• 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

    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

    Reading is NOT a Golden Ticket (Silver Bullet?) to Being a Better Person and More Reading Links

    I’m fundamentally contrarian. I’m also currently obsessed in noticing when people are promoting something as a golden ticket or silver bullet or whatever. Which I think often involves using a correlation-causation fallacy. One of these is reading makes a person better.

    A lot of people who read a lot like to label themselves and set themselves apart, or as Katherine Grimm Bowers puts it, “deifying reading” (go read her post, it expresses much of what I’m trying to say). Reading is privilege, it should be a right, not a hobby, everyone should be able to read a lot and help themselves and enjoy good literature. It is true that reading a lot CAN make you a better person as well as a more intelligent person, but it doesn’t necessarily do so (Stalin met this criterion after all!).

    It DOES matter what you read. If a person is reading poor quality writing regularly, how are does that benefit his/her mind?

    It does matter how you read. I barely skimmed the surface of Karen Swallow Prior’s On Reading Well (I’ve got to buy this and read and reread, she so eloquently expands on this subject of books and how we actually need to use them in order to use them well), and she mentions the importance of reading to understand NOT impose our own opinions onto another person’s words.

    We have to stop reading sometimes and apply the things we’ve read or even just live our lives. I’ve read/heard lots self-help people mention how many forget that reading can’t be substituted for doing. (Yes, I definitely have this problem). If one doesn’t apply anything one learns in living a life, what was the point? Reading is supposed to HELP us in life, not distract us from life.

    BOOKSTORES: How to Read More Books in the Golden Age of Content. Awesome video on bookstores around the world and reading.

    A Realization and A Revelation. What draws you to certain books and characters? What pushes you away?

    Dethroning Books. I love books but being contrary, I dislike when people act like books are a golden ticket to some state or attribute (actually, I dislike when people make anything, cough, college, cough, a golden ticket) such as erudition, intelligence, etc.

    A section towards the end of this podcast episode discusses the effects of reading so much you have no time for development and application.

    What To Do If You Hate Reading. These tips will probably work for those in a reading slump or burnout as well. I find that I can relate to a lot of these types of suggestions.

  • Reading

    What I’ve Read: May and June 2020

    I read 23 items in these two months, 6 of those were short fairy tale retellings and 2 plays. Only 7 were new-to-me reads.

    These were:

    Coriolanus. There is a reason why this one is less famous. More on that in a later post.

    Hamlet. I’ve already review this for the Classics Club here.

    Charity Girl by Georgette Heyer. This was fun (and NOT the rake and young dope version, young rake and his childhood bff). I’m exhausting the treasury of historical Heyer novels. One was so boring and unsatisfactory I opted not to finish.

    Restless Empire: A Historical Atlas of Russia by Ian Barnes. Highly recommend, extremely fascinating. This was supposed to go along with my reading of War and Peace, but said reading has been nonexistence.

    Listening Valley by D.E. Stevenson. Sweet and a nice happy read. I think that is what another blogger wrote which is why i got it.

    Framed! by James Ponti. A darling middle grade fiction mystery. I need to look up to see if there are more. This is a very fast read.

    Penhallow. So I thought I’d try a Heyer mystery. Yeah, so besides not actually being a mystery to the reader and an unsolved one for the characters, it features unarguably a patriarchal, narcissistic, god-awful horror of a man and his piggish progeny. It could have been set in a older time, the vague mention of cars clued me in to it being contemporary to Heyer. The manor house with the men who impregnate village women (over generations, so what an incestuous mess that probably was) and who are basically moneyed Neanderthals. All of these criticisms have lost their weight because over and misuse have diluted their meaning. But as I rarely use them please understand that I mean them fully.

