Sunday, April 26, 2015

"The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe


Title: "The Tell-Tale Heart"
Author: Edgar Allan Poe
Published:  1843
Challenges: Literary Movement Reading Challenge (Romanticism) 


Originally I was reading The Last of the Mohicans, by James Fenimore Cooper, for my Romanticism choice; however, after dragging myself through 50% of the book, I couldn't anymore!  

The biggest problem was that I had an expectation about the story from the movie, which is one of my favorites of all-time.  Unfortunately, in this case, the story in the book is not at all like the story from the movie - at least not the first half of the book.  I also found the dialogue long, tedious, and not believable, while the overall plot did not keep my interest.  I could not appreciate it as I had hoped to; therefore, I put it back on my shelf for another day, or year.

In the meantime, I still wanted to read something for Romanticism, but most of my choices would have been too long - except for Edgar Allan Poe's short stories.  So I choose my very favorite: "The Tell-Tale Heart."  


When I read this story, I have to read it aloud, with expression!  I just cannot read it quietly to myself.

"The Tell-Tale Heart" is about the narrator, the main character, who tries to convince the reader that he is not mad or insane; he recounts how he committed a wretched deed, as we will find out, with such caution and premeditation, which should be evidence enough for his rationality.  However, as he reveals his wicked plan to murder an old man, whom he says he loved, the reader is more assured that the narrator is obsessed, irrational, and heartless.  


[SPOILERS AHEAD]

The narrator planned for an entire week to murder the old man because, he says, he hated his "evil eye."  There was nothing else about the old man that disturbed him other than the presence of his eye. Every night, for one week, the narrator opened the door of the bedroom where the old man slept, and "thrust in his head" into the darkness; but on the eighth night, the narrator opened the door to the old man's room and shone the light of his lantern on the old man, as a beam of light fell directly upon the "vulture eye."  The old man, who may have been blind, though the story does not reveal, knew someone was in his bedroom.  The narrator imagined that he could hear the old man's heartbeat growing louder and louder, and that even the neighbors may hear it.  In anxiety, he murdered the old man.

Still intent on convincing the reader of his sanity, he told how he carefully dismembered the body and stuffed the parts under the floorboards.  When police arrived a few hours later, the narrator was calm and collected that even they were convinced of the story he told them about the missing old man and the scream the neighbor's must have heard.  However, he imagined he could hear the heartbeat of the old man beneath the floor, and he believed the police could hear it, too.  They were mocking him, he was certain.  In his irrationality, he called them "Villains!" for pretending not to hear the heart, and desperately disclosed the crime and made his confession.

[END SPOILERS]


I used to think that the beating heart was his own guilty conscience, but I wonder if the narrator even had a conscience.  If he had a conscience, or a "heart," he would have had compassion to guide him. Instead he was heartless and committed a wicked, evil crime.  

In addition, all of the main character's feelings and thoughts are senseless.  For example, he believed the old man's eye was evil.  There was no other reason given about the old man that proved he was wicked, only the condition of his eye made him evil, which did not make sense.  Secondly, the attempt to prove his sanity did not work because with every step he demonstrated to the reader that he was crazy.  And finally, when he believed the police officers were mocking him, he thought he was more clever by revealing his very own evil deed to them; but instead he lead to his own demise and conviction.

One last note: another great way to read through The Tell-Tale Heart is to listen to it performed by Vincent Price:

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Fortune of the Rougons, by Émile Zola


Title: The Fortune of the Rougons
Author: Émile Zola
Published:  1871
Challenges: Zoladdiction 2015, Back to the Classics Challenge 2015, and The Classics Club


The Fortune of the Rougons is the first book in Les Rougon-Macquart series, by Émile Zola.  It introduces the reader to the roots and branches of this fictitious family tree, living during what is called the Second French Empire, of which I know little about.  (Note to self: I need to study French history.)

The initial opening is brief and involves an uprising, or coup d'état, ushering in Napoleon's second coming, or whatever you like to call it.  (See, I need French history.)  After the opening is set, the author pauses to return to the past to introduce the imaginary family beginnings and the founding of their town.  Then he returns to the present where the reader learns there are several characters that are either deeply involved or somewhat involved in the insurrection, while some family members directly oppose each other. 

