I’M NOT DEAD YET — Librocubicularist’s Unintentional Hiatus

I feel like taking a walk!

Hello dear readers, I apologize for this unintentional dry spell of usual updates, banned book gif-fests, and all-around holiday shenanigans and fun.  But for the past two months I have been very, very, very busy.

I am back in the United States, living with my parents, and with a temporary job.

My commute barely makes time for reading, and I am trying to read as much of Lolita and other banned books as I possibly can.  But until then, I just wanted everyone to know that Librocubicularist is still alive and well.

Just a bit banged up.

Lord of the Flies, Where Everyone Hates the Smart, Fat Kid

#8 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Published:
1954
Reasons For Being Banned/Challenged: 
Challenged at the Owen, NC High School (1981) because the book is “demoralizing inasmuch as it implies that man is little more than an animal.”
My Rating: 1 Powerful Conch Shell

Hello dear readers.  It’s been much too long since our last Banned Book Chat.  I wish I had a good enough excuse as to why I haven’t written anything recently (moving back to the United States into my parents’ house, or looking for a new job, or anything justifiable) other than the fact that I didn’t really like Lord of the Flies but I don’t.  I just really didn’t like Lord of the Flies.

Flipping through it, I thought it should be easy.  Barely 200 pages, 12 chapters, and a fat kid gets killed.  How long of a read would it be?  Long enough, apparently.  I realized that if I know someone is going to be killed before reading a book, I want instant gratification.  Everyone who hasn’t read Lord of the Flies like I didn’t, basically know two things about it: kids are on a desert island, and Piggy gets offed because he sucks.

I knew something was wrong with me when I read Piggy’s complaining and was like, You’re right, Piggy.  These other kids are little assholes.  From page one, I was sympathizing with the annoyingly useless kid on the island.  He couldn’t collect firewood, or help hunt.  But he was smart, rational, and had glasses for fire.  I’m sorry, but I feel like for any tribe, the one who makes fire IS THE MOST IMPORTANT.  Everyone should have been kissing Piggy’s fat ass instead of teasing him.  Bunch of jerks.

Lord of the Flies was basically the English children’s version of Survivor without Jeff Probst riding a skidoo at the finale from Borneo (or wherever they’re Survivor-ing from) to New York City with the vase of winning votes.  It may have been nicer if the kids were just like, “Piggy, the tribe has spoken… you suck” and kicked him off instead of smashing him to oblivion.

Of course, the two characters I did like were Simon and Piggy.  I am still grieving over Simon and never want to hear anyone chant, Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in! ever in my entire life.  And reading this book was like one giant cliffhanger for me.  I was turning pages carefully, waiting for the moment to come where Jack — the ginger from hell — would just murder poor, fat, smart Piggy.

Only to find out that it isn’t even Jack who kills him!  Fucking Roger hides his psychotic tendencies the entire novel until Jack gives the okay to become savages and he just goes bananas.  Sticking sharp sticks up live pigs’ rectums, killing Piggy with giant boulders, and hunting down Ralph with the intention to cut his head and offer it to the beast of the island as a sacrifice.  Holy lord, this kid is a maniac.

Even better, whenever that conch shell was mentioned, I immediately thought of that episode of SpongeBob Squarepants where he and Patrick start worshiping this magic conch shell that they use to tell them what to do.  And when they are abandoned somewhere, the conch shell tells them to do nothing… so they sit there, driving Squidward insane.

What really bummed me out about Lord of the Flies was how both nothing happened, and everything happened all too soon.  The first eight chapters are of these English boys trying to survive on a beautiful island, electing Ralph as chief, and doing whatever they can to survive.  Jack was being a bit of a spoiled brat most of the time, but then all of a sudden everything shifts.

The last four chapters try to throw in all the chaos with Jack Merridew (best last name ever, by the way) breaking away and taking all the others with him.  And then IT happens.  Those savage little brats kill Simon.  Poor Simon!  He was the best thing on that crappy island.  Although he did begin tweaking out, walking alone in the jungle at night, and having hallucinating seizures.  But other than those issues, he was the best one!  So he had to be killed.  Way to Game of Thrones me, Golding.  Killing the TWO characters I liked and leaving those shit kids alive and well.

