"And to this purpose"

"If people like to read their books, it is all very well, but to be at so much trouble in filling great volumes, which, as I used to think, nobody would willingly ever look into, to be labouring only for the torment of little boys and girls, always struck me as a hard fate; and though I know it is all very right and necessary, I have often wondered at the person's courage that could sit down on purpose to do it." (In other words: rambling analyses, opinions, ideas, views, and comments from an English major, Essay/paper-writing enthusiastic, Austen-loving Master Librarian on, well, Jane Austen...and a whole lot of other things, too.)

"Celebrated Passages are Quoted"

Heidi's favorite quotes

"What is it really like to be engaged?" asked Anne curiously. "Well, that all depends on who you're engaged to," answered Diana, with that maddening air of superior wisdom always assumed by those who are engaged over those who are not."— L.M. Montgomery

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

October Book Challenge

This is the least amount I've read all year! But two of those audio books were really long (10 hours & 20+ hours!) Not to mention I went on vacation and didn't have as much time to read, considering sleeping and having my books locked in a trunk of a car during a 4-hour car ride. Then there was all the time with friends. And making my Halloween costume. And, well, I guess I could actually say my social life got in the way of my reading. Wahoo! I'll take that as a positive. :-)

Read a book concerning America           
Come Juneteenth by Ann Rinaldi (post-Civil War in Texas)
The Undaunted: The Miracle of the Hole-in-the-Rock Pioneers by Gerald N. Lund (pioneers heading toward Four Corners)
Freshman for President by Ally Condie (US presidential election)

Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland by Sally M. Walker
They Knew the Prophet: Personal Accounts from Over 100 People Who Knew Joseph Smith by Hyrum & Helen Andrus
Mormon History 101 by Dan Barker

Readers Advisory by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
Rose Bride by Nancy Holder
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

October Totals

Audio = 3
Juvenile = 0
YA = 4
Adult = 5
Pages = 2665
Books = 9
Points = 75

Monday, October 17, 2011

September Book Challenge

I know. I'm way behind in posting this. But it's finally here. It felt like I didn't get much read, but I think it's because I had some long books in there.

Read a comic or manga           
Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
What Would Dewey Do? by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
Library Mascot Cage Match by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
Book Club by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
Read Responsibly by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
Frequently Asked Questions by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum

Read two nonfiction
Somewhere in Heaven: The Remarkable Love Story of Dana and Christopher Reeve by Christopher Andersen
The War to End all Wars: World War I by Russell Freedman

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Mirrorscape by Mike Wilks
Dream of Joy by Lisa See
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

September Totals

Audio = 5
Juvenile = 1
YA = 3
Adult = 10
Pages = 3397
Books = 14
Points = 110

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Early Birthday Present

I met Heather Dixon today!!!

And she's just as awesome as I knew she was.

Yes, I said "was" and not "would be." Because I've been stalking her blog for a few months now and I just knew she was awesome before meeting her.

Actually, she's probably more than awesome.

And I could tell I was right about another thing--we definitely would have been friends if we'd known each other in college! She's so personable and fun and funny and, well, fabulous. Can't wait to see her again in a few days!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

GoAnimate! OK.

I learned of a new site to try. It's an animator kind of site. The free account is extremely limited, giving you only a couple of scenes and a couple of characters to work with. But you get up to 10 lines of dialogue and it animates it for you. Which was funny to see how it turned out. I had no control over the voices and accents. Just what they said. It made my attempt at teens talking rather funny considering the office setting and the British/Australian accents! But it's all right for something extremely basic. I got a laugh at the result!

GoAnimate.com: Office Book Talk by MissHeidi

Like it? Create your own at GoAnimate.com. It's free and fun!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

That's Better

But still not quite what I had envisioned back in March.

I was granted the non-profit Animoto account. It allows me more choices in music and styles. Access to their photo and video collection (which I don't remember if they were available with a basic account). Ability to have longer videos. But I still have no control over the timing of the pictures shown. If I want them to go by fast, then I have to pick a fast tempo song. I can choose to speed up or slow down the showing, but not do so with individual slides.

My Mac's iMovie would let me do that. But my lack of technical know-how would prevent me from creating the cool other effects as the slides move around, sometimes having "echo-y" effects and such that Animoto offers. Plus--I can make an Animoto video in a few minutes when my iMovies have taken anywhere from 1 hour to 5 hours! And not everyone has iMovie. So Animoto definitely serves its purposes.

For further comparison purposes, you can check out my other full-length remake of Heist Society.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August Book Challenge

Well, here was August. Not bad. It felt like a long month, and yet rushed because of all the Beehive books I was trying to read (including picture and poetry).

Read a book from a summer reading list or from http://www.neh.gov/projects/summertimefavorites.html           
Much Ado about Nothing by William Shakespeare
Our Town by Thornton Wilder
A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
Emma and Lucy by Gracia N. Jones
How to be Totally Miserable + SOS: A Teenage Guide to Getting Home in Safety by John Bytheway
Case Closed?: Nine Mysteries Unlocked by Modern Science by Susan Hughes**
Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn
Dragonfly by Julia Golding**
Bruiser by Neal Shusterman**
Half Magic by Edward Eager*
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster*
Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien**
Sass and Serendipity by Jennifer Ziegler (read 100 pages; did not finish)
The Dancing Pancake by Eileen Spinelli**
Rip Tide by Kat Falls

* = On Summer Reading List, but not the High School’s
** = Beehive

August Totals
Audio = 7
Juvenile = 5
YA = 6 
Adult = 5
Pages = 3656
Books = 15
Points = 105
(Passed my Nonfiction goal of 25 for the year, too.)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Beehive Comic Ad

I heard from some fellow librarians about another online comic maker. I decided to try a Book Ad with it instead of attempting to be funny.

'Cause failed attempts at funny are really pathetic.

Wide Awake Princess

My Opinion of ToonDoo: Not bad. It has a lot more choices in background and "props" than BitStrips. But--at least from as much as I played with it--the characters were not as versatile. I created the 3 characters (known as Traitrs) and had to choose their stance. No ability to change it throughout the strip. Whereas I was able to change the character more on BitStrips. Of course, it is possible that non-Traitr characters are  more adaptable. But aside from adjusting size and angle, I have my doubts. Still--they're both fun!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

More! More! More!

I have to share this fun with somebody! Think of it as you are my test audience before my presentation. Your comments let me know how I'm doing or if what I've created would be interesting to other librarians (in all settings).

And if you don't think it's interesting, well.....

I guess I'll be presenting some uninteresting stuff!

I figured I should highlight Beehive books in what I'm creating, thus showing how these fun tech things can be used with librarians for teens. (And others, too.)

Using Glogster to create a poster of all YA fiction nominees.

Using Glogster to create a poster of a Book Teaser/Ad. I used only pictures and text boxes; no video components.

One can also use Glogster to create a poster to advertise library programs. This was one I used for this past summer. Easy to print off, and also easy to link to on the Internet.

My opinion of Glogster: Not bad. I look forward to trying out the more interactive components (though it prevents the printing out option for advertising and such). In some ways I find Publisher easier to work with, and in some ways Glogster is easier.

My Voki Book "Trailer"

My opinion of Voki: Too fun for words. But you've seen that previously. :-)

Using Animoto to create Book Trailers. I did a few attempts before I got two that I liked.


Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.


Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.

My opinion of Animoto: I get irked by the limited use, but it is still fun to create stuff (as you've seen me do in the past already). Many more possibilities in it that I have not explored. And I'm hoping to be approved an account as a non-profit that would give me more leeway. This would be great to send my teens to, or have them create their own.

Monday, August 15, 2011

More Tech Fun

I'm preparing to present at a Fall Conference on Teen Tech stuff. So I'm researching (aka having fun!) figuring out some of the things out there. My friend let me know about Voki, which she and her teens tried out. So I had to give it a try.

And boy what a laugh!!!

Which do you prefer? (I love them both.)

Voki 1

Voki 2

How can it help a librarian? Well...

Always something fun in the Librarian's corner!

Monday, August 1, 2011

July Book Challenges

There are so many places I would like to visit that it usually is not hard for me to find a book set where I would like to go. However, I'm trying to finish the Beehive nominees before school starts so the books are available for the students to read. Not to mention they are all due in August. So I've been plowing ahead with those, and then choosing the only audiobooks that were checked in that sparked even the remotest interest. And yet most of them were set in places I'd already been! Or would rather not go (e.g. under the sea). Thus, I read a decent amount of books, but my points are sadly lacking. Oh well.

By the way, I read books set where I would like to go, not about where I'd like to go. Sorry--I find travel books dead boring!

Read a book about a place you want to visit           
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee
Permanent Rose by Hilary McKay

The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared by Alice Ozma
Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant by Jennifer Grant
A Single Voice by Kristin Oaks

The Wide-Awake Princess by E.D. Baker
Wild Girl by Patricia Reilly Giff
Palace Beautiful by Sarah Deford Williams
Bumped by Megan McCafferty
The Atlantis Complex (Artemis Fowl #7) by Eoin Colfer
Olive's Ocean by Kevin Henkes
After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick
Eggs by Jerry Spinelli
Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
Dark Life by Kat Falls
The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron

*highlighted titles are Beehive nominees

July Totals

Audio = 10 (which helped me surpass my audiobook goal for the year)
Juvenile = 8
YA = 8 
Adult = 3
Pages = 4722
Books = 19
Points = 125

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dear Kind Reader

Please help me get ready for my final Teen Summer party! I'm trying to put together a Teen Feud based on this summer's theme (You are Here). The survey I have created should only take a couple of minutes of your time. The answers should be the first thing you think of, only one or two words in length.

I'm hoping to get 100 responses, so if you know of others who would like to take it, that would be great! Hopefully I'll get plenty from the YA librarian listserv I'm on. But thought I'd cover as many bases as I could.

Click here to take survey

Thanks so much!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

June Book Challenges

Not a bad month for books or meeting the challenge. I couldn't go wrong in "something new" or "something borrowed." Believe it or not, my hardest challenge was "an old favorite." Because I feel I don't have time to get to all the new things I want and/or should read (I do have to keep up with books for work and not just pleasure purposes, after all). So, I typically avoid re-read. At least re-reads of an entire book. I still read my favorite parts and such. This month, I had two re-reads, but one was not "an old favorite." And I had such a desire to re-read all of my beloved Little House books. But due dates loomed and I needed to read those which I knew had holds on them. So, well, oh well. I was able to read one, and that only because I did the audio version.

I've been loving the Beehive Nominee challenge I gave myself. With the Juvenile and YA fiction, I have come across some great books. I marked the nominees with an *.

And just look at how much nonfiction I managed in one month! And none of them were audio!

