Archive for October, 2009

15th October
2009
written by Steph
True Love Wills Out!

True Love Wills Out!

How’s that for turnaround time?  After taking about two weeks to read through the first two-thirds of the book, I positively raced through the last portion of this novel.  And what can I say: I LOVED it.  This may not have been the most important book I’ve read this year, nor perhaps even the most impressive, but it was fun to read from beginning to end and it ultimately captured my heart quite deftly.  I cannot say for certain that I did indeed read this book when I was younger, but I am definitely glad that I read it again now as in an odd way it reminded me of how I used to read when I was younger – purely for pleasure and purely to be swept away by a magnificent story.  I feel Jane Eyre definitely delivered on both those counts, as it was for me a whirlwind of emotion and a novel that really engrossed me.  The writing was lovely and evocative, the characters strong and luminescent, and as the temperature slowly begins to drop outside, I can hardly think of a better book to curl up with! (more…)
12th October
2009
written by Steph
As I have now mentioned at least twice on the blog, I was away from last Wednesday to Friday for a scientific workshop meeting comprised of about 30 psychologists studying various aspects of perceptual expertise.  Fascinating, right?  I know you all wish you could have been there.  Well, one of the perks of these meetings is that we get to eat out at relatively swanky restaurants so that we can mingle and be social psychologists, even though we are not in fact Social Psychologists.  Anyway, moving past that horrible joke, on Wednesday night I was in for a real treat because I happened to wind up at a table along with a man who was born in Cape Town, South Africa.  Given the slant of this here blog, I’m sure it’s of no surprise to any of you that I would much rather talk to someone about literature than I would about science, so inevitably I swung the conversation around to books, and specifically asked my fellow diner whether he had read Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee (as well as how you correctly pronounce, “Coetzee”!  I haven't quite mastered it, but the closest I can get is "Cut-zee-ay".). (more…)
11th October
2009
written by Steph
The saga continues...

The saga continues...

This past week I’ve been slowly working my way through the second volume of Jane Eyre. Please don’t take my glacial progress as evidence that this second of three installments was difficult or the prototypical “middle child” of the book.  I’ve really been enjoying it A LOT, but there’s no denying I’ve been reading it slowly.  However, I can attribute this to two things: 1)   I was away at a conference for three days this week, which considerably cut into my reading time.  I got to read on planes, but other than that, I was inundated with science and group dinners the rest of the time, so Jane did languish a bit as a result 2)   This is simply a book that I’ve been having fun reading and just haven’t felt the need to rush through.  I’m enjoying the time I spend with the book, and as easy as it is to flip the pages, I feel I’m not doing so mindlessly but am instead really reveling in the time spent.  I feel like I am reading for the sake of reading, rather than for the sake of finishing the book.  Some people might not feel there is a distinction there, but for me there is!  And hey, we’re slowly embracing the “Slow Food” movement, so why not the “Slow Read” movement? (more…)
4th October
2009
written by Steph
As you can see, this wasn't actually called "Part the First", but it's more fun to call it that!

As you can see, this wasn't actually called "Part the First", but it's more fun to call it that!

Normally I don’t review or record my feelings about a book until I’ve done gone and finished the whole thing, although of course there are exceptions, such as with the 2666 read-along!  As Jane Eyre is likewise a rather epic novel, and also conveniently broken into parts (or volumes, as I believe they are actually called), I figured it might be nice to switch things up and post my interim reflections as I finish each part.  Also, this will mean you won’t have to wait three weeks (or however long it will take me to finish this sucker!) in radio silence.  Really, it’s win-win, I think!

So, Jane Eyre is a book that I was pretty sure I had read when I was maybe 11 or 12 in Grade 7 or 8.  It’s certainly one of those books about which I know the general plot, so it’s very hard for me to say whether in fact I have really read this book.  On the one hand, I kind of know what happens in it in terms of the big moments and the various twists, but on the other hand, as I embarked upon Part 1, nothing about it seemed very familiar at all!  I was surprised to find that the novel started with young Jane, as in my mind I thought the book only involved her trials and tribulations as a governess (when in fact it appears to be a fictional autobiography of sorts).  Moreover, I was even more startled to find that young Jane was so feisty and spirited!  For whatever reason, I had always thought Jane was puritanical and reserved, not the resilient young tornado who makes up the first half of this first volume.  I found myself actually quite enamored by the young Jane, and while I don’t always see that same fierce spark in the older Jane, I do think she is quite a wonderful leading lady.  I certainly am enjoying the feminist undertones that are emerging, though they do still feel quite nascent at this point in the novel. (more…)
2nd October
2009
written by Steph
It's Friday and I have nothing bookish to write about.  Well, not entirely true - I'm currently reading Jane Eyre, but I'm not sure when you last looked at your copy (surely we all have a copy, right?), but that book is loooong.  Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying it quite a lot, but I don't think I'll be finishing it any time soon, especially as things are ramping up work-wise.  As the book is naturally divided into 3 parts, I might try something new and post my mid-read impressions on the conclusion of each part, but we'll see how it goes.  Tony believes he will finish Yukio Mishima's The Temple of the Golden Pavilion this weekend, and if that indeed winds up being the case, then we should have a joint review of that in the near future. But as I have none of the groundbreaking insights into literature for which I know you all come here (*eyeroll*), I thought I'd placate you with something a little bit different... Something in the form of a music video.  One written, directed, and produced by my good friend Simona and her boyfriend, Spencer. (After all, if you can't use your blog to shamelessly promote cool stuff your friends are doing, why have a blog? 😉 ).  They came up with the concept for this video for the Canadian alt-rock (is alt-rock still a genre?) band Grace Over Diamonds and shot it a few months back, but the video has only recently gone live.  Irrespective of the fact that producing music videos is not what either Simona or Spence do to make a living, I think this one is pretty darn good.  Take a look and see for yourself! Happy Friday everyone!  I hope you all have a great weekend!
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