Sunday, January 25, 2009

Links and Books and News From the Sidelines

I've been feeling like this (and this is a wonderful website if you have any of these folks in your family!) lately and I think that is why I haven't been here in a few days. I keep thinking that I should pop in and have something to say, but I've felt a bit like a turtle in her shell. Not unhappy, mind you; just regrouping I think.

In the meantime, I have been working on crocheting my afghan, knitting on the blanket our knitting group is doing for Project Linus, and reading. As I've mentioned before, I am not a big fiction reader; I prefer non-fiction books. But my mother's book club is going to be watching The Secret Life of Bees after they all finish the book and she invited me to watch it with them. So, I'm reading it. I'm enjoying it... though not LOVING it. That's not to say it isn't good. Not at all. I'm just a tough audience I think, considering that I prefer biographies and other non-fiction, etc.

That said, I am curious. Have any of you jumped on the Twilight wagon? Am I the only one who hasn't? I am curious because I hear so many women raving about it. Now, I love a good love story, but, if you are Christian, have you read it? I am not asking if I think it would be okay to read it... I am just wondering if the subject matter is too... creepy. I could be completely wrong. And then again, I also know myself. For someone who counts A Girl of the Limberlost and Anne of Green Gables as some of her all time favorite books, I don't know if this would be for me. It's not that I've never read anything creepy. There was a time in my life when I read a couple of the Anne Rice books about vampires. But that was also a different time in my life, before I returned to Christ... and I did a lot of things differently. I wouldn't read them now. I don't belive that it is sinful to read it... but I do prefer to read things that line up with Philippians 4:8:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I don't follow this lovely scripture - one of my favorites - legalistically. I just find that it works quite brilliantly for me and I always feel good when I do.

So, if you have read the Twilight books, would you please share with me what you think of them?

And speaking of books, I got hooked up with Goodreads through Facebook recently. Like so many cool tools on the internet, I find I have only so much time to thoroughly enjoy all that it has to offer, but I have enjoyed looking around on it from time to time.

The website linked at the top was something I found today on StumbleUpon which is another cool, new-to-me site. And do you know about Pandora? Given that I have no discresionary income for music these days, I am loving having new artists introduced to me through this incredible site.

Yet, there are only so many hours in my day and some days I really struggle with spreading myself too thin. Among Facebook, my blog, your blogs, Ravelry, Goodreads, Flickr, and more, I often struggle with balance. Certainly no one is making me do these things. No, I truly enjoy them, but I think the myriad of selections becomes almost a mental agitation... too much stimulus, as the site on introversion suggests and I find myself retreating from time to time. This is good for me, I know. Good for all of us really. But I may need it more than the next person, so forgive me friends, when I am gone for a string of days from time to time.

I sincerely admire those of you who manage to post with greater frequency and always love to see your latest entries. Believe me when I say that when I am away from here I am still thinking of all of you. Yet, for as chatty as I may be on the page, I am more often - unless with a small, intimate group of people - a quiet one observing from the sidelines.

Well, I hope you all have had a lovely weekend! Mom treated us to Riverdance and while we all agreed that the singing and whatever the narrator was saying (we had a hard time understanding him) was over-the-top cheesy, the dancing was truly fantastic - inspiring! Today with nicer weather than we've had of late, we took a nice, long bike ride with friends. I hope you're all rested up and ready for the week before you. Look for me to pop in and say hello; I've come out of my shell for a while. :)

15 comments:

kelli said...

You are truly a kindred spirit!

I'm just nodding away over here reading this. I loved the link to the introverts! I, too, fit there.

As you read in my post, I am also struggling with being pulled too thinly. It's hard, isn't it? Yes...when I can focus on one task and fully enjoy it, I can rest there. It's when my mind is too busy to allow me to do that that I know something is amiss.

Two days ago, I encountered 3 of my friends who are, to put it kindly, obsessed with Twilight! I have not read the books. Honestly, I don't really have the desire to read them, though I'm curious to see if someone, who believes as we do and who has read them, responds.

From what I've gathered, the vampire is portrayed as "the perfect man"...even his breath lures others. I'm wondering if there is something about these books that allow women to live their "dreams" vicariously. Just something I've been wondering about when hearing the rave about the books.

I have never heard of A Girl of Limberlost. I cannot wait to look it up!

This is a beautiful post, and I'm glad to hear your voice again!

tonia said...

I haven't read Twilight, but my 13 year old has. She wanted to read the books because all her friends were gaga over them. She is an "Ann of Green Gables" kind of girl...and she thought they were ridiculous and terribly written. She has read parts to me and told me the plot...and really, I can't fathom why middle aged women are nuts about them.

There's an hilarious review here: i want to beat edward cullen with a stick

M13 and I laughed so hard.

confession: i'm a terrible book snob. i didn't really like "Secret Life of Bees" either.

~ i have to pull teeth to get a post up regularly...my introversion makes me want to be quiet and thoughtful rather than talk a lot...

i'm glad for whenever you pop in..no big deal about taking your time. :)

Kez said...

I write far more posts in my head than actually make it onto my blog. In fact, I spend a lot of time in my head!

Last week was a very busy week socially for me - I'm planning on staying home & hibernating this week just to recharge.

Liz said...

Twilight - haven't read it, but I have friends who have with mixed result. Some have loved it cause it was oh so romantic and dreamy. Others have loved it because it was just stupid and a trainwreck.

All I know is that the author knows nothing about the vampire lore and made stuff up. I have no interest in reading Anne Rice so Stephanie Meyers is right out.

Pajiba (Scathing reviews for Bitchy Peaople, which is a humorous site that I read for entertainment news) had a pretty funny review of the first book
http://www.pajiba.com/twilight-by-stephenie-meyer.htm
and the movie
http://www.pajiba.com/twilight-review.htm

But what do I know? I really enjoyed Harry Potter.

Marie said...

My daughter is 9 and is taking 6th grade reading. The girls in her class have all read books from the Twilight series. I won't let Catherine read them. Her own reading teacher told me to avoid them based on what I gleaned was a strong sexual content. So while I don't have a problem with adults reading what they like, this is definately not on our home bookshelf these days.

tonia said...

Marie,

My (adult) friend who read them said she thought it was soft-core smut and was shocked that it was aimed at teens...way too titillating for young kids if you ask me.

Mrs. Pivec said...

Thank you so much to those of you who have left your opinions here of the Twilight series. The things I have read from you thus far are things I have thought to myself: 1)I can't imagine that it could be called "quality literature" and 2) no WAY am I letting my girls read it

I can't help but continually be surprised at the oversexualizing of children and then the support the public gives to it. Yes, I know the books are aimed at a teen audience, but even then... Can't we give them something loftier to think about?

My older daughter, 12, struggles with being teased from some of her friends about being friends with boys. She is friends with girls AND boys, but regularly gets teased about "liking" boys if she just wants to hang out and play with them. Our neighbor boy, with whom she has a lot in common and has a great time with is 14. He'll only come over when his sister does (she is 11 and has been friends with my girls since she was 5). Maia has wondered why he has been harder to befriend and I've had to explain that kids who go to public school (not bashing public school here at all, just speaking from memory and experience) often expect that you want to "hook up" or are "going together" if you are friends and that he, being shy and having known her for as many years, likely doesn't want to give that impression.

I'm glad she's not "there" yet. I'm not nieve enough to think that she doesn't have her own fancies of romance; it's in so many things and is a part of our lives. But we have often talked about being mature enough to handle real relationships and how God equips us for these things when the time is right. Tittilating literature is not one of the things that helps that process.

I have a feeling now that if I read this I would be so angry about this fact that I might not even be able to enjoy it as an adult!! lol! I likely won't pick it up. I know that some people really enjoyed the Harry Potter series too - obviously for different reasons - and while I have found the movies kind of fun, the reading of them was tedious to me and the quality of the writing sub par. I suppose that's too harsh. And yes, tonia, I am sounding like a book snob myself. I guess I can't say that I read enough to justify that, but for example, I love C.S. Lewis' language in the Narnia series so much more than the HP books. The reading of the words themselves and the crafing of the sentences make it a pleasure to read in and of itself. It is more than just a fast-paced trip through a plot - creative as that plot might be. Does that make sense?

Well, again, thank you for your opinions so far. If anyone has loved the book, please let me know; I'd love to hear from you too.

Mrs. Pivec said...

Okay, I just read your link you included, Tonia. A GREAT laugh and this I probably WILL share with my older dd. Too funny! And now, as the author of that post noted, I WON'T have to read the books. :)

kelli said...

Just read the link from tonia...hilarious!!! What a great find!

Nicole...I'm saddling up next to you on the craftiness of words and sentences. Can't help being a bit of a book snob if you grew up on good literature, I guess!

There are good books, and there is good writing...and there IS a difference!!!

Shannon said...

Ha! Interview With a Vampire...I went down that "creepy" road too way back when. Lol!

I really don't want my 11 year old to read Twilight (as most of her friends are) so I will not and honestly, I don't really have a desire to.

Your Phillippians quote said it all I think...

Love Goodreads too! Have their widget on my blog and just filled it with new books!

Marianna said...

Nicole,

No secret that I'm a fellow introvert! I, too, struggle with frequent posting. I think I think too much and want every post to "say something", and when it doesn't I don't finish. Does that make sense??

Twilight? Nope, not my kind of read at all. I tend to shy away from the books that "everybody" is reading. In my experience they usually aren't all that great.

Thanks for the Pandora link. Can't wait to go check that out. Have you ever listened to Carrie Newcomer? Her genre I guess would be folk. Her voice is beautiful and I love her lyrics.

I've always wanted to see Riverdance. Glad to hear you enjoyed it.

Jennifer said...

Hey Nicole. I found your post (as I do with all your posts -- your such a good writer perhaps you should write your own book) as well as the comments interesting. I was reminded of my youth and the Judy Blume novels.

Heather said...

I first heard of the Twilight books through Tonia's post and link. I thought her thirteen year old daughter's assessment seemed spot on.
I am not not even close to be a widely read person. I have my favorite authors and genres and I stick quite close to home.
I am glad to hear other believers who desire to spend time on noble and praiseworthy material and not just follow the best sellers list unwaveringly.

Mary Ellen said...

I have NOT read the Twilight series but my several of my friends and family are just gaga over them. From talking with a niece about them it seems the true attraction of this story is the redemptive undertones. I think it's that underlying infalliable truth that draws such a wide and varied audience to books like this and Harry Potter. But that's just my ten cents:)

Karen said...

darn, i was leaving you a beautiful comment and then i got somehow kicked off the internet ... so i'll summarize. i often feel as you do, that blogging everywhere really sucks up all my energy in a bad way ... three hours will go by before i realize it, and it's not the same satisfaction at the end of it that i receive when this happens with cooking, knitting, or reading. i look forward to your posts, whenever it is they come!

as for twilight, i bought it to see what all the buzz was about, but haven't read it yet. it's not my usual type of book either, but i figure if i could be surprised by picking up a kid's book called harry potter, well ... you never know.

be well, dear friend!

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