Monday, February 28, 2011

What did you think of Northanger Abbey??

1.Northanger Abbey is about an ordinary girl who tends to see the world in a rather blinkered light. How is Catherine Morland relevant to women today? Is she different from modern women? Is her outlook familiar in any way? If so, how?

2.Can Northanger Abbey be read as a Gothic novel? If not, in what ways does it allude to this genre of writing?

3.In what ways is Catherine in Northanger Abbey comparable to Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice? Do they change at all throughout the novels?

4.What is the significance of wealth and property in Northanger Abbey? Does Jane Austen condemn or condone such outlooks?

5.Is Catherine’s response to the General’s behaviour intrusive? Or is she actually showing initiative and perception? Is she a passive heroine, or more of an action figure? Discuss.

6.W Garrod, author of the 1928 book Jane Austen: A Depreciation complained about ‘that ridiculous use of marriage as a finale in Jane Austen’s novels’. Is this a fair comment? Is the brief description of the marriage at the end of the novel anti-climactic or prosaic? Why do you think Austen chose this closure?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Souless by Gail Carriger

Souless by Gail Carriger: Alexia Tarabotti is labouring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette. Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire - and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Or will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart? SOULLESS is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

This book was pure entertainment!! Loved it! Probably will re-read it many times! It's not too long and it has everything I could want in a novel. Mystery, love, fantasy, all set in Victorian England! Although not completely perfect....as it's a series. I sort of despise series. Sequels or trilogies I can handle; series not so much. It's just that after the first 3 or 4 the story lines start to drop or get repetitive. I like that this book stands on it's on so you can choose to carry on or not.
Definitely give it a go!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lost Encyclopedia

I received this for Christmas and was pretty excited to read it! Lots of information which brought all the seasons together for me. I hadn't re-watched the earlier seasons since watching the end of the series last year so it was good to get everything together. However there were some serious editing issues. Places were lines were repeated almost like they reworded the sentence and forgot to take out the edited line. I can understand if it happened once maybe twice, but the editors and authors must have rushed this out. Saying that I would say Lost fans would not be disappointed with this encyclopedia.

Note: amazon reviewers were saying some of the info was wrong....I'm a Lost fan, but I wouldn't call myself a Lostie so I didn't notice anything that was flat out wrong.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs

Georgia Walker's entire life is wrapped up in running her knitting store, Walker and Daughter, and caring for her 12-year-old daughter, Dakota. With the help of Anita, a lively widow in her seventies, Georgia starts the Friday Night Knitting Club, which draws loyal customers and a few oddballs. Darwin Chiu, a feminist grad student, believes knitting is downright old-fashioned, but she's drawn to the club as her young marriage threatens to unravel. Lucie, 42, a television producer, is about to become a mother for the first time--without a man in her life. Brash book editor KC finds her career has stalled unexpectedly, while brilliant Peri works at Walker and Daughter by day and designs handbags at night. Georgia gets her own taste of upheaval when Dakota's father reappears, hoping for a second chance.  ~ Booklist

A knitter myself, I thought this book would be right up my alley.  I found myself turning pages very quickly until the end.  I liked the book and would recommend it for a light read, but I wasn't overly impressed.  I felt that some of the things that happened in the book seemed to be a bit forced in trying to build the characters.  And, save the main character, none of the others were really deep.  I know this is Jacobs' first novel, so I would catch her a break and read the second one because she told a story I was interested in.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

let's eat!

Here are some of my new cookbooks! I know I have a problem! I just have a complete obsession!! I want to be a food photographer that would be like my ulitmate dream job!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Return by Victoria Hislop ~a book review

The Return by Victoria Hislop: Sonia knows nothing of Granada's shocking past, but ordering a simple cup of coffee in a quiet cafÉ will lead her into the extraordinary tale of a family's fight to survive the horror of the Spanish Civil War.

Seventy years earlier, in the RamÍrez family's cafÉ, Concha and Pablo's children relish an atmosphere of hope. Antonio is a serious young teacher, Ignacio a flamboyant matador, and Emilio a skilled musician. Their sister, Mercedes, is a spirited girl whose sole passion is dancing, until she meets Javier and an obsessive love affair begins. But Spain is a country in turmoil. In the heat of civil war, everyone must take a side and choose whether to submit, to fight, or to attempt escape.

When I first started reading this book it was hard for me to get into. I like stories that take place over time where the past affects the future. The present story was not engaging and hard to get through. However once this novel went to the past I could not put it down! I only new a little about the Spanish civil war because of art history and the art I studied from that time. This narrative puts you right in the middle of the civil war. It's moving and it made me want to learn  more about Spanish history. Some people think if they ignore politics it will go away. But what they do affect us each and every day. It's just scary how much power governments and other parties have over innocent people.
Anyway this is an amazing story and I would say if you get a chance plough through the first part and get to the part that will stay with you for a very long time!
Think I might have to take up salsa!
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