Posts Tagged ‘Books’

Getting sick (again), going out in D.C., and reading an amazing book

I’m in a fog. It’s nearly impossible to string words together to form coherent sentences. A bottle of Tylenol and a half-empty package of NyQuil clutter my desk next to my laptop. My trashcan is filled with balled up sheets of toilet paper because I haven’t been able to get to a store to buy tissues yet. It’s 5 minutes past 8, and I’m probably going to bed soon.

Getting a cold during the summer is still one of life’s greatest mysteries. I blame it on the rain because, well, it’s raining right now (again) and I’m sick of looking out my window to see black clouds looming over the Masonic temple every night.

It didn’t rain this weekend, which figures since I was sick and couldn’t really take advantage. On Saturday I felt semi-human so I went to the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian with my friend Mike (we met through a mutual friend and he’s JUST a friend). Afterward, we went to his apartment near Catholic University and I got to see the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. I loved the architecture on this church– beautiful blue-tiled, domed roofs that reminded me of a church I saw in Zaragosa, Spain last summer.

Anyway, we got to his place and after his yellow lab/German shepherd puppy showered me in slobber, we plopped down and used my handy Washington D.C. guidebook to map out our night so we could try new places.

On the list:

  • Rice, a Thai restaurant on 14th St. Fantastic food, reasonable prices (for food, not drinks), quick service, quiet atmosphere, dim lighting for an intimate setting, and modern decor
  • Lauriol Plaza, a Mexican restaurant on 18th St. Well, by the time we got here, it was pretty much closed. We wanted to check out the rooftop area and have some margaritas, but this is not a place to head to after 11pm. We’ll try again soon because the food and drinks looked delicious.
  • The Fox and the Hound For $4.95 you get a glass of liquor and a tiny bottle of mixer to add as you please– not bad. A domestic beer is $4.25, so if you’re not a liquor drinker you’ll just get pissed off at your friends who are and can get drunk way cheaper than you can.
  • Reef, Adams Morgan I had never been to Adams Morgan before, but I really liked what I saw– cheeky (I use this to mean cool names) bars with lots of young people. We got there really late so most of the places had long lines and expensive covers. Reef, however, NEVER has a cover and has a cool outdoor bar and a lower level with fish tanks. I spent a lot of my time finding Nemo and talking to some Australian guys who liked the dress I was wearing, saying it looked very “un-American.” I think it was supposed to be a compliment.

That was the summary of my night. I started to feel nasally and congested again, so I left my friends at the bar and took the metro back home. I spent Sunday reading this outstanding memoir of a mother and daughter called Come Back by Claire and Mia Fontaine. It’s one of the most poignant, heartbreaking pieces of writing I’ve ever read, and I encourage all of you to read it. Forget self-help books, this tale about two women’s ability to overcome sexual abuse, drug addiction, and severe depression has everything you need to learn to love the life (and parents) you have.

Rating: 5 stars, hands-down.

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In the Drink by Kate Christensen Made Me Want to Drink…Heavily (and not in a good way)

I just finished one of the worst books I’ve ever read– Kate Christensen’s In the Drink. First of all, I hate when books slap a big quote saying “laugh out loud funny!” on the front cover. Don’t do that unless you’re funny. If you want to laugh out loud, don’t read this… go read The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing.

Besides being misleading, the plot is trite and already overdone. Girl in her twenties has a rich, overbearing boss and thinks she’s in love with her best friend, who may or may not be gay. Oh, and she drinks sometimes… not nearly enough to procure the title.

While the writing is good (better than most in the chick lit genre), the character development lacks all those elements that make a reader fall in love with a protagonist. Claudia Steiner was kind of this, maybe that, but nothing definitively. She whined, she begged, she droned on and on about roaches, she went into the details of constipation. I understand she was meant to be an anti-heroine, but still, she didn’t feel at all relateable.

The ending was the worst. Just when you thought the plot might actually go somewhere the author drops in a plot twist that was more of a plot sharp turn to the left and “see ya later.” At the point, the book lost all its integrity with me, but I only had 5 more pages so I forged on to the last page that left me thinking “thank God I didn’t spend my money on this book.”

Rating: * (for good measure)

I’m a Blog Tease and a Barnes & Noble Whore

I just completed a Barnes & Noble online purchase because in the week I finished two books. Refer to The Bookcase to see where $26.28 of my disposable income went.

Oh, and S. came to visit me this weekend…

Potpourri

Most nights at 7:30 p.m. you can find me watching Jeopardy! My favorite category is “Potpourri” because it makes me wonder who in the hell finds these obscure facts that have no correlation to one another. As a tribute to my favorite game show, this post will be quite the potpourri of miscellaneous thoughts.

  • David Cook won American Idol, and this pleases me. However, if I hear the sexy David Cook singing a horrific bubble-gummed over song force fed to him by those awful AI producers, I will do ungodly things. Plus, how drool-worthy did he look in that Guitar Hero commercial? So let’s get this straight, the guy is hot, can play guitar and sing, is endearing and sweet, AND has hot legs?
  • The season finale of How I Met Your Mother (yeah, I’m a HIMYM cronie, get over it) left me wanting more. I thought the show completely sucked until the last 5 minutes– anyone with me? Barney and Robin sittin’ in a tree… K-I-S-S-I-N-G. And no way in hell is Stella going to accept Ted’s proposal with an orange, stuffed giraffe. If she does, I’m exiling her from womandom.
  • Still haven’t talked to S. Okay, that’s a lie– I just sent him an e-mail, but before you break out the disapproving looks, let me tell you why. Today I leave for D.C. and tomorrow he leaves for a two week cross-country trip, which means I won’t be talking to him for that long, at least. The guy did have a big role in my life for the last 5 months and I’ve been hearing about this trip for weeks, so I though it would be a nice gesture to send him a “have-fun-please-don’t-think-I’m-a-huge-bitch” note. Bad idea?
  • Today is the Big Day, Part 1. My family and I are leaving at 2pm so that we can drive halfway to Washington, D.C. Tomorrow we’ll finish out the trek and I’ll start unloading my crap into my new apartment. This means I’ll probably be absent from the blogosphere for a while, but I will hopefully have pictures/stories the next time I write.
  • Finished Jane Eyre— loved it. It was slow at the beginning, but after that it picked up, but I can see how it might not be for everyone. Now, I’m reading Sense and Sensibility followed by another Jane Austen classic, Mansfield Park. Also, on my Bookcase page, I’ve started a star ranking system and also ask for your input, so be sure to check it out.
  • The reason for my Jane Austen obsession: The Jane Austen Bookclub. If you love books and have not seen this movie, sign off the Internet immediately and run (run, I say!) to the nearest store and rent or buy it. It’s that good.

That’s all for now!

Ciao.

Only a Nerd Would Get Excited About a Bookcase

I’m a nerd. I accept it and am one with it. Ergo, one of the things that I’m most excited about in my future apartment is my bookcase.

Reading is a passion of mine and over the years I’ve read an absurdly high number of books. Unfortunately, I can never remember what I’ve read because there have been so many. This is why I’m stoked about the bookcase.

I can’t wait to have a mini-library of what I’ve read and what I plan on reading. I figure all that time spent commuting from Alexandria to D.C. will provide ample reading time– something I didn’t have while in college because I was too busy procrastinating to truly enjoy those invigorating textbooks.

A lot of my friends are avid readers, too, so I thought it would be fun to keep a running list of books I’ve read or plan to read. I’ll pepper in some reviews so if I stumble across anything exceptional or downright awful, you’ll know what to add to your own reading lists.

So what’s the next book this nerd will add to her bookcase? Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre.

Photo credit: Freshome.com