Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Jonathan Swift Wrap up

 Last weekend we road tripped it down to Seattle for my cousin Tyler's wedding reception. It was so great to see so many special relatives! We also visited the Museum of Flight near the Boeing facility. It was impressive to say the least!

Well last month I decided to read Gulliver's Travels- as I've owned the book for quite some time but never read it. The local attraction "Miniature World" contains a neat exhibit of Gulliver at the beginning of the novel- washed up on the sea shore and tied up by the Lilliputians who are no more than six inches high, clambering around on his body, and in the process of releasing a shower of tiny arrows at him. Someone in my grade 12 literature class did a short presentation on the book, but I didn't even recall much of that. So this book is clearly a classic, and I was excited to read it!

Gulliver's Travels is a novel that I would read again. This says a lot, because I am definitely the type who reads something only once (until I have forgotten that I have read it, in which case I may read it again- this has happened...). I was pleased to find out that Gulliver travels to a handful of different locations and meets the citizens that live there- rather than stay in one place the whole story. All of the characters are larger (or smaller!) than life! Some are even horses! The storyline speeds along quickly, and is never dull (not knowing a good number of words did get tiring though, and I probably missed quite a bit just skimming over them). Beneath the surface, political and philosophical satire gives the story more depth as the author explores the state of humanity and the ironies within it. Next time I read Gulliver's Travels, I will have a dictionary handy for words and I don't know and look into the ways of life, current government, social issues, etc. of England in the early 1700's- as it would be helpful to know what sort of world Swift was seeing and remarking on.

Stay tuned... I'm almost done another book and will write a review when I'm done. It's not one of the classics, but I've decided it's ok to branch out on this blog! (You can do what you want when very few people read it anyways-heehee)

Monday, November 9, 2015

Nathaniel Hawthorne Wrap-up

Well better late than never I guess!

I read The Scarlet Letter by Hawthorne and knew I would enjoy it because I had read it before. I don't really know what it is that I do like about it though because it's all so very sad with no light at the end of the tunnel! There is not a lot of hope in this short novel! Even the few depicted happy moments are tainted with some sort of acknowledgement of despair or unknown evil. I did enjoy the character development and the study of how secrecy and living a lie can take a toll on the heart, mind and body.
More than one character experienced that in this book!

I'm currently reading a little book by Polly Horvath called "The Trolls". It is probably considered youth fiction. We used to curl up- 3 in the bed and listen to it on tape! It is absolutely hilarious at any age in my opinion (well at least up to 26!).

Here are a few pictures from a recent jaunt near Goldstream!

Hope you are well wherever you are!


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Washington Irving Wrap-up

The author for June was Washington Irving, an American author who lived around the same time as Cooper, our last month's author. Maybe they were friends or at least colleagues (or rivals!)... They both lived in New York during their writing years.

I read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in June.

Like mom, I also just downloaded this short story from the Internet. I thought it was very creative, and I enjoyed the imagery created of Sleepy Hollow- a beautiful but haunted wood that is immune to the passing of time. As for Ichabod Crane, I liked him at first but then he became a little greedy and I grew less fond.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

James Fennimore Cooper Wrap-up

Hello and happy June 2nd! We've been enjoying a few breezier, brisker days here on the West Coast after a week or so of unexpected spring scorchers. A friend and I walked around Cattle Point this morning- a great way to start the day. 

I know, I know. Totally creepy. 
I checked out the My Idol App, and although it's totally in Japanese, I finally figured out how to make it work! It scans your face, and then you can choose and outfit/hairstyle/accessories that most look like you, and then you can watch yourself groove on the screen along to funky music. I have since deleted the app but I will always have this photo as a wonderful keepsake....

A bikeride to the park with Mark and Alison a few weeks ago! We had a delicous breakfast at Cora's first and then went to a massive book sale. It was our first anniversary weekend!

We have a two wheeled addition to the family! It's name is Big Red, and when I ride it, I become "Globehead". Daniel turns into "Astroboy". It's uncanny how those helmets can transform us!

We found a restaurant that has a games area downstairs! 

A day out on the paddleboards:)


Ok- now onto more important things- like the author of the month!

