Sunday, January 24, 2021

BW4: Alexandre Dumas and The Count of Monte Cristo Readalong



“Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, 
be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is 
what you do when that storm comes.”
― Alexandre Dumas


Next week we begin our read of the adventure novel  The Count of Monte Cristo written by Alexandre Dumas

Book Synopsis:  "Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantes is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration."

Written in serialized format in 1844 -1845, the story is inspired by real life events which took place between 1815-1838 and real life people, among whom is Alexandre's father Thomas-Alexandre Davy de la Pailleterie, who was the highest ranking black officer during the Napoleonic wars, and thrown in prison,  along with fellow sailor and scientist Déodat de DolomieuThe story behind the story  is taken from the life of shoemaker Pierre Picaud, who was engaged to a rich woman, and falsely accused by three very jealous friends of spying for England, and is thrown in prison for a period of time, and uses his exploits during and after. 

We're going to take it slowly with plenty of time built in to talk about the story. The Count of Monte Cristo is composed of 117 chapters and we'll read three chapters a week, (approximately thirty pages give or take a few)  and get to know the characters,  dig into the themes presented, and allow us to explore rabbit trails.   The page numbers are based on the Penguin Classics paperback version, translated by Robin Buss. 

 


Chapters / Pages 

01 – 03 / 7 - 32
04 – 06 / 33 - 61
07 – 09 / 62 - 88
10 – 12 / 89 -111
13 – 15 / 112 – 147 
16 – 18 / 148 – 186 
19 – 21 / 187 - 211
22 – 24 / 212 – 235 
25 – 27 / 236 - 266
28 – 30 / 267 - 299
31 – 33 / 300 – 358 
34 – 36 / 359 – 412 
37 – 39 / 413 – 435 
40 – 42 / 456 -484 
43 – 45 / 485 – 524 
46 – 48 /  525 – 557
49 – 51 / 558 – 581 
52 – 54 / 582 – 620 
55 – 57 / 621 - 652
58 – 60 / 653 - 677
61 – 63 / 678 – 704 
64 – 66 / 705 – 732 
67 – 69 / 733 - 760
70 – 72 / 761 – 773 
73 – 75 / 774 - 820
76 – 78 / 821 - 860
79 – 80 / 861 - 895
81 – 83 / 896 – 931 
84 – 86 / 932 – 962 
87 – 89 / 963 - 986
90 – 92 / 987 - 1012
93 – 95 / 1013 – 1039
96 – 98 / 1040 – 1056  
99 – 101 / 1069 - 1090
102 – 104 / 1091 - 1115
105 – 107 / 1116 – 1150 
108 – 110 / 1151 – 1173 
111 – 113 / 1174 – 1206 
114  - 116 / 1207 – 1229 
117 / 1230 – 1243 

Alexandre Dumas was a prolific writer and if you've already read The Count of Monte Cristo, and don't want to reread it,  dive in to any one of his stories. If you have a hard time deciding, Molli of Discover Walks Blog suggests 5 Best Books Written by Dumas.   Bill Morris of the Millions explores Seven Reasons Why Alexandre Dumas Will Never Die.   

The story is available to read online through multiple resources including Gutenberg and the Literature Network  as well as in audio format.  


Do you have any preconceived notions about the story?  Have you watched the movie with either Richard Chamberlain or  Jim Caviezel?   

Please join me in reading The Count of Monte Cristo. 

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Sunday, January 17, 2021

BW3: Daughters of Mnemosyne - Kalliope

This week we begin our journey exploring stories and books influenced by the Nine Muses of Greek mythology, the Goddesses of the arts and sciences, who loved to sing and dance.  We'll delve into mythology, fictional retellings of the myths, the science of memory, climb up to the stars, dive into history, delight in comedy, indulge in music, dip your toes in poetry, the complexity of tragedies, and the beauty of ancient love poems. Analyze, question, and explore the symbols of each muse. There are a number of ways we can go with this challenge.  Learn more about the nine muses and follow your imagination. The possibilities are unlimited.  

We start with Kalliope (Calliope) who is the muse of epic hero poetry and eloquence. Her name means beautifully voiced and her symbols are a wax writing tablet and stylus. 


