Thoughts. In motion.
Something different. Something fun? More? Maybe NOT? Keep trying?
Thoughts. In motion.
Something different. Something fun? More? Maybe NOT? Keep trying?
Narrated by Thandie Newton.Challenge: Personal Genre: Classics, Feminism, Gothic Romance? Type/Source: Audiobook / Audible Why I read this now: #shrug
MOTIVATION for READING: Oh Jane. Jane, I feel like I know you. I have ‘known’ your story for what feels like forever. But, my memory fails me! I’m not really positive that I have met you face-to-face and heard your story from you directly. Perhaps I have only heard talk from other acquaintances, about your Mr. Rochester and his mad wife in the attic. I can’t remember if I was lying when I say I have read your book. Did I? or does it just seem that way because I know of the tale? (I have the same issue/question re: Wuthering Heights.)
I had to be sure. I decided that experiencing Jane Eyre via audiobook was the way to go (a first-read or reread – who cares? I suspected I would enjoy it – I love long classics on audio.) Lucky for me, I was able to select THIS edition.
WHAT’s it ABOUT: Hmmmm, dare I spoil it? Have I already?! EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT JANE EYRE IS ABOUT, right?
Actually, no. One of my best friends asked me yesterday, what is about? Crazy, huh? She’s such a good egg but is she plugged into the world of literature-mania like me? She is NOT.
And I had hard time telling her. How much to tell? I shrugged and told her she wouldn’t like it and would probably DNF it. I know her well enough.
WHAT’s GOOD: Thandie Newton is a dream. She is PERFECTION. She made every line beautiful and dreamy; she delivered the exact amount of emotion to every sentence. Fraught or loving, scary or forcefully independent.
What’s NOT so good: Bronte can go on and on with descriptions but I enjoyed it. (I suspect my friend would roll her eyes in weariness. I also suspect she wouldn’t like the old language.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: If you want to audiobook a classic, choose this one.
RATING: Five slices of gooseberry pie.
“I have kept myself; and, I trust, shall keep myself again. What are you going to do with these gooseberries?” I inquired, as she brought out a basket of the fruit.
“Mak’ ’em into pies.”
“Give them to me and I’ll pick them.”
“Nay; I dunnut want ye to do nought.”
“But I must do something. Let me have them.”
She consented; and she even brought me a clean towel to spread over my dress, “lest,” as she said, “I should mucky it.”
Today is the day we share what we read for the latest Spin.
I read Cold Comfort Farm and got a kick out of it. Glad I finally got to it and that I got it well enough. I know the humor seems to hit & miss for some people but I always seem to enjoy a good satire even when I don’t quite know what I’m chuckling about/with. Whatever, it works for me and it’s all about me. Ha!
I’m having a good year getting back to classics. I finished Stoner in January and have a plan to capture quite a few titles as options in my quest to fulfill this year’s What’s in a Name Challenge.
Next up is my post on Jane Eyre – hoping to finish before the close of the month.
MOTIVATION for READING: I originally had this on my Club 50 because it was a book I saw on many people’s done-read list and I wanted to get in on that.
“He was a tree-trunk; a toad on a stone; a pie-thatched owl on a bough.”
WHAT’s it ABOUT: Supposedly, it makes fun of the classic style of British farm novels? I have not read any British farm novels so I can’t comment to that.
Poor orphaned Flora finds out that her inheritance will not be quite adequate to live on so she decides to crash on relatives who will have her. They all acquiesce to the idea but she can’t go to them all, right? so she picks the one that will most benefit from her influence: Cold Comfort Farm. She arranges marriages, lets the bull get some sunshine, finds servants to wash her curtains, gets one cousin to ‘realize his ambition’ which allows another cousin to realize a dream. One cousin is discovered as Star Material for Hollywood talkies and another discovers the health benefits of travel. It’s quite crazy and madcap and all arranged by Flora’s capable hands.
