Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dead Whale In The Water...

...on page 270...and still no sign of the White Whale.

Just wanted to give you a status update.

Read on, my friends!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

We Have Whales!!

It's finally happened! It only took 204 pages, but at last - whales have been sighted in Moby Dick. We're getting there, people. Hang tight!

Monday, October 18, 2010

"I Just Love To See You Happy."

Ah, Luke, you've done it again. Every time I hear that line come from you in the final episode of Season Seven I wish I were Lorelai standing in front of you on the damp street in front of your diner.

So... you may have gathered that I just finished watching the entire series (again). I think I watched it in record speed this time, but goodness, what a great way to unwind after a long day at work, right? Get home, hang up the jacket, cook a nice meal, and get situated in front of a cozy episode or two of the lovely Gilmore Girls. Life is grand sometimes!

You may also be happy to learn that I am once again making progress on Moby Dick; I slacked off there for a good chunk of time since, well, the book was really slow there for a while. But I have gotten back in the habit of pulling out the book while on my lunch break and reading while I munch away. Today I finished chapter XXXVIII or, 38 (yes, the chapters are in Roman Numerals in the book). This puts me at page 162 of 521.

At this point Captain Ahab has physically entered the narrative, and is no longer a figure of Ishmael's thoughts - pieced together from stories from shipmates and personal interpretations of this presence (or lack thereof). I kind of like Captain Ahab's character so far. The book seems to be teasing me with him... he is described by members of the crew, and just recently the book delivered a chapter written as if you were in Ahab's thoughts, yet, you know there is SO much more to this character than is being described. I think he will get more interesting/entertaining in the next 50 pages or so.

Is (or was) anyone reading along? Did you finish months ago while waiting patiently (or impatiently) for me to catch up? Or did everyone hear the name Moby Dick and just say "pass"? Any time I have mentioned that I'm actually reading Moby Dick I am met with questions like: "why on earth would you actually read it?" or with comments like "I started reading that book once, but..." Think of me what you will for taking on this endeavor, but I promised to read EVERY work of literature mentioned in the Gilmore Girls, and no matter how long it takes, that I will do!

And that my friends, will make me very happy.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I'll Prove You Wrong

I'd be willing to bet that there are those of you out there who think that I'll never get through every work of literature ever mentioned by the Gilmores, let alone get through the likes of Moby Dick.

My life has been busy - of course, that's no real excuse; anybody can make time for something as simple as reading a book or two. And now that my life is settling in to a routine I should be able to make reading more of a regular thing. I used to LOVE to read. In fact, one time I was sorting through an old "keepsakes" box I had from elementary school and came across a report card from 1st grade. I don't have the report card in front of me now, but it said something to the effect of: "Melissa spends a lot of time reading; we're working on diversifying her interests." Okay, I KNOW that my teacher didn't use the word diversifying... but nonetheless, the message she conveyed was that I spent too much time reading. I remember being a little mad when I found that report card, I mean, why would a teacher want to discourage a 6 year old kid from reading? Was it affecting my ability to interact with other students? I doubt it... I remember having plenty of friends in 1st grade. Was I trying to read during, let's say, math? I don't know.

Reading has always been a big part of my life. So much so, that I actually don't remember learning how to read, I just remember knowing how to read. My parents read to us kids a lot when we were little and we had books on record that I remember listening to. Yep - I said record. Pre-book-on-tape! My parents still have the 45's in a box at their house. I'd read along to Brer-Rabbit, The Three Little Pigs, and Sleeping Beauty. When we did advance in the technological world I'd read and listen to books on tape about Grover from Sesame Street with titles like When Is Saturday? Italic

One time when I was still in elementary school I remember spending hours laying on the couch reading some paperback chapter book (I have no idea which book); I started the book that day, and was determined to finish it before dinner. When I was about halfway through the book my older sister (who was most likely in high school) came and joined me on the couch, laying along side me. She flipped open to the start of my book (while I was still reading in my spot) and began reading. Eventually, she caught up to me, got up and moved to lay to the right of me and read on ahead, finishing the book at least an hour before me! I remember making it a goal to learn to read as fast as she did.

