Tag: Katherine Howe

tCC (the Classics Club) | The #Classics Spin #8 eek! too wicked awesome for words! my first tCC Spin!

Posted Friday, 7 November, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 11 Comments

The Classics Club badge by Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story

Official Blurb & Rules: 

It’s time for another Classics Spin for any who are interested. What is the spin?

It’s easy. At your blog, by next Monday, November 10, list your choice of any twenty books you’ve left to read from your Classics Club list — in a separate post.

This is your Spin List. You have to read one of these twenty books in November & December. (Details follow.) So, try to challenge yourself. For example, you could list five Classics Club books you are dreading/hesitant to read, five you can’t WAIT to read, five you are neutral about, and five free choice (favorite author, rereads, ancients — whatever you choose.)

Next Monday, we’ll post a number from 1 through 20. The challenge is to read whatever book falls under that number on your Spin List, by January 5, 2015. We’ll have a check in here in January, to see who made it the whole way and finished the spin book.

Try to challenge yourself: list five you are dreading/hesitant to read, five you can’t WAIT to read, five you are neutral about, and five free choice (favorite author, rereads, ancients — whatever you choose.)

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5 Choices to Celebrate my participation in Sci Fi November: (SPIN 1-5)

  1. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
  2. A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
  3. The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
  4. Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
  5. Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke

5 Choices of Novels I am trepideriously curious about reading: (SPIN 6-10)

  1. The Murders of the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe
  2. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
  3. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
  4. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
  5. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

10 Novels I am wicked happy about Reading Next: (SPIN 11-20)

  1. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
  2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  3. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe (Lucky 13!)
  4. Daughters of the Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt
  5. The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley
  6. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  7. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
  8. Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery
  9. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
  10. The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

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I honestly haven’t had the proper chance to participate too much in The Classics Club for the first year I am a tenure in the club! I felt for sure I’d be visiting a heap of lovely clubbers throughout the book blogosphere, whilst participating in all the wicked fun activities that the club puts together for us to enjoy! However, 2014 proved to be a bit more unique as time went forward and thus, I have found myself on the fringes of being in the tCC rather than being directly apart of the community itself! So much so, that I honestly only remember joining in for ONE (oy vie!) club check-in and recently and I only recently published my thoughts on a collection of ghost stories by Edith Wharton (one review in twelvemonths? ohh, dear!)!

I even lost the hours to join in the wicked joy of being a part of Austen in August — whilst reminding myself that Austen can be appreciated any month of the year, and this year, I am picking *December!* as my Austen in Reading month! I am going to be blogging my visits within the joy of my first readings of the following:

Mansfield Park | Northanger Abbey | Persuasion

And, if I hadn’t been tweeting about the ghost stories by Wharton, I never would have had the beautifully lovely convo with the Wharton enthused ladies I met who have inspired me to combine my readings of Austen with Wharton between December & January respectively! (shared the convo on my interview with Marcia DeSanctis) I am going to put together a bit of an official RAL for the authors, and encourage anyone who wants to join me to do so! Especially the ladies who were involved with the tweeting!

I read the tCC updates by email subscription, as when I first read about the Spin this time round, I misunderstood the deadline completely and therefore, when Lost Generation Reader sent out this tweet: 

I had the happy-go-lucky moment of realising I could FINALLY play the SPIN! It was a wicked sweet moment, truly! And, now without further adieu I wanted to explain my choices!

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells | One of my focus tracks during SFN is a continuation of exploring “Time Travel”, and as I had declared last year, I have never had the honour of reading the one book I always felt set the stage for the stories published after it’s release; The Time Machine is simply a classic on a lot of different levels! To read my thoughts on Time Travel as a Focus Track, please visit the post I wrote for SFN 2013 which will become expanded for SFN 2014 this weekend!

A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge | One of my favourite branches of science fiction in tv series & motion picture is Space Opera, except when I stop to consider how much I’ve honestly read within this sub-genre I come up short each time I try to set a list to mind. This is one of my choices to branch into a beloved section of the genre and to seek out stories that take place in the cosmos and beyond our share of the universe.

The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson | One of my favourite characters in the world of Star Trek is “Seven of Nine” who embraced the technology of nanos as much as giving credit to how a character you once would have feared has a way of transitioning into a character you are quite attached to rallying behind. This novel explores nanotechnology & artificial intelligence in a way that I felt befit exploring and taking a step outside the world of Trek.

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson | Ever since I was quite young scientists have been attempting to sort out ‘the next planet’ where man can continue to thrive within the range of planets outside our obit. Mars was always on the top level of choices and somewhere within the race to settle ourselves on Mars and the pursuit of seeing how far we have gone to create a plausible way to move there; I became quite enthralled in the science articles and non-fiction works which defended the choice. Robinson’s series was found whilst I was caught up in the race for Mars.

Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke | Quite literally one of my regrets as a letter-writer was not reaching out by pen and paper to Mr Clarke who passed before I found the courage to draft a letter to him. The Rama series has been on my list of ‘next reads’ long before I discovered the online bookish culture and world of book bloggers; it felt fitting to include this on my first SPIN!

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The Murders of the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe | Although I established a newfound respect and admiration for Poe whilst reading Mrs. Poe on a blog tour earlier this year, I am still curiously cautious about reading his collective works! If any book would put me betwixt and between knowing whether or not I wanted to read it, this surely qualifies!

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh | Quite happily I found the newest adaption for this classic novel on dvd earlier in the year, and soon after I had joined tCC officially! It was one of two dvd collections based on classic novels I had hoped would not only encourage me to expand my tCC List but encourage me forward towards reading the classics on a more regularly basis! Clearly I sidestepped a bit from that goal, but there was always a twitch of anxiety to begin this one for me.

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë | My only attachment to the Brontë’ sisters is my readings of Jane Eyre which began during the Septemb-Eyre RAL in 2013; a RAL I had meant to continue forward with in step with the reading pace of my classically passionate friend Maggie (previously of ‘An American in France’ thus redefined as ‘Macarons & Paperbacks’) — yet haven’t yet found the hours to pick up from whence I left off! This includes an attempt to read Eyre during Horror October! Oy vie. I have had my eyes on her sisters for awhile and felt it was a fitting time to include one of them on this list; yet a bit daunting too, as I know their styles are entirely different from one another!

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell | I am personally a champion & enthused reader of Gaskell without ever once reading one of her novels! I had an instant connection to Gaskell first and foremost as a fellow writer (the appreciation I am referencing here also applies to Austen) and then shifted into the merriment of a reader who was discovering the breadth of her work whilst researching the life she lived. This was actually a purchase request I turnt in at my local library whereupon they acquired a beautiful hardback copy of the novel and the BBC/Masterpiece PBS adaptation of the novel at the same time. In hindsight, I wanted to read the novel prior to seeing the mini-series yet I ended up seeing Part 1 of the mini-series and as I was left emotionally shattered I never picked up the book! I have since spoilt myself on spoilers and learnt at least that I can handle what happens in Part 2! Only just barely! Hence why this is under the 5 novels I’m a bit unsure if whether or not I’m ready to read them!

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy | I recently felt re-inspired to start reading War and Peace due to my recent visit with #LitChat where I had the pleasure of talking about the novel I have been attempting to read since February! In fact, my War and Peace main post will finally publish on my blog this weekend as I simply haven’t had the proper chance to conclude my thoughts on how I want to read it and why I felt 2014 was the right year to tackle the breadth that is Tolstoy! Therefore, this is an obvious choice for me to include under the thread of a ‘daunting’ read, as who tackles War and Peace followed by Anna Karenina!

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Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier | A lot of the books I want to read follow in sequence after reading Rebecca; within the last year alone I have stumbled across sequel authors and/or continuations of the story Du Maurier inspired from her original work. It is a novel I have wanted to start for a long time but I felt it might be the interesting to see if it comes up in the SPIN.

The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern | Of all the different start times I’ve tried to get into The Night Circus, it was last Christmas (2013) when I nearly found myself able to stay with the story! I heard a bit about this prior to becoming curious about reading it myself — but to be honest, I found it through my local library before anyone started to talk about it exclusively one way or the other. It is what I read on the opening pages that has kept my attention for nearly a full year! I want to know more of this story and perhaps now I can!?

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe | This was one of my personal gifts to myself for one of my birthdays, where I wanted to try to find a new author who was writing an incredible novel set in an era that either I had an interest to dig into more and/or was a new thread of story that held my attention as soon as I read the premise. Deliverance Dane fit that part of history where witch hunts and prejudice against people who were living a different life were running rampant against the truth of who they actually were.

Daughters of the Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt | Prior to reading Illuminations, I enjoyed learning more about the author via her website where I found a bit of a back-story on why she wrote Daughters of the Witching Hill and the measure of truth her own research yielded to become revealed on the historical women she rooted her story to focus on. It was such a captivating premise within an enriched part of the historical past that is not always given a focus in modern literature. I originally foresaw reading this alongside Deliverance Dane and will do so if one of them pops up in the SPIN!

The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley | Even before one of the Mods for #LitChat approached me about conversing about reading this novel, I had already earmarked myself to read this particular title! This is another classic example of the beautiful books I discover through browsing my local library’s card catalogue! I get excited seeing which books are being added to the collection as a whole and which new authors are penning stories who write outside the regular releases to wink at you to read!

