Last Lines Quiz

As we approach the end of a decade I thought it would be appropriate to see what last lines of famous literature you would know.  Please leave the # and the title and author’s last name.  No Googling – that’s cheating and no fun!

1. So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. The Great Gatsby by FitzgeraldFlorinda

2. But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me and I can’t stand it. I been there before.  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by TwainSusan

3. He loved Big Brother.  1984 by Orwell – AlitaReads

4. ‘It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.’  A Tale of Two Cities by DickensBermudaonion

5. I am thinking of aurochs and angels, the secret of durable pigments, prophetic sonnets, the refuge of art. And this is the only immortality you and I may share, my Lolita. Lolita by Nabokov – Candice

6. Ah Bartleby! Ah humanity! Bartleby the Scrivener by MelvilleSusan

7. I don’t hate it he thought, panting in the cold air, the iron New England dark; I don’t. I don’t! I don’t hate it! I don’t hate it! Absalom, Absalom! by Faulkner

8. Lastly, she pictured to herself how this same little sister of hers would, in the after-time, be herself a grown woman; and how she would keep, through all her riper years, the simple and loving heart of her childhood; and how she would gather about her other little children, and make their eyes bright and eager with many a strange tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of long ago; and how she would feel with all their simple sorrows, and find a pleasure in all their simple joys, remembering her own child-life, and the happy summer days.   Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by CarrollWord Lily

9. Are there any questions?  The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood ‘Nise

10. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.  Animal Farm by Orwell – Candice

11. Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.  Catcher in the Rye by Salinger – Candice

12. For now she knew what Shalimar knew: If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.  Song of Solomon by Morrison

13. “Tomorrow, I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day.” Gone with the Wind by Mitchell Susan

14. He was soon borne away by the waves and lost in darkness and distance. Frankenstein by Shelley

15. And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!  A Christmas Carol by DickensWrighty’s Reads


You will choose 50 of the books I will read next year.  If you help me you could win a $20 gift card to Barnes & Noble.  Go here to vote. (Right now the top vote getter is A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving)

The Christmas Box, by Richard Paul Evans

The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans: Book CoverFinished 12-20-09, rating 3.5/5, fiction/novella, pub. 1993

“Tell us, Richard, which of the senses do you think are most affected by Christmas?” 

I looked over a t Keri.  “The taste buds,” I said flippantly.  Keri rolled her eyes.

“No.  I take it back.  I would say the sense of smell.  The smells of Christmas.  Not just the food, but everything.  I remember once, in grade school, we made Christmas ornaments by poking whole cloves into an orange.  I remember how wonderful it smelled for the entire season.  I can still smell it.  And then there’s the smell of perfumed candles, and hot wassail or creamy cocoa on a cold day.  And the pungent smell of wet leather boots after my brothers and I had gone sledding.  The smells of Christmas are the smells of childhood.”

Chapter IV

Rick, his wife and four-year old daughter move into a mansion in Salt Lake City to take care of an elderly lady, only she seems to need companionship more than anything else.  Rick is just starting a new business and spends little time at home and when he does he is distracted by work.  Mary, their host and employer, strives to show Rick what is really important.

I’m sure most people have read this.  I put out my beautiful copy every Christmas.  But here’s a confession –  while I’ve  faithfully displayed  it every year for over a decade, until today it had remained unread.  I know, I know, how is this possible?  Well, I’m really not into sugary sweet stories that try too hard and I thought this to be the case with this short book.  And then today I counted how many books I’ve read this year and discovered that I need to read four more to reach my goal of 130 by the end of the year.  So, this book was read out of necessity.

This is a sugary sweet story that tries too hard, exactly as I expected.  Only I didn’t mind.  It didn’t take more than an hour to read and it put me in the Christmas spirit.  Not the frantic wrapping/shopping kind, but the what Christmas is all about kind of spirit.  I’m ready to finish up everything I need to do this week, only I’ll do it with a lot less stress. 

I think if you have a copy in the house you should take an hour to read it again and be reminded that Christmas is what we make it.

You will choose 50 of the books I will read next year.  If you help me you could win a $20 gift card to Barnes & Noble.  Go here to vote. (Right now there is a tie for the top vote getter between A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving and She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb)

My Secret Santa


I have been remiss in not telling you about my wonderful Secret Santa!  A few weeks ago I received a package in the mail from Bliss at My Shelf Runneth Over.  Here’s what I found when I opened it.

First, I have to say how much I love that card!  How cute are all those puppies?  And then she sent me one of her favorite books ever, The History of Love.  I’d never heard of it but when I put it with hundreds of others in my tbr pile, others saw it.  I think it’s gotten 3 votes already for me to read next year, so it must be a favorite of a few other book lovers 🙂  And she included a beautiful looking and smelling soap.  I started using it right away and I love it! Don’t I have a great Secret Santa? 

I feel very bad about how few of you I’ve visited this week.  I am celebrating Christmas at my Grandma’s party today, where I plan on collecting a few more gifts, but hope to start catching up on my blog reading when I get home on Sunday. 

