Saturday, January 29, 2011

Prom and Prejudice,The Red Badge of Courage, In the Company of Miss Alethea Darcy

Oh fantastic Saturday!  I'm so glad that it is the weekend.

Today I've been in the company of Miss Alethea Darcy. This book was not displeasing, but was not a extremely delicious read. I liked the main characters-Alethea and Titus Manningtree. The book was hard to get into and Alethea is portrayed unlike a Darcy daughter would be like, in my mind. It was quite amusing to read about Alethea's journey and the wonders of Venice, Italy. I have always wanted to backpack through Europe. Alethea's story would have worked well if she was not a Darcy.

There were 3 sequels this month-one I forgot to mention, since I am not going to be completing the Phantoms of Pemberley. The one I forgot to mention was Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg. In this book Lizzie Bennett is a scholarship student at Longbourn Academy, and the junior girls are obsessed with prom. Lizzie, cares only about the piano, her great love. Her roomates are Charlotte, another scholarship student, and Jane, who has a crush on Charles Bingley. His sister, Caroline and the mean Cate deBourg are out to get them though. Lizzie at first has a crush on Wickham, a townie who got kicked out of Pemberley Academy in New York. This book is as close to a high school version of P&P that one could get. Good work Elizabeth Eulberg! This was an amusing read and much easier to follow. I recommend it for all girls who want their own Darcy.

In school, my English class has finished reading The Red Badge of Courage, our third book this year. Out of the three, I liked this one best. The other two were Huckleberry Finn (which I hated), and The Scarlet Letter.

 February for my P&P "sequels" I will take a shot at the Phantom of Pemberley and Vampire Darcy's Desire. They sound bold, exciting....interesting!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

this month's "sequels", Alethea, I am book obsessed

January has 3 P&P sequels:
According to Jane (sort of), the Exploits and Adventures of the Miss Alethea Darcy, and the Phantom of Pemberley

I've finished According to Jane, and the second half of the book was much better than the first. Ellie does thank Jane for her advice, but admits that she wants control of her own destiny. Ellie is a romantic and reminds me of Kitty Bennett; she's a mix of the two of them. But she ultimately tries to be Elizabeth Bennett and fails. She is searching for her own "Mr. Darcy" to no avail. At the age of 34, when her high school love reenters the picture, she knows he's the one. Sam Blaine goes from being a Wickham to a Darcy. We don't know that Ellie gets the happy ending, but I found it quite obvious that she would end up with Sam. It just made sense. I actually found that I liked Sam's character far more than I liked Ellie's. Jane, is of course, the best character. This book would have been better if it was about how true love waits and if Ellie had listened to Jane. I mean, if I had Jane Austen, in my head, I would have listened! The Fool!

So good riddance to that book.  And on to the Exploits and Adventures of the Miss Alethea Darcy by Elizabeth Aston. This novel is about the youngest of Mr. and Mrs. Darcy's youngest daughter who marries a man who controls her. So Alethea decides to runaway with her most loyal maid, Figgins, to her sister's house in Italy. There is also a man, Titus Manningtree, who is in search of a lost painting and is in a race to get it before his rival does. I'm currently on chapter nine.

 Alethea is  pronounced ah-LEE-thee-ah. It is of Greek origin, and the meaning is truth. A learned coinage, not found before the 16th century. In mythology Alethea is the goddess of truth.
I haven't even started the Phantom of Pemberley, but I am going to after I finish Miss Darcy's story, although I doubt I'll get to it before February.

I also requested and checked out seven other books from my library. I am, simply, book obsessed.

Due to all of my current readings, I have come across a number of new words. One of them being-
  RECALCITRANT adj \ri-ˈkal-sə-trənt\ defiant of authority or restraint

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Marlowe, Mount Olive and Southern Truths, Bloomberg, Jane

I've been doing a lot of reading lately. I checked out 22 books on the 19th, with more to come. I requested a them online and they've been coming in. I'm a VERY big reader. Books are fantastic, wonderful, delightful....