Read an old favorite:           
Anne's House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery

Read a book you've never read before:
Emily's Fortune by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor*
Jane Austen: A Life Revealed by Catherine Reef
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea*

Read a book you borrowed from library or friend:
Swan Town: The Secret Journal of Susanna Shakespeare by Michael J. Ortiz
A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine
Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin Airlift's "Chocolate Pilot" by Michael O. Tunnell*

Read a book with "blue" in the title or the cover is blue:
Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo
The Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade*
The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie by Wendy McClure
Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo by Obert Skye

Nonfiction # 1:           
She Touched the World: Laura Bridgman, Deaf-Blind Pioneer by Sally Hobart Alexander and Robert Alexander

Nonfiction # 2:
Your Pinkie Is More Powerful Than Your Thumb: And 333 Other Surprising Facts That Will Make You Wealthier, Healthier and Smarter Than Everyone Else by Mark DiVincenzo

Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen

June Totals
Audio = 6
Juvenile = 7
YA = 5 (which helped me surpass my YA goal for the year)
Adult = 3
Pages = 3731
Books = 15
Points = 145

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I met...

Ally Carter!!!!!

I'm still jumping all over the place. Well, OK. Perhaps only mentally. I did, after all, still have to work today. But the excitement is still very much there.

Because it's not just that I met a YA author.

Because I've met (meaning actual "hello" and handshake)

Stephenie Meyer
Joan Bauer
Shannon Hale

All before I ever read their books. I'd never even heard of Bauer at the time!

I have since finished graduate school and had time to read. And I, well, kinda went overboard on the reading. Like the world was going to end and I had to read every book I possibly could. I've read at least 230 YA books in about 3.75 years. That's quite a lot when compared with the 7 years I was in college. And among those books included ones of Bauer's and Hale's that I just loved. So, yes, I'm excited that I've met them. But, well, it wasn't all that exciting when I was actually there meeting them. Because I didn't know their works and didn't know how much I would want to meet them.

But in these years, I also read Ally Carter. Author of the Gallagher Girl series. Fabulous fluff full of adventure, fun, sass, smarts, and mm-hmm boys.  Last year brought the first in a new series--just as delightful, only this time thieving instead of spying. The sequel came out this week, but our library is on back-order. Urg.

Still. I have highly enjoyed Carter's works. And when I heard a few months ago that she was coming here, the excitement began to mount. And did not stop!

And, well, the excitement was worth every bit.

But Confession Time: I was chatting with a mom and her daughter. I saw my friend and former co-worker walk in--in her adorable GG outfit--with another woman in a just as adorable outfit. The mom asked me about them, and I told her the other woman must have started at the library after I left. And, well, I was so wrong. Who else? Of course.

May I introduce you to Ally Carter!

And her giggle laugh. It's very much her personality.

I totally botched the filming on this one, but she's laughing because we all had just put on our big sunglasses. (Oh yeah. I bought a pair just for this. Well, OK. I've been needing a new pair for years. This just conveniently gave me an excuse. And I never thought I'd buy what I used to call "grasshopper glasses," but...I did. And I love them!)

She went straight to Q& A--which was awesome.

Some very kind people in the audience asked the questions whose answers I wanted to know.
Like what about Josh? (No. I don't want him and Cammie to get together. She's well beyond him. But I'm not and I want Carter to write me into it so I can have him.)
Answer: Who knows? Only if Cammie's circle somehow came around and incorporated him again. But even if it did, her world is so much darker and different that it's not likely anything would happen. But who knows?

I'm OK with that--it leaves him free for me!

Question: You have such great pacing--how do you manage it?

Answer: Why, thank you and

Well. I think that rules me out a bit. I don't know how to just cut to it. I love to drag it out. I love words. I'm too Dickensian (but thankfully not so much Hugo-ian) to know how to just get right to it.

Question: Who she would most like to be--Kat or Cammie?

Hilarious, eventual Answer: If I could I'd be Kat attending Gallagher Academy and dating Joe Solomon!

Question: How do you research being a spy and a thief?

Stinky video won't post--it's apparently too large and I don't have the software to edit it down. She refers to her time in the CIA. Talks of her boyfriend George Clooney. And worries that she's on a Watch list from all of the things she Googles. Much funnier on the video--sorry I can't post!

(And the George Clooney relationship? So funny to read on her blog!!)

Question: Will your books be made into movies?


Question (from 1 of the 3 guys in the room who was there "because [his] sister was in CA and [he] was there on penalty of death": This Heist Society sounds interesting. Do you think I would like it?


And it was pretty neat to hear how she finally came up with Hale's name. 

(Visiting temple square and seeing the names on monuments--hmmmmm.....--played a part.)

Overall, a very delightful hour of Q&A. She was very fun and personable. Including in person! Here she is with my friend and former co-worker.

And here I am--talking with her!! She was saying something about Harry Potter and how alike it was to GG5--meaning Murder. (Yes. She said it. And she didn't say by who or to who, so.....!)

And she signed my book.

And let me have a picture with her!!!!

Oh my wowness.

It was so awesome.

Friday, June 24, 2011

My Attempt at S&S Thoughts

1. The Dashwood women discuss Edward Ferrars for many pages before the reader actually meets him in a dramatic scene. Why do you think Austen chose to create the whole Elinor/Edward love affair "off stage"?

I didn’t like it! This is why I had such a problem the first two times I read this book. I felt I didn’t really know Edward. I had to go off of what others said about him and not see him for my own. Even a limited (and often prejudiced—for good or bad) view of Darcy and Capt. Wentworth and dear Tilney and Mr. Knightley is better than not to actually see him! And then when I really got to see him, he was not at his best. The most happy I was with him was at the very end. Perhaps Austen left it vague so that we as the reader could imagine our own man—with all of the good, stalwart qualities that are emphasized again and again. Which isn’t bad, but I still had hoped for a little more to go off of when I was younger. Now, having seen a few versions from the movies, I can come up with an Edward that pleases me when I read the book. He does, of course, highly resemble in looks and actions the Edward from the 2008 film version. (Small wonder!)

