05.20.10 Personal

His Reaction to my Reading Aloud

J
D walked into our bedroom around 10pm on Saturday, returning from being away for four or five hours. I reached the last page of East of Eden and I still had no clue how John Steinbeck was going to end the book. JD plopped on the bed and Polo jumped up to join us--always remaining firmly tucked between us for fear of being left out--and within moments, I was crying. Hot, wet tears rolled down my face as I closed the book. I had been reading the book for a couple months now and it had become a part of my life. Yes, I know it sounds silly, but it's true. I finished the book and sobbed because my heart was so tangled in human emotion, tragedy, and hope. The book was THAT good. It's part fiction, part social commentary, part amazingness that is Steinbeck. I can't wait to read it again.

I finished The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls before delving into East of Eden, and it's truly remarkable. My good friends, Mella, Amy, and many blog readers recommended this book...and, really? They couldn't have been more spot on. I finished the book in a single day. I sat on my couch and couldn't put it down. I became a permanent fixture in my living room and JD even tried dusting and waxing me. It's a true life story of a woman who grew up with her homeless family and later learned to love them in deep and powerful ways. Such a fantastic read.

And you might be sitting there thinking, Could she be ANY MORE BORING?! And guess what? I'd likely ignore you because I'm used to it. The boys in my life think I'm quite boring and this is their usual reaction to my reading...


Happy Thursday!
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Christy Tyler - I recently discovered you when my friend posted a link to your blog on FB because you shot her friend's wedding and now I've become obsessed with your work & with catching up on your blog! :) Anyways - why I was originally posting - I also read and LOVED "The Glass Castle" and wanted to suggest her other book that came out in the last year or so... "Half Broke Horses." It's the story of Jeannette Wall's grandmother told in the 1st person. Amazing! I really loved it. You should check it out if you haven't already!   07.18.10 - 9:40am
Ashley Motes - I can't wait to read that book. I have a bucket list & I have a entry to read 50 of the best literary novels & that's one of them.   07.14.10 - 2:01pm
Joan~Five Grain Events - East of Eden is one of my all-time favorite books. Totally underrated if you ask me. Another book that left me feeling really sorry to leave the characters was The Help. If you haven't already gotten on that bandwagon definitely do!  06.10.10 - 7:00pm
Nicole - Awesome photo. Polo is too cute! You have inspired me to pick up East of Eden and finally read it. I was given Jeannette Walls' second book Half Broke Horses for my birthday. I just started reading it, and I love it! After I'm done with it, I plan on hunting down The Glass Castle. Books that make you cry and the best!   05.31.10 - 10:13pm
Jens - The picture is so cute. Amazing!!!  05.28.10 - 8:46am
jessica quadra - oh my goodness, jasmine! i had the same reaction after reading east of eden! and even hours later, just thinking about it brought me to tears. timshel. oh my.   05.27.10 - 4:26pm
Stephanie Stewart - Polo is adorable!!! And I'll have to add these books to my reading list! I know I recommended these before, but I've read most of Cecilia Ahern's books, and they are fantastic...I even found myself reading them with various accents to fit the story! I'm sure I would have driven my cat and my hubby crazy if I had read them aloud! :)  05.26.10 - 6:35am
cheryl - The Glass Castle is my favorite book of all time!! It renewed my love for reading ;) I also love your work.....I've been following for a while, but am just commenting now ;)  05.24.10 - 9:54pm
Melanie - East of Eden one of my all time favorites. I buy copies for gifts so others can have the wonderful pleasure of reading it. Of course I don't have the adorable puppy sitting on my copy....so it isn't quite as wonderful!  05.24.10 - 9:41pm
Kevin Byrne - This is not realy about your reading aloud. Its to say "welcome to the UK" - now that you have been published in professional photographer magazine - your just what we need to shake some of the stuffines out! Kevin  05.24.10 - 4:00am
Michelle Guzman - LOL. This is so cute!  05.23.10 - 9:04am
Dee - Ooh, more books to add to my reading list. Goodness. I love hearing your review about them. I will definitely have to check these out.  05.23.10 - 7:49am
briana moore - East of Eden is my favorite book of all time. I can't think of a better piece of literature.   05.22.10 - 6:48pm
Mel - Oh my goodness!!! This is SO CUTE!!!!! I love it!!!!  05.22.10 - 5:21am
Stephanie Rose - What a precious photo! Those books sound interesting. : )  05.21.10 - 9:05pm
tiffany rebecca - this blog post makes me want to order all the books on my amazon wish list AND read them. ha. love you  05.21.10 - 8:23pm
Linda Sherrill - Oooohhh...can't wait to read the Glass Castle...thanks for the recommendation! BTW, Polo is adorable, as always!  05.21.10 - 8:06pm
Katelyn James - Did he really fall asleep with those books sitting perfectly like that?! My dogs will NEVER be this photogenic, I'm convinced!  05.21.10 - 6:44pm
Cat Watson - Hands down East of Eden is my favorite book of all time. I need to read it again!  05.21.10 - 2:46pm
Stacey - I also get pulled into my books emotionally and feel this deep connection with the characters. It's almost like a dream, but a tiny bit more real. I might just have to check these out, since I'm looking for new reads. And boring? Yeah right - smart girls are hot! :)  05.21.10 - 1:31pm
Laurie Bracewell - Lately, my BFF has been loaning me books, and I've found myself not able to put them down. Just recently, when she offered more to replace the ones I was returning, I told her no, that I HAD to get some work done, and therefore could not have any more distractions staring at me from the table! :)  05.21.10 - 12:10pm
Fizzah - I loved Glass Castle...it was an easy and a difficult read all at once :) Read it with my now defunct book club :( We had a good run though...3 years I think. I love finding other bookworms. Guess I'll be checking out East of Eden!  05.21.10 - 11:07am
Mom - Can I borrow the book Jasmine? Mom  05.21.10 - 11:01am
Alison - Books and reading are never boring! Many days and nights I have sat glued to the couch reading, reading, reading, trying to finish a book, yet not truly want to get to the end because it's so good!   05.21.10 - 10:13am
Candace Prokopets - Oh, this picture is too cute! I've gotta convince Vitaliy to let me have a cute little doggie like Polo. I absolutely LOVED East of Eden. We are huge fans of Steinbeck and even went to his museum. I recently joined a book club and need to choose a book to present to the group to read. The Glass Castle looks like a great one. Thanks for the recommendation!   05.21.10 - 8:46am
Amanda - Polo is one of the cutest dogs I have EVER seen. Adorable!!  05.21.10 - 8:15am
Cathy - LOL! David is the opposite. Until he bought his own Kindle, we used to sit in bed at night and I would read aloud whatever book we were on (until Dave started snoring). Sounds cheesy, but it was a lot of fun. :)  05.21.10 - 8:00am
Tam Lontok - Hi Jasmine! East of Eden is one of my favorite books. Glad you enjoyed it as much as I did. It brought me to tears as well. Wonderfully written.  05.21.10 - 7:56am
Gail - Books are NEVER boring! East of Eden is Steinbeck at his best and Jeannette Walls is fantastic! She has a new book out about her grandmother if you're interested!   05.21.10 - 7:53am
jeannine McCloskey - May have to read the books, but absolutely love the pic of POLO. He is so cute, and I know exactly how you got him to lay there. LOL That shirt says it all.  05.21.10 - 6:45am
Paula Pastoriza - I know exactly how it feels to finish a book and cry your heart out. I remember when I finished reading "Paula" by Isabel Allende, I just got into my college's parking lot, and didn't want to go to class until finishing. It was so deliciously painful. I cried so hard and so loud that a girl came up to me to check if I was alright. :) Happy Friday to all....  05.21.10 - 6:08am
joan zeller - I am with you about a good read.. One of the biggest treats to do is listen to Gone with the Wind audio book.. I also just finished the book The Help.. wonderful Love love love books...  05.21.10 - 5:26am
Jenni in KS - Steinbeck is my favorite author, and East of Eden is my favorite book of all time. I had the same reaction when I was finished. My husband, who does not enjoy reading fiction, read East of Eden this year because it is such an important book to me. (I didn't even ask him to!) He says it was the first fiction he's *ever* read all the way through on his own. That's quite a book to tackle for your first. I think it's one of the best gifts he's ever given me. The Glass Castle is probably in my top 10. What an inspiring story! I love stories about real people who refuse to be victims of their circumstances or allow the people and things in their lives to embitter them. I loved I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings for the same reason. (Warning: Part of this book was much more difficult to read than anything in The Glass Castle.) Most of all I think the thing I love about all three of these books is the message of possibility within free will. We may not have power over everything in our lives, but we have the power to choose how things will affect us and over our own actions. Timshel, Jasmine!   05.21.10 - 4:51am
Brandy Frank - love LOVE LOVE to read. Right now I'm finally reading Gone With the Wind. I will have to check out The Glass Castle and East of Eden. The last book to make me cry crazy was If I Stay by Gayle Forman. Absolutely amazing. I second The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. O M G could not stop reading those two!  05.20.10 - 11:34pm
