Henry Cavill is Jack Reacher.

Well! Author Lee Child is retiring and handing Jack Reacher over to his brother, who will continue to write Reacher novels. I read about this with a great deal of relief. I’d suspected that Child was going to retire soon, and I was not looking forward to Reacher’s death day. With this new arrangement, Reacher will survive Child’s retirement! Thank you for saving Reacher for us, Lee Child!

Even more exciting, Lee Child himself is working with Amazon Prime to bring us a Jack Reacher series (!!!) with a Reacher that we loyal fans will love, and this brings me to the crux of today’s post. They’re looking for an actor to play Reacher, and I have a suggestion.

I’d previously written that I thought Bradley Cooper could be a contender for the role of Jack Reacher. Let’s just forget I ever wrote that, because that was before I (obsessively) watched The Witcher on Netflix.

In The Witcher, Henry Cavill plays the lead role of Geralt of Rivia, who is Jack Reacher in another dimension.

In my mind, Cavill isn’t a mere contender for Reacher. He IS Reacher.

 

Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia in “The Witcher”

 

Geralt of Rivia travels around, gets himself embroiled in situations, and brings down monsters, just like Reacher.

 

Henry Cavill

 

Geralt of Rivia’s “hmm” is the equivalent of “Reacher said nothing.” Watch the two-minute video below to hear his “hmm” in various contexts. It’s a versatile “said nothing,” for sure. You get more than just “hmm” in the video, though. The video captures 23 specific seconds of pure Reacher.

If you only have 23 seconds to spare for this video, go to:

0:18 – 0:28 for a sample of Reacher dialogue delivery and a classic Reacher moment.
0:43 – 0:56 for another listen to his voice and another classic Reacher moment.

 

 

Cavill has a deep, full voice that’s effortlessly menacing, and thunderous when needed. Like Reacher’s.

As for specs? Henry Cavill is 6′,1″. No problem. Put 4″ custom lifts in his shoes to make him 6′,5″ if it’s necessary for this otherwise perfect Reacher to stand exactly that tall. He certainly wouldn’t be the first actor to do it. I found an article that points to Vin Diesel, Sylvester Stallone, Russell Crowe, Mark Wahlberg, John Wayne, etc. as actors who’ve worn lifts to appear taller than they are… allegedly, anyway.

Cavill’s weight probably changes from role to role, but his walking-around weight is irrelevant. He has a Reacher-perfect frame, build, and overall physique.

 

Henry Cavill

 

Cavill is almost too pretty, but he escapes that deal-breaker with his strong and coarse facial bone structure. He has a face that would lend itself well to any practical-effect make-up needed to uglify him to Reacher standards. He dirties up pretty well, too.

 

Henry Cavill

 

There are details. Reacher’s nose has been described in comparison to a smashed-in pancake, or something to that effect. Cavill can achieve such a look. He has prominent brow ridges that add to his Reacher-appropriate, unrefined appearance.

 

Henry Cavill

 

Outfit Cavill with blue contact lenses. Cut his hair short and bleach it as blond as it is in The Witcher. 

We should also consider that Henry Cavill tends to play heroic and stoic ultra-macho guys, so he has plenty of Reacher-demeanor experience, too.

 

Henry Cavill as Superman. Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia in “The Witcher.”

 

Henry Cavill has everything it takes to play Reacher. He’s an actor with a workable Reacher face, of a workable Reacher height. He has an ideal physique and a deep, powerful voice. He can be scary just standing there. He captures Reacher’s demeanor and character traits and “says nothing” better than anyone I’ve seen. In the above-posted video, you’ll note that Cavill can match his facial expression to the context of each “hmm” he utters.

As Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher, Cavill exudes Reacher’s essence to where both Callaghan and I were prompted to remark on it.

Not to mention that Henry Cavill can act, too. No need to go looking for someone who’s exactly 6′,5″ and less of an actor!

Have I missed anything?

 

 

 

The ideal Reacher. (Who could be the new Jack Reacher?)

