Monday, 14 November 2011

The T.S Eliot Revelation

For years I’ve heard people talking about this amazing poet and writer and smiled and nodded when people talked about him and said that I would prioritise reading his work so that I could share the joy of loving him. Recently I decided it was time to actually read some of his work. I’ve just finished reading ‘The Waste Land and other poems’ and I can honestly say I’m shocked by how much I like his work. It was entirely different to what I expected and strangely easy to read and relate to which is completely unlike most of the poetry I’ve read. The obscure subject matters and references in his work make it fun and interesting to read. It’s the kind of poetry that you can imagine being read aloud as you read it, and I’ve found that taking the advice of my sister and reading his work aloud actually makes even better.
The thing I love most about T.S Eliot is the totally random things that come in to his poems, a prime example being my new favourite quote “For I have known them all already, known them all – have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, I have measured out my life in coffee spoons” you have to admit it’s brilliant. Is it bad that I kind of want to try and measure my life in coffee spoons now? I’m not even entirely sure how you’d go about doing that but I’m sure I could challenge myself to find a way, what do you think? Is it worth it? It reminds me of a line from the song Seasons of Love from the musical ‘Rent’, “how do you measure, measure a year, in daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.” This idea of measuring things in coffee seems to be a running theme. Maybe it’s a hint. Maybe I should give up on normality and begin measuring my life in coffee. I think it’s a challenge worthy of my attention. You see what happens when you read T.S Eliot? This is the kind of strange thoughts he inspires and if for no other reason this is why his work is genius. 

Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2012

I know I haven't blogged in ages, but I've been following my sisters brilliant blog anarmchairbythesea and I thought it was about time I started blogging properly. I read her blog on this reading challenge and thought it sounded epic, as for years I've been compulsively buying books and have only managed to read about a quarter of them. This seems like the perfect challenge to change that and it will hopefully also help me to stop spending money i don't have on books I shouldn't really be buying. The challenge is hosted by myreadersblock and basically what you do is pick a level and then go through and read that many of the books you already own but haven't read yet. The levels are:

Pike's Peak: 12 books from your TBR pile

Mt. Vancouver: 25 books from your TBR pile

Mt. Ararat: 40 books from your TBR pile

Mt. Kilimanjaro: 50 books from your TBR pile

El Toro: 75 books from your TBR pile

Mt. Everest: 100 books from your TBR pile

I'm going to go for Mt. Vancouver as it sounds enough like a challenge but at the same time is also vaguely achievable. Once you've signed up for this challenge you have to read at least that number of books so Mt. Vancouver seemed like a good bet as it's a decent challenge but hopefully isn't going to stress me out. By the end of 2012 i think i'll have read about 2/3 of my TBR pile which would be a major achievement for me and will allow me to justify buying more books, which is always a good thing :) I thought the easiest way to keep myself on track for this challenge would be by making a list of the books i intend to read. Here are the 25 books carfully selected from my TBR pile:
1. American Gods - Neil Gaiman
2. The Three Musketeers - Alexander Dumas
3. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
4. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
5. A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
6. Blue Beard's Egg - Margret Atwood
7. Wise Children - Angela Carter
8. The Other Land - Chris Cleave
9. Easy Rider, Raging Bull - Peter Biskind
10. The Summer We Read Gatsby - Danielle Ganet
11. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky
12. Choke - Chuck Palahniuk
13. Moby-Dick - Herman Mellvile
14. The Problem of Pain - C.S Lewis
15. Heroes and Villians - Angela Carter
16. Oryx and Crake - Margret Atwood
17. The Scarlett Letter - Hawthorne
18. Seeing is Believing - Peter Biskind
19. Reading Lolita in Jehran - Azar Nafisi
20. Biko - Donald Woods
21. Cash - Johnny Cash
22. Atonement - Ian McEwan
23. Ben Hur - Nelson Doubleday
24. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
25. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

These are the minimum books i aim to read but depending on how long it takes me to get through them i hope to add to this list.