Thursday, March 21, 2019

#CatThursday - Sweet Revenge #cats


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Share the link to your post with your comment below.

I've had a cat or two take revenge on me. How about you?







Never miss a post!

* indicates required

Thursday, March 14, 2019

#CatThursday - #Authors and #Cats (82) John Irving


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and often hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Share the link to your post with your comment below.

The second Cat Thursday of each month is Authors and Cats Thursday. Each time I will feature an author with their cat(s), pictured with a cat(s), or guest posts by cat loving authors who also (sometimes) write about cats.

I had no idea he was a cat lover. Love his writing.


John Irving (b. March 2, 1942) was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1942. His first novel, Setting Free the Bears, was published in 1968, when he was twenty-six. He competed as a wrestler for twenty years, and coached wrestling until he was forty-seven.Mr. Irving has been nominated for a National Book Award three times—winning once, in 1980, for his novel The World According to Garp. He received an O. Henry Award in 1981 for his short story “Interior Space.” In 2000, Mr. Irving won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules. In 2013, he won a Lambda Literary Award for his novel In One Person.

An international writer—his novels have been translated into more than thirty-five languages—John Irving lives in Toronto. His all-time best-selling novel, in every language, is A Prayer for Owen Meany. 

Avenue of Mysteries is his fourteenth novel.
(from Goodreads)





Never miss a post!

* indicates required

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

A Reading Life (51) - March #reading plans and February's short #reviews


Wow! It's March. It's Spring Break this week so we have some fun planned. Looking forward to it because we're going to the Frist Art Museum. Might be the last time we visit before we move back to Michigan next year. We're also going to see Captain Marvel tomorrow. I've been hearing great things about it. Reece and I are excited!

In February, I read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and The Princess of Cleves by Madame de La Fayatte (True Book Talk February Selection). I'm still working on Suetonius' The Twelve Caesars. It's a bit dry so I decided to take a bit longer to read it, and to read it in doses.

My thoughts on February's reads...

Frankenstein

I can't believe I waited so long to read this book. I've read Dracula three times. I recently watched the film, Mary Shelley. I immediately picked this up to read. While somewhat more wordy than Dracula, in my opinion (I enjoy Dracula's epistolary format), I liked its insight and observations on mankind. How we so often have difficulty looking beyond the physical appearance to what the person is like inside. How we judge and underestimate on appearances alone. I would even go so far to say that Shelley's "monster" was symbolic of women and how they were treated in her time. Judged by gender/outward appearance; believed not capable of anything beyond typical womanly tasks. Certainly not capable of writing a novel such as Frankenstein!

I will definitely reread at some point. I bet there is a great audio version available.

Challenges read for:
Book Challenge by Erin 10.0
Classics Club
13 Ways of Looking at the Lifetime Reading Plan
2019 Book to Movie


The Princess of Cleves

A quote from the Madame de La Fayette author page on Goodreads: "... the work is often taken to be the first true French novel and a prototype of the early psychological novel." This was definitely an interesting depiction of the intrigues of the French court, and when I say intrigues, I mean the intrigues of love. Initially, a bit overwhelmed with the multitude of characters described in the novel, I was finally able to keep everyone straight, although with effort. Regarding it being an early psychological novel, I would have to agree. The author was very skillful in depicting the inner workings of the characters' minds, especially those of the Princess of Cleves and the Duc de Nemours.


Challenges read for:
Classics Club


March Reading Plans

I'm not doing the #Bookjar and Random Reading Projects this month because I'm working on Book Challenge by Erin 10.0 which ends on April 30. I need to read three books this month and three next month, plus finish The Twelve Caesars, to complete the challenge (I'm also listening to the Northanger Abbey audio book for this challenge...very close to finishing). Below are the books and Book Challenge prompts I'm reading for this March.


Read a book that is a friend or family member’s favourite...or the favourite book by another participant in this challenge - Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith (one of my mom’s favorites)


Read a book that was made into a movie - The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Read a book that is set in Europe - The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

Also, currently reading Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood, March selection for True Book Talk.


What's going on in your reading life?




Never miss a post!

* indicates required

Thursday, March 7, 2019

#CatThursday - Demanding #cats


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Share the link to your post with your comment below.








Never miss a post!

* indicates required

Thursday, February 28, 2019

#CatThursday - #Cats in #Art (37) Romantic and Victorian eras


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Share the link to your post with your comment below.


Charles Edward Perugini 1839-1918. At Play


Walking Lion by Theodore Gericault


Francisco de Goya - Don Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuñiga 
(detail), c. 1787-88 - Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

Lion and Lioness' by George Stubbs, 1778


Miss Ann White's Kitten, by George Stubbs, 1790



Never miss a post!

* indicates required

Thursday, February 21, 2019

#CatThursday - #Cat Mischief


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Share the link to your post with your comment below.








Never miss a post!

* indicates required

Thursday, February 14, 2019

#CatThursday (81) #Authors and #Cats - Carole King (and Happy Valentine's Day!)


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and often hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Share the link to your post with your comment below.

The second Cat Thursday of each month is Authors and Cats Thursday. Each time I will feature an author with their cat(s), pictured with a cat(s), or guest posts by cat loving authors who also (sometimes) write about cats.



