• Reading

    Disney Prince Tag

    Alison from Alison’s Well tagged me a few weeks ago. Here’s the link to her original post.

    It’s taken me awhile to figure out some good ones, I wanted to try to get as many lesser know characters as I could . . . not sure that really worked. I’ve not watched enough movies, and I need to read more and maybe less to type or more lesser known works.

    PRINCE FLORIAN – A Character Who Stumbles Into Things

    Timothy stumbles into the world of faeries in Rebel book 2 of Faerie Rebels.

    PRINCE CHARMING – A Character Who Looks Past The Exterior Of Those Around Him.

    Jip (in the book of the same name) and his friend who does it for him. People cast out together have to do that or they will be just like those who cast them out. Read this book without any prior knowledge, it is WAY more impactful that way.

    PRINCE PHILLIP – A Character Who Fights For Those He Cares About

    Aquila in Lantern Bearers. The problem is, sometimes he doesn’t know when to stop fighting or who to stop fighting or how to stop fighting, in his heart and soul.

    PRINCE ERIC – A Character Who Fulfills The “Dreamy Soft Boy” Trope.

    Peeta Mellark, I mean who else.

    THE BEAST – A Beastly Character Who Is Redeemed

    If beastly can stand for “bad” because as you will see, my mention has a different style of bad. Read these books.

    Martin from Rebel (books 2 of Faerie Rebels by R.J. Anderson), Arrow (books 3 of Faerie Rebels Trilogy) by R.J. Anderson), Swift and Nomad (books 1 and 2 from the now named and finally to get a third book in the connected Flight and Fire Trilogy). I think this prompt feets Martin better than Scoundrel with A Heart of Gold. I think. You decide.

    Presumably he will also in be Torch (which from what I got from the Nomad will be a LOT about him, no spoilers) which will hopefully still be coming out next February 6 years after Nomad, I cannot WAIT!* Read these people!

    Oh, also, I bought all mine from Amazon UK, so they match and because Arrow, Swift, and Nomad weren’t given U.S. editions. Also Knife, the first book of all of them and Rebel have different names in the U.S. and The Flight and Fire trilogy are being redone. Did I mention, READ THEM?!

    ALADDIN – A Character Who Assumes A False Identity.

    Phaedrus in Mark of the Horse Lord. YOU have to find out. 

    JOHN SMITH – A Character Who Loves To Explore.

    Spiller in The Borrowers series. I had such a crush on him growing up.

    LI SHANG – A  Character Who Is A Tough, Military Leader.

    Alexios Flavius Aquila in Frontier Wolf

    FLYNN RYDER –  A Character Who Is A Scoundrel With A Heart Of Gold.

    Jack Sparrow.

    PRINCE NAVEEN –  A Character Who Undergoes A Transformation.

    Costi in Wildwood Dancing.

    KRISTOFF –   A Character Who Is A Down-To-Earth Hero.

    Jamie in Keeper of the Bees by Gene Stratton-Porter.

    EMPEROR KUZCO – A Character Who’s Obnoxious But Still Lovable.

    Ah, Kuzco. How could I get even close to Alison’s pick? Or to matching the pizzazz of Kuzco himself. Algernon Moncrieff maybe? Jack Sparrow also fits this.

     

     

     

    *The publishing industry . . . has problems, I know the author always had this book planned/written, and I know another series that got dropped, the Martha series about Laura Ingalls Wilder’s grandmother, that stuff is so irritating.

  • Reading

    What I Read: September 2020

    I’ve gotten my reading motivation back thanks to going through Fairytale Central’s retellings lists, reading two fairytale retellings by Liz Brazwell (found on those lists), the Dune trailer motivating me to pick up Dune (it has been on my list for awhile then some of my siblings read it, but I’ve got to see that movie, so now I’m starting it), the new season, and I think the push to finish The Idiot. Edit, no I haven’t, I’ve just moved on to new books to borrow, better get with it!

    The Last Battle. I finally finished rereading Narnia 9-10 months after I started. I think the next go round, I might not reread them all, and end at Prince Caspian. The Magician’s Nephew might get skipped as well.

