Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Heathcliff is Miss Havisham. I don’t know how many times I have read Wuthering Heights, but it’s been a few.  More than three at least.  I’m a fanboy. I read it again on Monday as my way of celebrating Emily Brontë’s 200th birthday.  I honestly thought there would be more hoopla; maybe a public read-a-loud somewhere. But if it was going to be just me, then … Continue reading Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Jane Austen Read All-a-long Book 4: Emma

I gave up. Full confession. I tried, I really did. I even broke down and got an audio version to listen to during my commute to and from work. But I just couldn’t take it. I think it in part an effect of this little reading challenge project I set for myself. This was the fourth Jane Austen book in as many months for me. … Continue reading Jane Austen Read All-a-long Book 4: Emma

Jane Austen Read All A-long: Mansfield Park

This is a “two-gasp” Jane Austen novel. While reading it, I gasped twice. Jane Austen has this way of suddenly throwing her reader for a loop with just a tiny slip of narrative so affecting it makes this reader gasp out loud. She is a master of plotting. My gasping came during the novel’s first half.  First when young Fanny Price is forgotten by her … Continue reading Jane Austen Read All A-long: Mansfield Park

Sunday Salon: Why the Booker Short List Ruins my Reading and Other Bookish Items

I’m one of those people who get excited over the Man Booker Prize.  Almost every year, once the long list is announced, I head over the my local library to get as many of the nominated books as I can.  Typically, there are a few not yet available in America, and there are a couple my library doesn’t have yet. So I check out two … Continue reading Sunday Salon: Why the Booker Short List Ruins my Reading and Other Bookish Items

Jane Austen Read All A-long Book Two. Did YOU P&P?

This has been a big month for Jane Austen fans, Austen in August and all.  It was month two/book two for the Jane Austen Read All A-long.  I finished Pride and Prejucdice earlier this week–loved it again.  I think of the six books, this is the one I will be keeping around to reread in retirement. I could have nearly called this a Re-read All A-Long … Continue reading Jane Austen Read All A-long Book Two. Did YOU P&P?

Autumn by Ali Smith

This is a troublesome book. Ultimately, I enjoyed it, I was moved by it, I came to see its excellence. But it was a bumpy road getting there. I’ve been reading the Booker Long List blind for the most part.  I got as many of the books as my local library allows without reading anything about them, or much about them. (There are a few … Continue reading Autumn by Ali Smith

New Favorite Book/Old Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

This is at least the third time I’ve read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, maybe the fourth.  So I can’t really say it’s a “New Favorite Book” but I can say that it certainly holds up to re-reading. So that’s what I’m going to discuss here, the pleasures and perils of re-reading. There are some books that can be correctly understood in completely different fashions each time you read … Continue reading New Favorite Book/Old Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Jane Austen Read A-Long: Pride and Prejudice

How is everyone doing so far? I should be completing Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice late this evening or tomorrow night.  My reading time has been limited this week by the start of school.  As the old prostitute said, it’s not the work, it’s the commute.  Mine was made worse when the district I work for decided to start school later. Something about improved learning for high … Continue reading Jane Austen Read A-Long: Pride and Prejudice

Making Books with Jane Austen

I spent this past week, the last of my summer vacation, at the Center for the Book in San Francisco  taking a four-course intensive book binding class.  We learned how to make the four bindings shown in the picture here; Coptic, flat-back case, limp paper and rounded back case. I’ve been making my own books for many years now, following the directions in various how-to … Continue reading Making Books with Jane Austen

Jane Austen Read All A-long Book Two (Pride and Prejudice) and Man Booker Longlist Reading

I’m taking a break from my recent stint of Man-Booker Prize Long List books to read Jane Austen’s second published novel Pride and Prejudice for the Jane Austen Read All A-long. You can still sign up for the remaining five books here.  I will get to the famous openng sentence later today. I’ll be reading Pride and Prejudice on the ferry boat this week as I go back … Continue reading Jane Austen Read All A-long Book Two (Pride and Prejudice) and Man Booker Longlist Reading

Jane Austen Read All-a-long: Sense and Sensibility

Two impressions: One, I’m surprised by just how much Jane Austen can shock me through effective plotting.  I suspect that most of her fans will list her prose, her sense of humour and her characterization as the reasons why they love her, but she’s very good with plotting, too.  There was a point in the final part of Sense and Sensibility that had me gasping in shock. … Continue reading Jane Austen Read All-a-long: Sense and Sensibility

No Blade of Grass by John Christopher

There world has been coming to an end since 1956. There has been an explosion of dystopian futures of late.  If you wandered around any Scholastic Book Faire this year, you saw that just about one out of ever four titles in the fiction section featured some kind of horrific future. It’s oddly comforting to realize that this is really nothing new. The end of … Continue reading No Blade of Grass by John Christopher