Friday, January 28, 2011

The Horror!

So I recently found out that.... this is a treacherous book!

Why is it treacherous you might ask? Well, you see, it has recently come to my attention that.... it is abridged!!!!!! Ah!!!!! Okay. So you're probably wondering why this is sooooo horrifying! Well, I'm just wondering how I can claim to have read The Hunchback of Notre Dame when I have not actually read the whole book as written by Victor Hugo. It has made a liar out of me.  I've only read the abridged verison of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but no worries for you see... I accidently bought the aforementioned treacherous copy when I already owned...

which is most importantly...

Yeah! The day is saved! lol. I'm so silly and I know it. It actually only left out a few chapters from what I can tell. So it's not quite as horrible as I'm making it out to be. Of course, you probably think I'm stir-fry crazy. Which I am, but I come by it honestly. 

So now that I have cleared my concious of that. I plan out going back and reading those chapters I missed in the very near future. I say let you know when I have truly read The Hunchback of Notre Dame as written by Victor Hugo, tangents and all. : ) I know you are probably all eagerly awaiting the day so I shall try to make it as soon as possible, dear blog readers!

Until next time, Happy Unabridged Readings!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, ...Nope, It's Just a List

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears...or eyes. Yeah, those would probably be more conducive to reading. All righty! Let's get straight down to business! To the list!

1. Read Ulysses, Episode 5.
Fin! And I went to book club Tuesday night! It's always nice to finally understand some of the little details of what I'm reading. :)
2. Turn my short story over to the wolves... I mean, turn it in for workshop.
Through much tearing and gnashing of teeth... Okay, wee bit melodramatic there. Done. It was terrifying but I survived.  Now, what I really have to worry about is the workshop next Tuesday. Ahhhhhhh!
3. Read Chapter 1 of Frankenstein, including letters at the beginning of novel.
Did. Wahoo! It was pretty good. Can't wait to see where it goes.
4. Blog about Anna Karenina.
As you probably saw, I did in fact accomplish this one! Not only this one but another one as well. Nice, huh?

Not bad, not bad if I do say so myself. :) Which I do of course. I think this plan might work better. Especially if I make it a goal in my list to blog about a topic. Yeah! I'm excited!

Now for our next list! It should take us until Monday.

1. Read Ulysses Episode 6.
2. Read to chapter 7 of Frankenstein.
3. Blog about Njal's Saga.
4. Read short stories, finish Differential Equations homework, study for Statistics test. (Yeah, only 3 weeks in and I already have a test. Blah.) Homework in general!

Needless to say, I think number 4 is at the top of my priorities. Then probably Ulysses. I got to read that before Tuesday and if you have ever tried to read Joyce you'll know that it'll probably take me until next Tuesday to minutely comprehend what I'm reading. lol. Ah, well the joys of reading!

So what are the plans this week, peeps? Besides looking out for my fabulous blog! You never know when I'll pop up next! :)

Happy Readings!

For those of you...

So I realize that some people aren’t quite as willing as I am to pick up an 800 some odd paged book that is heavy with Russian culture on a whim. This is why I’ve included some links to some movies on where you can find out more about them and maybe find it on Netflix or whatever movie company you use. I haven’t seen any of these movies. I’m probably going to look into them when I get the time to do so, but I thought they might peak your interest in Anna Karenina. Maybe enough to go read it and see how much more amazing it is! Of course I do realize if these versions are horrible, then you’ll question my sanity. That’s why I’ll probably do a follow-up post about these movies that I have offered for you to watch.  So keep reading, one day I might be defending my sanity. : )

Disclaimer : all pictures belong to as you will see if you follow the links.

P.S. I picked most of these because of the actors who are in them. Thus, my reasoning. : ) Enjoy!

