The Bookshelf Project 2.0

Hello again!  Here's round two of my Bookshelf Project, and you can read round one here.

Let's get right to it, shall we? :)  (Again, lots of parentheses, lots of links, and lots of random pictures/gifs.)

Those I Finished:

Little Men by Louisa May Alcott.  I liked it!  It wasn't exactly my favorite, but it was Alcott; ergo it was good and interesting and charming and all those lovely things.  The part when *SPOILERS!* Danny comes back and Teddy runs to his bed the next morning made me deep-down-in-my-soul happy. *END OF SPOILERS*  4 out of 5 stars.

Goodbye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton.  I think I'll just go cry now.  No, really, it was a very sad book, but it was so gentle and darling that I couldn't help falling in love with it.  Oh, and for those of you who have read the original book of One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Chips reminded me of the old man whose fireside Pongo and Missis visit on their journey!  Mind=blown.  5 out of 5 stars.

Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell.  WHOA.  WHAT.  This one was amazing!  I've read that it was Gaskell's first book, and that really surprised me at first, because personally I think it excelled North and South and even Wives and Daughters.  But then again, I guess I can also see where it's her first:  she is extremely blunt in this novel; there's virtually no subtlety of theme at all--you are left in no doubt of what her intentions are with the story.  Also, she interjects herself into the narrative a lot, with use of first person, the author appealing to the audience, perhaps just a little more than is strictly constructive.  Anyway, the story is convoluted and dark and I'm not going to try to write a synopsis, so I'll just mention that it "kept me on the edge of my seat", so to speak.  I didn't know how everything would turn out.  Would there be a happy ending?  A so-so ending?  A tragic ending?  Who actually did what? (Well, I kind of guessed that one, but it's pretty obvious.)  *SPOILERS*  Guys when Mr. Carson came and held Mr. Barton as Barton was dying.  JUST HOW. *END OF SPOILERS*  I don't think I'm getting across to you how good this book was.  Read this quote, just read it: 

Bright, beautiful came the slanting rays of the morning sun.  It was time for such as she to hide themselves, with the other obscene things of night, from the glorious light of day, which was only for the happy.

I mean! *sputters*  Yeah, it's definitely a rather depressing book, but I loved it, and I usually don't love depressing books.  I don't even like Dickens (THERE I SAID IT).  So, ya know, don't let that deter you from reading it, if you're like me and don't like those kinds of books.  

Oh, OH, and THE COURTROOM SCENE I MEAN I SERIOUSLY ALMOST LOST MY ABILITY TO CAN.  This is basically what I wanted to do to all of the characters afterwards:

Gahhhhhhh.  5 out of 5 stars.

Yankee Stranger by Elswyth Thane.  You can read my Goodreads review here.  4 out of 5 stars.

My Ántonia by Willa Cather.  I'd heard glowing things about this book, and it lived up to its reputation. An authentic, simple, but epic depiction of the way relationships change us, and the courage and grit of those who settled our country.  Plus, it's SO beautifully written.  Wowzah.  4 out of 5 stars.

Those I Didn't:

Hans Brinker by Mary Mapes Dodge.  Just wasn't feelin' it, I'm sorry to say.  I'm sure it's a good book, but I wasn't "in the mood."

The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson.  This is the second time I've started and then stopped this book.  Something must be wrong with me, because it sounds like a really fun story.  I DO plan on reading and finishing this eventually, honest I do.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.  Haha, no.  I'm sure I'll read it eventually (famous last words), but I was so not about to start that mammoth thing as school and music were winding down.  

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.  Hehe.  I sowwy.  It's a gothic romance, gothic romance is just Not My Genre, I read about six chapters, and decided to postpone my reading.  Abject apologies, and all that (sort of).

And there she be!  Now, on to tackling the third and final shelf, as soon as I finish the last three chapters of my re-read of Inkheart (that book is life, guys)!  See you then ;)  (Not that I won't be posting before then, of course.  You understand.)


  1. Your blog is so cool!

    1. Thank you so much, Hannah! And thanks for your comment! :)

  2. Willa Cather--now, that is one author I LOVE. Have you ever tried either Death Comes for the Archbishop or Shadows on the Rock? I think you'd really, really like them. They're two of my all-time favorite books. THOSE DESCRIPTIONS, THOUGH. Just GORGEOUS. And I love how she seems to understand human nature so well . . .

    Don't apologize for not liking "Rebecca." I myself have taken a solemn vow NEVER to read a Gothic romance. I DO NOT DO GOTHIC ROMANCES, PEOPLE. Not even Jane Eyre. Got that? Thanks. Movin' on. ;-)

    1. I haven't tried either of those Willa Cather books yet, but thanks for the recommendation; she's done a lot, so I don't quite know where to go after My Ántonia…I'm thinking I'll probably start with O Pioneers!, but after that I'm not decided yet :) YES, she has a gorgeous writing style.

