Thursday, February 27, 2014

Dickens on Stage

You may remember that I did a readalong for Tale of Two Cities back in December.
Well, my favorite ever theater company - Lifeline Theatre - did an adaptation of it, and I went to see it last Friday! It was my mother's birthday present for me... :-)

Firstly, let me mention how similar Darnay and Carton looked. They found some excellent actors who actually could be mistaken for each other, if you didn't look close. Check it out:

(Darnay, Lucie, and Carton, in that order.)

(Carton on the left, and Darnay on the right, out for a drink.)
The actors were all spectacular, as always, but I'd like to make special mention of two.
First, the fellow who played Dr. Manette:

Father and child.

He played the doctor so well, both in his difficult times, and his stronger moments. And his relationship with Lucie was perfect.

Secondly, this guy:

An interesting individual

Because there are so many things in Tale of Two Cities that cannot be incorporated into a 2 hour production, they clearly had to make some changes (more like omissions - they never really change from the original book). And one of their most interesting things they did was make the character of Jerry Cruncher into a sort of narrator/omnipresent viewer that guided the audience along back and forth between London to Paris, and took on minor character roles. The adaptor gave him (whom they called the Resurrection Man) many of Dickens' beautiful descriptive passages, that would otherwise have been lost in a theatrical adaptation. A wonderful choice. (And the fellow playing him was spectacular in his oratorical skills - he opened the play with the famous "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." passage, and managed to deliver it, in his cockney accent, with a strange elegance.)

Another change that they made was that they completely omitted Mr. Lorry! I suppose that there just wasn't enough time for him, but I would have loved to see him portrayed. The entire bank where he works, with Dickens' fantastic description, was nonexistent. Oh well - you can only hope for so much.

But apart from that, the adaptation left nothing to be desired. I adored Miss Pross (performed, in a strange reversal of roles, by the same actress who played Milady in The Three Musketeers). And Carton's final speech put tears in my eyes. 
Okay, whom am I kidding - I was straight out sobbing. 

Now I am even MORE excited about their production of Monstrous Regiment this summer! Yippee!


P.S. Today is John Steinbeck's birthday! Unfortunately, he won't get an entire post devoted to him like Hugo did yesterday, because I really haven't read any of his works and know nothing about him. But I am planning on reading him at some point - he's too classic to skip!
An interesting fact: today, he will be 112 years old - exactly 100 years younger than Hugo! :-)
And check out the cool Google Doodle in his honor.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Happy Birthday, Victor Hugo!

Today is Victor Hugo's 212th birthday. He, as you all probably know, wrote the great masterpiece called Les Miserables. Not only was Hugo a spectacular author, with fantastic descriptions and characterizations that I could go on about forever, but he was also a human rights activist who spoke up for the poor and downtrodden. Les Miserables clearly sprung out of a heart filled with compassion and a desire for social justice.

Surprisingly, I have never gotten around to reading Hugo's other works, such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Considering how much I LOVE Les Miserables, it would probably be a good idea for me to read Hunchback at some point.

A little known fact about Hugo is that he also loved to paint and draw. Delacroix said that if Hugo had taken up art instead of writing, he would have been the greatest artist of his time. But instead he became the greatest writer of his time. I guess some people just have it all. 

Here's some examples of his work:

File:Victor Hugo-Bridge.jpg

File:Victor hugo gavroche a 11 ans.jpg
11 y. o. Gavroche from Les Miserables

File:Victor Hugo-Octopus.jpg 

Isn't that awesome?

His final will was made up of five sentences:
"I leave 50 000 francs to the poor. I want to be buried in their hearse.
I refuse funeral orations of all churches. I beg a prayer to all souls.
I believe in God."
Happy, happy birthday, to a spectacular man!


P.S. if you would like to read my posts on Les Miserables, HERE they are.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: REWIND!

So firstly, an apology. I missed the Bible Project on Sunday. I actually am a little behind, and haven't finished Numbers yet. But I had good reason to miss. It was a decision between reading Numbers and writing the post - or writing a scholarship essay for Grammarly on how reading has influenced my writing and possibly getting $1000 for it. I hope you understand. :-)
So I'll add Numbers to the post next Sunday.

Anyway, on to today's Top Ten Tuesday!

As always: hosted by the wonderful ladies at The Broke and the Bookish.
Today's topic is - nonexistant! We get to go back into the TTT anals and choose one that we haven't done. So... I'm doing: Top Ten Books I had VERY Strong Emotions About... Prepare for a lot of CAPS and italics!

1. The Rope Trick by Lloyd Alexander. Emotions: Confusion, Lack of Satisfaction

Granted, I haven't read this book since I was ten, but I remember absolutely hating the ending. I hated it so much that when I finished reading it I renamed it "Lidi with the Bad Ending" (Lidi was the MC). I had to look up what the real title was so I could put it on this list.
Don't get me wrong, I love Lloyd Alexander. (That reminds me - I haven't read one of his books in ages - gotta go to the library!) But he occasionally has a way of breaking his own magical boundaries. Yes, it's fantasy. Fantasy has magic. But it has to be believable magic (a bit of a paradox, I know.) Alexander tosses in some magic that isn't explainable - that is different from the magic in the rest of the book - that just somehow doesn't work - and it's a convenient deus ex machina and wraps the book up in a neat little bow. (He does this in The Book of Three as well... it's when Gwydion escapes from imprisonment.)
The Rope Trick (as I remember it) just left me going, "Huh? So that's how it ends?" It didn't follow at all, and answered no questions.

2. Bel Ami by Guy de Maupassant. Emotions: Disgust, Lack of Satisfaction

I love Guy de Maupassant's short story The Necklace but I hate Bel Ami. Ugh.
C. S. Lewis said it best:
Let there be wicked kings and beheadings, battles and dungeons, giants and dragons, and let the villains be soundly killed at the end of the book.
Well, they don't have to be killed, but there has to be some sort of retribution for actions that harmed other people. And the reason why I don't like Bel Ami is because George Duroy (our Main Character) gets off scot free in the end with practically ANYTHING. So, Duroy is married and has a mistress as well (one with a husband). So far, not too bad, because his wife is a little conniving too, and also has a guy on the side (I wonder why...). But then, Duroy decides that he should marry his boss's daughter (the sweetest thing who just wants her knight in shining armor), so first he has to make up an excuse to divorce his current wife. He exposes her adultery, (he himself, of course, remaining the blameless honest Parisian citizen). He then elopes with the boss's daughter. Oh wait, I forgot to tell you - he slept with his boss's WIFE because he thought it would be fun. It wasn't, but now she's devotedly attached to him and is JEALOUS of her daughter. So the boss's wife goes into hysterics, because her case is lost - Duroy is about to be married to her daughter (poor girl). The book ends with their wedding - but after they are married and Duroy is leaving with his innocent bride, he catches sight of his mistress, and all he's thinking about is how he's going to go see her soon and how her hair looks when she gets out of bed in the morning.
Oh for heaven's sake! All the poor women who's lives were ruined and who's hearts were broken by Duroy! I especially feel sorry for his poor, naive, unsuspecting second wife. She thought she was getting an honorable man who would worship and respect her (Duroy can pretend to be very honorable if he wants). Ugh Ugh Ugh. I've considered writing a sequel where a woman comes in that isn't AT ALL charmed by Duroy and breaks HIS heart for a change.
Okay, that was a long one. But I'm very vehement about this book. Ugh.

3. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. Emotions: Utter disbelief and despair.

Now, unlike the last one, I did not hate this book. I did not even dislike it. In fact - I really enjoyed it. But the ending made me depressed for a couple days. So depressed, that I decided to take a break from HP - and I ended up being caught up in other things and I still haven't read Deathly Hallows. (I will soon, I promise...)
My reaction on finishing this book can be summed up neatly in a few words:
Dumbledore! SNAPE!? DUMBLEDORE!!!!

4. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. Emotions: Pity, Love, Indignance, Anger, ALL THE FEELS.

