Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes for March 8, 2014

Johann Georg Hainz's Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Johann Georg Hainz’s Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

During the Renaissance, cabinet of curiosities came into fashion as a collection of objects that would often defy classification. As a precursor to the modern museum, the cabinet referred to room(s), not actual furniture, of things that piqued the owners interest and would be collected and displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is my 21st century interpretation of that idea.

Dear Internet,

Reading

msyteryofmercyclose

The Mystery of Mercy Close: A Walsh Sister Novel by Marian Keyes
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads)
Status: Finished

Marian Keyes has long been one of my favorite authors, one who can encapsulate a horrible event (abuse, addiction, recovery) in a story that at first glance, seems like some kind of fluff until you dig deeper and get to the heart of the story.

Keyes, however, has failed with this book. Terribly.

At first glance through the reviews, I am apparently the only one who caught the not so very subtle racism against Arabs/Muslims peppered throughout the book. Snide comments about “towel heads,” “arabic-y looking wording,” and the often slights against one of the secondary characters who is Muslim and an Arab. Then once you pick up on the racism, you realise either Marian, or Marian using Helen’s voice, is a bigot against fat people, the mentally ill, and anyone who doesn’t fit into her little world.

Now you’re probably thinking, “But Marian has chronicled her severe depression — how can she be bigoted against the mentally ill?” And you know, I totally get you on that, because I was floored at first. But with Helen’s voice, and point of view, you notice how Helen starts being dismissive against any and all attempts of trying to work on her depression. She rejects drugs (at first), she’s dismissive against any alternative methods, and the constant comments about how she was special with her depression because it wasn’t like anyone elses in terms of symptoms and effects. Okay, we get it, you’re a special snowflake.

This book was a hot mess. Between the bigotry, the lead up to through the mystery, explanation of her past relationship, the foundation of her current one, and really? How she and her BFF ever broke up and why was incredibly weak. Coupled with her depression and the utter lack development for most of the characters, why was this book even published?

Watching

Weekly watching: VikingsThe Musketeers, Mr. Selfridge, Black SailsTop GearStellaUniversity ChallengeHouse of LiesEpisodesArcher,  True Detective, Under the Gunn, Justified, Banshee, Reign, Elementary

Links

What have you read/watched/listened to this week?

x0x0,
lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in:

Bookstores and Questionable Steakhouses

Our latest book haul.
Our latest book haul.

Dear Internet,

Tuesday night, TheHusband and I went out on a mini-date to a questionable steakhouse, thanks to a gift card we received from my brother. Interestingly, on a Tuesday, the line was longer and thicker then we had anticipated so we opted to head to a local bookstore conveniently located behind said questionable steakhouse to kill some time before heading in for dinner.

This particular bookstore is the one that is part of a local chain and is closing its doors in a few weeks. I felt a sense of foreboding entering the building as the atmosphere was that of vultures picking a carcass clean rather than folks enjoying a nice bookstore.

I speculated on Twitter recently several reasons why I was grumpy about this local chain, why I had issues with its current business model, and why thus was not surprised at the demise of this particular store. A roundup: they started all new employees (with the exception of management) at minimum wage regardless of past experiences; the space was allocated mainly to used titles (larger profit margin) and gifts, with new titles pushed to the perimeter and becoming less prominent; their outreach, which was one of the best things about them, had dwindled down to almost nothing; the location was terrible and hard to get to. Would you not have done a survey before opting to get a lease somewhere?

I digress.

So there we were, book stacks at home piled up past our eyeballs of things we should be reading and yet we were stockpiling more titles in the carnage such as:

Interlude: As I had been toying with the idea of asking for patron support on the site for months, I figured now would be a good time to do so since I’ve been upped my linking to Amazon. A longer think piece will be forthcoming in the near future on this decision, but I can assure you, it was not taken lightly.

It was slight madness. 45% off all new titles, 65% off used titles, and 75% off all gift and merchandise. We picked through the carnage with discerning eyes, pulling out titles we felt we had to have NOW rather then wait because the prices were too good to pass up.

I looked for titles in all my favorite sections (SFF, mythology, fiction, and history) and of things I was desperate to get right now.  TheHusband, ever omnipotent snob he is, only looked for the tell-tale spines of Penguin classics.  We put things back we knew we wouldn’t touch for months, no matter how good the price.

All but one of the titles is for me. We almost came home with volumes 1 and 3 of the The Graphic Canon, but decided to wait since volume 2 was not available.

With arms bulging with books, we dropped them off at the car and then headed into dinner. Since it was a questionable steakhouse, we opted for burgers rather then the steak. This turned out to be a most excellent decision the burgers turned out to be fairly delicious. Who knew?

Day one with no social media was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I had deleted almost all of the apps from my devices and my computer, and cleared out my browser history so no autocomplete when I input the letter, “t”, “p”, or “i”.  I kept TweetDeck installed for work purposes and for scheduling out blog tweets. But the desire to look wasn’t really there.

I dug into one of my books from the spree from the night before, covering 2/3rds of if before 3PM. I did more job hunting stuff and had started writing  before my brother called to take me out for dinner, so he could whinge about his girlfriend and current theories of government.

Neither he, nor TheHusband from the night before, noticed I wasn’t on my phone during the meal. I had to point out to both that I was not Facebooking/Tweeting/Instagraming/etc anytime during our night out and TheHusband watched sports ball at the restaurant and the brother was furiously text fighting with his girlfriend while attempting to complain to me about her. Next time, I’ll make it a point to them both if we’re going out to dinner, no sports ball even if the game is on at the bar and leaving phones in the vehicles. This was kind of ridiculous.

It should also be noted TheHusband and I had a long standing rule my phone only got pulled out for emergencies at dinner, so it was not as if I was ignoring him all these years before today. But you know, men. Can’t live with them, can’t reasonably feed their carcasses to pigs.

Not that I thought about feeding his carcass to pigs or anything.

It was a very quiet day and I am reveling in the mindfulness away from the chatter. I woke up in the morning with two distinct story lines running through my head, which of course in the few minutes from the time I woke, face down in pillows with one leg hanging off the bed, to being cognizant of what I was dreaming about, the lines were gone.

Tonight, I sleep with pen and paper on my bed stand.

xoxo,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe: 1999