WWW Wednesday 5/27/2015

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What are you currently reading?

The Turn of the Screw, The Aspern Papers and Two Stories by Henry James

The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd

 

 

What did you just finish reading?

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont (Review tomorrow)

 

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne (groaaaaaan…we’ll see if I get all the way through this one)

Killing Jesus by Bill O’Reilly

Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler

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The Prince and the Pauper

Sometimes I wonder if kids today still get the same stories that we grew up on. Remember Velveteen Rabbit? That was always my favorite. Or The Little Engine that Could, Babar the Elephant, The Giving Tree? Are those still around? Do kids even know what Aesop’s Fables are anymore, or is it just that Mama Llama book every day?

That is maybe the only thing I miss about not having kids of my own–sharing my stories. I have nieces and nephews, but it’s not quite the same when you aren’t there to read to them every night.

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The Prince and the Pauper is one of those stories I remember hearing at some point. Or maybe it was just seeing the Mickey Mouse version. But I know that story by heart, and as I was reading Mark Twain’s book, I kept wondering if my littles would ever hear this one.

Another thought I had while reading it–I never realized before that this was a legend of Henry VIII’s son. As much as I love his court, I didn’t make the connection. This was apparently Mark Twain’s first attempt at historical fiction, and it’s such a silly little tale, but I quite enjoyed reading the full version. I will say that it is much more…vivid…than the Disney version! Not such a kid’s story, this one.

If you are as in love with Henry’s court as I am, this is worth the read. Mark Twain is so much more than Huck Finn. Who knew?

WWW Wednesday 4/29/2015

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What are you currently reading?

The Turn of the Screw, The Aspern Papers and Two Stories by Henry James

Roots by Alex Haley

 

What did you just finish reading?

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy:  A Handbook for Geeks by Sam Maggs

Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

Five Night Stand by Richard Alley

Washington by Ron Chernow

Life on the Mississippi

Sometimes you find a book so old and beautiful that it demands to be read. That is how I feel about the beautiful set of 1920s Mark Twains I found recently. They were a steal at $8 a piece and while the leather spines are a bit roughened, it is obvious these have been tucked away on a shelf for a very long time.

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They have that perfect old book smell–wood, dust, and yellowed pages. And though I have to be very gentle not to crease or tear the stiff paper, I could not get as much joy out of reading these books on a Kindle. I considered it–to save the brittle book, but I’m glad I proceeded. It has been much more of a pleasure this way.

Life on the Mississippi is the memoir of Mark Twain’s time as a cub pilot on a Mississippi River Steamboat. He looks back (for the most part) fondly on all he had to learn and the adventures he found traipsing up and down the big brown river. Then, later, while making his career as a journalist, he returns under the name “Smith” to see how much has changed since the Civil War.

The only other book I’ve read by Mark Twain is Huckleberry Finn, and the dialect in that one is so hard to follow–which is why I haven’t yet read Tom Sawyer. This book is so much different than that. It’s heartfelt, and funny. You get a ton of different voices from all the different people young Samuel Clemens met in his travels. You’ll even find out exactly where his pen name was borne and what it means. This is a lovely, old-fashioned (though it was quite modern at the time–the first manuscript submitted to a publisher that was typewritten) memoir from one of our best American story-tellers. I’m glad I read it, as it will set the stage for his other books.

WWW Wednesday 4/22/2015

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What are you currently reading?

The Turn of the Screw, The Aspern Papers and Two Stories by Henry James

Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain

 

What did you just finish reading?

The True American by Anand Giridharadas

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Good Girl by Sarah Tomlinson

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Fan Girl’s Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

Roots by Alex Haley

March Photo Challenge: Book Haul

I’ve been pretty fortunate lately, in that my book buying has been able to go up exponentially from what it used to be. I can buy a book or two when I feel like it, and add to my collection.

However, recently, we had Christmas and Tax Returns–which for me, usually means BOOK HAULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL.

I have been buying piece meal over the last few weeks, so I have some new orders coming, but here was a big one I did shortly after the holidays.

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I am so excited for all of these books. Those Mark Twains are gorgeous–from the 1920s! They are not in the best condition, yellowed, and a little beat up, but the binding is so lovely, and the pages smell so good! The other three classics are more modern printings of leatherbound classics, but they are pretty! The rest are just very necessary additions to my collection. Some I’ve read, some I haven’t.

I’ll post another haul, probably on my Instagram once I get all of my packages, so keep an eye out! Lots of fun things to come.

WWW Wednesday 6/25/2014

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What are you currently reading?

Brooklyn by Colm Tobin

Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

Aimless Love by Billy Collins

 

What did you just finish reading?

Raven Stole the Moon by Garth Stein

Divergent by Veronica Roth

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain

She Walks in Beauty by Caroline Kennedy