Tag: Charles Dickens

Blog Book Tour | “The Secret Life of Mrs London” by Rebecca Rosenberg

Posted Thursday, 15 February, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , , , 11 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Books By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “The Secret Life of Mrs London” direct from the author Rebecca Rosenberg in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I was interested in the premise behind this novel:

My first entrance into Biological Historical Fiction was prior to becoming a book blogger – it was when I read the back-story about Mrs (Charles) Dickens in the beautifully conceived novel Girl in a Blue Dress. At the time, I was mesmorised by how realistically the story-line flowed and how wonderfully intricate the novel revealled the finer points of how Mrs Dickens had much more to give than what she personally felt she had in self-worth. Another critical entry in this section of Literature for me was Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald of which I had the happenstance to read as an ARC – the narrative clarity of Zelda’s voice inside this novel was incredibly layered! I still think about my readings of this novel – as I spread it out over several months, savouring the respite I had outside it but hungry for more insight into Zelda’s life all the same. It is a haunting account truly of one woman’ spiral and her journey back to ‘self’ out of the chaos of health issues which were never fully addressed until the very last chapter of her life. It’s beyond tragic how Zelda never felt she realised her own artistic merit in the literary world and how suppressed she had become as a writer due to her overbearing husband whose ego would not allow him to admit her writerly strength of voice.

Over the past four and a half years, I’ve encountered quite a large number of entries of Biological Historical Fiction – each in turn giving me such an incredibly humbling experience as I held close to the whispers of truth etching out of the lives by the living persons who had lived these lives I was now attached to through the renditions the writers had given them in their novels. When I read the premise about Mrs London and how her life intersected with the Houdini’s – there was a moment in my mind as I contemplated the plot itself wherein I felt I heard an echo of Zelda’s life. Of two women who were caught inside a marriage which was not the healthiest of relationships for them nor was it a marriage built on love or trust. They were each caught into a cycle of living which worked against them and in part, this is why I wanted to read Mrs London’s story. I wanted to know how she worked through the anguish of living in Jack’s shadow but also, how she dealt with the absence of having a husband who appreciated her and held her interests in his own heart.

In regards to Jack London – although I have an omnibus of his stories (in hardback) which my family gave me as young girl, there was something about his stories which put me off reading them. I could say the same about Dickens, too. When it came to disappearing inside either of their stories a part of me ‘held back’ interest despite the fact they both had concepts of stories I felt I would have loved reading. And, in turn, I came to know them better through their film adaptations than I did in their original canon of release! Uniquely enough. The two which stood out to me were White Fang and A Christmas Carol – which of course, remain two my favourite films of all time. The latter of which I consistently seek out as they re-invent the wheel every so many years in how to properly explore the story & the message within it.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “The Secret Life of Mrs London” by Rebecca RosenbergThe Secret Life of Mrs London
by Rebecca Rosenberg
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

San Francisco, 1915. As America teeters on the brink of world war, Charmian and her husband, famed novelist Jack London, wrestle with genius and desire, politics and marital competitiveness. Charmian longs to be viewed as an equal partner who put her own career on hold to support her husband, but Jack doesn’t see it that way…until Charmian is pulled from the audience during a magic show by escape artist Harry Houdini, a man enmeshed in his own complicated marriage. Suddenly, charmed by the attention Houdini pays her and entranced by his sexual magnetism, Charmian’s eyes open to a world of possibilities that could be her escape.

As Charmian grapples with her urge to explore the forbidden, Jack’s increasingly reckless behavior threatens her dedication. Now torn between two of history’s most mysterious and charismatic figures, she must find the courage to forge her own path, even as she fears the loss of everything she holds dear.

Places to find the book:

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ISBN: 9781542048736

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Women's Studies


Published by Lake Union Publishing

on 30th January, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 348

In retrospect, after re-reading my review, I realised I needed to add the flames to this review, as I felt the sensuality and sexuality explored in the story was on the higher end of what I am comfortable about finding in either Romance or Historical Romance novels. I also felt in this story, the subject was threaded throughout the context of the novel and re-highlighted to the point where it nearly felt like it was the main focus of the story rather than on the dynamics of the who the characters were outside their boudoir exploits.

four-half-flames

Published By: Lake Union Publishing

Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #HistFic, #HistoricalFiction + #JackLondon

About Rebecca Rosenberg

Rebecca Rosenberg

A California native, Rebecca Rosenberg lives on a lavender farm with her family in Sonoma, the Valley of the Moon, where Jack London wrote from his Beauty Ranch. Rebecca is a long-time student of Jack London’s works and an avid fan of his daring wife, Charmian London. The Secret Life of Mrs. London is her debut novel.

Rebecca and her husband, Gary, own the largest lavender product company in America, selling to 4000 resorts, spas and gift stores. The Rosenbergs believe in giving back to the Sonoma Community, supporting many causes through financial donations and board positions, including Worth Our Weight, an educational culinary program for at-risk children, YWCA shelter for abused women, Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center to provide performances for children, Sonoma Food Bank, Sonoma Boys and Girls Club, and the Valley of the Moon Children’s Home.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 15 February, 2018 by jorielov in 20th Century, Adulterous Affair, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Charmian London, Creative Arts, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Disabilities & Medical Afflictions, Disillusionment in Marriage, During WWI, Equality In Literature, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Inspired By Author OR Book, Jack London, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Mental Health, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Psychological Abuse, Realistic Fiction, Self-Harm Practices, Taboo Relationships & Romance, the Nineteen Hundreds, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction, Women's Health, Women's Rights, Women's Suffrage, Writer, Zelda Fitzgerald

_+ #atozchallenge _+ 26 Days | 26 Essays [epic journey] Today is Letter “C”. Hint: Curated Centuries.

