Right now, I am reading Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock by David Margolis, The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae by Stephanie Laurens, and The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal. As I have time, I’ll post about these books and any others I pick up. I am not certain that I will finish Charterhouse. 120 pages in, I still hate all the characters, and I don’t really care what happens to them. I am reading Elizabeth and Hazel for a book club at work, and I am really enjoying it. Glencrae is pure fun–not much to analyze about it, per se, but self-analysis is possible regardless of the quality of the stimulus–but fluffy books of its ilk give me blessed relief from my ever-churning thoughts.
There are a lot of very good book review blogs out there, but reviews aren’t precisely what I’m going for with this blog. My starting perspective is that everything that we experience in our lives changes us in some often ineffable way so that, every day we have the opportunity to get to know ourselves, to incorporate these changes and figure out where they leave us. I have this horror of waking up one morning, looking in the mirror, and seeing a stranger. It is so easy to allow habit and mental laziness to work their magic on our lives, to slip into mental somnolence until we no longer know our own minds. It is easy to hide things from ourselves, to fool ourselves into believing that we are better than we are. I am absolutely terrified by the very real possibility that I could, one day, be a stranger to myself. As I mentioned earlier, I’m quite neurotic!
Analysis, then, is my means of making sure that I never get away from myself. And, since I spend an awful lot of time reading every day, a good deal of my analysis is directed at what I’m reading: what I think about it, how it changes or challenges my beliefs, how it might be changing me. So this isn’t really a review blog, although I will doubtless give my opinion of what I’m reading. What I am interested in is having a record of my thoughts and, if possible, entering into a dialogue with others about those thoughts so that I can move forward with the ones that make sense and have a certain universal (ish) applicability and reject those thoughts that don’t.
Abrupt subject change: I made a wonderful and dangerous discovery a few months ago at work: there is an automatic espresso machine on campus that doles out free custom-made cappuccinos (or lattes or americanos) all day long. In addition to the three cups of brewed coffee that I had this morning, I have had three of those lovely cappuccinos, the last of them with an added shot. It is wonderful to have no real limit on the amount of caffeine I consume, now that I am no longer pregnant or nursing.