Friday, July 10, 2009

Great Distractions


I was talking to my daughter the other day. We were both in one of those downturns in life, not exactly depressed but oh-so-blah and flat. Teetering on the edge so to speak. But books were saving us both. Reading books to be precise. She had just had a great haul from Goodwill, 25 books for a few dollars and she was knee deep in them. I had browsed the shelves at Sally Anne and bought 7 for a few pennies. Marvellous finds. We gloat over such bargains. Trade them off to each other when we get together. Rate them. We know what each other likes, and often like the same. As my granddaughter does.

Our family members are voracious readers. Mainly novels but not adverse to biographies or explorations into pysche or history. A huge escape into another world. I don't understand people who don't read. I honestly think they don't know what they're missing.

Currently I'm reading a Minette Walters, "The Chameleon's Shadow". She explores the dark side of the human spirit and some of her books have been made into films or television series. This novel explores the return of a severely injured and damaged UK Iraq vet.

The other book I'm reading is "Fruit" by Brian Francis, (review here) an account of a young gay boy's growing up in small town Ontario. Beautifully written and funny. A counter balance to the darkness of the Walters'. I try to balance my reading as I always have at least two books on the go.

I plunged into Blockbuster the other day and hauled out 8 movies from the bargain bin. They just about paid me to take them away. I've watched 2 during the pre-dawn small hours the last couple of nights:

Changeling
Frost/Nixon

Both brilliant films and with enough extras on both DVDs to satisfy the hungriest of trivia appetites.

Yes. All Distractions. From Thinking: of Death, of Sleeplessness, of Work, of Aging, of Loss, of Falling into the Abyss.

12 comments:

  1. Books only lift my spirit if they're ultimately positive and life-enhancing. Gloomy books just make me gloomy. I find music more reliable as a mood booster, I have a few dozen favourite CDs that are guaranteed to lift me, like Fiona Apple and Sheryl Crow.

    I've just read Anita Shreve's Testimony, which is a brilliant account of a sex scandal at a New England boarding school, told from the different viewpoints of all those involved.

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  2. I must add it to my list of books to get, Nick. I've read her before, something about a pilot?

    Sometimes music makes me sadder. Or even angry. Go figure.

    Gloomy books can cheer me up (oh, my life's not that bad!) or offer me a new perspective.

    XO
    WWW

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  3. LOL! My blogging-buddy doesn't understand me! ;-) (sniffles)

    I no longer read - or if I do it's the exception rather than the rule.
    I read Farenheit 451 not long ago, that's the most recent. I used to read lots, but the computer has changed all that for me.
    I read a lot on-line now, but mainly articles and reviews. Love to pick at poetry books though - that suits my ADD-type mentality these days.

    Himself is still a reader, though a lot less than he used to be, same reason as mine.

    Sorry to hear you're feeling "blah" just now, WWW. You need to read or watch something really, really silly - some old Monty Python perhaps?

    When I feel "blah" I remember Noel Coward's line - "Everything matters, but nothing matters terribly" - delivered in the blah-est posh English accent you can imagine. ;-)

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  4. Oh I think I understand you jes' fine, m'Lady T!
    Considering the wealth of your blog information, you do an enormous amount of research which provides an enormous amount of satisfaction, I would think?
    The death of my friend has set me back somewhat, sleepless, shiftless and sad. It will pass. That I know for sure....
    XO
    WWW

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  5. I am a huge reader just like you WWW. I started out reading children's classic when I was around 10, then moved on to light novels, then moved on to psychology, sociology and philosophy related books. In my 30's, I started reading current affairs. I cannot get enough of political related books. Some people keep buying hangers to hang their new cloths, I buy bookshelf to put my books.....

    I also agree with Nick. Music is my other huge outlet. I can not live without my books and music. Most of the time, they go hand in hand. Of course, let us not forget the internet! :)

    I hope I am not rambling on but in short, I enjoy my books and cd's a lot more then useless conversation with empty heads.

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  6. Books..love em have about hundred book library and the same as Twilight I read online also mainly at the Gutenberg project

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  7. Nevin:
    Yes, bookshelves are my vice too, where to put the books? I've given a huge amount away over the years and tend to just keep the ones I will either re-read or need for resource.
    I play more music when I've got access to broadband or wi-fi.
    XO
    WWW

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  8. GFB:
    Yes I read a lot of poli stuff on line and also recycling info and climate change and tech development. What an endless resource we have!
    XO
    WWW

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  9. I read aloud to Jerry every night. He has had a life long love affair with the frozen north, and so now we are reading "Coming into the Country", by John McPhee. It's all about Alaska -- true stories. Jerry lived in interior Alaska for 30 years. Every now and then when a new character comes in Jerry says, "Oh, I knew him." It's a good read, that book.

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  10. Anne:
    There is nothing like being read aloud to or reading to others. My family try and do this when we can, there is something wonderfully comforting in it. Hard to describe, right?
    The book sounds wonderful.
    XO
    WWW

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  11. Nick is on to something: Reading & good music. They are amoung my fav things. I always have a book near, and when it's finished I send it on it's way via www.bookcrossing.com

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  12. Brighid, I'm a member of Bookcrossing too!!!!
    XO
    WWW

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