Friday, April 28, 2017

Literary Journey via Literary References in Little Women: Plays, Periodicals, and Miscellaneous Writings

I cannot vouch for these works; I just thought a list would be fun to compile of these references. I've made bold the titles I've read.

How many have you read?

Mary Stuart by Schiller
Merchant of Venice
Midsummer Night’s Dream
The Beaux’ Stratagem by George Farquhar
The Rivals by Richard Sheridan

Punch or The London Charivari
The Rambler created by Samuel Johnson

~Belsham’s Essays

~“Discourse of Sallets”
Essay by John Evelyn

~Greek Myths

~“North Wind and the Sun”
Fable from Aesop’s Fables (Little Women also mentioned these more generally)

~“Steadfast Tin Soldier”
Fairytale by Hans Christian Anderson

~“The House that Jack Built”
Nursery rhyme

~The Parent’s Assistant
A collection of children’s stories by Maria Edgeworth

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Literary Journey via Literary References in Little Women: Poetry and Songs

I cannot vouch for these works; I just thought a list would be fun to compile of these references.I haven't read any of these or I don't remember if I have. I may have read "Bonnie Dundee," I certainly plan to after reading the Sutcliff novel of the same name.

How many have you read?

“A Dream of Fair Women” Tennyson

“Bonnie Dundee” Scott

“Come Ye Disconsolate” by Thomas More and Thomas Hastings

“Do You Know the Country” by Goethe in Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship

“Endymion” Keats

“Evelyn Hope” Robert Browning

“Judas Maccabeas” Handel (an oratorio)

“Lakes of Killarney” by Lady (Sydney) Morgan (I couldn’t find any information about this, perhaps the author featured this ballad in a book)

“Land O’ the Leal” by Richard Burns

“Little Jenny Wren”

“Nothing to Wear” (Flora McFlimsey is mentioned)

“The Rainy Day” Longfellow

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Literary Journey via Literary References in Little Women: Books

Since many of these novels are well-known, I've only included the author on lesser-known titles. I cannot vouch for these works; I just thought a list would be fun to compile of these references. I've made bold the titles I've read.

How many have you read?

~A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott (I read this ages ago, at least I think I read it in full; it isn't as scandalous as implied by many, just for her audience at the time; I have, however come across her "Jo March is rebuked by Professor Bhaer writings" which are scandalous)
~Corinne by Madame de Staël
~David Copperfield
~Dombey and Son
~Don Quixote
~Evelina by Frances Burney (this is the least sappy of the three Burney novels I've read and the one I have hitherto decide to keep; the other two I've read are Camilla and Cecilia)
~Heir of Redclyffe
~Little Dorrit
~Mable on a Midsummer Day by Mary Howitt
~Martin Chuzzlewit
~Nicholas Nickleby
~Odyssey (Telemachus is specifically mentioned)
~Old Man and the Sea
~Oliver Twist
~Patronage by Maria Edgeworth
~Pilgrim’s Progress (Dad read this aloud to us, but I'm not counting that)
~Rasselas by Samuel Johnston
~Tailor Retailored or Sartur Resartus by Thomas Carlyle
~The Bible
~The Flirtations of Captain Cavendish (probably Cavendish, or the Patrician at Sea by William Johnson Neale according to this blog)
~The Life of Samuel Johnson James Boswell
~The Wide, Wide World by Susan Warner under the pseudonym Elizabeth Wetherell
~Tom Brown’s School Days by Thomas Hughs
~Uncle Tom’s Cabin
~Undine and Sintram stories by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué
~Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith

Monday, April 24, 2017

Literary Journey via Literary References in Little Women: Authors

When we grew up reading Little Women I always enjoyed the literary references even when I didn't understand the background of most of them because I just thought it was fun to be able to do reference with such ease. Now, I recognize more of there references plus I have a copy of Little Women that has footnotes (these are addictive, and now I want that for the rest of the trilogy) for each reference, and I compiled a massive reading list from them. I love reading lists. I cannot really follow them religiously but there is just somethings so addictive and alluring about them.