This book is FILLED TO BURSTING with emotions. We pity Fantine, Cosette, and Eponine, feel anger at the Thenardiers, "awww" at Cosette and Marius - and Jean Valjean just makes our heart burst with joy when we read about his gradual attempt at redemption. Ohhhhhh my heart! This is a book that raises you up and makes you feel EVERY HUMAN EMOTION POSSIBLE. Gosh, I should have saved this one for last. Oh and you can read my four part post on Les Miz here, here, here, and here.

5. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. Emotions: Nostalgia, Thrill, Joy

This book is the ultimate nostalgia book. It is - and always will be - my absolute favorite work of literature. The simple fact that it is a read for ALL AGES astonishes me, and I love revisiting all the memories of my childhood, as well as discovering new gems within Lewis's writing that I hadn't noticed before. I've read it - well, I stopped counting at seven times. Gah I love C.S. Lewis.

6. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. Emotions: Thrill, Being Overwhelmed

These books amaze me every time. The expansiveness, the world-building, the intricateness. GAH

7. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Emotions: Love, Perturbation, Contentment

Jane is such a spectacular character, you can't help cheering her on through her struggles. When she refuses Rochester for the first time, I wondered, but deep inside my heart did a fist pump for strong women who stick to their values. When she refuses St. John, my heart did a fist pump for strong women who do what they love, and not just what society asks of them. Jane's story makes me so happy - she is a character that we can all strive to emulate!

8. The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne. Emotions: Profound Revelation of Wisdom, as well as a good dose of "Awwww...."

You wouldn't believe how profound these little "trifles for the young" are, as Milne put it. These are amazingly heartwarming and deep at the same time. And purely adorable. It makes me so excited to have kids! This was the book that my father was reading to me when he figured out that I was reading along with him. I was three years old. Yup.

9. The Giver by Lois Lowry. Emotions: Contemplation, Despair, Disbelief, Amazement, Relative Contentment

THIS BOOK. It is amazing. It was my first dystopian-style novel that I ever read, and it gave me such conflicting thoughts and emotions. I felt like giving everyone hugs and stealing them away to live with me. THEY ALL DESERVED SO MUCH BETTER.

10. Carry On Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham. Emotions: Inspiration, Grief, Approbation.

What I mean by "approbation" is that throughout the entire book, I was cheering Nat on. Isn't that what it's all about? "Carry on, Mr. Bowditch, you can do it!" It's such an inspirational book: "Sail by ash breeze - go by your own hard work." And I totally connected with Nat on the nerdy side of things! He's on my list of literary crushes... :-P

Okay, that's it for today!

What books made you have very strong emotions? The kind that made you want to TELL someone about the book AT THAT MOMENT? Let me know!


Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Fun Bookish Idea

Look at what I found in a Family Fun magazine! Isn't this a cute idea?

I'm totally going to make some and walk around the library putting them in my favorite books! 


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Why I Love Blogging and Reading

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. Today's topic is: Reasons why I love being a blogger/reader. I'm going to do a bit of each.

I love reading because...

1. It lets me relax. When I read, my mind drifts away and I forget all about the deadlines and responsibilities of daily life. (I actually wrote on this topic for my college application essay!)

2. It has given me a large vocabulary and decent spelling and grammar skills. Because of the gajillion books I read as a kid, I rather naturally learned proper spelling and grammar at a very early age. I also hated looking up words I didn't know in the dictionary, because I thought it disrupted the flow of the story, so I learned so much vocabulary by plain old context clues. I'm also that person who knows how to spell things, but not how to pronounce them, because I've only read them in books!

3. It has taught me how to write. Of course, it's not the only thing that's taught me how to write, but it's definitely had a huge influence. Subconsciously, by reading tons of classics as a kid, I slowly developed an eye for writing style and helpful writing techniques.

4. It helps me find potential friends. (That makes me sound anti-social, which I'm not - I'm just not super-social.) If anyone enters into a discussion with me on BOOKS, they immediately rise in my opinion. Especially if it's on the classics. Case in point: All of my friends are readers. Seriously. I can't think of one that isn't. And they all have an appreciation for classic literature.

5. It means I'm never bored. Bus late? Got my book. Waiting for a doctor's appointment? Got my book. Long flight? Got my book. And if I haven't got a book nearby, for some reason, I ponder. Which leads me to my next two points...

6. It has taught me to ponder and contemplate. (Which is technically redundant. Oh well. I liked how it sounded.) Reading is a contemplative thing - even if you're reading a fast paced action novel. Books have so much depth - good books do, at least - no matter what genre they're in. So after I finish a book, I ponder.

7. It has given me a superb imagination. (This is connected to #3.) For practically all of my childhood, I engaged in the fantastic art of "pretend." It was private pretending, most of the time, because I am not an actress, but I loved feeling that I was a part of a story. First, I went through numerous variations on the "kidnapped princess" theme; then, a few years later, I became the prince - 'cause that was totally funner (princes got swords); and finally, I decided I liked being a girl - but one of those "badass heroines" (inspired by Eilonwy after I read The Prydain Chronicles). My sister and I dreamed of being pulled into books by magic, and hanging out with Robin Hood and Maid Marian.

I love blogging because...

8. It has expanded my book list into more contemporary literature. I read a lot of classics before I started blogging, but since I've become a part of the book blogging community, I have added some newer books to my TBR - and I'm super excited about that! (Though classics will always have a special place in my heart.)

9. It has (mostly) relieved my parents from the duty of patiently listening to me as I talk books to them. Before I started blogging, whenever I got excited by a book, I would give my parents a huge monologue about what I liked (or vehemently disliked) about it, and they would nod along patiently and say, "mmhmm..." (Note: my parents are not bibliophiles.) Well, with this blog, I can transfer all my big book rants over here - and possibly make them more coherent, because I have to actually write them, instead of just blabbing them out when I think of them.

10. It's given me a way to put my writing "out there." Yes, it's just rants about books. No, it's not my best writing. But I still like knowing that I am "publishing" stuff and people are enjoying it! It makes me feel so good. Thank you guys so much for reading! I love you so much.... :-)


Why do you love to read? (Or, if you have a blog, to blog?)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Bible Project: Week 7 (Num 1-17)

(Chapters 1-17)

I have nothing very profound to say this week. All I have is:

The following passage is making me rethink my post from last week...

The Lord said to Moses: "Order the Israelites to expel from camp every leper, and everyone suffering from a discharge, and everyone who has become unclean by contact with a corpse. Male and female alike, you shall compel them to go out of the camp; they are not to defile the camp in which I dwell." (Num 5:1-3)
That seems rather mean! Could anyone shed any light upon that topic? I would very much appreciate it.

My question is: If (as I suggested last Sunday) God is just implementing basic hygiene by labeling people as "clean/unclean" and making them quarantined etc., why is He making them practical outcasts from society?


Friday, February 14, 2014

Inspiration for Writing Short Stories by Della Galton // Not Really a Review

As you may remember, I got this book in the mail a few months ago from a British writers' magazine:

What I'm Reading

It's been an interesting read, and I thought I should write some sort of post on it. But how do you review a "How to" book? Well, I'm going to write about one of the most important things I've learned from it.

How to get ideas for short stories.

I have had always have had trouble finding inspiration for short stories - it always ended up being dragged out into an idea for a very long novel.
The key, I've found, is that a short story doesn't necessarily need a very active plot. Of course, it still needs an exposition, rising action, climax, resolution; but the climax doesn't need to be extreme - it could be something as small as a shy girl finally saying hi to that one guy at a party. In a novel, the previous example would probably occur within the rising action - and because I am more experienced in novel-writing, I automatically think of it as such. But with short stories, the small triumphs (or failures, depending on your story) make for fantastic reads.

So - practically everything can be used for a short story. I am actually working on three short stories simultaneously right now - I, who barely wrote one short story over the course of five years!
My inspirations for two of these stories are as follows (the third I started before reading the book, so it doesn't really count.):

1. The inspiration for the first actually comes from a discussion over at Books, Tea & Me, where someone mentioned something along the lines of "Why don't guys buy books for girls at bookstores the way they buy drinks for girls at bars?" (I wish I could link to the exact post, but I couldn't find it, sorry...)
I immediately decided, why not write a story based around that idea? A comparison of the two kinds of guys - the bar/drink kind, and the bookstore kind. You can obviously guess which one "gets the girl" in the end :-)
(Note: the girl is loosely based off of me... :-P )

