Sunday, July 31, 2011

Book Review and Gluing Too

Summer finds me still reading up a storm and working in the gluebook.
Using a blank Moleskin, instead of an old book with some pages removed, requires a lot more thought and effort. More pics soon.

VilletteVillette by Charlotte Brontë

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

To read Villette is to re-align your mind to thinking and understanding in a far different way than we are accustomed to today. The depth of feeling, expressed in deep, sometimes involved descriptions, requires more attention and diligence to the page. I sometimes need to re-read sentences to obtain the meaning.

Lucy is an English girl with no family, who travels to Villette, France to take employment at a girls' school. Her days there are sometimes filled with ennui, as she deals with Madame Beck, head of the school. Emanuel Paul, another teacher becomes important to her although he and Lucy clash in many ways. The love interests of other characters add to Lucy's life and also her angst at her position in life. Spiritual differences between Catholicism and Protestantism figure large between Lucy and the other characters.

For me, not as compelling as Jane Eyre, but a good read. The ending is left to the reader to decide, with the last paragraphs written in a rather hazy way.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Book Review

The Old Man and the SeaThe Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Poor man goes fishing. Has only a very small boat. Takes no food. Wears no shoes. With skill he hooks a great fish. Slowly draws him in on his line. Kills the fish with a harpoon. Lashes him to the small boat for the trip home. All of this takes 3 days. On the way sharks attack and eat the fish. On arrival home the fish is just a skeleton and the old man is spent.

At first I was quite bored reading, but then began to see the messages. A simple story but with much to ponder. Despite his poverty and lack of proper tools, he manages to use what he has to do what he can. He is grateful for the fish and his ability to kill them. He also realizes that his downfall was "going too far out" and thus not able to make it back home with any of the fish remaining. He is a man reconciled to his lot in life and does what he can to make the most of it. A good parable for all.

The sweetest part of the story for me is his relationship with a little boy in his town. They have fished together and the boy cares a lot for the old man. When he returns from the trip, the boy is so relieved and cries and cries for him.

A simple life........ working at what you know with the best of your ability.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Book Review

Behind Enemy Lines: The True Story of a French Jewish Spy in Nazi GermanyBehind Enemy Lines: The True Story of a French Jewish Spy in Nazi Germany by Marthe Cohn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am forever amazed at what people during World War II endured and lived to tell about. This true story reveals the life of a French Jewish woman and her family. Trained as a nurse, Marthe Cohn was full of an heroic boldness that saved herself and much of her family, as the Nazi occupation pushed them out of their homes, seeking refuge further south in France. As the war neared the end, Marthe served with the French First Army, aiding the allied commanders in troop movements and plans of the enemy. She was awarded the highest military order in France, the Medaille Militaire at the age of 80. An inspiring story of a common woman giving quite uncommon devotion to her country.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Book Review

Daughters-in-LawDaughters-in-Law by Joanna Trollope

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a mother of 3 sons, Rachel is quite domineering and rather used to having things her way. As they marry, sparks fly as the couples strive to form their own lives, which are not always to the liking of their mother/mother-in-law. These characters are all well formed and believable, and it is intriguing to see how they impact one another in the continued search for family unity despite life changes that are always inevitable. Rachel has positioned herself as a wife and mother and the one who plans and oversees family gatherings. When this is no longer needed or wanted in the same way, not only does she have to deal with the change, but her entire family learns and grows from it in good ways. The book ends very happily and although that part is not so realistic, I loved that it did so. Ms.Trollope gives us such a well written gift of a story that goes to the heart of relationships. Of course, being an Anglophile at heart, all the little bits and pieces of English life make the read even more endearing.

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Author Note: Did you know that Joanna is related to Anthony Trollope, wonderful author of so many fine books in 1800's England

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Book Review: Storm at the Door

The Storm at the DoorThe Storm at the Door by Stefan Merrill Block

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This young author seems to possess profound understanding of what mental illness can mean to both the patient and family. Set in the 1960's, the story centers on his grandfather, diagnosed with manic depression.  The descriptions of events might happen to many of us given a push one way or another.

Traveling through episodes at the mental institution and the sheer pointlessness felt by so many was very tiring, but brought greater understanding  about mental conditons. 

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Newest Gluebook Pages and ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Last of Mrs. Chaney

Spent a great couple of hours this morning with my gluebook, my husband and a fun movie on Turner Classic Movies, The Last of Mrs. Chaney. Give me the old ones any day for quality acting, humor, great locations, sets, costumes, BUTTONS sometimes too.

After lunch I made Blueberry Scones. Wanna come over?

What are YOU doing today; hmmmmmmmmm??

Monday, July 11, 2011

Book Review - Queen Lucia~~~~~~~

Queen LuciaQueen Lucia by E.F. Benson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Written in 1920, Queen Lucia is like a breath of fresh air and a nice change for me in what I have been reading. Living in the small village of Riseholme, the town's eminent quirky citizens all line up behind the doings and such of Lucia, the self-appointed Queen. Most important is who is doing what and who else knows it and how they might take credit for it. Various realms of belief to enlighten their lives are sought with fervor. The humor is superbly dry, witty and quite English in the extreme. As a dedicated Anglophile, I say "Here,here; Good Show!"

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Gotta See This!

Oh, how I would dearly LOVE to go here and see this!
Such a fascinating family of creative people........ And, so many buttons to love!


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