Gooseberries - Anton Chekhov
Although I didn’t particularly like this story, these lines practically reached out of the book and slapped me in my face.
I am so guilty of this, as are we all. As we leave the holiday season where we might send some toys to a shelter, or clothes to the homeless, or food to the food bank, please, pray that we don’t wipe our hands and smugly think of a job well done. Looking at the kids I work with, I realize that the need will ALWAYS be there, 11 other months of the year.
Much as Hallmark and other holiday companies make us feel obliged to buy, buy, buy, I fear that service work is typically only done around this time of year because “‘tis the season.” There is so much desolation in our world, so much sadness, and injustice, and hunger, that we all need to be working 7 days a week 365 days a year for others!
My challenge to myself this year is that each time I hear about some type of injustice or oppression and think, ‘Aww, that’s sad,” to not let that be the end of it…to DO something. Whether it’s writing a check, donating time, or simply just taking a second to LISTEN to someone, this year I’m trying my hardest to really live as a Christian and give myself to others.
Well, I’m a little late, but as the year drew to a close I took a look back on the books I’ve read. It was a weird year… As I think back to this time last year, I remember sitting at the kitchen table at my boyfriend’s parents’ house for HOURS with infinite amounts of coffee crying because I couldn’t get a job. Now I have two, my own place, a dog and an extra cat we are fostering, and a better grip on life lol. Eh shit, that’s a different post for a different time, so without further ado, here is my books o 2012 list
The Lincoln Lawyer - Connelly
The Shut Down Learner - Selznick ( actually a really great quick books on kids with ADHD or kids who are more visual and spatial learners).
The Book of Awesome - Pastricha ( I got this as a Christmas present last year and loved it. It’s super cute and will make you smile, but I also use it to teach descriptive writing to kids. There are plenty of little things that the kids have experienced and they can relate to, so it helps to jump start their creative thinking. Plenty of burping and farting references they’ll love too).
Nine Dragons - Connelly
The Mummy and Miss Nitocris - Griffith (gotta love the free books app on the iPad).
War of the Worlds - Wells
The Beautiful and the Damned - Fitzgerald
Great Expectations - Dickens (UGH. First and last Dickens novel I’ll ever read. I tried).
The Death of Ivan Ilych and Other Stories - Tolstoy
The Possessed - Dostoevsky ( best book ever to travel with! Took it to Boston with me and it was perfect for layovers and long plane rides.)
Wuthering Heights - Bronte (just…..no.)
Main Street - Lewis (and thus begins my love affair with Sinclair Lewis.)
Red Badge of Courage - Crane
The Three Musketeers - Dumas ( I was actually expecting the style to be very dry due to when it was written but I actually really enjoyed it! I will be reading more Dumas this year.)
Just After Sunset - King (okay, I have to admit… I am a closet king fan. I used to buy his paperbacks at the grocery store and read them in high school instead of doing anything productive, but damn, I’ve just never found anyone who can get me with thrillers like he can. This was a collection of short stories— which most king fans know are the best work. Cracking it open was like the first time you drink cold grape soda as an adult…refreshing and taks you back to a good ass time in life.)
The Men Who Stare at Goats - Ronson
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter - McCullers ( okay I cheated, I’ve read this before. I remember it being so sad and haunting and depressing when I first read it at 18. Going back through it I had a chance to focus more on her writing style than simply being wrapped up in the plot, but this still tops my list of must read for everyone!)
The Member of the Wedding - McCullers
Clock Without Hands - McCullers ( this is the first time I read this story and it made me feel much the same way as Heart is a Lonely Hunter did. The characters were so diverse….at one point you fuckin hated them but then found yourself pitying them for some subtle reason. Probably my second favorite story from her.)
Babbitt - Lewis
The Stranger - Camus
Later Short Stories - Chekhov
Schindler’s Legacy - Brecher (really interesting book that was written right around the time Spielberg came out with Schindler’s List. Basically a biographical look at those who were working in that factory and how they adjusted to life after the Holocaust. Some editing bloopers and inconsistencies but all around a fascinating read. It truly is amazing to think of the resilience of the survivors as they just went on to build new lives)
So there it is…my list. Now…what should I read this year? Suggestions?
I am beginning to forget the old house, and only sometimes when I am painting or reading I suddenly, apropos of nothing, remember the green light in the window, the sound of my footsteps as I walked home through the fields in the night, with my heart full of love, rubbing my hands in the cold. And still more rarely, at moments when I am sad and depressed by loneliness, I have dim memories, and little by little I begin to feel that she is thinking of me, too — that she is waiting for me, and that we shall meet…
Misuce, where are you?” —
An Artist’s Story - Anton Chekhov
Such a beautiful ending to a sad love story… this was definitely one of my favorites in the entire collection.
Rothschild’s Fiddle - Anton Chekhov
One of the sadder stories in this collection.
I truly believe that laziness is the reason we all hate. If we all took a minute and searched for commonalities between ourselves and others (and believe me, they aren’t that hard to find) I genuinely believe that hate would end.
Terror - Anton Chekhov
Speaks for itself. When you look at all the extra bullshit we pine for and surround ourselves with, it makes you wonder WHAT IS IT FOR?
Neighbours - Anton Chekhov
Problem the best three ending lines I have ever read in a short story….