    Part of Your World by Liz Brazwell. I enjoyed this one more than As Old as Time. And I don’t really care for Little Mermaid much, but this was quite fun and interesting.

    Everything That Remains. I love their podcast, love, LOVE their secret podcast, but this book is not great (I thought it would be about both of them and be better written), and I’ve heard a lot of their points, it is a good reminder though, it did help with my motivation to really go through things. I am however, going to read their newest book when it comes out because I’m sure (I hope) the writing has improved. I’ve been listening to their most recent podcast episodes which led me to this book which is indie published and years old.

    And then I finished the audiobook of Every Living Thing by James Herriot. This is the last of the 5 American collections, I think they were published differently (not merely the title but the division of the stories) in England.

    I fell behind on The Idiot, then started to speed up my reading, but ultimately decide that I didn’t want to push to finish it for the Classics Club spin, I think the spin did what it should, got me to read, but I think I’ll take it slow, and read small amounts. Edit, well, I haven’t picked it up since this draft, but surely I will, I’m 38% percent done.

  • Reading

    Book (Particularly Library) Confessions

    I loved Victoria’s post so well, I had to do my version, especially since we have a lot of similarities.

    I almost never buy books that I haven’t read. And they are usually ones I’ve started or am positive I will like. I can only think of two off the top of my head and they are nonfiction. I’m also chary of spoiling my precious new or newish books yet I hate old ones, and I’m terrible to library books! Its awful.

    I also rarely try books that I don’t have some trust in, rarely, almost never pull books off the shelf. Especially since I’m rarely into browsing, I usually just order and pick up (often losing feeling in my arms with my excessive loads, see below).

    I used to have perfect fine record, now it seems I’m rarely without them. This month I had multiple books 2 weeks too late. Oops.

    I borrow too many books, often to the 50 limit in the city library, so when I picked up I had to ask them to check some of my books in, before I could check others out. This leads to the aforementioned fines. I’ve several times (like now) have books from two libraries (the county, my current work county, my previous university, and my normal library in the city). This lead to my returning a university library book to the city library which I’m sure they were used to, it got back to the right place.

    Most of my books are apparently not super popular, so I can renew and renew, meaning I’ll have the same books for months. And yet I’ll still be requesting new books. I’m not sure I’ve ever been without any library books for the last oh, 8 years!

    But because the books I like or want to try aren’t always super trendy or very basic classics, I was quite at a loss when our city (we live in a commuter county) library closed during covid and then opened up with minimal hours for pickup (hours I worked). So, I got a library card to my work county (so I have library cards in 3 counties now) thinking that because the building was larger the selection would be larger than my home county. I was flabbergasted when I went in side, but couldn’t think of a non-rude/non-snobby way, to ask, “are these all your books.” And when trying to find books from my list, it did seem like my home county library had more. I feel guilty about these smaller libraries, but it is hard to manage two libraries.

    I also have a book I borrowed from my grandfather years ago that I’ve not read as well as 3 more recently, a book from my dad (yes, we live in same house, but every person in this house has their own book collection, so I’m counting it), and now, my brother (well, my sister is reading it currently) who doesn’t live in the same house. I have a borrowing hoarding problem I’m trying to tackle. For all that (or maybe because of all that), I don’t read hundreds of new books. This year I’ve only read around 50, and I don’t know that even 10 or only around that are new to me.

    I’ve spilled water on multiple library books making them swell, and I think I need to donate because I don’t think my fines would really cover that. I’ve also dog-eared books, and I lay them open face downward. I’m terrible.

    I usually also read mostly British classics, I struggle with American classics as well as world. However, I’m not sure what the breakdown of books overall is.

    My TBR is more of a suggestion list, its every book I’ve seen/heard about that I want to possibly try. I have it in categories in my city library as well as a copy in Excel (in case I lose access) which also has tabs for interlibrary loans, rereads, and most recently, fairytale retellings culled from The Fairy Tale Central’s lists. I try to not use Goodreads for TBR, but I’ve let some build up that I need to transfer, and I’ve also let a more current, smaller list build up in

    I too rarely cry when reading, actually, I’m not sure if I’ve ever cried, I’m more likely (still unlikely) to cry in movies. Part of this is I usually cry when angry.

