My OTP

Standard

For those outside of the know, an OTP is “One True Pairing.” The one fictional couple that you, as a fangirl (or fanboy) hold above all the rest because they were Made To Be Together. 

Infinite Ink challenged us Bout of Bookers to tell her all about our OTP and I have to say, this is a tough one. Who is my OTP? Hmm…

I’m going to go with a classic, because classics never go out of style. 

Gilbert Blythe and Anne Shirley. Be still my beating heart. From Anne of Green Gables. Obviously. 

If you don’t know the story, Anne is an orphan who is taken to Green Gables to be raised by bro/sis (awesome) duo Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert. She is super dramatic and empathetic and proud. And she hates her red hair. Gilbert takes to her instantly, however insults her by calling her “Carrots” which starts an almost indefinite rivalry between them.

“Carrots!”

Anne can never forgive him for making fun of her hair and he can never get over how she keeps snubbing him. Until one day, they do. They become friends, but it’s kind of clear that Gilbert’s in love with her. He rescues her multiple times. It’s so perfect.

“Anne Shirley.”

That’s really all I’m going to say. Go read the series and sigh over them. Gilbert particularly. Then go watch the movies and sigh again. And again. 

There are two adaptations of this book out there on the interwebs. One is just an episode of an awesome show called Kissing in the Rain. It stars my favorite, Mary Kate Wiles. The other is Green Gables Fables. It’s a web series put together by some seriously dedicated high school students. They are doing a marvelous job adapting it.

Tales of a Time Gone By

Standard

When I was in high school I was an avid reader, much as I am now, with less refined tastes. I hate a hankering for Christian romances like none other and Traci Peterson and Lori Wick were my favorites. They were sappy and overflowing with ridiculous metaphors of life with Christ and I lapped up every word.

I was a junior and in the musical The Wizard of Oz (primarily because I auditioned and could sing, not due to any acting talent on my part). We were backstage during either the dress rehearsal or one of the shows and I was reading The Hawk and the Jewel by Lori Wick for the second or third time.

A friend of mine, Olivia, asked me what I was reading and I told her all about it. I explained that it was about a young girl who was kidnapped by an emperor when she was a child but given back to her family as she grew into an adult and about how she fit into 19th century life. I was at a point in the book when the main character, Sunny, is reunited with her nephew, Miles. Olivia picked up the book and read one line:

Miles smiled and the two met in the middle of the room and shared a great hug.

The entire girls dressing room cracked up at hearing this and proceeded to ask, rhetorically I presume, what a great hug would look like. I think a few of them tried to act it out, though that might be my wild imagination.

At the time I think I took it personally. I took a lot of things personally in high school. However, I saw Olivia for the first time last week and that memory was one of the first things to pop into my head. So I went hunting for this book. I couldn’t remember the line, but I remembered that it was funny and that I had laughed many times since over that scene in my head. So I read the whole book from cover to cover to find that line. Even now I chuckle at what a great hug is. Any ideas? I’m going to find a great hug gif. Hold on.

If this is what their hug looked like, I would be so sad. But I would laugh forever.

I imagine that the Doctor gives the best hugs. Dare we call them ‘great?’

Now this, this is a great hug.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Hugh Laurie share an EPIC hug. That goes beyond great. No greatness in this hug. Just pure AWESOME. I have no idea what this is from. Someone enlighten me?

Kind of self-explanatory. Gotta love Boy Meets World. They really get great hugs.

I would like to note that most of the “great hug gifs” that popped up on Google were Glee gifs. Because Glee knows that it’s not songs that make the world go round but great hugs. Large hugs. Share a great hug with someone you know today.

This post was inspired by Olivia and high school musicals (but not High School Musical ™).

Bout of Books 11 Day 1

Standard

I made through Day 1 and read a book. Well, finished a book. I had read 100 pages of The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick before I started, but managed to read the remaining 300 in record time. I also started, Wool by Hugh Howey and The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey. Why am I reading that again? Because I like it! I don’t need to justify myself to you!