In this story, there is a shortage of characters to favor, as Zola is not subtle in exposing wicked hearts. Readers can see viciousness and greed being passed down from parent to child as hereditary traits, in addition to hair color and nose shapes.  It is already disturbing to read about cruel characters mistreating others, but it is more disheartening when they are supposedly related in some way.  Also, Zola is setting up the families' future destinies, as one will struggle in poverty while the other will work its way into the upper social class.  

Aside from the conflict, there is a sweet love story - oh, so sweet and innocent (albeit, fairly young) - between two characters, who are quite possibly the most agreeable in this entire story. Ah, those forbidden, natural, yet hopeless, love affairs!  I cannot tell you what happens, but it may break your heart.  (I have said too much already.)

Liberty Leading the People, by Delacroix

So I got lost in the details of the historical setting, and I will need to research French history under Napoleon.  All I know concerning The Fortune is that there is a conflict between family members, and the Rougons used cunning deception to gain power and control, while Macquart threw temper tantrums because he did not achieve what he thought he deserved.

If I ever read The Fortune again, which I should, and if you ever read it for the first time, I suggest, and I hope to remember myself, to make up a family tree and take notes as to who is on what side and what each side represents.  Nonetheless, I look forward to reading book #2, Le Curée, or The Kill, in English, for Fanda's Literary Movement Reading Challenge: Naturalism, in August.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten All Time Favorite Authors



Top Ten All Time Favorite Authors

(In alphabetical order)


How I narrowed it down: these are authors whose works I have reread or read more than one title or hope to reread again or read more from them in the future.


1. Jane Austen


2. Willa Cather


3. Charles Dickens
Portrait of Mr. Charles Dickens, by Frank Fell
4.  George Orwell
George Orwell, by Fabrizio Casetta

5.  Howard Pyle


6.  Leo Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy, by Nikolai Ge

7.  Mark Twain
Mark Twain, Scott Parker Studio

8.  Edith Wharton


9.  Laura Ingalls Wilder


10. Émile Zola

Honorable Mention:
Fyodor Dostoevsky

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Classics Salon: Which character do you relate to?


The Classics Salon: Which character do you relate to

(from a classic you are reading, or just finished reading)?


Of the classics I am currently reading - The Fortune, by Émile Zola, and The Last of the Mohicans, by James Fenimore Cooper - there is not one single character I relate to.  Most of the characters in The Fortune are financially greedy, politically ambitious, and just plain vile individuals. And, as of yet, I do not know the native warriors and British (or Scottish, I think) colonists in The Mohicans all that well

Of the classics I have recently finished - Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography, and Virginia Woolf's The Voyage OutWoolf's character Rachel Vinrace is the closest I may get to push the issue.

Rachel Vinrace is a 24-year old woman who was raised and sheltered by two unmarried aunts after her mother died.  Her overwhelming father is often away, and she never received a formal education. While out on a voyage to South America, a different aunt takes her under her care to quietly expose her niece to the world, with new eyes and unhindered by the opinions of others.

Unlike Rachel, I have witnessed relationships between men and women, I received a formal education, and I have not lived a sheltered life.  However, what I may be able to relate to is Rachel's social eye-opener, as she experiences for the first time the discrepancies between men and women.  I guess our mothers can tell us as much, but when we personally experience it ourselves, it can be quite shocking: there is a double standard!

For example, when Mr. Dalloway, a married politician, steals a passionate kiss from the unsuspecting Rachel, intimate pleasure is awakened in her, but her own guilt suppresses her immediate feelings, which is quite right and natural.  However, the double standard is that Mr. Dalloway walks away without any concern for his inappropriate behavior, while Rachel carries his share of the guilt on top of her own.

When a fellow female traveler, in regards to a similar situation, says,
"I've never met a man that was fit to compare with a woman!  [she cried];
they've nothing but their beastly passions and their brute strength!  
We've too much self-respect; we're infinitely finer than they are,"
I laughed.  (I survived high school; I know what she means.)  Poor Rachel gets her first taste of the differences.  Yes, there are contradictions between men and women, but there should never be double standards when it comes to self-control.

