Back To The Classics Challenge 2020

Back to the Classics Challenge

My goodness, I was starting to get nervous.  I’d participated in this challenge since the beginning of my blog, which means approximately 6 years.  I was worried that it wasn’t happening this year but Karen posted the sign-up post yesterday and I’m thrilled.  It’s one of my favourite challenges, even though I haven’t done splendidly with it the last couple of years.  However, this year is a new year and I will try again!

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The Deal Me in Challenge 2020

Cardsharps Caravaggio

Cardsharps (1594) Caravaggio
~ Wikiart

The Deal Me In Challenge 2020 is here!  I completely failed at this challenge last year but it doesn’t mean that I can’t try again. And how can I miss its 10th Anniversary? Jay at Bibliophilopolis is hosting this amazing 10th challenge, where you choose 52 short stories for the year, each linked to a playing card, and then draw the cards each week to see what you’ll read.

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The Blue Carbuncle by Arthur Conan Doyle

Christmas StoriesThe Blue Carbuncle

Two days after Christmas, Watson calls on Sherlock Holmes only to find him scrutinizing an old battered hat.  Holmes reveals that Peterson, a commissionaire, saw a man with a goose over his shoulder being assaulted by some ruffians.  The man raised his cane to defend himself and broke a window behind him; when he saw Peterson running towards him, he hastily fled, leaving his hat and the goose behind.  Peterson sought Holmes for help finding the owner of these treasures, but the only physical clues they discover are a tag on the goose, reading, “For Mrs. Henry Baker” and the initials H.B. inscribed on the inside of the hat.

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The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton by Charles Dickens

Christmas StoriesI’m trying to read some Christmas stories to get in the mood for the season and I’ve had this book, aptly titled Christmas Stories, waiting for me since I saw O’s postings last year, and I decided to order it immediately.  It’s a lovely collection of stories, mostly from classic authors like Dickens, Gogol, Trollope, Tolstoy, Cather, etc.  The Story of the Goblins Who Stole the Sexton is the first story in the collection and it goes like this …

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The House of Mirth ~ Book I, Chapter XV & Book II, Chapters I – III

The House of Mirth Read-Along

Chapter XV

Lily awakes the next morning still exhausted but with a clearer view of her circumstances.  Gus Trenor would need to be repaid the nine thousand dollars he has given her and she feels a tired weariness at her predicament.  “She was realizing for the first time that a woman’s dignity may cost more to keep up than her carriage; and that the maintenance of a moral attribute should be dependent on dollars and cents, made the world appear a more sordid place than she had conceived it.”

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The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford

The Good Soldier Ford Madox Ford“This is the saddest story I have ever heard.”

It has been a long, long time since a book has made me angry, yet A Good Soldier has managed to disturb my normally cheerful and placid demeanour.  It was part of a buddy read yet most of the participants dropped out after reading the beginning of the book.  Sadly, I persevered and I don’t think I’m the better for it.

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The Art of Loving ~ Is Love An Art?

The Sermon of Love

The Sermon of Love Jean Honore Fragonard
~ source Wikiart

And thus we begin our read-along of The Art of Loving, beginning with the first chapter: Is Love An Art?  In his Preface, Fromm cautions us not to expect easy instruction in the art of loving and, in fact, acquiring this art is a rare accomplishment because of our lack of qualities necessary to love.  However that does not mean we mustn’t try.

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The Art of Loving and On Friendship Read-Along

On Friendship How to Be a Friend Cicero

As I mentioned in my Books of Autumn post, after my C.S. The Four Loves read-along I’ve been interested in reading more books on the same subject with two in mind: The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm and On Friendship by Marcus Tullius Cicero. So with a little prodding (you know who you are, lol!) I’ve decided to host a read-along for both of them during the month of October.  It’s a little bit of short notice, I know, but The Art of Loving is a mere 120-ish pages and On Friendship is an essay, so please join in any time you can; if you can’t start on the 1st, it will be easy to catch up.

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