Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sleepy girl :-)

Blah... I was so tired all day today. I didn't fall asleep until almost 12:30 last night. Boo-hiss. And of course, I had to get up and go to the bathroom, like, five times throughout the night. (Note to self: maybe start drinking a little less water before bed, as this seems to be a common occurrence on many nights!). Combined with a super-boring meeting today (one of those meetings where you have no idea what it's really about or why you're there begin with, but you have to go anyway) put me in a comatose state of mind for most of the day. I'm hoping to sleep well tonight! I have an all-day training class tomorrow, so I could definitely use a little extra sleep!

My apologies for being MIA the past few days. I have no real explanation other than sheer laziness. But I do have some exciting book news.

So I finished Goodnight Nobody on Saturday. It was pretty good, although I must say that it's my least favorite Jennifer Weiner book. I really liked the main character, Kate, she was easy to relate to and identify with on many levels, but the whole murder-mystery plot was just too unbelievable for me, especially when she goes around town playing super-sleuth. That was just a little too much for me. But I did like the ending. Not going to give anything away for those who haven't read it, but I will say that there several elements to the ending, and not everything was resolved and wrapped up in a pretty little package... it left you wondering about a few things. I liked that. All in all, an enjoyable and fast read.

Another book down to cross off the list! So here's my new book that I randomly selected: DSCI0604 The oh-so-controversial A Million Little Pieces, by James Frey. I bought it for $1 at my favorite book sale a year or two ago. I don't think I need to provide a description or general synopsis for the plot of this book. I think we all know what this book is about.

I want to preface by saying that the controversy surrounding James Frey and this book doesn't bother me in the slightest. It didn't turn me off from wanting to read it in any way. I read an article about this whole drama in Vanity Fair and it thoroughly discusses the spectacle behind the book. It turns out that James Frey was very upfront with his editor and publisher about the fact that a lot of the book is embellished or overdramatized, that he never denied this fact, and even signed legal documents to attest to that. But at the time this book came out, the publishing industry was really pushing the memoir genre, and so they spun it as a memoir, thinking it would sell more, etc. Those documents never surfaced during this whole scandal, and the editor who worked on this book conveniently left the publishing company. I feel bad for James Frey, actually. I feel like he took a lot of flak for this. Who cares if he embellished on his rehab stay? He was still a drug addict, and he still went to rehab and completed the treatment and turned his life around, and it's still a pretty good book. His words and descriptions are haunting, chilling. He's a damn good writer, of fiction, nonfiction, fictional nonfiction, whatever. And if A Million Little Pieces inspired just ONE person who struggled with an addiction to get better and turn their life around, just ONE, then it was worth it. If it saved just one life in some way, then it's still a successful book. Anyway. I will step down from my soapbox now.

Because of James Frey's distinctive writing style, it's very easy to read this book quickly. I'm already about halfway through. For those of you unfamiliar with James Frey's writing, he does not use any quotation marks and instead starts new sentences with a new line on the page, so it's really easy to get through a page in, like, 30 seconds. So because of this, combined with the fact that I'm a fast reader who reads as often I can- on my lunch break, the gym, whenever I have spare time- I'm already about halfway through the book. At first, I wasn't really feeling it, because it was talking a lot about the physical symptoms of withdrawal- the vomiting, bleeding, aches and pains, etc. There's a scene where James has to get a root canal without any pain medication, and I literally had to skip over those pages, because I have a weak stomach and knew that I could not deal with the nitty-gritty details. Nor did I feel the need to read a whole page dedicated to the color of his bile, you know? But those symptoms have faded now that time has passed in the book, and it's become more personal and emotional and less icky. I knew that it would. Unfortunately, I am well-acquainted with the process of rehab and withdrawal- not for me personally, but through a few family members. Maybe that's another reason I feel for James Frey. Going to rehab is not easy. Staying clean and sober is even harder. And the fact that he had the courage to talk about it at all should say something, and people should cut him a break. It's hard to get sober, and it's harder to stay sober. The book mentions that the specific rehab center that James Frey stayed in has a 17% success rate. That is the most successful rate of any rehab center in the country. That made me stop and realize the intense power that addiction can have over a person. It truly is a demon that takes possess you. I have seen it firsthand. And I have seen the good and the bad. I know people who have conquered their demons, and I know people who just could not and the demons won. Fiction or nonfiction, at least James Frey could conquer his demons. So I refuse to vilify him and look forward to reading about the rest of his journey! Okay, now I really WILL get off my soapbokx!!!

Hope you're all enjoying the first week of autumn! Here in my neck of the woods, we could not have had a more beautiful and perfect weekend to celebrate the end of summer. Warm and sunny and gorgeous the ENTIRE time! I spent as much time as possible outside soaking up every single minute of sunshine that I could.  And so far, we've had beautiful fall weather too. The crisp fall air is starting to sink in at night, and it's starting to get darker a little earlier, but it's nice.   :-)

Time to hop in the shower and hopefully get to bed a little early... goodnight!   :-)

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