Welcome to the world, Rachel!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin


Title: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Author: Benjamin Franklin
Published:  1791
Challenges: The Well-Educated Mind (biographies), and The Classics Club


When I committed myself to read the books from The Well-Educated Mind reading list, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin was one of the more intimidating books I could think of - that, and Mein Kampf, by Hitler.  For some reason I had an image of a Bible-sized book of Benjamin Franklin's life; but what I had mistaken it for was the Library of America collection of Benjamin Franklin's writings, which amounted to 1,632 pages. In truth, his Autobiography is only about 170 pages, and now I wish it was longer.  

Benjamin Franklin in France

Benjamin Franklin was one of America's great thinkers.  And what do all great thinkers have in common? A love and appreciation for reading and studying great books, of course!  He was a self-educated man who wore many hats.  All of the inventions and ideas by Benjamin Franklin I had learned about were right here in his autobiography: the Franklin stove, the lending library, the mail service, the fire department, free schools for poor children, his electricity experiments that almost killed him, and more.  Some contributions new to my knowledge included his responsibility of a military regiment during the French and Indian War, of which he did not consider himself to be qualified; however, the colonies relied heavily on him for perspective and leadership, as he was a man of upstanding character.

For example, as I read, I made a list of all the adjectives I could think of illustrating Mr. Franklin's qualities, and this was my short list:

practical
enterprising
frugal
wise
judicial
shrewd
self-sufficient
trustworthy
respectable 
moral
sharp
ingenious
intelligent
prudent

You get the idea.

One area I found of interest was his view on spiritual matters.  He was brought up in a Christian home and went to church, but when he became an adult, he developed his own personal opinions about religion.  
He believed in one God, who created everything.
That He governs the world by His providence.
That He ought to be worshiped by adoration, prayer, and thanksgiving.
That the soul is immortal.
The most acceptable service of God is doing good to man.
And that God will reward virtue and punish vice, either here or hereafter.

He was skeptical about church and preferred pastors who preached morality, virtues, and good deeds; he was not concerned with theology much, if at all.  At one time he developed a method for achieving "moral perfection."  He "wished to live without committing any fault at any time." He made a list of common virtues he planned to follow, and he even made a chart to record his progress.  "Order" gave him the most trouble, but once a Quaker friend shared with him that "his pride showed itself frequently in conversation," therefore, Franklin added humility to his list of virtues to work on.

While there is never anything wrong with finding ways to improve character, I fear Franklin was obsessed by it, as most great thinkers usually are consumed by something to perfect or conquer.  

He had the honor of meeting the great preacher, George Whitefield, who came all the way from Ireland to preach throughout the colonies in America, in 1739.  He told Franklin that he prayed for his conversion "but never had the satisfaction of believing that his prayers were heard."

The Declaration of Independence - Thrumbull

What is regretfully missing from this autobiography is Franklin's personal, first-hand, inside-look at what went on during the summer of 1776, in the Continental Congress, and the Constitutional Convention of 1787.  Benjamin Franklin was chosen as one of the five men to write the distinguished letter to King George - and the world - declaring the colonies' independence from Britain (even though Thomas Jefferson wrote most of it), and he was also one of only five men who signed both The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of the United States.

A Scene at the Signing of the U.S. Constitution - Howard Chandler Christy

What exciting and daunting times he lived through, and maybe if I dig into Franklin's other works, I will find what I said was missing; but concerning this particular autobiography, the specifics end before the Revolutionary War.  He said a lot of his personal papers were lost during the War; and therefore, his re-writings had to come from memory.  Later, I learned that he died before he was able to complete his autobiography, so now it all makes sense.

I wonder how Franklin would feel if he knew that his Autobiography was still read and esteemed today, as he had hoped it would be read for years to come.  I think he would be humbled.  I think. That is...assuming he had perfected his virtue, humility.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Inspiring Quotes from Books



Top Ten Inspiring Quotes from Books 

(anything that inspires me, challenges me, 
makes me think, encourages me, 
or makes me laugh!)

