I can't believe that it is Sunday already. It has been a couple of busy days for me. I woke up yesterday excited to realize it was only Saturday. I still had today to get some more things done. I have been trying to get caught up on all the journals that I got behind on. This has been quite the challenge, especially since I realized this morning that some of the addresses I had entered in Bloglines were Beta addresses and I wasn't being updated. So there I was behind on ones that I thought I had caught up on. But, I think I caught all of them. I have well over 120 journals that I like to peek at on a regular basis and even more in my journals links. One of these days I want to clean that up and transfer some of them over to my Bloglines, and vice versa.
For those who haven't found Bloglines, I highly recommend it. I know that these journals have alerts now but I hate for my email box to overflow and good grief I would be overwhelmed with updates on 100+ journals. I'm also slowly but surely answering comments, which if interested, you can find in my older entries. I'm still a few entries behind though. I have entries waiting in the wings to be written. Pictures of graduation will hopefully come by the end of the day. So much journalling so little time. My car is in desparate need for a bath and somehow I want to fit in a hike today. Maybe I'll take a nap first. I'm tiring myself out thinking of all that I have to do.
But, now for the weekend assignment:
Name the book that you feel would best describe you to a total stranger. It could be any book -- a novel, a non-fiction book, a cookbook, or heck, even a textbook (if you're an academic type). The idea, however, is to present a book that would offer up some insight about you as a person.
Extra Credit: List a book that someone swore would be a book you would love -- and you didn't.
This was a tough one for me, as well as others. I've read so many books, how could I pick just one. I have some favorites but I really wasn't sure how they could possibly identify me as a person. Then, as I was driving home from graduation on Friday, it came to me. One of my all time favorite books is I am the Cheese by Robert Cormier. This is a book that I first read in 9th grade. It's a children's book written at a fifth grade level of reading but the complexity of the storyline can appeal to someone much older. In addition, the storyline is very dark. I guess that's why we read it in 9th grade as opposed to an earlier grade. It's not a story that ends on a cheery note. It leaves you wondering and forming your own ideas about what was actually occurring throughout the story. It made me think.
As I read this book, I was intrigued how the storyline would jump from one scenario to another but all being told by the same person. One was the tale of this boy's bike ride. Another was his sessions with what you thought was a psychiatrist and the third his memories of being at home with his family. The three stories were interwined throughout. So, it was a challenge to follow where and what was going on.
It's the first book that I read that really pulled me in and made me not want to put it down. I was anxious to get to the end and have all of the answers. Alas, when the end comes, it isn't tied up in a neat little package and your mind is left to calculate the puzzle of who was who and the whys and hows. I'd give a synopsis of the storyline but it's kind of complex and I'd rather use this space to explain why it defines me. I've left quite a few links to reviews, and what-not, if you'd like to know more about the story.
I chose this book for several reasons but the "aha" moment occurred because of the title: "I am the Cheese." Throughout the book he is singing the song "The Farmer and the Dell." I have faint memories of standing in a circle in Kindergarten singing this song with a line forming as the farmer takes a wife and so on and so forth. I never remembered the end. As I read the book, I couldn't understand why he was the cheese. At the end of the book, he finishes the song. "The mouse takes the cheese, the mouse takes the cheese. Hi-ho the dairy-o the mouse takes the cheese. And the cheese stands alone. And the cheese stands alone. Hi-ho the dairy-o, the cheese stands alone."
Even though I have many friends and family who I love dearly and I know that they love me. I have always had this very solitary feeling. I think it's actually a common human dilemna. Ultimately, feeling all alone in this world. I was really feeling it Friday as all my friends were surrounded by family and friends celebrating in their graduation. I didn't make a big deal out of my graduation because really it's an anti-climatic event for me and I'll explain that more when I do my entry about graduation but to always be the third wheel, the single friend, the one driving home alone can be a bit depressing for me. I'd like to have a special someone, a family of my own, but at this point in time it's not what life has offered me. As such, I am the cheese.
The story too says much about who I am. The complexity of it speaks to the complexity of who I am as a person. But when all is said and done, the book is fairly simple because of it's reading level. And, like the book, in spite of all the textures and complexities that make me who I am, I too am a fairly simple person. Wanting nothing more than peace, happiness, and love, like everyone else.
Now, for the book that was recommended. I don't recall any that someone swore that I would love but I did receive a book for Christmas one year that I just hated. You see a friend asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I told her "Waking the Dead" but I didn't know who the author was just that Jennifer Connolly starred in the movie version. I mentioned this book in Scalzi's #2 Weekend Assignment as my 2nd favorite book, with "I am the Cheese" being number one. Well, my friend forgot the title except that it contained the word "dead" and something about Connolly. So, she got me a book titled "Every Dead Thing" by John Connolly. I'm not much for this genre but I'll read just about anything. As I read the book, I really couldn't get into it as the author seemed to wax on about nothing important to the storyline. Then all of the sudden in the last portion of the book it seems the author realizes his story has gone astray and ties it up in this absolutely bizarre way that just seemed lame and from out of left field. My roommate read the book after I did and loved it, but such is life. Like art, books, are very subjective.