Virginia Woolf Inspired Music Playlist

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For a while now, some people have asked me to share playlists of what I listen to and though I always say, “Yes!’ with so much enthusiasm (because I love music as much as I do books), I end up not sharing any playlists.
Why? Well, because my musical tastes are all over the place and every time I set out to make a playlist to share, I end up unable to decide what to add. So, instead, I’ll make a playlist that reflects what I listen to when I am obsessed with a book or writer…and lately, it has been Virginia Woolf.

Here are a few songs that put me in that Virginia Woolf mood…

1. Lighthouse by Patrick Watson
“Dreaming of a lighthouse in the woods
Shining a little light to bring us back home”

2. Smoke Signals by Phoebe Bridgers
“You, you must have been looking for me
Sending smoke signals
Pelicans circling
Burning trash out on the beach”

3. Televangelist by Julien Baker
“My heart is gonna eat itself”

4. Small Things by Ben Howard
I can’t control
The words kaleidoscope inside my head

5. Here with Me by Susie Suh
“Calling your name in the midnight hour
Reaching for you from the endless dream
So many miles between us now
But you are always here with me”

6. Winter by Daughter
“With cabin fever, shut in confined spaces
Lost in the dark, my heart taken and resting on your heart”

7. I Exist I Exist I Exist by Flatsound
“It’s standing on the edge of a mountain top
‘Screaming anything he wants like
‘look at me, look at me, look at me, look at me
Look at me, look at me, look at me, look at me
Because I exist, I exist, I exist, I exist, I exist, I exist”

8. Garden by Wilsen
“After hours, and alone, you count the inches between us
Envelop the space we need to keep us sound
We’ll make the paths to get to the garden
Watching the weight of the world pass in bounds”

9. Dark by Siv Jakobsen
“And at times I pray for the darkest days
Oh to swallow me so that I can’t pray
For the better days oh to come my way
Cause I don’t believe in them”

10. Quiet by Rachael Yamagata
“All the waves of blame arrange as broken scenery”

These songs all have beautiful lyrics and melody. They definitely are melancholy tunes but they are full of emotion, which is what I love about them. #sadsongsmakemehappy

Hopefully, you’ll like some of these, as well.

Thank you

Yadi

ps. I chose not to add a playlist through a specific streaming service because I know not everyone has the same streaming service but I did include Youtube links.

Boxwalla’s October Literature Box Review

[#partner this box was gifted to me by boxwalla]

“Because when I read, I don’t really read; I pop a beautiful sentence into my mouth and suck it like a fruit drop, or I sip it like a liqueur until the thought dissolves in me like alcohol, infusing brain and heart and coursing on through the veins to the root of each blood vessel.”

― Bohumil Hrabal, Too Loud a Solitude

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“Life was neither something you defended by hiding nor surrendered calmly on other people’s terms, but something you lived bravely, out in the open, and that if you had to lose it, you should lose it on your own terms.”

― Edwidge Danticat, The Dew Breaker

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I was recently gifted Boxwalla’s October Literature Box but I knew I didn’t want to post about it until I had read the books in the box first because I am more interested in giving genuine feedback on gifts of this kind than simply just posting a photo.

I’ll start by saying that I have tried two other book box subscriptions before and was very underwhelmed by their monthly selections that it had made me reluctant to try another box subscription. However, I had been intrigued by Boxwalla for a while after a few friends recommended it to me. Therefore, when Lavanya from Boxwalla approached me to try a box, I said yes.

With this box I got to read a Czech classic, Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal, a story about a trash ‘compactor’, whose job is to destroy waste paper and books, however, his love of art and literature makes him secretly save and hide rare and banned books. This book spoke to me on so many levels. I underlined a lot. For the protagonist, Hant’a, books provide an escape from his gloomy and isolated reality but more than that books give him an education and spiritualism. As a person who values books, as most of you guys must, I fell in love with this story that still feels very relevant today.

The next book I read from the box was The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat, a collection of linked stories that center around a Haitian immigrant to the U.S. with a dark past. In these stories we see the roles he plays for many different people. Each story could stand alone, since each has so much to give and teach about redemption, oppression, love and family. I felt it was a good choice to tell the story of this man through the eyes and lives of other people. Edwidge Danticat has a gift for writing with much humanity.

Lastly, I read a tiny book of T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Pulfrock, reprinted and illustrated beautifully by Obvious State. This pocket size book makes a for a good source of inspiration when in a funk.

The most important thing I gathered from Boxwalla’s Literature Box is that they care about literature and it’s power to enlighten. This is a box that is true to literature. I had never heard of any of these books before this box so I am grateful to Lavanya from Boxwalla to have brought them into my life.

Boxwalla was kind enough to send me another box and I will tell you guys about it when I read the books.

#boxwallabook

BOXWALLA also does beauty and film subscription boxes… check them out at here!