The only reason that I can think of for not reading as much as I used to is college. Once I chose a major and made studying a priority I made a rule for myself that I couldn't read any books for fun during the semester, because if I did I'd be tempted to read for fun when I was supposed to be reading my textbooks. The rule paid off, and I did rather well in school. The only problem is that the rule has seemed to turn in to a bad habit of not reading when I'm busy with other things. Sigh. I'm going to change that... reading will once again be a good habit that'll make 1st grade teachers wonder why I can't tear my eyes away from the page long enough to diversify my interests.

So for those of you who doubt that I'll finish what I've started...I'll prove you wrong.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It's Taking Just As Long To Read It As Melville Took To Write It...

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth - I've just been out of town for the last three and a half weeks and haven't had time for much reading. I'm back now, and am determined to finish Moby Dick so we can move on to other things. Keep hanging in there!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Coming Along...

Good news! Moby Dick is picking up! I'm now finding myself wishing for more time to read it (I started a new job this week); which is a very good sign. So, don't get discouraged if you haven't started reading it yet - it's actually quite entertaining! Let's get this show on the road!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Book Number Three

Dean: "So how are you liking Moby Dick?"
Rory: "Oh, it's really good."
Dean: "Yeah?"
Rory: "Yeah, it's my first Melville. I mean, I know it's kind of cliche to pick Moby Dick as your first Melville but... hey, how did you know I was reading Moby Dick?"

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

I must confess this is also my first Melville. I've already started the book, but I can already say that this one is going to take me some time. I started reading it at least a week ago yet I'm only in chapter three. Sad. It seems to be a slow start, and there are a lot of words and phrases that I am unfamiliar with so I end up re-reading paragraphs just to understand what's going on. If I'm not careful my mind starts wandering and I have to re-read an entire page. I REALLY hope it picks up, and soon!

The other day I was on the phone with a friend who loves to read and I mentioned that I had started Moby Dick. She asked, "You're reading that book by choice?" She said she'd only read it if she had to for an assignment. Maybe she had to already. Anyway, even though the book hasn't quite caught my interests yet and has gotten one negative review from a friend I'm still determined to get through it; maybe even enjoy it!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Book 2 Review - The Little Match Girl

The opening episode of Gilmore Girls makes a point of setting up the awkward and estranged relationship between Lorelai and her parents - Richard and Emily.

When Rory gets accepted to Chilton (a prep school) mid term Lorelai is faced with the large sum required as an enrollment fee along with the first term's tuition, or Rory cannot accept the open spot. Not wanting Rory to know that money for school is an issue, Lorelai discusses ideas with her friend and co-worker Sookie who suggests asking Lorelai's well-to-do parents for help. Lorelai refuses to even accept the idea (having unhappily left home at 16 to live her own life away from Richard and Emily)... until she realizes that there is no other option.

Semi unwillingly, Lorelai visits her parents (who each make a crack about Lorelai showing up on a day that isn't a holiday), explains the situation and asks for a loan. To her surprise Lorelai's parents agree. Seizing an opportunity Emily Gilmore requests that she take on an active role in Lorelai and Rory's lives by having mandatory Friday night dinners and weekly phone calls about Rory's schooling and updates about their lives until the loan is repaid. Seeing the strings attach themselves to the situation, Lorelai only asks that the loan remain a secret from Rory.

The next evening Lorelai and Rory find themselves standing on the front porch of the Gilmore home staring at the door. This is where Rory references The Little Match Girl.


In the story of The Little Match Girl we learn about a poor girl who is out in the street unsuccessfully trying to sell matches to please her unloving father. It is a cold winter and the girl is barefoot, yet she chooses to stay out in the cold rather than go back to the bad situation at home. Ultimately, the little girl freezes to death.