So to start with the books.... (I like using these)

The first book is The Secret of the Rose by Sarah L. Thomson.(and actually I checked this one out before the other 22)  During the end of reign of Queen Elizabeth, catholics were taken to the Tower for treason. Rosalind Archer's father is taken. She and her brother, Robin flee from their country home to London. But the people their father said would help them cannot. And so they live in the allies of London, until by accident the popular playwright Christopher Marlowe runs into them and helps them. Rosalind who has disguised herself as a boy in breeches goes by Richard Archer. Rosalind/Richard is taken in as Marlowe's servant and Robin works at the Rose, the playhouse. Where Rosalind and Robin's secret is hidden securely, Marlowe has his own secrets. Which could come out at anytime and threaten to destroy him and hurt Rosalind/Richard as well. I was pleased with this book and deem it worthy of being read. This has sparked a further interest of mine toward this playwright I have not previously heard about.

The second book is Rain Song by Alice J. Wisler (it's another one I checked out before the 22).  It tells the story of Nicole Michelin, English teacher in Mount Olive, North Carolina where the family reunion is every year, planned by her grandmother Ducee and great-aunt Iva. She fears and avoids airplanes, motorcycles, and Japan. Japan. Where something tragic happened. And Nicole doesn't remember it. She doesn't remember her childhood. And she mainly avoids the subject. Nicole also has a passionate love for her fish and writes the online column for the Pretty Fishy website. (cool name for a website) It is there that she meets Harrison, who knew her as a child in Japan.  Harrison is the key to Nicole's past. But Nicole can only get the key by going to Japan-and missing the family reunion. There are also Grable and Monet, Iva's child and grandchild. Monet, the wild child that doctor's can't get.Encouraged by Grable, Monet, and Ducee's Southern Truths, Nicole prepares for a journey to face her fears and find out who she was, who she is. This was GREAT book. Worthy of being read. I really enjoyed it and readers, take my advice and check it out from your library and read it as well.

The third book (and the last one, sort of) is I Heart Bloomberg by Melody Carlson (maybe her parent's were hippies if they named her Melody-it sounds like it could have been a hippie name hmm....) This book is the first in a set about four women living at 86 Bloomberg Place. Kendall, the owner is obsessed with shopping and has racked up loads of debt. She also suffers from an eating disorder, is self-centered, and lazy. To avoid getting a job she decides to get renters. Megan, who lives in an apartment with 3 other girls on a college campus has to escape her sleazy roomate Bethany. Anna, the pretty Hispanic, wants to escape her overprotective mother and have some of her own independence. Lelani, who came from Hawaii to live on the mainland, needs to escape her aunt's house. And each one, has a broken heart about something. But at 86 Bloomberg, as they work on the house, they also work on each other and themselves. The three rentees struggle to find their identities and become the women they want to be. And hopefully, they will teach Kendall something, and she will learn something. This book was also worth reading. I'm going to request the next book in the set-Let them eat Fruitcake.

As far as the P&P sequels-guess what?  I've decided to being with According to Jane by Marilyn Brant (I like the name Marilyn) I'm about halfway through with it, and it's been rather disappointing. Ellie, a girl who struggles with life, family, and love has Jane Austen in her mind to help her. But Ellie often ignores Jane, which usually gets her into trouble. Ellie searches for love, and gets it confused for lust. Throughout her education, from high school to graduate school, she is involved with certain guys who just aren't good for her and cause Ellie to become even more confused. If only Ellie would listen to Jane. Which makes me wonder, why did the author decided to put Jane in a girl's mind, when it's a girl who won't think, a girl who thinks she knows better? Jane is the more rational and logical one, while Ellie is high on emotions, desperate for love and not finding it. I've still got another half of the book left to go and maybe Ellie will listen to Jane, instead of arguing with her.

So these are the books I have been reading, which is what I have been doing instead of blogging this week.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Mockingjay review

The book Mockingjay, by Collins, is the third book in the Hunger Games series. It is told from Katniss Everdeen's point of view. In the two previous books, Katniss and Peeta Mellark, are tributes of District 12 to participate in the Hunger Games. They come out victorious and return to District 12. The first book describes their first games, and is the beginning of their love story. The second book, Catching Fire, is where Katniss and Peeta participate in the Quarter Quell, with other victors. Little do they know that the rebels against the Capitol have plans for them. Katniss and Peeta are unaware of these plans, but some of the others are not.

