Tagged: Read-Along

A Tale of Two Cities Read-Along: Start Reading!

Having the worst of times figuring our what this is all about? See the master post!


Have you started reading? I’m on page 12, so there’s plenty of time to catch up. As we get down to business, let’s check in on a couple of things:

Editions abound for a classic like this, that’s been around so long and has been assigned reading for countless students. The ebook selection was overwhelming, so I decided to go old school with the clothbound Penguin Classics. It’s got a nice weight to it, and a built-in bookmark, and lots of introductions, appendices, and notes. It also bit my two-year-old’s thumb today, according to him. Please note that I did comfort him before grabbing the camera.

What edition are you reading?


Henry reviews TOTC: "My thumb. Ow. Don't like book."

Henry reviews TOTC: “My thumb. Ow. Don’t like book.”

Read-Alongers (Readers-Along?)
The master post is updated with the list of participants, but I wanted to give some shout-outs today, because there are some awesome bloggers joining us!

  1. Tony: My brother-in-law. Please address any complaints about book choice to him.
  2. Cait at 1227 Miles: My sister. Oh and by the way – Cait and Tony are officially engaged as of this weekend! Congrats!
  3. ebookclassics: I love how CJ digs up the most interesting and random tidbits about books. I also love her celebrities in classics series – let’s say we have similar tastes (90s forever.)
  4. Cedar Station: We recently bonded over our love of The House of Mirth. OMG – Wharton read-along next?
  5. Consumed by Ink: A serious reader of CanLit and big supporter of book blogs – she writes the best comments!
  6. Romanoir: A new-to-me blogger who has a seriously intimidating Classics Club list, heavy on pre-1600 lit.
  7. Amanda’s Weekly Zen: New-to-me blog, but based on the recent post of Wuthering Heights quotes which contained many of my favs, I think we’ll get along juuuust fine.
  8. Doing Dewey: Best blog title and concept I’ve seen in a while. Reading her way through the Dewey decimal system!
  9. Jayne’s Books: Super prolific reader and Moby-Dick read-along alumni.
  10. Reading in Winter: Partly responsible for this blog being what it is today. Yay Kristilyn!
  11. Lost Generation Reader: A celebrity in the classic-lit-bloggers world. Really excited to have her AND her Dickens action figure joining us!

Tales Heard Round the Internet
This is a regular feature with news and notes about A Tale of Two Cities or Mr. Dickens. Today, I found out that the ubiquity of “A Tale of Two Cities” as a catchy title makes it real hard to do a proper Google search. I did manage to find out that The Invisible Woman was released on DVD in Canada last week. This looks like something I need to watch immediately. Psst, CJ, have you done Ralph Fiennes in your Celebrities in Classics yet?

Happy reading, and see you next Monday for our first check-in!

The Moonstone Read-Along: Post One (Introduction)


It’s time to start The Moonstone Read-Along, hosted by Ellie at Lit Nerd! I’m about 50 pages in to this behemoth and it was slow going for the first few chapters, but Betteredge, the hilarious butler and our narrator, has won me over.

My Copy
I’m reading the free Gutenburg on my Kobo. So far it’s not too bad (sometimes the freebies are riddled with formatting errors.)

I also shelled out $4.99 for a cheap paperback, as I’ll probably need to flip back when posting my reactions. Ereaders are great but I hope there’s a crack team of scientists somewhere working out the flipping issue because I am a flipper – backwards when I have a “who is this guy again” moment (often) and forward when I have a “I just need to make sure everything turns out ok!” panic attack.

What I Know About the Book
Nothing. Honestly nothing. I didn’t even know what the “moonstone” in question was till I started reading. Once I found out that it’s a humungous, yellow, cursed diamond,  I immediately thought, “hey didn’t JLo have a yellow diamond engagement ring and maybe that would explain a few things in her life?” This article rounds up celebrities that have famously worn yellow diamonds, including JLo, but check out the entry on Marilyn Monroe, with eerie similarities to The Moonstone:

“The incredible 24-carat yellow diamond, famously known as the Moon of Baroda, was worn by Monroe at the Hollywood premier of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. The diamond belonged to the royal dynasty Gaekwad Maharajas and Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. Reportedly to be cursed, the diamond was said to have been the source of Monroe’s misfortune and ultimately, her death.”

via pulpinternational.com

via pulpinternational.com

What I Know About the Author
Also nothing. I though he was a she until recently. Wilkie is a guy’s name, I guess!

What I Hope To Get Out of the Read-Along

  • Cross off another 1,001 Book
  • Cross off another Classics Club book. I actually had The Woman in White on my list, because the title reminded me of Days of our Lives. If you watched during the 90s you get it. I switched it out for The Moonstone because of this read-along.
  • Chat with some new book bloggers. I don’t know many of the participants, so I look forward to discovering some new blogs!

I’m chatting on #readWilkie Twitter and will do a mid-way post around November 16th.

Have you read The Moonstone? If you’re reading along, what do you think so far? 

Oryx and Crake Read-Along: Post Six (Part 13 – 15 Reaction)


For all the details on this read-along, head over to the sign up post on Reading in Winter.

Reading Parts 13-15 The shortest section, and after the shocker in part 12, maybe a little anti-climactic, I read this bit like a maniac, probably in the middle of the night, hoping to find out why.  Of course, I didn’t find out. The next morning, I bought The Year of the Flood. And yesterday, I finished Maddaddam, and so, the trilogy in it’s entirety. Full review of the whole shebang to come.

