"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Martin Rising ... Review and Friday Quotes

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City ReaderShare the opening quote from the book.
e Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's VoiceFind a quote from page 56.

Check out the links for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Participants don't select their favorite, coolest, or most intellectual books, they just use the one they are currently reading. This is the book I'm reading right now---

Title: Martin Rising: Requiem for a King by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney

Book Beginning:

January 15, 1929
Baby boy born,
eyes sparkling.
Came into this "Jim Crow" world
brought daylight to
this unfair world,
this legal-to-cheat blacks world,
with God-given gifts:
big voice,
sharp mind,
sparkling-eyed vision
that could see something special
in tomorrow's promise.

Friday 56:

March 29, 1968
Dozens of guardsmen
with bayonets
have been beckoned
to keep at bay
the remaining
who are hard-pressed
to lay down
the last-gasp
of their dignity,
Still they march,

Comments/Review: This beautifully illustrated poetry book is a requiem for Martin Luther King, Jr. The poems cover the Sanitation Workers Strike in Memphis, Tennessee in March and April 1968. This was the last strike/march that King participated in because his life was cut short by an assassin on April 4th as he was stepping out of the Lorraine Motel on his way to get some supper. In the days leading up to his death he seemed to have a premonition that his life-line was short. On April 3rd he made a speech to assembled striking sanitation workers and others. His words we so prescient:

"And I've looked over;
and I've seen the promised land.
"I may not get there with you,
"But I want you to know tonight,
that we,
as a people,
will get to the promised land.
"I'm not fearing any man,
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."

Just days after his assassination, Coretta Scott King, Martin's grieving widow, finished what her husband had started and led the I AM A MAN march with the striking sanitation workers. By the next week the strike was settled and the men returned to work with better conditions and pay guaranteed to them.

Brian Pinkney illustrated the book with lovely watercolor paintings that give shape and color to the rainy weather, the mass of humans on strike, and the dignity of a people.

Andrea Davis Pinkney wrote the poems of a cherished leader's final days. They also speak of a time in history when African Americans faced a very uncertain future. She called her narrative form docu-poems. Many of them caught me unprepared and I found myself weeping over several of them.

The book contains a timeline of King's last month and a timeline of his life. It also contains photos taken of the sanitation strike, including one showing Coretta Scott King marching with them and her children just days after King's death.

I highly recommend this book. It looks like a children's book, but it is really an everybody book. In fact, I think the poems are really geared towards teens and adults.

Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children't Literature as an Adult by Bruce Handy

When my children were young I loved reading to them before bedtime. (Heck, I still love reading with them if they are home for a special occasion and an appropriate book presents itself!) I wasn't an English major or a children's lit expert so we would read whatever struck my fancy, often choosing books I read as a child. Sometimes when in the middle of one of these rereads, I would have to set the book aside in disgust because I would recognize the racism or sexism that I hadn't noticed as a child on my first read through. But usually I would relish the reread, seeing the book through my children's eyes.

When I first saw the title of the book Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children't Literature as an Adult by Bruce Handy I knew I HAD to read it and I wasn't disappointed in my expectations. (I made my choice strictly by the title which proves how important book titles are!)  Handy, an author and book editor, also enjoyed reading to his children when they were young, but he was much more organized than me in terms of his book selections than me.

Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children't Literature as an Adult is roughly organized by themes encompassing examples of great pieces of children's lit from early board books up to great middle grade selections, perhaps with just a little kiss on the border of YA fiction. Each chapter revolves around a theme and usually one or two authors are highlighted in each chapter, also.

The first chapter's theme is going to bed and seeing things with "new eyes, and new ears", focusing on the books of Margaret Wise Brown, mainly Goodnight Moon. As weird as most adults think that book is, Handy points out how it is really brilliant, especially if you look at it through a child's eyes.
"No one seems to knows why it became her preeminent work, but like all her books it is grounded in a profound empathy for the very young...in one of her earliest stories, she writes that the title character 'had brand new eyes and brand new ears, and he heard and saw everything'---which was Brown's gift, to experience the world like a child, as if both she and it were just off the griddle" (9).
I must admit that I liked Goodnight Moon better after reading this chapter. Handy gives voice to something I've long noticed when reading children's books, some seem like they are books about kids or children's themes but written in a very adult voice or from an adult point of view. While others, like most of those written by the genius Margaret Wise Brown, look at the world through the eyes of child. Kids intuitively know the difference and want parents to read and reread these selections.

