Books: 2nd Edition

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby fantasia » May 14, 2020 11:15 am

So! Anne of Green Gables. ;)) I had a tough time getting into it. Anne drove me absolutely nuts with her long-winded speeches, though the messes she gets in and out of were highly humorous. But once she starts to "grow up" a bit, then I finally got into the flow of the story and ended up really enjoying it at the end. :) But most of all, I discovered that I'm basically a young Marilla. :))

Returned my digital copy to the library and checked out digital Anne of Avonlea. :)
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby johobbit » May 14, 2020 1:04 pm

I totally know what you mean about Anne! She can be kind of annoying at times. :P Glad you enjoyed the story, overall, fantasia. :) And fun about you being a young Marilla, haha!

My favourite character is probably Matthew. Love that dear older man. What a treasure he is. Maybe because he reminds me of my own father (except my dad is more outgoing, but exuding graciousness and just so sweet, like Matthew). :)

How do you find the movie adaptation compared with the book?
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Wanderer Between Worlds » May 14, 2020 9:47 pm

Hello Fantasia and johobbit! :D

The Anne of Green Gables series holds a very special place in my heart, and the first book is delightful (though I must say that my favorite book in the series is the very last one, Rilla of Inleside, followed very closely by Anne of the Island). I personally relate a lot to Anne and her flights of fancy, and I love the historical, small-town, turn-of-the-century descriptions. I don’t know if you’re an audiobook person, Fantasia, but LibriVox has free, public-domain audio dramatic readings of Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, and Anne’s House of Dreams that made me fall in love with the books all over again. Almost all of the voices are spot-on, in my opinion (especially Anne’s!), and they keep most of the voice actors consistent throughout those four books. Lucy Maud Montgomery’s flowery prose was a bit of a struggle for me to get through at first, but having it read by audiobook sounded more natural, and it won me over in the end. :)

I’d be curious to know if anyone has ever visited Prince Edward Island and the Anne of Green Gables museum there. It is one of my dreams to visit/tour the various locations tied to my favorite books—Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts; the Anne of Green Gables museum on Prince Edward Island; the Kilns (C.S. Lewis’s home); the Agatha Christie Gallery at the Torquay museum; the Château de Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas’s home); and the Sherlock Holmes museum. Does anyone else have any “literary pilgrimages” they would want to go on? ;;)

—Wanderer
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby coracle » May 14, 2020 11:29 pm

I've just had the pleasure of reading my niece's second novel, The Wound of Words, published today on ebooks. Hard copies will follow soon.

https://deborah.makarios.nz/the-wound-of-words/

https://deborah.makarios.nz/works/ - this page shows most of the vendors.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1016084

Apart from being a biased relative, I really like several interesting ideas that she has created in this; after being a beta reader for her, I asked where she got these ideas from, and she said they were original.
“Not all of us can choose what we give up. The things we love are taken or are never ours at all. If we’re lucky, life is defined not by what we let go, but what we let in: friendship and kind words, frailty and hope.”

From 'Call The Midwife', S9 Ep2
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby johobbit » May 15, 2020 11:13 am

Cool, coracle. :)

Wanderer wrote:The Anne of Green Gables series holds a very special place in my heart,

Indeed. And when I said that Anne could be rather annoying at times, this does not diminish my love for LMM's imaginative, creative writing. These books are classics, to be sure. The characters are so memorable.

I just re-read the rest of the Anne series, as well as the Emily books, last year. I'm not sure which is my favourite, but there are certainly many plusses (as well as a few minuses ;))).

Before that, I read through the rather large volumes of LMM's journals. She had a hard, hard life after she was married. There are many heart-breaking entries, particularly as time progresses. :( She writes very similarly to her novels, which I find very engaging.

I’d be curious to know if anyone has ever visited Prince Edward Island and the Anne of Green Gables museum there. It is one of my dreams to visit/tour the various locations tied to my favorite books

*raises two hands* :D We have always wanted to go to eastern Canada (being Canadians), and finally made the trip in the Autumn of 2018. While much was closed on PEI then (off-season), enough was open that we got our fill.
We now want to live there. ;))
Yes, we saw the Museum and Green Gables, quaint Cavendish, LMM's grave, the homestead of her grandparents (where she grew up), the red cliffs and roads around the island's north shore there. The sea. ♥ So beautifully picturesque. I teared up a number of times, just knowing I was in the area where those books were written that have been a part of my life for so long.