    Yeah, most characters were awful, often inconsistent. The one character I leaned towards has a horrible end, kind of gave me nightmares because of the overall ick and the despair and the non-ending, ending. I rated it one star, the reason I have so few one stars is that I view books that derisive that rating as books that should not be read, so I don’t finish them and therefore don’t rate them. This is one I should not have finished I felt guilty reading it. It was muck with no literary merit. It was interesting in a grotesque way, but I was disgusted that I’d allowed myself to read this completely through.

    Rereads:
    The Fairy’s Return, For Biddle’s Sake, Cinderellis and the Glass Hill, Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep, The Princess Test, The Fairy’s Mistake. All the princess tales by Gale Carson Levine. Again, lovely quick escapist relaxing reads.
    I started the Grandma’s attic novels in April and read most of them in May. So that is 7 right there.

    The Silver Chair. I stuck fast on this one for a while. Bear in mind that Narnia was supposed to be my Christmas treat, but I dragged on many of them. I’m currently stuck fast in The Last Battle.

    Gaudy Night and Murder Must Advertise. Two of the best Wimsey nove.. I think next time I’ll skip a few and reread only the best. I’m saving the final novel to finish on my birthday.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    The Rake gets the Virgin and the Harpy gets the Angel Boy

    “You could live a thousand lifetimes and not deserve him.”

    I LOVE the film Catching Fire, and I always think Peeta is an angel. But thinking that and with all the Georgette Heyer books in my mind . . .

    Georgette Heyer novels represent an/the old type of common thinking, the men do what they want and get the best girl and act all self-righteous if she is even slightly less than perfect even though they are horrid. This led to why rake, libertine, playboy, etc. not having the same connotation as whore even though they are literally the male/female correspondents (like Fez calling Kelso a whore when calling him out on his double-standards, it felt more “right” because he was, rather than cheering him on as a player, you know?). I mean to get the same connotation you have to say man-whore, um, I don’t think this circular, I think it started with the men!

    This started when most stories were written by men and later some women (ahem, Heyer) who liked the save-the-bad boy trope. Also, don’t blame this all on the patriarchy, tons of women upheld (and uphold) this in fact and fiction, glorifying the bad boy. The stories might be dying out or at least certain aspects, but the reality doesn’t feel like it is (although, perhaps the mores were never quite as extreme as fiction seems to imply?).

    Naturally that perspective makes my blood boil. Guess what, “feminism” didn’t fix it; we know have other problems including the exact opposite (although not sexual mores this time, but more in overall character). We have an overarching storyline (watching Hunger Games, Hallmark, and listening to women at work) where the woman can be as shrewish, manipulative, and hateful as possible and blame all men for everything without at all examining themselves. And not merely not understanding equivalency (you are both awful) or even normalcy (he’s the average to your awful, so normal is better than you), but expecting an angel boy.

    Yes, it can happen, but that doesn’t mean it should, you shouldn’t get a good boy, the good girl should get the good boy. The bad man shouldn’t expect a angelic princess. The good people should expect the other good people. Why is this so hard to grasp? I know everyone is some extent blind to themselves, but to be so blind?!!!! To hear most people talk about relationships, you’d think he/she is the saintliest of people who always so incomprehensibly ends up with the devil. Did you ever perhaps wonder just once if you just might possibly have contributed one smidge to the problem?!

    Here are the actual possibilities for a relationship. For simplicity’s sake I’ll assume three states of being although in reality they represent the absolute ends and middle of the spectrum of humanity.

    1. Good
    2. Average
    3. Toxic

    Person A is good and  Person B is good
    Person A is good and Person B is average
    Person A is good and Person B is toxic
    Person A is average and Person B is good
    Person A is average and Person B is average
    Person A is average and Person B is toxic
    Person A is toxic and Person B is good
    Person A is toxic and Person B is average
    Person A is toxic and Person B is toxic

    Even in this highly simplified situation, there are very few saints and demon matches, and since most people are someone in the middle in the average realm, the likelihood that one is of average decency dating someone of average decency is quite high. If you aren’t an angel, why is your significant other supposed to be? If you want an angel, try being one.

