Friday, November 27, 2009

Music Mix Friday...Elvis Presley "Blue Christmas"

As it is the day after Thanksgiving, it is now TIME FOR CHRISTMAS! In my house, Christmas starts the day after Thanksgiving with our annual unveiling of pop up Graceland and the Elvis "Blue Christmas" CD. And so, in the spirit of Christmas, here's Elvis singing "Blue Christmas."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Music Mix Friday...Mary Chapin Carpenter "I Am a Town"

I know it's Saturday. Was listening to this song yesterday. I love this song. It always makes me think of my childhood. We listened to this album a lot.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne

the scarlet letter
nathaniel hawthorne
c. 1850
166 pages
completed 11/15/2009

read for: comp lit 211, 100 greatest novels, 1001 books, penguin classics

*may contain spoilers*

Hester Prynne, a woman living in Puritan Boston, is sentenced to live out her life with a scarlet "A" emblazoned on her dress after she bears a child out of wedlock. For the next seven years, she tries to devote her life to her child, Pearl, but her life is inevitable intertwined with the lives of two men from her past, Roger Chillingsworth and Arthur Dimmesdale. One man is destroyed by guilt and the other consumed by a relentless pursuit of revenge until finally all their secrets are revealed.

I had to read this for the first time in eleventh grade English (back in 2002) and now have to read it again for my Comparative Literature class. Now, normally I don't review books I've read before. I don't really see the point. However, if I'm being honest (and Dad, this is about where you should stop reading this sentence), I didn't actually read this in eleventh grade. I maybe made it through four chapters. Sorry, Mrs. Davies, I kind of faked my essay. But I have turned over a new leaf what with going back to school this year, so I am actually finishing all the books I'm assigned. Which is impressive for me. But onto the Scarlet Letter...

I have to say, I am not a fan. Apparently Nathaniel Hawthorne originally meant for this to be a short story and then someone else suggested he make it into a full novel. I feel this someone else gave Hawthorne some bad advice. This story could have been told in probably half the amount of pages Hawthorne took to tell it, and possibly then it would have been more entertaining for me. As it is, I kind had to slog through it. There's too much back and forth between action and reflection for me. I felt like every other chapter progressed the story and then the chapters in between were reflections on what just happened or what was about to happen. And sometimes Hawthorne would skip an action chapter, which by themselves weren't bad, and there would be chapter after chapter of reflection and character study. So for me, this was kind of a dull read.

I will say, they last two chapters picked up a little bit. I really enjoyed the final interactions between Hester, Pearl, and Dimmesdale; I felt there was finally some emotion expressed other than oppressive guilt. And I enjoyed the slightly ambiguous wrap up of Pearl and Hester's stories. But overall I will definitely be glad to be done with this book in class and moving on to the next book.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

It just can't come fast enough...

I think the fact that I am currently not reading ANYTHING that isn't school related is getting to me. So much so that I'm overly obsessed with finding and planning my reading and challenges for 2010. I'm going to end up, just like this year, with far too much on my plate. That being said, I'm signing up for Miz B's TBR Challenge. Read 12 books in 2010 that have been on your TBR list for at least six months. Maybe this time I'll actually finish it. My books will be...

1. The Virgin of Small Plains - Nancy Pickard
2. The Crusader - Michael Alexander Eisner
3. The Gathering - Anne Enwrite
4. Broken Paradise - Celia Samartin
5. Innocent Traitor - Alison Weir
6. Into the Wild - Sarah Beth Durst
7. The Romanov Bride - Robert Alexander
8. Jim the Boy - Tony Early
9. The Known World - Edward P Jones
10. Dragonwyck - Anya Seton
11. The Well and the Mine - Gin Phillips
12. Mudbound - Hillary Jordan

I'm getting so excited!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Music Mix Friday...The Highway Men "Highwayman"

I have had this song stuck in my head all day. Which my sister the literature scholar will confirm is much better than having "Male Prima Donna" stuck in your head for days.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

To be read...

Look at me getting back on track with my blog. I'm so timely with this post...

Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel
Dr. Haggard's Disease - Patrick McGrath
The Kingmaker - Helen Hollick
The Little Stranger - Sarah Waters
The Virgin and the Crab - Robert Parry
In the Company of the Courtesan - Sarah Dunant
Sarah - Marek Halter
Lord John and the Private Matter - Diana Gabaldon
Like Mayflies in a Stream - Shauna Roberts
The Diamond - Julie Baumgold
Lady of the Roses - Sandra Worth
Lady's Maid - Margaret Forster
Too Great a Lady - Amanda Elyot
Everything is Illuminated - Jonathan Safran Foer
Fragile Eternity - Melissa Marr (3rd in a series)
Princess of the Midnight Ball - Jessica Day George
Fingersmith - Sarah Waters
The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Trades of the Flesh - Faye L Booth

18 new books and 1 new series