The following link is to the mini-series of Anna Karenina done in 2000. I haven’t seen it but I saw that Mark Strong was in it! I love him. For those of you who don’t know who he is, he played Mr. Knightly in the verison of Emma with Kate Beckensale and he played Septimus in Stardust. For those of you more mainstream movie watchers, he played Lord Blackwood in Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downing Jr.  If you don’t know who he is, you should get acquainted. He’s brilliant! And I love him. : )

Here’s a link to see the 1958 version of Anna Karenina with Vivian Leigh as Anna. She did such a brilliant job as Scarlett O'Hara. I feel she could definitely pull of Anna. Only 138 minutes though. Probably not enough time to do the book justice. Although, what is?

The following link leads to the movie advertised on the cover of the book I read. This version has Christopher Reeve (yes, Superman!) as Vronsky. Pretty good role for him if I do say so myself. Reminds me of Remains of the Day. Don’t see that movie if you can help it! Horrible! But Reeve’s character in the movie makes me think he’d play a pretty good Vronsky.

And finally, here is the 1997 version. It’s only 108 minutes long (poor Tolstoy), but I offer it because I looked at the cast list. It has Sean Bean (that’s Boromir, Lord of the Ring’s fans) as Vronsky. A very good role for him I think. It also has Alfred Molina as Levin! I like Molina. I’d like to see him as Levin. I honestly find it a little difficult to see. Not that I don’t think he can pull it off. I just want to see him do it. I might have to go check this one out myself.

Hopefully these are good movies. Please let me know what you think!

Until next time, Happy Readings! (or Movie Watching!)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

All Happy Families are Like One Another...

Okay. So don’t freak out, I actually posted again in less than a week! Yeah, but I promised to talk about Anna Karenina and here I am, talking about the book.

First of all, I’d like to note that I finally finished Anna Karenina! Wahoo! And it wasn't even on my list for last week, but it was just sitting there, calling to me. Also, I wanted to procrastinate and what better way to do that then with a book?

For those of you who aren't familiar with the plotline of the book, Anna Karenina takes place in Russian during the 1800s. It revolves around two main characters: Anna Karenina and Konstantin Levin. Honestly, I think Levin demanded to be a main character, and I'm really glad. He really balances out the book. I guess you could think of him as likeable to Anna’s unlikeable.  But I'm getting ahead of myself. Both Anna and Levin are members of the upper class in Russia. However Anna spends her time amidst high society going to balls, the opera, etc. Levin feels much more comfortable in the country, running his estate and he only ventures to society when he absolutely has to do so. Throughout the book, we follow Anna and Levin as they meet temptation and tragedy individually and watch how each have their own drastically different reactions with the things they come across in their respective lives.

Anna is considered a tragic heroine while she has an extremely tragic story, you can't help but feel that it's her own fault. Honestly, I really don't like her. If you can't tell. : ) But she is very realistic. I imagine that anyone in her situation would probably act the same way. They may not come to her final outcome but I think psychologically she does represent people who do the things she does. She so real! And I think that's what I love about this book. I may not like some of the characters, but they are so real I kept help but loving to read about them. Anyway, I'm trying not to ruin anything for those of you who haven't read Anna Karenina. It's a little difficult though to talk about her, but I shall persevere!

Anyway, I think Tolstoy did a brilliant job with her even if I didn't like her. He wrote her in such a way that I didn't like her because of her own actions not because Tolstoy told me she was a horrible person. Well, he did but you know what I mean. You have to figure out for yourself how wretched she is. He doesn't make it easy to hate her though. Even until the very end. By the novel's end, you'll start to pity her, much against your will, I promise. If nothing else will evoke your pity for Anna, Tolstoy forces you to with her last few moments in the novel. Darn you, Tolstoy! It was fantastic! Just the way he could manipulate you. Wow, just wow! I think if he'd written it any other way, you wouldn't feel the pity that you inevitably end up feeling. I was honestly close to tears. It's amazing how well he crafted it so that you can't help but pity her. I hope I can do that someday in my own writing. To be able to evoke pity in the reader for a character you hardly like. Wow. It's just amazing.

