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 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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The Classics Club – September 2014 Meme

Classics ClubThe Classics Club moderators are really pushing us out of our comfort zone this month and I’m enjoying it, even if I can’t think of a great answer outside of the excellent example they provide! I might do another “avoid answering” by answering differently, as it’s where I’ve gone in my head.

Select two classics from your list (by different authors) that you have finished reading. Now switch the authors, and contemplate how each might have written the other’s book. For example, what if Charlotte Brontë had written David Copperfield, and Charles Dickens had written Jane Eyre? How might the style, focus and impact change in a work of literature by a different author’s pen? What about William Shakespeare writing Pride & Prejudice, and Jane Austen writing The Taming of the Shrew? Etc. If you discuss the story, please of course remember to warn folks plot details are forthcoming.

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30 x 30: #14 – Read The Grapes of Wrath

2014 08-26 Falling Apart SteinbeckYAY! I’ve finally made more progress on my 30×30 list! I thought for sure, at this point it had fallen by the wayside and I’d pick up the pieces after December 21st, but THAT is why I included some reading related items on the list!

With the completion of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, I am now 1/3 of the way through my list and SEVERELY behind! I should’ve been at this point at the end of June, I’m going to have to seriously pick up the pace! Thankfully, I’ve made progress on a few other and count probably cross them off in the near future (lying in the park, growing something from a bulb/seed, visiting Alie in VA, reach 525 blog posts), so it’s not like I’ve just been lounging around even though I have!

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The Classics Club – August 2014 Meme

Classics ClubThis question was MADE for me! YAY for finally having a great monthly question after months and months of participating! I’m finally reading another Classics Club novel (The Grapes of Wrath), but yay for small progress!

For August the hosts of The Classics Club have asked

What are your thoughts on adaptions of classics? Say mini-series or movies? Or maybe modern approaches? Are there any good ones? Is it better to read the book first? Or maybe just compare the book and an adaptation?

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The Classics Club – June 2014 Meme

Classics ClubFor June the hosts of The Classics Club have asked members to

“Think of an example of a classic you’ve read that presents issues like racism/sexism as acceptable within society. Do you think the reception of this classic work would be the same if it were newly published today? What can we get out of this work despite its weaknesses? Or, why would you say this work is still respected, treasured or remembered in 2014?

And I’m not going to answer it. Go read any of my other meme answers, they answer this question, and will continue to answer it over and over.

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Book 33: Tuck Everlasting – Natalie Babbitt

Babbitt, Natalie - Tuck EverlastingI first read Tuck Everlasting back in high school before the 2002 film came out as I didn’t want the story ruined by a movie (I was just as stubborn back then). Other than a general sense of wonderment and enjoyment I didn’t remember much about the book outside of the basic storyline. I was very glad this was the chosen book this month as it was super short, read it in one day on my T commute, and watched the 2002 film just before book group.

It’s hard to say what part of the story was the best part as there was something so incredibly simple and yet fantastical/magical in both the story and Babbitt’s writing. I definitely didn’t realize when I first read it that the book was almost 30 years old! Originally published in 1975, it clearly stands the test of time and I thoroughly enjoyed this reread. Babbitt did an amazing job of simplifying and writing about a concept as complex and all-encompassing as immortality

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