Monday, October 31, 2011

It's Monday and I'm home!

Good morning! How was everyone's weekend? I apologize if you clicked over here on Friday and were disappointed to not find a new review. I left first thing Friday morning for a weekend away with my momma, mom-in-law, grammy, and three of my sisters. This was, of course, after I spent much of Thursday in the hospital with my hubby (he's home now and recovering, thanks!). So...I left you review-less. Sorry, friends. 

Now...what we were talking about...oh yes! Books!!!

This week, I read:
By Jane Austen

What Women Fear
By Angie Smith

Posts from this week:

The books of this week shall be:

The Night Circus
By Erin Morgenstern

By Rosamund Lupton

Don't forget to stop by later this week for an October wrap-up (what? wait! when did that happen?!?!), reviews of The Borrower and Sisterhood Everlasting, as well as the potential sharing of some adorable photos of the little man dressed up as Buzz Licher (known as Buzz Lightyear to the rest of you). Happy Reading and have a fun Halloween! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Review: Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey
By Jane Austen
Longman Cultural Edition 2004
Originally published in 1818

Catherine Morland is invited to spend the season in Bath with her neighbors the Allens. While she is in Bath, she meets the Tilneys, a brother and sister. Henry is charming and handsome and Eleanor is a kindred spirit. She is delighted when she is invited to the Tilney estate at Northanger Abbey, especially because she can leave behind the fickle Isabella and her amorous brother. Catherine loves reading novels, particularly those of Mrs. Radcliffe such as Udolpho and The Monk. She is thrilled and somewhat apprehensive about residing in the spooky Northanger Abbey and discovering its hidden secrets.

Having previously read the abovementioned novels, I thought the Classics Circuit Gothic Lit Tour would be a perfect chance for me to catch up on my Austen. I have only read a few of her novels. I was excited to see how Austen would turn her wit on the often overblown and sometimes ridiculous Gothic genre. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. Northanger Abbey is a satirical look at gothic novels, but that is such as tiny portion of this book. Most of the novel is classic Austen – social differences, courting, confusion between lovers and friends.

Much of the gothic element in Northanger Abbey revolves around two plot points. The first is Catherine’s room at the abbey. Henry teases her about all of the things that she could happen upon in her room – hidden passageways, dark tunnels, and mysterious locked doors. 

“But you must be aware that when a young lady is (by whatever means) introduced into a dwelling of this kind, she is always lodged apart from the rest of the family. While they snugly repair to their own end of the house, she is formally conducted by Dorothy the ancient housekeeper up a different staircase, and along many gloomy passages, into an apartment never used since some cousin or kin died in it about twenty years before.”

Catherine does find a mysterious locked cabinet in her room. But her discovery of its contents is not exactly what she was expecting. As she becomes closer to the Tilney family, she manages to convince herself that General Tilney played a part in his wife’s death...or maybe she is still alive and held captive by her evil husband.  Catherine is desperate to explore the rooms that belonged to Mrs. Tilney, looking for evidence of foul play. When she has a conversation with Henry, she finds that her beliefs about the General and his wife are very different from reality.

Northanger Abbey is typical Austen. If you enjoyed Sense and Sensibility or Pride and Prejudice, you will like this book. But the gothic literature aspect of this story is minimal. If you are looking to laugh at the absurdity that is gothic literature, pick up the genuine article. 

This review is part of the Classics Circuit Gothic Lit Tour! If you are looking for some more gothic goodies, head over to The Reading Life and Becky's Book Reviews for other reviews. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wednesdays with David: Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow?

Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow?
By Susan A. Shea
Paintings by Tom Slaughter
Blue Apples Books March 2011
Suggested Age Range: 4-8 years old

This book is so imaginative and fun. This is my favorite book I've read with David in a while. The book compares things that are organic or capable of growth, with things that are not. "If a duckling grows and becomes a duck, can a car grow and become a truck?"

This is a great book to get some science in with your child without hitting them over the head with "Here! This is science!" Instead, it's subtle and surprisingly hilarious. David thought it was oh so funny to think that a cupcake would grow up into a cake or a shovel grow into a plow.

The illustrations in this book are really amazing. It has these bright, bold pictures set against these colorful backgrounds. I don't know a lot about illustration, but I do know that those pictures are awesome.

Thoughts from David:
"I like it because it’s the best. It’s good because I know that I love it."
How many times do you want to read it? "So many!"
What is your favorite part? "The ending, because it says yes to a living, growing you. Babies can grow into grownups!" (Unless that baby is named David. Because his mama says no to that ever happening, thank you very much.)

Happy Reading!
See you next Wednesday for another post filled with great books for kids and this guy's cute face.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review: I Don't Know How She Does It

I Don’t Know How She Does It
The Life of Kate Reddy, Working Mother
By Allison Pearson
Alfred A. Knopf 2002

“Do I believe in equality between the sexes? I’m not sure. I did once, with all the passionate certainty of someone very young who knew absolutely everything and therefore nothing at all. It was a nice idea, equality – noble, indisputably fair. But how the hell was it supposed to work? They could give you good jobs and maternity leave, but until they programmed a man to notice you were out of toilet paper the project was doomed. Women carry the puzzle of family life in their heads, they just do.”

Kate Reddy finds herself in a rut. She feels like she is missing out on her children because of her job. She feels like she is being looked over at work because of her kids. She is exhausted and unable to keep up with the demands of her hedge-fund manager position while managing to get her daughter into the prestigious local school, find her son’s beloved stuffed animal, and fix that patch of carpet on the steps that is going to get someone killed.

It took me a while to get into this one and I had to check that it wasn’t my own feelings about the work/home divide that made me dislike Kate. In truth, I couldn’t figure out why she was doing the things that she was doing for at least a hundred pages. She doesn’t seem to particularly like her children – it takes a long time before we get genuine feelings of warmth as opposed to the stresses they bring to her life. On the other hand, she doesn't seem particularly passionate about the work she does. She is stressed, undervalued, and dealing with subtle sexism, but doesn't seem to enjoy or get any fulfillment from her job. 

It isn't until halfway through the book that Kate seems to get some perspective or passion about both her family and her career. When the wife of a colleague passes away, Kate marvels at the time and love she put into her family. At the same time, she starts to work with a younger colleague at the firm – a woman who has bright idealism about her future in this business. Momo’s naivete inspires Kate to look seriously at why she works so hard and what a woman can accomplish in her field.

I don't mean to make it sound like a bad book. It's a good book, and not without insight. I found myself chuckling several times in understanding. But a more likeable character and the reduction of some subplots that just didn’t seem to fit would have made this a much better book. The difficulty mothers face in attempting to raise their children while advancing in their fields is an important issue and one that doesn't have easy answers. While I applaud Ms. Pearson for grappling with it, I think there are other novels with more compelling characters and greater insight. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

It's Monday and this lady is tired!

Did you guys do the readathon? It was a lot of fun! I will say that it does tire a girl out, though. I think for next time (April), I will rework my schedule a little bit. I would get more done if I had some more free time, a little more kiddo free time and a less hectic Sunday that required sleep on Saturday night. All in all, I listened to a CD and a half of my audiobook, read The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai in its entirety,and made some good progress on my read-through-the-Bible in a year, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, and Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares.
Total Pages Read: 565!

The books of this week...and go!

I Don't Know How She Does It
By Allison Pearson

The Borrower: A Novel
By Rebecca Makkai
(During 24 Hour Readathon)

Sisterhood Everlasting
By Ann Brashares
(Half during readathon, finished on Sunday)

Posts from this past week:
It's Monday
Wednesdays with David: No Jumping on the Bed!
Reviews of The Bone Garden and Salvage the Bones
Pre-Readathon Post

This week, I shall be reading:

 Finish this book! Must finish this book!
 I will be reviewing it on Thursday for the Classics Circuit.