    I think I’ve read in the shower, but not often (yes, that is terrible), and I’ve also read on the beach

    I want to mark out bad words in all my books, I’ve torn out a page, but then felt terrible because I did it in a panic instead of thinking and marking out, and I’m afraid of putting books into the little free library without doing that although for some reason I don’t feel the same compunction towards good will. There are also some actions in books that I want to mark out. I can feel that words and sections “taint” the very pages and/or my mind. When I read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince I was so horrified of the Inferi that I didn’t want to touch the words, I was holding the pages open by the tips (I’ve always had a phobia about bones and dead bodies). There are some books I don’t ever want to return to for things that other people might have forgotten.

    I am on Goodreads but not satisfied because the exporting of the Excel data doesn’t properly or all export the dates read. And 5 stars isn’t enough nuance. I rarely give 5 stars because I am so picky. And I rarely give 1 star because most 1 stars I don’t bother wasting my time finishing. Quite frankly, I’d like to get to the point that I don’t read 2 starts either. Life is too short to waste time on worthless books. I’ve been leaving books right in the middle more and more. I think it is fairly easy to tell for me when I’m being lazy (a classic for example) vs when the book just isn’t that great or when I’ve gotten all I need from in (nonfiction).

  • Reading

    Medieval Queens Book Tag

    Catherine from Based on the Book tagged me for this historical tag weeks ago, possibly months. I thought this was a fun take on tags, but I was less than inspired in my answers. I really need to not read in such predictable patterns, at least on occasion.

    Empress Matilda (1102-1167)
    After her father, Henry I, died naming her his heir, Matilda’s cousin, Stephen, subsequently took the throne for himself. Matilda never stopped fighting for what was rightfully hers. Though she would never be named Queen of England in her own right, she was able to convince Stephen to name her son, the future Henry II, his successor over his own children. Choose a book with a protagonist who stands their ground. 

    Swift and Nomad by R.J. Anderson, Ivy stands her ground to discover her mother and the truth about her world, actually all the protagonists in the first series (Faery Rebels) do as well.

    Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204)
    Before she married Henry II and became Queen of England in 1152, Eleanor was Queen of France as the wife of Louis VII. She sought an annulment from her marriage to Louis and he eventually agreed because 15 years of marriage had produced no sons, only for Eleanor to go on to have eight children with Henry—five of whom were sons. Ouch!
    Choose a book or series in which the heroine has more than one romantic relationship.

    I was trying to think of one that wasn’t super basic YA like the Hunger Games or Twilight. Or a sort of perfunctory rite of passage before the best guy friend realization such as in the L.M. Montgomery novels. There is the realistic, yet boring and sad option of books like Hannah Coulter where her first love is killed in war.

    Eleanor of Castile (1241-1290)
    A keen patron of literature and a successful businesswoman in her own right, Eleanor was Edward I’s first wife. He was so heartbroken when she died that he erected the Eleanor Crosses, 12 stone crosses marking the places where her body rested over night on its journey from Lincolnshire, where she died, to her burial place in London. Three of the crosses still survive today.
    Choose a bittersweet book.

    Rilla of Ingleside.  The youngest of Anne Shirley Blythe’s daughters comes of age in PEI during WWI and watches all three brothers, her suitor, and two close childhood neighbor friends among many other go to war, and one doesn’t come back.

    Isabella of France (1295-1358)
    Often known as the ‘She-Wolf of France’, Isabella was Edward II’s wife. Unfortunately for Edward he wasn’t particularly good at being king, and Isabella soon grew tired of his (possibly homosexual) relationship with his favourite, Hugh Despenser. After she began an affair with English nobleman Roger Mortimer while on a diplomatic mission to France, the pair returned to England with an army and she deposed Edward and acted as regent until their son, the future Edward III, came of age.
    Choose a book where the romance overtook the plot.

    Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. This was my least favorite of the Lunar chronicles proper. Wolf and Scarlet were SO gross. Actually, their romance gets grosser. And their plot was the most boring, scary, yet boring scary.