The parent-child relationship is the next theme in the book with another Margaret Wise Brown selection, Runaway Bunny, getting top billing and Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban a close second. Examples of good parenting are not rare in children's book like they are in adult and YA books, but the parents in the aforementioned books are especially good. Handy does identify a few terrible parenting examples, too---the mom in The Cat in the Hat and the man with the yellow hat in the Curious George books. Talk about absent or laissez-faire parenting examples. What parent would leave her children with only a fish for a babysitter?

If the first two chapters deal with comfortable themes, the third moves away and tackles the importance of fairy tales in child development. I think I only read my daughters the Disneyfied versions of fairy tales and didn't venture into the much more frightening versions by the Grimm Brothers. Both have a place in children's lit. Maurice Sendak's book Where the Wild Things Are really builds on themes common in fairy tales, though the original stories dealt with physical needs for food, shelter, etc. and Sendak's masterpiece dealt more with emotions. Ursula Nordstom, Sendak's editor at Harpers said, "I think that Maurice's book is the first picture book to recognize that children have powerful emotions, anger and love and hate" (64).

I should stop here and mention that just about every chapter made me think that some important person in my life would really enjoy it. My oldest daughter loves fairy tales, so I dearly wanted her to read about here. My youngest daughter is a Beatrix Potter fan. The chapter on talking animals mainly focused on Potter's wonderful illustrations and tales. Since Carly was home for Spring Break, I did read her large swatches of both the talking animals chapter and the next chapter about God where Handy highlighted C.S. Lewis and his Narnia series. Lastly, my oldest sister is a huge Dr. Seuss fan. She would be fascinated by what Handy had to say about the beginning-reader genius, Dr. Seuss. Yesterday at book club I did quote the chapter on growing up where Handy talked about Little Women and Little House on the Prairie. Handy made the point that 'boy books' tend to end at the end of the adventure but 'girl books' tend to keep going until marriage. I am not sure if this is still the case, but it certainly was when we were growing up reading books Little Women.

The last chapter dealt with probably the best middle grade book ever written about a very difficult theme, Charlotte's Web. I've always thought that books were a perfect way to talk to readers about tough topics. I used to tell my students that it was okay to read books if they were grappling with an issue because the book handed out advice but didn't pay attention if they kept the advice or not.
Before he launches into a description of Charlotte's Web and it's author E.B. White, Handy asks this question, "Do wiser, funnier, more pleasurable books exist? If so, they're few and far between, no matter how old or young their intended audience" (249). I confess that I decided to reread White's masterpiece after I read this chapter. Kids, like everyone, are flummoxed by death and how to talk about it. Charlotte's Web is a good place to start.

Lest you think that Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children't Literature as an Adult is only about books and authors, Handy does not ignore the illustrators of the classic pieces that he highlights. His discussion of the ways that the illustrations enhance or distract from the stories were helpful to my understanding of the craft of illustrating children's books.

I was weeping as I read the Afterward to the book. Why? Because Handy talked about how much he loved reading to his own kids and felt sad when they no longer needed/wanted him to do so. I remember those days well, even though they were many years ago. Thankfully, I have a young grandson. Already we are 'reading' board-books together. It won't be long before I can share all my favorite stories with him...Jamberry; The Big Hungry Bear; A Million Chameleons...

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Audiobook review: Lincoln in the Baldo by George Saunders

Late in 2017 a fellow blogger analyzed all of the end-of-the-year-best-books lists. She gave each book one point per list. In the end
Lincoln in the Bardo earned the most points. In other words, it ended up on more best-books lists than any other book published in 2017. That alone made me want to read the book. In addition our book group members selected Lincoln in the Bardo as one of our book selections for 2018, guaranteeing that I would actually read it carefully in preparation for the group discussion.

