The Read goes ever on and on...MrsLee 2018 part 1
This is a continuation of the topic The Read goes ever on and on...MrsLee 2017 part 3.
This topic was continued by The Read goes ever on and on...MrsLee 2018 part 2.
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I will now reveal the Grand Reading Plan, in which, MrsLee bites off more than she can probably chew, but with the best of intentions.
I have a set of classic literature books which take up a whole shelf of my livingroom bookcase which is supposed to be for beloved and beautiful books. The only one I have ever cracked open is the Collected works of Shakespeare. I am still working on that, but I know I love Shakespeare so I don't mind working at it slowly. On the one hand, it seems a shame to break up a set. On the other hand, I do not have the space to store books which I will never read just because they belong to a set. Also, these are a pale pink in color and that has always bothered me. So. I will tackle one book a month, enough to know if I want to keep it to read more or not. If not, out it goes, if yes, it stays, although I am not committed to reading the whole thing in that month. They are "collected works" with small printing for the most part, some, like the Shakespeare, in two columns a page. Hard on my aging eyes.
First 12 are:
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Corneille and Racine - These are in one book. I'm undecided on how to count them, but for now I'm counting it as one.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Guy de Maupassant
World's Greatest Romances - Oh boy, this is FULL of short stories by various authors known and unknown to me
I already know I like Jonathan Swift, and so will probably keep that one.
Now, for the SIX largest volumes on my SIX TBR bookcases:
Drood by Dan Simmons, as recommended by pgmcc
The War of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
Sword at Sunset by Rosemary Sutcliff
Seven League Boots by Richard Halliburton (a carry-over from good intentions last year)
Lone Cowboy by Will James (also a carry-over from last year)
It Must've Been Something I Ate by Jeffrey Steingarten (a third carry-over)
As for my goals from last year, two of those big books were in my list, three others which were on my list were DNF books, but they are no longer on my shelves! I will still be reading one or two works of Shakespeare, and watching them, too.
Even with all of these hefty goals, I intend to start A Gentleman in Moscow tomorrow, because I want to. It is also a large book, so I don't feel even a twinge of guilt, even if I ever did feel guilt about my reading. Which I don't.
As for the above Plans, I reserve the right to deviate at any time I wish into alternate plans, or no plans at all.
Currently, I have three books in the works:
True Grit by Charles Portis, print version, reading at work, so slowly.
Hamlet: Prince of Denmark: a Novel by A.J. Hartley, audio read by Richard Armitage.
Euphemania: Our Love Affair with Euphemisms by Ralph Keyes, which is being read in the crapper. I mean the washroom, or the water closet, on the throne or in the loo.
>1 MrsLee: That does sound ambitious! Especially compared to my measly 4 classics a year. :) I’ll be interested to see which ones you enjoy; maybe your comments will influence some of my future selections.
I can see a shelf full of pale pink being a décor problem.
That is quite a plan. It will be interesting to see how close you stick to it. Also, Richard Armitage reading about Hamlet?? Oh man I cant wait to hear your thoughts of that. Happy reading!
>4 fuzzi: It is one of the Books of History (book 3 in this case) published by Christopher Tolkien, which expands on the whole history of the World of Middle Earth.
>2 YouKneeK: Pale pink is an anathema to me. Or an abomination. Let's just say I am not a pink fan.
>3 Narilka: I can give you my thoughts right now. DREAMY! He is an excellent reader, and the authors have done an excellent job of making a drama into prose. It makes me sad to not walk, since that is when I listen to my audio books.
>4 fuzzi: This is the first of these I have read. I'll let you know if I like it, but >5 BookstoogeLT: is right.
I'm not a fan of pale pink either. I prefer a big, bold PINK that really makes a statement. Looking forward to seeing how your plan goes.
That's quite a goal - you have my sympathies with the small print aspect. I gave away a lot of classics with small print (but not special editions, just generic cheap paperbacks) last year, as I replaced them with ebooks that were free. I haven't got rid of any that I couldn't replace or that were nice looking hardback editions.
Wishing you many hours of happy reading, I shall head back to my lurking spot behind the curtains now.
My you do read a wide range of books. Good for you! Have a lovely reading year.
May I recommend the volume of Browning? He tells stories and does some lovely -- longer --character sketches in poetic verse...I think he might appeal to you.
Planning and flexibility are a great combination. Best wishes for lots of enjoyment!
>1 MrsLee: I've got you starred, as usual. Happy new year.
I'm impressed with your project. It's one of those that do you credit no matter how far you get; it's not all-or-nothing. So you really can't lose.
I don't care for pink in any shade, although I get in a mood once in a while and like it for a day. In your place I might hang a pretty scarf over the spines of those volumes.
I have begun A Gentleman in Moscow and it is proving to be all that my friends here have said. Loving it. Reading slowly to savor.
Last night I dipped into the Robert Browning book. I spent most of the time reading the brief biography at the beginning which made me desire to read his work even more. He had a quote from G.K. Chesterton, something about Browning being from the Common man or middle class. Then went on to say that while the upper class and intelligentsia could afford to have angst about the value of life,
"the average man proceeds, and must proceed, upon the assumption that the game, despite its ugliness, bewildering turns, injustices, and disappointments, is ultimately worth the candle. Without that blind faith, blind though it may be, life would cease; and to that faith Robert Browning gave poetic and heroic utterance."
I have been having thoughts in that area lately, and now I am quite eager to read Browning.
>19 MrsLee: nice quote!
The only Browning I can recall is "Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be". I had it engraved on an ID bracelet I gave to my boyfriend in 1979. We're still married. :)
>1 MrsLee: Good luck with the reading plan and congratulations on your attitude regarding how the actuality of life might relate to your plan.
On the specifics, I love the stories of Guy De Maupassant. I hope you enjoy them too.
I read Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert and enjoyed it a lot.
Before reading Drood I read The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens so that I could compare Dan Simmons work with the content of the book it relates to. This is not essential, but it did provide me with a whole layer of interest that would not have been there had I not done so. "Drood" is not a rewrite of Dickens' final, never completed novel, but it does contain elements from the earlier work that added to my enjoyment of "Drood". Had I not read the Dickens first I would have missed these aspects.
I shall hold my tongue regarding any further comments about "Drood" until you have read the book.
ETA: I loved A Gentleman in Moscow. It is a beautiful book and you are quite right not to rush it.
Thanks to all the BBs flying around here for the past while, I have A Gentleman in Moscow on request at the library and am eagerly waiting for it to come in. Meanwhile I do have a large Isaacson tome.
>22 MrsLee: One of the things I enjoyed about Dickens' Drood was a section at the end of the novel that gave an overview of all the guessing, second-guessing and speculation about how Dickens had planned to finish the story. It recounted several endings that some people had written.
While I would like to have known Dickens' intentions for the ending I think its ending without an ending (if that makes sense) is enough for me. Any attempt to work out an ending is only guess work and any attempt at an ending would not be the work of Dickens. Incomplete as it is, it is still a Dickens story, and a Dickens story that I enjoyed.
>22 MrsLee: I had Edwin Drood as a matric set work over 50 years ago, and in consequence have hate-stabbity-stab-loathed all mention of Dickens ever since. Also makes me think of my mother's uncle, who lived next door in a dark, gloomy house "decorated" with darker, gloomier illustrations from Dickens and was a generalised pain.
>25 pgmcc: Here is my review for it. It seems I liked it more than my memory allows, but still I only gave it 3 stars, which means it was a decent read, but not one that will stick with me. Which it hasn't.
"Not much of a mystery, but a fine story! Lots of tension and suspense and some great characters, just like a good Dickens tale. I was quite drawn in and even a bit surprised by some of the characters reactions and actions. Pleasantly surprised I should say. I did think it unraveled a bit towards the end, but Mr. Dickens probably would have fixed that if he had lived a bit longer."
>26 hfglen: Oh, that is sad. I never had Dickens foisted upon me, but discovered him almost on my own. My very first introduction was a volume from my grandmother's childhood called, Charming Children of Dickens' Stories. This almost put me off of him forever, I'm not sure what the selector was thinking, but each selection was either about the retched children or the dying children. I could not imagine giving this book to a child.