James Fennimore Cooper. I read "The Deerslayer" (and to be accurate I'm not actually totally finished yet), but I am really enjoying it! Cooper wrote a collection of books about the same main character: Natty Bumpo AKA the Deerslayer AKA Hawkeye, and these books follow him at different periods of his life. The Deerslayer is actually the last one that Cooper wrote but tells about Bumpo when he is younger than all the other books. 

The setting is the wilderness of the Americas in the 1800's (the novel was written in 1841), where the "pale faces" and the "red men" are living, some in harmony, and some in the pursuit of "scalps" and revenge.

Surprisingly, the book has made me laugh more than any of our books so far... Monica and I have had a few good chuckles reading to each other lines from our books. (She is reading Last of the Mohicans").

For example, The Deerslayer is naive to romance, having been brought up among a tribe in the woods. He states his only love will ever be the trees and forest, etc. This is what he says when his friend Sarpant makes a slip in reasoning that the Deerslayer calulates is based on love:
"He'll never be the man he was till this matter is off hs mind, and he comes to his senses, like all the rest of mankind."- "We must sartainly manage to...have 'em married as soon as we get back... or this war will be of no more use!" 

The  manner of thinking has changed alot since this book was written, particularely in respect to human rights belonging to all humans regardless of colour and gender. It's quite interesting to be taken back to that world.

All for now- next month is Washington Irving!

Hope all is well wherever you are!



Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Shakespeare Wrap-up

I finished reading Julius Ceaser this morning. I really did enjoy the storyline- it was quite gripping and fast paced! There's really no sense of a timeline, so it seems like everything happened very quickly around the "Ides of March", or March 15th.  It's neat that this play was based on true Roman history. That's all folks. Did you enjoy Shakespeare?

I got to Facetime my lovely sister this morning, and guess who she had with her?! A good friend I met in Iowa. It was so cool to see them together in Scotland. I'll admit, I kinda wish I was over there too! But alas, someone must clip the american express coupons out of the paper, do the crosswords, water the garden and eat the ripe bananas (we have many!).

Have a good day wherever you are:)


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

April '15- Shakespeare

I do not remember if this was a sunrise or sunset... I'm guessing sunset.
It's Sidney, BC either way.

A cheesy grin at Coombs market:)

And it's April! Well into April but better late than never to write a blog post, eh?!

William Shakespeare:
Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest

I have decided to read Julius Caesar because it's the only of these four books that I havn't read in high school already. Granted, I don't remember very much about The Tempest and Hamlet. I havn't decided if I will read them later or not! But for now, Julius Caesar and I will spend some time together this month. I found a copy of it in a used bookstore in Coombs that's called "No fear Shakespeare". There is a plain english translation side by side with the old English of the 16th century. 

PS: I have another book on the go right now too! It's the first of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Apparently this series is all the rage right now because a TV show has come out based on it. There are 8 books so far and a 9th is coming out. It's about a nurse who time travels (inadvertantly), from the 1900's back to 1743 through some standing stones in Scotland. {Monica, are you hooked yet?} So far, I'm enjoying this book alot!

Have a good day wherever you are!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Robert Louis Stevenson Wrap-up

Visiting Russell Island off of Vancouver Island last summer. A family of Hawaiians settled here in the 1870's, and their house is still there! Descendants of the original family volunteer their time to keep the house and run it as a informative centre for tourists.

Great memories! Can't wait for summer again:)

Dinner with a view!


Hello! Hope you have had a great week so far.

I ended up reading A Child's Garden of Verses this month! It was short but very sweet! I loved the short poems, all from a child's creative, innocent, yet limited point of view. You get a good sense of a child's play and simple fancies indoor and out. Some of the poems focused around bedtime, especially the injustice of going to bed when it was still light out, and dreaming once in the "land of nod". I think this is a good little selection of poems to have on the shelf to read to your kids (should you have them!) They publish illustrated copies which might be more interesting for kids to look at too!

I like this one:

Looking Forward

When I am grown to a man's estate
I shall be very proud and great,
And tell the other girls and boys
Not to meddle with my toys.

 What did you read this month???