2. On the internet one day, I saw this: "Alcohol: because no good story ever started with a salad."
When a story-writing challenge is that blatantly staring at me, I can't pass it up. So here's a sample of the beginning to this story:

“...The doorbell rang, and guess who it was? Steve, covered in mud, and with the saddest face - ! I almost died laughing!”
I walked into the office to a burst of laughter as Jim finished his story.
“That’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard!” gasped Keith.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Jim was telling us about his party last weekend,” Keith explained, still grinning. “They all got drunk and Steve got himself into some big trouble!” The laughter erupted again.
I just raised my eyebrows and settled down behind my desk.
“I may have had the darndest headache on Saturday,” Jim said loudly, “But you’ve got to admit I also had one great story.”
“That’s what’s alcohol’s for!” put in Dave. “It gives you something to talk about the next day. Every great story always starts with some drinks.”
“That’s true,” said Keith. “No great story ever starts with - a salad!” The laughter burst out once more.
“I beg to differ!” I shouted over the din.
I haven't had time to write anymore, but I've been considering all the adventures that Our Teetotalling Hero will embark upon because he orders a Cesar salad - with extra anchovies.

I have a third "quote" floating around in my head, but I'm not quite sure what to do with it. It is:
"What is the probability of a seven-legged elephant walking in through the door?"
Of course, the obvious story is having a seven-legged elephant walk in through the door, but I'm sure there's other possibilities. And if anyone has any ideas - feel free to write your own story! Actually, I would highly encourage you to do so.

And if anyone was wondering, the above quote is a part of a larger conversation during a statistics lecture, where my professor was explaining the concept of Zero Probability. Though one adventurous student suggested that the elephant could be very small, and thus fit through the door!

Anyone have any tips on getting ideas for short stories? Or novels, for that matter?

Oh and I almost forgot. Happy Valentine's Day! And if you're not doing anything - remember, it's also International Book Giving Day! :-)


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books/Characters that Made Me Swoon

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish, and today's topic is Books that Made Me Swoon. I'm going to turn this into a list of Literary Crushes, because I haven't posted on them yet (and because I don't really read entirely-romance books).

1. Marius from Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. Marius' love letters are the most romantic thing in all of literature. See my post on them HERE. 

2. Captain Wentworth from Persuasion by Jane Austen. Anne and Wentworth make the cutest couple! See my post on Wentworth HERE. 

3. Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables (etc.) by L. M. Montgomory. He is just so plain decent that I can't help loving him!

4. Nathaniel Bowditch from Carry On, Mr. Bowditch! by John Lee Latham. Apparently he's a real historical figure, so not exactly fictional, but I'm in love with Latham's characterization of him. He's so sweet and nerdy :-)

5. Nathaniel Benson from Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson. Well, I don't know if I still have a crush on him, but I sure did when I read Fever seven years ago. :-) I don't even remember why I liked him... I'll need to give it a reread.

6. Nathaniel Eaton from Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. Do you see a pattern here with the names? What's with all the Nathaniels? :-)

7. Mr. George Knightly from Emma by Jane Austen. Whoops, forgot this guy. He is the most devoted and caring husband to Emma. He's funny, too! See my post on him HERE.

Ugh ugh ugh I know there are more - I just know it! But I can't think of any more.
Here are a few bonus cute couples, though I wouldn't list the guys as my literary crushes.

8. Mr. Rochester and Jane from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Mr. Rochester isn't exactly the greatest but Jane brings out the good in him.

9. Elinor and Edward Ferrars from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Read my post on Edward HERE.

And for 10, I will give you the surefire way for any author to have me fall in love with their male hero.

I will crush on any guy in a book who grins. If he grins, he can't be bad. In my own writing, I never write "bad" characters who grin. They may smile, but they'll never grin. Only the good guys grin. :-)


P.S. My friend just started a blog - she posts pictures of her cake creations. Her latest is ... drumroll please... a book cake. Check it out HERE.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Post 100! and the Spin Results

So this is my hundredth post! Wow - time flies.

I feel bad I didn't have anything big planned for my POST 100 but oh well. 

