- We are a mother and daughter blog team, fellow bibliophiles, and avid readers. We write about/review books that we read for pleasure. Frances ~ I love novels, and I read a wide variety of genres. I read the classics, Southern Lit, historical fiction, sagas, and contemporary fiction. Rose ~ I am a lover of everything from fiction to non-fiction, classics to fantasy. Many of the books/series I read are historical fiction, modern classics, and mysteries. I also enjoy world literature, especially from India and Scandinavia.
- ► 2012 (93)
- Bookish Quotes #19
- Bookish Quotes #18
- Waxing Poetic: The Lonely Shoe Lying on the Road ...
- Bookish Quotes #17
- Waxing Poetic: Black Butterflies by Olive Custanc...
- The Jalna Series - Mazo de la Roche
- A Good Hard Look - Ann Napolitano
- Bookish Quotes #16
- Waxing Poetic: To Losers by George Dillon
- Bookish Quotes #15
- ▼ September (10)
18th Century Lit 1960s 2011 2012 2012 Challenges 2012 Olympics 2012 Reading Challenges 2912 A Farewell to Arms A Good Hard Look Ada Verdun Howell Adrienne Rich Agatha Christie Albert Joseph Moore Aleksandar Hemon Alexander Deineka Amor Towles Anita Brookner Ann Napolitano Attia Hosain Auguste Macke Austen Billy Collins Black Books Book Cover Art Book Covers Book Reviews Bookish Quotes Bookplates Books Boris Pasternak Carey Wallace Carl Holsoe Carl Sandburg Carol Ann Duffy Caroline Preston Challenges Christmas Holiday Classic Books Claude Andrew Calthrop Cooking Cooking School Czeslaw Milosz D. H. Lawrence Daniel F. Gerhartz Danielle Ganek Daphne du Maurier David McCullough Dean Cornwell Deborah Kerr Derek Jacobi Dezso Kosztolanyi Dia Frampton Dodie Smith Donna Tartt Dorothy Parker Dylan Thomas E. M. Forster Edith Wharton Edmund Wilson Edna Ferber Edna St. Vincent Millay Edward Docx Edward Hopper Edward Thomas Elizabeth at Table Elizabeth Bishop Erica Bauermeister Ernest Hemingway Eudora Welty Ex Libris Excerpts F. Scott Fitzgerald Fanny Burney Flannery O'Connor Food Frank O'Hara Frantisek Kupka Frenchman's Creek Garrison Keillor Gatsby Genevieve Taggard George Dillon George Plimpton Georges Pavis God Is An Englishman Grace Reading at Howth Bay Graham Greene Gregory David Roberts Guillaumin Armand Guy Gavriel Kay Harlamoff Alexej Harper Lee Haruki Murakami Hemingway Hemingway's Boat Henri Labasque Henry David Thoreau Henry James Henry Lamb Housekeeping I Go Back To The House For A Book Incidents in the Rue Laugier India Invitation to World Lit Iris Murdoch Italo Calvino J. K. Rowling Jack Clayton Jalna Novels Jamaica Inn James Joyce James Tissot Jane Eyre Jeremy Mercer Jodhi May John Donne John Keats John Lennon John Steinbeck Jonas Jonasson Joyce Sutphen Judging A Book By Its Cover Julian Barnes Julius LeBlanc Stewart Kate Morton Kathryn Stockett Ken Follett Kenneth Branagh L. P. Hartley Last Lines Leonard Cohen Librarians Library Loot Lists Literary Pursuits of a Young Lady Lola Ridge Lord Byron Lord Frederick Leighton Lorine Niedecker Louis Abel-Truchet Lovis Corinth Mademoiselle Guillaumin Reading Maeve Haran Maggie O'Farrell Marge Piercy Maria Mazzioti Gillan Marie Spartali Stillman Marilynne Robinson Mary Chapin Carpenter Mary Oliver Mary Webb Mazo de la Roche Meg and Dia Michael Ondaatje Michael Wallner Miklos Vamos Milena Agus Mississippi Monique Truong Mosses from an Old Manse Movie Adaptations Moxy Fruvous Muriel Spark Muriel Stuart My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors My Cousin Rachel Nathaniel Hawthorne National Novel Writing Month Nicholas Nickleby Ninette Aborde Les Haute Etudes Norman Rockwell Old Books Old School Olive Custance Oscar Wilde P. G. Wodehouse P.G. Wodehouse Paris 1920's Pascal Mercier Paul Hendrickson Paul Simon Paula McLain PBS Penelope Fitzgerald Penelope Lively Peter Cunningham Philip Larkin Photos Piccadilly Jim Pierre-Auguste Renoir Pilar Poetry Poldark Quotes R. F. Delderfield Race Relations Rainer Maria Rilke Reading in the Garden Reality and Dreams Rebecca Recommendations Rita Mae Brown Robert Browning Robert Frost Rules of Civility Rupert Brooke Sally Beauman Santa Montefiore Sara Teasdale Saturday Snapshot Sea of Lost Love Sena Jeter Naslund Shantaram Shirley Jackson Slings and Arrows Squirrels Susan Hill Susan Ricker Knox Sweden Tessa Hadley The Art of Reading The Beautiful and the Damned The Blind Contessa's New Machine The Book Group The Book Shop The Building of Jalna The Children The End of an Era in Publishing The End of the Affair The English Patient The Glimpses of the Moon The Grapes of Wrath The Great Gatsby The Guardian The Hand That First Held Mine The Help The King's General The Last of the Mohicans The Lord of the Rings The Painted Veil The Paris Review The Sandcastle The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt The Sense of an Ending The Sun Also Rises The Turn of the Screw Thomas Hardy To Kill A Mockingbird Tobias Wolff Truman Capote TV Shows Virginia Woolf W. Somerset Maugham Walden Waxing Poetic Why Did I Dream Of You Last Night? Why Read the Classics? William Butler Yeats William Carlos Williams William Orpen William Shakespeare Winston Graham Woman Reading by the Harbour Zelio Andrezzo
