golden age thinking.

this afternoon i fixed myself a martini and sat down to finish the book i was reading, the great gatsby.  i actually never read it in middle school or high school like most people, and felt the time was high for me to read it.

i have an endless curiosity of the lost generation, of hemingway and gertrude stein, of paris in the jazz age and during the war.  as a lover of literature and writers in general, i dragged PI to the famous literary cafes and the shakespeare & company bookstore, and devoured midnight in paris three times in the theaters [of course it doesn't hurt that we both love woody allen].

anyway - i found gatsby to be an amazingly beautiful novel.  i fell in love with a few lines of fitzgerald's and wanted to share them, of course..
'let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.'
 and the last lines of the novel were absolutely haunting:

'gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year receeds before us.  it eluded us then, but that's no matter -- tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther... and one fine morning --
and so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.'
given gatsby's great obsession with the past, they were of course very fitting.  but sometimes i feel like i have that same nostalgia, that same wish to recreate that which has already happened.  i find it all the time in working on my book, in reading my old journals from my time in prague, in conversations i have with PI.  i want to go back to the time when my life was in it's golden age, when i lived far away, making friends with new people on 'the continent' and i never wanted it to end.

on that note... a little woody allen dialogue on nostalgia.

 til next time...


a new favorite read.

a few things you may not know about me.
  • i love to read and am a total bookworm.
  • i am very fascinated by russian culture and love reading about or watching movies that have to do with russia or russians.
  • my favorite books are all told from the perspective of kids.
so imagine how happy i was to receive this book for my birthday from my awesome sister in law.

it's vaclav & lena by haley tanner, and it's amazing.  it's the story of two childhood best friends who both emigrated from russia and settled in brighton beach, brooklyn.  they are separated when they are ten, and they never forget one another.  it's a heartwarming tale so far - i'm about halfway through - and i'm totally addicted to the characters [especially the little boy - vaclav]. 

i've shared some of my favorite reads and types of books before, and just had to add this one to the list.  it's not over yet, but i have a feeling i'm going to love it.

on a separate note, i want to say a big fat HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the best mother in law a gal could ask for!  this woman knows how to laugh, love and show her strong side more than just about any other woman i know.  what an inspiration and an absolute joy to be around she is.  happy birthday mom!

a beautiful woman with a contagious laugh.
i get to spend the rest of my day running my brother to pre-op appointments and food shopping... so til next time!

confessions of a self-proclaimed bookworm.

for as long as i can remember, i have loved to read.  i can even remember reading to my grandmother for the first time, curled up on my nanny's lap as she cried out of pride and excitement.  i was four.  and i don't think i've stopped reading since then.  when i was younger i could never stop reading the babysitter's club or goosebumps...

for me, there is nothing better than getting into bed early enough to open a good book and just get lost.  right now i am totally engrossed in the meaning of night by michael cox, and i read over a hundred pages last night when i intended to read a chapter or so.  i love that feeling you get when you lose yourself in a book, unable to even remember what is going on in your own life because you have been so engrossed on turning the pages.  books can really make you feel something.

now that i am older, i definitely have a kind of book that i love.  for me, a good book borders somewhere between poetry and prose.  i love fiction, especially when the protagonist is younger [like a child, as weird as it sounds].  i discovered my book 'type' in amsterdam's schipol airport, browsing bookstands while waiting for my flight back to prague back in 2007.  i came across extremely loud and boy in the striped pajamas and bought them both on a whim.  it wasn't until after i read extremely loud that i realized both were narrated by eight-year-old boys, and i loved the innocence and different perspective of reading through that view.

now, i will say that extremely loud is without a doubt my favorite book, and i've read it at least five times since my first time in 2007.  i've given it as a gift multiple times, and i own multiple copies because i've torn out a few of my favorite pages to frame around the house.  there is nothing more beautiful than that book.

a few of my favorite lines from my favorite book that tug at my heartstrings every time i read them:

i like to see people reunited, maybe that's a silly thing, but what can i say, i like to see people run to each other, i like the kissing and the crying, i like the impatience, the stories that the mouth can't tell fast enough, the ears that aren't big enough, the eyes that can't take in all of the change, i like the hugging, the bringing together, the end of missing someone...  [p.109]
...we laughed and laughed, together and separately, out loud and silently, we were determined to ignore whatever needed to be ignored, to build a new world from nothing if nothing in our world could be salvaged, it was one of the best days of my life, a day during which i lived my life and didn't think about my life at all.  [p. 28]

and one more...
i told her how i felt, this is how i told her: i held her hands out to her sides, i pointed her index fingers toward each other and slowly, very slowly, moved them in, the closer they god, the more slowly i moved them, and then, as they were about to touch, as they were only a dictionary page from touching, pressing on opposite sides of the word 'love,' i stopped them, i stopped them and held them there.  i don't know what she thought, i don't know what she understood, or what she wouldn't allow herself to understand, i turned around and walked away form her, i didn't look aback, i won't.  [p. 135]
as i write my book, i think that if i can write anything that makes someone really feel something, i will have accomplished my goal.  i know i may never be a great writer like some of my favorites, but i hope that reading some of my favorites over and over can inspire me and help me bring out just a little more emotion in my writing.

here is my go-to reading list when i need a good book or when someone needs a recommdnation:
i missed reading for pleasure so much while i was in school, and now i just can't get enough.  pi and i have been watching the entire series of the west wing, but sometimes i can't wait until the last episode of the night is over to dig into my book.  kind of nerdy, i know.  but i love it.