Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park (Bloggerversary Challenge)


Mansfield Park (Penguin Classics) by Jane Austen | Jorie's Store by Amazon

Title: Mansfield Park
Author: Jane Austen, Johanna Ward
ISBN: 9781441796394
Length: 16 hours, 47 minutes
Publication Date: Mar 08, 2005
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Genre: Novel of Manners
Source: Harris County Public Library

Bloggerversary Giveaway

Goodreads

Reasons for Reading: Alongside annual challenges I inflict upon myself, I also like reading at least one Jane Austen novel. This year, I added Austen’s Mansfield Park to the ballot. Mansfield Park received the most votes (out of all contenders) and I requested it from Harris County Public Library (HCPL). I listened to the eAudio on my Nook.

Summary (A little background): Austen sets up the story with three sisters: Lady Bertram, Mrs. Norris, and Mrs. Price. Lady Bertram married well. Mrs. Norris married a parson. Mrs. Price, however, married a naval officer. Shortly after the Prices’ marriage, Mr. Price becomes wounded and then pensioned as a Lieutenant at half pay. (Reminding me of the Three Little Pigs!) The Prices follow this by having nine children. Affecting the appearance of a caring parson’s wife, Mrs. Norris suggests to Lady Bertram that the Bertrams take on one of the Price kids to live with the Bertrams at their home, Mansfield Park. Ultimately, ten year old Fanny Price goes to live at Mansfield Park.

(Story Time): Fanny grows up with her four older cousins – Tom, Edmund, Maria (pronounced Mariah), and Julia. With the fine exception of Edmund, the Bertrams treat Fanny like a poor, stupid relation. Her Aunt Norris is probably worse on this front than the Bertrams. As years pass, Fanny’s gratitude for Edmund shifts to a deep romantic love. Things remain the same until the Crawford Siblings appear on the scene. Herein lies the discovery of Fanny’s true character.

One Thing I Learned from this book: Mansfield Park stands out among Austen’s bibliography. Austen’s works bridge the Age of Reason and Romanticism but this particular novel leans more towards pragmatism.

What I Liked: I prefer Fanny to Emma any day! While she and Edmund may seem like a set of wet blankets, I find her sweet, clever, and authentic.

What I Disliked: Well, some of these characters were absolute jerks! They think one act of altruism covers them for life.

RR - Green

 

 Rainbow Rating: Green – Parental Guidance 

Song: J.S. BACH, Harpsichord Concertos BWV1052, BWV1053, BWV1056, BWV1054, I Barocchisti

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Siri Hustvedt’s What I Loved (Bloggerversary Challenge)


What I Loved: A Novel

What I Loved: A Novel by Siri Hustvedt | Jorie’s Store @ Amazon

Title: What I Loved: A Novel
Author: Siri Hustvedt
ISBN: 9780312421199
Length: 370 pages
Publication Date: 2003
Publisher: Picador
Genre: Psychological Fiction
Source: Harris County Public Library

Bloggerversary Giveaway

Goodreads

Reasons for Reading: As I perused the 1001 Books list for a 2000s book,  I noticed Siri Hustvedt’s What I Loved and posted this book as an option for my annual challenge. Since What I Loved was less than four hundred pages, I felt reading it wouldn’t take me long.  Hustvedt’s book received the majority of votes and I requested it from Harris County Public Library (HCPL).

Summary: Beginning in 1975 New York City, art historian Leo Hertzberg (narrator of the story) finds a painting which entrances him in a SoHo gallery. After buying the painting, he tracks down Bill Wechsler, the artist. Hertzberg and Wechsler build a great friendship spanning twenty-five years. Additionally, their wives, Erica and Lucille, respectively, fall pregnant. Hertzberg and Erica have Matthew while Wechsler and Lucille have Mark. Later, Wechsler becomes involved with his muse, Violet. The novel follows these relationships; their joys and losses.

One Thing I Learned from this book: I knew macular deg

What I Loved: The rich characterization brought these characters to life. I saw Bill Wechsler as well as Lucille and Violet. The clarity amazed me.

What I Loathed: Not in the stupid sense of this word; this book was dense. Normally, I can read roughly twenty pages in an evening. However, it took me that long to read a single paragraph. Yes, even the title provided hints of things to come in this novel. I spent the first part braced for the crash. When it happened, boy, did it!

RR - Orange

Rainbow Rating: Orange – Restricted from those under age 17 

 

Song: Paul Mauriat – Love is Blue (HQ)

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The Sunday Post ~ Jorie’s 75th Edition


Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer: The Sunday Gazette

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~

It’s a chance to share News.