1.  From Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott

"I like good strong words that mean something."   ~ Jo March


2.  From O Pioneers! by Willa Cather

"Isn't it queer: there are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before; like the larks in this country, that have been singing the same five notes over for thousands of years."  ~ Carl Linstrum

3.  From Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe 

"And yet, oh, my country! these things are done under the shadow of thy laws!  O Christ! thy church sees them, almost in silence."   ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe

     

4.  From War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy

"To love life is to love God.  The hardest and the most blessed thing is to love this life in one's sufferings, in undeserved suffering."   ~ Leo Tolstoy

5. From Confessions, by Augustine

"They have no knowledge of Moses' opinion at all, but love their own opinion not because it is true, but because it is their own.  Otherwise they would equally respect another true interpretation as valid, just as I respect what they say when their affirmation is true, not because it is theirs, but because it is true.  And indeed if it is true, it cannot be merely their private property.  If they respect an affirmation because it is true, then it is already both theirs and mine, shared by all lovers of the truth."   ~ Augustine 

6.  From Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe

"His sovereignty, who, as I was His creature, had an undoubted right, by creation, to govern and dispose of me absolutely as He thought fit, and who, as I was a creature who had offended Him, had likewise a judicial right to condemn me to what punishment He thought fit; and that it was my part to submit to bear His indignation, because I had sinned against Him."
"I then reflected that God, who was not only righteous, but omnipotent, as He had thought fit thus to punish and afflict me, so He was able to deliver me; that if He did not think fit to do it, 'twas my unquestioned duty to resign myself absolutely and entirely to His will; and, on the other hand, it was my duty also to hope in Him, pray to Him, and quietly to attend the dictates and directions of His daily providence."  ~ Robinson Crusoe

7. From The Confessions, by Jean-Jacques Rousseau 

"Nothing unites human hearts so much as the sweetness of weeping together."
~ Rousseau

8.  From Little Town on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder

"Suddenly she had a completely new thought.  The Declaration and the song came together in her mind, and she thought: God is America's king.
"She thought: Americans won't obey any king on earth.  Americans are free.  That means they have to obey their own consciences.  No king bosses Pa; he has to boss himself.  Why (she thought), when I am a little older, Pa and Ma will stop telling me what to do, and there isn't anyone else who has a right to give me orders.  I will have to make myself be good.
"Her whole mind seemed to be lighted up by that thought.  This is what it means to be free.  It means, you have to be good.  "Our father's God, author of liberty-" The laws of Nature and of Nature's God endow you with a right to life and liberty.  Then you have to keep the laws of God, for God's law is the only thing that gives you a right to be free." ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

9.  From Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell: 

"I believe women could manage everything in the world without men's help - except having babies, and God knows, no women in her right mind would have babies if she could help it."  ~ Scarlet O'Hara

10.  From The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

"Stupid people are dangerous."   ~ Katniss Everdeen

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Voyage Out, by Virginia Woolf



Title: The Voyage Out
Author: Virginia Woolf
Published:  1915
Challenges: A Read-Along, and The Classics Club


The first time I read Virginia Woolf, it was not a great experience.  I almost gave up reading Mrs. Dalloway because it was not in typical story format.  Then I had some coaching on how to read Mrs. Dalloway, and I survived.  Later, I read some history on Woolf, and I realized that I felt compassion for her, as she had many internal struggles.  Who cannot relate to internal struggles?  I resolved to probably try another Woolf novel at a later time.

Well, that was a few years ago, so when o at Behold the Stars suggested a Read-Along of The Voyage Out, Woolf's first novel, I raised my hand and committed myself.  My only regret was that I did not have a hard copy of the book and instead saved it to my iCloud Reader (or whatever it is called) via Amazon.com, and read it on my laptop.  That was the first time I ever read "a book" on my laptop, and I really did not like it.  It was not convenient, and I could not write notes in the margins.  Yes, I could type notes if I highlighted a word, but it was not effective for my brain.  It was not active reading.  So, I hope never to do that again.  I believe my experience would have been even better had I the hard copy.

Nevertheless, I still had a great reading escapade with The Voyage Out.  It felt like my own emotional journey through the lives of these several English men and women, on a voyage to South America, where they spent some intimate time together.  

One of the main characters is a young woman, Rachel, who lived a sheltered existence up until this voyage, when her aunt took her under her care, to expose her to the world.  It was like a coming-of-age experience for Rachel.  We witnessed her self-discovery as she developed opinions and thoughts and ideas about life.  She even fell in love (for the first time) - I think, though I cannot say that she confirmed it herself.  Her lover certainly claimed she was, but that was he defining her own feelings for her.  I would have to look back to remember.

