I have joined the Everything Austen Challenge that was devised by the blogger at Stephanie's Written Word. The challenge is to read/watch six Austen related items within six months. How brilliant is that!!! There are so many Austenish things out there now that finding things to choose from won't be the difficult part, it will be deciding which six things to choose. Okay, so for my six choices I have chosen the following items:
1. Lost in Austen t.v. series
2. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith
3. Austenland by Shannon Hale
4. Becoming Jane film
5. Emma by Jane Austen
6. Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen
Those are my chose six, not in that order, mind you. Of course, I might change my mind, if something else catches my fancy. But for now, I will be starting with reading P&P& Zombies. I have read so many great things about this book that I can't wait to read it. I can't wait to read about Elizabeth kicking some zombie butt!
Ciao for now and as always, Happy Reading!!!
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Over on the dovegreyreader scribbles site she has set up a joined-up reading task titled, Team Ulysses. Basically, as of June 16, 2009, anyone on Team Ulysses is encouraged to read at least 2 pages a day of the great book in the hopes of finishing the text by the deadline date of July 16, 2010. I have joined the team and am excited about it, because I have always wanted to read the entire text. I have read excerpts from the book for a class, but have never actually been assigned to read the entire book. Truth be told, I found the idea of reading the book a bit daunting. There is so much information to unpack within the text that I assumed it would take me years to complete the book. Okay, so it would not take me years to read the book, but it would take me quite some time to really understand the book. Joyce was a literary genius who utilized everything he knew and placed it within his text, as some sort of treasure hunt; Literature within literature, with a book that is written in the literary form of "stream of consciousness". Wow! Sounds quite wonderful and rather intriguing. Also, sounds a bit scary. Of course, I realize that Ulysses is not Finnegan's Wake, which I have heard takes a lifetime to fully understand. Isn't that a bit crazy? A book that takes a lifetime to comprehend? Well, its crazy and its genuis to create a work that obsesses people for the rest of their life. I guess Joyce knew what he was doing, eh? Well, I am going to dive right in and tackle Ulysses at last. Truth be told I am happy that we have a year to read the book, because I figure that over the course of one year I should be able to understand it and explain it. Alright, well, happy reading to all. Let the reading begin!
Yes, I admit it - I am a fan of The Hills. I am on Team LC and therefore I picked up her book the other day and read it. I wanted to see which characters in the book resembled the characters on the "reality" show. I found it a bit hard to tell who represented who, but I did enjoy the book. Was I impressed by the writing or story line - no. But I will admit that it was not badly written and I did laugh a few times at the situations the characters found themselves in. Overall, I would rate this book as a solid C. Will I read the next 2 books (apparently, LC has signed a three book deal) by LC? Yes, I will read them and I will probably enjoy them, because I do enjoy my fluff reads now and again. And yes, L.A. Candy is most definitely a fluff read. All in all, its good to see that LC is doing something post Hills that is actually tantamount to work. I do admit that I think that The Hills will crumble without its main protagonist in the picture, but I will watch it to find out how the new LC will fare. Hmmm. Should be interesting t.v. no doubt.
Friday, June 5, 2009
I just finished Little Bee a few days ago and I have decided that I just did not like the book. I liked some aspects of the narrative, but I did not really care for the characters all that much. The book is about two women whose lives are linked together based on the night that they first meet on a beach in Nigeria - one woman, Little Bee, is a Nigerian refugee, whilst the other woman, Sarah, is a Brit out on holiday with her Irish husband Andrew. We learn what happens on that fateful night and what happens to both women years later when they meet again. And, well, I just did not really dig this book. I lost interest in the characters midway through and only finished the book because, well, I just wanted to finish it. The strange thing is that I think I would have enjoyed the story more if the author had expanded on the roles of some of the minor characters first mentioned in the book, but alas he did not.
I'm off now to read another book, hopefully, one much better written than this one. I am debating between the new biography on Jean Rhys called, The Blue Hour and Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. Of course I could always read the P&P&Zombies book for a good laugh. Hmmm.
Well, happy reading to all!
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I finished Hedgehog last night and was bawling for quite some time after I had put the book down. I felt sad, betrayed and angry - Sad because Madame Michel died, betrayed that Barbery killed Madame Michel at the end and I was angry because Madame Michel was not going to live the happy life I had envisioned for her and Kakuro. Today, I am still haunted by the end and still feeling sad over the loss of Madame Michel. Perhaps its my current mood, but this book just really affected me emotionally. Elegance is about two fascinating characters whose views of life and death are skewed by their class/social status and by their disconnection with people. Madame Michel is the concierge of a posh hotel, where the twelve year old Paloma resides with her family. Both Madame Michel and Paloma hide their true selves from the people around them, in the hopes of remaining invisible. Madame Michel hides her vast intelligence from the posh residents in order to maintain the decorum that she is a mere concierge who only knows about opening the door, delivering the mail and taking care of the garbage. Behind her door, nestled in her loge, she reads and reads, toils the time away with her fat cat, Leo (named afer Tolstoy), and has tea with her one and only friend, Manuela (the housekeeper for several of the families residing in the hotel). Paloma is an extremely smart kid who loves all things Japanese and plans to committ suicide by her thirteenth birthday by taking pills (after she has set the apartment on fire). She hides her intellect from her family because she does not want them to know just how smart she is, or they will then begin to pay even more attention to her, and she will no longer be able to hide and scribble her thoughts on movement and life. Both of these characters draw you into their worlds in such a way that you do not want to leave. And then you are introduced to the man who opens the minds and hearts of both Madame Michel and Paloma - the new Japanese tennant, Kakuro Ozu. Kakuro quickly surmises that Madame Michel is not who she seems and that Paloma is not your average child. Through Kakuro we learn so much more about Madame Michel and Paloma and you begin to see the hope of a lovely future for all three of these wonderful characters. Paloma realizes that she does not want to die and Madame Michel meets the man who opens her heart and mind to the possibility of being herself and being comfortable with who she really is, an intelligent, beautiful woman. And then wham! Madame Michel gets hit by a dry cleaning bus and that is the end of her future with Kakuro, Manuela, Paloma, Leo and herself. I know there is meaning behind this sudden death, but I am not quite there yet, in wanting to actually contemplate it, because I am still mourning my happy ending. This book was beautifully written and the characters were brilliant and I can honestly say that I would consider this to be one of my favorite books. There is so much in the book, that I am forgetting to mention, but that is alright, because truth betold, I am more interested in the way the book made me feel. I was surprised at how attached I had become to the characters and how heartbroken I felt for their loss upon hearing of Madame Michel's death. Definitely a moving book.