Role Models: Literary Villainesses

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You may have noticed that I took the weekend off from posting, which was nice because I didn’t have anything I very much wanted to get out.

But today I’d like to talk about some of the women in literature I find to be very inspiring- the women who are pretty much the devil incarnate.

Putting aside issues of women’s representation in literature and other arts, and how it may or may not be more connected to men’s imagination than female actuality… some of my favorite characters are strong, selfish, and mean people.

I’m not sure why this is, especially because I’d like to think that I personally am nothing like that.  But it’s also not difficult to see why their drive, anger, and uncompromising attitudes are appealing.  After all, the world is a scary place and women are frequently expected to be easy victims of it. Continue reading “Role Models: Literary Villainesses”

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Library Haul

Sometimes I run low on books and go overboard with hold requests the next time I’m on the library’s website.  This was one of those times.
But after the relative famine of lean book times, when three books in sequence weren’t what I wanted, searching for new material on the library is such a simple happiness.  There are so many options and then within a week you have a comparative feast, a two foot high pile of books on the desk in your room.

I’ve already finished the first of this hall- Diana Athill’s Somewhere Towards the End.  Very much recommended.

Obviously I won’t be going into details about these, because I haven’t read them yet! They’re still mysteries to me.  It’s always kind of exciting, every time you have a new book to read.  You never know when you’re going to find a new favorite, or an author you have to learn more about.

  • The Lady Vanishes, Ethel Lina White
  • Ripley Under Ground, Patricia Highsmith
  • The Day of the Jackal, Frederick Forsyth
  • The Unmade Bed, Francoise Sagan
  • Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West, Daniel Ladinsky
  • The Song of the Lark, Willa Cather
  • Innocents Abroad and Roughing It, Mark Twain
  • Books for Living, Will Schwalbe
  • The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, Tennessee Williams

That should hold me for a little while! ^.^

15 Summer Movies

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In honor of the beginning of the summer solstice, I’m going to be doing a bit of a seasonally themed week.

Summer movies are an interesting category. I think most people are familiar with the idea of the ‘summer blockbuster’, but I’m wondering more about what it is that actually makes a film as classically summery in feel as sandy toes and an iced tea on the porch. Continue reading “15 Summer Movies”

My Favorite Authors

What qualifies an author to be counted among my favorites?
I have very high standards, as befits such a coveted distinction.  You know Orwell is just rolling over in his grave because he’s not on here.

It’s a fairly simple standard actually: if a book is written by one of these authors, I don’t have to worry too much about the risk of disliking it… because I generally won’t.

So in no particular order:

 

Henry James

The first book I read by Henry James was The Portrait of a Lady and it took me so long to begin because the first sentence was so convoluted I was terrified. But it’s an absolutely beautiful book, as are most of his novels and short stories.

Continue reading “My Favorite Authors”