The #ReadingChallenge

book-meme2

So, remember last year when Gilmore Girls was all the rage because it was going to be on Netflix…. the reunion?  I’m sure you remember.  Everyone remembers and if you don’t please go watch it.  I will wait.   Ok, welcome back.  Now do you remember how Rori was always attached at the hip with a book?  I often wondered what she was reading…. did you?  Yeah, I know the feeling.

Well, I’m a huge fan of the show and I loved the relationship between mother and daughter although my husband tends to think it was as dysfunctional as they come…. whatever!!!!!! (very grown up of me).  I don’t watch much television as I prefer to read but I had to watch it when it was on Netflix.  The other thing I had to do was find out all the books that the fictional character of Rori spent her time reading and I set a challenge for myself.  Lucky for me, there is the internet and someone had thought about it already.  I don’t remember where I saw it but I took the challenge head-on.  It’ll take me a while to read these but I don’t care.  I have time, I’m not going anywhere.

Here is the list and the books I’ve read through June 2017…. Don’t ask me when I read these.  I can’t remember.  Just take my word for it.  Some were good and some…. well, not so much.  There are also some that I’m pretty sure will remain unread….. Let’s just say I’m not interested in all the topics and life is too short.

#ReadingChallenge

1. 1984 by George Orwell
2. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
3. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
4. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
5. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
6. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy  Ohhh this one is my thorn!!!!!!! 
8. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
9. The Archidamian War by Donald Kagan
10. The Art of Fiction by Henry James
11. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
12. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
13. Atonement by Ian McEwan
14. Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
15. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
16. Babe by Dick King-Smith
17. Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi
18. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
19. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
20. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
21. Beloved by Toni Morrison
22. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney
23. The Bhagava Gita
24. The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews by Peter Duffy
25. Bitch in Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel
26. A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays by Mary McCarthy
27. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
28. Brick Lane by Monica Ali
29. Bridgadoon by Alan Jay Lerner
30. Candide by Voltaire
31. The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
32. Carrie by Stephen King
33. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
34. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
35. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
36. The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman
37. Christine by Stephen King
38. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
39. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
40. The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse
41. The Collected Stories by Eudora Welty
42. A Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
43. Complete Novels by Dawn Powell
44. The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton
45. Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker
46. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
47. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
48. Cousin Bette by Honore de Balzac
49. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
50. The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
51. The Crucible by Arthur Miller
52. Cujo by Stephen King
53. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
54. Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
55. David and Lisa by Dr Theodore Issac Rubin M.D
56. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
57. The Da Vinci -Code by Dan Brown
58. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
59. Demons by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
60. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
61. Deenie by Judy Blume
62. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
63. The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx
64. The Divine Comedy by Dante
65. The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
66. Don Quixote by Cervantes
67. Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhrv
68. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
69. Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
70. Eleanor Roosevelt by Blanche Wiesen Cook
71. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
72. Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
73. Eloise by Kay Thompson
74. Emily the Strange by Roger Reger
75. Emma by Jane Austen
76. Empire Falls by Richard Russo
77. Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol
78. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
79. Ethics by Spinoza
80. Europe through the Back Door, 2003 by Rick Steves
81. Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
82. Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
83. Extravagance by Gary Krist
84. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
85. Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore
86. The Fall of the Athenian Empire by Donald Kagan
87. Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser
88. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
89. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
90. Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein
91. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
92. Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce
93. Fletch by Gregory McDonald
94. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
95. The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
96. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
97. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
98. Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
99. Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
100. Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
101. Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
102. George W. Bushism: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President by Jacob Weisberg
103. Gidget by Fredrick Kohner
104. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
105. The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
106. The Godfather: Book 1 by Mario Puzo
107. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
108. Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Alvin Granowsky
109. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
110. The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford
111. The Gospel According to Judy Bloom
112. The Graduate by Charles Webb
113. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
114. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
115. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
116. The Group by Mary McCarthy
117. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
118. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
119. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
120. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
121. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
122. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
123. Henry IV, part I by William Shakespeare
124. Henry IV, part II by William Shakespeare
125. Henry V by William Shakespeare
126. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
127. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
128. Holidays on Ice: Stories by David Sedaris
129. The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton
130. House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
131. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
132. How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer
133. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
134. How the Light Gets In by M. J. Hyland
135. Howl by Allen Ginsberg
136. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
137. The Iliad by Homer
138. I’m With the Band by Pamela des Barres
139. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
140. Inferno by Dante
141. Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
142. Iron Weed by William J. Kennedy
143. It Takes a Village by Hillary Rodham Clinton
144. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
145. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
146. Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
147. The Jumping Frog by Mark Twain
148. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
149. Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito
150. The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander
151. Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
152. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
153. Lady Chatterleys’ Lover by D. H. Lawrence
154. The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000 by Gore Vidal
155. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
156. The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield
157. Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
158. Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
159. Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken
160. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
161. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
162. The Little Locksmith by Katharine Butler Hathaway
163. The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
164. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
165. Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton
166. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
167. The Lottery: And Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
168. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
169. The Love Story by Erich Segal
170. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
171. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
172. The Manticore by Robertson Davies
173. Marathon Man by William Goldman
174. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
175. Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir
176. Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman by William Tecumseh Sherman
177. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
178. The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer
179. Mencken’s Chrestomathy by H. R. Mencken
180. The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare
181. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
182. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
183. The Miracle Worker by William Gibson
184. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
185. The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion by Jim Irvin
186. Moliere: A Biography by Hobart Chatfield Taylor
187. A Monetary History of the United States by Milton Friedman
188. Monsieur Proust by Celeste Albaret
189. A Month Of Sundays: Searching For The Spirit And My Sister by Julie Mars
190. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
191. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
192. Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
193. My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and It’s Aftermath by Seymour M. Hersh
194. My Life as Author and Editor by H. R. Mencken
195. My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest
196. Myra Waldo’s Travel and Motoring Guide to Europe, 1978 by Myra Waldo
197. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
198. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
199. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
200. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
201. The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
202. Nervous System: Or, Losing My Mind in Literature by Jan Lars Jensen
203. New Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson
204. The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay
205. Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
206. Night by Elie Wiesel
207. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
208. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism by William E. Cain, Laurie A. Finke, Barbara E. Johnson, John P. McGowan
209. Novels 1930-1942: Dance Night/Come Back to Sorrento, Turn, Magic Wheel/Angels on Toast/A Time to be Born by Dawn Powell
210. Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski
211. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
212. Old School by Tobias Wolff
213. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
214. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
215. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
216. The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life by Amy Tan
217. Oracle Night by Paul Auster
218. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
219. Othello by Shakespeare
220. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
221. The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan
222. Out of Africa by Isac Dineson
223. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
224. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
225. The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition by Donald Kagan
226. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
227. Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
228. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
229. Pigs at the Trough by Arianna Huffington
230. Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
231. Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
232. The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
233. The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
234. The Portable Nietzche by Fredrich Nietzche
235. The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill by Ron Suskind
236. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
237. Property by Valerie Martin
238. Pushkin: A Biography by T. J. Binyon
239. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
240. Quattrocento by James Mckean
241. A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall
242. Rapunzel by Grimm Brothers
243. The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
244. The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
245. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
246. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
247. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
248. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
249. Rescuing Patty Hearst: Memories From a Decade Gone Mad by Virginia Holman
250. The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien
251. R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
252. Rita Hayworth by Stephen King
253. Robert’s Rules of Order by Henry Robert
254. Roman Holiday by Edith Wharton
255. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
256. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
257. A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
258. Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
259. The Rough Guide to Europe, 2003 Edition
260. Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi
261. Sanctuary by William Faulkner
262. Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford
263. Say Goodbye to Daisy Miller by Henry James
264. The Scarecrow of Oz by Frank L. Baum
265. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
266. Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
267. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
268. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
269. Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman
270. Selected Hotels of Europe
271. Selected Letters of Dawn Powell: 1913-1965 by Dawn Powell
272. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
273. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
274. Several Biographies of Winston Churchill
275. Sexus by Henry Miller
276. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
277. Shane by Jack Shaefer
278. The Shining by Stephen King
279. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
280. S Is for Silence by Sue Grafton
281. Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut
282. Small Island by Andrea Levy
283. Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
284. Snow White and Rose Red by Grimm Brothers
285. Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World by Barrington Moore
286. The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht
287. Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos by Julia de Burgos
288. The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker
289. Songbook by Nick Hornby
290. The Sonnets by William Shakespeare
291. Sonnets from the Portuegese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
292. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
293. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
294. Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
295. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
296. The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
297. A Streetcar Named Desiree by Tennessee Williams
298. Stuart Little by E. B. White
299. Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
300. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
301. Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals by Anne Collett
302. Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber
303. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
304. Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
305. Term of Endearment by Larry McMurtry
306. Time and Again by Jack Finney
307. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
308. To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway
309. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
310. The Tragedy of Richard III by William Shakespeare
311. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
312. The Trial by Franz Kafka
313. The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson
314. Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett
315. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
317. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962 by Sylvia Plath
318. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
319. Unless by Carol Shields
320. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
321. The Vanishing Newspaper by Philip Meyers
322. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
323. Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground and Nico (Thirty Three and a Third series) by Joe Harvard
324. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
325. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
326. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
327. Walt Disney’s Bambi by Felix Salten
328. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
329. We Owe You Nothing – Punk Planet: The Collected Interviews edited by Daniel Sinker
330. What Colour is Your Parachute? 2005 by Richard Nelson Bolles
331. What Happened to Baby Jane by Henry Farrell
332. When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
333. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson
334. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee
335. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
336. The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
337. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
338. The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
339. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

