My rating: 3/5 stars
Published in: 1855
Synopsis (via Wikipedia):
Forced to leave her home in the tranquil rural south, Margaret Hale settles with her parents in the industrial town of Milton where she witnesses the harsh brutal world wrought by the industrial revolution and where employers and workers clash in the first organized strikes. Sympathetic to the poor whose courage and tenacity she admires and among whom she makes friends, she clashes with John Thorton, a cotton mill manufacturer who belongs to the nouveaux riche and whose contemptuous attitude to workers Margaret despises. The confrontation between her and Mr Thornton is reminiscent of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, but in the broad context of the harsh industrial North.
North and South is the first classic I read in 2013, and I haven’t been moved to write about it. My 3/5 star rating is a pretty big burn – I expect the 1,001 Books to be at least a 4. Otherwise, I simply don’t agree that I must read it before I die. I can wait till another lifetime to read books that are just “good”. Continue reading
I’m back at work and feel like I’m struggling to read my minimum ten pages per day, yet I still have updates! And on the 1st of the month, too! WHO AM I?
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. 3/5 stars. This was my first official Classics Club selection, and I didn’t love it. There are only so many times I can read the word “languid” before it loses all meaning (and I like the word languid!) But I did appreciate the main character, who was thoroughly modern. Review to follow!
- Belinda’s Rings by Corrina Chong. 4/5 stars. Loved it. Completely original and completely familiar at the same time. The only book I can compare it to right now is White Oleander. I know some people didn’t like White Oleander, but I did, so that’s a compliment. Review and hopefully author Q&A to follow!
- The Magic of Saida by M.G. Vassanji. In progress. I’m struggling to get into this book. I’m not sure what’s holding me back. The writing is great and the story is compelling. Maybe I’m getting bogged down in details, as I am wholly unfamiliar with Tanzanian history and culture. I’m not giving up yet!
- But one is on its way. The kind people at MacEwan Book of the Year are sending me a copy of Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb. I know very little about it, but I love the title!
Books I Want to Read – adding to the To Be Read pile
- Frances and Bernard by Carlene Bauer. Book Riot says, “Buy It. Buy All The Copies You Can Find, and Use the Extras To Decorate Your Town With Amazing Prose.” And I say, okay then.
- Jonathan Strange & Mr Norell by Susanna Clarke. This was suggested to me when I was let down by The Night Circus.
- Bumped by Megan McCafferty. It’s YA, but I’m intrigued by the premise – in a society where adults have become infertile, teenage girls become surrogates in droves. Brought to my attention by this post at Book Riot (love that site!)
Bonus: #Yeg Literary Events
I’ve noticed an upswing in literary events in Edmonton. Here are just a few.
- Pecha Kucha Night 15 is at The Expo Centre on March 7, 2013. Jason Lee Norman will speak about the 40 Below Project (if you’re paying attention, you might remember I submitted a story. It was rejected, but the email was VERY nice,) and Caylie Gnyra from Little Cree Books will speak about “Language Ally.” And look at the gorgeous Night Circus inspired poster!
- Rosina, the Midwife by Jessica Kluthe launches at Spinelli’s Bar Italia on March 23rd, 2013. I probably can’t make it, but I am really looking forward to this book! Check out the Facebook page for the event.
- The MacEwan Book of the Year for 2013 is The Cat’s Table by Michael Odaantje, and the author will appear on March 21st at MacEwan downtown campus. I’m buying my ticket tonight. For $22 I will get a copy of the book, get it signed, and hear Odaantje talk about it. What a deal! There is also a FREE panel discussion about the book on March 7th at 12:30pm. All the details are here.
- Check out the Metro Writers in Residence website for lots of writing-focused events. I attended a discussion about blogging this past Sunday. Not only was it free and super informative, but I met one of the Writers in Residence, Omar Mouallem, and blogger extraordinaire Shareen Ayoub – go check her out; I guarantee you’ve read nothing like it! Mini-review of the blogging session to follow!
And now, I have reading to catch up on. And sleep. Not necessarily in that order.