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Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 9:32 AM | By: GirlsWannaRead
Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 9:04 AM | By: GirlsWannaRead
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 9:53 AM | By: GirlsWannaRead
Muriel Spark (1918-2006) was an award-winning Scottish author most often remembered for her novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. She was born in Edinburgh and attended James Gillespie's High School for Girls, the model for the Marcia Blaine School in The Prime of Jean Brodie. She briefly taught English herself before marrying and moving with her husband to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). When the marriage ended in 1944, she moved to England and lived in the Helena Club in London which later became her inspiration for the May of Teck Club in her novel The Girls of Slender Means. She worked in intelligence for the remainder of the war.
In addition to her 22 novels she also wrote poetry. In 1947, she became the editor of the Poetry Review. She had a long writing career, publishing her last novel, The Finishing School, just two years before her death at the age of 88.
This poem ponders a question most of us have asked: "Why only one shoe?"
The Lonely Shoe Lying on the Road
One sad shoe that someone has probably flung
out of a car or truck. Why only one?
This happens on an average one year
in four. But always throughout my
life, my travels, I see it like
a memorandum. Something I have
forgotten to remember,
that there are always
mysteries in life. That shoes
do not always go in pairs, any more
than we do. That one fits;
the other, not. That children can
thoughtlessly and in a merry fashion
chuck out someone's shoe, split up
But usually that shoe that I
see is a man's, old, worn, the sole
parted from the upper.
Then why did the owner keep the other,
keep it to himself? Was he
afraid (as I so often am with
inanimate objects) to hurt its feelings?
That one shoe in the road invokes
my awe and my sad pity.
Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 7:44 AM | By: GirlsWannaRead
"My books hold between their covers every story I've ever known and still remember, or have now forgotten, or may one day read; they fill the space around me with ancient and new voices."
~ Alberto Manguel
"What are books but tangible dreams? What is reading if it is not dreaming? The best books cause us to dream; the rest are not worth reading."
~ Rikki Ducornet
Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 11:18 AM | By: GirlsWannaRead
Olive Custance (1874-1944) was a British poet and a part of the aesthetic movement of the 1890's. The imagery in the following poem is so lovely. Anyone who has put pen to paper can identify with this.
O words of all my songs . . . black butterflies!
Wild words of all the wayward songs I sing . . .
Called from the tomb of some enchanted past
By that strange sphinx, my soul, they slowly rise
And settle on white pages wing to wing . . .
White pages like flower-petals fluttering
Held spellbound there till some blind hour shall bring
The perfect voice that, delicate and wise,
Shall set them free in fairyland at last!
That garden of all dreams and ecstasies
Where my soul sings through an eternal spring,
Watching alone with enigmatic eyes,
Dark wings on pale flower-petals quivering . . .
O words of all my songs . . . black butterflies!
Monday, September 12, 2011 at 6:24 PM | By: GirlsWannaRead
Mazo de la Roche was a Canadian writer who wrote a series of novels set at Jalna, the home of the Whiteoak family in Canada. In all there are 16 novels. The first novel, Jalna, was submitted for a contest in American Monthly magazine and won the $10,000 prize. It was published in 1927, when she was 40, and became a bestseller. It was originally intended to stand alone but because of its popularity she then penned prequels and sequels. The series tells the story of one hundred years of the Whiteoak family covering from 1854 to 1954. Today her work is admired for its strong, optimistic characters and sense of place.
I read a number of the Jalna novels as a teenager but never completed the series. I have decided to revisit them and read through the whole saga. They are not great works of fiction but they are wonderful light reading. I am currently reading the (chronologically) first novel, The Building of Jalna.