All that and she somehow herself is proposed to; she gets to fly off to live happily ever after.
“Henceforth her life would be one of exquisite sunny natural content.”
WHAT’s GOOD: I did find it funny. Not laugh out loud joke funny but amusing. I loved that every mode of transportation and all mediums for communication are utilized.
What’s NOT so good: Well, it’s an old book set in another time, so it has a few crass mentions of ‘other’ that are stereotypical and insensitive but only a couple. It really isn’t kind to women, either, tbh. And by that, I mean poor women.
I did scratch my head a few times in mild bewilderment and some questions never get answered. Do we really want to know what Aunt Ada Doom saw in the woodshed? No, no we do not. And what exactly did they do to Flora’s father that they had to accept penance of taking in Flora? And who was Adam? I never did figure out who Adam was but shrug. No matter.
[Updated to add: I remembered to read the Introduction by Lynne Truss who explains and admires this work in terrific prose. So, anything I didn’t get was because I can be obtuse – ha! The Intro is fab. Be sure to read it; get THIS edition with the cow on the cover so you don’t miss it. And, if you’re like me – you’ll read it after so nothing is spoiled. I would never read an Intro before a book. Why oh why do they want me to read it first?!]
FINAL THOUGHTS: I kind of wish I had a Flora Poste to interfere in my life… She surely would have some sensible advice to provide.
RATING: Five slices of apple pie.
“What they was having themselves proved to be apple tart and vegetables, so Flora did quite well.”
Mar 9: number 3 selected; thus, I get to read Cold Comfort Farm. [My review]
It’s another SPIN! My favorite… This button has the information post:
Drawing and number announcement will be March 9; book at that number from this list must be read by the end of April. Let’s do this!
Here are my 20:
I was planning on getting to The House of the Seven Gables sooner than later so let’s all hope the spin number is TEN!
My original list and progress page is linked here for my own convenience.
Sometimes, immersed in his books, there would come to him the awareness of all that he did not know, of all that he had not read; and the serenity for which he labored was shattered as he realized the little time he had in life to read so much, to learn what he had to know.
HChallenge: Classics Club 50! Type/Source: eBook/Kindle
MOTIVATION for READING: I had heard very good things about this book; I had expectations that it would be just the kind of book I love. And it was!
WHAT’s it ABOUT: Stoner is a Professor of Literature at the University of Missouri. This book explores his entire life, start to finish.
WHAT’s GOOD: The writing.
What’s NOT so good: I love contemplative character studies. If you don’t, just skip it. It’s OK. I LOVED this.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I’m so glad to finally conquer this one! Yay me.
RATING: Five slices of pie. No pie mentioned. Although, ‘magpie’ is.
“Outside, in the old elm that crowded the back-yard fence, a large black-and-white bird—a magpie—had started to chatter. He listened to the sound of its calling and watched with remote fascination the open beak as it strained out its lonely cry.”
Seriously, I must focus on my CLASSICS CLUB LIST!
Basically, if you do not know about the Classics Club 50, it is a challenge to read 50 books over 5 years. You can even decide your own definition of ‘classic’ (if I remember correctly; you can verify it at the official website here.) I decided any book over 25 years old was a classic.
You are also allowed to swap books off/on your original list – as long as you read 50 books in 5 years within your category of classic, you win! And by winning, I mean that you get the pride of accomplishment. A friend or two might give you an applause tweet — that would be lovely. It’s fun!
I wanted to join because they have a fun activity a few times each year called THE SPIN. The Club Committee will post to announce THE SPIN, tell you to get a short sublist of only 20 books you still have to read, and later announce a number between 1-20. You have to read that numbered book from your list! I think you get 6 weeks or so to read it, so the challenge is really to be on the ball not to miss the announcement AND the spin number AND the deadline. Please let me know if you see the next one – I do NOT want to miss it this year…
My original list is —> here <—. I have 29 books from my original list to read yet.