Little Women features literary references of all sorts: quotes, mention of an author, mention of a work, vague allusion. I organized by type of work and then included a list of authors mentioned by name (their works may or may not also have been referenced in the book) which I'm including here for day one. I only included first names of the obscure authors.

I compiled my lists awhile back, so I hope that they are complete and accurate enough. I've used bold on the authors I've read, and I make a sorry showing today! I cannot vouch for these authors; I just thought a list would be fun to compile of these references.

How many of these authors have you read?

Bremer, Frederika
Columella, Lucius Junius
Cowley, Abraham
Edgeworth, Maria
More, Hannah
Raymond, Richard John
Rousseau, Heloise
Sherwood, Mrs. Mary Martha
Southworth. E.D.E.N.
Tusser, Thomas

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Character Links

I know I've been bombarding you all with links, but I've been trying to declutter my bookmarks and putting links in posts is a way to share and save.

Traits of people with high EQ (and fully functioning and ethical conscience; I posted a link about the dangers of high EQ earlier, this is a very important point to consider)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Organizing My Books on Goodreads

Did you notice Goodreads now lets you mark rereads? I need to start using that.

I've been trying to organize my Goodreads categories, so I can easily find books by categories or see what categories I read a lot or see how books of certain authors I've read for posts or recommendations or just to see for fun. I only want books on "read" and one other shelf.

So, for each book

~If I have a much read or favorite author, I have a shelf for books by that author alone

~If the author is doesn't meet the above then the book goes on a specific genre shelf for genres that I consider significant

~If the book is still not placed,  I have a shelf for random fiction and a shelf for random nonfiction

Monday, April 17, 2017

Balance in Hospitality

The best way to deal with issues is with preemptive measures like these: 

~Limit number of guests.

~Limit time.

~Ask other people to bring food.

~Set up a clean-up plan so all family members help.

~Put out toys, games, etc. that are durable and put away anything easily broken or precious.

~Limit range of house and grounds (make sure the parents and their children both hear).

Passive aggressiveness only enables the offendors to hurt other unwary hosts, and unforgiveness or harshness hurts the sensitive or sane guests, so

~Ignore irritations and small issues, don't make guests feel bad for small issues (or even some bigger issues); they should still feel welcome if they act like sane people. Just make sure boundaries are clear. Here are some books on hospitality. My family has always been hospitable, so our problem is not with welcoming.

~Respectfully ask for help or cessation (depending on the situation) when guests are continually excessively inconsiderate.

~Address the beyond rude guests with their sin strongly (we've had a HUGE issue, so I'm not talking about the above).

I cannot share the major issues, but I will share one lesser issue. We had an irate neighbor (of course, I think this neighbor looks for offense; they've watched us in our yard and clearly weren't thrilled that a family of 6 kids moved next door) ring our doorbell about guest kids trespassing (and another innocent guest had to answer the door and take the heat); we have 3 acres, that is plenty of room to explore.

How to be a good guest.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

I Wasn't Tagged But I'll Answer Anyway

I decided I wanted to answer the questions from the Sunshine Blogger Award post here.

1.)  Is there a particular fictional genre to which you keep returning? (i.e. period drama, action, fantasy, etc.)
Probably period drama and fantasy.

2.)  What type of toothpaste do you use? ('Cause I'm weird like that.)
When I can I prefer to use natural toothpaste. I'd been using this one for awhile, but now I just use whatever Mom buys.

3.)  In general -- can be for yourself or for others or for both -- do you prefer straight, curly, or wavy hair?
I have "straight" with body and while I would prefer more curl or wave, I'm pretty happy with how mine keeps waves, curls, straightening when I style my hair.

4.)  Do you like musicals?
I'm not naturally drawn to musical theater (I'm not musically and am rather sensitive in the irritable way, to sound), but after awhile I grew to love The Phantom of the Opera.

