If you are one of those people who prefers no politics with your reading, then please skip this post. You can even unfollow me if you like.
I think this is the portrait hiding in the White House attic.
After what feels like a millennium, I have read The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde and I totally get the hype now. Oscar Wilde's play focuses on two men who independently of the other have invented alternate personas that allow them to cut loose without (hopefully) any repercussions. One of the men has created Ernest who is by all rights a scoundrel and his creator has finally decided to do away with him so that he can settle down and get married. The problem is that his friend (the other deceitful man) has decided to take on the mantle of Ernest so that he can win the heart of a girl that he's just met. (I recommend reading this in one sitting because otherwise you're liable to get confused.) Wilde uses word play and absolutely ridiculous circumstances to discuss the folly of youth and poke fun at the whims and fancies of people who believe they are really truly in love even if they don't truly know the other person. For instance, the two women of the play are determined that they will only marry someone named Ernest but as it turns out no one is named Ernest there is a bit of a kerfuffle. After all is said and done, no one comes out on top and everyone is depicted as foolish and unimpressive. It was thoroughly amusing and I guess now I'll have to see the movie that was based on it. :-P If you haven't read it yourself and you'd like a quick, fun read this will do just the trick. 9/10
And yes the title of this post is true. I was staring at the book's title and then it hit me: "Oh because it's about two men proclaiming to be Ernest and they do it will all earnestness." *facepalm*
What's Up Next: The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson
What I'm Currently Reading: The Portable Nineteenth-Century African American Women Writers
I know that this was a short story and really only needed an hour to read or less, but when your kids take the tablet and read the book and then you have to find your place and then the tablet needed to think while returning and replacing books, it just took some time. This is one of my favorite "ghost" stories. I have assigned the book to my girls for school.
I know, I know. It has been forever since I last posted. So, I combined my wrap-up post with an infographic to atone for my er blogging sins.
For all that they are “novellas”, these books have way too much happening in them! I read and loved the first one (Read my ravings here). This one, I found to be okayish. Maybe it was the attitude of Binti’s family towards her that I didn’t like. Or, maybe it was the plot device, “something that happened a long long time ago is disregarded by everyone to such a degree that its origins are completely lost”. I just don’t buy it. For instance, look at the words that have now become obsolete. They might not be used today but that doesn’t mean they have been erased from the record.
I didn’t completely hate it though because it was saved by the ending. It was a cliffhanger where an important character is killed off. Don’t you just love that feeling you get when you don’t know what might happen in the next book? I sure do!
Someone somewhere (I forget who and where now) described this book as Jane Austen in Dragon world. Of course, I just HAD to read it and duh, I ended up liking it. I mean, I liked the part about:
putting out a gentle claw
I also liked that the dragon stayed true to their natures yet maintained Austen-tatious sensibilities as a son promised his dying father, his still unestablished siblings would:
take the greater shares when we eat you.
I found myself chuckling when a parson made untoward advances to a maiden of quality. It put me in mind of Mr. Collins. She responded in the right manner:
I am sensible of the honor you do me…
And then I shuddered when the full implications of what had just happened hit me. The maiden’s scales colored when the parson crowded her. She didn’t feel anything for him, yet her honor had been compromised: she had been raped!
I rooted for my favorite character: Sebeth, a female dragon who had suffered the same fate when she was kidnapped. She didn’t let a thing like that stop her from falling in love, earning a living, becoming a clerk, and secretly following an outlawed branch of religion.
There was the usual gender discrimination, females with a less than useful dowry, proud males who fell for them, manners and sensibilities, scary rich disapproving mothers in law, and females with backbone who gave no inch.
No wonder I loved it!
If I have to come to expect anything from Wilde’s works, it is laugh-out-loud funny prose that bites:
I guess the laws of Nature are not going to be suspended for the British aristocracy.
This one didn’t disappoint on that account! A ghost who wouldn’t accept its defeat and an American family that refused to be haunted made up the plot:
(said to the ghost) My father will be only too happy to give you a free passage, and though there is a heavy duty on spirots of every kind, there will be no difficulty about the Custom House, as the officers are all Democrats.
It is amazing that Wilde knew exactly the right length of the story and when it should end. If this is what I have to look forward to, I can’t wait to read The Picture of Dorian Gray!
Now for the promised infographic: During our trip, we stayed at a hotel for a few days. It was amazing to indulge ourselves in all the hot showers we wanted after we returned to the hotel every night. And, it felt decadent to not have to do anything but sink into the fluffy pillows and let the housekeeping staff take care of the rest. But, we also learned a few things; things that might have helped us save a few bucks had we known about them before.
And then, I thought, why not compile them and make them into an infographic? If nothing else, it might help you guys when you go on vacation. So, here goes…
Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on December 14, 2017.