But I'm getting by. Slowly but surely, this thesis is getting done. And let me tell you, I am hellz looking forward to not talking about it during every conversation I have (limited as they may be with the outside world); to not thinking about it every second of my day; to not spending every spare minute working on it (or at least trying to); to not saying 'no' to every single event that I get invited to (I still love you all of my dear friends, even if I can never see you. I'm sorry I can never say yes - I want to); TO RELAXING.
I'm also looking forward to October 11th (due date - and, incidentally Lindsay Lohan's birthday in "The Parent Trap" aka one of my favourite movies in ever) because I just want to sit and READ FOR PLEASURE. It's been so long since I've been able to bliss out with a book or go to a movie and it's killing me. So I want you to do it for me. I present to you now my ultimate Top 10. Read them, love them as I did, and enjoy them as I cannot.
A Widow for One Year - John Irving
The Hotel New Hampshire - John Irving
Okay, shut up these count as one book...I couldn't decide between the two of them it's like choosing a favouite child (I imagine). 'A Widow for One Year' was my first foray into the world of John Irving and it was one of my greatest decisions. Thanks Sara from Tegan and Sara for loving him and making me love him. Sometimes it pays off to be obsessive about celebs and do what they do. You get to fall in love with Irving!
Haunted - Chuck Palahniuk.
Really, this could have been any Palahniuk novel. However, this one is the goriest and most memorable. Had me laughing, feeling ill, internally weeping...a collection of brilliant short stories. Fun fact: when he used to read "Guts" at his book signings countless people would faint because of how disgusting it was. I love it.
A Fraction of the Whole - Steve Toltz
My favourite new book. It was a bit of a slow starter for me (as they often are) but it quickly had me in stitches. It sounds like a bit of a depressing subject matter (insane father, famous dead criminal uncle, etc) but it's BRILLIANT. Please, please read it. You will not be sorry. And then I can have someone to rave about it with.
Good Wives - Louisa M. Alcott
I have blogged about my love for this novel before, so I'll spare you the gushing. It is my favourite childhood novel and it still gives me pangs when I read it anually. Two words: Laurie + Amy.
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
I was tossing up between this and Eugenides' other novel "The Virgin Suicides" but I think it's more imperative that people read this during their lifetime. If you haven't yet, hurry up. It's a modern classic and you will not be a complete human being until you read it. So. Yes.
On Beauty - Zadie Smith
Another slow starter for me, but for the life of me I just can't remember why. It's an intelligent, funny book you can get lost in, just like I did last Summer. Also it made me feel self-important and pompous because I went to university. And I am a lame-ass.
Special Topics in Calamity Physics - Marisha Pessl
Thanks to Tegan for this one. It took me two false starts to get me hooked, but I got there in the end. I always do (oh, apart from "The Corrections" by Jonathan Franzen. I fucking hate that book. I have read the first half and struggled through it. I don't care if it won a Pulitzer Prize, it is shit). But THIS, this is brilliant. And a little bit mysterious. Do yourself a favour and read this, you deserve it.
Perfect Skin - Nick Earls
Sigh. I remember the first time I read this book. I never wanted it to end, I would read each page super slowly and savour it and I despaired when it finally came to a close. I was so enraptured I wrote an email to the author and two months later, I received a reply. It was a long email, it was sincere and it was touching. I love Nick Earls, I think I've read nearly all of his books because they are hilarious and in this case, poignant. You should also become a fan because I am going to make you buy his next novel anyway - he named a character after me. Like, seriously after ME, not just using my name (it was a competition on twitter and seriously, how could he overlook 'Aphrodite'?). So get into it. Even my picky friend Alex liked this, so it's one for everybody.
THE TOP TWO!
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
Unbelievably, I did not much like this when I first started reading it. My friend Jessie (why yes, I have mentioned her before. It seems I have a lot to thank her for) bought this for me from Glebe markets after I told her I had never read it. She handed it to me and with a pained look on her face, exclaimed "I am so jealous of you. I am so jealous that you get to read this for the first time" and to be honest I thought she was being a bit dramatic. But of course, I got sucked in to the world of Bunny, Francis, Charles, etc. And now my little munchkins I am jealous of YOU if you have not yet read this remarkable book. Tell me if you read it so we can gush over it please, because Jessie left me and moved to Adelaide.
A Long Way Down - Nick Hornby
Duh. If you've ever met me and we've ever touched on the topic of books you know I die for this one (if you've read it, that was a very clever joke). It is literally the funniest thing I have ever read, and I read gossip blogs every day. I had to stop reading this in public because I became uncontrollable, which was tough as all I ever wanted to do was voraciously tear it apart. My cousin Anthea recently flew off to Europe for a holiday but had forgotten to bring her book with her and asked me, under servere pressure, to choose a book for her from the airport newsagency. I recommended this one, she read the back and saw that Johnny Depp read it and liked it, and she bought it. She sent me a message the other day to thank me because it is amazing. DUH.