5.)  What is your third favorite season?
Summer probably. I like Spring and Fall because they are "fresh" (as in warm after two cool seasons, and cool after two warm seasons) and mild. Summer and Winter both get monotonous, but although I hate heat, I like bright and happy, so I would probably prefer Summer over Winter. Hello, I'm an overthinker.

6.)  Jewelry -- yea or nay?
Necklace and earrings. But eventually I get ready to take those off.

7.)  Have you seen any of the live-action remakes of the classic Disney movies (MaleficentCinderellaAlice in WonderlandThe Jungle Book, etc.)?  If so, what are your thoughts on them?
I've seen Maleficent (meh, I don't like when famous actors/actresses dominate the movies plus scary AND boring, yes its possible), Beauty and the Beast (my expectations were very low by the time I saw it, I enjoyed it better than I thought I would, I mean it felt "Disney" in some way), Mirror Mirror (hilarious, not a serious adaptation), and Cinderella (ruined me for any other adaptation, nothing can top this).

8.)  Are you adept at cookery?
If I am paying attention.

9.)  Is there anybody you really wish would start a blog?  
I wish people wouldn't STOP blogging or change their direction to something narrow and commonplace. I wish anyone near my age would start classic bookish blogs and maker blogs. I feel like my blogosphere is shrinking, and I don't know how to find good blogs. I wonder if more people are turning to other social media like Instagram (sorry, not as interesting, inspiration, or thoughtful).

10.)  Do you know what your Myers-Briggs personality is?  If so, do share.
I've gotten ISTP most often, but also ISTJ and INTP. None of them fit me closely at all. Bear in mind that this is NOT a scientific or serious test. The only sensible part is the I-E continuum, and I'm more of an ambivert. Myers-Briggs is only fun if it isn't taken as gospel.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

How to Deal with the News Links

Yes, I know the election is old news, but these are (mostly) general and timeless attitudes and responses.

A safe and hospitable home no matter the news and ways to cope with the news cycle and paying attention to news close to home

Ways to pray on election day

News consumption News is biased in so many ways. One major way is toward anger and fear and gloom and doom. That is not honest.

Opinions and beliefs are not the same thing

9 Sins the Church is Okay With All of these are quite tied to this posts title, believe me. Along with a dose of arrogance and self-righteousness

Kind over Epic

And Lord of Ring responses to the world and evil This is a serious article and quite good

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Code Name Verity and Insensitivity Regarding WWII

*Takes a deep breath before exploding*

Even though I consider Code Name Verity is a waste of reading time, I still appreciate the ability to juxtapose my impression of it next to All the Light We Cannot See and The Book Thief. Both novels use shadows and hints and impressions to create the fear and horror of the war without stooping to the inferior and disgusting method of graphically detailing the abominations for a sort of violence voyeurism. My understanding of all the novels is of course based in in my somewhat different knowledge of WWII. I still prefer The Book Thief. Characterization is FAAAAAR better in this novel. But All the Light We Cannot See is more accurate in reproducing the feeling of surreal horror without graphically painting all the horror.

Code Name Verity is a trivial, insensitive, shallow, silly WWII story. Such a stupid 10-year-old "girl power" story has no place in the gritty, horrifying history of WWII. But the worst of it was that the fantastic plot is INCREDIBLY disrespectful

I mentioned the disrespect to my sister, and I meant disrespect to the real heroes, the men and women who self-sacrificed to save others in what compared to this ludicrous book would seem a "hum drum" way. My sister thought I meant disrespect to victims. That is true too, for many of the same reasons and more. WWII is not some sort of freak show to watch. *

The author of the book apparently forgets how weak we are when we are merely hungry or frightened. How much more are we when terrified, starving, isolated, sleep-deprived, tortured, depressed, and injured all at once? In such a situation, basic efforts are a struggle. This novel exhibits an incredible level of ignorance of humanity, war, trauma, and history. And yet in this fantastic novel a pampered genius could originate a mind-boggling elaborate plot in code under all the deprivation and trauma. This ridiculously unreal ability devalues the work of the real people who went through real deprivation and real trauma.  

