Pride and Prejudice Reread: Introduction and Chapter One

Intro and Chap 1

Hello, hello, hello! This is, in my opinion, a very exciting blog post for two reasons: 1) It’s the first post in my Pride and Prejudice reread series and 2) it’s the first proper post on my blog about Pride and Prejudice.

Now, a bit of background – I first read Pride and Prejudice back when I was around twelve years old. It was my first real classic read and I completely fell in love with the story and the characters. Since that time, I have devoured as much Jane Austen as I possibly can, whether it be in the form of books, TV series, movies, or what have you. Unfortunately, none of my love for Austen is documented anywhere on my blog. Part of this is because I first read the Austen novels when I was quite young, back in my pre-blogging days, and part of this is because I took quite a long blog hiatus and have really only been back posting regularly for a couple of months now. Either way, I decided it was about time Miss Austen made an appearance on my blog, and what better way than a reread of my very favorite, my beloved, Pride and Prejudice.

I’ve decided that I have far too much to say about this wonderful book for just one blog post, so I’m going to be writing a series of my posts throughout my P&P reread. This first post, for example, consists of a brief background history of the novel and my thoughts on Chapter One. Other posts may include my thoughts on a couple of chapters or perhaps an in-depth look at one of the characters. I’m not going into this reread with any definite and structured plans, because I know that if I make definite and structured plans I won’t stick to them anyhow, so why bother going to all that effort? Anyhow, I’ll stop rambling and we’ll get onto the book now, shall we? Continue reading “Pride and Prejudice Reread: Introduction and Chapter One”

Advertisements

Wizarding Whimsy: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

harry potter and the cursed childTitle: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Parts One and Two)

Authors: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books

Pages: 327

Summary (from inside flap): It was always difficult being Harry Potter, and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and a father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: Sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places. Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a new play by Jack Thorne. It is the eighth Harry Potter story and the first to be officially presented on stage. This special rehearsal edition of the script brings the continued journey of Harry Potter and his friends and family to readers everywhere immediately following the play’s world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

“Those that we love never truly leave us, Harry. There are things that death cannot touch. Paint…and memory…and love.”

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which was released at the end of July, was quite possibly the most anticipated book in all of 2016. People were thrilled that we were finally getting another installment in the lives of everyone’s favorite witches and wizards, yet their excitement was tinged with disappointment as they learned that a) it would be a play, not a novel, and that b) it wasn’t actually written by J.K. Rowling.

Despite all this, however, Potterheads across the world pulled out their robes and wands once more and lined up all night at midnight release parties. A whopping four million copies were sold the first week alone in the US, UK, and Canada. Hopes were high, and, unfortunately, many people were left disappointed. I, however, was not one of those people, and I thought Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was completely and utterly brilliant. Continue reading “Wizarding Whimsy: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

Shannon Recommends: Art History Books (Part One)

shannon recommends art history

Hello everybody! 🙂 I’ve decided to start a new series of posts on my blog called Shannon Recommends, in which I’ll take one category/subcategory of books (i.e. literary historical fiction, 1920s classics) and recommend some books to you that fit in that particular genre. I’m hoping that this series will be a fun way to get some of my favorite books out to you in a shorter, faster format than full-length book reviews (because let’s be real here, full-length book reviews take a long time to write!!).

If you weren’t already aware, one of my biggest interests outside reading is art history. In particular, I love collecting and reading art history books, and I’m always getting requests on my Instagram account to showcase some of my favorite art history books. I have way too many to fit all in one post, so this will be Part One of a two or three part series (I haven’t decided yet) in which I tell you about some of my favorite art history books and what they look like. Without further ado, let’s get to the books! 🙂 Continue reading “Shannon Recommends: Art History Books (Part One)”

Man Bookering: My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

my name is lucy bartonTitle: My Name is Lucy Barton

Author: Elizabeth Strout

Publisher: Random House

Pages: 191

Summary (from inside flap): A new book by Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout is cause for celebration. Her bestselling novels, brilliantly told, profoundly affecting, have illuminated our most tender relationships. Now, in My Name is Lucy Barton, this extraordinary writer shows how a simple hospital visit becomes a portal to the most tender relationship of all – the one between mother and daughter. Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn’t spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy’s childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy’s life: her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable.