It is not hard to see why I typically love the movies better for at least this reason—you get to see more of an Edward. Hugh Grant in the ’95 version was not the Edward I would create in my mind, but he was the first one that I saw more put to his character. The Edwards in the 70s and 80s film versions aren’t much to get me interested. And Dan? I mean, Edward? Oh yeah.

2. Elinor and Marianne's younger sister Margaret plays a very minor role in the novel. Why do you think Austen included this character? Does she further any of the plot? Does she shed light on any of the other characters?

I have no clue! The 70s and 80s films probably didn’t either, since they completely took her out. She was a fun addition in both ’95 and 2008. Though she was different in each—and nothing like the book. Why? Because the book barely describes anything about her! I got in mind that she was a mini-Marianne, which made me not want to know her. I love both girls in the ’95 and 2008. Why she’s in the book? Well, I guess if she didn’t exist, Mrs. Dashwood would have joined her daughters in London. Maybe her young age is also supposed to remind you that Mrs. Dashwood is not all that old herself, and that her late husband was probably much older when he married her. (Which foreshadows Colonel Brandon and Marianne.)

3. Before he abandons Marianne, is John Willoughby a likeable character? Does Austen give any indication early on that he is not as he appears?

I don’t really know what I thought of him during my first read. My second and this latest third read were influenced by the fact that I knew his true and full character. Trying to ignore that I knew that, I still thought him too encouraging of Marianne’s excessive emotings—and could I honestly like a man like that? I have major fears and concerns that I am too much like Marianne. I long for a man to help ground me and remove some of the overly sensible sensibilities, not someone to encourage them.

When my friends and I watched 2008 version last week, there was one present who had never read the book or seen any other version. So I wondered how he would think of the characters, not knowing anything about them. I should have known better than to base it on him, for I’ve noticed he is very good at predicting certain characters or actions in plays or movies that I would NEVER have guessed. Within 5 minutes of meeting Willoughby, he did not like him. He must be a great judge of character, no matter how books or films try to hide traits and truths from the audience.

4. A turn of the century review describes Mrs. Jennings as a character it is "equally delightful to have met on paper and not to have met in the flesh." Why is it delightful to spend time reading about a character who would be tedious in person?

Considering I do spend time with tedious people—never in such long amounts, thank goodness!—I guess it is fun in a book because when they annoy me, I can either skip that part or close the book. If anything, I can be grateful that I can make faces or comments to relieve my annoyance or frustration and never worry about hurting that person’s feelings!

5. What did you think of the dueling scene?

2008 film – certainly a fun addition!
3rd reading of book—I can’t believe it’s in there! I thought the movie had just sensationalized. But it’s there. Not in detail, but it is referred to. Awesome!!!

6. "One's happiness must in some measure be always at the mercy of chance," the narrator says at one point. What role does chance play in the fates of the main characters?

Uh. I think this is too deep for my brain right now. (Give me a break! It’s summer reading. The fact that I wake up and remember to shower and dress before going to work is a bonus!) I guess one has to believe in fate. I don’t. My spiritual beliefs have another reason and word for that. I guess here fate is that both girls got to go to London. If they never had, how much less (or more) would Marianne’s reactions have been to Willoughby’s marriage? Mrs. Dashwood would have immediately been there to comfort—and probably commiserate with her over-sensibilities. Would Colonel Brandon ever have shared what he knew? Would Edward have known that Elinor knew of his engagement. Would Colonel Brandon have offered the living? After all, the girls’ being in London caused their Barton acquaintances to meet with their familial acquaintances. Would Lucy and Nancy have been invited to the Dashwoods if the sisters hadn’t been there?

I suppose that could be stretched to—fate that John Dashwood’s wife had a brother such as Edward? Who happened to come to Norland and meet Elinor? Who now could see just how much he did not love Lucy and knew of a better woman? Fate that the Dashwood women ended up in Barton? Where they met Brandon? And Mrs. Jennings? And well, the whole story we know ensuing?

Yes. I could say fate as others know it definitely played a role.

7. Elinor considers Lucy's marriage to Robert Ferrars as "extraordinary and unaccountable," "completely a puzzle." Is it completely a puzzle to you as well?

It is once in a while. But then I think of Lucy’s conniving person—trying to get what’s better. I liked how Edward in the ’95 film refers to the fortune being transferred to his brother, and Lucy’s affections subsequently following. I would not put it beneath her there. I also understood more with the book’s explanation that Lucy kept trying over and over to get in Robert’s good graces, and turned his vanity to her uses.

8. Why doesn't Colonel Brandon fall in love with Elinor?

I wondered that over and over the 1st and 2nd time I read in the books. The movies always did a good job in letting me see that they were just not meant for each other. My 3rd time reading helped me see a good friendship there and seeing when I never did before that they were not meant for each other. Probably helps that I’ve been through my college and YSA years with many male friends and better understanding wonderful, respectful friendships like that.

What I do not get is what he sees in Marianne? Sorry. But she may have been likeable in the movies—particularly the 2008 version. But in the book, I did not like her. Not until the absolute very end. So I have trouble seeing how any man could want her. Or I don’t want to see how any man could. I already put up with that in my life and am unceasingly saying to myself “to each his own” and “don’t compare.”

9. Why does Lucy get to be happier than Willoughby?

Well, she did nothing against her virtue. Maybe Austen was putting forth a moral here. Who knows. And honestly. Lucy may bother and have been vicious—but it was her female jealousy and possession. She relinquished only for her own better interests sure. But I don’t think she is as loathsome as Willoughby. She began as an ignorant and innocent girl who thought herself in love and then had a stranglehold on the relationship that came out of it. But she didn’t try to play with a person’s feelings for her pleasure and amusement all the while knowing she had debauched someone else. Her tormenting Elinor may have been for her pleasure and amusement, but I don’t think it quite compares to Willoughby’s toying with a willing and unsuspecting Marianne.

10. "Wealth has much to do with...happiness," Elinor states at one point. "Elinor, for shame!" says Marianne. "Money can only give happiness where there is nothing else to give it." What is the relationship between love and money in Sense and Sensibility? Is it different for different characters? Has the relationship between love and money changed in today's world?

I saw that money didn’t bring happiness. Even in poor circumstances people were able to find happiness. And in wealth, some were not happy. I saw that it had to do with the person. I just find it funny as to who said which quote, they ended up the opposite what their sentiments said. Elinor was in a lower income, and yet was very happy. And Marianne had plenty of happiness, with money as a perk! But I know that Elinor said it at the time, knowing how dependent Edward was at the time on having something given to him so he could live on his own—thus his and her happiness could not be complete without some bit of wealth.

11. What do you think this story would have been like if it has been through Marianne’s eyes?

Oh my. Don’t even go there. There would have been no sense whatsoever. And would there have been readers (including me, gah!) that would have completely agreed with her every feeling and thought and sentiment. Ug. What a nauseating thought.

12. Do you find Marianne's decision to marry Colonel Brandon to be a plausible conclusion? Why or why not?

Well, yes, since the book kept pointing to her as a reward for his constancy, etc. I didn’t quite like the wording, but it seemed okay. He was the more mature, romantic, sensible man who could have high estimation in her mind once she received her own maturity. The ’95 film did better in showing this. The 2008 film did a great job with that.

13. Although it ends with the marriages of the two main female characters, some readers have claimed that of all of Austen's novels, Sense and Sensibility has the saddest ending. Do you agree with this statement?

I guess. For those who were all for Willoughby, they might be sad. Or wanting Edward and Elinor to have more wealth than what they ended with. Or that the evil or awful people (namely Willoughby and Lucy) were not entirely punished or unhappy at the end. I didn’t find it all that sad though. And the movies certainly don’t give that off.

Just some comments that didn’t fit in with the questions:
-the 70s film version is painful to watch. An interesting look to see what others thought. But. Wow. Not one I ever want to watch again.

-the 80s version. Not awful. Just that feel that all those BBC movies in the 80s and early 90s had. The obvious indoor vs. outdoor scenes. The extremely plain and often too old characters. Yeah. If I’m going to envision it, I like to envision it a little more glamorous. Because that’s how I like it.

-I really liked hearing the interview and commentary during the 2008 version. Opened up a lot more of what the film-people chose to do.

-The Austen bio I read as I read this (the 3rd time) book helped me enjoy and understand it much better.

-I don’t really dislike the book any more. I like it a lot more. But I have to acknowledge that the film versions (particularly ’95 and 2008) help me know, appreciate, and like the book than I would on its own. ‘Cause I still had a couple of beefs with the book. But they were personal and I would never attribute them to Austen. Of course.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

We have arrived in England.

It's time!! I actually read the book this time around. I know. I'm shameless and for the last year and a half have picked books that I knew well enough I wouldn't have to re-read. But I was determined this time. And I did. Huge "Complete Works" book and all! I also had friends over to watch the 2008 film version. So, here are the questions. I collected them from a few online sources, too lazy or brain-numb to come up with my own. Feel free to add whatever you would like to discuss! Or gush over. :-)

By the way when I answer, I'll be referring to the book as well as the 4 film versions I have seen.

1. The Dashwood women discuss Edward Ferrars for many pages before the reader actually meets him in a dramatic scene. Why do you think Austen chose to create the whole Elinor/Edward love affair "off stage"?

2. Elinor and Marianne's younger sister Margaret plays a very minor role in the novel. Why do you think Austen included this character? Does she further any of the plot? Does she shed light on any of the other characters?

3. Before he abandons Marianne, is John Willoughby a likeable character? Does Austen give any indication early on that he is not as he appears?

4. A turn of the century review describes Mrs. Jennings as a character it is "equally delightful to have met on paper and not to have met in the flesh." Why is it delightful to spend time reading about a character who would be tedious in person?

5. What did you think of the dueling scene?

6. "One's happiness must in some measure be always at the mercy of chance," the narrator says at one point. What role does chance play in the fates of the main characters?

7. Elinor considers Lucy's marriage to Robert Ferrars as "extraordinary and unaccountable," "completely a puzzle." Is it completely a puzzle to you as well?

8. Why doesn't Colonel Brandon fall in love with Elinor?

9. Why does Lucy get to be happier than Willoughby?

10. "Wealth has much to do with...happiness," Elinor states at one point. "Elinor, for shame!" says Marianne. "Money can only give happiness where there is nothing else to give it." What is the relationship between love and money in Sense and Sensibility? Is it different for different characters? Has the relationship between love and money changed in today's world?

11. What do you think this story would have been like if it has been through Marianne’s eyes?

12. Do you find Marianne's decision to marry Colonel Brandon to be a plausible conclusion? Why or why not?

13. Although it ends with the marriages of the two main female characters, some readers have claimed that of all of Austen's novels, Sense and Sensibility has the saddest ending. Do you agree with this statement?