I don't think people really understand or take WWII seriously enough. I am not well-versed in it; I'm not a historical scholar (nor is anyone who does summary "research" for a "historical" novel). I took a lower level class but most of what I remembered was first-hand accounts of American soldiers. The textbook focused on war strategies and battles. I don't have a good grasp of what happened on the Continent to the civilians, to the prisoners, etc. I don't know Gestapo methods. I do know much more about the Eastern Front, the history of the horror there that led up to the war because of my graduate level Stalinism class. I know how Stalin and Hitler destroyed people between them. I know some nightmarish stories that are censured from popular history books. I don't appreciate the gung-ho American attitude. The greatest generation attitude. The mighty heroes. How about we understand the devastation first? War isn't so clear cut, especially on motivation. People, we weren't fighting to stop the Holocaust. And yes, people did know it was happening (and I'm skeptical about the lack of knowledge of what Stalin did too; I feel like we should've, could've seen through the sham tours and show trials). I'm reading a history of Israel now, and the Allies don't appear like such heroes. Antisemitism is an insidious sin.

*Hogan's Heroes could be legitimately criticized for disrespect too, but I think that something that purports to be serious is worse.

Monday, April 10, 2017

I'm Just Not a Social Media Person

I deleted my Instagram, again, this time really trying it (not all out like a professional but more than just having an account). I feel like that I need to enjoy whatever online or digital tool I use for its own sake. Social media that I don't find personally helpful and interesting are not worth merely using as a tool for blog promotion, at least right now. Any marketing that eventually came out of it isn’t worth the effort (I really dislike of selling and advertising).

The only big social media that I use are Pinterest and Blogger.

I love blogging. I love finding and reading blogs. I am inspired to knit more. I discover new (to me) books and movies to try. I find more natural beauty options I love the sewing and fashion inspiration. I just really feel that my little curated collection of blogs is so often truly, practically inspirational. Oh, sure I've wasted time on blogs that I don't benefit from, but overall, I think the blog world is worth my time. I think blogging myself is enjoyable, especially since I can schedule, and so I am planning to make more of an effort to grow it into possibly a bit of job.

Pinterest is another love of mine. I did get my account in the extremely early stages during which you had to be invited, but I didn't understand or use it much until it really sprang into life. Then I went crazy. I think that Pinterest is a great search engine and curating site even with the changes I dislike. The blog promotion is a nice side benefit.

Ravelry and Goodreads both have social media capabilities which I may at some point use (or use again), but right now I enjoy them for their main capabilities.

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Other Movies I've Watched This Quarter

I’ve watched 5 new Hallmark movies: Love on Ice (eh), A Royal Winter (adorable), Birthday Wishes (hilarious), Love Blossoms (gorgeous setting and scenery and fun story with decent actors for Hallmark), and Campfire Kiss (absurd and with bad actors, even for Hallmark).

I've watched 7 more miscellaneous films and miniseries, which I organized by date.

Sword in the Stone, 1963

The Great Mouse Detective, 1986
This is Sherlock Holmes for mice which is a funny concept, but I thought the movie too sad and scary for an animated children’s film. Boring for adults.

Henry V, 1989
While I prefer the Hollow Crown version, I enjoyed this film. I like the play or at least the performance of it. I don’t enjoy every single minute, but the speech is thrilling, the fencing of words and challenges with the French is interesting, and the courtship charming. I love Henry’s stalwartness and dignity.

Howl’s Moving Castle, 2004
I need to re-read this book because I don’t remember much, and I think the filmmakers changed quite a bit. Also, I didn’t care for the anime; Howl is SO effeminate despite Christian Bale’s awesome voice.

Little Dorrit, 2008
I read the novel a couple of years ago, so I didn’t remember everything. And watching a creepy, disturbing story is different than reading it. Andy Serkis’ character is truly a psychopath, and I do think the filmmakers made some parts worse (although everything fit in with Dicken’s story) plus violence is worse when watched. I skipped some scenes and would skip more next time, so be warned.

