Monday, November 28, 2011

5 Things About Reading and Writing

It was either this or posting my free-writing for my term paper as a blog post. Which could still happen at some point this week.

1. I'm reading Blood, Bones, & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton. I am about halfway through. I inadvertently, reluctantly love it. I put myself on the hold list for the library's EPUB copy after reading something about it online. It might have been a New York Times review. It might have been a brief mention in a Mark Bittman column. Maybe it was a book review by Mark Bittman. Who knows? Anyway, I put myself on the hold list, and then it came in at the same time as three other holds, and then I accidentally had my default setting for EPUB checkouts as 7 days, so I ran out of time to read it. I put myself back on the hold list, and I got the e-mail while I was here in NJ that it was ready for me.

I was somehow reluctant to read it--something about the drawing of asparagus on the cover page with "human blood" listed as the medium, something about the first chapter documenting a lamb roast. I was mistakenly concerned there would be too much blood and bones in the book. (Mostly concerned with the former.) You know how some writers get a little showy and over-the-top with food-related gore? Well, that's not the case at all. It doesn't surprise me that Hamilton has a graduate degree from a writing program, from the Harvard of the Midwest. It is a well-written and enjoyable read.

2. Speaking of books I learned about from The New York Times and books that handled gore and violence in a tasteful manner, I am conflicted about the American movie version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I've heard from people whose opinions I respect that the trailer looks promising, perhaps even better than the Swedish version. But the Swedish version, in my opinion, is as good as a movie version of a lengthy book can be. I don't see how an American version is necessary. American movies tend not to tastefully handle gore and violence. You should know that this is progress for me; at one point in time, I would have refused to watch the American version or consider that it might be good, because that would be an act of disloyalty to the Swedish movies I originally liked. Now I know, yes, it's okay, you can like both.

3. Speaking of the book I am reading now, part of the reason I went to the trouble of putting it on my Nook is because I only brought one book with me on this trip, and I finished it on the plane. It was Radio On by Sarah Vowell. I was excited to read this after reading The Wordy Shipmates, my first ever Sarah Vowell book!, at the end of the summer. I was newly a fan of Sarah Vowell, and I am a longtime fan of radio. Long story short, I was disappointed with Radio On. I enjoyed reading it as a diversion from schoolwork, but when I got to the end I was like, "That's it?" I guess I was expecting more of a conclusion, more history, more analysis, something more in-depth like The Wordy Shipmates. Oh well. I still like Sarah Vowell.

4. Speaking of EPUBs from the library, my love for my Nook has been rekindled. Or I guess I should use a different verb. It has been renewed. After a few months in which Adobe Digital Editions was frustrating me to the point where I stopped trying to get library books on my Nook, I've gotten it to work. It was nice that I was able to check a book out of my Portland, Oregon library while I was on the other side of the continent.

5. Once NaBloPoMo is over, I am going to keep writing here regularly. I've found that my writing for school and other important things starts more easily and flows more naturally when I am blogging, because I am in the habit of writing regularly. It is as important as exercise, as important as the two miles I try to walk each weekday (and three on the weekend.) I will try to write every other day, not every day, because a) I'm too effing busy and b) writing every day, forcing it, can result in a bunch of garbage on this blog.

This was going to be a 10 things post, parallel to yesterday's 10, but I'm cutting it short as there is a show on TV right now that is entirely about gin!!!!!!

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