Hello! It’s been a while since I posted my weekly meme Wednesday Words. Sorry about that! It’s back in full swing. Here’s this week’s word:
I decided to participate in The Broke and the Bookish’s weekly meme post (click here for more info). This weeks topic is 10 Characters Who Belong on the Stage:
1. Caddie Woodlawn from Caddie Woodlawn-The young, spirited, and tomboy young girl is enough to take over the entire stage herself.
2. John Yossarian from Catch 22-Because who wouldn’t enjoy seeing Yossarian’s quip and dull comedy on the stage? Bomb airplanes not included.
3. Jo March from Little Women-The character who inspires every strong female, I’d love to see her perform a play within a play.
4. Voldemort from the Harry Potter series- I’d like to see some monologues from this guy. He’d be good for an one act play perhaps?
5. Jay Gatsby from The Great Gastby-Flashing lights, money, love. This character has a flare for the dramatic.
6. Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice-I feel like we don’t get much of his brooding from the book, and his stoutness would present for a marvelous think piece drama.
7. Bigger Thomas from Native Son– He’s guttural and has a lot to say.
8. Dorian Gray from The Picture of Dorian Gray-He’s embodies show presence. However he might deliver too many monologues about himself.
9. Patrick Bateman from American Psycho-The craziness Bateman exudes is exactly the kind of drama that would be interesting on the stage.
10. Lady Macbeth from Macbeth– Although technically she already was on the stage, I wouldn’t mind seeing her evil devices being carried out in a new and innovative way.
Which characters would you choose to be on the stage?
We’ve all been there. We’ve all picked up a book, hoping it would gain our interest, however it fell by the wayside and we felt the lugubrious task of trying to finish said novel. Sometimes we have no choice but to finish the novel, maybe due to an assignment or special task. Or if you are anything like me, you feel the need to finish the novel, no matter how terrible it may be. Recently I picked up the novel Catch 22 by Joseph Heller and I absolute loathed the entire thing (sorry to any fans of the book). I trudged through all four hundred and something pages, and felt relieved when it was over. Some novels, are just not meant for us, and I completely embrace that. However here are some tips for getting through those tomes that you despise so much.
Tip 1. Setting: If you are not liking what you are reading, consider the setting in which you are reading in. I suggest changing your setting. Perhaps you’ve been reading someplace busy, switch to someplace quiet to allow yourself to fully soak up the author’s words.
Tip 2. Listen to the audio book version: Perhaps listening to the audio book copy of the novel will help you be more engaged in the novel. Sometimes embarking from the drone of your own voice or “inner reading voice” and listening to someone else read the novel, can aid in peaking your interest for the book again.
Tip 3. Find someone else who has/is reading the book: It’s always fun having a friend reading the same novel as you. You can discuss interesting things you discover in the novel, as well hold each other accountable. Sharing view points can help you realize things you hadn’t noticed before.
Tip 4. Find the movie version: Some people say that this is a bad idea, that it ruins the authenticity of the novel. However, if you are really struggling, sometimes the movie version of the book can aid you with visual representations and help you identity with some of the difficult elements that are perhaps better illustrated through the screen.
Tip 5: Step away from the book: No, seriously. Sometimes putting the novel down and taking a break from your reading, can actually allow your brain to rest, to reset itself. I have done this several times with my reading and have found it easier when I came back to finish the book. If you are struggling with your reading, I highly suggest putting the book down for a while and try reading something else or not read at all (gasp I know!)
Tip 6: Make a list: Create a list of the things you are enjoying about the book. It can be as simple as you liking the sentence structuring, or perhaps the book has short chapters, the characters are interesting, etc. Try focusing on the positive elements of the book instead of the negative. Finding something you like can propel you further into wanting to find other positive things about the book, and before you know it, you just completed the read!
Tip 7: Break up: If you have tried tip 1-6 and still can’t get through the pages. It is time to break up with the book. As I stated before, every book isn’t for us and sometimes you just have to face the music (or words in this case ) and not finish the book. I understand this can be a struggle for some readers as I am still struggling with this today. However it’s OKAY if you don’t finish it, because you could be spending your time reading other books that you enjoy!
I hope these tips help you in a creating the best reading experience for those troublesome reads. What do you do when you can’t get through reading a book?
There are certain books that resonate deep within, leaving an oily and gritty feeling within your body. A taste in you mouth that’s dry yet supple, quenching some sort of unknown appetite you didn’t know you had. One such book is The Death of Sweet Mister by Daniel Woodrell. Being my first Woodrell novel, I am quite impressed with his writing style and his ability to keep completely twisting the reader into a story that weaves itself into a dark hole. I have an affinity for dark novels, and this one was by far very dark and contorted. After coming from reading a dense and quite frankly a horrible novel (not sure I want to name said novel), The Death of Sweet Mister was a perfect pick-me-up and I found myself completely consumed by the pages.
