Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Book Review- A Raisin in the Sun

I read A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry for The Classics Club.
Synopsis: This lauded drama follows the Youngers, an African-American family living together in an apartment in Chicago. Following the death of their patriarch, they try to determine what to do with the substantial insurance payment they'll soon receive. Opinions on what to do with the money vary. Walter Lee wants to make a business investment, while his mother, Lena, is intent on buying a house for them all to live in -- two differing views of the American Dream.
I really didn't know much about this book before I read it except that it was a play and was written by an African-American author. I hadn't really enjoyed the last American play I'd read.... Death of a Salesman... so I didn't have high expectations for this one. However, I was completely blown away by how much I enjoyed A Raisin in the Sun! I found each chapter in the Younger family intriguing in their own way. I didn't necessarily like them all but each of their emotional journeys were fascinating. I'm not sure I had a favorite character as they all had too many faults for me to love them but as I said they were so interesting. Walter Lee annoyed me the most probably though you do feel sorry for him. I feel like he's so insensitive to his wife. On the other hand, I feel like his wife, Ruth, doesn't really listen to him. They both have a lot going on and their relationship ends up being complicated. Beneatha is an intriguing character and I'm not quite sure what we're supposed to think of her or what I do think of her. I liked her for the most part though. The mother and matriarch of the family, Lena, is a women with a lot of pride and then desire to further the family's fortune. She works hard for the family. For the most part I like her too.
So all of that to say... I liked the book, the characters were interesting and I think it gives one an intriguing glimpse into what it was like to be an African-Americna family in that time period.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Disney Princess Book Tag

Hamlette tagged me in the Disney Princess Book Tag (see her answers HERE)! This is one of those rare times when I was actually tagged in the tag and I didn't just steal it. ;)

1) Snow White: Name your favorite classic

Easy! Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. 

2) Cinderella: Name a book that kept you reading well past your bedtime

Recently The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay. I kept reading and reading and it was eleven o clock before I knew it.  I only went to sleep because my husband came to bed and we had a long day the next day (Thanksgiving). So many different books have kept me up at night before... I distinctly remember Agatha Christie's Sleeping Murder keeping me awake. 

3) Aurora: Name your favorite classic romance

Still Pride and Prejudice so I'll have to think up something new... The Scarlet Pimpernel maybe? 

4) Ariel: Name a book that's about sacrifices and fighting for your dreams

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. Those women definitely fought hard for their dreams. The answers for this questions and question 9 are interchangeable. 

5) Belle: Name a book with a smart and independent female character

First though is Elizabeth Bennet but I can't keep using Pride and Prejudice! So Emma Wodehouse from Jane Austen's Emma it is! 

6) Jasmime: Name a book with a character that challenged the social conventions of his or her world

Scarlette O'Hara from Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind. I do not like her but she definitely challenges the social conventions. 

7) Pocahontas: Name a book with an ending that was a roller coaster of emotions

First thing I thought of was Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay. I was racing through the ending just wanting to know what happened so the emotions would stop emoting! ;) 

8) Mulan: Name a book with a kick-a** female character

Each of the books in The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer had some pretty awesome female characters. Scarlette was probably the most kick-a** though actually not one of my favorite characters. And then of course there's Eowyn.... 

9) Tiana: Name a book featuring a hard working, self-made character

Carry on Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham. So inspiring! Just read it! The answers for this questions and question 4 are interchangeable. 

10) Rapunzel: Name a book that features an artist

I can no think of anything! I'm blanking! Jane Eyre paints. So Jane Eyre it is. 

11) Merida: Name a book that features a mother-daughter relationship

The obvious answer is Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters but they're kind of all terrible mother-daughter relationships. For a good mother-daughter relationship though Little Women for sure. 

12) Anna and Elsa: Name a book that features a great relationship between siblings

Pride and Prejudice's Jane and Elizabeth... but I can't use that again.... so.... Little Women.... but I can't use that again... so....
Here's a few books I can think of with great sibling relationships: Harry Potter series (specifically thinking of the Weasley family), Hardy Boys, the Little House in the Big Woods series, and The Viking Quest series. I love good family relationships in books. :)

Hope you enjoyed this fun tag and feel free to steal it!   

