The Classics Club Spin Number…


The Classics Club announced the Spin number yesterday:


Which means I’ll be reading Paradise Lost by John Milton.  I’ll take a look at the book later today and figure out if I want to do a read along.  My copy is 737 pages, but I’m not sure how much of that is Introduction, Notes, etc.

Classics Club Spin #15


It’s time for another Classics Club Spin!  Below is my Spin list.  While I’m interested in reading all of the books on this and my master list, I’m really hoping it will be one of the books below in particular.  I’m not saying which one, though.

  1.  Lawrence, D.H.: Lady Chatterley’s Lover
  2. Atwood, Margaret: A Handmaid’s Tale
  3. Du Maurier, Daphne: Rebecca
  4. Barrie, J.M.: Peter Pan
  5. Beckett, Samuel: Waiting for Godot
  6. Dumas, Alexandre: The Count of Monte Cristo
  7. Remarque: All Quiet on the Western Front
  8. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  9. Bronte, Anne: Agnes Grey
  10. Fitzgerald, F. Scott: Tender is the Night
  11. Flaubert, Gustav: Madame Bovary
  12. Milton, John: Paradise Lost
  13. Nabokov, Vladimir: Lolita
  14. Burnett, Frances Hodgson: The Secret Garden
  15. Eliot, George: Middlemarch
  16. Goethe, Johann: Faust
  17. Proust, Marcel: Swann’s Way
  18. Heller, Joseph: Catch-22
  19. Hemingway, Ernest: A Farewell to Arms
  20. Crane, Stephen: Red Badge of Courage

The Spin number will be chosen on Friday, and then those of us participating will have until May 1st to read the book that corresponds to that number.

Are you participating in the Classics Club Spin?  Whether or not you’re participating, would you be interested in doing a read-along of any of the books on my list?  Let me know in the comments!

Classics Club: Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins

  • Author: P.L. Travers

I checked out the audiobook edition from my university’s library.  I had wanted to read Mary Poppins for years.  I thought it would become a new favorite since I loved the Disney adaptation so much.  What happened is that my belief in Disney’s inability to stick to the original story has been reaffirmed.  Mary Poppins is not the sweetheart she is portrayed to be by Julie Andrews.  She’s often cranky, taciturn, extremely vain, and sometimes downright mean to the children in her care.

Mary Poppins isn’t the only character that gave me pause.  There is a scene where a mother and owner of a bakery literally breaks off her fingers to give to Jane and Micheal’s younger siblings to chew.  While it turns out her fingers are a different baked good each time, I couldn’t get over the creepiness of it.  She’s also emotionally abusive towards her two daughters and I’m not sure how her screaming at them about every little thing was supposed to be amusing.

Each chapter of the book brought a new level of bizarre to my ears.  I was repeatedly shocked that this was, and still is, considered to be one of the best children’s stories of all time.  While it certainly wasn’t the worst book I’ve read, I won’t be bothering to read any more of the series.  I’ll stick with the Disney film, thank you.

The House of Spirits Read-Along: Final Recap


Below is the chapter breakdown, with links to all the previous recaps.  I’ll do an overall review of the book tomorrow.

This final recap is for Chapters 13 and 14 and the Epilogue.  If you’re a little behind, that’s ok!  I’ll clearly mark any spoilers.

This week’s chapters put everything that happened previously into perspective; however, a handful of sentences in Chapter 13 made me so angry that I almost didn’t finish the book.

*Spoilers* A military coup takes place, and once they’ve seized power, they decide not to let it go.  Jaime is killed along with other supporters of the government, and from that point forward, people are regularly arrested and tortured.  Esteban helps Blanca and Pedro Tercero flee to Canada after he becomes disillusioned by the new regime.  The military eventually arrests Alba for associating with Miguel and helping people on the government blacklists to escape the country. She is tortured and raped by Colonel Esteban García, the son of Esteban Trueba’s and Pancha Garcia’s illegitimate son, and his men.  Alba decides she wants to die but changes her mind when she’s visited by Clara’s spirit.  Esteban gets Alba freed with the help of Miguel and Tránsito Soto, and after helping Alba write their memoir, he dies.  Alba explains that she will not seek revenge on Esteban Garcia and his men in the hopes of ending the cycle of hate. *End Spoilers*

I’m still too angry to discuss exactly why I feel that way as well as all the other problems I have with this book, so I will leave that for tomorrow’s review, in which I will also include the quote that angered me so much.  Suffice it to say that I’m glad I’m done with this book, and since it’s a physical copy, I can now put it in my book box to be sent to the used bookstore, the funds of which will go towards The Outlandish Companion, Vol. 2 by Diana Gabaldon when it comes out this October.  I can also cross it off my Classics Club list and add it to several of the challenges I’m participating in this year.  Silver lining.

