Lets Talk · Reviews

Let’s Talk | BuzzFeed Picks My Jane Austen Novel

Let's Talk

Hello and welcome to a hybrid of a post where I test BuzzFeeds ability to recommend a book and a mini book review. In May I was really in the mood for a classic and I had no idea what I wanted to read. I narrowed it down to Jane Austen and then had no idea what other book of hers to read, so I did what many of us do, I went to the internet for help. Here we go!


Like I said, I decided to go to the internet to see if I could be recommended a book to read of Jane Austen’s, because if I am being honest I didn’t really know about the plot of any of her novels outside of Pride and Prejudice. I ended up coming across this BuzzFeed Quiz called, “Which Jane Austen Book Do You Belong In?” So, I figured, why not give it a go? Here are my results.

As you can see, based upon my answers I belong in the novel Northanger Abbey. So, I ordered it from book depository and waited for it to arrive and then devoured it. Also, a bit of a side note, a lot of her novels are free from amazon as ebooks, as are a lot of classics. If you want a link to this book, you can find that here: Northanger Abbey (AmazonClassics Edition) , p.s. it’s not an affiliate link.


Description

“Catherine Morland is a young girl with a very active imagination. Her entry into the fashionable scene in Bath results in an invitation to stay with new friends at Northanger Abbey, but Catherine’s naivety and love of sensational novels lead to embarrassing and entertaining consequences”. –goodreads.com


My Thoughts

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. One thing that really stood out to me was the use of novels and story telling throughout this novel and how it impacted the main characters imagination.  I also liked the narrators/authors funny comments about novels as well and how people hide what they are reading if they are embarrassed.

I really liked when our main character Catherine was adventuring through Bath, I felt the character interactions were wonderful and it really set the stage for her actions. Catherine is such a kind person and I really loved her taste in books myself. The second half has a totally different feel to it, which I enjoyed, but was a bit jolting at first because it went from a light and airy bath to a gothic abbey, which I think was the entire point because this novel really just likes to poke fun and exaggerate what the imagination can do to someone.

This was a very good novel and I enjoyed reading it immensely. I decided to keep this novel in my collection so I can reread it again and annotate it. To be honest, I might even like this more than Pride and Prejudice.


What is your favorite novel by Jane Austen?

Did you read Northanger Abbey, what did you think about it?

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Reviews

2020 Shakespeare Challenge | May

Shakespeare

Hello and welcome to the fifth installment of my 2020 Shakespeare Challenge! If you would like some more details about the challenge you can find that in my post called,  Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. It feels so long since I started this challenge and I have found some I really loved and some I really didn’t enjoy. May was an interesting one fore sure. Before we jump into this review/discussion/rant I just want link to the goodreads group 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. And yes, I said rant this time around.


The Book

This months story The Taming of the Shrew. The title alone had me a bit apprehensive about this book, but my twitter followers picked it so I was going to follow through and read it. According to a quick search this was written around 1950.


My Review

I am going to honest, I am kind of torn on this one. This is really a cruel story in quite a few ways.  A well off man tricking a man into thinking he is a lord just for the fun of it. Taming a woman and making her not herself like she is an animal. Just all around manipulation in this book. I will say it was imaginative and like nothing I have read personally.

This starts off with a noble man of sorts feeling like they have so much power and influence they can just totally mess with someones life with fun. It put a really horrid taste in my mouth. I am really hoping Shakespeare was attempting to ridicule higher ups in society, if that was not the case I might actually hate him. The fact that this privileged person felt they could just do that was irritating and I was so irate while reading this. Everyone just went along with it like it was normal! I don’t understand.

Now the whole title of this play had me worried, like I mentioned earlier. Lexico describes one of the definitions of this word as “A bad-tempered or aggressively assertive woman.” I will also put forward when I hear the word tame, I think of a pet or animal, not a human being. So, I was kind of waiting for someone treating a lady as less than. Well, I was correct. The shrew in this story was treated like a jerk, only married to get her out of the way so others could marry her younger sister. While she was not nice I liked that she was strong willed and knew what she wanted. Well, her “husband” and I put it in quotations for a reason, he just was hired to marry her to get her out of the way treated her like garbage and manipulated her into being brainwashed and subservient. It honestly made me super mad and I hated every moment of this.

The more I write about this story and think about it, honestly the more I dislike it. Now, don’t get me wrong I know this was written around 1590, women had no place in society and her not seen as equals and it is apparent in many of Shakespeares plays where the father and husband have the final say and such, but I felt like this play just took it to a whole new extreme. IN the past plays I have read women were still allowed to be themselves and were not manipulated in the same manner and just seen as a creature that need to be moved out of the way so men could get to eh more desirable sister.

