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Hi folks…

June 4, 2010

Hey everyone, Sega here, how are your summers going? I am actually still going through Middlemarch, though very slowly. I was amused by how the phrase “making love” has changed over the years, as there’s a mention of Lyndgate and Rosy “making love” right in front of her father 🙂

So the battle still rages on, though I have really begun to lose interest since I am still wondering when the heck we are going to get back to Dorothea, who’s been all but abandoned in the narrative. At least it gets my mind somewhat off recent events…

Speaking of recent events, I dedicate this entry to #2, Paul Gray, bassist, Slipknot. May he find time to read some epic books up in rock n’ roll Heaven. ❤

6/5/10 – Odessa says:
Hi love, I’ve been reading (of course) though I haven’t gotten back to Middlemarch yet, I’m on A Farewell to Arms right now by Hemingway. I’ve been working on a story and making my jewelry and handbags. I’ve actually sold a few things. I just got a job at a bakery.
On “Book Eater” I dedicated an entry about a new Lennon biopic to you! I hope you are well and even if it’s not Middlemarch, you continue to read epic!

6/28/10 – Lynne says:

I’ve not yet returned to Middlemarch. Perhaps next month once I am done with my class and have my degree. I have been reading a great deal though.

I recommend A.S. Byatt. My independent study is on Byatt, and I’m adoring her novels. I’ve read Angels & Insects, Possession, The Children’s Book, and The Little Black Book of Stories. All great reads that really get the reader engrossed and thinking. I’m writing my paper on the malignancy of fairy tales in The Children’s Book.

I’ve been doing some pleasure reading on the side as well. You should both read The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, as well as her short story anthology Unaccustomed Earth. Lahiri’s prose is breathtaking.

My guilty pleasure read for this Summer are the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris.  So far I have read the first two.  They are horribly written, but quick, entertaining reads for when I don’t want to think.  Though I have cringed a couple times while reading them.

07/12/10
Hi guys, Sega here again.
I’m STILL chugging through Middlemarch. Also, I am reading a handful of other books – “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Dancing Girls” by Margaret Atwood, as well as “The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Gothgirl” which I randomly found at Borders for $1 and decided to read.
And Odessa, I read your entry!! Sorry that it took me so long to get back to you about it – I fail!!
I also commented on your recent entry about hot guys in literature LOL

Last Week in June

May 14, 2010

Lynne did you get my text? If you’d like to come spend that week with me in my soon to be new lodgings let me know. (Remember, you’ll get to stay in the library.) That weekend is the Celtic fest so if you stay you could come along. Let me know so we can order tickets. Unless you want to just order your own ticket so it’s sent to you and you have it even if you don’t go with us. Let me know. I can send you the website.
Tasha might be going, though not necessarily in the same vehicle.
Have fun at graduation! Sorry I can’t make it.

Summer Challenges

March 26, 2010

Odessa says:
I thought of a new idea for the summer. Of course I’ll have my usual summer reading list that is a little too ambitious and I’ll never finish, but why not have a series of literary based activities?
Example: I read “Big Two Hearted River” by Hemingway and that inspired me to go fishing this summer.
I’m really interested in doing a series on my blog about this. What do you think? I’m interested in finding other activities. I’ve been reading the Sherlock Holmes story “A Study in Scarlet”… if only I could solve a murder with deduction, that would be a great literary based activity.

New book challenge!

March 12, 2010

Lynne says: Odessa, Sega, you both have to read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath if you have not already done so.  Go go.

Moving on…

February 6, 2010

Lynne says: My knitting business is booming right now.  I have more commissions then I ever expected.  It’s both exciting and daunting.  I have an idea though.  I want to do a project where I base knits off of books.  So for every book I read (have read, or choose to base a pattern off of), I develop my own knitting pattern to go along with it.  Anyone have any ideas?

White Flag? Not yet…

January 20, 2010

Odessa says:
Lynne and I were discussing this yesterday: perhaps it is the time of year, our frame of mind, the multitude of other things we are obliged to read, but it seems safe to say that we lost this round. Middlemarch has won. Our apologies to George Elliot, Dr. Fletcher, and literary society in general. The same thing happened when I tried to read Daniel Deronda last year. Elliot and I don’t seem compatible, but I will try again. Being the masochist she is, Lynne has tried to rally me into finishing by spring.  Okay, if you ladies are still trudging through, I’ll continue with you.

Lynne says:
I hate admitting defeat.  I want to finish this book before I graduate.  Though with the massive pile of course work I just received, I’m not sure that is going to happen.  I’m putting the book on hiatus for now, and will pluck away at it when I have the rare moment of free time and feel up to it.  Don’t lose faith, ladies!

On another note, I am addicted to Agatha Christie.  I haven’t been sleeping well lately, and have been reading her novels in the wee hours of the morning.  I just finished The Body in the Library and now I am reading And Then There Were None.  Odessa, Sega, what have you been reading lately? I just started reading Catch-22 for class, I think I’m definitely going to enjoy Contemporary American Literature.

Sega says:

I am also unwilling to admit defeat! Slowly I turn, page by page – I will conquer this thing! However, I am really distracted by this amazing book by Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye, which I picked up ages ago and just recently realized I had never returned… so now I’m reading it before returning it. I’m also reading Good Omens (w00t) and I want to get started reading Sherlock Holmes again (I returned it to the library and now reordered it again). And I just suffered through Beowulf for Brit Lit. I hate Beowulf. Now we have to read part of The Canterbury Tales.

Check up!

December 27, 2009

Odessa says:
Hey guys… how’s the reading? I’m still stuck in book two, but mostly because there has been so much Doctor Who to distract me lately. Mostly I’m wondering: are you still there? (*Crickets*) Oh, alright. See you next year.