What Women Fear
By Angie Smith

The Night Circus
By Erin Morgenstern

Check back later this week for reviews of I Don't Know How She Does It, Northanger Abbey, and The Borrower!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Readathon Update: 8 a.m. and we're all done!

Good morning, intrepid readers! I got back up an hour ago to do a little more reading. I went with something light - who can do heavy reading before several cups of coffee?

On Page 148 (42 pages read)
196 pages to go! 

End of the Event Survey
  1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Hour 23, because it was really hard to wake back up to read for the last hour.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?  I think it depends on the reader - definitely an author you have already read who keeps you turning pages. 
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Not that I can think of. 
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? Everything? Thank you to everyone who organized! 
  5. How many books did you read? Finished one, made progress on three others and an audiobook.
  6. What were the names of the books you read? The Borrower, Northanger Abbey, Sisterhood Everlasting, The Bible, Exit the Actress
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? The Borrower
  8. Which did you enjoy least? Exit the Actress
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? N/A
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I will be back reading next time! 

Thanks for visiting Literary Lindsey during the readathon. Please come back and say hello. See you in April for the next readathon! 

Readthon Update: 1 a.m.

Oh friends, I wish I could stay up all night with you. But someone has to lead the singing at church in 9 hours and that doesn't work very well when that person is snoozing in the pew.

So....I am hoping to catch a few hours of sleep and get back up for the last hour or so. Here is my reading in the past two hours.

Audiobook: Working through disc 8 and the dishwasher is unloaded, too!

On page 135 (19 pages read)
63 pages to go!

On page 106 (54 pages read)
243 pages to go!

For those of you going the full 24 hours, you are amazing! I will see you all in a few hours. Happy Reading!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Readathon Update: 11 p.m.

This has been a good two hours, friends!

I am almost done with Disc 7. I have maybe ten minutes left?

So, as I previously mentioned, I am trying to catch up on my read-through-the-bible in a year thingie. I finished Jeremiah (woohoo!) and made some progress in the book of Daniel.

On page 116 (read 22 pages)
82 pages to go!

Read 52 pages

So...this seems like good progress to me. I am snacking on some Doritos right now and ready to head back in for another round. How are you all doing? Keep up the reading!! :)

Readathon Update: 9 p.m.

Alright ladies and gents, I am back in the zone. The little man is up in bed and hopefully sleeping. I have picked up my book(s) again and am listening to my audiobook as I work on this post. 


On page 94
104 pages to go! 

Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now?

 Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen and listening to Exit the Actress by Priya Parmar. 

2. How many books have you read so far?

Finished one - The Borrower. 

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

I'm not loving the Austen...I may pick up Sisterhood Everlasting in a bit. 

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?

No. I think for the April one I will try to schedule a free day.

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

One large one, named my precious three year old son. We read some books together. Otherwise I realized I would not be able to read as much as I wanted to.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

Nothing. I'm enjoying it, but I'm not surprised. 

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

Not yet - I will let you know if I think of some! 

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?

Free up my day!

9. Are you getting tired yet?

Not yet - the night is young though. 

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?

It was good to put on an audiobook and do some cleaning. I moved my muscles, my house wasn't as awful looking and it still counted toward my reading time! 

Readathon Update: 5 p.m.

I'm still here! I'm still here!

It's been a hectic few hours with baking, child wrangling and trying to get some reading in. Here is the progress since 2 p.m.

At 2 p.m. - On page 132
Right Now: Page 181

Audiobook: Finished Disc 6, halfway through Disc 7 (about 45 minutes total)

I'm off to take our little guy to a Halloween party, but I promise I will be back later! Things will be much quieter in this house after 8 p.m.

Happy Reading!

Readathon Update: 2 p.m.(ish)

I know you are all dying to know what I have been doing the past 2 hours. I will not keep you in suspense any longer.

I ate some lunch. It's important to keep your strength know, for all of that heavy book lifting.

I made progress on The Borrower. 33 more pages down, 188 pages to go.