 At the end of this book, Katniss, Finnick, and Beetee are rescued by the rebels. Beetee and Finnick were other tributes from District 3 and 4 respectively. Peeta, Johanna Mason, and Enobaria are left behind, not rescued. Johanna was a tribute from 7 and Enobaria from 2. Johanna actually knew rebel secrets. While Katniss is being rescued, the Capitol is destroying District 12 with bombs.However some of them escape and are taken to District 13, where they are eagerly welcome. Among them are Katniss's oldest friend, Gale, who has caused a rift between her and Peeta, her mother, and her younger sister Prim (short for primrose)

In the Mockingjay, Katniss agrees to become the mockingjay for the rebels and District 13. She demands the immunity of Peeta, Johanna, and Enobaria, when they are rescued, as well as Annie, the girl in District 4 who Finnick loves.

Mockingjays were a cross between mockingbirds and jabberjays, which were created by the Capitol and sent out in the Districts, since they could record information. The jabberjays failed and were expected to became extinct in the wild. They didn't; they bred with mockingbirds and created a new species.

The first two parts of the book-the ashes and the assault are good. The third part, the assassin, is ridiculous. My suggestion is to skip it. Then read the last 2 or 3 chapters of the book.

A lot of people die in this book. Some of them old, some of them new. Collins has a way of creating  characters, trying to make her reader like them, usually succeeding, and then killing them off. It's terrible. Really. Really terrible. A lot more people die in this book, then in the other two. Which makes it a worse book. And I resent Collins for killing off some of her characters.

Gale, Katniss's friend, becomes a rebel. It's hard to figure out the relationship between him and Katniss because he's always taken a backseat to Peeta. But at the end, he abandons Katniss and goes to District 2 for some fancy job.

Peeta changes from the other books. Basically the Capitol brainwashed him. And his memories are distorted. He is afraid of Katniss now, rather than in love with her. Katniss now realizes how much she loved him.

After the rebels enter the Capitol, take and overthrow it, Katniss who is in revenge against President Snow, and wants to kill him, on execution day, kills President Coin instead.(Coin killed her sister, Prim) President Snow also dies that day. Katniss, her mentor Haymitch, a rebel, and Peeta return to District 12. They recover together. Katniss and Peeta recover from everything-the Games, the Quarter Quell, the rebellion. Peeta recovers from being brainwashed, but still suffers from it a little Katniss and Peeta fall in love again. Without Gale around or in the back of her head. Other people who survived the bombing come back, rebuild, plan for the District to be used as a place for growing plants and medicines.

The ending is one of the best parts-minus the epilogue, which is set about 20 years in the future,  reveals that Katniss and Peeta have two children-a girl and a boy-still live in District 12, and are worried about their children finding out about their lives as in these 3 books. But the ending, is where Katniss and Peeta recover, fall in love, and it's a really beautiful part.

So we know that Peeta and Katniss get married and have children but we don't know much about the other characters. We know what happens to Gale and Haymitch. We know that Katniss's mom goes to District 4 and sets up a hospital there. She probably becomes friends with Annie, who returns to District 4 and has a son. Johanna either returns to District 13 or home to District 7. Enobaria most likely goes home to District 2. However, the ending is nearly perfect, regardless of what happens to the other tributes.

One of the last themes of the book, sums it all up- humans have the ability to survive after extreme losses of life, and recover. Like Peeta and Katniss do.

I give this book 2 and 1/2 stars out of 5. There are good parts and bad parts. I liked the first two books much better.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

the ending, I loved it, dreams come true

I finished Pride and Prejudice yesterday. I loved it. As much I do the movie. Almost more. And the ending was perfect. The only part that is better in the movie is Darcy's second proposal. I've taken the liberty to request some more books out from the library, now having finished P&P. They are, along with their authors: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, Anything but Normal by Melody Carlson, Meant to be by Melody Carlson. While I am waiting for all of these to come in, I will try to read some more of Major Pettigrew's last stand and hopefully get to chapter eight by the end of the month. Or at least, that's the goal. By the way, did you know that according to the British survey which Jane Austen character are you? I am Catherine Morland? That's why I requested that particular book.