The other characters also seemed to be effected by Rachel's new journey and new birth.  In true Woolf fashion, we knew what all of the characters were thinking and feeling.  Everyone had their own opinions and experiences, and everyone was affected differently.  

There were numerous ideas woven throughout the story to consider: such as life and death, youth and age, love and marriage, self-education and ignorance, wealth and poverty, the separation between women and men, dreams and reality, and I know there were many more, but after one read, I only scratched the surface.  

The ending took me by surprise, and I was somewhat disappointed at first; but in the overall comprehension of the work, it made sense, especially considering Woolf's feelings on women and men, love and marriage, and life and death.  It helped to know a little about the author to understand her worldview and why she would conclude this way.  So the surprise ending actually tied everything together for me.   

I hope to reread this again someday, but only after I get a hard copy.

To see other reviews of this book, visit: 


Friday, April 10, 2015

A Reread: Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe


Title: Uncle Tom's Cabin
Author: Harriet Beecher Stowe
Published:  1852
Challenges: a reread


This was my fourth time reading Uncle Tom's Cabin, which was read at the request of a book club I recently joined.  The first time I read it was because I was curious; the second time was because I had my son read it for high school, and I wanted to ask comprehension questions; and the third time was for The Well-Educated Mind reading challenge.

For me, that third time screamed parallels to a more current American abomination: abortion.  In the 1850's, slaves were property under the law, and an owner had the right to do with his slave, as he so desired; but in the late 1900s to this current day, an unborn baby is property of its mother under the law, and a woman has the right to dispose of it, if she so chooses.  To see how I took Harriet Beecher Stowe's argument against slavery and transferred it to abortion, go HERE.  Otherwise, I have a new topic.

This fourth read was interesting because I realized that Mrs. Stowe was targeting not only slave owners for breaking up families and treating people like they were without human feeling or souls, or our government for permitting slavery to exist, or Northerners who harbored similar feelings toward blacks; she also had a stern lecture for fellow Christians, or the Church, in general.

According to Mrs. Stowe, the Christian Church was too silent on slavery. She said,
Scenes of blood and cruelty are shocking to our ear and heart.  What man has nerve to do, man has not nerve to hear.  What brother-man and brother-Christian must suffer, cannot be told us, even in our secret chamber, it so harrows up the soul!  And yet, oh, my country! these things are done under the shadow of thy laws!  O Christ! thy church sees them, almost in silence! 
When she learned, after the enactment of the Fugitive Slave Act, that "Christian and humane people...recommending the remanding escaped fugitives into slavery, as a duty binding on good citizens...she could only think, These men and Christians cannot know what slavery is; if they did, such a question could never be open for discussion."

Of slavery, she said,
Nothing of tragedy can be written, can be spoken, can be conceived, that equals the frightful reality of scenes daily and hourly acting on our shores, beneath the shadow of American law, and the shadow of the cross of Christ.
She implored Christians and the Church to receive runaway slaves, and educate them and assist them to safer shores.

At the very end of her conclusion, Mrs. Stowe warned the Church and the Nation:
A day of grace is yet held out to us.  Both North and South have been guilty before God; and the Christian Church has a heavy account to answer.  Not by coming together, to protect injustice and cruelty, and making a common capital of sin, is this Union to be saved, - but by repentance, justice, and mercy: for, not surer is the eternal law by which the millstone sinks in the ocean, than that stronger law by which injustice and cruelty shall bring on nations the wrath of Almighty God!
Yikes!  I think Mrs. Stowe was one mighty, courageous woman: to take on a whole nation by writing this "living dramatic reality," in order to shake Americans (Christians) out of their slumber, to expose the wickedness that was being legally permitted right before their eyes and ears, if they would just see and hear the evil; if they knew the truth, Christians (at least) could not - should not - remain silent.

Well, I used to think the same thing about abortion - if only people knew the truth about what happened during an abortion, if they saw the results and heard the stories, they would be moved. Unfortunately, I think we are of a different age now.  I think many people know the horror, but they feel apathetic, dispassionate, or even powerless.  However, Stowe is correct in her concern that our Nation will have to answer for its sins and every lukewarm Church for its silence; in fact, I have a feeling we are seeing God's judgment upon our country this very day for our national iniquities. Every nation is subject to God's judgment.

