anne of green gables

Welcome Home: Books that Arrived in January & February 2012

“The good, the admirable reader identifies himself not with the boy or the girl in the book, but with the mind that conceived and composed that book.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

“Which literary character/hero/heroine do you most identify with?”

This is definitely a ‘frequently asked question’. Many readers I know identify with Anne from Anne of the Green Gables, Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice, some with Hermione, Ron or Harry from the Harry Potter series of books, others with the characters from the Lord of the Rings trilogy; etc, etc. Whoever you identify with, the fact of the matter is that most readers identify with someone. But being the weirdo that I am, I almost never have identified myself with any literary character. Rather I have identified with the people behind the words and the characters, the writers.

The author I most identify with is Emily Brontë. I grew up in a place that is quite similar to Haworth, Yorkshire. Not only do I have the same birthday as her but I also share a lot of her characters traits. Shyness and suffering from severe bouts of ‘social awkwardness’ are only two of them. I, of course, do not have her talent. She wrote about raw and unrestrained human emotions without the fear of meeting with the disapproval of the 19th century audience. She is probably one of the most honest writers I’ve ever come across.

Alright, enough of comparing myself with one of the greats of literature. Here are the books I bought in the months of January & February 2012.

January 2, 2012.

The Agony and the Ecstasy. Irving Stone.

The Day Of The Jackal. Frederick Forsyth.

The Railway Children. E. Nesbit.

Measure for Measure. William Shakespeare.

Cranford. Elizabeth Gaskell.

I have been wanting to read Irving Stone’s The Agony and the Ecstasy for a long time. I have seen this book on shop shelves but never picked it up till now. I have recently started it. Lets just say I shall reserve my judgement till I write my review of it.

The Day Of The Jackal, classic suspense from the 60’s. Do I need any other reason to pick it up?

I have been making up for lost time for the past two years. Growing up, I have missed out on a lot of children’s classics. Even though I may have enjoyed children’s books such as The Railway Children more as a child, I do still find joy in these books.

I bought Measure for Measure while participating on the Shakespeare Reading Month this January. I have always been kind of intimidated by the Bard but after breaking the ice with two of his comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night, I felt much more confident. And Measure for Measure didn’t disappoint.

I have been watching this battered copy of Cranford lie neglected in a book shop for over a year now. No one seemed to be interested in it. I felt sorry for the book (yes, I quite often feel sorry for books) and having never read anything by Elizabeth Gaskell decided to bring it home.

Feb 18, 2012.

A View from the Bridge and All My Sons. Arthur Miller.

Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman is one of my all time favourite plays. I had been eying this Penguin edition of two of Millers most famous plays f0r a while. I hope to enjoy A View from the Bridge and All My Sons as much as his Death of a Salesman.

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery was published in 1908. Popular since its publication, Anne of Green Gables continues to be an enduring favourite with readers all over the world.

Anne (spelled with an ‘e’, as she insists) is an orphan girl who gets ‘mistakenly’ adopted by an elderly brother-sister duo. Soon Anne finds acceptance at her new home and wins over most of her new acquaintances. Anne of Green Gables tells the story of Anne as she transforms from an awkward adolescent girl to an elegant young woman ready for college and the larger world.

I see very clearly why Anne of Green Gables would appeal to young readers. The everyday tit bits of an ordinary childhood, the trials and tribulations of a young life, going to school, making friends, playing games, trying not to get in trouble with the elders, it’s all so familiar! Also, the ugly duckling to swan part must appeal to readers of all ages.

I wish I had read Anne of Green Gables when I was younger. I am sure I would have enjoyed it much better. Not that I didn’t enjoy the book. I did but as a non-judgmental, wide eyed, young reader I would have had much more fun with it.

I didn’t really take to the protagonist Anne like everyone else seems to. Anne got on my nerves as a young girl. Her non-stop chatter, her over the top imagination and above all her flowery language irritated me. As an adult I am afraid I am becoming a Mrs. Lynde type character! But I did enjoy Anne’s antics. They reminded me of how barely a decade ago I myself was up to a lot of mischief and probably getting on a lot of people’s nerves myself!

I enjoyed Anne’s school days and also when she goes out with Diana and co. on various occasions. I didn’t like all of Anne’s misadventures but some of them, like the ‘green’ hair dye situation, were funny.

I liked most of the book’s characters. Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert were lovable. Mrs. Rachel Lynde although a bit bossy is really a good person at heart.

The children are the interesting part of the book. All of them behave most naturally. Diana Barry as the pretty, slightly duller but loyal friend is a perfect foil to Anne. Everyone knew a Josie Pye in school and I am pretty sure most girls have had their own Gilbert Blythes!

Mrs. Allan and Miss Stacy love Anne and teach her to be better at her social skills and her studies respectively. Overall, the book is full of good people, who are kind to Anne and accept her in spite of her faults. Unrealistic but heart-warming nonetheless.

I fairly enjoyed reading Anne of Green Gables. It is a refreshingly youthful tale that has aged well. Pity that I didn’t get to read it as a child. I’m sure I would have enjoyed it much more.

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The Friday 56

The Friday 56 is a bookish meme hosted by Freda’s Voice.

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link up at Freda’s site

Today’s sentence comes from Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery.

“Mrs Rachel was not often sick and had a well-defined contempt for people who were; but grippe, she asserted, was like no other illness on earth and could only be interpreted as one of the special visitations ofProvidence.”

Teaser Tuesdays (July 19)

Teaser Tuesdays asks us to:

Grab our current read

Open to a random page

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like our teaser!
 
My Teaser:

” ‘I should just like to see anybody dare to write my name up with a boy’s. Not, of course,’ she hastened to add, ‘that anybody would.’

Anne sighed. She didn’t want her name written up. But it was a little humiliating to know that there was no danger of it.”

p. 93, Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Welcome Home: Books that Arrived in June 2011

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” – Oscar Wilde

One of my colleagues blenched at the sight of me reading a book, wondering that I still had energy to read a non-academic book after a rather busy work day. How can I make an ‘educated’ woman like her understand that there is a difference between reading for work and reading for pleasure? And besides, I think I’ll actually die if I don’t get to read something for pleasure!

So, here are a few books I bought in the month of June solely for my own ‘pleasure’ .

June 8, 2011

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Roald Dahl.

Anne of Green Gables. L. M. Montgomery.

Rebecca. Daphne Du Maurier.

A Short History of Nearly Everything. Bill Bryson.

Seasonal Adjustments. Adib Khan.

           

First up two books I missed out on reading as a kid, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Anne of Green Gables. Looking forward to both, especially to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, as I liked the movie version starring Johnny Depp.

Even though I have read Rebecca before, I didn’t have the book in my own collection. This is one book that I just had to have for my own library.

I have heard a lot of good things about Bill Bryson but have never read anything by him. A Short History of Nearly Everything seems like a good place to start.

Finally, after I had finished my browsing and buying,  the book store owner gave me a complementary copy of a book called Seasonal Adjustments. Apparently it had won Australia’s NSW State Literary Award in 1994 and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book in 1995. This is not my usual reading material but a free book is a free book.