Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Variations on a Them: Who are you?

Happy Halloween! Tis the day where we don costumes and masks to prance around as someone (or something) else. There's something fun about pretending to be someone else. I wish there were more masquerade balls to be had. The fun, the intrigue, the fashion, it all makes for a great book plot.

This month's Variation on a Theme is all about mistaken (or changed) identity.

The Prince and the Pauper
Mark Twain

A timeless tale of switched identities, Twain’s story revolves around the miserably poor Tom Canty "of Offal Court,” who is lucky enough to trade his rags for the gilded robes of England’s prince, Edward Tudor. As each boy is mistaken for the other, Tom enters a realm of privilege and pleasure beyond his most delirious dreams, while Edward plunges into a cruel, dangerous world of beggars and thieves, cutthroats and killers. Befriended by the heroic Miles Hendon, Edward struggles to survive on the squalid streets of London, in the process learning about the underside of life in "Merry England.”

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Robert Louis Stevenson

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a novella by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, first published in 1886. London lawyer Utterson is driven to investigate Edward Hyde, the unlikely protégé of his friend Dr Henry Jekyll, suspecting the relationship to be founded on blackmail. The truth is worse than he could have imagined. Jekyll’s ‘full statement of the case’, the final chapter of the book, explores the idea of dual personality that led him to his experiments, and his inexorable and finally fatal descent into evil. 

A Tale of Two Cities
Charles Dickens

After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille, the ageing Doctor Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There the lives of the two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil roads of London, they are drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror, and they soon fall under the lethal shadow of the guillotine.

The Man in the Iron Mask
Alexander Dumas

France in the 1660s is a boiling cauldron of plots and counter-plots as King Louis XIV struggles to extend his power and transform himself into the “Sun King.” Locked within the dreaded Bastille prison may be his enemies’ ultimate weapon: an anonymous prisoner forced to wear an iron mask so that none may see his face—and learn his astonishing secret. But soon the famed d’Artagnan and the Three Musketeers are swept into the action—but not on the same side! Will they actually be forced to fight each other?

Twelfth Night
William Shakespeare

Delightfully comic tale of mistaken identities revolves around the physical likeness between Sebastian and his twin sister Viola, each of whom, when separated after a shipwreck, believes the other to be dead. Filled with superb comedy, this entertaining masterpiece remains one of Shakespeare's most popular and performed comedies.

The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexander Dumas

Dashing young Edmond Dantès has everything. He is engaged to a beautiful woman, is about to become the captain of a ship, and is well liked by almost everyone. But his perfect life is shattered when he is framed by a jealous rival and thrown into a dark prison cell for 14 years. The greatest tale of betrayal, adventure, and revenge ever written, The Count of Monte Cristo continues to dazzle readers with its thrilling and memorable scenes, including Dantès’s miraculous escape from prison, his amazing discovery of a vast hidden treasure, and his transformation into the mysterious and wealthy Count of Monte Cristo—a man whose astonishing thirst for vengeance is as cruel as it is just.

Other Identity Change Books

The Dark Half - Stephen King
Fight Club - Chick Palahniuk
The Importance of Being Earnest - Oscar Wilde
Mr. X - Peter Straub
The Scarlet Pimpernel - Emmuska Orczy
Steppenwolf - Herman Hesse
The Third Twin - Ken Follett
Zorro - Isabel Allende

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

YouTube Tuesday: Baby Reviews

Sorry for the delay! I got distracted by lounging around on the couch whilst the hurricane ended. I hope everyone on the East coast is doing okay!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

That's What s(He) Said: Storm Preperations

"Oh! I should go plug my book in." - The Boyfriend

We've got books (both of the dead tree and "e" variety), wine, candles, and canned soups. Guess it's time to weather this storm.

What I Read This Week: October 28, 2012

I totally forgot to put together a post last week. Whoops! My parents were in town for a visit and there were pumpkins to be picked. I'm remembering to write an entry this week because I'm trying not to freak out while I am a) watching my Irish play Oklahoma and B) be waiting for this Frankenstorm Sandy to approach.

As for what I read over the past two weeks...

  • I tackled a ton of magazines. Behold!
    • The Atlantic, Sept. 2012 - I finished reading this issue whilst exercising. Normally, I skip the fiction pieces, but this one wasn't half bad.
    • National Geographic, Oct. 2012 - This was a very good issue. The main piece on elephants and the ivory trade was heartbreaking, but eyeopening. The quick bit on leaves was also interesting, but had awesome pictures. Finally, the article on the Central American reef had the best images of them all.
    • The Atlantic, Oct. 2012 - This was an EXCELLENT issue. I read it cover to cover and loved every single article, particularly the ones on education. I actually stayed on the bike for an extra twenty minutes so that I could finish that last article. [In other news, the day I finished this issue, the November issue arrived. Figures.]
  • After read-a-thon, I started reading a romance novel by Pamela Clare. It's called Breaking Point, and it is delectable awful. I don't really care for the plot or pacing, but man am I having trouble putting it down at night. I love it when that happens.
  • Also, in preparation for this Hurricane/Nor'easter, I've been glued to The Washington Post blog Capital Weather Gang. It has been giving well written (and well illustrated) posts about the approaching storm.

Friday, October 26, 2012

BOOLEAN: Friday Fashion Find - Stormy?

According to which weather report you read, we either going to have a storm of the century on Monday - complete with whipping winds, flooding, and/or snow... or it could be just lots of rain. Either way, the start of next week looks icky.

These tights, while reminding me of rainy fall weather, are just simply awesome. They might perk up the start of the work week.

You can find a pair at Macy's.

Send your BOOLEAN pictures and links to

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Links and Stuff: October 25, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Useful Things: Election Tools

I was a politics and media studies major, so election season is something I can get REALLY excited about. We're talking all crazy happy and talking back to the television excited. Yeah, I'm that person.

That said, I understand that parsing information in this highly charged political environment can be a pain in the tush. So, if you're still undecided, please consider visiting these websites to read up on the issues near and dear to your heart. I did my best to try to vet these resources for accuracy and bias, but I may have let a partisan one slip through. If you only look at one site, go with the first one. That is my "go to" site for elections.

Finally, I may consider myself a politics nut, but even I am exhausted by the campaign commericals. If we took all the money spent on those ads and funneled them into programs maybe we'd get somewhere. To quote my mother, "Candidates should be given two weeks to campaign and a $500 budget." I can't argue with that.


YouTube Tuesday: Classic

Friday, October 19, 2012

BOOLEAN: Friday Fashion Find - Coffee Break

Sometimes tights need to add a bit of whimsy to your life. These tights combine three of my favorite things: coffee, cupcakes, and awesome legwear. They make me smile just looking at them.

You can grab a pair of Etsy if you're so inclined.

Send your BOOLEAN pictures and links to

Thursday, October 18, 2012

BOOLEAN is Back!

I've actually worn tights a few times in the past two weeks, but I remembered to take a picture yesterday! I decided to match a pair of striped gray tights with my silver shoes and navy skirt.

Welcome back BOOLEAN season! I sure did miss you.

Send your BOOLEAN pictures and links to

Links and Stuff: October 18, 2012

My favorite thing of the week was a Slate article on women as readers and how history tries to get them to stop. We shant be denied!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Read-a-thon Wrap Up

Whelp, read-a-thon is over, and I finally have the time to write my wrap-up post. This was not my best read-a-thon (in terms of book and page count), but it was still enjoyable. I managed to finish three books for a total of 675 pages.

I pledged to donate five cents for every page read to First Book. That amounts to $33.75. I decided since I didn't do as well as I thought to donate $50. More books for kids!

See you in April, read-a-thoners!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

What I Read This Week: October 14, 2012

We're going to completely ignore everything I read yesterday. Suffice it to say, I read lots. It was fun. I'll post full reviews of everything at some point in the future. Hopefully, said future is nearer than it is farther, but I tend to stink about posting reviews of read-a-thon shtuff in a timely manner.