Anyway, the Classics Club spin number was.... #20! so I will be reading H. G. Well's The Island of Dr. Moreau shortly.

The goal is to finish it by April 2, which shouldn't be too hard to do, considering that Island is a rather short book. 

Ummm... I have nothing further to say, so this 100th post has been rather anticlimactic, I'm afraid. If you want to read something interesting, here are some of my favorite posts I've written in these last seven-ish months.

Firstly, THIS POST. It is my comparison between Dupin and Holmes that I wrote a few days after I started the blog. I still consider it one of my best and most in-depth posts ever - though it is a bit on the long side.

Second, my post on Mondegreens! Don't know what they are? Check it out! That post was so much fun to write.

Third, a discussion post on swear words in literature, written while reading Game of Thrones
That's all for now, I suppose. Top Ten Tuesday tomorrow!


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Classics Club Spin #5

Yay, my first Classics Club Spin! This is coming out a little late... forgot to post it until now...
For those of you who don't know, here are the rules of the Spin:

1. I pick out 20 books from my Classics Club list and number them 1-20
2. The Classics Club announces a number on Monday, February 10th.
3. I read the book that I assigned to that number!

It's a really convenient way for me to pick my next reading project. :-)
I do have a TBR list in my head, but I haven't read a classic in a while, so I thought I'd do the Spin...

Anyways, here's my list, in four different categories:

1. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.
3. Joan of Arc by Mark Twain
4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
5. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy

I Can't Wait to Read:
6. O Pioneers! by Willa Cather 
7. 1984 by George Orwell
8. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
9. Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
10. The Sea Wolf by Jack London

I'm Dreading:
11. Ben Hur by Lew Wallace (I started this one a few years back and only got a few chapters in.)
12. The White Company by A. Conan Doyle (Can you believe I've started this one twice and haven't finished it yet?)
13. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (Well, this is both dreaded and anticipated. I'm both excited yet a little intimidated by the size...)
14. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
15. Madam Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

I'm Neutral About:

16. The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
17. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
18. The Man Who would be King by Rudyard Kipling
19. An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde
20. The Island of Dr. Moreau by H. G. Wells

So there you have it! On Monday I'll post the results of the Spin...


The Bible Project: Week 6 (Leviticus)

So Leviticus is definitely the least interesting section of the Bible so far (which isn't saying much, considering it's only the third book). However, what I found interesting was that many of the laws made sense. Let me explain.

The first couple bits were on sacrifices - "sweet-smelling oblations to the Lord" - when to do them, why, and how. There are so many different situations for sacrifices. But I suppose that Jesus simplified it all - He's supposed to be the supreme sacrifice, right? So now Christians don't have to do all the stuff outlined in Leviticus.

So, those first bits on sacrifices seemed the slightest bit convoluted and annoying. But then the rest made way more sense. All the laws on leprosy, adultery, etc. were basic guides for morality and health. There was nothing religious about them at all. You didn't just do it because God told you to, you did it because it was actually beneficial for you to do it. The priests were like doctors - if you had a weird yellow boil, you took it to the priest, who would determine whether it was dangerous or not. If your clothes grew mold on them, the priest would try to wash out the mold, and if that didn't work - he'd cut it out. These were all basic rules of health and cleanliness.

I've always been a little put off by the whole "clean/unclean" thing. I always thought that it wasn't very nice to call someone "unclean" - for heaven's sake, a woman is unclean during her menstrual period? But what it actually means is that the person has a contagious disease, is physically dirty, or is just not in the most fantastic health. It doesn't mean that they are somehow outcasts from society. Also, when some animal was considered unclean, perhaps the animal was not healthy for them to eat.

I'm sorry if that was all a little confusing - I don't think well this late.


What do you think of Leviticus and all the laws?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern // Someone Make This a Real Place, Please!

A little late, I'm finally writing about Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus.
I must say, it was a very fun read, and though it wasn't my favorite book ever it was definitely quite enjoyable.
I'll split up this post into two sections.

Things I didn't like as much:
The plot was all right, but not fantastic. It seemed like the plot was there as a tool just so Morgenstern could develop her circus. Because, of course, a book solely consisting of description doesn't make for much of a novel. However, I did enjoy the ending - if only because it was unexpected yet still happy.

