Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Great Expectations

I watched the Masterpiece Theatre version of Great Expectations today and LOVED it! I really do like Charles Dickens. Most people automatically think of The Christmas Carole, which in all honesty isn't a novel and is quite different from his actual novels. His writing is so rich and full of detail. The characters are so rich and there are so many of them! He does recycle some characters, but hey that's his thing. One of my favorite books of his is Bleak House. Has anyone else read it? What are some of your favorite Dickens novels?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Northanger Abbey


Many Miss Austen fans don't particularly care for Northanger Abbey, but I actually do. I find it to be one of Miss Austen's most funny novels. She has fun making fun of her heroine Catherine Moreland and her love of the Gothic novel. Miss Austen never hesitates to point out the faults of her heroines, but Catherine's just seem silly and naive.

I watched an older version of this novel-to-movie and was very disappointed. It was scary and just plain weird, but this newest movie is delightful! I don't usually use the word delightful, but it seemed to fit. The actor who plays the young Mr. Tillney is quite adorable! I also like the actress who plays Catherine. I usually don't like the casting choice for the main character in Jane Austen's movies, but I think this actress fit very well. If you haven't seen it I definitely recommend you rent it or get it from the library ASAP! I think I may even want to own a copy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I, Elizabeth


I'm currently working on this novel and it will take me a while, it's LONG. So far what I've read is very interesting and insightful. I love reading historical fictions because you get a taste of true events, people, and times but without the boring read of a text book. True, you can't take everything for fact but then that's what makes this a novel and not a biography. One thing I've learned so far is that during this period in England, France, Spain and I'm sure others the fashion was for women to be WHITE. They couldn't show that they were blushing at all! To make them pale and cover blemishes and pink cheeks they used crushed egg shells! I'm not sure what you're thoughts are on this but I think it would be EXTREMELY scratchy and gross! They didn't have the best cleaning methods back then. It should take me about another week or so to finish this so until then, happy reading!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

British Obsession


Is there a shortage of good-looking American leading men? Hollywood seems to think so. If we love the Brits so much, why must we make them speak like Americans?

The Office - the most awesome show! No British actors but the show was based off of a British show also called The Office.





Damian Lewis - main character on another awesome show, Life. He is British not American. I guess if he sounded British as an L.A. cop it wouldn't fit too well.







Rufus Sewell - main character of a new show called Eleventh Hour. British again, never seen the show so I'm not sure if he could carry the accent.
















Kevin McKidd - main character on Journeyman. Not British, a Scott. The show is okay. He was in The Maid of Honor and has a VERY Scottish accent.
















Hugh Laurie - main character of House M.D. He is British and could use his natural accent as a doctor and have it work. So why make him sound like an American?




This is just an observation that I've made. I might of even missed some other actors that are British on American T.V., I wouldn't be surprised.

Four Queens


I happened upon this book/audio CD's at the library the other day. It's actually quite amazing when I can randomly find something on the shelf, usually I have to order things. Anyway, I originally thought that Four Queens was a fiction book. The box didn't indicate one way or they either. I looked it up when I got home and found that it was a biography of four sisters who all became queens in the 1200's.

I can't say if this depiction is correct or not since this is the first I had heard of these ladies, but I did enjoy this biography. The oldest sister marries the king of France. The second marries the king of England. The third becomes a queen really in name only of Germany and the fourth sister is only queen of Sicily for 18 months. I wish this biography focused more on the sisters rather than their husbands, but it was interesting none-the-less. If you enjoy history especially medieval history than you'll enjoy this book.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Atonement


So I'm starting to think that I'm a difficult reader to please. I DID NOT enjoy Atonement. The author himself refers to this book as his "Jane Austen novel," yeah, I don't think so. First, Miss Austen's books all come together nicely in the end and even though they may be a little too perfect, they're enjoyable. Secondly, Miss Austen would never have written about anything so dark and depressing. The only connection that can be made is that the main characters in both Atonement and Miss Austen's novels have major flaws that they must overcome and work on. I really didn't feel like Briony (the main character in Atonement), really atones for her mistake. She tries but it just doesn't cut it. I know the movie did really well, but after reading the book I have no desire to see the movie. There may be those that will disagree and that's fine, please tell me your thoughts I would love to read them!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Last Lecture

