My number 11 is Mill on the Floss. I’ve borrowed it multiple times and started to read it one of those times. I’ll have to see if I can get in on Kindle and start sooner than I did for all my other spins.
I’m joining in the Classics Club spin #26, I put The Idiot on again, maybe if it gets picked this time I will finish since I’m at least 1/3 through.
- A Thomas Hardy novel
- Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
- Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
- Henry VI, Part 1
- Henry VI, Part 2
- Henry VI, Part 3
- House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
- Mill on the Floss by George Elliot
- O’ Pioneers and/or Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather
- 20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea or another novel by Jules Verne
- Richard III
- The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
- The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens
- The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
- The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens
- The Three Musketeers Alexander Dumas
- Walden by Henry Thoreau
So, I moved last Friday, and I just got internet today.
This past week has been my last full week at my job, I got a full-time long-term temp position that pays about 30% more (!) and after two weeks of training will be from home (!). The training starts next week.
All of this happened very quickly, and I’m still in a whirlwind. I didn’t finish all my March wrap up and April planning posts yet.
I think my family has hoarding tendencies, actually I think an extended family member or two are legitimate hoarders, I have shopaholic and hoarding tendencies, which I’m working on. I thought I was working on it better, but I think I counted oh, around 8 car/truck/suv loads of stuff plus I still have a couch coming from my brother.
Today I joined in a yard sale. I made some money, but I also took enough stuff to Goodwill to fill about 2 of their bins plus there is stuff I decided I’d keep and stuff I’d like to sell on Facebook marketplace. And of course the best way is what I’m going to try to do here on out: avoid spending money on too much stuff and avoid accepting gifts and given away items, that saves more money and waste anyway. Stuff, stuff, stuff.
And I still think I kept too much. Anyway, I’ve got some more things like trash bins and an iron and such to buy and then I think I might institute a more strict one in, one out rule and maybe some requirements of using yarn and craft items and skincare up before I move out of this place.
Try to keep my books borrowed from the library to 12. Try to keep any other borrowed books to far fewer. I’d say I succeeded, I got a Kindle and the limit on that is 5. Join an online book group, I’d like to join The Enchanted Book Club deluxe, maybe in March, depends on what they are reading. I didn’t join this one yet but I joined two read alongs.
- Work through important to reads and long held borrowed books:
- The Idiot
- War and Peace
- Dune? Maybe, if the movie is coming out in September, perhaps I could wait to start until Spring, but knowing me, I might not finish it time, and who knows, they could bump up the movie, since clearly its done if it was supposed to be out LAST September.
- House of Mirth
Looking for Transwonderland.Very good. The Shadow of the Wind. Good in literary merit, morally not so much, decadent. Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts. Hmm.
Hemingway Didn’t Say That.
- Wheel of Time
- I’d like to read one or two more classics besides those listed above from my Classics club list
- I’d also like to read one or two more books besides those listed above from another country, perhaps another mentioned on A Strong Sense of Place
- Fun potentials
- Ethel Lina White mysteries
- Mercedes Lackey fairytale retellings and fantasy
- Circe by Madeleine Miller
- Books to match my current study schedule (History, Logic, Geography, Civics, Christian Apologetics, World Religions). Genealogical reading should be on Ancestry.com, I don’t really need books for that subjects, its mainly to be building my tree.
I read 20 books this season and bought a Kindle.
I reread 7 novels
Read 4 nonfiction books (one about another country) and 1 nonfiction booklet
I read 1 graphic novel
I read 7 other new to me fiction books (one set in another country)
Start to transition to reading primarily on Kindle and return back all my library book.Yes, I’m enjoying it! I do love pretty book covers, I’m not sure I’m going to give all mine up or even stop buying them, although for the present I am. But this is SO convenient.
- Update my reading Excel list. I’ve not kept up on this very well. Too much work, I’m not sure I will.
- Reevaluate Storygraph. I’ve not used either of these things. I need to look at Story Graph closer to see what stats it provides, I want something quick like Goodreads, but I want more reliable stats.
- March TBR
- Read The Pomeranian Handbook
- Finish Factfulness. This is a book borrowed from my Dad, probably should finish before I move out.
