Monday, June 26, 2017

Yet Another Humongous Tag Post, Part I

** EDIT **  Apparently, I initially marked George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four as read, but I have only started it.  So, really, I have read 19 of these books, not 20, and have started 6.  My bad. :-P

So, I'm behind on tags again (shocker), and I was planning to have another huge post, but . . . I think it'd actually be too long, this time, to fill out all the tags in one post. Ergo the "Part I" addendum to the title.

Thank you so much to the two lovely ladies whose tags I will be filling out in this first edition!  Y'all rock. <3  Let's get started! 

The "100 Books the BBC Think Most People Haven't Read More than 6 of" Tag ~
(courtesy of MovieCritic)


1. Be honest.
2. Put an asterisk next to the ones you have read all the way through. Put an addition sign next to the ones you have started.
3. Tag as many people as these books that you have read.

Here we go!  *cue all the aesthetic book pictures*


1.  Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen *
2.  Gormenghast Trilogy -  Mervyn Peake
3.  Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë *
4.  Temple of the Golden Pavilion - Yukio Mishima
5.  To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee *
6.  The Story of the Eye - George Bataille
7.  Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë *
8.  Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell +
9.  Adrift on the Nile - Naguib Mahfouz
10.  Great Expectations - Charles Dickens *
11.  Little Women - Louisa May Alcott *
12.  Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13.  Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14.  Rhinoceros - Eugene Ionesco
15.  Baron in the Trees - Italo Calvino

16.  The Master of Go - Yasunari Kawabata
17.  Woman in the Dunes - Abe Kobo
18.  Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger +  (I mean, sort of?  I skimmed through it once.)
19.  The Feast of the Goat - Mario Vargas Llosa
20.  Middlemarch - George Eliot
21.  Gogol's Wife - Tomasso Landolfi
22.  The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald *
23.  Magic Mountain - Thomas Mann
24.  War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25.  Ferdydurke - Gombrowicz
26.  Narcissus and Goldmund - Herman Hesse
27.  Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky *
28.  The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29.  Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll *
30.  The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame *

31.  Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy *
32.  The Jungle - Upton Sinclair
33.  Tom Sawyer / Huck Finn - Mark Twain  */+, respectively
34.  Emma - Jane Austen
35.  Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe *
36.  Delta Wedding - Eudora Welty
37.  The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini +  (Again, I've just skimmed it.)
38.  Naomi - Junichiro Tanizaki
39.  Cosmicomics - Italo Calvino
40.  The Joke - Milan Kundera
41.  Animal Farm - George Orwell
42.  Labyrinths - Gorge Luis Borges
43.  One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44.  A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving +
45.  Under My Skin - Doris Lessing

46.  Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery *
47.  Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy *
48.  Don Quixote - Miguel Cervantes *
49.  Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50.  Absalom Absalom - William Faulkner
51.  Beloved - Toni Morrison
52.  The Flounder - Gunther Grass
53.  Dead Souls - Nikolai Gogol
54.  Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55.  My Name is Red - Orhan Pamuk
56.  A Dolls House - Henrik Ibsen
57.  A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens *
58.  Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59.  The Idiot - Fyodor Dostoevesky +  (very briefly)
60.  Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61.  Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62.  Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63.  Leaves of Grass - Walt Whitman
64.  Death on the Installment Plan - Celine
65.  Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66.  On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67.  Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68.  Pedro Paramo - Juan Rulfo
69.  Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70.  Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71.  Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72.  Dracula - Bram Stoker
73.  The Metamorphosis - Kafka
74.  Epitaph of a Small Winner - Machado De Assis
75.  Ulysses - James Joyce

76.  The Inferno - Dante *
77.  Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78.  Germinal - Emile Zola
79.  To the Light House - Virginia Woolf *
80.  Disgrace - John Maxwell Coetzee
81.  A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82.  Zorba the Greek - Nikos Kazantzakis
83.  The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84.  The Box Man - Abe Kobo
85.  Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86.  A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87.  The Stranger - Camus
88.  Acquainted with the Night - Heinrich Boll
89.  Don't Call It Night - Amos Oz
90.  The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91.  Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92.  The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93.  Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pychon
94.  Memoirs of Hadrian - Marguerite Yourcenar
95.  A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96.  Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
97.  The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98.  Hamlet - William Shakespeare *
99.  Faust - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe +  (I've read "significant" excerpts of both the First and the Second parts.)
100.  Metamorphosis - Ovid


Books read: 19 and a half (Tom Sawyer is half of #33 :-P)
Books started: 6 and a half (Huck Finn, see above :-P)
People I tag:  Okay . . . well, I happened upon an idea.  I decided I'd just tag the first 20 people to comment on one of my recent posts (I had to go back to "IT'S PARTY TIME") to find that many, but no matter).  Well, the first 20 after the very first person, in this case, because MovieCritic herself was the first person to comment on that post, and as she's the one who tagged me . . . yeah. :)  And lots of these people may have already been tagged, but, y'know, that's beyond my control. ;-P  You ready, peeps?  Here goes!

