Finished Fun Home and the Feeding of My Book Addiction

Usually I blog while I'm at work since my typical task at work takes less than half a day to complete (if that) and literally for the last two weeks I've sat at my desk doing nothing (the people who give me work to do were not in the office), but today I WAS TOO BORED AT WORK TO BLOG! Now I've reached an all time low at work, I think I'll need to start bringing smelling salts to work just to keep me going through the day.

Anyways, I've been on a reading kick, finishing The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (loved the book, but god, what a cumbersome title) and Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was of particular interest to me as a former Psychology major as it's first person told through the point of view of a young autistic boy. I enjoyed his voice and his thought processes, Haddon does an amazing job of giving us a glimpse into the world of an autistic child and at the same time giving us a very real understanding with how his autism effects those who love him. I've heard that autism is perhaps the hardest disorder for a parent to deal with in their child. Think of a child who won't cuddle with you because they can't stand to be touched or doesn't say "I love you" because they don't truly understand what those words mean. Christopher's parents are less than perfect in dealing with his autism, but you can tell that they genuinely love him and are pained by his condition. I really enjoyed Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, though I was left wanting more at the end of the story. I guess I was disappointed that the story was so solely about her father, I especially wanted to know more about her mother or more precisely, Alison's relationship with her mother. It was mentioned but glossed over. I was also disappointed that her brothers were like cardboard characters, they were there only to demonstrate something about her father or herself, they were not actual characters in themselves like Alison's parents were. I found this flatness leaving me annoyed and almost wishing they weren't even in the story (though I know it's a memoir and you can't take out characters like with fiction - this is why I could never write non-fiction, I like to manipulate too much). Overall, I liked the flow of the story, I found it intriguing how Alison kept going back to her father's death at the different stages of her life with different "theories" on it. Nothing will ever top my favorite comic memoir (Maus I and Maus II by Art Spiegelman who's still the bomb diggity in my book despite recent bad press) but Fun Home comes as a close second... though I have only read two comic memoirs to date. It's a good read, disturbing, sad, touching and thought provoking. I definitely think that more than anything, it's about a daughter's relationship with her father, and then throw some sexual ambiguity and sexual identity crisis in there too while you're at it.

Since we're talking about books, is anybody else addicted to books? I think it's a sickness, like how other people are addicted to food, drugs and sex (ahem, you know who I'm talking about, you dirty dirty boy), I'm addicted to books. Less glamorous, I know. Perhaps less costly, but none-the-less I'm overboard! I easily have 200 plus read books, 100 unread books and a wishlist of 100 books - and this is after my yearly purging of books that I sell or give away because I never want to read them again (okay, so this usually amounts to one or two books, but it's so hard to let go of books, you Never know when you might need them). The pinnacle of my realization of my addiction is when after having had a rare fight with my mom, my method of combatting the icky feelings was to splurge and buy six books. I actually went in planning to only buy three (The Iliad, The Odyssey, Beloved) but there was a sale (get 3 for the price of 2) and so on the specially marked books I found The Plot Against America, The House on Mango Street and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. I'm out of control! Hey, at least I stuck mostly with the classics (and a new Asian writer, wahoo!) But what else am I supposed to do with all of my friends moving away? Hmm, I've had two people I care about move away in the last month, my remaining friend from high school is moving next month, and most of my other peeps are planning to move in the next year or so. I have tons of time on my hands now. Sigh, I'll be going book crazy, well, at least until football season starts that is! September 7th, mark your calendars, Miami @ Pittsburgh. By the way, did I mention I met some fellow Steelers fans on my street last week while walking my dogs? Once we realized we were on the same side, we were like ol' buddies, ah, gotta love Steelers fans! Go Black and Gold!

Oh, and a special addition to my nearing football anticipation and delight: A Bengal Gets The Taser.

I challenge the Bengals to get half the team arrested before the season even starts. I really believe in you guys, you can do it!

P.S. I've added some maps of states and countries I've visited at the bottom of the page. Pretty pathetic, I know, but hopefully I'll be adding to that very soon with my Europe trip in March! I saw a magnet version on an RV a couple of weekends ago and was so jealous, but of course I don't own an RV so it wouldn't make sense to get a large magnet map. Low and behold, just a couple of days ago I saw this online version on a friend's blog. The geek in me had to do it and somehow figure out how to post it here, even though, as I've already mentioned, it's pathetic. Man, I need to get Out more!


S. W. Vaughn said...

You are not alone in your sickness, Mai. :-) I'm afraid I'm addicted to books as well.

Last week, I absolutely COULD NOT put down Dean Koontz's Forever Odd, even though I knew damn well my deadline was draining away in the background and I'd have to stay up all night to finish my work.

Books are so lovely and yummy and... um, book-y. That's it.

Bill said...

Hmm, I guess I have the "other" addiction. I could not sit down to read a book to save my life. I have made several attempts to read a book, it always ends with me going to sleep.

mai wen said...

Haha, I'm definitely more with Vaughn, I've stayed up so many nights because I couldn't put down a book. The only thing that puts me to sleep is when the hubs watches baseball (but now I've learned I can read when he does this, wahoo, boredom averted).

Seriously, Bill? You've Never read a book? How'd you get through school?


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