Bookish Thoughts

1. I read two novellas this weekend, Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka and The Stranger by Albert Camus. I was all set to read The Stranger with my students next without realizing Metamorphosis was in the set of books I had. Personally, I think The Stranger is a better, more meatier book to analyze, but I think the students will like Metamorphosis better (I mean the guy turns into a bug). I have approximately twelve hours to decide. 

2. Next weekend I'm going to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and couldn't be more excited to see Metropolis II. It's been over a year since I went to a museum- high time to get my culture on. I desperately want to make it over to the Huntington Library this fall too.

3. Last Thursday I broke down and ordered Building Stories by Chris Ware. Literally thirty minutes later my husband texts me with the news that he bought it too. Cancel order. I have to start reading it but did spend a few minute looking through the box. Unbelievably awesome.

4. I've decided that from now on I'll simultaneously read two books- one fiction and one nonfiction. Currently I'm reading Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs (struggling to get into it, but am only five pages in) and Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays by Zadie Smith (I want to be her when I grow up). 

5. I have extremely mixed feelings about J.K. Rowling's newest book, The Casual Vacancy. While I never wanted her to fail, I did doubt her ability to break away from the Harry Potter franchise. The reviews have been mixed and I know the only way to really find out for myself is to read it. My only problem is that it's a little pricey and pretty long- do I want to devote the time and money to a book I'm not exactly pumped about? 

6. The Carlos Ruiz Zafon reading is this week, meaning I'll be making the drive into LA on a work night. While I'm confident he'll be worth it, the timing is a little crappy- this week is a busy one. Not to mention I'll have to promise my first born to Exxon Mobile to fill up my tank, considering the price of gas now. $4.67? Kiss my ass. 

7. The rules for NaNoWriMo say you can't start your 50,000 word "novel" (I'm having serious issues saying that 50,000 words when in fact it is more like a novella) before November first, so I'm trying to do a ton of brainstorming and story mapping in October. The problem I'm having right now is getting the plan out of my head and onto paper. I'm also already worrying about my idea- it has to be done really carefully so that it doesn't seem too far-fetched. I'm also concerned about the ending. It feels really nice to worry about things that aren't like "real life" important- the distraction couldn't come at a better time.


  1. I've never read any Kafka - it sounds totally weird! Reckon I should give it a try?
    Also, I really want to join NaNoWriMo. I'll be done with exams so maybe it's a good time. Little scared, though.
    As for Casual Vacancy... yeah, I don't know. I reckon when you're reading for enjoyment, it should be something you WANT to read.

  2. I was just talking about Metamorphosis the other day! (We were in Prague, his birthplace, and I remarked that Metamorphosis was the only thing by him that I ever read.) I read it way back in high school, but I still remember it and love the tale. I'm sure your students will like it, too.

    As for NaNoWriMo, I had not thought about it until you mentioned it, but I think I want to participate. Since I'm not working, I don't really have any excuses. Might as well take a stab at it.*

  3. Here's an interview with Chris Ware about Building Stories, in case you're interested: