|I am that friend.|
On to warmer, cozier topics. Books!
Finished this Week
- A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
- The Four Feathers by A.E.W. Mason
- The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay
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|I am that friend.|
Synopsis from Goodreads- Once upon a time, a young boy called “Wart” was tutored by a magician named Merlyn in preparation for a future he couldn’t possibly imagine. A future in which he would ally himself with the greatest knights, love a legendary queen and unite a country dedicated to chivalrous values. A future that would see him crowned and known for all time as Arthur, King of the Britons.I had heard many good things about The Once and Future King before I read it from fellow bloggers. Not long before I started it, though, I heard probably the only negative review of it from my dad, who I tend to see eye to eye with on books, movies and the like. That made me a little nervous but I still went into it with high expectations, assuming it would be one of those few books my dad and I disagreed on. Now having finished it though I think I find myself somewhere in the middle. I did enjoy it but I can also see the flaws my dad saw. I feel it's different than any other Arthurian legend book I've read. Now, to be fair, I haven't read Le Morte d'Arthur by Mallory, which White seems to have based The Once and Future King off of and heavily references. My memory isn't perfect on those books and I know the legends do vary but I feel like there was a fair amount in The Once and Future King that I don't recall from the other books I've read. One thing I found interesting was that I feel White tried very hard to make you understand each character and even if you couldn't like them to at least pity them. He was fairly successful but as with each time I read an Arthurian legend my heart is left cold for Guinevere and Lancelot. This book actually made my heart even colder towards Guinevere than I usually am. It let me sympathize with Lancelot slightly and I feel he became a far deeper and more complex character but I still in the end found him weak and unlikable. You like Arthur for the most part but there are times (like when he pulls a Herod and tries to get of Mordred by killing all the babies) that he's quite unlikable. In the end though he seems like a naive dotard. He's caught up in his ideal and fighting against everything to keep it from falling apart even though it already has. And really.... was his an ideal actually an ideal? There is no such thing as utopia. Even before everything completely fell apart things were a mess. Knights were killing each over (I'm looking at you Orkney faction!) left and right and Arthur forgave them left and right. The book is somewhat of a political commentary, which is interesting.
During Arthur’s reign, the kingdom of Camelot was founded to cast enlightenment on the Dark Ages, while the knights of the Round Table embarked on many a noble quest. But Merlyn foresaw the treachery that awaited his liege: the forbidden love between Queen Guinevere and Lancelot, the wicked plots of Arthur’s half-sister Morgause, and the hatred she fostered in Mordred that would bring an end to the king’s dreams for Britain--and to the king himself.
|How I feel when thinking about holiday cooking.|
Dear Mr. Knightley is a contemporary epistolary novel with a delightful dash of Jane Austen. Samantha Moore survived years of darkness in the foster care system by hiding behind her favorite characters in literature, even adopting their very words. Her fictional friends give her an identity, albeit a borrowed one. But most importantly, they protect her from revealing her true self and encountering more pain.First off.... SPOILERS FOLLOW!!!! Sorry, not sorry. If you want a non spoiler review though here it is. Basically if you love Jane Austen and classic literature you'll probably love this book too.
After college, Samantha receives an extraordinary opportunity. The anonymous “Mr. Knightley” offers her a full scholarship to earn her graduate degree at the prestigious Medill School of Journalism. The sole condition is that Sam write to Mr. Knightley regularly to keep him apprised of her progress.
As Sam’s true identity begins to reveal itself through her letters, her heart begins to soften to those around her—a damaged teenager and fellow inhabitant of Grace House, her classmates at Medill, and, most powerfully, successful novelist Alex Powell. But just as Sam finally begins to trust, she learns that Alex has secrets of his own—secrets that, for better or for worse, make it impossible for Sam to hide behind either her characters or her letters.