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Location Book Tag

I saw this tag over at Nut Free Nerd and had to steal it.

1. You’re sat in a coffee shop trying to read when a group of excited six year olds come in with their parents and begin screaming in the play area. Which book can you push past the noise and lose yourself in?
Really about any book as long as I'm enjoying it.

2. Your (rich) friends dare you to spend the night in a haunted house for an undisclosed but inevitably large sum of money. Which book do you bring to distract yourself with?
A children's book I think. Something light and funny to keep me distracted. Mad Scientist Club, Wizard of Oz, Phantom Tollbooth all come to mind.

3. Though the landscapes are beautiful, your delayed train journey is starting to drag. Which book do you take out?
Lord of the Rings. It's long enough for several train trips.

4. It’s beach time! You have your family and friends around you and don’t want to miss out on the conversation too much but still want to read. Which book do you choose?
I'm bad at trying to follow a conversation and read. Tuning people out I can do but if I'm trying to do both that's a disaster. I'm a terrible multitasker.

5. You’re backstage ready for your big emotional scene but the tears just won’t come. Which book do you get out to make you cry?
Right now with being pregnant a lot of things can make me emotional. Normally it would take a very special book to do the trick but currently I'm vulnerable. Probably something romantic will do the trick though. When I read Dear Mr. Knightley a couple months ago it made me tear up.

6. You’re camping in the woods with your friends and you’re the first to wake up. Which book do you read under the early morning light?
Wind in the Willows. The description is beautiful and I think it would be perfect out in the wild in the early morning light.

7. You’ve had an amazing day on your solo trip but now that you’re back at the hotel, you’re starting to feel a little homesick. What do you read to feel less lonely?
Anne of Green Gables maybe?

8. You’ve been invited for an interview for a place at a prestigious university. Which book do you lay flat on your knee to hide the cover while you wait?
I'm not really embarrassed by anything I read but if I had a younger book I would feel a bit childish reading it if I were interviewing for a place at a prestigious university.

9. The book exchange stall at the library finally has the book you’ve wanted for so long, and you have a book in your bag that you’ve been dying to get rid of. Which do you give away, and which do you take?Most books I've been dying to get I have now. Currently though I'd really like to try out a Lynn Austin book, l specifically Wonderland Creek, to see what all the fuss is about so if I saw it I'd definitely grab it. To get rid of though definitely either The Sound and the Fury or Leaves of Grass. I disliked both and I regret that I bought them... though I spent very little on them.

10. You were just browsing the children’s section of the library and boom, you’re hit with a sudden blast from the past. Which book have you found that you haven’t seen for years but that you used to love as a child?
Hmm. Maybe Wolves of Willoughby Chase? That was a dear favorite as a child. I also read Beauty a lot. Either of those would fill me with nostalgia. But pretty much any children's books gives me nostalgia. I'm just a nostalgia maniac!

Fun tag! Feel free to steal it if you so desire. That's what I do. ;)

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Monday, November 20, 2017

It's Monday! It's a Girl!

Last week Brian and I found out our baby is a little girl! It's all starting to feel more real and we are so excited. I'm halfway through the pregnancy and anticipating the end already.
Between the pregnancy and work I've somehow managed to make time for reading. Yay! Hopefully this keeps up.

Currently Reading

  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Four Feathers by A.E.W. Mason 
  • A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • The Mortification of Sin by John Owen
  • Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey 

Coming Soon

  • The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay (book club pick) 
  • Adam Bede by George Elliot (Classics Club spin pick) 

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Monday, November 13, 2017

It's Monday! Ice Possible

I am that friend. 
There's nothing I hate more than getting in my care and turning it on and the words popping up on it's screen "Drive carefully, ice possible." It jus makes me want to go back inside and curl up in my nice warm bed. That has been the fairly consistent message I've been getting recently as I get in my car at ungodly hours of the morning to head to work. My body hates cold weather and I lived any further north I'm not sure what I'd do. Whenever we go visit our relatives in Minnesota I find it go be a love/hate trip. I love to see them but I hate being there in the cold, and probably icy and snowy, weather. Yikes! Gives me the shivers just thinking about it.
On to warmer, cozier topics. Books!

