Thursday, June 29, 2017

Where Is Your Bookmark? (Trying Again/Friday Fun)

I must confess I have started Brave New World by Aldous Huxley a couple times over the years, the first being required reading during my freshman year at the university. It was the one book I was required to read that I couldn't finish. I tried again on my own a few years later. No such luck. Now I'm listening to the audio version. Because, why not? Maybe I will like it better this way and actually finish it this time.



A weekly meme where readers share the first sentence of the book they are reading and say what they think. Hosted by the wonderful Gillion Dumas of Rose City Reader.

A squat grey building of only thirty-four stories. Over the main entrance the words, CENTRAL LONDON HATCHERY AND CONDITIONING CENTRE, and, in a shield, the World State's motto: COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY. 
The enormous room in the ground floor faced towards the north. 

My thoughts: Not much to go on, is it? At this point, it could go either way.


A weekly meme in which readers share a random sentence or two from page 56 or 56% of the book they are reading. Hosted by the wonderful Freda of Freda's Voice.

From page 108 of Brave New World:
Suddenly it was as though the whole air had come alive and were pulsing, pulsing with the indefatigable movement of blood. Up there, in Malpais, the drums were being beaten. Their feet fell in with the rhythm of that mysterious heart; they quickened the pace.


I haven't quite reached this point in the audio version (I chose a page randomly in my paperback copy to share), but I like this passage. It give me hope that the book may get interesting yet.

What do you think? Would you keep reading? Have you read Brave New World before?

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Every Friday Coffee Addicted Writer from Coffee Addicted Writer poses a question which participants respond on their own blogs within the week (Friday through Thursday). They then share their links at the main site and visit other participants blogs.

Name a book that changed your life.
Whenever this topic comes up, I always give the same answer about a book I read during my undergraduate studies, which helped give me perspective about my relationship with my father, which was often contentious. Although common sense in some respects, the book offered a message I needed to hear at that point in my life: I couldn't change my father, but I could change how I responded to him.

Throughout my life, it would seem like certain books find me when I need them most, whether to provide me insight, guidance or an all out escape when life's stresses become overwhelming. Books can have be that light bulb that instantly goes on in my head or they can be more subtle in their approach. Each can be just as powerful in their own way. That book I read for my college course, To Dance With Anger by Harriet Lerner, that led me to a new approach with my dad. Or the collection of Mercedes Lackey Valdemar books that my husband-then-boyfriend gave me one Christmas early in our relationship--a moment when I suddenly realized just how much he loved me. Books that had belonged to him--this from a man who hates giving up his own books. It took our relationship to an entirely new level.

The list of books that have impacted my life could go on for quite a while, even if not forever (I'm not that old. Okay. Just a little old.). I have to wonder sometimes how much of it is the book itself or rather my being open to whatever experience or message I am ready to hear.

What about you? What book has changed your life?
*

Every Friday Ellen from 15andmeowing.com and Ann from McGuffy’s Reader get together to host the Friendly Fill-Ins. You can be serious or funny--the idea is just to have fun.


1. My next project will be to update my book catalog in LibraryThing, which is where I like to track all the books I own.

2. Fireworks are already to blame for one fire in a nearby field, set off by teenagers playing. The city is coming down hard on violators of the no fireworks law--the parents of those kids are not only being fined, but also sent the bill for the fire department and police response.

3. "Freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. I don't believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others." - Coretta Scott King

4. This week, I am thankful for my family, dark chocolate and good books.


 I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Be sure and tell me what you are reading and are up to!


© 2017, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

55 comments:

  1. Good luck with A Brave New World - I've never read it. I think all books change us a little, don't you?

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    1. Kathy - Thank you. I need all the luck I can get with it. :-) Yes, I agree! I do think every book we read has some sort of impact on us. Thanks for visiting today, Kathy!

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  2. A book that changed my life? As you mention, many books can have an impact on our lives, depending on timing and our being open to the content. One book that opened new horizons for me was The Vigorous Mind by Ingrid Cummings. But so many books at different times, both fiction and nonfiction, have influenced my thinking and my behavior in ways that resonated in my life. I like what you said about books finding you when you need them--they do, don't they?

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    1. Jenclair - Books have seen me through so much of my life in one way or another. I could probably get something out of a book like The Vigorous Mind. Goodness knows I probably need it.

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  3. I would have given up on it for good. So many books....
    sherry @ fundinmental Friday Memes

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    1. Sherry - Normally I would have too, but it's become a competition between the book and me. Though, I don't think I would bother if I was trying to read the print version again.

