This week Krysta and Briana at Pages Unbound are hosting the discussion: Who are some of your favorite classic couples?
Thank you, Krysta and Briana, for asking who are “some of” my favorite couples. Because I could just tell you all about Elizabeth and Darcy for a whole blog post, but I’m assuming that isn’t what anyone wants to read, lol.
No surprise that most of my favorite classic novels have great romances at the center of them. The only question will be whether I can keep this list to a reasonable length…
Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy
Is there anything more cliche? But I admit, Pride and Prejudice is probably my favorite book in the whole world. I love watching Elizabeth fall in love with Mr. Darcy. I love watching Mr. Darcy pretend to be indifferent. I love all the ridiculous characters. I love how they become better people for one another. But mostly I love Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. *sigh*
My friend and very favorite blogger, The Orangutan Librarian, recently created The Beatles Book Tag. Little known fact, The Beatles are my all-time favorite band, and my favorite song in the whole world and all styles of music is a Beatles song. So I was so excited to get tagged and would have tagged myself if she didn’t. *smiles*
This week Krysta and Briana from Pages Unbound are leading us in a topic that I could write about all day: Who is your favorite character from The Lord of the Rings?
I have to start by saying that I have SO MANY FAVORITE CHARACTERS. Seriously, that’s half the reason that I re-read those books so often. Sam, Aragorn, Faramir, they’re all the best, and I could go on and on about each of them. But my favorite character has always been Eowyn.
Honestly, I probably couldn’t have even told you why I loved her the first time I read LOTR. A big chunk of it is that she’s more or less the only significant female character in the series. I also fell in love with this book before the badass-female-lead became a thing, and it’s a beloved trope for a reason. And my favorite line of hers is DEFINITELY a movie-ism.
But now that I’m a grown up, I can put my finger on exactly why she is the best.
She doesn’t let society’s expectations define her
In a lot of ways The Lord of the Rings is pretty anti-feminist. The few women characters there are exist solely as love interests or home-makers. The men often seem to care more for their beauty than anything else. And heaven forbid two women should SPEAK TO EACH OTHER.
But Eowyn defies those expectations openly. She asks to ride to death with Aragorn because she doesn’t want to be left behind. Then she shows up to the Muster of the Rohirim in an effing sword. Her uncle leaves her behind to rule in his absence, rather than a trusted man. And then she ignores him and rides to battle, taking the forbidden hobbit with her. There she kills the flippin’ Nazgul, something EVEN GANDALF couldn’t do. She refuses to be the dutiful wife and insists that the men see her as one who deserves valor. I admire that.
This month’s Calendar Girls Theme is Drive-in Movie: Best Book Adaptation. Thanks to Adrienne @ Darque Dreamer Reads for hosting.
I’m not really feeling this today, guys. Normally I could go on and on about movie adaptations, and what makes one good or bad. I could list my favorites and what makes them amazing. I could talk about why it’s so important to see them as separate and not compare them. I could talk about favorite adaptations from other genres, like musicals and TV and opera. But not today.
Today I’m having a hard time not feeling guilty for doing something as pointless as writing a blog post about books.
So you’re getting the short version. Maybe another time I can write more.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
It’s no secret that The Lord of the Rings is one of my all-time favorite books. And the movie trilogy came at just the right point in my life when I was impressionable enough to become full-on obsessed. But it *really* holds up. My husband and I have watched it again in these last few months, and other than a few special effects shots in the first movie, everything is just as good as I remembered it. I think there’s a couple reasons:
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.
Today’s discussion post is brought to you by bringing home Lonesome Dove from the library and THEN realizing it was written in 1986! YIKES! 600* pages of 20th century American writing? Good luck to me…
*Did I say 600? It’s closer to 900.
So I notice a lot on social media, especially Bookstagram, that a lot of people talk about how intimidated they are by long books. This is often cited as the reason for purchasing but not reading The Priory of the Orange Tree and Jane Eyre in particular. And I get it, those books are long. I know a lot of people set massive reading goals for themselves, and it can be hard to read 20 books a month if one of them is 800 pages long. Even if that isn’t you, long books can be scary. What if you don’t like it? What if it’s long AND slow? What if it takes you forever and you have to give it back to the library before you’re done? What if you lose interest halfway through?
Personally, it’s never been much of a deterrent for me. Maybe it’s because I read The Lord of the Rings in 7th grade and therefore became immune, lol. Also, people don’t have any problem reading a series that goes on for 6+ books, and that’s a lot more to read. I just see my long books as a whole trilogy wrapped up in one convenient package! Also, it doesn’t get worse the longer it goes on, so double plus!
But, on the other hand, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m terrified of the idea of Lonesome Dove. I usually love long classics, but I’m not a huge fan of 20th century literature. And I’ve never read a Western. So I’m not sure if I’m going to like it, and it’s a really long book to slug through if I don’t…
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…
[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.
We all know the drill. We read the first book in a new trilogy. We fall in love. We gush, we hype, we yell about the best book in creation at the top of our internet-lungs. Then, oh the torture, we have to wait a year (maybe even two!) for the sequel! So we wait, and we dream, and we imagine all of the things the rest of the series is going to be. Let’s be honest, we probably over-hype the book. Then, the day finally comes! We get our beautiful pre-ordered copy in the mail, and we don’t wait to dive right it! But… it’s just… fine.
Okay, even if it doesn’t go quite to that extreme, we all know that the second book in a trilogy is usually the weakest. Why?
The conflict has no where to go.
This is, I think, the main sticking point. I notice that often book 2 seems to be chasing itself in circles. So, a lot of times, the first book leaves us having firmly established the main conflict of the series, and has left the main character with a clear idea of what they need to do. But in the second book you can’t start resolving anything yet. So, what do you do? How do you continue to build when the main climax of the series isn’t even coming during this book?