Thursday, September 20, 2012

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre. Where to begin, where to begin? I read Jane Eyre for school last year as part of my 9th grade literature course and I was really excited to read it again for the classics club.

It was even better than I had remembered.

Jane Eyre is the story of a young governess who goes to live in the moor country of England in the stern mansion Thornfield. She is to teach the ward of the puzzling Mr. Rochester. Slowly but surely Jane finds herself falling in love with her stern master and occasionally even feels that he returns her feelings. But there is a mystery surrounding her master one that might blot out every hope of happiness Jane has.

This book is in the fourteen and up range.

That said I shall now proceed to try and convince those of you who are "up" to read this book.

I the first place Jane herself is an awesome character. I find her as a young girl to be very much like myself. Fond of books and thinking, impressed by beauty and capable of becoming almost rabid with rage when pushed to far. However as Jane grows up and comes under the influence of kind teachers and patient schoolmates she becomes meeker and more patient herself, submissive without losing her spark of independence.

I love reading about Jane. The way she talks to herself, her low opinion of her own looks, her art, her solitary walks, it all fascinates me. I never get bored reading about Jane, though on the surface she is most certainly a very boring person.

There is a certain quiet rustle to this tale that makes it hard to put down even when the story itself is quiet. And when the plot thickens....! Forget any laundry you may have had in mind you simply must read another chapter.

Mr. Rochester is another character I never tire of hearing about. This guy is just plane interesting, Rough, rude, and gentle mixed add some striking ugliness and a habit of beetling at people with his eyebrows and you've got Mr. Rochester.

The over all feel of this book is electric it makes you sit up and take notice. The first line alone "There was no possibility of taking a walk that day" is intriguing. Right away you know that Jane is not your normal heroine.

The ending... What can I say? Is there anything more beautiful then Mr. Rochester's words to Jane about his salvation? Some say that the transition was to fast. I disagree, we didn't see the transition because Jane didn't but we saw the result and I personally love it.

Oh and does this song remind anyone of what Mr. Rochester might have been feeling while Jane was gone? just replace the word "sing" with "surprise me with your blunt lovable ways"

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Right now I'm reading Ben Hur, The Cat of Bubastes, and Hans Brinker right now. Very satisfying. You know what I love most about all these books? They immerse you so much in the world of the characters. For a little while at least I am in Roman Judea, or New Kingdom Egypt, or Holland. As a writer who is focusing on learning how to make places "pop" right now this is wonderful for me.

I never really read before I started writing. Oh I read physically and emotionally, I would swallow whole books in hours and be swallowed by them but I didn't really read. I didn't have the scope I have now. As a writer I am so much better able to wonder at the scope of grandeur that these fellow laborers bring seemingly with the sweep of a pen, can both sink into the story and sit back and marvel at the beauty of each individual sentence. Oh yes reading is much better from this side of the fence. I also feel more I think, since I started writing and exploring the feelings and emotions of my characters tears come more readily than they used to.

Reading used to be an escape from boredom, I used to be bored a lot. So I had two solutions. i could read, or I could pretend. Of course pretending is impossible with people watching so I could only pretend on sunny days when no one was in the back yard, this meant that I read a lot.

Now I'm hardly ever bored. Between new attitudes that I'm striving to cultivate, new pursuits{drawing, blogging, and writing} and new responsibilities I'm almost never without a lot on plate. After I started writing and that took a great hunk of my time my reading began to slowly but surely slacken. I barely noticed that it was happening until like February and then I only thought, "well that's good I was starting to spend to much time reading like four hours a day. That wasn't good." And then about three weeks ago I realized I hadn't read anything not one thing that wasn't for school in a week and a half.


What happened to the Anne that used to sit on the sofa nose buried in a book deaf and blind to the rest of the world? What happened to the girl who would sleep with Son of the Black Stallion under her pillow just so that she could be near it? Where is the Anne who took twenty books with her to Disney world even though she knew she wouldn't read all of them just because she felt safer with provision for emergency near her?

Where is Anne? Stuck in front of the computer screen eyes barely seeing the words she types as the scene plays out before her. This is not bad, I need to write.

But I also need to read. If I don't put words in my tank I won't be getting many out, and besides that reading is just to great an opportunity to miss!

This blog is my journey-my new journey- through books. How they fascinate me and inspire me and what I think of them. Right now that journey is being slightly outlined by my Classics Club list { page at the top} but that by no means limits it. So open up them pages and put down the mouse! It's time to read!

Saturday, September 15, 2012


This blog is, to say the least, boring. It may not be boring to you, in fact I've gotten some very nice comments on here that seem to point to the fact that this is not boring.

But it is. It is boring me.

You see my other blog my writing blog is a part of me, when I feel down or in need of companionship I write a post on there about my writing or feelings about writing. In the ten months I've been a writer writing and blogging about writing have become such a part of me that if for some reason that blog got deleted I think I would be in tears, correction, I KNOW I would be in tears. This blog though I don't feel much affection for. I feel formal and stiff when writing on it, like I've got to live up to some standard. I steer away from spoilers and try my best to sound profound. And it's not working

So I'm calling a screech. Instead of blah de blahing about the different books I've read trying desperately to sound like an official book blogger I'm just going to write what I feel like writing. Book reviews yes, but my kind of book reviews, the kind where I just talk about what this book meant to me not try to sound scholarly. Oh and this blog is getting a make over too. 

You see Jillian, a blogger I greatly respect and the founder of the Classics Club, writes about her won personal Journey through the classics about how the classics are her "room of her own" her peace and quiet and her time to herself. She started blogging as she started reading the classics, both things together.

I on the other hand started book blogging cause I thought the Classics club sounded cool. Now I'm thinking a little differently.

A lot of people talk of reading and writing as a journey. well that may be cliche but I like it. So now this blog is my journey, my four fold journey through Classic Literature, History, Poetry, and Plain Old Good Books.

The next four posts will be detailing how I see these panning out and all that good stuff. Hopefully in the next three years{my years left in high school} I hope these four rather separate personal studies will roll themselves into one since I consider all these to be similar and part of each other and best studies together.

Peaceful nonsense to you all!

With love,
 The Anne girl     

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Tale of Two Cities

Where to begin? What to say? This is my beloved Dickens. This is Sydney Carton. This is the French revolution. This book is the one I almost picked for my favorite classic.

This book broke my heart.

Read it please. It will break yours.

France is flowing with blood and rage, gasping for more of both. Among it's throngs several characters are brought out of the red mist to play out there story on the bold relief of it's curtain.

A girl comes to claim her father from a decrepit wine shop where he was being cared for. He had been taken from the Bastille where he had lost his memory. Escorted by an old family friend Mr. Lorry, Lucie Manette and her father leave for England never expecting to come to France again. 

Their paths cross two men, Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton, who look remarkably alike and yet could not be more different...except in their love for Lucie. 

Charles is gentlemanly, eager, and industrious. Sydney is sloppy, rough, and he drinks. It is Charles of course who wins the love of Lucy. But when the characters are once again drawn to the bloody streets of France the true meaning of "hero" becomes apparent 

Read this book with a growing lump in your throat.

Sydney Carton is the point of this book. I loved other characters I held my breath for other characters, and I was fascinated by the other plot lines, but Sydney was something different.

Miss Havisham, Estella, Steerforth, Lady Dedlock. I begged for them, I pleaded for them, I cried for them. Sydney put them all behind him. I was almost praying that the book would end different then I knew it would.

So what's so special about Sydney Carton? He's no John Ridd.

No he's not. And that was what hurts so much. He could have been one of the most brilliant men who ever lived. He could have been the one Lucy loved, he could have been epic. But he wasn't. And it was his own fault. He was to lazy to develop hid enormous brain capacity. To lazy to make something of himself. And he had no one to blame but himself.

Why does that hurt so much? Why? Why cant we just put him down as Tip Dorrit and move on? It's because he knows it. And because I see myself in him. I'm lazy, you're lazy. Every human is lazy. Sydney went under because of it.

And he knew it. But to late. I cried my way through the second half of the book. I wanted a second Valjean. Valjean turned to God and changed his ways before it was to late.  

Sydney doesn't. He dies in peace but his life spilled and wasted behind him. For one day he is a hero. For only one day he stands tall as a man and does something that was worthy of Sir Percy himself.

And yet to me the greatest moment of his heroism is not when he trades with Charles. To me his greatest moment is when he spends his last moments comforting the young seamstress who would proceed him to the guillotine. His life was a total waste but his death was not. Frankly though I care about poor Lucie and Charles  I think the greatest deed Sydney carton ever did was to comfort that poor trembling girl in the moments before the blade fell.

Sydney Carton made me want to live my life with purpose.

Read about him please. He'll do the same for you.

It is a far better thing.....