Obsession with words

Obsession with words

I love to read and reading helps me to escape. I'm a book addict and currently fighting back the urge to buy ALL THE BOOKS!

Quote
Beneath that arch of unmoved and eternal lights; some, so remote from this little earth that the learned tell us it is doubtful whether their rays have even yet discovered it, as a point in space where anything is suffered or done: the shadows of the night were broad and black. All through the cold and restless interval, until dawn, they once more whispered in the ears of Mr. Jarvis Lorry—sitting opposite the buried man who had been dug out, and wondering what subtle powers were for ever lost to him, and what were capable of restoration—the old inquiry:
“I hope you care to be recalled to life?”
And the old answer:
“I can’t say.”
A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens, Stephen Koch

Page 50, end of the first book.

Quote
A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.
A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens, Stephen Koch

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, Chapter 3, page 11

Source: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/98/98-h/98-h.htm#link2H_4_0004
Learning (edited)
A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens, Stephen Koch

I finally decided to start reading A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.  I have had it on my TBR list forever.  I didn't go to a normal school so I didn't read the classics like most people did.  I have noticed a lot of things I didn't learn.  Some things, like government and economics, was my fault because I wasn't interested in that at the time.  However, other things like Science and English were things I was interested in and finished early and I'm finding so many things I just wasn't taught or were skimmed over so I didn't really learn it well.  Of course, some things I've just forgotten.  

 

I started reading and got stuck right away on the first sentence.  

 

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

 

su·per·la·tive
səˈpərlədiv/
adjective
 
  1.  
    of the highest quality or degree.
    "a superlative piece of skill"
    synonyms: excellentmagnificentwonderfulmarveloussupremeconsummateoutstandingremarkablefinechoicefirst-rate, first-class, premierprimeunsurpassedunequaledunparalleledunrivaledpreeminent
    informalcrackacewickedbrilliant
    "a superlative photographer"

 

I found someone else who had the same problem I did with understanding the last part of that sentence.  Here is the best answer they were given on Stack Exchange.  

 

"Basically, what he had just finished saying. That people of the day were not ambivalent about their opinion of the times. They loved it or they hated it. There was no middle ground.

By "superlative degree of comparison" he means using the extreme form of the adjective, typically using the -est (fastest) or pairing with the word most (most expensive).

So when he says, "for good or for evil" he means people would only have used these extreme forms to describe the period. But that some would have thought things the best they could be and others would have thought the complete opposite." 

 

I also found this on Cliffnotes.

 

"The year is 1775, and life in England and France seems paradoxically the best and the worst that it can be. The rulers and ruling classes of both countries may have the best of life, but they are out of touch with the common people and believe that the status quo will continue forever."

 

I have a feeling this is going to be a slow read as I look up every line trying to understand it. 

 

I just found this site which explains a lot about the history of the period and helps to explain the text in a way I can better understand.  It is VERY helpful and I really like the pictures of the kings and queens.  

 

con·flate
kənˈflāt/
verb
gerund or present participle: conflating
  1. combine (two or more texts, ideas, etc.) into one.
Source: http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/59190/charles-dickens-for-good-and-for-evil-and-superlative-degree-of-comparison?newreg=38383a62f82c49b6b97492c0dfe7646b
Review
3 Stars
The Valise in the Attic
The Valise In The Attic - Jan Fields

This story was certainly more action-packed than the others. It just was a little too far-fetched for me. 

Everyone is excited when the Mayor tells the people of Stony Point that a movie crew is coming and is looking for some extras. Alice begs Annie to go even though Annie would rather stay toasty warm inside. The set director said they needed some small older suitcases for some scenes and asked people to check their attics. Annie found a few that passed muster with the director. After the first day was abruptly cut short and Annie was heading to her car a strange man attacked her and tried to take it from her. He ended up falling on the ice and losing the case just before taking off. Annie was confused because the suitcase was empty. Why would someone try to steal an empty valise? She thought it was just a mix-up but crazy things kept happening to both her and her best friend Alice.

Reblogged
Books...

Reblogged from Hol
Books and Stuff

So I was absent for a while.  I was feeling bad and didn´t get much reading done so I got behind for my yearly reading goal.  Now I´m trying to catch up by reading some of the shorter books on my shelves. 

 

I´m really trying to read the books I have this year and not bring in as many new ones.  I want to get some of my homeless books shelved.  I have a goal this year to read 80 books which is 5 more than I read last year.  I also have a goal to read at least 40 books that I already had at the end of last year and then donate, swap, or let them RIP if necessary.  So far I´ve read 13 books that are leaving or have been given notice. I have this posted in a forum post on PaperbackSwap but I keep forgetting to update it so I´m going to add it here. I´ll update this post throughout the year.... hopefully.