George Saunders started the book with this premise: after the death of his son to typhoid fever in 1862, Abraham Lincoln visited Willie's crypt and held the dead boy in his arms at least two times. Saunders decided to explore Lincoln's deep grief. Up to this point Lincoln was so distraught by his cares related to the Civil War but after the death of his son he seems able to channel his sorrow into true and abiding empathy for all soldiers, on both sides, and for the people trapped in slavery. Saunders said in a NYT Book Review,
"It seemed to me that the empathy was somehow a byproduct of the sorrow — a burning-away of his hopes and dreams that resulted in a kind of naked seeing of things as they really were...I came to understand Lincoln as someone so beat down by sadness and loss that he developed a sort of crazy wisdom — as if, in sadness, all of the comforting bromides that normally keep us from the harsher truths were denied him. Empathy might even thrive best in this state, where the easy comforts are denied us." 
Saunders was able to give the reader an excellent feel for the time by including chapters full of quotes from letters, journals, and diaries written by individuals living during the period of time leading up to and right after Willie's death in 1862. One chapter, which comes to mind as I am searching my brain for an example, were all quotes about the moon on the night that Willie died. In true recollection fashion half the quotes said it was a moonless night, others said it was a full moon, while others talked about the pretty crescent moon. Each quote was read by a different narrator. (Listen to the YouTube video below for details about the audiobook experience.)

The other part of the book all takes place in the cemetery where Willie's body is laid to rest. Here he is met by ghosts (for lack of a better word) who are stuck in the bardo. "Bardo" is a Buddhist term used to describe the time between death and rebirth. All of the ghosts in the cemetery do not acknowledge that they are dead, referring to themselves as sick and their coffins as sick-boxes. But they do recognize that their existence is less than desirable and certainly not a place for a young child to hang out. Three of the ghost characters try with all their might to assist Willie in passing over, but his soul is stuck to the earth because his father, President Lincoln, hasn't let him go yet.

For a bit of literary fun, my husband noticed that the ghosts stuck in the bardo all seemed to have embraced one of the seven deadly sins while alive: greed, gluttony, lust, envy, sloth, wrath, and pride.
One, an old printer was just at the point where he would consummate his marriage when he died from a blow to his head, was naked with a throbbing member in the bardo (lust). Another, who was a pastor in life, couldn't get over that he hadn't gone to heaven after living such an exemplary life (pride). A third, who was a slave in life, couldn't let go of his desire for revenge toward his former owner (wrath). I am not sure I could name a character for each of the sins, but it was a fun exercise to try and identify each.

I listened to the audiobook of Lincoln in the Bardo and I have to say it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I have ever had with this format. The producer actually utilized 166 voice actors/people to read the different parts. It was incredible to hear all the varieties in voices as they read the actual quotes from historical documents. The main characters were read by Nick Offerman as HANS VOLLMAN , David Sedaris as ROGER BEVINS III, George Saunders as THE REVEREND EVERLY THOMAS, and Cassandra Campbell as the NARRATOR. For a partial list of all the readers, check here. You will find names you know like Susan Sarandan, Ben Stiller, Julianne Moore, and Bill Hader. It was quite a cast and an amazing listening experience. Click on the YouTube video below of George Saunders talking about the making of the audiobook. The diversity of voices reflects the diversity of people in America at that time in history, using "both high diction, low diction, and some dialect". Some of the quotes and voices are shockingly crass. In case you are feeling a bit prudish today, I wanted to warn you not to be shocked.

I'm hoping that my book club friends will listen to at least a few excerpts of the audiobook. In addition, I found these discussion questions from Penguin Random House which should be useful in helping us dig deeper into the unique aspects of the book.

After a week or two of contemplation I amended my initial rating of the book from 4.25 stars to 5 stars. It is a such a unique book with both its historical quotes from letters and diaries written at the time and the ghosts in the cemetery, it really feels like one of those books that should be read (or listened to) widely.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Audiobook Review: True Grit by Charles Portis

Original 1968 Simon Schuster hardback cover
True Grit by Charles Portis was published in 1968 and became an instant classic. It was memorialized the very next year when it was made into a film starring John Wayne hit the big screen. High school classes started reading and analyzing it, which probably means that some people would think of it negatively, but that means that teachers recognized its brilliance. One reviewer, Donna Tartt, called True Grit an "American masterpiece" and compared it to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. What is more American than a good Old West story which has plenty of adventures, memorable characters, and wild open spaces?

The book begins with these memorable opening lines,
“People do not give it credence that a fourteen-year-old girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her father's blood but it did not seem so strange then, although I will say it did not happen every day. I was just fourteen years of age when a coward going by the name Tom Chaney shot my father down in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and robbed him of his life and his horse and $150 in cash money plus two California gold pieces that he carried in his trouser band.” 
And so the reader meets Mattie Ross, a plucky girl, brave and strong beyond her fourteen years, who intends to hunt down and bring her father's murderer to justice. She engages the services of a an old, cone-eyed US Marshall, Rooster Cogburn, to help her accomplish this feat. Ross recounts her harrowing tale in retrospect, nearly fifty years after the events that so drastically altered her life, when she is a cranky old spinster.

Charles McGrath, writing for the New York Times, had a lot to say about True Grit's humor. At first glance the book doesn't seem to be that funny. Surely the topic isn't a funny one. McGrath refers to the humor of True Grit as "deadpan", written as if serious but containing a truly bizarre set of characters who all do and say oddly funny things.
"Mr. Portis evokes an eccentric, absurd world with a completely straight face. As a result there are not a lot of laugh-out-loud moments or explosive set pieces here. Instead of shooting off fireworks the books shimmer with a continuous comic glow."
Perhaps the humor is what sets True Grit apart, but I think it is the language that makes it really special. Mattie Ross as narrator is so authentic and unique. Her voice makes the book something really different. McGrath calls her narrative voice "a feat of historical ventriloquism." Truly Portis captured the language and tone of what I think people used to talk like in the 1800, much more formal and stiff. It was this use of language that really sold me on the book and elevated it, in my mind, to one of my top 50 books, one that readers, especially American readers, shouldn't miss.
"Mattie is lovable in her way, and though grit is what she admires in Rooster, she is hardly lacking in that department herself. But she is also humorless, righteous and utterly without either self-doubt or self-consciousness. She has no idea how she or her words come across on the page, nor would she care if she did" (McGrath).
As a Presbyterian myself, I couldn't help laughing at her references to her faith and her church (Presbyterian) especially when she quotes scripture or comes across as very pious, “ 'I will go further and say all cats are wicked, though often useful. Who has not seen Satan in their sly faces? Some preachers will say, well, that is superstitious ‘claptrap.’ My answer is this: Preacher, go to your Bible and read Luke 8: 26-33.'” 

My husband and I listened to the audiobook version of True Grit read by Donna Tartt. Tartt, a Southerner, is a true fan of True Grit and loves it for its uniquely American voice, too. She did a masterful job with the narration and I highly recommend this format to you.

Sometimes, not often, a book comes along which instantly becomes a classic, a new favorite, and a must-read. This is one of those books. Though it was written fifty years ago, it still deserves it place on our nightstands. Go to your library right now and request a copy. You will not be disappointed.

btw- Everything I read said that John Wayne's motion picture adaptation of "True Grit" isn't as good as the Coen Brothers 2010 remake starring Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn and Hailee Steinfield as Mattie Ross. Of course, read the book before you see the film.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Friday Quotes: True Grit

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City ReaderShare the opening quote from the book.
e Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's VoiceFind a quote from page 56.

Check out the links for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Participants don't select their favorite, coolest, or most intellectual books, they just use the one they are currently reading. This is the book I'm reading right now---

Title: True Grit by Charles Portis

Book Beginnings:
“People do not give it credence that a fourteen-year-old girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her father's blood but it did not seem so strange then, although I will say it did not happen every day. I was just fourteen years of age when a coward going by the name Tom Chaney shot my father down in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and robbed him of his life and his horse and $150 in cash money plus two California gold pieces that he carried in his trouser band.” 
Friday 56:
“I bought some crackers and a piece of hoop cheese and an apple at a grocery store and sat on a nail keg by the stove and had a cheap yet nourishing lunch. You know what they say, "Enough is as good as a feast.” 
Comments: I am listening to the audiobook of this classic western story, True Grit. The story is told by Mattie Ross fifty years after she sought to revenge the murder of her father in 1875 by setting out in Choctaw Country with a US Marshall, Rooster Cogburn. The book was made famous by a John Wayne movie in the late 1960s. I am so captivated by the narrator's voice. As Mattie looks back on this event from earlier life, one is instantly transported back to a by-gone era in America. That is what I love about the second quote.

Monday, March 12, 2018

TTT: Books that surprised me

Top Ten Tuesday: Classic Books that pleasantly surprised me...in other words, I liked them better than I thought I would.

One has to admit that most classic novels are considered "classic" because they stand the test of time and, I would add, it is unlikely that a book would stand that test if no one liked them. Here are some classic books which just blew me away and I actually recommend them all.

1. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins--- this is an early mystery. Collins wrote this book in installments which were published in the newspaper. Because of this, each chapter ends on a cliffhanger of sorts. I was very invested in this story. Originally published in 1859.

2. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton--- set during the Golden Age in New York when society people were more afraid of scandal than of disease. Published in 1921. It won the Pulitzer Prize that year.