Naomi * Jessica Prescott * Natalie * Meredith * Miss March * Rachel * Ruth * Livia Rachelle * Morgan LuaAnn * DKoren * The Girl with the Gold Pen * Hamlette * Eva * Brittany B * Hannah Deno * Rilla Blythe * Rosie McCann * Miss Meg * Mary Katherine * Ivy Miranda *

(courtesy of Cordy)


1. Link back to the person who tagged you
2. List four fictional characters (use pictures if you want! They can be from movies or books) and, if you like, describe what they're like and why you believe they relate to you
3. Tag a few other blog people! Three, or four, or even twenty. :) Share the fun!
Be sure to let them know you've tagged them!


1.  Molly Gibson
(from Wives and Daughters)

I've long felt a kinship with Molly.  We're both of us rather quiet and compassionate, and willing to think the best of everybody until proven wrong.  We're also good listeners and people talk to us a lot. :D  (And we like being there for people, don't get us wrong!  But sometimes, depending on the substance of what people are unburdening themselves of and how often it happens, we can get a bit overwhelmed.)

We can both take a lot, but eventually something will cave and we might lose it.  Molly's better about confronting people when she thinks they've done something wrong than I am, though.  

We'd both rather keep our feelings to ourselves (if they're of a Romantic Nature *ahem*) than risk making a fool out of ourselves by telling the other person. 

2.  Susan Pevensie
(from The Chronicles of Narnia)

As I'm sure I've mentioned at least once, I get defensive when people judge Susan and/or hate on her.  I personally have always liked her, and have always felt that I've related to her much more than to Lucy.

We both struggle with doubt and feelings of insecurity.  I believe that Susan is probably, secretly, rather jealous of Lucy -- and, shameful though it might be, I kind of relate?  

Lucy is looked at (and is, honestly) as this perfect, model believer who never has any trouble having wholehearted faith.  And that's not Susan, and it's not me.  (I'm not insinuating that those who like Lucy more than Susan think of themselves as perfect, model believers and oh-so-holier-than-thou, though, just to be clear!)  What if Susan secretly resented Lucy because she felt she could never possibly measure up to her in Aslan's eyes?  Lucy gives Aslan so much real, true, undivided faith and trust and love and obedience, and Susan doesn't. 

Susan has trouble believing.  And honestly, though a good part of that is obviously due to her pride and her "intellectual arrogance" and her "logic," I think a large part of it is also fear.  I think Susan might be afraid to put her trust in Aslan because she is afraid of putting her trust in something that seems too good to be true, since if she trusts too implicitly, she might be left hanging. Aslan might fall through for her, and she doesn't want to allow herself the possibility of looking like a blind, naïve fool if that were to happen.  

(Also, we're both mother-hens.) 

I just relate a lot to her, okay?!  (And I guess I've always especially liked Anna Popplewell's Susan?  I mean, she's gorgeous and her wardrobe is #goals, and I think she does Susan very well.)

I've been thinking a lot about Susan lately because, as I mentioned in this post . . . I'm hoping and planning to write a continuation of Susan's story at some point in the not-too-distant future!  I've actually been feeling more and more of an urging to write it which I think is God, and so y'all might be seeing more Susan/Narnia-related posts popping up soon. ;)

3.  Anna & Elsa
(from Frozen)

That's right, both of them! :)  I'm cheating a bit, hehe. ;-P

I relate to Anna's optimism and general buoyancy, though not so much her extroversion. ;)  

I relate to Elsa's feelings of responsibility and struggles with anxiety.  (Not quite to her level, though -- I mean, I'm okay!  Don't fret!)  Also her introversion, and the fact that though she is so quiet and reserved, there's a part of her heart that really responds to freedom and "joyous abandonment" and "self-expression" and all that. 

4.  Fern Arable
(from Charlotte's Web)

I realized recently that I am basically Fern Arable.  Passionate animal-lovers and despisers of animal cruelty!  (Which, I mean, most people are -- again, not trying to be all holier-than-thou.)  We'll both rush to keep an animal from death, even if it could be argued that our methods and reasoning are less than perfectly logical and/or consistent.  