 

Ebooks/Audiobooks read total: 5

 

  1. The Silver Suitcase by Terrie Todd
  2. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
  3. The Woman in the Water by Charles Finch
  4. The Big Killing by Annette Meyers
  5. What Janie Found by Caroline B Cooney

Keepers: Beading Basics by Carole Rodgers

 

My 40 books to leave home

  1. What Matters Most by Cynthia Victor (retired)
  2. The Wedding Dress by Mary O´Donnell (mailed out)
  3. Tidewater Inn by Colleen Coble (mailed out)
  4. All She Ever Wanted by Lynn Austin (mailed out)
  5. Weep No More, My Lady by Mary Higgins Clark (HB) (donated)
  6. The Lottery Winner by Mary Higgins Clark (pending)
  7. 1st to die by James Patterson (pending)
  8. The Last Leopard by Lauren St. James (pending - pbs bookshelf)
  9. The Voice on the Radio (Janie Johnson, Bk 3) by Caroline B. Cooney (pending)
  10. A Darker Place (aka The Birth of a New Moon) by Laurie R. King (pending)
  11. The Shoe Box: A Christmas Story by Francine Rivers (mailed out)
  12. The Violets of March by Sarah Jio (pending)
  13. Too Good to be True by Ann Cleeves (mailed out)

Leaving but doesn't count because DNR

  1. Blood on the Street by Annette Meyers (Read the first book in the series (ebook version) and it sucked so tossing this book which is 4th in the series).... well might donate to some unfortunate soul or place.

 

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Review
3 Stars
Too Good to be True
Too Good to be True - Buddy & Eliot Daniel Kaye

I love Ann Cleeves´ stories, especially the Shetland Island series. This Quick Reads book is a short book with most simplistic writing like a chapter book meant for kids. I liked the story but missed the writing I´m used to in the regular novels by Ann Cleeves. I do think older Elementary kids would like this book. The book mentions a murder but there are no gruesome details or any mention of sex. 

Perez receives a call from his ex-wife Sarah. She said a young school teacher had died of an apparent suicide but the rumors of the small village are ruining their lives. Her husband is a doctor and the villagers are saying he and the school teacher were lovers. He is losing patients over it and Sarah wants Perez to look into the matter but she doesn´t want her husband to know about it. Perez agrees but says he will only stay for 2 days. It doesn´t take long before he begins to doubt that the death was a suicide.

Review
4 Stars
The Violets of March
The Violets of March - Sarah Jio

This was such a touching story and it really tugged at my heart. I usually don't like to read romance type stories but this one was not the typical romance about superficial love. It starts with a young woman finding out her husband is leaving her for another woman. Emily, who is a writer, ends up going to stay with her great aunt for a month. She planned to spend some time there to heal and maybe write. Instead of writing she ends of reading. In the guest room at her aunts room she finds a red velvet diary and she can't resist reading it. On excursions with her aunt she meets people from the past and her memory of them begins to awaken. She learns some details about the story she is reading and begins to wonder if the story is actually true and if the people in it are closer to her than she thinks. She also meets an old boyfriend and also another man that she feels drawn too.  She begins to think about her own story and who she was meant to be with but at the same time she doesn't want to risk getting hurt again.  

 

This is my favorite type of story.  It involves someone in the present trying to solve a mystery that requires them to delve into the past.  I loved it!

Review
3 Stars
What Janie Found
What Janie Found - Caroline B. Cooney

This book isn't as engrossing as the others were for me. I kept spacing out and thinking of other things to do. It seemed to ramble on and go nowhere. In the end it did end up going nowhere but I suppose the trip itself was a trip they needed to take. The journey itself was the destination and a solution was found to their dilemma.

 

Additional thoughts....

So, I didn't read these books in school like so many people did.  I might be too old by a smidge.  I vaguely remember my mother in law watching the TV show while we were visiting when my husband and I were either recently married or maybe about to be.  I looked it up and watched it online and was surprised when I recognized the last half.  When I read the first few books I read the old version but this one was the new version.  I actually listened to an audio book and not the one linked here.  I was just lazy.  Anyway, it was weird to me that Janie had a cell phone.  Is it so bad to leave books alone and let kids experience the past the way it really was.  Sure, they may be shocked that people had to find a payphone to make a call or look through paper logs and records or books in libraries to find information about people, places or things.  It is still educational though.  Leave the books alone.  I don't think it is necessary to try to make them fit the present.

 

 

Review
4 Stars
The Shoe Box
The Shoe Box - Francine Rivers
This is a very short book with beautiful pencil sketches, personal stories, and recipes from the author. I enjoyed the sweet story about the little boy and his box of ¨things.¨ I´m looking forward to trying the recipes too.
 