You wake up in this here world, my sweet li’l mister, you got to wake up tough. You go out that front door tough of a mornin’ and you stay tough ’til lights out – have you learned that?
We experience our sweet mister or ‘Shug’ Atkins growing up in the Missouri Ozarks. Everyday, the thirteen year old boy must face the wrath of his father, Red-a bestial and drug obsessed man. Also the unduly affection of his mother, giving Shug a brimming tenderness towards his mother. We see the struggles of Shug as he battles with abuse internally and externally. Shug aids his drunken father on quests for painkillers, helping him in looting poor and sick people’s home. The novel doesn’t empathizes with any of the characters and presents them as a matter of fact. Red’s influence over his family is dark and abrasive. Woodell doesn’t waste time in not humanizing him, and he crafts a perfectly despicable male character. The novel focuses on the loss of childhood or rather the lack of childhood as Shug faces adult situations. The sexual pervasiveness that his mother Glenda exudes, creates a lustful rift between her and Shug, something which Woodrell is not afraid to touch on. The life of thirteen year old Shug is open for all to see as he grapples throughout his poor country life. The people surrounding him are influential and shape who and what he speculates at becoming. Woodrell illuminates the harming dangers of childhood that are tainted with pre-adultness. Shug often describes his emotions as bottled up and is desperately searching for an out.
The bottle where I hid my lifelong screams busted wide. The screams flew loose where nobody could hear. The road I walked along was sunburnt dirt and dust lifted with each step. I walked alone and felt my screams break free. I screamed over things that happened I thought I’d forgot. I screamed past fence rows and cows along the sunburnt road. Parts of me I didn’t understand broke loose inside and clogged my throat. The cows laid listening to my screams as if they knew all about them and didn’t need to hear more.
The novel hangs the essence of childhood on a limb and tortures it front of our eyes. It leaves no prisoners and scrapes at every bone we have left at the end of the story. I deeply enjoyed The Death Sweet Mister. I enjoyed it so much, I read the book in one day. It’s an easy read (only 175 pages), and keeps you turning the pages wondering the outcome of the oleaginous yet gritty characters. I haven’t read any other Woodrell novels but I am curious if they are any match to the one I just read. They book is anything but saccharine and I wouldn’t suggest it to anyone who seeks resolution or happiness in their reading. Be prepared for guttural writing that bares its teeth along the way.
What are your favourite Woodrell novels?
When you look around the room, what do you envision? When you walk down the street or meet someone for the first time, how do you picture their life. Is is true that everyone has a harrowing secret-a past( or present) that hides away from societies scope? Do our dark secrets and wishes ever come to fruition, or do they rest uneasily inside of us?
Patrick Bateman is one such man, who coins the term “everything isn’t as it appears.” He is rich, handsome, educated, and works on Wall Street. Bateman is obsessed with material things and how things look and how much they cost. On the outside he appears to be irresistible to both men and women alike. Caught in the drift of the young and successful, Bateman is unstoppable and charismatic. However, harboring a deep secret that slowly leaks out of his pores, is that he is a complete and utter psychopathic killer.
Ellis creates a character who is yes, satirical, sexist, and undoubtedly racist as many reviews had written. Patrick Batemen grips the reader with attention to detail, from his Ralph Lauren robes to how he performs his murders. The novels moves in a way as to not leave anything out, and as we are planted inside of his mind, Ellis makes sure that we remain there until the very end.
I had the all the characteristics of a human being-flesh, blood, skin, hair,-but my depersonalization was so intense, had gone so deep, that the normal ability to feel compassion had been eradicated, the victim of a slow, purposeful erasure. I was simply imitating reality, a rough resemblance of a human being, with only a dim corner of my mind functioning.
I absolutely loved this book, in all its sick gory. I’ve never read anything like this before. Ellis writes with such rich detail it’s hard not to be completely engulfed by the novel. American Psycho is absolutely an Adult novel; therefore anyone under the age of 20, BACK AWAY! Batemen is a despicable character, yet I found myself wondering what he was going to do next, who he was going to torture next. Ellis definitely pushes several boundaries with this one, and I can only applaud him for going there- all the way there. Because Bateman is a psychopath, he is void of feeling sympathy for anyone. He is however evoked by strange and random things, making him feel pain in his body. I was little apprehensive when I first started this novel, and some of the sexist comments by the characters really turned my off (Ellis you don’t think like that in real life do you?). HOWEVER, once you sink into the first 100 pages of the novel, you’re locked into it, willingly or unwillingly. The writing is good, and Ellis has a strong voice when it come to murders, and well, psychopaths… The research done on all of the material things Bateman and his friends are interested in, really impressed me. Although the life of Patrick Bateman catches you in a whirlwind, the novel was crafted with fine detail and time. The novel is dark, scary, disgusting, and leaves you with the residue of blood beneath your fingers. If you can handle it , I would absolutely recommend this novel to you. Good luck, and you’ve been warned.