Monday, August 15, 2011

2011 Books: Books 19 -24, Some YA Reading to Pass the Time

19: If I Stay and 20: Where She Went

I’ve been reading the most depressing books lately. If you’re planning on reading If I Stay and don’t want a spoiler, stop reading now. If I Stay is the story of Mia Hall, a young cellist that ends up the only survivor of a car accident that killed her entire family. From her coma, she narrates while trying to decide if she really wants to live. Here’s the spoiler – she lives, but ends up leaving her boyfriend Adam. Where She Went is from his perspective. It describes when fate forces them to meet up again. I enjoyed reading both of these, but multiple times while reading the book, I did get the wiggins thinking about being trapped near my own comatose body. I found Mia a little annoying, but I still liked the story. I preferred the second book because I liked Adam better as a narrator, but the end of their story got a little too saccharine for my tastes.

21: Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self

I absolutely adored this collection of letters that various celebrities (mostly British people that I needed to look up) wrote to their 16 year old selves. The letters range from hysterical to heart breaking and were a great collection of advice and thoughtfulness. It made me think a lot about what I might write to 16yo Annie. I also wondered what I would have wanted to write to a 31yo version of me back then. Maybe I’ll get around to writing that letter one of these days. (I did finally write this letter. See: Dear Me (#tweetyour16yearoldself))

22: Vampire Academy and 24: Frostbite

Teenage vampire novels are definitely one of my guilypleasures. Both of these are from the Vampire Academy series. Neither of them were particularly awesome, but I still tore through them. I’m sure that I will also attack the final four books at some point. I’m not sure which one of these was written first, but this series reminds me a lot of the House of Night series.

23: Photographs--Annie Leibovitz, 1970-1990

This wasn’t exactly reading, but I kind of worship this book. Annie Leibovitz inspires me and has since I was a budding photographer back in high school. I’m not much into photography anymore, but I love the way that she uses her art to capture the essence of a person. She has a knack for capturing beautiful, truthful moments. I can’t help but look at the pages and feel inspired to do the same thing.

Songs about Mondays... (Pulp, Belle & Sebastian)

And now you’re back here at Monday so we can do it all over again… I know that it’s cliché to complain about Mondays, so I decided to pick a couple of songs that would do it for me.

Pulp – Monday Morning

This is one of those dangerous songs that gets me all amped up. I can’t listen to it anymore when I’m driving. It has a revved up sound, and I love to scream out the lyrics. This is especially true on Monday mornings. Judging by the number of times I have been caught car dancing and working those magical lyrics with Jarvis, I guess I feel this way about most Pulp songs.

Belle & Sebastian – Expectations

Sometimes I wish that I didn’t enjoy Belle & Sebastian quite so much. There are far too many annoyingly pretentious snobs that like to quote and talk about them like a secret society. The truth is that they are pretty awesome, and I do love this song.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Songs that are beautiful... (Remy Zero, The Cure, & Mr Mister)

Lately, I have been into music that sounds and feels beautiful. It is amazing how a piece of music can communicate something between people that can’t be communicated with words. There is feeling and a life to music that is near impossible to describe. Maybe it’s our miracle. It is a secret way to communicate our feelings to each other.
Remy Zero – Fair

When this song came on in the car on the way to work, I was struck by how beautiful and disarming it is. I’ve listened to it plenty of times during my obsession with the Garden State soundtrack, but now I’ve really heard it and feel how special it is.

The Cure – Treasure

There is something magically awesome about The Cure. They are known as being dark and gothic, but I hear beautiful, emotional odes to love and feelings. Sometimes they are sad, like this song, but they are always filled with such lyrical imagery and interesting music that it feels like getting lost in a land of make believe. In my world, The Cure writes my bedtime stories.

Mr Mister – Broken Wings

I like to think of this as my first favorite song. It wasn’t. The Annie soundtrack, Michael Jackson, and the Violent Femmes all predated this musical obsession.

This song is cheesy and time stamped, yet it is still kind of awesome. It holds a special memory for me. I’d wait for it to air on MTV. These days, everything we want to see or hear is a few clicks away on our computers. I like to remember a time when my patience was rewarded with getting to hear my favorite song.