Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Week of Books in a Day

What have we learned from this 30 Days of Books attempt? That I am not cut out for blogging every day. I'm barely cut out for tweeting every day, and Twitter only requires 140 characters!


Day 15: Favorite Male Character

Francis Crawford of Lymond/The Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy L. Dunnett

Again, so many from whom to choose :) It's Francis today because he is, for me, a model of an enigmatic, complicated character who, over the course of six books, is maddening and frustrating and cool-headed and brilliant and difficult. He's a Scotsman at the time of Tudor plots and religious quarrels, a soldier and statesman, a brother who keeps his family at more than arms' length and a lover who keeps his mind and heart locked away–until he's stricken by a love he never saw coming. This is historical fiction at its finest, a series I re-read in order to break my heart and broaden my mind and wring my soul with empathy.

Day 16: Favorite Female Character

Harriet Vane/The Peter Wimsey mystery novels by Dorothy L. Sayers

(Clearly I'm partial to the name Dorothy. Perhaps because it's my mom's.) How could I not adore Harriet Vane? She's a mystery writer herself, a graduate of an Oxford women's college, who meets the titled and wealthy Peter Wimsey when he investigates the murder for which she is being tried for her life. Set in the 1930's, Harriet is independent, stubborn, clever, and a dedicated writer, who is afraid to settle for being merely a wife. Fortunately, Peter is no ordinary British gentleman and of course it all comes right in the end.

Day 17: Favorite Quote

Can I put an 's' on the end of quote? At least I'll stick to one book. Er, one series: Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.

     Frodo: “I wish Bilbo had killed him. He deserved death.”
     Gandalf: “And many who die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death and judgment.”

 Eowyn and Aragorn: 
     “Shall I always be chosen?” she said bitterly. “Shall I always be left behind when the Riders depart, to mind the house while they win renown, and find food and beds when they return?”
     “A time may come soon,” said he, “when none will return. Then there will be need of valour without renown, for none shall remember the deeds that are done in the last defence of your homes. Yet the deeds will not be less valiant because they are unpraised.”

 Gandalf to Pippin:
     “End? The journey does not end here. Death is but another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world parts, and all turns to silver glass—and then you see it. White shores, and beyond . . . a far green country under a swift sunrise.”

Day 18: First Chapter Book I Can Remember Reading

Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder

How could I not wish to be Laura Ingalls? I had the name, I had the brown hair that could be braided, I had the childish impression that the past was all open prairies and lovely horses. Loved, loved, loved these and still have vivid memories of certain scenes: the family gathering for the maple syrup gathering and dancing into the night; the silent Indians at their door; twisting straw into sticks to burn during the awful winter; Almanzo's beautiful horses. 

Day 19: Favorite Book Turned into a Movie

Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien 

In my opinion, a perfect example of loving both the books and the films, no matter the differences between them. I remember grasping my husband's hand in Return of the King when Gandalf and Pippin ride up through the streets of Minas Tirith--I felt as though I'd been waiting all my life to see Minas Tirith brought to life. 

Day 20: Book That Makes Me Laugh Out Loud

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

I follow Sarah on Twitter and she makes me laugh out loud, so why wouldn't her novels? I have been waiting to read Unspoken until I felt I needed it--after this awful week in Boston, last night was the time. Kami is a perfect YA heroine: independent, stubborn, protective, sentimental, and very, very funny. Just behold some of these quotes:

"Kami'd always retold her fairy tales to make the fair maidens braver and more self-sufficient, but she had never had any real objection to the handsome prince.” 

“The Lynburns built this town on their blood and bones."
"That was their first mistake," Jared said. "They should've built a city on rock and roll.”

“Jared glared. Some people, Kami knew, had bedroom eyes. She was saddened to have to admit that Jared had filthy alleyway eyes.”

"If I wasn't going to be a world-famous journalist and if I didn't have such respect for truth and justice, I could be an amazing master criminal.”

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