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  4. I've never read this one. I tend to avoid "classics." I have A Panicked Premonition by Victoria Laurie this week. Happy reading!

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    1. Kathy - I enjoy reading the classics now and then--but like with any book, it depends on what it is about. I am not sure about this one, but I'm determined to finish it this time. :-)

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  5. I recently came across my copy of Brave New World in a box of books in the attic. I know I read it as a required book in high school, but don't remember the plot at all. I set the book aside for a possible re-read, and tossed or donated all of the others.

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    1. Catherine - I cheated while looking up how to spell the main character's name the other day and read a little about what is to come in the novel. I'm at least curious enough now to want to continue. Maybe it will get better? I hope so, at least!

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  6. Thank you for participating in the fill-ins, great answers. I am glad they are cracking down on the no fireworks law, it will be safer for all. I need to look into Librarything, I keep track of everything on Goodreads right now. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Ellen - Thank you! I am glad to see them cracking down on the fireworks law too. I just hope it actually does some good.

      I use Goodreads to track the books I read and LibraryThing as my actual personal library catalog. I haven't kept it updated as much as I should have and so I have a big job ahead of me to bring it up to date. I love doing that sort of thing though, so it'll be a fun--if long--project. :-)

      I hope you have a great weekend too!

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  7. I read Brave New World many, many, many years ago...LOL. In other words, when I was a teenager. I could probably read it now and not recognize it as one I'd read.

    Some books I read long ago feel familiar on re-reading, but I don't think this book is one of them, as the book felt too "out there." Now it wouldn't feel that way, I'm sure.

    Thanks for sharing...and here's mine: “ANY DAY NOW”

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    1. Laurel-Rain - I don't remember much of it either, to be honest, although I never did get too far in it before.

      Brave New World definitely feels a bit dated, listening to it now.

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  8. That sounds like a beautiful book.

    Thanks for sharing your comments and thoughts.

    Happy Hopping!!

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My Blog Hop Answer

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    1. Elizabeth - I wish I could say I was enjoying it, but hopefully it will turn around for me. I know quite a few people who have read and loved it.

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    2. I wouldn't continue then.

      Too many good books out there to read something you don't enjoy.

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    3. Usually I would give up on it, but there's a part of me that still wants to know how it all plays out--so I'll keep reading.

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  9. I have not read A Brave New World - it wasn't required reading for me in school and it just didn't grab my attention - to be honest the teasers didn't really grab me either - I admire that you are giving it another chance though. Here's my Friday meme

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    1. Maria - Although I am biased, I think you are right to stay away from it if it doesn't interest you. I'm not sure why I keep trying. Glutton for punishment, maybe.

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  10. I love your answer and what wonderful realizations. It does sound like books have a way of really showing you something you need to see. I've never read Brave New World though I've struggled with my share of books. I'll be curious to hear if going the audio route helps you get through it this time.

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    1. Katherine - Thank you!

      I do hope Brave New World gets better. I am finding it easier to stick with by listening to it, but I would be lying if I said my mind hasn't wandered a few times.

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  11. I love Brave New World. I hope you'll be able to get into it more in audio.

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    1. Nicki - Hopefully the audio will get better for me.

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  12. I loved Brave New World. I hope you get to enjoy the audio version. It's a shame you were kind of made to read it. School always put me off great books lol

    Hi there

    Here's my entry for #Friday56 and #Bookbeginnings : http://bit.ly/2tusEQ5

    Have an ab fab weekend!

    Luv from Sassy x

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    1. Sassy - The funny thing is, I enjoyed nearly every book I was required to read in school. It was rare I didn't. This was just one I couldn't get into. We'll see what I think when I'm finished with the audio. I am glad you loved it though! I know many people have.

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  13. They should fine the parents and the kids should have to do community service. Those firefighters could have been needed elsewhere. A field fire can be hard to fight.

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    1. David - The kids probably would benefit from having to do community service. Fortunately, the fire fighters were able to stop the fire before it got too big, but it could have been so much worse. Thanks for visiting!

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  14. I can't believe I've never read Brave New World before. It's a shame because all I've ever heard is thought-provoking musings regarding it. Thank you for sharing. I might need to check this out soon.

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    1. Alicia - I hope you have better luck with it than I have. I do think it's worth reading, at least, and I hope this time to finish it.

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  15. I didn't end up doing this week's BBH because I couldn't think of one specific book that changed my life, I think for me it is probably reading in general that made changes in small increments which added up to bigger things. :)

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    1. It was a hard topic, wasn't it? I tend to agree with you more often than not in terms of books changing us in small increments. Thanks for stopping by!