You will choose 50 of the books I will read next year.  If you help me you could win a $20 gift card to Barnes & Noble.  Go here to vote. (Right now the top vote getter is A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving)

Everything Austen Challenge completed

everythingausten2My fourth 2009 challenge is done.  Whew!  Wasn’t sure I was going to make it 🙂  I joined this challenge without ever having read a Jane Austen novel and now I can say I have.  I really enjoyed reading Pride & Prejudice and can understand why this is a favorite of many.  Mr. Darcy ranks right up there with romantic heroes.  I listened to Sense & Sensibility and enjoyed this as well, although not as much as Pride & Prejudice.  I watched the 1995 movie version with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet as the two sisters and liked it so much it ended up on my Top 100 list.  I read The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler and watched The Jane Austen Book Club movie and was surprised that I preferred the movie.  And for my last task I watched the 1995 BBC production of Persuasion.  I liked this story and look forward to reading the book.

I am so glad I joined this challenge because it introduced me to Jane and now I feel like we’re old friends.  Thanks Stephanie for hosting this great challenge.

You will choose 50 of the books I will read next year.  If you help me you could win a $20 gift card to Barnes & Noble.  Go here to vote. (Right now the top vote getter is A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving)

Persuasion, 1995 movie

Leads- Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds

Anne rejected Wentworth eight years before due to the influence of a family friend and is now considered an old maid at 27.  When Anne’s family is forced to rent their home due to money problems, Anne once again finds herself face to face with Wentworth.  Only he is barely civil and she is more than disappointed.

I have not read this Austen novel yet (although it looks like I will be doing so in 2010 thanks to all of you voters) and only had a vague impression of its plot.  Although I thought the movie was quite slow in parts I still enjoyed it.  The costumes were wonderful and the two leads were very good. 

Because the movie can only be so long I am still left wondering about a few things, like the specifics of why Anne rejected Wentworth and what exactly was going on with her cousin and sister’s companion.  I am looking forward to reading the novel to fill in some blanks, but I thought the movie was beautifully done, as with most BBC productions.

This is my last Austen for the Everything Austen Challenge 🙂  I checked this movie out of the library.

You will choose 50 of the books I will read next year.  If you help me you could win a $20 gift card to Barnes & Noble.  Go here to vote. (Right now the top vote getter is A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving)

The Girl on Legare Street, by Karen White

The Girl on Legare Street by Karen White: Book CoverFinished 12-16-09, rating 4/5, fiction, pub. 2009

Book 2 in the Tradd Street series

“And?” I prompted.

“They found human remains inside.”

I didn’t respond.  I was on my knees following the trail of salt, realizing too late that the grainy spills resembled footprints.  I held my breath as if preparing to dive into water, and stopped when I saw that the trail of salt led to the back stairway.

“Jack?” I whispered. ” I think we have a problem.”  And then I dropped my phone and started to scream.

Chapter 5

Melanie is a successful and attractive Charleston realtor who also has the uncanny gift of being able to interact with ghosts.  She has recently reconciled with her recovering alcoholic father and when her mother, who has been absent from her life for 30 years, waltzes back into town she has enough.  Her mother pulls strings with Melanie’s boss and she s forced to help her mother buy her childhood home, just a short walk to her own home.  Melanie is uptight and plans every detail of her life and her mother and friend with sparks, Jack, do not fit into her plans. 

The historical home that her mother bought has been haunted since her mother was a child and the spirit is gaining strength and hatred.  The two must come to terms with each other.  And Jack has started dating a woman who rankles Melanie and much of the book is spent with the silent treatment being used by both of them.  But the puzzle of the past and the details of who this evil spirit may be brings them together, if only to solve the riddle of Melanie’s heritage.

As with the first book, I really enjoyed the ghostly elements of the story.  These evil ones can do real damage!  I enjoyed Melanie more in this one, but Jack less.  I really thought he behaving stupidly, but maybe that’s not too far from reality.  Melanie and Jack keep dancing around each other and a little of that can go a long way.  And I confess that I really didn’t like the very end.  The plot all comes together in a satisfactory way, but the addition of the last page or two was unnecessary.

I would recommend this book and the first one, even if you are not into ghosts, I’m certainly not and I think these are fun mysteries.

tlc tour hostStop by the TLC website and see who else has reviewed this book.  I received this book from the tour for review.

