Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Bleak House is my favorite Dickens work, so far. To me, it combines all of Dickens' best qualities. From his descriptive writing and his memorable characters to his crusading message and intricate plot, it is a story that mesmerized me from the very beginning. Though not as well known as his other works like Oliver Twist and A Tale of Two Cities, Bleak House is a must read for any Dickens lover as well as those who have seen the wonderful 2006 BBC production. Here is how Signet Classics describes the story:
"Bleak House opens in a London shrouded by an all-pervading fog-a fog that swirls around the Court of Chancery, where lawyers are enriching themselves in endless litigation over a dwindling inheritance. Considered one of Dickens' greatest works, Bleak House scathingly portrays his belief: 'The one great principle of the English law is to make business for itself.' His genius for characterization, dramatic construction, social satire, and poetic evocation is memorably evidenced in this work as in no other. Peopled with characters both comic and tragic-including one of literature's first detectives and a case of spontaneous human combustion-in settings ranging from the mansion of a fear-haunted noblewoman to the squalor of the London slums, this superb narrative was hailed by Edmund Wilson as a 'masterpiece'."
It is very easy to enter. Simply leave me a comment in this post stating that you would like to be entered in this contest. You can be entered a second time by posting about this giveaway on your blog and leaving me another comment stating that you have done so. I will then randomly select a name (i.e. draw one out of a hat) and announce them next week. You have until 11:00pm EST Saturday, May 9 to enter. Good luck to everyone!
*Note: Due to shipping rates, I will only be shipping to readers in the Continental US. Thank you!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
With Easter over, spring is now officially in full swing. I don't know about you, but it is shaping up to be a pretty wild and crazy spring and summer in my neck of the woods. I've got a little hodgepodge of things that I've wanted to mention in my posting, but either didn't have time to or didn't feel that they warranted their own separate post. Here they are in no particular order.
*Things are really starting to come together on Masterpiece's Little Dorrit. My sisters and I are loving it, though we've been a little confused at times. I don't think that it is going to be quite as good as Bleak House, but so far it has been a wonderful and very enjoyable production. We are on episode 3 of 5, so if you have missed any of them, you can catch up here.
*I'm currently reading I, Claudius by Robert Graves and loving every second of it. The political wranglings, the affairs, the murders, the suicides, evil old Livia...never a dull moment in imperial Rome. I have reshuffled my "To Read" list to make room for the sequel, Claudius the God, 'cause there is no way I'm leaving this story hanging.
*I've got books stacked up like cordwood that I need to review. It's been pretty amazing lately because it seems that I have simply been flying through books. I guess that it's because I've been reading 300 and 400 page books versus 800 and 900 page books. I'm hoping to get Peace Like a River reviewed later this week, followed by Kidnapped, David Balfour, and Under the Greenwood Tree. We'll get them wrapped up eventually.
*I've just about got my "Summer Reading Challenge" together for this year. Last year's went really well, so I decided to do it again. I've got my books pretty much picked out, I'm just finishing up on deciding on the order. More on this closer to Memorial Day.
*I mentioned last year that I had joined goodreads.com and I just wanted to say that I have really enjoyed all that it has to offer. The best thing about it is, of course, the thousands of book reviews right at my fingertips. Pretty much any book that you can think of is in their database with ratings, discussions, polls and even links showing which online bookstore has it for the cheapest price. They have also come out with lots of newer features like the ability to become a "fan" of a certain author as well as a selection of over 1,500 e-books including Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Anna Karenina, and Crime and Punishment. Add to this all the online book clubs, the ability to "shelve" books read and wanting to read, and the on-going literature trivia game and you have a wonderful, FREE resource for readers. If you are not already a member, I highly recommend it. If you are already a member or if you become one, please let me know so I can add you as a "friend" and check out what you have been reading.
*I saw this really pretty little reading contraption online today and I just had to share. It is called the "Book Buddy" and it is basically a pillow that holds your book in place while you read so that your hands a free. I think that this would be great for especially heavy books or for people who have difficulty holding anything for extended periods of time. It also has an acrylic pad that allows you to write or to use it for your laptop. Anyway, just thought that it would make a cute gift for the reader in your life (Mother's Day maybe?).
I hope that spring is going well for all of you readers. Feel free to share anything that is going on in your little corner of the literary world (What are you reading? What have you just finished? Any book suggestions for me?). As always, thank you for spending time on my blog.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
- Old Hat New Hat by Stan & Jan Berenstain. My dad read this book to me so many times that he could almost repeat it word for word from memory.
- Hooper Humperdink...Not Him! by Theodore Le Sieg. Poor Hooper, why doesn't anyone like him?
- I'll Teach my Dog 100 Words by Michael Frith. This was one that I my mom read to me a lot.
- Animal Sounds by Golden Books. My papa used to quote this book to me whenever he took me to preschool.
- Wacky Wednesday by Dr. Seuss. "It all began with that shoe on the wall..."
- Just Grandma and Me by Mercer Meyer. This book was one of my favorite books to read at my grandparents' house. I always think of my grandma when I see this book.
- The Berenstain Bears and the Week at Grandma's by Stan and Jan Berenstain. Since I was little, I have usually spent at a week at my grandparents' almost every year. My trips were always as much fun as Brother and Sister Bear's.
- Fuzzy Rabbit Saves Christmas by Rosemary Billman. My favorite childhood Christmas book.
- Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne. I've been a Pooh fan all of my life. Read more about that here.
- The Boxcar Children Series by Gertrude Chandler Warner. I've read so many of these books that I lost count. Who can resist sweet kids, fun mysteries and a super rich grandpa?
- Alfred Hitchcock & the Three Investigators Series by Robert Arthur, Jr. My mom used to read these aloud to me, then I later read them for myself. I think that this is where I really learned to love mystery stories.
- The Babysitters Club Series by Ann N. Martin. I'd actually be a little ashamed to admit to this if every other girl growing up in the '90s wasn't reading them also.
- Mary Poppins books by P. L. Travers. This was a read-aloud favorite for my sisters and I. My mom read most of it, but it was my dad that made one chapter particularly memorable. "It's a UNICORN!"
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory & Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl. Another read-aloud favorite.
- Paddington Bear Series by Michael Bond. Favorites for me and now for my baby brother & sister. Read more here.
- Little House on the Prairie Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. A classic series that everyone should try. My favorite is These Happy Golden Years.
- The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. This is a classic that I absolutely adore. Mole, Rat, Badger and Toad are unforgettable.
- Anne of Green Gables Series by L. M. Montgomery. Another classic series. It's been really fun recently because my younger sister has been reading them, so we have been able to discuss our favorite aspects of the books.
- Carry on, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham. My mom read this aloud to us and instantly I knew that it was going to be a lifelong favorite. Even today I'll pick it up and give it a quick re-read.
Whew! See, I told you I had a lot of favorites. So how about you? What are your favorite books from your childhood? What books do you read to your children? Be a kid with me this week and take a walk down memory lane.