Anna was just a truly fantastically drawn character; however, my favorite, absolutely, was Levin. *sigh* He was just so sweet and cute and… poor guy. I’m probably making him unmanly for you. Lol. Not my intention! I guess the reason I liked him so much was that he as a character reminds me of the male characters in Jane Austen novels, in particular, Colonel Brandon and Captain Wentworth. *sigh* I lurve them. : ) They are just all such great characters. And what I liked about Levin was that he wasn’t perfect, but you still liked him anyway. He had his flaws. Some major ones sometimes, but he’s real. And that’s why he was my favorite.

Okay, so I loved Levin, but I have to admit that Anna's ending in the book is much more memorable than Levin's. I guess that's fitting though for both their characters. Levin lived in the quiet, country life so it makes sense that he would have a quiet ending. Anna's life was chaotic, dramatic so it makes sense that her ending would be epic.

In all, I really like Anna Karenina. It was a little difficult at first, but after about the first 5 chapters, you're hooked. It gets really hard to put down. Although I do admit that I found it easier to put down when Anna's sections came up. I really didn't like her. lol.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone for Levin alone! I heart Levin. He was awesome even though I didn't talk about him much in my blog. You'll just have to go read it and find out just how awesome he is! : ) And Anna's story is pretty good too, even if you don't like her.

Happy readings!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Another Monday, Another List

So yeah, kinda failed on the extra blogs last week. Sorry. :\ Gotta figure out a way so that I blog everyday. Hm... maybe I'll just make a list for everyday. Just what you want to read right? Well, I'll make every list have something specific to talk about in the next post. For instance, I can make it a point to talk about a book that I just finished. Or something like that. Hm...that might work. Bear with me, reader! I'll figure this blogging thing out eventually! You have to admit that I'm at least doing better than last year. I mean, two in May, one in June and one in December. That was pathetic! So far I've done at least one every Monday of 2011! Yeah, so spectacular but it is for me so : P . lol.

Okay, moving on from the childish antics. Here's my list from last week. Let's see how I did!

1. Finish Njal's Saga.
Fin! Like last night. lol. Just a little bit last minute.
2. Finish short story.
Fin! Or at least it needs a slight edit. And I'm waiting on my friend whose proofreading it to email it back. Think I might share it on here at some point. Maybe...Gotta think about that one. : )
Knocked that list out! Wahoo! But wait! There's more! Introducing the...

"Also did" list:

1. Finished Anna Karenina!
2. Started and finished The Hunchback of Notre Dame!

Below is a picture of  my success! : )
Now who is the awesome blogger that read approximately 628 pages last week not counting everything she read for her Creative Writing class and the English class that she is sitting in on? Oh yeah, that would be me. : ) We'll not talk about the other homework I didn't exactly finish... : \ lol. But it's not due until this week. So I still have some time. I feel a little empowered right now. I don't think I've read as much as I have this semester since last summer! I know, such a long time, but this is a pretty sweet feeling. And I know I 'm such a dork for thinking that reading 5 novels in the last some odd weeks is an accomplishment. As such, all such comments related to the term "dork" will be seen as redundant, but you are free to make them if you so wish.

But wait, I'm forgetting! What does this mean for my New Year's Resolutions?
To date I have accomplished.... Drum roll please!

1. 8 out of 26 posts
4. Read 4 out of 12 books.
6. Read The Hobbit

Not bad, not bad at all. And January isn't even over yet! This is exciting!

All right, now to stop bragging and on to further business. This week's list, or actually let me try my new course of action. How about this list be from today until....Thursday. This means I have to post by Thursday and make a new list! Let's see if I can accomplish it!

1. Read Ulysses, Episode 5.
2. Turn my short story over to the wolves... I mean, turn it in for workshop.
3. Read Chapter 1 of Frankenstein, including letters at the beginning of novel.
4. Blog about Anna Karenina.

Okay! So there's my list. Hopefully you'll hear from me Thursday! : ) And I hope y'all do awesome on your lists for the week.

You been reading anything good lately?

Happy Readings!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Look... it's a list!