I really don’t want to say much more because I feel like this is already a rant. I really am hoping deep down that Shakespeare wrote the play with these two very troubling plot lines where two people are just totally manipulated as social commentary and didn’t just write it because it would be “fun” and “enjoyable”.


Next months pick is Twelfth Night, a huge thanks to those who voted in the poll!


Have you ever read The Taming of the Shrew? If so, what were your thoughts?

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Reviews

2020 Shakespeare Challenge | April

Shakespeare

Hello and welcome to the April edition of the 2020 Shakespeare Challenge, you can find my original post with an explanation here: Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge.This has been the best month for Shakespeare so far here in 2020. I will warn you, this month might just be a gush fest, which I never thought would have happened when I dreamed up this challenge for myself last year. Before we jump into this review/discussion I just want link to the goodreads group 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. Now, on to Macbeth!


The Book

This months story Macbeth in my eyes is one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays. It is referred too so often, even by those who have never even heard the play because it has continued to be a part of pop culture. This play is thought to be first preformed around 1606, so it is quite old.


My Review

So like I said, this review is going to be a huge gush fest and I am not sorry. I honestly never thought I would be gushing about a Shakespeare play, but here we are. I annotated this book up and down and I think it is one of my most written in books that I own.

What I really liked about this book was all of the subtle references to various gods/demons that you may not normally know unless you know their symbols and such. There is an obvious mention of Hecate and Beelzebub, but there is also hints to The Morrigan. But, with both of these if you are not familiar with their stories a lot can be lost. Hecate is the goddess of witchcraft, moon, and ghosts. Which, in this play are very common themes that were very interesting and engaging.

Two things t really stood out to me, is the use of use of three and the paradoxes used in this play. The three witches, saying things three time for effect such as the Second Apparition and Macbeth in Act 4, Scene 1, Doctor and Lady Macbeth  in Act 5, Scene 1, and Macbeth in Act 5, Scene 5 just to name some outside of the witches themselves. Now, the paradox’s in this play are throughout, but a few of the examples I can easily find are Macbeth and his wife being great and wonderful hosts and then murder someone, Porter in Act 2 Scene 3 and Lady Macbeth in Act 2, scene 2. These writing methods really pull the story together and give it a particular feel.

There is one more thing that really stood out to me and it was the witches say with words. They were very playful with their words and what they said was borad, yet specific. One of the instances that stand out to me is their clue at who would kill Macbeth. They said that Macbeth cannot be killed by someone born by a woman, which you would think is impossible at first, but it is very possible. C-sections now a days happen all the time, but in the past babies were also removed from their mothers. It really shows that you must pay attention, very close attention to the words in the play. I feel like I would get even more out of it if I were to read it a second time. I also saw a parallel between the way you interpret these witches and fae in popular books. They can never lie, but that doesn’t mean they cannot be tricky.


Next months pick is The Taming of the Shrew. I know absolutely nothing about this play so I am a tiny bit worried, but I have high hopes as well because of the success of Macbeth in my book. Thanks to those who voted in the twitter poll!


Have you ever read Macbeth? If so, did you enjoy it?

Which play do you think I should look into for June?

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Reviews

2020 Shakespeare Challenge | March

Shakespeare

Hello and welcome to the third installment of the 2020 Shakespeare Challenge, you can find my original post with an explanation here: Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. I have been really enjoying this challenge more than I thought I would have, but here we are, three months into the challenge and I was looking forward to giving Hamlet a try, something I really didn’t think was going to ever happen. Also, if you want to see what reads are coming up and what books I have read to can check it out in the goodreads group 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. Now, on to Hamlet!


The Book

This month was the very popular play of Hamlet, I feel like this is one of the more popular and referenced plays from my own personal experience. It is also a tragedy, up until this point I have been reading his comedies so, this could be interesting. Anyway, Hamlet was written around 1599.


My Review

While I have read Shakespeare before, I have never read so many so quickly before. I am beginning to notice a few things I am not too keen on. Why is it that Shakespeare always wants to punish a woman for loving? I get it, it is the time period, but isn’t there something else you can try to write about? I know that love and loss are always great plot lines when it comes to plays, but his ideas are becoming a bit too repetitive for my personal liking.

This is a very dramatic play with quite a few deep feelings that many can relate too. The thing with this play is that they are very amplified. There is quite a bit of passion in this story. We have loss, revenge, anger, dishonor and quite a bit more. This truly is a sad play. You watch a young man in grief become more and more erratic and many around him begin to question if he is truly alright.

This is murder and death, accidental and planned. There are plots within plots. This play really has a lot going on. I just wish some of these characters just talked to one another and weren’t so impulsive, a lot could have been avoided. While I know that wouldn’t make such a tragic play, but I think it would have made a better story personally.

Also, without really spoiling anyone I had to reread a few times how the ghost says he dies… that is the most interesting cause of death I have ever heard.

Overall, I don’t regret reading this play. Did I love it? No. Was it my favorite? No. Did I absolutely hate it? No again. I did enjoy the creepiness and the exploration  such deep feelings, even if they were exaggerated for the sake of the play. This was very average in my book.


Next months pick is Macbeth, which I kinda of think will have about the same rating as Hamlet. I don’t know what the outcome will be, but I am very much willing to give this a shot. I just need to keep an open mind and hope that Hamlet doesn’t put a damper on future plays.


What did you think of this play?

Which play should I add to the monthly polls?

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Reviews

2020 Shakespeare Challenge | February

Shakespeare

Hello and welcome to the second month of 2020 Shakespeare Challenge, you can find my original post with an explanation here: Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. The first month went so well, I ended up really loving I also have a goodreads group going if you want to join in on the challenge, 2020 Shakespeare Challenge.


The Book

This months book was Othello, chosen via a poll on my twitter account. This play is thought to be written around 1603. I will say, this is one of the play I am more nervous about this book because I have read this before and I did not enjoy it very much. Going into this I was really hoping that my view on it has changed.


My Review

So, coming into this month I felt both better and a bit worried about reading Othello. I felt a bit more at ease because I really enjoyed a Midsummer Night’s Dream, but I remember reading Othello and really disliking it. So, I really saw things going either way.

I have to say, the start of this book kind of made me feel like The Count of Monte Cristo. It starts off with a man feeling wronged by not being promoted and is newly married. Very much sounded very familiar, which for Othello is a good thing because I loved The Count of Monte Cristo. Another work I made a connection to is A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The father in A Midsummer Night’s Dream was so upset and would not accept his daughter marrying for love and was so dramatic about it. The same happened in this story pretty much, which was kind of annoying. Only two books into this challenge and already recycling characters in a way.

But, with that aside I will say I did enjoy this one more so than I remembered the first time I read it years ago. What I did like about this was how it was organized and how it created such a villain. Even at only about 40 pages in I already hated a character and I wanted him to get lost at sea or something. The fact that I felt so much in that way saved this play in my eyes. If I didn’t dislike that person so much I would have rated it a lot lower honestly. Also, the ending is just so tragic and I felt so horrible for the jerks wife, she knew she was doing wrong, but not as wrong as she actually did. She most likely felt sole responsible for what occurred.


Next months play is going to be Hamlet as voted on by my wonderful twitter followers! If you want to join in with me please do by jumping into the conversation here or over on the goodreads group 2020 Shakespeare Challenge.


What did you think of this play?

What play do you think I should add to the poll for April? 

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Hauls

Unboxing | Coffee and a Classic July 2019

Unboxing

Last month was my first time getting www.coffeeandaclassic.com box and I loved it so much I decided to continue my subscription.  Like my previous month, I am subscribed for the Adult Classic Starter Box, which is 29.99. Also, note that you can pick either coffee or tea, I have picked the coffee option. Anyway, I am excited to be sharing this unboxing with you!


Here is a card on top that shows you everything that is going to be in the box. I will say I don’t usually pay attention to this until I unpack everything and want a little more information such as the artist or shop that it same from. I  love that these are made different for each month to match the book instead of having the same card with different font, it really shows how much they care.

I really love the different coffees each month and how they take the book and try to take key aspects of the story or take inspiration and come up with these coffee blends. I opened this one up and it smelled so good. I am looking forward to drinking it within the next few weeks. At the top and center we can see one of the bookish goodies is a puzzle with artwork based off of the book. I thought this was such a cute idea. Since my post, Operation Find A Hobby | Puzzle , I have been doing puzzles off and on and I was really excited to get my hands on this. Next at the bottom center is this months bookmark. It is a very cute large paperclip with a fabric flair made of denim.

