Book 61: Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll

Carroll, Lewis - Through the Looking GlassI honestly didn’t think I would get back to Alice and her adventures. The first book was so ho-hum that I had no desire to read this one, but this was the second book I read as part of my first short-lived Coursera course. Unfortunately due to entirely way to many commitments and needing to read FOUR books for my 30 x 30 list over the next two months, I just couldn’t give up 10 weeks of reading time. I will most definitely take the course at a later date though!

I definitely found this book less whimsical than the first, which is funny as I’m convinced there are so many more made-up words in this novella. Honestly, I have no idea what it is that made me appreciate this one more. Was it that Alice actually started feeling the pressures of adulthood in this book? Or was it that the doom and gloom of the “chess match” of the looking-glass world spoke to me.

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Book 60: Outdated – Michael War

War, Michael - OutdatedTalk about a pertinent novel. Outdated is a hilarious commentary on internet dating and what it’s like when you’ve been out of the game for a long time. I received a copy of this from the publisher in return for my honest opinion.

After the two main characters, Greg and Tim, split up, unceremoniously, Greg finds out just how much has changed in the dating world. There is such an endearing scene where Greg calls a friend and points at the chat room that he used to meet guys through and says “they’re all gone!” If you’re not aware of location-based dating, you’re either happily coupled, a technophobe or living under a rock! There are so many of them out there that I’m not going to link to them and their proliferation was exponential with the increase of smart phones!

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30 x 30: #25 – Sing a song at live-band Karaoke

I2014 10-15 Live Band Karaokef there was one item on the list I thought I would chicken out on, it was this one. Seriously, if I ranked them from those I was most dreading to those I was most excited about this would be #1 dread and #30 most excited, but just like that I’m done with it. I will say Jukebox Heroes bill it as come be a rockstar and that’s what it feels like when you’re up there!

I’ve been to Live Band Karaoke a few times with my friend Dominic, but I’d never got up the guts to actually get on stage and sing, so when I made my list I knew I had to add this one. I’m a decent singer but rarely sing in public or within hearing range of anyone else. I tried out for a few musicals and music groups in undergrad and always made call backs but didn’t have the confidence to get the role, but either way. I added this to my list because I knew it would pull me out of my comfort zone!

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Book 59: Household Stories – Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm

Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm - Household StoriesI haven’t written about it yet, but I will in the near future, but I signed up for my first Coursera course! It is called Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World and so far I’m enjoying it. Household Stories was our first reading and looking at Goodreads, EVERYONE who reads the Lucy Crane/Wlater Crane version seems to have taken that same Coursera course! I’m seriously looking forward to the other books and stories we’ll read for the course and this was a great start.

What I found most interesting about the collection was the obsession with food and with fallen females. Every story was somehow related to food (needing food, wanting food, having too much food, etc.) or dealt with a female character (human or anthropomorphic) who caused troubles for other characters (the adulteress Mrs. Fox and the numerous wicked step-mothers among others).

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Book 58: First Impressions – Charlie Lovett

Lovett, Charlie - First ImpressionsIf you’ve ever read this blog before you know I really love two things: books and Jane Austen. So when I found out Charlie Lovett, author of The Bookman’s Tale wrote an Austen fan-fiction novel (my label) I was super excited! I requested a copy from the publisher and received no compensation for my opinion.

Many authors have tried to write novels featuring Jane Austen at the time she wrote her stories and try to connect her novels to her life. However, few have done it as well as Lovett has in First Impressions. The author worked around many of the issues other authors face (mirroring Austen’s language and getting the time period and personality of Austen and her characters correct) by immediately jumping into Jane Austen’s life. The book opens in the late 1700s with Austen on a walk through the countryside (hello Lizzie Bennet) and as the reader gets to an interesting point Lovett jumps to modern-day London. This could be confusing, but Lovett does it effortlessly.

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The Classics Club – October 2014 Meme

Classics ClubThe Classics Club moderators are keeping me out of my comfort zone this month and asking about poetry.

Let’s talk about classic poetry! Have you got a favorite classic poem? Do you read poetry? Why or why not? // You could also feature a poet or a book of poetry, rather than a poem.

Needless to say, I have very little to say about poetry. I didn’t enjoy it school and I don’t go out of my way to read it. There was a time period where I considered myself a poet (Don’t we all?), but I’ve never read a lot of it. I do love good use of poetry in a novel like in The French Lieutenant’s Woman:

2014 02-08 Poem from The French Lieutenant's WomanAnd I can absolutely love an epic poem like The Canterbury Tales or a play like A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but I’d rather leave poetry than take it. Good thing this is a book blog and not a poetry one!

 

Book 57: Peaches for Father Francis (Chocolat #3) – Joanne Harris

Harris, Joanne - Peaches for Father FrancisNow THIS is how you end a trilogy. I assume this is the end, but I guess it could start-up again. Peaches for Father Francis picks up four years after the events of The Girl With No Shadow and eight years after the original Chocolat. I’m still so happy that I found out this was a series and that I took the time to read the second and third novels, even if it did put me behind on a few other books!

What I enjoyed most about this novel is that the magic once again took a back seat to a larger social conflict. In the middle novel, The Girl With No Shadow, magic took the front seat and that was great because middle novels are always sort of meh, but in having the magic return to less of a focal point the story, I felt, evolved much more naturally.

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