Famous Last Words: Jane Austen

Jane Austen - PG A Memoir of JA

“Nothing but death.”

Jane Austen suffered a long illness before she finally died. She said this to some of her relatives, who were waiting on her, after they asked if she wanted anything.

 

From A Memoir of Jane Austen by James Edward Austen-Leigh.

Image: Project Gutenberg.

Bookish Links — May 2014

BL May 2014

Here, I’ve compiled a list of all the best book-related links I’ve found this month. Hopefully, y’all won’t think these are too corny. 😉


 

 

  • I’ve never had any desire to read Moby Dick whatsoever, but after reading this article, I think I might have to!

 

  • This article by fellow blogger Cristian Mihai was originally published in April of 2013, but I am just reading it now. In the article, Mihai compiles a list of famous authors whom publishers rejected absurd numbers of times, sometimes for what would later become one of the author’s most famous works. A wonderful piece of encouragement for aspiring authors!

Continue reading “Bookish Links — May 2014”

10 Great Quotations from G. K. Chesterton

When I first started this blog, I meant to write pieces about several famous authors and post them on the author’s birthdays. Accordingly, I looked up the birthdays of tons of authors, made a list, and got to work writing some of my posts. But one of the authors whose birthday I forgot to look up is G. K. Chesterton! One of the coolest! And seeing as I don’t have time to write an original post, I’ll just reblog this from Interesting Literature.

G. K. Chesterton – or Gilbert Keith Chesterton, to give him his full name – was born on this day in 1874. What better reason could one want for proffering ten of his finest one-liners?

There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person. – Heretics (1905) 

Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.Alarms and Discursions (1910) 

Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable. – Illustrated London News (1909) 

To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.A Short History of England (1917) 

Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction … for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it. – The…

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Famous Last Words: Mark Twain

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“Good-bye. If we meet—”

Spoken to his daughter Clara. Twain never finished that last sentence; he stopped and looked at Clara for a long time before falling asleep and dying a few hours later. On a completely unrelated but still interesting note, Haley’s Comet passed close to earth on both the year of Twain’s birth and the year of his death.

Via Santa Monica College.

Image: Project Gutenberg.

Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial DayI certainly hope you’ve all had a good Memorial Day and that everyone has enjoyed their day off! Memorial Day has largely become a day for picnics and parties, barbequing chicken and buying discounted mattresses. But it’s also a day for remembrance, a day to stop for a moment and think about the men and women who have given their lives so that we can go on living as we please. People like John Greenwood, who, at the age of sixteen, ran away from home and walked from Portland, Maine to Boston, Massachusetts so he could get into the thick of the colonies’ fight for independence. People like Dan Bullock, a fifteen-year-old who, rather than complain about the Vietnam War like a lot of teenagers, lied about his age so that he could serve in it. Our servicemen and women dedicate their whole lives to us–sometimes they even give their lives for us. The least we can do is remember them and give them the respect and admiration they are due.

I was trying to think of a poem about America that would suit the occasion when I thought, “What would be better than ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’?” This poem, written by Francis Scott Key in 1814, originally contained four verses, though all you ever hear at football games and NASCAR races is one. In fact, for the longest time, I only knew that one verse, which is a shame, because the rest of the poem is pretty fantastic as well. I especially like the last verse, but you can see for yourself:

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,
’Tis the star-spangled banner – O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

God bless America!

Image Credit: Viintage.com.

This Is Why We Read

Open Book

 

 

 

 

 

 

A quote I read recently in Eric Metaxas’s biography Bonhoeffer helped remind me of one of the reasons why I think books are so awesome. But first, a little background information is in order:

Continue reading “This Is Why We Read”

Famous Last Words: Oscar Wilde

image01“My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.”

Ah, Oscar Wilde. Even in death, he was a clever monkey.

These may not have been his very last words, but they’re pretty close to them.

Via Book Wilde.

Image Credit: Project Gutenberg.

In Defense of the “Unrealistic” Hero

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A tree which lies low grows least.

Old English Proverb

           Many times, you’ll hear the complaint that certain characters in literature are too good to be true. They set the bar too high, people claim. They’re bad influences, supposedly, because they give us expectations about ourselves and others that no one can possibly live up to. I’ve heard this said about several characters, from the great Atticus Finch to the lowly Edward Cullen. But are “unrealistic” characters really a bad thing? If you ask me (and you must have, because you are reading this post 😉 ), the problem lies not in the characters themselves, but in how we approach them. And if we can approach them in the right way, we will see how fantastic they really are.

Continue reading “In Defense of the “Unrealistic” Hero”

First Impressions

public-domain-images-free-stock-photos-high-quality-resolution-downloads-around-the-house-7-1000x666     I usually like to take my books one at a time, but seeing as I couldn’t help myself, I am currently chipping away at three (very good) books. One is The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, another is The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis, and the other is Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas. I hope to write a review for each of them once I am finished with them, but right now, let me just give you my “first impressions.”

    

    

      I haven’t read much of The Scarlet Pimpernel,  but already, it looks fantastic. Baroness Orczy drew me in with the first line: “A surging, seething, murmuring crowd of beings that are human only in name, for to the eye and ear, they seem naught but savage creatures, animated by vile passions and by the lust of vengeance and of hate.” It isn’t hard to imagine yourself in Revolution-era France with descriptions as clear and fresh as that. She also does a wonderful job of capturing the soullessness of the French revolutionaries; the picture definitely comes across clearly in your mind, but it isn’t so strong that the book becomes an ordeal to read. I can’t wait to see where it goes from here!

Continue reading “First Impressions”

Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Year of first publication: 1960

Year of publication for this edition: 2006

Number of pages: 323

Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics

Genre: Fiction

Sub-genres: Southern Gothic, coming-of-age, courtroom drama, historical fiction

Subjects: the American South, Alabama, civil rights, racism, growing up, law, girls, fathers, families, the Great Depression, children


     Generations of schoolkids have grown up with To Kill a Mockingbird, but in the past few decades, many schools have decided to scrap this wonderful little book from their curricula and libraries. The reasons are varied; some believe the content is too mature, others are offended by the language, and some believe the depictions of racism are too strong. I can certainly understand why some parents might not want their children to read the book, but to those who have no such objections, your kids are missing out. Not only is To Kill a Mockingbird one of the best novels in the world, but the story it tells is one that every young person should hear.  Continue reading “Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee”

Hello World!!!

My name is Hanna. For as long as I can remember, I have loved books and everything having to do with them. Since I love writing too, I thought it was high time I combined those two passions. Thanks for reading Book Geeks Anonymous! I hope you enjoy my blog.

Sincerely,

Hanna

Image: Shabby Blogs.

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