Friday, June 3, 2011

May Book Challenges

I balanced my Books and Blu-Ray much better this month. Enough so that this was my 2nd "most" month so far--2nd most # of books, 2nd most of pages, and 2nd most # of points. I think it made a difference that I came across some excellent reads this month. I've put an * among those I think others would find something of substance or great entertainment, and ** for those I very highly recommend. Here you go!

May Book Challenges

Read a book with a green cover           
1. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
2. Entwined by Heather Dixon **
3. Three Rivers Rising by Jame Richards *
4. The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had by Kristin Levine **
5. Forbidden Sea by Sheila Nielson *
6. Michael Forman's Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
7. Spirited by Nancy Holder
8. No Talking by Andrew Clements

Read two Nonfiction
1. A Secret Gift by Ted Gup *
2. Life of Joseph Smith: The Prophet by George Q. Cannon

1. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
2. Lincoln and His Boys by Rosemary Wells
3. The Naked Mole Rat Letters by Mary Amato *
4. The Boy Who Dared by Susan C. Bartoletti *
5. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
6. Playing with Fire (Skulduggery #2) by Derek Landy
7. The Crimson Thread by Suzanne Weyn
8. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood
9. The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker
10. Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper **

May Totals
Audio = 10
Juvenile = 10
YA = 8
Adult = 2
Pages = 5367
Books = 20
Points = 150

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I wasn't absolutely sure it was her--because they don't always look in person the way you see them in pictures and on TV. Still, we chatted books. She even gave me a couple of recommendations. Absolutely awesome:

Today, I talked books with the prophet's daughter. 

And I loved that the Lord helps me see just how human and relatable our Church leaders are.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Finally Moving On

It's almost 3 in the morning. And, yes, I'm awake. Kinda. Waiting to fall asleep any minute now. And, no, I was not a bad girl and stayed up all this time. I fell asleep around 9 or so, while reading Sister Oaks' A Single Voice and commemorating Memorial Day with a Ken Burns documentary. My falling asleep in no way reflects either of the two. I'm just a tired girl. Especially after another day of rain. I've lost count, but I think it's the 14th in a row.

Anywho. I woke around 1:30. Trudged my way to bed, and a random though slight bout of tears from something only my half-asleep brain could explain woke me up. I don't often have trouble falling asleep or falling back to sleep. But this is one of those times. If Internet schlumping doesn't do any thing, then I'll do the almost-never-fails trick and put on a movie.

But I figured while I'm on, I might as well change the AKB Book Club choice. Finally! (I know.) Sorry. Just haven't gotten around to it. I've been debating my choices. What's there to debate? Well, which Austen novel to do.

I know! Aren't you excited? You're probably thinking "It's about time the Austen Knows Best Book Club did an Austen book!" I know, I was thinking the same thing for some time now. Oh, but which one? There are 6 great ones to choose from! I don't really count that 7th as great. Humorous. Odd. Interesting. Not one I like to discuss much. There are also the incomplete works, but why move on to those before the 6 Great Ones?

Thus, which of the 6? Hmmm. While I think on it, I'm going to also point out that we're going to do a Book-Into-Movie aspect with these. It's a book club I want to get started with my teens, so I might as well start here. It's one of my favorite things to do anyhow. And what better way than to do them with Austen?!

Now, I know part of me should do S&S. Because it is the 200th Anniversary of its publication. This is huge! I should be celebrating! Only, I'm lazy and hesitant and not ready to re-read the book. I should. I'm sure 12 years gone by and all that they have been full of would make a huge difference in the reading of it. And there are 2 movie versions that I love of it, and 2 that are so-so. And wouldn't it be nice to do all 6 Austen in publication order for the rest of the year?

That does sound nice. A bit ambitious. But nice. Do you think we would get tired of discussing Austen? I know--perish the thought! But really. 6 months in a row? Would you rather we separate them out. Sprinkle in an Austen here or there among so many other great works? I'll need your opinions on that.

But I think I've settled the book. We'll honor 200 years of What-would-our-lives-be-without-Austen?!?! and read

Sense and Sensibility
published 1811
by A Lady

(And what an awesome Lady she was!)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Beehive Picture Book Update

Well, the nice thing about this reading challenge is that the picture books make some of it a little fast. And what I read in the last hour has been brilliant!

The Cow Loves Cookies by Karma Wilson
The Cow Loves Cookies
Princess Hyacinth (the Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated) by Florence Heide
Princess Hyacinth (The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated)
City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems
City Dog, Country Frog
Spells by Emily Gravett

Three more to go before I complete the Picture Books section. I'm on hold for them, so it shouldn't be too long until then. So far, they (whoever "they" is) have chosen a pretty good variety. At least, I think so.

I'm so glad I don't have to nominate books for various awards and such. I'd have the hardest time because there are so many things that I really like or love. Anyone who knows me knows that a common phrase out of my mouth is "I love that (fill in name of movie/song/book/musical/etc)!" If it brings a happy heart and/or happy memory, I think it's worth loving. Don't you?


I've just given myself a new Book Challenge.