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith | Earlier in 2014 or late in 2013, I had the pleasure of seeing a motion picture adaptation of this on Turner Classic Movies (TCM), although at the time I hadn’t been aware of that fact! There was a turning point in the film where I sort of put the pieces together for myself, to where I realised the title of the film and the fact it was a film based off a novel I had already thought to add to my tCC List! As even back in 2013, I was planning the books I would include on the list once I had my blog set-up to where I could join!

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender | A library find I was uncertain at first if I truly wanted to read because it was such a clever story that steps outside it’s own shelving spot! I like stories which push themselves out of a ‘genre’ designation because at the end of the day, I thrive on the craft of stories and the gift of story-telling; to me a story’s genre selection is not as important as the story within the pages of the novel! As I was setting up this list I saw the title on my tCC List and felt, “Why not?”

Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery | I honestly attempted to borrow this from a local library attached to a church I was attending in 2013 but the hours were not in my favour as the borrow time was limited. What fascinated me the most is there was a whole new series of novels by Montgomery I hadn’t discovered when I was younger! I am not sure how I missed Emily of New Moon when I devourted Anne of Green Gables!?

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen + The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni| For my last two selections I wanted to take a bit of a magical diversion in my reading selections as both The Sugar Queen & The Mistress of Spices are selections I made for reading more “Magical Realism”. They are not the only ones I choose to focus on for this SPIN either, but these two particular novels have enchanted me since I first breathed in their book synopsises and/or since I saw the film adaptation! There is a beautifully eloquent Bollywood inspired film for The Mistress of Spices (of which I have blogged about in the past) whose dream sequences, musical interludes, and the setting of the story at a spice market left me bewitched! I have wanted to read the novel ever since I first saw Aishwarya Rai on screen for the first time!

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Reader Interactive Question:

Are any of my SPIN choices a novel that interests you?

Have you previously read one of them? IF so, include a link in your comment!

How do you curate your SPIN lists for tCC?

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UPDATE: 10th Monday, November 2014

Ooh, this is seriously beyond exciting!! Not only did I get a book I had put on my ‘short list’ of hopefuls to come out of the SPIN *but!* the tCC SPIN # is my LUCKY 13! I am over the moon in wicked sweet joy for this tCC SPIN READ! Ooh, boy! I’m simply bursting! Talk about a book I’ve been wanting to read for half an age and never could get myself motivated to pick it up!? Ooh, boy!

Lest I mention the tCC published a stellar survey for members!

Monday this week simply ROCKS!

For three key reasons:

  1. My SPIN # Choice is bang-on brilliant!
  2. I’m blogging & sharing my thoughts on book 2 of
    Piercing the Veil this evening!
  3. A new fun-loving survey about *books!* & my admiration for the *classics!*

How’s your Classic SPIN Monday going!?

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The first 5 Classic Science Fiction Book Selections are part of my contribution of:

SFN 2014 Participant badge created by Jorie in Canva

{SOURCE: Wildlife photography by Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story, badge edited & created in PicMonkey by Jorie. Sci Fi Month badge created by Jorie in Canva.Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Friday, 7 November, 2014 by jorielov in Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Bookish Discussions, British Literature, Children's Classics, Children's Literature, Classic Horror, Classic Mystery, Classic Science Fiction, Classical Literature, Crime Fiction, Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Library Catalogues & Databases, Library Find, Literary Fiction, Literature of India, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, RALs | Thons via Blogs, Reading Challenges, Sci-Fi November, Science Fiction, tCC The Classics Club, tCC The Classics Club SPIN, Time Travel

_+ #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

Top Ten Tuesday #1 | Top Ten Books for Autumn: TBR Choices!

Posted Thursday, 19 September, 2013 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 2 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 17th of September, 2013: Top Ten Books for Autumn | TBR Choices!

Each of the books listed below will re-direct to the author’s page dedicated to their novel!

I decided to focus on the books that have intrigued me over the score of the past nine months, as much as highlighting a few choices that are books by which, I have waited years to appreciate and settle into their delicious worlds! Therefore, this is a hodgepodge listing of books I’ll be reading via my local library or off one of my bookshelves! It is a curious jaunt through history, time, setting, and place! I would have to speculate that everyone taking part in today’s List will be just as cleverly unique in their choices as I am!

The Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle

Ever since I made my rounds through the blog tour for Queen’s Gambit, I found myself quite a bit more intrigued by the life of Katherine Parr! And, therefore, the lives of the Tudors, of whom, are one of the under read of all eras for England in my reading life! What drew me in quite readily into her story, is how determined she was to succeed given a plight of circumstances that most would not know how to artfully overcome, much less save their heads & lives in the process! She was living in an age, where men trumped women to the fullest extent of the term, and where, having your individualistic views, heart, and ethics were tantamount to getting yourself executed!

I became rapidly endeared to her, and to the turmoil such as her life befell her, from the brink of happiness after Henry VIII passed from this life, I nearly felt as though he still had a grip on the outcome of her future, as there were hintings of ill-fated romance throughout the tour, once she ends up in the arms of her beloved Thomas Seymour! I felt as though he is a sure-fire cad and a most arduous rogue!