3. Persuasion by Jane Austen--- everyone knows about her most popular book, Pride and Prejudice, so I choose to mention this one, the last novel that Austen wrote. I love this peek at family life of the upper class in the early 1800s. It was published in 1817.

4. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh---set during the time between the first and second world wars. It is the story of the Marchmains family and the world that is disappearing for them. It gives the reader a lot to digest. Published in 1945.

5. Lolita by Vladimer Nababov---the topic---INCEST--- is so depraved, yet this book is such a beautifully written book, the most beautiful I've ever read. Published in 1955.

6. 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez---The extraordinary story of the Buendia family. This book is brilliant and is the quintessential book defining magical realism. I am not embarrassed to admit I read the Shmoop page as I listened to the audiobook. Published in 1967.

7. The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnon Rawlings--- a delightful and insightful coming-of-age tale set in Florida after the Civil War. In the opening Jody is a young boy who wants a pet, at the end we see a boy who is starting to view the world through adult eyes. Another Pulitzer Prize winner published in 1938.

8. A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O'Connor---I don't usually think of myself as a short story reader, but I really liked this collection of stories and have found myself thinking about them over and over again. First published in 1953.

9. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya--- this is another coming-of-age tale told through mythic legacy of Tony's family, guided by Ultima with a touch of magic. Another book that I read alongside Shmoop, but got so much out of it. Published in 1972.

10. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston---Janie Crawford is a black woman in the 1930s. This book is about her quest for idenity through three husbands and several relocations. An enlightening peek at life in the South in the 30s. It is written in vernacular so it is perfect audiobook selection. Published in 1937.

I hope I encouraged you, through this post, to read a classic book in 2018.

Sunday, er...Monday Salon

Mount Rainier at twilight 
Weather: Gorgeous. The temperatures yesterday were in the the mid 60s, perfect for working in the yard (which we did.)

Roses, hydrangeas, kale, and moss (oh my): 
  • Don and I spent a bit of time on both Saturday and Sunday pruning and mulching the roses. We were late on the pruning according to the old adage to prune by President's Day Weekend (mid-February) but earlier on the mulching than usual so I hope the net result is a good one. 
  • The rose bed was covered with moss, as is just about everything around here: our roof, driveway, all flower beds, even on flower pots. I have officially declared war on moss and will at least a few minutes every day this Spring de-mossing something. 
  • While moving from the front to the back yard I noticed that the large pot where I grew kale last year is full of a healthy crop. I don't remember throwing down any new seeds but perhaps I did last Fall hoping for one more crop before winter. Hmm...I think I will make a few green smoothies today using the kale.
  • Today's task in to deadhead the hydrangea bushes. Thankfully Carly, who is home for Spring break, has agreed to help me. This is another task I should have done a long time ago. Thank goodness for fine weather and daughters.
Jury duty: I am officially on jury duty this week, but didn't have to go in today. I don't know what that means for the rest of the week, however. I seem to have one of those lucky numbers because I get called for jury duty about once every two or three years, Don has only been called once in his life. Lucky me. Not.
Dad and his great grandson, Ian

Eugene: The weekend before last Daughter #1, Rita, and I took her son down to Eugene to visit his great-grandparents. My folks are aging (aren't we all?) to the point that many of their friends are dying for age related illnesses. The previous month they had experienced the death of two of their closest friends. I thought that a visit from little Ian would boost their moods and help shift their focus from looking back to looking forward. I know they were thrilled to spend a little time with our boy.  The photo above is of my dad and Ian. Isn't it sweet?
View of the Olympic Mountains looking across Lake Washington
Friends: I had a chance to spend time with two of my high school friends this past week: Mary Jo and Carol. Mary Jo drove over from her home on the Olympic Peninsula so we could talk about her upcoming trip to China. Carol and her husband Vijay, met Don and I for breakfast on Saturday so we could catch up and find out details of their trip to Costa Rica and plans for upcoming trips. I guess we are now in the age bracket where our friends are all traveling to exotic locations.  ☺

Carly is home for two weeks: She is home from New York for her "last" Spring break. While home she has scheduled a few informational interviews with genetic counselors in the area, putting out job feelers. I love having her home.

Aerial view of elephants by their shadows. Photo from the book: Endangers.