 

 

Review
2 Stars
The Big Killing Almost Killed Me Big with Boredom
The Big Killing - Annette Meyers

It took me forever to get into this book. The first part was very boring and I almost quit reading it. It finally got interesting enough to hook me so I had to find out how it ended. I decided to read this book because I have the 4th book in this series so I looked up the first book. I don´t read books out of order.  Now I don´t want to read anymore. This series is about a duo of headhunters called Smith and Wetzon (neither of which have a gun) but Smith is a very unlikable, shallow, cardboard character who seemed to be absent for much of the book. Wetzon isn't very smart and some things seemed obvious but she was clueless. There were a lot of names thrown around throughout the book, clients or people Wetzon knew, and it was impossible to keep track of them all.  It is also based in the financial world of Wall Street and there is a lot of talk about stocks and such which made me lose interest even more.  The book I have on my shelf that I was hoping to read and move out is called Blood on the Street and I am sure that means Wall Street.  I am thinking that book might just get donated instead.

My beading excursions
Beading Basics - Carole Rodgers

I'm learning from the book Beading Basics by Carole Rodgers which is definitely only for very new beginners.  

 

This is called Open Daisy which doesn't make any since to me.  It is the flowers with a space of straight beads in between them.  It looked dumb so I added leaves.  This is made with Czech polished glass seed beads.  It is still not something I intend to wear.  I wish I had made it smaller so I could gift it to a little kid.  

 

 

This is made with cheap plastic beads from Joann's but I love it.  This is not a good picture because it was dark when I took it.  It looks vintage and I plan to redo this idea with better beads that will give it a better weight.  The flowers close together are called "closed daisy" and the others with the spaces between are "Open daisy."  This I have worn and I love that it can be worn multiple ways.  You can put the section of smaller flowers at the bottom which is the best or you can put it behind your neck so you just see the spaced flowers.  Also, you can wear it asymmetrically, which is trend right now I guess.  I tend to go against the grain though. 

 

 

 

This is a small section of "double daisy" where two beads from the last flower and two from the next are woven together.  I was sick of daisies though so I never made this into anything.  i

 

This is woven on a loom.  My younger son picked out the colors for it since I couldn't make up my mind.  All the clasps I bought were way too big for this so I had to make something up.  I am just getting started so I have a very limited supply of beads and ended up having to improvise with this.  That i why the one end looks like a snowman.  The loop I made tightened up and couldn't fit the bead I planned to use and the silver bead had a huge hole so had to sandwich it between the snowballs.  It's a learning experience for sure.  

 

 

This is made using the ladder stitch.  I tried to keep the beads tight together but it ended up slipping so that is why it has spaces.  This is also a dark picture.  It does have black beads but the long beads are blue.  

 

 

This is a Spiral Rope.  I made it to wear with the one above.  

 

 

I'm working on the Lacy Spiral now so I'll post a picture when it is finished.

Review
4 Stars
Beading Basics
Beading Basics - Carole Rodgers

I've learned a lot from this book and have really enjoyed the projects in it. There are some I have yet to make that are not my style but I plan to change them up a bit to be more to my liking. I like the illustrations, photos and for the most part the instructions were good. When I learning the wire wrapping part I did have to look up a video on Youtube to get it right but otherwise the instructions were good.

Review
3 Stars
A Darker Place
A Darker Place (Anne Waverly) - Laurie R. King

Anne Waverly, a respected University professor who specializes in alternative religious movements, goes undercover again to learn more about a community called Change that has branches in Arizona, England, and Japan. She found it easy to get into the community when a young girl, who looked a lot like her dead daughter and who hadn't been speaking took an interest in her. The young girl spoke to her and even laughed. She learned about her brother Jason and found herself determined to keep these children safe. She was slowly learning the secrets of the Change community in Arizona but not enough to call in her FBI counterpart to take over. Then she, along with the two kids and one other child were sent to the England branch for more advanced training with Jacob. They quickly realized things were not the same at the England branch and she was scared for herself and the kids and decided she needed to contact Glen with the FBI and fast! The problem was, he had no authority in England.

 

This book was slow moving but held my attention until the end but the ending was very abrupt and left me with a lot of questions.

Review
3 Stars
The Woman in the Water
The Woman in the Water - Charles Finch

I read the first 3 books in the series before this one and this one is about the same. My average rating has been 3 stars. I had decided to quit the series after the Fleet Street Murders (#3) but felt drawn to read this one mainly because of the title and cover photo. The story just didn´t keep my attention and I found myself having to make myself go back to it like it was a homework assignment. There was no suspense until the very end. I do have to give it some credit though since I didn´t figure anything out early like with some other authors. The story itself isn´t bad but the writing rambles and loses my attention. 

currently reading

Progress: 50/382pages

2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Donna has read 1 book toward her goal of 80 books.
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2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge
Donna has completed her goal of reading 40 books in 2017!
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