Vania - SimplyBloom Photography, LLC - WHAT A FLUFFY NOODLE!!   05.20.10 - 11:03pm
sarah k chen - you should read The Kite Runner by Rohinton Mistry next. it's one of my all time favorites. get your tissues ready. i also really love The Poisonwood Bible, Pillars of the Earth, and The Help. happy reading!   05.20.10 - 10:48pm
GrantDeb Wedding Photographers - That's no dog... that's a people.   05.20.10 - 9:22pm
Janet - Hi Jasmine, this is my first comment to your blog. I really enjoy reading your blogs and found out about your website from another photographer's blog that I also read. I stayed up one night just reading your old blog posts because your writing is so amazing! Thank you for sharing your wisdom, thoughts, photos, and stories! Anyways, I just wanted to say, thank you for sharing good books too! I just ran out of suggestions of books to read. It's not a boring thing to read, I think it's a great hobby! Your photo of Polo is really really cute! :) Have a good weekend!   05.20.10 - 8:51pm
Lydia - I'm a total bibliophile. Give me a good book, and I'll be occupied for hours! I'll have to take your word for it that you're boring because the way you describe life is anything but!  05.20.10 - 8:36pm
risa west - east of eden has to be my favorite book. i re-read it this year. i've read a few books since and they pale in comparison. i can't wait to read it again. i just wish i could read it along with someone because some things in that book could be discussed for hours. but i'm always reading it alone. sounds sad, but the book makes me feel alive and happy. glad that you found it and enjoyed it.  05.20.10 - 8:16pm
Ginger - Two words: Sugar. Sandwiches.   05.20.10 - 7:08pm
Meg - Try A Reliable Wife and Little Bee. ... just finished them both and they are truly remarkable can't put you down books. :) Happy reading!  05.20.10 - 6:19pm
Karen - I was required to read East of Eden in high school. I honestly don't remember the story at all...but I do remember hating how long it was. =[ I'm not too crazy about reading...though I wish I were. =/  05.20.10 - 5:28pm
Marissa Rodriguez - If you ever need someone to dog sit Polo in SD, we are open! He is nothing but adorable! By the way, thank you for sharing about what you've read, it reminds me that I really need to make time to get back into reading!  05.20.10 - 5:17pm
teri - thanks for posting this - there is nothing better than when a novel's story is so good it becomes entangled into your own for some time. i love that and will purposely read super slow to keep it going. i am now thinking east of eden might need to be my next choice!  05.20.10 - 5:14pm
Lauren Elise - I love how you just finished the book and yet you can't wait to read it again! That's just like me when I finish a great book...always thinking ahead. And East of Eden, definitely a favorite of mine.  05.20.10 - 4:35pm
Juli L. - Love the book...The Glass Castle, but haven't read East of Eden. I've seen the movie several times, because I use to be a big James Dean fan, but I should read it...especially if it's that good! :)  05.20.10 - 4:32pm
cassandra-m - aaaaaaaah Polo. You look so sweet like my baby Mocha when you sleep. kisssssssessssss!  05.20.10 - 4:10pm
Damaris Mia - people who read are far from boring! I am a reader and I am, err, sometimes boring hahaha! That so did not help! Next time I'm at the bookstore, I will definitely pick these two bad boys up. Not your boys, err.. you know what I mean. ;)  05.20.10 - 4:07pm
Christa - I need to add these to my "to read" list...I'm currently reading "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" that you mentioned a while back...so far I love it!  05.20.10 - 2:23pm
megan plenge - LOVED the Glass Castle! And Polo is just the cutest thing ever. :)  05.20.10 - 2:18pm
Melissa Papaj Photography - I haven't read it, but it sounds interesting. hmmm...if only I could find the time to read...  05.20.10 - 2:04pm
Christina - East of Eden changed the way I viewed high school English class and is part the reason that I chose English as my major in college :)  05.20.10 - 1:50pm
amanda thiessen - quite possibly the cutest photo ever.  05.20.10 - 1:42pm
MelissaFoscardo - As a previous English major, I'm embarrassed to admit that I've never read "East of Eden". My education was severely lacking...I'm finding out! I'll have to check it out, though. And the picture of Polo...cuteness overload :-)  05.20.10 - 1:10pm
Kat - East of Eden was my summer last year. I lived in a house with 10 people and we all were reading it simultaneously. I believe that some of the most vivd life truths are portrayed in fiction books. I mourned with each page I turned that led me closer to the end of the book.  05.20.10 - 12:53pm