- Finish How to Raise a Perfect Puppy. No, and I’m not 100% sure I will, too much information I feel.
- Finish The Girl with the Louding Voice: A Novel
Continue to participate in the Sense and Sensibility Read Along, which is so much fun, and I need to participate in more read-alongs, I should seek out ones for books I have on my TBR.I love this, I’ve missed more structured book discussions. Once we are done I’m going to rewatch the movies and Elinor and Marianne Take Barton. Continue to participate in the Villette Read Along. I’m really enjoying this, definitely prefer the lesser known Brontë works. Definitely enjoying it, I’m getting to all of the M. Paul Emmanuel scenes that are gems of wit.
- Get caught up on The Silent Bells serial
Thanks to my kindle I read 8 Georgette Heyer novels. 5 stars doesn’t give enough nuance. I have a lot of 3’s of these on Goodreads, but I think that they rank more like 4 to 6 or 4.5 to 7 which is quite a difference. I’ve put them here in order of liking as best I can remember or judge.
- Sylvester, Devil’s Cub
- The Reluctant Widow, Regency Buck
- The Foundling
- The Masqueraders
- Powder and Patch
- Cousin Kate
I finished the pomeranian book (different than above) that I’d started. And I also read Greensleeves by Eloise Jarvis McGraw which I greatly enjoyed until it (and the heroine) took a nosedive at the end attempting to be all deep, realistic, psychological or whatever and being instead completely flakey and fickle. Ugh. Ugh. UGH.
- Start to transition to reading primarily on Kindle and return back all my library book
- Update my reading Excel list
- Reevaluate Storygraph
- March TBR
- Read The Pomeranian Handbook
- Finish Factfulness. This is a book borrowed from my Dad, probably should finish before I move out.
- Finish How to Raise a Perfect Puppy
- Finish The Girl with the Louding Voice: A Novel
- Continue to participate in the Villette Read Along. I’m really enjoying this, definitely prefer the lesser known Brontë works.
- Get caught up on The Silent Bells serial
I discovered that you can scan words via your phone camera, so I can save quotes from physical books easily, of course, with my kindle I’ll be able to save even easier.
This Psmith is set in America, and so, I set forth for you these hilarious bits:
“There are several million inhabitants of New York. Not all of them eke out a precarious livelihood by murdering one another, but there is a definite section of the population which murders – not casually, on the spur of the moment, but on definitely commercial lines at so many dollars per murder.” Preface
” ‘It would ill beseem me, . . .’to run down the metropolis of a great and friendly nation, but candour compels me to state that New York is in some respects a singularly blighted town.’ . . . ‘I have been here a week, and I have not seen a single citizen clubbed by a policeman.’ “ Chapter 3, p. 17
“he had gone to a local paper of the type whose Society column consists of such items as ‘Pawnee Jim Williams was to town yesterday with a bunch of other cheap skates. We take this opportunity of once more informing Jim that he is a liar and a skunk,’ and whose editor works with a revolver on his desk and another in his hip-pocket. Graduating from this, he had proceeded to a reporter’s post on a daily paper in a Kentucky town, where there were blood feuds and other Southern devices for preventing life from becoming dull.” Chapter 2, p. 13
” ‘Secondly, as there appears to be no law of libel whatsoever in this great and free country, we shall be enabled to haul up our slacks with a considerable absence of restraint.’ “ Chapter 9, p. 50
“There was once an editor of a paper in the Far West who was sitting at his desk, musing pleasantly of life, when a bullet crashed through the window and embedded itself in the wall at the back of his head. A happy smile lit up the editor’s face. ‘Ah,’ he said complacently, ‘I knew that Personal column of ours was going to be a success!’ “ Chapter 10, p. 51
“Billy Windsor suddenly became militant. There was a feline smoothness about the visitor which had been jarring upon him ever since he first spoke. Billy was of the plains, the home of blunt speech, where you looked your man in the eye and said it quick. Mr. Parker was too bland for human consumption. He offended Billy’s honest soul.” Chapter 10, p. 55
We are 1/4 to 1/3 into March and February feels SO far away. I read 13 books, yay me! (And if you didn’t read that in London Tipton’s voice, I don’t know what your problem is).
