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sisters & sparrows

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Category Archives: books

Green Bay Packers Win 2011 Super Bowl

Yes.  I admit it.  In fact, I embrace it.  I watched the Super Bowl last night and loved it. 

To be fair, I was knitting while I watched, and also to be fair, I chickened out and went to bed at half twelve instead of sitting it out ’till 4.  But it was my first taste of a game I’d previously written off as a coward’s replacement for rugby.  Suffice to say I’ve changed my mind.

My housemate Alex says that Super Bowl makes his favourite day of the year.  I think his sense of excitement was infectious, he’d invited friends  round too (one was American and something of an authority on the game – everyone treated him with awe) so there was a little crowd of us. 

The only previous knowledge I had of the Super Bowl was from The Fourth Hand by John Irving.  I love John Irving, this was a surreal book, his tenth novel, a good read.  The love interest, a strange and seductive woman called Mrs Clausen, works for and absolutely adores the Green Bay Packers; the protagonist is obliged to support them as part of his efforts to win Mrs Clausen’s love.

So I accordingly supported the Packers and was gratified when I rolled out of bed at nine to hear they’d won.

Mostly I just relished the un-ironic joy of it all.  The Americans don’t self-deprecatingly steep their events in faux humility.  The entire spectacle was so huge, so glitzy, so unclassy, so expensive, so, so American.  The whole thing was, in the words of one of Alex’s friends, completely ostentatious and gaudy.  Brilliant!  I loved the huge rolling mounds of flesh that made up the defence, the men who couldn’t really run anywhere but could not be budged either.  I loved the ridiculously huge teams and the men who sat on the side, wimpishly glugging on oxygen.  I loved Christina Aguilera’s absurd rendition of the National Anthem and the fact that all the Americans had tears running unashamedly off their chins.  The ginormous stadium.  The fact that tickets cost more than a week’s holiday in Turkey.  All of it.  Brilliant brilliant brilliant.

Hello folks!  Hello!  Today I’m feeling quite chirpy for no reason really.  I’ll make the most of it and put all this cheeriness into a super cool ultra post today – about books!  Ready?

So personally this holiday I am going to be reading lots of poetry and criticism books, which are all quite time-consuming and intellectually tough.  But I have an essay to do which I want to be good so you know, i’ll grit my teeth and do the work.

BUT I want you to read some books which have little or no literary importance but are really great reads, ok?  I have some recommendations for you.

Wintering by Kate Moses.  Moses did tons and tons of research on Plath before writing this, and it really shows.  The tone, the patterns of language, the choice of lexis, all shiveringly evocative of Plath’s poetry.  Go here to read more.

The Old Kingdom Chronicles by Garth Nix.  This is a seriously good trilogy.  Sort of a wonderful crazy mix between Harry Potter, Lord of The Rings, Narnia and His Dark Materials.  I mean, really, what more could you want?  Fighting, ghosts, bells, swords, lovers, journeys, seers, the dead, the undead, enemies, sorcerers, policemen.  These books literally have it all.  Find out more here.

Sulphuric Acid by Amélie Nothomb.  A controversial novella which I actually really enjoyed.  Sort of 1984-esque.  Read it, it’s intriguing and very clever.

Silk by Alessandro Baricco.  Have you read this already?  If not, get on it.  It’s really short, really really short, so you’ve no excuse.  It’s a work of art.  Honest.  It’s a world bestseller for goodness sake, and it’s been made into a film with Keira Knightley (which I haven’t seen.  But I’m tempted).  Also, don’t read a review please.  You will only spoil it for yourself.

Love of Fat Men by Helen Dunmore.  A book of short stories that I picked up for a pittance in a second hand bookshop and read in one sitting.  It’s has this scandinavian flavour (always a good thing in my book) and it’s engaging, and strangely haunting.  I defy you to not like it.

Answering Back ed. Carol Ann Duffy.  She’s our poet laureate!  She’s pretty ace.  I thought I’d slip a poetry book in here but I think you’ll enjoy it.  It allows you to get a feel for old and contemporary poetry simultaneously so that, once you finish this, you are suddenly twice as well read and sparkly as before.  Give it a go, go on.

Now run out to your local library or independent bookshop, read and report back!  Go!

An old fashioned, light-hearted, link-happy post for you today.

Photographs from 10-10, a collaboration between 10 photographers from 10 different places, who all took 10 photos on the 10/10/10.  It’s a lot of numbers, but don’t let that put you off, there are some real jewels to be found.  Discovered viabawkbawkbawk, aka Jacinta Moore, one of the contributors.

Apparently Baz Luhrman of Romeo and Juliet fame is taking on The Great Gatsby.  Now I’m  secret fan of film adaptations; I haven’t seen any of the other Gatsby films; I love the book; I’m excited.  What do you reckon?

It is imperative to check out the new blog of my great friend EJD, yellowdrama.  She’s new to the blogging world but she’s an absolute legend, I promise you.

Toast: always, always amazing.  I get their email updates which are like nuggets of awesomeness arriving in my inbox.  I wish my wardrobe was full of their cothes.

For your own good you must go and see the incredible posts of food blogger Katie Quinn Davies, on What Katie Ate. This is the type of blog that I can’t spend too long on because it’s all far too wonderful.  Have to take it in in small bites.  I am just crazy envious of her culinary genius: I have neither the skill nor the patience to create this kind of food.

Now!  There are essays to be writ!