      Oh! Another non-fan of Gothic romances! They just don't agree with me. Nope. I LIKE Jane Eyre, but I don't exactly LOVE it.

    2. Yesh. I mean to say, we don't need all that horror and death along with our love-stories, what? Simply uncalled-for, Jeeves.

      Annnnnndddd . . . while we're on the subject . . . I don't want to discourage you, but I personally find "O Pioneers" kinda depressing . . . Oh, dear, how can I explain this without spoilers? I can't. And I can't say whether or not YOU would like it, either. I just--like her other books a lot better :-)

    3. Precisely, my dear Watson ;)

      Oh! Thanks for telling me; I shall be cautious whenever I do get around to reading it :)

  3. Congrats!

    Mary Barton looks good. I haven't read anything by Elizabeth Gaskell(to be completely honest, I'd only heard of her a few months ago), but everyone recommends the BBC North and South, so that one will be first!

    Yeah, Anna Karenina just SOUNDS intimidating;)

    1. Thanks, Meredith! :)

      It WAS good! Yes, N&S is a bit of a favorite, ain't it? ;) I really love it too, but to be honest I think my favorite Gaskell, so far, is Wives and Daughters.


  4. Little Men is really, really cool (and I love that part too!!), but I think that I like jo's Boys better.

    I haven't read Mary Barton, but one of my sister's did and she really enjoyed.

    I know what you mean about starting books and then just not being in the mood!! Right now there are 2 books that I started to read, but wasn't in the mood for. They are, 'Club of Queer Trades' by G.K. Chesterton and 'The Warden' by Anthony Trollope.

    1. Cool! Yeah, I haven't read Jo's Boys yet, but I'm sure I will eventually :D

      It's really good, you should try it.

      YES!! I haven't tried either of those, but I'm glad you understand what it's like ;)

  5. I'm glad you liked Little Men. :) Louisa May Alcott's books are just special, aren't they?

    My brother has Mr. Chips. I guess if it was that good I should really read it, huh? Maybe I'll borrow it one of these days.

    Okay, that quote from Mary Barton was beautiful. I'm going to have to add that to my future to-read list. (By the way, DID it have a happy ending?)

    You don't like Dickens? OLIVIA! How can you say such a thing? Haha! No, really, that's okay, everyone has a different style. But now I'm curious, which Dickens books have you read?

    I enjoyed this post very much indeed! And the pictures you included are beautiful! :)

    ~Miss March

    1. Yes, they definitely are! She's one of my favorite authors :)

      Yes, you should! I think you'd like Chips.

      RIGHT WASN'T IT THOUGH. (It had an…interesting ending. Happy in some ways, sad in others. You know.)

      Haha, I know! I have spoken blasphemy, no? ;) I've only finished A Tale of Two Cities and Bleak House, though I've read about an eighth of Little Dorrit, and of course watched some of the movies. I'm going to read Great Expectations for school pretty soon, though :) I mean, he's an amazing author, positively brilliant, but…I just Don't Like Him. I internalize practically every emotion to which I'm exposed, so when I read stories like his, I begin to feel what his characters feel. And since some of his characters feel deep depression and suicidal tendencies…you can imagine that it's not always the best scenario ;p It's weird: I guess there are just certain types of depressing stories that really affect different people in different ways, and we all have those that we can't tolerate very well. Stories about the poverty and depression of the England of his time period are the kind I can't "handle". :-/ (Wow. That was a really long explanation to a very straightforward question. Apologies about that.)

      I'm so glad you liked it! Aww, thanks!

    2. Aww, don't apologize. I don't mind long explanations at all. :) And I totally understand what you mean. Dickens does deal with some very heavy subjects in his books. I don't internalize things as much as you do, but I have read books before where I found myself taking on some of the characters thoughts and feelings, so I do understand that. (For example, when I read Go Set a Watchman. I liked it, but at the same time I felt like my world was being torn apart. I was seriously feeling the distress of the main character almost as if it was myself. It's kind of neat when you can get that emotionally involved in a story, but of course, it also has it's problems--like you said, if a character suffers from "deep depression and suicidal tendencies"...then, yeah, that's certainly not an emotion you want to take on. :P )

      You're so right. I can't think of a particular book right now, but I know there are some out there that I wouldn't be able to handle too well. Real-life war stories (books or movies) are some of the worst for me, I think, depending on how detailed and true to life they are.

      Sorry to rattle on about Dickens, but you know which Dickens book you really should try? A Christmas Carol. I can't guarantee that you'd like it, of course, but in my opinion it's a very funny, thought-provoking story--with tons of delicious Christmas feels--and it has a JOYOUSLY happy ending. My dad reads it to us every year.

      Okay, I'm done now. Sorry for talking your ear off. ;)

      ~Miss March

    3. Oh, dear! I hadn't realized I didn't respond to this! Sorry about that :-/

      Yep, that's pretty much how it goes for me. But there are a couple of his that I like :)

      Oh, goodness, yes. I think one of those types of stories, I Am David, just messed me up, it was so brutally true to life.