    The long version of one reason why I’m single, I’ve not achieved angelic status. Or is it I’ve not even achieved average goodness ?!

     

  • Learning and Exploring

    Those Tom Boy, Strong Girl, Alpha Female Stereotypes

    I tend to relate to a lot of them tomboys in books like Jo and her counterpart Skye Penderwick in terms of temperament. But I’m not a tomboy, I relate to the Megs in terms of domesticity and to the Amys and Annes in terms of taste. It gets kind of irritating to read about all the sweet domestic and/or traditional girls. Sorry, I wasn’t born sweet and mild, the best you will get is somewhat toned down. I’ve been told to tone down, be quiet, stop expressing so much frequently by family members. I think I scare people outside my family.

    Another similar stereotype is that of the loud (often tomboy) women being brave and courageous. Brassy, sassy, rebellious, and loud doesn’t equal strong or brave. Some of us are just programmed to be brassy, sassy, rebellious, and loud. And I’m not programmed brave, like at. all. K, maybe if you are usually a meek, people-pleaser, it IS brave to stand up and firmly say, “please, respect me.” But um, I have have to tone down, calm down to say that. And loudness can come from fear as well as just innate personality.

    Often either explicit or implicitly, these characters and/or their authors state that domesticity equals a level of anti-intellectualism or lack of intelligence. Again, NO. I can love both and do, thank-you-very-much. How one earth does liking homemaking have anything to do with the intelligence and interests I was born with?

    I was raised in a homeschooling sphere that emphasized domesticity, crafts, etc. for girls. I never understood why so many rebelled against them, I took it personally, until I found more people with different backgrounds who like creating things. I learned of them term “maker.” These people like me just LOVE handicrafts, historical fashion, fiber, making things, its part of our DNA.

    Another fallacy involves being girly and sporty or interested in physical activity (climbing trees, fencing, hunting, you name it). You can love to get completely dolled up and also love to play sports and get sweaty. I think this one is older and maybe it has mostly been killed by now? Or maybe it is because I’m more in the volleyball world because of my sisters and volleyball girls don’t follow this stereotype.

    I think in books this is still in force with the heroine who disdains all “frivolous” dress and fuss and goes gallivanting off with her horse and sword. She can like both. Disliking or like frills doesn’t mean you are physically weak or strong.

    Here is to the loud, brassy, girly, domestic shrews. Oh, wait, what?!

     

  • Reading

    Hamlet

    As I mentioned before Hamlet was my Classics Club spin pick. I put off reading it until literally the last day of May, and I finished it in one day while accomplishing other things like a ridiculously long process of hanging a very high curtain rod that possibly triggered a large nosebleed, but that is another story.

    I know I’ve skimmed this story version of Hamlet and possibly the real version ages ago. To me it seemed pointless, confusing, fatalistic, with lots of meaningless tragedy and angst. Oh, and overrated. My “where’s the love story?” teen/early twenties monomania was not satisfied with the left-over love story wreck I found. And philosophy has always eluded and bored me. Hence, my not reading this VERY (if not most) famous play and instead reading some lesser favored ones instead.

    I read Sparknotes No Fear Shakespeare (I apparently got an older version, but there is an expanded version?!) which has Shakepeare’s original one side and modern English on the other side. I’m proud to say I did manage to mostly read from the original, but I found the modern and notes helpful. I’m in love with this version and want to get all the plays.

    So many of the famous Shakespeare quotes are from Hamlet, I knew the most over-used of course, but “frailty thy name is woman (Brandon)” was the best because I just love when literature quotes literature.

    I remembered Ophelia died, and Hamlet’s death although rather forgotten was not a surprise. I was a little confused about Claudius since the notes threw a question on what the “ghost” actually was. Oh, he was guilty, he admitted it, but I was thrown off for awhile. And I was worried he wouldn’t meet his just deserts.