I originally learnt about this book through Book Browse (it was a First Impressions selection!) and Shelf Awareness (which adverted a bookaway contest!), which made it seem all the more apparent, that by the time I discovered the book was ‘going on tour’, I would thus continue to follow its progress! Queen’s Gambit was on tour with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours [one of the book tour companies I am working with to host upcoming books this November!], between 12 August – 13 September 2013. You can still follow the tour route if your curious about seeing the different perspectives of the bloggers, as I only will highlight a few here! Despite entering contests to win a copy of this book, I am most assuredly will be reading this through my local library, by which, I am in the next position to receive it! I cannot remember if I had placed it on hold once before or naught, but this time around, I believe the timing will be rather keen!

The reviewers I appreciated reading the most heartily were the following:

Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle Showcases the Compassionate Katherine Parr, Sixth Wife to Henry VIII (hookofabook.wordpress.com – Oh, for the Hook of a Book)

Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle (peekingbetweenthepages.com)

‘Queens Gambit’ Author Elizabeth Fremantle Q&A (thetudorbookblog.com)

The Tudor Book Blog Book Reviews: ‘Queens Gambit’ by Elizabeth Fremantle (thetudorbookblog.com)

Blog Tour: 133 Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle (dreyslibrary.com)

Book Tour, Review, & Giveaway: Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle (alwayswithabook.blogspot.com)

If you do drop by the tour page, you’ll find rather happily that there are *three videos!* awaiting you! One is the book trailer for “Queens Gambit” and the other two are the author herself, explaining the rich history that evolves inside the book! Likewise, if you click over to the author’s website, you’ll find an excerpt and trailer!

I paused the clip when I realised it was relaying a bit of medical narrative, as I was not in the mood to listen to medical descriptions whilst I type this post! However, I liked the choice of narrator! I am always a bit nervous about the inclusions of medical drama, as there was such a time I could handle it far better than now, as I was an ER-girl way back when it originally aired! On top of which, medical dramas & ME dramas were always series I felt drawn into quite readily! These days!? I’m lucky if I can handle NCIS by averting my eyes during the death or morgue scenes! Sighs. As it’s the ‘family’ on NCIS that keeps me interested!!

The Irresistible Blueberry Bake-Shop and Cafe by Mary Simses

The entire basis for my encouragement to read this particular book, and by which, I made a purchase request at my local library to acquire, is due to a curious mentioning of said book in a note-card I received from my Nordic friend! The complete story surrounding this curious introduction is spilt out in my previous post, entitled ‘Reading Knows No Boundaries‘. I was beyond elated to see the book arrive so quickly after requesting it, and as is the custom, the requester gets the privilege to read the book first!! Sadly, for me, I did not get much past the short excerpt that you can hear through this clip, as my heart was willing to push into an all-night read fest ahead of its return, but my eyes were not as agreeable! I sort of fell asleep whilst attempting to read it in one-sitting!! I have resumed my que in line to read it as it made its rounds to other readers in my library district, noting that I moved down from 1 to 9, and I’m around position 7 at the moment! This must mean that the book not only progresses well from the opening chapters, but that is a book everyone is savouring if they are taking the full fortnight to read! Either that, or I am not the only one plagued by interruptions in my reading life!

What enticed me into the story, was the nodding it gives to Hallmark Channel’s Original Movie “Daniel’s Daughter”, where a neat and tidy exec is attempting to resolve a ‘slight issue of family business’ prior to walking down the aisle! She finds instead, that she shouldn’t have shunned her hometown nor her best friend from childhood for such an extended absence! The delight for the appreciator of relationship-based romances is what ensues from there, and how antiques, small townes, and quirky neighbours unite inside the journey one woman takes to go home! (if you couldn’t tell it’s one of my favourites!) Moving back into the ‘Blueberry Bakeshop’ for a moment, in the early chapters, I noticed a cross-similarity in the protagonist’s method of reasoning with Katherine in “Daniel’s Daughter”.

I was yearning to go forward from there, but the mystery will have to remain intact for now! Perhaps it’s best that Autumn is still dawning here in the South, as you’d have mistook our September for high noon in Summer! Our clime is not akin to rust coloured leaves, dipping temperatures, whippy breezes, and pumpkins aglow for the harvest season! We’re sweltering and melting rather slowly, wondering what it is like to live with half the sunshine we’re blessed to experience!? Give me fog! Give me grey skies! Give me Autumn! Dare I mention, that the fact she’s uprooted into a completely new environment, way of life, and towne that draws her into its nexus and heart!? That she’s on the brink of a life altering choice, which attracts me to no end to read the climax and ending? Autumn for me is a season full of delightful and unexpected changes. Daring months to seek out an adventure and do something rather extraordinarily different!