It also just ended so abruptly.  Right when things get good, with the kids setting the entire forest on fire, beginning the man hunt for Ralph, Piggy finally getting bowled off a cliff, and complete chaos breaking loose, a military ship sees the smoke and comes to rescue the boys.

Of course, the adults think the kids are just playing games, unknowing of how savage they have become.  And when one asks if anyone has died as a joke, Ralph is like, “Yeah, asshole.  Two of my friends.  But don’t worry, their bodies got swept into the ocean.”  Even better is when he asks who is in charge and Ralph steps up saying, “I AM,” while Jack Merridew shrivels into himself and realizes how he is weak.

And then Ralph cries from sadness, causing the other boys to cry, causing the military man to turn away, because of the awkwardness of the situation THE END.

Seriously, that is how it ends.  THAT IS HOW IT ENDS.

Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.

Screen Shot 2014-07-06 at 11.33.01 PM

Want to read along with me?
Check out the Banned Books Challenge page to see my progress!

 

Beloved, the Classic I Really Wanted to Love

#7 Beloved – Toni Morrison
Published: 1988
Reasons For Being Banned/Challenged: Challenged at the St. John’s county Schools in St. Augustine, Florida (1995) and by a member of the Madawaska, Maine School Committee (1997) because of the book’s language.
My Rating: The Haunting at 124

You can pretty much tell how invested I am in a book by how quickly I can write a blog post about it.  And Beloved had all the ingredients towards being an awesome read: murder, haunted houses with ghost babies, and … I guess that’s it.  I should also warn you that there are going to be a lot of Supernatural gifs within this post so yeah, get ready for that.

With many of the books on my Challenged List, I had no real knowledge of what the books are about.  After giving up 2% into Ulysses, I thought Beloved would be the jumpstart I needed in my reading.  It sounded interesting enough with its post-slavery setting, mostly female cast, and ghosts(!).  But I was wrong.  It took me a month to read this measly 300-pager.  I was so not interested in this book that in the month I tried to read this, I was able to read four other books while ignoring Sethe, Denver, Paul D, and Beloved’s stories.

So where did I go wrong?  Why was I so dissuaded from this novel?  I will say that Morrison started off strong.  Within the first paragraph, no, the first sentence, I was interested:  “124 was spiteful.  Full of a baby’s venom.”  I was like, “Oh shit, this is going to be so good!”  I was giddy on the train, wiggling in my seat, waiting for some more ghost baby hauntings.

But then things shifted.  We went from ghost baby fingerprints in flour to Sethe crying over the sink, going on about having a tree on her back.  And I was lost.  These timeline jumps in the narratives, combined with the stream of consciousness narration had me so confused, I had to retrace a lot of my steps to figure out where I was supposed to be.

I would be with Sethe, as she talks about how they stole their milk from her (and that was something that took me a long time to understand) and then all of a sudden, we were inside Paul D’s head, as he came around her and cupped her breasts in his hands.  And then we would be twenty years in the past, talking about Sixo’s girlfriend who didn’t have a name, but was called thirty-mile-girl.  And this confusion is all in the first few pages.

Reading Beloved was like watching Memento.  There was the same story being told on two different planes.  The past being the black and white scenes, the present being the colored ones.  But with Beloved, there was no way in telling when you were reading a scene from the past, or  the future until you were a couple paragraphs in and you were thinking, Wait, what were we just talking about three sentences ago?  I said that a lot.

And poor Paul D.  He just wanted what’s best for both Sethe and Denver.  But instead he got Beloved banging on his door, asking for the sex.  And I guess I should clarify what is all happening within this novel.  Sethe is being haunted by the ghost of her two-year-old daughter after she murdered her.  Sethe — as well as many of the other characters — were born and raised into slavery, and eventually fled.  But when Sethe made it to freedom, her slaveowner tracked her down, and tried to bring her back — thanks the to Fugitive Slave Act.  But Sethe believed it was better for her children to be dead than slaves, and attempted to kill all four of them.

But she only succeeded in killing her two-year-old baby, which she called Beloved on her gravestone.  The baby’s ghost then begins haunting the house at 124, causing both of Sethe’s sons to run away.  Which, honestly, I am not surprised to hear.  I would have thrown deuces and peaced out of there a looooong time ago.  Once furniture is thrown at me, and baby giggling sounds are heard in the hallways of my babyless home, I am Audi 5000.

