Posts tagged captain wentworth

Fun Book Meme!

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1) What author do you own the most books by?

Easily (if not slightly embarrassingly) Melinda Metz, someone I’m sure very few of you have even heard of. I have all ten Roswell High books (that would be the series the WB show was based off of), plus doubles of at least four of them, and all seven of the Fingerprints novels, her second and vastly better YA book series.  If it were coming out now it’d probably be a hit, but it was sadly before it’s time.

2) What book do you own the most copies of?

I really only have doubles of anything… Little Women, Little Men, and Jane Eyre, definitely. At one point I had something like four copies of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but I’m pretty sure I gave at least two of those away.

3) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?

Secretly? That strikes out quite a few, doesn’t it? Um… Anthony Fascinelli, from the aforementioned Fingerprints series. Expressively so. And then Dicken, from The Secret Garden, and probably Finn from The Books of Bayern, by Shannon Hale.  Not so secretly – Mr. Rochester, Darcy, Gilbert Blythe, Captain Wentworth, Rhett Butler, and Ron Weasley.  What?

4) What book have you read more than any other?

Jane Eyre. That book is like breathing clean air for me. I reread books a lot, but Jane Eyre takes the cake there.  As you can see on my sidebar, I’m rereading it now. 🙂

5) What was your favorite book when you were 10-years-old?

The Secret Garden and The Little Princess. Frances Hodgson Burnett pretty much owned me at that age!

6) What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?

Probably I’d have to say The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum. But most of the books I’ve been reading this past year have been rereads of favorites or ones I’d been waiting some time for, so it didn’t have much of a chance.

7) What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?

Like I said, almost half of the books I’ve read this past year have been rereads. But of new books? Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary by Brandon Mull. I really cannot speak highly enough of this series. It’s the best high fantasy series of the “talking dragons and fairies” that I’ve ever read. Really. Not that I read a lot of them, because I have trouble taking them seriously. This has never been a problem with Fablehaven.

8 ) If you could tell everyone you know to read one book, what would it be?

I’m going to be predictable here and say I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg. It is just so much about triumph, and basically a true story. Fictionalized autobiography. One of the few books that I’ve ever read that literally makes me feel like a better person for having read it.

9) What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?

Most difficult… possible Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.  I simply don’t care for books that are more about ideas than people.  There have been a few others of similar cases in my college career, but the others are all fairly obscure, so I don’t actually remember their titles.

10) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?

The Russians. I love reading Russian literature. Dostoevsky, Lermontov, Pushkin? Yes, please. I should read more French, though.  I’m not half as familiar with them.

11) Shakespeare, Milton or Chaucer?

That is not an effective question. It’s like asking whether you prefer water or oxygen—not in the life-or-death view of it, but in the fact that they’re three things that are essentially huge in the English language, and you can’t just pick between them, because they’re really not that similar. Milton is like… reading genius. You just know that he was one of the smartest men to have ever lived. Chaucer is similar, but I get bored with the bawdiness of it. I do not get bored of reading Middle English, though. The best thing to do with any of these authors is to just read them aloud, until you understand them. But on a day-to-day basis? Shakespeare, of course. There’s so much variety in his works, and just so many amazing characters.

12) Austen or Eliot?

Oh Austen, easily. But then I did read every single word of Middlemarch (which is almost the length of all six Austen novels combined) and was surprised at how much I loved it. Consequently, I’m surprised this question isn’t Austen or Brontë! That’s what you see most often, and it’s pretty unfair, considering how different the works are. Eliot is much closer to Austen’s feel, definitely.

13) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?

Oh almost anything contemporary that isn’t YA. I’m pretty awful in that I’m either stuck in the past or stuck in high school. Nonfiction, too. I almost never read nonfiction, though I think maybe I’m almost to the point where I’ll start seeking it out.

14) What is your favorite novel?

Jane Eyre, or Persuasion. Or possibly Little Women. But I haven’t read that last in ages, (it’s next in line to read after Jane Eyre!) so I’m interested in seeing how my view of it might have changed?

