The Book and the Compass

writing, living, learning, and posing the occasional dumb question

Book Review – The Island of the Day Before, Umberto Eco

Another book review! It seems like I’m reading books very slowly (when in fact the opposite is true, I’m just picking which ones I’d like to write about up here). Preface: I am just a random human, and this is just my opinion of a random novel.

Anyway, as a preface something that has ‘New York Times Bestseller’ stamped on it is usually code for “you’ll at least enjoy this a little even if its not your cup of tea.” Though I’d never tried this before on a book that came out before I could actually read myself — literature, like fashion, tends to take very different shapes in different years. I also will not lie, I skimmed to the back and felt a little daunted at a 500+ page novel.

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progress & rest

This is going to be slightly more personal than I have begun to want for this blog. In fact, it’s probably better-suited to my personal outlet (cedarbooks.tumblr.com), but since it’s affecting the work that I’m putting up on B&C I thought it might be better to be said here, once.

My original plan was to update this every 3-4 days, with at least some tiny thing. However, since finding one part-time job, and then an internship, and taking on a small volunteer commitment as a part of another project, I have found my free time to work on self-driven projects increasingly waning. I’ve also, due to the irregularity of my weekly schedule and the time-suck that is richocheting between two different workplaces, been running myself to the ground in terms of my mental and physical health.

I love writing, and I have loved doing this blog, but over the past month and a half I’ve found the need to take the time to balance myself mentally and physically in order to get back to a stable and healthy place. I’m trying a few new things to do this. And honestly, I just read over that last paragraph or two and realized that just reading it makes my life sound much worse than it actually is. I’m not quite fine, but I’m working on getting there. In the larger scheme of things, this is not the worst thing that could happen to me.

The long & short of this is that I’m going to scale back on updating. Once a week, probably at most, for the next little while. My internship ends in mid-November (hopefully), so at the very latest I will return to normal updates then.

Normalcy Stories (Colorado, 2017)

Normalcy Stories

  1. Colorado, 2017

 

            It had been on a family camping vacation when I was about fifteen or sixteen. On that particular obnoxiously sunny day we were hiking through this wind-hollowed gorge with a gentle breeze around our faces, making for some waterfall that my parents had been telling me was “just up ahead” for the last hour.

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the Sea God

You’ve been waiting for fifteen minutes.

            The air around you is full of amiable, yet distant chatter: couples meeting, families stopping in the shade to rest, children cavorting around the statue.

            You look up – the figure represented is almost grotesque. Its features are twisted into an unrecognizable, unsettling expression. The figure’s limbs are thrust out at almost impossible angles in a position that could recall the excitement of sudden motion, or incredible pain. It is an old legend brought to life, they said, the old sea god of contradictions. Fickleness and fidelity, love and wrath.

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Book Review #1 – If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler

            Because I suddenly got the compulsion to do this, I’ve decided to broaden my repertoire and start reviewing books that I read. I love reading, I love thinking about what I’m reading, and I particularly love talking to people about the things that I read. Since I’m starting to annoy the people I know in real life, I’m going to start bothering the internet with it.

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digesting poetry

When I was young I used to try and read books of poetry end to end, as if pulled together they created some larger story that I could understand.

 

Now I read poems as I drink whiskey. Taken one at a time, far apart, with one or two enough to fill your whole chest with warmth and sensation.

 

Or as a ripe guava—so rich that one alone is enough.


Author’s Notes: None today, you all are spared.

How to Stand on an Edge

It’s really very easy.

What’s hard is looking on either side of you—

            this way or that way?

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the forest

When I was small my grandfather took us walking in the wooods. They were not “woods,” really, but a park. A preserved grove between the two busiest roads in the center of a very sleepy little town. It had its own walking-path map set up in the gravel parking lot.

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face

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humanity

He tries to riddle them out. They call him all manner of things because being known & seen is uncomfortable and unfamiliar for them.

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