This week Krysta and Briana at Pages Unbound are hosting the discussion: Tell us about a classic you find humorous. And my automatic response is to ask, is it too obvious to talk about the collected works of Jane Austen?
In particular Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma and Northanger Abbey are the funniest of her novels. While Northanger Abbey isn’t laugh-out-loud funny like the other three, its satire remains so relevant today that I found this book to be hilarious enough to want to write a YA spoof about Twi-hards. I’ve lost interest in that project since YA paranormal romance has fallen out of popularity, but whatever, I still love Northanger Abbey.
But Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite books of all time *because* of how funny it is. I think where Austen’s sense of humor really shines is in her over-the-top characters. Mr. Collins is a particular favorite of mine, and his speech about why Elizabeth should marry him one of my favorite parts of the book. Lady Catherine also has some great moments, and Mrs. Bennet is a hoot.
Austen is great a one-liners, too. The opening line remains one of my favorite in literature. “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man of good fortune must be in want of a wife.” Her general observations about the world aren’t always relevant still, but are nevertheless funny. In general her writing style is aloof and witty, and for whatever reason I am in love with it.
The last 365 days or so I’ve made a big effort to read more in a variety of genres. The result is that I’ve read some amazing books that I would never have read before! So I thought I would take some time to share with you all my favorite book from each genre.
Literary Fiction: Bel Canto
If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you’re probably tired of hearing about Bel Canto. But I’m going to tell you again anyway. In an unnamed South American Country, a group of rich industrialists get together for a birthday dinner/concert. A group of guerrilla terrorists show up to kidnap the president of the country, who isn’t there. Their indecision leads them to being stuck with a hundred hostages when the military shows up. The terrorists and the businessmen get to know each other, form friendships, and even fall in love. It’s beautiful, it’s heartbreaking, it’s just wonderful.
What do you guys think my big celebration should be for finishing up my graduate school classwork? Big party? No, social distancing. Fancy dinner? No, restaurants are closed. A book tag? PERFECT!
Jillian the Bookish Butterfly created this super fun book tag for all you nerds in graduate school or thinking about graduate school. And she knew I was working on a degree too, so she tagged me! Thanks Jillian!
As a side-note, I am NOT graduating yet. I still have to do my practicum (also called internship) in the fall, but I’m thinking (hoping) it’s going to be a LOT less work than my classes were. Guaranteed I won’t have to read 60 pages of a cataloging textbook every week. Ugh.
So, yay! Let’s get started!
Picking an Area of Study
What’s your favorite books and/or series from each of your favorite genres?
Oh gosh! I have so many favorite genres! lol
Fantasy: Lord of the Rings. I know, such a cliche. But I’ve been in love with it since forever, literally since middle school. Y’all, that was 20 freaking years ago. And true love never fades.
Historical Fiction: Wolf Hall and the Thomas Cromwell trilogy. It’s just SOOOOO stinking good! I love Cromwell as a narrator and his odd sense of humor, as well as seeing Henry and his wives from an outsider’s persepctive.
Classics: Pride and Prejudice. It’s just so romantic and funny and all-around well written. I never get tired of it.
Young Adult: Probably Eleanor & Park. You all know how obsessed I am with Rainbow Rowell.
Ah, it’s been a while since I did a tag. I used to do at least one a week, but I haven’t been tagged in a while. Thanks to Dani @ Mousai Books for tagging me in this one! I don’t know if she knew what a big Taylor Swift fan I am, but here we are! Cue the music on my computer, and let’s go!
The Creator & the Rules
The creator of this tag (and the header!) is Sara @ The Bibliophagist! As for the rules:
↠ Link back to the creator, Sara @ The Bibliophagist! ↠ Answer the questions. ↠ Tag whoever you want and link back to the person who tagged you!
I Forgot that You Existed
A book from your childhood that you don’t remember anything about
I know I read The Sign of the Beaver in second grade, but I have no idea what I read. Probably because our teacher would just send us out in the hall to have book-club with no instruction or supervision. Yeah, because eight-year-olds can handle that…
Here it is! The round to end all rounds! Which book from The Great American Read will be crowned as my all-time one-and-only champion?!?!
In the first corner, one of history’s most beloved novels, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE! Written by Jane Austen, this book is the basis for one of history’s greatest romance tropes, enemies to lovers. It has sparked countless remakes, adaptations, and inspired-bys. Readers continue to fall in love with Mr. Darcy (and Colin Firth) and see themselves reflected in the quick wit and dry humor of Elizabeth Bennett.
In the other corner, HARRY POTTER! It is impossible, friends, to overstate the impact Harry Potter has had on my generation. When I was in fifth grade kids who had never finished a book were clamoring to read my teacher’s copy. It made a generation of readers. And as adults we are having the chance to read this series to our kids. Its message of friendship, love, and magic is timeless, and its humor and emotions still ring true. We will always be re-reading this book.
Is it in bad taste to continue this series after the actual March Madness tournament has been cancelled due to Covid-19? Or is it comforting to have something goofy and light? I hope the second, because here I am.
For those of you just tuning in, this March I’m celebrating my apathy for basketball but my love for brackets with a “tournament” pitting the top 16 books from The Great American Read against each other. What is the point? 1) To declare the ULTIMATE WINNER of the BEST BOOK OF ALL TIME 2) Because I really like brackets. Making a buzzfeed bracket (or whatever the current favorite site is…) didn’t appeal to me, so here we are.
These are my Final Four favorite books. There was some heartbreak last round (saying goodbye to The Lord of the Rings and Little Women), but this round will bring in some VERY difficult choices. All the books remaining are books I truly love, and they are all quite different from one another. It’ll be like comparing apples and oranges, but I will suffer through it. (For the record, apples are better.)
[in deep announcer voice] LADIES AND GENTLEMAN! Weeeellllcome to Booooookish March Maaaaadness!!! *wild cheering*
Okay, maybe not, but hi there! Thanks for reading again! Or, for those of you who are here for the first time, welcome. I’m making some room in your basketball filled social media feeds with some bookish content.
This week, it’s down to the Elite Eight! These books from PBS’s Great American Read have survived one round, but who will be the ULTIMATE CHAMPION?!?! (aka my personal favorite)
*singing* I don’t know anything about basketball, except that MY TEAM BEAT BAYLOR. La-la la-la la-la laaaa.
Sorry it’s out of my system I think. *cough* Baylor sucks *cough*. Hem, on to books now, shall we?
As an antidote to the annoying phenomenon that is seeing your social media fill up with people who don’t know anything about sports talking about “their bracket,” this month I’m hosting my OWN March Madness tournament. The top 16 books from The Great American read will face off in a match to the DEATH to see which will be MY FAVORITE BOOK. Why? I don’t know, because brackets are fun. *shrugs*
Feel free to give me your thought on the match-ups in the comments. Am I right, or wildly wrong? Did I not do justice to your all-time favorite book? This wouldn’t be sportsball if we didn’t end up in an almost-fist-fight for our team!
So here we are with Week 1, the Sweet Sixteen. [insert generic sports-buzzer-sound here]
To Kill a Mockingbird vs. The Help
Oh, you guys are going to hate me. I read To Kill a Mockingbird maybe five or six years ago and I liked it, but I didn’t love it. Like, I get why it’s a super important book and everything, but I just didn’t really connect with Scout. Her overly simple way of seeing the world frustrated me. And maybe that’s the point, but there it is. On the other hand, I ADORE The Help. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it’s just one of my favorite pieces of historical fiction. Which is saying something, because I love historical fiction. I was so inspired by the women in this book, especially Aibileen.
I saw this from Margaret at Weird Zeal this summer, and loved it. Mostly because I’m secretly in love with Buzzfeed-style quizzes. So even though it’s not really a tag, I am unabashedly stealing it. Hope you don’t mind Margaret!
Confession time: I’m a Swiftie!. After I graduated from college I listened to Speak Now basically on loop. I have all of her albums memorized beginning to end. Except for the newest one… Reputation. Not as much my thing.
So a T-Swift book tag??? YES PLEASE! When I saw this on Hammock of Books I knew I had to do it.
Answer as many or as few of the questions as you’d like.
Feel free to use any of the graphics in her post.
Tag however many people you’d like at the end!
You’re Not Sorry
A book that unapologetically broke your heart
You guys are probably going to get tired of hearing me go on about Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, but it 100% qualifies for this question. I ugly cried for about 30 minutes after I finished reading it. In the best possible way. God, I am obsessed with this book.