I shall tag four people, because it Makes Sense. ;D  

Ta-ta for now, my loves!  I don't know when I'll get to part two of this, but . . . it'll happen someday.  (I hope.)  ;D

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Red Carpet Eye Candy . . . {5}

I've sort of run out of clever ways in which to start these posts, so . . . yeah.  You know the drill. :-P

I like Jennifer Morrison's style, but usually it's too plunging for me.  Needless to say, I was happy to find this pretty, modest outfit. :)  J-Mo (I heard the rest of the cast call her that in an interview and it was adorable) definitely knows how to style, that's for sure.  

I love the wine color of this dress, and just how slinky and simple it is.  Plus, it also just looks La La Land, doesn't it?

The token Cinderella dress. :D  (Actually, though, Emma Watson's is also Cinderellic, and so is Jennifer Laurence's . . . oh, well.)  The color is gorgeous on Blake Lively, there's just the right amount of floofiness (not too much), and basically it just looks great. :)  I also like the sequined beading or whatever that is on the top, and how it continues down into the skirt.

Auli'i Cravalho seems so cute and sweet. :)  And I really like this dress, too -- I don't think the pattern would have worked as well in color, but since it's neutral it really flows nicely.  

Now, yes, the neckline is too low, but other than that, I actually quite like this look.  Which kind of surprises me, since it's a bit more "out there," and I'm still not sure if the pinned-up bustle thing is spot-on.  But the styling is great and makes me think of the 1920's. :)

Squinting at the picture right now, I think it's actually a lace overlay, but it looks rather like sequins or beading from a distance, and I think it works really well for her -- which is saying something, given that it seems like it'd be a difficult color to wear well.  (Also, are those shamrocks?!)

A more closed bodice would have been nice *ahem*, but I really like this, otherwise.  The color is really pretty and looks fantastic on Hailee, and I like the drape of the dress and the styling she did.

Loverly. <3  And the fabric looks like it'd feel silky. :D

I think this was some event where celebrities were supposed to come dressed sort of like different countries?  I'm not sure.  But anyway, strange as it might be, I do like this piece.  And it looks really cool from the back.

I LOVE THIS SO MUCH.  JUST ALL THE YES.  <3  Plus, the photos of her and Dan Stevens at this premiere?!  LOOK. <3)  It's so simple, yet so elegant, and the hairstyle complements it perfectly, as does the delicate jewelry that she wore (which you can't really see in this picture).  And, as you may know, I'm kind of a sucker for trains, so . . . ;D

Which is your favorite of these gowns? :)

Sunday, June 11, 2017

What I Do and Don't Like in a Love Story

I love love stories.  I am, as they say, a sucker for them.  They can tend to make or break a film/book/TV series for me.  (I can't say I'm proud to admit it, but I have been known to let my enthusiasm for diving into a particular story be determined by whether or not it has a romance of some kind.)

Recently, I have been reflecting upon this affection for love stories (I pun without even realizing it, sometimes), and have amused myself most heartily with making up a little list of the things that I do and don't like in a romance.  I certainly don't mention every single thing I do or don't like in a love story, but I do list quite a few. ;-P  It makes me feel all sophisticated and In Touch With Myself to determine what story elements I have grown to like or dislike over the years. :-P

So!  In a moment, the list; but first, a couple (I PUNNED UNINTENTIONALLY AGAIN) disclaimers.

1.  I will be using several different couples as object lessons for some of my points, so a) there may be spoilers, and b) just because I might poke some loving fun at a certain duo for the purpose of illustrating a specific thought, that doesn't mean that I don't still love that twosome very fondly (case in point: Joseph + Shannon from Far and Away).  And it certainly doesn't mean that this particular point I'm making holds true for all couples in all circumstances.  If I make fun of an element that you really like, particularly for a specific couple, I'm sorry -- I definitely don't mean any offense!  

2.  Obviously, I'd prefer my couples to hold to certain moral standards, and a relationship with or belief in God would be great, but I'm not really going to be talking about just those couples who do so, because, unfortunately, most of them don't.  So.  Anyway.  (I say anyway a lot, don't I?)

Okay, onwards!  The deets of Olivia's love story preferences.  (Suuuuuuuper long post, btw, and I'm sorry for the very-un-uniform sizes of the pictures and gifs.  I kind of give up.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 


~ When one of them tells the other -- usually at a climactic moment when they feel they have lost their love forever -- something to the effect of, "I've loved you since the moment I clapped eyes on you."

Actually, no.  You have not, in fact, loved the other person forever.  You may have been Very Interested in the other person, but I think for many of you it's safe to say that you were not in real, true love with him or her right from the start.

Now, granted, I can tolerate this sort of sentiment better with some couples than with others.  Let us look at two examples:

Gilbert Blythe:  Hmm, well, yes.  You've loved her for quite awhile and basically fell for her as quickly as could reasonably be expected, so we'll give you that one.

