Book 330: Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen

Austen, Jane - Northanger AbbeyContinuing my “Jane-uary” theme, I’ve just finished Northanger Abbey in time for our Jane Austen Book Club (JABC) discussion, which was unfortunately postponed due to a blizzard here in Boston. In addition, this acts as my revitalization of my Classics Club attempt. I apparently only read two books last year. How embarrassing! I’ll read at least six this year with the JABC so that’s a bonus.

Let’s start with I’m ashamed to admit I forgot how absolutely lovable and amazing Henry Tilney is! This is one of the two Austen books I’ve only read once and that is will most definitely change in the future. On the scale of Austen heroes he’s always been lost in the non-Mr. Darcy fray for me. I think he is still behind Darcy, but his bookishness and (what I see as his) disdain for social norms made me laugh on numerous occasions!

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Culture Corner – January 2015

2015 01-04 License Plate GameI can’t believe it’s been four months since I last did a Culture Corner (September 2014), but the blog wasn’t lacking for culture! With the end of my 30×30 list we got to visit the Somerville Museum, finish touring the MFA with my friend Caroline and I finally attend the Boston Symphony Orchestra again. But since then, I’ve done a lot of travelling and visited quite a few museums.

One of the big things I’ve never talked about as a cultural experience is travelling. I generally focus on what I do when I get there, but driving from Boston to North Carolina and then flying from North Carolina to Omaha, Nebraska and then back to Boston really made me think about the culture of travelling.  I won’t go into it in this post, but I think I’ll probably write about it when I attempt to revive Now Entering Adulthood in the coming weeks. What I AM going to write briefly about and show lots of pictures of are my whirlwind trips in December to DC and North Carolina and my January trip to Omaha! And then throw in a few pictures of my most recent MFA visits.

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WordPress Book Bloggers – Help Out!

Hey Everyone,

Are you a book blogger? Do you blog about other things but still read books?

I know a lot of you use different blogging platforms, but if you use WordPress I would appreciate your help.  Please add your voice to my “idea” in the WordPress Ideas forum: “Customizable Goodreads Widget.”

If you’ve ever tried to add a Goodreads widget to your wordpress.com site you know you can’t do it. They (rightfully so) don’t allow iframe or javascript, and they did finally build a widget, however it’s slap-dash and has no customization. I mean look to the right – I can’t be the only one who thinks it looks odd. The coding is similar to that provided by Goodreads so it wouldn’t take much editing for WordPress to make this possible.

I’m not sure if anything will come of it, but it’s worth a shot. So click here and add your thoughts, please!!!!

Thanks!
Geoff

Book 329: Waiting for the Flood – Alexis Hall

Hall, Alexis - Waiting for the FloodIf I didn’t know better I’d say one of my good friends from high school (cough *Alexandra* cough) was writing under a pseudonym, “Alexis Hall” – HA! But that aside, I requested a copy of this novella from the publisher as the synopsis (Publisher’s website) caught my attention. I received a copy from the publisher and below is my honest response.

This is the story of Edwin and how he’s finally ready to get over his 10 year relationship which ended, not on bad terms, but on terms that he wasn’t able to comprehend. Having never been in a 10 year relationship (holy shit that’s 1/3 of my life – and Edwin’s!) I can’t really relate, but I can relate to coming out of a relationship not knowing what happened because it ended in a way that didn’t make sense and we apparently both thought and had different feelings on where things were and were going.

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Book 328: A Jane Austen Education – William Deresiewicz

Deresiewicz, William - A Jane Austen EducationWarning: Goodreads rant – skip to second paragraph. I’m not sure what jumped up everyone’s butts on Goodreads (I shouldn’t really be surprised), but this book doesn’t deserve as much vitriol as it has received on the site. So many people trashed it without even finishing the book, many obviously had read the synopsis (Amazon Affiliate link) and yet were shocked at what they read.

The book definitely deserves a lot of the criticism, but it doesn’t deserve the pure vitriol that Goodread’s reviewers thew at it. Sure, I wanted to smack Deresiewicz for being an insufferable grad student, but it’s very clear in the synopsis that the book was going to be full of naval gazing. He made a couple of questionable sexist and classist comments and he may have reduced a lot of Austen’s genius down to basics, but it would definitely work for people who are not familiar with Austen. Seriously, if you can’t find the good in a book, why bother finishing and trashing it? Just move on to the next book.

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