Ariel Renae - Those 2 books are both AMAZING! AND i LOOOVE this photo of polo. It is a perfect fit for this post :) Thank you for this post! :)  05.20.10 - 12:45pm
Breanna - Those books are two of my favorites. Steinbeck is amazing, and I just love good, well written stories!  05.20.10 - 12:44pm
Julie - I have been a Steinbeck fan since my Junior year of High School. His writing provokes such emotion. I keep all of them on my bookshelf at home so I can just pick them up and read little bits and piece of them. This book changes you!   05.20.10 - 12:21pm
Emily - Sounds like a good book! Thanks for the rec! I've been looking for some summer reading books.  05.20.10 - 12:18pm
Elizabeth - SUPER cute pic! :)  05.20.10 - 12:13pm
Shana - I really liked Water For Elephants too. Now they are making it into a movie.   05.20.10 - 12:08pm
JenP - A good book is a time-traveling experience.  05.20.10 - 12:06pm
Katie Lewis - The Glass Castle is easily one of my favorite books. I love memoirs so much and this one definitely stayed with me. Such an interesting life!  05.20.10 - 12:04pm
Katie - Loved loved loved The Glass Castle!! Haven't read East of Eden but it's definitely on my list to read now!!  05.20.10 - 11:58am
amanda thiessen - quite possibly the cutest photo ever ;)  05.20.10 - 11:56am
Morgan Trinker - Oh my goodness. East of Eden. It was most definitely a huge part of my life when I was reading it... and the last page? Bawled. For about 2 hours after finishing. So amazing. You HAVE to watch the movie too. It's definitely dated and too short to do the book justice, but James Dean... oh man. That is all.   05.20.10 - 11:28am
Jessica Willis - welcome to my life. my boyfriend endures so many days and nights of visiting me as i'm reading a new book, unable to put it down. if you want some good, quick reads, visit my blog! there are also stories about how *my* 1st-graders are cuter than everyone else's on the planet. so sorry for that! :)   05.20.10 - 11:28am
gina k - I love when you post what you are reading! I have East of Eden waiting for me after I finish my guilty pleasure "the carrie diaries" :)  05.20.10 - 11:25am
Danielle Fletcher - East of Eden is SO on my list! If you want to be rocked, have you read White Oleander from several years ago? They turned it into a movie which had maybe a half of a drop of the power the book had. Mine is underlined, starred, etc. with all these amazingly powerful words.  05.20.10 - 11:16am
Stacy Cross - I'm going to dog-nap Polo. Seriously. Watch out.   05.20.10 - 11:03am
Amanda Nagy - Don't feel bad, it exactly the same at my house! What's worse is when your actually talking to your husband and he falls asleep! (happened just last night :) The Glass Castle was an amazing book. I live in WV and it is completely spot on. I read it in one day.....it's one of those books that stay with you always.   05.20.10 - 10:59am
Cherisse - Can't wait to read these books! What a cute picture!  05.20.10 - 10:56am
Susan Keller - awww, EofE = one of my favorite classics, and Glass Castles = one of my favorite recent reads. you have excellent taste in books, methinks! ;-) Timshel!!!  05.20.10 - 10:49am
Sasha - Nothing compared to Steinbeck, but another recommendation is Love Walked in- the sequel is Belong to Me. I loved Glass Castle!  05.20.10 - 10:45am
Holly - East of Eden is *HANDS DOWN* my all time favorite book. I have a quote book where keep quotes, verses, or excerpts from books... and I copied PAGES and PAGES on his book into my collection. That is awesome that you read it... it's an incredible book. Steinbeck has an awesome way with words!   05.20.10 - 10:37am
Pootpoot - CASTLE...The Glass CASTLE!  05.20.10 - 10:36am
Leslie - Is Polo wearing a scarf?! Whatever it is he is too cute! :)  05.20.10 - 10:36am
Nicole Chubb - I second Julie! My favorite book ever :D I hated Steinbeck in jr high, but when I read East of Eden, I reread all this books and was so happy I did :) I'm so happy to find other people who actually read it!  05.20.10 - 10:34am
Anda - East of Eden is the best book I have ever ever read. At least I think so.  05.20.10 - 10:26am
laura im - I wish I could get into reading as you do...I feel it's a way to smooth one's soul. adorable pic of polo!  05.20.10 - 10:18am
LEOLAK - You are not BORING at all!!! I LOVE The Glass House - that book ROCKS! I have wanted to read East of Eden for quite a while...I'll have to do it for sure now. Love Polo pictures and this one is no exception! Thanks for sharing.  05.20.10 - 10:17am
Tamara - Awwww...that is some adorable. Maybe next time pick a book like... "Do your ears hang low?"..I am sure Polo would enjoy that story :)   05.20.10 - 10:13am
Julie Velez - East of Eden is probably my all time favorite book! I read it in my sophomore English class in high school and have been passing it around ever since. I'm so glad you loved it! I'll have to look up the other one you suggested. Sounds like an awesome read!  05.20.10 - 10:13am
Emilie - Cute photo!!! :)  05.20.10 - 10:11am