Happily, I picked up A Tale of Two Cities which swept me up and away. Then came Great Expectations. There have also been some I didn't love, such as David Copperfield, but for the most part, I know that when I pick up a book by Dickens it will be a good read.
One of the things I absolutely love about Dickens are his characters. Not that I love his characters, but the way he paints them is vivid! No wonder your mother's uncle seemed like a character from Dickens, because Dickens could take all the funny/odd bits of a personality and make them into an unforgettable (although perhaps not likable) person. Uriah Heep, anyone?
>26 hfglen: >27 MrsLee: I read my sister's copy of Oliver Twist when I was a pre-teen, but did not read any other Dickens until I was about 20, with an hour's bus ride from work to home, and read voraciously of whatever I could get my hands on. I think I started with David Copperfield, and followed it with Great Expectations. I can't recall any others I've read, though I've tried (twice) to read A Tale of Two Cities. There's nothing wrong with the book, I liked it both times but Real Life kept interfering.
A belated Happy New Year to you! I hope all your reading plans come to fruition and that you discover some wonderful new-to-you books this year.
>30 littlegeek: Thank you, Happy New Year to you, too! Good to see you here. :)
>31 MrsLee: I am going to try this. So many of the OG are no longer here, including, it seems, clam! A lot of them are on facebook but it's not the same as LT.
>32 littlegeek: Yeah, we miss them, but the spirit of the GD is still a good one. Still silly, caring and lots of interesting conversations. Clam is very busy at the moment, but I hope when things settle down she will return.
I will be checking out your reading thread in the morning, when I'm not looking on my phone.
>33 MrsLee: My reading thread will probably be slow going. I don't seem to be reading as much as I used to. I blame the internet!
I AM LOVING A Gentleman in Moscow! So glad I saved it for my first read in the new year. Only, my wine consumption is up, and I have a craving for caviar.
I just ch checked, I’m 18 on the hold list. Maybe I’ll get to read it in February.
>35 MrsLee: My request is in, and I'll be picking it up from the library tomorrow. I can't remember the last time a work got such an enthusiastic reception in the pub, so I'm really looking forward to it.
>35 MrsLee: In the right hands the book could be the basis for an epic film. I would love to see it on a big screen.
This is turning out to be a slow reading month for me. I am savoring A Gentleman in Moscow, but real life is such that I do not have much time to read it each day.
My holidays always go from the third week of November to the third week of January, due to birthdays, and I sort of forgot that this year. But now that I've remembered, I am relaxing to enjoy it all. Last weekend we had birthday celebrations for my baby boy (25 years now) and the coming weekend will be birthday celebrations for my darling daughter (30 today, actually!) and myself (55! on the 17th). Anyway, it doesn't leave much reading time on the weekends.
This week every evening has been spent in gathering the rest of my daughter's things which she didn't take with her when she moved out 8 years ago. Memory scrapbooks, beloved at one time toys and books. My rule is that at 30 my children are old enough to decide what to hang on to and what to let go. Whether they are or not. Okay, I kept two beloved dolls of hers that I was not ready to let go of, and her baby growth books which I recorded in faithfully every day (she was my first), because those are memories for me as well and she can decide about them when I'm gone. I packed up her children's books last night, not sure which ones she will keep, but I get first dibs on the ones she doesn't want. :P
I have also not been walking, so no audio book reading time. I hope to get some good time in with Hamlet: A Prince of Denmark: a Novel on our drive this weekend to visit my daughter. Also, I'm listening while I shell tamarind pods in order to make tamarind paste when I ever have a weekend to settle down.
The poetry of Robert Browning is going down well. I'm not sweating over understanding all of it, simply enjoying it.
>42 MrsLee: A Gentleman in Moscow was one of my favorite 2017 reads. Considering the timespan of the novel, reading it slowly seems highly appropriate! Definitely a book to savor...
Does the Robert Browning collection include Pied Piper of Hamelin? That's one of the poems I associate with him (though I tend to notice Kate Greenaway's illustrations more than Browning's text when I see it).
I'm awed by your 2018 list and looking forward to the final verdict on some of the titles in that pink set. (I inherited a similar set in maroon...)
Happy birthday a few days early! Our younger son was born on your 22nd birthday.
You are one year older than my husband and your birthdays are 1 day apart. Funny.
I've been behind with my audios, too, but a couple of days driving a few hundred miles helped a bit. Doing chores later today will help more.
Enough lighted candles on this page to outglow Hogwarts. Happy birthday, January guys.
>47 littlegeek: & >48 hfglen: I forgot we shared a birthday month! Happy Hippo Birthdays to you both!
We could revive the birthday threads, but it doesn't seem fair. Enthusiasm runs out in the middle of the year or before and the poor autumn and winter babies get neglected.
Thanks all for the happy greetings!
So many January birthdays! Happy birthday to all of you!
I'm now the 10th person on the hold list for A Gentleman in Moscow. Maybe I'll get it by the end of January. :)
>53 catzteach: I waited out 18 prior holds at the library and got my copy yesterday. Started it right away. It has the feel of a book that's not going to last long enough.
>54 Meredy: I am 3/4 of the way through, and not minding at all that I can't read for more than about an hour each night or less, because that means I can enjoy it longer. This will be a book I keep, return to, and recommend.
>35 MrsLee:, and others - Ok, I'm now on the hold list for A Gentleman in Moscow too. Hit by too many book bullets!
And happy birthdays!
A Gentleman in Moscow would appear to be the most lethal book in the Green Dragon. I cannot think of another book that has wounded so many members.
>59 pgmcc: There sure is quite a buzz about this book here in the pub. I also plan to read it but am not in a big hurry. The wait lists are too long and I have many, many books on the TBR shelf to occupy my reading time for now. I plan to borrow from Overdrive once the furor settles.
I guess you could say the bullet barely missed me but left a hole in my shirt-sleeve as a reminder... ;)
I have A Gentleman in Moscow on hold at the library, too, but I'm #75 in line for one of 14 copies, so I expect it will take a while to come in :)
Sigh. I may have finally taken one bullet too many on that Muscovite guy...
Happy Birthday to all the January babies! Enjoy your days, enjoy your reading!
Last night I read the first Browning poem to make me jot a note in my reading journal. Something about bringing good news to Ghent. It was not a good note. While the poem pulled me along with its lovely rhythm of hoof-beats, and the narrative similar to the Ride of Paul Revere, the ending had me saying a bad word.
I seem to recall being made to learn at least part of that in +- middle school. Like my classmates, I forgot it almost immediately. Apparently this was supposed to make us Enjoy Poetry. Fat chance.
>65 MrsLee: Is that "How They Brought the News from Ghent to Aix"? I had it on a tape of great poems in the days when the car had a tape player. The reader made it quite dramatic (and I know what you mean about the ending).
>69 Peace2: It helps that I have a new "Brinded Cat" which meweth frequently. :D However, I also love Flavia.
After finishing the first book of the year with five stars, I couldn't quite take a chance on disappointment, so went on to another author I knew I liked. Perhaps I will feel braver after this one.
We are in the Bay Area, the beginning of my truffle hunt. When we checked in yesterday, my husband noticed an unusual amount of what he called "nerdy" people with what he recognized as traveling chess boards. Low and behold there is a west coast finals chess tournament going on here in the hotel.
I'm glad there is something he loves to do for once. He spent the evening watching the tournament and visiting in the little cafe with some of the players. I smiled, ate my dessert, sipped my wine, and read. Chess is not one of my accomplishments.
>71 MrsLee: I’m glad it sounds like you are both having a good time! I’m completely with you on chess. :)
I can't stop smiling! Had such a lovely day today at the Truffle festival! When I got home I made a creamy truffle pasta, and I have PLANS for the rest of my two precious little black diamonds. At this moment, they are infusing some eggs in a jar with their earthy aroma.
I'll post more in the food thread tomorrow.
>65 MrsLee: My mother learned that poem in school, loved it, and recited it often enough that I picked up large sections of it too!
My reaction to the ending was completely different to yours: I loved the reminder that animals were also sometimes war heroes. And Roland is named, whilst the rider is not - because he is the important one.
Belated birthday congratulations, by the way!
>77 Guanhumara: Thank you for sharing that! It is good to hear other perspectives on these things.
>74 Bookmarque: I think none were harmed (except for poultry and beef and vegetables). :D
I have not been reading this week, and after my cooking marathon, the adrenaline finally wore out yesterday and I started to crash. May continue crashing through the weekend, and I look forward to picking up my books again.
>79 clamairy: Good to see you here! Glad you are enjoying the tale. I'm not sure about who started the hail of bullets for that one either, but I'm glad they did!
I finished Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd last night. While still enjoyable, it was not the wellspring of joy this series has been hitherto. The coldness of the family is beginning to wear on me. Also, I find that Flavia at 12, being treated as an adult by most of the adults around her is a bit too much to swallow, especially for that time period. I kept waiting for there to be more to the mystery than there was, since I knew what was what from the beginning, and I don't like being able to see things better than the "genius" sleuth. I still enjoyed it, but do hope that the next one solves some of these short comings.
Began reading Captain Vorpatril's Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold, because I found I was still not in the mood to take a chance on something unknown to me.
Oh, I finally found a poem by Browning which I enjoyed and even understood! Fra Lippo Lippi and its references to the purpose of art.
>82 Guanhumara: I haven't read it yet. So far I'm reading the poetry book straight through. Probably before I quit, I will look up those poems mentioned by others in this thread and read them specifically, so I'll let you know.
Last night my husband and I attended an author reading at our library. The author was our mailman. :) He is writing short stories, and has had 10 of them published last year. He writes well, but not much of the subject matter is such that I want to read his works. Sort of bleak. Anyway, it was a good evening.
He said the first story of his which was published (which he read to us in his own words), was a thrill and also horrible. The publisher added adverbs into the story, and he has a personal vendetta against adverbs (I think it was adverbs, or it could have been the other one). They also changed his semi-colons and commas around, and apparently, he has a good handle on how to use those, so that about put him off his rocker, because he said now people will read his story and associate him with incorrect usage. That would be frustrating.
Anyway, there was a good turn out, and nice food selection. My only beef was that sitting so long on hard metal chairs is difficult for me. If we ever do this again, I will sit in the back row where I can stand up without causing much of a distraction.
>85 MrsLee: Bring your own cushion next time! Seriously. Sounds like a great event otherwise.
>85 MrsLee: That was a great evening. More power to the postal operatives of the world.
>85 MrsLee: Sounds like an interesting evening (seating issues aside). I can understand his frustration with his publisher with regard to the adverbs and punctuation.
The last three days I have been consumed by a book. Captain Vorpatril's Alliance sucked me in and wouldn't let me go. I thought about it at work. When the cat woke me at 4:30 a.m. I was glad, because it gave me time to read in the morning before work. My poor mother and husband have hardly seen my nose, and have heard the phrase, "I'm reading a book!" often. Anyway, it ended last night with the happy/sad feeling one has when a very good thing is finished.
So, all I want to do now is begin Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen. I can't remember who/what Jole is? He was mentioned several times in Vorpatril's Alliance as though I should know who he was, but since I usually save these books to read when I am most low, it has been awhile and I've forgotten him, if he was important. Can someone remind me of his past, without spoilers for the book I'm about to read?
I'm having a very minor twinge of guilt for not picking up a nonfiction to read next, but January seems to be my recouping-my-will-to-go-forward mentally and health-wise, so I'm not beating myself up over it. Just looking regretfully at all the books on the TBR and saying, "soon enough, right now I'm gonna read what I wanna read."
>92 MrsLee: good for you for reading what you want to read. I've had many miserable days doing something that I thought I should. It's great to have that experience of being really sucked in
I think that Jole first appears as a secretary for Aral. I would say that he was a minor character until this latest book.
>92 MrsLee: Just looking regretfully at all the books on the TBR and saying, "soon enough, right now I'm gonna read what I wanna read."
Good for you, and might I suggest you always read what you want to read? ;)
Hear! Hear! Let's hear it for READING WHAT WE WANT TO READ!
>92 MrsLee: I'm a lot farther back in the Miles' series than you are, but hope to eventually get to the rest of them...
I've always been a 'seat of my pants' reader. The only thing I let dictate my reading is when a digital loan catapults onto my kindle. And book groups or group reads, of course. Otherwise l follow my whims Willy-nilly. I sometimes envy folks with a plan!
Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen I made a mistake when glancing at the cover. I usually don't care to read cover blurbs before the book, because I like to plunge into the unknown. I looked at this one though, trying to get an inkling as to who Jole was, because I didn't remember him. Somehow, I read that Cordelia was setting up her own empire and Lord Auditor Miles was sent to investigate. That isn't what the blurb said. Anyway, I was thinking another exciting adventure with action and intrigue. Not this book.
That is one reason I didn't love this story. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, and it never did. The other, is that while I do like small doses of Cordelia's practical nature, this felt more like a lecture on alternate lifestyles. While I don't mind a subject in a book having an alternate life style, it hasn't bothered me in any of the other books, somehow this felt pushy.
That being said, I enjoyed the setting of Sergyar, the view into Miles' family, the development of Jole. It didn't hurt my enjoyment any that I envisioned Peter O'Toole in the role of Jole, and Katherine Hepburn as Cordelia. I realize my images are all out of date, but then, so am I, and so I had eye candy going on if nothing else.
I missed the crazy, breathless action of the earlier books. It may be time for this series to end, at least for me. I can always start again from the beginning.
What to read next? Think I'll give Seven League Boots by Richard Halliburton, a go. Goodness knows it has sat by my reading chair long enough to deserve a try.
I finished reading in The Poetry of Robert Browning which does not mean I read every poem. However, I read enough to get the idea of him. This is not a complete works of, since it didn't have the one poem jillmwo and Guanhumara recommended to me. So, YouTube to the rescue to listen to My Last Duchess, which was indeed chilling. I read The Pied Piper of Hamlin as well, and it was very satisfactory.
Learned an interesting fact from Euphemania today. In the 1800s, it became quite embarrassing to have the word "cock" in your name. "In response, an American family named "Alcocke" changed their name to Alcox. Fearing that this might not be adequate, before siring a daughter named Louisa May in 1832, Bronson Alcox became Bronson Alcott.
I only read the forward in Seven League Boots last night, because by the time I finished reading about Richard Halliburton, it was my bed time. Sounds as if this will be another adventurous travel book for me, along the lines of the one I read last year by the couple who sailed down the Pacific coast of the Americas to Panama. The author, Halliburton, went missing on one of his adventures (sailing a Chinese junk from Hong Kong to San Francisco for the Exposition) and was never seen again, presumed dead.
ETA: I will be keeping the volume of Browning. May have to find a shelf in the guest room for these pink books if I end up liking enough of them.
>105 suitable1: Heh! Actually, it is a butter-yellow room, or something gold, I would say mustard, but not the ugly mustard that tastes lovely, or the brilliant mustard that is only good on corndogs. Anyway, it is my "western-cowboy" sort of, themed room. There are a few books in there about brothels...
I thought I was the only one with a book on brothels. Brothel: Mustang Ranch and Its Women is the one I have.
>107 Bookmarque: Hmm, I looked in my library under tags, but only have one listed there. The Barbary Coast; an Informal History of the San Francisco Underworld. I think I have at least one or two more. They were in the western collection I inherited from my husband's uncle.
>107 Bookmarque: I have Madam Millie: Bordellos from Silver City to Ketchikan in my TBR; has anyone else read it?
Oh and I also have a book about harems which are the same thing basically. Harem: Behind the Veil. Don't know why I got into sexual slavery there for a while. Strange.
If you want to further explore the topic of brothels, you might keep an eye out for Karen Abbott's Sin in the Second City which is all about a high-class brothel in Chicago at the turn of the century (1900-1912). Great read! The Everleigh Club was run professionally by two sisters. Back in 2007, I included a review on my now-defunct blog -- http://individualtake.blogspot.com/2007/08/sin-in-second-city-review.html
>110 Guanhumara: I found it very interesting, yet disturbing. Can't remember if it was in that book, I read a lot about early San Francisco, but the descriptions of the poor Chinese women/slaves/prostitutes was heartbreaking, well, all of it, really.
Okay, moving on.
I brought home my paper version of True Grit from work yesterday so I could finish it before month's end. Haven't had much time for reading at work anyway. It was satisfactory. A book I would happily class as suitable for Young Adult on up. I will be keeping this one.
Picked my next "pink" book to read: The Works of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, which turns out to be Faust. Which I've already read. I will skim this one though, to see if the translator made it more readable. Maybe, since I've read this already, I'll sneak a Shakespeare play in this month.
I tried to finish my audio of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: a novel last night, but Mark and I went the rounds of "greasy spoon diners" in our town, looking to see if a company which said they would place advertisements for the place I work kept their word. They didn't. So, today I get to make some pointed phone calls, and I don't suppose they will do any good at all, we probably got scammed.
Anyway, after that, there wasn't time to listen to the 2 remaining hours. As for the work, well, I'm not enjoying it as much as I enjoyed their version of Macbeth, but Richard Armitage is easy to listen to. It does make me want to read that play again though, to see if my memory of it is true. The authors haven't so much "changed" things, as embellished them. Which is to be expected. I did appreciate the fine line they walked with Hamlet's mental stability, and all of the characters, really. Seeing how one act can turn into an avalanche of sorrow. Never paid much attention to Cornelius before, but he is very human in this.
>104 MrsLee: I like Robert Browning's poems well enough. Oh, but his wife's stuff is much more to my taste.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning ~ Sonnet 43
Finished Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: a Novel today. I would have liked it better if I had not stopped walking due to whatever is wrong with my hamstring area, because as it was, not being able to listen for so long made it into a chore more than a pleasure.
The story was good. Action, intrigue, angst, passion, introspection. One of the key bits that relieved the monologues a bit is something I would rather not say due to spoilerific issues.
Also started Faust again today. It was
Why did people start writing poetry? Or in verse? I know it began as far back as Gilgamesh, in so far as we know, but why? What is it that made humanity decide that was a good way to communicate? If language was developed as a way to communicate quickly and more accurately, why poetry?
>116 MrsLee: Speculating about why poetry rather than prose -- two thoughts (based in part on vague memories of Beowulf)
1) poetry is less about communicating quickly and more about entertainment/aesthetic pleasure, where how something is said is as (or more?) important that what's said (and >114 clamairy: is an exquisite example)
2) in an oral tradition, rhyme and repetition might make it easier to remember material
>117 MinuteMarginalia: Oh, I forgot about 2), although I knew that at one time. I suppose that along with the memorization bits, after a time of using language in a utilitarian way it is understandable that a creative soul would begin to play with it and make it inspiring, just as with art.
>119 clamairy: It is worth remembering that one of the oldest poems we have, The Iliad, which follows the pious convention that the words of the poet are given to him by the Muse of poetry, opens with the words:
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος : Sing, Goddess, of the wrath of Peleus' son, Achilles.
Prose literature is a later artistic form than poetry; it requires writing to record it.
An oral tradition, whether for art's sake, or to record history or genealogy, has to be memorised. And verse form is much easier.
When I was in my early twenties, I once calculated that there were over 500 songs that I could sing in their entirety, without much effort - and obviously, far more that I could sing a few verses, or snatches of. Many were hymns, or long narrative ballads (because I come from that tradition) with 10 or more verses. Relatively few of those had I made any attempt to memorise; they just sank in through singing them.
When I studied Shakespeare at school, I found I could similarly remember long speeches without ever trying to memorise them.
In the same period, I read a lot of novels. I could tell you what happened in them, in some detail. But I could not recite to you a single page of text after having read it - not even from my favourite scenes.
Moreover, I played a leading role in a school play - which did require me to memorise a substantial quantity of prose. I cannot now recall a single word of it. But, although my memory is nowhere near as good as it was, substantial portions of the hymns, ballads, songs, poems and Shakespeare are still stored.
I am not trying to show off that I (used to) have a very good memory, just to demonstrate how oral transmission works.
A further hypothesis (and this is only my idea!): the ornamentation that we think of as art, may have its origins in memorisation techniques. Suppose you are a bard, required to be able to recite the genealogy of your lord, because that is the proof of his right to rule. So you have a long list of names, which must be recalled accurately. If you add phrases to describe each one (or just some of them), you can improve rhythm and rhyme, plus creating a mental picture for each person - which is very similar to what is taught in modern memorisation techniques. And for that purpose it is best if the phrase associated with each name is unique, even if the attribute is the same e.g. "thrice-wedded", "of the triple spouses" and so on.
>121 Guanhumara: very good points. I can hear an "oldie" on the radio, and immediately know the title, singer, and sometimes the year I heard it, even if it is an obscure song. Oh, yes, and sing all the verses.
We teach our children with song and verse, think of the "ABC" song.
>121 Guanhumara: Of course you are correct. I can sing almost every song from my third grade Stephen Foster concert and I doubt I've heard any of those since we sang them on stage almost half a century ago.
I had to memorize some of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in Middle English for a course in grad school, and not a word of it remains in my head. That makes me a little sad because I'm sure I could impress strangers with that. I can, however, recite Tolkien's 'one ring' poem in the black tongue of Mordor "which I will not utter here" because I didn't memorize that until I was in my 40s. :o)
>123 clamairy: And there I was thinking the yo-yo internet yesterday was related to the cable company van parked at the end of the street.
>123 clamairy: Whan that Aprille with his showres soote... (confession: had to Google the spelling). I still remember listening to the professor's tapes (yes, that long ago) in the library to learn the pronunciations of the passages for the oral test. Can't do more than the first two lines from memory any longer, however. Now I'm tempted to try to find an online recording of the prologue.
>123 clamairy: >126 MinuteMarginalia: I am surprised, and a little sad, that you both seem to have found learning Chaucer a chore. I never studied his work in school, I just picked up a love for it from my mother. Actually, when writing earlier about verse as a means of list memorisation, the knight's campaign history (from the Prologue) was the first thing that popped into my head: At Alisaundre was he, when it was wonne...
>127 Guanhumara: I had a genius-level English teacher in matric, who knew just what would appeal to teenage males (and it wasn't Dickens!). So the bit of prologue that stuck was Chaucer's put-down of the Nonne:
"Frenssh she spak ful fyne and fetisly, after the scole of Stratford-atte Bowe,
For Frenssh of Parys was to hir unknowe."
>127 Guanhumara: Hey, I never said it was a chore. It was difficult at first, but once I found the proper rhythm it was much easier. I just didn't retain any of it. :o( Though I'm thinking that if I could find the passage it might come back to me.
I've not yet read Chaucer, but all these quotes brought this to mind:
'Twas brillig, and the slithy tovesThink Lewis Carroll was paying tribute to Chaucer?
>131 Guanhumara: The prologue was the set work, but I rather think we did devote some time to the Miller's tale, ostensibly as explanation of why one would want to read Chaucer ;-)
>132 hfglen: I remember something similar. But it was a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
I am still not a fan of Chaucer, never was. I found it excruciating to read.
>127 Guanhumara: I envy your encounter with Chaucer -- discovering him for pleasure rather than a requirement. Mine was too tightly bounded by constraints -- required course, overcrowed classroom, insufficient time to read slowly or master the unfamiliar vocabulary -- for proper appreciation. At this point, I usually bypass anything written before the mid-nineteenth century, except for a few poets and Shakespeare on occasion. Too many obstacles with style and language.
Seven League Boots is interesting, but I'm not sure how reliable the author is. He claims to be the one who determined the exact spot where Columbus landed in the new world, and the one to have an hour and a half interview with the man dying of throat cancer who was one of the three guards who shot the Romanov family. Maybe.
I must say that was a terribly gruesome chapter. Other parts of the book are amusing. Trying to find an elephant to ride across the alps in Hannibal's footsteps.
Why doesn't anyone come forward and pay my expenses to travel around the world and write about it? They did that for Anthony Bourdain, too. In fact, I would love to travel and eat all around the world. What is wrong with these publisher/producer people that they don't come forward and offer me that job?
clamairy, MinuteMarginalia, MrsLee, Guanhumara I confess I only read Chaucer in prose versions, but I did memorize a good bit of poetry in elementary and middle school. I can still recite whole bits of Poe's poetry. And some of Browning. I am still annoyed at the student teacher who ruined Wordsworth's Daffodils for my eldest son. Poetry is something that should be read aloud at the younger ages and only approached analytically at an much later stage of development. They -- the youth -- need to hear the rhythms without necessarily thinking about the "how it was done".
>137 jillmwo: I recently watched a video of "Thug's Notes" where he did an analysis of Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat. Whatever. I am forever doomed to be shallow I suppose, because I like to read and enjoy these things on my own rather than "guided." Although, I have been known to look for some guidance with archaic languages/other cultures/ages. But the Cat in the Hat? IMO, unless Theodore S. Geisel came out with a study on what he meant by it all, I'm not interested.
>137 jillmwo: >138 MrsLee: *thumbs up* too!
I don't care for analysis for stories, either. I recall several horrid short stories we had to read and analyze, instead of just reading them, back in 6th or 7th grade. I still remember the one about children killing a kitten in one of the stories, and how upset I was.
>137 jillmwo: >140 fuzzi: I have an author friend who feels fervently on that topic too. Although he does write with several layers of meaning in his stories, he objects vociferously to being over-analysed:
English teacher: Now, the curtains in your protagonist's bedroom were blue. Was that symbolic of his underlying malaise and depression, or had he chosen them to express his political allegiance... or have I missed the message here entirely?
Him: It meant the curtains were *&@%! blue!
I think I was lucky; I got introduced to Chaucer, Shakespeare and a lot of good poetry by my parents, when I was very young. I was seduced by the rhythm, the imagery and the story. So by the time school wanted me to dissect Shakespeare, I had already experienced the "what" and was ready for the "how".
I took a couple of literature classes in college. I always chuckled at what the profs said about the author’s intentions when writing. How did they know? I remembered enough of their opinions to pass the class, then promptly forgot it all. I want to read to enjoy the story, not analyze meaning and symbolism.
>142 catzteach: We read Romeo and Juliet in high school (many years ago), and my teacher asked us to write something about what WE thought Shakespeare meant by something-or-other in the play. I am still mad that he marked my (no doubt juvenile) thoughts WRONG.
As if he'd personally checked with Will, and that wasn't what he thought at all. And the question was what we thought S meant, not what someone else thought, anyway. It would not have occurred to me to look up an answer when asked for an opinion.
I never voluntarily took another literature course. But I still read.
>144 NorthernStar: I had a very similar experience in my first college writing class. Teacher had the gall to give me a "D-" on a paper which he had asked us to write down the most important experience in our lives thus far. He gave me points off because he didn't agree with my experience! I took it up with him, and he removed the negative points for his opinion which left me with a C+ and that was fine, because the other issues were to do with the mechanics of writing and how I put my experience down. He and I butted heads the rest of that class, but respectfully, and he learned to be a bit more careful in his opinions as well. I'm not a redhead for nothing.
>144 NorthernStar: Have you met the literary theory that states that the author is not the ultimate arbiter as to what his story meant (and that the professional literary critic is licensed to explain this meaning to the author!)?
>144 NorthernStar: By a curious coincidence, today's Mercury reports the case of a student at an American university who handed in an assignment comparing economic conditions in the US and Australia. The prof failed her on the grounds that there was no such country as Australia. The student's protest found its way on to social media. When the dust settled, the student had a B+ and the prof was fired. Seems fitting to me.
>146 Guanhumara: I get vehement on that point myself. It really bugs me when someone appeals to alleged authorial intention, whether or not the author has so indicated.
>147 hfglen: unbelievable. But then again...
...my daughter was in a history class in high school where the teacher said that Alexander Hamilton shot Aaron Burr. At the time there was a funny commercial about a man unable to answer the question "Who shot Alexander Hamilton?" which everyone had seen. My daughter politely suggested that the teacher misspoke, but the teacher buckled down and insisted she was correct.
I taught my children to think for themselves, but always to be polite.
I began The Templars' Last Secret by Martin Walker. Needed something other than nonfiction. Although, Halliburton seems to take flights of fancy throughout his book. A real romantic. Some interesting book recommendations throughout though. He loved history, especially the questions and the romantic episodes, and I am using the word "romantic" in its older meaning.
Not reading a lot. Between the excitement of my upcoming trip, and a head cold/allergy, Netflix is looking good to me. Nice and distracting without a lot of brain work.
Sorry to hear about your cold/allergy, no fun. Whenever I'm home sick, I pick something to watch from a selection of my favorite series: Jane Eyre (Timothy Dalton version) or Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth version) or Anne of Green Gables (Megan Follows version) or Poldark (older series).
I miss the Netflix option. Or just cable tv in general sometimes. Glutting on NCIS or Castle. Zoning out and having a good time just letting my brain idle. I can't even really do it on the internet either because of bandwidth. Oh well.
>151 fuzzi: Heh, I tend to mysteries, and if they are set in another place or time, even better. I just finished the "Doctor Blake" series set in the 1950s, Ballarat, Australia. So another place AND time. Pretty good.
I began watching "Tientsin Mystic" a Chinese mystery series set in an ambiguous time and very interesting both visually and fantastically. It's a bit difficult because it is in Chinese, which I don't speak, and so must read the subtitles. I don't mind that, but there is so much going on visually, I feel I am missing out. There is a river god; perhaps 2? One actually in the river, another an old master who trains disciples. I think he is the main detective, but he now has 2 disciples, one a diver with special "supernatural" powers from the river god, he's the mystic part I think, the other a modern young man who has been to a foreign country to train in forensics. He is good at seeing details and detecting in the physical world. Anyway, it's rather fascinating to me.
I did not know that there was an island named Athos which has not allowed women or female domestic animals on it since the eighth century. Now I have the connection to Ethan of Athos.
>155 MrsLee: A peninsula, actually, near Thessaloniki. I understand that males who wish to visit need a visa from their nearest Orthodox church, in addition to the usual Schengen visa for Greece.
>156 Marissa_Doyle: Do you know, when I read The Three Musketeers, I looked up the meaning of their names, and whatever I was reading mentioned Mt. Athos, but not the character of the peninsula (thank you, Hugh) around it.
Very interesting world, this. Halliburton, in Seven League Boots, does not have much good to say about the communities there, but I think many of his complaints are ridiculous. He is fascinated with the idea of everything being still authentic Byzantium, but complains about the food, the weather (he went at Christmas when everyone told him it was miserable), the personal hygiene of the monks, and the fact that there are no women! It's not as if he washed ashore not knowing what to expect. It reminded me of the worst kind of tourists. Known for his "Bohemian" lifestyle, one would have thought he would be more tolerant. Complicated motivations I suppose.
The Euphemism book continues to interest. I thought I was being very modern and uninhibited teaching my children to call their parts "vagina" and "penis" when actually, I was only teaching them to call them "sheath" and "tail" in an older language. Problem is, it seems that there are no "real" words for these body parts? So I suppose that frees us up to call them whatever we want. I rather like the idea of sheath. Or "mossy bank" which is also a euphemism for the you-know-what in the nether region.
Then there are the continuing misunderstandings with our cousins across the sea. Apparently "fanny" does not refer to the buttocks over there? Good to know. And "pecker" is not a nose over here. That phrase, "keep your pecker up" has a whole different meaning here and is not something one would say in a church. :P Of course, I knew about the phrase, "knocking someone up" from my reading murder mysteries. At first I thought it quite out of character for people to be knocking others up in the story before breakfast and all.
But are there “real” words for any body parts? What would that mean, and are words for genitalia different in that way than words for other things?
>160 MrsLee: Fascinating. I remembered that the Classical Greek word for "penis" is πεος which transliterates as peos (if you are studying in a mixed classroom, there are some words that you ensure you are never going to publicly have to ask the meaning of!) I had always assumed that the Latin term derived from that.
And I have just checked in Liddell & Scott - there are no alternate meanings for πεος listed. Would that, then constitute a 'real' word for that body part?
>160 MrsLee: This whole post made me laugh. :) I learned about the “knocked up” thing when reading some old Sherlock Holmes stories a few years ago, but I had absolutely no idea that “pecker” merely meant “nose” in the UK. I can see where this might cause some misunderstandings...
>165 Guanhumara: Er, yes. Just to check: what does "a peck on the cheek" mean to you?
>161 stellarexplorer: I don't know! This book is only telling me what they are not really called. At one time, one was not to make any reference at all to specific body parts, which probably made diagnosis very difficult for a doctor.
>162 Guanhumara: But how does one pronounce that?
>165 Guanhumara: A peck on the cheek is a kiss, a pecker on the cheek is gross. Well, depending on whose and where.
>166 MrsLee: Thank you for the clarification - I wanted to make sure. (Here a "peck on the cheek" is the sort of awkward kiss where your nose dips in and collides with the recipient's face.)
πεος Peos is pronounced with each each vowel separate, and the stress on the first syllable. So, "PEY-os" (first syllable rhymes with "hay", second with "boss")
According to Wiktionary (for what that's worth), it IS cognate with the Latin pēnis (which is pronounced "PEY-nis")
I received a sweet little children's book from the ER program, Petra by Marianna Coppo. I love it. I am a sucker for stories featuring rocks. :)
>169 suitable1: A rock in the wild, waiting for its meaning to happen. A pre-pet rock, if you will.
>171 fuzzi: How wonderful! You even have a little one to read/give it to! I am having a moral struggle with myself over what to do with it. I have no grandchildren, yet. I have too many great nieces and nephews to decide which one to give it to, and I love it. I think for now I will keep it and read it to any little ones who chance to come visit me.
I finished The Templars' Last Secret over the weekend. I hate giving a Bruno book only three and a half stars, but since stars reflect my enjoyment and my judgement of the lasting quality of the story, that is what I've done. I'm so tired of Bruno being stuck on a certain character, one I don't even like a little bit. However, I still enjoy the setting and most of the characters. Walker's bits of history inserted are a definite plus, as are his current events. In fact, in one of those odd coincidences which happen when we read, this book had a tie-in to my other current read, Seven League Boots.
In Halliburton's story, he interviewed one of the men who supposedly killed the Romanov family. The man described how he made sure their bodies were completely consumed and destroyed by fire, and that he spread their ashes across the countryside. Apparently, this was not so. I had my doubts when I read it, knowing how difficult it is to get rid of all traces of a body. Then, in Walker's book, I read that the bodies had been discovered and through DNA, identified! Google research confirmed it. So yet another part of Halliburton's book which was "romanticized" for the sake of the reader. Although, not necessarily by Halliburton.
>172 MrsLee: if you're not short on space, I think having a few books and things ready for young visitors is a great idea. We're accumulating a few things in anticipation of visits from our grandkids.
>172 MrsLee: one of the things I loved about my maternal grandmother's house was her pantry, in which she had a cupboard full of toys AND BOOKS! Most of them were Little Golden Books from the 1940s and 50s. We'd arrive for a visit, greet her, then traipse off to the pantry!
>160 MrsLee: I'm late to check in and I missed out on the euphemisms. :o( So if I allow my self a rant on Twitter and call someone a 'peckerwood' what exactly do the Brits think I'm saying?
>175 clamairy: Oh! Oh! What's your handle on twitter. I want to see your euphemism-free rant and watch the Brit response to "Peckerwood".
>175 clamairy: Well, a "pecker" is a nose over there, so, Pinocchio? lol Pretty sure they would get your drift in this modern age of international communications though.
>175 clamairy: Briton here. I have never heard of a 'peckerwood' before. Perhaps you would be good enough to provide a translation? :-p
>181 pgmcc: That is awesome. Is that a Peter original?
>180 Guanhumara: Well, the term doesn't mean what I thought it did, sadly. I thought it was just another way of calling someone a
"peckerwood" is what my little niece calls this guy:
I don't even know how to explain to her.
>184 Darth-Heather: Ahhh, a Pileated! I love their various calls and vocalizations. Sometimes I'll go months without seeing one, but I hear them quite a bit.
>183 clamairy: You inspired me.
Of course, if Pecker Wood were in the USA it might look a whole lot different.
(Am I a bad person because I had guessed what you were trying to say with the word?)
>186 pgmcc: Not at all. If at all possible I admire you even more than I did before. But I'm also sure you don't want to see my artistic rendition of an American Pecker Wood. ;o)
>188 pgmcc: LOL Something like this then... but with a lot more of them.
Or visit this page: https://www.buzzfeed.com/ashleyperez/there-is-a-park-full-of-giant-penises-in-south-korea
The first and only time I heard the term "peckerwood" was on a SNL sketch with Chevy Chase and Richard Pryor. It was used as a white epithet, sort of like "honky" or "cracker".
I won't post a link here, but the sketch is on YouTube if anyone is interested.
I finished Seven League Boots. Interesting for the history and the times he was writing in, and his perception of history. I had to look a lot of stuff up to get the truther story. He is an incurable romantic with a Puckish sense of humor, so one couldn't be sure about what he was reporting, but it was mostly a fun read. Occasionally his prejudice, arrogance and gall would raise their ugly heads and make it off-putting to our modern lights. I won't seek out more of his writing, but will keep this book for now. In 1935 he traveled to Russia, Arabia, Ethiopia and Italy, meeting some of the most prominent leaders of those countries at that time, with photographs. That was a turning point year in the modern history of those countries, and for that alone, it is worth the read.
Also decided I have read enough Faust for now.
An impulse read from my TBR shelves, The Skull Beneath the Skin by P.D. James, will be what I begin this evening.
Think I'll read me a bit of Shakespeare before we are done with February as well. First Part of King Henry IV. Not sure how fast I will get through this.
Oh wow! I just found parts one and two of Henry IV on Amazon Broadway, with a free 7 day trial! It has one of my personal favorite actors in it, the one I always imagine Bruno, Chief of Police as, Rufus Sewell. Woo Hoo!
Any other suggestions of things I should watch during my free trial? I may keep this subscription a month or two. About $9 for Broadway shows like this? What a deal!
>194 humouress: Since the channel has a whole lot of Shakespeare, I think that will be heavy on the menu for awhile. They have two versions of Henry IV, the modern one I mentioned, then an older one. I like to watch more than one version of the plays I'm reading. Last night I would watch a little, then pause and read that section. Today I will read first, then watch, which is my normal pattern, but I thought I would vary it a bit.
My husband wishes I had headphones. For some reason, Shakespeare irritates him beyond reason, but he can watch all sorts of weird stuff for hours. He didn't even complain about my Chinese language show I was watching, but poor Will is right out I guess. I told husband, perhaps without much kindness, to find something to do in another room.
Also, the mystery I began is going well. Not sure I've read a P.D. James novel with her female detective before, but I like her so far!
>193 MrsLee: As far as I recall, this is the play that introduced Falstaff to the world. Even school-class over-analysis "taught" by a Home Counties English twit couldn't destroy either the character or the scene in the inn after Hal relieved Falstaff of some ill-gotten gains, and Henry IV part 1 remains among my favourite Shakespeare plays.
>196 hfglen: :D I'm just about to that scene! I went to bed last night right after the "robbing" but before the confrontation.
I gave up on the dramatized versions of Henry IV. The one with my favorite actor had nice gritty realism, but seemed to be focused on the bawdy, and I don't know, maybe they were patching in bits from part 2, but I couldn't see that it followed the play at all. I will be reading part 2 soon, so we will see, but that version was too noisy, too focused on the bawdy and gross. The other version I tried was too tame. The costumes were Elizabethan, the actors were very calm, the setting more clean, but they spoke their parts with no conviction and I couldn't get caught up in it. Boring. However, I really enjoyed reading Henry IV, Part 1! So, I will read the second drama, and I may or may not try to watch the plays again. Probably not.
My March "Big Classic Book" to get through is called "The Works of Corneille and Racine." These include:
The Cid - Corneille
Cinna - Corneille
Andromache - Racine
Britannicus - Racine
Phaedra - Racine
Athaliah - Racine
Having heard allusions to these works and authors for much of my adult life, I am glad to see what the fuss is all about. These are translations by Paul Landis and Robert Henderson; I hope they are good at it.
Having finished The Skull Beneath the Skin (touchstones do not seem to be working today), I will begin reading It Must've Been Something I Ate by Jeffrey Steingarten.
The P.D. James book was a bit disappointing to me. I liked Cordelia Gray a lot, in spite of her flights of fancy, the mystery was a good one, but I like things neatly wrapped up and justice for all at the end of my mysteries, and this was not that. Still, I'm a bit sad to learn that there is only one other book featuring Cordelia Gray.
>199 Guanhumara: Fascinating. And I then got sidetracked by YouTube into looking at a piece on how to tell the Feline Overlords that they're loved, so that they understand.
>199 Guanhumara: I loved that video. My son is currently taking a course in Shakespeare, and I have shared that video with him.
>199 Guanhumara: Awesome stuff! Some of it sounded just a bit like a brogue to my stateside ears.
I have a bug in my head. Not an interesting one, just the kind that makes fluid flow spontaneously from eyes and nose, and it has done a weird puffy thing to one eye. The kind that makes the brain fluffy so it doesn't want to read much. So I spent yesterday playing my happy little phone/tablet games, eating, learning how to make a hot toddy and watching movies.
One movie was Killing Gunther. Some inept assassins decide to make a name for themselves by killing the best hitman. They are having the adventure filmed as a documentary. Much dark humor ensues. It was amusing and distracting.
The other was Captain Fantastic. I have mixed feelings. Any movie which offers up a full frontal nude (not a glimpse mind you, long enough to make evaluations) shot of Viggo Mortensen can't be all bad. In fact, the movie wasn't bad at all, but I was puzzled to the point it was trying to make, if there was one. As a person who taught her children at home rather than sending them to school, I did appreciate that it showed what most people think when you tell them you are home-schooling your kids, and it showed some of the positives of that and some of the negatives. I did like that it showed how parents need to adapt over time. We start out with certain convictions, we try our best to convey them to our children because we are convicted of them as being the truth, and sure enough, our children will point out every weakness and teach us to bend and sway and hopefully not break. So, I didn't think it was a bad movie, but it was billed as a comedy, which is what I was looking for, and it was certainly not that. Still, the eye candy. Oh my.
>204 MrsLee: Ahhh, yes. I did enjoy this one, and I was also confused about the point (if any) that it was trying to make. But yes, enjoyed it... He's aging very well, our Viggo. Did I mention I enjoyed it? ;o)
>205 clamairy: LOL, I was going to send you a message on Messenger if you didn't respond to this, just to be sure you had a chance to see the, uh, movie. :D
>206 MrsLee: Thanks for thinking of me! Hope you feel better soon, my friend.
I am glad the you enjoyed the Shakespeare. I grew up in an area where RP was normally spoken, so I don't find it as unnatural as Ben Crystal seems to, but I do prefer hearing it in OP.
>204 MrsLee: Sorry to hear that you are unwell. But you seem to be successful in your choice of distractions.
MORE of Viggo than was on display in Eastern Promises? Oh, my!
Killing Gunther was a little self-aware, but funny.
Sorry you’re feeling bad. It always astounds me that one human can make so much snot. Ugh.
>210 MrsLee: You haven't seen Eastern Promises? With naked banya wrestling?!
I look forward to your report back here. :-p
>199 Guanhumara: Interesting video. OP sounds somewhat like pirate-speak.
I hope the hot toddies do the trick for you. Remember to keep warm after you have been drinking them and to have one just before going to bed.
I glean from your conversation with clamairy that the eye-candy has been helping with the energy levels. I trust you realise that had I had a similar conversation with, for example, hglen about a female actress we would be chastised and accused of all sorts of wrong doing. I am delighted to see your open and frank discussions.
>212 humouress: I have watched some of the longer YouTube videos by Ben Crystal. In them he addresses that very issue: why OP sounds 'piratical'!
Basically, Shakespeare's company was made up from men from all over England, so their accent - which became the pronunciation that he was writing for - became an amalgamation of these regional accents.
Where else did you find bands of lower class men from all over England coming together and working as a team, so that their accents merged? Pirates!!
Hmm. Maybe we should read Shakespeare on Talk Like A Pirate Day?
>213 fuzzi: Thank you, I'm going to work today to see how it goes. Have to go with mom to her doctor appointment anyway, to be her ears, so I might as well work. I don't plan on being very energetic there though, movies or no movies.
>214 pgmcc: I acknowledge and regret that dichotomy of our modern world. The human body can be one of the most beautiful things, and I see no reason not to appreciate it when offered in this non-offensive way, whether male or female is represented, or viewing.
That being said, I'm glad my husband was not in the room at the time, because seeing the naked human body makes him uncomfortable. I also do not go on about it in front of him due to his feelings. He has never said anything to make me feel he is interested in anyone else, and I appreciate that in him. For me, a naked Viggo on screen is close enough. A form of art, if you will. I have no desire to have a naked Viggo in my house, other's opinions may vary. :)
Yesterday I spent the day playing silly games on phone and tablet again, then started watching The Good Place way too late in the day. It was so hard to stop and go to bed. Mark has been wanting me to watch that for some time, because he got such a kick out of it, and for once he is right, I am enjoying it a lot.
I have made progress in The Cid by Corneille. It is pretty good reading, if only I could get my brain to read.
>216 MrsLee: The Good Place is great fun. I am waiting impatiently for the third season.
I hope you get well soon and find the mojo for reading as easily as you have found the mojo for appreciating other forms of art. ;-)
Ugh. I am not reading at all, at all. This cold is sucking away my vitality. It's all I can do to get through work each day so far this week, and I was really wishing that yesterday was Friday and it was only Tuesday! Monday I had to leave at 2:30, yesterday I made it to 4:00. Today I feel absolutely drained and I haven't even gone in. I really hate this.
All I can do at night is get some food down and watch a couple of SG1 episodes, then go to bed and try to sleep. Did I mention that I hate this?
Crapola. I'm sorry you have been so sick. Every time I get something I curse the selfish gene. All being sick does is make more little sick germs. Does nothing for me. Oy. Try to get rest and enjoy mindless TV for a while. It's not often you can do that without "guilt", right??
Oh and here's a newt. It rhymes with cute.
>222 MrsLee: Ugh, sorry to hear you are still under the weather. I hope you get your mojo back soon.
>222 MrsLee: I hope you’re feeling better soon! SG1 is probably my all-time favorite TV show.
Thank you all, after feeling so horrible yesterday morning, I actually improved through the day and made it to 5 o'clock at work! People keep asking me how I am, so I've started answering in percentages. Yesterday morning was about 62%, by noon it was 70%, after my chiropractor appointment at 12:30 it was 75%! By 5 pm it was down to 70%, but still not bad. I haven't evaluated yet today, but I'm thinking that it will be another good day, not a set-back day. I'm sure it's because all of you are wishing me well. :) That and my killer chicken soup which includes a lot of garlic, ginger and 3 habanero chilies.
>223 pgmcc: Well, there is another way, but I'm hoping I'm not headed there quite yet!
>224 Bookmarque: Ahhhhh, a Newt! I've missed photos of them, but am happy we haven't had any trolls that deserve them. Thank you! Or wait, are you trying to tell me something? ;)
Our doggy is sick too, but vet says it isn't doggy flu. Husband is trying to dose the tricksy booger 4 times a day with pills. This dog is amazing. He is able to smack and open his mouth with a smile as if he swallowed the pill, then when you leave the pen, or turn away, he puts his head under his paw and spits the pill out! We can't give him food because the vet has him fasting. Or did, today he gets some rice and eggs. I tried to make a big pot of rice last night, and apparently that doesn't work so well, or I didn't know how. Half is squishy and the other half chewy. Boiled eggs came out okay though.
Is anyone here on Litsy? I joined to see what it's about, but I don't know if I will stay there. Will wait to make that decision until I'm reading again.
I saw the announcement that LT bought Listy. I had never heard of it before. I haevn't signed up yet and not sure I will.
And YAY for feeling better!! 3 habaneros?? That is some serious chicken soup you have there :)
Glad you're on the mend.
Ooops. I forgot that the newt is subversive shorthand in the GD.
>232 MrsLee: I’m glad you’re starting to feel better! I’ve heard of Litsy, but haven’t tried it. My impression, which could be incorrect, is that it’s only for mobile devices? I hate typing on mobile keyboards, so that doesn't really appeal to me.
