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 My fifth book for ljbookbingo  is Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell for the Biography square found here. 


Elizabeth Gaskell's biography of her close friend Charlotte Brontë was published in 1857 to immediate popular acclaim, and remains the most significant study of the enigmatic author who gave Jane Eyre the subtitle An Autobiography. It recounts Charlotte Brontë's life from her isolated childhood, through her years as a writer who had 'foreseen the single life' for herself, to her marriage at thirty-eight and death less than a year later. The resulting work - the first full-length biography of a woman novelist by a woman novelist - explored the nature of Charlotte's genius and almost single-handedly created the Brontë myth. ~Amazon book description

I grew interested in reading this book after listening to a podcast.  I love Stuff You Missed In History Class podcast.   They are half hour podcasts on different events and people throughout history.  It is very entertaining and I highly recommend it.  They actually did a two-parter on The Bronte's as a family.  Growing Up Bronte and Bronte to Bell and Back Again.  If you do decide to read this biography I would highly recommend you listen to these two podcasts.  It really helped me to cement a timeline in my head and help me sort through this very thorough biography.  

This was a biography of Charlotte Brontë written by Elizabeth Gaskell who was a dear friend of Ms. Brontë. If you have ever read any of Mrs. Gaskell’s works then you know what you are in for. The passages can be a bit overly jammed full of description. The first chapter is almost entirely Mrs. Gaskell setting the scene of Yorkshire where the Brontë’s resided. Still I have always loved Mrs. Gaskell’s works and this biography was no exception.

This is definitely not an impartial biography as the two women were good friends and in fact Brontë’s husband and father had asked Gaskell to write this book after Ms. Brontë’s death. It is written in a bit of a defensive tone because Brontë had been so sharply criticized. In fact the last lines speak to this: “But I turn from the critical, unsympathetic public—inclined to judge harshly because they have only seen superficially and not thought deeply. I appeal to that larger and more solemn public, who know how to look with tender humility at faults and errors; how to admire generously extraordinary genius, and how to reverence with warm, full hearts all noble virtue. To that Public I commit the memory of Charlotte Brontë.”

I enjoyed this it may not of perfect but it was great in that you get to see Charlotte Brontë through the eyes of those who knew and loved her.  I am actually now interested in reading a more impartial biography of Ms. Bronte and compare the two.  Although I have so many books I want to read that that wish is definitely on the back burner.  

 My sixth book for ljbookbingo  is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte for the favorite re-read square. 

A classic coming of age story, “Jane Eyre” is the tale of its title character, a poor orphaned girl who comes to live with her aunt at Gateshead Hall. While there she endures great emotional and physical abuse at the hands of her aunt and cousins. Jane subsequently ships off to Lowood, a Christian boarding school for poor and orphaned girls. The conditions at the school are quite brutal. The students are subjected to cold lodgings, poor food, inadequate clothing, and the harsh rule of the administrator, Mr. Brocklehurst. The maltreatment of the students is eventually discovered and after some changes life becomes more bearable. She eventually finishes her coursework and spends a period of time as a teacher at the school. After leaving Lowood she gains a position as a governess at Thornfield Hall working for Edward Rochester, a man whom she will eventually fall in love with. “Jane Eyre” is the story of one woman’s struggle to overcome adversity. -Amazon Book Description

The first time I read Jane Eyre I was in junior high school and it quickly became my favorite book.  I must of read and reread it a hundred times since then.  It has been a few years since my last go around and since I had just finished a biography about Charlotte Bronte I wanted to read it again.  I have to say I still really enjoy the characters and the story.  One of the things that I continue to admire about Jane as a character is how well she knows herself.  She knows what she believes and she had the fortitude to stand by those beliefs.  Even when she is tempted she is willing to walk away from everything because Jane knew in the long run she would be miserable.  I admire that level of self-awareness and the strength it took her to leave.  Of course I also love that it all worked out in the end.  I would definitely highly recommend it.  
  This entry was originally posted at https://under-the-silk-tree.dreamwidth.org/38969.html

The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves

 My fourth book for ljbookbingo is The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves for the Animal on the Cover square found here.  There are a few vague spoilers in my review but nothing to egregious.

