Hello lovely readers! Today I’m here with a type of blog post that’s a bit new for me – a book tag. I know that book tags are extremely popular and extremely common in the book blogging world, but I personally have never done one here on Reflections of a Reader. There’s a first time for everything, however, and when the lovely Lauren from Where There’s Ink There’s Paper tagged me to do the Classics Book Tag I simply knew I had to do it. You can find the link to Lauren’s post here, and you can find the link to the original post here if you’re interested. 🙂 Continue reading “The Classics Book Tag!”
On July 21, 1899, a baby boy was born to a couple named Clarence and Grace Hemingway in Oak Park, Illinois. Named after Grace’s father, the young boy was called Ernest Hemingway, and he would grow up to become one of the greatest American writers of all time.
As one of the most notorious names in literature, Hemingway arouses a multitude of feelings among readers: some praise his genius, others detest him, while others just think he’s plain boring. Like him or not, however, you have to admit that Hemingway has left a profound impact on the way we think, write, and read literature. In honor of Hemingway’s 117th birthday this Thursday, I’ve put together a list of books for those who wish to celebrate the day by reading about the man himself, or just for those folks looking for a good bit of scandalous literary history (and let’s be honest, Hemingway’s life was full of scandal). Continue reading “A Hemingway-Inspired Reading List”
Title: The Paying Guests
Author: Sarah Waters
Publisher: Virago Press
The Paying Guests, Sarah Waters’ sixth and most recent novel, is set in the early 1920s and tells the story of Frances Wray, who lives with her elderly mother in a large house in the London suburb of Champion Hill. In order to bring in some extra income after the death of her brothers (in the war) and her father (from a stroke), Frances and her mother decide to take in lodgers. These “paying guests,” as they are referred to throughout the novel, turn out to be Lilian and Leonard Barber, a young couple from the so-called “clerk class.”
Now, this was my first Sarah Waters’ novel, and it’s actually her lowest-rated book on Goodreads. If you talked to a Sarah Waters fan, they would probably recommend that you start with Tipping the Velvet or Fingersmith, however I picked up a copy of The Paying Guests while I was in England (you can find my full English book haul here) last summer primarily because I’m instantly intrigued by any book that takes place in the 1920s. I can’t speak to whether or not this is the best place to start with Waters’ bibliography, however I can tell you this: I thoroughly enjoyed The Paying Guests. Continue reading “Brit Lit: The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters”
Title: Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
Author: Therese Anne Fowler
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Summary (from inside flap): When beautiful, reckless Southern belle Zelda Sayre meets F. Scott Fitzgerald at a country club dance in 1918, she is seventeen years old and he is a young army lieutenant. Before long, Zelda has fallen for him, even though no one else believes that his writing will bring him both fortune and fame. When Scott sells his first novel, she optimistically boards a train to New York, to marry him and take the rest as it comes. What comes, here at the dawn of the Jazz Age, is unimagined success and celebrity that will make Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald legends in their own time. In New York City, Hollywood, Paris, and the French Riviera, they join the endless party of the glamorous, sometimes doomed Lost Generation that includes Ernest Hemingway, Sara and Gerald Murphy, and Gertrude Stein. Everything seems new and possible, but not even Jay Gatsby’s parties go on forever. Who is Zelda, other than the wife of a famous – sometimes infamous – husband? With brilliant insight and imagination, Therese Anne Fowler brings us Zelda’s irresistible story as she herself might have told it.
It seems that for the past couple of weeks all I’ve wanted to read is historical fiction set in the first half of the 20th century (see my review of A Touch of Stardust here), and Z has been sitting on my shelf since Christmas, so I decided that now was as good a time as any to pick it up. Z, as it says in the summary I’ve included above, is a historical fiction novel that follows the life of Zelda Fitzgerald, from her early years as belle of the ball in Montgomery, Alabama, to the endless parties of Lost Generation Paris alongside her rather famous husband, novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald. This novel is often compared to The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, which many of you may know is one of my favorite books, so I was worried going into this that it wouldn’t live up to my high expectations. I am very, very happy to say that I was wrong. This book was utterly, completely, 100 percent fantastic. Continue reading “Fitzgerald Follies: Z by Therese Anne Fowler”
Hello lovely readers! It’s been far too long since I’ve sat down at my laptop to type up a new blog post, but I officially graduate high school this Sunday (cue internal happy dance),
which means I will have much more time to write and post on here. I have lots of exciting things planned for the weeks to come, such as continuing my Hemingway Files series, a literary Paris-inspired reading list, and some art history book recommendations, but for now I will leave you with a quick list of all the books I am currently reading. I don’t know about anybody else, but I tend to read a lot of books at once and read little bits of each when the mood strikes me. I find I read more overall this way, as when I get tired of one book I just move on to another. Continue reading “What I’m Currently Reading: An Update”
A couple weeks ago I read “The Paris Wife” by Paula McLain, which is a historical fiction novel set in Paris during the 1920s about Ernest Hemingway’s marriage to his first wife, Hadley. To tell you the truth, I mainly picked “The Paris Wife” up because I love reading about artists and writers and I was aware that Hemingway was a good friend of F. Scott Fitzgerald, another literary giant who I have loved ever since reading “The Great Gatsby.” I knew nothing about Hemingway, other than he was this huge literary presence who readers either seemed to love or hate.
I finished “The Paris Wife” in a mere number of days. I was completely entranced by the atmosphere and climate of post-war Paris. The scandal, the passion, and, most importantly, the tragic love affair of Ernest and Hadley Hemingway. I was eager to learn more about the couple’s relationship and their time in Paris so I dove straight into “A Moveable Feast,” which is Hemingway’s own account of the same time period. (Side note: if you do not know anything about Hemingway, his wife Hadley, or 1920s Paris, then I highly recommend you read “A Paris Wife” before picking up “A Moveable Feast” because it more fully explains a lot of the events Hemingway writes about in his account.)
You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.
Continue reading “The Hemingway Files: A Moveable Feast”
Hello, hello, hello, I am here today to bring you my July wrap up (yes, I know its already the 4th of August, don’t judge me!). I read a total of four books this month (not including another three that I have started but not finished yet), which isn’t really as many as I wanted… Continue reading July Wrap-Up: A Month of Ups and Downs