Melissa Runs

Sometimes, Melissa runs her legs. Sometimes, she runs her mouth.

Month: September 2014

Ten books that have stuck with me.

This is a meme on Facebook that has been going around the “interwebs.” I am choosing to answer it here so I can fully explain my answers. ALso, I just love talking about books. The actual challenge was listed as such:

” list 10 books that have stayed with me in some way and to tag 10 friends to do the same. [Don’t try to think too hard. They do not have to be great works of literature or the “right” books. They just need to have affected you in some way.] ”

MY Books

1. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

I first read this book as a junior in high school. It had the distinction of being a book that was so “difficult” that the Cliff notes were also part of the lesson plan. It was the first first person stream of consciousness story I had ever read. For people who haven’t read it, this book tells the story of Candance Compson as told from the view point of four different people. It shows how a person’s personality and intellect affect the way they view the world and hence, their own reality. It brings up the issue of whether there is an objective reality can even be observed by human beings. I also remember the slut shaming inherent in the book itself as well as the slut shaming by my high school English teacher. Caddy is just a whore. Yep, that is exactly what she said over and over again. Then she would read critiques by others of the story which gave a more nuanced view of the story.

2. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

The language in this book is beautiful. I contemplated composing music so that the opening paragraphs could be sung. (I composed my first piano piece when I was 10 and started college as a music major). The story is told by an unreliable narrator. It’s a tale of how childhood actions can affect adulthood. Delores Haze’s behavior is consistent with the behavior or a sexually abused child, which makes the whole thing even creepier. I discover something new in it every time I read it.

3. Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel

I suffer from depression. My first depressive episode started in college. This book spoke to me personally. I was not alone.

4. Making Faces by Kevin Aucoin

This book showed me the transformative power of makeup and also showed me how to apply the stuff. Aucoin has a tone that says “you are beautiful but play with this and be even more fabulous than you already are.” It has before and after pictures of every makeover.

5. East of Eden by John Steinbeck

I love epic family sagas ad this is one of the best. It’s a tale of two brothers: one is “good” and one isn’t. It’s a cautionary tale about labeling people. It’s about imperfect people. Oh I can’t talk about it without spoiling it but WOW. It’s a classic but it’s as titilating as any soap opera.

6. Marathon by Jeff Galloway

This book introduced me to the Galloway method: the practice of including walk breaks in your long dHilistance runs. It taught me that I didn’t have to run the entire distance. This gave me the confidence to sign up for a half marathon. I have since finished 4 half marathons, a couple of 10ks, and a bunch of 5ks. I wouldn’t have gotten into running hardcore without this book. Through running, I have met a lot of wonderful people.

7. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

This nonfiction book about a murder case in Savannah, Georgia, might be the most accurate depiction of the modern day South as anything I have ever read. Not a false note anywhere. It’s also a rip roaring tale that is simultaneously funny and drop dead serious.

8. Promiscuity by Naomi Wolf

This discusses the idiosyncratic way that American society treats the sexuality of girls and young women. The entire damned if they do, damned if they don’t scenario. Wolf also talks with friends and associates to have them tell their own stories about their sexuality.

9. The complete stories of Flannery O’Connor

Hilarious, sassy, religious overtones, Southern. I still chuckle every time I think about them.

10. The Harry Potter series

Okay everyone and their Mama has read these books. Rowling’s world building ability is unparallelled. There are so many life lessons hidden in this book and yet it doesn’t preach.

Back in the saddle: 5 (or 4.75 because I can’t add) miles and other things

Life has been a little tough for me lately. If you are the praying time, please pray for me.

All this life kicking my ass distracted me from my running routine so today was my attempt to get back on track running wise. According to my training calendar, I was to run 5 miles today. I am currently housesitting Grandma manor and puppysitting Breezy the bitchingest Bichon.

Breezy the bitchin' bichon

Breezy the bitchin’ bichon

That is one cute dog. JoJo, while not friendly with the dog, has reached a point of tactfully ignoring her. I guess I should praise his manners. No blood shall be shed in the eternal dog vs. cat war over here.

The weather yesterday was perfect for running. The route I chose was up and down a straight road. I know from running here before that from my grandma’s house to the church down the road and back is two miles and from my grandma’s house to Sonny’s house is a mile. I inadvertently stopped my Runkeeper app during my run so I have t logged on twice for my one run. I didn’t realize until I got back and was relaxing that the amount of distance of the driveway made a big difference in the calculation of those one and two miles. Also, there were these beagles that were loose that were “helping” me “run.” My intervals were faster due to my new running form and cadence but that also got me tired quicker. I will build.

I have also been reading. I finally got around to reading Gone Girl. I was already partially spoiled by the time I picked it up but it just made me enjoy the ride a little more. The physical descriptions of the main character Nick Dunne show that Ben Affleck was born to play this role.

“I have a face you want to punch: I’m a working-class Irish kid trapped in the body of a total trust-fund douchebag. I smile a lot to make up for my face, but this only sometimes works.”

. . .

“He looks like the rich-boy villain in an ’80s teen movie – the one who bullies the sensitive misfit, the one who will end up with a pie in the puss, the whipped cream wilting his upturned collar as everyone in the cafeteria cheers.”

Seriously. Look at those quotes. I even said out loud in the house by myself, “holy shit that is a perfect descriptionn of Ben Affleck” The story itself is a wild ride with some crazy people that you would never want as friends.

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