    Philippa of Hainault (1310/15-1369)
    Queen of England as the wife of Edward III, Philippa was beloved by the English people for her compassion and kindness. The Queen’s College, Oxford, founded in 1341, is named in her honour, so
    Choose a book set at a university.

    Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers. This is a Lord Peter Wimsey novel but the novel is from Harriet Vane’s perspective. It involves the climax of the Peter Wimsey Harriet Vane romance, it’s also I think the only mystery that doesn’t involve a murder, although two are attempted, the investigation doesn’t start because of murder. It takes place in the first women’s college at Oxford, I believe.

    Joan of Navarre (1368-1437)
    Joan was Henry IV’s second wife. Six years after his death, Joan was accused of attempting to poison her stepson, Henry V, through witchcraft and was imprisoned for four years until he ordered her release, just six weeks before he suddenly died.
    Choose a book about witches.

    Most of the books I read with magic have people who are faeries or enchantresses, but witches tend to be in either very popular books (Harry Potter and The Witch of Blackbird Pond) or the evil counterparts. Catherine mentioned the lesser known ones by Diana Wynne Jones. I can’t think of any others.

     

    Anyone who is interested, consider yourself tagged.

     

  • Reading

    Quad not Trio: Ginny Weasley Should Been Part of the Inner Harry Potter Circle

    One thing that really bugs me about the later Harry Potter books is how the trio doesn’t become the quad. That Ginny is unnaturally excluded or pushed to the side with people more naturally not part of the best-friends group. At the beginning it is completely understandable that Ginny isn’t part of “the” group. Towards the middle it looks like that is naturally changing, but then in the later books the progression stops and a weird barrier is put in place around the trio, as if it is more about the marketing idea of the trio than a realistic and satisfying portrayal.

    Oh, bear in mind that I’m talking about book Ginny (Ginny in the movie is as much of a loser as movie Ron, don’t get me started on that subject).

    Two young boys become best friends fairly easily as kids can do. Through unlikely circumstances they befriend a previously annoying young girl. They are all at an age when life is very boys vs girls, when a year’s difference in age is huge in their eyes, and when younger siblings are automatically annoying. So it totally makes sense when one boy’s kid sister isn’t included in their friend group. Add to that the fact that said kid sister has an awkward star struck crush on the other boy and it really makes including her unlikely. Since Hermione and Ginny get along and Hermione is around constantly, its pretty natural that those two become close.

    In the middle books, when Ginny gets over her crush (or hides it well), when they are all at the age when boys and girls start becoming more interested in each other and co-ed stuff is more normal, and with the pattern of the four hanging out over the holidays plus many of the dark events affecting Ginny as much or more than the rest, Ginny is more included in things as expected. Obviously siblings in a friend group can cause some clash, as well as all the complex crush stuff, but she is more obviously in the midst of things.

    Then Ginny is added to the Quidditch team, the DA is started, and Ginny and Harry are mutually interested in each other and then later, together. So it seems as if, with the four so close already, this would make Ginny their equal, right? Not in fossilized marketing fan driven writing land apparently (or whatever it was). No, the trio still have their inner circle catch ups that it makes no sense for Ginny not to be in, on no planet, no reality; she’s with them all the time, she’s sister to Ron, best friend to Hermione, girlfriend to Harry. She’s as smart as them all and braver than two.

    The crowning insult is in The Deathly Hallows when the trio go off on their own, and independent Ginny is forced by Mum to go to school while the others are off on their own adventure, and Harry doesn’t do much to change that. She’s excluded from their plans for “safety” or whatever. She is just a year younger and acts older than Ron anyway. Its not merely that she doesn’t go with them, she is hardly in the book in that period, she’s not given as important a place, she’s just sort of “waiting” for Harry to appear like Prince Charming which is a role that doesn’t fit him or her at. all. Ginny Weasely meekly waiting?! As if.

  • Reading

    The Idiot Part One

    I’m reading The Idiot by Dostoevsky for my Classics Club spin. I’m using this character list, someone took the Sparknotes version and took out the spoilers (why do these character lists have spoilers in the first place?!!!!). I printed it out, so I could have it handy.