I read some of Northanger Abbey for the Classics Circuit next week. I read 28 pages, although it seemed like more...I am about halfway through with that one.

I am off to check out the mini challenge for the hour, and then it is off to an audiobook and some baking.

How goes your reading? Has anyone finished a book yet?

Readathon Update: 12 Noon

Hello again, intrepid readers!

Here is what I've been doing in the past two hours. I read 23 more pages of The Borrowers. 221 pages left to go.

David and I have been hard at work. We played an excellent game of balloon volleyball which, as you know if you have little ones, elicits really excellent giggles. So simple and so good.

We also have been doing some reading. Our selections:




Plans for the next few hours: I am perusing the mini-challenges. Win some books? Yes please! I'm going to try to read a little Northanger Abbey, see if I can convince someone to take a little rest and see my husband when he gets home from class.

How goes your reading? Are you having an awesome readathon? See you around 2!

Readathon Update: 10 a.m. and Introductory Meme

Good morning, everyone! How is your Saturday going? I am having fun participating in the 24 Hour Readathon today.

Here is my progress so far:

The Readathon started at 8 a.m. on the East Coast, so I got up, made myself a nice egg sandwich and pulled out my Bible and highlighter. I am woefully behind on my read-through-the-Bible in a year. So I read some Jeremiah, specifically chapters 32-49.

Then I got my cup of coffee (Thank God for coffee, yes?) and grabbed this library book:

I am currently 80 pages in, with 244 pages left to go. I am liking it so far. I love books about books! This one is about a children's librarian.

I wanted go get started reading right away this morning, so I didn't check in with the Readathon website until right now. That being said, I still wanted to post the introduction meme. Here goes!

1)Where are you reading from today? I am reading from the lovely state of NJ. 

2)Three random facts about me…I am going to Disney World next month with my hubs, kiddo, momma, and some of my sisters...woohoo!

 I was born in Illinois, but have lived in NJ since I was 4.
 I have a new found love for baking. My mother is surprised I haven't burned down my kitchen yet. 

3)How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours? I would definitely like to finish Northanger Abbey, The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai, and catch up on my bible reading. After that, who knows? 

4)Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)? I don't - this is my first time participating, so we will see how it goes! 

5)If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time? First time gal! 

My plans for the next little bit? I'm going to check out some other people's progress and then maybe put on my current audio book so I can make some cookies for a church event later today. I will post again around noon, I think.

Happy Reading, everyone!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I love ya, Tomorrow

Have I mentioned that I majored in theatre as well as literature? I may occasionally break out into show tunes. Please try not to hold it against me.

Speaking of tomorrow - starting at 8 a.m. here on the East Coast, it's the 24 Hour Readathon!!! I don't have a set list of books I plan to read. I've read from some experienced read-a-thoners (Is that a word? No? It is now.) that it's good to have a wide selection in case something turns out to be surprisingly awful or you get mired down in War and Peace. War and Peace is not on the agenda for me personally, but if that's your cup of readathon tea....more power to you! 

So here are my starting points for tomorrow. I am reading Northanger Abbey for the Classics Circuit. My post is up on Thursday and I'm only about 50 pages in, so I will probably be reading some of that. 

Library Love (Thank you reserve books that all come in at once...)

The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain
What Women Fear by Angie Smith
The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai
Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
Sister by Rosamund Lupton
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstren
(And that is my dining room table...I know that you are thankful not to see 
all of the crumbs under said table.)

My own personal TBR piles that were in the library/office and not scattered in other places throughout the house:

(You can see all of those titles, right? Maybe I'm just getting lazy...)

My kids/YA books for when I get a little antsy and need something light:

But Lindsey, I can't see the titles of these books, you might say.
I know, I know. Let's just say that classics like My Side of the Mountain reside next to Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. There are some fairy tales who are neighbors of Cynthia Voight and The Railway Children live by those intrepid Ingalls girls.

I'm really excited. I will be blogging throughout the readathon, beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday morning! Please check back in throughout the day. Leave me some comments and cheer me on my way. See you tomorrow!