The Best of the Big Three: Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451

It’s official. I have finally read all of the “Big Three” in dystopian literature! The big three being Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World [read August 2006], George Orwell’s 1984 [read April 2012], and, of course, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, which I just finished reading this month. Fahrenheit 451 happens to be my favorite of the three, and not just because it’s the most recently read of the bunch. The subject matter, books and their destruction, loomed heavy on my heart. Bradbury uses the most beautiful language; some passages left me breathless. Here are the quotes I wrote down that hit me the hardest—those that I think capture the essence of the tone Bradbury set in what is arguably his masterpiece.

Click the link to read on.

Graphic Novel Haul: Autumn 2012

The past three months have been very good to me in terms of inexpensive graphic novel finds. Half of this haul hails from my favorite used bookstore. The other half comes from a local bargain outlet store, where the books were as low as two for $1, and none of the books I purchased were over $3. Can you blame me for losing control of myself? The answer is no, no you cannot.

Here they are all stacked up. Um, I didn’t realize how many I bought until seeing them amassed like this. I just contemplated taking a pledge to myself not to buy anymore graphic novels until all of these are read, but that’s a promise we all know I can’t keep.

Back to the books. Let me break it down for you:

  • Raina Telgemeier’s Drama
  • Miss Lasko-Gross’ A Mess of Everything
  • Martin Rowson’s The Wasteland
  • Marjane Satrapi’s Chicken with Plums
  • Richard Sala’s Peculia
  • Matt Groening’s Futurama Adventures

  • Adam Sexton’s Shakespeare’s Macbeth: The Manga Edition
  • Richard Appignanesi’s Manga Shakespeare: The Tempest
  • Jordan Mechner’s Prince of Persia
  • John Matthews’ The Chronicles of Arthur: Sword of Fire and Ice
  • William Shakespeare’s Macbeth (the ISBN on this gn is linked to the original work. Why? I don’t know.)
  • Darren G. Davis’ Ray Harryhausen Presents: Wrath of the Titans
  • Chuck Dixon’s Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein, Volume 1: Prodigal Son

  • Sergio Aragones’ Louder Than Words
  • Aline Kominsky Crumb’s Need More Love
  • Steve Niles’ Daughters of Fly in my Eye
  • Michael Barson’s Agonizing Love: The Golden Era of Romance Comics

  • Rex Michael’s Fangbone! Third-Grade Barbarian
  • Rex Michael’s The Egg of Misery: Fangbone, Third Grade Barbarian
  • Stefan Petrucha’s Nancy Drew #15-21

The beauty of graphic novels is that they take a few hours to read tops, so it really won’t take me long to get through this glorious mountain of sequential art. ...Fine, yes, that's what I tell myself to allay the bookhoarder guilt. What of it?

Linked up here, here, here,and here

Assorted Autumn Reads [Part 1]

I journaled about several of the books I read this autumn, but I haven’t mentioned the others I managed to squeeze in during this busy season.

  • Erin Morgentern’s The Night Circus [read 9/1/12] 4/5 Stars
    I feel as if I read this book eons ago, when really it’s only been about three months. The thing is, I’ve read fifteen (almost sixteen) books since this one, so my memory isn’t as clear. Note to self: write about books as soon as you finish them like a good little book blogger should. From what I can recall of my feelings toward this lovely novel about magic and mystery, I remember being completely entranced  by the ballroom scene between Marco and Celia. It was written so beautifully that I could practically feel the longing between the two characters. I found myself deeply exhaling after holding my breath because the tension is just so tangible; the passion radiated off the pages.  The novel is a bit slow here and there, but the original storyline and fascinating characters completely won me over.

  • Daniel Clowes' Ghost World [read 9/12/12] 3/5 Stars
    After wanting to read this book for years and years and having it hyped up by several friends, I imagined this graphic novel to be, at most, life-changing-- or captivating at the very least. But for me, it is neither of those things. I was bored. I was annoyed. Maybe if I had read it during my angsty teen years, my feelings would be different, but I couldn’t connect. Bookish disappointment. Ah well, you win some, you lose some.