I finished my HP rereading with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
5 Nonfiction (!)
Hemingway Didn’t Say That: The Truth Behind Familiar Quotations by Garson O’Toole. Very interesting to see different quotations and the various ways they got to be misattributed, however, I thought it was too long.
Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria by Noo Saro-Wiwa. Absolutely fascinating. I love when nonfiction is so evocative and descriptive. However, sensitive people skip page 290 and all of 291.
Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts: A CBT-Based Guide to Getting Over Frightening, Obsessive, or Disturbing Thoughts by Sally M. Winston. Not as helpful as I was hoping, I think I’d arrived at some of the realizations already, and just the framing did not work for me, it wouldn’t have helped if I hadn’t found my own way, its just wasn’t in my “language.” I disagreed with parts, and so I felt like, ironically, a lot of it felt like false comfort. The tone felt like an adult talking to a young child, which maybe as a teen I’d find that comforting, maybe, but it felt not condescending, but I don’t know, made me feel childish?
OCD: Freedom for the Obsessive-Compulsive by Michael R. Emlet. I read phamplet to counter-act the parts of the above book I disagreed with. I think Overcoming was too amoral (not the word I want) and pseudo-psych-y while this book was too traditionally, not anti-medical just perhaps downplaying it too much. Anyway, each kind of balanced each other out, kind of both missed the mark.
Pomeranians by Joe Stahlkuppe.
5 New to Me Fiction Novels
Psmith, Journalist by PG Wodehouse. I feel like the first Psmith I read, I didn’t find super funny, but this one was loaded with hilarious bits, I’m devoting a post to some of the gems. It wasn’t the plot (the Jeeves and Woosters have hilarious plots, comments, etc.) just some of the asides and such and then Psmith is such a chatterbox.
Questless: In Which Molly Embarks on a Quest by Amanda Kastner. Whimsy and graphic novel, and oh, I can’t WAIT for the next installment. This reminded me of Howl’s Moving Castle a bit, just the art and the world. Which is funny because I first learned about Howl’s moving castle from posts with fanart and/or movies stills from the author’s sister’s blog years ago.
The Moorchild Eloise Jarvis McGraw. Whimsical, fey (literally) middle grade. I learned of more McGraw books (if you read any read Mara, Daughter of the Nile, that is an overlooked GEM) from this blog, and I’m determined to find them.
Airs Above the Ground by Mary Stewart. My last Stewart novel left I think. Not a tip top favorite, but middling top. It started out a bit ho, hum (because I’m easily fooled) and then came the, ah, yes, and here’s the fun.
Torch by R. J. Anderson. Waited 7 years, and I definitely should have reread at least Nomad. I think I’d read the first 4 three times maybe, I just think I forgot portions of Nomad, so I was disoriented. And well, I was disappointed (oh, no, nothing of the sacrilegious Penderwick sage variety). I think I’d conveniently or simply forgotten parts of Nomad that didn’t make sense, and I didn’t love as well. And Martin, well, he wasn’t quite the same, and there wasn’t enough of him. Nevertheless, I did manage to find some old style Martin-esque quotations to savor. My sisters and sister-in-law all queued up as soon as I told them I’d pre-ordered it, so once they’ve all read it, then I’m free to discuss it (I want their opinion, I tend to fly high on expectations and crash hard with reality, hence how it’s better for me to go into things blind).
I leave you with the Martin-isms to tantalize you.
