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Posts Tagged ‘Little Women’

I know, I know, I missed it again! This school year is already kicking my butt (literally, I fell down the stairs at school today like a ding-dong!) so I just didn’t have the strength Tuesday or Wednesday when I got home to update and do my TTT post even though I already had it rough drafted out on notebook paper. So, here it is, two days late, my TTT for the week of 814/12:

Romances that I believe would survive this crazy real world we live in:

10. Alice and Charlie from American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld.

           
image from socionix.com

I was a big fan of the former first lady at one time. She reminded me a lot of myself. I guess I still am a fan, somewhat. I don’t care at all for her husband. I did care a great deal for this book though. It’s a fictionalized account of the relationship that blossomed between Laura and George, including all the gory details of a car crash caused by Mrs. Bush herself as a teenager. Having loved Sittenfeld’s first novel, Prep, I bought this one with the same expectations. However, this is a very different breed of book than Prep, though I did end up enjoying both. I do think that Charlie (George) and Alice (Laura) would have made it it reality, because..well… they did!

9. Jacob Black and Bella Swan from the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer

        
image from fanpop.com

I choose Jacob over Edward because I am a huge member of Team Jacob (I’m wearing my Quileute Tribe shirt right now) but also because I believe that they would have ended up together in reality. After Edward hit the road, Jack in New Moon and Bella and Jacob became closer, I really believe that they would have stayed together in reality. Being abandoned and dumped the way Bella was, I just can’t believe she’d go back to him. Oh, well, at least Jake got a happy ending, too.

8. Marlena and Jacob from Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

    
image from wwhan12.wordpress.com

If you fall in love over any animal, especially an elephant, it’s just gonna last forevs.

7. Elinor and Edward from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

     

Maaaaannnnn, I wanted these two together the whole darn book. One was so shy and proper and the other was so bent on honoring his promises that they were willing to be apart if needed. Thank goodness it wasn’t needed and they got to be together in the end!

6. Gilbert and Anne from Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery

   
image from fanpop.com

This movie was on television the other night and I got caught up in it again. It was the early one, where Anne moves to Green Gables and not the later one where she and Gilbert end up happily ever after, but it did get me in the frame of mind of how these two were so meant for each other and that’s why I just had to include them on this list, because honestly they would so have made it in reality!

5. Allie and Noah from The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

  
image from romanceeternal.org

Sweetest couple ever. And he wrote their story down. And then he read it to her. And then they died together. And then I cried.

4. Jamie and Claire from The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

   
image from outlandishobservations.blogspot.com

Even though this whole series is so totally unbelievable with the whole time travel thing and all, I still deeply believe that the love between Claire and Jamie would have lasted and would have survived whether in ye olden Scotland or in new modern England (or America, or Canada, or wherever in the world they find themselves).

3. Hermione and Ron from The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling

  
image from fanpop.com

Upon my first reading of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone I knew that these two were meant fror each other.

2. Josephine March and Professor Friedrich Baher from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

   
image from tumblr.com

OF COURSE I would have one of the couples from Little Women on here and OF COURSE it would be my most favoritest gal Jo and her hunka hunka burnin’ love Prof. Baher! When I made my rough draft the other night, I originally had Laurie down as the other half of Jo’s forever heart, but then I started thinking about childhood friends and how they really rarely ever work out romantically in the end. Jo had to grow up and go out in the world and get a job and write her books and learn some more and THEN she could settle down and who better to do it with than Friedrich! This man could help her open her school and publish her books! I truly believe that they would have made it in the real world based on their relationship of mutual honesty and respect.

That’s right, there are only 9 couples on the list because as hard as I racked my noggin, I just couldn’t think of another couple to add on and I didn’t want to get sloppy by just picking some random couple (like Rhett and Scarlett. I honestly do not think that those two would have made it in the real world. Tomorrow may be another day, doll, but I think he’s gonna tell you to shove it again.) so I’m leaving it at 9. Who do you think I left off the list? Who do you think should have been left off the list?