We turn from the antihero of last week to the hero who plays a huge role in epic poetry,  characterized by his superhuman strength and valor.  From Homer's Iliad and Odyssey to Ezra Pound's Canto's there are a wide variety of epic poems to choose from. This year also happens to be the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri and Italy is celebrating the Father of the Italian language 2021 and even Pope Francis hopes Dante's epic Divine Comedy inspires a whole new generation to engage with the poem.

The wax writing tablet was used for writing everything from lists to homework and Ancient Roman Tablets Reveal Voices of the Earliest Londoners.  

Read about The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women and the Artists They Inspired

Read a book which includes Calliope , other Greek Mythological Names, nine muses,  or muse in the title or a character in the story.  

Read about a character with a beautiful voice or is a musician

And just for fun  Write A Romance Novel And We'll Tell You Which Greek Muse You Are and share the results. 

Have fun following rabbit trails! 

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Please share your book reviews and link to your website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page. If you do not have a social media account, please leave a comment to let us know what you are reading. The link widget closes at the end of each book week.

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Sunday, January 10, 2021

BW2: 52 Books Bingo - Antihero

 



I have anti-heroes on my mind today and have been thinking about the differences between the antihero and the villain, or between the hero and the anti-hero.  My son and I have been watching you-tube videos by Harry Potter Theory about the Harry Potter series and they've posted several videos discussing Severus Snape, which has given me quite a bit of insight about the man. You never quite know whether to trust the man. What are his motives?  Is he good or bad, working for or against Harry?  

Joe Bunting from the Write Practice says:  "Snape, like all Anti-Heroes, represents what society detests: cruelty, cowardice, self-interest, and dishonesty. He is the opposite of the hero, a villain, and yet somehow he’s a villain on the good guys’ side."   

We love to hate them, but then again we have to trust that the good side will outweigh the bad side and they'll redeem themselves in the end. 

Since one of our 52 Books Bingo categories is the Antihero, your mission is to read a book with an antihero. 

Anti-heroes: The good bad boys of literature

Blurring the Lines: What Are Anti-Heroes and Anti-Villains?

Modern Literature's Greatest Anti Heroes And Unreliable Narrators

10 Literary Anti-Heroines That Make Their Male Counterparts Look Conventional

Best Anti-Hero Fantasy Books

The 20 Best Anti-Hero Books Ever Written

The Top 10 Fictional Antiheroes


Who is your favorite anti hero? 

Thanks to the theory videos, I'll be looking at Snape in a whole new light while rereading Harry Potter. 

Happy Reading! 

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Friday, January 1, 2021

BW1: Welcome to our Infinite Sky Reading Adventure



“Smell the sea and feel the sky, Let your soul and spirit fly.” – Van Morrison


Happy New Year, my lovelies!  I'm excited this year since our armchair travels are taking us around, over, and across the world again as we fly above the seven seas, through clear blue skies on the good ship Pumdeg Dau o Lyfrau airship, for another round of read 52 books in 52 weeks.  We'll be taking advantage of Hermione Granger's Time Turner,  Well's Time machine as well as Doctor Who's Tardis, all without upsetting the space time continuum of course, in our travels to go hither, thither, and yon.  

The goal is simple. Read 52 books and how you get there is entirely up to you. You can even set your own goal if you like. Read what you want, explore and dive into those longer books, engage your mind and soul and don't worry. Do your best, challenge yourself and you may be surprised to discover how many books you end up reading.

Our Fictional Librarians as well as the Daughters of Mnemosyne will be our guides this year, mixing fact and fiction, the old with the new, the magical with the technological, and the arts with the sciences.  If you are joining us for the first time, we have a number of challenges to entice you, including 52 Books Bingo with 20 bonus squares and side trips roaming the old Roman roads of England, exploring the Nobel prize winners of Literature, diving into the greats with Susan Wise Bauer's Well Educated Mind, or take a Mind Voyage through fantasy and science Fiction.  Plus the Dame Agatha Christie would like your assistance in solving a murder or two.  

All our annual and perpetual challenges as well as weekly or seasonal mini challenges are optional and meant to tickle your reading taste buds. Which generally results in having fun, getting lost (in a good way) following rabbit trails and an ever expanding list of books to read.  