The miniseries captures the story brilliantly. I thought the plot, most of the characters, and scenery excellent. Amy and Arthur are perfect. I loathed Matthew McFadyen as Mr. Darcy, but what little else I’ve seen of him, I’ve liked, and I LOVED him here; Arthur Clennam’s character is perfect for him (I had a eureka moment after pondering all this, and realized he would be the perfect Colonel Brandon).

Letters to Juliet, 2010

Austenland, 2013
Although this film is rift with objectionable aspects and has a super awkward heroine, I did enjoy it well. And I loved J.J. Fields (especially in modern clothes at the end).

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Classic Hollywood Movies I've Watched This Quarter

I've watched 8 classic Hollywood movies, most of them from my lists.

To Catch a Thief, 1955
A famous movie starring two famous actors. I think that its overrated. I found it interesting enough, and I laughed, but the humor isn’t particularly witty. The identity of the thief isn’t surprising (and I’m easily mislead or at least allow myself to be easily mislead), and I just didn’t find the mystery exciting or the romance strong.

The Thin Man, 1934
I wanted to watch this after this review highlighted the main couple. They are adorable as described. This mystery is more complex than the above movie because of all the characters and all the complex intrigue. The movie had some humor, but not tons or at least not my kind of humor. And I thought it quite dark and scary, especially near the end. However, I still would like to watch more of this series.

Laura, 1944
Dana Andrews plays the detective in this film, but with his looks, clothes, and worldly persona, he appears like a gangster. I liked that juxtaposition of “bad guy” feel on a good guy character. I enjoyed the film noir aspect of this film. But the dramatic, suspenseful music keyed my nerves so tight! The plot may seem absurdly convoluted and simple, but like I said, I’m easily fooled with mysteries, and I don’t think the plot is everything (or even the main thing).

Holiday Inn, 1942
I found the humor in this film to my taste; the sabotaging that goes on amongst the various characters is outrageous and hilarious. The dancing is excellent but of a different type than the grand numbers in White Christmas, but the music (except for the song I'm Dream of a White Christmas) is decidedly inferior. The plot is much inferior too. A younger Bing Crosby is nice to look at though.

Funny Face, 1957
Meh, and I’m not a Fred Astaire fan.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, 1939
Jimmy Stewart looks so sweet and often plays such sweet, honorable, naïve characters. I felt that his character in this film, Jefferson Smith, exhibits these qualities the highest I’ve seen yet. While the plot overall (not enough romance) isn’t really my thing, the naivete of Jefferson Smith and his endurance and sweetness added to the plot made the film enjoyable.

The Ox-Bow Incident, 1943
In comparison to Lonesome Dove, this Western seems almost saintly; it has a solid moral framework. It clearly indicates that vigilantism isn’t justice. However, I don’t believe that the guilty men murder the innocents in purely hot-blood mob mentality (as the film and DVD cover imply) because they have plenty of time to cool down and plenty of opportunities to listen and observe. It’s clearly murder, not manslaughter. I’m not sure that it is great to focus so solely on violence in movies.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Fiction I've Read This Year Thus Far (Quarter 1)

I haven’t re-read many books this year, so I’m just writing one fiction post. I read 8 new to me books and re-read 5 books.


Sense and Sensibility
Mansfield Park
Lady Susan
The first two Boxcar Children mysteries—Some childhood books stand up to rereading, some are better left to read to my children.

Rosemary Sutcliff Novels

Blood Feud—Blood “justice” is nothing more than vigilantism and revenge, and in this books is peculiarly horrible and sad. Despite the title, this isn’t the only main subject, and I don’t feel the title character is completely culpable. I felt that the writing quality and tone of this is more like more famous Sutcliff novels than the rest of the novels I read.

Bonnie Dundee—This is quite a different time than Sutcliff usually writes. I enjoyed it well-enough. The historical story is interesting, and I need to read (or re-read) Scott's poem of the same name.