While the story itself isn't funny, I find that the reference to The Little Match Girl makes the scene of Lorelai standing out on her parent's porch quite entertaining. Suddenly you sense that Lorelai is like that little girl - she'd rather stay out in the cold and die than knock on her parent's door and face what's waiting for her inside. I think this was an excellent way to let viewers understand what Lorelai was supposed to be feeling!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Book Number Two

"So, do we go in or do we just stand here reenacting The Little Match Girl?" -Rory

The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen

I don't know if you can really call this one a "book," but it is a work of literature, so for easiness' sake I'm putting all works of literature into the same category. Hans Christian Andersen was Danish, and so wrote in his native language. There are many different translations of his works, but the book Twelve Tales I picked up at the library is a collection of several children's stories written by H.C. Andersen which were selected, translated, and illustrated by Erik Blegvad. If this is the book you look up note that the author is listed as Andersen/Blegvad.

This is an incredibly short story... happy reading!

Your Thoughts!

Hey everyone; I'm not sure how many people are actually reading or following along on the blog yet, but I'd like to encourage your participation! If you do decide to read the books with me, I'd love your input! Use the comment space to post what you thought of each book; I'm curious to read about your experiences!

Please however, try to avoid arguments and basically all things negative directed at other people. It's fine to say why you may not like a book, but if you disagree with what someone else shares, don't attack them for it. We can all be mature adults here and enjoy this project together. Thanks!

*No - we have not had any such comments yet. =)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Book 1 Review - Huckleberry Finn

It took a little longer than I thought (mostly due to procrastination and time and attention devoted to my nieces and nephew), but I finally finished The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn!

On my flight from California to Colorado last week I sat by an older-ish gentleman who was on his way to a conference somewhere in the mid-west. During part of the flight I pulled the novel out of my bag and opened to where I had last left off. Noticing how worn and yellow the pages were, this gentleman asked how old the book was. He didn't ask WHAT the book was (he may have already seen the cover), but rather, how OLD it was. Different. I rattled off that I had no idea - it was from the library, so it probably looked older than it was because of careless handling (not by librarians, of course). He then explained he had shelves full of books in his house, and said that he owned this one too (okay, show off - I'm young, and have plenty of time to buy books). So, sensing that he was just maybe suggesting that those who owned books were somehow better than others I decided to just tell him how it is - I'm unemployed and can't afford books, and the library gives me plenty of opportunity to read for free. Discussion over.

I enjoyed the stories of Huck and the trouble he caused while also remembering scenes from the movie The Adventures of Huck Finn (1993) that I haven't seen in who knows how long. You know - the one where pre-Frodo Elijah Wood plays the role of Huck. I felt as if the focus of the book was on the adventures and the relationship between Huck and Jim; honestly I don't think that the book was meant to promote racism, as some critics have claimed.

I did however feel like the flow and feeling of the book changed in its final chapters after Tom Sawyer shows up again (he's also in the beginning of the book). I found I wasn't enjoying it as much and was really rather annoyed with Tom Sawyer - he already has his own book, why does he have to show up now at what is supposed to be (I think) the climax of the story? Huck is the main character; I don't think he should suddenly share this role with another at the very end.

I did a little research online today and found an article entitled "Mark Twain vs. Tom Sawyer" (found here). In the article are a few quotes from the author of Mark Twain: A Life, Ron Powers, as well as Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway stated: "If you must read it you must stop where...Jim is stolen from the boys [and imprisoned by a slave catcher]. That is the real end. The rest is just cheating," and Powers said "
Huckleberry Finn endures as a consensus masterpiece despite these final chapters." I kind of feel like I agree. Nonetheless, overall I thought it was a fun book to read.

And by the way - the gentleman on the plane wasn't really disagreeable - we spent the last 45 minutes quietly racing to see who could finish their sudoku puzzle in the airline's magazine first!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Announcing Book Number ONE!

"For those of you who have not finished the final chapters of Huckleberry Finn you may use this time to do so. For those of you who have you can start on your essay now. Whichever task you choose, do it silently." -Rory's teacher

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain (whose real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens)

This is the first book ever mentioned in the pilot episode of Gilmore Girls - in the only scene where we see Rory sitting in a Stars Hollow High classroom. I felt it was only fitting to read this book first; I can't promise the rest of the books will be in the order they appear in the show. I have read this book before in my early high school days and you probably have too, but it's been so long since I've read it I sure don't remember much.