I read Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard prior to the start of the challenge, so that’s off the list. I’m hoping to finish The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton (who is my favorite ever) and potentially The Man Who Was Thursday if I can get it from the library. So altogether I read about 400 pages. I’m guesstimating the Lackey book because it’s on my Audible account.

Monday
Number of books I’ve read today: 1
Total number of books I’ve read: 1
Number of pages I’ve read today: 400 (approximately)
Total number of pages I’ve read: 400
Reviews written: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet
Books: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick

Today was also an Emma Approved day, though not as exciting as Thursday will be. And tomorrow is a Classic Alice day, which is top aces! If you have no idea what I’m talking about or have no knowledge of awesome Youtube shows, check out my post here. It’s the perfect sized reading diversion/break.

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet

Standard

It is no secret that I am a HUGE fan of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries series on Youtube. When announcements for this book went out I was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to read it. Then I got the book and I was in the middle of a move and life happened. I started it and put it down and picked it up and put it down. Now, thanks to Bout of Books, I HAVE FINISHED! And I’m glad I did.

I rotated between listening and reading.

I rotated between listening and reading.

This “diary” is a companion to the show and complements it excellently. Bernie Su and Kate Rorick did a magnificent job. I’m not sure if it could stand on its own or not, but I would encourage newcomers to the media sensation to give it a try.

The story centers around Lizzie Bennet and her two sisters, Jane and Lydia. It’s a modernization of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen so you might be wondering, where are Mary and Kitty? Mary is a cousin and Kitty is an ACTUAL CAT. Which I love.

Lizzie is a Mass Comm grad student and struggling with life, student loans, inquisitive parents, and a lot of other common issues the millennial generation encounters. Lydia is an…er…energetic youngest sister who just wants to be loved by her sisters. And Jane is too nice. As usual.

The great thing about this version is that Lizzie isn’t the only who makes strides in the character development area. Jane gets a backbone and starts to take charge instead of getting walked all over. Lydia learns that outrageous isn’t always best. Lydia is actually my favorite character in the show because she is shown to be vulnerable and in the novel you see so much more. You learn about Jane’s 48-hour scare and Lydia’s insights into others. And you learn that Lizzie really does care about her family long before it shows it in the videos. I think that’s the biggest flaw in the show, you don’t really get that she loves her mom or Lydia, it seems like she just tolerates them. However, you know she has a lot of affection for those she teases on the show in the book because you see her feelings and what she hides from the camera. I liked that a lot.

 I also liked that we got to read Darcy’s letter. And we got to see the day in the city that Gigi and Darcy take Lizzie on. It was a glimpse into the stuff you only hear about in the show and I liked it. A lot.

I especially like Mr. Bennet. He is much more Mr. Bennet in the book than the show, where you don’t really see him. The conversation between him and Lizzie about Darcy at the end was perfection. *warm fuzzies*

If you can’t tell by my repetition of the phrase, I liked this book a lot. It was funny and emotional and well written. If you liked the show, you’ll like the book and vice-versa.

And if you liked both or either, check out Emma Approved! It’s about to reach the finale and you won’t want to miss it!!

Happy Belated Bloggiversary To Me!!

Standard

I completely missed my Bloggiversary this year due to moving, so…

HAPPY 5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!

Strange to think that I’ve been at this for five years, eh? On July 7, 2009 I decided to start writing about book stuff. Slowly I’ve just put my feelings and life here on this blog. And I love it.

And now, for your enjoyment and mine, a series of gifs to illustrate how excited I am about this occasion (despite the fact that I missed it).

This one just makes me laugh.

Dracula…it’s about time, I know

Standard

Insomnia is my thing lately. Don’t sleep; stay up forever. Might as well write, right? So here it is, a book review. I know you’ve been dying for it, and I gotta say, I’ve been dying to write it.

It’s deliciously good.

Dracula was one of those books that I pretended to read in high school and then glossed over in college. Horror isn’t really my thing (Although Stephen King is probably one of my favorite writers ever. His genre of choice is unfortunate). Recently, I decided that I wanted to read more classics and so I bought a few on Audible. Audible is the bomb.

They had an Audible Studios edition of Dracula narrated by a full cast and oh, my. It was perfection. Alan Cumming was Dr. Seward. Katherine Kellgren was Mina Harker, Simon Vance was Jonathan Harker, and Tim Curry was Dr. Van Helsing. The narration was spot on. The narrator who did the voice of Lucy was irritating (her name escapes me at the moment), so I found Lucy irritating, but I think I would have anyway. Audible did a terrific job producing this.

The story is told in a series of diary entries, letters, and telegrams (the official word for those are epistolary novels, fyi). I didn’t know that before, or I might have read it sooner. I have an affinity for stories told in this manner. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is one of my favorites for that exact reason. It credibly shows what each character was thinking or feeling without putting the reader in the omniscient perspective. It was perfect for the chilling story which was told.

The plot differed widely from the Dracula I had come to know through popular culture.

The Van Helsing of the book is a seriously old man. Not Hugh Jackman, who is young and highly attractive.

Nor is this what Dracula looks like. Dracula is a hideous old man. Not hot Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

 

Dracula is truly creepy and super old. He’s not redeemable, not good, but pure evil. And ridiculously smart. This isn’t Frankenstein’s monster or some mindless Edward-like vamp. This is a genius who pits his wits against a motley crew of Britain’s finest.

Definitely more like this creepster. This is Christopher Lee, btw. He played Dracula in over 10 films.

 

Dr. Van Helsing is also brilliant, but definitely needs the help of his little band.

Because this is what he really looks like. Peter Cushing played Van Helsing, opposite Christopher Lee in all 10+ films.

The story starts with Jonathan visiting Dracula’s castle and realizing what he is. It’s very creepy and I had to stop listening for a time so I could reasonably get over it. Then Lucy becomes a vampire and thus the Band of Awesome is born. That’s just the title I gave them in my head. You’ve got Arthur, Lucy’s former fiancé. He’s a bit squeamish, but willing to undergo any trial to pay Dracula back for changing his darling girl. Then there are her two other suitors who were rejected: Dr. Seward (my personal favorite), and Quincy. Seward runs an asylum and Quincy is an American Cowboy. I love that Americans are represented in this tale. Seward calls Van Helsing, who knows more about Lucy’s “disease”, to help heal her. However, they fail and she is transformed into a child-eating vamp. Then Jonathan and Mina join the group as they discover they have all endured similar circumstances and that a grave danger faces England should Dracula move to London, as is his intent.

I have to say, Bram Stoker wrote women rather well for a man of his time. Wilhelmina is no delicate flower in need of rescuing. She is rescued, but she’s strong and contributes to her salvation by keeping spirits high and organizing all the information and, in the end, going with Van Helsing to Transylvania. I admire her relationship with Jonathan so much. He trusts her to do her own thing and respects her strength, mentally, emotionally, and morally. And she loves and respects him and his passion for his work. She wants to be a part of his life and he wants to be a part of hers. It’s a really awesome relationship. They are basically the perfect couple and were it not for the pesky vampire they would have had a delightful life.

I don’t want to tell all that happens because I enjoyed listening to it so much. Even if you’ve read it before, the Audible version is golden; you should go listen to it. It’s intense and beautiful. It’s intensely beautiful. This book is definitely on my favorites list.

Bout of Books 11…SAY WHAT?!

Standard

Okay, due to having no job, few friends, and no life, I am opting to do this again. I love Bout of Books. And I just got a library card for Beavercreek.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Bout of Books

 

GOALS!

To read as much as humanly possible. I have four books in my room right now and one on hold at the library.

1. The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton. I like it so far, but it would be cool if I could finish this in a week.

2. Wool by Hugh Howey. SO EXCITED TO FINALLY READ THIS!

3. The Once and Future King by T. H. White. Ditto.

4. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard. Same.

5. Wolfsbane by Patricia Briggs.

These might change as there are four days between now and the challenge and I don’t know that I can hold off reading them forever. Three of these books are on my summer reading list, and it’ll be nice to check them off when I do my annual report. It would be awesome if I read all these and managed to knock Jane’s Fame out of the park too. We’ll see.

I’m ridiculously excited for this!! Hope to see you all join as well!