    I’m reading on the Serial Reader app. I did get the paid version, so I can read ahead and have more than one novel going. It’s not a subscriptions, so it’s more than fair for me the excellence of it, I mean I’d give more.

    Marian of Classics Considered is rereading it, so if anyone wants to join us, the more the merrier. I’m going to try to post as I go along so we can discuss, she has posted some already on her Instagram, she’s reading a book of notes about the novel so this is really in depth! I don’t think I can think that deep, but we shall see.

    I’m WAAAY behind, I’m about 22% of the way through, per the app, and on chapter 8. My impressions/emotions thus far have been:

    “oh, this is going to be painful, poor precious baby”

    to “I’m bored out of my mind with his pointless boring stories (why must authors stuff their pages so baldly?)”

    to “ooh, now it’s getting interesting”

    back to “oh, this is going to be painful, poor precious baby”

    to “I think some second-hand embarrassment is coming”

    Someone shared this list of general plots of British, German, and Russian novels on Instagram. Can’t speak to the German novels, but the other two sound about right.

  • Reading

    What I Read August 2020

    These High, Green Hills and Out to Canaan by Jan Karon (books 3 and 4 of Mitford). I had decided that I would read Mitford every once in a while and now seemed like a good time for a nice cozy read. Then I thought I’d read them straight through, but since I’ve stuck in book 5, and I’m starting to get my reading interest back, I think, this current month, I think I’ll save the rest for another time.

    Rilla of Ingleside. This book starts out so well, it is so deep and atmospheric and the build up to and after effects of the tragedy are excellent and then everything else seems incidental.

    As Old As Time by Liz Brazwell. I’ve been in the mood for fairytale retellings and this part of a series that takes Disney’s retellings and retells them. I greatly enjoyed it. The prose was decent to be easy to read and it was fast paced. It was very dark, much darker than the usual Beauty and the Beast, not kid or sensitive teen appropriate.

  • Reading

    What I Read, Watched, and Listened To: July 2020

    Books were mostly rereads. I’ve resigned myself to allowing rereads to count to my quota of books.

    Murder Must Advertise and Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers. Favorites are soothing even if they are mysteries or perhaps sometimes because they are.

    Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne’s House of Dreams, Anne of Ingleside, Rainbow Valley. Balm to the soul, as always.

    As Old as Time by Liz Braswell. This was a Disney sanctioned Beauty and the Beast Retelling. I’ve been going through Fairytale Central’s awesome fairytale collections to find which books I’d want to try and which my libraries have. I was totally sucked into this one.

    My newest favorite podcast is Not Overthinking. The way they think so honestly (reminds me of Trollope really, it’s a particular way, merciless but not really, it’s blunt and but not inhumane, hard to describe) and the brotherly banter and the facetious British slang. It can be really serious but sometimes really normal, for example, one of the first things that caught me was Taimur describing his jealousy over Ali’s magic, it was just hilarious. I mean Taimur is a data scientist and Ali is a doctor and big Youtuber (which is how I found the podcast), and the magic tricks were what made Taimur envious, it is SUCH a sibling thing. Also Taimur constantly pushes at Ali when Ali is perhaps telling something maybe slightly ridiculous like when Ali wrote his crush a letter,”You wrote her a letter, did she live halfway across the world and this was the 1800’s?” And the way the slip in jokes at the other’s expense, and the whoever the joke is at stops and acknowledges the good hit. Right in the middle of an intellectual discussion, it’s just awesome.

    I need more podcasts though, once I finish bingeing this one I will have a couple caught up, but some of the funny one’s I’m sick of so I do need more variety. I’m such a princess.

    I’ve just not been into watching any movies or tv because I haven’t had much time with school and wedding and work and my terrible attention span. I did start a K-drama in August, but that is for an August post. Yet, I’ve collected quite a list of others’ recommendations from blog posts and such, if I could just motivate myself.

  • Reading

    Inklings August 2020: The Apple Dumpling Gang

    I’m linking up with Heidi’s Inkling prompt series here.

