Thursday, March 15, 2018

March Readathon/ Readalong/ Challenge Update #2

So as you probably know, I went a little crazy this month with read-alongs, readathons and challenges.  I figured I better have a weekly check in post to dedicate to all these events. I am a bit behind on getting my updates and discussion posts up but I totally blame the crazy weather of this week.  I think I will have my update posts for the next couple weeks on Thursday anyway, it will be a bit easier to work into my schedule.  Anyway, here is my progress as well as the discussion answers the the various readalongs!

Anne of Green Gables Read-Along
Just the other day we had a twitter chat about the first 13 chapters of Anne.  Also Suey had a little update on her blog with the below questions to discuss.  The next round of questions will be on Kami's Library Thoughts on the 22nd to review chapters 14 through 26.  I have read up to chapter 27 and while Anne still irritates the heck out of me, I am growing to love Marilla more and more, she is so much like me.  I also keep waiting to like Gilbert like everyone raves about but we really don't know much about him yet other than Anne is infuriated by him (probably because she likes him and he challenges her).  Anyway, we are more than half done, I am glad I am finally reading this but at the same time don't believe I will continue the series.

 1. In chapter 2, when Matthew is driving Anne back to Green Gables, she asks him: “Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive.” Given her tragic childhood, how do you think Anne is able to maintain such a positive attitude?
Her optimism is definitely a part of her personality, that hope that better things are coming are what keep her going through life and the imagination is her way of dealing with the things in life that could get her down.

2. Anne is insistent on renaming places and inanimate things.  Why do you think she does this? 
This is part of her imagination, it helps her keep in that mind set that things are more beautiful than they are and feed into her imaginings.

3. Marilla gives several reasons for finally deciding to keep Anne. What reason do you think most changed her mind? 
I think Marilla is a much kinder person than is portrayed.  I think that she was worried that eventually the hardships that kept coming to Anne would eventually break her spirit and that would be a loss of just a little bit more hope in the world.  I think she has grown to need Anne's optimism in her life too as she has never imagined more for herself. I think she also believes this for Matthew who has also not had much hope or desire for more in life and she wants him to have this bit of happiness in his life too.

4. If Anne grew up today, would she have been happier with how she looked? What would she have pined for, looks- and fashion-wise? What is our society's equivalent of plumpness, dark hair, and puffed sleeves? 
I think that no matter what, she would find some flaw with herself, it is what makes her human. There are always flaws and even though she has a great outlook she has to find something wrong with herself in order for her to imagine better for the future.  If she were in modern times, she would probably be wishful for the most fashionable handbag and long dark eyelashes to flutter at future suitors. 

5. How would Anne have turned out if Marilla had let Mrs. Blewett take her? Would that life have crushed Anne's imaginative spirit, or would she have changed in a different way?
I don't think it would have crushed her spirits right away but her imaginations may have been dimmed.  She had managed in different ways in each of the previous homes that she was in to keep her spirit up and find a way to share her imaginations.  I do think it would have been harder as she grew older though and eventually the reality that she would not get to be a bride would have worn her down.


    The Selection Buddy Read
    It is so exciting when a non-reader really takes to a book suggestion you make! My Sister in Law and I have been reading The Selection together and texting back and forth to discuss.  We have just finished the first book and we both love Maxon but can't stand Aspen.  For me it is a re-read and while I totally want to binge read and fly through these books, I have had to slow down and read at her pace, but it has made me pay a little more attention to what I am reading.  I have to say that so far my favorite chapters are 17 and 18 where we get a little more into the political aspects of Illea. We are now starting The Elite!


    Middle Grade March Read-A-Thon

    I have made a ton of progress on the Middle Grade March challenge! It is a lot of fun to read these books that can be read in a sitting or two.  I have also read such a wide variety that it is fun to get that bit in so many different genres.  I have only DNFed Listen, Slowly due to the voice of the character, it was just a little too whiny and immature for my liking.  Other than that one, I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the books I have read so far! As Brave As You and Addie on the Inside are both fantastic reads that readers of all ages can relate to in my opinion. I am still working my way through Letters From Wolfie and just started Monstrous, I hope to finish 2 or three more by next week's check in.