For a reason I am not sure I understand, this excerpt fails to reveal that the ‘picture’ in the paper that has her all in disarray, is a passionate embrace of a kiss by her rescue swimmer! I reveal this here, in case you click on ‘play’ and feel a bit lost! This doesn’t reveal anything except to set up the opening sequence your going to listen too! When I reached the ending of this sequence in the book itself, I thought ruefully, “Isn’t that the backwards way of resolving the issue at hand? Wouldn’t a mass sell-out of an uneventful local paper draw further attention to the AP Wire Press? As to why that particular issue was sold-out suddenly? Wouldn’t it have been better to ignore it completely and let the story die where it was printed?” What about you!? What are your thoughts on this scene!? And, remember, I didn’t get very far along yet, so don’t spoilt what happens next!! 

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

The soundtrack of music that accompanies this book is ethereally enchanting!

It’s worth clicking over to listen too!

Listen to an audio excerpt on this page for this novel!

{ update: as of October 2014 the audio excerpt is no longer available }

A book whose rich historical tapestry drew me into its folds long before I arrived at Barnes & Noble to select which hardback edition I would be taking home with me! I remember it was a kiss-hallo to Autumn that year, and I was curious about selecting a book that would alight in my mind’s eye, a fully embodied sense of time and place. A story that I could become enraptured and enchanted by at the very same time. I was looking for something rather different and unique, a bit out of the ordinary of what I might have selected for myself at the time, and a new author, if possible! I wanted to continue to carve out a way to find writers who stood out from the pack, and delivered something hearty for their readers to chew on! I felt that I had found all of this and a bit more in Katherine Howe’s début novel!

This book has been winking at me from the shelf I placed it on, evermore making me curious to settle into a comfy chair and open the text to see what awaits my curious eyes! The full background and research that went into this book, I uncovered from somewhere around the time of purchase, but I am not remembering exactly where I read it, but I have a sneakingly familiar notion that it was included in a write-up on début authors inside the little booklet that Barnes & Noble provides!? It’s the booklet (forgetting its name?!) that reveals the premise of books that are releasing and a bit about their authors!? From that short snippet, I know I must have gone online directly and unearthed even more! I appreciated the dedication of Ms. Howe to represent the novel and the history behind the story in such a beautiful way!

To find a story that is in of itself a historical mystery, that revolves around one woman’s intentions of unlocking the suspense and allure around a hidden and lost book of knowledge, excites me rather readily! I love mysteries that tip the scales of history on their axis, and make you, as a reader on the tip of discovery alongside the character who is doing the sleuthing!

Again, the music evokes a certain atmospheric tilting, and as the narrative begins, you are entering into a wholly different time and place. Pulling back the shades and veils on our American history, until you arrive at the late 1600’s, where superstitions ran rampant. The cures and tinctures of apothocarists and herbalists were still very much suspicious to the general populace. Next to a mid-wife, an apothocarist was not without their measurements of judgement. Howe is etching into our eyes, not only the distinctive time in history that we are arriving into, but the murmurs of everyday life. She chooses her words carefully and artfully to gain full disclosure of what we are drinking in. And, this I appreciate very much!

Into the Free by Julie Cantrell

Listen to an audio excerpt on Oasis Audio!

I am a regular visitor to Southern Belle View, and have been such, since January 2013 when I first discovered this lovely blog filled with five extraordinary women, each of them a published author; four for fiction, one for non-fiction. They etch their books with stories of heart and soul, binding their audience into a comfort oasis of faith and peace. Their characters (of the four who write fiction), are strong of fortitude, lean on their faith, and have the uncanny way of finding themselves in a muddlement of adversity, coming-of-age, and/or of a life change that is about to be thrust upon them! At least, from what I can gather of their stories from afar, as up until I read “The Prayer Box”, I have merely been a visitor happy to spend time with the women of the Porch! If their blog is any indication of their own character and gift they bestow to us through their writings, I can attest that they are warm-hearted, caring, and personable,… devoted to their time with each other as much as giving of time with their readers. Drop by sometime if you haven’t yet already! I encourage you to meet them as I have come to know them!

Having said this, “Into the Free” is one of the books I’ve checked out of the library far too numerous of times to even dare to admit possible, but in the waiting that I have had to read this novel, the more curious I have become to know of its central character: Millie! Throughout the long months of the 2013 leading into September, a curious new chapter of Millie’s life was revealed in the 1 September 2013 release “When Mountains Move” which picks up the story where the last began! As I have not yet read this first installment, I am a bit in the dark and out of the loop! I did, however, attempt to drop by the Porch each day last week whilst the showcase was on the sequel, but having not felt very well in the ending days of the week, I regret I missed most of what was exchanged!