The story starts in the 1850s when a British soldier, Philip Whiteoak and his wife Adeline, fiery and Irish, meet and marry in India where he is stationed at Jalna. Shortly after, Philip inherits a house in Quebec from an uncle. They decide to head for Canada with a baby, her ayah, a coachman, a goat, and a parrot named Bonaparte in tow. Upon arriving and spending a short time in Quebec, they decide to sell the house and buy land in Ontario to build a family home. They give it the Indian name Jalna after the place that they met and married. This first novel tells of their trials and tribulations as they establish themselves on their land.
Adeline is definitely the main character in this first novel. She is willful, strong and devoted to Philip. She is a beautiful redhead with a temper to match. Her mothering skills are somewhat lax - she leaves the care of her children to others - but she makes no claims to the contrary. Philip, an even tempered Englishman, while completely enthralled with his stormy wife, often finds her spirited behavior unsettling. Although she's in the forefront, the novel is peopled with many other delightful characters.
During the 16 novel series, Adeline becomes a 100 year old matriarch, who sees generations come and go. Her children grow up and have children and grandchildren of their own, weaving a history of loves, losses, and dubious relationships. Through it all, Adeline and the parrot, nicknamed "Boney", rule over them all.
Here is a list of the novels in chronological order for anyone who might want to enter the world of Jalna: The Building of Jalna, Morning at Jalna, Mary Wakefield, Young Renny, Whiteoak Heritage, Whiteoak Brothers, Jalna, Whiteoaks of Jalna, Finch's Fortune, The Master of Jalna, Whiteoak Harvest, Wakefield's Course, Return to Jalna, Renny's Daughter, Variable Winds at Jalna, Centenary at Jalna.
Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 2:02 PM | By: GirlsWannaRead
The novel is set in O'Connor's hometown of Milledgeville, Georgia on Andalusia, O'Connor's family farm. It spans the last years of her life when she returned home after being diagnosed with systemic lupus from which she died at the age of 39. The novel is told from the point of view of several characters whose lives change in a second and whose fate hinges on small moments with haunting consequences. As do O'Connor's works, the novel explores the themes of death, faith, grace, forgiveness, and redemption. Like O'Connor's, the characters are deeply flawed and painfully real. In the aftermath of the events of one afternoon, these characters are forced to take a good hard look at the choices they have made.
The book begins with the cacophony of screaming peacocks (the birds O'Connor famously collected and who play a large role in the novel) on the eve of a wedding that send the bride, the most beautiful girl in the small Southern town, tumbling from her bed to bruise her eye on a stool. The next morning the bride wears a beautiful dress but all anyone can see is her eye. As heads turn from her to the groom, speculating on the explanation for the eye, the bride is thinking about "how everything had turned on its head," as everything ultimately does in the novel.
When Flannery offers up a wedding gift of the largest of her peacocks, the General, to Cookie and Melvin Whiteside, the wheels are set in motion for the tragedies ahead. As the book proceeds, Flannery and Melvin develop an unlikely friendship in spite of Cookie forbidding it, Cookie employs Lorna, the wife of a local policeman, to design curtains for the Whiteson's home, and Lorna begins a relationship with her teenage assistant, Joe. These lives weave together and move to a tragic climax that will cause one character to reflect, "Everyone had, at best, only one big story in his or her life; a story that rendered everything else just a footnote."
It is a beautifully written novel that is hard to put down - one of the best books I've read this year.
"I like best to have one book in my hand, and a stack of others on the floor beside me, so as to know the supply of poppy and mandragora will not not run out before the small hours."
~ Dorothy Parker
"I am simply a 'book drunkard'. Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them."
~ Lucy Maud Montgomery
Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 12:40 PM | By: GirlsWannaRead
George Dillon was an American editor and poet. In 1928, at the age of 22, Dillon was asked to introduce Edna St. Vincent Millay, 36, at a her Chicago performance. He attended a party afterwards where he recited some of his poetry. Millay asked him to lunch the next day and a relationship developed which each of them immortalized in poetry.
In 1932, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and received a Guggenheim Fellowship and he and Millay went to Paris to live together (it was a trial separation from her husband). But their relationship turned tumultuous and she returned to her husband. They remained friends and he remained a bachelor for the rest of his life. He inspired Millay's 52-sonnet sequence Fatal Interview.
The following poem by Dillon, although written before he met Millay, is about lost love.
Let loneliness be mute. Accuse
Only the wind for what you lose.
Only the wind has ever known
Where anything you lost has gone.
It is the wind whose breath shall come
To quench tall-flaming trees and numb
The narrow bones of birds. It is
The wind whose dissipating kiss
Disbands the soft-assembled rose.
It is the wordless wind that knows
Where every kind of beauty goes.
And if you lose love in the end
Say it was taken by the wind.