What did you think of these final chapters?  All comments about the book are welcome, but please mark any spoilers.

#Readathon Mini-Challenge: Classic Words of Wisdom

Dewey's Readathon_Pocketwatch_Bellezza


Allie over at A Literary Odyssey has challenged all of us participating in Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon to share our favorite words of wisdom from Classic literature.  Being a lover of the Classics, as well as a member of the Classics Club, I’ve got plenty of them, but one of my all time favorite quotes comes from my all time favorite book, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”

This bit of wisdom can be applied to just about everything as I’ve made my way through the past decade of my life.  When I decided to not re-enlist in the Army, I had no idea what I wanted to do instead, besides finish college.  I didn’t even know what I wanted my major to be; I just knew I didn’t want it to be what it was at the time.  I stumbled across a former passion of mine, and, after some research, chose International Relations as my major, but I didn’t have a clue what university I wanted to attend.  I stumbled again, and found Texas State, even though I had never intended on staying in Texas after I go out of the military.  It has ended up being the best university for me, and I’ve discovered new friends, and new interests, and have had a lot of great experiences I wouldn’t have had otherwise.  I also discovered that, even though I’m still interested in Humanitarian aid work specifically, and International Relations in general, what truly makes me happy is doing anything book related.  Books have always been my true love, but it wasn’t until I started reading some book blogs and then stumbled across the 24 in 48 Read-a-thon that got me started on my own blog, that I found out there are so many more book related jobs than I ever imagined.  I’m now on a crazy meandering path towards a fulfilling career, and that wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for all the finding of things I hadn’t been looking for.

Read-Along: The House of Spirits


My book for the Classics Club Spin #9 is The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende, and as with the last Spin, I’m doing a read-along.  You don’t have to be a member of the Classics Club, but if you are, feel free to leave a comment with a link to your list!  Below is the chapter breakdown that will take us all the way to May 15th.  Each week, I’ll do a recap, and at the end I’ll do an overall review of the book.  If you’d like to join me, please add yourself to the linky!

  • April 6th – 12th: Chapters 1 and 2
  • Apr. 13th – 19th: Chapters 3, 4, and 5
  • Apr. 20th – 26th: Chapters 6 and 7
  • Apr. 27th – May 3rd: Chapters 8 and 9
  • May 4th – 10th: Chapters 10, 11, and 12
  • May 11th – 15th: Chapter 13 to the end of the book

The Classics Club Spin #9: Drum Roll Please….


The Classics Spin is a “lottery” game in which each participant makes a list of 20 books from their Classics Club reading list, and the book that corresponds with the randomly chosen number on that list is the one that has to be read by a certain date.  In this Spin, the number is 2, and the book has to be read by May 15th.  Below is my Spin list, with a link to Goodreads for the book I’ll be reading.  As with the last Spin, I’m going to do a read-along.  For now, if you’d like to join in, leave a comment, and I’ll get a linky up before the end of the week, along with all the details of the read-along.

1. Albee, Edward: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
2. Allende, Isabel: The House of the Spirits
3. Barrie, J.M.: Peter Pan
4. Baum, L. Frank: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
5. Dumas, Alexandre: The Count of Monte Cristo
6. Remarque: All Quiet on the Western Front
7. Smith, Betty: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
8. Fitzgerald, F. Scott: Tender is the Night
9. Burnett, Frances Hodgson: The Secret Garden
10. Burroughs, Edgar Rice: Tarzan of the Apes
11. Carroll, Lewis: Alice in Wonderland
12. Yeats, William Butler: Irish Faerie Tales
13. Golding, William: Lord of the Flies
14. Wells, H.G.: The Time Machine
15. Heller, Joseph: Catch-22
16. Hemingway, Ernest: A Farewell to Arms
17. Cooper, James Fenimore: The Last of the Mohicans
18. Crane, Stephen: Red Badge of Courage
19. de Saint-Exupery, Antoine: The Little Prince
20. Tan, Amy: The Joy Luck Club