Image result for the crow trap book

Three very different women come together to complete an environmental survey on the Northumberland countryside. Three women who, in some way or another, know the meaning of betrayal....For team leader Rachael Lambert the project is the perfect opportunity to rebuild her confidence after a double-betrayal by her lover and boss, Peter Kemp. Botanist Anne Preece, on the other hand, sees it as a chance to indulge in a little deception of her own. And then there is Grace Fulwell, a strange, uncommunicative young woman with plenty of her own secrets to hide...

When Rachael arrives at the cottage, however, she is horrified to discover the body of her friend Bella Furness. Bella, it appears, has committed suicide--a verdict Rachael finds impossible to accept.

Only when the next death occurs does a fourth woman enter the picture--the unconventional Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope, who must piece together the truth from these women's tangled lives in The Crow Trap.

Ann Cleeves's popular Vera Stanhope books have been made into the hit series “Vera” starring Brenda Blethyn and are available in the U.S. -Amazon Book Description.

I greatly enjoyed this book. It was a bit unusual in the detective genre as you don’t get to meet Vera Stanhope the head detective until after 1/3 of the way through the book. You also don’t get her pov until 3/4 of the way through. So you mainly are seeing the events unfold through the eyes of the 3 main protagonists. I found it an interesting experience and I liked getting to read how they viewed each other and the events surrounding them.

The actual mystery was good. I had narrowed down my list of suspects but hadn’t guessed who it was so it was nice to see how Detective Stanhope solved it. I really loved Vera who is a bit of an uncouth curmudgeon and really makes no apologies for it. And why should she? Male detectives get to be dysfunctional all the time, I liked how messy she was both physically and emotionally but how she still got the job done. She felt real.

My only complaint is the ending felt a little rushed. I wanted to know a bit more about how everyone got on after everything went down. Overall I enjoyed myself and I am actually really looking forward to reading the next in the series. This entry was originally posted at https://under-the-silk-tree.dreamwidth.org/38041.html

Charlotte by Karen Aminadra

 My third book for ljbookbingo was Charlotte by Karen Aminadra for the Romance square which can be found here.  

"When Charlotte Lucas married Mr Collins, she did not love him but had at least secured her future. However, what price must she pay for that future? She once said she was not romantic, but how true is that now after almost one year of marriage? Mr Collins is submissive in the extreme to his patroness, and his constant simpering, fawning and deference to the overbearing and manipulative Lady Catherine de Bourgh is sure to try the patience of a saint, or at least of Charlotte.
As Charlotte becomes part of Hunsford society, she discovers she is not the only one who has been forced to submit to the controlling and often hurtful hand of Lady Catherine. She feels trapped and realises her need for love and affection. She is not as content as she once thought she would be. The easiest thing to do would be to maintain the peace and do as she is told. But as Charlotte witnesses the misery around her due to her inimitable neighbour, she must decide to remain as she is or to begin a chain of events that will change not only her life but also the lives of those around her in the village of Hunsford forever. But...after all, doesn't every girl deserve a happy ending?" Amazon book description

I have to admit that when it comes to Pride & Prejudice I am in love with Elizabeth's wit, and with Jane's gentle kindness, but it is Charlotte Lucas with whom I can relate to and understand the most.  Her clear eyed understanding of her circumstances and her pragmatic solution has always endeared her to me.  So whenever I find a book that continues her story I am downright giddy. 

What I enjoyed about this book was the fact that Charlotte although had some regrets about her marriage she wasn’t all misery and woe. Charlotte as we see in P&P is a pragmatic person and that carries through to this story and so she tries to make the best out of her situation. Although she does learn in her first months of marriage that maybe she isn’t all practicality but that she is a bit of a romantic as well.  She is fearful that maybe she will never know what being in love and having someone love you back would feel like. Mr. William Collins at first is just as ridiculous as ever but little by little thanks to the changes Charlotte makes in his life and in the lives of the people around them he begins to change. The author wrote the two of them so well that I was deeply invested in Charlotte and William and of them growing as people and falling in love with each other. In all it is a very nicely told tale.