    I was pleasantly surprise by how quick my interest was caught. I found it less dull and melancholy (not really melancholy at all) than I’d remembered. I learned (unsurprisingly) some dirty Shakespearean modern English (yes, the modern period started around then) slang.

    Hamlet (surprisingly) was awesomely sassy. Full of smart comments and tongue lashings. And him popping up to annoy Claudius, especially at the end when he returns from the ship was just hilarious in timing and tone. And because of all this, was he truly mad or feigning madness or both? He sure seemed to enjoy pushing Claudius’ buttons! I’m not sure what the standard interpretation of Hamlet’s behavior is.

    Ophelia was as seemingly incidental in role as I remember, we didn’t “see” Hamlet and Ophelia during their love affair, nor do they seem to have any affection, particularly not he, when we do see them together. I loved her flower bit; her innocent rapier thrust with the language of flowers. Now, she was truly crazy.

    The evil pair did get their just deserts, but I felt the play dragged towards the middle end and then everyone was finished off in a slap-dash manner, and then it ends in a ludicrously quick manner.

    So, while I do think it is overrated in terms of depth, I am inspired to watch versions of Hamlet, and I did enjoy it more than I was expecting. And I’m especially inspired to read and re-read more Shakespeare. On to reading Coriolanus, so that I can watch the play which premieres on Youtube the day this post comes out!

  • Reading

    Would You Rather Fictional Grab-bag Edition

    I saw this tag Ivy did that Cordy created and I thought it looked super fun.

    Would you rather, be a tenant of Mr. Darcy or Mr. Knightley?
    Mr. Knightly, he is less intimidating.
     
    Would you rather spend a day in the 100 Acre Wood or Neverland?
    100 Acre Wood. I’m about to metaphorically, because there are some bbc radio dramas of Winnie the Pooh, and I need something soothing to listen to.
     
    Would you rather attend a tea party with the Mad Hatter and company or meet the Wizard of Oz?
    The Mad Hatter, that would be funny. I’m not a big Wizard of Oz person.
     
    Would you rather spend a summer at Netherfield with Jane and Mr. Bingley, or at Hamley Hall with Squire Hamley?
    Netherfield and Jane and Bingley, Hamley Hall is only worthwhile if Roger were there and single, and well, he’s taken.
     
    Would you rather be “rescued” by Gilbert Blythe or Colonel Brandon?
    Gilbert, can’t stand Colonel Hum Drum. Unless he was played, as he should have been by Matthew McFayden. But still, Gilbert.

    Would you rather marry Laurie or John Brooke?
    Laurie, if he’d grown up as he should. People, growing up doesn’t mean becoming staid and boring. That isn’t how Laurie really would have grown up, he’d have kept his personality and added some sense of responsibility not turned into a boring, sanctimonious prick. John Brooke is underrated. But I tend to like the teasing guys.

    Would you rather have to participate in a skirmish as a member of Robin Hood’s Merry Men, or as a member of the Musketeers?
    Robin Hood’s Merry Men. I rather think they had better morals (yes, I realized this is ironic coming after my above comments).

    Would you rather have a jolly holiday in a chalk painting or enjoy a tea party on the ceiling with Uncle Albert?
    Not sure what this reference is from, but holiday.

    Would you rather have to chaperone, through their entire courting experience, Lydia Bennet or Anne De Bourgh?
    Anne De Bourgh, she’s quiet and not interfering, basically the opposite of Lydia. Can you imagine how annoying Lydia would be, not to mention the telling at the top of her voice of anything embarrassing?

    Would you rather marry Mr. Wickham or Mr. Elton?
    Mr. Elton. I think I could whip him into some shape. Wickham would just continually cheat.

    Would you rather spend the rest of your life in Middle Earth (starting from the time of the journey of the ring), or Narnia (starting from the time of the Pevensie’s first visit)?
    Narnia, Narnia all the way! And marry Tirian. And change the entire course of the last book starting with banning all primates from Narnia or uninventing them or something.