Category Archives: The Blog

Year in Review

It’s been very quiet here on the blog, and you might have wondered what’s been going on.

Well, it’s been a pretty dark year.  Evil human hearts, drug overdoses, hit-and-run accidents, suicidal strangers, confounding legal predicaments, furnace problems, blinding heat, memory issues, incest, and financial and familial failure.

Gladly, that all happened in the book list, and not in our lives.  Our lives have just been busy.  Good busy, but busy.

But we’re still here, we’re still reading.  And on this, our third anniversary, I offer this as evidence:

Blogiversary Three

Here’s to another year.  Maybe one a little lighter on human catastrophe.


Posted by on March 24, 2014 in The Blog


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Check-in on The Stranger

The Stranger check-in

How are you doing with Camus?  Are you strangers?  acquaintances?  friends?

Have you had any encounters with “the nakedness of man faced with the absurd“?

I’ve already found an example of nakedness and absurdity.

I’ve also found foreshadowing.  In chapter 1 Meursault is part of a wake for his mother.  The deceased’s friends are sitting across from the not-so-bereaved:

For a second I had the ridiculous feeling that they were there to judge me.

Perhaps we’ve had too many books that end up in a court room, but when I read that sentence I  wrote “Foreshadowing?” in my book.

I’d love to hear your initial thoughts on our new novel.  Share them (and your place) in the comments.


Posted by on September 30, 2013 in The Blog


Classics by the Minute

My children love to help me make WEM connections.  For example this week at the library they borrowed Garfield Eats Crow and found this strip: Garfield and Moby-Dick.

Who knew that the famous orange cat was curious about classics?

Garfield’s 10 second story reminded me of Christina’s post about “Book-a-Minute Classics“.   I know Christina said that we like to do things the hard way, and we do.  We’re not cheaters.  We read the blasted books no matter how long or bizarre they may be, but that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy a chuckle or two with these little cheats after the wrap-up is over.

Jane Eyre

The Scarlet Letter


Crime and Punishment

Anna Karenina

The Return of the Native

The Portrait of a Lady

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Red Badge of Courage

Heart of Darkness

The Great Gatsby

I think The Return of the Native synopsis might be my favorite.  Although, I did enjoy The Portrait of a Lady one as well.

Feeling brave?  a little snarky?  Go ahead and write your own “Book-a-Minute” summary.


Posted by on September 24, 2013 in The Blog


Up In the Air

It’s a bird!  It’s a plane!  It’s a literary reference!

Well, two out of three ain’t bad.  Because surely when Richard Wright wrote the skywriting scene in Book I of Native Son he was doing so in order to give a nod to the similar introductory moment in Mrs. Dalloway.

Or not.  Maybe planes were just sort of new and cool and, well, novel for a novel.

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Posted by on September 17, 2013 in The Blog


The Mystery Man – Part Four

Gatsby:  User or Victim?

He uses lots of people and situations to get to Daisy, doesn’t he?   Nick, in particular.   He doesn’t seem to care about tromping on a marriage or being honest or even the horrible event in Chapter 7 (which I won’t mention in case you haven’t gotten there yet).

On the other hand, people use him too.   All the society wealthy who crash his parties, drink his drinks and eat his fancy food are all users.   They could care less about Gatsby as a person (as evidenced by their lack of presence at the events of the last chapter).   Even the person he seems to care the most about, Daisy, turns her back on him in the end to protect herself.   Do you feel sorry for him at all?  Any empathy?

So what do you think?  Is it Poor Gatsby or Good Riddance Gatsby?


Posted by on June 5, 2013 in The Blog, The Great Gatsby


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The Mystery Man – Part Three

Gatsby:   Empty or Full?

His life seems so full at times.  Full of fun.  Full of parties.  Full of a Purpose (get the girl).   Yet, there is the empty side too.   Empty of meaningful hobbies.  Empty of real relationships.   Empty of family.

So, is he empty or full?  Or is this perhaps just a matter of perspective?   (In a way, this novel is reminding me of the House of Mirth – smoke and mirrors.)

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Posted by on June 3, 2013 in The Blog, The Great Gatsby


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The Mystery Man – Part Two

Gatsby:  Creepy or Cute?

Well, he does buy a house directly across the channel from Daisy’s house, just so he can sit and stare across at the green light, dreaming of a perfect reunion.   That’s a bit creepy.   Or is it cute?  Wouldn’t you like to have someone show that amount of devotion to you?     He has Nick set up a reunion at his “shack” next door, where he shows an admirably cute amount of embarrassment leading to joy, leading to wonder.  But then there is the whole arranging of the thing, which is a bit creepy.

So, what do you think?  Creepy or cute?


Posted by on June 1, 2013 in The Blog, The Great Gatsby


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