Advertisements

25 Bookish Facts About me

IMG_0551

I thought this would be a great way to break the ice.  Why an I blogging about books, who am I?  Do you care — well if you don’t maybe this blog post isn’t for you.

I saw this tag on YouTube and thought it would be fun to post…. let’s just say I don’t have a review this week and I need content…. fine you caught me!

  1.  I’ve always loved reading.  As a kid, I used to stay up past my bed time, under the covers, with a flashlight, because I just had to finish the book I was reading;
  2. I feel really behind on American Classics since I was not born in the US.  I am trying to catch up now;
  3. I sometimes write in my books – always in pencil but I find that I need to make notes in order to remember important and sometimes not so important passages for my reviews;
  4. I don’t use reading as an escape.  More of a “day at the spa;”
  5. Sometimes I buy books because they look pretty;
  6. When undecided about a book I open it up to a random page and read a few pages to see if I want to buy it.  It doesn’t always work;
  7. I love that I can get samples of books before buying them; One of the best things about e-books.
  8. I can’t sit and listen to an audio book.  The voice always puts me to sleep.  So, unlike many people who tend to listen to books while commuting to and from work, I am not able to do that because I just fall asleep;
  9. I’m still waiting to buy my bookshelves.  My books have been in boxes for the past 3 years since we moved to this new house;
  10. The first book I read in English was “Go Ask Alice.”  It’s about a young girl in the world of drugs.  I remember really liking it and re-reading it over and over again.  I was so proud of myself when I was able to read it without the dictionary;
  11. The best length for a book is between 300 to 400 pages;
  12. I’ve been thinking of writing a book since high school;
  13. I used to write little illustrated books in primary school when I lived in Portugal and I can’t draw to save my life but I thought these were the best;
  14. No one else in my family likes to read.  Sometimes that feels so lonely;
  15. My competitive nature makes it difficult to watch too many booktube videos….. How do they read so much?
  16. I don’t understand the fascination with Young Adult books;
  17. I’m never sure what to do with a dust cover.  Do I remove it or do I leave it;
  18. It’s so annoying when the cover keeps moving around;
  19. I’ve never read any of the Harry Potter books;
  20. Because I don’t want to!
  21. I never remember the names of authors.  Even if I love the book;
  22. I don’t understand people that can’t DNF a book.  If you don’t like it, put it down and move on to the next one… unless it’s your job to review the book;
  23. Readathons make me crazy.  It’s too much pressure;
  24. Anna Kereninna has been a challenge for me for the past 3 years.  I still didn’t read it and it’s still sitting on my TBR staring at me.  Even my best friend makes fun of me every year; and
  25. I think schools should concentrate more on reading and less on sports.

I hope you enjoyed this little bit about me.  It wasn’t easy to think about 25 things book related about me.

XoXo

Ana

 

Book Review – Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

IMG_0555

 

Book Review – Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

“Last night I dreamed I went to Menderley again.” The first sentence of the book, although very simple, it is as catchy as “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

I read a lot of reviews about Rebecca and Daphne Du Maurier. Unlike many bibliophiles I am not opposed to reading reviews and maybe even some spoilers before I open a book. Sometimes it’s almost a challenge to see if I agree with the reviewer or not. Perhaps that’s what made me pick up Rebecca.

The story follows a young woman who is a companion for an older bored and snobbish lady, and while on vacation in the South of France meets a wealthy gentleman 40 years her senior. We are at that point introduced to the reason why Mr. De Winter, the older gentleman is in the South of France. It appears that his wife, Rebecca, has suffered a tragic death. After getting to know each other our protagonist and Mr. De Winter become romantically involved and he ultimately asks her to marry him. The proposal leaves the reader wondering about the true feelings of Mr. De Winter, since it was a not a romantic proposal at all.

After a short honey moon the newly married couple goes to Mr. De Winter’s home, Manderley, where the story starts picking up speed. We are at this point introduced to the house keeper, Mrs. Denvers, and a host of other characters, including Mr. De Winter’s sister and brother in law as well the grandmother. Each character is developed well and, I as the reader, felt as if I could touch and feel them and have conversations with them.