This months book is The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn, while I have heard about this book. I have absolutely no idea what this book is about. So, I went to good old goodreads and found the following:

A nineteenth-century boy from a Mississippi River town recounts his adventures as he travels down the river with a runaway slave, encountering a family involved in a feud, two scoundrels pretending to be royalty, and Tom Sawyer’s aunt who mistakes him for Tom. –goodreads.com

Honestly, this description doesn’t really tell me too much. It does tell me that I will be following a boy and an African American man, who is a runaway slave, in the mid-west and south. Which, sounds dangerous and I am really hoping already that they are not caught and the man is able to maintain his freedom. I feel like there might also be a lot of drama with the case of mistaken identity as well? I really am not sure what to expect. On top of that they are meeting some scoundrels, I feel like there is going to be a lot of bad things happening to the main characters, I hope I am wrong. If you have read this please let me know a little more without spoiling to much.

  Now in the picture of the book, there was two little boxes next to the book. At first I was kinda unsure about them, but it seems like these are straw made out of  wheat. I am going to assume that this has to do with the book since this box is so good about finding objects that actually go with the book. I am curious to see how these tie in.


What did you think of this book box?

Have you ever read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?

What did you think?

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Hauls

Unboxing | Coffee and a Classic June 2019

Unboxing

This month I decided I would give a new book box a try. I have tried many in the past and only one to this point has been one I have kept for over a year. The others were wonderful, but I no longer read a lot of YA so I was on the hunt for a book box that fits my current reading habits. With my youtube and blog searches I came across this lovely box called Coffee and a Classic.

If you know me I love classic literature, I find it a wonderful way to look into the past without reading non-ficiton, which I also love. On top of that, you get some delicious coffee to sip while you read. An entire experience!

Now, this box has a few customizable things going for it as well. You can pick coffee or tea, and the type of classic you would want to read. They have children’s classic, classic literature, and then a non-fiction classic. Which, I love that they give the subscribers so much choice in the box. On top of that you can can pick from starter ($29.99)  or standard (40.99). Which, if you want to know more please check out their website. www.coffeeandaclassic.com.

Anyway, I picked the classic literature starter box here is what I got this month!


Can I just say I am a sucker for cute simplistic packaging? This logo is just so cute and I love it. I also loved how everything was packaged in a box that was appropriate in size. Everything fit safely and snuggly inside nothing was shifting all over and there was unneeded stuff.

I am so excited to try this coffee, I am also so happy that it happens to be themes as a Grand Adventure because I am currently rereading The Fellowship of the Ring and I feel like it would fit in perfectly. On top of that it smells heavily.

Here are the two bookish goodies I got this month. The first are two absorbent car coasters. I feel like these people are spying on me because I said a few weeks ago I needed some of these and I was on the look out for them. Looks like I don’t need to keep searching. The second is a beautiful lined notebook, which is in a beautiful blue color. I love that both of these have artwork that actual applies to the book that is in this book instead of just something generic. You can see the thought that goes into this.

Last, but certainly not least we have the bookmark and the book. Can I just say I love that they send  a bookmark with a book. I never understood when book boxes never came with a bookmark. Anyway, this bookmark is made of Sassafras and features art pertaining to the book. I have never had a wooden bookmark that I can remember, but I love the feel of this. Then, we have the classic! I am happy to say I have not read this classic, but I have heard quote a lot about it. I am excited to dive into this, sip my coffee, and maybe take some notes.

I have to say I am really happy with this book box. The items inside are usable and not just knickknacks and all have to do with the book that was sent not just a generic theme. I can see the hard work that was put into this and I want to say well done. I am going to continue on with this box!


What did you think of this book box?

Do you subscribe to any bookish boxes?

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Lists & Recommendations

Recommendations | Classic Literature

Recs

So if you have seen my most recent Week in Review, A Week in Review | July 9th – July 15th, you will know that I have been reading, and enjoying, Anna Karenina. I have been wanting to read this large classic for what seems like years and I finally had enjoy guts to take on this 1000+ page Russian Classic. Now with reading this it had me thinking a lot about classics and why I like them. For me I find them more “domestic”, they talk more about home life or about individuals. There is less of a major plot element and it is character driven. Also, I love history and I love reading a book from another period because it really give you a look into the lives of those who live there. These are the books that were popular, this is what people read in their free time if they had any.

So I thought, hey why don’t I share some of my favorite classics? So here I am today to share my 5 favorite classics.

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A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

A Study in Scarlet

I really do love any of the Sherlock novels and short stories I have read. I love how not only does this give a peak into the time period, but it also takes a bit of a look at human nature and really makes you think, “Wow, are we really this predictable?” Also, who is not down to read a murder mystery?


