Classics Club: Little Women

Little Women

  • Author: Louisa May Alcott

I purchased this book.

The first time I read Little Women, I was just a child.  Over the years, I forgot most of the story, but there were a few distinct scenes that have always stayed with me.  My favorite of the sisters is Jo, but Beth stole my heart.  I think she steals everyone’s heart.  I was surprised at how emotional I got, considering I already knew what was going to happen.  I suppose that with excellent writing, it doesn’t matter if you already know the story.  A great story will elicit a response no matter how many times you read it.

The only issue I took with the story was some of the motherly advice that emphasized striving towards a type of perfection that kept women stuck in the narrow roles handed down to them from a society that didn’t consider them to be equal human beings.  My forgiveness of that comes from an understanding of the times in which Louisa May Alcott was writing, and I think it’s a fair representation of American women living during that time.

One piece of advice that I didn’t have a problem with, though at first I was ready to rage, was to Mary concerning her marriage after she complained to her mother that John was spending all his time away from home as if he was no longer interested in spending time with her.  My initial thought was that it was going to be the type of advice that placed all of the fault on Mary and demanded she do everything on her own, or accused her of not being the perfect mother and wife by not being able to handle it all.  Instead, the advice was that she should stop putting every bit of her time and energy into the children and keeping herself shut up in the house trying to do everything and allow for some help so that she would have more time to give to her husband as well as to herself.  After I got to the end of that reasonable guidance, I thought it was something that any mother with two infants could appreciate, if they know of someone who is willing to help.  That’s not always the case, of course, especially today.

Overall, Little Women is a good story for girls and women of all ages, especially if it is read side by side with a book on women’s history.

Monday’s Minutes #5

Currently Reading: The Very Best of Kate Elliott, a review book, The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott for The Classics Club, 1536: The Year that Changed Henry VIII by Suzannah Lipscomb, for one of my college classes, and War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, because I’m insane.  Also, there’s a read-along for it.

 Kate Elliott Sparrow Little Women 1536 War and Peace

Winter 2014-2015 COYER Progress:  I’ve read 7 books towards my goal of 10, and participated in 2 read-a-thons towards my goal of 3.  I’ve been keeping up with the Facebook group, but I still need to do a mini-challenge.

Show Your Shelves Some Love, and Outdo Yourself Progress: 5

Netgalley/Edelweiss Progress: 4

SF/F Bingo: I may end up moving these around a bit, but so far I only need to read a book published this year.  The Very Best of Kate Elliott will qualify for that. I’ve read a book containing dragons (The Sunken by S.C. Green), a book by a female author (The Eterna Files), a book published prior to 2000 (Walking the Labyrinth by Lisa Goldstein) and an Urban Fantasy (The Kingdom Lights by Steven V.S.).  My “Free” book is Tommy Black and the Staff of Light by Jake Kerr).

S&S BingoUpdate3

Total pages read for the week: 151

Total number of books for the year: 7.  I’m still technically ahead of schedule, but unless I finish The Very Best of Kate Elliott by Friday, I’ll be behind by the end of the week.  I decided to cut Friday’s Fairy Tales down, again, to monthly, which is why there wasn’t a post on Friday, and I’m probably going to cut back Wednesday’s Words to every other week.  I’m already seeing a slight reduction in traffic, but earning my degree has to come first.  At this rate, I don’t think I’m going to complete most of the challenges I’m participating in, but we’ll see.  It’s only the 2nd month of the year, and last year started strong and then slowed around the same time.

Top Commenters: This week, my Top Commenter was Shaina from Shaina Reads.

What are you reading this week?

Wednesday’s Words #1: Little Women

Wednesday’s Words is the replacement for Thursday’s Quotables.

Little Women

I haven’t read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott since I was very young.  I forgot just how much I loved it, and OH, THE FEELS!  SO MANY FEELS!  In fact, I forgot most of the book, so it doesn’t really feel like a re-read for me.  The reason I’m re-reading it at this particular time is because I’m participating in the Dusting Off the Shelves read-a-thon, and Little Women happened to be the ebook that I’ve owned the longest but never read.  It was my very first ebook when I bought my Nook back in 2010, and I never opened it.  I always meant to, but you know how it is.  I got distracted by other books.  So, in celebration of rediscovering a classic from my childhood, here are my favorite quotes:

“There are many Beths in the world, shy and quiet, sitting in corners till needed, and living for others so cheerfully that no one sees the sacrifices till the little cricket on the hearth stops chirping, and the sweet, sunshiny presence vanishes, leaving silence and shadow behind.”

This line is so heartbreakingly beautiful I don’t have any other words.

“Meg’s high-heeled slippers were dreadfully tight, and hurt her, though she would not own it; and Jo’s nineteen hair-pins all seemed stuck straight into her head, which was not exactly comfortable; but, dear me, let us be elegant or die.”

I think all women, and probably some men, have done this at one time or another.  At least I know I have, especially when I was younger.

“I like adventures, and I’m going to find some.”

I love Jo!  I’m pretty sure she was my favorite of the girls when I was a kid as well.

“Every few weeks she would shut herself up in her room, put on her scribbling suit, and fall into a vortex, as she expressed it, writing away at her novel with all her heart and soul, for till that was finished she could find no peace.”

I don’t have a scribbling suit, or a room of my own (my desk is in the corner of the living room), and I’m not writing a novel, but I do go to a cafe with my notebook and sit for hours writing as if I have to get the words out of me or I’ll die.  I started doing that during my teenage years, and though I stopped writing for a long time, I quickly went back to old habits when I started up again.  Some of my favorite writers do the same thing, and knowing that makes me feel more a part of a community of sorts.