“This is a story about love, you know that. This is a story of a man who has been tortured every day of his life for things he did in the war. This is the story of a wife who stayed with him, because most wives did in that generation, and she comes to her daughter’s hospital room and talks compulsively about everyone’s marriage going bad, she doesn’t even know it, doesn’t even know that’s what she’s doing. This is a story about a mother who loves her daughter. Imperfectly. Because we all love imperfectly.”

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I am currently trying to read my way through the Man Booker long list for 2016. After finishing The North Water by Ian McGuire, which was extremely intense and rather disturbing, I wanted something a bit less taxing. The portrayal of a young woman’s relationship with her mother promised in the summary of Elizabeth Strout’s My Name is Lucy Barton sounded like just the book, so that is what I chose as my second Man Booker read. Continue reading “Man Bookering: My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout”

Man Bookering: The North Water by Ian McGuire

IMG_4445Title: The North Water

Author: Ian McGuire

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Pages: 255

Summary (from inside flap): Behold the man: drunk, brutal, and bloodthirsty. Henry Drax is a harpooner on the Volunteer, a Yorkshire whaler bound for the hunting waters of the Arctic Circle. Also aboard is Patrick Sumner, an ex-army surgeon with a shattered reputation and no better option than to embark as the ship’s medic on this ill-fated voyage. In India, during the Siege of Delhi, Sumner thought he had experienced the depths to which a man can stoop, but now, trapped in the wooden belly of the ship with Drax, he encounters pure evil and is forced to act. As the true purposes of the expedition become clearer, the confrontation between the two men plays out amid the freezing darkness of an arctic water.

The North Water is an interesting novel for me to sit down and write a review of because it’s not my usual sort of book, not by a long shot. For whatever reason, I tend to shy away from books about surviving in extreme conditions, long voyages by ship, or anything set in arctic environments, yet this novel has all three of those elements. Why in the world then, you may be asking yourself, did I decide to read The North Water by Ian McGuire? Why, the Man Booker long list, my dear Watson! Continue reading “Man Bookering: The North Water by Ian McGuire”

Sex, Drugs, and Show Business: The 50th Anniversary of ‘Valley of the Dolls’

IMG_4310

Title: Valley of the Dolls

Author: Jacqueline Susann

Publisher: Virago Press

Pages: 417

Summary (from first page): Dolls -red or black; capsules or tablets; washed down with vodka or swallowed straight. For Anne, Neely and Jennifer it doesn’t matter, as long as the pill bottle is within easy reach. These three beautiful women become best friends when they are young and in New York, struggling to make their names in the entertainment industry. Only when they reach the peak of their careers do they find there’s nowhere left to go but down – to the Valley of the Dolls.

Valley of the Dolls is one of those books that I’ve known about for a while but I’ve never felt motivated to pick up and read. Truth be told, until a few months ago I didn’t actually know what Valley of the Dolls was about. I knew it was supposed to be quite scandalous, that it had a pink cover, and that I was 95% sure it was made into movie. It wasn’t until I discovered that this year, 2016, is the 50th anniversary of Valley of the Dolls (it was originally published in 1966), however, that I finally took the plunge and decided to buy a copy for myself and check it out (it does help that it came in the gorgeous Virago Modern Classics edition you see above.) Continue reading “Sex, Drugs, and Show Business: The 50th Anniversary of ‘Valley of the Dolls’”

Sunday Morning Book Chats Part 2 – Saoirse from @xleptodactylous

sunday-morningbook-chats-2-2Today is the day – it’s time for the second part of the Sunday Morning Book Chats series! Today’s guest is the wonderful Saoirse from @xleptodactylous (if you haven’t read the first part in this series, you can find the link here). A former book blogger whose been on bookstagram for over a year now, she has just under 5,000 followers and is currently reading her way through the massive #InfiniteVariety2016 reading challenge (it’s over 200 books long, can you even imagine??).

xleptodactylous

Continue reading “Sunday Morning Book Chats Part 2 – Saoirse from @xleptodactylous”