Friday, May 05, 2006

two books, three links, and a few other things

i have finished the lovely bones by alice sebold. while it was a beautiful book, very well-written, touching, and sad, i find it was just a little OTT for me at times to ... how shall i put it, for me to embrace it fully, if you know what i mean. what touched me most was the relationship of the little boy and his father. my friend bo said that there's something wrong with you if it does not make you cry. well, there you go, now it's official. ;)

began reading tunnel vision by keith lowe, on wednesday, and finished it yesterday. it's about this guy who makes a bet with a mate to go through each and every london tube station within a day. a lot is at stake - so he'd better win it. i think it might appeal more to people who have actually been to london and travelled on the tube, and since i have been there many times, i found it quite interesting and fun to read. anecdotes throughout, and the hero's pace became my own - while he went from station to station to station, i turned page after page after page. enjoyable book.

here are three links for you, in case you have a little too much time on your hands, or are fed up with whatever you are doing at the moment, or you have run out of excuses for procrastinating. :)

flashface (to "build" faces; i hope it's working again, i think it was too busy to access it earlier today)

panoramic photography (you can find a few pics of austria among the photos)

all look same? (can you tell who's japanese, chinese or korean?)

have you heard of a magazine called PRIVATE? i received an invitation to submit work and wanted to ask if any of you have ever contributed to the magazine. it turned out that sharon was right about taj mahal review - they had not mentioned anything about paying for a copy at first, only when i asked, thanks for alerting me. i'm a bit careful now. *S*

i received an email about my chapbook from a friend a little while ago which made me *exceptionally* happy, because - among other things - he said this about my poem Virginia:

It's the sort of poem that makes me realize exactly why I read and care about poetry. It takes a simple theme that has been dispatched and devoured in so many different ways that we think we know everything there is to say about it, and miraculously conjuress a new, fresh insight, not by resorting to cleverness or trickery but by steadfastly engaging in the essence of the matter; by "looking life in the face."
i actually felt he could not be talking about *me*, and i am sure i blushed at least a little (though i have no witnesses); this is it, isn't it?

isn't that such a wonderful feeling, to come across a poem that opens up new ways of looking at things, shows you something from a new perspective? isn't it great to read a poem whose author takes you by the hand and not only manages to show you something you have never seen at all (which is good), but shows you things you have looked at or thought about a million times in a new way (which is more difficult, i think)? i love this feeling that makes you go "ahhhh!", because someone has found the words to put it exactly like that, because something clicks into place, because something makes sense on some completely new level, because someone has captured what, somehow, had been there all along but nobody had ever quite put their finger on it.

i was very touched and honoured that what i admire about certain poets and their work was attributed to me, to one of my poems. so - thank you, you know who you are.

i only worked two days this week - the guy who'd taught my class on tuesday and wednesday really wasn't any good, i had to go over everything again. sigh. the students' reactions on ms michi's triumphant return (ha!) were heart-warming though: "michi!! please don't ever do that to us again!!" access is my least favourite programme to teach, with the possible exception of the theory module (which i always reduce to the bare necessities the students need to get through the exam).

third session with our therapist/counsellor this afternoon, and i am looking forward to it - the first two sessions were very good.

dinner at gudrun and harald's tonight, should be fun.

song of the day: the voice, eimear quinn.


Collin said...

I cried over The Lovely Bones, but also felt Alice went too far. The book SHOULD have ended at that heartbreaking scene (almost at the end) where the girl is in her backyard being drenched in a thunderstorm. Her mother comes onto the porch and says "You're not afraid of anything are" and the girl says "No, I'm not" (or something to that effect). That was the perfect ending, but she just kept going. Still, a beautiful book and I can't wait to see the film. Hope they don't screw it up.

michi said...

i will certainly go and see the film, it will be interesting to see how peter jackson tackles this. i loved heavenly creatures, and i imagine he might do a good job with sebold's novel.

what i found too much in the book was the ruth/susie/ray scene - i don't know. there was something about it that was just that bit too much.

i read kate atkinson's case histories earlier this year, and in some way, it touched me even more than the lovely bones.


SarahJane said...

I admit I read it, too. It was of course very touching but it was definitely OTT in the last third or so. It didn't need that. Don't you hate that? The writer turning their book to slush? I felt the same way about Capt. Corelli's Mandolin. It started out so good - I still remember the first sentence - and then turns contrived and ridiculous.

michi said...

i didn't read captain corelli's mandolin, never saw the film either, only a few scenes. lots of people said what you say about that book. not sure i will read it now.