Synopsis from Goodreads: Old California, in a bygone era of sprawling haciendas and haughty caballeros, suffers beneath the whip-lash of oppression. Missions are pillaged, native peasants are abused, and innocent men and women are persecuted by the corrupt governor and his army.But a champion of freedom rides the highways. His identity hidden behind a mask, the laughing outlaw Zorro defies the tyrant's might. A deadly marksman and a demon swordsman, his flashing blade leaves behind . . .This is basically a classic Robin Hood story. It's fun, adventurous with a dash of romance. It's not superior writing or beautiful prose it's just good clean fun. There's honor, veracity, love, hate, mercy revenge, good and evil. They don't write stories like this anymore.
|After our long flight and settling into our Airbnb |
we went for a long walk on Folly Beach.
|The next day we went for a long walk all around downtown Charleston.|
We viewed many of the beautiful old houses from the outside but only
went in one... the Edmondston-Alston House. Unfortunately they did not allow
photography in it so we don't have any pictures. We also went to the
Riley Waterfront Park and the White Point Gardens and Battery.
|The next day we went to the Nathaniel Russel house.|
|Thankfully this house did allow photography and we were |
able to get some beautiful pictures of this spiral staircase.
|The Nathaniel Russel House also had these beautiful|
balconies all around it but the tour guide told us they
weren't very sturdy and people would just step out on
them for a bit to get some fresh air and wouldn't take a
chair out and read on them like I would obviously do.
|We also did a walking tour of Charleston that day. |
The tour's focus was on Charleston's hidden passages and alleys.
|A sample of the beautiful ironwork gates in Charleston.|
|Another one of the beautiful gates.|
|The steeple of St. Michaels Episcopal Church. We went inside it as well |
and it was absolutely gorgeous but it seemed a bit sacrilegious to take
pictures inside of the church. We actually arrived right when they were
doing a midday prayer so it was interesting to experience that.
|Most of the streets in Charleston were modern paved roads|
but a few of them like this were cobblestone.
|This is the French Huguenot Church.|
|Brian and I. After the walking tour we also stopped|
by Charleston's City Market, which was huge!
|The next day we got to go kayaking on the Ashely River.|
It was so beautiful and serene.
|After kayaking we were able to go to Middleton Place, America's|
oldest landscape gardens. It made me think of the gardens in period
dramas and actually it was originally designed after the English Gardens.
|All of the trees were huge and hundreds of years old.|
|A little alligator by one of the ponds' banks. |
Something I had to get used to was seeing little
alligators everywhere and not freaking out.
|There were many of these unique benches around the property.|
|In some cases such as this tree, the trees had to have supports|
put in to hold up their massive branches.
|I love a pathway canopied by trees. Most all of the trees in|
Charleston had Spanish Moss hanging from their branches.
|The whole time I was at Middleton place I just imagined|
that this was what Pemberly was like and I was walking
around the ground of Pemberly with my Mr. Darcy.
|Part of the paths there went through a beautifully eerie swamp.|
|I love hollow trees! Brian has a picture of me in the |
hollow of this tree because I couldn't resist climbing in.
|The original big house at Middleton place was burned down by|
the Union soldiers what remains on the grounds is one of the two
flanking smaller houses. It was quite cool itself and I can only
imagine how incredible the original grand house would have been.
|Another big tree because I could not get enough of them.|
|The next day we went to the Isle of Palms Beach.|
This is the only picture I got of that. We did get
some great sunburns then. We had managed to
avoid getting burnt up until then. Then that
evening we went Contra Dancing. I was so excited
that Charleston's contra dance group happened
to have it's monthly dance when we were there!
|Take a look at this porch! It's so big and awesome!!!! The original house|
at the Magnolia plantation was burned down by the Union soldiers then another
was rebuilt on its foundation and then it caught fire (I think that's right) so the current
one was built on top of that foundation. So the current one dates from the early 90s but
is filled with the old furniture and other beautiful moments from the family. This house
was my favorite and unfortunately did not allow photography inside.
|It also had the best gift shop of all the places we went.|
|Look at all of these beautiful tea things!|
|And these adorable tea sets!!!!|
|And these cute tea bag holders!!! I had to get myself one of them.|
|Just one of the adorable bridges at the Magnolia gardens.|
The Magnolia Gardens is America's oldest Romantic garden.
|An incredible tree that overhung the stream running through the gardens.|
Naturally I had to climb out on it. Brian has some great pictures of me on the tree.
|Bridges over streams, and moss on trees these are|
a few of my favorite things! Oh, and there's Brian too!
|So the next day we got to go to Morris Island finally!|
|And I got very bad pictures of dolphins on the|
boat ride back.
|On the airplane. Our last picture in Charleston before we took off.|