      Haha, that's totally fine! I haven't actually read ACC yet, but I grew up on the Muppets movie version, so I'm pretty familiar with the story xD I do plan to read that one eventually.

      Posh! I love talking with you ;)

  6. In the Frozen GIF, did anyone else notice that a chubby lady was staring at the Duke of Weaselton (or however it's spelled) when his wig comes off? Haha, humor...

    I started Little Men, but it was sort of a let down after Little Women, so I stopped reading it...
    I haven't read the other three books you liked... :'(
    I haven't read the first three you didn't like... GASP.
    You don't like Rebecca?!?!?! I LOVED that book! It was awesome...
    But, alas, not everyone can like what I like.... it would be a quite uninteresting world if they did.

    1. Bekah, I also noticed the facial expressions of the man directly behind the duke. xD

    2. **high-five**

      Oh, and it's still a great post, Olivia! I love pretty much everything you put out :)

    3. Haha! I know, right?! I noticed that about the third time I saw it. I like it when animators are diligent enough to make the secondary characters act realistically in different scenarios :D

      I get that. It--cough--it took me a while to get through it, and I contemplated stopping it a couple of times.

      Hehe…yeah…maybe some other time ;D

  7. Inkheart is absolutely fab. Love that book. And bravo to you for finishing!

    1. I know, right?! *sigh* I love that book, too… And thanks!

  8. I don't like Black Arrow, personally. Stevenson's writing in general doesn't sit well with me, for some reason :P Oh, I do like Willa Cather! She's rather brilliant.

    "Like an agile peacock." That gif though . . .

    1. Huh! Maybe that's it, Rosie! What in particular don't you like about his writing? I haven't finished a book of his, as of yet, so I couldn't really tell. It's odd--I like books such as Ivanhoe, but writing styles such as the ones used in The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood and The Black Arrow don't work for me, for whatever reason! It's kind of like I can't follow them well…which makes me feel rather illiterate…but anywho ;p

      Hahahaha, I know, right?!

    2. Mmmm, well. Now you're asking ME. Haha. Okay, I think I just don't "get" his male characters. And as the majority of his characters are male, I end up not liking the story. I once told Jessica that all of Stevenson's male character's aren't at all like Real Men, that they wouldn't ever really exist, and that the friendships he writes don't ring true either. She thought that was a pretty funny though apt description. She doesn't really like Stevenson's novels either. I know, however, that a lot of people do like his books . . . I just don't seem able to join the throng :P

    3. Gotcha. That makes sense! I guess I'll have to pay attention to his male characters whenever I do actually finish one of his books xD

  9. I've only read Little Men out of all of these, actually (although I'm familiar with the author/story of several others). Little Men isn't Alcott's best, I must say, but I still enjoyed it and have read it around 3 or 4 times. ;) (I recently just got "An Old Fashioned Girl" as a Christmas present from my grandparents and I can't wait to read it! :D)
    That gif from the Parent Trap. Haha, I love the Dad's reaction. Dennis Quaid is so much fun. :D That movie makes me laugh a whole lot. (Not quite as much as Mom's Night Out, though, that one has me in tears.)
    And you don't like Dickens?! I feel very sorry for you then. ;) I like Dickens, but each to their own. :)
    ~Miss Meg

    1. Ooh, what's your favorite Alcott, Miss Meg? (And yay! You'll love it, I'm fairly certain :D)

      EEEEEEEEEEE YOU KNOW THAT MOVIE!!!! Isn't it just the best?! And Dennis Quaid, yes indeed he is :) Both of those movies make me crack up a lot ;D

      Hehe, indeed, I am pitiable ;)

    2. It's kind of hard to pick, but I'd have to say the unoriginal answer of Little Women. (Eight Cousins would come second though.) Little Women was what got my interest in Alcott, and that story has always just CLICKED with me or something, it was just so amazing. It's probably my favourite book ever. :)
      Haha, yes, I know that movie! It's pretty funny (although I only saw it about 3 years ago) and I like the actors. :D (Dennis Quaid is my favourite though. Especially after seeing him in Soul Surfer.)

    3. Little Women is my favorite of hers too, and also one of my all-time favorites! :D *high five* YESH, exactly that. It's amazing :)

      Ahhhhhh, that movie is my childhood. (And yes, Dennis Quaid is great!)

  10. I own Mary Barton and have it waiting on my made me want to read it right away! Hopefully soon. :) Did you hear that BBC were supposedly going to make a movie of it?

    1. Ooh! Do tell me what you think when you read it, Natalie! I think you'll love it :D Eeeeeee, really?! We need an epic movie of that book, truly, we do!

    2. Olivia,
      Sounds goods! :D Hope you had a merry Christmas!


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