” ‘All I know is that Broch showed up at the door tonight with your half-dead fiancé and begged me to let him in.’ ‘So you know about the-‘ She couldn’t even bring herself to say it. ‘How?’ ‘I pried it out of Broch, but it wasn’t all that surprising. I’d guessed your people would want a Jack to go with their Joan, and I knew you’d feel duty-bound to oblige them.’ He folded his arms. ‘He’s a good-looking fellow as piskeys go, and clearly cross-eyed with love for you, so why not?’ ” p. 123
“v’I like your Matt, too.’ He turned toward the barrow, a lean silhouette against the cloud-rumpled sky. ‘If I get myself inconveniently killed at some point, you might consider giving him another chance.’ ” p. 172
” ‘So by all means, let’s cause a scandal. If nothing else, it will give Dagger something new to take offense at.’ ” p. 180
When I first read February’s prompt for Inklings the first scene that popped into my head was when Harry, under his invisibility cloak threw snow at and generally repaid Draco and Co. back. However, I’ve had quite enough Harry Potter on my blog for the time being, especially since I chose a Harry Potter topic for my January Inklings. Per usual when asked to think about something, my brain was empty, so I took to Goodreads to see if my favorite books would trigger any memories.
Which brings me to Warrior Scarlet by Rosemary Sutcliff. My mom read Eagle of the Ninth to us and then read Warrior Scarlet second (bear in mind that this contains spoilers of necessity). I was 14 or 15 and emotionally intense then, and this is one of her most emotionally intense books I think (Outcast wins as the most intense in every way of those I’ve read), certainly it was at that age. Drem was a child and teen with terrible things happening to him and as a childish teen, this was so much more poignant to me. I don’t want to spoil too much, I think this Sutcliff novel is often overlooked, but I do have to give some considerable spoilers. I also might be totally confused, I think the scene I’m thinking of happened in a winter storm, but I might be conflating two sections.
Anyway, how should I tell this without spoiling, might not be possible, but long story short, the snow scene is quite a dramatic story of personal triumph and recompense (I know there is a word to express what I mean, but I can’t think of it). I don’t no how to describe it’s poignancy so well as deserved. If you haven’t read it, skip the below, it spoils the impact.
Amongst British tribes, the each of the boys when training for warrior status had to kill a wolf or be killed by it whilst the other boys watched, if the other boys helped, they made the rescued boy a shamed outcast. Drem was not equal to the other boys and his best friend could not watch him die.
He is ejected from the tribe and works with the “little dark people”* as an outcast and shepherd. During the winter guarding the sheep from predatory wolves, he meets up with or is stalked by a huge male wolf who attacks him, but this time he manages to kill it. This wolf seems familiar to him, he believes it is the same one he failed to kill a year maybe earlier. His people discover this fact and the fact that his old wounds are reopened/covered over with new wounds, and these facts combined cause them to consider that the signs point to his old shame being wiped out, that he has killed his wolf and is now a warrior and part of the tribe.
*Historical note, I think the prevailing view in Sutcliff’s time is that these were the original Britons and the Celts came later, per what I read in Barry Cunliffe’s book The Ancient Celts it is not the prevailing view or at least his view from the evidence that there was any such change of people, that the language change did not in the case of British isles mean an invasion or change of people, that in fact Celtic only applied to the language and the people were not Celts in the original Roman usage of the term, it was misapplied later. Meaning, that perhaps there were not these two distinct cultures as is often shown in the Sutcliff novels of the taller, red-haired Celts with the shorter, dark haired “little people.” This is SUCH ancient history with only Rome (and Rome wasn’t in Britain during all this time) as a biased, written source and archaeological evidence, which without clear written language from the culture can be at best vague.
I’m sure there has got to be other people who didn’t fall madly in love with Mr. Rochester, right? Right?!
I didn’t understand the Jane Eyre obsession. I grew up super sheltered, I couldn’t understand why what I saw as an adultery story was so popular among the strict people I knew. I still find that part odd, I think they probably loved Jane’s courage in following her conscience first (that is the part where I have the most respect for her).
When I finally did read Jane Eyre, it was right after I read Wuthering Heights, which I think was just way more my cup of tea at that point.* I was around 17 or 18. I’m a Marianne (who is close to Cathy Earnshaw) NOT a Elinor (who is close to a Jane Eyre), and I was at my most Marianne-est. Also my ideal type then was probably something along the Captain Wentworth lines, Aquila from Lantern Bearers, the bitter, strong, still waters run deep type which is how I saw the younger Heathcliff, I guess.
I did enjoy reading Jane Eyre though, more than I expected. However, I didn’t like much less love Mr. Rochester. I feel like there was a lot of Mr. Rochester swooning where I read or hear of books. Just the way he was described put with his personality and age, he just wasn’t my type at all. I just didn’t get the hype. I was also no fan of Jane, I will never love the goody-goody types. I also found St. John (more like my type in the sort of quiet intensity way) more interesting than Rochester, probably in part because he irritated Jane who was, to me, disgustingly sappy over Rochester who didn’t deserve it. Oh, yeah, Rochester was grossly sappy, that was probably a major turn off to me, at least now, that may have been part of it then as well? All I know is that I never cast him as my hero in my mind.
I can’t remember, but I think I may have watched the Ciarán Hinds version (and I was obsessed with that actor then) during this period.
When I reread the book later, I appreciated the story more, and I think perhaps Mr. Rochester didn’t scare me as much? I think when I read it again, I was in the middle of trying to compare multiple movie versions (and I was QUITE attracted to Toby Stephens who didn’t look like the book Rochester, and I just loved his attitude). I found parts funny, but I definitely didn’t like the essence of the book Mr. Rochester or many of the movie versions (Ciarán Hinds now seemed goofy to me) as a hero of my type.
I think even later I tried to reread it a third time, and by this point the age difference appeared QUITE creepy. He’s a 35 old (yet he always seem to be old to me no matter my age, just the way he is described, probably also compared to my naivete in terms of general experience) after an 18 year old (one of my sisters was near that age then). And yeah, combined with his domineering attitude, not great vibes. And they were just so goopily, sappily gross with each other.
So the age difference, there are pretty big age difference in Jane Austen. Emma was at least 21, that in terms of maturity can be quite a big jump from 18, don’t love that difference, especially since Knightley was an adult when she was born, and they knew each other. The worst was Marianne. She was 16 or 17 when she and Colonel Brandon met, he was 35. However, in these type of old books the girls are presented as adult,** in that time period they would have been considered so, they seem fairly mature in the case of Emma and Jane, so that can lessen the creepiness ever so slightly. Also none of the movie portrayals ever really show the age difference as it really is.
I think for some reason the Rochester age difference comes across as waaay creepier than even Marianne and Brandon. I think part of this because Brandon was so straight-laced and reserved and respectful while Rochester is creepy period even were there no age difference. Also, Jane is in his household, is alone in the world, and is seemingly under a fascination/obsession with him which doesn’t feel deserved. Plus, like I said, Rochester, no matter my age, feels older. He is very cosmopolitan, very worldly, written in a way to very much show the age difference (of course Brandon feels older as well . . . because he’s dry as dust)
Rochester is creepy, obsessive, licentious, completely unrepentant over his many sins, very patronizing and controlling and yet makes himself out as the victim quite often. Ew, no thank you.
*When I reread the books several years later I could see that Emily Brontë just didn’t have the same talent or at least didn’t develop it as well as Charlotte, the writing quality is markedly lower in Wuthering Heights than Jane Eyre.
**I find it hard to believe that any possible historical maturity differences could be that great, brains don’t finish developing into the early twenties, and I believe puberty was quite a bit later in older times, at least for the lower classes with malnutrition. Could a “woman” of 18 (which wasn’t always the age of adulthood, for awhile it was 21, I think it switched back and forth for awhile) really have the same intellectual and emotional maturity as a 35 year old man, does it really seem like a good arrangement to have that kind of imbalance? What does that say about the type of man as regards his character and ego that he wants that? It is at best vaguely creepy at worst predatory. And then there are the older women whose only potential husbands are going after barely adults. And the young women, who haven’t been encouraged to look very far in the future by greedy parents or bad circumstances, they have to live with an old man or as a widow at a young age, especially since aging then was far faster than now!
I’m linking up here to Cordy’s Lovely Blog Party.
So, I’ve done, Friends to Lovers, Enemies/Frenemies to Lovers, and now for the oft-maligned, highly suspect love at first sight couples. I think this is best done when it is attraction at first sight (often the other tropes have this but its unequal or there is also enmity at first sight) sans any complicating factors that develops quite quickly into love.
