Monday, January 28, 2013

Book Review: Life of Pi

Life of PiLife of Pi by Yann Martel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


If I had to sum up this book in one word, that is the word I would use. A week later, and every time I think about it, a gamut of emotions is conjured - confusion, awe, wonder, disbelief. This book marries beautiful writing with an incredible story, that sweeps you up in the end and leaves you feeling a bit breathless, because you can't quite believe what you have just read.

The author, as I said, has a way with words. His ability to craft together words and string sentences piece by piece into a beautifully woven tale allows you, the reader, to simultaneously enjoy and reject the journey that he is taking you on. You reject it because it is so horrific what the main character, Pi, experiences - and the art lies in the fact that you never quite understand the stark horror he lives in until the closing of the book, because of the way the story is told. It is a remarkable and impressive feat to capture this boy's journey is such a masterful way.

And if anyone can help me to understand the line, "And so it goes with God", I will be very grateful. Highly recommend this book.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I Know Why There Are 10 Men for Every 1 Woman in Alaska

It is freezing in Virginia. Bone-chilling, sensitive-teeth-hurting, should-have-worn-socks-today-but-they-wouldn't-have-gone-with-my-cute-shoes, unbelievably freaking freezing. I'm lucky I didn't morph into an immediate icicle the moment I walked out of my office door, because it felt like I was going to. I swear I got frostbite on my toes in the ten minutes it takes to walk from my office to my apartment. It is wicked, horrid, awful cold.

And as I was walking home as fast as my ice-cube feet could glide along the sidewalks (on which was yet again spotted another pile of loveliness, evoking memories of certain Christmas parades) the thought occurred to me that I, as a woman, have been handicapped and rendered ill-equipped by society and culture to handle the cold. Because I am required to remove all bits of hair off of my body in order to conform with proper grooming expected of women, I have no coat of fur on my limbs or hairy hobbit feet to cope with the awfulness of the bitter cold air cutting straight through my clothes and directly to my bones. In a flash of understanding, I realized why women would never dare to voluntarily choose to live in a place where 33 F is a warm day - they are hampered by societal norms from being able to evolve and adapt to such frigid conditions.

And yes, I know that during winter us girls are more prone to letting that leg hair grow - but you still find yourself having to shave some of the time - and all those years of shaving have stunted your hair follicle's growth (at least that's what I've been led to believe), so I maintain there's no way you can grow it to a suitable length in order for it to give you a layer of protection against the biting blast of the cccccoooolllllddddd (that's me shivering just typing about it).

It occurs to me as I sit here typing, I now also understand why Russians are always portrayed as a moody, somewhat depressed, tumultuous people who are prone to drinking too much and wearing lots of black and fur - it's because they are always friggin' freezing! If I was living in a constant winter, I would wear black all the time, so that I could attract whatever precious rays of sunlight were available directly to my body. I would buy all the furs I could afford to wrap all my limbs and extremities in and I would drink all the time because it would make my insides feel warm for at least a few minutes - and help me to forget that I was oppressively depressed by the frozen tundra that I was surrounded by. And no wonder their national symbol is the bear - because they are the smart ones and hibernate during the freaking winter! I wish I was a bear!

The worlds of understanding that can be mined through misery - it never ceases to amaze me. Now please excuse me - I have to go wrap myself tightly in a blanket to combat the hypothermia that my body is succumbing to. It's so bloody cold!