    The prompt for this one was a bar scene. I haven’t seen too many Westerns, and it would have to take a super fantastic bar scene to wipe out the first one that came to mind which was one from The Apple Dumpling Gang.

    Oh, how we love this movie in our family! This movie has adventure, stellar slapstick humor, tons of sarcasm with killer delivery, genius timing, romance. It is just about perfect for a de-stressing fun movie night. Lots of quoting done by the people who can remember the exact quotes, bless Imdb for their quote section.

    Here is a taste of a few:

    Theodore: “You know something, Amos? The Lord poured your brains in with a teaspoon, and somebody joggled His arm.” 

    Frank Stillwell: “If I ever get within shootin’ distance of that doggone Amos Tucker, he’s gonna have winders where his ears was.”

    Sheriff McCoy: “You two couldn’t steal candy from a baby without coming out on the short end.”

    John Wintle: “I’m leaving for San Francisco tonight.”
    Sheriff McCoy: “San Francisco’s loss is Quake City’s gain.”

    The bar scene.

    So it really starts with the rather slick, sleek Donovan getting married to Dusty (her nickname for a reason), a no-touch, for the children’s sake marriage (see this romantic photo). Then Donovan gets right back to his gambling addiction and saddles Dusty with babysitting the kids. She takes the kids to the general store for candy and discovers (so she thinks) that Donovan bought the bed she was admiring for the two of them.

    She marches right to the saloon where Donovan is peaceably playing cards:

    “DONOVAN!”

    He looks shocked, “Who me?”

    “Yes you, you snake oil salesman! Are you coming out here or am I coming in there?

    “What’s the matter, Dusty? Is there some trouble?”

    “Yes, there’s trouble all right! And you’re in it!”

    She then proceeds to chase him around the saloon flinging epithets (among other things) at him while he tries to simultaneously get away from her and inquire why she is angry. Everyone else tries to get away from both of them while the poker and billiard area is being destroyed. One flabbergasted townsperson asked, “What happened with them two?” to which the the Sheriff replies in a deadpan manner, “They got married.”

    Finally Donovan manages to get an answer as to what the whole fiasco is about: “That’s it? The bed?” and then it’s his turn to get angry. A very quiet anger at first, “The bed happens to be for the kids, Dusty. When the nights are getting colder, they’ll need a warmer place to sleep. So the brass bed is for the boys, and the smaller bed is for CELIA!!!

    I cannot explain the hilarious way this line is delivered, but the crescendo is just absolutely killer.

    After which Dusty meekly and daintily insinuates it’s all his fault for not explaining and sweeps grandly out of the wrecked bar with Celia in tow leaving everyone in stunned silence.

    There are so many details of hilarity, sarcasm, contrast etc. This scene just perfect in conception and delivery and while this movie has tons of excellent scenes, I think this has to be the best.

    Go watch this movie.

    Also, for extra credit. Apparently a great-great-great uncle went to prison for killing a man in a bar brawl over a woman. In the great Wild West state of . . . Illinois.

  • Reading

    Classics Club Spin Pick

    It looks I will be reading The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I figured that after I had to reformat the numbers on my list, not sure what happened, but it look right on the drafting side, but not on the published side.

  • Reading

    Classics Club Spin #24 List

    I was thrilled that I actually participated and read a work off my list the last time, and I’m happy to participate in this newest spin.

     

    1. An Anton Chekhov novel
    2. The Wimsey Papers by Dorothy Sayers
    3. A Good Man is Hard to Find or other Flannery O’Connor novel
    4. A Portrait of A Lady and/or Turning of the Screw by Henry James
    5. A Toni Morrison novel
    6. Beowulf (Tolkien’s translation)
    7. Cymbelline
    8. Dracula by Bram Stoker
    9. Henry VI, Part 1
    10. Henry VIII
    11. King John
    12. Macbeth
    13. O’ Pioneers and/or Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather
    14. 20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea or another novel by Jules Verne
    15. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
    16. Richard III
    17. The Crucible by Arthur Miller
    18. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    19. The Scarlet Letter and/or The House with Seven Gables by Nathanial Hawthorne
    20. Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton