Showing posts with label Booktag. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Booktag. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

TBR Tag

(Lory just joined in the TBR tag and invited her readers to join in as well)
I thought this would be an excellent tag, seeing as my TBR pile is always overflowing (A TBR pile is, for the non-book-bloggers, a To Be Read pile).  So here goes!

1. How do you keep track of your TBR pile?
The short answer?  I don't.  But that's not entirely true.  The whole contents of my TBR pile reside in my head.  However, the things that are on my "reading soon" TBR pile are in little piles all over the house.  By the sofa, the stove, on a kitchen window sill, in the summer, on the front porch or the picnic table.

2. Are your TRs mostly print or e-book?
Now this is an interesting topic!  And one that I don't think I have addressed before.  I am not an e-reader.  The few times I've tried, I get annoyed at the lack of physical book presence, the flick of pages, that old book smell.  So My TRs are all print.

3. How do you determine which book from your TBR pile to read?
I wouldn't say that I have any kind of method.  Often the pretty, fresh books get bumped to the top of the pile, meaning that there is quite a collection of sad, neglected books sitting way down at the bottom.

4. A book that's been on your TBR pile the longest?
Okay, let me go dig through the recesses of my brain and try to remember a very old TBR.  Oh!  Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens.  It was very enthusiastically recommended to me and I have been meaning and meaning and meaning to read that book and then it just slips from my mind.  This one is so old, I don't even remember when I put it on my TBR list.

5. A book you recently added to your TBR pile?
Well, any of my classics club list would fall under this heading.  But the thing that is the absolute newest is How to Be a Victorian by Ruth Goodman.

6. A TBR on your list strictly because of its beautiful cover?
I don't have anything currently on my TBR list, but about a year back, I read Dragonwyck by Anya Seton.  I got it because it was cheap and the cover, while not beautiful, amused me endlessly.  It was a melodramatic Victorian cover drawn in the 50s.  But the book was truly awful.  A Jane Eyre knockoff so bad it made me laugh.

7. A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading?
What?! This category confused me.  I am far too pragmatic to put something that I'm not going to read on my TBR list.

8. An unpublished book on your TBR that you're excited about?
The next Flavia de Luce, obviously!

9. A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read but you?
Gone with the Wind.  I know, I know.  I haven't read Gone with the Wind.  I don't even want to read this book, but I feel like everybody needs to read Gone with the Wind at least once in their lives.

10. A book on your TBR list that everyone recommends to you?
Hm...probably some kind of famous biography like I am Malala.  Oh!  The Princess Bride!  This could go under the "basically everyone has read but you," heading, too.

11. A book on your TBR that you're dying to read?
Actually, that How to Be a Victorian book!  The only thing keeping me back is all the current reads I have right now.  I will get to it, though!

12. How many books are on your TBR shelf at Goodreads?
Now I'm going to admit something.  Up until about 5 minutes ago, I didn't have Goodreads. I'm not quite sure why.  For some reason I was holding out.  But, inspired by this, I joined and started adding books like crazy.  Currently, there are 25 books on my TBR shelf.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Book Tag: I Mustache You Some Questions

Lory, from Emerald City Book Review (isn't that the best blog name?) just tagged me in a tag called I Mustache You Some Questions.  Since I have a bit of a penchant for silly puns and I enjoy book tags, I was more than happy to play along.   Here are the questions, most of them original, with one left out because I'm pretty (probably too) cautious about information on the internet and one added :

Four Jobs I've Had:
1. Multiple childcare/babysitting/etc. jobs throughout high school
2. Farming
3. Writing
4. Various musical-related things…some paid some not so much

Four Of My Favorite Songs/Artists/Composers
1. L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole-It's such a cliched, over-used song, but I still love it.
2. Doris Day-This is my cooking music
3. Chopin-When I was taking piano lessons, this was always the composer I most loved.
Even today, I will still listen to Chopin for fun.
4. Simon and Garfunkle-Actually, I love all this 60s music as a genre.


Four Movies I've Watched More Than Once

1. Mary Poppins-I think maybe 3 times?
2. The Parent Trap- Why are all my rematches children's movies?
3. Sense and Sensibility
4. Pride and Prejudice-This one wins for most-watched movie.

Four Books I'd Recommend
1. Absolutely anything by Jane Austen.  If you haven't read Jane Austen, your life is Incomplete (and that does get capital letters).
2. Something by C. S. Lewis; also because your life will be Incomplete.
3. She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith-I just read this and it's laugh out loud funny.
4. The Melendys-A wonderful children's series that needs to be read by everybody.

Four Place I'd Rather Be Right Now
1-4. Places that don't have several feet of snow on the ground

Four Things I Don't Eat
I am not a picky eater whatsoever, so I had to think for quite awhile about this one.
1. Eggs-Eggs are pretty much the only thing I don't like.  There is something that just makes
me shudder about eggs, particularly fried and dippy.  Blech.
2-4.  I absolutely can't think of anything else.  I'm not being pious.  I really can't think of anything.

Four of My Favorite Foods
1. Coconut (milk, flaked, fresh, anything)
2. Grapefruit
3. Really good curry
4. Bagels with lox, cream cheese, capers, tomato, and red onion

Four TV Shows I Watch
Well, I don't have a TV, but I do have Netflix.
1. Parks and Recreation-I've started with Season 2, because my friends told me that Season 1 wasn't any good and that the show only got funny with Season 2, and now I'm on Season 4….3 more seasons to go and I'm already feeling slightly sad about the end.  But really, if you like comedy, this is the best show.
2. Sherlock
3. PBS Miniseries, just as a class
4. Gilmore Girls-Except then it got stupid after about 5 episodes.

Four Things I'm Looking Forward To This Year
1. More reading, but of course
2. Spring
3. Some interesting job opportunities
4. Summer

Four Things I'm Always Saying
1. Have you read this book?  I can't remember the title or the author, but here's the basic plot line.
2. So I saw this thing on Pinterest…
3. That reminds me of this one book….
4. Can you find my (fill in the blank)?  (I am quite absentminded, which leads to misplacing things all the time.  For instance, the other day I stuck my scissors in the fridge and then spent a good 20 minutes looking for them.)


Friday, January 9, 2015

Wuthering Heights-Book Club Review

Well, here's my Wuthering Heights book review, finally.  Just as I had an influx of books to review, my laptop crashed.  Gah.  So it's in the shop, but that means that I am computer-less, except for the slow, old computer up in the chilly attic that is Strictly For Work.  So I caved and went up to the freezing attic, because I absolutely have to write this post.

A few weeks ago, Girl With Her Head in a Book asked me about participating in a Wuthering Heights book discussion, hosted by Kirsty, from The Literary Sisters.  I readily agreed, even though Wuthering Heights would probably never make it onto my TBR list.  And, much to my surprise, I enjoyed it much more than I ever thought I would.

Wuthering Heights is something that pretty much everybody reads in school at least once and, many times, loathe to the end of their days, or, in other cases, love and remember fondly to the end of their days.  I was one of the former.  I don't like being wrenched and feeling as though I am being emotionally manipulated every second of a book.  I thought the characters were ridiculous and emotional to the point of unbelievability.  But then I picked up this book and my perceptions started to change.

First of all, the narration of this book is fascinating.  It's somebody telling a story about somebody telling a story about somebody else.  So this is 3rd-hand news, in other words.  It reminded me of those pictures you see of somebody taking a picture in a mirror and having it reflected in multiple little mirrors in the picture (did that make any sense?  I have an image in my head).  I was especially struck by the amount of error that could have occurred in the tellings and, indeed, Emily Bronte leads us to believe that all kinds of information is being shifted, nay, lied about.  The narrators are Nelly Dean, who leads us and the other narrator, the foppish and pompous Mr. Lockwood to believe that she is a pious and righteous woman, never prone to any kind of mistake or problem.  In her eyes, she is the warm and kindly housekeeper who can do no wrong.  And yet, brilliantly, Emily shows us how wrong Nelly can be.

The narrators also interested me because both of them are so unlikeable.  It's not a new phenomenon to have plenty of unlikeable characters in a book, but for the most part, the author writes the narrator as a sympathetic character with whom the reader is supposed to identify.  But not Lockwood and Nelly Dean.  The only reason they aren't as despicable as Heathcliff is because they haven't the imagination or the tortured personalities.

Actually, there's nobody to like in the whole book. Heathcliff is purely awful, his wife, Isabella, is spoiled and weak, Cathy is tempestuous and headstrong and decidedly selfish, exactly like her mother, Catherine, Hindley is despicable, a gambler, and slightly insane, the servants are pretty bad, too...Hareton is the closest any of the characters come to being likable.

And then there's the chain of characters that confused me until about halfway through the book.  The inbreeding is ridiculous.  Luckily, in the front of my flimsy little edition was a family tree with notes about who married whom.  Thank goodness for that, because I would have been lost without it.  Here's the family tree, which is very similar to the one that was in my book, linked from this very interesting website.
Photo Credit:
http://www.wuthering-heights.co.uk/genealogy.php

This time around, I was impressed by how actually reserved this book is.  The writing is surprisingly unflowery and dramatic.  Sure, the plot line is pretty intense (like Cathy being locked into Heathcliff's house until she agrees to marry his wormy little son, Linton), but the writing in and of itself is very withdrawn and calm.