‘Til Next Time!

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Inspired by the fabulous ladies at The Broke and The Bookish I present to you my list of the top-ten quotes from literature:

10. “Reality continues to ruin my life.” -Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

9. “I haven’t the slightest idea how to change people, but still I keep a long list of perspective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out.” -Naked by David Sedaris

8. “A person’s a person no matter how small.” Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss

7. “I have great faith in fools. My friends call it self-confidence.” -Edgar Alan Poe

6. “Lord! What fools these mortals be!” -A Midsummer Nights Dream by William Shakespeare(?)

5. “If you live to be 100, I want to live to be 100 minus one day so I never have to live without you.” -Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

4. “Perhaps – I want the old days back again and they’ll never come back, and I am haunted by the memory of them and of the world falling about my ears. ” -Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

3. “You don’t understand me. I’m a teenager. I’ve got problems!” -The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

2. “Girls are so queer you never know what they mean.” -Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

1. “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” -Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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“And al of my childhood memories are full of the things you did for me and even though I act crazy, I gotta thank the Lord that you made me.” -2Pac Shakur

In honor of Mother’s Day last week I began compiling a list of my top picks for the best, most memorable, or my favorite mothers in literature.

  1. Marmee March. For anyone whose read any of this blog before you will know how much I love Little Women. Marmee March is the mother I hope to be one day.
  2. Hester Prynne. The protective protagonist of Hawthorne’s masterful work, Hester Prynne really got shafted by a few lousy dudes. The book has spawned many great spin-offs including the movie Easy A and also the badly done movie version staring Demi Moore as well as a sci-fi novel When She Woke which is a futuristic re-telling of Hester’s struggle.
  3. The Mom from I Love You Forever. Though this mother is never given any title except for Mother she still stands out in my mind as an amazing character. I have yet to read this book without crying and feeling the urge to call my own mother up and rock her in a rocking chair. Munsch is able to capture the enormous cycle of life and death in very few pages.
  4. “In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines …”. Those twelve little girls are all under the care of a Parisian nurse named Miss Clavel who runs a Catholic Boarding School for girls inParis. Though technically not a mother, per say, Miss Clavel did mother the girls and love them like a mother. However, Miss Clavel got a little more than she bargained for when Madeline came to stay. Maddy was always giving Miss Clavel some kind of fright and it’s a wonder she didn’t die young from worry. A true gentle spirit and loving lady Miss Clavel was not just a nurse to the girls she also became their teacher, their guardian, their friend and of course, their mother.
  5. The Mother from Where the Wild Things Are. With Maurice Sendak passing away last week, I knew I had to include this mother. Though we rarely see her in the book, she is a super mom nonetheless. When troublesome Max (wouldn’t it be great if Max grew up to marry the equally troublesome Madeline (see #4) and their children were double trouble!) gets sent to his room without supper he imagines his room becoming a wild and magical forest full of mysterious creatures called “the wild things.” Max’s adventures with the wild things ends with his feeling lonely and homesick. Once returning to his room he finds that his supper is waiting for him, still hot, from his loving mother!
  6. Forced to choose which of her two of her children would die in a concentration camp, the title character fromSophie’s Choice, Sophie Zawistowski, lives in a self-destructive bubble of guilt for the rest of her days after the choice has been made. The heartbreak of her selection eventually leads to her death at her own hand. Consumed by guilt and self hatred Sophie is a pitiful character who had to make an impossible choice between her two children, something no mother should ever have to do.
  7. Upon first reading Anne of Green Gables I did not like Marilla Cuthbert at all. She was just the opposite from her delightful brother, Matthew. When older siblings, Marilla and Mathew decide to adopt a little boy to help them on their farm they do not expect to get the spunky red headed Anne Shirley, but, they do. After deciding to keep her, Anne earns herself into a special place in each Cuthbert’s heart. Though Marilla never really gets as attached to Anne as Matthew does, she still ends up loving the girl despite her best efforts not to.
  8. After her friends discover her “spy notebook” Ole Golly is the only friend left for Harriett (the spy) Welsch. Technically not Harriett’s actual mother, Ole Golly is actually Harriett’s nanny. However, like Miss Clavel (see #4) Ole Golly becomes so much more to Harriett. Constantly providing wisdom and love and insight to the young girl Ole Golly is brutally fired after a misunderstanding between Ole Golly and Harriett’s parents. As I was reading The Help I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between young Harriett & Ole Golly and Skeeter Phelan & Constantine. In The Help, Skeeter has just graduated from college (Ole Miss) and aspires to be a journalist. Upon returning home she finds out that her house servant Constantine has been brutally fired by her mother. Both books are great and I highly recommend them both.
  9. Ma from Room. A young girl is kidnapped from a college campus and forced to live in a tool shed. While spending many years in here she is impregnated and gives birth to a little boy named Jack. The story is narrated by Jack and through his young eyes we see the love that a child can have for their mother.
  10. Novalee Nation. Sixteen, pregnant, and moving across country with her boyfriend, Novalee gets a thread of bad luck when the boyfriend abandons her in a Wal-Mart in Oklahoma. Novalee lives in the Wal-Mart and even begins to give birth in the store until a strange local librarian breaks through a window to get her to a hospital. After the birth of the baby Novalee becomes quite a celebrity, but she sticks to her small Oklahoma town that she has adopted as her own and raises her baby with love and kindness for everyone (even that good-for-nothing boyfriend).

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“I am woman, hear me roar in numbers too big to ignore.” -Helen Reddy

In honor of Women’s History Day I present to you my list of the top five (with a bonus six, actually seven) leading ladies of literature, You Go, Girls! 

5. Liza from Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden. You Go, Gay Girl!
Ok, I have to start off by admitting that I have never in my life read Annie… (and surprise, surprise, it is not available in my school library or at the public one down the way). However, I did go to graduate school and take several classes in children’s literature and I am a school librarian so I have heard a thing or two about this uber controversial book. The book is 30 years old this year and I can understand the controversy behind it in the early 80s, but today it baffles me that in 2012 we are still having debates about gay characters in books (and women’s rights to contraceptives, but that’s a whole other discussion…). This book is consistently in the lists of the most challenged books, was burned in Kansas City, and had several questions on the Praxis II each year. Kudos to the first popular YA lesbian novel!

 4. Wonapalei from Islandof the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. You Go, Solitary Girl!
I remember reading this in the library of my mom’s school while she was finishing up her workdays one summer. I also remember being simultaneously terrified and intrigued by this premise.  This girl was stuck on AN ISLAND by HERSELF for years?!?! What was even worse was learning later in life that this book was inspired by a true story! The book was made into a movie and won the Newbery in 1961.

 3. Josephine March from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.  You Go, Historical, Semi-Autobiographical Girl!
If you have read my blog for a while now, you will know that I love Little Women and especially Jo March from this book.  Jo was a brave lady who wasn’t afraid to die alone and who was afraid to not be heard.  The book has been made into two movies. Jo’s character is said to be based on Alcott herself. Jo however was given the happy ending that readers wanted and ended up with Professor Bhear while Alcott died a spinster.

 2. Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins and Hermione Granger from The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling. You Go, YA Girls!
Here’s the best thing about these two girls: they are not Isabella Swan, natch. Where Bella whined and moaned and almost died over a boy, these two girls kick ass and take names while relying on no man, dead OR alive. I loved both characters so much I could not choose which one to leave off the list, so I added them both. Both series have been incredibly popular and both characters give girls a role model to really look up to. Both series have been made into incredibly popular movies. (Exactly two weeks until the theatrical release of The Hunger Games! And, my friends daughter has a role in the film, how cool is THAT!?)

1. Lisbeth Salander from the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larrson, You Go, Punk Rock, Semi-Gay, Very fierce, Swedish, Hacker Girl!
What can I say about Lisbeth Salander that has not already been said; nothing. The character is fierce (hello revenge rape scene in Dragon Tattoo), she’s smart, she’s sexy, she’s barely even human. Rooney Mara’s interpretation of Salander was dead on in the 2011 film.  I love her quirkiness, her clever yet snarky attitude towards society and all things in general, and I love her loving nature that is just below the surface, but very much there.

 Bonus Girl: Scheherazade from One Thousand and One Nights. You Go, Storyteller Girl!
“She had perused the works of the poets and knew them by heart; she had studied philosophy and the sciences, arts and accomplishments; and she was pleasant and polite, wise and witty, well read and well bred.”
The power of storytelling is very much the theme of this story. I love that a girl can utilize words and tales to keep herself alive and keep a man entertained. This lady forced a brutal king to not only spare her life, but also made him fall in love with her and take her as his queen. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that I would want to marry a man who had beheaded 1,000 women before me. God forbid he loose his temper one day! Should that happen I’ll bet clever Scheherazade will just once upon a time him…

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We are family, I got all my sisters with me -Sister Sledge

Girls are so queer you never know what they mean. They say no when they mean yes, and drive a man out of his wits just for the fun of it. -Louisa May Alcott

One of my all time favorite books is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I didn’t read this book until a little later in life (senior year of high school) but I adored the movie with Winona Ryder that came out in the 90s. I wouldn’t hesitate to say that the movie is also one of my all time favorites. I’ve watched it over and over and I’ve memorized lines and I’ve fallen hopelessly in love with Jo (and Laurie). I knew I always wanted to read the book, I just never did. I remember reading the majority of the book after my Great Aunt’s funeral. I remember thinking how different my Great Aunt Edna was from Great Aunt March. For starters, Great Aunt Edna never promised to take me to Europe and then threw me under the carriage and took my dreadful little sister instead! 

I was reading the most recent edition of Real Simple today and their question to readers was “which fictional family would you most want to be a part of?” For me, I would love to live in Orchard House and be a March sister. I don’t know how I would fit in with them though as I always related so well to Jo. A reader, a writer, a true independent soul who longed to make her own mark in the world, publishers be damned if she was a woman! Josephine March was one of the very first feminists of the world and I adore her for it. I also hold a special place in my heart for precious Beth. I sob every time Beth dies in both the book and the movie. I love Claire Danes portrayal of her. I love her vulnerability and her tenderness and her love. Beth is a true Peter Pan, Beth will never grow up and I mean that in a good (no, GREAT way). Who doesn’t long to be that eternal child? Meg is the ideal woman of the time. She was such a catch for that Mr. Brooks. I would really like to hear Meg’s voice more. A book written entirely from her perspective would be welcomed for me. I feel like we haven’t heard everything that Meg March has to say. I want her to find her voice and tell us all what she really thinks. And then there’s tiny Amy. Oh Amy, you piss me off so much. Amy is a spitfire and a half. She is such a good match for Jo! When she burns Jo’s manuscripts I want to shred her to pieces, just as I  am sure Jo does! I honestly did not see her ending up with Laurie! I was shocked. It was great writing. Romantic Amy should end up with the lovesick and heartbroken Laurie after he is rejected by Jo. It just makes sense and I’m only disappointed that I didn’t think it up!

And who can forget Marmee? I love my own mother, but I would so love to have  for a mother!! So brave and so caring and so strong to raise four girls during such a difficult time with a husband at war.  Marmee is the mother that I hope to one day be. She is one of the best mothers in all of literature. She is the Atticus Finch of mothers. In fact, in my head, I should like to marry Marmee and Atticus and have a warped Brady Bunch mashup with Scout and Jem joining Jo, Beth, Meg and Amy. What fun that would be!

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