15) Play?

Oh… I’m going to cheat here and say The Oresteia. Which is actually three plays. But almost any Greek tragedy. I love Antigone, and Prometheus Bound, and just all of it. The Oresteia is just overwhelming, though.  Clytemnestra is just terrifying and awesome and somehow still sympathetic, and Orestes is just trying so hard to be good! I have a flair for the dramatic, what?

16) Poem?

Oh impossible to pick just one. Emily Dickinson—oh just pick one, they’re all brilliant, and I really don’t want to point you to an overly-familiar one just because it’s the one I can remember off the top of my head. That woman was just so smart. And if you think she’s depressing you’ve probably only read the four poems they assign in high school lit, and you should really read more. She is just impeccably smart. I love Sharon Olds, too, though, and one that comes to mind is from Billy Collins—”Marginalia” is sweet, and just a perfect poem.

I didn’t really mean for both of those links to refer back to Emily Dickinson, but it’s just as well that they do. Don’t get distracted by the seemingly random capitalization and punctuation… focus on the words. She knew her words better than anyone else I have ever seen. There are so many gorgeous poets, though. Whitman, Elizabeth Barret Browning. Longfellow, my old favorite. Poetry is kind of a secret passion with me, one I forget about and then it flares up in sudden, unstoppable waves.

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Book # 5 – Persuasion by Jane Austen

emth_persuasion14_1617_57My favorite Austen.  I don’t think I can deny that now, after the third time reading the novel.  When I was assigned Austen novels in school, this is the only one I ever finished by the due date—and that I did twice.  Now reading it on my own, though, I enjoyed it more than ever.

If you’ve been paying attention, I’ve been slowly working my way through Jane Austen, along and around other novels in between, going in mostly chronological order.  My only deviation is that I’m reading this before Emma, rather than the other way around—though I don’t remember why now.

While I love all of Austen’s completed novels, I can’t deny that I find Persuasion to be the fullest reading experience of the six, and the most satisfying read overall.  We are more in the main character’s head than ever before, and further from Austen’s authorial commentary, and at the same time, I have to think that Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth are Austen’s best-matched pair, simply for each of them knowing so thoroughly that the other is so well-made for them.  I also really enjoy the happy portrayals of marriage that Austen includes in this—the Crofts and the elder Musgroves—which are so rare in her other novels.

It’s also much subtler in the social commentary, also.  Of course Anne’s father and sister are ridiculous characters, but the only character who we can assume to truly scorn them—Anne herself is too good and loyal—is Captain Wentworth, and if the reader weren’t as priveleged to Anne’s knowledge of his looks as we are, we might not even know it.  Elizabeth and Sir Walter are, so far as Austen canon goes, let off pretty easily for their pride and vain ways.  They aren’t glorified by any means, but at the same time they don’t end the novel in any worse shape than they begin it, and they may be considered to improve (very slightly) in their opinion of Captain Wentworth’s worth.

The love story is just unbeatable, though.  Something that I suppose anyone who’s ever “let one get away” is half hopeful is possible.  Thomas Hardy has a number of poems about two people who love each other but let their paths go different ways, and either Time (who is generally capitalized and personified in Hardy poems) has taught them to be different people, or they’ve traveled the same amount of time but end up out of step with each other, and that’s what probably happens in life nine out of ten times, people grow up and realize that what they think they wanted once isn’t really what they need, or what’s best for them.

Anne and Wentworth know have a perfect understanding of each other in the first place, though, and when they meet again, it is only meekness on Anne’s part and pride on the Captain’s that keep them from coming together sooner than they do.  I don’t want to spoil the story for those of you who haven’t read it (in which case, get thee to a library—or even Pemberly.com) but if you’re still not convinced, just check out last year’s Masterpiece Theater version with Sally Hawkins and Rupert Penry-Jones (pictured above), you won’t be sorry.  Even die-hard Darcy fans just might find themselves falling for a new Austen man.

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