Other than my readings, I am also having to choose classes for my next year in high school. There are a lot of interesting classes out there and I'm having a hard time deciding. But I have made some decisions; I'm going to take English lit and comp ACC, advanced chemistry, pre-calculus, and Spanish four. I also have to take another semester of practical arts, which makes me a little mad. Really. Because what's the point of practical arts? I don't know what I'm going to do about that yet, but I guess I will just have to pick and take one. But I sure do wish I didn't have to. I'm thinking about taking a semester class called Voices of Dissent. It is about protest literature and it sounds very interesting. I signed up for it this year, but not enough people signed up so the school didn't have it as a class. So I hope to take it next year. And I think it will be a good class to take since I will most likely major in English in college. I don't know where I am going to college. The search has been really long, tiring, and tenuous. And I still have a long way to go in the search to find what I'm looking for. But I'll get there. I'll get there.

As for other plans, I want to join the Peace Corps because I want to travel. I hope to go somewhere where I can speak Spanish and learn more about the language, because I really like Spanish. I want to learn French and German also, because I want to do a lot of travelling and hiking and backpacking in Europe. I also want to drive all the way up the west coast of America one day. Maybe with the other women of my family. Maybe with my kids. But I know it's something I want to do. It's a dream. I want five to six kids but I don't want to get married until I'm 30. I think 30 is a good age to get married. I might also major in biology and I plan on going to law school. I have big dreams. Big dreams. And I'm going to make them come true.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cornbread, more Pride and Prejudice, some words, and tv

First cooking lesson of the year with my mom: how to make cornbread. I remember when I was younger I tried to make cornbread, and muffins, by myself. They didn't turn out well, either time. It turned out okay this time, but I have come to the conclusion that perhaps I am not meant to be a cornbread-maker. Maybe I am just suppose to eat it.

As for P&P I'm on the part where Jane and Elizabeth are home from their visits to London and Rosings. The movie portrays Elizabeth, in my opinion, as too arrogant. I don't find that she is so much in the book. I think Bennett and Bingley would make a good names for a dogs.

 I like the Elizabeth in the book much better than the one in the movie. I have gotten past the part of Mr. Darcy's letter and have only to write that it is difficult to read and I understood it in the movie much better. I like reading about their love story. Mr. Darcy is a far better man than the Bennets believe him to be, which to me is distressing. I don't understand how Elizabeth is so oblivious to Mr. Darcy's love until he tells her. Also, the movie tends to set Mr. Bingley as uneducated. Which is not really accurate from the book. It also underestimates Caroline Bingley.

Suffice to say that I believe that as much as I like the movie, and it is my favorite movie, the book P&P is better.

And I'm about halfway done with it. I'm taking it slow because I want to enjoy it.

The trouble with reading P&P is that there a great deal of long words that I don't know. One of them that has come up frequently is amiable. In the archaic tense it means pleasing and admirable. Jane Austen much have been very wordy and intelligent. I have a fear of long words, which is Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia. So thus I have a fear of this word. Long words are hard to say, so I find it reasonable to fear them. 

How we got from cornbread to long words escapes me.

My mother and I were watching a new movie called Change of Plans, with Brooke White in it, last night. It was a good show. It makes me wish I had a little sister. We also watched Bones that night. Booth (Bones' partner) gives up his credit on the Eureka drug bust because his brother gets caught for drunk driving and will lose his job in the military if he gets a DUI. And his brother doesn't even care. The loss of the credit given to Booth is noticed by his coworkers. It is natural for older siblings to watch out for the younger ones, but by doing so they deprive their younger siblings of taking responsibility for their own actions. I found this theme of the show interesting. Should friends and family intervene for each other? Is this not also a deprivation of responsibility? Are we all responsible for only our own interests? Or is family taken into account as well?

Enough to say that I have spent way to much time watching tv and now proceed to read some more P&P and try another cooking lesson another day.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy, "sequels"

I decided I would blog about Pride and Prejudice  today (personally, I think that word is annoying and hard to spell) It's my favorite movie and I'm also currently reading the book. Oh, and also I've been looking at other book reviews-"sequels" to P&P (as known by many blogger fans of the book) I call them "sequels" because they weren't written by Jane Austen; she didn't write a sequel to P&P. More modern authors, with imaginations, and the question What if? wrote them. And there are quite a lot. As interesting as they look though, I have decided to finish P&P by Jane Austen first before I actually read any of these "sequels." It's nice to know that I am not the only person out there in love with P&P, nor the only blogger in love with the story, either, who is blogging about it.

