RSS

Tag Archives: Meme

Friday Firsts: Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson


Today’s Friday First:

Mr. Utterson the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance that was never lighted by a smile; cold, scanty and embarrassed in discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary and yet somehow lovable.

  • Book: Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
  • Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Genre: Gothic, Mystery, Classics
  • ISBN: to many printings to post just one ISBN
  • Publication date: 1886
  • Summary (from Amazon): The young Robert Louis Stevenson suffered from repeated nightmares of living a double life, in which by day he worked as a respectable doctor and by night he roamed the back alleys of old-town Edinburgh. In three days of furious writing, he produced a story about his dream existence. His wife found it too gruesome, so he promptly burned the manuscript. In another three days, he wrote it again. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was published as a “shilling shocker” in 1886, and became an instant classic. In the first six months, 40,000 copies were sold. Queen Victoria read it. Sermons and editorials were written about it. When Stevenson and his family visited America a year later, they were mobbed by reporters at the dock in New York City. Compulsively readable from its opening pages, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is still one of the best tales ever written about the divided self.
  • Average review (from Amazon) 4/5

Not the most exciting first sentence, but keep reading it gets better.

Don’t forget to visit the Friday Firsts page to see all the other posts.

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Biographies (Booking Through Thursday)


Cover of "Unlikely Destinations: The Lone...

Cover via Amazon

Today’s question for Booking Through Thursday is:

There are so many crappy biographies … would you rather read a poorly-written biography of a fascinating life, OR an exquisitely well-written, wonderful read of one of a not-so-interesting life?

 

Let’s start with the fact that I’m not big on non-fiction biographies. I think you have to love yourself a bit too much to accept writing (or having written) a biography, or if it is a unnoficcial biography it will probably be about the latest pop- or football-star (none of which interest me).

I do love fictionalized biographies, but I guess those would really be considered historical fiction rather that biographies, so I won’t take them into consideration for this.

Biographies I have read I can only remember two: Feel by Chris Heath and Once While Travelling: The Lonely Planet Story by Tony and Maureen Wheeler.

If we follow standard definition none is a biography. Feel is a month in the life of Robbie with many flashbacks and Once While Travelling is really the story of the Lonely Planet publishing company, but since it follows the founder’s life we learn a lot about their lives as well.

Going back to the question, I would probably go for a badly written interesting biography than a well-written boring one. Mainly because what I am looking for when I read about someone’s life is to learn about that person’s life. If I want literary value I don’t go to a biography. Then again, if I get both, all the better.

In the cases of Feel and Once While Travelling, they are both books I read within 3 or 4 days. The lives were brilliant and the writing very attractive.

 

Don’t forget to head over to the website and see what other readers are saying.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on July 14, 2011 in Booking Through Thursday

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Musing Mondays for July 11th


Today’s question was:

Do you think it makes you NOT (or less) “well-read” if there are certain genres that you won’t read because you KNOW you won’t enjoy them? Why?

 

To me well-read implies the amount, the quality and the variety of things you read. A person could be reading 100 books per year but all be chick-lit of no depth and where the most complicated figure of speech is a clichéd metaphor. I wouldn’t call that person well-read. Whereas someone else could be reading 10 books a year but include in those different genres, writing eras and of differing writing quality and styles. That person, would in my opinion be considered well-read.

Personally, I try to be what I define as well-read. I would like to consider that, especially for someone my age, I am indeed well read, and that being well-read gives me a certain degree of authority to critique books beyond ‘the story was so nice’ or ‘it was a very long book’ (which I keep hearing from people who read a lot, but with no variety whatsoever).

There are of course some genres that I tend to favor. Historical fiction, classic sci-fi, adventure and fantasy, YA fiction, chick-lit, Victorian writers and travel writing for non-fiction. However, I do try to read books not belonging to those categories.

I have read all of Asimov (even the non-fiction book about the cell), all but one of Jane Austen, and I could tell you a thing or two about turgent body parts. But, the fact that a book doesn’t happen to fall in one of my genres doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy it. One of my favourite books is Lazarillo de Tormes, a 16th-century picaresque spanish novella, hardly what anyone would expect me to be reading. If I had banned that book from my pile of possible reads just because I thought I wouldn’t enjoy it, I would have missed a great book.

And, I think, that in the end, that is exactly what makes me a well-read person: I can enjoy and appreciate a book for its literary qualities going beyond a nice story or a likable character.

 

Don’t forget to check what other bloggers are saying.


 
5 Comments

Posted by on July 11, 2011 in Musing Mondays

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Friday Firsts: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley


Surprising as it may seem by going through my archives, I am currently reading Brave New World.

So for today’s Friday First, its opening line:

A SQUAT grey building of only thirty-four stories. Over the main entrance the words, CENTRAL LONDON HATCHERY AND CONDITIONING CENTRE, and, in a shield, the World State’s motto, COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY.

  • Book: Brave New World
  • Author: Aldous Huxley
  • Genre: Sci-Fi, Classics
  • ISBN: to many printings to post just one ISBN
  • Publication date: 1932
  • Summary (from Amazon): Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress…
  • Average review (from Amazon) 4.3/5

This first sentence (OK, two sentences) completely hooked me. I just wanted to keep on reading to know what were all those things being mentioned and understand that motto.

So far, I still don’t know if I’ve been cleverly tricked into reading a book with just a good catch or an actual good book. I guess there is a reason why it is a classic, but then again, a lot of people may be giving it good reviews just to sound more intellectual than they are. I’ll keep you posted on that one.

 

Don’t forget to visit the Friday Firsts page to see all the other posts.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 8, 2011 in Friday Firsts

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Reading memes


According to my beloved Wikipedia:

A meme (play /ˈmm/) is an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture. While genes transmit biological information, memes are said to transmit ideas and belief information.

A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate and respond to selective pressures.

For bloggers memes are daily, weekly or monthly prompts that help us come up with things to write. They are fun because they are basically fill-in-the-gap posts and because it satisfies that curiosity we all have when we read what other bloggers have posted.

I went around the net to find memes related to reading. Some I will actually starting using myself, some not so much (but I still love reading them). In any case, I thought it might be interesting to have them all in one place.

 

Monday

Musing Mondays

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

 

Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays

 

Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday, sorry, I can’t find a direct link

WWW Wednesdays

 

Thursday

Booking Through Thursday

Thursday 13, ok not book-related, but it can be used anyways

 

Friday

Friday Finds

Friday Firsts

 

Saturday

 

Sunday

The Sunday Salon, now a Facebook group

In My Mailbox, can be done any day of the week

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 8, 2011 in Memes

 

Tags: , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: