An exciting delivery: books

There is something fun and exciting about receiving a package in the post and it’s even more exciting when it’s a package you’ve been waiting for with baited breath. Today my order of books finally came, and let me tell you there was a moment of joy when I saw the mailman. The emotions went as following; first there was confusion “Why is the mailman here on a Sunday?” then there was hope, “Could it be…my books”, then there was a moment of suspense after politely taking the package and thanking the mailman. As soon as the front door closed, I was a crazy women; jumping up and down while trying to rip open the box. And then the box rip open to reveal books. Lovely, new, fresh books.

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While I know that hard-cover books are more desirable when creating one’s collecting, I often prefer to get paper backs. I love paper backs because they’re much easier to throw in a bag ‘on the go’ for someone like me who reads everywhere.

Right now I’m at the end of Some Tame Gazelle by Barbara Pym, so will be starting these very soon! The only problem is deciding which to read first…

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After reading Paris by Edward Rutherfurd (which I highly suggest) I was absolutely hooked and upon finishing knew I had to order more. I ordered New York (pictured above) and LondonI am looking forward to reading them both!

I also ordered A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn. I ordered this because not only did a history teacher and english teacher suggest it, but it seemed like one of those books that every American should read to understand what our country was founded on.

Finally I ordered September by Rosamunde Pilcher. She is an author who’s books I have enjoyed, as I wrote about a month ago in Discovering a New Author: Rosamunde Pilcher.

If you haven’t already figured it out from previous posts, you know it now; I love history. I look forward to reading these very soon! Which one would you read first?

 

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Let us Dance.

“Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.”~Voltaire.

No quote could not have hit home more. Dancing and reading are two of my greatest pleasures. Both give me a chance to escape, to not be myself, but another. To truly be immersed in something, even for just a short time, is a blessing.

With a dance show coming up, I have been in that world more and more. I have been feeling the burn of extra rehearsing, but it isn’t a bad thing. There is a sense of pride, knowing what all this work will contribute to; a beautiful and well earned performance.

It is not only a physical activity, but an art form. It allows us, humans, to use our bodies to express our thoughts and feelings without words. To dance with others there must be a level of trust; trust that you are in a safe environment to express yourself. Another part of dance is bravery. To perform and show a bit of yourselves to the audience to the audience takes courage. You have to allow yourself to be vulnerable and strong, at the same time.

The nice thing about dance is that it is never too late to start. All you need to do is be willing; be willing to try new things, and put yourself out there. You don’t need to take any class to be a dancer; those who dance are dancers.

Next time your given a chance, take it, get out there, and dance! Dancing never fails to take my mind off of things and make me feel good.

This is a video of a guy dancing to Beyonce. He is truly amazing; not only does he nail every move, but he seems to embody Beyonce. He puts everything he’s got into this. You can see the passion. I found myself watching this again and again without becoming bored. He is not only a great dancer, but also an amazing performer. A good example of someone who puts their soul into dancing!

What’s something you put your soul into?

 

30 Rock: missed, but not forgotten.

Many know Tina Fey from her work on Saturday Night Live, or for her iconic movie Mean Girls, and others may know her as Liz Lemon on her TV show, 30 Rock. Though I have seen every episode more than once, their array of quirky characters continue to bring laughter to my house. To the annoyance of my family and friends I am often quoting 30 Rock, saying “this reminds me of that one 30 Rock scene” before launching into a descriptive explanation of the scene, or sending 3o Rock gifs in reply to many texts. This is all true, though it has become more toned down lately, especially around those who don’t watch 30 Rock.

Not only is there an amazing array of constant characters, but there are a number of equally funny and amazing guest stars that add to the many funny moments. Originally I was planning on making this a “top 10” style article, but found that I couldn’t narrow it down to just 10 of my favorite moments. So instead, I will share with you a few things 30 Rock has taught me.

1. When in doubt, dance it out like Liz Lemon. Also one minute dance parties are always a nice rejuvenating break.

2. Only Jack can pull this off, or rather not pull this off?

3. Don’t trust Kenneth.

4. Sometimes things aren’t how you remember them… (For those who don’t understand refer to the episode including Liz Lemon’s high school reunion.)

5. Valentine’s day is actually Anna Howard Shaw day

I hope this has been a reminder of the great moments that 3o Rock has brought to you to those of you who have watched it, or has made those of you who have not seen it curious to do so.

What are some things that make you laugh?

 

 

Top 6 Fictional Couples

There are many fictional couples who inspire us. We look for these traits in others, and we believe in their love. The following is a few inspirational and well loved fictional characters in no particular order.

1. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy – Pride and Prejudice.

Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy’s two’s relationship begins rocky, and remains so for much of the book due to misunderstandings, by the end of the novel it’s smooth sailings for Jane Austen’s couple. Pride and Prejudice is a story of love and courtship, in which love is the goal for these two young people in a society who base marriage on a “good match”.

2. Sabrina Fairchild and Linus Larrabee- Sabrina

In the 1954 romance Audrey Hepburn plays the Larrabee’s chauffeurs daughter, Sabrina, who returns from culinary school in Paris as a elegant and attractive woman, and Humphrey Bogart plays the Larrabee’s eldest son, Linus. Most of her life Sabrina had been in love with the younger brother, David, who finally notices her when she returns from Paris with her new elegance, but will soon fall for Linus as he falls for her when the family charges him with keeping her away from David.

3. Princess Leia and Han Solo – Star Wars

Leia and Han are both brave, outspoken characters. Upon meeting there is tension. Tension sometimes arises when there is attraction, but both refuse to admit it, and that is just the case with these two. Eventually the two would swallow their pride and admit their love for one another.