I know. But I really am trying to embrace my new library position and my new place of living and, well, you know. So, I'm going to try to read all of the 2012 Beehive nominees. (Recently announced among us co-workers.) And, no, I"m not re-reading anything I've already read. Here is the list, with books I've already read highlighted:

Children’s Fiction
• Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
• The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had by Kristin Levine
• The Clockwork Three by Matthew Kirby
• Emily’s Fortune by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
• Lincoln and His Boys by Rosemary Wells
• The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 1) by Maryrose Wood, Illustrated by Jon Klassen
• Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
• Palace Beautiful by Sarah DeFord Williams
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
• Wild Girl by Patricia Reilly Giff

Young Adult Fiction
• After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick
• Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien
• The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
• Bruiser by Neal Shusterman
• Dark Life by Kat Falls
• Dragonfly by Julia Golding
Heist Society by Ally Carter
• The Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade
• Mirrorscape by Mike Wilks
• A Spy in the House (The Agency, Book 1) by Y.S. Lee
• Three Rivers Rising by Jane Richards
• The Wide-Awake Princess by E.D. Baker

Picture Books
• All the World by Elizabeth Garton Scanlon, Illustrated by Marla Frazee
Brontorina by James Howe, Illustrated by Randy Cecil
• Chalk by Bill Thomson
• City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems, Illustrated by Jon J. Muth
Clever Jack Takes the Cake by Candace Fleming, Illustrated by G. Brian Karas
• The Cow Loves Cookies by Karma Wilson, Illustrated by Marcellus Hall
• Princess Hyacinth (the Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated) by Florence Parry Heide, Illustrated by Lane Smith
• Shark Vs. Train by Chris Barton, Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
A Small Brown Dog with a Wet Pink Nose S. A. Bodeen, Illustrated by Linzie Hunter
• Spells by Emily Gravett

Informational Books
• Animals Up Close: Zoom in on the World’s Most Incredible Creatures by Igor Siwanowicz
• Bones by Steve Jenkins
• Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin Airlift’s “Chocolate Pilot” by Michael O. Tunnell
• Case Closed? Nine Mysteries Unlocked by Modern Science by Susan Hughes, Illustrated by Michael Wandelmaier
• The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy) by Barbara Kerley
• The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P.T. Barnum by Candace Fleming
• Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci by Gene Barretta
• Nic Bishop Lizards by Nic Bishop
• The War to End All Wars: World War I by Russell Freedman
• Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial America by Sally M. Walker

• A Curious Collection of Cats by Betsy Franco, Illustrated by Michael Wertz
• Curious Creatures: Animal Poems by Barry Louis Polisar, Illustrated by David Clark
• The Dancing Pancake by Eileen Spinelli, Illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
• Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman, Illustrated by Rick Allen
• Dizzy in Your Eyes: Poems About Love by Pat Mora
• In the Wild by David Elliot, Illustrated by Holly Meade
Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse by Marilyn Singer, Illustrated by Josee Massee
• Name That Dog! : Puppy Poems from A to Z by Peggy Archer, Illustrated by Stephanie Buscema
• Scarum Fair by Jessica Swain, Illustrated by Carol Ashley
• Spot the Plot: A Riddle Book of Book Riddles by J. Patrick Lewis, Illustrated by Lynn Munsinger

The Poetry part is probably going to be a killer for me, and I may go lenient on myself and count it as a bonus challenge. Especially as much of my 800s budget will go buying extra copies for that. Ick.

What do I get out of this challenge?


I guess feeling more familiar with what a lot of kids are going to be reading in the next year.

But that's a good thing, right? As I finish the books, I'll cast my ballot of my winners for each category. Since my vote doesn't get to count in the real thing.


I know.

Anywho. Watch the sidebars to see how my progress is going. All reviews can be found on GoodReads.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

April Book Challenges

I did manage to complete the challenge. I was in the middle of a couple of nonfiction books, but didn't get to finishing them in time. So one of the "marriage books" covered that. Here are the results:

Read a book on marriage           
1. Behind Every Good Man by John Bytheway
2. An LDS Girl's Guide to Getting a Date by Brent Barlow

Read two Nonfiction        
1. Amelia Lost by Candace Fleming           
2. Strangling Your Husband is NOT an Option by Merrilee Boyack

1. Darcy and Fitzwilliam: A Tale of a Gentleman and an Officer by Karen Wasylowski (100 pages read; will not finish)
2. Work and the Glory: So Great a Cause by Gerald Lund
3. Devil's Food Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke
4. The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
5. The Storyteller's Daughter by Cameron Dokey
6. Belle by Cameron Dokey
7. Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
8. The World Above by Cameron Dokey
9. The Wild Orchid by Cameron Dokey
10. Work and the Glory: All is Well by Gerald Lund

April Totals
Audio = 4
Juvenile = 1
YA = 5
Adult = 8
Pages = 3690
Books = 14
Points = 90

How to inadvertently achieve your goal of trying to read less:

Get a Blu-Ray player which connects to the Internet and lets you view your Netflix Watch Instantly movies on your large TV screen and not your smaller laptop screen and you get hooked on TV series (like "X-Files" and "Little Men") that are available.


Oh well. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

HG Trilogy - Character Recall

At last! The very last part of our Hunger Games trilogy discussion. I was curious to what some of your opinions were concerning the characters—not just the main ones. So I found a list on Wikipedia (Further Character Info). It helped me in remembering some of the characters' parts in the trilogy. The following list follows the order given there, in case you need a reminder yourself. Feel free to comment on as many or as little as you would like.

Major Characters

Katniss Everdeen – not my favorite character ever written. But I liked going through the series through her eyes.

Peeta Mellark – Love, love, love Peeta!

Gale Hawthorne – Nice name. Not my kinda guy. I feel sorry for him. And am a little angry with him at the end.

Haymitch Abernathy – the man you hate to love. So crusty, and repulsive at times. And frustrating about if you can or cannot trust him. But he is very deep, and when I reach those depths. Wow. I can’t help but like his character. Almost like a father-figure to Katniss, though I don’t know if she would admit that, or even see it.

Primrose Everdeen – dear Prim. Glad we got to see her more in the 3rd book and that she was able to “come into her own” as a character. Being a younger sister, I think I can sympathize more what it must have been like for her to have her sister take her place. And yet still try to be of use once her sister becomes the symbol of a revolution.

