Books For Sale

To make room for new books and things on my one allotted bookshelf, I am selling a few books. The way it will work is like this. I am going to post a list of books for sale below. Please comment to this post the ones you would like to purchase (first come, first served). If we need to work out shipping, email me AFTER you comment with your list. Unless otherwise noted, all books are $1. N stands for new, HB for hardback. If there is a *, that means I have previously used the book in classes, and it may have markings and highlighting. Any other questions, just ask! Happy browsing!

  1. A Room with a View by E.M. Forster (N) $2
  2. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  4. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
  5. The Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson
  6. My Antonia by Willa Cather*
  7. Don Quixote by Cervantes
  8. Isben: Four Major Plays
  9. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  10. This Present Darkness by Frank E. Peretti
  11. Piercing The Darkness by Frank E. Peretti
  12. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  13. Dubliners by James Joyce*
  14. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
  15. East Of Eden by John Steinback
  16. History Of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters by Julian Barnes* $3
  17. Murder In the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot
  18. Best American Short Stories of the Century (Anthology)* $5
  19. White Oleander by Janet Fitch (HB) $3
  20. Basic Theology by Charles Ryrie (HB, N) $5
  21. Jesus & the Gospels by Craig Blomberg (HB)* $3 (no dust jacket)
  22. Shadow Of the Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot


Brief Book Review: The Talented Mr. Ripley

Normally, I would make a picture like this smaller, but I needed the blurb of text at the bottom to be readable, as I am using it as a starting point for my (quasi) review. I'm refraining from a brief plot overview because it's now also a movie, and anyone can easily find out the plot. Suffice it to say that Tom Ripley is a murderous sociopath. What is most interesting about this novel for me is the character of Ripley, who The Daily Telegraph describes as amoral, hedonistic, and charming. As the narration (3rd limited) follows him, the reader receives everything he or she needs to know without being told explicitly. Show rather than tell, you see.

What is more, the reveal of the true nature of Tom, mentally disturbed, unfeeling, completely self-centered, is rather subtle in places. For instance, Highsmith (the author) establishes in various places the depth of hatred Tom has for others around him (and perhaps more importantly, the lack of love for any person). And certainly, his admiration of, love for, and obsession with material possessions is evident on each page. Indeed, at one point Tom even explicitly considers his love for possessions. What is refreshing is the author's restraint in connecting the dots; rather, she trusts the reader to put 2 and 2 together.

All in all, The Talented Mr. Ripley is a fascinating, albeit imperfect, account of the depravity of a disturbed yet talented individual. He is charming but cannot abide the company of others for long for fear of being found out. He fantasizes about murder. He may very well be a clinically determined "serial killer," though I'm inclined to doubt that characterization (he usually gains from the murders, so there is always a direct motive for the killings beyond simply the urge to kill). Though it's obviously not for everyone, if this review has interested you, I would recommend giving it a whirl. I found it to be a quick, easy read, and I enjoyed the novel.

*As this stands to become a recurring format on my blog, I would like to state for the record that none of these reviews will be professional. I will not discuss ad nauseum the strengths and weaknesses of each book I read. In fact, I will only promise 3 things: I will not reveal the ending unless the novel in question is over 100 years old; I will discuss whatever interested me about the book, even if that means that I discuss how uninteresting it was; I will say whether I liked it or not.


Book Sale!

Yesterday, I woke up at 6 a.m. On a Saturday. Why? Because the Greenville Literacy Association was having their annual Really Good, Really Big, Really Cheap Book Sale. And it is all of those things, unless you want new hardbacks. Those will run you from $5 to $10 a pop. I took $20 to the sale with me. I knew that the vast majority of that budget would go to trade paperbacks. I spent $1 at the classics table for 2 books, and $1 at the used hardbacks section for 1 books. I got 9 books from the trade paperbacks section for $18. (I actually have no idea why I'm giving such a rundown. Oh well. It's already typed.) Want to know what I got? Sure you do!

  • The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith
  • Life of Pi, Yann Martel
  • The Good Husband, Gail Godwin
  • Atonement, Ian McEwan
  • Notes On a Scandal: What Was She Thinking?, Zoe Heller
  • The Hours, Michael Cunningham
  • The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
  • Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, Patrick Suskind
  • The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri
  • The Shipping News, E. Annie Proulx (this was the used hardback)
  • Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
  • Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy

So, if you've read and enjoyed any of these, let me know what you think. I'm currently about halfway through The Talented Mr. Ripley. I'll most likely post a quasi-review of each after I finish them, mostly to make myself read in a timely manner.


Mix CDs I Once Made

Keep It Tight
Bohemian Like You – The Dandy Warhols
Lollipop – Mika
Best Days – Matt White
She Is Beautiful – Andrew W.K.
12:51 – The Strokes
Everybody Got Their Something – Nikka Costa
Don’t Let’s Start – Common Rotation
Fat-Bottomed Girls – Queen
I Like It – Sammy
Together Forever In Love – Go Sailor
American Music – The Violent Femmes
To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High) – Ryan Adams
Can’t Get Next to You – The Temptations
Ready To Go – Republica
What I Got – Sublime
Take Me Anywhere – Tegan and Sara
Canned Heat – Jamiroquai
Bohemian Rhapsody -- Queen

Keep It Loose
Paint the Silence – South
I Found a Reason – Cat Power
A Love That Will Never Grow Old – Emmylou Harris
One Headlight – The Wallflowers
Not Ready To Make Nice – The Dixie Chicks
I Know, I Know, I Know – Tegan and Sara
Shelter – Ray LaMontagne
I Can’t Take My Eyes off You – Melanie Doane
In My Life – The Beatles
In The Sun – Joseph Arthur
Nobody Loved You – Manic Street Preachers
Fade Into You – Mazzy Star
Float On – Ben Lee
Glass Vase Cello Case – Tattle Tale
Love Song for a Vampire – Annie Lennox
Honey and the Moon – Joseph Arthur
I Will Follow You into the Dark – Death Cab for Cutie
Nightswimming – R.E.M.


Last Call

Last call for Mix CD Swap participants! You have until midnight tomorrow night (EST) to sign up. See this post for that process. As promised, here is a more comprehensive explanation of the rules and process.

What happens after the matches are posted?
You have 4 weeks to make a mix; the deadline for having your CDs in the mail (or your playlists uploaded) is Sept. 12. Your partner will appreciate you emailing when your mix is in the mail. If you can, give him or her an estimate of how long it will take to arrive.

How much does it cost?
You will most likely need blank CDs and postage, but there are alternatives to those costs. Regarding postage, there is no suggested method. You can spring for delivery confirmation, but in general the cheapest option will do.

Do I need to put my mix in a padded envelope?
Yes. The CD will also need to be in a case.

Postage is a problem this round/I'm running out of time/I'm interested in alternatives to burning and mailing a CD:
You are welcome to upload music to a private website or a place like YouSendIt, either .zip-ped or individually linked, or in a folder – doesn't matter, but please do the following: type up a playlist for your partner's reference, and please post the link in a private email to your partner, not on this blog.

Are a playlist, liner notes, and cover art required?
Only a playlist is required. Liner notes are optional, but fantastic – this is your chance to tell your partner why you love the music you are sharing. But if you are short on time, liner notes and cover art are definitely optional. Additional details in the playlist beyond artist and song title are excellent, particularly if you are promoting lesser known artists. You might consider including the album title and release year, but of course that is optional as well.

What kind of music should I put on my mix?
Whatever you like! There are no rules for the actual mixes. Just put in whatever you're feeling at the moment and what you think people should know about. You are welcome to browse your partner's website (if applicable) for ideas. You can also do a themed mix at any time (more on this later). But the primary purpose of the mix trade is to share your tastes and your creativity. As such, everybody might not like each song on his/her mix, but everyone will have been exposed to new music. Hopefully, each person will discover someone new they enjoy, too!

Can I specify the type of music I'd like to receive? As a general rule, no. See above. If you are genuinely worried that you might receive something offensive, however, email me and we'll discuss your concern, involving your partner if necessary.

How long should the mix be?
You should aim to fill up as much of your chosen media as possible. If you're sending a 74 minute CD-R, for example, you should try to fill up as much of that 74 minutes as possible.

Yay! My mix has arrived! Should I thank my partner? Yes, that would be nice. And your mother would encourage you to do so as well, and you know it. Emails are fine for this.

What if I don't receive my mix by the deadline? It could just be that the mail is slow. If you have not heard from your partner that your mix was sent, try contacting him/her again, and let me know. If you still do not hear back, I will try to get an answer for you. Hopefully it was either the mail's fault or Real Life intervened, and you can still get your mix from your original partner. But...

What if my partner flakes?
If it's three or four days past the deadline and no one's heard hide nor hair of your partner, either I or a volunteer from the group will send you a mix for this round. Don't let it sour you on the process. It happens to the best of us.

Hey, themed mixes sound legendary. What kind of themes are we talking about?
Creativity knows no limits here. One mix CD that a friend of mine made for someone was songs about the sun-moon cycle of a day. As in, the songs started with sunrise and went to moonlight. It was awesome music too. If you want some suggestions, though, here you go:

Songs To RAGE To
Songs You Love That Make Your Friends Roll Your Eyes
Songs For Driving
Songs For Rainy Sundays In Bed
Songs That Make You Swoon
Songs That Remind You of High School/College
Love Songs
Breakup Songs
Songs that have a name in them (e.g., "Levon," "Mandy," etc.)

Well, that should clear up any confusion and let everyone know what is expected. Any further questions should definitely be emailed to me, or you could post them in a comment. Please don't hesitate.

Matches will be announced August 15!


Good Things That August Brings

Legs crossing the street
Originally uploaded by manganite
1. The Age of Staci. Yes, for you neophytes, I was indeed born in August, a month without holidays. Indeed, only a month without holidays was suitable for my birth, as I would grow up and demand that everyone close to me celebrate my birthday all month. There is no August, you see. Only The Age of Staci, which will be brought to it astonishingly brilliant climax on the 27th (translation: that's my birthday).

2. The Mix CD Swap. It will be loads of fun. Hurry-- you only have till the 14th to sign up.

3. This movie. I loved the book.

4. The Really Good, Really Big, Really Cheap Annual Book Sale. Mmm. Books.

5. The probable beginning of Tiny Pumpkin Season.

6. Back to school shopping-- I miss buying school supplies, y'all!

7. My learning that my favorite perfume ever has NOT been discontinued. There is so much joy there. Oh, Hugo for Women. Just you wait.