WWW Wednesday 2/18/2015

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Trying to get back in the swing of things–read Rothfuss’s two mega novels to kind of get over my vacation hangover and catch up on reviews, now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

What are you currently reading?

Dubliners & A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran

 

What did you just finish reading?

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

 

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Purge of Babylon by Sam Sisavath

The Slow Regard for Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

Newest Purchase

I had a pretty great book haul in September. Some new books, some used ones. Even a free one, thanks to a Twitter contest! Here’s what I picked up:

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I’ve blogged about most of these already, so I’ll keep this short. But LOOK at that gorgeous purple Drop Caps from Penguin Books! Sorry if you follow me on Twitter and get annoyed by my constant retweets, but it was well worth it. Even the pages are purple on the outside!

The bottom green book I threw in to the picture because technically…I own it. But, that’s definitely a husband book. I may read it, eventually, when it makes it way into my TBR rotation. We’ll see if I even understand it. It’ll be awhile before that happens though.

And of course, I finally have a Sherlock book. I’ve read The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, but I haven’t yet read this one. I couldn’t resist it, when I saw it on the clearance rack!

The Name of the Rose

What I am figuring out by reading these Boxall books is that while I don’t always understand or like the plot–I am learning how to read literature. I feel as if I am taking a class. I am educating myself in a way I did not know I was capable of. That is why I set out to write this blog in the first place. I don’t only read for pleasure anymore, I’m actually grasping and remembering what I read.

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The Name of the Rose is one of those books that I definitely did not read for pleasure but I did learn from it. I have pages and pages of notes about the novel…and I can hardly explain the plot.

I can tell you that it’s a murder mystery set in a Catholic monastery in the 1300s. I know who the murderer is in the end, but there are so many details about how the murder was solved that went right over my head.

From a literary standpoint, the authenticity is really good. Umberto Eco obviously did a fantastic amount of research before writing this. I would believe more that this had been written centuries ago–not in 1980. In fact, I had to Google this multiple times to make sure that it actually was written so recently, because I didn’t believe it.

From a reader’s standpoint, however (or maybe because it was so authentically written), the book is completely droll. Anyone picking this up as a crime novel is going to immediately put it down. The main character is obviously based on Sherlock Holmes. The archetype is obvious, and he even is named William of Baskerville. Duh. But the Catholic doctrine and the debate between the Benedictines and the Franciscans and all the others just drowns out everything else in the storyline.

Another extremely difficult barrier to the reader is that the narrator–a young novice priest travelling with William–thinks/speaks in a mix of English and Latin. He speaks Latin so fluently that there is no pause for reader context and explanation of what he is saying. You either have to 1) stop and Google everything he says, or 2) pretend like you know what he’s talking about and move on.

For example:  “In fact, I now saw the girl better than I had seen her the previous night, and I understood her intus et in cute because in her I understood myself and in myself in her.”

“Intus et in cute” means inside and out, but there’s no context in the section to know that without looking it up.

Unless you know fluent Latin…you’re going to find this extremely annoying and frustrating. Sometimes I stopped and translated the phrases, but after while, I just gave up.

I learned some interesting things about the Catholic religion that I didn’t previously know, and I, at the very least, have a good 6 pages of journaling on the break down of this monster. Good enough for me. Not a book I’m going to recommend for anyone, but it was a worthy fight.

 

Favorite Character to Actor Depiction

British Television, you are a cruel, cruel master.

I will admit, I am a bit of a anglophile. I think I’ve read more on British history, literature, etc than I have American. I don’t know why. There’s just something romantic about that culture.

And the men. Oh the men. They don’t make men like that here. We have pretty boys, hipsters, country boys.

But we don’t have classic British men. Unconventional, cultured, educated. Yes please.

OK, Haley, back on topic.

I think everyone reads pieces of Sir Arthur Conon Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes at some point, if not the actual books themselves. We grow up hearing about the Sherlockian adventures. They are so archetypal in our culture today. And because Doyle wrote the adventures as short stories, teachers and their textbooks can break them apart individually.

Not only that, but the Sherlockian archetype has been morphed into multiple characters in different shows and movies. Of course you have the actual Sherlock shows through the years, but then you also have characters like House and Gil Grissom (from CSI) that follow his same personality traits.

I’ve always been drawn to that mysterious, introverted character. He’s brilliant in his observations, and so exceedingly aware of it.

I started seeing references to the BBC show Sherlock on Pinterest, and became hooked before I even watched my first episode. When I found out it was on Netflix, well, it was over before it began. And now I am 100% a part of the fandom. And once you’re in….oh man. There’s no turning back is there?

 

Benedict Cumberbatch is just as brilliant as the character he plays. The curly-haired manic genius he becomes takes your breath away as he dashes facts all over your screen. You will have a hard time keeping up as he connects the dots, and makes things make absolute perfect sense.

And I would be remiss if I left out his relationship John Watson. Now, we are in hiatus at the moment, and the fandom has quite lost its mind. While I enjoy the ship…I doubt the show itself will actually go too extreme in that direction. However, I do think Sherlock loves Watson deeply and the little pieces of affection, and watching him barely contain control is so interesting. Cumberbatch is so good at just giving enough there. A little tweak or brush. A crinkle of his eyes when he smiles, and Sherlock almost never really smiles. But just enough. You guys know what I’m talking about, especially the shippers, because oh how you screen shot EVERYTHING. I love it!

Like all of you fans, I cannot wait for Season 4. Hopefully they don’t make us wait too long. His hair sure is getting curly. Think he’s growing it out? One can only hope…