Who is my favorite character? That's a good question. I would have to say Mr. Darcy. He's everything a man should be, despite how arrogant the Bennett family sees him as. (He is not arrogant) He cares deeply for Charles Bingley, his best friend and loves his sister very much. And he loves Elizabeth enough to marry her despite the circumstances of his rank and birth and her inferiority. (basically he was like royalty, sort of but not really, and she wasn't) At first I felt as though Elizabeth was not worthy enough of him. But he loved her and I love their love story. Elizabeth is just like her mother says "headstrong, foolish girl" but one who knows her mind, even if she does not know her heart. And Elizabeth is more than a girl, of course she is a woman, in all respects.

I hope to marry a man like Mr. Darcy.

I also admire Jane Bennett, the eldest of the Bennett sisters. She is painfully shy and very reserved. Played by Rosamund Pike in the movie, she looks every bit the real character. She is the most beautiful characters; her caring and compassionate nature a part of it. I am quite satisfied in knowing that she and Mr. Bingley get married at the end of the book. They are both deserving of the other.

Of course, although I have to yet finish the book, the movie is very satisfying. It is my favorite movie. I look forward to finishing the book. Yes, the book is different. It is more in depth on the interaction of Elizabeth, Jane, and Caroline Bingley, and their feelings toward each other. It also gives more on Mr. Collins and how arrogant he really was. In my opinion, I didn't really seem him as too arrogant, in the movie, but in the book he really is. The book justifies why the Bennett family treat and view Mr. Darcy the way the do. ( it says so in the second sentence of the book)  The book describes Charlotte Lucas in more detail and how she came to be married with Mr. Collins. (The movie briefly touches on the subject) The conversation where Mr. Collins proposes to Elizabeth is more thorough in the book and touches more on Elizabeth's feelings and reasons. Like all books, it is more detailed and descriptive than the movie. However, I like them both equally.

When I am done reading P&P I will start reading some of "sequels," starting with one each month.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My own blog, Julie and Julia, cooking, books

I now have my own blog. Actually, I've had one for a day now. An entire day. I'm excited about having my own blog. I'm doing it for my creative writing class at school, but I might keep it up, or create a new one later on. I think I'm going to like blogging.

The first time I heard about blogging (in depth, I guess) was last week when my mom and I watched the movie, Julie and Julia. It's about Julia Child, cooking prodigy and her husband, and Julie, a writer and wife who lives in Brooklyn New York. Julie loves cooking (and writing!) and she decides that she is going to go through Julia's cookbook in a year and blog about it. It was a good movie. Worth watching, in my opinion, which is worth a lot.

This movie also got me thinking about cooking. I don't cook. I'm more of a baker, I think. My mom tells me to think of cooking like a science experiment. So I've been thinking about cooking. So far I haven't done any cooking yet. But I did get a new spanish tapas cookbook, which Mom and I are going to start on soon. Tapas is a form of eating, meant to inspire and invoke conversation. Instead of each person ordering one big dish and eating that one big dish, each person orders one to two dish and everyone shares them. Interesting, right?

I LOVE books. A lot. I love them a lot. Bookstores, borders especially, are safe places. Away from the rest of the world. I love borders, by the way. I love books more, I'm pretty sure (about that). Because books are great. I can't imagine being a person who doesn't like or enjoy books. So at Borders (yeah, that awesome place) I got a two new books (along with the tapas cookbook) Charms for the easy life, about 3 sisters who seek comfort in each other and their home during WWII, and Band of Angels, about a young lady  in Wales in an ordinary, comfortable life, with her best friend, whom she runs away to London with. She becames a nurse and learns about life and love and loss and losing love. These sound like good books, right? I hope so. I haven't read them yet. I have to finish reading this book my mom got me.

This book my mom bought me is Major Pettigrew's last stand. It's about Major whose wife is deceased and his brother has just died at the beginning of the book. Mrs. Ali, who comes and checks on him,  whose shopkeeper husband is deceased, and him form a bond and realize it is more than just admiration. But Mrs. Ali is a Pakistani woman, somewhat of an "outcast" of society, although she is a part of it, she is not totally accept and is always viewed a an outsider. Major is viewed as the old retired guy who is just waiting to die, but is repected for having served in the war. Society has set them apart and this book is (I guess) about how they challenge that, as well as society as a whole. I've only read like the first few chapters so far. And it's going pretty good.

On a final note, I guess just to wrap things up, I would like to say that I think I will like writing blogs.