Throughout the story Manderley comes alive. What a beautiful house surrounded by woods and a garden on one side and the ocean on the other side. We can feel the coldness of the stone and we can feel the warmth of the fires in each of the fire place. The writing is impeccable and draws the reader in effortlessly.

I really enjoyed meeting each of the characters, even the ones I disliked the most. Mrs. Danver’s, although mean and rude, I could not help throughout the book to like her. She was wearing her emotions on her sleeves and nothing less was expected. Then there was Rebecca’s second cousin whom we meet halfway through the reading and whom I really did not like. the writing of this character was so on point that I could even smell the alcohol and tobacco on his clothes when faced with him on a page. Although, the reason for his behavior was as excusable as much as Mrs. Danver’s I could not bring myself to root for this character and wanted him to just go away.

Through out the narrative, although Rebecca was dead, I learned to like her. She was described as beautiful by everyone, she appeared to be extremely organized and neat and very much into making a house a home. Towards the end we learn new things about Rebecca and still, did not make me hate her. I’m not sure if that was the purpose. The new Mrs. De Winter on the other hand…. made me crazy sometimes. She was described as a shy and simple woman, which is fine. However, at times I felt as if her shyness and simplicity was a bit over played. I found myself almost yelling at her to “suck it up.” It was apparent that Mrs. Danvers was not her fan, yet, and even though she was aware of that, she kept bowing down to Mrs. Danvers. I wanted rip my hair out. As the book progressed her demeanor became a bit more tolerable. Especially after a certain event where it appears was the tipping point for her.

This was my first Du Maurier book and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Although I hear that this was the best one.

I give this book 4.5 stars and not 5 only because of the main character’s faults. As I said, the writing was amazing but I am not sure that Du Maurier accomplished what she set out to with this character. There were also other characters that were introduced and never fully developed where perhaps they should have been either better developed or omitted all together.

I would recommend the book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery and even romance although I don’t think I would classify the book as a romance at all.

Ana

 

A Book Reader’s Tag

I saw this tag at Spines and Covers blog and since I have not fished the book I plan on reviewing next, hopefully this weekend, I decided a tag would keep you interested and maybe you can join in on the fun…. come on, join in.  I’d love to hear what you think.

True to myself, I’ve decided to make up additional questions and take out some as I didn’t feel I had anything of interest to say in response.  I hope you enjoy this tag since I think this is a great way to get to know each other and keep me posting without having to feel the pressure of finishing a book.  Books are meant to be enjoyed and I don’t want to rush through them.

How long does it take you to read a book?

Hmm this really depends.  Some books I can fly through them and others it takes me a while.  I’m not a faster reader to begin with so sometimes it can be frustrating if I start comparing myself to others.

Books you haven’t finished.

There are a few.  I’m not going to include the ones I have no intention on ever finishing.  Life is too short to read books I don’t enjoy.  Notice I didn’t say that think they are bad books.  I just don’t think they were meant for me.  Here are two of the books I have started, intend on finishing but haven’t gotten around to it.

 

Hyped/Poplar books you don’t like.

Hmm to name a few…. These I know for a fact I don’t like.

 

I hated Animal Farm.  So much so that I think I’d like to read 1984 but I’m afraid that I’m going to hate it also.

Classics you did not enjoy.

There are the ones that I was forced to read in school.  Honestly, I don’t even remember the stories.  I don’t think I was in the right frame of mind to read them or perhaps it was the wrong time in my life.  High school is probably not the best time to attempt these classics….. Just saying!!!!!  I think if I were to read some of these now I’d probably enjoy them.

Most favorite children’s books?

The Little Prince will always have a special place in my heart.  I think this was the first book my father ever read to me and it will always be special.

IMG_0549

In college I needed to take a literature class.  I was a senior, taking 18 credits and working part time.  I wanted to make sure I wasn’t going shoot myself in the foot for having waited that long to take this requirement.  I decided on a class in Children’s Literature.  I wound up loving that class and read one of my most favorite books of all time.

IMG_0550

 

Hope you enjoyed this little tag.

Have a great rest of the week and look for the new book review coming soon…. hopefully this weekend.

XoXo

Ana

 

Book Review: Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

 

IMG_0534

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney
St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2017
284 Pages, $25.99

I was five years old when I first laid eyes on her, on a postcard, sent to me by my dearest aunt, Sadie Boxfish, my father’s youngest sister, daring and unmarried and living in Manhattan.

With these words, we are introduced to Lillian Boxfish. Although a work of fiction, the book is based on the life of a real woman. Not just any woman, the highest paid female in advertising. I would even venture to say a woman ahead of her time.

