Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Upcoming Books

Thanks, Tonya for the great suggestions. Since I'm the boss around here (ask my husband, it's a streak that runs through me that I just can't get rid of...) and because of a lack of other suggestions, I've decided to go ahead and assign our books for the upcoming months.
For January:
Since I'm sure a lot of us have read Twilight, I think that "Dracula" by Bram Stoker would be a great choice. Plus, as Tonya has pointed out, the female roles in it would be something nice to compare with "The Scarlett Pimpernel" and Marguerite as a heroine. I've chosen it for January because it should be easy to find in your libraries.
For February:
Tonya also suggested "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho. You can go to and look it up to read an excerpt. It's a fable type story and different from both "Dracula" and "The Scarlett Pimpernel," so I think it's an excellent choice.
For March:
Because I just LOVE Gail Carson Levine (and again, I have to thank Tonya for this because in our book club in Laramie, "Ella Enchanted" was the first book she suggested we read, which led me to all of Levine's many wonderful books!)--anyway, I have been dying to read her latest, "Ever," and once again, because I'm the boss, that's what we're all going to do! :)
If you have strong opinions against any of these, let me know, I'm willing to make a change on Feb and March (not January because it's too close). If not, let's go with it and please leave more suggestions for books for the following months. Happy reading!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

More Options

I've read both of Renee's suggestions, but not since AP English ten years ago, so I'd be game for either or both. I'm not sure on the Jane Austen Biography though. Every time I think of that movie I get so mad. Honestly, I hate that life can be so cruel sometimes. The movie clearly hit home to me. Anyways, books.

I was just reading my cousin's blog and she had a list of books she recommends, too. I'll admit that at 11 at night I'm not going to research them, but I do trust her opinion. I've read the Twilight and Eragon books but not the others, and I've been wanting to read Dracula for a while now, and not just since reading Twilight. Dracula marked a big change in how women were viewed in literature. Do any of you know something about the other books?
  • Dracula: by Bram Stoker
  • The Alchemist: by Paulo Coelho
  • Chickens in the Headlights: by Matthew Buckley
  • Twiltight, New Moon, and Eclipse: by Stephenie Meyer
  • The Host: by Stephenie Meyer
  • Eragon, The Eldest and Brisinger: by Christopher Paolini
  • The 13th Reality: by James Dashner
  • The Bartimaeus Trilogy: by Jonathan Stroud

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tonya's Idea

Tonya had a great idea so that we don't waste too much time deciding on books. We will line up a whole bunch of suggestions and choose one for January, February, and March all at once, so that we have plenty of time to discuss and comment! I'm looking forward to your ideas!
One book that I've wanted to read for a while is "Becoming Jane Austen" by Jon Spence. It is actually a biography on Jane Austen's early life and the movie "Becoming Jane" is based off of this biography. From what I've heard, Spence uses Austen's letters and her books to construct her early life and what led her to become the person she was. I own "Becoming Jane" the movie, and since some of that movie is contradictory to other information I've read on Austen's life, I'm eager to read the book and find out for myself. As a HUGE Jane Austen fan (as well as a historian...) I am very intrigued.
I'm sort of into the classics lately, so here are a few of my other suggestions:
Wuthering Heights (I've never read it, although I own it...)
The Scarlett Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne

Thursday, December 11, 2008

January Book

Well, December is half over and April is the only one that suggested anything. In truth, I was waiting and hoping for a couple other suggestions, so I decided to go this route instead. December is pretty busy for all of us, so let's just go ahead and pick a January book in the next week or so and get a jump on it. That's the best plan I have for this month, any other ideas would be great!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I finally finished reading!

I finally finished the book! I know; I'm slow. I was slow to start, but I think I picked up April's copy at the library just as she turned it in. Overall, I enjoyed the read. It was refreshing to read something that made me think more than the Twilight books or the other teen lit I've been reading lately. I'm glad we read a classic this go around.

As for the questions, I did the same as April and read the intro in the book. It gave the SP away so early. While that was a bit of a let-down, it allowed me to watch how the author developed his character through Percy while most readers were unsuspecting of his identity. The only other real prospect in my eyes was the prince.

Was Marguerite justified in her actions? Who truly can say when someone is justified. I like what Sarah said about the brother vs. the stranger, but wouldn't the brother have been disappointed for betraying the man he himself had sworn loyalty to plus what about the fact that the SP had saved over 100 lives and was potentially to save many more? I don't know. I'm just grateful I'm not in the same situation. However, did anyone else feel that since Marguerite was the most intellectual woman in Europe that she should have been able to avoid being led to rat out the Marquis de St. Cyr and then come up with something at the end other than hide in the darkness, scream at the shack, and then faint? I am so grateful that more is expected from women in books now. I know she didn't eat or sleep for three days and she tore her feet up walking after everyone, but come on. Couldn't she have done something with her pretty little intellectual head?

Lastly, I knew Percy was the Jew the moment he entered the picture. For one thing, I like to pay attention to the characters the author spends time on. They're usually important figures some how. Also, again, the stoop. It was a dead give away.

My last two things to discuss - how do you visualize the author? The intro to my book described Marguerite as being the author's ideal representation of herself. Basically, the author was everything Marguerite was not - tall vs short, slender vs plump, actress vs writer, etc. I read the book with a slightly comical slant due to this info. It changed the way I read Marguerite. I enjoyed her character, but I'm not sure I'd write myself as being so incapable. Also, my book mentioned that this book was patterned after and easily adapted to the stage. Think on how each scene was set up. The play is being put on is Salt Lake City this upcoming summer. Does anyone want to go? I think it would be really fun.

As for books to read, I would love to read either or both of April's suggestions. If we don't end up discussing them until January, that would be fine with me. In fact, I wouldn't mind if we plan a few books out and we can read them as we go.