Randy Pausch is the author of this book and died recently in July of this year from pancreatic cancer. I saw him interviewed by Diane Sawyer early this year and I was amazed by this guy who was dying yet was so full of life. I had wanted to read this book and listen to "The Last Lecture" that he gave at the university where he taught, tonight I finished the book. I was brought to tears several times. To think of his family going on without him and how hard it must be to go through something like this. He did so many amazing things for his family though before he left this Earth. He wanted to leave a legacy for his children who are still very small and he did that! He made sure his wife was taken care of and he left words of wisdom for not only his family but the whole world. Please take the time to read this. You'll come away wanting to be a better person and cherish life more.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Rendezvous for Austen!

Just recently I read Austenland and wondered if such a place existed. I don't want to go and "cheat" on my husband, but just being able to go somewhere that is set during the Regency Era and feel like a character out of one of Austen's books would be pretty awesome. I did a little research on the internet and although I didn't find a place where you pay to go and become part of an "Austenland" I did find that the U.S. has a Jane Austen Festival yearly in (of all places) Louisiana. Here's the link www.janeaustenfestival.org it looks pretty cool and there's a ton to participate in. Maybe I'll check it out one of these days.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Confessions

Where to begin . . . well the actual story as a whole is unique and interesting, but I found it disappointing. The heroine gets a chance to meet the Miss Austen and absolutely botches the experience. I guess the author meant to do that, but honestly if you create a scene in which the main character gets to meet the most revered woman in novel history why waste it? Every reader of this book would gladly switch lives with a woman from the Regency era just for a chance to glance upon Miss Austen and I'm sure no one would envision the scene that takes place in this book.

Another thing, again the language! This isn't a James Patterson novel so skip the filthy mouth. I just don't think that f*** would be an appropriate word to use in a book regarding Jane Austen and her novels. I doubt Jane would have used such a word.

The main character Courtney/Jane has a problem with thinking too much, but must the reader suffer too? I found her thoughts to be frustrating and annoying. I really do like the IDEA of the book, but I wasn't particularly happy with how it was told.

Out of 5 stars I give it 2.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Austenland


Once again I sacrificed sleep for the need to read. I got Austenland in the mail yesterday and finished this morning very, very early. I really liked the book. It definitely keeps you guessing. You think the book will end one way and then it switches on you and switches again! It was definitely cute and a book I recommend.

I also found out that the author is a local one here in Salt Lake City! I'll have to be on the lookout for any other books she has coming out and see if she does a signing.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Jane Eyre's Daughter

This is the first spin-off I've read for Jane Eyre. It was pretty good, but not fabulous. My favorite book is Jane Eyre (sorry, not P&P), so I guess my expectations were a little too high. The story itself was pretty good, but the writing left much to be desired. Charlotte Bronte is an extremely accomplished writer, so if you're going to write a spin-off I feel the writing should be comparable. Jane Austen's books are a bit easier to do sequels with because Jane's writing is more light and witty where Charlotte's is dark and deep. I love both authors and both styles of writing and enjoy the sequels that other authors write. I just feel that if you're going to stick with the same time period and continue a story than the writing should reflect the original authors style.

Out of five stars I would give this book a 2 1/2. I'm interested in looking for other Jane Eyre spin-offs. If anyone knows of a good one please let me know!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cranford

This is the third book by Elizabeth Gaskell that I've read. The first one I read was Wives and Daughters - loved it! The second, North and South - again loved it! Cranford, not so much. I know they just did a new BBC mini series of Cranford and I intend to watch it, but this story was difficult to get through. It seemed like Ms. Gaskell really didn't know where this story was going and who the main character should be. Mary Smith is the narrator and nothing of consequence happens to her. She lives her life through those of Cranford. There is a dull romance that never really amounts to anything and several deaths. I don't recommend this book. However, to be fair to Ms. Gaskell the afore mentioned books, Wives and Daughters and North and South are wonderful. If you haven't read Wives and Daughters be prepared that there is no ending to the story. The author died before she could finish it.

I'm still waiting for my other books to get here . . . soon I'll have to decide which one to start with.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Three New Books

Okay, I finally ordered some new books (I really should just read the ones I have but haven't read yet). I'm excited to get them and start reading! The first book "Austenland" I had seen at Barnes and Noble and it looked good, but I didn't want to buy it brand new and in hardcover. To spend the money on hardcover books is something I only do if I REALLY love the book i.e. "Harry Potter."

The second, "Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict" sounded so awesome! I think I'll really enjoy this book unless it's loaded with sex or swearing, which I detest! To me those things just cheapen a book, although some of my English professors would disagree.

The third book I have been debating about for a while. I know
there are war and sex scenes, which again I detest but the movie
was raved about so much and it looked like a good story, so I'll
chance it.

I should get the books next week so look for a new post sometime
by the end of the week. Later!






Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sorry

I'm sorry I haven't posted anything here for a while. I just started working nights again and getting enough sleep is proving very difficult right now. When you have a 10 month old there isn't much time for resting. I will pick out a book soon, any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Breaking Dawn - The End!

Luckily for me I didn't get into this series until about 2 months ago. This made the wait for Breaking Dawn much more bearable. I'm a very impatient person too. I originally ordered this book from Amazon, but when I realized that they weren't going to even mail it until August 4th I was upset so that Saturday morning I marched bright and early into Target and grabbed one of their 50 copies. I would have enjoyed going to a midnight party, but with a 9 month old that still nurses and makes up at ALL hours of the night, I decided that morning would be just fine.
I didn't finish this one in 27 hours, but it was a real page turner. My husband picked up my slack with taking care of the baby, so that I could escape into the "Twilight." At first I didn't like the change in point-of-view, but after a while I realized that it was probably better seeing Bella's pain rather than actually experience it through her. The fact that she had a baby is insane! The name was a little weird, Renesmee? I understood why she did it, but I mean the kid will be stuck with that name FOREVER, literally.
The whole "Imprinting" thing is cool except when they "Imprint" on a baby! Very strange . . . when I read that Jacob had Imprinted on Renesmee I was like WHAT?!!!!! I'm glad Jacob got his happy ending though. I didn't really know how his story would end up.
Thank goodness Bella is finally a vampire! Stephenie makes being a vampire seem so cool that I keep wishing vampires were real. Who wouldn't want to have the ability to run super fast and never get tired? Jump over rivers? And awesome sex?! Not, that sex isn't good but the book seems to say that vampire sex is the ULTIMATE! Here's my neck!
Overall I thought the book was great. There are so many critics out there that judge these books so harshly, but you know they weren't meant to become the greatest American literature to be studied in classrooms for generations. They're fun! A good story that helps people escape real life for a time and make women all over wish they would run into a vampire like Edward. Enjoy the books that's what they were written for.

