Thursday, January 31, 2013
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
This week's prompt was a bit harder for me to get into and I wasn't sure where my composition was going at times, but I feel like it all wraped up ok. Now I think maybe I could've gone a different way with it, but too late for that now. Maybe I'll change it up in the future to see if I could take it in a different direction, that could be fun, right? Anyway, here is the prompt:
Go to a coffee shop, park, anywhere you can people watch for a while. Craft a story around your observations. I.e. you see someone, why are they there? What do they look like? Are they happy, sad, mad? Are they alone, meeting someone? What’s their back story? Or where are they going from there?
Sunday, January 27, 2013
(See here for why we're reading Les Mis, and here for Week 1, The Bishop)
Volume 1 Book 2 - The Fall
The part we've been waiting for, Jean Valjean has made an appearance! It seems to be the typical story we know from the musical he comes to a town and no one will let him work or stay at their inn because he is on parole. The only place the will open it's door to him is the the Bishop (who we met in the first book). You know the rest, while everyone is sleeping he steals the silver and when confronted with the law he says the Bishop gave it to him as a gift and the Bishop agrees and tells JVJ he must use the silver to become an honest man (The whole time I was singing all these parts in my head, like a crazy person!).
In between all the action in the book, you learn the history of JVJ and how he got to prison and why he spent so many years there. A few points I found interesting were that his family (his sister and her children) didn't seem to really care for him but he went to prison because he couldn't provide for them anymore and stole some bread. I thought maybe he would care about his family more or they would care about him, but apparently not. The other thing I thought was interesting was how RoB and I disagreed on when he went to steal the silver if he also thought about killing the bishop. I got the feeling that's what he was planning to do, but RoB says no, what do you think?
The very end of this book was depressing, with Gervitas and his stolen coin. I realize that is JVJ's turning point and from then on he realizes he needs to become a good person. But it was heartbreaking that he was stealing from a child.
Volume 1 Book 3 - In The Year 1817
Now we meet Fantine, and her baby daddy! But before we get there, there is a whole chapter about what is going in in France that year, I couldn't follow any of it and I skipped a large chunk of it. Back to Fantine and her story. I didn't expect Fantine's lover to be a well off scholar (of sorts), and he seemed to fawn over her. I thought he would be a worker or passerby that she had a short fling with, but this was more serious. Until, of course, we realize he is leaving her. The other part I thought was interesting was that he didn't even know about the baby when he left her. Him and his buddies decided they were just going to string along these 4 ladies for a while and then tell them it wouldn't work because their families expect more of them, sigh. This depressed me quite a bit, and I felt really bad for Fantine.
Next up we find out what happens to Fantine's child, and what has become of JVJ since he decided to become an honest man with the silver from the bishop. If there is anyone else out there reading or has read this please chime in and let me know your thoughts!
I'm also tying this in with a link-up this week with the.book.chat over at sweet green tangerine and semi-charmed kind of life. The topic this week is what are you currently reading, and I thought this fit it perfectly. I do have to say that I enjoy reading something so well known and respected so when anyone asks me what I'm reading I don't have to explain what it is or explain myself for why I'm reading yet another YA book :)
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
The prompt this week is (I guess it was last week at this point):
As I skidded out on my bicycle cursing the turd looking slug in the middle of the path, I thought to myself “Why the heck did I just avoid that?” I could’ve easily run over the slug in the middle of the trail, avoided my now skinned up left leg, and continued with my ride. From my place on the soft damp dirt I noticed the thing still moving, not realizing the chaos it just caused. When I first saw it I didn’t realize quite how brightly colored it was. It suddenly looked a radiant yellow not just a dull brown. Slowly creating a slime trail behind it, the closer I got the more fascinated I was. It had two perfect looking antennae on top of its head and two just below, nearby where a mouth might be. The symmetry of these four were perfect. The calmness the little guy showed in his slow trek across the trail was poised, without a care in the world. Suddenly, I felt relieved that I hadn’t run over this creature. He was magnificent, like only a banana slug could be.
Since I pretty much missed this week, here is the prompt for next Monday:
Friday, January 18, 2013
1. Too long or no chapters at all. I like to sometimes read in really short spurts, like waiting to make coffee or comercial breaks of a sporting event, so breaking things up really allows me to read for short periods of time.
2. Someone trying not to spoil a book for me but still talking about it and spoiling it in a different way. For example not telling me the ending but saying "That had the biggest plot twist I've ever read" then the whole time I'm reading I'm trying to guess the plot twist and it's not as exciting when I get to read it.
3. Christian Fiction, don't even get me started...
4. Weak, uninteresting female characters who rely on a man.
5. Hardcover books, I hate having to hold onto them and read these big bulky things, but I also hate waiting until they come out in paperback.
6. This is something I do that might be a pet peeve of others: if you are reading in public (transit, airplane, park, coffeshop) I will try to see what book you are reading and judge you for it (good and bad judgement :)
Check out the others in the link up!
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
This first 50 pages or so of the book was all about the Bishop of Digne (although in the kindle edition it just says Bishop of D---, anyone know why?). It is a compilation of his history and all the good things he has done over the course of his life. There are a couple small events that are explained and some chapters just talk about how he thinks or feels. These chapters were the ones that made it hard to keep going and I'm pretty sure I skimmed though some of them. Luckily, Rob finished this part before me and started reading ahead to the next book and informed me that things actually happen!
|The Bishop of Digne as depicted by Gustave Brion in the first edition of the novel|
So, I continued on through and kept reading about why the Bishop of Digne was A Just Man. I was not a huge fan of this book, it was slow moving and what I was worried would happen when trying to read a classic like Les Mis. The one thing I do have to say is that you see a bit more charter and almost humor in the bishop and all that he does, the musically never really portrayed him this way, but I feel like in the movie Colm Wilkinson does a great job of showing more of how he is represented in the book (For those of you that don't know, Colm Wilkinson was the original Jean Valjean in the West End and on Broadway).
|On the right is Colm Wilkinson as the Bishop|
The next part is all about Jean Valjean (or as we've been calling him JVJ), finally! I hope it starts to read faster because this pace might be tough for over 1000 pages.