Lynne says: I’m still here! I just finished book one today! It’s been crazy at home over the holidays.  I’ll be spending the next seven days in CT, so hopefully I will have more time to read.  Happy New Year everyone!

Sega says: Yep, I’m still here. Still plodding along, a bit, but close to finishing Book One! I’ve been reading on my way home from work – it makes the commute better. Alss, too bad I cannot read Middlemarch AT work instead of dealing with customers.

Book 1: Miss Brooke

December 16, 2009

Odessa says:
I just finished reading Book 1 of the volume. Lynne, I believe you are also reading the Barnes and Noble Classic edition, have you noticed all the typos? Quotation marks are missing at the beginning or close of quotations, at one point the word “be” appears where I am quite sure it should say “me”. Am I just crazy or have you noticed this too?
As to the text, I must say I was surprised when reading to find that in the middle of normal third person narration, Eliot breaks the fourth wall and makes a comment directly to the audience at certain places. That was surprising. I was also surprised at how casually she discusses female stereotypes. The very first chapter begins with the quotation “Since I can do no good because a woman/reach constantly at something near it,” from The Maid’s Tragedy. An interesting tactic, not directly challenging the commonly held male and even often female belief about gender roles in her day. Perhaps she does this to set her audience at ease so they aren’t turned off by her politics? From all the criticisms I’ve read Eliot is a feminist writer, maybe she’s just very crafty about how she introduces it.
My feelings about Dorthea are mixed. Her modern equivalent would probably be one of the young women that are extremely impassioned about environmental and political issues that throw themselves into every one they can find as deeply as possible. She has good ideas and an inquisitve mind, but as her sister says, it’s not practical. She is extremely idealistc, but in a strange, almost masochistic way. She recieves great pleasure and satisfaction from denying herself things and suffering. In her marriage, which has been foreshadowed as vastly unwise, she sees herself as less worthy of love than her husband. If you can call it love. She doesn’t want someone to love her, she wants someone that is “better” than her, someone to father her in a way. Not a good basis for a marriage.
At the end of the first book we are finally introduced to our second protagonist, a young Dr. Lydgate. I haven’t formed much of an opinion on him, but his romantic interest Rosamund does not seem as atrocious as I expected. The summary says he ‘marries her to his ruin’, but she seems like she may be a sympathetic character in her own right.
Sorry, didn’t mean to write my own book here, what are your observations?

Lynne says:

You’ve totally lost your mind, Odessa.  I have no idea what you are talking about…actually I’ve noticed it too.

Dorothea Brooke strikes me as ridiculously naive.  She wants a father figure to tell her what to do rather then a husband to be equals with.  I almost threw my book across the room a few times in my frustration with Dorothea.  How could she be so blind to Sir James Chettam’s feelings towards her?  What man is going to spend time and money trying to make a woman happy with the intent of marrying her sister?  Casaubon seems to be along for the ride, and just wants someone to read to him when his eyes are tired.

Rosamund needs to grow up, there is no such thing as love at first sight, and Lydgate, I like him.

I’d make some deeper observations, but I keep dozing off at my computer.  I’ll probably edit this in the not too distant future.  ❤

Also: “We mortals, men and women, devour many a disappointment between breakfast and dinner.” (Chapter VI)

Sega says:

Dorthea is very frustrating; she seems, like Odessa said, to be almost a sort of masochist. She will kind of introduce things and then decide against them as a big show of denying herself what she just suggested (the whole scene where she and Celia are splitting their mother’s jewelery). Dorthea is very, very showy in her faith and almost seems to be obsessed with being a kind of martyr. She seems to be looking for more of a teacher than a husband when she marries her husband. Celia definitely seems much more sensible, and frustrated with her sister (understandably).

I also find it interesting that the townspeople act as a kind of chorus; they comment upon the action but don’t want to interfere with anything; there are many characters who seem to just “let” things happen (such as Mr. Brooke does when he lets Dorthea get married even though it’s a supremely BAD idea!)

I haven’t really developed any opinions on Lyndgate or Rosamund yet, so we shall see!

Epic Books

December 10, 2009

The ladies of epic book blog are here to read the books that no one else does.  Those epic books, the classics you know you want to read and never find the time to.  We’ll be starting with Middlemarch by George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans).  The synopsis from barnesandnoble.com states;

“Eliot surrounds her main figures with a gallery of characters drawn from every social class, from laborers and shopkeepers to the rising middle class to members of the wealthy, landed gentry. Together they form an extraordinarily rich and precisely detailed portrait of English provincial life in the 1830s. But Dorothea’s and Lydgate’s struggles to retain their moral integrity in the midst of temptation and tragedy remind us that their world is very much like our own. Strikingly modern in its painful ironies and psychological insight, Middlemarch was pivotal in the shaping of twentieth-century literary realism.”

There are three of us reading together, and I’d like to take a moment for all of us to introduce ourselves.

I’m Lynne, a senior English major graduating undergrad in May 2010.  My favorite novel is Jane Eyre, and I have a love of fantasy novels.  I’m also an avid knitter, I love creating functional objects out of a ball of string.

I’m Odessa and no matter what I do to pay the bills, writing is my true profession. I love a literary challenge, won NaNoWriMo this year, and blog at http://thebookeaterblog.blogspot.com.

And I’m Sega, a senior English/Psychology major (but still have two years to go) and an aspiring novelist. I also participated in (and won!) NaNoWriMo this year, and I love reading and writing (but not so much arithmatic).

Hello world!

December 2, 2009

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