A curious note should be made that one of my favourite literary exploitations is of Southern Lit and of Southern Gothic! I am not as widely versed in either, but I have gathered a knowledge and cursory knowing of which authors might tempt me to read their stories as much as which stories might endeavour me to wrap my heart around them! Ms. Cantrell (& the ladies of the Porch) are amongst this short list I have been compiling! Therefore, I am hoping that once I conclude this novel, I can move on into the others that have interested me as well! I am finding these stories a bit of a calming balm and that is a credit to the authors who pen them!

I re-directed you to the Fantastic Fiction page for “Into the Free” as try as I could, I did not find the synopsis page on Ms. Cantrell’s blog! Although, there is a nice overview on the audio excerpt page! I am not sure who is reading Millie’s spunky and curiously engaging observations, but her vocalisation of Millie is endearing me to reading her story moreso now than before I ever heard her voice! Parts of this is reminded me a bit of how much I loved “The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate”! A book I need to re-read at some point, so that I can convey my full appreciation for its story here on my blog! It’s one of those books that stays with you a bit, long after you’ve put it down! And, I have a suspicion, that Millie and her story inside “Into the Free” is going to be the next one that lingers warmly with a smile on my lips and a hitching in my heart! Listen to her keen awareness in this excerpt and decide if you too, want to embark with her on her journey!

Lucid Stars by Andrea Barrett

I alluded to my reasonings of why I want to dig into the works of Andrea Barrett, in a foreshadowed posting entitled: Austen, her name is Jane Austen! Except to say, that Jane Austen wasn’t the total focus of my post that day, as I was eluding to why I have been fascinated by the works of Ms. Barrett for most of my young years! She’s an incredible inspiration for a reader as much as a writer, and it’s her style of story-telling and the inter-connectedness of her collective works that allows me to think in new ways by which, we as writers create our written legacies, in whole new dimensions of space and mirth! It’s not oft you come across a writer like Ms. Barrett, and I am keenly thankful to finally be at a place where I can start to uncover the words she’s leaving behind!

In this first book, Ms. Barrett introduces us to a rather ordinary family who is transitioning through life changes that will not shock nor surprise many readers, as she is not the first author to explore this particular issue that disrupts the bliss of domestic life. I have always appreciated the landscape of her prose is inter-connected to the skillful observations of a poetic mind inclined to drawing a line of metaphoric symmetry to stitch her stories together! I appreciate that the title of this book is a key to unlocking the true meaning and essence of why she penned it!

I was not able to uncover much about this first book of Andrea Barrett, except there are a few videos on YouTube where she is being interviewed, yet they are discussing other books that she has written since this one was published. Not to be outdone by the absence of material online, I did unearth a review by Kirkus, which might give you a bit of a further clue as to how different her writing style is and what the lay of the story involves!

Finding Camlann by Sean Pidgeon

Read an excerpt in lieu of audio on the publisher [W.W. Norton]’s page for this book.

This was a novel that was adverted through Shelf Awareness earlier in 2013, as a bookaway contest, by which I did enter, but did not win. I was hoping at some junction down the road it would end up in the library’s catalog, as the premise and back-story of research that yielded this book endeared me to the author & the story he told! The quest of writing this particular novel was expanded over half of this writer’s adult life! I can attest that writing a novel takes a heap of time, whilst your involved with living your life, and it did not shock me to read this revelation on his website, because it nearly is truth to form a telling of my own journey as a writer! It’s not your typical historical fiction début, as it allows for more than the regular appearances of contextual time, place, and setting to evolve the story forward in motion.

The legend behind King Arthur is one that always left me wantonly curious to know more of the story! I regret that I never found the time to sit and read about Arthur in the past, but perhaps, if I had, I might not be able to drink in this narrative with the new eyes that I will bring into it!? I oft find myself musefully reflective about how the choices we make in our reading lives have direct impacts on our appreciations of each story we read! If we were to have read one particular book or sequence of books on the same vein of subject or topic, would that then, change or alter, our future perceptions of similar readings!? It makes you curious to denote that for each choice we make, there is a curious nodding of serendipity guiding us as we shift forward! As how can we ever be too early or too late to pick up a book that we’re interested in reading!? And, who is truly to say, which order is best for each reader who alights into the world the book provides!?

If I were ever to have a choice between reading an excerpt or listening to one, I might feign in preference for an audio clip! Mostly as I do not always like to dig too deep into the story that I am about to read, although this differs between book to book, so I cannot readily say, I will never read a full excerpt of a novel, because, point of fact truth, I already have in other instances! In this one, though, I yielded to watching the book trailer which is on his personal website! Again, I applaud the atmospheric music!!

The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James

Listen to an audio excerpt on Simply Audiobooks.