How does everyone else out there feel about the start of the book? Anyone else out there reading it now? Eh, probably not and I'm probably talking to no one, but I thought I'd try!
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
What did I think?
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Both of the young actors did a great job. Young Cosette was great, very cute and everything you'd expect out of an innocent girl. Gavroche was also great, and I really enjoyed how they gave him a longer part in "Look Down", a little more history about the uprising.
Worst singer goes to Amanda Seyfried as Cosette. Another character I've never really liked, but the vocal part seemed beyond her capabilities and it was obvious when she was singing with two great singers that played Eponine and Marius. Russell Crowe's singing wasn't great either, he wasn't terrible but his voice just wasn't powerful enough for the officer Javert, I never really felt like I would be scared of him.
I really liked how the did the song "Do You hear the People Sing", it was in a different place than the musical and I had a panicked moment when I though that they left it out. Just as I leaned over to RoB to whisper "they skipped a song" the first chords of that song started, whew! It was great and not just because the love of my life (Aaron Tveit playing Enjolras) was leading the song. I liked how you actually felt like the people were going to rise and take over.
One very small thing I was sad that they left out. A the very end when Jean Valjean is dying, Fantine comes to him as a ghost. However in the musical both Fantine and Eponine come to him and sing "Come to Me" with one of my favorite harmonies of all time, it is beautiful. I was sad to see this left out but then I realized that Valjean never really had any interaction with Eponine in the movie like he did in the musical so it might not have made sense. But it is one of my favorite parts of the musical so of course I was sad to see it left out.
One other issue I had was with the cinematography (I think) basically some of the weird camera angles and close ups. They were very artsy and I'm sure lots of people liked that, but I just felt like it was weird.
(I also just read a great review on the movie over at Semi-Charmed Kind of Life.)
For Christmas RoB got me the 25th Anniversary Concert, which is AMAZING if you haven't seen it. We put it in on Christmas while we were cleaning up the mess of wrapping paper and starting breakfast and my whole family would be transfixed and basically stop what they were doing to watch and listen. If you want to hear quite possibly the best vocal performances for every part (except Marius, nick jonas sucks) you should watch this. I would love if they would've had someone good play Marius (like Eddie Redmayne!) because that would've made this performance perfect.
(This is just a taste of how good it is, go rent or buy the whole thing!)
About once every two years I get an urge to actually read Les Mis. I tried once when I was in either middle or high school and it was way too overwhelming, but now I want to try again. I've never read it and think I might have a hard time following through with it, so RoB and I are going to try and read it at the same time. I will read it on my new Kindle (!!) and I think he bought the last copy available in Lexington. I would like to come up with a better name than the Les Mis Challenge (there's got to be something witty I can come up with), but that's what it will be for now. We are going to try and read the First Book: A Just Man from the First Part: Fantine (~50 pages) by Sunday and try and discuss it. I will keep updates on my blog here as well. If you have read it or want to read it now I'd love for you to chime in on the discussions, maybe I could even do a link-up or something fun like that!
Lastly, I was sent a review book called A Merry Requiem: The Gathering Storm that is loosely based on Victor Hugo's life. I recently finished it so watch for that review soon!
What is it about?
What did I think?
Monday, January 7, 2013
I received this book through Library Thing’s Early Reviews program. I think their review program is one of the best around since they put out a list every month and then evaluate which reviewers would be best for which books. I feel like I get a book about every other month, which is perfect for me!
What is it about?
Clea is given up by her mother and raised by a foster mom, while her birth mother lives just down the street entertaining men. It starts with her childhood and eventually takes you to her adulthood. A lot revolves around the small Mississippi town where she grew up. She is forced to endure a tragedy when she is young scaring her from ever returning. However, when her and her husband split up she has nowhere else to go but back to Mississippi and endures yet another disaster.
What did I think?
I enjoyed this book while I reading it, but looking back on it I’m not sure how much I really liked it. There were some things that really bugged me, the jump of approximately 20 years in between two of the chapters; it just skips forward in time unexpectedly and without much detail about what happened during those missing years. I also didn’t really like the story line with the boy who lived in the tree; I really wanted more out of him. I really liked the beginning when Clea was a girl, I didn’t really like her as an adult and maybe that’s a point of the story. But even after everything she went through as an adult back in Mississippi I still didn’t really like her, I didn’t feel like she had changed, and I wanted young Clea back. The ending wasn’t my favorite either, I’m not sure if the big storm coming was necessary, it just all got really dramatic and I didn’t enjoy it.
Who would I recommend it to?
One thing I did like about this book was the southern setting. You really got a good feel for the town and the locals. But I really felt like this book should’ve either focused on the younger years of Clea or the adulthood, trying to do both didn’t work for me. The book is well written and I can see it appealing to some readers, just be aware of that split.
Check out other reviews on this book from fellow bloggers:
That's What She Read
Did you read this book and review it on your blog? Let me know in the comments and I'll add your link!
Thursday, January 3, 2013
What did I think?