One-Woman Book Club: September Edition

Today’s random musing: Why are there so many songs written about September?

It’s been awhile since I’ve made a book-related post but I haven’t been remiss in my promise / New Year’s resolution to read a minimum of four books a month. So, here goes.

1.  Dexter by Design (Jeff Lindsay) – I did not know that what I read was a fourth book in the series. Serves me right for not reading the fine print and jumping right in.

Anyone familiar with the TV adaptation of the books knows enough to expect blood and gore but it turned out a lot tamer and, for lack of a better word, sterile than expected. When it comes to the actual murders, Jeff Lindsay leaves a lot to the imagination.

Though the book is narrated through the eyes of the vigilante serial killer, Dexter, there’s none of that unsettling and even frightened feeling a “normal” person would (and should!) get when in close proximity with all things grizzly. Perhaps it’s because, being the psychopath that he is, without a conscience, remorse or any strong emotion, Dexter narrates his nocturnal activities with an almost droning and mechanical matter-of-fact-ness.

I can’t wait to read the other books, but just to be safe; I think I’m going to wait a bit. I don’t want to saturate myself with the macabre.

2. The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald) – I know I said no rereads but my resources are limited, so give me a break. Besides, I think enough time has passed.

What can I say? It’s another example of the wrong girl messing up a man’s life. It seems to be a common literary theme, but does it follow in real life? Personally, I’ve seen more cases of men --or should I say boys, messing up girls’ lives, or at least trying to, but never really succeeding --because we’re stronger and more resilient than they think!

In all fairness to the flirty, flighty and shallow Daisy Buchannan’s of the world, myself included, we mean no real harm and we need the love of a good man same as everyone else. And in behalf of my kind, I apologize for all the pain we've inflicted on hapless boys half of whom probably deserved it.

As a parting shot, though I understand the desire to impress someone from our past, if I ever get offered another chance with my ex or any one of the guys I've dated (however briefly), I WONT TAKE IT! I really don't care about what they think of me, in fact I'll be better served if they don't think about me at all. So YOU there, LEAVE ME ALONE!!!

3. Eat Pray Love (Elizabeth Gilbert)– If I don’t “discover” phenomenal successes before everyone else then I prefer reading it once all the hype has died down. I think by now everyone and their cousin has read the book and has formed an opinion about it so none of what I have to say would be original but I will say it anyway.

Elizabeth Gilbert writes beautifully. She’s charming, funny, endearing and she laments about broken hearts and decomposing dreams while simultaneously raving about good food. How can anyone with a heart and a healthy appetite not fall in love?

I forgive her for India where she bored me. I tend to shy away from anything new age-y. Clearly, I experience God and his divinity very differently and I try not to judge but, I’m sorry, it was just too weird for me.

Also, I would not go to an Ashram to “find” myself. (Italy, I understand!). I’m a big believer that we find ourselves in other people whose lives we touch, not through endless, self-indulgent introspection which can entail not talking for hours. I went to a silent retreat when I was in high-school and I didn’t even make it two hours! The retreat mistress heard me talking and rebuked me! “Get away, Satan! Do not rob us of our peace!” It freaked me out!

Somewhere in Indonesia is Gilbert gets very literal with the self-love concept and masturbates. I almost didn’t finish the book. I’m generally not squeamish about sex in literature, except, it turns out, in memoirs! I’m never picking up a memoir with masturbatory bits again. The cover should come with a warning.

4. Committed (Elizabeth Gilbert) – I say skip Eat Pray Love and go straight to Committed. I suppose Eat speaks more to the shiftless single girl while Committed speaks to the girl completely in love (yet still shiftless) and seriously contemplating marriage, which is one of the reasons I find it more accessible. It has all the travel, love, relationship, history and random trivia bits that I loved in Eat and none of the New Age drivel. It's reassuring to read about marriage from the point of view of someone who doesn't want to be a wife, at least not in the conventional sense of the word. You see, I don't want to be a wife either. I want to spend the rest of my life with my one great love in a legally binding way, indeed I do. That's another question altogether.


I was away...

...in every sense of the word, you could say. It has been awhile since my last confession blog entry and for that I apologize. Things will change since my job is, in effect, training me to be a more diligent updater.