What a wonderful dream to have, Wanderer! I, too, would love to visit the Kilns (my life's longing), as well as Beatrix Potter's home, Hill Top Farm, in the Lake District. I also desire to visit William Wilberforce's haunts (as well, Hannah More), and Winston Churchill's. And Charles Dickens!
:D
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby AJAiken » May 21, 2020 3:00 am

Wanderer Between Worlds wrote:I’d be curious to know if anyone has ever visited Prince Edward Island and the Anne of Green Gables museum there. It is one of my dreams to visit/tour the various locations tied to my favorite books—Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts; the Anne of Green Gables museum on Prince Edward Island; the Kilns (C.S. Lewis’s home); the Agatha Christie Gallery at the Torquay museum; the Château de Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas’s home); and the Sherlock Holmes museum. Does anyone else have any “literary pilgrimages” they would want to go on? ;;)


This is such a good question. I've been to a few places on my list, like Bath (Persuasion)and Chatsworth (Pride and Prejudice). When my family visited Venice several years ago my sister and I spent a lot of time seeking out the places in Cornelia Funke's The Thief Lord. I've been to Oxford, but I'd like to spend more time there. My sister has been to Hill Top. I've been to the Lake District many times, but haven't made it there yet. A lot of the places I'd really like to visit don't actually exist, though ... ;)) I would like to go to New Zealand to see Hobbiton!

I've been reading through a rather strange (and frankly disappointing) list of books recently, which I've offset by re-reading some of the Chronicles of Narnia.

First was The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. This has been recommended to me several times because of its link with Save the Cat!, an important book on screenwriting. I was also interested because it talks about various myths and beliefs from around the world in an attempt to solidify them all into one story. What was good were the stories and myths in the book, many of which I did not know. What was not so good was the rest of it, which was heavily Freud-dependent, at times incomprehensible, and very dated in multiple ways. I also didn't like how Campbell dug up the smallest, oddest bits of church history as 'proof'. His use of apostate thinkers to prove his theories makes me sincerely doubt the rest of his arguments, especially regarding other religions and beliefs I know little about. However, there are moments of clarity and good thinking in here that I did appreciate. I gave it two stars on Goodreads because I did enjoy some of it.

Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert Macfarlane was a gift. I haven't read anything else by the author so I wasn't sure what to expect. The blurb was promising, listing myth, history, geography, geology ... lots of interesting areas. However. Though parts of this book are fascinating, by the time I was interested and engaged the author had made his point and was on to the next thing. It all felt very bitty, a bit like reading short articles that whet your appetite but don't satisfy. I would have liked to read one book on one subject. The problem is that the 'whole' holding this book together is a vague, made-up concept that involves much waffling and quasi-poetic meandering. It was at times very beautiful. Other times it was annoying and pretentious. I did like the little bits of information given, though. I enjoyed the parts about ancient cave art, and I'd like to find a book more thoroughly on that subject.

Golden Hill by Francis Spufford is a book I was looking forward to. I hadn't heard of Spufford at all until the 'fanfiction' Narnia book he wrote was mentioned on Twitter. I read and liked what I saw, so I thought I'd read some of his other work. Golden Hill was well-recommended. Unfortunately I really didn't like it. The opening is very good, introducing the characters and setting well and drawing me right into the world. I enjoyed learning more about 1740s New York (I really need to read more about American history) and the differences between there and England (which I know more about at that time). However, the initial question presented in the opening pages (and on the back cover of the book) are not answered until the last pages. Why is Mr Smith in New York? To distract the readers from the question, Smith is put into increasingly soap opera-like situations. The reveal at the end isn't enough to warrant the secrecy. It adds nothing to hide it from the reader (and in fact takes away suspense). A real pity, and one of the few books I don't recommend reading.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Courtenay » May 21, 2020 4:47 am

Wanderer Between Worlds wrote:Does anyone else have any “literary pilgrimages” they would want to go on? ;;)


Ever since I moved to the UK, it's been an absolute dream come true for me as far as literary pilgrimages are concerned! :D Here are a few I've done so far...

Visiting The Kilns in Oxford (ABSOLUTE MUST for everyone who loves C.S. Lewis!)

Jane Austen's House in Chawton and her grave in Winchester Cathedral; also Bath and Lyme Regis, settings for my favourite Austen novel, Persuasion

English Lake District — Beatrix Potter's Hill Top farmhouse and the Beatrix Potter Gallery in nearby Hawkshead; also a boat tour of Coniston Water, one of the locations that inspired Arthur Ransome (Swallows and Amazons)

Walking on the real Watership Down (yes, it is an actual place — and if you've ever seen the old 1978 animated film of it, the background art in that is so accurate that I recognised the whole landscape as soon as I saw it!)

Swanage and the Purbeck region in Dorset — inspirations for Enid Blyton's stories, particularly the Famous Five

Norwich — visiting the reconstructed cell of Julian of Norwich, a remarkable female visionary of the 14th century

Bateman's — Rudyard Kipling's home in Sussex

Some of these I've been to several times — I was planning another Jane Austen trip for this spring or summer and hoping to fit the Lake District in again, but of course that's had to be put on hold. I just feel so blessed, though, to be living in the same country where most of my favourite authors come from and where many of their books are set, and to be able to see the actual places that inspired them! Lovely to hear about other people's literary pilgrimages (or ambitions) too.