We're going to dive right in and begin our adventure with Librarian Madam Irma Pince who will help you jump into the magical world of  Harry Potter, created by J.K. Rowling.

There are a variety of ways to complete this challenge with plenty of rabbit trails. Read a book with one or more of the following (but not limited to) and have fun exploring:

  • Spell out the first and/or last name of the character's name - one book per letter from the title on the cover
  • Spell out the first and/or last name of the author - one book per letter 
  • Read one or more books in the series.
  • Read any book written by the author
  • Follow in a character's footsteps and read a book set in the country or time period of the story.
  • Follow in the author's footsteps and read a book set in their place or time of birth.
  • Read a book with the first or last name of the character or author in the title

Our first book week will run through Saturday, January 9th.  

Grab your backpacks, scarves and goggles, a good pair of walking shoes and climb aboard and settle in for the ride. Please share your reading plans for 2021 and/or your reading wrap up for 2020 or tell us the books you are currently reading.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts and sharing our reading journey!  

 ~Cheers to a wonderful new reading year!

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Please share your book reviews and link to your website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page. If you do not have a social media account, please leave a comment to let us know what you are reading. The link widget closes at the end of each book week.

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Thursday, December 31, 2020

 WELCOME to the 2021 

READ 52 BOOKS IN 52 WEEKS 


Also home to 


Well Educated Mind, Agatha Christie, Mind Voyages, 

Sounds of Silence, Brit Trip perpetual challenges 

as well as our annual challenges 

52 Books Bingo, Fictional Librarians Bookology, and Daughters of Mnemosyne 


  • The rules are very simple 
  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021 
  • Our book weeks begin on Sunday
  • Week one begins on Friday, January 1st and run through January 9th
  • Participants may join at any time. 
  • All books are acceptable except children books.** 
  • All forms of books are acceptable including e-books, audio books, etc. 
  • Re-reads are acceptable as long as they are read after January 1, 2021
  • Books may overlap other challenges. 
  • If you have an blog, create an entry post linking to this blog. 
  • Sign up with Mr. Linky in the "I'm participating post" in the sidebar
  • If you don't have a blog or any social media account, post your weekly book in the comments section of each weekly post. 
  • Mr. Linky will be added to the bottom of the each weekly post for you to link to reviews of your reads. The link widget closes at the end of each book week

The goal is to read 52 books. How you get there is up to you. All the challenges are optional. Mix it up anyway you like. 



**in reference to children books. If a child is reading the book and involved in the challenge, then that's okay. If an adult is doing read aloud with kids, the book should be geared for the 9 - 12 age group and over 100 pages. If you are an adult reading for your own enjoyment, a good rule of thumb to use:  "is there some complexity to the story or is it too simple?" If it's too simple, then it doesn't count.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

BW52: 2020 Year End Wrap UP


 

The year is almost over and our cups may be running low, but they aren't empty yet.  Now's the time to brew another pot of words to fill them up again. So gather all the ingredients you need to make a whole new batch.  Fill your carafe with a mix of history, science fiction, math, romance, essays, mysteries, art, and folklore. Spice it up with a little bit of myth, accompanied by a splash of adventure.  And while you wait for your books to brew, let's take a moment to reflect. 

Tell us about your reading year? What were your goals this year? Did you have a plan, and/or follow rabbit trails or just wing it?

  • How many books did you read?  
  • Which were your favorite stories and which ones had the biggest impact on you.   
  • Which one made you giggle, weep, dance, or sing?   
  • Made you want to dive in and live in their world? 
  • Which book would you like to revisit? 
  • One book you thought you would love, but didn't? 
  • Which book would you recommend everyone read?
  • Did you discover any new to authors or genres?
  • Share your thoughts, opinions,  reading stats, favorite characters, covers or quotes.

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Maureen Doallas: “Reading Goodnight Moon”

Do you remember reading it?
*
Reading Goodnight Moon
is not like stopping
at McDonald’s
for your favorite double-shot latte.

You don’t drive through.

You take each word
in a languishing slide off the tongue,
naming what is named
that you never saw before.