If you’re a Jack Reacher fan, you’ve probably already heard the news. If you’re not, let me tell you what recently made me jump up and down with proverbial glee: there will be no additional Jack Reacher movies. Instead, we’ll get something better. At some point in the future, we’re going to get a JACK REACHER STREAMING SERIES and TOM CRUISE WILL NOT BE CAST AS REACHER! Because Jack Reacher author Lee Child loves us, and he loves Reacher, and he wants to see screen-Reacher appear as his actual Reacher self as much as we do, I’m thinking. Child has so carefully crafted Reacher and fleshed him out over the years that the Tom-Cruise-as-Reacher news felt like a plunge into an alternate universe the majority of us would never want to visit. And I never did visit. I’m sure I’m not the only Reacher fan who avoided that universe.

I refrained from watching Reacher on the big screen, but now I can look forward to watching him on the little screen, which is the better screen, in my opinion. The little screen is today’s big screen. We’re not in a Golden Age of television… we’re in a Platinum Age of television. Jack Reacher would fit right into our existing catalog of excellent streaming series heroes, and not in Tom Cruise’s shoes.

I first read this announcement on Twitter, and then my friend directed my attention to an article about it (linked above, but here it is again in case you missed it). That was about a month ago, and I’m still ecstatic about it.

Of course, the biggest buzz-worthy aspect of this news is the speculation: who could take on the role of Reacher in the upcoming series? Lee Child would like to hear our thoughts. Child is open to suggestions, he says. (Reportedly.)

Lee Child will probably never see this post, so my chiming in here is for my own amusement more than anything.

My thoughts and opinions:

–The ideal Reacher wouldn’t appear to be congenial in his countenance. Reacher doesn’t go around looking like Mr. Nice Guy. He goes around looking menacing, even though he is a nice guy. He’s nice until you annoy him or otherwise get on his bad side, that is.

–The ideal Reacher wouldn’t have a pretty face with fine bone structure and/or features arranged in a way that makes him conventionally attractive. Lee Child has actually described him as “ugly.” If the new Reacher actor has stock good looks, he should at least have the sort of looks that could be readily roughened/uglied-up in the hair/makeup department.

–Rather than walking into a room and drawing attention with his good looks, the ideal Reacher would exude a low-frequency charisma particularly (maybe only) detectable by women.

–The ideal Reacher would also bring into a room an air of unadulterated badassery. Any glibness on his part would come across as less than amusing, even if his words are amusing (and they often are).

–The ideal Reacher actor would be over six feet tall at the least, and he would weigh somewhere close to (at least) 200 lbs.

I wouldn’t insist that the actor stand at 6′, 5″ or weigh 220 lbs, because I don’t think that would be necessary. He should meet a minimal height requirement of, say, six feet, and he should either be built or have a physique that’s capable of being built. From there, shoe lifts and physical training could make up any deficit, or at least get the actor close to Reacher’s physical description.

–The ideal Reacher actor would have on his resume action-flick experience and a skill set that goes with it, or he should be trainable in this respect. The actor needs to be convincing as a guy who could crush a person’s throat with one hand. He should also know his way around firearms, as Reacher is an ex-MP (military cop) superior with firearms… and he uses them often.

–The ideal Reacher actor would be faceted enough to play a ruthless vigilante who’s theoretically a sociopath, but unquestionably a good guy. Reacher would seem like an easy character to play with his many one-liners and moments of “saying nothing,” but he’s far from one-dimensional. Lee Child created a complex character in Reacher. An ideal Reacher actor would have the ability to transmit Reacher’s character nuances.

With all of the above in mind, I’m going to throw in the names of two well-known actors who may seem unlikely. I’ve seen these guys in action, and their actions suggest Reacher-potential.

  • Hugh Jackman
  • Bradley Cooper

———

1). The case for Bradley Cooper:

I’ll start with Cooper, because I can already hear exclamations of disbelief.

Bradley Cooper may seem too good-looking at first glance, but in my opinion, his prettiness is borderline and nothing the hair/makeup department couldn’t fix. Cooper could be easily unsmoothed over into a guy who looks rugged, weathered, and age-appropriate for Reacher, who I imagine to be anywhere from mid-forties to early-fifties. (Cooper is 43.) The hair people would only have to bleach his hair blond. Cooper already has Reacher’s notable blue eyes.

Any doubts that such a transformation is possible, consider what hair/makeup people did to Charlize Theron for her role in Monster:

 

Left: Charlize Theron. Right: Also Charlize Theron. (“Monster,” 2003)

 

(Charlize also gained weight for the role, of course.)

Bradley Cooper is 6′, 1″. All he would need is three-inch lifts in his shoes.

There’s evidence out there that Cooper’s physique takes well to bulking-up gym regimens.

