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Search tags: family-affairs
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review 2018-08-16 06:50
Fun running over tropes
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen,Marilyn Butler,Claire Lamont

Why did I take this long to read this? From Austen's big six, this is the last I got to. I mean, I know what my reasoning was: satire and humour was not what I was looking for when I searched for an Austen volume. But I was wrong to, because this was a great romp.

 

(On that note, one day I have to write long and hard on how the prominence of Pride and Prejudice in pop-media puts an expectation on what Austen writes about that is a total disservice to her body of work)

 

If you put this and Persuasion together, it's impossible to ignore that the woman's common thread is not romance, but social critique, and tropes and expectations. In this one she takes Gothic literature ones, and more than run with them, runs them over. Anne Brontë kinda did that in a very understated way. There is nothing understated here, and I was laughing from the opening lines alone... Actually, the overall initial setting is quite similar to Brontë's Agnes Grey's opening, just, you know, absolutely savage. Much like the whole book.

 

The charming part comes from Catherine being a sincerely good-natured soul, and pretty sensible on the whole, so even where she hypes herself from much sensational reading (and hell, like nobody ever got jumpy in the night after reading or watching some horror), and builds some weird fantasies on it, she never quite finds herself carried away on over-dramatic feelings of angst, be it romantic or otherwise. Even when other characters ask about them on hilariously detailed, over the top descriptions.

 

I get now why it is the favourite Austen among many. I had lots of fun with it.

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review 2018-08-10 10:51
Big character
The Princess Diarist - Carrie Fisher

I laughed, and I grimaced, and I ran a gamut of other emotions, from surprise, to disbelief, to pain and sympathy.

 

I stated to follow a print while listening because at first I did not always catch what Fisher was saying. There was much pausing, and after a while I kept doing it because there are minute differences here and there.

 

This is a very interesting lady. What astounded me the most is her capacity to write her 19-year-old self, with all the embarrassment and self-doubt. It's powerful enough to make you uncomfortable by proxy.

 

Back then I was always looking ahead to who I wanted to be versus who I didn’t realize I already was, and the wished-for me was most likely based on who other people seemed to be and the desire to have the same effect on others that they had had on me.

 

She writes an almost nude picture of herself, the good, the bad, the WTF (and there were many, many instances where I went WTF), the petty, the shy, the self-aware, the painfully young. There is this sense of "I'm at the last part of the slide, and I have little fucks left to give" mixed with the "still want to be liked".

 

There is a lot about her relationship with the character, a lot mixed feelings that in the end, amount to mostly positive.

 

“You were my first crush.” I heard it so much I started asking who their second one was. We know what a first crush is to a teenager, but what does it mean to a five-year-old?
“But I thought you were mine! That I had found you—I was the only one who knew how beautiful you were—because you weren’t beautiful in that usual way women in film are, right?”
He realizes that I might take what he’s saying wrong. He doesn’t mean it that way. I reassure him, touch his arm; why not give him an anecdote? “I know what you mean, it’s fine. Go on.”
He checks my face to see if I mean it. I do. He continues, “So my friend, when I tell him about my crush, he goes, ‘Oh yeah, she’s awesome! I have a total crush on her, too. Everyone does.’ I got upset. I coulda punched him.”
“Why?”
“Because you were mine and I wanted to be the one who loved you. Me, maybe even help you . . .” He got embarrassed. “Anyway—I wanted to tell you.” He shrugs, then adds, “Thanks for my childhood,” and walks off. Wow, what a thing to be given credit for, to be thanked for! Because he didn’t mean his whole childhood—he meant the good bits. The parts he escaped to.

 

It was a weird and nostalgic ride.

 

If you can find a common language that runs from five to eighty-five, you’ve got yourself something, and Star Wars fans have something.

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review 2018-08-05 14:57
All the fucking stars
The Ordinary Princess - M.M. Kaye

The story was endlessly amusing, the stabs at fairy tales conventions were perfect, the romance was cute and lovely, and the illustrations were gorgeous.

 

I only took this long to read it because I did not want it to end, and I sooo want a hard-copy, even though it doesn't seem like there exist a Spanish edition. I'd be willing to translate it for free to make it available, that's how much I loved it.

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review 2018-07-30 03:33
A year through the eyes of a long ago girl
Little House in the Big Woods - Garth Williams,Laura Ingalls Wilder

Two things about this cute classic:

 

It makes you incredibly hungry almost every chapter. Which is fitting for a people struggling daily to get, prepare and store enough of it according to the season.

 

Building from the point above, beyond the morality bits, it is quite the how-to manual on survival without tech. If the apocalypse comes, THIS ONE is the book you want.

 

No, wait, three: The illustrations are lovely.

 

https://78.media.tumblr.com/9e24c37c336186c05e5886534ffdd5cd/tumblr_pcnqahkAJT1tx162yo3_500.jpg

 

 

They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.

 

 

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review 2018-07-21 20:38
Cute fable style book
Tuck Everlasting - Natalie Babbitt

I would fail at the lesson this book is trying to impart, but it was a charming story.

 

I think the part I loved most was the way it was written, with the heat descriptions, and the little asides that made the setting.

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