nanowrimo.org) and I am participating for the first time this year. Every November, NANOWRIMO holds a novel writing frenzy in which participants attempt to write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days (about 1,667 words per day). The idea is that you write with abandon, unleashing your inner creativity without heeding your inner editor. The editing comes afterwards.
So, for the next 30 days I will be pecking away at the computer keys and hoping that what results is something resembling a novel. I have been considering participating for several years but never have. Wish me luck and visit their site to join in!
- 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)
- November: National Novel Writing Month
- God Is An Englishman - R. F. Delderfield
- Bookish Quotes #23
- Waxing Poetic: The Sun Rising by John Donne; Memo...
- Bookish Quotes #22
- Waxing Poetic: I Sat Belonely by John Lennon
- The Glimpses of the Moon - Edith Wharton
- Bookish Quotes #21
- Waxing Poetic: The Geraniums by Genevieve Taggard...
- Bookish Quotes #20
- Waxing Poetic: The Cat's Song by Marge Piercy
- ▼ October (11)
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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Monday, October 31, 2011 at 9:44 AM | By: GirlsWannaRead
Friday, October 28, 2011 at 1:49 PM | By: GirlsWannaRead
I confess, I love a big book. I love immersing myself in a big, sweeping story. R. F. Delderfield's God Is An Englishman is just such a book. I read Delderfield's Diana years ago, loved it, and have reread it several times over the years. I found God Is An Englishman, the first in a trilogy, at a library book sale several years ago and finally picked it up earlier this week when I was in the mood for a huge story. It didn't disappoint.
This novel begins the Swann saga, the story of Adam Swann, a soldier tired of soldiering, who falls on a battlefield in India and finds himself staring a string of rubies in a shattered box. They are his means of escaping to a new life. He gives up the military tradition of his family, returns to England, and goes about establishing a carting business in the midst of railroad infested Victorian England.
Along the way he meets Henrietta, the daughter of a mill owner who is fleeing an impending marriage arranged by her father. He spots her, scantily clad, washing in a puddle. He takes her with him and marries her. What follows is the story of Adam's building his company, Swann-on-Wheels and their life together. But the novel is much more. It is peopled with wonderful characters - from Henrietta's domineering father and Adam's loving one, to the patchwork of people who make up his business empire that covers all of England. It is a sweeping history of Victorian England as well as Swann's personal history.
The novel is a total 687 pages and manages to be impossible to put down. Delderfield even manages to make the details of transportation schedules and maps of Swann's territories captivating. Adam and Henrietta are wonderfully complex characters and their life together has ups and downs as they attempt to raise children and keep their relationship afloat in the midst of his complete dedication to his transportation business. On top of all of that is a commentary on the ills of Victorian England.
The ending, though not "happy ever after", is uplifting. Adam Swann is a hero you can't help rooting for. I'm definitely going to continue with the trilogy, Theirs Was the Kingdom and Give Us This Day.
Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 9:11 AM | By: GirlsWannaRead
"The light that radiates from the great novels time can never dim, for human existence is perpetually being forgotten by man and thus novelists discoveries, however old they may be, will never cease to astonish."
~ Milan Kundera
"A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say."
~ Italo Calvino
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 4:21 PM | By: GirlsWannaRead
Waxing Poetic: The Sun Rising by John Donne; Memorizing "The Sun Rising" by John Donne by Billy Collins
John Donne is my favorite poet and "The Sun Rising" is one of my favorite of his poems. Here it is along with Billy Collins poem about memorizing Donne's poem.
The Sun RisingJohn Donne
Busy old fool, unruly Sun,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windows and through curtains call on us?
Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run?
Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide
Late schoolboys and sour 'prentices,
Go tell court huntsmen that the King will ride,
Call country ants to harvest offices;
Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.
Thy beams, so reverend and strong
Why shoulds't thou think?
I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink,
But that I would not lose her sight so long;
If her eyes have not blinded thine,
Look, and tomorrow late, tell me,
Whether both th'Indias of spice and mine
Be where thou left'st them, or lie here with me?
Ask for those kings whom thou saw'st yesterday,
And thou shalt hear, 'All here in one bed lay.'
She's all states, and all princes, I;
Nothing else is.
Princes do but play us; compared to this,
All honour's mimic, all wealth alchemy.
Thou, Sun, art half as happy as we,
In that the world's contracted thus;
Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be
To warm the world, that's done in warming us.
Shine here, to us, and thou art everywhere;
This bed thy centre is, these walls, thy sphere.
Memorizing "The Sun Rising" by John DonneBilly Collins
Every reader loves the way he tells off
the sun, shouting busy old fool
into the English skies even though they
were likely cloudy on that seventeenth-century morning.
And it’s a pleasure to spend this sunny day
pacing the carpet and repeating the words,
feeling the syllables lock into rows
until I can stand and declare,
the book held closed by my side,
that hours, days, and months are but the rags of time.
But after a few steps into stanza number two,
wherein the sun is blinded by his mistress’s eyes,
I can feel the first one begin to fade
like sky-written letters on a windy day.
And by the time I have taken in the third,
the second is likewise gone, a blown-out candle now,
a wavering line of acrid smoke.
So it’s not until I leave the house
and walk three times around this hidden lake
that the poem begins to show
any interest in walking by my side.
Then, after my circling,
better than the courteous dominion
of her being all states and him all princes,
better than love’s power to shrink
the wide world to the size of a bedchamber,
and better even than the compression
of all that into the rooms of these three stanzas
is how, after hours stepping up and down the poem,
testing the plank of every line,
it goes with me now, contracted into a little spot within.
Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 9:35 AM | By: GirlsWannaRead
Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 9:56 AM | By: GirlsWannaRead
I Sat Belonely
I sat belonely down a tree,
humbled fat and small.
A little lady sing to me
I couldn't see at all.
I'm looking up and at the sky,
to find such wonderous voice.
Puzzly, puzzle, wonder why,
I hear but I have no choice.
'Speak up, come forth, you ravel me',
I potty menthol shout.
'I know you hiddy by this tree'.
But still she won't come out.
Such sofly singing lulled me sleep,
an hour or two or so
I wakeny slow and took a peep
and still no lady show.
Then suddy on a little twig
I thought I see a sight,
A tiny little tiny pig,
that sing with all it's might
'I thought you were a lady',
I giggle,-well I may,
To my surprise the lady,
got up-and flew away.
Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 1:35 PM | By: GirlsWannaRead
The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton is set during the Jazz Age of the 1920's. It is a delightful and critical look at the upper "moneyed" class of the time. I had been looking for a copy of the novel for a long time and read it in two days once I came across one. The wait was definitely worth it.
The novel begins with Suzy and Nick on their honeymoon in the borrowed home of a wealthy friend. They both are caught up in the society of the international set of the time but both are without money of their own. Suzy has spent her life riding on the coattails of rich friends and Nick is a writer trying to live off his writing. At Suzy's suggestion, they have made a bargain: they will marry and attempt to live as long as possible off the wedding checks and loan of homes of their wealthy friends (they estimate that with careful spending and planning that this will last a year.) If at any point either of them meets someone who can offer them monetary advancement they will divorce on friendly terms. They both agree and the plan seems fool proof.
As their allotted time at the first borrowed house draws to a close their plan is shaken by a difference of opinion on what is acceptable in the "managing" Suzy is so adept at. Although they had both been living off the largess of their wealthy friends before their marriage, Nick is more discriminating in what is and isn't allowable. The problem first surfaces when Suzy packs the expensive cigars from the first house to take with them. Nick forces her to unpack them and a little cloud hovers over their previous bliss.
At the second house, Suzy finds out that the offer is contingent on her participation in a scheme to cover up a friend's infidelity. She is torn between refusing on the basis of her growing sense of the moral rightness in Nick's view and the risk of the loss of the house. She goes along with the scheme without telling Nick. Inevitably, Nick discovers the conditions of their tenancy in the house and can no longer be a part of Suzy's "managing." They are pulled apart by the conflict and each goes their separate way but without any formal closure to the relationship.
They each try to move back into their old lives but they find that their time together has changed them and they no longer fit into the shallow world of the rich. They have both had a glimpse at deeper, more meaningful life outside the empty world of the careless rich. Although they both attempt to move on, neither one can forget the other. Their little plan has become something more - they have learned to love.
They move from misunderstanding to misunderstanding, always at odds in a little comedy of errors played out against the background of Wharton's bigger social commentary on the superficial lives of the filthy rich. Amid their careless friends who move from place to place to placate their endless boredom and discard relationships on a whim, Suzy and Nick learn the value of love and a meaningful life.
A wonderful read!
Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 11:01 AM | By: GirlsWannaRead
"I am a part of everything that I have read."
~ John Kieran
"All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was."
~ Ernest Hemingway
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 10:50 PM | By: GirlsWannaRead
Genevieve Taggard (1894-1948) was an American poet. Known to her friends as "Jed", Taggard published over 10 collections of poetry and had a substantial following. Her poetry ranges from the deeply personal poems of her early career to her later verse of social commentary.
Even if the geraniums are artificial
Just the same,
In the rear of the Italian cafe
Under the nimbus of electric light
They are red; no less red
For how they were made. Above
The mirror and the napkins
In the little white pots ...
... In the semi-clean cafe
Where they have good
Lasagne ... The red is a wonderful joy
Really, and so are the people
Who like and ignore it. In this place
They also have good bread.
Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 9:03 AM | By: GirlsWannaRead
"It's not that I don't like people. It's just that when I'm in the company of others - even my nearest and dearest - there always comes a moment when I'd rather be reading a book."
~ Maureen Corrigan
"Which of us has not felt that the character we are reading in the printed page is more real than the person standing beside us."
~ Cornelia Funke
Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 6:26 PM | By: GirlsWannaRead
Marge Piercy is an American novelist and poet. Just had to post this poem. Fellow cat lovers, enjoy!
The Cat's Song
Mine, says the cat, putting out his paw of darkness.
My lover, my friend, my slave, my toy, says
the cat making on your chest his gesture of drawing
milk from his mother's forgotten breasts.
Let us walk in the woods, says the cat.
I'll teach you to read the tabloid of scents,
to fade into shadow, wait like a trap, to hunt.
Now I lay this plump warm mouse on your mat.
You feed me, I try to feed you, we are friends,
says the cat, although I am more equal than you.
Can you leap twenty times the height of your body?
Can you run up and down trees? Jump between roofs?
Let us rub our bodies together and talk of touch.
My emotions are pure as salt crystals and as hard.
My lusts glow like my eyes. I sing to you in the mornings
walking round and round your bed and into your face.
Come I will teach you to dance as naturally
as falling asleep and waking and stretching long, long.
I speak greed with my paws and fear with my whiskers.
Envy lashes my tail. Love speaks me entire, a word
of fur. I will teach you to be still as an egg
and to slip like the ghost of wind through the grass.