I would love to know what experiences Emily drew from when writing this tortured novel.  The type of secluded life she lived was not exactly conducive to lots of adventure and experience with people.  Was it purely imagination?  Inspiration from other books of the time?  There is an innocence in the way she writes about such characters as Heathcliff.  They are simply bad people, but not bad in complicated ways or for complicated reasons.  And how was Isabella really dashing around the moors, supposedly pregnant by that time with Linton?  Emily doesn't appear to have wondered.  The innocence, yet the incredible understanding of human nature fascinated me in this book and that, in and of itself, was enough of a reason to read this book.

For instance, Catherine and Heathcliff's intense longing and love, mixed with loathing was written so believably.  This is the quote that so many people bring up when talking about Wuthering Heights, but I think that it really does perfectly depict Catherine and Heathcliff's intense, tortured relationship.

“I cannot express it; but surely you and everybody have a notion that there is or should be an existence of yours beyond you. What were the use of my creation, if I were entirely contained here? My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff's miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning: my great thought in living is himself. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it. My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He's always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.” 

The story was really gripping.  Each morning, I'd plow through a couple of chapters over breakfast and then in the evenings I'd tell everybody to stop talking to me so I could read Wuthering Heights.  I was drawn in and spent more time than I thought I would thinking about the characters and wondering what was going to happen next.

Would I recommend reading this book?  Oh, yes!  I recommend keeping a large-ish slip of paper in your book as a bookmark.  I then wrote notes and thoughts on it as I was reading the book.  I think a lot of observations and general notes about the characters would have been forgotten if I hadn't been writing them down.  So I think that, if you were like me, one of the people that scoffed at Wuthering Heights, turn to this book again and give it a second chance.  I think you won't regret it.  I'm certainly glad that I cracked open the pages of Wuthering Heights again.

Other posts about this book:

http://girlwithherheadinabook.blogspot.com/2015/01/readalong-review-wuthering-heights.html?showComment=1420820338260#c5963247034216209094

http://theliterarysisters.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/blogging-book-club-wuthering-heights-by-emily-bronte-classics-club-93/

http://www.emeraldcitybookreview.com/2015/01/back-to-moors-wuthering-heights.html



Monday, August 25, 2014

Liebster Award!

Goodness!  Another blog-tag of sorts!  The lovely Girl With Her Head in a Book nominated me for a Liebster Award and I was quite honored and set to work at once.  It's always fun for me to answer these kind of questions, so here goes:

1) How do you feel about print books versus e-books?  
I am a strictly print book girl.  I feel like screens are present in so much of our lives and we don't need to convert good old fashioned reading to a screen, too.  Okay, so that was harsh, but I do love that lovely scent of paper and ink.   Sigh...

2) Which words or plot points automatically make you decide not to read a book?
Hm...These are fabulous questions!  The old, old story of girl meets train-wrecked boy and proceeds to rescue him.  Ugh.  Oh! Oh!  And the still more annoying storyline of so-and-so is in a coma in the hospital and the people around him realize come to realize important truths about themselves.  Gah.  Actually, Hallmark-ey heartwarming stuff always makes me gag.
3) What is your first 'bookish' memory?
Sitting in a huge library with my dad.  I have no idea where my mom or my brother were, but we were sitting in front of a fish-tank reading...I can't remember what.

4) Do you find that you read books which are more by male or female authors?
I scanned my bookshelves and found that I tend to read books by female authors more than male authors.  I had no idea which I read more of until I saw this question.

5) Where's the strangest/most unusual place that you've ever read a book?
I read books in some pretty strange places.  I think the funniest is sitting with the car parked in the driveway, reading.  I have also read in a hot, unfinished attic in August (can't remember why).

6) Do you read in any other languages than English? How do you feel about translated fiction?
I read Spanish (took several years of it) in a halting way.  I have never attempted novels.  One day, I was in the library and picked up Amelia Bedelia in Spanish.  It was brilliant!  All of that word-play done with totally different words when translated to English!  I think that translated fiction has to be handled very gently, with plenty of poetic license on the part of the translator in order for the book to be enjoyable.

7) How do you feel about Reading Challenges eg. Goodreads challenges?
I love reading challenges!  They also make me feel good because I read such a copious amount of books.  I finish those challenges lickety-split.

8) Do you often read books that you feel you 'ought' to read rather than ones that youwant to read?
This is the reason I refuse to be in a serious book group.  I will read academic books because I feel that they are stuff I, you know, kinda need to read, but the majority of my reading is my choice.  Reading is, after all, a hobby and hobbies should never be about doing things you dislike.

9) If you could pick one fictional character to be your friend in real life, who would it be?
Oooo...Jo March from Little Women!  I think that she would be a good friend.   I am much more Meg March-ish in personality, but a great many of my friends are of the Jo March persuasion.  I think that more steady personality combined with a spunky, stubborn personality works very well.