  • Mark Gatiss' The Vesuvius Club Graphic Edition [read 9/21/12] 3/5 Stars
    Apparently this graphic novel is based off of its literary novel counterpart, Lucifer Box. Too bad it wasn’t extraordinary enough to make me want to read the original. The story follows Lucifer, an English secret agent during the Edwardian age, and his investigations of various unsavory characters. The only aspect that sets the story apart from countless other tongue-in-cheek-mysteries of the historical fiction genre is Lucifer’s sexuality. Otherwise, I was not wowed by the plot or the artistry.

  • Vera Brosgol's Anya's Ghost [read 10/13/12] 3/5 Stars
    I promise I didn’t read three graphic novels in a row. I read Howl’s Moving Castle and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society in between—both of which are fantastic reads. Anya’s Ghost, on the other hand, was just okay. The art is cutesy, but I suppose that’s to be expected, or at least accepted, for a Young Adult graphic novel. The plot is original in many ways, but moved a bit too slowly for my liking.

Check out the other autumn reads I journaled about here and here.

“There isn’t anyone out there who isn’t Seymour’s Fat Lady”

My Favorite Quotes from J.D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey

From Franny

Lane himself lit a cigarette as the train pulled in. Then, like so many people, who, perhaps, ought to be issued only a very probational pass to meet trains, he tried to empty his face of all expression that might quite simply, perhaps even beautifully, reveal how he felt about the arriving person (7).

Lane was speaking as someone does who has been monopolizing the conversation for a good quarter of an hour or so and who believes he has just hit a stride where his voice can do absolutely no wrong (11).

“I do like him. I’m sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect” (20).

From Zooey

“It happens to be one of those days when I see everybody in the family, including myself, through the wrong end of a telescope” (58).

“The cards are stacked (quite properly, I imagine) against all professional aesthetes, and no doubt we all deserve the dark, wordy, academic deaths we all sooner or later die” (59).

“Phooey, I say, on all the white-shoe college boys who edit their campus literary magazines. Give me an honest con man any day” (98).

“Every time all hell breaks loose around here, it seems very funny to me that it always comes from that spot right where you’re lying. And you’re always the one that’s there” (157).

Although there was nothing markedly peculiar about her gait as she moved through the hall—she neither dallied nor quite hurried—she was nonetheless very peculiarly transformed as she moved. She appeared, vividly, to grow younger with each step. Possibly long halls, plus the aftereffects of tears, plus the ring of a telephone, plus the smell of fresh paint, plus newspapers underfoot—possibly the sum of all these things was equal, for her, to a new doll carriage (186).

“He says the only people he ever really wants to meet for a drink somewhere are either all dead or unavailable” (191).

“You’d better get busy, though, buddy. The goddamn sands run out on you every time you turn around. I know what I’m talking about. You’re lucky if you get time to sneeze in this goddamn phenomenal world” (198).

“An artist’s only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else’s” (199).

“There isn’t anyone out there who isn’t Seymour’s Fat Lady” (201).

Book Journal: Max Brooks' World War Z

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
By Max Brooks

Mini-Summary: The Zombie War has been waged around the world, and the human race won, but at what cost? This book is a compilation of thoughts and experiences from warriors and survivors alike.

Some Themes: survival, death, sickness, physical and psychological stability, pre and post war economy, fate of humanity

Some Thoughts (Spoiler-ish, fair warning):
I’m not one to dally in the horror genre, but Halloween was upon me, and I was looking for something to spook me.  Enter: Max Brooks' World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. I don’t usually read books in accordance with the seasons or holidays, but I thought, what the hey?  Zombies could make for a fun time.

Stick a Plant in it!

Similar to "put a bird on it," yet decidedly more bookish.

via 1. Apartment Therapy 2. Etsy 3. Green Wedding Shoes

The only question that remains is this: can I overcome my reverence of vintage hardcovers to create a beautiful book planter such as the ones shown above?
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