Not One Day by Anne Garréta

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I’ve been meaning to write some book thoughts on Anne Garretta’s amazing book Not One Day since I finished it, last month. However, I had been finding it quite difficult to find the right words to express the many thoughts that came through my head as I read it. What I can say with most certainty is that through out the whole book I found myself stopping and rereading parts out loud because they were just too delicious not to hear. The way Garreta writes amazes me. Now, I know this is a translation but I am comforted to know that Garreta worked with Emma Ramadan to translate it from the French to English. I find comfort in this because the way Garreta’s sentences are constructed and the way she elaborates on her desire are as close to what Garreta intended in its original French. In all, I was very seduced by the words.

But let me tell you what this short book is about…

A non-fiction confessional exploration on desire as Garreta thinks back on past lovers and flings. An exploration, where she contraints herself to write for five hours everyday for a month about a woman from her past, then setting them in alphabetical order. Written in second-person, my personal favorite perspective when done right, and with such breath taking sentences where you find yourself being seduced by them. This book was an experience for me, and since I’ve finished it, I have been coming back to it for inspiration.

Reading this book made me think a lot about the lost art of seduction and the patience it takes to fully enrapture oneself with the thrill of desire. Now we have dating apps that do all the work for us. The rules of seduction have been cut down to whether or not one swipes left or right, without ever even speaking to the person whose photo you are looking at. Most of the time, this book made me feel nostalgia for a more romantic time, not romantic in the sense of “finding the ONE” but romantic in terms of finding a connection with someone through glances and conversation. Garreta even touches on the attraction of conversation in this book as well, being attracted to one’s personality and/or intellectual. That stuff may sound cliche but I have experienced it as well, many times, so I know it to be true. How someone moves or speak and what is said can most definitely fuel the desire.

This tiny book isn’t a novel or whatnot but a writing exercise the writer has chosen to share with us. One where we can learn a lot from. I am a huge fan of unconventional and experimental and this tiny book made me an avid fan of Anne Garreta. Yep, I’ll be reading Sphinx, next.

Thanks all!

Let me know if you’ve read this and what you’re thoughts are, I’d love to converse about it. 🙂

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

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When I first initially told people I had started reading A Little Life, I received so many comments and direct messages telling me this book either broke them or they had thrown it across the room once they finished it. Such strong opinions only intensified my curiosity for this book, by the time I finished Part One, I was hooked.

This book starts off fun and sweet, then sharply takes a turn, and you beginning to question what went wrong and what’s going on. Then, you’re trapped in misery as you follow along the suffering of one man. Sounds terrible, I know. Why would you wanna read something miserable. Well, because as much misery as there is, there is also much hope in this book. After I finished reading this, I reflected back on how I reacted to characters and events. Somehow this book was powerful enough to change me, gave me the desire to change the bad qualities in me that out-weight the good ones.

This book will remain with me for a long time, and I do see myself rereading it, again.

Now, as much as I did love this book, I acknowledge that there were things about it I simply didn’t. However, I will first list and explain those I did like:

The Writing


Hanya Yanagihara’s writing was so smooth that I would get so sucked into the book’s world and forget myself. I normally read in coffee shops now, and I would start crying while reading this, forgetting I was in public. Yanagihara’s writing would get so sentimental without it ever being mushy or dramatic, though some events in the book may get well melodramatic. Also, just the way Yanagihara sets up the book is perfect, the going back to the past and forward again, planting scenes and giving enough information to keep you intrigued without fully giving you everything, for the big reveal toward the middle, even then leaving things out. So well planned. Wow.

Friendship and Love


The strength in the love that the main characters all have for each other. This is one of the things that I reflected a lot on, especially within my own character. I am not the most affectionate nor the most patient. Therefore, in the beginning of this book I was easily irritated with Jude’s stubbornness to accept the unfailing love and kindness he is given and often times even found myself calling him selfish. Once I got deeper in the book, I began to feel guilty, for judging Jude so harshly, so quickly. This I knew was a character flaw of mine, one I often yield to in my personal life. I knew I needed to be more understanding, patient, and forgiving in order to truly give love or kindness to someone for I may not know what hardships and suffering they may have gone through. I know theres a quote out there that signifies this but not until now do I truly understand what that means. Anyway, many people try and never give up trying to help and support Jude out of love for him, and even though he rejects their help most of the time, they persist. That’s the power of love, I realized. Also, only those that reciprote that love are the ones who deserve it from you.

Now, the things I didn’t like…

Lack of Women


Now, I suspect this was Yanagihara’s intention, so there could be a focus on the many relationships between men, but it felt strange and unrealistic that not many women were present in a significant way, even Julia’s presence, which is significant in Jude’s life, wasn’t written as if she was.

The Fantasy-like World


Sometimes I found it hard to believe some of the stuff that was happening. For instance the success of all the four friends or how Jude happens to be a prodigny in everything. It sometimes felt too far-fetched. The reason this didn’t sway me too far from liking this book was that I understand this is a work of fiction. It doesn’t have to play into reality, per se. This book had a purpose and it needed things to happen a certain way to get that purpose out.

So, there overall I liked this book. The main reason I do is because it taught me more about being compassionate and empathic.

If anyone wants to discuss more about this, feel free to comment. I would be happy to.

Thanks All.

Yadi