President Snow – ICK!!!!!! Be gone evil one!!!!!!

District 1 – 74th HG

Marvel – how dare you kill Rue! I don’t care if that is the point of the games. Where was your compassion and tenderness? Katniss had it!

Glimmer - not a fun way to die

District 1 – 75th HG

Cashmere – do not like you

Gloss – do not like you

District 2 – 74th HG

Cato – did not like you, but your death was still pretty gruesome and I had some pity for you

Clove – don’t remember much of you, but if you were not trying to help others survive (which you certainly weren’t!), then I don’t like you

District 2 – 75th HG

Brutus – don’t remember you

Enobaria – you are creepy

District 3 – 74th HG

No-named boy – the poor no-names.

District 3 – 75th HG

Beetee – back and forth on him. I liked him. But I got mad at some of the things he was doing (like the bomb development)

Wiress – I really liked her and was very upset with her death

District 4 – 74th HG

Unnamed girl – another very painful death. Makes me nervous with summertime coming up. Just glad I’m not in a place with as many insects any more.

District 4 – 75th HG

Finnick Odair – ah Finnick. You repulsed me at first, but had me by the end. I’m so glad you were able to marry your sweetheart. Your end was very hard for me.

Mags – you sweet thing.

District 5 – 74th HG

Foxface (nickname) – I’m sorry for your death and that you were a thief. But better a thief than a killer. Thank you for avoiding killing anyone.

District 5 – 75th HG

Unnamed male morphling – you poor thing

Unnamed female morphling - ditto

District 7 – 75th HG

Johanna – boy it was hard trying to like you, but I was pretty upset in Book 3 to hear the Capitol had you. I’m happy you survived, even if you aren’t my favorite person. Not even sure we could ever be friends.

Blight – I don’t remember you much

District 8 – 74th HG

Unnamed girl – ignorance is not always bliss

District 8 – 75th HG

Cecelia – no time to get to know you, but I’m sorry for your children

Woof – don’t know you

District 9 – 74th HG

Unnamed boy – the first death—it was not easy for me

District 10 – 74th HG

Unnamed boy – hats off to you for surviving so long

District 11 – 74th HG

Thresh – I liked you

Rue – oh, dear Rue. I’m glad you were taken care of after your death

District 11 – 75th HG

Seeder – don’t know you

Chaff – don’t know you either

Other characters

District 12

Madge Undersee – I really hoped you would have survived

Darius – how dare they! You poor man.

Delly Cartwright – I liked your attitude and cheerfulness, and (of course) your attempts to help Peeta

Mrs. Everdeen – I wasn’t very impressed with her. I know she was pretty shattered from the loss of her husband, but I had hoped she’d step up a bit more. Still, can’t blame her at all.

Greasy Sae – I knew she was a woman, but that name kept making me think man! I liked her. A good supporting minor character

Hazelle Hawthorne – I don’t feel I got to know her well enough


Effie Trinket – one word comes to mind: fluff. Another word could be added: self-centered.

Cinna – I think I had a bit of a crush on Cinna, and not for his fashion tastes and ideas. There was just, something about him. Not sure what. But I totally agree with whoever it was that I think a part of him was attracted to Katniss.

Octavia, Venia, Flavius – fluff, fluff, and more fluff. Though I felt sorry for them in Book 3.

Lavinia (Avox girl) – this poor thing.

Seneca Crane – how can you like someone who creates any of the games? But I still feel bad for his end

Plutarch Heavensbee – I don’t really like this man. Another case of not-so-good on the “good” side

Caesar Flickerman – This guy made me laugh. I really don’t know why.

Portia – don’t really know her much.

Tigris – she creeped me out, but I was glad she helped out

District 13

President Alma Coin - Grrrrrrrrr

Boggs – I really, really liked Boggs! I almost cried about him.

Leeg 1, Leeg 2, Mitchell, Jackson, Homes – I liked that these were the guys accompanying Katniss in the Capitol. Somehow, I felt better “being in” the party with them there, too.

Cressida – Typical journalist. I have an admiration/irked relationship with journalists in my world. No different with Cressida.

Castor – I was sad that he died, but sometimes forgot he was even there. Perhaps that’s a behind the camera thing.

Pollux – I remember that I liked him

Messalla – don’t really remember him

Paylor – don’t remember him at all!

District 8

Twill – way to go for escaping!

Bonnie – ditto!

District 4

Annie Cresta – you poor sweetie. My heart goes out to you still

For more discussion—because there has been a lot of it on YALSA’s book Listserv—what do you think of who they have been casting for the movie? (Movie Cast) I have found it funny how opinionated some are about who is playing who. It’s been fun to dream cast with others.

-I can’t remember who some of us were voting Hugh Laurie to be. We were just voting because, well, it’s Hugh Laurie!

-I do think it would have been interesting to see Kristin Chenoweth as Effie. But I’ve seen her in enough shallow, air-head roles. I prefer when she plays more in-depth characters.

-I’m all about John C. Reilly as Haymitch for looks definitely. But I think his acting would be good, too.

But honestly, I was so involved with the story and the symbolism and such, that before all this YALSA discussion, I never thought much about who I would want to play who if the books were made into movies. Actually, I don’t think I do that much at all when I’m reading. Some times I don’t even think of it until after I’ve seen a movie adaptation—and then I have ideas of whom I would have liked to see.

So no one so far has really been a disappointment. I’m just intrigued as to how the actors and actresses will choose to portray the characters. I’m glad for some of the roles they’re going with lesser-known actors.

I’m most interested in how Peeta will come out. At least I’ve seen the actor in something before.