Persuasion Isn't Perfection

This was the 2nd time I'd attempted reading this novel. For some reason I just couldn't get into it. I'd also watched an old BBC version of this book on screen and it was lacking. There just wasn't enough meat for me. However, if I am to claim that I'm a Jane Austen fan then I better read this novel.
It wasn't bad. It wasn't the best either. For me Pride and Prejudice is Jane's masterpiece. P&P is a book that you can't put down and the proof of the power that this novel contains is on bookshelves worldwide! There are so many spin-offs to P&P that it's ridiculous! I've read a few of them and honestly they're not that great. Anyway, back to Persuasion. I liked that this was a rather short novel. The heroine Anne, has a self-absorbed father that I find very funny. Anne's embarrassed by him and it's not hard to see why. Anne's father Sir Walter Elliot is described thus;
"Vanity was the beginning and the end of Sir Walter Elliot's character; vanity of person and situation . . . Few women could think more of their personal appearance than he did . . . He considered the blessing of beauty as inferior only to the blessing of a baronetcy."
I'm so glad that neither of my parents act anything like that. It would be very embarrassing and probably turn me into a self-absorbed snot too! The fact that the father spends more money than he earns is fitting. Although, being such a prideful person he seems to take their reduced income and removal of their grand home rather well. You'd think he would've thrown a fit or something, but it just seemed like a minor inconvenience.
If Anne were real I'm sure she would find my next comment utterly false, but I didn't find Captain Wentworth to be all that great. I don't think it was his fault though. It seemed that Jane spent more time on developing the character of Mr. Elliot (the cousin) than she did for Wentworth. I thought he could've used some more depth and dialog.
Persuasion is a quaint novel, but not a favorite for me. I enjoyed my time reading it, but I didn't find it difficult to put down (that's what determines if it's awesome or not). I rented the new Persuasion film version from Netflix and I can't wait to see how close it follows the book. What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

If You Love Jane Austen . . .

I had seen this book at the store, but some reason I had decided not to purchase it. Well, last week I sent Dustin to the store to pick some things up and he returned with this book for me! I was a bit skeptical at first, but I really enjoyed this book. It brings Jane Austen to life and makes you feel like you KNOW her. I hope that she had an experience like the one in this book. I have often felt sad for Jane that she never married. She wrote about love so it must have at times been difficult for her knowing that she never had her Mr. Darcy. Maybe she did, she just kept it a great secret. If you are an Austen fan than this is the book for you!

P.S. It is fiction. The author does a wonderful job of weaving things into her life from her books.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Stardust

I'm currently reading Stardust by Neil Gaiman. Dustin and I watched the movie and really liked it so I'm currently reading the book that inspired the movie. You might think that this is a kids book, but it's not. There has already been a ummm questionable sex scene and the f-bomb. Other than that the book is great so far. It reminds me of The Princess Bride, but not as good. I still recommend at least seeing the movie if you haven't yet.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Host, Recommended

Okay, so The Host is no Twilight Saga, but it has a charm of its own. Of course there's a romance, but that doesn't take center stage. The main themes of this book are the struggles between right and wrong and the conflict between two worlds or vantage points. I didn't think that Stephenie was planning to make this book into a series, but it could be easily done. She leaves it open at the end and I truly hope that she continues the story. I recommend this book. It's Sci-Fi, but not too Sci-Fi.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Host

Okay, okay, okay. I started Wuthering Heights, but I haven't finished it. I totally intend on finishing it, but it's a real thinker and after taking care of Lincoln all day I need something that doesn't make me think. I only have time at night so I need an easy read. I've decided to read Stephenie Meyer's new book The Host. As many of you know, I'm absolutely obsessed with her Twilight series. I thought I'd give this book a try. It's a Sci-Fi thriller and I love a good Sci-Fi every now and then. I purchased the book tonight so I won't have to wait. Happy reading!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sorry I Changed My Mind

I've decided to read Wuthering Heights instead. Sorry if anyone started reading Sense and Sensibility. I've always wanted to read this book and I'm in the mood for something a little darker. Plus in the third book of the Twilight Saga, Eclipse, there's alot of references to this book so I thought I would read it. I've seen one movire version several years ago but it's been enough time that I really don't remember the story. Once agin if anyone feels inclined to read this with me please do. I would love hear other peoples opinions.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

#3 Eclipse


Okay, so right off I have to say that my favorite book form this series so far is the first one Twilight. You learn in the second book New Moon that there is a love triangle between Edward, Bella and Jacob. I hate the love triangle. Edward is so awesome and then when Jacob enters the picture and it's almost as if the author wants to make Edward look bad. Jacob is a whinner, that's fine that he loves Bella but he needs to get over it and move on! The third book is full of this struggle between the two guys with Bella in the middle. And I'm sorry but she's stupid for encouraging Jacob. She knew that he liked her more than she liked him, but she still lets him hold her hand and hug her, well duh, what you think that means for a guy? It's just pathetic. Honestly right now I'm not excited for the fourth and final book to come out. The fact that Jacob has becoe one of the main characters is disgusting. I thought this was a love story between Edward and Bella?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

#2 in the Twilight Saga

So this is number 2 in the Twilight Saga and I had to wait an entire week for this book to come. I ordered it because it was way cheaper than buying at B & N. I breezed through this book in no time at all. The first book took 28 hours (I think) for me to get through and this one took about the same time. I've read these books way faster than Harry Potter which I didn't think was possible.
The second book New Moon is pretty good although one of the main characters is absent for most of the book which is unfortunate. These stories are captivating. The author has said herself that her writing isn't the best she's more of a storyteller and I would agree. While she won't get any awards for the actual gramatics of her books she makes up for that by the great love story that she has created. If only I could come up with something this fascinating . . .


Thursday, May 1, 2008

MUST READ!!

I read this book in two days! Does that tell you anything? The book has 500 pages but I breezed right through it. I have to admit that yesterday was a bit tough as I tried to read the book and take care of Lincoln. Poor Lincoln I think he was a bit neglected. I stole any minute I could get because I was hooked and couldn't put it down. I was a bit skeptical going in but boy was I wrong. There are some pretty cheesy parts but it's cute and the love story is great just because it's one that shouldn't work.

Yesterday I was describing this book to my husband (he won't ever read it) and I was just amazed at how well it flowed and worked. The Time magazine article talked about how there's no sex in the book but there are very sexual scenes and I couldn't agree more. There is soooo much tension between the two main characters that you just keep reading to find out what happens. Do they touch? Do they kiss? Does Edward the vampire try to kill her? I mean it's just nail biting! Anyway I've ordered the rest of the books in the series and I can't wait until they get here! Please go out and get yourself a copy I promise you won't be disappointed. Oh and I give this book 4 thumbs up!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Book #2

Okay so I told myself I wasn't going to pick a book that is in a series. I also told myself I wouldn't read this particular book because it's about vampires and I don't really care for vampires, however today I read an article in the Times magazine about this book and its Mormon author and I decided to give it a try.
This book is like I said about vampires but it's also about the timeless tale of forbidden love and who can turn that down? I haven't decided what to do if I like this book and want to read the subsequent novels, will I include them in the book club? I guess we'll see what this book has to offer first before I decide to read the entire series. Anyway, I just started the book tonight so happy reading if you decide to join in.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

"The Kite Runner" Review

So I won't ruin the story for those of you that have not read this book, but I will say it takes stomach to get through some parts. This historical fiction is about the power of friendship, betrayal and redemption. Some parts seem extremly predictable and maybe even a little far-fetched, but overall it has a great story and moral.

I rented the movie but have not yet watched it. I'm curious how closely the movie follows the book. I will keep you posted.

Anyway, I liked this book alot. It's always interesting to learn about different cultures. I never knew that Afganistan used to be a very peaceful country. I guess like many other I just assumed that this country had been ravaged by war for centuries. I feel sad for people who have to flee their country to escape war, persecution and poverty. I only hope that our beloved country will stay strong and not become like so many others. Back to the book, I definitely recommend everyone reading this story it's very rich and loaded with detail. Overall I give this book a rating of 3.75 out of 5.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

First Read


I saw the movie trailer to this and thought it looked interesting but I didn't know that it was an actual book until my friend Tara blogged about it. So I am currently reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. This book is fiction and is about growing up in Afganistan during the 1970's to present. Of course there's more to this book than that, but I will do a full review next week when I've finished and maybe give some time if there's anyone who would also like to read this book.

Book Club!!!

Okay so this blog has been sitting here for quite sometime without having anything done to it. I honestly didn't know what to do with it, but I do now! As many of you know I love reading so I decided to turn this blog into a monthly Book Club! Every month I will pick a book, read it, report on it, rate it, and hopefully hear from anyone else who may be interested or has already read the book and would like to comment. Happy reading!