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  16. Fireworks can be dangerous...awful about the fire.

    I love what you listed as your things to be thankful for.

    Freedom is everything.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for coming by my blog.

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    1. Elizabeth - Yes, fireworks can be very dangerous. We're in fire season right now, which is the big reason they are illegal for individuals to shoot off this time of year--or any other time of year, really. I heard some going off last night in the neighborhood though, so obviously people aren't deterred at all by the stiffer fines that came out this year.

      Have a great weekend, Elizabeth!

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  17. Ahhh, "Brave New World"! I think I've been unconsciously avoiding reading that book for quite a few years now. Lol. Part of the Goodreads synopsis for the edition of this book pictured above reads thus: "....his masterpiece has enthralled and terrified millions of readers...." That word, 'terrified', definitely spooks me. However, in the current political climate, this book has suddenly taken on a prophetic tone. So I feel that I should, indeed, read it. The same goes for "1984", another book that's highly relevant right now, and which I also need to read.

    As always, you have a GREAT answer to the BBH question! I can relate to what you say about your dad, because I've had the same type of relationship with my mom. Thankfully, in recent years things have calmed down a lot. But when I was in my late teens and throughout my twenties, they were rather turbulent.

    I've heard of Lerner's book, and yes, it's another of those books I've been wanting to read....lol. I think that most of us women have a difficult time being around angry energy, and we also have difficulty expressing anger ourselves. This is, of course, part of our conditioning as females, unfortunately. The messages are insidious: "Nice girls don't get angry". "Expressing anger is not ladylike." We might not have heard these exact words, but the messages have been there as we grew up. Honestly, I don't like anger at all. But there are times when our dignity as human beings is violated, whether through verbal or physical abuse, and then we have to express our anger at such injustice. It's HOW we express our anger that's important, however. Violence is never justified, except, of course, in the extreme circumstance of our own lives being in danger.

    (More coming....)

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    1. Maria - I'm not finding Brave New World quite as disturbing as The Handmaid's Tale in our current political climate--so, I suppose the book has that going for it, even if I have my doubts about whether I will like it or not in the end. :-)

      I am glad your relationship with your mother has improved. I think time and age plays a part in that. I know it did with my dad and I when he was alive.

      Yes, it is often frowned up for woman to show anger. We're told to smile and accept whatever comes our way. Anger is a natural emotion. But, as you said, how we express that anger key. We have to express it in a healthy way.

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  18. (Continued....)

    That was SO sweet of your boyfriend back then, giving you his precious set of Lackey's Valdemar books!! He passed "The Test" with flying colors! Which test, you might be asking? The test for being "The One", of course! Lol. That sure let you know that he was special! :)

    I LOVE this part of your BBH answer: "I have to wonder sometimes how much of it is the book itself or rather my being open to whatever experience or message I am ready to hear." You are SO right! We might encounter a book at one point in our lives, but not be ready to hear its message. Then, later on, because of different circumstances we're going through, we're open to it, and the impact is a powerful one. SO TRUE!! :)

    I need to check out LibraryThing myself! Maybe that way I'll KNOW the titles of all the books sitting on my shelves! Lol.

    Fireworks can indeed be dangerous! We've had cases of people being injured here in Miami because of them. Another dangerous activity is firing guns off into the air to celebrate. We get warnings about this EVERY single year! You never know when a stray bullet will create a tragedy. Well, I hate guns, and hubby is not into them, so no worries for us there! (And we're never around people who might do this stupid thing, either.)

    I LOVE that quote by Coretta Scott King! It is SO relevant to our current political climate!! Thanks for sharing it!! <3 <3

    Thanks for all of your interesting thoughts, Wendy!! Thanks as well for your lovely comment on my own BBH answer!

    HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!! HUGS TO YOU & MOUSE!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

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    1. Maria - Welcome back! It was quite a gesture on my husband's part, I agree. And yes, he definitely passed the test. :-)

      I really like LibraryThing, although I have fallen behind in using it like I used to. I use Goodreads to track my reading, but LibraryThing to catalog my books. You can use either for both, of course, but I'm particular that way. :-)

      I've been hearing fireworks off and on for about a week now. There are those around here who shoot off guns too. The laws are strict about both, but catching people, I guess, is hard to do.

      I love that quote by Coretta Scott King too. I wish more of our politicians would keep that in mind when making their decisions.

      I hope you have a great week, Maria. Happy 4th of July to you too!

