February 18, 2003
7. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë*#
I love this book. It's definitely not as brilliant as Wuthering Heights, but it's still marvelous. I read it back in high school, but I'd forgotten a lot of things--like oh, exactly how it ended. I had not, of course, forgotten about the huge plot twist, heh. What I didn't remember, and what was such a pleasant surprise on re-reading, was what a thoroughly modern and independent character Jane is. As much as I love Wuthering Heights, neither of the two Catherines are a patch on unconventional Jane. Every time she stands up to someone, I wanted to cheer. In short, Jane Eyre is such a feminist novel. The heroine may end up marrying the hero, but she only does so on her own terms, and after the balance of power between the two of them had gone through a complete reversal. I'm thinking there's a paper topic or two in the power dynamics going on here.
February 16, 2003
6. The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff*
This book was honestly my introduction to Eastern thought. It's a pleasant little book to read, but I don't think I got as much out of it this time as I did the first time I read it, about four or five years ago. It's a little too simple, a little too light and fluffy to be satisifying. Still, as an introduction, it's not bad. I'm wondering where to go from here--probably nowhere until after school stops draining my brain.
February 09, 2003
4. The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, Tamora Pierce
5. Lioness Rampant, Tamora Pierce
I finally had a chance to finish this series since Mer got me the first two books for Christmas. Fun stuff. I wish these books had been around when I was a teenager. I would've absolutely worshipped them. As it is, they were enjoyable, fast reads, but I kept hoping for a little more difficulty. I dunno, maybe I see in Pierce the same issues I have with setting up lots of tension but not resolving it. Her answers and solutions sometimes seem to come too easily, confrontations over too quickly. All in all, they made a great weekend distraction from schoolwork, nice and relaxing.
February 03, 2003
Opening sentences/paragraphs of ten favorite books
Mer finds the best memes, I swear.
1. Theirs was a land of awesome grandeur, a land of mountains and moorlands and cherished myths. -- Here Be Dragons, Sharon K. Penman
2. The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed. -- The Gunslinger, Stephen King
3. The North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance agent promised to fly from Mercy to the other side of Lake Superior at three o'clock. -- Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison
4. People ask, How did you get in there? What they really want to know is if they are likely to end up there as well. -- Girl, Interrupted, Susanna Kaysen
5. Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. -- One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
6. All this happened, more or less. -- Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
7. On September 15, 1981, a boy named Jack Sawyer stood where the water and land come together, hands in the pockets of his jeans, looking out at the steady Atlantic. -- The Talisman, Stephen King and Peter Straub
8. Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. -- Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
9. The book was thick and black and covered with dust. -- Possession, A. S. Byatt
10. When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton. -- The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
Closing paragraphs of five favorite books
1. Give me your hands, if we be friends, / And Robin shall restore amends. -- A Midsummer Night's Dream, William Shakespeare
2. I lingered round them, under that benign sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how any one could imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth. -- Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
3. "Shhh, yes. There's a rumor going around that the beautiful girl arriving today might be the queen they've been waiting for." -- Bridge to Terebithia, Katherine Paterson
4. And it always, at the end, came round to the same place again. -- The Stand, Stephen King
5. One bird said to Billy Pilgrim, "Poo-tee-weet?" -- Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
February 02, 2003
3. Agnes Grey, Anne Brontë#
I have a feeling that most of the reading I do this semester is going to be reading for school, considering how fast I'll be moving through the Brontë sisters' novels. So...
The youngest of the three, Anne doesn't get the same respect her older sisters do, I think largely because of the image Charlotte presented of her after she died: the meek, retiring baby sister. Anne's first novel details the true story of what it meant to be a governess, with a strong touch of Austenesque romance at the end. I enjoyed it very much; aside from being a quick and easy read, it gives some interesting insight day to day life of the era.
And if nothing else, I wanted to smack most of the kids Agnes had to take care of, as well as their parents.