Shannon Christie:  Umm . . . no.  No, my dear.  You did not love Joseph from the first moment you saw him -- in fact, you thought he was going to rape you and you stabbed him in the leg with a pitchfork.  Let's not romanticize unromantic things.  

~ When our lovebirds are Getting Along Swimmingly, but then a Great Misunderstanding happens and one of them Deeply Wounds the other with their Harsh Words, motivated by their own Deep Pain, and thusly the Budding Romance is Brought to a grinding Halt. 

Urrrrrgh.  I know, I know, stuff like that happens in real relationships and it's good when people try to portray romances accurately, but sometimes?  I'm just like, stop.  Seriously, stop.  It's annoying.  And overdone. :-P

~ When one of them says something like, "I'd die for you" or "I'd die for her/him." *

Show, don't tell.  

Hehe.  Kidding.  (Sort of.)

. . . Okay, okay, this one isn't all that bad.  It just seems sort of, well . . . cheesy.  And unnecessary. :-P

* (The exception to this is if you're Will Turner in Curse of the Black Pearl, because if you're Will Turner in Curse of the Black Pearl, you are basically an adorable, doe-eyed puppy and you can do whatever the heck you want. <3)

~ When the girl is noticeably older than the guy.

I'm soooooorry, but I can't help it. It just majorly weirds me out.

~ When the romance goes nowhere.

This. scene. was. so. weird.

This one is difficult to explain. I don't necessarily mean when the romance is cut short for some tragic reason *ahem*, but when the romance seems to have been put in FOR NO REASON. I don't like it when a romance is stuck in just to wither away and die to no purpose. I'm not talking about those times when two minor characters you thought would be cute don't really end up as a couple, like Jack and Annie in Penelope -- I'm talking about when story makers pull Dear Frankie c-r-you-know-what. I get that sometimes these kinds of love stories are meant to illustrate that things don't always work out, and sometimes people are foolish and don't seize the chances they have, and precious things can be lost as a result, but to be honest?

I still don't want it.

~ When couples choose the worst, most impractical times to have "a cosmic moment."

Seriously, when Shannon and Joseph do this in that mansion scene in Far and Away?! STAAAAAAAAHHHHPPPP. I understand that it's Touching that they care about their relationship more than food, but the pragmatist in me is grinding her teeth and saying, "Guys, really. You're literally starving. EAT."

Basically, couples, you should take Han Solo's advice: "Escape now; hug later."


~ When they have adorable, innocent fun together -- either doing something peculiar to their own interests, doing something that others might think strange, or just laughing together.

Examples of this include but are not limited to:

     -- Kit and Ella swinging in the "secret garden"
     -- Holly and Paul walking around New York "doing things they'd never done before" (minus the stealing, of course :-P)
     -- Jason and Hannah playing in the water
     -- Charlie and Sophie eating ice cream cones in Italy
     -- Molly and Roger in Africa
     -- Kat and Patrick playing paintball
     -- Jack and Lucy slipping over the ice

~ When the guy is protective of the girl.

This sounds weird, but "it is what it is." :-P  I love it when the guy is really passionate about protecting his lady love, especially when he does it without even thinking about it or finds himself going a tad berserk when he feels she's in danger or hurt.  ("I made that sound really not good," but y'all know what I mean.)

~ When they've grown up together/when they're friends as adults before they become a couple.

Childhood buddies or longtime friends who become sweethearts later on are so precious. <3

~ When they've both gone through traumatic things and then they find each other (not to be sappy or anything).



(Yes, I may or may not have included this solely for the excuse to gush about Faramir and Éowyn.  I ain't ashamed.)

~ Relationships that start off on the wrong foot and have killer #sass.  And banter.  Lots of banter.

Ahem. ;)  I know some of you aren't so fond of the love/hate format, and I'll admit that it's overdone.  But what can I say?  I really like it.  I will point out, though, that I think this particular element tends to work better in movies/TV shows than books.

~ When one of them doesn't realize The Truth About Their Feelings and gets involved with someone else for a while, but then they realize The Truth About Their Feelings

This picture was cuter and less cadaverous in theory.

Every period drama ever. :D

~ When there's a dance involved.

I'm also a sucker about dances for a couple's development, shallow and too-oft-used though they may be. ;)  They're just romantic, okay?!

~ When they are already married or get married close to the start of the story, and we get to see their "post-honeymoon" relationship throughout the rest of it.

It's more real, dontcha know. <3

~ When they're just plain cute -- when "adorable" is one of the first adjectives that comes to mind when you think of them.

Cuteness is a must.  Don't we all love cute romances? :)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

What elements do we have in common?
What are some things you would add to either of these lists?