Hello everyone! Thanks so much for stopping by Prescription: Reading, and I hope you enjoy what you’ve seen so far. My name is Chelsea, and for about five years I’ve blogged under the name of Book Maven over at Book Maven’s Blog, and it’s been something that I’ve loved doing since the moment I set fingers to keys to start talking about books. However, due to some recent life changes (think unemployment, graduation, a masters program, a wedding – those kind of life changes) I decided that I needed a new project, and a way to begin focusing some of my larger blogging and reading goals. Thus, Prescription: Reading was born. My life felt diseased by things like worry, nerves, and general wanderlust, and the only prescription I could think of was learning from some of those great fiction masters who’ve come before me. I began to browse other classics blogs (especially the ones here and here), as well as Goodreads boards, the Modern Library novel list, the Telegraph ‘110 Best Books’ list, and my own personal shelves to put together a list of 150 novels, plays, and short stories – most of which I already owned – that I want to get through by the time I graduate from my Master’s of Library Science program approximately a year and a half from now.
This was the original plan (if you want to travel all the way back to the beginning of my posts and see how this worked out for the first three months or so), and it just didn’t work. I felt overwhelmed, constricted, and like I wasn’t really able to get anything out of the amazing books I was reading. I missed the freedom of reading, and so I decided, after a lot of tears and doubts and feelings that I’d failed at the project, that what I needed was to read openly, fully, without judgement or guilt, while still learning and absorbing and working to answer some of the questions that were still buzzing around my mind for twenty-three hours a day. So I ditched the list, the plans, and everything but the new blog, and that’s what you’re reading today!
And now, because I’m not good at speaking extemporaneously about myself, I’m going to go ahead and let you guys know some of the quirkier things about me. As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, suggestions, or concerns you may have! All my contact info can be found on my Contact Me page, which also has a statement or two about my review policy. Thanks again so much for stopping by, and I hope you like what you find.
1. What is your favorite piece of art?
– La Mariee, Marc Chagall
Because, after all, happiness isn’t happiness without a violin playing goat.
2. What literary character do you think would make an awesome world leader?
Probably Scout, from To Kill a Mockingbird, or at least how I imagine Scout to be when she grows up. She is just taught such patience and wisdom from her father, and I think that her experiences with Boo Radley really help to teach her understanding and compassion. Add to this a few years of growing up, and I think that she could potentially be our first female (completely fictional) president.
3. What color do you think should be outlawed from clothing?
Orange. In any and all shades. Unless it’s Halloween, and even then only in specifically pumpkin-related clothing, or on a person below the age of four. Other than that, never.
4. Hats. Yes or no?
Yes, yes, and yes please! Not only do I personally love wearing hats (I happen to think I have a hat face, at the risk of sounding conceited), but I think that the right hat on the right man can just make an ensemble. Think about it. Justin Timberlake in a fedora, or out of one? Charlie Chaplin with a bowler hat, or without? Sometimes, you just need the hat.
5. What contemporary novel should be added to the high school curriculum?
I don’t know if it qualifies as the most ‘contemporary’ novel, but I think that The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is an amazing piece of work to bringing to light conversations about gender and gender-related expectations, as well as issues related to good governance, citizen participation, the danger of silence, and possible outcome on the future given our current societal behavior. I also think that Feed by M.T. Anderson (which may be slightly more age appropriate than The Handmaid’s Tale) is a novel that could really help some teenagers think about technology in their lives and what being ‘more connected’ could really mean in a society where computers are slowly taking over.
6. What book featuring real people do you think could work if the characters were switched to animals?
Um…none? I really don’t do anthropomorphized animals (yes, Animal Farm was semi-enjoyable, but only for the Communism. Not for the animals.) If I had to answer, I would probably pick something Austen or Dickens (Emma, maybe?), because I’m picturing farm animals in vests and crinolines speaking with British accents, and it’s cracking me up considerably.
7. Genetically designed humans. Hell yes or absolutely not?
In real life? ABSOLUTELY NOT. It’s creepy and unnatural and I just don’t like it, or what it might mean for the future re: all the rather terrifying dystopian fiction I’ve read. However, as a plot device in said dystopian novels? Hell yes. It’s just scary enough to work as a plot, and way to scary to contemplate in real life.
8. What book would you like to see get parodied a la Pride and Prejudice and Zombies?
Gone With the Wind, no doubt. I’d like to see it with something like aliens, maybe, or vampires a la a Civil War era True Blood. I mean, its the perfect setting (being Georgia and all), plus I just think that Scarlett O’Hara would be the perfect vampire, and Ashley is just soporific and yet somehow enchanting enough (to Scarlett) to be some kind of alien being, so I really think we may have a gold mine on our hands here.
9. What book would you absolutely hate to see get parodied?
Little Women. Yes, I know that it’s just rife with opportunities to be parodied. It’s saccharin and moralistic and preachy and predictable and about a million other synonyms for bad-sauce, but its a book that’s been with me pretty much since I moved to reading ‘real’ books, and I feel the way about Jo March as many, many women seem to feel about Elizabeth Bennet, and for that reason alone I just don’t think my adoration could stand to see it mocked in any way. I mean, the 1994 movie with Winona Ryder was close enough.
10. TV. Awesome source of entertainment or horrifying time suck?
Can it be both? I mean, it does suck my time away something fierce. And when you live off of services like Netflix and Hulu like the cable-less Beardman and I do, it’s just so, so, SO easy to push ‘next episode’ and not even realize that it’s been about seven hours and three seasons of Parking Wars. But then there are those shows that I make sure we get somewhere to see every week, or find a way to watch online no matter what – Downton Abbey, Swamp People, Glee (this one’s all me, and I’m sure Beardman would be more than happy to drop this one from the roster), Archer, The Office, Up All Night, The Biggest Loser. And I happen to believe that just because it’s TV doesn’t mean it can’t be an amazing story worth listening to (see: Downton Abbey, especially).
11. What literary character should immediately jump off the page and into your bed?
Oh man. That’s a tough one. I don’t know if I could come up with just one answer ever no matter what. Probably Ron Weasley, because he’s got red hair and a big family and secret bravery and he’s funny and giving and all around probably the best character in Harry Potter. But there’s also the dreadlocked and dreamy Marcus Flutie from Megan McCafferty’s Jessica Darling series. Or, in a dark and creepy way, the Sandman from Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman graphic novel series (seriously, its some dark stuff. Be warned before you run out and pick it up, if you haven’t already). If I’m being completely honest, I may have to keep those three on some kind of rotation schedule.