A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

This is your news post, so personalize it! Include as much as you want or as little. Be creative, it can be a vlog or just a showcase of your goodies.

Anyone can participate as long as you:

Enter your link on my post – Sundays beginning at 12:01 am (CST) (link will be open all week)

Link back to this post or this blog

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am pleased to say I now am an owner of a Literary Elements Adult Summer Reading Program Mug. Thank you, Harris County Public Library (HCPL) for this reward! 😉 Now, I need to work on the Footprints in the Sand Summer Reading Club for Adults at Tallowood Baptist Church.

Also, in lieu of the Subheading “TBR (To Be Read)”, I’ve put in “TBF (To Be Finished).” Both of these books needed to go back to the library. I’ve gotten back in line for these books as well.

Lastly, I’m thrilled I’ve got 3 books on my shelf via Net Galley! As Jack Keroauc would say “Ooooh, wee!”

~ Don’t forget to check out Jorie’s Online Reading Club! ~

Highlights:

TBF (To Be Finished):

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story  King George III: America's Enemy

Stellar Visitors

         Outlaw Mountain (Joanna Brady, #7)  Allegiant (Divergent, #3)

   My Book Haul: (Thank you, Goodreads, for these images!)

Allegiant (Divergent, #3) Labor Day Outlaw Mountain (Joanna Brady, #7)  Holy Bible: Archaeological Study Bible-NIV: An Illustrated Walk Through Biblical History and Culture Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution War Ready: In My Father's Shadow The Dog Stars

Ann Brashares’ My Name is Memory


My Name is Memory

My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares | Jorie’s Store @ Amazon

 

Title: My Name is Memory
Author: Ann Brashares
ISBN: 9781594487583
Length: 324 pages
Publication Date: June 01, 2010
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Source: Harris County Public Library

Goodreads

Reasons for Reading: I came across this title on someone else’s Top Ten Tuesday list back in March. The premise and author Ann Brashares caught my interest. Quickly, I discovered a few copies of My Name is Memory on the shelf at a Harris County Public Library (HCPL) branch and checked out one.

Warning: This is a work of fiction which deals with the subject of reincarnation (past lives). If reincarnation is an offensive topic, please consider yourself warned. 

Summary: Lucy’s crush on the enigmatic Daniel kept her from approaching him. She gathers up courage at the high school graduation dance and approaches Daniel. Little does she know that she and Daniel go way, way back. Unlike most, Daniel recalls each of his past lives. In the first incarnation (that he remembers), Daniel encountered a woman (Lucy) that stole his heart. With each life, Daniel doggedly pursues a seemingly star-crossed love of his lives, the woman who once was called Sophia. Added to a mix is a vengeful brother from that fateful first life who’s after blood. Brashares employs both Daniel’s first person and Lucy/Sophia’s third-person views. This tale of epic proportions begins in 552 AD Asia Minor and carries on through to 1918 England and Twenty-First Century Virginia.

One Thing I Learned from this book: There was an earthquake in AD 526. To learn more about it, visit the following, linked phrase – 526 Antioch Earthquake – Wikipedia

What I Liked: As a historical fiction fan, I enjoyed the passages set in the past. I especially liked reading about events in the First Millennium AD. Also, Brashares’ characters in this book differed greatly from those in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. While I enjoyed reading about Carmen, Lena, Tibby, and Bridget, I appreciate Brashares’ originality in character formation.

What I Disliked: I refuse to spoil the ending but I hope Brashares can write the other books planned involving Daniel and Lucy.

RR - Orange

Rainbow Rating: Orange – Restricted from those under age 17 

 

Song: Nat King Cole, Unforgettable

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Deborah Johnson’s The Secret of Magic


The Secret of Magic

The Secret of Magic by Deborah Johnson | Jorie’s Store @ Amazon

 

Title: The Secret of Magic
Author: Deborah Johnson
ISBN: 9780399157721
Length: 416 pages
Publication Date: January 21, 2014
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Harris County Public Library

Goodreads

 Reasons for Reading: I either heard about or read something referring to this 2014 release. Given that we were planning a library program about African American History Month, I sought and requested this book via Harris County Public Library (HCPL).

Summary: Decorated African American World War II hero Joe Howard Wilson took the bus home to his native Revere, Mississippi. When expected to give up his seat for German POWs, Joe Howard refused. Later on, Joe Howard’s body is found. Fast forward to the Fall 1946 New York, the reader meets Regina Mary Robichard, a young attorney working for Thurgood Marshall at the NAACP. Regina discovers a letter from writer of the notorious The Secret of Magic, M.P. Calhoun, has called upon the NAACP for help in bringing Joe Howard’s killer to justice. With her childhood copy of The Secret of Magic practically in hand, Regina journeys down to Revere in order to discover what happened to Joe Howard.