10) Which author would you most like to meet and why?
Jane Austen.  There's a reading challenge currently going on called Austen in August.  I'm participating in it (in a disultry way) and after reading all this stuff about her, I really want to meet her!
11) What do you like best about blogging?
That daily act of sitting down and writing.  It's a rhythm that I love.  I also love all of the reading/bloggy connections that I have made in such a short amount of blogging time.  I can see why there are bloggers that write for years and years and never get tired of it.

I nominate:
1. EverydayHas@ http://everydayhas.wordpress.com/
2. countrygirlsread@ http://countrygirlsread.wordpress.com/
3. Desperate Reader @ http://desperatereader.blogspot.com/
4. Jennine G. @ http://livingawritinglife.blogspot.com
5. Michelle F. @ http://newhorizonreviews.blogspot.com
6. Books as Food @ http://booksasfood.blogspot.com

And here are my questions:

1.  What is the first book you remember reading?

2.  What is your favorite genre of reading?

3.  What book character do you think you are most like?

4.  Are you part of a book club/group?  How do you feel about book clubs?

5.  The most annoying book I ever read was…

6.  Did you like reading in school?

7.  Where is your favorite place to read

8.  If you could pick one fictional character to be your best friend, who would it be?

9.  Do you read seasonally?  That is, do you read lighter, beach-read books in summer and heavier books in winter?

10.  Can you listen to music while reading?  If so, what kind of music do you like to have as background noise?

Thanks for nominating me, Girl with Her Head in a Book!  I had fun writing this.  Any of you readers who I missed are welcome to chime in in the comments or on your own blog post.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Reading Habits Tag

I was just recently tagged by Girl With Her Head in a Book to answer a series of questions about reading habits (you can see her answers at the above link).  Fun!  So here goes:


1. Do you have a certain place for reading at home?- Not really.  Well, I read all over the place.  My favorite places are stretched out longways on the sofa with the little lap dog curled up next to me or at the kitchen table in the morning.
2.  Do you use a bookmark or a random piece of paper?- Random shreds of paper.  The little tear-out ad cards in magazines work beautifully.  Sometimes I feel like I should have real bookmarks (see this post and this post), but for the most part, I use random shreds because I lose the real bookmarks so quickly.  They're like bobby-pins.  So loseable.
3.  Can you just stop reading or does it need to be at the end of a chapter or a certain number of pages?-Definitely at the end of a chapter.  I can never get back into a chapter that I've stopped halfway through with.  You know what else is weird?  People that read the first chapter of a book and then stick a bookmark in and walk away.   I have to read a least 5 chapters into a book before I stick a bookmark in it.
4.  Do you eat or drink while eating?- Well, I read at breakfast and lunch.  At dinner I tend not to because everybody's back from work and it's nice to sit and talk.  I would feel weirdly anti-social reading at dinner.  Sunday afternoons, when I have a huge glut of reading time, I'll often make some little treat to share and eat myself while reading.  My family has a tradition of eating sunflower seeds in the summer while reading novels.  I still carry that on.
5.  Do you read one book at a time or several at once?- Always several at once.  I like having something light, something tome-like, and something pretty to look at.
6.  Do you read out loud or silently in your head?- Huh!  I didn't know there were people who read out loud to themselves.  So yes, I read silently.  I can still remember the first day that I learned to do that in about 2nd grade.  I was so proud.
7.  Do you ever read ahead or skip pages?- *Ahem*.  Well, yes, I do.  I very often skip long, rhapsodizing descriptions of scenery or people.   If I see a whole string of sentences chock full of adjectives, let the skimming begin!  I must say, I am quite a skilled skimmer.  I read ahead if I suspect an author of writing a depressing ending.  If I find out that the outcome is not what I want, I slam the book shut and no harm done because I haven't gotten all invested with the characters.
8.  Breaking the spine or keeping it new?- Argh.  What a question.  I always want to crack the spines, but as soon as I do, I feel bad that the book has lost its newness.  I ask myself which I'm going to do every time I open a new book.
9.  Do you write in your books?- Depends.  Never in fiction, but from all my academic exposure over the years, I do write in nonfiction books.  I do think that writing in some books can have value.  I love finding old family members' books that were written in.  It's like a window into their minds.  So I'm not opposed to writing in books, I just don't do it frequently.
10.  What are you currently reading?- An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott, Eat and Make by Paul Lowe, Tea with Jane Austen, and The Wit and Wisdom of Jane Austen (the Austen books are for Austen in August).

Thanks so much to Girl With Her Head in a book for this fun challenge!  I can't wait to see what others say about these questions.