Don’t fret! Good news!! I have read 37 books over 25 years old in the last 3 years so that means I only have 13 books remaining. I hope to choose these from my original list, but who knows what will happen. And since this is my 4th year, I have 24 months to do so. Woo hoo
Here are the books I read last year that counted towards my 50 overall:
The Summer of My German Soldier (1973) by Bette Greene – Apr17
The Sweet Hereafter (1991) by Russell Banks – Jul17
The Grand Sophy (1950) by Geogette Heyer – Aug17
Waiting for Godot (1952) by Samuel Beckett – Sep17
Angle of Repose (1971) by Wallace Stegner – Oct17
The books I read that were on my list were:
Orlando (1928) by Virginia Woolf – May
The Hunter (1960) by Richard Stark – April
And so far in 2018, I’m enjoying Stoner (1965) by John Williams and have a few from the list I’m committing to for the What’s in a Name Challenge: The Oxbow Incident, The Dud Avocado, and The House of the Seven Gables.
Ok, that’s my update. Til next time, keep reading and look for pie on every menu and in every book. Don’t forget to let me know if you find a great pie scene in your literature adventure.
My favorite challenge! This button will take you to the host blog, The Worm Hole.
Here are the categories (with hyperlinks back to host blog) and my possible choices:
The word ‘the’ used twice – From my Classics Club 50: The House of the Seven Gables by Nat Hawthorne.
A fruit or vegetable – I’m committing to Elaine Dundy‘s The Dud Avocado, also on my Classics Club 50.
A shape – SO EXCITED to announce another Classics Club 50 will fit this one: The Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilberg Clark. An ox-bow is defined as
A title that begins with Z – Darn that I read Z last year (book about Zelda Fitzgerald) so I’m going to try The Zero by Jess Walter – I absolutely loved his Beautiful Ruins.
A nationality – Not sure here. Had American War for this spot when it was on the TOB long list but since it didn’t make the short. I have a lot of great nonfiction options about women that history forgot and I might go that route. Or perhaps American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang which would be a graphic novel and I want more of these. Any other suggestions?
A season – Cruel Winter by Sheila Connelly. I purchased this book for a friend’s birthday because it sounded like something she would enjoy and she promised to let me read it after (and then I’ll give it back so she can loan to her mom.)
I have created a goodreads list of done-reads and possibles for my 2018 tracking here…
I completed a reading challenge. I’m quite happy about this.
I was quite happy… until I realized I didn’t read any – none, nada, not a ONE, of the classics on my Classics 50 Challenge in the entire 12 months of 2017.
Oh well. I don’t know why this really saddens me. But it does. It makes me sad. Not one? REALLY?
Well. I already know I’m failing miserably at the Tournament of Books Long List. We know my book review posting has been pathetic since May. Yep, Ok. WE KNOW.
I know – or think I just MUST have – read one or two books this year that were published over 50 years (ok, maybe 25 years ago – let’s try that?) But I’m afraid to look.
SO, let’s be happy with KINDNESS. Let’s be happy with making a tremendous effort to not get bogged down by ‘the news’ – fake or otherwise (see? I’m already losing it) and let’s think positive fighting RIGHT humanity-minded equality-grounded love-centered thoughts and be kind to every person, every puppy. Cats, too. Why not.
And PIE. Let’s promote PIE because the World can use a PEACE.
Here are the books I read for the 2017 What’s in a Name Challenge:
Title with number (not spelled out):
Title with an X:
I love this time of year in blog world. Stats! Pie charts! Picking THE book to be the First of the Year! Going through my books to find ones that fit the next What’s in a Name Challenge! Cheers
I read books in October. Let me tell ya!
