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Violet Crown

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Violet Crown last won the day on November 17 2019

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About Violet Crown

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    Onward Thru the Fog
  • Birthday August 24

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  1. I'm confident you've read David Foster Wallace on the subject.
  2. Coast! In fact we spent last weekend in Galveston, enjoying the sand and seashells and birds straight out of Audubon. What's a mountain?
  3. Nothing finished this week; still reading Memoirs of Vidocq. Vidocq's criminal life seems to have wrapped up with the first volume, and he's now acting as an occasional informant for the police. 700 pages to go! Middle Girl picked as my next random book Five Books on Consideration: Advice to a Pope by St Bernard of Clairvaux, but it turned out to be less interesting than I'd thought and I bailed after the first book. She replaced it with Graham Greene's The Honorary Consul. So now I have 5 books going: Vidocq, another poetry collection, Graham Greene, Great Expectations (with Wee Girl), and Lautreamont's Maldoror, because I can't get enough French weirdness.
  4. Or "Train of Death"? I can think of three classics that involve death on (or under) a train. Though naming them would require plot spoilers. (I know Strangers doesn't actually have the death on the train.)
  5. Oh it's all right now. Every mother gets to impose some book she loves on her children; heaven knows I'm doing that for my own! (Here, dear; you'll love this little thing by Henry James. No, really, read it.) Anyway I get to tease her about it now! I am glad to hear LW et seq. were not wasted on other young ladies. I've quite liked some of her other writings.
  6. Question: Is there anyone here who read Little Women, at any age, and liked it? All of it? My mother forced me to read Little Women. Bought me a lovely hefty hardcover, nagged me until I trudged my way through. I avoided Bunyan for years just because the girls play "Pilgrim's Progress" in an early chapter. (Turns out I love Bunyan.) When the wretched thing was at last finished, she told every relative we had that I'd loved Little Women and wanted nothing more for Christmas than the sequels. I got nothing that Christmas from my extended family except Little Women sequels. I refused to read any of them. Still bitter. Can you tell? :) ETA: Oh dear, I may have uncovered the roots of my aversion to female authors.
  7. Congratulations! It's important to reset the bar from time to time. That's my goal this year. Some good thousand-pagers should help with that.
  8. If I read Emma after Vidocq I'll be up to 1/8. In 2019 it was ... let's see ... 5/72. Isak Dinesen, Emma Tennant, Elaine Dundy, Emily Brontë, and St. Clare of Assisi.
  9. It's anything you want. I started it but have been a little overwhelmed by Dickens and felt the need for some non-England reading (thus the Muir and Vidocq). And as usual i needed to go back and make up an index card-cum-bookmark with the characters and the names of their homes, so I'm more or less on the second chapter and holding. But ready to go at any time.
  10. Checking in late. This was standardized testing week, and if there is anything duller than proctoring a test room all day for a bunch of well-behaved kids. I don't know what it is. You can't do anything other than proctor, and other than respond to the occasional confused child with the scripted "Some of these are tricky, aren't they? Just give your best answer," and oversee restroom trips, there is nothing but to gaze out over the silent bubble-filling and watch the timer tick down and despair. But that's all done now for better or for worse, and I have two (two!) finished books to report. Poems of Geoffrey Grigson Poems of Edwin Muir These are from the '70s Penguin Modern Poets series, which little volumes are worth their weight in gold. Low page count but high time investment, and I've been working on them for a while, so I have no shame about counting them for BaW. The Muir gets me three 10x10 categories: Plucked From the Air, Scots Wha' Hae, and Lyric, Dramatic, and Epic (though I've got way more than ten in that category now). Currently reading Memoirs of Vidocq, of whom I learned from Joyce. Check out his Wikipedia page! Another from the Crime and Punishment 10x10. A fantastic read, if you can lay your hands on a copy.
  11. Robert Louis Stevenson. So much more than Treasure Island.
  12. It's Candlemas for us today, and while the guinea pigs definitely saw their shadows whilst gamboling on the lawn, it was an early spring for sure at 80+ degrees. Finishing the Robert Louis Stevenson collection South Sea Tales. These are all set in the Pacific islands, where RLS and his wife settled, and the only sign of Scottishness is the tendency of all the characters to quote spontaneously from Robert Burns. I started it for the sake of the first story, The Beach of Falesá--part of Middle Girl's English curriculum--which makes an interesting contrast piece to Conrad's Heart of Darkness, but RLS is an excellent storyteller and I've gone on to read and enjoy the rest. The Isle of Voices is a rewriting of Shakespeare's Tempest, but from the point of view of the islanders; The Bottle Imp is a Pacific island version of a German fairy tale which RLS wrote specifically for translation into Samoan. After RLS, my modern poetry book and then Emma and a very obscure book I found mentioned in Dubliners which I can't wait to read.
  13. Amy -- I did not know that about unicorn blood. Sorry you're all down with Evil Germs and Side Effects. I would bring you chicken tortilla soup but you're very far away.
  14. Frank Norris's (author of The Octopus and McTeague) younger brother, Charles Gilman Norris, was also a novelist, popular in his time but largely forgotten now. Better remembered is C. G. Norris' wife, Kathleen Norris (Frank Norris's sister-in-law), who wrote scads of best-sellers in the first half of the 20th century. Kathleen and C.G.'s son, Frank Norris (named for his literary uncle) was a gynecologist and obstetrician who seems to have been delivering babies in San Francisco in the '60s and '70s. Did he mention to your mom that besides a very literary family, his niece (granddaughter of C.G. and Kathleen) married a Romanov prince?
  15. What timing! I just finished David Copperfield myself. Entering it on my book timeline I saw that I'd last read it in 2015; five years since I taught it to Middle Girl & Teenage Co. as part of a little seminar I ran for a while. It was more fun reading it without thinking about plot arc or Dickens's methods of characterization. My favorite character is still Miss Mowcher, who transmogrifies from pandering Madame, in league with Steerforth, to oppressed but feisty heroine, in the blink of a defamation lawsuit. One more in the Literary Duress 10x10 category. Soon I need to lay my 2019/2020 list before me and figure out which categories I'm done with and which not. I'm reconsidering the Shame List category: 10 books I don't want to admit I haven't read. Middle Girl suggests I fess up to not having read Emma and get it done.
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