All Sethe has is Denver, her youngest daughter who is at this point eighteen, but completely alone after the town alienates their family.  But after Paul D comes, he gets rid of the ghost spirit by yelling at it, Sethe asks him to stay, Denver becomes jealous, and a random girl lands on their doorstep with clean clothes, no recollection of how she got here, and goes by the name Beloved.  And nobody is like, Wait a minute here, your name is Beloved like my dead daughter/sister?  And you’re, what?  Twenty years old?  The same age my daughter/sister would be now if she was alive?  Something is pretty fishy here.

Nope.  They’re like, Come on in!  Pull up a chair!

Denver seems to be the only one like, “Dude, this is my dead sister.”  Sethe could care less, and Paul D is like, Hell no, get this creep out of here.  And Beloved is obsessed with Sethe.  So she does what is best to get rid of Paul D: she creeps him out and forces him to have sex with her …?  That works…?

But what really gets Paul D out of there is when Stamp Paid, the man who brought Sethe across the river to freedom, tells him the story of Sethe killing her baby.  That makes him run out of there faster than shit from a goose.

With just Beloved, Sethe, and Denver living at 124, things start getting a bit… weird.  Beloved and Sethe become obsessed with each other — Beloved enjoys reminding Sethe how she murdered her, Sethe reminding Beloved how she did it out of love.  Beloved says jump, Sethe asks how high, and Beloved yells at her for not jumping high enough.  Sethe is so dedicated to not leaving Beloved’s side that she lost her job because she just stopped going.

Poor Denver is like, What the hell, guys?  I’m here too!  So she begins leaving her house and talking with others in her black community, asking for work, and getting donations of food from locals.  I’ve gotta hand it to Denver.  She saw how awful things had become with Beloved and Sethe so she decided to change it.  She left her home for the first time since she was eight, and reached out to her community.

And once the town discovers why Denver needs help — i.e., her dead sister’s ghost is parasiting her mother to death — they ban together to exorcize Beloved out of the house.  But Mr. Bodwin, a white man who comes to pick up Denver for a job, comes at the same time.  And when he pulls up at the same time the townswomen come to exorcize Beloved, Sethe and Beloved — who is now naked and fat, maybe even pregnant? — walk out onto the porch.

When Sethe sees a white man coming up to get Denver, she freaks out, and tries to attack him with an ice pick.  But one of the townswomen punched Sethe in the jaw to stop her, and knocked her out cold.  And right then, Beloved was gone.

The novel ends with Sethe sick and wanting to die because Beloved is gone, Denver is a working girl, doing what she can to make some money for herself and her mother, and Paul D comes back to Sethe, telling her that he loves her and wants to be with her.

And everyone in town has forgotten all about Beloved.

By and by all trace is gone, and what is forgotten is not only the footprints but the water too and what it is down there.  The rest is weather.  Not the breath of the disremembered and unaccounted for, but wind in the eaves, or spring ice thawing too quickly.  Just weather.  Certainly no clamor for a kiss.

Beloved.

Want to read along with me?
Check out the Banned Books Challenge page to see my progress!

Favorite Book Blog

Everything said here is everything that needs to be said about a favorite book blog!

Way to go As I Lay Reading!

As I Lay Reading

Starting this blog has been one of the most refreshing things for me, because it is encouraging me to become more involved in the books I read. My book club teases me relentlessly because I always show up with PAGES of notes that I’ve taken about the book–it’s become almost involuntary now.

And not only that, but the discussions I am getting into, here, and on Tumblr, are incredible. The Book Community on Tumblr is unlike anything I’ve ever imagined. Sure, I’ve gotten more recommendations on books to read. That I expected. But I am also quickly gaining friendships–that I didn’t anticipate from a relatively “anonymous” website. Everyone has each other’s back, and everyone (for the most part anyway) keeps an open mind. The goal here is to fuel constant discussion, and that is not something you see anywhere else.