    Try a Chapter Challenge
    I have continued with my Try a Chapter Challenge, and tried out 4 more of the oldest books on my TBR, I think these were all from the Bookworm Box and they all are romance, though a wide variety from contemporary to historical fiction to thriller.  Of these 4 I am only going to try to read Vegas Love because it seems like a light escape.  So far I have tried a chapter in 9 of the 22 books from subscription boxes and only kept 2 books. 


    Frankenstein Read-Along
    So I was planning to read multiple versions of this book, but I found when I picked up the more popular 1831 version that currently I am really preferring the 1818 one that I have started with, so instead of reading multiple versions at once, I will read the 1818 version for this Readalong and then I will maybe read the version of Mary's original manuscript before Percy's edits.  Anyway, below are the questions for the Letters & first 3 chapters from Stef at Noveltea Corner.  The next update will be tomorrow for the next 50 or so pages (to the end of Volume 1); I still need to read those pages but I will probably have no problem doing so tonight and tomorrow.

    1. Is Walton a reliable narrator? Why or why not?

    As someone who works in the legal field I would have to say no, the story he is narrating is not his own, he is telling it second hand in a letter written in the evenings after the tale is related to him from Victor himself. 

    2. Is Walton’s goal to “confer on all mankind . . . a passage near the pole” noble or overly ambitious?
    Definitely overly ambitious based on what we now know, but when you think about the times where new knowledge and advances in any field were highly valued, new shipping paths would have made his mark in the world as he wanted.

    3. How does Robert’s desire for a friend affect his relationship with Dr. Frankenstein? How might this relationship affect the reader’s trust in Walton as a reliable narrator?
    Because he seeks a friend in a place where sources of such are so limited, he would be willing to forgive far more and trust far more than he would have in a setting where he would have normally discounted Victor's ramblings as those of a mad man and moved on. 

    Chapters 1-2
    1. How does Victor’s statement that “the world was to me a secret which I desired to divine” serve as characterization?
    This is one of my all time favorite quotes in this book! I think it really sets up Victor as a character, an intelligent person and someone who is always seeking an answer to his questions. The belief that there is more to be known and a way to discover that knowledge is what drives him. I also love how this quote can be brought back around later in the book with the creation. 

    2. How do Henry and Victor differ? Why might Shelley be setting them up as character foils?
    In the version I am reading, Henry has a far less prominent role in the book, but I can say from previous readings that they are a like in very few ways.  One difference that really stands out to me is how Henry is willing to do as he is told out of loyalty and duty to his family and friends; while Victor has had less guidance in his life, and has taught himself so much that he is used to forging his own way and being dedicated to the path of his own choosing.

    3. What is Shelley’s intent when she has Victor characterize Elizabeth as “the saintly soul (who) shone like a shrine-dedicated lamp in our peaceful home?” What role does this characterization set for Elizabeth?
    Elizabeth is set up to be perfection, she is all that is right and good, she always makes the choices that are morally correct where as Victor turns down a darker path.

    4. Is Victor’s fascination with the Philosopher’s Stone an admirable one?
    As we all know, it is not and there is no possibility; however it does add to his characterization, with the intent for great and miraculous leaps in his work. His desire to reach for the unattainable is what drives him to his obsession, as with what he accomplishes later, the want to beat life and nature in its cycle is his ultimate quest.


    I am actually super happy with my progress so far this month! I have managed to keep up with my reading so far, at least where these challenges are related. My other reading however has fallen by the wayside and I do need to catch up.  Unfortunately, or fortunately, starting tomorrow I am on a bit of a vacation and it can either lead to a lot of extra reading or non at all so we will have to see how I do this next week!


    1. It sounds like you’re doing very well. I’m impressed. I’ve been loving middle grade books right now too because they’re so quick and easy.

      1. Middle Grade books are so great, the are short enough that you can read them even with a busy schedule and they aren't usually so young that you can't relate or enjoy them either.

    2. Ha! Anne totally would want long dark eyelashes. I'm glad you are enjoying some of the characters. More Gilbert is coming!

      1. Haha, she is a touch vain even when she tries not to be, but honestly who isn't in some way.