Looking, finding, pointing delighted
in the room the moon the light
the red balloon that lifts

Darkness even as sleep
falls fast
and clock’s hands change

What you see changing
before a child’s eyes.

If you slow long enough
to take in what your child sees
with eyes that

Refuse to be moved
to a new page before
the first page is exhausted.

The last page you turn
holds the dream
you thought would never last:

A snuggling close closer still
beneath moon’s shadows.

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As Stephen King says "Books are a uniquely portable magic," and I hope your reads inspired and enlightened, transformed and transported you, and filled your life with knowledge, imagination, and pleasure. Thank you for joining me in another reading adventure and I'm looking forward to more bookish adventures.   Cheers to a happy reading new year!

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Link to your reviews. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field paste a link to your post, then check the privacy box and click enter. If you don't have a blog, leave a comment telling us what you have been reading. 



Sunday, December 20, 2020

BW51: December Solstice

 

Josephine Wall Snow Angel

Winter is coming in our neck of the woods with rain and snow on the horizon and all kinds of adjectives are coming to mind such as chilly, frosty, icy, foggy, rainy, frozen and so on and so forth.  Whatever shall we do?  

Go forth and brave the brisk, biting weather or cozy up with books about winter  or with winter in the title, while curled up on the couch, drinking cocoa by the fire.  Dip into feel good must reads or dance into the past with a winter romance.  

Maybe read about nippy arctic winds and frozen travelers exploring the North Pole in the Arctic or the South Pole in Antarctica.  Explore the polar regions or take an imaginary polar cruise and delve into one of  12 Must Read Books About Antarctica.  Don't forget to visit Iceland or Greenland during your armchair travels.  

Since Christmas is on our minds this week, dive into books about that which is just about everyone's favorite holiday with old St. Nick, Debbie Macomber's Christmas Angels, or Festive Christmas Books to Get You in the Holiday Spirit.  

Meanwhile I'll leave you with one of my favorite poems which puts me in a wintery, festive mood.


Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

by

Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here  
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   

My little horse must think it queer 
To stop without a farmhouse near  
Between the woods and frozen lake 
 The darkest evening of the year.   

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.   

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,  
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.


~~~~Cheers~~~~~

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Please share your book reviews and link to your website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page. If you do not have a social media account, please leave a comment to let us know what you are reading. The link widget closes at the end of each book week.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2020

2021 Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks

 

Courtesy of Jen Campbell



Are you ready to explore the world with another round of Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks?  The goal is simple - read 52 books. How you get there is up to you.  I'm in a follow my muse, clocks and corsets, dragon flying, explore the magical and mystical as well as the historical,  swashbuckling, take me out of this world mood.   What are you in the mood for? Whether you read fiction or nonfiction, like to spread your reading wings and read outside your comfort zone or stick with the tried and true, join me aboard The Roving Pum Deg Dau o Lygrau airship for a fun filled reading adventure.  

We have three new challenges to tease your reading palates in 2021.  An updated 52 Books Bingo with 20 bonus squares that will take us deep underground to the outer edges of space.  The Daughters of Mnemosyne  will fill us with creativity, wisdom and insight, and last but not least, the Fictional Librarians Bookology, will lead us to our author of the month and spelling challenge. 

We also have a variety of weekly, monthly mini challenges and perpetual challenges  including: 

Well Educated Mind --  Continue to explore the classics in 6 categories: Fiction, Autobiography, History/Politics, Drama, Poetry and Science. 

Agatha Christie  --  read at least three of her books per year.  Read the books in chronological order as listed, group by detective or collection, or randomly if you choose. 

Brit Tripping --- A year long mystery read traveling the Roman Roads through England reading reading a book from each of the 45 counties with a few extra trips to London. 

Plus Alphabet Soup, Dusty and Chunky, Feed Your Muse, Mind Voyages, Nobel Prize Winners and Sounds of Silence.

The mini and perpetual challenges are all optional, Mix them up anyway you like or follow your own path in the quest to read.  

  • The challenge runs January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021 
  • Our book weeks begin on Sunday
  • Week one begins Friday, January 1st and ends Saturday January 9th. 
  • Participants may join at any time. 
  • All books are acceptable except children books.** 
  • All forms of books are acceptable including e-books, audio books, etc. 
  • Re-reads are acceptable as long as they are read after January 1, 2021
  • Books may overlap other challenges. 
  • If you have an blog, create an entry post linking to this blog. 
  • Sign up in the "I'm participating post" in the sidebar
  • If you don't have a blog or social media account, post about your reads in the comments section of each weekly post. 
  • The link widget will be added to the bottom of each weekly post to link to reviews of your reads. The link widget closes at the end of each book week. 

I'm participating in 2021

 



I'm participating in 2021



Sunday, December 13, 2020

BW50: Thirteen things

 



Happy Sunday dear hearts!  Today is the 13th which reminds me that 2021 will be our thirteenth year of 52 books in 52 weeks. I'm excited for the new year and I'll post more about it later in the week.  

So what is it about the number 13?  Do you think of it as lucky, unlucky, or just a number? Well! 

13 is a prime number as well as a emirp, a happy number, a star number, one of the three Wilson primes, as well as a Fibonacci number. You and your kids may appreciate these 13 fun books about math and numbers.

Zeus was the thirteenth and most powerful of the Greek Gods.  Hmm! Makes me wonder who is the 13th Major Roman God.   Perhaps we need to move forward to explore any year xx13 or delve into the 13th Century.

How about reading a story with 13 in the title or is the 13th book in a series.  Check off another book in your TBR pile by reading the 13th book on one of your physical, virtual, or goodreads shelves.

Remember what it was like to become a teenager? Oh, the teenage angst!

There are approximately 13 moon cycles in the year as well as 13 weeks in each season – “Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall, all you have to do is call and I'll be there, yes I will."  Whoops, say hello James Taylor

In a deck of 52 cards, there are 13 cards in each suit of heartsdiamonds, spades, and clubs.

Numerology wise, 13 is a number of focus and pragmatism.

 And for those who love Doctor Who, 13 Doctor Who Books to get you through 2020!

 

Have fun exploring! Rabbit trails are a must! 

 

 

 

Link to week 49

 

Visit  52 Books in 52 Weeks where you can find all the information on the annual, mini and perpetual challenges, as well as share your book reviews with other readers  around the globe.

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Please share your book reviews and link to your website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page. If you do not have a social media account, please leave a comment to let us know what you are reading. The link widget closes at the end of each book week.

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Sunday, December 6, 2020

BW49: This is my Life by Willian Stanley Braithwaite


This is My Life

By

William Stanley Braithwaite 
(December 6, 1878- June 8, 1962)


To feed my soul with beauty till I die;
To give my hands a pleasant task to do;
To keep my heart forever filled anew
With dreams and wonders which the days supply;
To love all conscious living, and thereby
Respect the brute who renders up its due,
And know the world as planned is good and true—
And thus —because there chanced to be an I!


This is my life since things are as they are:
One half akin to flowers and the grass:
The rest a law unto the changeless star.
And I believe when I shall come to pass
Within the Door His hand shall hold ajar
I'll leave no echoing whisper of Alas!




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Sunday, November 29, 2020

BW48: Ladies of Fiction Bookology - Rumer Godden

 



Welcome to December!  This month we honor those who died on December 7, 1941 in Pearl Harbor, celebrate St Nicolas Day on the 6th, the beginning of Winter on the 21st, as well as Festivus, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Boxing day, and the all important Christmas book flood  Jólabókaflóð.  

We also are celebrating our Ladies of Fiction Bookology author of the month, Rumer Godden, writer of literary fiction novels, children's books, short stories, and poetry. Several of her books including Black Narcissus have been made into films and Television.  She resided and worked in both England and India and moved to Scotland the last years of her life to live with her daughter. Her last novel was published in 1998 before she passed away on November 8, 1998

There are a number of ways to complete the bookology challenge, including but not limited to:

Spell out the author's name - one book per letter from the title on the cover.

Read one or more books written by the author.

Read a book written in the country or time period of the author.


~Cheers and happy reading! 

 Please share your book reviews and link to your website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page. If you do not have a social media account, please leave a comment to let us know what you are reading. The link widget closes at the end of each book week.

In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field paste a link to your post, then check the privacy box and click enter.'