 

Bradley Cooper in “American Sniper” (2014)

 

(And how about that stone-cold stare?)

His biceps aren’t as big as basketballs, but in my opinion, he looks like he could f*ck someone up fairly efficiently.

Cooper is a talented actor who could bring out Reacher’s character nuances.

Cooper is fluent in French. Reacher’s mother was French. Presumably, Reacher speaks enough French to get by, if he isn’t fluent. Cooper would need no language or accent training for this. Script-writers would be able to deepen the character and add intrigue with snippets of back-story featuring Reacher’s mother. There’s at least one instance in the Reacher canon that has Reacher visiting his mother in Paris.

(The video below is long; just click anywhere in it and listen for a minute.)

 

 

Cooper has a solid action hero credential in his starring role in American Sniper. His performance in the lead role of Chris Kyle earned him a Best Actor Oscar nomination, and it’s actually what brought him to mind when I thought of who might play Reacher.

 

 

Brief synopsis of American Sniper from IMDB: “Navy S.E.A.L. sniper Chris Kyle’s pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind.”

Reacher is ex-Army and possesses legendary shooting skills untouchable by mere mortals.

————————-

2). The case for Hugh Jackman:

I have less to say about Hugh Jackman; he’s pretty convincing all on his own, I think. Let’s gloss over him, starting with the fact that Jackman possesses naturally rugged, off-beat looks.

Moving on, although Jackman is Australian, his American accent is perfect. He also has a deeper voice that we know (if we’ve seen any of the Wolverine movies) can be growly.

And Jackman is 6′, 2″. A set of mere two-inch lifts in his shoes would do it.

And Jackman is built and can easily become more built. His biceps aren’t as large as basketballs, either, but keep the bulk and lose just a little bit of the Wolverine-lean? I’d see Reacher in there, for sure.

 

“Wolverine” Hugh Jackman.

 

Hugh Jackman “Wolverine” fight scene (Wolverine vs. Shingen)

 

Hugh Jackman’s fight scenes are vicious, even though we haven’t seen him throw punches as much as we’ve seen him slash at people with bladed fingertips.

There’s no doubt that Jackman can look scary. He can be scary. He’s terribly talented. I think he’d make a great Reacher.

Thank you, Mr. Child, for offering us a Reacher streaming series and an opportunity to make suggestions for the role of Reacher!

 

Jack Reacher! Finally getting my annual Lee Child fix. (Also, a limerick by a guest poet.)

File this under “Writing Updates Postscript.”

I mentioned on Tuesday that I’m digging into the submission work phase now that I’m happy with my manuscript. I forgot to mention what else I’m doing: I’m catching up on terribly overdue reading, starting, of course, with the new Jack Reacher (The Midnight Line, 2017). My Lee Child fix, at last!!!

I’ve only just begun, but a page has been dog-eared, so my copy’s been authenticated.

 

Lee Child’s 2017 Reacher (more than six months later)

 

My tower of books To Read is ten tomes high, so I’m not going to be wanting for reading material anytime soon. Lee Child comes first. OH Stephen King has a new novel out… make that pile eleven tomes high. And I just remembered that I’d ordered two others from Amazon the other day. Thirteen. Thirteen unread books, guys, all over the literary spectrum.

I’ve said that books and t-shirts are the bane of my minimalism efforts, and I wasn’t kidding.

Speaking of minimalism, I’m still planning a huge second sweep through the house. I have to wait until after I send 50+ queries, though, so that’ll be sometime in September.

So much to do. It’s fabulous. My list is jam-packed with household stuff, but I’m also looking forward to writing a new poem or two, and planning my next big writing project.

Speaking of poems, for those of you who joke that my poems are “15 levels above” yours, keep reading. One such joker has submitted to me a limerick with which he took creative license to bend the rules of limerick just to lampoon Yours Truly. I’m honored. His limerick is one part complimentary, one part inside joke, and one part smart-ass, which sums him up perfectly. He is an expert at playful lampooning (basically defining ‘limerick’).

I had to share it. If you “only understand poems that have the word ‘Nantucket’ in them,” then Ron’s got you.

Background: I texted him on Thursday last week to say that I wasn’t going to Body Pump because I was “indisposed” (e.g. tunnel-visioning my way through my final manuscript read-through). Here’s his text reply:

There once was a poet from Nantucket,

her talent was no drop in the bucket,

she’s indisposed but the shine on the rose,

“Though there is body pump today I’ll just duck it.”