One Thing I Learned from this book: Thurgood Marshall’s wife was called “Buster.” To learn more about the late Justice Marshall, click on the following link – Marshall, Thurgood – Facts on File History Database

What I Liked: Regina is an African American woman who was also an attorney. Author Deborah Johnson’s inspiration was Constance Baker Motley. I liked the tidbits about Marshall, too. Johnson’s writing is vivid and rich. Already, I was imagining who should play Regina, M.P. Calhoun, Joe Howard, and Marshall in the movie.

What I Disliked: A few parts dragged for me but this didn’t much eclipse my appreciation of the book.

RR - Yellow  Rainbow Rating: Yellow – Parental Guidance for Kids Under 13

 

Song: Cristine and Kathrine Shipp – Sea Lion Woman

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Jorie’s Top Ten Favorite Secondary Characters


Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

top ten favorite secondary characters

  1. Geoffrey Chaucer in Anya Seton’s Katherine 
  2. Miz Mimi in Stephen King’s 11/22/63
  3. Mr. Bennet in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice 
  4. Grandma Mazur in Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum Series 
  5. Cinna in Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games Trilogy 
  6. Rue also  in Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games Trilogy 
  7. Yunior in Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao 
  8. Mameha in Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha
  9. K-19 of John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines 
  10. Evanelle Franklin of Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells

Top Ten Things That Make Jorie’s Life As A Reader/Book Blogger Easier


Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

Top Ten Things That Make Your Life As A Reader/Book Blogger Easier (maybe it’s Goodreads or your library or different resourcers etc. etc.)

  1. My Harris County Public Library card lets me borrow books!
  2. Overdrive allows me to download eContent for free pretty much whenever it suits me.
  3. Goodreads has an APP that helps me maintain a current reading list. It even has a bar code scanner!
  4. LibraryThing helps me find great read-alikes for the books I’ve enjoyed.
  5. Friends such as my Readers of the Month have recommended great books for me to read.
  6. OliveTree APP has allowed me to download the King James Version, the English Standard Version, and the New Living Translation for free! I can highlight, copy, and paste passages from this APP, too.
  7. Social Media buttons for Facebook, Twitter, etc have brought in traffic.
  8. YouTube has shown me many numerous vlogs and inspiration for things to come (maybe).
  9. Kimba the Caffeinated Reviewer has connected me to other bookish bloggers, especially with her Sunday Post meme!
  10. Last but not least, the Top Ten Tuesday meme by the folks at The Broke and the Bookish have linked me to great new books and readers alike.

Fred Plotkin’s Opera 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera


Jorie’s Store – Opera 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera

 

Title and Author(s): Opera 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera by Fred Plotkin
Release Date: Nov 09, 2004
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
ISBN: 9781455100132       
Duration: 18 hours, 15 minutes
Source: Harris County Public Library’s Digital Media Collection | Overdrive

Reasons for Reading: Originally, I learned of Fred Plotkin’s Opera 101… when I read Ann Patchett’s notes about Bel Canto. I enjoyed some live opera performances in college and thought this book might elucidate what compels people to subscribe to opera. This happened many years ago and something distracted me. Fast forward to 2013, I rediscovered this book among the many choices for eAudio nonfiction. I thought, “Wow, I can listen to a book about opera!” Thus, I checked it out and downloaded it to my Nook.

Summary: Opera 101… is an exhaustive look into a centuries-old art form. Author Fred Plotkin shares with the reader the history of opera, its many people (composers, performers, conductors, audience, etc), etiquette, and much more. After covering these aspects, Plotkin selects certain operas to describe in much more detail: Rigoletto, Tosca, Lucia di Lammermoor, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Don Giovanni, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Eugene Onegin, Don Carlo, Tannhäuser, Die Walküre, and Elektra.

One Thing I Learned from reading Fred Plotkin’s Opera 101…: In irs early days, the second biggest center for Italian opera was Naples.

What I Liked: The title of this book is most apt. It’s really a course in opera appreciation. I liked how Plotkin described the ins and outs of attending an opera. He explained why the doors close during the acts and what to wear. Also, Plotkin explained what your pre-opera meal size should be. When I finished this book, I felt I knew something about opera.

What I Disliked: I wished the reader could’ve heard the pieces Plotkin talked about in the eAudio. Also, it’s difficult to read libretto while driving.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: Luciano Pavarotti – La Donna È Mobile (Rigoletto)

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For more on Fred Plotkin’s Opera 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera, check out the following sites: