Referring to The Golem & The Jinni by Helen Wecker:
One of the most meaningful parts of the book involved a very minor episode with a completely minor character. Sophia Winston is this belle of the ball, a heiress who doesn’t look forward to the fact that she’s going to basically get married, bear children, take up a cause—“Temperance or Poverty or Education,” something socially acceptable—and eventually raisin up into the social spinster at the head of the table. To escape this, she reads.
Sounds a little uncomfortably familiar to me.
So—some spoilers be here—she gets involved with the whole mess of the jinni (Ahmad) & the golem (Chava) & their whole crazy crew (etc).
& at the end there’s this moment where she’s like—screw it, my reputation is shot anyway, I think that I will go and do what I always wanted. I’m going to break off my engagement to this boring, appropriate young man & go travel the world—see Istanbul, Africa, Rome, and the Amazon. Forget reading travel books. I’m going to travel.
This moment—her heart lightens, all of a sudden the weight of all these expectations are off as she decides to make the leap—that was the most precious moment to me in this wonderful book. There were many precious moments—there were many interesting thoughts & laughs about being, about responsibility, about living—but Sophia Winston’s decision to abandon society’s expectations and live her life in a crazy & adventurous, fearless way? That touched my heart.
It’s not anything new, particularly; it’s a theme or thought or idea in many different books, movies, comics, etc. But Sophia Winston? She hit me pretty hard.
Me & Mr. Junkie are moving across the state, so reading has been a little slow lately. I’m working on Dragonfly in Amber and New Rules simultaneously (NR has to be read in small chunks b/c every few chapters I can’t stand it anymore and have to go do some of the things I’ve been instructed to do to save my business) and trying to get some packing done at the same time. Last night I stuffed almost all of my fiction books into a very large UHAUL box. Mr. J was not very impressed. It made for a very heavy box, and that’s only roughly 1/4 of my books. Apparently putting as many books as possible in one box is not the right way to pack.
Anyway, since I don’t have any sort of book review or news to share today, I though I’d leave you with a couple literary quotes:
“If someone told me to write a book on morality, it would have a hundred pages and ninety-nine of them would be blank. On the last page I would write, ‘I recognize only one duty and that is to love.’ And as far as everything else is concerned, I say no.” –Albert Camus, Notebooks
There is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson, Letters and Social Aims
This week has been the perfect storm but in a more perfect way than that’s usually meant. First, I went to B&N and picked up two books that looked FANTASTIC (and were). Then last thursday, my neighbor and I had a date to go to the nearby independent bookstore (<3 Literary Life) and I ended up buying four more (no self control). Then last Sunday I stopped at the library to give back some books I had finished and they had a SALE. On USED BOOKS. So I bought 2 (for $2!).
I already had books from the library. today, five more came in that were on hold. And my neighbor loaned me one that she bought from LL last Thursday.
I have a gigantic, wonderful, amazingly eclectic pile of books in front of me. And I love it. But it’s a little bit insane.
“If you are an overeducated (or at least a semi-overeducated) youngish person with a sleep disorder and a surfeit of opinions, the thing to do, after all, is to start a blog.” – A.O. Scott
I’m going to start off my literary career here with some good plagiarism [from babygotbooks]. My English professors would be so proud.
Not that there aren’t enough blogs out there, especially literary blogs–I’m just going to continue in my own self-promotion [I’m in the middle of applying for a new job, and it’s a little bit habit-forming]. I read voraciously, addictively; hence the junkie. I read a little bit of everything: general fiction, crime novels, historical novels, sci-fi, fantasy, YA, general nonfiction (a la brevity), history, biography, mystery. Everything but chick lit. Some of what I read is very mainstream; some isn’t. You can check out my to-read list (and make suggestions!) at goodreads.
I hope you (whoever the so-far-nonexistent “yous” may be) enjoy.