The novel I would most like to read at this moment should have as its driving force only the desire to narrate, to pile stories upon stories, without trying to impose a philosophy of life on you, simply allowing you to observe its own growth, like a tree, an entangling, as if of branches and leaves…
"The things that you do should be things that you love, and things that you love should be things that you do."
Ray Bradbury is possibly the happiest writer on earth (not to mention the most adorable old man). I have the sudden urge to run to the nearest library and take out all of his books that I haven’t read yet. But instead I’ll just continue trudging on through my endless piles of midterm work. One day, Ray, one day…
"Frank Abagnale could write a check on toilet paper, drawn on the Confederate States Treasury, sign it ‘U.R Hooked’ and cash it at any bank in town, using a Hong Kong driver’s license for identification."
- Former Chief of Police, Houston
Last night I finished reading Catch Me If You Can, which is the memoir that the movie of the same name was based off of. I was skeptical about reading the book in the first place, since I figured I already knew the story just by watching the movie, but after reading the book, I can conclude that the real adventures of Frank Abagnale Jr. were so much more badass than the ones in the movie.
There were several points in the book where I’d be thinking “there is no way he’ll be able to charm himself out of this one,” or “how in the hell didn’t anybody realize that this doctor/lawyer/professor/pilot is a teenager,” or “there is no way he just walked out of the front door of a prison in Atlanta,” but Abagnale would surprise me over and over again. I was also surprised (and maybe a little proud?) to learn that one of the many times Abagnale was taken into custody was in my very own city of Montreal, where the mounties caught him (seriously, the Mounties! I always thought they were just for decoration). There were several anecdotes, or “smaller cons,” that were so clever that I just couldn’t help myself from laughing, thinking that if the people being conned were that dumb they probably deserved it, though at the same time wondering if would notice I was being duped were in that situation.
This was the last book I read on my summer vacation, and it was a perfect way to end my summer reading list. Catch Me If You Can is a delightful and quick read, and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the movie version. I was actually surprised at some of the things they decided to omit and some of the things they added into the movie, especially the ending of both of them (without giving too much away, the movie’s ending was more touching, while the book’s was at a point dark, and then also hilarious).
The only thing I was disappointed about in the book was the photo in the last bit, which was a Q&A with Frank Abagnale himself, since they included a photo of the real Frank Abagnale standing next to Leonardo DiCaprio in his Pam Am pilot’s costume on the set of the film, because I realized that the entire time I was reading the book, I was dreaming of a young and sexy Leo DiCaprio flying around the world cashing fake checks, and then I saw the old, balding, chubby man that Abagnale is today. No worries though. In my head, it will always be DiCaprio.
Hi blog! Hi Tumblr! I know I’ve been ignoring you, but I’ve been out making money most of the summer so that I am able to live in Nottingham next January without starving. Forgive me. Summer’s over now, and while I think it was a total failure in terms of getting any writing done, I did succeed in reading quite a bit, maybe not as much as I had hoped for given the fact that I had 5 months free of school-imposed reading lists, but considering I only had time to read during my lunch breaks at work or at 1 in the morning, I got a decent amount done.
I’ve decided to stack the books that I read up together, just so it looks like I read more than I did. Here’s the outcome:
My Harry Potter reread took me a bit longer than expected, taking up the first two months of my summer. Then came Middlesex, which also took me way too long to read. I zoomed through a ~800 pages of East of Eden and Journal of a Novel in the last two weeks, and I really think I’m going to get a tattoo of the word “timshel” (in Hebrew) pretty soon. White Oleander was so much better than I was expecting, I read it in two days while I was on vacation in Dominican Republic, and I absolutely loved it. Right now I’m actually in the middle of Catch Me If You Can, which is the memoir that the movie was based on. I haven’t even finished the book yet, but I can definitely say that the real Frank Abagnale Jr. was a whole lot more badass than Leo DiCaprio’s character was in the movie (though probably not as yummy).
So there it is. My summer reading. 17 books in 21 weeks. I could have done better, or I could have done worse. I think I’m going to take a picture of all my school books this semester, and do a side by side comparison. It’s going to look something like 25 books in 14 weeks. Joy. I’m actually really excited to go back to school this Tuesday though. Some of my books look pretty interesting, and some of them really don’t (I can’t even put into words how much I’m not looking forward to reading Beckett again), but I’m just ready to do something other than working all day. Bring it, 2011 fall semester.
I believe there are monsters born in the world to human parents. Some you can see, misshapen and horrible, with huge heads or tiny bodies; some are born with no arms, no legs, some with three arms, some with tails or mouths in odd places. They are accidents and no one’s fault, as used to be thought. Once they were considered the visible punishments for concealed sins. And just as there are physical monsters, can there not be mental or psychic monsters born? The face and body may be perfect, but if a twisted gene or a malformed egg can produce physical monsters, may not the same process produce a malformed soul?
John Steinbeck, East of Eden
I’m finally re-reading East of Eden. I want to see if I still love it as much as when I first read it 3 years ago, if I can still call it my favorite book. Even though I’m only a hundred or so pages into my re-read, the answer is yes. Definitely, 100% percent, undoubtably yes.
Is it weird that I want this pretty badly? And can I just say that if my Shakespeare’s professor last semester was Alan Rickman, or even just had his voice, I probably would have payed a lot more attention to the readings in class.
Oh I will. I’m taking probably too many books with me to Punta Cana. 6 books may be a bit too ambitious for a 7 day vacation, especially considering I’ve been “in the middle” of reading Middlesex for nearly a month. I’m finding it interesting, but ohmygod is it long. Long in the sense of, wow, this 500 page book has 300 pages of introduction. I’m also taking a book of prose poetry for a poet I met on my trip to Kenya, a student creative writing anthology, a Michael Ondaatje book that I’m hoping is better than The English Patient, a book from the True Blood/Sookie Stackhouse series (guilty pleasure), and White Oleander. How many will I finish? At the rate this summer’s reading has been going, I’ll be happy if I finish Middlesex. Sigh.
Wrote a short story today for the first time since I’ve been on summer. It’s not so much the fact that I wrote a story that I’m so excited about, it’s the fact that I had that feeling like I needed to write a story that makes me happy. Gosh, I’ve missed that. Maybe I’ll even post it after I edit it a little. Maybe.
Oh and happy St. Jean Baptiste to any Quebecers who follow this blog. Now it’s time to get super drunk in honor Quebec’s ‘national’ holiday!
These are the invitations to my birthday party. They’re Hogwarts acceptance letters. They are coming out awesome, though I’m learning that ink is not the most forgiving writing material, and wax seals can and will burn up an entire paper if given the chance.
How old am I turning, you ask? Six? Seven? Sounds about right.
The last Harry Potter movies comes out on the 15th of July, and my actual birthday is on the 19th. I don’t even care about my birthday, but midnight of the 15th could not come fast enough. This is going to be the most childish best birthday ever.