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.

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.




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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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.


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.

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.