Book 23: The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

Atwood, Margaret - The Handmaid's TaleI can’t believe it’s been over five years since I last read this incredible novel. But thinking about it as I write this I’m not too surprised. I last read this while working on a paper for my MA and that paper didn’t go well, because I apparently didn’t “understand how to apply gender theory” and I was given the opportunity to completely re-write the paper.

I was incredibly pissed at the insult, because that’s how I took it, and I spent a lot of time rewriting the paper in such a way as to insult my professors and the program. In no uncertain terms I stated that gender theory does not preempt every other theory and that scholars needed to be incredibly careful of over-stepping their bounds. I did eventually receive a passing grade and they invited back to pursue a PhD (I declined), but it left a sour taste in my mouth.

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The Classics Club – April Meme

Classics ClubThis month’s question from The Classics Club is super specific, but after almost two years I guess they would have to be start getting specific.

Contemplate your favorite classic to date. When was the book written? Why would you say it has been preserved by the ages? Do you think it will still be respected/treasured 100 years from now?

My immediate thought was any of Jane Austen’s novels and those will definitely be around for many years to come. Her wit and way with words is excellently placed when she was living but her stories and characters have a timelessness about them. So I went to my next thought, the works of Anne Brontë: Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

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The Classics Club – March Meme

Classics ClubThis month’s question from The Classics Club is a great one! I’ve struggled with many of the other questions and this one wasn’t any different. I loved the reflection required and as with the other questions asked so far, I’ve looked outside of what I’ve read for the club to find an answer, but perhaps not the answer. This month the moderators have asked us

What is your favorite “classic” literary period and why?

For me it’s hard to explain as geography/location/setting plays a bigger role in books for me than time period, but I realized that a lot of the books I thoroughly enjoy that qualify as classics are from the mid 1900s, but not the standard books. I was thinking along the lines of Bastard Out of CarolinaThe Color Purple, To Kill A Mockingbird and anything by Carson McCullers and Truman Capote.

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Book 12: Significant Others (Tales of the City #5) – Armistead Maupin

Maupin, Armistead - Significant Others (Tales of the City #4)Coming back to Maupin’s San Francisco is like going home after a really long vacation. There’s something comforting and something genuinely nice about being back on Barbary Lane. (See the first quote under Additional Quotes).

I can’t believe it’s been almost three years since I binge read Tales of the CityMore Tales of the CityFurther Tales of the City and Babycakes. And like everyone else who has ever read a single one of The Tales of the city books, I’m finally taking the time to catch up on the series, which has spanned five decades so that I can read the final (I’m assuming) novel in the series The Days of Anna Madrigal released at the beginning of 2014. I won’t binge read them, but they’re such quick reads I plan to read them all this year.

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The Classics Club – February Meme

Classics ClubFair warning: 1) This isn’t meant to be offensive or dismissive; 2) I got distracted and went off on a tangent; 3) This is probably not the most well thought out post I’ve ever written; and 4) I think these types of dialogue building questions are important and as I mention near the end, this is just a gut response.

“Dead white guys” are all too often the focus when it comes to discussions of the Western Canon. We’d love to see members highlight classic works or authors that are overlooked in the canon that deserve recognition. Pick one/or more and tell us how their work resonates for our century and/or for you. As always, you determine what is a “classic” in your point of view, including works from 2000+, and works from anywhere in the world. // Or, if you have trouble thinking of an author/work to highlight, you could simply discuss the topic itself: What is “The Western Canon” — have you thought about who/what determines which works are recognized from human history?”

As someone who is pale (white), male (born), and will one day be stale (old) not to mention western (American), I’m not sure how to think about this question. I do completely understand the necessity of asking the question and the vital importance of broadening the definition of classics, but for some reason the way the question is phrased it got under my pale skin. ;)

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