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  19. I haven't read Brave New World but good luck with it.
    That is SO TRUE about not being able to change people but being able to change our reactions to them. That's sweet about your husband giving you the books :)
    I think that different books will affect us at certain times in our lives. I read Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth: Awakening to your Life's Purpose" and it changed the way I looked at certain things in a really profound way. He's all about living in the moment, and not letting the past creep up and control you, not giving into your fears.
    Enjoy your weekend and hope your summer is going well!

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    1. Naida - Thank you! I need all the luck I can get. ;-)

      I think too often we think we can change others when really we cannot.

      Tolle's book sounds very inspiring. Not giving into my fears is something I struggle with sometimes. I will have to look for it.

      I hope you have a great weekend too!

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  20. Somehow I have never read this, but I'll need to try it!

    Lauren @ Always Me

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    1. Lauren - Hopefully you'll enjoy it more than I have so far.

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  21. For me it would be Outlander. I got me back into reading after 4 years of studying English LIt in college.
    Terri M., the Director
    http://secondrunreviews.com

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    1. Terri - The one by Gabaldon? I haven't read that one or the subsequent books in the series, but I know they are very popular. That's great that it got you back into reading after college.

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  22. I'm also trying to update my library on a database I have. It's been a couple of years since I've kept up with it and boy do I have my work cut out for me! Regarding a book that has changed my life, I think one that had a significant on me was The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama. I read this sometime after my dad had passed away and I was so sad and felt like I was lost. This book just made me get my way back to feeling at peace. Hope you are able to get through Brave New World this time around!

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    1. Iliana - I'm way behind with mine too. I've since given away a ton of books and brought more in . . . Sounds like we both have our work cut out for us to get caught up! Grief and death of a parent is so hard on its own. I am glad The Art of Happiness helped you through it. I'm going to start back up with Brave New World tomorrow on my commute after a weekend break from it. Hopefully it will pick up for me.

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  23. Good Luck on reading Brave New World I don't think I will ever have the guts too read classics but who knows maybe one day I will. Great blog hop answer as well, thank you so much for stopping by my blog hop. Have a great Sunday.

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    1. Katiria - Thank you! I have really enjoyed some classics and count a few as all-time favorites. But there are certainly ones out there I have found more difficult and many I don't even want to try. With so many great books out there--old and new, you have plenty to choose from. You may find a classic that appeals to you at some point, but until then, I'm sure you aren't hurting for great reading material. :-) I hope you have a great week.

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  24. Your response to Friendly Fill-In #4 is perfect. :)

    In regards to the kids causing the fire, I hope those kids will be put to work to pay off the bills they have caused their parents and the trouble they've caused the community. Otherwise, they don't learn a thing from this experience when it costs them nothing.

    I'm on LibraryThing, too, but a definite newbie. I don't have it figured out yet.

    Have a blessed week and a great 4th!

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    1. Suzanne - Thank you! They have certainly gotten me through. :-)

      I agree with you, and hope the kids will get some sort of community service for their actions. Maybe even working with burn victims on the burn unit at the hospital. I know in the past that has been the practice. There's been a big push by our local government and the authorities though to be even tougher on fireworks since the usual deterrents don't seem to be working. Hence the coming down hard on the parents--at least where minors are concerned. I don't know whether it will work or not, but I guess we'll find out.

      I really like LibraryThing, but it can be a bit daunting at first. At least I thought so. It's changed a bit since I first started and has grown a lot. I hope you enjoy the site! I use Goodreads as well, but for tracking my reading. I use LibraryThing more to track the books I own and somewhat my reading.

      I hope you have a Happy Independence Day as well!

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    2. You're welcome and thank you, too. :)

      I don't know that coming down hard on the parents will do anything to deter the kids from bad behavior, at least not in most cases. I think in the long run it sets a very bad precedent. They don't learn that they have to pay for their own misdeeds. I hope you'll post about how this works out for your area.

      I use Goodreads, too, but I don't use either site very often. I won two ebooks from June's list. Now, I'm waiting for them to come in. The notice said it could take as long as 8 weeks. Wow, that's plenty enough time to ensure that I forget I'm waiting on them. haha

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  25. I'm not sure I would like this book either, though I hope it has gotten better for you. Have a great week ahead!

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  26. I haven't read this book as I'm not sure if it's the book for me but I'm sure intrigued by it after all the readers who said they enjoyed it.

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  27. Great answers! I apologize for my lateness in responding. Although I read posts last week, with Chloe Jo in the hospital, it has been difficult. As I write this, she is back in the hospital for observation and tests. Thanks for understanding. Hugs.

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