It is also a place for humor and beauty, creativity and…

View original post 273 more words

You Like Me, Right Now, You Like Me: The Liebster Award

I really like what the Liebster Award sets out to do.  Smaller blogs get some recognition for entertaining whatever size their audience is — and I’m about to go all philosophical Dr. Seuss on all y’all — because a person’s a person, no matter how small (or blog, in this instance).  And nominators, as well as nominees, get to talk a little more about themselves outside of the blogosphere.  So it’s time for me to take off my receptionist skirt and put on my Barbara Streisand in The Prince of Tides ass-masking therapist pantsuit (or comfy, ass-enhancing blogging sweatpants, in my case).

liebster-award-300x300The Official Liebster Award Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger that nominated you and link back to their blog.
  2. Display the award somewhere on your blog.
  3. List 11 facts about yourself.
  4. Answer 11 questions chosen by the blogger who nominated you.
  5. Come up with 11 new questions to ask your nominees.
  6. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you think deserve the award and who have less than 1,000 followers.  (You many nominate blogs that have already received the award, but you cannot renominate the blog that nominated you.)
  7. Go to their blog and inform them that they’ve been nominated.

I would like to thank the Academy and my parents for always believing in me and allowing me to chase my silly, silly dreams.  But most importantly, I have to thank Rick @ Another Book Blog for nominating me for this little award.  And just for you, as well as everyone else out there, I made this little video to help anyone who hasn’t googled how to pronounce the name of my blog yet:

And as rule two states, I now have a nice little display of my award at the top of my page. Okay so now for the juicy bits.

11 Facts About Myself:

  1. I seriously feel as if Tina Belcher from Bob’s Burgers is me.  You know that famous quote from Wuthering Heights?  The whole, “I am Heathcliff,” jibber jab?  I feel the same way with Tina Belcher — except for you know, the whole “I’m crazy and going to make him miserable by marrying his enemy” mentality.  I don’t think I ever grew out of my utter awkwardness, yet complete obsession with boys.  And their butts.
  2. I have two different thumbs.  The joke in our family is that when I was a baby, I didn’t have a left thumb so they took a big toe and made it my thumb.  I have even had people ask me if I slammed my thumb in a door or got in an accident.  No, I was just born this way.  With one “normal thumb,” and one “toe thumb.”  And the PC term is “spoon thumb,” just an fyi.
  3. I hate politics.  As soon as someone begins an in-depth conversation about politics, my eyes glaze over and I mentally count how many of the original 151 Pokemon I can name. I can almost name ‘em all.
  4. The soundtrack for Now and Then was my go-to album when I was nine.  That song Sugar, Sugar was my favorite song in the entire world.  And I was obsessed with the movie.  Mostly because Brendan Fraser was the man of my dreams at that point in my life. 
  5. I got in a rap battle with a drunk old guy in a pub rapping the 14-minute-long song, Rapper’s Delight.  I won.  Obviously.
  6. I am afraid of sewer grates.  Every time I have to walk over one while holding my keys, I clench them in my hand because I always picture myself dropping them, and watching them fall inside the abyss of the sewer system with nobody but TMNT to save them.
  7. I really like reading/watching shows about serial killers.  Real or fake.  Whenever I stay at home, I DVR documentaries about them and it freaks out my parents.  They think I am insane.  But it’s just so fascinating!
  8. I hate it when men have ponytails.  It’s my personal fedora dilemma.  Every time I see a man with one, I want to walk up to him, cut it off, and say, “You’re welcome,” while handing the bit back to him.  They just gross me out.
  9. The song A-Punk by Vampire Weekend always makes me want nachos because of the opening scene in Step Brothers.
  10. I wish there was a way to instill GIFs in everyday life.  I know some people hate them, and others find them to be stupid, but sometimes I just want life to be like Tumblr because I always have the perfect reaction GIF.
  11. I have walked into a plate glass window in public surrounded by strangers twice in my life.  And once while I was running to work because I was late, I tripped over my own feet and faceplanted on the sidewalk.  I decided to just lie there and contemplate my life for a moment.  My clumsiness is considered a hazard to society.