Books read since my last update:

  • Finding My Elegy: New and Selected Poems by Ursula LeGuin...not my favorite poetry collection but I recognize that poetry is a very personal thing. Print.
  • Endangered by Tim Flach...one of those huge coffee table sized books with fabulous photos of endangered animals. I sat at the library and read this one so I wouldn't have to lug it home. See photo above for a sample of the wonderful photos. Print.
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng... a book club selection. An interesting look at an American family along with cultural and ethical topics. Audio.
  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders...another book club selection. This book has won all kinds of awards. I really enjoyed it. Audio.
  • Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes...an award-winning children's book about a visit to the barber. I loved it. Print.
  • Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld...a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Not nearly as good as the original. It still enjoyed it. Audio.
  • Harry Potter and Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling... a reread. Print.
Currently reading: 
  • Emma by Alexander McCall Smith...another modern retelling from the Austen Project. 57%. Audio.
  • Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children's Literature as an Adult by Bruce Handy. I am enjoying this nonfiction book immensely. 33%. Print
  • Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver...I adore Oliver's poems but I am reading only a few poems every day so it will take me months to finish this large volume. 18%. Print.
  • True Grit by Charles Portis. I started this audiobook at the gym the other day but I will have to set it aside as another audiobook came in from the library.
A few other bookish things:
  • Pierce County Reads! selected the 3-volume set of graphic novels MARCH by John Lewis for this year's all-county read. I am delighted.
  • I've decided, now that I am retired and no longer have to feel "guilty" if I am not reading YA lit, that I can finish a few book series which I had set aside: The Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde, The Flavia du Luce series by Alan Bradley, and the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Maybe some others like several of Alexander McCall Smith's series. Yay!
Hydrangea flowers. Photo taken last summer.
Hydrangeas are calling.  Maybe next week I will actually get this posted on Sunday! Bye!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Friday Quotes: Emma---A Modern Retelling

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City ReaderShare the opening quote from the book.
e Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's VoiceFind a quote from page 56.

Check out the links for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Participants don't select their favorite, coolest, or most intellectual books, they just use the one they are currently reading. This is the book I'm reading right now---

Title: Emma: A Modern Retellings by Alexander McCall Smith

Book Beginnings:
"Emma Woodhouse's father was brought into this world, blinking and confused, on one of those final nail-biting days of the Cuban Missile Crisis."
Friday 56:
"Governesses, he thought, were perhaps on the same list of endangered species as butlers."
Comments: A Jane Austen fan, it is natural that I would want to read the modern retellings commissioned in 2011 by The Austen Project. This one, Emma, is written by a favorite author Alexander McCall Smith. He has such a good sense of humor. I enjoy his books so much. I like the book beginning because it gives some of the back story and answers a question that the original doesn't, namely why is Mr. Woodhouse such a worrier. I finished the retelling of Pride and Prejudice, Eligible, last week and thought it was quite fun. Neither are as good as the original. But they never are.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

TTT: Some of my favorite Jane Austen Quotes

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite quotes.

Since I've done this "assignment" before for TTT here, here, here, and here, I am modifying my list to just include  some favorite quotes from Jane Austen found in her books or her letters.

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” 
― Jane AustenNorthanger Abbey

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” 
― Jane AustenPride and Prejudice

“Angry people are not always wise.” 
― Jane AustenPride and Prejudice

“but for my own part, if a book is well written, I always find it too short.” 
― Jane Austen

“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope...I have loved none but you.” 
― Jane AustenPersuasion

“My idea of good company...is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.' 
'You are mistaken,' said he gently, 'that is not good company, that is the best.” 
― Jane AustenPersuasion

“I have been used to consider poetry as "the food of love" said Darcy.

"Of a fine, stout, healthy love it may. Everything nourishes what is
strong already. But if it be only a slight, thin sort of inclination, I
am convinced that one good sonnet will starve it entirely away.” 
― Jane AustenPride and Prejudice

“If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.” 
― Jane AustenEmma

“Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.” 
― Jane AustenMansfield Park

“Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience- or give it a more fascinating name, call it hope.” 
― Jane AustenSense and Sensibility

“We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.” 
― Jane AustenMansfield Park

“I will not say that your mulberry trees are dead; but I am afraid they're not alive. ” 
― Jane AustenJane Austen's Letters

“Oh! I am delighted with the book! I should like to spend my whole life in reading it.” 
― Jane AustenNorthanger Abbey

“What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance.” 
― Jane Austen

“The Very first moment I beheld him, my heart was irrevocably gone” 
― Jane AustenLove and Friendship