The story begins in New York, on New Years Eve in 1984, as Lillian talks to her son on the telephone and we learn that Lillian, now eighty-three or eighty-four years old…. we’re really not sure because she has never told anyone her real age and that has actually started to confuse her. During that conversation we learn that Lillian moved to New York as soon as she was old enough to look for a job. We learn that Lillian applied for fifteen jobs and received an offer at H. R. Macy’s. a job she accepted and at which she excelled.

A job which in some ways saved my life and in other ways ruined it.

We learn of an ex-husband, whom Lillian loved more than life itself and for whom she gave up her career as it was expected of women in those days. A husband who eventually remarried. We learn some of the details of her life in New York, her path to becoming the best paid advertising woman, her path to becoming a published author and eventually the end of her career.

Lillian was funny and a force to be reckoned with. She pulled no punches. She knew what she wanted and she found a way to get it. At one point when she’s in her boss’ office asking for a raise having been touted as the “best paid woman in advertising,” and he tells her that “…it’s been decided that we really can’t do it.” Instead of giving up she confronts him and says:

The passive voice, Chip? The use of the passive voice to disguise one’s role in the making of a decision is imprecise and obfuscatory. You’re a better ad man that that. Active verbs! Why not say “I refuse to pay you fairly.”

This scene in the book brought Lillian closer to me. She was fighting a battle which continues to be fought today. In 2017. Will our children still be fighting the same battle?

The entire story takes place on one single night while Lillian walks to Delmonicos on New Years Eve for her traditional New Years Eve Dinner. “Veal rollatini with green noodles” and then back home again. Through her walk the reader is introduced to a few characters she meets on the street, the sights and sounds of the city so familiar to those of us to inhabit it or work in it day in and day out. The reader comes face to face with the changes which take place both in the city and and Lillian as they both mature. For me, these were the aspects of the book that made me fall in love with the character .

In 1984, the Island of Manhattan was going through a particularly bad time. The crime rate was at its highest and to give the reader some perspective the author tells the story of the Subway Vigilante. A man who moved around the city subway, murdering members of a particular type.

The city I inhabit now is not the city that I moved to in 1926. It has become a mean-spirited action movie complete with repulsive plot twists and preposterous dialogue.

For someone like me, who works in Manhattan and therefore, practically live in Manhattan, I was extremely curious about what all these places looked like in the 1930s and 1984. I found myself making mental notes on what places I want to go back and visit. I’m eager to find all the beauty Lillian saw through her eyes in the New York of her youth as well as all the corruption and misery she found in 1984. I want to compare it to what it is today. A bustling city that, although not for everyone, it’s beautiful, busy and full of life. However, through Lillian’s eyes I was able to see the difference between what it was and what it is. She is not the first person calling the Penn Station building as it currently stands — a monstrosity.

I found that the author’s writing to be beautiful, her narrative to be flowy and descriptive. Kathleen Rooney is a poet and as expected her prose, enchanting and captivating. Through her words, I was able put on Lillian’s shoes as she looked at the world around her. Like when Lilly is talking to her cat, or contemplating buying a gift for that one New Years Eve party she decided to attend at the last minute.

There were, however, some passages in the book that felt as if they didn’t belong. They were a bit forced. These were very few but in a way they spoiled the flow of the book. As a New Yorker and a female I would never stop and chat with someone who happened to have honked the car horn. Not only would I not give that person the time of day but I would probably run away from the scene. This, in 2017. I don’t even want to imagine what I would have done in 1984, walking late at night in Midtown or Downtown.

Throughout the book we find Lillian maturing in parallel with the City. To me it felt as though they both began their walk through life as innocent, inexperienced and with a hunger to achieve huge heights. I couldn’t help but think that perhaps the author was telling a story about Lillian’s and Manhattan’s walk of life. We find that both mature, become resigned to circumstances, turn bitter and eventually learn to accept that “stuff happens” and in the process get stronger and more beautiful.

I think Lillian did a good job at navigating her life without a map. She was funny and sure of herself even when she didn’t think she was.

A question remains: if I were not from Lillian’s beloved New York, would this book have as much of an impact on me? hmmmm, I’m not certain. I cannot deny that I loved the story, enjoyed the concept and fell in love with Lillian. In the process discovered a new love for a city. All great things. The book was entertaining and I will also admit that I cannot wait for Kathleen’s next one (which I’m told is in the works).

I gave the book 4 stars only because I really had trouble getting past some of the scenes with strangers as being believable. They interrupted the flow of the narrative and I removed me from the cozy feeling of following Lillian around the city.

I have recommended this book to many people and would expect that they will enjoy it as much as I did.

Thanks for making it this far
Ana