Posted Thursday, 3 April, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 6 Comments

A to Z Challenge Day 3  Letter CI am involved in a world-wide globally connected blogosphere challenge where each blogger who signs into the participant linky is quite literally confirming their express desire to blog straight [except on Sundays!] for *26 Days!* whilst writing *26!* most intriguing & thought-producing alphabet essays! Or, to be comically inspiring, randomly cheeky, and otherwise delightfully entertaining! The bloggers who have signed into the challenge are from all walks of blogosphere life: book bloggers united alongside lifestyle gurus; writers of all literary styles nudged up against travelogues; the gambit runs the full course of each and every theme, topic, subject, and genre you could possibly light your heart with joy to broach in a blog! And, the curious bit to the journey is where your posts lead you as much as where other blogger’s posts inspire you! It’s this fantastic community to celebrate the spirit within the blogosphere as much as the spirit of connection amongst the bloggers who might not have crossed paths with each other otherwise. After all, the road map for blogs is as wide and large as the actual world outside the nethersphere of websites, pixels, and memes! Walk with us whilst we discover a bit about ourselves, our blog, & each other!

I am blogger #552 out of 2279!


C L A S S I C A L L I T E R A T U R E settled into my heart at a very young age as I still recollect my readings of:

There is a timeless eloquence knitted into the classics which gives us a proper sense of the art of story-telling because writers from previous centuries were not as tied down to particulars surrounding their characters and narratives. It was far more imperative to write down the bones of one’s story than to be negated to following a strict guideline of where their story actually would befit a publisher’s catalogue! And, in that rampant freedom came such heart-warming stories which defy time by their ability to resonate with readers from one generation to another! There is something to be said for being able to write a story as it inks out of your heart and populates the page!

Photo Credit: Jorie of Jorie Loves A StoryOne of the best blessings for me in becoming a book blogger this past year, is that I am open to new horizons as far as where I can seek out appreciators of the classics! One of the communities that I was most anxious to join and still am looking forward to participating alongside is The Classics Club! For a girl who has spent most of her days trying to convince people there is merit and mirth within the classics, how extraordinary of a discovery this is for me! They even have their own ‘tweeting’ codes to send-off messages & notes to each other! I love the fact that they are such a warm and welcoming bunch of bookish souls – dedicated to champion the authors of the past by presenting their tomes to the modern reader in a way that is convicting of its worth! They host RALs (read-a-longs) and challenges throughout the year too! I decided to create my first ‘badge’ by using photography I had taken whilst on a road trip throughout the Mid-West states! I originally created the badge in FotoFlexer, but re-created it once I found the lovely PicMonkey which gives you more choices to make ‘badges’ pop & stand out! I think they came out quite well!

I have found several classic-minded book blogosphere events since I went live in August 2013, and although, I haven’t always been able to complete the tasks I set out too as I had joined them, the appreciation I have to reading the classics has never faltered! When I realised I had taken on too much in August (i.e. launching Jorie Loves A Story to a ‘live’ audience; participating in my first Bout of Books, undertaking my first! blog tour hosting “The Prayer Box” by Lisa Wingate for JKS Communications Publicity Firm; and trying to tackle Austen in August!) I re-attempted my Austen reading list for Classics Re-Told which was a multiple book blogger effort to read ‘after canons’ of individual classic authors and post on our individual blogs our thoughts and impressions therein! I felt for sure September was going to be the best month for me to accomplish this renewed task, however, September 2013 proved to be quite a unique month full of unexpected circumstances and events which proved taxing in my attempts to soak into Jane Austen!

If you hover your ‘mouse’ over “Stepping Back into the Folds of Time (tCC)” you will find all the classic-minded RALs, challenges, and events which get me quite giddy to be in a position to participate in! I decided to break the classical literature related events away from the regular fiction ones (which fall under RALs & Challenges in the top menu) as they are a specific focus group! One of the blessings this year, is not only am I still in-progress to read the books inside those older challenges as you can see on my main RALs & Challenges page (where I keep my progress updated) but I have unearthed a wicked sweet reading challenge entitled:

 

 Back to the Classics badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Nigel Lo (Public Domain : Unspash). In this particular challenge you have specific categories you have to ‘fill in the blank with the classic book of your choice’ in order to complete the challenge! I decided to focus on a portion of classic literature I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading which is classic crime! Outside of those choices, I wanted to finally set aside time to dig into Henry James, an author I have appreciated from afar for quite too long! And, then of course there is Emilie Zola of whom I had made a purchase request at my library for his novel: “Au Bonhear des Dames” | The Ladies Paradise by Emile Zola {1883}. I made a double-request to include the tv series “The Paradise” and I was quite chuffed and happy to see both were added to my local library’s collection! I am hopeful I can start to read his novel ahead of the series arriving as books tend to come in a bit faster than the dvd seasonals!

I like being challenged to step outside my own inklings of where I am thinking my reading adventures are taking me, whilst at the same time keeping myself curiously tethered to the hope of unlocking a ‘new’ author who will take me on this wicked sweet journey through language, setting, and prose of narrative! I get a happiness inside of my spirit each time I am about to enter into the realm of a classic novel; thinking about the readers who had picked up a similar version of the story as I am and wondering what their thoughts were as they opened the book for the first time!? Some of my classics are in the ‘classic’ hardback stylings of the mid to late 1800s and early 1900s. I was gifted a beautiful portable and deep blue set of Shakespeare which I am quite keen on opening this year as well! I have been wanting to set my sights to work my way through his collected works since I was a teenager in high school finding that I had an affection for Julius Caesar moreso than Romeo & Juliet; and a penchant for Much Ado About Nothing! I loved the way in which Shakespeare elected to speak his emotions in his writings. He never backed down from being fierce or representative of all the chords of human emotion but he staid within the dimensions of what is effectively dynamic given that he wasn’t one who opted to use the harsher words of the 20th Century which run thick and through. He had a way of conveying internal thoughts and outside prejudices which gave you a pause to contemplate the fuller scope of his legacies as you read his words.