So another Monday, another list! Let's see how I did last week:

1. Read to pg. 197 of Njal's Saga
 Actually read to almost 3/4ths of the book. So I have little over a fourth of the way left.
2. Finish Part 5 of Anna Karenia
Read most of Part 6 too!
3. Make five homemade items for Facebook's Pay-It-Forward status.
Have an awesome idea for it! I just have to get the supplies.
4. Homework

So I didn't do quite so  well on the non-reading part, but I did pretty amazing on the reading ones!  So it kind of evens out. I guess. But in all honestly I really hate that my list defeated me. Grr... Anyway, my success was mainly due to the snow day I had Monday! This of course meant no school! Which basically meant read-fest ALL day! : )

Despite my success reading last week (by some fluke I'm sure), I think I'm going to cut down on reading especially since school is starting to get into full swing (and I have a short story due in a week. ahhh!). So much to do (or read/write) and so little time to do it, unfortunately. I will be doing at least a little reading every week. I'm definitely trying to dedicate at least 30 minutes or an hour of each day to reading. I think that'll make this semester a lot better than the last semesters that excluded reading. Sadness. 

Oh, I forgot to mention that I actually got a little more accomplished then what was on my list! I read a whole book this week (minus 20ish pages). So I actually did really well this week reading-wise! It was called Dead Until Dark and it's by Charlaine Harris. I think that might be what I blog about tomorrow or Wednesday... Hm... I'll figure it out. I think I have 2 ideas for extra blog posts this week! Sweet! So keep an eye out for me!

Anyway, here's my list for this week.

1. Finish Njal's Saga.
2. Finish short story.

Not a lot but after last week. I need to nurse my wounds a little. : ) I've also noticed that I don't do a really good job at writing blog post at the end of the week. So I've decided that I'm going to try to write a little something everyday of the week. Hopefully it'll be worth your reading. I'll try to make it interesting. : )

Anyway, I hope everyone else's lists went way better than mine did last week! And I hope this week's list go swimmingly.

Until next time, Happy Readings!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lists, Lists, and More Lists!

Last week was super-busy! Most people start back to college this week and as such all my friends wanted to hang out before we all disappeared to the far corners of the earth. This is not very conducive to reading and even more so to writing. But I did have fun with my friends. : ) So let's look at the list from last week.