One of my favourite haunts in the blogosphere, is actually the blog of a published author: Lauren Willig, of the Pink Carnation series! I cannot recollect when I first started to drop by her blog, as for a few years, I was awaiting the right moment to join in on reading her blog with the other readers’ who had already become acquainted with her series! Perhaps, I am inclined to guilt on this score, when it comes to becoming engaged with writers, yet, I do not always feel this way, as foresaid, I have been visiting the Porch without any foreknowledge of the writers’ books therein! Whichever caused my hesitation, I amended it, and nearly each week, I would check in to see ‘what was new’ with Ms. Willig! Much to my delight, she regularly shares her reading life (by which has ten-folded expanded my own TBR List!), in various re-occurring features!

This is one of the authors she shared on her blog, although, the second book is the book she referenced in her post! By which is entitled: An Inquiry into Love and Death. The title grabbed me at ‘hallo!’ and I knew I wanted to read it instantly! I had long since started a quest for seeking out Gothic stories as much as underlit stories of paranormal origins that did not fall into the ready category of parapsychological fiction that is all the rage at the current moment! I am a bit picky when it comes to which story whets my interest and which story averts my attention completely! This is of the style I am seeking!

The story is set in 1922 as it unfolds, with that curiously familiar tonings of British life found in London. It’s a rather abrupt sample of this story, but what I enjoyed the most was listening to how the author’s name is said aloud, as I wasn’t sure of the infliction for “Simone”. Cheers to uncovering this, as I am usually always the one who says author’s names and their character names rather creatively! One thing I can say, is that if there is a ghost story such as this, I am most keen to read it!

The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley

I am not sure when I originally discovered this book, but I do remember I was meant to participate in a Booktalk Nation event, where she was being interviewed. What drew me into the story were the parapsychological elements that I like to see included in stories, time to time, such as the gift of first sight! Combine this gift with the art world, and I couldn’t have been more over the moon for wanting to read this story! What is intriguing for me, is the aspect of a simple touch can lead to the greatest journey you’re not expecting to take and a hidden history of an artifact that proves provenance! I like how this appears to be a time slip novel as well, as the story shifts between different time points to convey the story forward!

I now realise what the opening sequence is pertaining too, as its a telepathic connection that she’s not sure she wants to engage in, but cannot keep the subject of her intruding thoughts away from her. I love how she’s quite determined to blend into regular society, as if nothing paranormal had occurred! Or, that she is slightly different and unique from the other commuters on the route to work! I am thinking that this is a story of not only a woman who holds the key to a piece of art’s provenance, but rather still, a woman who embarks on a journey that perhaps leads her to accepting who she is and the gift she’s been given!

Loving a Lost Lord by Mary Jo Putney

Listen to an audio excerpt of this novel on AudioGo.

I was first introduced to Ms. Putney’s writings as a young girl, age 10 or 11, who had stumbled across her inclusion in the Victorian Christmas novella collections! I have always had a hankering for Victorian literature, most keen was I on the romances, and of course, if the dashing men and ladies could have a story set around the Christmastide, you should know, I would always be there to greet the festivities!! There is just something quite natural about the Victorians and Christmas! For nearly nine full months now, I have been hanging out with the Wenches (The Word Wenches), by which, Ms. Putney is a regular contributor! Here, I am getting a quick overview and proper introduction to today’s world of romance, bent on historicals and enriched by research by women who love their craft!

I have long since wanted to sort out which Putney novel I can read now as an adult, as time eclipses off the clock ever so quickly, that when you think you have a world of time at your fingertips, you start to beg to wonder!? Why not start now!? In this way, I have settled on her first book “Loving a Lost Lord” of the series, The Lost Lords. Whilst listening to the latest in this series coming out this year [Sometimes A Rogue], I think it spurned my interest to settle into this series first before the others!

This audio clip introduces us to the back-story of “the Lost Lords”, who had met as youngsters who were in a special group of students who needed a modified series of instruction, if my ears heard right!? My computer’s speakers are grieving me slightly, as the muttering of the computer is superceding the vocality of the narrator! I used the Fantastic Fiction link to give the premise of the novel, as the page on her personal website provided a written excerpt rather than the synopsis. I included the main page for her Fantastic Fiction as a way to scroll to see the Victorian Christmas novellas I was mentioning!

Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman

I came across her first novel, “Saving Cee Cee Honycutt” through my local library, but having not read it, I decided to introduce myself to her writing through this second novel. Generally, I read the first book I come across, but after listening to the audio excerpt, it became even more apparent that this story would nestle itself into my imagination, as readily as “The Prayer Box” had, as it’s one of those gentle stories that glides into your life at just the right moment to appreciate its meaning. In fact, I think between “Into the Free” and “Looking for Me”, I shall be entertaining quite lovely company!

The narrator of this story has a smooth and calming Southern presence that allures you into the world she’s introducing you too! It reminds me of the scene in “Doc Hollywood”, when Michael J. Fox rang the Grady Weather Forecast phone number, just to listen to the voice on the other end of the line. A calming balm to his stress and situation so far removed from Grady. I think sometimes stories like these niche themselves into our peripheral view, at a moment where a glistening of hope and a story of transformation could be just the right story for the season that we are entering! As foresaid, I always lamented that Autumn is a season for new experiences and unexpected adventures, and this book stays true to that point of view!

