Friday, September 24, 2010

You know it's one of those days when...

you prefer books to people.

Do you ever have one of those days where everyone you encounter is annoying, insensitive, rude or aggravating?


Thank goodness it's Friday!

Also, I have quotes:

"We read to know that we are not alone."
~ C.S. Lewis

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."
~ Ernest Hemingway

"Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences."
~ Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Georgette Heyer Audiobooks


This was fun to listen to while deep cleaning my kitchen. I find that I work better while listening to Richard Armitage say things like “rake” and “my dear delight”.

But let's face it. This man could read my phone bill and I would swoon.

From Goodreads:
In all her twenty-five years, lovely Venetia Lanyon has never been further than Harrogate. Then she meets her neighbour, Lord Damerel, and before she knows better, she is egging on a libertine whose way of life has scandalized the county for years.

Venetia has lived a sheltered life with her father and two brothers. Her father has recently died and her brother Conway is off at war. So she is left to care for their home with her younger brother Aubrey. Aubrey is about 17 and likes his sister, but really prefers reading books to people (um, yes).

She first meets Lord Damerel by accidentally trespassing on his property. Venetia meets him again after Aubrey has an accident and Damerel comes to his rescue. Venetia and Damerel become friends, much to the dismay of well, everyone. You see he's a rake! Indeed.

I don't know. It was okay. There were so many glowing reviews, but it didn't appeal to me as much. It’s essentially light-hearted fair. Something pleasant to listen to while doing the dishes or folding laundry. I think I prefer dark, Gothic romances.

I enjoyed the first half. The second half I kept waiting for more conflict. And they set up some characters only to abandon them completely. I realize this audio version is an abridgement. I wonder if this storyline was left out of the novel as well. Also, a plot point that I thought was supposed to be quite dramatic fell flat because the main character’s reaction seemed so unrealistic.


Yawn. This is nothing against Mr. Armitage's reading. He is excellent! But the story was not very interesting. Again, so many amazing reviews! Is it me?

Sylvester is a Duke who suddenly realizes it's about time to take a wife.

Phoebe Marlow is a plain, country girl who's written a novel. She'd met Sylvester once before at a ball in London. He did not make a good first impression (hmm, sounds familiar...) His behavior and pointed eyebrows (what?) inspire her to write him as a villainous character in her book.

They meet again and fail to impress each other once more. Phoebe has been told that his reason for visiting is to ask for her hand in marriage. This will not do! She must run away....blah, blah, blah.

Oh, I forgot! Her book is to be published! Oh no! He will figure out she's based her villain on him! The scandal of it all!!!

It's clear there are many Georgette Heyer fans who love her stories. Are you a fan? Am I completely out of line?

P.S. Would it be too much to ask Mr. Armitage to read Pride and Prejudice or The Count of Monte Cristo? Please…PLEASE.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

I just added this novel to my to-be-read status. I stayed up very late last night to watch the BBC mini-series and I can't stop thinking about it. It's so good!! How have I never heard of this book or movie before!?

North and South is about a young woman, Margaret Hale, who moves with her mother and father from their middle class, southern home to the northern, industrial town of Milton. She meets John Thornton, one of the masters of a cotton mill. They clash and dislike each other immediately. There is turmoil rising in the town as the workers threaten to strike. Margaret is strong and opinionated and Thornton is determined and brooding and full of angst. It's just fantastic. The character development of the two leads as well as the rest of the characters is superb. I like that you get to see what's happening to the town and their relationship from both sides.

It's just a lovely, lovely film and I can't wait to get my hands on the novel.
I just bought this vintage classics edition. Isn't the cover fantastic?

Friday, September 10, 2010

On Parting

I've always loved these final lines to Byron's On Parting.
I'm missing my hubby today (he's in Tawain for two weeks). I remember sending him these words while we were apart the summer before we married.

By day or night, in weal or woe,

That heart, no longer free,

Must bear the love it cannot show,

And silent ache for thee.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

Newberry Honor Book

I first heard about Megan Whalen Turner from Shannon Hale’s blog. They interviewed each other through email. Pretty cool. You can read it here.

After reading about Turner, I bought The Thief and began reading. However, I got sidetracked with other books, ahem, The Hunger Games, and forgot to come back to it. The other day, I found it in a pile of to-be-read as I was cleaning my room.

Here’s a snippet from the book cover:

"I can steal anything."

After Gen's bragging lands him in the king's prison, the chances of escape look slim. Then the king's scholar, the magus, needs the thief's skill for a seemingly impossible task -- to steal a hidden treasure from another land.

To the magus, Gen is just a tool. But Gen is a trickster and a survivor with a plan of his own.

The setting feels very much like ancient Greece with refernces to gods. I loved the stories Gen and the Magus tell about Earth's Creation and her relationship with the Sky. The plot unfolds slowly, but the characters and descriptions keep your attention. And then things start to get interesting and exciting! I really liked the main character, Gen. He is clever and stubborn and full of surprises. I also found the relationship between Gen and the Magus fascinating, and by the end ironic. There's dimension to these characters; nothing is as it seems.

The Thief is followed by three more books--The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia and The Conspiracy of Kings. I'm looking forward to reading them. It's nice when you don't have to wait for the sequels :)