The Magician’s Assistant / Ann Patchett A (1997,11′) *** 74
Textbook / Amy Krause Rosenthal HB (2016,368) **** 73
Lila / Marilynne Robinson A (2014,9′) **** 72
One Good Turn / Kate Atkinson Tb (2016,448) **** 71
Angle of Repose / Wallace Stegner Tb (1971,569) **** 70
Two audiobooks – so nice to get back to this medium. My new job often has me traveling so I have some car time. Plus the commute home is 30-40 minutes (which I expect will be on the longer side since I have to traverse the shopping district avenues which get congested this time of year.) With no traffic, I can get TO work in just over 15 minutes!
Let’s start: I read Angle of Repose because* I so very much enjoyed the first Stegner I treated myself to: (and click on this: –> to read my review) Crossing to Safety. AofR won the Pulitzer, doncha know, and as impressive an epic it is, I enjoyed Crossing to Safety more. That said, Angle is impressive. Oh, I said that. It’s full of big ideas and some great fabulous looks into our American History, the western expansion. Recommended if you like amazing writing, complicated characters and sweeping views of history. It was set in the late sixties, yet Stegner writes with a freshness that is … impressive. It felt fresh and not as someone now writing about then. Does that make sense? Hey, it’s my opinion. Golly gee, I miss blogging and putting myself OUT THERE! wee hoo. yee haw. [Rabbit pie and cowpie.]
Stegner is not talked about enough.
* I also read Angle of Repose because I have an engineering degree and the term suggests ‘engineering‘. Not at all to suggest to not-engineering geeks (so do not assume!) that this is science-heavy aka boring!! it is not. Please please don’t think that. ugh.
One Good Turn. I read this because…. LOTS of reasons! I love this author. I really enjoyed her first Brodie book and this is the second with this main character. whoops, maybe only 2 reasons. I found this book at my apartment complex! It was on the community shelf. Had to grab. I returned it (though not to the same spot.)
If you liked Case Histories, I can tell you to go ahead read this, too, if you haven’t yet. To click on this sentence, you will be transported to my goodreads notes for Case Histories because I didn’t review it here (on blog.) What a sad blogging summer I had… [I’m counting egg custard as ‘pie’.]
Lila. Oh Lila! What a fascinating amazing story. This month was chock full of the best author visits; now that I think about it, all return visits to these authors. What a comfortable heart-full reading month I have had this October. If you are like me and appreciate the soul-singing work of Marilynne Robinson (and can I only say to any of you that don’t have the same kind of spiritual ‘relationship’ that this author might espouse – all cool. I get it. I really don’t either at this moment in my life but wow oh wow do I appreciate what she does in her writing.) I want to put all of MR’s Gilead books on my “to-read-again all-at-once in-order someday list”. I’m mentally creating this list of books to read and probably need to create it in goodreads, right? Right. Will do…
NOT to suggest that listening to Lila‘s side of things was ‘comfortable’. Soul-singing provocative spiritual stuff is never comfortable. [Apple Pie]
Dear Reader, do you know of this? Feel free to click on the link just provided and read about it from the goodreads perspective.
I just want to start crying. Whoa.
Thank you Bybee for sending me this. I still have it. I want to send it to SOMEONE but don’t know who. Also, I don’t know if I want it to leave me. It could very well be all gimmick-schmimmick until life(/death) thrusts into the ‘plan’ and shows no guarantees.
(sniff, gulp. sob…)
[yes, pie… It was THIS that broke my freakin’ heart.]
Live, people. Don’t watch the crap on the news, hug your loved ones, recognize the humanity in every person, strive to be better and LIVE, goddammit. (talking to myself?)
The Magician’s Assistant. Ann Patchett you nutty adorable author book-store-owner lovely lady YOU. Love ya. Not your best book but that’s OK, I’m sure you learned much from the experience (of course you did, goofy-me. ha) and so glad you kept after the craft. I am still not sure the narrator captured Nebraska small town, but hey, “Whatever.” This is the author that inspires me, delights me, makes me think and entertains. One of my favorites.
I’ll forgive the no pie thing. This time.