Those of you have a keen sense of knowing when and how I curate my blog, will already be readily aware that there is a new “category” in my sidebar, which reflects “Publishers on SoundCloud”! Like the counter productive category of “Publishers on Scribd”, this is a new resource I am finding to use as a book blogger! Not only on that level, is my interest entranced with audiobooks, but rather, my keen interest in seeing if I can partake of an audiobook as ambient atmosphere as a backdrop to knitting! I have oft heard stories of knitting groups that select different audiobooks to knit alongside too, as our minds and hearts are always on our stitches, but it’s nice to have a rhythm in the background as a guide to follow as well! I loved the idea! Most keen was the notion that the most recommended genre is cosy mystery! I never had the proper chance to seek out audiobooks until recently [as part of Classics Re-Told ], and so in this way, I am treading into new territory! My only offense would be to note, that there is a streamline shift off audiobooks on CD to audiobooks ONLINE or in digital download formats!!

I hope not to sound like a broken record here, but although, the ‘snippets’ of previews for audiobooks is keenly helpful through SoundCloud, my preference is to listen to an audiobook in a traditional format of audio synchronicity! In this way, I will always seek out books in CD formats, by which, I am not co-dependent on my computer (&/or other tech gadgets!)! Which in my mind, defeats the whole point, as I’d rather stay flexible and fluid as I read and discover stories! I recognise the changing tech, but personally, I love my ‘offline’ life and world! I realise too, you can pick up portable digital devices that work with headphones, but seriously, sometimes you just love the tech you love, and try to limit the ‘extra’ tech you do not necessarily need! Right!? At least, this is true for me! We each must be true to who we are at all times!

My question to you, the reader, which do you prefer!? As a method of previewing a book ahead of reading it!? And, if you could, rather than simply state one a quick response, give a bit of a leeway into why its your preference and/or preferences of choice!?

A. Chapter Excerpts (via Author Websites, Blog Book Tours, Publisher Websites, Scribd, etc.)

B. Book Teaser OR full-on Book Trailers (via YouTube, Vimeo, or elsewhere) as well as searching for author interviews that could be archived.

C. Audio Excerpts (via SoundCloud or similar sites)

D. Reading an author’s biography, bibliography, book synopsis prior to looking up their personal site &/or blog to see if you can find further information about their writing life or novels.

E. Following their book tour either virtually (Blog Book Tour Stops, Facebook Parties, Twitter Parties, Newsletter Giveaways, Website/Blog Bookaway Contests, Booktalk Nation Interviews, etc.) or physically showing up at one of their dedicated tour stops. Oft times in this medium of gathering information, you are most likely able to speak to the author directly and can ask questions that pertain to their latest book OR a book off their back-list that intrigues you. As well as having the opportunities to ‘win!’ their book!

F. Speaking to your librarians to see if they have read the author in question and can relate to you a bit about their style of story-telling.

G. Seeking out book blogs of which might contain snippets of the author’s career, through past interviews, guest posts, blog book tours, OR simply a book of theirs was reviewed by the book blogger which can offer a further clue as to determine your level of interest.

H. Speaking to your friends, family, and circle of reader enthused souls who might be able to give their impression of the author OR the style of the book, if it contains a theme or genre that is known to them.

I. Any combination of the above!

[I specifically fall under the “I” category in total!]

[I originally intended to post this on Wednesday afternoon.]

[And, I’ll tell you one thing: I am quite keen on audiobooks now!

Wow! It’s like theatre on the radio!]

[This marks my second contribution for:]

That Friday Blog Hop

[*NOTE: Any and all purchase links that are attached to SoundCloud are not affiliated with Jorie Loves A Story.]

{SOURCES: Audio Excerpts of: “The Queen’s Gambit” by Elizabeth Fremantle, “The Irresistible Blueberry Bake-Shop and Cafe” by Mary Simses, “The Firebird” by Susanna Kearsley and “Looking for Me” by Beth Hoffman were provided by embed share codes by SoundCloud. Jorie Loves A Story badge created by Ravven with edits by Jorie in PicMonkey. That Friday Blog Hop badge provided by XOXO Rebecca where the weekly event is hosted.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

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Posted Thursday, 19 September, 2013 by jorielov in Antiques, Arthurian Legend, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Browse, Coming-Of Age, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Library Find, Life Shift, Literary Fiction, Parapsychological Suspense, Rebels and Rogues, Shelf Awareness, Small Towne Fiction, Soundcloud, That Friday Blog Hop, Time Slip, Top Ten Tuesday, Tudor Era, Women's Fiction