1. Read The Hobbit all day Monday (minus grocery run) to celebrate Tolkien's birthday!!!
        I not only read it all day but finished it! And it was such a wonderful day!
2. Finish Part 3 of Anna Karenia
       Not only did I finish Part 3 but I finished Part 4 as well! Impressive I know but it was less than 100 pages and it was rather climatic so I just HAD to know what happened!  
3. Read a quarter of Njal's Saga
4. Write for novel (at least 1 hour)
       Alas, I was defeated. It might be hard to imagine but it's seriously hard to find a quiet spot to write in a house where the tv can be heard everywhere and you have half a dozen animals underfoot at all times. I think it's mildly understandable that I didn't accomplish this goal. Though it's my own fault honestly. I could have stayed up until 3am if I truly desired to write because by then everyone's asleep, animals as well. Alas, I really miss the days when everyone when to bed before 11pm. Oh well. I have no excuse now since I am back at school. I have as much quiet time as I like! So no excuses now. Maybe I'll actually get something written for once.
Okay. So I made some excuse for the last one. :\ Sorry. Not really one for excuses though I do a really awesome job at making them. I probably should have just stayed up until 3am and written then. That's when it's the most quiet at my house. Now I know for next time. And next time, the writing portion of my list won't defeat me. Bwhahaha!
I got a lot more accomplished then I thought I would last week despite the fumble over writing for 1 hour (pathetic). I finished The Hobbit instead of reading as much as I could. I wasn't actually sure if I'd finish it but I did and I'm glad! I read more than Part 3 of Anna Karenia which was totally unintentional. It was just really hard to put down because something was happening to my favorite character! I just couldn't leave it where it was. I HAD to keep reading. : ) Not only did I read all this but I also worked a little on my quilt! Yes, impressive I know espeically after our battle the week before. I think me and the sewing machine have come to terms however and are happily frienemies again. lol.
Yet, that's still not all! I think I overcame my addiction to caffiene, which ties into my working on my quilt. It's really a funny story. For some reason, last Thursday I thought it would be a good idea to drink 3 Mountain Dews between 12pm and 5pm. Then at 7pm, just for kicks, I decided to drink a cup of Starbucks coffee. You probably all know where this is going. So at midnight I decided I should probably go to bed since I had plans to go hiking at 10am the next morning.  It was 1:30am before I stopped reading long enough to actually try and sleep. I was up less then 30 minutes later, wide awake. That's when I decided to work on my quilt in order to get rid of some energy so I could sleep. An hour later, still pretty jittery, I'd gotten a number of squares done and decided to work on something else. By 5:30am, I was tired enough to sleep. Needless to say, I woke up late that morning and was running around all day without any time for naps trying to catch up for oversleeping. It was exhausting! I am never ever doing that again. I don't think I ever want to see another Mountain Dew again in my life. I'm sticking to my less-favorite Coke-a-Cola until I can be totally weened off of caffiene all together. Ugh.  I think it took 3 days for all that caffiene to leave my system if my "lovely" headache yesterday had anything to do with it. It was awful! I think I'm going to have nightmares about that day for the rest of my life. I can laugh about it now, but I seriously don't want to see anything caffieniated for a long time. So if you, dear reader, want to get off of caffiene I'd suggest doing what I did. Trust me, after not being able to sleep and the resulting headache, you'll be happy if you never have to see caffiene again. So I in adverdently accomplished something that was on my personal list of things to do over Christmas break and it was all over a gluttony for Mountain Dew. It truly is wise to do all things in moderation.
All right, so now for this week's list!
1. Read to pg. 197 of Njal's Saga
2. Finish Part 5 of Anna Karenia
3. Make five homemade items for Facebook's Pay-It-Forward status.
4. Homework
Since this is the first week of school, I decided to keep it light which is also the reason why there is no writing on there. I've already decided what I'm going to do for #3, but since my driveway has a layer of ice on it and thankfully the first day of class was canceled, I get to stay in all day today! So I can't go get the supplies I need for the project today. This of course means I get to spend today snuggled up in a comfy chair with the awesome warm quilt my aunt made me reading my way through a mountain of books. Just got to love weather days like this!
Any plans for this week?
Happy readings!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I accomplished one of  my resolutions for the year! Or at least part of it but that has to count for something! And we're only four days into the new year! Yup, while celebrating Tolkien's birthday yesterday, I finished The Hobbit! Well, it was actually early this morning when I finished but details, details. What counts is that I finished it! Such a wonderful book too! I'd forgotten just how amazing it was!  Master Tolkien truly was an fantastic story-teller. Rereading one of his books only reminded me of that fact. Below is my dear little copy of The Hobbit that took me on such an awesome adventure yesterday.

It's a little worn but I love it! Its pages truly weave a magical story that make you lose track of time. If you haven't read it yet, you really should give it a try even if you don't like the fantasy genre. It truly is a wonderful story! (And a very easy read!)

Now that I've mentioned it. If you haven't read The Hobbit, you probably have no idea what a hobbit actually is. Tolkien solves that problem within the first pages of his novel, but, in case you have no intentions of reading the book (you're missing out), I guess I shall give you a quick description of them. They are splendid little creatures that live in an area of Middle-earth called the Shire. They love to sing and eat and in general have a good time. But they truly enjoy their food for they have at least 6 meals a day. Hobbits find adventures to be nasty things that ought not to be done; however, when they do have them, they are truly fantastic adventures.

Honestly if I could be any fantastical creature, I'd want to be a hobbit. They're just very fascinating creatures to me and I truly love reading about them.

Anyway, I really do love The Hobbit. I was so sad when I finished it early this morning that I almost starting reading it again. I honestly don't even think that about many books. *sigh* Alas I have other books to read so no rereading The Hobbit right away, but I definitely think I'll make it a resolution for next year as well.

While I may be able to read The Hobbit many times that's probably not the case for many other people. So, do you have any you could  read over and over again without growing tired of it?

Until next time, happy readings!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy Eleventy-Nineth Birthday!

