Living With A Book Addict: …and their bookish emotions

aeOne of the main side effects of having a spouse that is bookish, is a general loss of said spouse to a book if it is good enough to pull him/her in.  In my particular case, I’ve lost Kim to a number of books now, only to have her emerge hours later in a general state of emotion.  I use this general term, as there is not one particular emotion that predominates over the others.  She can experience sadness, elation, anger, misery, or any number of feelings in an instant.   It’s almost like she’s an emotional time-traveler!  Of course I say this almost tongue-in-cheek, as I’m glad Kim’s found something that makes her passionate, regardless of which way the emotions happen to pull her at the time.

One great example of this phenomenon is the book One Day by David Nicholls.  I happened to be reading a funny book at the same time, and was sitting next to Kim on the couch and laughing.  I looked up, mid chuckle, to see tears coming down Kim’s face!  Imagine my surprise and immediate searching thoughts of what I had done in the past 5 minutes to produce these tears.  Fortunately it wasn’t anything I did to pull them out, but it was the story that brought her to tears.  So, here we sat, laughing and crying, both wrapped up in completely different worlds.  I suppose that this is the power books can have over us, but I have to admit that Kim’s bookish emotions do trump my own.

I suppose the best analogy I have to explain the situation is comparing her love of books to my love of science.  It’s not that Kim doesn’t appreciate science, but she doesn’t deal with it every day and have as deep an understanding of it as I do.  The same goes with my understanding and connection with a book.  Granted, I do enjoy books immensely and get a lot of joy from reading, but I feel as if I don’t have the same special relationship with them that Kim does.  I always enjoy seeing the sense of wonderment and amazement that she exudes when she is reading a book that she truly enjoys.  Of course, she always lets me know just how much she LOVES a book, but as I said before, I’m glad that she can have such a great response to a truly good book.

So, I guess that brings me to the obvious question: how involved do you get with reading?  How bookish are your emotions?  Let me know in the comment section below!  Happy (or any other applicable emotion) reading!

Read-A-Thon Hour 8, Mini Challenge #7

Mini challenge #7 might be mine and Jess’s favorite of the day.  We were asked by Midnight Book Girl to “stage” a book, similar to what real estate agents do when trying to sell a house/apt/condo.  Since Jess and I both recently read One Day by David Nicholls we decided that we would pool our memories of the novel together and stage the book!

Items in the photo and explanations are below!

  1. Sombrero (all items are staged ON the Sombrero) – The main character Emma, works in a Mexican restaurant for a bunch of chapters.
  2. The Breakfast Club/The Mighty Ducks DVD’s – Represent the decades of the 80′s and 90′s.  The book takes place during these times.
  3. Eiffel Tower – As an ode to Emma’s time spent in France.
  4. Sunblock – An unforgettable beach vacation that Emma and Dexter take
  5. Peacock strand – An ode to Dex’s time spent in India
  6. Pen and paper – Emma’s favorite hobby was writing!
  7. Glasses – Unmistakable trademark of “early Emma”
  8. Cheese block and microphone – Represent Dex’s various occupations
  9. Mr. and Mrs frame – Well….we can’t give that away

The photo also has copies of both the book and film version of One Day.  We highly suggest reading the book first!

We’re off for another hour of reading. See you in hour 9!

SUCCESS!

It is with GREAT pleasure that I announce I’ve succeeded in completing my goal of reading 100 books this year!  I’m a bit behind on posting my reviews, but I promise you within the next week I’ll complete them and get on track for the new year! Since I’ve completed my goal of 100 for the year I’ve thought about increasing my goal for 2012 and am thinking of upping the goal to 110.  I’ll post my definite plans tomorrow in my kick-off post, similar to what I did last year.

2011 has been a pretty amazing year of reading for me.  Looking back I’ve read some fascinating memoirs, heartbreaking fiction, and  suspenseful mysteries among other things.  My top ten for the year with links to their reviews are as follows:

  1. Jane Eyre
  2. One Day
  3. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
  4. The Hunger Games
  5. Stardust
  6. The House At Riverton
  7. Lunch in Paris
  8. A Wife For Mr. Darcy
  9. Eat, Pray, Love
  10. Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian/The Silent Governess

It was SO difficult to come up with a top ten for the year; I have to pat myself on the back for choosing such a wide array of excellent reads.  I do hope that you’ll tell me what you’ve enjoyed reading this year! There is no better recommendation to read a book than a recommendation from a fellow reader!