A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

A Clockwork Orange

So, this book is a weird one. It is more of a modern classic and is so vile that it was actually outlawed in multiple countries. Trigger warnings: rape, violence, language, and more that I cannot remember. The reason why I like it is because it make you think about the fact that we see individuals who do these horrible things as monsters, but we cannot forget they are human. I feel that sometimes when we say someone is a monster that we also forget they are an evil human, we need to remember that someone of the same species is capable of doing this horrible things. In some way I feel saying someone is a monster allows us to compartmentalize this behavior as something that cannot happen in the human world, but it does. I hope that makes sense.


Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women

Now back onto a more happy novel/series is Little Women, this is my all time favorite book and series. I loved this family since I was a young, young girl. It taught me that it was okay to love books and learning, it was also to do things that were “not lady like”. It also showed  me that war broke up families, but hope kept them together. It taught me about death in a respectful and unthreatening way. It is so odd to have a book that taught you so much, but at the time you don’t really notice it. At the time it was just me following a family through their lives.


The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

The Woman in White

I loved that this book seemed to be a ghost story, but also told a story of love and honesty. While this book is over 600 pages I few through this, but a fun way to read this is to read it like when it was originally published as a serialized book in a news paper. Due to this interesting way of publication there are many cliff hangers and a lot of action when though you are following someones live. I was gripped from the start of the book until the end.


The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray

This is a very short classic that not only teaches you about morals and perception, it is also a bit of a scary story. Since originally reading this I have read it a few times and each time I find more symbolism than the last. The writing is blunt, but beautiful.

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What is your favorite classic?

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TBR

TAG: Books I’ll (Probably) Never Read

Tag TuesdaySo I was on booktube, yet again, and was watching some of Ariel Bissett’s videos and I came across this tag. Even though I was not tagged I thought it would be a ton of fun to do! I will insert her video at the end so you can watch it too if you would like.

The Questions:

1/ A really hyped book you’re not interested in reading?

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Mountain View

A year or so ago this book was featured in book hauls, review, blogs, and it seemed like everyone was reading it and was super excited. I on the other hand just was not interested. When I buy or read a book I want to know a little bit about the plot and such, but this book had a description that didn’t really tell me much. Plus, since all the hype I have heard some not so god things.


2/ A series you won’t start/won’t be finishing?

Fallen Kingdoms

Mountain ViewI read the first book in this series and really enjoyed it, I gave it four stars. Even though I liked it so much I decided not to continue with the series because I did not want to commit.


3/ A classic that you’re just not interested in?

Fahrenheit 451

Mountain View

 

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Mountain View

Both of these have been talked about by my friends and family members. I have been told “you have to read it” so many times, but I just don’t feel inclined to do so. If you have read either of these let me know, I am curious to what you think.


4/ Any genres you never read?

Satire, I don’t really gravitate towards it. Maybe one day I will give it a go,  but not today.


5/ A book on your shelves you’ll probably never actually read?

Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison

Mountain View

The reasons I don’t think I am going to read this is because it is a dystopian/end of the world book, which is a subject I don’t always enjoy and when I picked this up I was unaware it was a series. Lately, I have been getting tired of reading series. I am gravitations towards stand alone books.


What book on your TBR are you unlikely to read?I hope you enjoyed the tag, if you want to do it please feel free!Ariel Bissett’s Video

Reviews

Not Quite The Classics by Colin Mochrie

Book Review.jpg
Not Quite The Classics by Colin Mochrie

23330786This little book is a collection of short stories by improve/comedian/actor Colin Mochrie. Every story in here is a little twist on classic literature. Some of the classics he “plays” with include Sherlock Holmes (my favorite), Shakespeare plays, A Tale of Two Cities, and many more.

Now, I can break this book into two sections, stories based off the classics I have read and then ones I have not read. The short stories that were based on classics I was familiar with were amazing! I was laughing and engrossed right away. It was like revisiting the book with a little quirk. He was able to peg the characters personalities, but also change them in an appropriate way that did his little retelling without taking anything away. You can tell he put in effort while writing this.

Now, for the short stories that were based upon classics I was unfamiliar with. They were well written and were funny as well. Even though I enjoyed them I feel like I did not get as much or missed some subtle jokes. So if you do pick up this book you can easily read these short stories and enjoy them, even laugh out loud. Don’t let the fact you did not read the original get in the way. I plan on eventually reading most of the ones used in this collection and plan on rereading this as I complete them.

Over all I would recommend this book for those who enjoy classic literature, retellings, and funny books. It is a wonderful short book to break up reading more serious, intense reads, but also longer books as well. I gave this a 3 out of 5 stars. It was great and I really think as I reread this I will update the score to go higher.


Book Information

Publisher: Diversion Publishing

Publication Date: November 6th 2012

List Price: $14.99

ISBN: 9781626814554

Pages: 194 pages


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