Hahaha!! I love this. I should donate $5.00 to charity each time someone texts me an original limerick; that might get me a collection of guest poets (yes, Ron, you’re a poet now) to feature here. Limericks are cool. They’re underrated. They’re the class clowns of poetry, and we need them.

That’s all I’ve got for now… June Favorites coming your way next week Tuesday!

I finished “Make Me” by Lee Child. (This is not a review.)

Lee Child’s latest Reacher novel, Make Me, delivered. The story is tight and the tension is high, and Reacher is his usual, taciturn self. Reacher “said nothing” about 20 times. I kept track of all the “nothing” that he said. It was deafening.

If last year’s Reacher novel left me disappointed at all, Make Me more than made up for it. Reacher gets off a train and the story takes off, engaging instantly with intrigue (heightened by the knowledge that very little is extraneous – a perk of being a seasoned Reacher reader, though you absolutely don’t need to have read previous Reacher novels in order to enjoy this one), but I particularly loved this story with its details that correlate to details in my reality. It’s always fun when personally relatable aspects leap out at you from a novel.

There’s the female agent being Asian-American (which I am), and the tertiary character, a journalist, being a science editor with a background in molecular biology (I’d worked as a science editor in bioinformatics and molecular biology in the past), and the moniker ‘Callaghan’, “which at least was Irish.” (Hello, Callaghan! I’d written a blog post about how my French husband’s nickname is an Irish name.)

So here’s Reacher hanging out with this Asian-looking chick, and they find themselves, at one point, right here in Phoenix, where familiar places and things are mentioned. (Sky Harbor International Airport. Maricopa County sheriffs. Scottsdale. The “baking desert heat.”)

All of this coated the bad-assery with an icing of familiarity that added amusement to a reading experience that was already supremely enjoyable. But even without those details, there’s nothing like an excellent, well-developed, well-paced thriller/mystery to facilitate a much-needed escape.

If I ever find myself having coffee with Lee Child, I’m going to thank him for this one, especially.

 

Lee Child's 20th Reacher novel

Lee Child’s 20th Reacher novel

 

Make Me gives us classic Reacher, yet it deviates from the Reacher formula in a surprising way, at the very end. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

The problem with Reacher is a classic one, too… you can only hang out with him for the time it takes to finish the book. Then you have to wait a year for him to come back. I remind myself to be grateful that he comes back at all… surely Reacher will retire one day, and that will be the end. Meanwhile, the countdown is on for Reacher’s return.

The New Reacher is Nigh.

Today is September 4. This means that we’re T minus four days from the tentatively scheduled release of Lee Child’s new Jack Reacher novel, Make Me.

You regulars here know how I feel about Reacher.

Last summer, I so eagerly counted down the days until 2014’s new Reacher novel appeared in stores that its release seemed almost anti-climactic, though admittedly this may have been related to the fact that we were frantically preparing to move. We moved almost immediately after I picked up Personal. It was the end of August, and I had very little time for reading in the month of September, as unpacking consumed the entire month. (We’ve been in our house for a year now? What?!)

Non-stop domestic activity kept me from such tantalizing pursuits as pulpy reading, but even when I did find time to open the book, moving-fatigue dulled the experience. I remember reading two pages at a time before passing out late at night, and that was only once or twice a week, if that. I was tired, busy, distracted. I finished Personal with little enthusiasm, and I may have mentioned to Callaghan that the story seemed somewhat… reduced to its formula. I liked Personal, sure, but it just didn’t thrill me. Again, I’m not sure it wouldn’t have been different had life been routine and uneventful at the time.

This year, though? The cells in the part of my brain responsible for escapism have been salivating since I read the synopsis for the 20th Jack Reacher novel. Methinks that Make Me will be a super intense ride, and life circumstances right now are ripe for it!

 

thatasianlookingchick.com-LeeChildMakeMe

 

In honor of Reacher’s return, I present the reappearance of Callaghan’s drawing of Reacher (this is becoming an annual tradition):

 

Callaghan's drawing of Jack Reacher, as described in the novels.

Callaghan’s drawing of Jack Reacher, as described in the novels.