Flame-colored Taffeta—This is tied to the same historical issue as the above, about a century later. I liked this better.

The Capricorn Bracelet—Tracing a family military bracelet through the centuries in a series of short stories. Interesting but less complex and interesting than the Eagle of the Ninth novels which do the same in more generations with Marcus’s father’s emerald ring.

Miscellaneous novels

Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens—Well, I found this interesting but extremely violent for a Dickens novel. At the end, I was afraid Barnaby wouldn’t be saved! I found some things at the end dissatisfying (the duel and Hugh’s story), and the annoying couple got precedence over the romantic couple.

Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster—I knew the plot from Dear Mr. Knightly (and so consequently felt ripped off by that book and lowered my rating, I’d had no idea how unoriginal it was). This book is worth millions of that pathetic version (I disliked the adaptation's ending—if you must destroy the ending to fit it into our selfish, distrustful, revengeful, unforgiving culture, maybe don’t write the the modernized version?). How I laughed my way through this charming book. By the time this posts, I will have started Dear Enemy too.

Saturdays at Sea by Jessica Day George—I think I skipped Fridays with Wizards by accident. Oops. This is cute, but this series is my least favorite of hers.

The Laughing Cavalier by Emmuska Orczy—This had some hilarious parts involving the title character, but I didn’t care for much else. I meant to read the sequel of this prequel duology to the Scarlet Pimpernel, but I stopped that half-way through because it had no humor and so much pomposity and such a convoluted, boring, prolonged plot.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Nonfiction I've Read This Year Thus Far (Quarter 1)

I’ve finished more nonfiction this quarter than I have read over several years, and I’ve read more nonfiction (including a book on my state history) than new fiction this year. I read too much popular nonfiction. Popular nonfiction is fine occasionally and selectively, but I think (believe) reading pop nonfiction on intellectual topics is irresponsible and intellectually lazy.

Here are 11 of the 12 (!) books of nonfiction I read this year. I'm disgustingly proud of myself.

Scholarly and Intellectual. Recommendations: I highly recommend all.

Liberty’s Refugee: The Forgotten Freedom of Assembly by John D. Inazu—I believe it’s probably written for those more professionally and academically familiar with the U.S. judicial system; however, I think that we laymen should attempt to read scholarly works to better exercise our minds and to more fully understand our world.

The Intolerance of Tolerance by D. A. Carson—This work is essential to understand our time.

Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell—Extremely intellectual without burdening us with technical terms. We (including intellectuals) as a nation are incredibly ignorant of basic economics.

Artistic Nonfiction. Recommendations: first two, yes; Pioneer Girl, the preface.

Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl—Make sure you get the expanded version (it’s not the sequel I thought). Dahl is an excellent storyteller.

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff—A charming quick read that I didn’t realize was nonfiction until embarrassingly late.

Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder—This is the original manuscript for the Little House books (before Ingalls rearranged and fictionalized it), an explanatory preface, and tons of notes.

Popular Nonfiction. Recommendations: first two, yes; third, eh; last two, NO.

The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines—This book is fun and interesting. Chip and Joanna and both of their families have amazing legacies of incredibly hard work and vision as well as amazing family love and loyalty.

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance—This is a personal memoir, not an academic study, and does NOT explain the election. I DON’T recommend this AT ALL if you are mainly reading politically. 

All Roads Lead to Austen: A Yearlong Journey with Jane by Amy Elizabeth Smith—While reading I greatly enjoyed this and it inspired me to want to travel in South America. However, I later realized she probably greatly exaggerated and romanticized, at least in her personal story.

Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films with Wisdom and Discernment by Brian Godawa—The secondary title is misleading. The first is as well. I could go on, but I’ll just say this got 1 star from me on Goodreads.

Trust Me I’m Lying: Confessions of A Media Manipulator by Ryan Holiday—Interesting but simplistic, inconsistent, and reads like conspiracy theory.