Today is J.R.R. Tolkien's eleventy-nineth birthday! For those of you who have been living under a literary rock, he wrote The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and several other novels. I love him! As you've probably already noticed from previous posts. I really just think he's brilliant! He wrote such wonderful stories! I've read The Lord of the Rings 3 times and I'm planning on a fourth this year! While I've only read The Hobbit once (weird, I know) I plan on fixing that this year by rereading it as well. I'd original thought I'd celebrate Tolkien's birthday by marathoning all three movies plus a cartoon version of The Hobbit I own. Instead I've decided to read The Hobbit. Much more productive and enjoyable! Nothing against Peter Jackson and others, I just feel that reading Tolkien is a better way to celebrate than watching someone else's interpretation of his work.

All right, for our next order of business! Let's see how I did on last week's list!

1. Finish Part 2 of Anna Karenia - Done! (and started the 3rd part! woot!)
2. Read Chapter 1 of The Hobbit - Did!
3. Sew 5 squares - Accomplished amazingly enough!

So I owned that list! Yeah! I like this feeling! Makes you feel good knowing you accomplished something! : ) Although, the squares gave me some trouble, stupid sewing machine. Might have to wait a little bit before I continue with that one. I said some not so nice things to my sewing machine. In my defense, it tried to eat my fingers a few times. It apparently only has two speeds: all or nothing. I think I'll just let us both cool off for a week. Maybe pick it up again next week or later this week. Just don't want to commit to it. Maybe my sewing machine knows when I want to get something done and is trying to thwart me. Hm...I'm really not a conspiracy theorist at all. : )

Okay for this week, here's the list:

1. Read The Hobbit all day Monday (minus grocery run) to celebrate Tolkien's birthday!!!
2. Finish Part 3 of Anna Karenia
3. Read a quarter of Njal's Saga
4. Write for novel (at least 1 hour)

So we'll see how that goes. Number 4 is probably going to bust me this week but I felt like I had to include something about writing since it's on my resolutions list. Can't honestly wait until the end of the year to start on that one. Well, I could... but I'm not going to procrastinate. : ) Yeah!  I should probably try to finish Njal's Saga since I borrowed it from a friend and I need to give it back but you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men. Besides, I like goals I can accomplish. This seem like they could be accomplished.

So any big plans this week reading wise?

Until next time, happy readings!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I'm glad Christmas was last week...

Because I've been naughty this week. Below is the evidence of said naughtiness.

Although now that I think about it, it really isn't my fault that someone gave me a giftcard to a bookstore for Christmas. So there, it really means that I wasn't nauhgty. I honestly couldn't just let the card go unused. That would be a crime in and of itself. I mean, really! Anyway, it was a gift certificate to 2nd & Charles and I think I did pretty good considering I spent about 15 dollars for 13 books! Pretty sweet! In actuality, it was 8 books for $15 and 5 books for free. I have to admit I really liked that about 2nd & Charles. I bought the following books: 2 of which were less than a dollar and another 2 were less than 2 dollars! Pretty sweet if you ask me!

The Tolkien books really pushed me up to 15 dollars, but I don't really care because it's TOLKIEN! Love him! :) I got the rest of these for free!

2nd & Charles has a couple of boxes in front of their store full of free books. How could I pass that up? I think I did fairly decently too. I got an Issac Asimov book that is only missing a cover, a book in German (to practice my German), and a few other books that I probably never would have bought, but now I get to try them out for free! Not a bad deal if I say so myself. : )

Besides this tiny bit of naughtiness on my part, I did fairly well that day considering I went into 3 bookstores and only bought books at one! I will admit that I came really close to buying a book at the last bookstore, Barnes & Noble. It was the latest book by one of my favorite Fantasy writers, Juliet Marilliner, called Seeker of the Forest. It was so tempting because it's about my favorite character in the series. But I behaved! I'm getting much better at this not buying a book every time I go to a bookstore. Although I will admit being a broke college student probably helps. : )

How about you guys? Read any good books lately?

Until next time, happy readings!