Anyway, while we were still reading Uncle Tom's Cabin, my friend asked me if we were going to read anymore about the cabin because it was only a small part of the story. Why was it titled Uncle Tom's Cabin if it was not a bigger part of the story?  Well, it is true: it is only in the beginning; and it wasn't until the very last paragraph that Stowe leaves us with, George, Tom's master (giving a eulogy for Tom), speaking to his newly-freed slaves:
So, when you rejoice in your freedom, think that you owe it to that good old soul, and pay it back in kindness to his wife and children.  Think of your freedom every time you see Uncle Tom's Cabin; and let it be a memorial to put you all in mind to follow in his steps, and be as honest and faithful and Christian as he was.
I have to believe that it was just a symbol for an honorable, faithful man, and Christ-like figure.  His cabin was a safe and loving home for everyone who entered it because he was a good Christian husband, father, and friend.  Stowe made him to be someone we should strive to be like.  And I'll say, Good luck with that because his character was absolutely perfect.

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Classics Salon: My First Impressions of a Current Classic I am Reading




Week One: What are your first impressions 

of the current classic you are reading?


I am joining Saari at Mangoes and Cherry Blossoms for this week's Classic Salon.  For more info, go here.  

This is actually a difficult question because I am in the process of reading three classics, if I want to include The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.  The other two are The Voyage Out, by Virginia Woolf, and The Fortune of the Rougons, by Émile Zola.  On a short note, I have nothing but praise for all three.  

But now, the challenge is to choose one to discuss, and I have to be quick about it because I have only a few minutes to come up with something thoughtful.  The children are gathered around the table, eating breakfast, and we have a full day of school work ahead of us.  Ahhhhh!  

Ok, I choose The Fortune of the Rougons.  First let me begin with my emotional reaction: Wednesday night I read the first chapter, and in the middle of the night I woke up thinking about reading my book.  I was furiously highlighting and underlining every line and every quote.  It was so enjoyable, until I woke to realize I was only dreaming.  Or rather, given there was no plot to my dream, I was experiencing only fleeting images of me reading my book.  That's what reading Zola does to me.

The first chapter of The Fortune is an introduction to the setting and its people, a fascinating description of the district and how it came to be, and the three main groups of people who inhabit the land.  Next, Zola zeroes in on two young people in the present time of the setting, France, 1851; one is heading out to participate in the uprising, the other is his love.  They were in the process of saying goodbye, until she joined the resistance at the last moment.  

Last night I finished chapter two, in which Zola gave an in-depth review of the family roots of the Rougon-Macquart family.  He explains the traits that are passed on to the children and the children's children.  And now we are left with the main character (I am only assuming), Pierre Rougon, fighting his half-siblings and his mother for the fortune that he believes is rightfully his.

So what is my first impression of this early start to The Fortune of the Rougons?  I am totally engaged and eager to sit down and read chapter three.  Zola is an exciting and masterful writer.  He leaves nothing to the imagination, if that is ok with you.  You are going to get every particular, uncensored and precise.  While I am only two chapters in, I am not surprised that Zola has already grabbed my attention.  And I must insert here that I have been thoroughly busy and unable to read as I want; that while reading last night, my eyes began closing.  But I pushed myself to the very end of chapter two because I needed to know the rest of the story of Pierre's fight for his fortune.  

Hence, I am anxious to get back to chapter three.  If I can accomplish that this weekend, it will be an absolute miracle.

P.S. Correction and confession: As I found time to read this afternoon, I discovered that I had stopped several pages short of chapter two; therefore, I forgot that I had read about Pierre's marriage to Félicitè, and did not even get through the part about five children, their eduction, and the possible ruin of the family fortune, that is, if they can gain anything from the coming Revolution.   The suspense!

But THAT'S how tired I was last night.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten books recently added to the ever-growing TBR list




Ten Books Recently Added To My Ever-Growing TBR List


Night and Day - Virginia Woolf

A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

A Child's History of England - Charles Dickens

Letters Concerning the English Nation - Voltaire

City of God - Augustine

The Faber Book of Exploration - Benedict Allen

The Winthrop Woman - Anaya Seton 

Émile or On Education - Jean-Jacques Rousseau
This one has been on my TBR list for a long time, 
but after reading Rousseau's Confessions
I think I just moved it up a few places.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

The Weight of Glory - C.S. Lewis