Oh my. I'm not much of a movie watcher, but I may need to pick up a few titles recently mentioned. ;)
Glad you're recovering!
>233 Narilka: & >236 YouKneeK: From what I see, it's something like Instagram, which I've never taken the time to understand. Yes, it is for mobile, and maybe tablets? Not a web interface. It is about books only, people post pictures of books, quotations from the books they are reading, and very short blurbs about the books. It isn't for cataloging, in fact, the people there are hoping that one of the benefits of being owned by LT will be a wider source for book searchy things. Anyway, it seems like a fun thing if you get involved. Fun when you are reading a book to share an insight or laugh or whatever about it with friends, but you have to have your friends following you to share. They say it helps to find your "tribe" and to be honest, I'm not sure I care enough. If I had a group of friends already there who loved books, that would be different. Also, there are the people who say, "You have to post every day to be seen" or give you all kinds of tips on finding followers.
I'm thinking the Green Dragon does fine for me. Already a group of readers I am familiar with and very fond of. Only, it's not so easy to post a picture here. But then, I am not a person who needs a picture all the time to get the picture.
>234 Narilka: The soup was delicious for someone who couldn't taste much of anything. I could taste it! And no one else could eat it, so it was Mine! All Mine!
>235 Bookmarque: Yes, but they are so cute and we haven't had need of them for some time.
>237 Marissa_Doyle: Hope you enjoy them when you watch.
Friday! It's finally Friday! I hope my head is recovered enough for the weekend to finally read. I do believe that part of the problem is the current crop of books I'm reading. Shakespeare's Henry IV, part 2, French poets and Jeffrey Steingarten do not exactly make for compelling reading. May have to dip into a mystery to jumpstart my reading again. I am amused with the Steingarten book, but it is a book full of essays, with dry wit. I can only read about two at a time before I want to put it down.
I'm with you. I spend enough time in the Green Dragon pub. I don't need a new time sink.
>238 MrsLee: Ah, interesting, thanks for sharing more info about it.
I’ve never really been a huge fan of frequent, mid-book updates – sharing quotes, random thoughts, etc. I guess it makes reading a book feel like a more social experience, and I can see why people who aren’t me might enjoy that, but I just want to read the whole book quietly, on my own, and then get my thoughts together and share those final thoughts. And those final thoughts usually don’t end up in any form that would qualify as a “short blurb”. :)
Even on the rare occasions when I participate in a group read, I avoid the discussion threads until I’m done because I want to form my own opinions and interpretations first. After I’m done, then I enjoy seeing what others thought and considering their different interpretations.
>244 pgmcc: Coffee at the moment. :)
In a bit I will be making some pickled (fermented style) onions. I'm hoping they will be a nice addition to gin in the future, as well as a lovely little side dish. Onions are very good for us, and as far as I can tell, fermenting is the next best thing to eating raw (something I cannot do yet) for getting the goodness into a body. Probably the gin counteracts that goodness a bit. ;)
After that, I'm going to try Turtles all the way Down by John Green. I cannot remember what or where I read about this which made me buy it-in the hardcover version, no less. I need something different, and am hoping this is it.
>198 MrsLee: I know I'm a full month behind everyone else, but with regard to viewing dramatizations of Henry IV, Parts One and Two, might I recommend finding Chimes at Midnight? It was the brain child of Orson Welles and he plays a great Falstaff. However, what the film does most successfully is condense down the overly-lengthy texts of Parts One and Two into a readily digestible 2 hours. For the record, I too tried to watch that Rufus Sewell version of Henry IV, but I did not find it particularly compelling either. I wonder if the two parts of Henry represent a particularly challenging Shakespearean piece; some great monologues are part and parcel of each one but staging seems to be a real puzzle in terms of balancing the pacing with the plot line.
>243 YouKneeK: "...I just want to read the whole book quietly, on my own, and then get my thoughts together and share those final thoughts..."
Agreed! I saw someone mention Listy, so I checked it out (no pun intended, ha!) and am pretty sure it's not something I'd appreciate. I prefer the more "bookish" aspects of LT.
>232 MrsLee: SO glad you're feeling better!
When I worked with chiropractors I was only a request away from an adjustment...and it always made me feel better. It still does though I have to make an appointment, now.
>247 jillmwo: I'm going to quote you to my son. He's taking Shakespeare in two different courses right now, and is watching film versions of the books to help him get a better feel for the story.
>249 pgmcc: hahaha!
>247 jillmwo: Okay, it's on my Amazon list, next time I want to cough up 4 bucks to watch a movie, it might be that one. I'm going to try to finish reading part 2 today. I also have to read something by Racine today, although I'm pretty sure I'm going to keep that particular book now. I enjoyed The Cid, even though I wanted to wring a few necks for their stubbornness in "Honor."
I had a bit of a setback yesterday. It didn't seem like I was trying to overwork, but I put up a half gallon jar of onions to ferment, and went quite downhill after that. At 11:00 a.m. when I discovered that I was seeing double words and had a headache, I went back to bed. Felt wiped out the rest of the day. I did manage to read later though because when I woke up I wasn't seeing double anymore. Think I will be seeing my eye doctor soon to check things out. I absolutely panicked. Started looking it up online and had to laugh a bit because the character in the book I'm reading has a mental disorder and is constantly looking symptoms up on her phone.
>248 humouress: & >251 fuzzi: Thank you for your well wishes. :)
>249 pgmcc: Thank you for being such a diligent barman! Olives, please, dirty, stirred, not shaken.
If you are seeing double, can you read two books at once?
Can't hurt to see the doc.
>252 MrsLee: take it easy today and rest. I hope you start felling better soon!
>254 catzteach: Thank you! That's exactly what I did!
Finished Turtles all the way Down. I really liked it, not so much for the plot, the mystery was a non-important thing, but the insight into the mind of a person struggling with compulsive mental disorders. I ended up liking all the characters, they behaved like teens should, but I liked them anyway. ;)
MrsLee, I think that link in #255 must be going to the wrong book. It takes us to a non-fiction work on natural language processing and while that's mysterious in and of itself, it is not a mystery per se.
I hope you are doing better today MrsLee. The problem with your vision sounds alarming and would have freaked me out. I'm impressed that you seem to have responded so calmly!
>256 jillmwo: Thank you, I did that post on my phone, and it is not easy to do touchstones there. I fixed it now.
>257 Sakerfalcon: I do feel better today, and yeah, I was freaked out! My husband is the one who told me to go to bed and evaluate after I woke up. :)
I also finished reading Andromache by Jean Racine yesterday. Another play which was a good read, with people I wanted to shake and send into a corner. Or off to war. Or something. Anyway, it all got sorted at the end and they got what they deserved. Harsh? Well, I have no patience for folks who behave like that.
The introduction to these plays was well done for an amateur reader like myself. They were written around the same time, or perhaps a little before Shakespeare was writing, Paul Landis (the author of the introduction) explained the different styles of the French playwrights to Shakespeare. The French were all about the drama in the head, whereas Shakespeare put the drama into the circumstances and action. Interesting stuff. I will be keeping this book, because there are several more plays in it which I would like to read someday.
>259 Peace2: & >260 clamairy: Thank you, I believe I am over the bug part, but the energy is taking its sweet time coming back. I am reading, but not for long periods. A chapter here and there is all I seem to manage. The sun is coming back this week though, expected to be in the 80s the next three days. I'm thinking that will help my overall feeling. Yesterday when people asked, my answer was 80%. :)
I was hoping to get one more book finished yesterday, but cooking and friendship happened instead. I am not unhappy about this. I made an Ethiopian recipe, Doro Wett (chicken stew), served with roasted sweet potatoes, cauliflower and a spring greens salad with calendula and wild onion blossoms on top. Salad dressing was a peanut/sesame/soy sauce combination to go with my African meal.
Anywho, for my first quarter of the year I have read 15 books, 10 fiction, 05 nonfiction. Some of those were only dramas, I am being quite generous to myself in my numbers. Hope I get my brain back sometime this year. I went from a bad cold directly into allergies, so still not much reading. Sigh.
Will start a new thread for the second quarter of the year.
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