Carole with Telemachus from the cover of Tapestry

Carole King (b. February 9, 1942) is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. She was most active as a singer during the first half of the 1970s, though she was a successful songwriter for considerably longer both before and after this period.

King has won four Grammy Awards and has been inducted into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her songwriting, along with long-time partner Gerry Goffin. (from Goodreads)



Pictures of Telemachus at various ages, posted by Carole King on Twitter and Facebook.

Happy Valentine's Day! While I'm not overly fond of the holiday, I do like to celebrate with my Valentines...my cats and my kids. 💙💘💜






Never miss a post!

* indicates required

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

A Reading Life (50) - #Reading plans, plus a couple of short #reviews


I can't believe my last "A Reading Life" post was way back in September of 2017. Wow! I have truly been slacking. Hoping to do better, although these posts will probably be monthly, or bi-weekly occasionally. I think I can commit to that.



Last month, I shared my #BookJar and Random Reading projects, along with the other few challenges I'm participating in this year. One thing was clear to me from the outset...you're going to need a bigger jar. lol  Alas, my pretty little jar with the green lid (pictured in challenge image above) was not large enough for all the slips of paper. I couldn't get them to mix up so I kept drawing the same books again and again. Pictured also above is the new jar with plenty of room to shake, shake, shake.


Coincidentally, the book I drew from the book jar (after transferring paper slips to the new jar) was The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius, which is also one of the books in my Read Your (Book) Shelf challenge stack, and so it's my read for February for that challenge. The Twelve Caesars is also on my list for Book Challenge by Erin 10.0 and my Non-Fiction Adventure challenge list. Also, for Book Challenge by Erin, I'm reading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and listening to Austen's Northanger Abbey on audio. This month's True Book Talk (my Goodreads book group) selection is The Princess of Cleves by Madame De Lafayette (translated by Nancy Mitford). Since February is a short month, I'm not going to pick a Random Reading title this month. I'm already going to struggle to finish what I have slated.


I finished my Read your (Book) Shelf book for January, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. My True Book Talk January selection carried over into this month. I just finished it today, Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Biography by Marion Meade. I also finished today, A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (audio book and reread). 

I've become so nervous about writing reviews. I'm not sure why. I guess because anxiety has really entered my life more of late and it extends to all areas. So, most of my reviews are going to be short and sweet. Below, I share my (short) thoughts on the three books mentioned above. 


Orphan Train

Everyone I've talked to loved this book. My mom read it first and she loved it. So did I. I think books like this should be required reading for over privileged kids who think they have it bad. (Hopefully) they will never know a life like the orphans, like Vivian, had in this book. It's difficult to imagine how few rights children had even as recently as the 1920s. This book examines, in a fictional account, the very real phenomenon of the orphan trains which operated from 1854 to 1929, transporting orphans to the Midwest states for adoption, but which usually amounted to indentured servitude. What Vivian experienced was so heartbreaking, never truly finding a family to love her, and where she felt she belonged, even when she did find a family who at least cared for her and took her in as their own. She finally finds true happiness, only to face tragedy again. I really liked how the author tied in the story of a modern day foster child who meets Vivian as an elderly lady and they form a strong bond of friendship through their shared orphan experience. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a poignant historical read, and who loves stories about the triumph of the human spirit. The tears it brought to my eyes several times showed me that this book really touched my soul.

Eleanor of Aquitaine

This was hands down one of the best biographies I have ever read. I have long admired Eleanor, the
woman who was a queen twice, first in France, and the second being the queen to the formidable Henry II of England. Together they sired eight children, two of them becoming future kings of England in their own right. Boy, what she went through and achieved for her children is truly astounding. She was a formidable woman who knew to pick her battles. She most certainly made some mistakes along the way, but for the time period, when women were mostly kept in the background, Eleanor was always in the forefront. She lived to be 82 years old, quite a feat for the time as well. Before I read this book, my only reference for Eleanor was the famous film, "The Lion in Winter." Even then, I fell in love with the woman she was, and have always wanted to learn more about her. This book gave me that and much more. Not only a biography, but a detailed historical account of her life, and those of her husband, Henry II, and her sons. It definitely made me want to read more about the various figures during her lifetime.

A Discovery of Witches
This was a reread (I listened on audio). I wanted to read it again before the series aired (on Sundance or Shudder). I didn't quite get there, but I watched the first eight episodes and will now finish watching the last two. I have to admit, I liked this better when I read the print book the first time. I think it was the voice of the audio book reader. Listening to her read it made it sound more corny to me. Has that ever happened to you? It just seemed more romance-y to me this time. Maybe I'm just more jaded than I was back in 2011. All this being said, I still like the story. I love the history tied up in it, and the idea of witches, vampires and demons existing along side humans. So, I'm looking forward to reading the second book, though I won't be listening on audio. Not sure when I'll pick up, Shadow of Night, but it will definitely be before the next season of the television series (which is pretty good, by the way, although a bit different from the book).

What's going on in your reading life?




Never miss a post!

* indicates required

- See more at: http://www.techtrickhome.com/2013/02/show-comment-box-above-comments-on.html#sthash.TjHz2Px9.dpuf