11 Questions From Rick:

  1. Why are you a book blogger? What is it you truly want to get out of this?
    I started blogging about books because it was what I was passionate about.  And I thought that if I wanted to become an author, I had to get used to publishing my works for all of the world to see.  My blog was like my training for it.
  2. Rank these in order of preference: reading, listening to music, watching TV & movies.
    I don’t know!  I love them all equally…  But that’s such a cop-out answer.  I always have to have music with me at all times, and I do usually have a book with me, so I would have to say it’s listening to music, reading, and then watching television/films.
  3. What’s your favourite genre of book? Why do you think that’s the case?
    I really love anything that is mystical/magical/ folklore/mythology.  I used to read a lot of Young Adult fiction that had any supernatural element involved.  But I think what I like most are those books where an everyday girl (or guy) discovers that s/he is magical.  I think I’m drawn to these types of books because I grew up in such a blah atmosphere (catholic school in Connecticut) that I would have died if something extraordinary did happen to me. (insert “yer a wizard, ‘arry” here.)
  4. If you had to lose one of these senses, which would it be and why: sight, taste, hearing, speech.
    Taste.  Easily.  Because then I could eat veggies no problem and not eat crap foods simply because I liked the taste.  But the fat kid in me would probably still eat doughnuts knowing what they used to taste like.
  5. What qualities do you typically look for in a book?
    I like a strong female protagonist.  And I can go all ranty on this subject, because I wrote my MA dissertation on the evolution of the female protagonist in YA literature, but it’s important!  Girls need to know that they can be the one who does the ass-kicking instead of being the damsel in distress.
  6. What qualities do you typically look for in a friend?
    Humor.  I have a really weird sense of humor, so if they can keep up with me, or laugh along, we are golden.  I also really appreciate people who speak up when they have something to say.  And loyalty.  I would do anything for my friends, and knowing that they would too makes me know that I chose wisely.
  7. If you had the time (and energy) to write a blog about any other thing, what would it be and why?
    It would probably be about television.  And it would be a vlog where my friend and I drink a bottle of wine and critique the recent episode of The Mindy Project or Broad City.
  8. What’s the worst book you’ve read in the last two years?
    Oh Jesus, how much time do you got?  It’s actually a tie.  If anyone regularly follows my blog, they understand my utter hatred for Lauren Weisberger and her Prada books.  I tried to read Revenge Wears Prada and just threw it in the corner of my room and forgot about it.  But I also just read The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty because everyone told me it was amazing.  It was terrible.  I have never read a book with three different female protagonists and ended up hating each one at the end.  They were terrible people!
  9. If you suddenly had 50 million dollars, do you think you’d read more or less?
    More.  Because I could not work and just spend my time Scrooge McDucking it, and swimming in money while reading anything and everything I’ve ever thought about reading.
  10. How much practical use have you gotten from your college degree? (if you have one)
    Umm, I would say 45% of my BA is used and 60% of my MA.  When I first graduated, I got an internship with Yale University Press, so that was like “Oh my god, my major is working!”  But then I came home, lived with my parents for a year, and worked as a receptionist.  But now, I do quite a bit of editing and copywriting.  And I get to play with Twitter, giving my Creative Writing MA some work.
  11. If you had to go back to college, with the condition that you could only take a different major, what would it be?
    I would stay with my original major, Psychology, but go to a different university that works on behavioral analysis.  I would have really liked to become someone who helps track down serial killers based on their behavior (again with the damn serial killers).

My Nominations:

Although some of these might seem a bit random, I really want to hear more from these bloggers.

  1. Haley – As I Lay Reading (my new interwebs friend!)
  2. Matt and Ariel – Bad Books, Good Times (I hope they mean legit following, and not email alert following… If not, then you can both do one for your individual blogs! Solutions!)
  3. Lily – Lily’s Book Blog (some great YA recommendations)
  4. Sarah Clare – A Bit Behind on Books (everyone gets caught up in reading.)
  5. Cait – The Hopeful Heroine (it’s all so silly and brilliant.  I love it.)

My 11 Questions:

  1. Do you listen to music when reading, or do you prefer silence?
  2. What book did you not like when you first read it, but liked the second time (or vice versa)?
  3. What is your favorite book to movie adaptation?
  4. What is your least favorite?
  5. Would you rather die unexpectedly and sudden, or from a long-term illness?
  6. Bang, marry, kill: Jane Austen, John Green, George RR Martin?
  7. Other than books, is there anything else that you geek out about?
  8. What high school book did you not really read, but say that you did?
  9. Which fictional character would you want to be best friends with and why?
  10. Which childhood-actor-to-disaster-area was most tragic for you to watch?
  11. What are your thoughts about cheese?