In terms of the challenges I signed up for this past year I completed the Historical Fiction Challenge and the Page to Screen Challenge with flying colors.  The Chunkster Challenge continues through January 31, 2012 so I still have a month to finish my last two “mega-chunkster” books.  My Austen challenges I did not do so well on.  I only completed 2 of the Jane Austen mystery novels, and completed 50% of the Sense and Sensibility Challenge.  I’m disappointed that I did so terribly on them, but I guess the light at the end of the tunnel is that I still completed my 100!  I’ve already begun to sign up for 2012 challenges, so make sure you head over to my challenge page to track my progress.

I hope that you will all enjoy the holiday today, checking back in tomorrow to join me on my journey of reading in 2012.

Happy New Year, and happy reading!

#80 A Review of One Day by David Nicholls

One DayEvery once in a while a truly great book comes across your path that gets inside your heart and head rendering you speechless upon completion.  One Day by David Nicholls did exactly that for me.  Upon completion I just sat on my couch staring into space.  My husband Todd said, “Well? How was it?”  I turned to face him, with tears streaming down my face, responding with, “I have no words.”  It’s taken my almost a month after finishing this novel to try to put together some coherent thoughts on why this book was one of the most beautiful and heart-wrenching books I’ve ever read.

The day is July 15th, 1988.  Dexter (Dex) Mayhew and Emma (Em) Morley are both at a crossroads in their lives.  They meet each other for the first time as they are both graduating from university (or college, as we in the states put it).  With their lives spread wide before them, they are eager to leave school and tackle the world.  However, they can’t seem to get each other out of their minds.  What began as a day of graduation and ended with a night of something very different (i.e. sex).  Em and Dex’s paths are thrown together for one day, only to diverge again over the coming years.  We follow them in a unique way: only viewing their lives on this one day, July 15th, as their lives progress through the years.  These quick snapshots of their lives give us just enough information to piece together how their lives are taking shape, and subtle clues in each chapter (i.e. July 15th in a different year) guide us as we move to create an overall picture of what their lives have become.  Their journey through the years is erratic and twisting, and the ending is the biggest shock of them all.

When I first understood the concept of the book (the story being told as snapshots, the same day every year) I thought it would be difficult to follow.  How are you supposed to know what went on during the other 364 days of the year?!?!  My concerns were completely unnecessary, as Nicholls weaves Dex and Emma’s stories seamlessly.  I really enjoyed how a piece of information that gets dropped in one year (chapter) might mean nothing, yet it turns into something huge a few years (chapters) later.  The order and way things are told makes you feel like you’re piecing together a huge puzzle, unsure of what it’ll look like in the end.

I’m not even sure what to say about the main characters.  Dex and Em are both incredibly complex characters, filled with lots of self-doubt about certain parts of their personalities that only the other can soothe and calm.  Dex and Em are so REAL.  They are dealing with the same emotional problems that people all over the world can understand: unrequited love, drug problems, self-doubt about being a parent, self-doubt about one’s career choice, etc.  They’re entirely relatable, making the events of the story that much more gripping.

One of the other things I really enjoyed was how even the minor characters played small but interesting roles in the book.  For example, Dex leaves a book with a letter to Emma in it at  a nightclub.  A woman finds the book, hoping to find it’s owner, but never does.  Nicholls gives us a little narrative about the woman and how the book is still sitting on a bookshelf in her home, and that she hopes this Dex found his Emma.  It’s wonderful little touches like this all throughout the book that make the story that much more special.

This book was honestly one of the best I’ve read in a LONG time.  I love when you find a book that literally just gets inside your heart and head and forces you to become invested in the story as if it were your own.  One Day did that with me.  It’s not often a book comes along that does that to me but when it does, boy do I react.  I was SOBBING for the last 100 pages.  NO JOKE.  This book hit a cord within me and I was literally just overcome with the entire thing.  Is this book sad?  Yes.  Is this book heartbreaking? Yes.  Is it worth every tear, laughter, smile, and frown? 100% yes.

7 out of 5 Stars

This is my twentieth completed review for the Page to Screen Challenge

One Day by David Nicholls
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group (2010)
Paperback 437 pages