Part 13-15 Reaction

Poem: On revisiting this section, I noticed some nice symmetry in the table of contents. And when you think about it, the chapter titles kind of sound poetic, when read together. Don’t you think? Or is this a symptom of Atwood fangirling?


Continue reading

Oryx and Crake Read-Along: Post Five (Part 10 – 12 Reaction)


For all the details on this read-along, head over to the sign up post on Reading in Winter.

Reading Parts 10-12

I’m struggling to write about this section without spoilers – there are a couple major developments, and, while rereading in preparation for this post, I had a new thought that kind of blew my mind, but I can’t talk about it yet! So I’m going to take a different approach.

I am such a loser when I read, I often laugh, cry, gasp, put my hand over my mouth, or on my cheek, Home Alone style. Here are a few of my visceral reactions to this section:

Shudder: I still think Chickie Nobs win the prize, but there were a very passages that gave me the heebie jeebies:

Soon, said the artists, ignoring him, there would be nothing left but a series of long subterranean tubes covering the surface of the planet…People would creep along through this tubing, single file, stark naked, their only view the asshole of the one before them in line, their urine and excrement flowing down through vents in the floor, until there were randomly selected by a digitized mechanism, at which point they would be sucked up into a side tunnel, ground up, and fed to the other through a series of nipple shaped appendages on the inside of the tube.

That’s a little too Human Centipede for me.

Cringe: When Jimmy uses his dad’s turns of phrase, I cringe so hard. And wince. I’m embarrassed for him. I don’t know if he’s still parodying his parents, but his audience is gone. To his girlfriend Amanda, who has presumably not met dear old dad:

“I could join the ranks of the permanently unemployed. Or, hey, I could go on being a kept man, like now. Joke! Joke! Don’t kill me!” Continue reading

Oryx and Crake Read-Along: Post Four (Part 7 – 9 Reaction)


For all the details on this read-along, head over to the sign up post on Reading in Winter.

Reading Parts 7-9

This is probably the section of the book I remember the least about. Maybe I read it late at night. Or maybe I read it really fast, because we`re finally making some progress. Jimmy’s on the move, and he’s telling us more about Crake. Looking back, there are actually a bunch of really important things in these chapters, but I can’t talk about them yet! So if you`re still reading, PAY ATTENTION.

My thoughts are a little disjointed, but as always, there’s lots to comment on. The writing is so dense.

Continue reading

Oryx and Crake Read-Along: Post Three (Part 4 – 6 Reaction)


For all the details on this read-along, head over to the sign up post on Reading in Winter.

Reading Parts 4-6

If parts 1-3 left me engrossed, parts 4-6 left me enthralled. I read parts 4-6 on my first day with the book. It was near the end of this section that I realized I was going to finish the book soon – really soon.

I was staying in a cabin on Cape Breton Island with my family, and I must thank my 18-month-old for demanding to nurse constantly while we were away – we were down to once a day, but he was looking for something familiar, I guess. As much as it sucks (ha ha) to have a 30+ lb, squirmy, violent toddler latched on to you 24-7, there are benefits.  Oh, I guess I have to sit down and, oh, I’ll just grab my Kobo… no, no, you go to the beach without me… Seriously, I finished like four books on this vacation.

Anyways, the book. There’s a lot going on, and this section is more than twice as long as the previous one. Let’s get to it. Continue reading

Oryx and Crake Read-Along: Post Two (Part 1 – 3 Reaction)


For all the details on this read-along, head over to the sign up post on Reading in Winter.

“Read-along” implies that the participants will read the book on the same schedule. I deviated from the assigned dates a little bit with Moby Dick, but this is a bit extreme. I read the first assigned section, parts 1-3, in my first sitting. I believe I read all the way to part 6 or 7 on the first day. I tried to ration it. I tried to read my other book instead, but my other book was Northanger Abbey which is such a bore compared to this. I finished the book in four days. Continue reading

Oryx and Crake Read-Along: Post One (Introduction)

It’s time to get cracking on Oryx and Crake! Go to Readinginwinter.com for all the particulars, and apologies for formatting etc as I am writing this from my phone while on vacation.


My Copy
I’m reading on my Kobo, though it’s occurred to me that I should pick up a paper copy. Ereaders are great, but they are terribly for flipping through to find quotes. Unlike Moby-Dick, i probably can’t find the whole text of this one fee online, so I’ll have to pay up.

I saw the mass market paperback on the “Summer Reads” table at Chapters, which is odd, as I don’t really think of Atwood as beach read material.

What I Know About the Book
Not much at all. I noticed that “oryx” is in my phone’s dictionary, so maybe it’s a real word. I’m trying to stay away from google and go in blind.

I know it’s a trilogy, followed by The Year of the Flood and Maddadam. I don’t read many series so I’m intrigued and wary of the commitment!

My Experience Reading Atwood
To paraphrase a great 90s movie, Atwood is a totally important Canadian writer. I’ve read The Handmaid’s Tale (loved, but don’t remember well) and Surfacing, an early novel that I found a little too weird, and I like weird. Not having read more Atwood is one of my (not so) secret shames when it comes to CanLit.

What I Hope To Get Out of the Read-Along

I hope to absolve my CanLit guilt, improve my ratios of Canadian and female authors read this year, and find out what the heck an oryx is. Oh, and have fun!