4. Molly and Arthur Weasley – Harry Potter

 

They are the creators of the much loved Weasley Family in the Harry Potter series. They’re the ideal parents to orphaned Harry; caring, sweet, fond of one another, and slightly smothering. They love one another and every single of their red-headed clan, and whomever else they happen to take in.

5. Aragon and Arwen – Lord of the Rings

Arwen is the beautiful elfin daughter of Elrond, Lord of Rivendell. Aragon is the knowledgeable rugged ranger, who would would later become King of Gondor. The two have their strengths, and come together as a wise team. In marrying Aragon, Arwen chooses to be mortal and stay in Middle-Earth. Arwan’s choice shows us that she would rather live a mortal life with love, then an endless life without it.

6. Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet- Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet, a tragic love story known by all. Though these two will not live ‘happily ever after’, their story shows the power of love and has been cherished for many centuries.

 

 

Discovering a new author: Rosamunde Pilcher

Discovering a good author is like finding a new friend; you enjoy their company, or their books, and you hope to be able to rely on them for more words in the future. I have recently discovered the books of Rosamunde Pilcher, and while she is new to me, she is known and has been known to others for some time now. She is an English writer who began writing in 1949. Though I just discovered a few of her books, they were living on my families book shelf, right under my nose the whole time. These were originally my Grandma Cathy’s books, who read them in the eighties and was inspired by them to travel to places in England that were mentioned in a few of the books.

I first read Coming Home and was immediately drawn in by the story, set in mostly England, but also involving elsewhere. The story is sweet, interesting and entertaining and I give it my highest praises. After finishing Coming Home, I immediately begun to read Winter Solstice, another great read! Having finished that one in a short time I have now picked up The Shell Seekers and am thoroughly enjoying it. These books give an insight to English culture, and through them I have met many wonderful and complex characters. These books make me want to travel to some of the locations mentioned, as my Grandma did.

There are times when I have “readers block” and can’t seem to find a good book, but it never lasts long, for the world has a never ending supply of writing just waiting to be discovered.

What are your latest discoveries in literature?

Movie Adaptations of Books: Good or Bad?

When movie adaptations of books are made they are often analyzed very critically and receive mixed reviews. After reading many books and seeing many adaptations of these books, I have begun to wonder; are these adaptations a good or bad thing? On one hand books allow ones imagination to wander, and envision the characters in a certain way. Movie adaptations tell us that a character looks a particular way, talks a particular way, etc. On top of that these movie can misrepresent books, and are beginning to create a generation of people who are a fan of a book, but have only seen the movie. I have listed many cons of these adaptations, but there are some pros. These movies can sometimes encourage people to read the books, or further our love and understanding of something. In many cases I enjoy the movie adaptation, as a movie, though not as a rightful representation of the book.

Photo taken by myself

Photo taken by myself

I am a huge fan of both the Harry Potter books and movies, separately. There are some moments in the movies that they definitely got right, but there are also some very loved moments that they missed. I love reading the books (over and over again) but I can also often be found indulging in the movies. I love them both, but for different reasons. Yes, because of the movies I see Harry as a young Daniel Radcliffe, Hermione as a young, bushy haired Emma Watson, etc. but this doesn’t take away from my reading experience. Because I read these books first, I already had an idea of what I thought the characters were like, and every now and then, when reading the books, I can see the characters as I first saw them.

 

The Great Gatsby was adapted to screen by Baz Luhrmann in 2013 to the happiness of some and dismay of others. Which was my reaction? It was mixed. While I though Leonardo Dicaprio made a great Gatsby (pun intended), I was not pleased with the musical choices made. The soundtrack was very good, but it simply did not fit with the film. The Great Gatsby is a book about the jazz age and the 1920’s, so it was very odd to me that they didn’t include 1920’s jazz in the movie. Instead, they took a modern approach. There are elements of this film that I liked, but the musical accompaniment didn’t pay tribute to this classic.

These are just a couple of examples of books that were later adapted to screen. How do you feel about screen adaptations of books?

 

 

Fictional Heroines and I

As an avid book reader I have met and enjoyed the company of many heroes and heroines. As a girl there is something about a strong female character that I can relate to and be inspired by. Over the years, a number of inspiring female characters have collected. The following is just a few of these inspiring women.

Hermione Granger is a character in the Harry Potter novels. She is the brightest witch of her age, and is an endless source of strength, wit and knowledge through out the series. Hermione is one of the strong women who have inspired me. She is independent, smart, and through many a hard times a true and good friend. She is a character to look up to, learn from and strive to be alike. A true heroine.

Elizabeth “Lizzy” Bennet is a character from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. She is a young women who refuses to marry a man far above her and of good means, when first proposed to. Lizzy is a girl after love in a time when women were expected to marry before they got to old. She is strong, smart, proud and witty character that many can relate to, despite her being from another era.

Katniss Everdeen, the girl on fire in the Hunger Games. She is forced to fight to the death (literally) in a dystopian society, but goes on to become a revolutionary symbol and leader. She is a strong women, the back bone of her family and later the symbol of hope for many.

Jo March is a smart, creative writer in the novel Little Women. She is proud of her accomplishments as a writer, and pursues a career despite what society tells her. Jo is a loyal and loving women. Jo teaches us to be true to yourself.

Liesel Meminger is a character from the novel The Book Thief. Though she is just a young girl, she is brave and loyal to someone who the society tells her is the enemy. She is a girl who loves words and knows the importance of them. She is a girl who teaches us to stand up for what you believe in.

All these literary characters are women with strong values, and wit. There is something to be taken from each of their stories. What have you taken from the stories of some of your favorite literary characters?