Also, there is a version of this type that features a huge amount of humor and/or suspense. So, lots of Georgette Heyer and Mary Stewart novels and some M.M. Kaye mysteries.
Peter and Donna in A Tangled Web are both a fun, interesting love story, yet at the same time poking fun at this trope just a bit. Of course there is a real parody of this bit with the Jocelyn and Hugh situation. That book is a comedy gem.
More serious and sweet pairings:
- Lord Bradford and Azalea in Entwined.
- The Ordinary Princess and her “Apprentice” in The Ordinary Princess.
- Similarly Cinderella and Kit in the live action Cinderella.
- Danielle and Henry in Ever After.
- I think Linden and Rob in Rebel and Arrow. My 2nd favorite couple in this trilogy and the related duology who get the least amount of time.
Any well-know, well-loved, respected (aka, NOT Romeo and Juliet, lol) couples that I missed?
I’m linking up to Cordy’s Lovely blog party here.
Harry and Ginny in Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince
Ginny pined for Harry for awhile and then took steps to move in with her life. Harry got over Cho and then it was his turn to pine (oh how the turn tables). When I ship a couple I often love the dramatic jealousy bits, and Harry is ridiculous, I think he needed to suffer a bit after Ginny need.
Book 6 is emotionally tumultuous with all the love triangles and fighting, the especial amount trouble with Snape, Ron’s Quidditch drama, all of this culminates for Harry when he, the team captain misses the final Quidditch game due to detention.A
Then he walks in to the common room and hears they’ve won, and he kisses Ginny right in front of everyone in the midst of the jubilation, and its just such a perfect moment.
Harry’s crush on Cho and Ginny’s crush on him were always so public plus they are both pretty confident, popular people, I just loved that their moment was so public and triumphant. . . in contrast to the unbelievably milksop scene in the movie. The movies did Ginny an injustice in the way they portrayed her, she’s useless.
Peter and Donna in The Tangled Web
They are both so dramatic, she’s doing the crushed forever faithful widow bit with her cousin, he’s doing the manly outdoor, woman hating type.
He’s outdoors and she’s stuck indoors at that absurd gathering, both probably bored out of their minds. Then they lock eyes and fall in love in a moonstruck madness love at first glance melodramatic parody way.
They aren’t super young which makes is so much funnier about how dramatic they are including with their later fight. They are my favorite part about that hilarious book. LM Montgomery has a way of taking people who at first glance are trying to be a stereotype and then showing them to be acting ridiculous and knowing they are acting ridiculous and not caring a bit and choosing to go their own way.
Perry and Ilse in Emily’s Quest
Perry had a school boy’s crush on Emily while Ilse always liked him and continually fought with and berated him. I think Perry got over the crush by high school and simply remained stubbornly determined to have Emily because he set his mind to it.
Ilse on the other hand, pretended to get over Perry and never let it slip for decades even to Emily that she loved him. Emily let it slip to Perry when it was “too late.”
I just love the set up, Ilse on her wedding day (why oh why couldn’t it have been to some random man, let’s not think to hard about this monstrosity) hears that Perry’s been killed and hightails it to the hospital in her wedding dress, where after finding out he was hurt not killed, she declares that she will marry him.
It’s just perfectly fitting for both of them, neither of them exactly follow society’s expectations. Loud, dramatic, causes a huge scene and scandal at the non wedding, just generally an awesome wrap up.
Teddy and Bramble in Entwined
Brash Bramble and jovial Teddy. Another love bit where she “hates” him because she’s not romantic, and he’s just so, doofy and their is just so much trouble in her life.
It culminates when he does something noble and then declares his love while being snubbed. When she realizes the truth, she jumps at him and a magic rug swallows them both. It’s quite the scene.
Meg March and John Brooke in Little Women
Less dramatic and more mischievous. I love how Meg starts off declaring she’s going to calmly refuse John then loses her nerve straight off once he actually shows up.
And then he shows himself too smug and gets snubbed for it.
Aunt March barges in and then Meg’s mood changes again contrarily and of course John hears it all, and Jo comes down to rejoice over John’s rout only to find Meg on his knee.
Just the moments, the prose, the humor, one of my favorite bits of Little Women.