I have decided that 2014 is not going to be the year that I try to get twenty books off my "to-read" list. It's going to be the year that I read long books. We, the Drowned is the first of my epics, and it is a dandy.
About a year ago I was sequestered in a hotel somewhere in LA waiting for Brian to audition for The Voice. There was a lot of down time and a lot of together time with Brian and at one point he said that he was ready to read an epic. Coincidentally, We, the Drowned was the next day's Kindle Daily Deal and it was described as a story "spanning over a hundred years," so I bought it for both of us on just that recommendation alone. It took me 10 months to start it; I shouldn't have waited so long.
The book is the story of the Danish town of Marstal and its people, many of them sailors whose livelihood depends on the sea. But the sea is fickle and many never return. The story begins in 1848 as Denmark and Germany go to war and for the next century follows the fortunes of men who board the large ships that leave Marstal and the women left behind.
The narrator of the book uses the pronoun we to tell the story of these men. At first I found that distracting but as the stories rolled on I began to see the point and by the end of the book I loved that Jensen used that technique. How else does a town refer to itself?
This book really grew on me. I had trouble finding the rhythm of the book at the beginning and then about a third of the way through I found myself wishing for free time with my Kindle so I could read some more. When I finished I went back and reread the beginning (that never happens) and I appreciated it so much more than on my initial reading.
I noticed this weekend that the stores have all their back to school paraphernalia out in the aisles. August and school time are just around the corner, and it seems like only yesterday that school was out--and I mean when I was going to school.
For four years of my school career August meant rush at the sorority house. There was always a lot of singing, silly skits, and smiles and in the end the nerve-wracking wait to see where everyone would end up.
Here I am on bid day way back in the old days. Look how happy and relieved I looked! Look at how I had no wrinkles on my forehead back then! (Don't look at my silly hairdo. I was trying to grow it out.)
Anyway, that day was the beginning of many lifelong friendships and a lot of fun. Part of the fun that my pledge sisters and I had was covering everything we owned with our new Greek letters. We covered paddles and frames and t-shirts and hair ribbons. You name it. We Greek'd it.
Now that I am an old lady, why should it be any different? So here are a few of my Greek letter books I've made recently.
I've had a rush of wedding orders recently. One was for a couple getting married on the beach in Florida. They had sand castles as part of their theme and the groom's mom commissioned this book for the head table.
We used a sea foam blue book and I added dates and names to the corners after I took this picture. I think the whole table looked spectacular! Don't you?
This nifty couple is headed across the ocean for a very special wedding.
The bride tells me that her colors are gray and kelly green and she chose this classic background for the endpapers.
I made this same duo when my baby got married, but I updated the font on the groom's book and I think it turned out beautifully.
I've said it before, but it's not easy photographing folded books. Half of the fun of seeing one is watching has the light changes as you walk around it. Sometimes a video does it better justice. See what I mean...