 

So let’s raise our glasses, fellow Reacher fans, because may we all remember that blond, blue-eyed, NOT-handsome, NOT-glib, super tough, tall and inhumanly strong BADASS Reacher would toast us with a whole pot of coffee. We’d say, Tchin! with respect to his French mother… but Reacher would say nothing.

What I’m Digging Right Now – September Favorites

It’s time to pay homage to the Little Things that made last month wonderful! The real magic of September, though, is that it brought us to October, my favorite month… so, in honor of fall and the splendor that comes with it, let’s start with home things…

1). Mainstay candle in Mulled Cider.

Mainstay Mulled Cider candle - autumn in a glass jar.

Mainstay Mulled Cider candle – autumn in a glass jar.

This candle turned out to be a big surprise. It’s basically a $5.00 candle with the quality and fragrance pay-off of a $20.00 candle, and it can be found at Walmart, where we go after the gym sometimes, since it’s next door. I was doubtful when I bought it… I’ve had such meh experiences with other cheap candles that I’d stopped trying with them. I’m so glad I decided to take a chance on this one! This candle’s lovely aroma fills the room just as well as a pricier one would. I’m just so impressed. With its intense yet rounded fragrance of spiced cider, the Mulled Cider candle is fall-scented perfection for a fraction of the cost of a Yankee candle, or one from Bath & Body Works, or one from Crabtree and Evelyn, or elsewhere.

2). Eiffel Tower backdrop.

Ronnie James gazing at the Eiffel Tower in our Paris-inspired guest bedroom... don't tell my parents he was on "their" bed, haha!

Ronnie James gazing at the Eiffel Tower in our Paris-inspired guest bedroom… don’t tell my parents he was on “their” bed, haha!

SURPRISE! It’s the Eiffel Tower in our guest bedroom, haha!

What can I say? I love the Eiffel Tower, and I thought it would be fun to do this room with our French houseguests in mind.

When I recently wrote about the abundance of Eiffel Tower-themed things all over the place here in the States and listed a few of the Eiffel Towers we have in our house, I didn’t mention this particular one that’s printed on a fabric panel and serving as a headboard behind the bed in our spare room. This “tapestry” comes from Urban Outfitters. We have three others from them throughout the house… one in our bedroom (forest theme), one in my office (mystical sunset theme), and another in the guest bathroom (wrought iron country gate theme).

Ronnie James knows he’s not allowed in the guest bedroom, so naturally, when we were distracted showing his Auntie Margaret around the other day, he seized the opportunity to dart in the second we opened the door. This photo busts Ronnie James in his big carpe diem moment of the month. He ran in, jumped on the bed and went straight to the Eiffel Tower. It’s not so strange, though… he is French, after all!

Moving along to entertainment…

3). Personal by Lee Child.

Reacher is back!

Reacher is back!

Because yes, Reacher is back, and this time, the shenanigans begin in Paris!

I loved it, and I had an intimately thrilling moment when Reacher took his CIA companion through the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris and mentioned Jim Morrison’s grave, the subject of my “greatest first-world problem” post! As the two are naming several famous people buried at Père Lachaise, Reacher pointedly adds, “…and Jim Morrison… from the Doors.” I couldn’t believe it… Reacher brought me to the place I regretted missing five times. This is escapism at its finest. Thank you, Lee Child!

4). Modern Family, season 6 (T.V. series)

thatasianlookingchick.com-modernfamilys6

The start of our beloved Modern Family’s sixth season launched our fall television agenda, and the premiere left us cracking up, as usual! The particular humor in this comedy just does it for us, and that makes it pure gold. Comedic timing is a tricky thing to learn… one has to have an innate sense of it. There’s just so much talent on this set, and we just think the show is excellent in all respects. We’re so glad these crazy guys are back.

Now for beauty products! I had a couple of cosmetic item favorites in September that I’m continuing to love…

5). L’Oréal True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup.

L’Oréal True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup (in N3)

L’Oréal True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup (in N3)

If you know me well, you know that I’m constantly on-and-off boycotting L’Oréal, and I don’t think I’ve ever used a foundation of theirs before… but it’s hard to find a foundation that I love (for a long time, I just used BB creams), so I decided to take a suggestion and try their True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous makeup. Frankly, in my opinion, it’s perfect. I love its lightweight feel and flawless finish, and its extensive range of shades makes it user-friendly for everyone. This medium-coverage makeup is a fabulous drugstore alternative to expensive department store brands. I once tried a sample of Chanel’s Vitalumiere Aqua foundation, and the L’Oréal True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup seems to be a good dupe for that lovely product. Win!

6). Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in Stockholm Chic (055).

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in Stockholm Chic (055)

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in Stockholm Chic (055)

This is simply the best lip stain I’ve ever tried, and I do mean ever. It’s light and long-wearing, and it feels like I’m wearing nothing while doing exactly what a good lip stain should do – it leaves color on the lips even after it’s worn off, and, being less drying than most, it doesn’t gunk up in a patchy way when you reapply it. Not only that, but it actually comes in the perfect “my lips but better” shade… Stockholm Chic is a darker neutral that strikes that elusive balance between rust and wine. Sometimes I just apply lip balm over the stain after it wears off, and then it looks like a well-pigmented gloss. This is good stuff.

7). Aussie Miracle Moist shampoo and 3-Minute Miracle Moist conditioner.

Aussie Moist shampoo and 3 Minute Miracle Moist conditioner

Aussie Moist shampoo and 3 Minute Miracle Moist conditioner

I’ve been using Aussie products here and there for years, including their 3-Minute Miracle conditioner that’s been around for a while, but their “Moist” line is newer, isn’t it? Or did they just re-name it? Whatever the case, I’m finding it to be quite wonderful these days. I have another brand of shampoo and conditioner in the shower that used to be my favorite, but I keep reaching for these Aussie products. I just re-purchased the conditioner. That’s saying a lot!

Now, because you know I’m all about carb and protein-packed treats…

8). Lenny & Larry’s The Complete Cookie.

Lenny and Larry's The Complete Cookie in All The Flavors.

Lenny and Larry’s The Complete Cookie in All The Flavors.

Can we just start with dessert? Our gym got us hooked on these cookies by displaying them boldly on their exit counter one week. Thanks, gym. We’ve tried the lemon poppy seed (which tastes like cake), chocolate chip (really good chocolate chip!), pumpkin spice (OMG amazing) and double chocolate, and Oh. My. Goodness. There are no words, my friends. No words. Our gym sells these vegan, organic, high protein and kosher cookies for a ridiculous price at $3.00 a pop, but we actually found them on sale at Whole Foods one day – three for $5.00! – so I couldn’t say I went to “Whole Paycheck” that day. I highly recommend these delicious cookies, but take caution… they’re huge, and the nutritional info label reveals that one cookie equals two servings. To save money and calories, I break them in half and store them in the freezer in individual ziplock bags.

9). Dave’s Killer Bread (Blues Bread).

Dave's Killer Bread Blues Bread... it's to die for!

Dave’s Killer Bread Blues Bread… it’s to die for!

About one-third of the employees at Dave’s Killer Bread are ex-cons. If that right there isn’t cool enough – who doesn’t love a company that gives second chances? – throw in the fact that the bread they make is completely out-of-this-world fantabulous. Our favorite is the Blues Bread. Inspired by Dave’s love of Blues music, Blues Bread® is rolled in organic blue cornmeal, giving it a crunchy crust and sweet flavor. It’s vegan and high in fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. All of DKB’s breads are organic.

10). Clif bar in Sierra Trail Mix.

Sierra Trail Mix Clif Bars.

Sierra Trail Mix Clif Bars.

The classic Clif bars are a bit more calorie-dense than bars I’d typically consume, but they’re designed to supply energy while hiking (I think that’s how they got started, anyway), and sustainable energy means calories. The reason this gives pause for thought is that the Sierra Trail Mix flavor is so good, I don’t want to stop after eating after half the bar… I want the whole thing! We’re hooked on these bars. Clif bar flavors are hit or miss with me, and this flavor is most definitely a hit. Well done, Clif bar people. Well done.

That wraps it up for September… now I can start keeping track of the awesome things October’s bound to bring! First of all, my parents arrive today for their weekend stay with us. They’ll be the first visitors to stay in the Eiffel Tower room. =)

Happy Friday, All!

The First-World Problems of an English Major.

A fact of life: One never knows how many Stephen King books one owns until one moves. And yes, “Stephen King” is an adjective.

Decent progress has been made in the unpacking arena. I’ve now arrived at the books part of it, and… and nothing. I’ve just arrived. And I’ve taken the books out of the boxes – go me! But that’s where my victory dance ends, because now I have to decide how to sort all the books, and for some reason, I’m overwhelmed.