Anywho, I did manage to read stuff other than read-a-thon material this week. I am teh awesome like that.
  • Magazines! I don't know how, but I managed to put a nice dent into my magazine backlog (I really outta work out more to keep up with that.)

Hour 17.5: Wherein Our Reader Calls it a Night

I have finished my book. I am vedy, vedy sleepy. I added 30 pages to my reading for a grand total of 675 pages (over 3 books).

I'll be back tomorrow with a wrap-up post. Happy reading and best of luck to those read-a-thoners who are forging on!

Hour 17: Wherein Our Reader Makes a Decision

CURRENTLY READING: I'm still reading the Gabaldon book through dropping eyelids.

THOUGHTS?: It's still good, but I'm yawning a lot due to a need of sleep.

SNACKS AND STUFF: Nothing. In fact, I brushed my teeth.

COMPANION UPDATE: The Boyfriend just went to bed, and The Roomie texted me that she was done for the night.

ANYTHING ELSE?: I've decided that I am going to finish this book and then hit the hay. I am just too tired to fight through any more books. I'm bummed that I didn't finish many titles, but it was still a good read-a-thon.

PAGES READ THIS HOUR: 46 (not bad considering all the yawns)

An Army of Angels by Pamela Marcantel
Coffee: Discovering, Exploring, Enjoying by Hattie Ellis

Hour 16: Wherein Our Reader Begins to Yawn

CURRENTLY READING: I think I'll finish Gabaldon's book in the next hour.

THOUGHTS?: Still good! I know I've been reading this book for hours, but it does not feel like that.

SNACKS AND STUFF: I ate some fancy bon bons. They were tasty.

COMPANION UPDATE: The Boyfriend is exploring things online. His explorations where in effort to find a new book to download. He's just now downloaded a Clive Cussler book. I have not heard from The Roomie since she left.

ANYTHING ELSE?: The yawning has begin. Midnight is my normal bedtime so I'm running on autopilot right now. Hopefully, I'll be able to push through and read for at least a few more hours... no promises though.


An Army of Angels by Pamela Marcantel
Coffee: Discovering, Exploring, Enjoying by Hattie Ellis

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hour 15: Wherein Our Reader Has a Visitor

CURRENTLY READING: I started the third novella in the Gabaldon book.

THOUGHTS?: Still good stuff. I think I might have to read another book in the John Grey series once read-a-thon is over.

SNACKS AND STUFF: Nothing in this hour, but I think I'm going to break into the bon bons soon.

COMPANION UPDATE: The Boyfriend decided it was time to take the desktop computer apart. It's been acting all weird lately. There were clanging noises and sounds of whooshing air behind me as I read. I decided not to turn around to see the carnage.

The Roomie also surprised us with a visit. She came bearing one the mini-breads she baked today. Visitors bearing gifts of food shall always be shown inside. Three cheers to The Roomie! We chatted for a bit before she left to get back to her reading.

ANYTHING ELSE?: I seem to have an endless supply of movie soundtracks to listen. Maybe I have an addiction...

PAGES READ TOTAL: 555 (fun!)

An Army of Angels by Pamela Marcantel
Coffee: Discovering, Exploring, Enjoying by Hattie Ellis

Hour 14: Wherein Our Reader Sups

CURRENTLY READING: Things are getting suspicious in the Gabaldon book.

THOUGHTS?: This is a perfect read-a-thon book. Light and fluffy to keep my spirits high, but still interesting enough to not be boring.

SNACKS AND STUFF: We ate pizza. The Boyfriend would like me to note that he would have eaten the salad over the pizza (since we were not hungry enough for both). I made the decision to go with the pizza, cause I'm awesome like that.

COMPANION UPDATE: The Boyfriend is still quite amused with the Grant novella. The Roomie has sent me two pictures.

True to readathon spirit, I managed to cook one handed while holding the book to read for the most part.

It's a good thing I remembered small breads take waaay less time to bake or I would have had cranberry hockey pucks.

ANYTHING ELSE?: We opened the window to get some air circulation. Now tis cold in here. That might be a good thing.


An Army of Angels by Pamela Marcantel
Coffee: Discovering, Exploring, Enjoying by Hattie Ellis