Things I liked:
Oh, the writing! The writing was gorgeous and spectacular and spellbinding. Morgenstern truly has a way with words, and is fantastic at descriptions. In fact, over half the book was made up of descrptions of the circus, and I truly enjoyed those more that some of the rest of the book.
I want to go to the Cirque des Reves! :-) Someone should make a real-ish version (of course, there would be no magic, but that could be forgiven... )

Read it - if only for the detailed description of the sounds, sights, and even smells (bravo, Morgenstern!) of the Circus. Few authors delve as deeply as she into truly attempting to make the reader feel present. Can I say again - smells! She pays attention to every sense, even the neglected ones, like scent, to give the reader a full picture. It's beautiful.

I look forward to more of her books! If you want a sample of Morgenstern's whimsical writing style, you can check out her blog - it is awesome.


Friday, February 7, 2014

I'm Baa-aack! :-)

Things that have happened over the past few weeks:

1. I wrote about ten scholarship essays and memorized five speeches. I didn't know I had it in me - but that's what preparation for college can bring out in a person...

2. I became a legal adult! Yup - my 18th birthday was on Wednesday. I still feel very much like a kid, though...

Well, those are the biggies :-)
Coming up soon are posts on:

  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (finally!)
  • Inspiration for writing short stories 
  • The Bible Project on Leviticus
  • Books that will make you swoon...
And something else that I forgot. Darn it - I should have written it down. Phooey.

I'm glad to be back!


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books that Made Me Cry

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. Today's topic is Books That Made Me Cry.

1. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. That ending - so bittersweet and beautiful! (Read my four posts on it here...One Two Three Four)
My tome...

2. Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom


3. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. These are the only two of Albom's books that I have read, and I'm sensing a trend here. I'll have a box of tissues ready for the next time I get one of his books from the library!

4. The High King by Lloyd Alexander. Not really your regular tear-jerker... The High King is the final book of the Prydain Chronicles, and I read them when I was about 11. I was so sad that the series was over that I burst into tears and was moody for the rest of the evening. :-P

5. Bridge to Terabithia  by Katherine Patterson. I haven't seen the movie, though. It'll probably make me cry too...

6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. Well, I didn't really cry. I just sort of moped around and was so depressed I didn't want to read the next book (and then got sidetracked into other things and still haven't! Don't worry, I'll read it soon...). I also wrote a very long and passionate journal entry on the subject. :-)

Okay, I'm out of ideas. I don't really CRY cry when I read books, just produce a sort of sniffle at the end, and so it's hard to remember exactly which books this happened for. (Except for The High King - that was straight-out balling...)
So six is all you get. I cry more with movies - especially when a character in the movie is crying too.

What books made you cry? 


Monday, February 3, 2014

The Bible Project: Week 5 (Ex 25-40)

(Chapters 25-40)

Sorry this is a day late. It's just been super busy around here. Yesterday was spent writing scholarship essays and visiting our friends' house to watch the Superbowl (actually, it was just to hang out - neither of our families are big football fans. The dads try to fake it sometimes, though).

Anyway, give it another week, and things will be back to normal round here.

So, about Exodus -
Doesn't it seem like the Israelites are a pretty whiney bunch? First, they whine that Moses has led them to their deaths at the Red Sea. God helps Moses part the water and drown the Egyptians. Then, they whine that they have no food. God sends manna and quail. Finally, they whine about how it's taking Moses a long time up on Mount Sinai to talk to God, and so build a golden calf.
Don't you think they'd get it by now? Can't they see that God finds ways to help them through their troubles? Did they really think that God was going to put them all on a magic carpet and swoosh them over to the Promised Land? Seriously.
Even God is getting annoyed at them:
"But [said God] I myself will not go up in your company, because you are a stiff-necked people; otherwise I might exterminate you on the way." (Ex 33:3)
 Okay, that's it for today. I might do the Top Ten Tuesday tomorrow - but then again, I might not. Depends on if I can find a bit of time to write.


Share in the comments what you think of the Exodus story!