Thanks Joel and Sam)
“The Borgia Bride” – Like the Boelyn book, but not as smoothly writen. I liked it though. Incest and bad catholics make for a fun read.
“White Teeth” – Zadie Smith rocks. Thats all you need know. Read her. All of her.
“Slow Learner” – Thomas Pynchon. Ok…I do not like him. There. I said it. Hate me.
“The Wind-up Bird Chronicles” Murakami again. And again…I love it. It is like reading an impressionist painting. He is amazing. My favorite next to “Kafka on the Shore”
“On Beauty” Zadie Smith again. Even better. Her answer to Howard’s End. Really lovely. again READ HER!
“Running with Scissors” OK. I read this book in about two days then kicked myself for about five for reading it so quick! It was so funny and so well writen. And no. I didn’t see the movie. I live in Central Europe. We got The Simpson’s Movie.
“I Capture the Castle” Pretty much the best coming of age novel ever. Smart characters who say witty things. I was happy.
“Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas” Loved it. I actuall read the Brittney Spears essay to my friends in the park. Ahhhh story time.
“The Falls” Joyce Carol Oates is one of the greatest writers in the world. AND This book was not overly depressing. It was a sweeping epic spanning many decades and I didn’t want it to end.
“Cell” Stephen King wrote a story about how cell phones turn people into Zombies. Sweet. I hate cell phones. I love Zombies.Cell phones are EVIL! So, all of you out there who are plugged in to your phone. Do me a favor. Sit down and write a letter.
Which brings us now to…OCTOBER. I am currently reading, and almost finished with an amazing book called “The Book Thief”. I got it when Byron was hear visiting – more on that in a later blog – but the book is so good! It’s narrated by death. It’s…just go get it.