You will choose 50 of the books I will read next year.  If you help me you could win a $20 gift card to Barnes & Noble.  Go here to vote. (Right now the top vote getter is A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving)

The Awakening, by Kate Chopin

The Awakening by Kate Chopin: Book CoverFinished 12-14-09, rating 4.5/5, fiction, pub. 1899

In short, Mrs. Pontellier was not  a mother-woman.  The mother-women seemed to prevail that summer at Grand Isle.  It was easy to know them, fluttering about with extended protecting wings when any harm, real or imaginary, threatened their precious brood.  They were women who idolized their children, worshiped their husbands, and esteemed it a holy priviledge to efface themselves as individuals and grow wings as ministering angels

Chapter IV

Edna Pontellier is a young woman living in New Orleans in the late 1880’s,  Her life, like that of most ladies at that time, revolves around her husband, children, and social calls.  Then one summer while she and her family were on Grand Isle, she becomes enamoured with Robert Lebrun, who returns the interest in kind.  As Edna feels propriety fall away, her new way of looking at her life makes her a changed woman and unhappy.  Edna is a woman who is stuck in a box and she longs to break free.

This is a re-read for me.  I read it in college and loved it.  It’s on my Top 100 list and it will likely be there for quite some time.  There is a profound beauty in the writing and with Edna’s awakening that left much for thought.  There were passages that moved me, made me think, and defined the times.  I cannot get into too much discussion without ruining the end, but I would recommend this book as a thoughtful classic. 

Kate Chopin was very sensitive to criticism and the harshness of her detractors over this book forced her to stop writing altogether.  This was her last novel and it is a shame she never got the recognition she deserved when she was alive.  People seem to think you need to agree with Edna’s decisions to appreciate the book.  I think that is missing the point.  But that’s just me.

I chose to read this as part of a book group that Em at The Many Thoughts of a Reader is hosting.  Feel free to stop by her blog as she and others discuss it.  I think I may be the only one who loves it 🙂

This book was from my personal library.

You will choose 50 of the books I will read next year.  If you help me you could win a $20 gift card to Barnes & Noble.  Go here to vote. (Right now the top vote getter is A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving)

Teaser Tuesday – The Awakening by Kate Chopin

teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: Grab your current read. Open to a random page. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!). Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

It sometimes entered Mr. Pontellier’s mind to wonder if his wife were not growing a little unbalanced mentally.  He could see plainly that she was not herself.  That is, he could not see that she was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.

The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Chapter XIX

Just finished this – review tomorrow. Visit MizB for more teasers.

You will choose 50 of the books I will read next year.  If you help me you could win a $20 gift card to Barnes & Noble.  Go here to vote. (Right now the top vote getter is She’s come Undone By Wally Lamb)

Help Me Help Myself and Win a Gift Card Quiz

UPDATE – Voting Closed.  Click here to see results.

I’m going to be signing up for the Read Your Own Books challenge again next year.  Last year I committed to 50 and finished the challenge in October.  This year I have even more books in my house so I’m going to make my goal 55.  That’s where you come in.  I’ve taken a new picture of my tbr pile.  Some of these I’ve had more than 10 years, some were gifts, some I bought, a few I won from you, some were free from when I worked for Barnes & Noble, but all of them are waiting to be read.  So, here’s where you come in.  I’m letting you pick 50 of the books I will read from my stacks next year and you’ll be entered to win a $20 B&N Gift Card. 

Here’s how it works – Look at my tbr stacks, choose 1-5 titles you think I need to read in 2010, leave a comment telling me which one(s) and for each title you will receive one entry for the $20 B&N Gift Card.  You don’t have to tell me why I should read it unless you want to, but in the event of a tie I will use the comments to help me decide.  I’ll leave the voting open for two weeks (until December 29).  Limit 5 titles per person.  If I’ve never sent you anything in the mail, please leave your email.

Feel free to make fun of any of the titles – I am clueless how some of them made it into this house!

I think you can click on the picture to see it better.  Here are some of the piles closer up so they are easier to read.  If you double-click on these they will be easier to read.

Scandalous Love, by Brenda Joyce

Scandalous Love by Brenda Joyce: Book CoverFinished 12-9-09, rating 3.5/5, historical romance, pub. 1992

“You are the one with no morals, you are the one who would stop at nothing to get what you want.”

Anger flared.  “Wrong.  I warned you not to return here, and you did so at your own risk.  If you did not  come back for what I can give you, then why did you return?”

She gasped, crimson color suffusing her cheeks.  “How arrogant you are!  I came back to tell you what I think of you now that I know  the truth!”

Chapter 4

Nicole Bragg is a free-spirited lady living in relative seclusion in Victorian England after she had the audacity of crying off of her wedding.  On her wedding day.  The scandal has ruined her reputation, but not her independence.  When a rival practically dares her attend a party for the Duke of Clayborough, she arrives and immediately catches the eye of the Duke.  The Duke is looking for a mistress, Nicole a husband.  Nicole always seems to make the situation worse and the Duke is charmed by it.

I love historical romances when they are done well.  I like romance and sexual tension and don’t need sex described to me in detail every other chapter and I can  always count on Brenda Joyce to provide a comfort read for me.  The first half of this one was great and I loved getting lost in it, but he second half not so much.  Nicole never seemed to stop making stupid choices and the Duke turned very stuffy, ruining a great romance for me.  This is still an above average historical romance, but it did have the potential to be so much better.

This was from my personal library.