This entry was originally posted at https://under-the-silk-tree.dreamwidth.org/37513.html

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

I finished another book forljbookbingo .  Fulfilling the non-fiction square is Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.  I vaguely remember a couple of years ago seeing the commercials for the cartoon they made about it.  So when I  found the book at the thrift store I picked it up as it looked interesting.  
"Persepolis is the story of Satrapi's unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming--both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland. It is the chronicle of a girlhood and adolescence at once outrageous and familiar, a young life entwined with the history of her country yet filled with the universal trials and joys of growing up." -Amazon book descripton

I loved this book.  This graphic novel starts when Strapi is still a child so you get a child's perspective on Iran and the revolution.  So there is a bluntness to her narrative because children haven't learned to soften or couch their words.  The story she tells is at times very hard to read.  The brutality that was visited on the Iranian dissenters was awful and the words mixed with the black and white drawings really pulls the reader into the story, in a way that just words wouldn't have.  But what makes this book extra special is that you get to see moments within the Strapi family and how they deal with the ever changing world around them.  I fell in love with her parents and their extended family.

This book is actually a combination of two previous books.  So the first half is her childhood and the second half deals with her separation from her parents when they send her to Austria to keep her safe and then when Strapi returns to try to live in Iran once again.

Nothing I say is actually going to do this book justice it is so so good.  I highly recommend it.

This entry was originally posted at https://under-the-silk-tree.dreamwidth.org/36867.html

Name Change!

 I have officially changed the name of my dreamwidth journal from fall_into_your_sunlight to under_the_silk_tree.  I was dissatisfied with the old name about five minutes after I committed to it and up to now I just tried to live with it.  Although I do not have that many followers here I wanted to make sure that I gave you a head's up.  

I chose under_the_silk_tree because I pass a silk tree everyday and I think they are very pretty, their blossoms look like miniature truffula trees

Image result for silk tree

This entry was originally posted at https://under-the-silk-tree.dreamwidth.org/36776.html


Dollar Store Find

Every once in awhile you can find more then inexpensive/clearance food and past their shelf life candy. It's kind of a treasure hunt. Today I found this bit of hardcover awesomeness:

Super well done dustjacket, plus the spine is done in gold lettering

And look at the delightful illustrations inside:

Do I already own a copy of a Study in Scarlet? Yes.  But it is not even close to being this lovely. 

This entry was originally posted at https://fall-into-your-sunlight.dreamwidth.org/36386.html

Signed up for Book Bingo!

I signed up for ljbookbingo. I am very excited and hopefully It will keep me on point as far as my new year's resolution.
Bingo Card!Collapse )

My only resolution

The only New Year's resolution I made for myself this year was to read more books.  I've missed reading them.  Plus I have a few on my kindle I have been meaning to read and I have some on my bookshelf that I have had forever that I have also been meaning to read.  

I bought I book just before Christmas called All Systems Red by Martha Wells:

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

It is more of a novella so I finished it pretty quickly.  It is so good.  I absolutely loved the protagonist, and their pov is so well done.  They have a dry sense humor and a great inner monologue. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves sci-fi or just loves a really well written character.  A sequel is set to be released in May.  I am so excited.  

This entry was originally posted at https://fall-into-your-sunlight.dreamwidth.org/32571.html
Happy New Years!!

This Year's Auld Lang Syne is by James Taylor:

It has been another great year!  My family and I are doing very well. We had a good 2017.  I got to finally go to England, which was a dream of mine since I was little.  The trip was glorious.  Healthwise we are all doing good.  I really wish that politically we were in a very different situation but we have a really big election coming up in 2018 and although it won't effect who our president is it could vastly change congress and that could turn the tide.

This year's stories under the cut:

But the seas between us broad have roared since auld lang syneCollapse )


I managed to finish my bingo for the comm hc_bingo early this year which is awesome!  Table can be found here.  I greatly enjoyed writing these stories, hopefully people enjoyed reading them as well!  I ended up writing a split between the Librarians and NCIS, which apparently is where my muse is hanging out these days.

bingo!2forget me nottv awardpassion

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