The last time I was able to update my progress on where I was currently with my classics readings was on Wednesday, 19 February 2014! I had previously turnt in a group check-in for The Classics Club: 15 February, 2014, where I was blissfully excited to be reading along with #LitChat for War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy! I never dreamt I would tackle Leo Tolstoy in 2014, but this goes back what I was lamenting or at least attempting to say, there are moments when I find a book or an author settles itself into your hands, of which purpose isn’t known at the time of opening the book but alights inside your heart once you’ve completed your reading! I always felt there is a time and season for everything in life, but to take that a step further, I believe we are meant to read certain stories at certain times in our lives to where the text and context might have a greater effect on us rather than if we had read it previously or at a point in the future. By blogging my reading life, I feel as though I can extend a part of my journey to you dear hearts, hopefully inspiring you to take on your own literary wanderings and perhaps, sharing a common goal in our quest to uncover and discover new authors who lit a flame of curiosity which can only be quenched by reading their works!

Septemb-Eyre hosted by Entomology of a Bookworm

One of the classic books I am determined to complete before Summer is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronté, as I had this intensive study of the novel happening in September, but as foresaid, September had other plans for me than reading the books which were intriguing me and engaging me in long-known conversations! I was a bit surprised by how captivated I was by Eyre, as my introduction to her came about through the motion picture “Jane Eyre”:

Jane Eyre (1996) Official Trailer #1 – William Hurt (HD) by MovieClips Classic Trailers

Alongside my pursuit to focus on the after canons of Austen, specifically of Pride & Prejudice for Classics Re-Told, I have also allotted myself to read a certain number of sequels and re-tellings for Jane Eyre! (underneath the top menu ‘Stepping Back into the Folds of Time: Books of Eyre’) Some characters enter our lives and give us the ability to want to know of them. To seek out more about their person, or to understand more of their depth than we previously were clued into on our first introductions. Jane Eyre is a woman who has such a quiet strength of resolve, she enables us to genuinely seek more out of ourselves whilst facing adversity as much as she endears our heart whilst presenting herself without embarrassment or unease. Eyre is a champion for everyone who has had humble beginnings and who strives to not only reach past her circumstances but to carry-on forward with the hope of her dreams and for finding a man who would allow her the honour of returning her love.

I was not even certain if I could participate in the War and Peace Book Club for LitChat as I was struggling to hold the War and Peace Book Club badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Alex Tamon (Public Domain : Unsplash). massive hardback volume our leader recommended for the RAL! Normally reading a hefy book would not be as complicated, but I am finding of late my hands falter a bit with the larger books and I do a bit better with a paperback version in which I can carry with me or snuggle into a comfy chair soaking into the narrative at will. My local library pulled through for me, whilst I was visiting a different branch than my home location I asked the question of seeking a paperback of War and Peace which would be easier for me to read? Apparently my local library has a secondary ‘hidden’ collection insofar as to be able to offer patrons unchecked out editions of classical literature! This refers to the fact that I have a copy of War and Peace but it is without a due date! The blissful freedom in knowing that I can take my time with the text, and not have the fear of having the book boomerang back to the library every fortnight as apparently this particular novel is of greater need in being read right now! I am trying to see when I can begin my readings, but I think early this coming week will work just fine, as I want to read the first 400 pages in order to get properly caught up, as I am unfortunately two months behind at this point! I had so much happening all at once that I fear that between sorting out when to read and how to gather the book back from the library, I exhausted the hours I could have been reading Tolstoy! Therefore, in coming weeks you will start to see the lovely badge I created here float into view as I journal my impressions as I read and gather my thoughts in order to participate actively in the topical discussions in which Dana Sachs is hosting via the War and Peace Book Club for LitChat!

Of all the books on my Classics List to be read, there is one section that I am most proud of curating, which is the category for “Magical Realism” as I was first introduced to this genre through The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker! I am forever speaking on the book’s behalf via Twitter, and attempting to draw out a line of conversation on the post I created to highlight the book, because it was singularly one of the best library discoveries I made last year! A complete accident of sorts drew the book into my hands! The type of book I had trouble putting down because I didn’t want to part with the characters, their journey, or the story in which I felt closely tied into by the time the final chapters were concluding! The post evolved to become a bit of a primer for “Magical Realism” itself as a genre, and for that, I was quite happy as I literally copied over all the lovely books I unearthed and placed them on my Classics List! This is why I felt it was quite keen of Mr. Danish in sharing my passion for the genre and how wicked sweet it was seeing that we are drawn to the same authors & stories!

If I had to pick my Top 5 Magical Realism books I want to read next, I would select:

  1. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
  2. Chocolat by Joanne Harris
  3. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
  4. The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
  5. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
  6. +1 for good measure: The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern (a book I began at Christmas 2013 & have wanted to complete!)

The first selection has been a hardback I purchased from a big box store the year it was released as it was one of the few times a newly released book had captivated my attention to the fullness of Howe’s. I have been properly entranced ever since and whilst engaged in a recent conversation I was urged to place this book on a ‘post haste’ schedule of reading priority’ of which I couldn’t agree more if I stressed how itched I am to begin! Harris’s story arrived to me on two separate occasions and for two separate birthdays: in my early twenties a family friend was going to surprise me by seeing the motion picture and then, two years ago this Summer I was gifted the book by a dear friend. The book has nearly haunted me as a result! Sarah Addison Allen I discovered by stumbling across her website a handful of years ago and finding she offered the best backgrounds for a reader’s delight! Those same backgrounds for my desktop are lost to the ethers when my computer crashed and died in late 2013. The spell her stories cast on me have not been lost! White’s novel has had a murmuring of an effect on me as I have overheard reader’s speaking on the book’s behalf in my local library as much as I have been involved in conversations online or through email to dear friends who insist that I put down all the books I am currently reading and shift over into The Language of Flowers! I couldn’t blame them, as the premise had me at first reading! Which brings me to The Mistress of Spices which is one of my first Bollywood discoveries and of course, a hidden discovery for ‘Magical Realism’ as at the time I had viewed the motion picture I was entranced by the style of Indian film-making and less concerned by the genre in which it fit! I was quite curious then to read the book after finding that it had been an adaptation!

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh [book trailer] by Pan Macmillan

More curious to note is that my next C L A S S I C A L L I T E R A T U R E readings will be of:

  1. The Ladies Paradise by Emile Zola
  2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronté (as a RAL with my dear friend Maggie!)
  3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (RAL with LitChat)
  4. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (to follow War and Peace!)
  5. A Shakespeare Play

Which brings me to my next foray of C L A S S I C A L L I T E R A T U R E is to embrace all the lovely BBC and/or other adaptations on film! I am striving towards reading stories ahead of seeing their adaptations as in the past, I have always lost hours in which to make this plausible! There are times where I have known there was a book ahead of the motion picture (i.e. “Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World”) and times when I hadn’t truly known there was one at all (i.e. “Cheerful Weather for the Wedding”). I am looking forward to seeing which adaptations sweep me away into the story I fall in love with on the printed page and which adaptations I find fall a bit short! Which is a continuation of something I have already begun to do, as I have seen more theatrical versions of “A Christmas Carol” than you can shake a stick at! The story never fades from the fondness of my heart nor does seeing how each new ensemble cast handle the breadth of the tale! I have also seen a handful of classic adaptation and modern for “Pride and Prejudice” the last one being a re-telling entitled “Lost in Austen” which I actually discovered whilst participating in Classics Re-Told in September! My review of the mini-series never surfaced which is one review I am most keen on finishing after I watch the mini-series for a second viewing! (time frame unknown: it was an ILL)

I look forward to making connections with other bookish souls who wander around the same books as I do, all the while retreating into the C L A S S I C A L L I T E R A T U R E past and finding new friends along the way!

Parjunkee Designs

My passage into C L A S S I C A L L I T E R A T U R E has only just begun to move forward again, and as I find ways to bring the books to life in my musings, I shall be sharing my lamentations in posts throughout Jorie Loves A Story as a way to become part of the nexus of conversation surrounding the books which throughout time have held a finger-hold on us.


Thank you for joining me on DAY 3 | A to Z Challenge!

I am a girl named Jorie who loves a story!
I am a bookish library girl on a quest for literary enlightenment!
I am predominately self-taught and library educated!
I am Mademoiselle Jorie!
Thank you for joining me on this journey!

This marks my third post for the:

A to Z Challenge

And, might I add as an observation on Day 3? 

I was oft curious to find out if other appreciators of C L A S S I C A L L I T E R A T U R E enjoy reading and then viewing adaptations and/or if they have a preference of only viewing certain books in motion picture over others!? Where does your own heart lead you into the wide realm of C L A S S I C A L L I T E R A T U R E as you step back into the folds of time yourself!? Are there authors who you picked up and were quite shocked you did not soak into their narratives? Were there any startling surprises in where your wanderings led you? Which authors have withstood your reading adventures of being the ‘key’ authors who lead you back time and again!?

{SOURCES: A to Z Challenge Participant & Letter C Badge provided by the A to Z Challenge site for bloggers to use on their individual posts & blogs to help promote the challenge to others. Wildlife photography by Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story, badge edited & created in PicMonkey by Jorie. “I Like Big Books” badge by Parajunkee Designs is a free resource provided for book bloggers. The book trailer by Pan MacMillian & the film trailer by MovieClips Classic Trailers had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel & film. Back to the Classics badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Nigel Lo (Public Domain : Unspash). War and Peace Book Club badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Alex Tamon (Public Domain : Unsplash).}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Thursday, 3 April, 2014 by jorielov in A to Z Challenge, After the Canon, Austen in August, Back to the Classics, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Books of Eyre, British Literature, Classical Literature, Classics Re-Told: 19th Century & Gothic Classics, Crime Fiction, Gothic Literature, Library Find, Magical Realism, Poetry, Re-Told Tales, Reading Challenge Addict, Rewind Challenge, Romance Fiction, Sequel Authors, tCC The Classics Club, William Shakespeare Challenge

+Top Ten Tuesday+ No.3 Top Ten Authors Yet to Read Others Already Love

Posted Wednesday, 5 March, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , 4 Comments

"Top Ten Tuesday" hosted by The Broke & the Bookish

[Official Blurb] Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature / weekly meme created by The Broke & the Bookish. The meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke & the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your Top 10 Lists!

