Favorite books of 2021 (and 2020)

My blog is new, so I've never picked out favorite books for a year, but here we go. My ten faves for 2021, fiction and nonfiction, out of the 66 books I read: 1. New Testament -- the recent translation by David Bentley Hart 2. Notre Dame de Paris Translated by Alban Krailsheimer 3. Lonesome … Continue reading Favorite books of 2021 (and 2020)

Hero, meet your villain; or, never mind

It's a common trope in fiction: a final confrontation between the central hero of a story and its central villain. It's an important trope in Westerns, both on the page and screen -- Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven" is just one famous example. And we see it in works of fiction that are too many to count: … Continue reading Hero, meet your villain; or, never mind

Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary Discuss Their Suicides

"Anna Karenina" is not quite letting me go. Partly that's because it was just that good. I went back to re-read Part 8; and generally I don't re-read books until years later; but I had to drink in that last section of the novel again, and slowly. Partly the book is hanging on because I've … Continue reading Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary Discuss Their Suicides

The Female Quixote

December 31, 2020 I’ve read Charlotte Lennox's “The Female Quixote” (Kwicksoht), and I struggled through much of the first half, but the effort was well worth it.  I flew through the last 100 pages. Lennox’s novel was inspired by Cervantes and later inspired Austen, two authors I’ve recently discovered, so I really wanted to read … Continue reading The Female Quixote

Jane Austen stats

November 24, 2020 If I searched right, the terms “persuasion” and “persuade”, or variations like “persuadable”, appear – 68 times in “Emma” 46 times in “Mansfield Park” 52 times in “Pride and Prejudice” 42 times in “Sense and Sensibility” 32 times in “Persuasion” 24 times in “Northanger Abbey” The novels are listed from longest to … Continue reading Jane Austen stats

Northanger Abbey movie (2007)

November 16, 2020 I’ve just seen the 2007 version of “Northanger Abbey”, and maybe my expectations were too high, but it was disappointing.  Everything is too broad and obvious.  We know, for example, who are the bad apples because they are clearly, ominously bad as soon as we see them.  All mystery, ambiguity, and uncertainty … Continue reading Northanger Abbey movie (2007)

Northanger Abbey

November 13, 2020 Spoilers ahead Finished “Northanger Abbey.”  Ok, I’m going to be grossly unfair to Austen here, but I’ve got to call this one “The One With the Brothers and Sisters”: the Morlands (Catherine/James), the Thorpes (Isabella/John), and the Tilneys (Eleanor/Henry/Frederick). “Persuasion” can be “The One With the Widow(er)s.”  I guess “Emma” would have … Continue reading Northanger Abbey