An Open Letter to James Joyce

Dear James Joyce,

I don’t really know how I would start this letter because I am neither that big a fan of your work, nor that interested in how you are these days — mostly because you are very much so dead.  So I guess the best way to do this is to just dive right in.

I’ve been attempting to read your “legendary” novel, Ulysses, for the past month and let me tell you something: it isn’t going well.  Now, I consider myself to be a very capable reader.  I can understand and break down themes, hidden metaphors, and unreliable narrators.  I have read my fair share of classic literary works and I usually only have a few bad things to say about them.

I have even read Homer’s The Odyssey, the work you based this door-stopper of a novel, a couple of times.  When I was in college, my Greek Literature professor even told the guys in our class not to sell their copies of it back to bookstores because nothing makes a man look sexy and smart than having The Odyssey on their bookshelves.  And I decided to keep my copy too.  Not to help me pick up men, but because if I was going to drudge through the 10-year struggle of Odysseus getting back to his wife, I was going to keep the evidence and brag about it when possible.

But you, sir.  I am seriously contemplating throwing this novel out the nearest window, and watching passing cars drive over it repeatedly while I sport a shit-eating grin.  You have taken all of the amazingness of Homer’s epic poem and shit on it.  Even more so, you like to talk about your characters shitting.  I don’t understand much of what it is you are trying to say in Ulysses, but when I do, it’s about defecation.  So I’ve at least got that going for me.  I now know the gastrointestinal tract of one of your main characters.

Although I have been reading your classic for a month, I have only gotten 62 pages into your 700+ page work.  And I am not one to give up on novels, unless they are complete trash (are you listening, Lauren Wisberger?).  But I cannot wrap my head around your work.  And I know you intentionally did this, being the cheeky bugger that you are.

If I gave it all up immediately, I’d lose my immortality. I’ve put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that’s the only way of insuring one’s immortality.

I can easily picture you sitting at your writing desk laughing maniacally as you write your three well-thought-out sentences a day, that have nothing to do with the story, but can be interpreted a hundred different ways.  “Oh they will never get this!” you say, as you chuckle to yourself.  This is unacceptable.  Why would you want to write a novel that nobody understands anyway?  I guess you are right, it does make it immortal.  But it also makes it painful.  With every sentence I read, I feel bits of my soul slowly breaking away.  Your last words when you died were, “Does nobody understand?”  You must have been talking about Ulysses and then began kicking yourself in the dying head for not making it clearer.

But I will not give up.  I am frustrated to hell and don’t want anything to do with you now.  But you and I, James, are just going to go on a small break.  I am going to see other people — Toni Morrison for instance; she is next on my to-do list. — and you will remain sad and lonely until I decide to give you another chance.

Mr. Joyce, what you’ve written is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Sincerely yours,

allex

P.S.

I have read your steamy love letters to your wife, however, and maybe you should have given erotica a shot.  You would definitely be giving E.L. James a run for her money.  And she, at least, doesn’t deserve to be immortalized in literary fame.

The Color Purple or It Gets Better… Eventually

#5 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
Published:
1982
Reasons For Being Banned/Challenged:
Challenged in an Oakland, California high school honor class (1984) due to “sexual and social explicitness” and its “troubling ideas about race relations, man’s relationship to God, African history and human sexuality.”
My Rating: Two long-lost sisters finally reunited

Sorry everyone foe the long wait in posts.  For the past week, I have been traveling around Ireland and ironically, there are plenty of sheep but no wifi hotspots.

The Color Purple was a book I had never read before.  I knew of it but I had no idea what exactly it was about.  But holy jesus, I was not prepared for what I had gotten into.  Within the first few flips on my kindle, Celie, our narrator and heroine, was being raped by her father.

Thanks for the heads up, Alice.  There is nothing I wanted to start my commute with than a fourteen-year-old describing her father raping her.  It’s waaaay too early for me to handle this subject matter.  Can’t I at least get a cup of coffee in me first?