Finished this Week

  • A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry 

Currently Reading

  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy 
  • A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs 
  • God Is by Mark Jones 
  • The Mortification of Sin by John Owen
  • Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey 

Coming Soon

  • The Four Feathers by A.E.W.  Mason 
  • The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay 

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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Classics Club Spin #16

It's been a long time sine I've done a Classics Club spin but I need to get that list done so this is just a bit more incentive.
Here's the rules
  • Go to your blog.
  • Pick twenty books that you’ve got left to read from your Classics Club List.
  • Try to challenge yourself: list five you are dreading/hesitant to read, five you can’t WAIT to read, five you are neutral about, and five free choice (favorite author, re-reads, ancients — whatever you choose.)
  • Post that list, numbered 1-20, on your blog before Friday, November 17th.
  • That morning (11/17), we’ll announce a number from 1-20. Go to the list of twenty books you posted, and select the book that corresponds to the number we announce.
  • The challenge is to read that book by December 31, even if it’s an icky one you dread reading! (No fair not listing any scary ones!)

Books I'm Dreading

1) The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
2) East of Eden by John Steinbek
3) Moby Dick by Herman Melville 
4) Adam Bede by George Elliot 
5) The Mill on the Floss by George Elliot 

Books I Can't Wait to Read

6) The 39 Steps by John Buchan
7) Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
8) Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson
9) Arsenic and Old Lace by Joseph Kesselring 
10) Cyarno de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand 

Books I Feel Neutral About

11) Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevesky 
12) Kim by Rudyard Kipling 
13) Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes
14) Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
15) Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

Free Choice (Shakespeare)

16) Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare (mine)
17) Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare (mine)
18) The Tempest by William Shakespeare (mine)
19) Love's Labour's Lost by William Shakespeare (mine)
20) Richard III by William Shakespeare (mine)

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Top Ten Books I Want my Future Children to Read

I haven't done a Top Ten Tuesday in a long time partly because the themes haven't appealed to me and partly because I've just been lazy. However the theme of the top ten books I want my future children to read especially appealed to me with expecting our first children. I love books, my husband loves books so I'm pretty sure we're going to bring up some book lovers. The books I've listed are ones that I loved as a kid and are quality books.  I didn't include any picture books or older level books but stuck with more grade school books. Of course it was hard to narrow down to just ten books so sacrifices had to be made.

  1. The Mad Scientist Club by Bertrand Brinley 
  2. Detectives in Togas Henry Winterfield 
  3. Freddy Goes to Florida by Walter R. Brooks
  4. Redwall by Brian Jacques
  5. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  6. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery 
  7. Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
  8. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll  
  9. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  10. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
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Monday, November 6, 2017

It's Monday! Goals

It's been a better week with reading. I've been evaluating my classics club list and making a plan to get it completed. I'm always super goal oriented in the fall/winter though. I don't know what it is but I love to make big plans in the cold weather that I fail to complete in the warm weather.

Finished this week

  • Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot- SO GOOD!!! 

Currently Reading 

  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy 
  • A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs 
  • God Is by Mark Jones 
  • The Mortification of Sin by John Owen
  • Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey 

Coming Soon

  • Something off my Classics Club list 

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Book Review- The Once and Future King

For the Classics Club I read T.H. White's novel The Once and Future King.
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.
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.
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.
Overall, thats' what this book is... interesting. As an adaption of the legends it's unique and I am glad I read it. At some point (probably not in the too near future) I'll be going back to some of the other Arthurian legends novels I've read to see how they compare and eventually I'll actually read Mallory's Le Morte d'Arthur.

Overall, while reading this, I remembered how sad the legends are and how much I enjoyed the TV show Merlin for giving me a lighter and more family friendly version.

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