Well, I know why. It’s because this move is the last move for the foreseeable future; as far as I’m concerned, this abode is the forever abode, so my OCD-tendency-leaning self won’t let me get away with shoving books on the shelves every which way “because we’re going to move one day anyway” anymore.

I’ve carried books around with me all of my life. Over the years, I’ve sold, traded, donated and given away hundreds of books. I’ve lost some; I’ve “lent” some. But somehow, I still always move with at least ten good-size boxes of books.  My current collection includes some that I’d left in France (a pile of Shakespeare and some Russian lit, some of them duplicates, mysteriously enough) in my attempt to bring down the weight of our overseas shipping, and I have a small stack set aside for a garage sale we’re planning in the upcoming weeks. Still, I’m now confronted by piles like this:

 

Book piles in the living room.

Book piles in the living room.

 

And this:

 

Piles of books on the desk in the guest bedroom.

Piles of books on the desk in the guest bedroom.

 

And that’s not all of it. I also have a pile of books about Buddhism/eastern philosophy beneath the Butsudan, a pile of cookbooks tucked away in the kitchen, a pile of random books on the big bookcase in the dining area and a smattering of books in my office. And these are all just my books we’re talking about… Callaghan, too, has lots of books in his office.

This is what the inside of my mind looks like when I’m standing before these books:

Should I group them by century? Should I separate the American lit from the British lit? Should I separate them by century and group the Americans and Brits within the centuries? Should I group all the anthologies together, or should I put the poetry anthologies in the poetry section? Should I mix the pocket-size books with the trade paper and hardcover books? If I lump all the pocketbooks together, should I organize them by genre, or alphabetically by author, or both? Should I categorize the books by genre, only? Should I nest genres within nationalities within centuries (i.e. 19th-century British Romantics)? Should I mesh poetry and prose within those groupings, or should I keep poetry and prose separate? And which groups should I position where in the bookcase? Should I group the Russian lit alongside the British lit alongside the American lit, or would the Russian lit make more sense neighboring the philosophy section? Should I line the entire top of the bookshelves with poetry volumes, using them to bridge the two? Should I shelve the poets in alphabetical order? How should I organize the poetry… by era, or by style? If the era and style are inseparable (as with the confessionalists, the post-modern poets, the New York School, the avant-garde imagists, the Black Mountain poets, etc.), should I attempt to merge all the books similarly? What about my textbooks and essays about poetry and prose… should I put them with their authors, or in a category of their own? Should I put the surrealism section next to the magical realism section, or should I put the surrealists next to the poets? Should I put the biographies and autobiographies of poets and authors with the books those poets and authors have authored, or should I make a separate category for biographies and autobiographies? What about the smaller sections like classical Greek lit, medieval lit and non-Shakespearean drama? Should I separate Shakespeare’s poetry from his dramas, or keep them all together in the Elizabethan section? (Would it be weirder to have a poetry section without Shakespeare’s poems, or to have a Shakespeare section without his poems?) What about the contemporary literature? The non-fiction? Should I separate the political non-fiction from the general non-fiction? What about creative non-fiction? What about my western religious texts? The feminist texts? Should I group my books in French together, separate from the books in English, or should I merge them?

Etc., etc., etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

I’ve been staring at these piles of books for a few days now.

I’ve already decided to put reference books and instructional books, including all of my French grammar books and dictionaries, in the big bookshelf in the dining area.

I’m hoping that somehow, my collections of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, Stephen King, Lee Child, J.K. Rowling, Anne Rice and the like, along with random other books, will all fit in the tall, narrow bookcase in the guest bedroom. I like the idea of stocking that room with brain candy for visitors who are on vacation (Callaghan’s going to add some books in French for our visitors from France).

None of these considerations came into play in the apartment we’d just vacated. I knew it was temporary, so I created double rows of books in some parts and didn’t care that the ones in the back rows weren’t visible. In this house, though, I want to be able to see every single book, and I want to be able to find books easily. In the past, I’d typically arranged books alphabetically, by author. I’m craving that level of organization in my life again because I’m craving rootedness. I feel like if my books are in order, then my life will be in order. When I was a kid in grade school, some of my friends used to tease me about my reading, saying, Kristi’s going to turn into a book! Maybe that’s finally happened.

On that note, I’m off to spend the day away from the office, going to appointments, seeing people, running errands, and so on. Happy Friday, All!