Oh yes, for a pilgrimage of a different sort, I should mention I had an absolutely amazing two-week tour of Israel and Jordan several years ago, visiting a whole lot of Biblical locations. That was one of the greatest experiences of my life so far — very, very special and inspiring.
"Now you are a lioness," said Aslan. "And now all Narnia will be renewed." (Prince Caspian)
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Adeona » May 21, 2020 11:56 am

Wanderer Between Worlds wrote:Does anyone else have any “literary pilgrimages” they would want to go on? ;;)

Just popped in for the first time in a long while and saw this great question! I have to second this one of Courtenay's replies:
Courtenay wrote:English Lake District — Beatrix Potter's Hill Top farmhouse and the Beatrix Potter Gallery in nearby Hawkshead; also a boat tour of Coniston Water, one of the locations that inspired Arthur Ransome (Swallows and Amazons

The Lake District has fascinated me ever since I read Rosemary Sutcliff's The Shield Ring, and The Swallows and Amazons series and Beatrix Potter clinched it for me. I've dreamed of seeing that area for years.

Right now I'm reading A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, by Eugene Peterson. Note that he's controversial to begin with - the "translator" of The Message version of the Bible. The preface in my copy (the very handsome commemorative edition) was surprisingly off-putting (a bit over-the-top in the hero-worship department), and so far there's nothing incredible or life-changing in the writing to justify the praise I'd seen. There are a few good passages though. My favorite quote so far: "Religion in our time has been captured by the tourist mindset. Religion is understood as a visit to an attractive site to be made when we have adequate leisure. For some it is a weekly jaunt to church; for others, occasional visits to special services. Some, with a bent for religious entertainment and sacred diversion, plan their lives around special events like retreats, rallies, and conferences." Food for thought and made me consider how I view church and other Christian events/activities.

The last book I finished was a newly revised fairy tale retelling - Intisar Khanani's Thorn. I really liked the original, and the new one is even better. The heroine struggles with fear but is thoughtful and mature; what a refreshing thing in a YA book! There's not a lot of action in this book but a lot of great dialogue and character growth. If you don't mind a couple of scenes with surprising violence, this is otherwise a clean and very worthwhile read.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby fantasia » May 21, 2020 5:50 pm

I LOVE this discussion on visiting book locations. :D

I haven't not officially visited any places specifically based off of books that I can recall, but I do live in Kansas, and spent a good deal of my childhood out on my grandparents farm in the middle of nowhere. One visit, we literally had a funnel that did not touch down go over the house. So ... Wizard of Oz? ;)) (Also extremely similar to the house in 100 Cupboards, but without the Cupboards.)
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby AJAiken » May 22, 2020 1:29 am

How could I forget about Swallows and Amazons when mentioning the Lake District?! :-o My mum and I went on an expedition to find Swallowdale one very hot summer, using Christina Hardyment's Arthur Ransome and Captain Flint's Trunk as a guide. Having made it to the valley, we climbed up to a tarn where I went swimming and was promptly attacked by a leech. Good times.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Courtenay » May 22, 2020 10:48 am

My mum's got Christina Hardyment's book too! :) She's a huge Arthur Ransome fan. Unfortunately, as she's in Australia, it's a fair way for her to come and visit... I know she has been to the Lake District before, but I think only once in the 1970s. She and Dad have visited the UK since I moved here and taken some tours, but I don't think they made it as far north as Cumbria.

When it comes to Ransome's books, I've only ever got around to reading Swallows and Amazons myself, but I did enjoy it and would love to read the others now that I've seen some of the real locations! I'd also love to explore the Lakes a bit further, but of course all holidays are off at the moment. It's on my list, though, when I can.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Col Klink » May 31, 2020 7:52 am

I reread The Wind in the Willows recently. I don't read that book very much but whenever I do, I love it. It's a great lazy, relaxing, comfort read.

After that, I started rereading a book that people have posted about in this thread not too many pages ago. Dombey and Son. I love me some Dickens but I feel like you have to read them twice to really enjoy them. The first time I read Dombey and Son, I had a hard time enjoying it because of all the different plotlines. It was so slow waiting for them to catch up with each other. This time, I've been able to relax and enjoy it more.

I still don't consider the book to be its author's best work though, mainly because I don't enjoy the character of Captain Cuttle as much as I enjoy similar Dickens characters, like Daniel Peggotty (David Copperfield) and Joe Gargery (Great Expectations.)

I also kind of hate that Toots ends up marrying Susan Nipper when he says he'll never love her as much as he does Florence Dombey. I really like Susan Nipper and resent seeing her be a consolation prize. I think Dickens wanted to give Toots a happy ending but he couldn't have him end up with Florence and he didn't want to make readers lose their respect for him by having him decide he wasn't really in love with her. The way he ends though, Toots ended up losing my respect far more. I haven't gotten to that part yet so maybe I'll like it better this time.


Like I said though, I am enjoying the book a lot. It'd be worthy reading for Chapter 47 alone if for nothing else. I'm also looking forward to the end though, so I can start on another Dickensian reread: Little Dorrit. That book has even more subplots, which take forever to connect to the main story. (Some of them arguably barely do so.) But I feel it's more consistent in its greatness than Dombey and Son.
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