Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Monday, May 12, 2008

As I Lay Dying

This is the first book I will read during the Southern Reading Challenge this Summer.  First published in 1930, As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner, chronicles the Bundren family as they anticipate the death of a family member, Addie Bundren, and the subsequent emotions, events, and aftermath of her demise.

As a native Mississippian,  I have, for quite some time, known that William Faulkner was a rich Southern writer, but to date have only read a couple of his works: A Rose for Emily and The Bear.  Faulkner's prose is quite unique and can be unwieldy initially, but once one adjusts his genius comes roaring through in page after page.  After I complete my reading of this novel, I will post a detailed synopsis and review.  So far, I am enjoying it tremendously.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Movie Meme

Following Maggie's Lead!

Here are the rules:

1. Pick 10 of your favorite movies.
2. Go to IMDb (Internet Movie Database) and find a quote from each movie.
3. Post them here for everyone to guess (if you know them all, please don't guess every one).
4. Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
5. No Googling or IMDb-ing. That's cheating, and that's no fun!

  1. What is that now? Twelve hands in a row? Holliday, nobody's that lucky. Why Ike, whatever do you mean? Maybe poker's just not your game Ike. I know! Let's have a spelling contest!

  1. "I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the alter of freedom." -Abraham Lincoln.

  1. Hey Ray, wouldn't it be funny if I went to Harvard, you went to Jail and we both ended up surrounded by crooks. <- Maggie got this one

  1. In the courts of Mississippi, they have been reminded, that they cannot, by force, turn our communities into replicas of their communities... communities in which negroes run riot, unrestrained and unpunished, as they do this summer in the streets of Harlem, or they do in the streets of Oakland, or they do in the STREETS OF CHICAGO!

  1. The white men who wore this came around the time of my grandfather's grandfather. Eventually we drove them out. Then the Mexicans came. But they do not come here any more.

  1. Hold on one second, let me just take in this moment. This is cool. Is this how you feel all the time? Well, except now.

  1. Well, we're in the desert, looking for the source of a river pollutant, using as our map a cave drawing of a Civil War gunship, which is also in the desert. So I was just wondering when we're gonna have to sit down and re-evaluate our decision-making paradigm?

  1. I mean it, honey, the world is being Fed-exed to hell in a handcart. I really believe anyone thinking even thinking of bringing a child into the world is coldly considering an act of cruelty.

  1. I blew up the building. Why? Because you made a phone call.

  1. Gotta love crab. In the nick of time too. I couldn't take much more of those coconuts. Coconut milk is a natural laxative. That's something Gilligan never told us.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Dixie Rising

Although this volume probably does not qualify for the Reading Challenge, one of my favorite books with a decidedly Southern setting is titled Dixie Rising: How the South is Shaping American Values, Politics and Culture by Peter Applebome. A transplanted, self-proclaimed Yankee now living in Atlanta, GA., Applebome has written about the South for more than 20 years.  In a moment of candid clarity he writes, "Out of habit or ancestral loyalties, I still vote Democratic and root for the Celtics and the San Francisco/New York Giants of the world of my father and grandfather.  I hate football.  I find stock-car racing unfathomable. I don't have a bass boat, a pickup, a gun or a taste for bourbon.  I've never read Gone With The Wind and fell asleep the only time I went to the movie.  I don't even root for the Atlanta Braves. But, like countless people before me, I know I've been seduced. The weather is warmer, the people nicer, the traffic milder, the prices lower, the pace of life saner, the greenery lusher, the history richer.  Even the race relations are better." 

In Dixie Rising, Applebome delves into the history and contemporary sociopolitical climate of places such as Newtland (Cobb County, GA), Selma & Montgomery, AL, Charleston & Charlotte, NC, the Delta of Mississippi and Moreland, GA the home of a museum dedicated to Louis Grizzard. Through this literary journey, the reader is afforded a front-row seat to witness the cultural, social and political changes that have taken place since the end of the 19th Century, and, consequently, the indelible mark the American South has wielded upon the nation as a whole.  As one reviewer of Dixie Rising writes, "Southern values have become American values. Southern politicians lead both political parties, and the South has powered the rightward shift in American politics over the course of the past three decades. The South is far and away the leading area of population and economic growth in America.  People in Michigan are listening to Country Music and parishioners in California are worshipping at Southern Baptist churches. New Yorkers are lining up to hear Newt Gingrich speak and militia members in Idaho look at Southern neo-Confederates as allies and inspirations."

For anyone interested in learning more about the way the culture of our heritage has become a national force, I highly recommend this monograph.  I suspect most readers will come away from this work not only having thoroughly enjoyed Applebome's bouncy prose, but also enlightened by his investigation of the maturation of Dixie.



Hi and welcome to Raymondo's Reading Room.  I am an avid reader and have never thought about utilizing a blog to post my comments/reviews of the books I read....but looks like a good idea.  I think I will begin by perusing the list at the Southern Books link I filched from Maggie. :)