In the copy I have (which boasts "complete and unabridged text") there are 506 pages. Sound daunting? It shouldn't. It actually looks like a breeze: the book came from the children's fiction section of my library, so the print is quite large. Rough guess - I'll probably read it within a week. Enjoy!

Today's The Day!

Yes! That's right folks... my library books are due today (I finished the 3rd one last night!), and I'm headed out to find my first Gilmore books! I have FOUR options from the first episode of season one, and according to the library catalog online all should be available at my library. I've packed up my mail that has proof of my new address, as well as my passport and driver's licence to prove I'm me, so hopefully the library will be kind today and let me get my own library card (I checked out my last books with my brother's card - and he's at work today...)!

I'll let you know later today what book I choose to be the lucky number one! Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Off to the right side of this blog I have added a playlist. As of this moment the playlist only consists of music on the Gilmore Girls soundtrack and one song that is used in the pilot episode. I find some of the songs to be a bit strange, but I feel that I need to stay true to the show and not add my own interests and tastes in music that are not played or mentioned in an episode. I'll update the playlist as I progress through this project, so make sure you check back now and then for new songs; I'll try to remember to post if I've added anything new.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The In Depth Gilmore Purpose

Today was an interesting day. Not interesting as in "hey, I experienced something interesting" or "look at that interesting sight" or even "wow, isn't the combination of flavors in this food interesting?" but rather, interesting in the sense that I behaved in a way that was completely unlike my usual self.

For the last 46 days I have been living in California. I moved here hoping for better luck in the job market but have so far failed to find such luck. This lack of luck has been wearing on me, and last night I had another breakdown; this one set off by nothing significant. I had a good cry, a nice long conversation on the phone with a geographically distant friend and then read until I passed out.

In the conversation I had with said friend she advised me to sleep in until one PM and sort of take a day to emotionally patch myself up. Well, I didn't sleep in until one. I got up as usual, searched for jobs, got dressed, unloaded the dishwasher, and made myself a bagel. Then I returned to my room, shut the door even though no one else was home to be bothered by my noise, and I turned on the first season of the Gilmore Girls. The interesting part of the day was the fact that I didn't just watch an episode or two like I'd normally do and call it good; I watched episode after episode for roughly SIX HOURS stopping only briefly to find more food or use the restroom until I eventually dozed off during an episode I caught on TV a week and a half ago. I don't remember another time I've watched TV for that long except for when I was sick. Maybe this was my way of doing some emotional patching like my friend suggested.

I've watched the Gilmore Girls a lot. I believe it was my older sister who got me hooked on the show, and I thank her for that. I now own all seasons except for number 5. Why? I was probably living in S. America when it came out on DVD, so when I came back I just borrowed it from a friend and then went on to purchase the 6th and 7th seasons on my own. One day I'll get my hands on it - after I have found that pile of luck needed to secure a job.

It's always been a personal game of mine to try and follow the random references to literature, music and pop-culture that are mentioned in each episode of the show, and with each successive viewing I'm happy to find I understand more and more of them. Last week when I once again decided to watch the entire series from start to finish I found myself not only playing my little game, but I started randomly writing down some of the works of literature that were mentioned that sounded interesting to me. Some are classics that I've heard of, others seem more obscure. But even without a job I have access to a library that doesn't cost me anything - as long as I return my books on time.

So now, the brilliant idea came to me: how about I make a list of all the works of literature mentioned in the Gilmore Girls, read them ALL, and blog about each one? Then, because I don't want this blog to just be one big book review I decided I'll include other things from the show like music/bands and other pop-culture snippets that come up. Obviously this will take a while, and I'm okay with that. I think it will be fun to learn more about the make up of the characters that Amy Sherman created while expanding my own literary knowledge in the process. I plan to post which book I'm reading when I first pick it up, so that if anyone else wants to join in and follow along they can. Let the reading begin!