I am on a Barker jag at the moment. I just finished re-reading Imajica and am now re-reading Weaveworld.
This was my first foray into the wonderful fantasy world of Clive Barker - I had seen the Hellraiser movies but hadn't read anything by him until I borrowed this one years and years ago from a friend. I couldn't put it down and actually refused to stop reading until it got so dark I couldn't see properly!
I love the worlds he creates. This one in particular, the magical fantasy land inside a tapestry carpet, just got my attention. A world we dream of or only see it dreams, called The Fugue has been hidden in a carpet to save it from those who would rule and destroy it.
The characters make this come alive and I am trying to read it slowly to make it last but yeah, that's impossible LOL I guess I can console myself with knowing that I can then re-read The Great and Secret Show - or Cold Heart Canyon! The possibilities and worlds, are endless.
I had been wanting to read this book since it came out 2 years ago and finally got to it yesterday. I knew the outcome - and still, I sobbed at the end. His words just sang - they were poetry and prose and so beautiful.
I have been reading a lot about the end of life and how the body dies - I am studying to be a death doula or something in that arena. Books like Body of Work by Christine Montross and The Death Class by Norma Bowe really helped open that topic up. Death seems to be relegated to the "do not discuss in polite society," arena and that is quite sad.
If one does not look at death... how does one live?
But I had only really been looking at that one side of it, the after the body dies, what happens part. Sam Parnia's AWARE studies totally grabbed my attention - you should look at his work with NDEs. I was fascinated by the whole thing. But it wasn't until I finished When Breath Becomes Air that it really hit me - the "how does one live" part - or even why does one live?
To live a meaningful life.
Paul Kalanithi lived one his entire life - always searching and always learning - and he put all that he learned into his book. He died before he could finish it - his wife did an excellent job in the afterword of giving the book and the life of Paul, closure, but even though he didn't "finish," it, his words and his emotions, told the story perfectly.
What I kept coming back to over and over was what makes a life meaningful? And how do we live in a meaningful way?
Some quotes from the book and there are so many good ones - you should read the book:
“You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.”
“Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete.”
“There is a moment, a cusp, when the sum of gathered experience is worn down by the details of living. We are never so wise as when we live in this moment.”
“Years ago, it had occurred to me that Darwin and Nietzsche agreed on one thing: the defining characteristic of the organism is striving.”
When faced with his coming death - this is what was asked - in how he wanted to live and what his main focus would be in living during his illness - “What makes life meaningful enough to go on living?”
He was a brilliant surgeon, did he want to continue that life as he dealt with his cancer - or was there another path he wanted to try? And when did he want to stop... at what point would he say this is enough?
And then this:
To his daughter, who was only months old when he died - “That message is simple: When you come to one of the many moments in life when you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more, but rests, satisfied. In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing.”
I guess, for me, I need to find something to bring meaning, not just to me, but to leave behind me. We all strive, but for what? To what end? What gives each of us a meaningful life? I think that is why we are here. To use this one life to find meaning and to make the world we share a better place.
I was going through my reading list and didn't realize how many I was able to check off so far! 2018 reading started slow but it is picking up, especially now that I have the Kindle Unlimited!
So, let's see. As of today, March 9, this is what I have:
Book made into a movie I have already seen:
IT by Stephen King
Next book in a series:
Masked City by Genevieve Cogman (Invisible Library Series, totally AWESOME)
Book involving a heist:
The Art Forger by BA Shapiro
Book set in a country that fascinates me:
Pagan Holiday by Tony Perrottet - Italy is the Country
Book about death or grief:
Cemetery Stories by Katherine Ramsland
Book about time travel:
Bones of the Earth by Michael Swanwick
Book with weather element in title:
Petals on the Wind by VC Andrews (Don't judge I LOVE these books LOL)
Book set at sea:
The Grace Keepers by Kirsty Logan
Book Set on a different planet:
Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett - Discworld
Book about or set on Halloween:
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness - Discovery of Witches Trilogy and one of my favorite book sets!
Book borrowed or given to you:
Inside Buckingham Palace
Book by 2 authors:
Thunderhead by Preston and Child
Book about or involving a sport:
A Beautiful Work in Progress by Mirna Valerio
Book Mentioned in another book:
The Passage by Justin Cronin (It was mentioned in Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel)
Book that involves Bookstore or library:
Mr Penumbra's 24 Book Store by Robin Sloan. The Book of Speculation by Ericka Swyler. The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan and The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson
Yowza! And it is only MARCH! Are you doing the challenge? What books are you reading??
*Well, the books available under Kindle's Unlimited service anyway.
A few years ago during their Big Deal Days, Amazon had the Kindle Unlimited for a huge deal, plus I had several gift cards and ended up getting a year for $20. I ended up loving it. While they don't offer EVERY BOOK under the deal, there were quite a few I would never had read, had they not been in my selections.
Once the year was up though, I cancelled it as it was just a bit much and I was getting enough books anyway. But I did miss having that option after awhile.
Then, today, I was searching for random books and a pop up told me that I could read this book FOR FREE, with unlimited and RIGHT NOW it was only 99 cents for 2 months.
I had to think about that for 3 or 4 seconds then hit the SIGN ME UP TAKE MY MONEY button.
I can actually feel the synapses in my brain opening up and the joy flooding my brain with the thought of ALL THOSE BOOKS! Yes, I am a reading junkie. Just give me a book and all the bad things go away. At least until I am done with that book and need another one.
(Please keep me away from Amazon music or I am a goner)
It has been a bizarre year. I can't count how many times I said WTF, before finally just giving up and waiting for it to be over. While I was waiting, I read. A LOT. I read a lot as it is, but I think I reached a new record of books read in a year. I decided to note them this year and share it on New Year's Eve.
So, here we are! 126 books and various magazines as well.
I liked how I started the year with Book 1 in a series (The Invisible Library) and ended the year with Book 2. Excellent series.
Also, I am always looking for new good books, so if you have any suggestions, please leave them!
2017 was the year of card 13 for me. In the RWS deck, that would be Death. In my go to deck, The Wildwood Tarot, that would be The Journey. Very similar in nature and very apt cards as well. I tried to remember them when dealing with the myriad of changes this past year has brought. Not all of them good, but change is necessary.
RWS - change, free yourself from what no longer works. Things have to end, in order for you to grow, move on, do not stagnate.
WW - From the book--
It is time to face the inevitable, to let the bones be laid bare and acknowledge the deepest aspects of your fears and desires. Do not fear change, because this is also a time of purification and realignment. This change may seem extreme and destructive, but old crops must be cleared for new growth to thrive and static or sterile modes and concepts must perish. A celebration of the past or an acknowledgement of the passing of one part of life may be required. Let the threads of the old slip from your fingers with joyful remembrance and enter this time of withdrawal and renewal with patience and calm.
I am hoping to renew my interesting in blogging, both to get the ideas out of my head and maybe share them with people that I can learn from in return. I remember back in the days of Xanga (Bianca Broussard anyone?) and then Myspace, I was a constant blogger and I LOVED it, but oh the work it was to stay in that fast lane of blogging reciprocity LOL
Still, I enjoyed it and am hoping to find that same sort of connection again.
I am not sure that I liked this past year all that much. It seemed so filled with overwhelming negativity and I am trying to counter that with as much positivity as possible. So, I say goodbye to Death's Journey and hello to Balance and Temperance (more on that tomorrow)
Happy New Year to you! I wish you enough in 2018!
Not vicious or malicious
Just de-lovely and delicious