Anyway, when I got past all of that,  I did appreciate the fact that The Color Purple is a really fast-paced book.  Because of this, within a few pages, Celie was away from one asshole man and forced to marry another one.  But she does mention that he had two children from her father and he took them and got rid of them after they were born.  Celie hates men.  Really hates men.  Like cut off a dude’s penis and throw it into a field hates men.  And that is made evident with her disinterest in even mentioning who her new husband’s name is.

Mr. ___, as it is stated in the book, was sweet on Celie’s younger sister Nettie.  But her father wouldn’t allow her to marry him because of her age, so instead he gave him Celie.  And because Celie doesn’t have a say in the matter, it happens.

And if her father isn’t bad enough, Mr. ___ is worse.  He beats the living crap out of her, and his kids are tiny assholes.  When Celie first married Mr. ___ — because his first wife was murdered by her lover — she was smacked in the head with a brick by his older son.  Happy housewarming!  Here’s a brick to the face!

And now she has to raise those shitsnacks like her own.  But one day when she goes into town she sees her daughter with another woman.  The entire time, she thought her daughter was dead, but instead, she is being raised by another woman who is a missionary.  Knowing her daughter is fine, she can go back to her terrible life.

But her sister does come to visit her, and gets hit on by Mr. ___ the entire time she is there.  When she tells him that there is no chance in them getting together, he tells Nettie that she is never allowed to visit Celie again.  When Nettie tells Celie this, she also tells her that she will write to her every day until her death.  But Celie doesn’t hear from Nettie again.

The only problem I had with this book was that there were too many characters.  Cellie introduces us to Mr. ___’s son, Harpo who marries Sophie, but then gets arrested, causing Harpo to start dating Squeak, whose real name is Mary Agnes.  But Mr. ___ also has Shug, his girl on the side that he has loved for forever.  And one night, Mr. ___ brings Shug to their home to be nursed back to health by Celie.  And after a while, Celie and Shug becomes friends and then fall in love.

Yes, Edward Cullen, I am confused.  I can’t keep all of these characters together.  And this isn’t even including the white people Sophie has to work for to get out of jail, Nettie’s entire backstory of what she was doing  the entire time she was supposed to be writing to Celie and the people she met.  Nettie actually ran off to the woman who is raising Celie’s daughter — and also her son — and asked if she could be their nanny.  She then goes off and becomes a missionary with them to England and Africa.  And then there are all of the people in Africa that mean something to Nettie.

While Celie and Shug are becoming closer than ever, Mr. ___’s has been snaking Nettie’s letters the entire time.  And by the way, at this point, like 20 years have gone by.  When Celie finds out what Mr. ___ did, she almost Hulks out and kill Mr. ___.

So to keep her from killing her dickhead husband, Shug has the idea of letting Celie move into her new house in Tennessee.  While Shug and Celie are playing love nest, Celie also begins sewing pants and selling them from her store she now owns.  And how did she get it?  She found out that her father was not the man who was raping her.

Celie and Nettie’s real father owned a really nice shop that was serving both whites and blacks.  But the white customers were mad that he was becoming so successful that he was lynched.  After he died, their mother became unhinged and Celie’s I-thought-he-was-my-dad-but-he-was-really-my-stepdad swooped in and married her.  But in his will, their real father gave Celie and Nettie his store.

When Celie starts making tons of money on her pants design, Shug tells her that she has fallen in love with her 19 year old flautist — and she is like 50 at this point — and is going to try to date him.  Oh yeah, Shug is also a popular lounge singer.

So while Shug ditches Celie for a child, Celie and Mr. ___ become besties.  Who sit on each other’s porches and chat it up about what they loved about Shug.  It is weird that both husband and wife were dating the same woman and now can share love stories with each other.

After all of the shit that Celie dealt with for the past 30 yearsish, she then gets a telegram saying that her sister’s boat from Africa has sunk.

I am just an emotional wreck right now, Alice.  What else can go wrong?  NOTHING!  Because at the end, everyone comes back together and are all buddy-buddy.  Because Shug comes back!  And Nettie is alive!  With Celie’s children and new husband!  And so is Sophie!  And Mr. ___ and she are friends!

Thank god because I couldn’t take any more depressing news.  I really couldn’t cover everything that happened in this novel.  But in the end, it was vey good.  I would recommend it, mostly so you could actually follow the storyline.

I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it. People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.”

Want to read along with me?
Check out the Banned Books Challenge page to see my progress!