[Topic of 4 March 2014: Top Ten Authors Yet to Read Others Already Love]

Diana Gabaldon {Outlander series} Although I have flirted with reading the Outlander series in the past, as I quite literally have the first of the series in both hardback and paperback editions, I have not yet had the pleasure of starting the series and seeing it through to completion! Hence the reason I have included it as a ‘new’ classic to read on my tCC List! In November 2008, my Mum gifted me “The Outlandish Companion” of which I started to read until I realised I was getting into the heart of the series itself so I segued back into the heart of who Ms. Gabaldon is as a writer. I devoured all of those sections as though I could not quench my thirst! I’ve been attracted to the series since before it held world-wide acclaim, as I found in her writing style a writer who felt akin to my own stylings. I loved learning about her process and how she took inspiration in thought and transformed it onto the page. It’s always quite exciting finding authors who pen stories in such a way that brings a happy mirth of joy to your own writer’s heart! I have resolved I am not going to do what I’ve done in the past which is to watch the motion picture adaptations ahead of reading the text! Given that I know all of “Outlander” the series will be on dvd, I can take my time and soak into this world! I simply adore ‘time slips’ and this is the ultimate foray into that genre which bends time, reality, and the conception of how we live our lives and the affects of our actions over the expanse of time itself!

J.K. Rowling {Harry Potter series} I am quite sure this will come to a shock to many but not as such to my close friends who know the reasons behind why I wasn’t able to read the books ahead of their motion picture debuts! I quite literally became quite attached to young Harry Potter long, long, LONG before the epic pop culture iconic attachment ever latched into the subconscience of the world! I was struck by the courage of such a young boy and by the breadth of the imagination it took on behalf of its writer to bring forward such a fully realised world. I always intended to read Harry ahead of any motion picture but as time would come to foretell, it was simply not in the cards! I still lament I shall sit with Harry and read his adventures during an epic blizzard in future days,…

Elizabeth Gaskell Gaskell is one of those authors I knew I would instinctively appreciate whilst reading about her methodology as a writer and as a woman who loved life most of all! She never sacrificed her writing for living, nor did she find any issue with leaving her writings in the middle of where they were if there was something important about to be lived in the moment! I loved her tenacity for breathing life into every inch and niche of her days! She tends to write long sweeping novels full of multi-generational sagas and of the realities of characters you can divest your heart into and emerge out the other end grateful to have known. I cannot wait to soak into her writings, etching out how she observed the world through her character’s murmurings and take a pause knowing she only had a limited number of hours to write before embarking on her next living adventure! I applaud her dexterity! 

Patrick O’ Brian {Master & Commander series}I am not sure I would have gone to see “Master and Commander: the Far Side of the World” if I had known it was the quintessential motion picture for a dearly beloved high seas epic serial in fiction! Then again, knowing of its origins prior to being in a darkened theater as the film was about to launch into my field of vision might not have swayed me to wait either! I fell in love with the teasers and the extended trailers thereafter, to where I was quite eager to see everything emerge into full scope and depth right before my eyes! This was a motion picture that you ‘survived’ not merely ‘watched’ because the action, the sequences of dialogue, and the full CinemaScope essence of its heart dared you to be emotionally connected to everything going on before your eyes! I was pulled and tugged into corridors I never felt I’d go for motion picture; but the breath-taking cinematography against the gentle arc of narrative and story set against a backdrop of lead protagonists your never quite sure you love, hate, or endear to tolerate is part of its brilliance. The visual images that sometimes leave you shuddering and without nerves in reserve gave me a hearty adventure I was only half ready to take! Imagine then!? When the hours align and I can re-enter this world, to where I might actually decide am I an Aubry or Maurin girl? My heart is thus torn!

Brian Jacques {Redwall series} Although I have known about Jacques works for quite a long while, I have not yet broached inside his worlds. Considering that I have “Redwall” on my shelf, there is quite the obvious longing to read the story! I know I can continue forward reading the series through my local library, either by their own card catalogue OR through ILL’ing the books in sequence. There is something quite intriguing about reading a series where the animals are as real as the ones in Narnia, but I think the main reason I’ve been a bit on the fence about reading this series is because I didn’t become attached to Narnia in written form, no, I became attached to Narnia through the live-action motion pictures. And, so perhaps a part of me has hesitated ever curious if I will sink or swim with another series where animals are not quite as they seem?

Katherine Howe No one could be more disappointed in herself than I am, in regards to not having yet read “The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane” which was purchased as a hardback the very year it was released! I have always meant to read the story within the covers, and I can even remember when I purchased the book, as it was one of the last purchases I had made of a new release I felt was worth taking the chance on! I had read quite a bit about upcoming releases that  particular year and the stand-out for me was this particular author and this particular book. She has since gone on to publish stories which still entice me and implore me to read! Yet. I want to start here. With this wicked novel that I have itched to read and have longing looked at ever since on my bookshelf! I am definitely going to include it on my Rewind Challenge list because it was one of the ‘new releases’ which has become swept back against the sands of time and grown further away from my heart and fingertips!

Christopher Paolini {Inheritance series} I still remember when “Eragon” first released and I was quite keenly excited about a ‘dragon series’, except to say where my heart jumped for certain joy my fingers never quite reached the brink to open the book! Laughs. Clearly this goes back to when I was trapped inside a reader’s rut and unable to move myself past the point of picking up a paperback copy! I thus succeeded in attending the midnight release party by proxy (here this refers to ‘quite accidentally!) of Brisingr which led to bringing home a first edition hardback, as how else to explain why you’re at your local Barnes & Noble at such a late hour!? Laughs. I had a heap of fun getting caught up in the excitement of it all, as previously I had only attended a midnight release for Harry Potter (yes, I might not have read the books but I was mad-crazy about making sure I had a complete set! including, five books imported from England directly!)! With the sequent film releases, my curiosity has both waned and re-lit the fever to read Paolini’s stories. I did include two of his books on my TBR Reading Challenge list.

Charles Dickens The curious thing for me is not remembering if I ever actually sat down and read “A Christmas Carol” as although I want to claim I have and may very well have claimed I did in the past, the honest truth is that I do not remember!? I know that its my most beloved Dicken’s classic as far as watching multiple adaptations in film as I can never see too much of Scrooge; except for the one adaptation simply entitled “Scrooge” of which I avoid like the plague! Dickens is such a complicated fellow. Not only as a writer who wanted to chronicle certain stories within a certain umbrella of character direction, but he was not the easiest nor the worst of the writers from his generation to leave behind a complicated legacy. I know bits and bobbles of his writing life, but evenso, its his stories that echo out a calling for me to read them. I have a mini-hardback edition of “Oliver Twist” which will be the first I consume once I am able to lay mind and heart on Dickens. I wonder which story of his others began their sojourn into his legacy?

Fannie Flagg I have known about this author for a long time, but it wasn’t until I picked up a copy of “Standing in the Rainbow” that I made it a purposeful intent to actually sit down and read her stories! I cannot even begin to imagine how many times I have picked up this novel only to set it back down again! To the brink that when I was composing my TBR Reading Challenge list I knew this had to be included! I am hoping this novel will inspire me to seek out more of her stories! She appears to be an author whose words never fail to inspire her to compose stories of strong characters albeit flawed who evoke our emotional keels!

Cecelia Ahern I never truly kept an eye on this Irish writer, because I mistook her writings for being ‘chick lit’ rather than for being a bit more of depth than that genre might naturally allow possible. I always have a twitching in my nose when I stumble across a title of ‘chick lit’ because it’s not quite a natural draw for me to choose. Then, I started to discover her novels in motion picture adaptation format through my local library, and the rest as they say is history! I became drawn into her characters like a moth to a flame! I wanted more! I wanted to seek out her writings, soak into her character’s heads and hearts and start to see where she endeavoured to take us next! P.S. I Love You the film convinced me I needed to take a chance on Ahern, but its the novel “Where Rainbows End” which I picked up for free at my library which might become the first I shall be reading of hers!

Which of the authors I’ve listed dear hearts, whet your own palette of interest? Which intrigue you? Which did you try reading but found weren’t to your liking!? Do you ever hesitate to read a book &/or an author of a certain genre!? What book &/or author did you leave off your own list this week that you wished you had included!?

{SOURCE: Jorie Loves A Story badge created by Ravven with edits by Jorie in PicMonkey.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Wednesday, 5 March, 2014 by jorielov in Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Top Ten Tuesday

{Book Chat} #1: One Book Everyone Should Read | Once

Posted Friday, 15 November, 2013 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 9 Comments

The Book Chat | Sweet Green TangerineOne Book Everyone Should Read | Once (in their lifetime)

I agree with our fearless hostess, that the book we choose to recommend to read this week, should be one that has etched itself into our minds, our hearts, and into the fabric of our being. Characters, of whom, have instilled inside us memories that haunt us long after we have met them, and of whom, re-define our perspective of how we see and view the world around us. Narrative prose that erupts as clear as lightning, permeating our mind’s eye with a hearty imaginative state where we can fully see the world that is knit and stitched together by the writer’s capacity for endeavouring us to see their world as they intended us too. A story that has a girth of knowledge and positive impression of lessons learnt are always best understood after we have transitioned through them. Yet. It’s not an easy question to respond too, because the life of a book reader bent on the written word, is hard to pin down and pick out one book that stands out amidst the shadows of all the other lovelies that we have come to know! I’ve never been one to play favourites and so, this task is rather a difficult choice! I yield to simply referring to one book I think any reader would be happy to become acquainted with, if only for one reading whilst their hunkered in to their own reading affairs and adventures therein!

Before I make my selection, I want to talk a bit about the type of books that I am always anxious to meet and am forevermore blessed to have my path crossed with theirs! You see, there are several books that come to mind, books who strong heroines have touched my life at precisely the right moments to give me a lift of spirits and a breath of a world that has always felt enchantingly familiar!

The Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinI had the benefit of growing up in a house where literary inspiration was at the forefront of discovery! Long before I could sort out how each word was meant to be said by voice, I had the pleasure of ‘listening’ to stories (of all varieties and forms) become brought to life by my Mum! She had a knack for knowing exactly how to empathise each syllable with articulation and clarity! I marveled at how I would ever grow into shoes large enough to understand how to purport the ‘telling of’ a story in the same manner of how I ‘heard her’ speak them to me! It’s an ongoing process even now! What I loved about Silverstein’s poems and visionary genius is his ability to cleverly etch into his collective writings the wit and banterment of a life filt with humour! He gave the best gift you can give to children: thought-provoking rhymes, poems, and stories of characters who ‘teach through their actions’. In this, I have always held close the fond memories of his books. As once I could sort out the words, I could not help but soak into his collections breathing in the world as he saw it through his creative eyes!

The Secret Garden & A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson BurnettBy far, The Secret Garden was more than a mere story for me, as the life of Mary Lennox was one that nestled inside my heart from the very first moment I became acquainted with her circumstances! She had this genuine ability to draw you out of yourself and into the world as she perceived it from a different set of eyes than most. Curiously keen on everything happening around her and yet, with such a graceful measure of innocence that bespoke of a childhood we all hope every child can experience. She was searching for stability and of a place to call home; where roots could grow as strong as she would soon mature! Her friendships with Collin and Dickon are lessons knitted together from the simple truths we all need to accept if we are meant to grow inside our own journey. Whereas with A Little Princess I felt rather akin to Sara Crewe, feeling her thoughts, her emotions, and her uncertainties as she was quite unceremoniously deposited into such a difficult situation without the benefit of protection from a guardian! Where Mary Lennox was independently spunky, I always felt that Sara truly needed a little extra confidence to know she could stand on her own feet and survive. They are each living shattered lives where circumstance and ill-will of those around them start to affect their happiness. These were the stories that compelled me to seek out the depth of historical fiction and epic multi-generational sagas. To see the underpinnings of how characters grow into their shoes so to speak and the passageways they have to walk in order to arrive inside their futures.

Mandie {series} by Lois Gladys LeppardI was quite young when I first began to read the Mandie series as what attracted me to the premise was the fact that a girl who was in search of her father, grandmother, and origins of birth found unforeseen comfort in her Uncle Ned, a Native American. I loved how Leppard moved between the different cultures, as much as how she showed how Mandie’s grandmother influenced her grand-daughter to have a world-view based on experiences, adventures, and travel opportunities. She instilled in Mandie a true sense of freedom which comes from knowledge, empathy, charity, and faith. Mandie is the type of ‘best friend’ you always hope to meet whilst your growing up due to how genuine of a friend she truly is! I liked that she was a bit spunky in some ways too! She never found a challenge too difficult to overcome nor did she pass up a good mystery to solve! She was a girl a threshold ahead of her time, set in the historical past to where even growing up in the 20th century you could see the frameworks of her living world as it was painted so very clearly for you to observe!

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryI suppose you could say you have noticed a trend in the type of lead characters and stories that I have been drawn too since I was a child! Anne of Green Gables is the epitome of a heroine whose spirit and mirth of life will long outlast all of us who have come to know her as intimately as though we were childhood confidantes! Montgomery gave us a real portrait of life and living through Anne’s eyes, and kept Anne rooted in her unique personality whilst the Anne we knew and loved grew into a woman with her own means and family. She dared to step out of the comfort zones of society and willed herself to achieve what many I think in her plight might have simply given up on obtaining at all! She’s the inspiration for all young girls to realise how strong women can be at the times in life we need to assert ourselves and stand strong!

Little House in the Big Woods {Little House series thereof} by Laura Ingalls WilderI still remember curling up with my boxed set of paperback novels by Ms. Wilder wildly lighting my imagination with frontier life! Her stories were so real to me, that I would always make a bit of a tradition out of when I would read the Little House books! IF I could wing it, I would always like to begin them in the early murmurings of Autumn, when the weather would feel unlike Summer! I was fascinated by the simple inclusions of Laura’s life such as the biscuits in her pocket to keep her hands warm and the method of making ‘candy’ out of snow and maple syrup! How many days and years I longed to attempt that recipe myself yet never experienced more than an hour’s worth of frost on the windshield? When the tv series was well on its way of finding its own heart of inspiration from the stories in the books I held close to my heart, I found myself living by extension of the original stories through everything that evolved in the teleplay! I realised years later that there were creative liberties taken, but for me, both Little Houses will always be felt with warm affection! They each in their own way gave us so much more than we could return in thankful notes of gratitude!

A Christmas Carol by Charles DickensAh, Ebenezer! Who doesn’t know of Ebenezer Scrooge! I must have read this story numerous times to the brink that each time it was re-made into a tv mini-series, tv movie, and/or theatrical released motion picture; I would always have the general aspects of his story pop back into my mind! I must say, that there each new variation of this story I see something new and wholly different from the others. Each adaptation if you will focuses on something else that Dickens was attempting to impart on the world. I have not come across one adaptation I haven’t enjoyed and if I may be so bold to lament: I hope there are several more variations in the future still yet to come! The best life lesson to give any child is the one of generosity without the expectation of returned gratitude. To give without conditions is the greatest gift we can give each other! And, to remain humble to all walks of life and circumstances whilst we traverse our lifepaths is an even greater philosophy to aspire towards!

White Fang by Jack LondonI remember when I first started to mention to my teachers I wanted to read the works of Jack London, I was deeply surprised by their reactions! IF they were not explaining to me that they were meant for ‘boys’ not ‘girls’ they were trying to persuade me to read lighter fare! The truth of the matter is I have always felt such a natural curiosity and attachment to the natural world, that it was a natural progression for me to discover White Fang! I never understood why there had to be such strict perimeters when I was growing up! Boy. Girl. Gender this, gender that! Goodness! What I loved about the book (as my parents noted my desire and took me to the bookshoppe to pick out a copy!) is the pure and raw adventure to it! I loved it beyond what words could express and when I saw the motion picture — it felt as though I had come full circle! Very impactful for a young girl!

A Wrinkle in Time {Time Quartet series thereof} by Madeleine L’ EngleThis particular book didn’t greet me until I was in my twenties as I was seeking out a way to jump-dive into reading quantum physics! The full story is hidden within the link I’ve just provided! What I wanted to say in this post is that I would love to complete my readings of the Time Quartet to see what occurs ‘after’ they return home! I remember wondering ever so curiously what would happen next and even, how what they had experienced with their cheeky and quirky visitors would affect the rest of their lives? As each new experience alters your perception and how you proceed forward. In this particular case, its a rather extraordinary excursion! I suppose I shall remain patient until I can gather the remaining three books! I still stand by my declaration that this is the best introduction to Flatland which can serve as the next stepping stone into any quantum physics or mechanics book of your choosing!

The Indigo Notebook {book one: The Notebook series} & What the Moon Saw by Laura ResauAround the age of nine and twenty, I stumbled across Ms. Resau’s books at my local library! Intrigued I started to pick them up and read them. Before long I realised I wanted to read more, so I started to generate purchase requests to keep up with her publication schedule! Until one day I realised, my goodness! The breadth of what she writes into these tales is not only for the emotionally mature young adult (due to the story-lines and character arcs), but they are for the reader who likes to transcend out of the regular offerings and seek out something a bit heartier to chew on! IF you like to ruminate about your readings and allow the heart of a story to soak into you, I can give you no higher recommendation than seeking out a title by Laura Resau! The fact that she writes about cultures in Latin America only warms my heart more being that I have traveled to Mexico myself and saw such a keen insight into the foods, culture, and traditions that I had observed myself!

The Sixty-Eight Rooms {book one: The Sixty-Eight Rooms series} by Marianne MaloneAh, adventure through time travel which stems out of a museum! How many of us read From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil F. Frankweiler when we were younger!? Hoping to have the courage to sneak away, tuck into a museum and see what happens when you turn on your torches? (flashlights!) The fact that I had the chance to stay-over at a Children’s Museum for a Night Away made this book even more exciting because I truly did ‘live that adventure’ even if I was surrounded by chaperones! You know children always find a way for ‘alone time’ and let their curiosity get the better of them! Laughs. Back to the story here, this is one of the books that sparked my interest into seeking out more stories of the French! I won’t spoilt anything and tell you why at this junction in time,… but if you are curious about Chicago’s Art Institute’s Thorne Rooms, look no further! Dig in!

The Golden Hour {book one: The Golden Hour series} by Maiya WilliamsIf you are reading carefully you will have noticed I provided a guiding map of which books to read in order and which to proceed into next. However, to make it easier to follow whatever you do, do not feel the inclination to read this book *ahead!* of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil F. Frankweiler & The Sixty-Eight Rooms! You will thank me later! Of course, technically you could read A Wrinkle in Time either ahead of the first of three in this sequence or have it proceed directly after The Golden Hour! Reason being, there is a play on themes that are integral to each of these stories! And, yes, this one has a French connection as well! I think what I loved about this one is the plausibility factor of how time is treated and shifted around. Alas, plausible in the sense if you have already accepted elementary truths of science fiction!

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline KellyCalpurnia Tate took me by complete surprise around two years ago! I was holding off checking out this novel for the longest of times, until one day I realised why not? IF I felt the story was not one I could readily soak into the only thing I’d have to do is return it directly in other for another reader to give it a bit of a go! Inside this coming-of age tale is a spunky (eh, smiles!) wholly true-to-herself girl who is striving to make a connection to a family member who is not readily understood or accepted in her family unit. I felt anguish along with Calpurnia whilst the events unfolded for both of them and I felt my heart grow as the ending chapters brought me to my farewell of her life. I must confess, I could have entertained another installment if only to see what ‘came next’ in her ‘evolution’.

Red Thread Sisters by Carol Antoinette PeacockMy book showcase review of this novel paints my feelings and thoughts in such a deeply personal way that I know it can stand on its own as to express my gratitude for finding this story! However, what I felt I should impart right now is that how powerful we can give children the ability to accept and process all families at a young age! Orphans and children without families are rather commonplace in today’s world, but how many children who grow up with a family know of their fears, hopes, and dreams? Or, how difficult it is for them to accept a ‘new’ family when they were not fully sure if they wanted to leave behind the only home they had ever known? Peacock writes a compelling story of two girls who befriended each other at a group home in China and how their evolving lives would remain entwined!

The clever observer will note immediately that I have chosen to focus on books that we are generally meant to read during our growing years, and of course, I haven’t spotlighted all of them (from my own readings OR generally known by others), but I have picked out the Lucky 13 (it is 2013, after all!) Picks, which holds within the list the selection I shall showcase in a moment! Each of them are interconnected on the level that, in each story, the main character(s) are undertaking a transition in their lives. The shape and nature of the transition is as widely unique as the characters’ themselves, yet each boy and girl featured in these lovely books has to dig a bit deeper than they ever thought possible to even hope to understand the unique situations and circumstances that start to affect their personal worlds directly! They must take on adversity and circumvent outcomes that might not have been as keenly positive if they had not found the true strength to carry-on through what crossed their paths!

Having said this, the one book that I would refer someone to read to have a reading experience that would give them the benefit of all of these stories combined is:

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Mr. Silverstein has the ability to transport us through a portal of literature, by which, our curious and innocent eyes remain fully intact. Even if we are re-visiting this story as adults, who may or may not be jaded by life experiences, or as a new reader, who never had the proper chance to read this story in their growing years. It’s a book that is not hinged to one particular age or another, but rather is universal in its message and at its very core, is a lesson that substantiates all the other titles on the list! For you see, if you never were introduced to “The Giving Tree”, you might not be as readily accepting of the themes, subjects, topics, and climaxes that these other stories contain! Do you not agree?

{*NOTE: All books featured in this post are listed under *Children’s Lit: The Undiscovered Frontier*, for the express purpose of highlighting my work-in-progress to stitch together reviews of the books I have written down on that page! As for each book &/or series listed, there is a world of transformative literature awaiting the reader!}

This post was originally intended to be shown on 21 September 2013!

{SOURCE: The Book Chat badge is provided by Sweet Green Tangerine
for participants to show their solidarity!}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

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Posted Friday, 15 November, 2013 by jorielov in Adoption, Book Chat, Brothers and Sisters, Children's Classics, Children's Literature, Coming-Of Age, Family Life, Illustrated Poetry, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Orphans & Guardians, Poetry, Quantum Physics, Revolutionary France, Science Fantasy, Science Fiction, Siblings, The Natural World, Time Travel, Time Travel Adventure, Wilderness Adventures, Young Adult Fiction